“Glory To The Lamb Jesus”/Isaiah 55, “Invitation To The Thirsty,” cont’d

Christian Living

“Emmanuel,” Norman Hutchins 

“I Just Can’t Stop Praising His Name,”  Keith Pringle

“I Told The Storm,” Greg O’Quin ‘N Joyful Noize 

“Invitation To The Thirsty,” cont’d, Isaiah 55:6) SEEK YE THE LORD WHILE HE MAY BE FOUND, CALL YE UPON HIM WHILE HE IS NEAR:  Hebrew 3:13.  7) Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts:  and let him Return Unto The Lord, And HE Will Have Mercy Upon him; And To Our God, For HE Will Abundantly Pardon.  8) For My Thoughts Are Not Your Thoughts, Neither Are Your Ways My Ways, Saith The Lord.  9) For As The Heavens Are Higher Than The Earth, So Are My Ways Higher Than Your Ways, And My Thoughts Than Your Thoughts.  10) For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from Heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater.  11) 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.  

Nelson’s Compact Bible Commentary – v6, 7, To Seek The Lord Is To Seek His Word (Amos 5:6, 14; Acts 17:27).  v8, 9, God’s Gracious Thoughts Exceed All Human Imagination (64:4; Romans 11;33; 1 Corinthians 2:9; Ephesians 3:20).  No Man Can Fathom The Depths Of His Wisdom.  v10, 11, God’s Word Like Rainfall Produces Fruit (Psalm 147:15-20).  Just as water enlivens a withering rose, God’s Word Produces Life In The Hearts Of Sinners.  v12, The Singing Of The Elements Of Creation Is A Way Of Describing The Singing Of God’s People.  The Rejoicing Of The People At The Lord’s Salvation Will Be So Full That It Will Seem That Mountains, Hills, And Trees Join In The Chorus And Applause (14:7, 8; 44:23).  v13, Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree:  This Symbolizes The Replacement Of Judgment With Salvation.  Everlasting Sign recalls the rainbow after the Flood.  (19:20; Genesis 9:8-17).

Quest Study Bible – v11, “My Word,”  During Isaiah’s Lifetime, God’s People Primarily Heard The Word Of God Through His Prophets–An Oral Word.  After The Exile, They Came To Think More And More Of The Written Word Of The Lord, The Scriptures.  Thus, They Became Known As The People Of “The Book.”  v11, “In What Sense Does God’s Word Not Fail—Even When People Reject It?”  Like a sovereign king in an ancient culture, The Lord Can Achieve His Purposes By Issuing Decrees And Giving Orders.  His Plans Are Mysterious To Human Beings, Too High For Us To Understand (v. 9).  It Stands To Reason Then That God Does Not Need Human Beings To Accomplish His Purpose.  His Word Alone Is Enough.  v13, “How will nature Praise God?”   This may be figurative language to describe the breadth Of The New Order That God Will Create.  Chapter 54 Speaks Of God’s People Being Restored.  Chapter 55 Is Broader In Scope, Encompassing All Of Creation.  The fallen world, trapped under the curse of human sin, will be set free–no more thorns or briers (Genesis 3:17-18; Romans 8:19-20).  Even Now, Nature Testifies To The Glory Of God (Psalm 19:1), But Nothing Like What Will Take Place In The New World.

Matthew Henry’s Concise Bible Commentary – v6-13, Here Is A Gracious Offer Of Pardon, And Peace, And Of All Happiness.  It shall Not Be In Vain To Seek God, Now His Word Is Calling To Us, And His Spirit Is Striving With Us.  But There Is A Day Coming When He Will Not Be Found.  There May Come Such A Time In This Life; It Is Certain That At Death And Judgment The Door Will Be Shut.  There Must Be Not Only A Change Of The Way, But A Change Of The Mind.  We Must Alter Our Judgments About Persons And Things.  IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO BREAK OFF FROM EVIL PRACTICES, WE MUST STRIVE AGAINST EVIL THOUGHTS.  TO REPENT IS TO RETURN TO OUR LORD, AGAINST WHOM WE HAVE REBELLED.  If We Do So, God Will Multiply To Pardon, As We Have Multiplied To Offend.  But Let None Trifle With (Treat With Disrespect) This Plenteous Mercy , Or Use It As An Occasion To Sin.  Men’s Thoughts Concerning Sin, Christ, And Holiness, Concerning This Would And The Other, Vastly Differ From God’s; But (Only) In The Matter Of Pardon.  We Forgive, And Cannot Forget, BUT WHEN GOD FORGIVES SIN, HE REMEMBERS IT NO MORE.  THE POWER OF HIS WORD IN THE KINGDOMS OF PROVIDENCE (HIS DIVINE WILL) AND GRACE, IS AS CERTAIN AS IN THAT OF NATURE.  Sacred Truth Produces A Spiritual Change In The Mind Of Men.  It Shall Not Return To The Lord Without Producing Important Effects.  IF WE TAKE A SPECIAL VIEW OF THE CHURCH, WE SHALL FIND WHAT GREAT THINGS GOD HAS DONE, AND WILL DO FOR IT.  The Jews Shall Come To Their Own Land, This Shall Represent The Blessings Promised.  Gospel Grace Will make A Great Change In men.  Delivered From The Wrath To Come, The Converted Sinner Finds Peace In his Conscience, And Love Constrains Him To Devote himself TO THE SERVICE OF HIS REDEEMER.  Instead Of Being Profane, Contentious (Quarrelsome), Selfish, Or Sensual, Behold Him Patient, Humble, Kind, And Peaceable.  The Hope Of Helping In Such A Work Should Urge Us To Spread The Gospel Of Salvation.  And Do Thou Help Us, O Spirit Of All Truth, To Have Such Views Of The Fullness, Freeness, And Greatness Of THE RICH MERCY IN CHRIST, AS MAY REMOVE FROM US ALL NARROW VIEWS OF SOVEREIGN GRACE.  Amen.  

