REVIEW OF SCRIPTURE – A voice crying in the wilderness

Praise ye the Lord. As you know we have been reading and reviewing the New Testament with New Life Church where I am a member. It has been a blessing to me to be part of it and to see the church rise up and stand together in unity with and reading the Word.

Last month you will be aware that I was busy summarizing my learning of Matthew and some of which I have shared with you and via this medium. My cell group have also taken responsibility for sharing their learning and so we have been anchored and focussed and although we are all mature ladies of faith, I can see growth and Father bringing out deep truths to our remembrance and using irons to sharpen iron.

I am a bit behind with the book of Mark as there have been other issues and responsibilities to tend to this very week. The roof has literally been taking off and light is coming in… *. Yesterday, as I was driving somewhere in the early hours of the morning, I found myself tripping into a prayer and my heart breaking with tears and lament. I didn’t feel upset about anything, but a burden came. I prayed and released whatever was needed at that time and as if I was opening up something. As I prayed and journey on the motorway, the Lord reminded me of ‘the voice crying in the wilderness’ which of course is from Mark 1. John the Baptist’s ministry was perhaps the first the Lord revealed to me in a dream in 2008, when I had taken a year out just to listen. I had heard the literal and authentic voice of John and knew him and saw the colors of the land where he lived, in the dream. As I listened and prayed during that period, Father instructed to tell his people that “He is on his way”.

More recently this February month 2020, we have had John Glass visit and minister to us as leaders on leadership both in an encouraging way and warning us of the snares. I am not where I was or should be in prayer and I was listening keenly. John said, if you sense that you have gone of the boil… return to the place where you last felt the anointing, the presence of God. I have been praying to return to that intimate place since. I have come to know that Father answers quickly when we are sincere and I believe that is why the burden came upon me as I was driving yesterday. Thanks be to God. May I ever be steeped in prayer.

I had said, Lord why am I crying and praying like this? Father reminded me that when the spirit of prayer comes upon us (see Mike Bickle’s book for an explanation of the spirit of prayer) we are that voice crying in the wilderness (see Mark chapter 1); we are the tool that God is using to release something in the atmosphere, in the highway and byways of life. When you feel the impetus to pray, just pray, cry and push – something is happening. What shall I pray/ cry for you might well ask? The beauty of the spirit of prayer and intercession, is that you don’t have to know, you don’t have to have a list …. you just do as the spirit bids or utters. It is the Holy Spirit who will pray, cry, laugh even….and intercede through us or that individual. It is a ‘trip switch’ (my analogy – just got that and I will write something on this soon ) ie you just trip into it.

None of us know the hour when Father will put in his appearance, but today I am instructed and led to remind you/us that He is on his way. Continue to pray, be the voice in the wilderness. Make his paths straight.

In our Father’s Name

Linda J

UK

15/2/2020

*just had the roof done in the house …

If it were not for….

I have been wanting to write a prayer since yesterday. This morning I woke up and thought of you all. If you don’t see me or hear me know this, I have kingdom business on my mind.

I wanted to say that whatever situation we are going through God is already at work in it. We really need to let the scriptures do what they say they will do in times of need and struggle. Cast all our cares on him because he cares for us. We have just come through Matthew and it ends with our Father’s agony on the cross. This is what he did for us so we can be close to him, so that we can be set free of the chains, the pain, the losses. On Friday during lunch , I was overwhelmed with the loss of my eldest daughter – the memory of her as a child and us on the park – it just came upon me. I was in public so I didn’t let the tears fall, but I prayed to Father and He remembers me, all our yesterdays and my pain. Sometimes it looks like we are on our own carrying whatever we are carrying, but that is a lie of the enemy. He is an ever present help in the time of need. Just curl up in his arms and let him wrap his love around you. You are not alone.

The scripture by David often comes to mind, I have been young and old yet, I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor their seed begging bread. This is what I prayed Friday from the depths of my heart. I can say (and have prayed a number of times through the years) , ‘if it were not for the Lord who was on our side then THEY (the soothsayers, the haters, those that speak against us) would have swallowed us alive. Then the waters would have overwhelmed us. The stream would have swept over our soul. But we can say (as David does in Psalms 124)

“Blessed be the Lord who has not given us as a prey to their teeth, our souls has escaped as a bird form the snare of the fowler”

I want to declare over you today, that the shame is broken and we have escaped… praise be to God!!!! Your help, my help, our help…… is in the name of the LORD, who has made heaven and earth.

