Thursday, November 28, 2013

Giving Thanks

   Giving thanks at all time. All times. Good time. Hard times. Trying times. Tiring times. All times. Giving thanks requires a shift in focus. A turning of eyes away from the circumstances and onto the Creator. He creates joyfulness and abundant peacefulness.

   "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:7)

   It's the shield of faith in who He is that never lets up on our outlook. This shield protects our minds and attitudes. It refreshes our eyes to view things in a new way. A God-centric mindset covers over all the hurt.

   His peace transcends all else. It gives hope, courage, and clarity to the hurt, scared, and confused. He is a caring Father after all. He only wants what is best for His children, and what's best is looking to Him. In all situations and at all times, look up.

   Thanks be to the One that saves. He saves our souls, our joy, and our peace. He wipes out bitterness, sorrow, and fretfulness. Thanks shall be the response for our eternal victory. We are victorious through Christ alone forever and ever.

   Nothing at all could ever snatch this away. It's only appropriate to feel an overwhelming urge of gratitude and praise to Him who saves.

   Savior Jesus, thank You. Thanks be to you, Lord Jesus, for saving my soul and redeeming this life. Your presence is my heart's desire. I long for You constantly, but I will wait for You. I will wait with continual thanks. I will sing of Your greatness for all my days. And when I pass on to be with You forever, I'll still be praising You. 

   Thankfulness flows out like a river from my heart. Thanks be to the God of comfort and Lord of mercy. May our Father in heaven bless you on this day of thanks.

   -The Introverted Evangelist

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Jesus All The Time

   Today, and everyday, I'll remind my soul to whom I belong. I belong to Jesus. I'll write His name on my heart, my hand, and across every land. Jesus. I'll trace those beautiful letters everywhere I can. In a journal, in the sand, in the fog, or in the snow. I don't know where it'll go, but I'll keep on telling self that I'm His and He's mine.

   No matter the day's difficulties, I'll find hope and peace and rest at the mention of His name. The day can completely turn around with one five letter word - Jesus.

   I know I'll fall short throughout the day, and I'll find myself in many dead ends, but with the help of my Savior, Jesus, I'll come out victorious. There's nothing at all that can ruin me, because I have Jesus. All I need is... Jesus.

   It's so simple. Fear is not needed, and surely not welcomed, for I have the God of all comfort on my team. Sometimes it's easy to become consumed with earthly things, but once my lips utter His glorious and powerful name, it's all better. I find my rest, I find my assurance, and I find myself in Him.

   So many people are wandering in this life. They're wandering because they don't know who they are. It's so simple. It's so simple to just lose oneself and let go of the world's customs. Let go of what the world does and desires, and embrace all the glory that's found in the Lord.

   An all consuming, all powerful Fire is waiting to be ignited within your soul. Open up your heart. Let the iciness melt, and allow Yahweh to fill you. Let every breath, every moment, and every space be fully filled with Jesus.

   It's all I've ever wanted, truly, and it's all He wants. Intimate relationship. God wants you. He longs to hold your heart and be your number one. Bust down the doors to your soul, and call Him in. All the hesitation only harms yourself. God will wait for you, and He's waiting for you to answer His call. Those tugs on your heart, that's Him longing to be with you - forever.

   -The Introverted Evangelist

Sunday, November 24, 2013

God of Comfort

   All this time I've been trying to earn and honest relationship. I seem to have forgotten that His Word seems to have a trend for weary souls.

   I'm not supposed to work for peace or work for love. Farm from it! I'm called to rest in my Father's loving arms. All that working can earn for me is a heavy, burden-laden heart. Does God really want that for me? Does God want His child to feel the need to restlessly try and earn His love? How could I possibly earn something that's already been freely given as a gift? Why do I so linger with this difficult realization? Why is this love so hard to grasp?

   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

   The God of all comfort. Embrace this today. He is the One who comforts. When this here heart feels tired and worn, my comforting God comes and holds me close. 