“Glory To The Lamb Jesus”/Isaiah 55, “Invitation To The Thirsty”

Christian Living

“Emmanuel,” Norman Hutchins 

“I Just Can’t Stop Praising His Name,”  Keith Pringle

“Invitation To The Thirsty,”  Isaiah 55:1) Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.  John 7:37.  2) Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread?  and you labour for that which satisfieth not?  Hearken Diligently Unto Me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.  3) Incline Your Ear, And Come Unto Me:  Hear, And Your Soul Shall Live; And I Will Make An Everlasting Covenant With You, Even The Sure Mercies Of David.  4) Behold, I Have Given Him For A Witness To The People, A Leader And Commander To The People.  5) Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee Because Of The Lord Thy God, And For The Holy One Of Israel; For He Hath Glorified Thee.  Ephesians 2:11, 12.

 Nelson’s Compact Bible Commentary – v1, 2, Ho, is an exclamation of pity.  Thirst’s is a metaphor (used to refer to another) for desiring what satisfies a person’s Spirit (41:17; 44:3).  Waters is a metaphor for the Enjoyment Of Salvation In God (John 4:10-14).  Wine and Milk are symbols of complete satisfaction (v. 2).  You have no money … buy Expresses That Salvation Is A Free Gift For Those That Desire It.  v3, Incline your ear and Hear are synonyms (meaning the same) for Come To Me.  The Everlasting Covenant (54:10) refers to the Davidic Covenant and to The New Covenant.  The Sure Mercies Of David Are God’s Promises Of An Eternal Offspring, Throne, And Kingdom (2 Samuel 7:12-16).  The Pronoun Me Includes The Servant Of The Lord, Jesus The Messiah.  (48:16; 61;1).   v4, 5, God’s Fulfillment Of The Promises To The House Of David Serves As A Witness To The Nations (43:10; 12; 44:8).  Jesus Christ Is A Leader … For The People (42:6; 49:6; Daniel 9:25; Hebrews 2:10; 12:2).

Quest Study Bible – v1, “How can we buy without money?”  If a merchant were to set the price of wine, milk and bread at zero, then the poor that have no money could buy it.  The merchant’s work would be unprofitable, but his generosity would help the poor.  This Is A Picture In Material Terms Of What The Lord Has Done Spiritually For His People.  v3, “Why was another Covenant necessary?”   God Made (And Sometimes Renewed) With His People Through Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David And Others.  Some Were Conditional And Could Be Cancelled If God’s People Failed To Live Up To Them (Deuteronomy 6:1-19).  Others Were Unconditional (2 Samuel 7:1-16).  Jesus Christ Fulfilled God’s Promise To David That His Descendant Would Rule Forever.  Israel had broken The Covenant Given Through Moses But A New Covenant Was Given—JESUS CHRIST, Described By Isaiah As THE EVERLASTING COVENANT—To Allow Them To Once Again Become God’s People (Jeremiah 31:31; 1 Corinthians 11:25).  v5, “How Did God Give His People Splendor?”  Typically nations that were conquered and taken into captivity lost their national identity forever.  They would be assimilated into other peoples and simply disappear as a distinct people.  God Gave Splendor To Israel By (1) Preserving Its National And Religious Identity While In Exile And (2) Returning Them To Jerusalem After Humiliation At The Hands Of The Babylonians.  God’s People Would Once Again Be Able To Hold Their Heads High.

