The Unforgivable Sin

A while ago, I had prayed for a woman.  She had so much fear because as a little girl she had been told by an adult leader in a church that she had committed the unpardonable sin and would not be able to go to heaven.   What is even sadder though is both of my boys, unsuccessfully, had been taught about the unpardonable sin.  Thankfully this was after sharing my revelation of God’s great grace with both of them.  My youngest got in such a heated discussion with his “Christian studies teacher” that he had to be pulled out of the classroom.  For him he saw a God that would forgive everything and the way this teacher was explaining this scripture, in Mark 3:29-30, did not fit into how he saw and knew God.  So, today I want to bring clarity, hope, freedom and truth to this scripture that has, because of the way it has been taught for many years, hurt so many people.

Let me copy two different translations of this verse below one from the New King James Version (NKJV) and one from the Message.  My favorite is from the Message; yet many times this is taught from the NKJV.

“Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter;  but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation” because they said, “He has an unclean spirit.” (Mark 3:28-30 NKJV)

“Listen to this carefully. I’m warning you. There’s nothing done or said that can’t be forgiven. But if you persist in your slanders against God’s Holy Spirit, you are repudiating the very One who forgives, sawing off the branch on which you’re sitting, severing by your own perversity all connection with the One who forgives.” He gave this warning because they were accusing him of being in league with Evil.” (Mark 3:28-30 MSG)

4B47B2E1-54F7-4733-87E5-EC144318724AWhat is even more interesting is the title in the NKJV which states this section is about THE UNPARDONABLE SIN.  Wow, and it looks just like that…..so this must be what it is about…..and it is….but not what we have been taught for years. (Yes, I said all that with a huge grin…because of the goodness of God).

I have written before about the importance of reading scripture in context, looking at the time period, who wrote it and whom it was written to.  It is just as important here.  At this time Jesus was healing and teaching around Galilee.  There were many people from other areas there with Him.  He had chosen His twelve disciples when all of a sudden scribes are proclaiming Jesus to have the prince of demons, Beelzebub, within Him.  Jesus teaches them in parable regarding how can a house divided against itself stand?  He then goes on to say in Mark 3:28 how ALL of the sins and blasphemes will be forgiven the sons of men.  It isn’t just a few sins but ALL; which means in Greek the totality of.  No sins left unforgiven.  It will all be accomplished, finished.  But then all of a sudden it sounds like Jesus is now retracting what He just said in the next sentences.  But He isn’t.

I looked up each word in the Greek in all three verses.  Specifically verses 28 and 29.  Here is the summation of what I looked up (to do your own research you can view the bible hub pages here: http://biblehub.com/text/mark/3-29.htm and http://biblehub.com/text/mark/3-30.htm):

Whoever refuses to acknowledge the good that has come from the union (remember Jesus is talking about Himself and the healing He has been performing by casting out unclean spirits) of the Holy Spirit, negates possession of forgiveness in this age, is legally bound or obligated eternally (both now and outside time) to sin’s results because they have concluded I possess a spirit which is adulterated(“a wrong mix’/tainted by sin). (Mark 3:29-30)

He is making it clear there is one condition that the son of man (yep, that is you and me)  must make to have ALL your sins forgiven.  The scribes had just concluded that the sinless lamb was full of sin.  So for them, unless they change their minds (yep that is repentance) and realize that Jesus is the Sinless One whom will take on all of the son of men’s sins, they are negating the ONLY way to possess forgiveness from God.

Jesus was already telling how and Who forgiveness would happen through.  How the one condition of faith in Who He is makes all the difference for the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve.  It is simply the same simple message of faith, forgiveness and a Spotless Lamb that must be seen as spotless not just as a “good man”,  a “prophet” or a fake.  He was, is and will be the only real Spotless Lamb, born without sin, remained without sin for our good.

 

Firm Foundation

I dislike reading titles that say 5 tricks to losing weight or 3 ways to save your marriage.  So, I purposely chose not to use a title like that.  Plus, this list has to be able to be expanded if needed 😉…I just don’t like to be put in a box 📦.

