Tag: Redemption

Who for the Joy That Was Set Before Him

This is a sermon that my husband, Bob Rasmussen, wrote and shared with us at Janesville Apostolic Ministries a few weeks back. It was an awesome message and I wanted to share it with you.

“Who for the joy that was set before Him” 

(click the title to watch the sermon at Christian World Media)

We worshipped with a lot of songs this morning with the word Joy in them. The Bible tells us to be joyful:

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. – Philippians 4:4

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. – Romans 15:13

The joy of the Lord, having him in our lives something to absolutely be joyful about, amen? During one of our services, a scripture was brought to my mind:

 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.  – Hebrews 12:1-2

This morning, I would like to discuss specifically “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross”.  If you read the commentaries on this scripture, there are 2 schools of thought of the meaning – there might be more but in my study it was predominantly 2. And the word that drives that train of thought is the word “for”.
The first interpretation is that “for” means instead. That is, that Jesus, instead of maintaining His preincarnate heavenly state, chose to come down to earth and fulfill the path of securing salvation for mankind, bearing sin and shame on the cross.
The second interpretation is that “for” means “in exchange for” or to “obtain” salvation for those he loved. I think both are correct, but I would like to focus on the second. That basically, you, you, and I are the joy of the Lord – the fulfillment of his accomplished work.

hebrews 12

We are the joy of the Lord!

But what does that even mean to us?
He says we are the light!

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light
unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. – Matthew 5:14-16

He says that we are the salt!

Ye are the salt of the earth – Matthew 5:13

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary:
5:13-16 Ye are the salt of the earth. Mankind, lying in ignorance and wickedness, were as a vast heap, ready to putrify; but Christ sent forth his disciples, by their lives and doctrines to season it with knowledge and grace.
God sings over us:

The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice
over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. – Zephaniah 3:17

Wow – we are the joy of the Lord!

Part of our identity, of who we are, is how we think about ourselves. And no, I am not a
psychologist, some might think I need to see one – But there is a battle in this world. The war has been won, Jesus has defeated death, but the bible tells us there will be battles.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. – Ephesians 6:12

I love that Paul, markedly one of the greatest apostles, includes himself. He doesn’t say you, he says we. That tells me that no matter your position, situation, no matter what, we all will have battles – that we are in this together.
So today, I do have a question, do you feel like you are the joy of the Lord?
Sometimes, I have disqualified myself from being the joy of the Lord. I remember when I first came to Jesus and gave my life and felt the overwhelming cleansing power of his blood. I gave it all to Jesus – (sins on board)It was so, so joyful. After some time though, I would go back to the altar, and I reminded God why I was such a bad person. And I’d go back again, and again. Have you ever done that?
The Word says that when we confess our sin:

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. – Acts 3:19

I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee. – Isaiah 44:22

I had to learn, and I am still learning that I do not need to remind God about my sin – he has already blotted it out. He’s already forgiven me.

I had to learn to stop trying to disqualify myself from the joy of the Lord.

His grace is more than sufficient for me.

One day as Diana and I were talking about being the joy of the Lord, and I already asked is I could share this, she said – I don’t feel like I am the Joy of the Lord because I still do (insert whatever here) – it wasn’t a sin, it was just something she felt that the Lord had put on her heart to change. That ever happen to you?

We are the temple of the Holy Spirit, he lives in us. He is so many things to us – comforter, counselor, healer – but He is also our Shepperd. I think that as we grow with Jesus, He only wants for the best, He wants us to grow with him and there may be things or patterns in our life that He wants to change – that’s maturity. But it should not make you feel disqualified or less than, if anything, it just shows how much more He loves and cares for you.

joy.jpg

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. – Romans 8:1-2

Let’s go back to Paul in Ephesians 6:

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. – Ephesians 6:14-17

This body has been through some things. We have lost loved ones, we have family fighting disease, we have relationships that need healing, and the list goes on. I am faithful for Jesus to help all of us. But in this battle, the enemy will try to steal your Joy of the Lord, he’ll try to challenge your thoughts about your salvation or your worth to him.
I try to see things in the physical that show me what God does in the spirit, As I was preparing this message, I was reminded of my beautiful wonderful grand daughter Devin, or DJ as we call her and how Diana (and my) reactions ( and for our other children, it was the same, this is just he most recent).
We were made aware of her coming, there was expectation!
She was born, there was rejoicing!
There was unadulterated love in cuddling and holding her tiny fingers and toes.
There is joy in who she is and who she is becoming.
And then we just had joy, music courtesy of brother Doug.

It so reminds me of Jesus, who with the Joy that was set before him.
Aware what was coming, the salvation of mankind
Rejoicing we were born again,
Unrelenting love,

And joy in who we are!

Sister Laura spoke a word a few weeks ago and I asked if could share. If you will humor me, close your eyes for a second and focus on these words, let them remind you of the Joy that you are to Him and He is to you:

Run to Him full of joy
So much freedom, so much uninhibited love, both given and received
Hold nothing back, he has got you.
Let him lift you up and swing you around – tossing everything else aside. It’s just you and him,laughing, care free.
As a child, we trust completely that daddy won’t drop me – find that child like, pure, unrestrained comfort in Him again.