Matthew Henry’s Concise Bible Commentary – v1-5, All Are Welcome To The Blessing’s Of Salvation, To Whom Those Blessing’s Are Welcome.  In Christ There Is Enough For All, And Enough For Each.  Those Satisfied With The World, That See No Need Of Christ, Do Not Thirst.  They Are In No Uneasiness About Their Souls;  But Where God Gives Grace, He Gives A Thirst After It; And Where He Has Given A Thirst After It, He Will Give It.  COME TO CHRIST, For He Is The Fountain Opened, He Is The Rock Smitten (Struck).  Come To Holy Ordinances, To The Streams That Make Glad The City Of Our God.  COME TO THE HEALING WATERS, COME TO THE LIVING WATERS, Revelation 22:17.  Our Saviour Referred To This, John 7:37.  Come, And Buy; Make It Your Own By Application Of The Grace Of The Gospel To Yourselves.  Come, And Eat; Make It Still More Your Own, And Enjoy It.  The World Comes Short Of Our Expectations; We Promise Ourselves, At Least, Water In It, AND WE ARE DISAPPOINTED; But Christ Out-Does Our Expectations.  We Come To Him, And We Find Wine And Milk.  The Gifts Offered To Us Are Such As No Price Can Be Set Upon.  THE THINGS OFFERED ARE ALREADY PAID FOR; FOR CHRIST PURCHASED THEM AT THE FULL PRICE OF HIS OWN BLOOD, 1 Peter 1:19.  Our Wants Are Beyond Number, And We Have Nothing To Supply Them; If Christ And Heaven Are Ours, We See Ourselves For Ever Indebted To Free Grace.  Hearken (Listen) Diligently; Let The Proud Heart Stoop; Not Only Come, But Accept God’s Offers.  All The Wealth And Pleasure In The World, Will Not Yield Solid Comfort And Content To The Soul.  They Do Not Satisfy Even The Appetites of The Body; For All Is Vanity And Vexation.  Let The Disappointments We Meet With In The World, Help To Drive Us To Christ, And To Seek For Satisfaction In Him Only.  THEN, AND NOT BEFORE, WE SHALL FIND REST FOR OUR SOULS.  Hear, And Your Soul Shall Live.  On What Easy Terms Is Happiness Offered Us!  By The Sure Mercies Of David, We Are To Understand The Messiah.  All His Mercies Are Covenant Mercies; They Are Purchased By Him, They Are Promised In Him, And Out Of His Hand They Are Dispensed To Us.  WE KNOW NOT HOW TO FIND THE WAY TO THE WATERS, BUT CHRIST IS GIVEN TO BE A LEADER, A COMMANDER, TO SHOW US WHAT TO DO, AND ENABLE US TO DO IT.  OUR BUSINESS IS TO OBEY HIM, AND FOLLOW HIM.  AND THERE IS NO COMING TO THE FATHER BUT BY HIM.  He Is The Holy One Of Israel, True To His Promises; And He (GOD) Has Promised To Glorify Christ, By Giving Him The Heathen For His Inheritance.  Amen.  

“Glory To The Lamb Jesus”/Revelation 5, “THE SCROLL AND THE LAMB,” cont’d

Christian Living

“What A Friend We Have In Jesus”

Lamb a young sheep.  Lambs formed an important part of almost every Old Testament Sacrifice (Numbers 6:14; Leviticus 4:32; Exodus 29:38-41).  A non-resisting Sacrificial Lamb Symbolized The Promised Messiah (Isaiah 53:7), and John calls Jesus “Lamb Of God” (John 1:29).  This Symbolism occurs also in Revelation 5:12; 7:9; 19:7; 22:1).  Christ Is Called The Christian’s Passover In 1 Corinthians 5:7.

“THE SCROLL AND THE LAMB,” cont’d, Revelation 5:8) And When HE Had Taken The Book, The Four Beasts And Four And Twenty Elders Fell Down Before THE LAMB, Having Every One Of Them Harps, And Golden Vials Full Of Odours, Which Are The Prayers Of Saints.  Psalm 141:2.  9) And They Sung A New Song, Saying THOU ART WORTHY TO TAKE THE BOOK, AND TO OPEN THE SEALS THEREOF: FOR THOU WAS SLAIN, AND HAST REDEEMED US TO GOD BY THY BLOOD Out Of Every Kindred, And Tongue, And People, And Nation;  10) And Hast Made Us Unto Our GOD Kings And Priests:  And We Shall Reign On The Earth.  11) And I Beheld, And I Heard The Voice Of Many Angels Round About The Throne And The Beasts And The Elders:  And The Number Of Them Was Ten Thousand Times Ten Thousand, And Thousands Of Thousands;  Psalm 68:17; Daniel 7:10; Hebrews 12:22.  12) Saying With A Loud Voice, WORTHY IS THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN TO RECEIVE POWER, AND RICHES, AND WISDOM, AND STRENGTH, AND HONOUR, AND GLORY, AND BLESSING.  13) And Every Creature Which Is In Heaven, And On The Earth, And Under The Earth, And Such As Are In The Sea, And All That Are In Them, Heard I Saying, Blessing, And Honour, And Glory, And Power, BE UNTO HIM THAT SITTETH ON THE THRONE, AND UNTO THE LAMB FOR EVER AND EVER.  Ephesians 3:21.  14) And The Four Beasts Said, Amen.  And The Four And Twenty Elders Fell Down And WORSHIPPED HIM THAT LIVETH FOR EVER AND EVER.  Hallelujah! 