For the past few days I kept seeing the words, “You Are Loved”.  Around the fourth day of this I said, “Yes Lord, I know I am loved.”  Then I felt led to write.  I have been asking the Lord what are my core values and how much I wanted my core values to line up with His.  I can see these are my bedrock beliefs. A foundation set in Jesus2A602E7A-B080-4697-8A6D-8F26631CFAD4 that can not be destroyed.  It is how I view myself and others; how I live or walk out my life on a daily basis; the lens I see scripture through; it impacts how I pray; and how I see God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  I felt compelled to share it:

  1. I am Loved.
  2. I am completely forgiven by Him.
  3. God is on my side no matter what my circumstances look like.
  4. The work has been done by the only Begotten Son for me and this is where I find my rest for my soul.
  5. I could never do anything that would cause God to turn away from me-EVER.  I would be the only one capable of turning away from Him; yet He would pursue me passionately until I turn back.

As a daughter or son of the Most High God this is a foundation that is based on truth.  It truly doesn’t get any better than this.  If you don’t have a relationship with the Father just take a peek at this page Salvation Prayer.  It is so simple to just believe in what has already been done for you.  If you have any question please comment or connect with me on my Facebook page.  ❤️

The Worst Disease to Hit Mankind

And what you can do about it…

In His Name

Over the many years of being a “Christian”, I have been “taught” how to “pray”.  I quote those words because I think they have been misused or misunderstood.  At first I was taught by the Holy Spirit; but the longer I was around people who had been in the church longer than me I began to pick up some of their habits. Then it was expected I should pray in a certain way and take classes to learn how to pray.

A vending machine
has no will,
money is put in,
a button is pushed,
and what the person pushing
the button wants comes out

Today though, I want to discuss the practice of what may have become more like a formula many Christians use to put emphasis on their prayers. One of the things the Lord had shown me during those three days almost three years ago, was a vending machine. When He showed me this He spoke,”I am not a vending machine but people have made me into a vending machine“.  See a vending machine has no will, money is put in, a button is pushed, and what the person pushing the button wants comes out. We, as Christians, may have started at a wrong starting point with our view of God. We unknowingly may think God has no will in circumstances of life and yet, His plan comes above everything else. I can only discern what I believe to be God’s will as each circumstance comes to me through this lifetime.  His Holy Spirit inside me tells me and gives me unction to pray instead of praying a prayer as someone (man) desires me to…but wait I am getting ahead of myself.

Let me try to explain. The scripture that I want to use is in Acts 3:16. This is where the apostles are headed to the temple and there is a man who is sitting at the Beautiful Gate begging for money because he has been crippled since birth and the apostles say they do not have money but what they do have….here let’s enter in:

“Kefa said, “I don’t have silver, and I don’t have gold, but what I do have I give to you: in the name of the Messiah, Yeshua of Natzeret, walk!” And taking hold of him by his right hand, Kefa pulled him up. Instantly his feet and ankles became strong; so that he sprang up, stood a moment, and began walking. Then he entered the Temple court with them, walking and leaping and praising God!
‭‭Acts of Emissaries of Yeshua (Act)‬ ‭3:6-8 CJB‬

In His Name…..I have ended many prayers this way.  Many times knowing or sensing what I had just prayed wasn’t what God wanted me to pray.  Yet, the expectation was for me to pray this way because if I didn’t then God wouldn’t be seen as good and/or I IMG_1656would not be praying correctly according to man.  Let me make this very clear: God is good all the time despite the circumstances I am in.  Yet, in the past, I felt I needed to pray a way directed by man rather than God.  For this I have been convinced I was wrong and have gone back to my childlike trust in God and what His will is in each circumstance.  See we apply an attribute to God and then make it a blanket statement not realizing that it might mean something far greater than what we see it as.  Let me use this as an example.  God hates sickness. Yes, God holds no account to sickness.  It is not part of His realm.  But I want you to think of the worst sickness or disease to ever hit mankind.  Maybe it could be the plague, AIDS, cancer or….there are many to choose from.  To me though the worst sickness or disease is actually the original fall.  This is a disease that has attacked every single human being in the world.  Our brokenness is what has brought so much strife, division, hatred, and evil acts perpetrated on other humans and the earth. This sickness/disease we are all born with.  Jesus carried this for us at the Cross.  He made a way to rid humanity of this awful disease.  This sickness that 65893174-28F6-48F3-811B-339FC93F8B10has caused so many sicknesses. And with that He also took the shame of all of us who have performed these acts.  I want the world to see the largeness of what God actually did through His Son on the Cross.  We get caught up in the smaller picture and with that fear creeps in.  What if I die?  Well….we shall all die and as Christians we should not fear this or the second death.  Because truly we live forever.  We should not be like the Goyim (the unbelievers).