Fathers richest blessing

See some of you at church

Linda J

REVIEW OF THE SCRIPTURES Matthew 27-28

Good morning – What do you know? ..I am still in Matthew but thanks be to God I finish the book today concluding with Matthew 27 & 28.

These last two books of Matthew chart the arrest, cross examination of Jesus, his death and resurrection and the Great Commission that he left us. Let me seek to summarize some of my thoughts here:

We see that despite much being levied at him from arrest to crucifixion Jesus opened not his mouth. Jesus closed his mouth so that we can now rejoice and indeed on rising in Chapter 28:9 he tells us the Church to Rejoice.

Through the these two last chapters you see human nature at its worse. The spirit of envy at work causing people to disparage and to deny him his proper place as king of king and Lord of Lord. With their own mouth the people were prepared to chose a known murderer over Jesus going even further to say ‘his blood be on us and our children’ . There were oblivious to the fact that everything they sought to slander him with was God using them to stamp to proclaim His Lordship as ‘King of the Jews’ though they did it to mock, He was crowned and robed – a foretelling of what we will see with our own eyes not too long from now.

We see the record of his pain and anguish when the human part of himself struggled against the scoffing, the nails and the pain. He had been beaten and scarred and his blood poured out. There was none to help. God turned his back on Him so that we could be saved. In that 9th hour the divine transaction took place – our Lord and Savior in the place of us all.

At the penultimate cry Jesus gave up the ghost triggering the opening of prison gates to those who are dead and opening up our entrance to God through his flesh and the veil. It is on this that our faith and conviction rests. Jesus rolled and continues to roll away the stones of our lives, if we would let Him and if we receive the message of the cross. The final chapter records the resurrection our Lord returning with a shout of triumph and amidst a welcome of worship. It was a time of rejoicing then and will be a time of rejoicing on His return. Others need to hear too. Here, His time was short. He needed to ascend, but he left the great commission for us to Go – to make disciples of all nations, teaching them to observe all things that is , holiness, obedience, breaking of bread, fellowship and of course baptisms in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

And so we do.

Prayer

Father we will never know or be able to appreciate what you went through in these final days. Our forbears show to us the nature of man and the weakness of the flesh.

Father once again we say sorry for the times when our voices added to the voices of those who denied and who condemned you. Forgive us for the times when we again cause you pain by our unholy transactions with cheats, thieves and robbers. Lord take away the spirit of pride and envy which seek to separate us from you and to cause murder and death in our generation. Let the work of the cross not be in vain , but ever stand tall in our minds, so that we can be quickened to Go and make disciples out of every nations.

The odd job man

Some of you know that I was remodelling my kitchen at the beginning of this year. What an experience it was . First the carpenter drilled through a cable, shutting down the boiler and necessitating the call out of the electrician. Then I had the job of tidying up the mess and re organising all the contents of the now open shelves. Everyone can see everything I have on the shelves and that is how I wanted it. The old cupboards hid everything away and I had to dig to find the gravy , the sauce or the seasoning. Sometimes I went out and bought again when I had already had that item in the cupboard but I just couldn’t see it. I sent a picture to my daughter who is away at university of the new look and thanks be go God she loved it… ! “Looks much better mum” she said. Phew what a relief. The cupboards I removed was in good nick (as they say) but I just didn’t like them.

The day after the carpenter had left I rang round to see if anyone wanted kitchen cupboards. No one responded . One man said he would assist me by removing them from my front doorway. What a blessing I thought. He duly came and removed them. 

Two weeks later (yesterday ) this man approached me at church with a wad of pound notes. He had used his initiative and had been able to offload the cupboards via ebay. The money was mine … ! What a blessing .

As I drove to work this morning , I am hearing a message from the whole event . It is about the odd job man. The man or person we often overlook who hasn’t got a big and fancy title, but is working behind the scenes and doing good.

The remodelling of the kitchen also is synonymous with how we need to look at the state of our homes , our spiritual homes which sometimes need remodelling so that light can come in. Sometimes we are just so stuffed with stuff , stuff that has gone rancid , out of date , that we cannot give anything out that is good or fresh to anyone who might come knocking.