Nelson’s Compact Bible Commentary – v8, The Prayers Of The Saints (Believers) held in Golden Bowls Are Used In Worshiping The Lamb.  v9-10, The New Song Celebrates The Redemptive Work Of The Son As The Basis Of His Right To Judge.  Divine Rule Has Its Basis In Divine Creation (ch. 4) And Redemption.  v11-14, Blessing And Honor And Glory And Power:  Every creature, that is all creation, Shouted Praise To The Lamb, Fulfilling The Decree That “Every Tongue Should (Shall) Confess That Jesus Christ Is Lord (Philippians 2:11).  

Quest Study Bible – chs. 5-10, “What are these Objects all about?”  The contents suggest that the Scrolls (5:1; 10:2) are concerned with future events.  The Seals, Trumpets and Thunders may be seen as part of the Scrolls Contents.  Each of the Seven-fold Series seems to lead us to the end of the world.  How do They fit together?  John is not a chronologist so, for example, the Trumpets do not necessarily follow the Seals in strict chronological order.  It may help to see John as an artist or musician.  If his “musical theme” is the end of the world, then each series (Seals, Trumpets, Thunders) is a “variation” that adds to the Composition.  Each One heightens and intensifies the Final, Climactic Confrontation Between God And The Forces of Evil.  It is the Theological Message, not a strict chronology, that really counts.  The Seals remind us that evil exists only By Permission From God.  The Trumpets Call People To Repentance.  The Thunders Emphasize God’s Judgment (8:5).

Quest Study Bible – v11-14, “Why Does God Need Or Want So Much Praise?”  See “Why Is It Necessary To Praise God So Much?”  (4:9-10).  Revelation 4:9) And when those Beasts Give Glory and Honour And Thanks To Him That Sat On The Throne, Who Liveth For Ever And Ever, 10) The four and twenty Elders Fall Down Before Him That Sat On The Throne, And Worship Him That Liveth Forever And Ever, And Cast Their Crowns Before The Throne, saying,  11) Thou Art Worthy, O Lord, To Receive Glory And Honour And Power:  For Thou Hast Created All Things, And For Thy Pleasure They Are And Were Created.  Amen.

Matthew Henry’s Concise Bible Commentary – v8-14, It Is A Matter Of Joy To All The World, To See That God Deals With Men In Grace And Mercy Through The Redeemer.  He Governs The World, Not Merely As The Creator, But As Our Saviour.  The Harps Were Instruments Of Praise; The Vials Were Full Of Odors, Or Incense, Which Signify The Prayers Of The Saints:  Prayer And Praise Should Always Go Together.  Christ Has Redeemed His People From The Bondage Of Sin, Guilt And Satan.  He Has Not Only Purchased Liberty For Them, But The Highest Honor And Preferment:  He Made Them Kings And Priests; Kings To Rule Over Their Own Spirits, And To Overcome The World, AND THE EVIL ONE; And He Makes Them Priests; Giving Them Access To Himself, And Liberty To Offer Up Spiritual Sacrifices.  What Words Can More Fully Declare That Christ Is, And Ought To Be Worshiped, Equally With The Father, By All Creatures, To All Eternity!  Happy (Are) Those Who Shall Adore And Worship In Heaven, AND WHO SHALL FOREVER BLESS THE LAMB, WHO DELIVERED AND SET THEM APART FOR HIMSELF BY HIS BLOOD.  How Worthy Art Thou, O God, Father, Son, And Holy Ghost, Of Our Highest Praises!  ALL CREATURES SHOULD PROCLAIM THY GREATNESS, AND ADORE THY MAJESTY.  Amen.   

