Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Lord my Strength - (H5797 )
Here are two verses where 'Lord my strength' appears:
The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him a habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him.
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.
In studying these verses, I was struck by the parallels between them. The first verse is from the song of Moses. In Exodus 14, the Lord rescued the Hebrew people by parting the sea and allowing them to escape the army of Pharaoh. The second verse is a Psalm written by David. We're not sure of the circumstances, but we know that David is celebrating God's hearing his prayer. from verse 6:
Blessed be the LORD, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications.
So the occasions of the writing of these verses, are times of crying out to God in time of need and God's hearing and answering.
Notice the first phrase of each:
Moses: The LORD is my strength and song
David: The LORD is my strength and my shield
Both Moses and David call God their strength. Moses then says He is a song and David calls Him a shield. Does the parallel continue? In what way is a song a shield? What are the primary weapons of the dark one? Fear and despair. . .hopelessness leading to depression!!! All of which are defeated by worship and praise of God. Every attack of fear and despair will be deflected, as if with a physical shield, by a song singing thanks and praises to the Lord.
Do you remember the giant Goliath?
1 Samuel 17:4-11
And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath,
whose height was six cubits and a span.
And he had a helmet of brass upon his head,
and he was armed with a coat of mail;
and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass.
And he had greaves of brass upon his legs,
and a target of brass between his shoulders.
And the staff of his spear was like a weaver's beam;
and his spear's head weighed six hundred shekels of iron:
and one bearing a shield went before him.
Quite a list of things to be afraid of. . .
And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me. If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us. And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together. When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.
Everything about Goliath was designed to inspire fear, to cultivate the spirit of fear in his opponents. . . and The army of God was dismayed and greatly afraid. They were paralyzed by Goliath. Seeing a giant standing against us, strikes our heart with fear. He is such an imposing figure, but one giant cannot defeat an army. The giant required the spirit of fear to accomplish his task. It wasn't Goliath's great fighting ability which allowed him to prevail. We are never told that he had ever fought a battle before. His appearance alone undermined the confidence of his opponents and it was this spirit of fear which stopped the army of Israel.
Fear is a powerful opponent, much more powerful than any single giant, but fear is always defeated by faith. Singing praises to God in the face of fear, is a powerful act of faith that will prevail over any giant. It is this confidence in God in the face of fear, our faith in God in the face of overwhelming odds, that is the source of our strength. It is our strength. It is not God's strength, rather it is our confidence in God that makes us unconquerable. It is our lack of faith which will defeat us or it will be our overflowing abundance of faith, our singing in the middle of our darkness, our singing at midnight that will take us through. . .
Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.
Paul and Silas sang unto God and the earth moved beneath their feet. Their chains were broken. They were set free from their bondage. When there is no hope, no light, in the time of our greatest weakness. . . we can still sing praises unto God. . .
Singing is a voluntary act. We do not accidentally sing. It is a decision we make. I'm quite sure that Paul and Silas did not feel like singing. If they had given in to their circumstances it would not have been a song they uttered. . . They were bound in a terrible dark place. To Sing was a faith filled spiritual decision they made. To fast is also a faith filled spiritual decision. In some ways singing in a time of trial is the vocal equivalent of fasting. Singing in a time of trial is our Spirit commanding our flesh, bending our flesh to do that which it doesn't want to do. Our flesh wants to run and hide and quake and cry. Our Spirit takes control, quells the spirit of fear and we sing a song to the Lord. . . That is our faith in God. . . It is that faith in God that is our strength. . .
I love you my God. . .
Thank you my Lord. . .
Let my heart always sing unto you. . .
