Chicken

Easy Chicken and Noodles

10:45 AM

There’s no better comfort food than a big pot and chicken and noodles. I threw in some peas and served it over garlic mashed potatoes. So good!



Easy Chicken and Noodles

1 (26 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
1 (10.75 ounce) cream of mushroom soup
3 cans chicken broth 
2 cups diced chicken
2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 (9 ounce) packages frozen noodles

In a large pot, mix the cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, chicken broth, and chicken meat. Season with onion powder, seasoning salt, and garlic powder. Bring to a boil, and stir in the noodles. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.

boldness

12:00 AM

WITH BOLDNESS AND CONFIDENCE!


Welcome to Scripture Saturday!

Today we are memorizing Hebrews 4:16…

Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the the proper time.

And again in the amplified version…

Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favor] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment].

Oh how rich this verse is!

Time and time again I have witnessed, have personally experienced, this amazing mercy and grace in my time of need and most recently which I’d like to share…

My husband, Rick, is not a believer, yet knows of my faith in Christ, my desire to follow Him in all things and to pray to Him for all things (including for him).  Recently, we made the decision that it would be best to move his mother from where she is to closer to us into an assistant living situation. We both knew that convincing her would not be easy. She loves her independence, yet requires much help because of illness and age, and being far from home that made it difficult. Rick needed to visit her and present our case. So I called upon my prayer warriors - my Christian sisters!  I and my sisters approached the throne of grace with boldness and confidence without fear and prayed that God would go before Rick arrives and soften his mother’s heart.  And of course, our Father came running to the rescue! She immediately said yes-no hesitation! Our Father reached down to Rick, his mother and I, and touched us with His grace! Praised Him! Glory to God! I believe in my heart that Rick experienced how important prayer is, and how God can come and bless us through our prayers, confidence in Christ, and His love, at just the right moment! What a great testimony of His faithfulness!

I know that we all have testimonies like mine.  I pray that we all experience ,on a daily basis, through our prayers and supplications, His great mercy and grace!


Have a blessed and precious day everyone!

Faith

Jesus, The Anchor of our Soul {Hebrews 6}

10:30 PM



Today in the first 8 verses, we find the author of Hebrews warning  this  group of  Christians to stand firm on their faith and to persevere in the truths they had learned:  “Therefore let us get past the elementary stage in the teachings about the Christ, advancing on to maturity and perfection and spiritual completeness, [doing this] without laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God… “(V 1)

Since Christianity did grow out of Judaism, it was easy for a Jewish Christian to slip back into some Jewish practices. These Jewish Christians did not want to abandon their new faith, but they went back to this kind of “comfort zone”, to avoid persecution.  

This is exactly what is happening to some Christians in these days, too! What do you see in the world today? Watching the news we only find chaos, suffering and persecution. How about our personal lives? We also encounter difficult and hopeless situations at times, but that is why Christ came and why he gave us His Holy Spirit… We must not waver in our faith!

-          “Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.” (2:1).

-          “Consider it nothing but joy, my [b]brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing….” But he must ask [for wisdom] in faith, without doubting [God’s willingness to help], for the one who doubts is like a billowing surge of the sea that is blown about and tossed by the wind.” (James  1:2-4,6)
So let us not be discouraged because God’s promises are reliable. (6:13-18) 

We are not alone and in Him we find HOPE.! “ This hope [this confident assurance] we have as an anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whatever pressure bears upon it]—a safe and steadfast hope that enters within the veil [of the heavenly temple, that most Holy Place in which the very presence of God dwells], 20 where Jesus has entered [in advance] as a forerunner for us, having become a High Priest forever according to the order of [e]Melchizedek.” (6:19-20)

The anchor was a common figure for hope in the ancient world. Here the idea is that we are anchored to something firm but unseen (which enters the Presence behind the veil).
· We need the anchor to hold the ship and keep it from being wrecked.
· We need the anchor to stabilize the ship and keep it more comfortable for those on board.
· We need the anchor to allow the ship to maintain the progress it has made.