   Rest in His arms. Relinquish the desire to earn and please, for the God of comfort is near and He freely gives us His peace and rest and love. After all, the true Savior of the world came to us as a miraculous gift.

   God loves to give, so receive. Receive this gift of His unfailing peace and love. His compassion for us never ends. His patience never, ever runs out. Don't think your weary soul is pesky to our God of comfort. God of love. God of mercy. God of divine forgiveness. Embrace the Father's gifts.

   -The Introverted Evangelist

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Our Savior is Coming

   "Now have come the salvation (σωτηρία) and the power and the kingdom (βασιλεία) of our God, and the authority (ἐξουσία) of his Christ (Χριστός). For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses (κατηγορέω) them before our God day and night, has been hurled down (βάλλω)." (Revelation 12:10)

   βασιλεία/basileia: This word basileia depicts a kingdom, but it is also royal dominion. Basileia, in this verse, is the kingdom of God. It also expresses the rule within our hearts as Christians, and the way we are lead by Him. This word used in Revelation 12:10 reveals to us that the day is coming when the eternal kingdom of Christ and all of His awesome glory shall reign.

   σωτηρία/sōtēria: Sōtēria comes from the word sōtēr, which means a savior, deliverer, and one who rescues another from destruction or danger and places that other into a shelter of safety. This root is so incredible to me, because of how the word sōtēria is used in this verse.

   The word σωτηρία is commonly used to depict the glorious event of the return of Jesus, but it also has a much more eye-opening meaning. Considering sōtēr, it is evident the word sōtēria has to do with being protected from danger and destruction. 

   The word sōtēria doesn't only mean Christ's Second Coming, but it is also used to depict an eternal deliverance and the preservation from destructive or threatening dangers.

   This deep and meaningful word can be related to how, in the end, many horrifying and detrimental events will occur. In such hazardous times, we must secure our salvation in the One that can save us, protect us, and deliver us once and for all. We will trust in Christ our Lord and sōtēr!

   Χριστός/Christos: The word Christ in this verse is the Greek word Christos. The word comes from chriō, and it's a verb that means to anoint. Therefore, this word clearly tells us that Christ (Christos) is our anointed King, and He's coming with all power and authority.

   ἐξουσία/exousia: The authority of God's Christos is coming soon. This word authority is exousia in Greek, and this noun paints a perfect picture in this verse. You see, this word is the word used for authority, power, and rule. In other words, Christ's reign is coming. 

   One factor of this word I find very interesting is that it can also depict a commission. This gives us the plain understanding that Jesus's duty or command is to save those called according to God's big plan, and to have the dominion and power over all. God has commissioned our Savior and His return is nearing.

   κατηγορέω/katēgoreō: In this verse, accuses is the Greek word katēgoreō. This verb is used to tell us our enemy's motive. This word comes from the word kata, which means against, and the word agoreuō, which means to speak

   When you put these two words together, you get a word that means to speak against, to condemn, to denounce, or to openly shame. In context, you now see that our adversary is constantly shouting out condemnatory accusations at us.

Using our newly acquired knowledge, here is a translated version or Revelation 12:10:

"Now has come the One who rescues His children from danger and destruction. Our anointed King has come to reign over all with royal dominion and power. As for the repulsive accuser, the one who publicly denounces the Lord's children every single day and night, he has been defeated. Our enemy has been thrown out and put into his place by the One who rules in all the earth."

   Take heart and have no fear, for the Redeemer's return is very near. Declare that our accuser is nothing but a loser. The victory is won, because Christ has overcome!

   -The Introverted Evangelist

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Joyful Spirit

   "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices (ἀγαλλιάω) in God my Savior (σωτήρ), for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed (μακαρίζω), for the Mighty One has done great things for me - holy is his name." (Luke 1:46-49)

   Mary describes her spirit as rejoicing. This word rejoicing is the Greek word agalliaō/ἀγαλλιάω and it's a verb. It is the word that means rejoicing, exulting, as well as possessing exuberance.

   This word agalliaō comes from the words agan (which means very much) and the word hallomai (which means to leap).