Saturday, September 20, 2008
My grandson Jakub, whom many of you know, just began kindergarten. His teacher explained to his mother that this was not the kindergarten of years gone by, with much time spent eating cookies and sleeping on nap rugs. She said that he would know how to read by Christmas. What a momentous event that is. I believe it was while in first grade that I took my first trip down
Symbols abound around us. They become such an automatic part of our consciousness that we don't even think of them as symbols. Think of learning to read. There are two stages to the process. First comes the learning and recognition of the alphabet and how each letter has associated sounds. The letters are symbols for sounds and offer a bridge between the written and spoken word. Then words must be constructed and be recognized as correlating to the spoken vocabulary. This is another step in the learning the rules of symbolism of language.
The letters are arbitrary and abstract. There is no actual correlation between the letter 'p' and the sound that we make when we pronounce the sound of a 'p', but the process is so automated for us, after we master reading, that we have trouble even thinking outside that knowledge, that all the letter 'p' is, is a symbol. There is nothing more to it. The same is true with words. In some forms of language words are represented by little pictures, which have some similarity to the concept they represent, but that is a very complex and cumbersome way of communicating. A Chinese typewriter may have thousands of keys and take a highly trained professional to master. The English word "FLOWER", has no relationship to what in botany is known as the reproductive structure of a plant, but when you read the word 'flower' you will most likely, without any further description, entertain a visual image of flower in your mind, and quite possibly even a memory of the fragrance will pop into your head, whether it be a rose, a violet, or dandelion.
That association is what Jakub will be learning this fall. It is almost painful, and takes great patience to listen to new readers struggle at mastering first the pronunciation and then the comprehension of the printed words in their simple little readers, but once in place, this becomes second nature to us. We cannot forget though that there is no universal meaning. Numbers of languages share alphabets, but the sounds of the letters, the rules for how they are used together, the meanings of the words and the grammars of the languages are all very different. There are no universal meanings to symbols. The interpretation of symbols is learned through experience.
As examples, shown a simple silhouette of a man walking hand in hand with a child: for one who was raised in a loving two parent home, this can possibly summon feelings of affection and warmth, for one who was raised without a father in the home, the sight of the image may well fill them with thoughts of longing or sorrow at what they never had, and for still yet another who was molested by a male relative, the visual image might bring forth a panic attack and feelings of rage and/or fear. Each response elicited by the same symbolic image. Our experiences, our culture, our genetic makeup, our gender, our age, education, and on and on and on. . . our life space, that which goes into making us unique individuals greatly effect our responses to symbols.
In the business world, symbols. . . corporate names and trademarks are very highly valued. The company whom owned the Tylenol brand name, McNeil Consumer Products, spent decades and untold millions upon millions of dollars building an image of their product that was very badly damaged, in a mere matter of days by an act of . Seven people died in
All advertising is an effort to influence, or redefine the public's interpretation of symbols. In a manner of speaking, each of the huge Madison Avenue Advertising agencies are focused upon teaching us to read the symbols of brand names and trademarks in such a way as to make us desire to buy the products offered by their clients. Large corporations know how powerful these symbols are.
Do I even need to give figures? In 2004 Internet advertising alone amounted to roughly 10 billion dollars. Companies are not spending this money without reason. The day after the Super Bowl, people laugh and shake their heads at the thought of companies willing to pay millions of dollars for a few seconds of air time. In 2008 the rate was $2,700,000 per 30 second advertising spot. When people criticize the wisdom of spending that kind of money, they focus on how many cans of beer or how many soft drinks the company would have to sell to recoup that investment, but that is not what the Super Bowl ads do for the corporations which buy them. It's all about creating a mental association between of the products shown with the glitz and the excitement and the sexiness of that mega cultural event. People certainly will not rush out and buy enough colas the next day as a result of seeing the Super Bowl ad to pay for the investment, but the advertising companies clearly hope that their brand will gain an aura from being associated with the event which will pay them dividends for years to come when people decide decide which soft drink, etc. to purchase.
It is a balancing act. Companies spend huge amounts to spread their brand names and in the reverse they spend large efforts to also control and protect the usage of their trademarks. It is a companies worst nightmare if they are too successful and their name becomes so closely associated with a generic action or item that it loses it's uniqueness. Just one example, Today neither are associated with one particular brand of medicine. They became common and entered into the common language. They become generic words with no association with a specific drug manufacturer.