“Glory To The Lamb Jesus”/Revelation 5, “THE SCROLL AND THE LAMB”

Christian Living

“What A Friend We Have In Jesus”

Lamb a young sheep.  Lambs formed an important part of almost every Old Testament Sacrifice (Numbers 6:14; Leviticus 4:32; Exodus 29:38-41).  A non-resisting Sacrificial Lamb Symbolized The Promised Messiah (Isaiah 53:7), and John calls Jesus “Lamb Of God” (John 1:29).  This Symbolism occurs also in Revelation 5:12; 7:9; 19:7; 22:1).  Christ Is Called The Christian’s Passover In 1 Corinthians 5:7.

“THE SCROLL AND THE LAMB,” Revelation 5:1) And I Saw In The Right Hand Of HIM That Sat On The Throne A Book Written Within And On The Backside, Sealed With Seven Seals.  Isaiah 29:11; Daniel 12:4.  2) And I Saw A Strong Angel Proclaiming With A Loud Voice, Who Is Worthy To Open The Book, And To Loose The Seals Thereof?  3) And No Man In Heaven, Nor In Earth, Neither Under The Earth, Was Able To Open The Book, Neither To Look Thereon.  John 1:18.  4) And I Wept Much, Because No Man Was Found Worthy To Open And To Read The Book, Neither To Look Thereon.  5) And One Of The Elders Saith Unto Me, Weep Not:  Behold, THE LION Of The Tribe Of Juda, The Root Of David, Hath Prevailed To Open The Book, And To Loose The Seven Seals Thereof.  Romans 5:12.  6) And I Beheld, And, Lo, In The Midst Of The Throne And Of The Four Beasts, And In The Midst Of The Elders, STOOD A LAMB AS IT HAD BEEN SLAIN, HAVING SEVEN HORNS AND SEVEN EYES, WHICH ARE THE SEVEN SPIRITS OF GOD SENT FORTH INTO ALL THE EARTH.  Zechariah 3:9.  7) And HE Came And Took The Book Out Of The Right Hand Of HIM That Sat Upon The Throne.

Nelson’s Compact Bible Commentary – v1, A Scroll … Sealed With Seven Seals cannot be read until all the Seals are opened.  The Scroll Contains The Judgment And Redemption Seen In Later Chapters.  It May Also Be The Scroll That Was Sealed In Daniel 12:4.  v2-4, No one was found worthy to Open The Seals On The Scroll In God’s Hand.   v5, The Lion Of The Tribe Of Judah (see Genesis 49:8-10) and The Root Of David (see Isaiah 11:1, 10) Are Messianic Titles For Jesus Christ.  v6, The Lamb That Had Been Slain Is Christ, Whom John The Baptist Called “The Lamb Of God Who Takes Away The Sin Of The World” (John 1:29).   v7, The Reception Of The Scroll From The Father Demonstrates That Judgment And Authority Over The Earth Is Committed To The Son (see Daniel 7:13, 14).  The Scroll Is Likely The Same One Sealed By Daniel (see Daniel 12:9).

Quest Study Bible – chs. 5-10, “What are these Objects all about?”  The contents suggest that the Scrolls (5:1; 10:2) are concerned with future events.  The Seals, Trumpets and Thunders may be seen as part of the Scrolls Contents.  Each of the Seven-fold Series seems to lead us to the end of the world.  How do They fit together?  John is not a chronologist so, for example, the Trumpets do not necessarily follow the Seals in strict chronological order.  It may help to see John as an artist or musician.  If his “musical theme” is the end of the world, then each series (Seals, Trumpets, Thunders) is a “variation” that adds to the Composition.  Each One heightens and intensifies the Final, Climactic Confrontation Between God And The Forces of Evil.  It is the Theological Message, not a strict chronology, that really counts.  The Seals remind us that evil exists only By Permission From God.  The Trumpets Call People To Repentance.  The Thunders Emphasize God’s Judgment (8:5).  v5, “What is this Scroll?”  Many theories have been offered for the particular kind of Document being described here.  Some say It is a Contract, others a Certificate of Debt, others a Deed and still others a Will.  But what seems clear is that The Scroll Contains The Record Of God’s Judgments, Long Since Made, But Now To Be Enacted.  Only Christ Is Worthy To Open And Enact Those Judgments.  v5-6, “Why Is The Lion Also A Lamb?”  The Figurative Language Here Combines Numerous Images From Both The Old And New Testaments To Indicate Christ’s Ultimate Triumph.  The Lion Of The Tribe Of Judah is taken from Genesis 49:9; The Root Of David alludes to references in Isaiah 11:10 and The Lamb Is A Frequent Symbol As In John 1:29.  All Are Biblical Symbols For The Expected Messiah, Each Capturing A Different Aspect Of His Nature And His Reign.  Though Slain, He Has Gained Victory And The Seven Horns Symbolize His Strength.  The Seven Eyes Symbolize That He Sees And Knows All (Zechariah 4:10).  v6, “Seven Spirits,”  See Seven Spirits (4:5).