Sometimes we invite people into our homes , near our hearts that cause us distress and damage and we need the repairer of the breach to come in and restore. Let him!! Jesus wants us to be hot and on fire for him so that the house can be an inviting place for others and that there can be meat in his house. Thanking God for the odd job men and the blessings that Father brings when we least expect it.

Jesus wants to bring back the joy and colour to our lives the freshness that only time spent with him and the anointing of his holy spirit can bring.

Linda J – a moment in time ❤️

3/2/2020

REVIEWING THE SCRIPTURES MATTHEW 26

Praise ye the Lord – I am somewhat behind but still on track. I am looking at Matthew 26. Interestingly as I was driving home from church today I saw a notice at the front of the local University it was announcing the ‘inaugural lecture’ of a doctor. The sign jumped out at me . I thought of the individual who had arrived and achieved in this way and wondered what the topic was about. It was not until me I was reviewing this chapter 26 moments later , that I realize the Lord was preparing me for the study. An inaugural lecture is a key milestone in any academics career, signifying their promotion to a professor . It is an opportunity for a professional to present their innovative research first hand.

Matthew 26 was itself an inauguration event – an important milestone for Jesus and now our Christian faith, but it was a selfless act.

The chapter starts with a foretelling of what was to come , first with the anointing of Jesus’ body by the woman with the alabaster flask and the subsequent Passover meal , where bread was broken and wine poured out . Hayford says that by doing this act , Jesus was enacting ‘transforming the elements’ inaugurating (bringing in) a new and better way. This new and better way would subsequently be confirmed by his crucifixion, burial and resurrection. Triumph of death to life through the cross. Jesus. presented the message and meaning at the feast . (not his first message, but his milestone lecture…. ) Later He went further and enacted it.

Following the feast the chapter sets out the scene for us of the betrayal , the arrest the denial by those who said they loved him . We see through it all , his meekness and wisdom shone through. Jesus had a close relationship with the Father, so he knew the exact time and hour that these things were to be. His giving up his life was not perchance or accident. He had been telling the disciples for some time that he would have to go away and here in this chapter we see the time arrive.

Jesus knew his body had to be broken and that his blood would be poured out and he prepared himself and heart (through prayer) the preceding night , confirming this symbolically by the Passover meal which he instituted as a meal for us to take often in remembrance and for all time. Significantly as you read between verses 38 42 you pick up his vulnerability (made in flesh form) but continuing to be obedient to his divine call. The scripture records that his soul was exceedingly sorrowful unto death. Why, you may ask if he was the son of God – he would have known the end from the beginning – he could have shielded the pain. He was sorrowful because for the first time, he was to experience the weight of all our sins in his body. No one can imagine what that must be like. Which professor or doctor would imbibe the result of their research, their message, if it meant certain death. But Jesus did. Jesus knew the depth, darkness and anguish of sin as a disease. He asked the Father if it was his will to let the cup pass, let it pass. It was not to be. He remained willing , faced his accusers with truth, meekness and grace knowing he would soon face certain death.

Prayer

Lord this was it! This was the moment you could have abandoned us but you didn’t you remained faithful to the call to save us. It was an important milestone for you and for us. You prepared your body as a sacrifice for and went the way of the cross so that we can live.

Lord we can never do justice to this scripture , but as we reflect on it how you were betrayed , beaten and left alone , we want to say sorry again and again for the stripes we caused and cause you.

May we never again fail you. May we be like the woman with the alabaster box , may we trade all that we have and are for you ; may we ever come close, worship and adore you.

In leaving this as a memorial Lord, may we lead by example willing to surrender, be broken , willing to be vulnerable and open for the sake of the cross. Seeped always in prayer let us be , before , during and after. Taking advantage of your anointing and grace in every earthly situation and letting the truth of your word make the mark, the cut and the difference.

Review of the scriptures

Praise ye the Lord Jesus Christ -today the 31st January 2020 is the day that the UK exits the european market . It is also the day that I reflect on Matthew 25 which tells of two parables, the first being poignant as it was also a departure time, but some people were ready and some were not.