Companies must be vigilant in protecting their trademarked names, even to be point of looking for improper usage of them in newspaper articles, books, or even blogs. If I were to post an article on my blog talking about my chevy truck (note the lack of capitalization), I would very likely receive an email or letter from some large legal firm asking that I correct my usage. If I were to refuse, very likely the next letter I received would be to inform me of a lawsuit. At G.M. and at most every other large corporation buried somewhere in the bowels of the organization, there is most certainly a person whose job it is to do daily Internet searches for wrong usages of the symbols of the corporation, looking for misapplication of their trademarks. General Motors Corporation greatly fears their brand name coming to mean any truck driving down the road. They must be most vigilant in their rooting out of any improper use of their trademarked brand names or they will lose them.
Symbols abound in our lives. One that almost everyone would recognize is the exchanging of rings when a couple weds. The ring symbolizes the oath that the couple make. It is a symbol of the contract between man and woman, the undying love, the purity of the commitment. This symbol, like the letters which make up a word, is not important in of itself. It is the meaning behind the symbol where the significance lays. Jewelers today promote some ridiculous notion, that a young man is obligated somehow to spend the equivalent of 4 months wages on a ring for his bride to be. That surely serves their purposes well, but it completely distracts from that which the ring is supposed to be the symbol of.
Like trademarks, symbols need to be protected and defended or they will be lost. One of the earliest symbols given to us by God has been all but abandoned. The rainbow was a sign given to us by God:
And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: (13) I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. (14) And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: (15) And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. (16) And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. (17) And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.
By our apathy toward it, and our lack of defense of it, the rainbow is now looked upon, it is read by society at large as the banner, as the symbol of a perverse lifestyle. We can still claim it as our own sign. It would take a broad effort to do that. It doesn't seem that very many care.
Christianity also has other numbers of symbols associated with it:
The Sabbath day is a sign, a symbol between God and His chosen people -
Speak thou also unto the children of
When the Hebrew people crossed the
And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take ye up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel: (6) That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones?
The Bible abounds in signs:
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years. (6) And I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. (12) For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. (13) Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.
For unto you is born this day in the city of
How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. (11) And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:
1 Corinthians 14:21-22
In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. (22) Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.
The important thing to realize is that the importance is not in the symbol itself. The wedding ring is meaningless in of itself. The Sabbath is not the important thing. It wasn't the pile of stones that was significant. It isn't the circumcision, speaking in tongues, or a baby born in a manger that were important, but the importance of these remembrances lay in what these signs, these symbols stood for. By the same token, like trademarks in the corporate world, if the symbols become too commonplace then they lose their significance. If you have 9 other rings on your fingers then the wedding band cannot have the same significance as if it were found upon your hand alone.
Jesus gave us signs of Himself:
And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. (15) And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: (16) For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the
The unleaven bread and the wine are symbols of Jesus. If that is the case, then am I taking communion every time I eat a bowl of soup with crackers in it? No, the importance is not in the crackers and in the wine, but in what they represent. Indeed if not done with the correct attitude, even participation in the rite of communion is worthless. Paul was very clear about this:
1 Corinthians 11:20-29
When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper. (21) For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. (22) What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the
Paul is saying that the symbols are important for what they represent. The unleaven bread and wine are not important outside of the communion ceremony, but if these symbols are not taken reverently within the remembrance, (note verse 27) then the one who misuses them is actually guilty of the scourging and crucifying the Lord:
(27) Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
Internally then to Christianity our symbol given personally by Jesus, of the sacrifice of Christ is the wine and the bread. This symbol must not be misused. Clearly it is a serious offense to misuse a Holy symbol. Which brings us to the ultimate symbol of Christianity, the cross. This symbol was first mentioned in the New Testament by Jesus:
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. (38) And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
The first thing that jumps out at me from this scripture is that Jesus said these words a good while before His crucifixion. These words are prophetic. That for me was a stunning revelation. I had not realized that until just this moment. So closely do I associate Jesus with the cross, I never thought about these words being said well before Jesus being forced to literally carry his own cross on the road to his death. The listeners, when Jesus uttered these words had no idea of their significance and actual meaning.