Matthew Henry’s Concise Bible Commentary – v1-7, The Apostle Saw In The Hand Of Him That Sat Upon The Throne, A Roll Of Parchment In The Form Usual In Those Times, And Sealed With Seven Seals.  This Represented The Secret Purposes Of God About To Be Revealed.  The Designs And Methods Of Divine Providence, Toward The Church And The World, Are Stated, Fixed, And Made A Matter Of Record.  The Counsels Of God Are Altogether Hidden From The Eye And Understanding Of The Creature.  The Several Parts Are Not Unsealed And Opened At Once, But After Each Other, Till The Whole Mystery Of God’s Council And Conduct Is Finished In The World.  The Creatures Cannot Open It, Nor Read It; THE LORD ONLY CAN DO SO.  Those Who See Most Of God, Are Most Desirous To See More; And Those Who Have Seen His Glory, Desire To Know His Will.  But Even Good Men May Be Too Eager And Hasty To Look Into The Mysteries Of The Divine Conduct.  Such Desires, If Not Soon Answered, Turn To Grief And Sorrow.  If John Wept Much Because He Could Not Look Into The Book Of God’s Decrees, (Then) Many Have (Reason) To Shed Floods Of Tears For Their Ignorance Of The Gospel Of Christ!  THAT ON WHICH EVERLASTING SALVATION DEPENDS!  We Need Not Weep That We Cannot See Foresee Future Events Respecting Ourselves In This World; The Eager Expectation Of Future Good Prospects, Or The Foresight Of Future Calamities, Would Unfit Us For Present Duties And Conflicts, Or Render Our Prosperous Days Distressing.  Yet We May Desire To Learn, From The Promises And Prophecies Of Scripture, What Will Be The Final Event To Believers And To The Church; And The Incarnate Son (God In Human Form) Has Prevailed, That We Should Learn All That We Need To Know. Christ Stands As Mediator Between God And Both Ministers And People.  He Is Called A Lion, But He Appears As A Lamb Slain.  HE APPEARS WITH THE MARKS OF HIS SUFFERINGS, TO SHOW THAT HE PLEADS FOR US IN HEAVEN, IN VIRTUE (HIGH MORAL STANDARDS).  He Appears As A Lamb, Having Seven Horns And Seven Eyes; PERFECT POWER TO EXECUTE ALL THE WILL OF GOD, AND PERFECT WISDOM TO UNDERSTAND IT,  AND TO DO IT IN THE MOST EFFECTUAL MANNER.  The Father Put The Book Of His Eternal Counsels Into The Hand Of Christ, And Christ Readily And Gladly Took It Into His Hand; FOR HE DELIGHTS TO MAKE KNOWN THE WILL OF HIS FATHER; AND THE HOLY SPIRIT IS GIVEN BY HIM (JESUS) TO REVEAL THE TRUTH AND WILL OF GOD.  Amen.   

“Glory To The Lamb Jesus”/”The Best Marriage Advice I’ve Ever Heard,” IV

Christian Living

TCW

Today’s Christian Woman

The Best Marriage Advice I’ve Ever Heard

. . . and 3 tips for conquering conflict

The Bible tells us that Christ is the forgiveness of sins. What a statement full of action and intentional love! Jesus taught us to pray by asking that the Father would forgive us according to the same measure we forgive each other. If God can turn his heart toward us, with deep love and compassion, how can we choose to relay anything less? Instead, we must love and forgive in a way that reflects God’s heart toward his children, and in a way that demonstrates how we would like to be forgiven. If we ask God to change us, and if we choose to be purposeful about this act of forgiveness, I am confident that not only will our hearts be changed but that we will also meet Jesus in new and beautiful ways.

Cara Joyner is a writer, mother, and graduate student working toward her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She is actively involved in her local church with the college and worship ministries, and she writes at www.CaraJoyner.com.

“Glory To The Lamb Jesus”/”The Best Marriage Advice I’ve Ever Heard,” III

Christian Living

TCW

Today’s Christian Woman

The Best Marriage Advice I’ve Ever Heard

. . . and 3 tips for conquering conflict

Why does it feel good? Why do I want to stay mad at my husband? There are likely a dozen reasons that could be suggested, but here is my honest assessment based on my own heart. When I’m mad at my husband, I feel superior. Somewhere in the recesses of my mind, I try to convince myself that I am right because I am better. I deserve to stay mad and he deserves the discomfort of sitting with that. It is an ugly lie of self-righteousness that my heart buys into; and it keeps me from loving my husband well.

