Jesus, the Branch

Jesus, the Branch

Then speak to him, saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, saying:  Behold the Man whose name is the BRANCH!  From His place He shall branch out [sprout up], and He shall build the temple of the Lord; yes, He shall build the temple of the Lord.  He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule on His throne; so He shall be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.”  (Zech 6:12-13, emphasis added)

Counsel means advice; consultation; deliberate purpose; plan; design. 

Peace means a state of mutual harmony between people or groups, especially interpersonal relations; freedom from strife or dissension; public order and security; a state of tranquility or serenity.  Another definition of peace is nothing missing, nothing broken. 

Jesus is the Branch who built the temple of the Lord—we are that temple! (1 Cor 3:16) 

Jesus is the King (Mt 27:11, 37) and it is His throne that’s referred to in Zechariah 6:12-13.  Jesus is also our High Priest (Rom 8:34), who intercedes for us in Heaven.  At the same time He rules as King on His throne. The counsel of peace reigns between Jesus, our King and Jesus, our High Priest.

Jesus paid for our salvation, therefore He is our Justifier, as well.  (Rom 3:24, 28)

The deliberate purpose and plan of the Lord was that peace would reign victoriously between Priest and King—and between Intercessor and Justifier.  Thanks to Jesus, there is complete harmony among His multiple offices.  Due to this arrangement, there is nothing missing and nothing broken in the plan of salvation or in our lives. 

Jesus, the Branch, has provided for our every need.  Glory to God!

More Than Satisfied

More Than Satisfied

I will satiate the soul of the priests with ABUNDANCE, and My people shall be satisfied with My GOODNESS, says the Lord.  (Ps 36:8, emphases added)

Satiate means to fulfill with more than enough—beyond capacity.  We believers have been called priests by God in Revelation 1:6 and 5:10.  The Lord has given His Word to provide more than enough for His people in every area and in every circumstance!  This is provision to overflowing—even beyond what you need or desire.  Praise God!

Satisfied means to put an end to (a desire, want, need, etc.) by sufficient or ample provision; to give full contentment to.  Our Savior has given His life to provide for every eventuality for us because He loves us.

The God who created everything says that we, His people, will be satisfied with His goodnessGoodness is defined as:  moral excellence; virtue; generosity; the best part of anything; strength; or excellence of quality. 

Think about this:  we will find complete contentment in the character of God—His goodness, kindness, strength, generosity, and virtue! 

Because God is WITH US (Isa 8:10, Matt 1:23) and because He fights FOR US (Ex 14:25), we can know that the victory is already won.  Best of all, we are on the winning side, thanks to Jesus!  His goodness and faithfulness guarantee that each one of us is more than satisfied.  Glory to God!

We’re Living Stones

We’re Living Stones

Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.  (1 Pet 2:4-5)

The first part of this verse compares Jesus to a living stone who was rejected by men, but chosen by God and precious to Him.  We know that the Scriptures say that Jesus is our Rock, even though above He is likened to a stone.

As it is written: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, and whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”  (Rom 9:33, emphasis added)  In this verse, both stone and rock are used interchangeably to describe our Redeemer.

. . . and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.  (1 Cor 10:4)

As we continue reading 1 Peter 2:4-5, we notice that the Scripture now refers to believers and calls us living stones, as well.  We’re alive in Christ and able to serve the Lord in multiple ways and multiple roles.  Peter says that we’re being built up a spiritual house, a priesthood of believers whose primary assignment is to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God through Jesus.

In the Old Testament, God’s people would use a large rock and turn it into an altar upon which to give God offerings for the blessings that He had given to them.  We are (each one of us) such a living stone or rock, upon which to offer sacrifices to God!  We can always give Him a sacrifice of praise.  (Jer 17:26b)  Other sacrifices that we can offer to God are a humble spirit; and a repentant heart.  (Ps 51:17)

Each of us is also a holy priest who not only offers up sacrifices, but we proclaim our own testimony of God’s goodness to us through Jesus.  But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light . . . (1 Pet 2:9)

We are a spiritual house unto the Lord because we carry ELOHIM* within us.  Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.  (John 14:23)

In Christ, we are chosen and dearly loved.  We’re His priest, His altar, and the sacrifice offered to Him with love.  He gives us His unconditional love, unending grace, and His abundant mercy along with ALL of the blessings (promises) of our salvation.  Hallelujah!