Matthew 25 tells the parable of the 5 wise and 5 foolish virgins. The wise ensuring that their lamps were full of oil and burning bright whilst the foolish virgins left themselves open and had nothing to show the bridegroom when he came. On the outside they perhaps looked like they had it all going on- they were virgins after all, but spiritually they were bankrupt, missing the essential ingredient ie oil in their lamps which was the passport to the kingdom. Alas, the bridegroom didn’t recognize these women and they were not given access or an entrance to the marriage supper. The foolish virgins had even tried to purchase the necessary oil from their sisters and attempt to barter their way in but you can’t buy the anointing – it was too late and the wise ones were not going to take that gamble , no not at this late hour, they must have thought. God doesn’t look in the outward appearance , labels or status we have, he looks at what is in the heart .

Today is a planned day for the United Kingdom, whether we like it or not it’s is here and we are leaving. Jesus warns us in Matthew that there is also coming a day when the kingdom of God will come in as ‘a suddenly’ you are either ready or not. All of us can review and reflect whether we have enough oil in our lamps at this moment in time. It’s not too late.

In the second parable Jesus instructs us about the talents we have been given. Some were given talents but hid them, others used and multiplied their gift. Who did Jesus see as good and faithful? In conclusion Jesus in effect answered and said he that has more shall be given, but those who hide their gift or talents, the little that they have will be taken away.

Is God blessing someone in your midst, but you seem stuck ?- are you using what God has given you? You have to start from somewhere. If you use what is in your hand He will multiply.

The rest of chapter 25 is warning us to find something to do in the house of God, bless someone , give to the poor, visit the sick, clothe the naked, feed the hungry. The gift of love the greatest gift. He says : for as often as we do it to one of these little ones , we do it unto Him – dint forget this includes when we hurt or do bad things to others.

One of the first scriptures the Lord gave me in my sleep like a washing machine it went round and round was ‘pure religion and undefiled before the Father is this is to the visit the widows and the orphans in their time of need and to keep oneself unspotted from the world’ . May God help me and us to be faithful to his word.

Today, I don’t know whether I was preaching or teaching..🙃 but the message I think is clear for both me and you in Matthew 25 which I have not exhausted here , for want to time .

I pray that we will be filled with his Holy Spirit, his anointing, his oil so that when the bridegroom comes we are ready. Praying for a perpetual trimming of our lamps day and night so that they shine and give Him glory. Whatever we do we do it as unto the Lord. I pray we will not be negligent of our salvation that was purchased with his blood.

Linda J

31/1/2020

Review of the Scriptures Matthew 24

Matthew 24

It is the last week of January in the year 2020 and we are reading as a church through the New Testament. I am still on track but somewhat behind but this is my summary and reflection of Matthew 24.

Matthew 24 documents the signs of the times , the great tribulation and the second coming of Christ. As I am writing I realize that the scripture is being played out right before our eyes. You have either got to be dead or asleep , deaf or blind if as a child of God you are not sensing the shifting and the warning signs.

Last night my dear old praying mother rang from Jamaica to tell me that there had been a massive earthquake at a scale of 7:7 which shook the ground. Of course this isn’t the first earthquake that we have heard about over the last decade, I think it was 2009 when i was tossed from my bed in the UK by an earthquake that shook the foundations. Matthew warns us this is the beginning of sorrows and of birth pangs.

Right now in our time, we see other levels of devastation and destruction, nations rising against nation, famines and pestilence – the current virus in China which is claiming many lives – the exposing and failures of our governments , human kings and princes . We see that every that everything that can be shaken being shaken.

Here we see the disciples looking into the Lords face and asking ‘when will the end of things be? But theirs was not to know but to discern and to perceive with their spiritual eyes hearts and ears. If we knew the time the train was leaving we would perhaps like the description of the evil servant between verses 45 and 51 ) continue in our sins and leave everything to the last minute. I fear our trust , thrust and faithfulness( as ministers /believers) if we knew the exact time would be compromised. The Lord says not even the angels in heaven know the exact time of the second coming of Christ, rather that we should watch and pray and learn and understand the parable of the fig tree (please review verses 32-33) for your own learning.