So, back to prayer.  Here is the definition of the Greek word for “name” from biblehub.com:

3686 ónoma – name; (figuratively) the manifestation or revelation of someone’s character, i.e. as distinguishing them from all others. Thus “praying in the name of Christ” means to pray as directed (authorized) by Him, bringing revelation that flows out of being in His presence. “Praying in Jesus’ name” therefore is not a “religious formula” just to end prayers (or get what we want)!

[“According to Hebrew notions, a name is inseparable from the person to whom it belongs, i.e. it is something of his essence. Therefore, in the case of the God, it is specially sacred” (Souter).]

Praying “in His Name” means we receive revelation from Him as to what to pray.  It is not simply to tag this on in hopes you are praying what He desires.  It actually means you are praying as directed by the Holy Spirit in that instance. As stated above, Hebrews understand that the name is part of the person….the essence of that person and is inseparable from the person.  A name is very important to Hebrews.  As it should be for all of us.  As believers in Christ, we have His essence known as the Holy Spirit residing within us.  Inside of us we know, otherwise called discernment, what, where and when to pray.  We have the mind of Christ, His essence, in us.  We pray in His Name as we call out His will in this earth realm as it lines up with His larger picture, not yours.  His larger picture, as I have read in scripture, is that the world may know His Name.  He simply does not want one person, human, to be separated from Him.  As we pray, this is the larger picture. In the above historical story of the man being healed at the Beautiful Gate, God’s larger picture evolves.  This isn’t saying God didn’t want this man healed but there was a larger picture. Let’s finish the story here:

Everyone saw him walking and praising God. They recognized him as the same man who had formerly sat begging at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple, and they were utterly amazed and confounded at what had happened to him. While he clung to Kefa and Yochanan, all the people came running in astonishment toward them in Shlomo’s Colonnade. Seeing this, Kefa addressed the people: “Men of Isra’el! Why are you amazed at this? Or why do you stare at us as if we had made this man walk through some power or godliness of our own? The God of Avraham, Yitz’chak and Ya‘akov, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Yeshua — the same Yeshua you handed over and disowned before Pilate, even after he had decided to release him. You denied the holy and innocent one, and instead asked for the reprieve of a murderer! You killed the author of life! “But God has raised him from the dead! Of this we are witnesses.” “And it is through putting trust in his name that his name has given strength to this man whom you see and know. Yes, it is the trust that comes through Yeshua which has given him this perfect healing in the presence of you all.” Acts of Emissaries of Yeshua (Act)‬ ‭3:9-16CJB‬

God glorified His Servant Yeshua.  Simply making it known Who He is.  Trust in His essence, His Name.  Trust in Who He is that gave strength and perfect healing to this man in their presence.  We have always focused on the healing but not so much about the people present. Peter was very straightforward telling these Jews the very same man with the name Yeshua, Jesus, this man who You disowned and denied as holy and innocent is the very same One Whose essence in them brought healing to this man whom had been crippled since birth.  This was just what was needed at this point, in these people’s lives to make Him known to them.  Each situation is different because each person is different.  God knows us perfectly and knows what needs to be done in each situation.  We are simply to trust (faith) Him with the outcomes.  Fully knowing the worst disease to ever hit mankind has been abolished by the King of kings on the Cross.  In His Name, ❤️

Jesus’ Return?!?!?!?