As the worship team comes forward, I have asked they do a new song, it is called “To The Table”.
One of my favorite verses is:
He can see the weight you carry
The fears that hold your heart
But through the cross you’ve been forgiven
You’re accepted as you are
And then it goes to the chorus
So bring it all to the table
The altar is open, we have a baptismal if you have not been and want to become part of the kingdom. Pastor Mike and Jeff are here to pray with you, as are anyone else here to stand with you in prayer.
So , won’t you come to the Table?

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3 Ways the The Lord Redeems Time

Time. It goes on and on. We think we have only 24 hours in a day to get everything done. We load ourselves up with things to do and places to be to get everything done in a day.  And then wonder why we are so exhausted. Like we have the market on time. Silly us.

3 Ways the Lord Redeems Time

  • God owns time. And He is not limited by our little minds and small agendas.

    Praise God!  A day is as a thousand years to the Lord. The Lord owns time –  not us. God lives outside of time and our times are in His hands.  He is patient with us not wanting any to perish.

So teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom. – Psalm 90:12 NKJV

our-times-are-in-his-hands.jpg

(Image credit – WhatWomenShouldKnow.org)

 

For You are my rock and my fortress;
Therefore, for Your name’s sake,
Lead me and guide me.
Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me,
For You are my strength.
Into Your hand I commit my spirit;
You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth. -Psalm 31:3-5 NKJV

2 Peter 3_8

(Image credit – Instapray.com)

 

  • The Lord is able to restore time.

    The Lord is able to make up for all the bad things that have ever happened to us. God is able. He will restore the years that have been stolen from us.

“So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten,
The crawling locust,
The consuming locust,
And the chewing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.
You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
And praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
And My people shall never be put to shame.
Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel:
I am the Lord your God
And there is no other.
My people shall never be put to shame. -Joel 2:25-27 NKJV

  • The Lord will restore us with a double portion and a double honor.

    Everlasting joy is ours in the Lord!

But you shall be named the priests of the Lord,
They shall call you the servants of our God.
You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles,
And in their glory you shall boast.
Instead of your shame you shall have double honor,
And instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion.
Therefore in their land they shall possess double;
Everlasting joy shall be theirs. -Isaiah 61:6-7 NKJV

Thank you Jesus. We are grateful that You are not limited by time. You own it all Lord. Thank you for the revelation that our times are in Your hands today and forever, in Jesus Name.

As for our Redeemer, the Lord of hosts is His name,
The Holy One of Israel. – Isaiah 47:4 NKJV

(featured image source – https://godshotspot.wordpress.com/tag/my-time-in-gods-hands/)

Spring Training #1-Exercising Our Faith-Honor Our Bodies

Spring Training. All the baseball teams gearing up for the game. Getting ready, letting go of what doesn’t work and training for the new season. I am in a period of transition. A period of spring training. I have had to acknowledge a few weaknesses and change my thoughts and attitudes to learn new habits. I am learning to build my strength both physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Spring Training is a New Series I am writing to help us all refocus on our positive goals and exercise our faith.

Like the athletes we all have ‘muscles’ that we need to use or they atrophy. Muscles that have been in hibernation during the long cold winter. And our faith is the same way. It only gets exercised when we are using it. That means there will be trials,temptations and troubles we will get to go through – but they bring forth the GOLD of our faith.  Press on my friends, together we can do this!

SPRING TRAINING EXERCISE #1:

Learning to Honor Our Bodies

 Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own,
You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 AMP)

Taking Responsibility for Our Health

One of the hardest areas for me after a life of abuse is learning how to honor my body. When you have had innocence stolen from you and been raped you feel like trash. The enemy plants thoughts in your head that you deserved it and you will never be clean. And then add Abuser after Abuser who commanded you to do unholy things with your body and your relationship. Add those swine who sought out pornography and the evils it opens you up to. For many years I did not address or even talk about these things. I did not own my body. I let another use it and abuse it. I gave away my power and my self-respect to a pig.

I was married before and I wanted to please my husband so I did what he said. He was sick. I should have said no. It took me years to learn to say that word. Then I was in another relationship with a very sick man who was into the bondage scene (yeah, my own shades of grey nightmare). Let me say that just because a person has money does not mean they are healthy. Some of the ‘sickest’ people I matched up with had money and thought I was a piece of property and something they owned. I went from psycho to psycho as I didn’t believe I deserved any better. I had no boundaries and I thought I was trash. I had no idea who God said I was.

Some of the wisest advice I got from Grandma Pat, a beautiful woman who lived down the street from me. She used to come over singing these old hymns and just listen to me cry. I wouldn’t be here today if she had not taken the time to stop and come over and listen. She told me,

“You don’t have to dishonor God to please your husband.”

 

pearls-before-swine

That was the home run for me. I finally got it. I could choose to honor God first. What those men asked me to do and what I did was wrong. God knows what happened. And I had to ask God to forgive me, and then forgive myself for giving authority of my body over to a swine. Yes, I cast my pearls before swine. And they trampled all over them. Because that’s what pigs do.