 “And just as sailors sometimes send the anchor ahead that they may have a fixed point towards which to warp themselves, so, if our anchor is that Christ who has passed into the heavens, He will draw us, in due time, whither He Himself has gone. A calm steady hope fixed upon the enthroned Christ, our fore-runner, and the pattern of what we shall he if we trust Him, will make us steadfast and victorious in all our sorrows, Burdens, changes, and temptations. Without it life is indeed as ‘futile then as frail,’ and our only ‘hope of answer’ to its torturing problems, or of ‘redress’ of its manifold pains is ‘Behind the veil, behind the veil.’ Such a hope knits us to the true stay of our souls, and is a cord not easily Broken. As for men’s hopes fixed on earth, they are fragile and filmy as the spiders’ webs, which, in early autumn mornings, twinkle dewy in every copse, and are gone by midday.

My brother! You have this great faculty; what do you do with it, and where do you fix it? You have a personal concern in that future, whether you think about it and like it or not. What is your hope for that future, and what is the ground of your hope? Let me beseech you, fasten the little vessel of your life to that great anchor, Christ, who has died, and who lives for you. And then, though the thread between you and Him be but slender and fragile, it will not be a dead cable, but a living nerve, along which His own steadfast life will pour, making you steadfast like Himself, and at last fulfilling and transcending your highest hopes in eternal fruition of His own blessedness.” (Bible Hub Heb. 6:19 Commentaries -MacLaren’s Exposition)


Thank you Father for Jesus, our only Hope!!
Blessings my sisters!

Mari

Becky Austin

Time To Grow Up {Hebrews 5}

4:07 AM



In Hebrews 5 we are given a description of a priest.  Under the Old Testament, the priests came from the line of Aaron and met the following criteria:
1. They were human.
2 They were chosen by God.
3. They represented the people to God.
“For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.” (v1)

 The OT priests were not perfect and therefore they also had to offer sacrifices to God for their own sins.  Because they were sinners, they were expected to have compassion and empathy for other sinners.  We also, as sinners should have compassion and extend love to other sinners.
“He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. Because of this he is obligated to offer sacrifice for his own sins just as he does for those of the people.” (v2-3)

God designates who will be a priest, a mediator on behalf of man.  God appointed Aaron and God appointed Christ.  But notice that Jesus did not come from the line of Aaron, but instead was referred to as being of the order of Melchizedek.  Melchizedek is a priest mentioned in Genesis 14 and Psalm 110.  Chapters 6 and 7 will give us more particulars about why Melchizedek's priesthood was superior to Aaron's.  The important focus of this chapter is that the priesthood of Jesus was an eternal one. Jesus, unlike the OT priests was not a sinner in need of offering sacrifices.  Instead, he offered himself, perfect and unblemished as the eternally accepted sacrifice to atone for all sin.  No longer would the priesthood of Aaron be needed.  Jesus became the perfect representation of man to God  once and for all.  
“And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.” (v 9-10)

The author closes this chapter expressing frustration because he does not see the Hebrew people growing in their spiritual understanding.  In kindergarten you learn your ABCs and then in 1st or 2nd grade you use the letter sounds to understand simple words like "cat" and " ball". You then progress to making sentences, then paragraphs, then essays, term papers, etc.  God wants us to study His Word and to gain over time a more mature understanding of spiritual principles.  He doesn't want us to stay spiritual babies. In fact, He wants us all to eventually be able to teach the knowledge He gives us to others.
“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” (12-14)

May I encourage you to keep studying God's Word with us so that you can grow alongside of us and we can learn from each other. Next year we will be going on a journey through the whole Bible in a year.  We want to reach as many women as possible who are seeking to learn about God and grow more spiritually mature. Help us get the word out and pray for this ministry to be used for God's glory and purposes. 

Hebrews

Let Us...{Hebrews 4}

9:00 PM

It’s evident, as we read through the Book of Hebrews, that the author’s reason for writing is because he feared his Christian readers were wavering in their faith in Christ. Perhaps their faith was growing cold, or perhaps the cares of this world, or the traditions they once followed were pulling their attention away from their newly found faith they professed. (Do you know anyone like that today?)
His goal was to demonstrate that Jesus was far better than the faith they once lived out before, and in light of what has all come about because of all Jesus had done, the author gives his readers three specific exhortations in this chapter,  each begin with “let us…”.