I wasn’t going to get into this topic at all. I was going to let the day come and go while holding onto my faith in the One who loves me so much.  A friend had texted me asking my opinion on img_1654-1the subject. I am just going to paste in what I wrote back with more added for clarity:

The temple veil has been torn and I believe that Jesus has fulfilled all of the Jewish feasts. Yet, we are living in the last three. You need to understand Jesus is timeless or lives outside of time. We have experienced Pentecost, we are living in the Rosh Hashanah otherwise known as the Days of Awe (the miraculous era of grace), Yom Kippur (full payment of sin) has been finished by the Lamb; yet the books of heaven are still open. We are living in a time of Sukkot as God, through His Holy Spirit, lives in us. The final or great Trump has not been sounded. The Hidden Day (Rosh Hashanah) is the day the doors of heaven stand open. Jesus ripped the veil in half at His death. His resurrection has allowed open heavens for all those who have faith in Him. We, in the New Covenant, are actually living in the era of the fall festivals. We are the latter rain. Whether or not God will also tie the return of His Son to Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur or another day is….well……one of the great mysteries. People getting in an uproar because of all the “signs”: earthquakes, solar eclipse, hurricanes need to look at the totality of history and natural disasters that have hit the earth since the fall.  Yes, we need to know the times; this is the times.  Yet, Jesus spoke very clearly about the bridesmaids and what they were to do.

We are simply to remain hopeful of His return and keep our faith, being the light and shining for others to also see the Light of the world so that others are also convinced, change their thinking and see Jesus for Who He is, the Son of God. Just as the five sensible bridesmaids were. Remember: ““But when that day and hour will come, no one knows — not the angels in heaven, not the Son, only the Father.” Mattityahu (Mat)‬ ‭24:36‬ ‭CJB‬‬

 I hope this brings some clarity.  This is a very short version of a complex teaching.  Much grace to you, Darlene

The Fight

This past weekend I watched the McGregor/Mayweather fight.  I watched as round after round went by thinking about the endurance each athlete had to have to continue fighting.  I thanked God for the endurance He has supplied me with to fight the good fight of FAITH.  Because life is so much like the boxing ring and I am thankful that Jesus has won the war for me.

I had posted a great pic a few weeks ago of what I am going to write about in this blog post.  You can look at it here: Coming soon…Why the race is about faith and not behavior….#Hebrews11 #Hebrews12 . Let’s get to it.

Hebrews is beautifully written to well…..Hebrews….but there is much for us in the church in present times to look at here.  I went through the history of this book in Did You Really Just Say That?!?!.  So please go back and read this post if you haven’t yet. Hebrews 11 is the faith chapter and there are a couple of things I want to make clear with this chapter.  This faith chapter includes people like Rahab, King David, and Samuel.  It also includes what the Jewish people suffered holding on to their faith (trust, belief) in Who God is.  Please note King David was during the law but his faith made him righteous and Rahab’s faith made her righteous enough to be in the lineage of Jesus and she was a prostitute.  At the “end” of this chapter it states:

And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.(Hebrews 11:39-40 NASB)

Apart from us they would not be made perfect…..because something was provided by God that was better for us. This is describing what Jesus had done in their lifetime and ours. As the letter moves into Chapter 12 of Hebrews, we get into some pretty important wording that we all need to carefully look at.

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin (noun) which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before usfixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners (adjective-describes a noun) against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3 NASB)

  • sin (noun)= hamartia 266 = (ha) not and (3313 meros) a part or share of; no share (“no part of”) loss (forfeiture) because not hitting the mark.  Every action or decision done apart from faith.

I have written about sin before in the New Testament in the blog Horizontal and Vertical (Part 4).  I have questioned: How could Jesus say, “Go and sin no more.” When He said to go and “sin” (verb) no more it was so much more than their behavior, as we might think of it.  We need to remember that Jesus is the “mark” we do not want to miss in the New Covenant.  Jesus came onto the scene here on earth proclaiming, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”  And He was truly desiring for people to look at things or see things as God sees them.  Jesus also clearly noted that their faith healed them not their behavior.  The definition of hamarte (noun) also describes every action/decision done apart from faith; this is a heart condition which then can convert into a mind decision.  I make a decision or choice of faith in God in the very beginning (faith as small as a mustard seed).  In this faith (trust/belief) I also believe that all my sins (transgressions=hatah, iniquity=avon, and sin=peshah) have fully been cleared by Jesus’ payment on the Cross.  When we see the word sin in the New Testament we think behavior instead of looking deeper and actually understanding the Hebrew word Peshah.  Peshah means to make a counter covenant and to clearly, of your own free will, choose to identify with the principles of evil.  When you see it this way it is in direct opposition to God and all that His Son has done for you.  This is fully making a decision or action apart from faith.  This word contains the idea that this is their own free will choice, self empowered choice to forfeit or have no part of or share of…..God’s desire to have a relationship with them which Jesus provided a free and clear way through the Cross for the whole world. This is truly “missing the mark”, Jesus.  This is what equates to wickedness or sin isn’t the Greek word hamartia.