What are the others signs Linda you might ask – we see and hear of arson assaults and attacks on the physical church throughout the world at different places. Men and women of God having to go underground to pray and to worship. Our brothers and sisters incarcerated for the Truth of the gospel; We see and feel the infighting and breakdown of social order , even amongst ourselves, our families , our churches and there is a constant falling away. Deception, deceit and murder is normalized and for the slightest conflict, men trying to change the natural order of things and our children following suit. We see a mixture coming into the House, merchandising and false prophets abound, things that look and sound like…. but are not of God. We need to ask for increased wisdom in these dark days.

Do we faint when we see and hear of these things? The Lord through Matthew would implore “hold on” He encourages us to stand up in the face of the attacks and the adversity for it is those that endure to the end who shall be saved. How might we endure? Hayford describes endurance’s as calm perseverance under pressure an active resistant to defeat . I would say it like this Seeing, knowing, but still doing, as men and women of God. The Lord asserts at verse 14 that despite these perils the gospel of the kingdom ie the good news – (the a promise of life after death and resurrection with him ) is sure . It is to this we hold on and exclaim whatever we hear and wherever we go.

Prayer

Father , we thank you for your pre warning of the signs of the times and what we are to look out for. You have not left us ignorant. You desire for us to be on watch and on guard knowing that the time is drawing near when you our Master and Lord will return to give a reward unto every one according to the work we have done in the Body.

Help us to be faithful to the call,to remain watchful and vigilant , persevering in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.

Your words and your world stand sure and will not pass away,. Help us to look up with great expectation for that moment , that hour you put in an appearance and come to call us home.

Your daughter Linda J

29th January 2020

REVIEW OF THE SCRIPTURES – Matthew 23

Today I am reviewing Matthew 23 , it is late in the evening but my Father works and I work and I must press on. Matthew 23 is perhaps one of the most damning of Jesus’ view of those who should know better, in the house, in the family. Here he speaks against self righteousness, self adulation, self aggrandizement of the Scribes and Pharisees . He could be speaking about you and me. Behaviors and attitudes amongst the status quo of a religious sect described by Hayford in his own summary as ‘zealous missionaries of evil, habitual liars’, straining at gnats and swallowing camels.

Brood of vipers, white washed sepulchres – all very negative metaphors that Jesus used to bring the message home of how far they were away from God. The word is for us too. It highlights the dangers and perils if we continue to stiffen our necks away from the Truth. Here Jesus saw and perceived that there was much rendering of the garments, beautiful bordered garments they were – looking good on the outside but no sincerity of the heart. Lips were flapping and making sounds, but there was a disconnect with the heart of God. What should have depicted holiness and righteousness was instead a broken down temple, broken down walls , a religious den with men full of pride. Lazy sanctimonious miseries, fighting for position, prominence and power, but no real relationship with God. Religious men they were, stealing from widows and putting obstacles in the way of those who would desire to be free , be delivered and draw closer to God. Spawning and seeding cursed children modelling habits and behaviours much worst than what they had come to know or had been taught. This ought not to have been so.

Jesus lambasted those who sought grandeur and those who loved to sit in prominent places. As I am writing I reviewed my own behavior and asked the Lord to shine his light on it.

I am clear that Jesus wasn’t saying to sit at the front or the back of the church was how one judged or measured a man, but rather He is more worried about the reason behind any outward work, or decision making ie what is in the heart of that man or that woman. Is what they do for me or is it for men ? You can sit at the back of a church in a corner looking pious and still be a child of hell or on your way there.

In reprimanding and counselling Jesus was also not saying that his children should be stifled or silenced or not seek to advance . He says in his word to desire the best gifts and to excel in your gifting, but it is what is in your heart that matters. It is He (our God) who tries the heart and reins.

Jesus knew their hearts as they stood before him reading the word. He knew that knowing that the word was not enough, it was not finding any place in their hearts. There was no evidence of change. These were men who set up road blocks, traps; men who got in the way of others. Spreading their deadly poison they kept others stuck, prevented them from repenting or opening up , preventing others to grow or come to the knowledge of the one true son of God. Jesus was walking amongst them how he grieved he had wanted to do so much more but they refused and remained both deaf and blind.

These men were forked tongue hypocrites. On one hand kept the feast and ordinances, for big out crocodile tears – lamenting on how the former prophets had been killed, but doing their best to get rid of the blessed son of God. Jesus’ light shone and exposed their darkness and they couldn’t bear it – the scripture tells us they beat their chest and tore their clothes at the Truth.