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*Plural name for GOD.

The Hidden Person

The Hidden Person

Hello, child of the most High God!

Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.  (1 Pet 3:2-3 NKJV)

Of course, we are all concerned with our outward appearance!  We want to make a clean, well-groomed, and appealing impression upon others.  That’s a good motivator. 

But our primary focus should be upon our inner attributes—the attitudes of the heart.  There is a timeless appeal in a gentle and quiet spirit—for both men and women.  This heart attitude is precious to God.  (1 Tim 2:9-10)  Let’s put God’s opinion of us before any human being’s opinion, and try to please Him above everyone else.

If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.  (Rom 12:18)

If we desire to remain at peace with everyone, it helps us to maintain a calm and peaceful heart—in our hidden person.  When we do, it’s a sure thing that other people will be attracted to us, as well!

The Temporary or the Eternal?

The Temporary or the Eternal?

Good day!

And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.  (1 John 2:17 NKJV)

We don’t think about this very often!  Our world is passing away—that includes all of the material things that human beings enjoy.  Our home, furnishings, clothing, jewelry, and investments are just temporary. The lust for living and for possessing all of these is temporary! 

But the person who does the will of God abides forever! (1 John 2:17)  The person who DOES the will of God has an eternal home in the presence of God.  So where and how are you sowing the seed that is your life?  Are you serving the temporary realm or the eternal realm?

It’s a tall order to keep eternity in mind as we live our lives each day here in the natural, human realm.  Somehow, we each need to find a way to handle the responsibilities and demands of our lives without losing sight of the Person and the purpose for which we live.

Are you making your life count in the eyes of our loving Father?  I believe that you are, and that you’re growing in wisdom and strength as you do!  God has given you His grace to enable you.  (John 1:16; Eph 2:8-9)  

Blessings upon you.

 

A Holy Calling

A Holy Calling

 …who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, (10) but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.  (2 Tim 1:9, 10 NKJV)

Time for a happy cheer!  God not only saved each of us, but He has called us with a holy calling!  And it’s not based on our works or our worthiness that He calls us; but based upon His own purpose for each of our lives and the power of the grace that He gives us!

God’s plans for you were made and established in Christ Jesus BEFORE TIME BEGAN!  (Eph 2:8-9)  His grace and purpose for you has now been revealed through the appearing of the Savior, Jesus Christ.  (Rom 16:25-26)

Jesus has brought LIFE and IMMORTALITY to light through the gospel—the Good News of John 3:16: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  (John 11:25; 14:6; 1 John 5:11)   You have the LIFE of God within you now, and it will continue into eternity.

You are living your holy calling right now.  Trust God to lead you and guide you.  Glory to God!

Angels Watch Over You

Angels Watch Over You

For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.  They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.  (Ps 91:11-12 KJV)

Our Father God has set guardians around each and every one of us to protect us and to keep us safe—in all ways.  They can carry us, if need be, so that we don’t even stub a toe. 

Bless the Lord, you His angels, who excel in strength, who do His word, heeding the voice of His word.  (Ps 103:20)  Angels are powerful and they fulfill God’s will and Word.  They fulfill even the “voice of His Word,” which I believe means that angels fulfill God’s Word when it is spoken by God’s children:  us.  

Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?  (Heb 1:14)  God sends angels to minister for us and to us!  That’s pretty awe-inspiring!

Don’t pray to angels, but pray to the Lord and thank Him for the angels with which He surrounds you.  Thank Him for protecting you and guarding you.  He does so because He loves you!  You are the apple of His eye (Zech 2:8); and He has engraved you in the palm of His hand!  (Isa 49:16) 

Hallelujah!