  • encumbrance (noun)= ogkos 3591 = weight, burden, encumbrance–this is the only occurrence of this word in the NT yet this notes both Matthew 23:4: “They tie up heavy burdens (unable to move, pressing down on a person with oppressive force) and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger.”  And Matthew 11:30 “For My yoke is [a]easy and My burden is light.”  Again both of these scriptures Jesus is talking about the Pharisees and how the Religious mindset lays a heavy burden on people whereas His is light.  Does anyone feel light?  I do….thank you Jesus.  Do you want to feel light?  Keep reading…
  • entangles (adjective) = euperístatos 2139 = from 2095/eú, “well”; 4012/perí, “all-around”; and 2476/hístēmi, “stand”) – properly, well-planted all-around, describing what is encompassing (encircling), i.e. surrounding, “wholly around”; (figuratively) a serious hindrance that “encircles” (hampers) someone who desperately needs to advance.
  • endurance (noun) = hypomonḗ 5281 = (from 5259/hypó, “under” and 3306/ménō, “remain, endure”) – properly, remaining under, endurance; steadfastness, especially as God enables the believer to “remain (endure) under” the challenges in life.

Yes, think about him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you won’t grow tired or become despondent. You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in the contest against sin. Also you have forgotten the counsel which speaks with you as sons: “My son, don’t despise the discipline of Adonai or become despondent when he corrects you. For Adonai disciplines those he loves and whips everyone he accepts as a son.”  Regard your endurance as discipline; God is dealing with you as sons. For what son goes undisciplined by his father?  All legitimate sons undergo discipline; so if you don’t, you’re a mamzer and not a son! Hebrews 12:4-6

I don’t know if this scripture has scared anyone else, but it has me.  This verse always makes me envision an angry God up in heaven waiting to dole out some pretty hefty spankings when I don’t line up and follow all the rules.  How about you??  Let’s look at the beauty of these words in the Greek to have an accurate picture of Who God is and what the unknown author was really saying.

  • resist (verb)= antikathistémi 478 = to set down against, i.e. to replace, oppose; I resist, supersede, replace, oppose.
  • contest (verb) = antagonizomai 464 = (1 occurrence in the NT found here) resist, strive against, contend, antagonize.  The definition of antagonize according to Merriam-Webster dictionary is as follows: 1) to incur or provoke the hostility of His criticism antagonized his friends. 2) to act in opposition to : counteract

The word counteract bears more looking at.  Counteract means to act in opposition to.  We have not acted in opposition to sin to the point of shedding blood against sin.  Yet, Jesus has.  Jesus has resisted, opposed and superseded sin to the point of shedding blood.  The word sin here is a noun not a verb.  It is describing a person, place or thing.  When Jesus is explaining to go and sin no more it is a verb which is an action.  We need to be watchful of the use of the words.  When I have read scripture in the past I would see the word sin and automatically think verb which means action.  Where here it is a noun.  The use of the word in the sentence changes what it is defining.  As I stated above the word hamartano is described as this in biblehub: Every decision (action) done apart from faith (4102 /pístis) is sin.  Every action done apart from FAITH is sin.  Yet this word is a noun, person, place or thing.  This is how I felt the Lord was describing it to me.  The sickness mumps is a noun, it is a thing.  Yet that sickness develops actions like swelling of the neck and fever still things yet your actions come out of those things.  Like sleep, sweating, drinking liquids.  I hope this is making sense.  So Jesus sat and opposed or counteracted sin the noun so that we would not have the actions of sin the verb.  Here is how I see it in my mind:

FAITH (trust/belief God) VS SIN (counter covenant)

Jesus counteracted sin.  Here is a good example:  The doctor gave you medicine to counteract the effects of the sickness.  So: Jesus made sin ineffective in the lives who by faith walk through the door He opened. That is the pill.  We simply keep our eyes on the author and finisher of our faith.  He restrained, neutralized the ill effects of sin (noun) because He is the direct opposite or in opposition to sin.  Jesus counteracted sin for all of humanity as we have faith in Who He is and what He did for us.  So, the question always comes down to this…why do I sin….are you talking transgression, iniquity or actual sin according to the Hebrew.  See, Jesus says He paid for all of that on the Cross.  There are iniquities that are weaknesses to fall under temptation….yet what did Jesus do…He said it is finished, So it is finished. The payment has been made for the whole world but those that have access to it simply trust God for what His Son did for the world.  The enemy would like us to think that our salvation is dependent on our behavior when it is actually our faith that brings us into covenant with God, not our behavior.  What do I do when I have transgressed?  If you haven’t already please read: Horizontal and Vertical (Part 4); which will answer that question for you.  The realization that my relationship with My Father in Heaven is not based on my behavior but completely by His behavior brought freedom and a light load.  It is really that simple.

As I realized how Jesus counteracted sin,  He then asked me, “Why do people want to be sin foucused instead of Me focused?”

I believe the answer to this question is: as humans, since Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, have tried to attain our own righteousness, holiness and right behavior.  The law though has only proven we can not attain this.  Yet, still as Christians, we try to somehow attain holiness and righteousness by our own deeds still instead of realizing Jesus counteracted sin, He paid the price and for that I am eternally grateful.  We do have a new nature He paid to give us and we do act in that more and more as we focus on Him not our behaior.  Don’t put the Cart Before the Horse?  So we instead of becoming sin focused (a choice outside of faith) let us remain Jesus focused by believing and trusting that He has begun a good work and will remain faithful to finish it. (Philippians 1:6)  Because God promised to write the law upon our hearts (Jeremiah 31:33 and Hebrews 8:10 and 10:16) and be our God.  This is us in the New Covenant.  We believe, have faith, this is what God has done in us and realize God is finishing this work within us and believe He has created a new nature within us, that the old nature is dead with Christ and we have risen new with Christ.

In the Kingdom of Heaven trusting (faith) = righteousness, holiness, benefits of sonship/daughtership and so much more

Regard your endurance as discipline.  This means your endurance (see definition IMG_1646above) is discipline.  Discipline means to reach full maturity.  Remember that your seed of faith is given by God and is as small as a mustard seed but when fully grown becomes a large tree.  Strong, that can withstand a storm.  One of the notes on biblehub states that God uses things that happen in our life to mature us.  God’s discipleship is to mature us through life’s experiences.  Life happens and we either mature or we stay stagnant.  Choosing to mature grows our faith.  And just to make sure you understand: if we choose not to mature at that time GOD IS NOT MAD AT YOU!!!  And there will be plenty of more “LIFE HAPPENS” to mature.  We no longer live under the law; so please do not think that God is waiting to punish you as if you had to hold up your part of the bargain; because remember His Son, Jesus, has paid the full price for you.

“For they disciplined us only for a short time and only as best they could; but he disciplines us in a way that provides genuine benefit to us and enables us to share in his holiness.” (Heb)‬ ‭12:10‬ ‭CJB‬‬

We receive genuine benefit and share in His holiness as we hang on to our faith, let go of the law (heavy burden) and the sin (separate of faith).  Faith is the key to the Kingdom of Heaven.  Faith in the One who resisted to the shedding of blood, the One Who bled so we can partake in His righteousness and holiness.  This “fight” is the fight to remain trusting and believing in Who God said He is as we walk through this timeline of our life.  This is what every person listed in Hebrews 11 did and they endured horrible hardships.  This is what every believer had done in the time this letter had been written.  They endured terrible deaths.  Yet they were not told to make sure they didn’t do x,y,z but were told to not claim a counter covenant and keep the covenant Jesus paid such a dear price for.  As we look at the end of chapter 12 the author says:  let us have grace through which we worship and are accepted by God.  Grace…let us have grace this is how we worship and are acceptable to God.  So that means accept Jesus’ free gift of grace, fully redeemed, fully loved, fully holy, fully accepted, fully clean, fully righteous because of what Jesus did…not because of what you did or didn’t do….Just believe, trust; which simply means FAITH.  So know you should feel lighter as you have let go of the law and grabbed hold by faith…grace given by Jesus.