The second thought that comes to my mind from this verse is that the cross is used here as a symbol, a powerful symbol representing the instrument of Jesus' death. Jesus states that we are to take upon our shoulders the instrument of our death and come after Him. What is the instrument of our death but sin? I have always looked upon the cross as a mere burden for Christ which we must carry, but isn't another way of looking at it possibly we must take control of our sin, handle our sinful ways, be in charge of that thing which would kill us. . . We have only two choices. Human lives end in death. We must either carry it and or it will carry us and if that be the case, if we allow that we are not worthy of His life and sacrifice for us.
And another passage:
Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. (23) But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offense unto me: for thou savorest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. (24) Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
It is interesting that Jesus is saying this to Peter, the one who very shortly after denied Him. To deny yourself is to renounce yourself, to forsake your allegiance with your flesh, to repent from your sinful ways, to take charge of them and become one who follows the path of Christ. To become one who follows Him on that path which led to the hill of Calvary. . .
All of this is contained in the symbolism of the cross, but when your and my crosses are considered, they are private matters. Ours are generic crosses. The Cross of Jesus is exclusively His trademark (note the capitalization). He rightfully has sole ownership of that symbol. Just consider, is then my association with the cross an infringement of His trademark? Does not Jesus exclusively own the Cross? Surely as we have explored in this article, symbols are important. They have great value and should be highly prized. For example by my wearing a cross pin on my shirt to identify myself as a Christian when I pray on the streets of Elkhart, am I not misusing the sign of Jesus? I don't think it a moot point. When the people I meet think of the Cross they should not think of Dave Stokely. The sacrifice of Jesus is the only thing that should come to their minds, for any other association is a dilution of the power and uniqueness of His Sacrifice. . .From this point forward, no cross will be found upon my shirt pocket, I can bear the cross for no man. I have scarcely the strength to carry my own. No man can look to my cross for salvation. There is a Christian symbol by which I can be known. I can certainly display the emblem of a fish. . .I will henceforth take that as my trademark, for I am a fisherman. . .
I love you my God. . .
I love you my Lord. . .
The Cross is Yours. . .
and Yours alone. . .
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Tonight Terry Wallin, Terry Heath, and I walked and prayed in the Middlebury Street neighborhood. We met Terry Heath through his girlfriend earlier this summer. One evening in June, we prayed with her. She was very upset and during our prayers she began greatly weeping. Melissa gave her a big hug. She just poured out her heart in Melissa's arms. We cut short our walk and took her out to the county jail to visit her boyfriend, Terry. He is now out of jail. Terry, Glenda and their children were at church Sunday. We anointed and prayed with them at the altar. Terry greatly desires to give something back to God's kingdom, that has done so much for him. He plans to be with us every time we go out on the streets praying.
We had a wonderful night. I repeat myself again and again, but we prayed with so many people. Tonight we had a very memorable happening. A house on the north side of Middlebury Street, like so many houses, appearing to be vacant, no signs of life around it, no bikes in the driveway, no skateboards on the sidewalk, no lights on in the windows. . .apparently another wasted flier. . .We see so many laying in the weeds, ruined by the wind and the rain and the dew. . .
Tonight we were handing out my usual weekly flier, Bible verse cards (II Corinthians 5:17), and a little tract that Terry gets from World Missionary Press in New Paris called, "Help from Above." Click on the link to go to a page to read the little tract. They are wonderful. We often give them out. You can get them by the case for free (a donation is requested, but not required).