Let us...enter His rest...
_Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. Hebrews 4:1
_Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. Hebrews 4:11
Did you notice that both these verses explains that we can actually fail to enter into the benefits that God has provided for us? This is exactly what happened to many of the Israelites. Even though God brought them out with a strong hand, they were not confident in God’s love for them, nor His provision, and because of their disobedience and unbelief, the children of Israel did not enter into the rest that God had promised them. Therefore today, like them, we’re called to be diligent to enter into God’s rest.

We also need to remember that the author is writing to Christians, therefore there is another rest for all believers that some may never receive. When we first trusted Christ as Savior we received our “salvation rest”, but as children of God we are called into an “abiding rest", – a “submissive rest”. We’re not to drift through our Christian walk in a carnal way, but rather we are to trust God and enter into His rest, by resisting temptation, trusting His truth, obeying His word, and submitting to the Holy Spirit. In other words the rest the author mentions here is a rest from our own efforts or works, and surrendering and becoming totally dependent upon our Lord Jesus Christ. We’re being called to remain in Him, to abide in Him, to rest in Him, to submit to Him – to depend utterly and entirely upon Him. Then,

Let us...hold fast...
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. Hebrews 4:12-14

Holding fast to our faith is crucial because the sin that hardens most is unbelief. Israel hardened their hearts “in the rebellion . . . in the wilderness” (Hebrews 3:8). This happened during Israel’s time of testing, when trials had come upon them. During those times, God’s promises seemed to fail them. And when it seemed the Lord was no longer answering their cries, they grumbled, complained and began to follow their own way .
The same can happen to Christians in this generation,and those who were once zealous for the things of God can hardened their hearts towards God. People who once walked faithfully with the Lord, believed His Word, based their lives on biblical truth, and were totally on fire for Jesus, were faced with a crisis, and when they cried out to God in their time of need, no answer came on their time schedule,or in the manner they thought it should. Can you relate?
Others may have been led away by their relationship with ungodly friends. But God’s grace is still available to them, His mercy is still available, but over time their sin has hardened them.

Therefore the author exhorts us to hold fast to our faith no matter what! Trust God and His word when tough times and trials come and “if you will hear His voice, do not harden not your hearts” (Hebrews 4:7). But rather,

Let us...come boldly to the throne of grace...
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.-Hebrews 4:15-16

The author next pleads with us to draw near to God through the complete and finished work of Jesus. He knows that the proof that we have confidence in God and have entered into His rest is demonstrated in how we respond to Him. When we don’t fully trust Him, we're distant. When we do trust Him, we’ll draw nearer. I believe the author has already anticipated that there will be those that, due to their own shame and guilt, will refuse to trust YHWH and draw near to Him even though every obstacle has been removed, and every provision made for every need. Therefore, regardless of how we’re feeling, we’re commanded to draw near, for Jesus has made a way to Almighty God.

When I think of these passages I always remember a story someone told me long ago about this little girl who wanted more than anything else to ride a new ride that had just opened at Disneyland, but by the time she had reached the ride a huge line had already formed, and she feared she’d never get in. Suddenly, just as she turned to walk away, a man came up and took her by the hand and began walking her to the ride's entrance, and just as they were about to cross the threshold to the ride, another man in line called out, “Hey, who do you think you are, Walt Disney!?”

To which the man turned around and replied, “As a matter of fact I am!” and the two continued through the door.

This is what Jesus does for us! He is able to take our hand and bring us right into God’s presence into the Holy of Holies. I pray you’ll remember this the next time you feel unworthy or inadequate to come before Him! Jesus has already paved the way; take His hand and let Him lead you through the entrance.

encouragement

Some One Greater {Hebrews 3}

12:30 AM

About a month ago I attended a wedding.  I don’t know about you, but weddings are simply amazing to me.  You see the beautiful bride walk down the aisle with her father leading her to her soon-to-be husband – the love of her life.  But what I loved about this wedding was how the priest took the time to explain to, what appeared to me, was a lot of non-believers, how and why he had the couple kneeling towards the tabernacle.  The traditional readings were read (Genesis 2:24 and Mark 10:8). We see how the bride let’s go of her earthly father and is now joined together in marriage to this man.  He explained that this represents our marriage to the Lord Jesus (Rev. 19:7-10).  The priest mentioned how this girl’s father was someone she looked up to for her entire childhood, yet, here she’s looking up to and honoring her husband.  And as these 2 – this couple – focused their attention to what was in front of them – Christ – the center and focal point of marriage, that’s where we, the entire congregation were looking at as well, we all were drawn to the focal point of marriage.