The Kingdom of Heaven is Like…

I had made a meme…A Little of What… .  This had been part of something the Lord had been telling me:  "You are the pearl, be the pearl. You are the treasure, be the treasure. You are the coin, be the coin."  One of the things I would have believed or interpreted from this statement in the past, because my view of God was off, is this:

"Darlene, shape up because you aren't behaving like you are one of My children."

Yet, this isn't what God was saying to me at all.  What He is saying is:

  • You are pure; because My Son made you pure.IMG_1590
  • You are priceless; because you are you created by Me.
  • I will keep running after you; because you are so very beloved by Me.

When you believe you are pure, priceless and beloved by a Father in heaven it changes you.  You can't help but be changed.  Your whole mind shifts from a place of fear to a place faith.  When we start to understand the fullness of what Christ did for us on the Cross: how fully forgiven we are, how beautiful and priceless we are, how greatly loved we are this in and of itself changes our perspective of ourselves and others.  This alone is huge.  Yet then God gives His gift the Holy Spirit, Himself to live within us.  The closest we can get to Him this side of Heaven and that is amazing love.

Whose you are
and
Who you are

It isn't about your or my behavior when He says, "Be the pearl".  It is all about seeing yourself as or believing you are the pearl, treasure and coin. This is called: "faith in what He did for you".  That is the Kingdom of Heaven….be the pearl.

Matthew 13:44-45, Luke 15:8-10

What Has Your Big Brother Done For You?

Maybe you don’t have a big brother in your family like me….yet I do have a Big Heavenly Brother, Jesus, and He has done a lot for all of us.

You may have been taught many times regarding the woman with the alabaster box, in Luke 7.  How she had poured out everything she had on Jesus; and while that is a beautiful teaching, as I read this story with fresh eyes the Lord woke something up in me that I want to share with you.  Let’s dig into this historical account about this nameless woman, called a sinner, whom had an interaction with Jesus which changed her life forever.
In the beginning of Luke 7, Jesus is invited to Simon’s house, a Pharisee.  Right before this invite He is talking about John the Baptist and says this: ““I tell you that among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than Yochanan the Immerser! Yet the one who is least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he!”” ‭‭Luke ‭7:28‬ ‭(CJB)‬

What I find extremely interesting is this is exactly who Jesus ministers to…the least.  They are the people society deems less than through our human eyes.  Jesus did come to help the world see how His Father sees, among many other things He did. As Jesus traveled in those last three years of His life there is an emphasis in what He DOES which shows us just how important each individual is.  No one is higher or lower.  Everyone is on equal standing no matter wha they have done or not done and yet each of us is still uniquely made.  When we look at the historical life story of Jesus, within scripture, He healed the blind, lepers, woman and children.  Yet, to the many of the “well taught” men he was trying to heal their thinking.  He desired for them to repent, to see things differently and that had to start in the brain of these well taught “leaders” in the community.  It is the same within the story in Luke 7.  It is interesting that the least, within societies beliefs at that time, saw Jesus for Who He is; while those that would be considered greater had a much more difficult time seeing Who He is.

Let’s look at this account in Luke 7:36-50 (NASB)

“Now one of the Pharisees was requesting Him to dine with him, and He entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume. Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner.” And Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he replied, “Say it, Teacher.” “A moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?” Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have judged correctly.” Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume. For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” Then He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.” Those who were reclining at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this man who even forgives sins?” And He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.””

Three things I took note of in this passage:

  1. “The definition in Greek of the word “love” used here is: 25-agapáo-With the believer agapáo (“to love”) means actively doing what the Lord prefers, with Him (His power and direction). True agapáo (“loving”) is always defined by God- a “discriminating affection which involves choice and selection”.  Properly, to prefer to love;….preeminently (above all) this refers to what God prefers as He “is love”.” biblehub.com
  2. Remembering faith is a gift from God.  See: It All Begins and Ends With Trust and Walk Confidently-It All Begins and Ends With Trust (Faith) (Part 2) for a greater understanding of how faith is a gift from God.
  3. What the woman did versus what she didn’t do.