Anyway, we left a flier on the doorknob and placed one of the little tracts on the stoop and walked away. We were a good ways down the sidewalk when a man came out, called down the sidewalk to us, "What is this?", as he held the World Missionary Press tract waving it in his hand. I was expecting some kind of negative response. I said something like, "The Word of God." Terry said to me, "We've got to go talk to this guy." I don't know if I've ever seen Terry move so quickly. He very rapidly did a U-turn with the wagon and went back to the fellow's stoop. He couldn't read the fine printing on the tract, so Terry read some of the verses for him. You could smell alcohol on his breath. He was not drunk, but he had been drinking. He told us that he has been watching us for months. He said, that each week he sees us through the blinds on his front porch window, dropping off our fliers and cards and tracts. Tonight he had to talk to us. He felt compelled. He knows that he needs God. His life is a shambles. He's lost his wife. . . his children. . .his home. . . his health. . . he still has a very good job, but he is at the bottom of the barrel. He is addicted to drugs and continually drinks. He is drunk and/or high every day. Everyone tells him to try God. . . he's been through all kinds of treatment programs, counseling. . . and on and on. His mind now is filled with thoughts of suicide. . .He wonders if he's beyond fixing. He knows that God is his only hope. Terry and I talked to him for a long time. We anointed him and prayed with him twice and prayed over a prayer cloth for him. He was very intensly emotional. He just sat there slowly reading the Bible verse card out loud, with a glimmer of hope in his voice. . . "all things are made new. . . all things are made new. . . all things are made new. . ." He clutched the little card so tightly in his hand. . .as a lifeline for him. . .He said he couldn't get those words out of his mind. . . He greatly requests our prayers. He will be to church with us. . .His wife still loves him and will take him back if he can change his ways. . .Terry and I told him a little about ourselves. . . we told him of our deliverances from alcohol, drugs, tobacco, . . . from sin in general. . .He listened with tears coming down his cheeks. . .
Just another stoop. . .
Just another wasted flier. . .
Just another broken down desolate house. . .
Just another evening on Middlebury Street. . .
How wrong I was. . .
Just another opportunity for God to move in a mighty way. . .
I love you my Lord. . .
I love you my God. . .
Sunday, September 7, 2008
I recently took a business trip to Canada. I go there several times a year. On my drives I keep a book of Scriptures that I found at a resale shop on the dashboard of the car, "Personal Promises from God's Word." It is small leather bound book of Bible verses arranged by category. On my trip, I have about 8 hours behind the wheel. I love this time alone with God. I don't listen to the radio. I don't often have a CD in the player. I talk to God and I take scriptures from my little book and I meditate upon them, for mile upon mile down the highway I chew upon the manna from God. . .The drive passes very quickly. I eagerly anticipate every opportunity I have for such extended period of communing with God. . . no distractions, no interruptions. . . no need to hurry. . .
This trip I spent much time pondering this verse:
2 Corinthians 12:9
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
This idea of grace, I do not know many things. I am very new to Christ. This lack of knowledge of mine can be both a disadvantage and it can also be a positive. I do not have a lifetime of assumptions based upon the teaching or maybe assumptions and traditions of others that I must unlearn. I don't have preconceived notions about things. I did not attend Sunday School as a child. I must learn purposefully, with greater effort as an adult. There is so much I do not know. I love to learn of Biblical concepts by looking at the context of the word usage in the Bible. Grace is one concept that I've heard used over and over again, but I really have only a murky idea about in my mind. How is it used in the Bible?
The first occurrence of a word in the Bible is usually significant. Following is the first usage (Hebrew) in the Old Testament followed by the first usage (Greek) in the New Testament:
Strong's Hebrew 2580
And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. (7) And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. (8) But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. (9) These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
This is how the Hebrew word is translated and the number of times in the KJV
well favored 1
Strong's Greek 5485
And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, (27) To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. (28) And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. (29) And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. (30) And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. (31) And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
This is how the Greek word is translated and the number of times in the KJV
This Greek word, with one exception (James 1:11 ) is the only word translated as 'grace' in the New Testament. Similarly the Hebrew word, with minor exceptions, is the only word translated as 'grace' in the Old Testament. These words must be the key to our understanding of the Grace of God. . .