   Therefore, when these two words are glued together, you get a verb that pictures much leaping and bounding. Now it must come without surprise that the word agalliaō also means to show joy with skipping, dancing, and excessive delight.

   I find it quite significant that the Virgin Mary chose this word to tell of how her spirit celebrates the Lord. This must mean that every waking moment she would spend with her Savior, her spirit would just leap and bound for joy.

   The word Mary used for Savior in this verse is the Greek word sōtēr/σωτήρ and it's a noun. This is one who saves, or a rescuer. Sōtēr depicts one who delivers another from destruction or death and places that other into safety. Pretty powerful word, wouldn't you say?

   Sōtēr is used to describe the way Jesus saved us from the ultimate misery and condemnation that is the penalty of sin, and gives us the Lord's blessings and eternal abundant life. Jesus, the Savior of all the world, is the most perfect example of a sōtēr!

Here is how I would rewrite Luke 1:46-49 using this knowledge:

"My spirit leaps for joy and I'm filled with ecstatic, celebratory joy whenever I'm with my Savior. My God rescued me from the consequences of my sins, and He restored my destiny. Now I am redeemed, and a place awaits me in my Savior's Kingdom. I will live abundantly with Him forever. Praise His holy name!"

   We all could learn something from Mary here. Are you so intently pursuing the Lord, that your spirit frolics at the thought of being with Him? The more we seek Him, the more we want Him. The more we want Him and really search to know more of Him, the more our spirits will delight in who He is. Every moment is an opportunity to lavish our souls in His love, and to fill our hearts and minds with His truths and promises.

   -The Introverted Evangelist

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

His Chosen Ones

   "And we know that in all things God works for the good (ἀγαθός) of those who love (ἀγάπη) him, who have been called (κλητός) according to his purpose (πρόθεσις). (Romans 8:28)

   πρόθεσις/prothesis: noun. a purpose or design set forth for a plan. The Lord uses this as the heart of His calling specific people to salvation. You see, all along God knows who He is going to use for His great plan/will/prothesis. He calls certain people for certain reasons. Those whom God chooses are called for His own good pleasure and design, not because they've earned it or deserve it. It's all for His ultimate purpose.

   "For those God foreknew (προγινώσκω) he also predestined (προορίζω) to be conformed (σύμμορϕος) to the likeness (εἰκών) of his Son (υἱός), that he might be the firstborn (πρωτότοκος) among many brothers (ἀδελϕός)." (Romans 8:29)

   Let me focus on the word conformed. This word is the word σύμμορϕος or symmorphos. This word is comprised of the words syn (together with) and morphē (form).

   The preposition syn (σύν) depicts nearness or with close connection. It is also used when one is with and suffers with another in a relationship. In Attic Greek (the prestige dialect that was spoken in Ancient Greek such as Attica, and that includes Athens.), syn meant "including" as wells as "with the aid of", but the preposition meta (μετά) only meant "in company with". Therefore, syn depicts a companionship, association with, and a certain togetherness.

   What I gather from this is that when we are predestined to do the Will of God, we are gifted with the constant help and companionship of Christ Jesus. We are not made to go it alone, We will never be abandoned, remember?

   Christ is the firstborn, and using the theologically significant title, makes Him to have supremacy over all of creation. We are conformed into the likeness of the Son. However, the word used here for likeness also depicts a reflected image. The same way when the sunlight reflects of the water, this doesn't make the water turn into a star, rather it makes a reflection of it.

   We aren't transformed into obtaining supremacy, but we are adopted and conformed as brethren of Christ. When we are made children of God we step into that predestined plan, and in order to fulfill His Will, God gave us the supreme One to guide and have fellowship with us.

   We are heirs of Royalty in Jesus. We are chosen children, and Yahweh knew our stories before we were ever conceived or born. All of His chosen ones are designed differently and specifically so that we would be able to successfully complete His divine plan. That plan He knew before time ever began, and we are the ones to put it into action. We surely are a chosen generation of God's children.

   -The Introverted Evangelist