From this place, we forgive. Without condition or manipulation, setting aside our pride, we extend to each other the sweet grace that we have received.

God offers us forgiveness as a measure of pure grace. While we were still separated from him, full of sin, he poured out his love and made a way for forgiveness through Christ on the Cross. From this place, we forgive. Without condition or manipulation, setting aside our pride, we extend to each other the sweet grace that we have received.

Three tips for getting started

The next time you and your husband find yourself in the midst of conflict, remember the following:

1. Know when to call it. Have you reached the point where discussion is no longer beneficial? Are you too tired or emotional to clearly communicate with and understand each other? Perhaps it is time to call it. If it is important to continue the conversation, set a time to come back together and talk. If it is better to walk away, do so completely, leaving all bitterness and resentment on the table.

2. Say “no” to a passive-aggressive battle. Nobody wins in an argument your partner is not even aware you are having. Withholding affection, turning a cold shoulder, casting the silent treatment, and engaging in unloving conversations about your husband when he isn’t around all drive you away from your spouse. In the end, you will only become more frustrated and nothing will be resolved.

3.Carefully consider if this is a time for silence, (*Pick and choose your battles). If we choose to delve into a serious conversation every time our husbands say or do something off-putting, we will run our relationships into the ground. Perhaps this is a time for silence. Maybe it is better to reserve your thoughts for a day or two. If you still feel the same way, you will have had time to clarify what you want to communicate, or you may find in the wait that it doesn’t warrant a conversation at all.

*This person’s opinion

“Glory To The Lamb Jesus”/”The Best Marriage Advice I’ve Ever Heard,” cont’d

Christian Living

TCW

Today’s Christian Woman

The Best Marriage Advice I’ve Ever Heard

. . . and 3 tips for conquering conflict
In Scripture we find that forgiveness is an action made in the midst of negative feelings, making it a beautiful expression of love.

When we only forgive in the absence of painful emotions, its meaning is lost. If we wait to stop feeling angry, we rob forgiveness of its value. In contrast, when we say with vulnerable honesty, “I am hurt, I love you, and I forgive you,” our relationships grow in depth and strength.

Choosing to quickly forgive shouldn’t be mistaken with pretending we aren’t disappointed or upset. It is not an excuse to ignore problems or to refuse to take responsibility for unhealthy patterns within our marriages. Instead, it puts conflict within boundaries. It provides a space to work things out and it refuses to let the issue infect the rest of the relationship. Choosing to quickly forgive recognizes the point at which it is time to move forward. It means that we do not withhold affection or kindness from our spouses as a form of passive-aggressive resentment. We do not sulk or complain to our friends. It means that even if sorting through a problem takes months of hard work, we will continue to love each other well in the midst of that work. We will not wait until we “feel like it” before we choose to extend grace. It means that in the heat of the moment, we breathe deeply and remember how we have been forgiven through the Cross.

Why forgiveness matters

Scripture offers of a picture of forgiveness that is intentional. Multiple times it instructs us to make mending broken relationships a priority, urging us to stop other activities in order to address conflict. It is in the lingering that damage occurs. Withholding forgiveness until we feel better becomes poison in our marriages; and it looks nothing like the love we have been shown.

This is one of those moments when loving someone is hard. Perhaps we believe we are right. Maybe he has not apologized, or he apologized quickly and we had little time to fester. Maybe we doubt that he truly understood our reasons for being upset, or we don’t want to admit that we might be wrong. And at the end of the day, being mad feels good.

“Glory To The Lamb Jesus”/”The Best Marriage Advice I’ve Ever Heard”

Christian Living

TCW

Today’s Christian Woman

The Best Marriage Advice I’ve Ever Heard

. . . and 3 tips for conquering conflict
The Best Marriage Advice I've Ever Heard

You hear a lot of advice before you get married.

“Keep a date night.”

“Never go to bed angry.”

“Make your relationship the first priority.”

“Don’t walk out during an argument.”

Veteran couples further down the road look back on young newlyweds and offer insight for the challenges ahead. Of all the counsel my husband and I received leading up to our wedding day, one thought has proven to be the most challenging and transformative, and it came from my father-in-law.

A gifted pastor and teacher, he was the only person we could imagine officiating our wedding. During the final preparations for the ceremony, we sat across a table from him in a small restaurant to discuss the details: who was responsible for what, when would everyone arrive, which verses had we chosen to use and who would be reading them… Somewhere between the end of our meal and the waitress returning a receipt to be signed, we asked him what advice he had for us. He paused, smiled, and looked down for a moment to thoughtfully consider his response. His eyes shot back up and looked directly at us as he simply said, “Forgive quickly.”