That was the world then, sadly there are signs of this operative now across the collective of what should be the Body of Christ ; lets pray that the Lord brings us conviction where there is a need for same both on the individual and collective sense and across his Body.

Prayer

Lord, all have sinned and come short of your glory and righteousness. For indeed your word declares that all our righteousness is as filthy rags before you. We can’t be made holy by our dress, our works our long prayers or our sayings.

Lord if there be any self willed or wicked way in us continue to reveal to us by the light of your word and by your Truth. Teach us to walk not as fools but as wise knowing the days are evil. Help us to set our affections on the things above rather than the things of this world. May our gaze be on you not for filthy lucre or on widows houses. Teach us how to clean out the cup so that you can come near to us and pour out your manifold blessings. Lord often you have longed to gather us, but we remain stiffnecked cold and hard hearted. Break down the idols of our hearts and homes. Get us out of the way. Remove the road blocks and traps we have set to manipulate , catch , slander or label others. Help us to be ministers of divine love , those that bring peace and joy rather than misery. Help us to be ministers that lift burdens rather than ones piling on more than others can bear.

Help us to be doers of the word rather than hearers or prescribers. Take away pride, self rule and pomposity. Stamp your own image your precepts and your laws, deep on our hearts.

Your daughter

Linda J

January 27/1/2020

Linda

REVIEW OF THE SCRIPTURES – MATTHEW 22

Praise ye the Lord Jesus Christ . Yesterday I realized, dancing is like writing and today confirm that writing is like dancing. How I love to write.

We are reading the New Testament together as a church and it has been a blessed exercise for me. I am again today, seeking to share my notes and reflections of Matthew 22.

I start with a pivotal verse from Psalms 110 which the Lord refers to in Matthew 22 and which sets the tone of the message of the chapter, I believe. It is from the beloved KJV version

The Lord said unto my Lord,

Sit thou at my right hand,

until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

2 The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion:

rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.

3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness

from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.

4 The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent,

Thou art a priest for ever

after the order of Melchizedek.

Here we see in this chapter , three groups of people , the Pharisees, the Saducees and the Scribes going about to plot and to seek to trick or trip Jesus up about taxes, the resurrection and the law, but how Jesus continued to ‘rule in the midst of his enemies’. Jesus had an answer to every scheme and plot that they had huddled together devised, and brought forth planning to topple or overthrow him. They failed miserably. Throughout, our Jesus continued to personify, grace, wisdom and truth.

Perhaps the beauty of the chapter 22 , is the famous parable about the wedding feast and the wedding garment. Most of us can visualize and get into the essence of what Jesus was trying to convey from this parable. Who would refuse an invitation to a royal wedding and from a King ? Who would attend a royal wedding dressed inappropriately? Of course Jesus is not referring to a natural wedding, nor a physical garment but he is talking about spiritual issues, invitation to accept the free gift of salvation and with it inherent righteousness which only accepting him can give. The righteousness of God can only be accepted through Christ Jesus. We can hear about Him but his seal , his identity has to be on our hearts for that day when the King will be present to inspect. There are many people in our world, good people who believe that their good works and how they are dressed will be sufficient for them to be accounted ‘should’ (they say) there be an afterlife. There are many people who have heard about Jesus, think he was a good man, a good prophet but they haven’t taken the next step to receive him as their personal savior . These people are therefore not covered, not dressed, not yet ready for the marriage feast and certainly wont pass the scrutiny of the Kings steely gaze.

What we see and can conclude from Matthew 22, he exasperated them with his wisdom – he silenced the accuser. In all he said and did he quoshed , countered every ordinance, rule and regulation , bringing it to the obedience of his lordship and majesty both before , during and after the cross.

PRAYER

Lord we thank you for the spirit of truth and grace in which you walked and which we seek to emulate. Lord we want to declare that your word in us continues to grow and prevails. As the Psalmist wrote (acknowledging you so many centuries ago) so we write and acknowledge your deity your lordship , your majesty over us and over all. We write not as the scribes with the dead letter, rotes and rights of the law, but with the unction of your blessed Holy Spirit.

We thank you because you have lived up to your promises. You have sent the rod of your strength . Those called by you continue to rule and reign and are empowered to lift up your Holy name . We want to render to you the fruit of our lips and the prayers and worship from our hearts. We will rule in the midst of our enemies.