I ended those relationships. And didn’t date anyone for over a year. I learned how to take care of me and take authority back over my body. I asked God to break all the soul-ties with the blood of Jesus. I asked the Holy Spirit to come into those dark rooms and bring the deep healing I needed. I met with a counselor for a time and learned that the rape was not my fault. I did not ask for it. I did not want it. I did not asked to be abused. It wasn’t that way in the beginning. It happens over time. And it’s wrong. Not every husband/boyfriend honors his wife. I learned the hard way.

When I was on my own I had to learn how to ‘honor my body’ and choose to be well. I didn’t have to stay a victim. God promised to heal me and I chose to let Him. He turned my victim mentality into victorious. He gave me strength when I had none. He gave me hope when I was lost.

I had to learn what honor meant too. Words and actions like honor, cherish, love, treasure – they had no meaning to me after years of abuse. But honor meant I could say NO. I could make a new choice as to what I would accept for myself, and what I would reject. I had to learn what a healthy relationship looked like. And I had to learn what respect meant and how to respect myself after receiving disrespect from so many.

 

Ways to Honor Your Body:

 

1.  Accept that God made you perfect and stop the negative self-talk.

This negative self-talk led to destructive self-harm for me. I had to ask God to quiet the voices of the Enemy of my soul. And I had to read the Word and learn who God says I am. I had to give God’s Word more authority over me than my past, my hurts, my feelings, or my pain. I even hand wrote scripture verses on index cards and carried them around with me in my everyday life. This way when I heard a negative thing in my head or from some other person I would read and meditate on a verse of God’s Word. It works, really.  I honor my body when I believe what God says about me more than how I feel or what someone tells me or has told me.

 

2.  Start to eat healthier.

I admit it, I love junk food and pizza. And after being depressed for so long I ate what I wanted when I wanted it. Instead of taking things away the Holy Spirit has asked me to start adding healthy things – nuts, fruits, and vegetables to my diet. I don’t keep track, I am not a food Nazi. But I have to say that I feel better after adding these things. It is a process and I am glad He is teaching me how to honor my body this way.

 

3. Stop watching smut TV.

Yep. No more. I refuse to entertain the spirit of lust. I will not even watch mildly graphic shows, no soap operas, no dating shows, no let’s swap wives or Hollywood Housewives or anything. I turn them off. Lust leads to all sorts of bad things. I have seen so many people break up relationships or marriages after the spirit of lust moves in. What comes in through the eyes makes residence in our minds. Thoughts become actions. I have seen people throw away what they have to try something they see happen on tv or a movie. And it’s wrong. I choose to shut that door and not entertain the spirit of lust.  I honor my body by not even going there.

 

4. Start to exercise slowly.

I joined Planet Fitness with my teen daughter about a month ago. The first time I went I could only go 5 minutes on the elliptical machine. And with my past leg injury I didn’t even try the treadmill. Can I tell you after a month I don’t have to wear my leg brace anymore! I can go 20 minutes on the elliptical and have even used the treadmill. All from a girl that heard the Dr. tell me, “I hope this leg surgery works or you won’t walk again.” I honor my body by moving it and exercising it. My mood is better. I feel alive again and there is hope. It’s going to be a good season this year!

 

What about you?

How did you learn to ‘honor your body’?

 

Tune in next time for SPRING TRAINING – TAKING RESPONSIBILITY OF OUR MONEY

 

(Baseball with Heart image is available at puckettspond.com,

Pearl image from derricklphillips.wordpress.com)

The Blood of Jesus Brings Life

The Blood of Jesus Brings Life. Yes, life, and life more abundantly. I was not raised in Church. So when people started talking about blood, I thought they were talking about death. Yet the kingdom of God is opposite the Kingdom of the World.

How Does the Blood of Jesus Help You

1. The Blood of the lamb – Jesus, brings life

The life is in the blood. His death brings you life.

“For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.” Leviticus 17:11 NKJV

“for it is the life of all flesh. Its blood sustains its life. Therefore I said to the children of Israel, ‘You shall not eat the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood. Whoever eats it shall be cut off.’” (Leviticus 17:14 NKJV)

2. The Blood of Jesus Protects you

“And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning. For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you. And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever.” (Exodus 12:22-24 NKJV)

3. The Blood of Jesus brings you Cleansing

“Then he shall kill the lamb of the trespass offering, and the priest shall take some of the blood of the trespass offering and put it on the tip of the right ear of him who is to be cleansed, on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot.” Leviticus 14:24 NKJV

4. The Blood of Jesus brings you Salvation

“The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?” Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:52-54 NKJV)

5. The Blood of Jesus brings you Redemption
Blood of Jesus Prayer
“And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you” (1 Peter 1:17-20 NKJV)

6. The Blood of Jesus Covers you with His Robe of Righteousness

“Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?”

And I said to him, “Sir, you know.”

“So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (Revelation 7:13-14 NKJV)

7. The Blood of Jesus Brings you Victory over the Devil

“Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” (Revelation 12:10-11 NKJV)

Image Credits: Pinterest

New King James Version (NKJV)
The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.