Here in Hebrews 3, the writer is explaining that although Moses is important, a patriarch, as we move forward and listen to God’s Word, our growth and focus changes.  We come to know and trust Christ as our Savior.  We let go of the old and cling to the new.  Our focus should remain with the One that NEVER changes.  We need to acknowledge Him for who He is. (v. 3)

We receive warnings in this reading to remember those who grumbled and complained.  (vs. 16-18)  They were left to wander 40 years.  Are you feeling alone and wandering?  Are you feeling isolated?  Are you hearing “No” to a lot of your prayers and desires?  Perhaps you’ve lost your focus.  Are you holding onto something old?  A tradition or belief?  A habit or routine?  Guilt and shame from your past?  God is a God of love and mercy and He never leaves us alone.  Look forward.  Don’t look back, just as this couple had to let go of all those people who filled that church.  Their focus was on the One, Jesus Christ, who would show them the way to a blessed marriage.  He is the One who leads us all and we need to listen to Him and not let our hearts become hard because of the past or because of an unmet desire.  We need to put on righteousness and have the desire to become someone better so that those with unbelieving hearts will turn to Christ as well, just as I am sure, someone in that church that day did because that priest took an opportunity to speak the truth – the truth that sets you free – and pointed us all to Christ and why we were brought together that day because of Him.  He took the time to encourage everyone there that day (“today”) to not be hardened by deceitfulness and to “hold onto our original conviction to the very end” (vs. 12-15).

Image result for Hebrews 3:13


Hebrews

A Greater Message {Hebrews 2}

12:00 AM





Before Jesus, angels delivered messages from God and participated in the giving of the Law. (Deuteronomy 33:2-3; Acts 7:53; Galatians 3:19). To the Jewish people, these messages were highly esteemed, regarded as authority, and “proved unalterable.” (v. 2) In Hebrews chapter 2, we’re told that if the angels messages were considered great, how much greater is the message of Jesus! A greater message, “first spoken through the Lord, confirmed to us by those who heard. God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.” (vs. 3-4) A greater message of salvation, and a greater message that we must anchor ourselves firmly to. Because if we aren’t careful, we risk getting caught in the current of worldly living, and drifting away from the Lord.








In order to offer us the gift of eternal life, Christ willingly left His glorious throne in heaven and became human. He did this because He loves us so much; He wants to save us. And to save us, He had to become one of us. As God’s Son, Jesus is heir to everything. (Heb.1:2) Yet in Psalm 8:4-5, we’re told that God has put all things in subjection under man’s feet. So in a perfect display of humility and obedience, Jesus became a man, fulfilling scripture and for a little while becoming, “lower than the angels.” (vs. 9); and who is now, “because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.” (vs. 9) The consequence of sin is death. But Christ in His beautiful love, became our substitute paying the sin debt we owe and giving His sinless life for our sin filled ones.

And even more wonderful, this awesome Savior of ours calls us family! He isn’t ashamed to claim us as His brothers and sisters, “For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father.” (vs. 11) Because of His sanctification, we are joined to Him forever. And like us, His family, He became flesh and blood, “that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.” (vs. 14) Jesus conquered death with His work on the Cross, crushing Satan’s hold. Because of His victory, no longer do we need to fear death. Thanks to Him, we know it is merely a stepping stone to glory. 

Verse 17 tells us that Jesus had to be made, “like His brethren in all things so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest.” He became human in every way so that could relate to us in all areas of our lives. He knows our feelings of love, pain, joy, suffering, and sadness. There is nothing we can face that He Himself didn’t face. He is always there waiting to minister to us, help us, and love us through the ups and downs of life. “For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham.” (vs. 16) No matter the circumstance, Jesus understands. And it’s because He understands, that He is our perfect advocate, and who is at the right hand of God, interceding on our behalf. (Rom. 8:34) He was made flesh to suffer and die for us. There isn’t a greater delegate we could have, nor a greater message we can receive than the message of Jesus and of His love and grace.




chocolate chips

Chocolate Butterscotch Caramel Bars

11:00 AM

I couldn’t wait to try this bar cookie recipe from the Pioneer Woman. Saying that these are rich is an understatement! Easy to make, they will satisfy the craving of any sweet tooth!