How very fascinating, in the book of Genesis, in the Old Testament, Noah was the first to find grace. . . In the book of Luke, in the New Testament, Mary was the first to find favor, or as otherwise translated, Grace in the eyes of God. . .I never saw this association before, but both Noah and Mary are inextricably involved with the Salvation of Man. . .Salvation comes only from God, but God used Noah and Mary to carry, to create the vehicles of salvation. . .
This is a rich vein to mine. . .
The salvation which came by way of Noah, the salvation of the vessel of the ark, was built by the hands a man, a just and perfect man, but a man nonetheless. Wood and pitch and undoubtedly various other unspecified materials went into the making of the ark. Men and animals entered into the ark, but it is never recorded that the Spirit of God entered into that place of salvation. The ark offered a miserable salvation, a salvation of the flesh. The world before and after the ark, were little different from one another. The salvation of the ark showed that even a fresh start, wiping the slate clean and beginning anew without the Spirit of God, really accomplished nothing much of any consequence. Only the number of the world's sins diminished for a time due to there being fewer people, but the severity of the world's sinful nature did not change much at all. This salvation did not give the saved power over sin, but created within the world a dependence for the continued killing of animals without blemish, the shedding of innocent blood for the payment of the endlessly recurring sins. There had to be a better way. . .
By contrast, the salvation which came by way of Mary, the salvation of the vessel of Mary's, the vessel of her womb was built by God, being virginal and never touched by man, never entered into by man, but filled with the Holy Spirit, now combined with the ovum of Mary, which could not pass along the sin of Adam. . . the fruit of that union, the fruit of that Salvation, the fruit of that Spirit building and doing its work within that virginal vessel:
. . .the fruit of the Spirit is .is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. . .against such there is no law. This was a salvation of the Spirit and soul of man by the power of the Spirit of God. Is there any better description of Jesus than those descriptive words of the fruit of the Spirit??? . . . love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith meekness, temperance. . . isn't that exactly what Jesus was? Against such there is no Law. . .The fruit of the Spirit is outside of the law. . .There is today and there was then, no power of the Mosaic Law over the fruit of Mary's womb. . .Jesus was outside of the Law. The salvation of Mary's womb represented such a dramatic departure from what the world had received from the ark. The world with its fleshly eyes, was unable to recognize it for what it was.
In your mind, assign hues to those wonderfully rich and vivid attributes of the fruit of the Spirit, again I repeat them: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, assign each a color across the spectrum of the goodness rainbow. All these hues combined together, equal the intense white light of grace. Leave one hue out and it is no longer purely white light. God's grace toward us is His undeserved acceptance of us, with all of our imperfections. His grace is the sum of all those attributes combined. They must all be present in equal amounts. Any single one of the fruits of the spirit omitted by Him would not result in grace. Choose one. Leave love out of God's acceptance of us or leave His joy in us out, leave out longsuffering or gentleness or goodness. Leave out His faith in us. Leave out His meekness or temperance toward us and you no longer have the pure white light of grace. . .
A rainbow is light split into its component colors. . . No one looking at a rainbow would ever guess that the origin of those beautiful colors was simply pure white light. . .This is no earthly palette, we speak of here, where mixed colors create muddy brown, but in the spectrum of light, all colors combined create white. . . the unimaginable purity and whiteness of grace. . .That is what the first rainbow of the flooded earth pointed to. In all its beauty, it was still a shadow of something more beautiful to come. It pointed to another promise. . . a promise of the grace to come in a more perfect salvation. . .
I love you my God. . .
I love you my Lord. . .
Thank you God
for your acceptance. . .
Thank you God
for your grace each day. . .