Becoming “one” is about more than sex. It requires a level of vulnerability that opens the door for deep hurt.

I had enough self-awareness on that day to know this would not come easily to me. If there were ever a place where I would feel justified to harbor bitterness and keep a tab on the ways I had been wronged, it would be within marriage. Where else would I share such a wide array of intimate moments with one person? Space, money, parenting responsibilities, highs, lows, personal time, a bed . . . Becoming “one” is about more than sex. It requires a level of vulnerability that opens the door for deep hurt; and letting go of those wounds was going to require more change than I would like to submit to.

What forgiveness means

“When you forgive someone, you stop feeling angry.” To my surprise, the Webster definition also speaks to a change in feelings preceding the act of forgiveness—a far cry from the biblical depiction. Rather, in Scripture we find that forgiveness is an action made in the midst of negative feelings, making it a beautiful expression of love.

“Glory To The Lamb Jesus”/”Your Husband Can’t Make You Happy”

Christian Living

TCW

Today’s Christian Woman

“Your Husband Can’t Make You Happy”

That’s because happiness is based on circumstances. Yet circumstances are the one part of our lives over which we have virtually no control. Even if “the pursuit of happiness” gives the impression of lacing up those running shoes and training for a marathon, it’s actually quite a passive endeavor. Since you can’t control circumstances, pursuing happiness means constantly scanning your surroundings to see if they make you happy. And as soon as you start doing that, you’ll find all the reasons why your circumstances don’t measure up.

God Never Intended Us To Be Passive. He made us to actively engage this world and to shine in it. So perhaps we need another route to happiness in marriage—one that is far more likely to get us to the finish line. And it starts not with fixing our husbands but with fixing our own hearts.

Pursue Joy

I think of happiness as quite distinct from joy or contentment. Joy looks upward, contentment looks inward, and happiness looks outward. Joy says, “How great is our God!” Contentment says, “It is well with my soul.” And happiness says, “All things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all.” But you can’t appreciate what’s outside of you until you’re at peace with what’s inside. And that requires focusing on God first.

Psalm 37:4 gives a similar roadmap: “Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart” (ESV). This doesn’t mean that when we delight ourselves in God He gives us everything we want; it means that when we delight ourselves in God, He actually changes what we want. Instead of saying, “I’ll be happy as soon as my husband ____________ (fill in the blank),” we start looking with Gratitude at what God has done for us. That makes us see our husbands with different eyes too.

Take Responsibility for Your Own Happiness

“Glory To The Lamb Jesus”/Introduction to “How To Have A Good Marriage,” cont’d

Christian Living

Introduction to “How To Have A Good Marriage,” cont’d 

However, Anything That The Lord Has Ordained Or Consecrated is seriously under attack by The Enemy, Satan.  It’s his purpose to Devour As Many of God’s People as possible, 1 Peter 5:8) Be self-controlled and alert.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  NIV.  And he is seeking to destroy the Holy Matrimonial Union between man and woman and the traditional Family Unit as a whole.  As Christians The Holy Scriptures Encourage Us,  James 1:17) Every Good And Perfect Gift Is From Above, Coming Down From The Father Of The Heavenly Lights, Who Does Not Change Like The Shifting Shadows.  And Matthew 19:4) “Haven’t You Read,” He (Jesus) Replied, “That At The Beginning The Creator ‘Made Them Male And Female,’ And Said, For This Reason A Man Will Leave His Father And Mother And Be United To His Wife, And The Two Will Become One Flesh?  6) So They Are No Longer Two, But One.  Therefore, What God Has Joined Together, Let Man Not Separate.  We Pray, Trust, Hope, And Believe In The God Of Our Salvation That We Not Loose Sight Of What God’s Will Is For Our Lives.  For Jesus Tells Us in John 16:33) “I Have Told You These Things, So That In Me You May Have Peace.  In This World You Will Have Trouble.  BUT TAKE HEART!  I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD.”  Amen.   And Ephesians 6:12) For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the Heavenly realms.  There will be hard times.  Times when we are tested, but The Blessings From Our Lord Are Worth Fighting For And We Do This With “The Love And Joy Of Our Salvation In Christ Jesus,” Knowing That He Is In Charge And Always Remembering  Romans 8:37) No, In All Things We Are More Than Conquerors Through Him Who Loved Us.  38) For I Am Convinced That Neither Death Nor Life, Neither Angels Nor Demons, Neither The Present Nor The Future, Nor Any Powers,  39) Neither Height Nor Depth, Nor Anything Else In All Creation, Will Be Able To Separate Us From The Love Of God That Is In Christ Jesus Our Lord.  Amen!  

Praise God.