As I put all three of the above things together while reading this account, I wept with the beauty and simplicity of Who God is and has been since the beginning.  In this story holds the simple yet glorious good news that Jesus had come to bring to all the people in this world He had created and loves so dearly.  The woman can be found in each one of us born from Adam; as we are born into sin (Psalm 51:1) and if you don’t believe this to be true you are deceiving yourselves (1 John 1:8).  I don’t know about you but I know I have had many sins, even after receiving God’s free gift.  Please remember we go from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). I also know that there is no way I could keep all of the Law as Jesus Christ has done for He has “upheld and upholds” the law (Torah) (1 Corinthians 9:21 and Galatians 6:2 CJB).  Because of this everyone should be able to relate to this woman, a sinner.  So what did this sinner do??  She loved (agapáo)!!!  Not just a mushy…oh I love you; but a preference, a personal selection, a free will choice showing good judgement and chose to follow IMG_1583the God given mustard seed of faith and trusted, believed in Who Jesus is.  She went and treated Him for Who she saw Him as, the King of kings.  The Pharisee, Simon, in this account did not.  Simon didn’t believe he needed much forgiveness.  He also believed He wasn’t in need of a Savior because he had the law to follow, his own performance that he relied on, and the yearly sacrifice for Israel-the Day of Atonement.  He was a Pharisee for goodness sake.  Yet, Jesus here told an important truth those that do not feel or think they have many sins love little.  Their reliance is more on themselves and their behavior and less on Him and what He desires to do for you.  Lastly, the woman did not go and beg Jesus to forgive her.  She did not speak all of her sins out and ask for forgiveness.  She actually did not utter a word to Him; she simply trusted in Who He is, and chose to believe Who He was in her heart and her actions showed her belief.  This faith is what saved her.  She boldly approached the throne of Grace, as a SINNER, and she simply from the heart believed in Who Jesus is and Jesus announced her faith (trust and belief) saved her.  Out of this faith, in Who Jesus is, came an act of agapáo (“loving”), an affection of choice and selection, a desire to love from and through Him, His strength that made her whole as Jesus said, “Your faith (belief, trust) has saved you, go in peace (wholeness).”  Her faith saved her, not her spotless record she tried to maintain but her faith.  Your faith saves you not your spotless record or your performance or your trying to act right.  Just your faith and out of this faith come these actions of agapáo.  This account happened before the Cross, before Jesus took all of the sins of the world upon Himself.  He was showing the “ones who were more influential in the world’s eyes” how their system of trying to follow the law could not be done nor would it ever bring the type of relationship that God, the Father, was desiring from the beginning: humans desiring , preferring , choosing and selecting Him out of our own free will.  He sent His Son to make the Way for us and all we have to do is agapáo- choose Him, just like the woman who walked in a sinner, broke her alabaster box and chose Jesus, believed in Who He is and walked out forgiven and whole.  There was no groveling but an active free will choice to choose Him, to believe in Who He is.

Jesus’ agapáo was
going to the Cross for us,
God’s agapáo was sending His Son
and then placing His wraith for the sin
humanity was due on His Son
and humanity’s agapáo
is to believe in Who He is

Because see He first chose you, us, the world.  He agapáo us.
Jesus’ agapáo was going to the Cross for us, God’s agapáo was sending His Son and then placing the wraith for sin humanity was due on His Son and humanity’s agapáo is to believe in Who He is.  This is the simplicity of the Good News: fully loved, fully chosen, fully selected, fully forgiven, fully righteous, fully reborn, fully live forever with God, fully whole.  This is how I see myself daily in the facts of all Jesus did for me on the Cross.   He does not want a groveling child but a child that is confident in what their Big Brother has done for them, what their Daddy did for them…living from that place of reassurance, embraced by the Holy Spirit our Helper…why not come join me in this safe place.

A Little of What…

The Lord has been speaking to me….