Chocolate Butterscotch Caramel Bars


Nonstick cooking spray, for spraying the pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
1 1/2 cups regular or quick oats 
1 cup packed brown sugar 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 
1 3/4 sticks (14 tablespoons) cold salted butter, cut into pieces 
Two 13.5-ounce cans dulce de leche (I used Nestle La Lechera) 
About 1 cup Spanish peanuts
About 1 cup butterscotch chips
About 1 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray. Mix together the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the mixture into the prepared pan and pat lightly to pack it slightly.
Bake until light golden brown on top and done in the middle, watching to make sure it doesn't burn, 30 to 35 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.
Spoon the dulce de leche into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave to just slightly soften it, about 45 seconds. Scoop it on top of the oatmeal base and use an offset spatula to spread it out to the edges and into an even layer. Sprinkle on a layer of peanuts so that they completely cover the caramel and use your hands to gently press them into the caramel. Sprinkle on the butterscotch chips and mini chocolate chips in generous layers. Note: The warmth of the cookie base and caramel should slightly soften the butterscotch and chocolate chips. When that happens, use your hands to very gently press the chips just enough to anchor them together (but not enough to misshape them). If the pan isn't warm enough, pop it into the oven for 30 seconds or so and gently press the chips to anchor them together. Chill the bars for 2 to 3 hours to make them easy to slice. Remove them from the pan, place on a cutting board and use a long serrated knife to cut into small squares (they're rich!). Serve cold or at room temperature

Mercy

12:00 AM



MERCY


Welcome to Scripture Saturday!

Today we are memorizing Titus 3:5…

…He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit…

Here is the amplified version…

…He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we have done, but because of His own compassion and mercy, by the cleansing of the new birth (spiritual transformation, regeneration) and renewing by the Holy Spirit…

Here is the definition of Mercy:  compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one’s power; compassion, pity, charitableness. 

Paul says in the first part of this verse, “He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we have done, but because of His own compassion and mercy…” - God saves us not by our works - not by human effort - not by any righteous thing that we have done. He does not give us eternal life based on what we do - there isn’t anything we could ever DO  to save our soul. The way God saves people is by His mercy. Salvation from His view IS mercy. He looks at those whom He can save through the eyes of mercy. He does not take into account who or what we are. He gives mercy regardless of how good or bad we may be. Isn’t that amazing!

And the second part of this verse “…by the cleansing of the new birth (spiritual transformation, regeneration) and renewing by the Holy Spirit.” At the time of our salvation we become something that we were not before. For a person to become a Christian, he needs a second birth-a rebirth. Spiritual birth, not works of righteousness, gives eternal life. “God imparts divine life into our souls at salvation.” A brand new person in the eyes of God and His Son!

“There is no justification for God saving our souls other than His mercy toward the guilty. Acceptance of mercy requires humility on our part. Becoming a Christian this way strikes at the very heart of human pride. Salvation requires spiritual birth by God’s grace and mercy.”

Here is a link to John Piper’s message on this verse…I pray you will be blessed by it.


Thank you Father. I am so grateful that You reached down, in your Mercy, with your depthless Love and unending Compassion, and saved my soul. I am a new person, reconciled, and righteous in Your Son!


Have a blessed and precious day everyone!

___________________________________
I'd like to personally invite you to join me and a wonderful, eclectic group of women from all over the world on a Facebook site we call, Women in the Word . We are currently traveling through the entire New Testament - one chapter a day! It has been such an incredibly journey which we want to share with you! 
So, if you've ever wanted to know more of what God's Word has to say about everything, and meet and make new friends from all over the world, come join us by clicking on this link . 
There will always be someone there to welcome you! Oh! And please feel free to invite others!





Angie Benjamin

Jesus is Greater {Hebrews 1}

2:42 AM




Hello! and  Welcome to the first chapter on our study of  the book of Hebrews!

So as for a bit of an introduction to the book of Hebrews, we don't actually really know who the author was. 
Many believe it was Paul, others believe it was Barnabas and some others think it was or Apollos, but regardless who the author was, we know it's God speaking to us through His word.

It was written to the early church of Jewish believers, who at that time they were really struggling to keep their faith. At that time they believed the return of Jesus was going to happen right away, but as time goes on and on people are finding it harder to keep their faith because people are being separated or shut out from their own families, people are even being murder for their faith, so these people just wanted to go back to Judaism to make their lives easy...we cannot blame them. They were going through tough stuff, simply for calling themselves Christians.