Lord you have given us power with men and power with you. You teach our hands to war and our fingers to fight. You have made us like sharp threshing instruments and our feet like hinds feet. We hold on knowing that you have gone to prepare a place for us.

Help us to prepare our hearts and our garments for that great supper which will certainly take place and not too long from now.

We want to be there, we want to see you, we want to know you more . Let us see your glory and the half that has not yet been told.

Dress us in your righteousness. Seal us with covenanted promise.

Give us the bright and morning star.

Your daughter

Linda J

26/1/2020

REVIEW OF THE SCRIPTURES – MATTHEW 21

I am on Matthew 21… you may be further ahead but I am trying to digest what I read and also the Lord directs my steps. I want to first start today with a prayer, the prayers capture some of the chapter.

PRAYER

Father we thank you for your word. Forever it is settled in heaven. Lord we see even this week how out of the mouths of babes on Irenes own page, you perfect praise. You called and we answered and we so want to keep in step with you and humble ourselves under your mighty hand. You have been triumphant in our lives and we know you went the way of the cross for us. Thank you for these parables that are assisting us to review and reflect on our own heart’s state. We want so much to be like you. Thank you for the fruit and the gifts – you are perfecting a great work in us through the power of your Holy Spirit.

MY NOTES AND REFLECTIONS – MATTHEW 21

After depicting the lowliness yet triumphant entry of Jesus , Matthew 21 covers a number of parables – situations and challenges Jesus was exposed to , the need to cleanse the temple which had been taken over by people merchandising and working against the proper plan of God for his house; the challenge of his authority and attempts to usurp by the scribes who saw themselves as above the letter and spirit of the law. With the parables he covers (and Matthew records) the two sons , one who deliberately refused to follow then repented, one who said he would, but didnt. The parable of the wicked vinedressers – mean and merciless men who wanted to steal from, and murder the rightful heir through jealousy and to line their own pockets. The inherent message of faith in the lesson of the fig tree – and the ability to do likewise and in His name if we believe but also the perhaps more hidden subtle message (not so obvious at first) but made clearer later, that Jesus expects us to bear fruit and expects to find something on us ie those who represent his trees of righteousness.

The meekness of Jesus is personified by his mode of transport (a donkey) and as Hayford describes Jesus’ ministry depicting ‘humble wisdom and penetrating love’ .

In our cell this very week we were talking about meekness as one of the fruit of the spirit. Someone was giving a testimony about change ie how they would previously have handled conflict and how they now go about it – how that might seem to others as cowardly, or the person getting away with the hurt. It was note of a positive change and better way to do things – a higher law taking place.

In theses verses of Matthew here in Chapter 21 , we see Jesus perhaps also looking like someone who was cross or angry or out of control as he upturned the money changers and expressed disdain, piercing the hearts of those who heard his parables by his pointed messages, but we know hatred and hurt was far from him. Whatever he did, it was with love in line with what he had been called to do ie to bring about kingdom principles. Again, Hayford describes His ’ meekness as ‘having inherent power, but under perfect control’. Jesus also knew the time and timing to do things . Whatever he did was to leave a legacy for us to follow in the way we answer or go about our individual and respective calls.

In the parable of the wicked vinedressers we see how those left with rich resources and positioned for blessings can behave. Each of us have been given an opportunity to dress the vine to be part of the harvest. Significantly we note that we need to be very careful in the House we have been left to care for. We are not to merchandise the things of God but to use our gifts to the edifying of the body and the healing of those in need. This chapter at verses 33-44 shows us what will happen if we don’t steward what God has given us well – here I also believe he is making a link with the earlier example of the fig tree. The word says what he has blessed us with will be taken away and given to others who can and will bear fruits.

PRAYER

May we use the delegated authority and inherent power that Jesus has given us well.
May we not merchandise our gifts or the flock or turn the temple into a market place.
May we be ready to do of his good pleasure and walk not as fools but as wise redeeming the time for the days are evil. May we always have the perfect answer of peace and a reason of hope to those who may criticize and challenge how he directs what we do , what we say and how we walk. May we be fruitful and bud. May we stay ever close to him in the procession with praise on our lips and in possession of his blessed Holy Spirit.

Linda J
Written 26/1/2020