So, as the author of the book, how would do encourage these people not to give up?

In chapter number one, the author points to the fact that Jesus is better and this is the theme throughout the entire chapter...Better than what? well, at that point the Jewish just had the law of Moses and the prophets, but both Moses and the prophets kept on pointing to Jesus was going to come.

VS 1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.
VS 4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. {Hebrews 1:1-2,4}

So what the author is saying that, even though the prophets and angels play an important role in our faith, what Jesus has done for us surpasses them all. He says that Jesus has obtained for Himself a more excellent name than all of them.

Doesn't this happen in our days? we tend to put on the pedestal the messenger rather than "the message" itself...call it pastors, prophets and angels. I've seen this specially happening here in Africa, where people trust and believe so much in the pastor or prophet that they believe they're the only ones who can pray for them, as if their prayers are the only ones that will work.

We forget that as children of God we have as much access to God as they do. It is only through what Jesus did that we have that access to God.

So the author then also mentions how Jesus is even greater than Angels:

vs 5  For to which of the angels did God ever say,

“You are my Son;
    today I have become your Father”?
Or again,

“I will be his Father,
    and he will be my Son”?

vss. 13-14

To which of the angels did God ever say,

“Sit at my right hand
    until I make your enemies
    a footstool for your feet”?
Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?


You see, Jesus is greater than any prophet, angel or heavenly visitation. We're so privileged to have the access and the opportunity to experience something most people were only promised to see and never got to experience in their lifetime.

Jesus is it. He is the One the Hebrews had been waiting for. He is the One we’ve been waiting for. He is the very image of God made man, and the gospel He brings is an exact representation of the heart of God. As NT Wright explains, the Law “was part of God’s preparation, part of the brilliant and beautiful wrapping in which the ultimate present, God’s gift of his own self in the person of the son, would be contained”

Jesus is highest. Jesus is best.
Jesus is God’s last, perfect, complete Word. He is THE ONE.
Let's look to JESUS today.

Have a blessed day xo

PS. you can take a look at this video as an intro to the book of Hebrews:


Becky Austin

RESTORATION { Philemon 1 }

12:14 AM





The book of Philemon is only a single chapter, a single letter written for a very important reason.  In this letter, Paul issues a plea  on behalf of a runaway slave.  This slave was named Onesimus which means " useful."  We are not given the details, but somehow this slave came into contact with Paul while he was a prisoner in Rome and a very special bond was formed between them. Paul became like a father to Onesimus and although he wanted to keep him with him because he was such a comfort and help, he also wanted to do the right thing and send him back to his owner, Philemon. 

We know that Onesimus was serving in the home of a Christian family from the greeting Paul gives in his letter : “I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints,” (v1). But Paul is aware that because Onesimus did not leave his master under favorable terms, there could be ill feelings or perhaps hesitancy to receive him with open arms. 

 Paul wants Philemon to know that Onesimus has changed and Paul pleads on behalf of Onesimus for full forgiveness and restoration. “I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus, whose father I became in my imprisonment. (Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.) I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart.” (V10-12)

Can you see in this story the same love of our Heavenly Father.  He takes us as we are, running away from righteousness to indulge our sinful desires.  We were of no use to Him and yet He takes us under his wing and transforms us through a close relationship into a vessel that is useful for glorifying Him and useful for the work of His kingdom. He gives us full forgiveness and restoration and He tells us we are His very heart. 
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are...”‭‭ (1 John‬ ‭3:1‬ ‭)

Paul also references that there may have been a divine purpose in Onesimus leaving his master and ending up being taught of Paul. “For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, no longer as a bondservant but more than a bondservant, as a beloved brother—especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.” ( v15-16). We may see our loved ones go down wrong paths and make foolish decisions, but God in his sovereignty can redeem such situations and intervene in ways we might not imagine possible.  This should encourage us to keep praying for the lost and wandering souls in our lives.  Pray that God would pursue them with a great love.

Paul closes his letter with a promise to make good on Onesimus' behalf anything that he owes and to take full responsibility for restitution.  “So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it—to say nothing of your owing me even your own self." (v17-19)

Again, we see the picture of Christ making full restitution and payment for our sins and debts.  On our behalf, Christ reconciles us to God.  God accepts us as he would accept Christ.  
“For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,”‭‭ (Colossians‬ ‭1:19-22‬ ‭)

This letter is a beautiful display of love, forgiveness, transformation and restoration.  Paul intervenes to restore Onesimus to Philemon.  Christ intervened to provide full restoration between us and our Heavenly Father.  We should praise and thank him for seeing value in us and we should strive to see value in others.  Pray for others, forgive them and desire to promote restoration whenever possible.  

gentleness

Partners in The Transformation Business {Titus 3}

9:00 PM

Have you watched the shows on HGTV where couples take a homes that needs major work done to them and transform them into showplaces any of us would love? I’m a sucker for those before and after photos. I’d love to be able to transform something that no one would want, into something desirable to all! I thought of this while reading this chapter and realized once more that, that is EXACTLY what God did for each of us who walk with Him:

For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, despicable, hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:3-7

I grew up a “people pleaser”, who was always worried about what others might think, and never felt I quite measured up to others expectations!  That is, until I realized that God had already settled this issue of acceptance long ago through His Son: Jesus … made us acceptable to God” (Titus 3:7 CEV). What Jesus did on the cross made each of us completely acceptable to God — no matter if we're a “fixer-upper” or not; each of us have been made precious in His sight, for "God made Him [Jesus] who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God."
(That’s a treasure to hold onto and share for sure!!)

But this passage begins with “For we ourselves were once...” which means there’s a reason why Paul decided to remind us of this truth. We’ll need to back up to the beginning of Titus 3, “Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good. They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone.” Titus 3:1-2

Wow! It sure seems like people could use this reminder today, don’t you think? Which is why I believe gentleness and humility were a great witness to unbelievers then and still are today. People are watching us all the time to see if we’re any different then they are.

If we claim to follow Jesus, we’re not permitted to speak evil of anyone. Any.one! Nor are we allowed to be quarrelsome, but instead we need to be gentle, and demonstrate true humility to everyone, even those we strongly disagree with! Those of different,
  • Political views
  • Faiths
  • Skin color
  • Ethnic backgrounds, etc.

I’ve come to realize over the years that we cannot win our enemies to Christ, therefore we’ve GOT TO TURN them into friends! If they can find anything to hold against us, that might just keep them from coming to Jesus!
Paul knew most people are going to look to us and our lives to see if the Bible is credible. Are we genuine? Are we gentle, loving and compassionate? If they like what they see, they just might listen to what we say.

My husband and I volunteer with World Relief, which is a Christian organization that helps resettle refugees from war-torn countries here in the United States. The family we are currently working with is originally from Syria. They arrived in February of this year in wheelchairs needing medical care. They have been through so much and continue to struggle everyday. I work mostly with the wife/mother. She seems to practice and follow her Muslim faith faithfully and can speak English only a tiny bit better than I speak Arabic, which is none at all, yet we’ve grown to love one another like sisters!

I’ve come to realize there is a common language we both share, that I’m not sure what to call. We speak from the heart and understand completely; both being women, wives, mothers and grandmothers. I believe because language is a barrier our other senses are heightened, especially observation. I know as much about the Muslim faith as she knows about my faith in Jesus, yet they are attending our Sunday School class to find out more. We are actually studying the Book of Genesis; writing our own lessons and then having them translated into Arabic, so that they can follow along. I’m certain people in both faiths would tell us we’re crazy for doing so, but so far it’s working and I pray one day she and I will truly be sisters in Christ. Something, I don’t believe would have ever happened if I hadn’t started loving her first. 
If you would pray for her and her family, I promise I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks!
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Hi Everyone!
I never know where the Lord will take me when I sit down to write! I had not planned to share about our family we are working with through World Relief this week, but if you'd like to hear more, I'd like to personally invite you to join me and a wonderful, eclectic group of women from all over the world on a Facebook site we call, Women in the Word . We are currently traveling through the entire New Testament - one chapter a day! It has been such an incredibly journey which we want to share with you! 

So, if you've ever wanted to know more of what God's Word has to say about everything, and meet and make new friends from all over the world, come join us by clicking on this link . 
There will always be someone there to welcome you! Oh! And please feel free to invite others!
God bless you,
sue