Love For A Friend

This speaks to all the tragic devasation in Texas.. Laying down your life for a friend. Praying for all involved❤

Although the story of Saul is tragic, narrating the slow descent of a man who seemed to start off his reign so well, Saul’s legacy nevertheless includes one very bright point: his son Jonathan. Jonathan’s life, however, also involves tragedy, since the sins of Jonathan’s father, Saul, have meant that Jonathan himself would never become king over Israel. Nevertheless, Jonathan’s deep humility and integrity leads him to pledge eagerly to David all the support he can offer here in 1 Samuel 20.

The critical background information to understand the friendship between David and Jonathan is found in 1 Samuel 18, where we first read that David and Jonathan loved each other with the deepest of friendship, so that their souls were knit together (1 Sam. 18:1). There, we find that Jonathan, despite being the prince of Israel and the heir apparent to the throne of Israel, nevertheless swore a covenant with David out of his deep love for his friend (1 Sam. 18:3).

Here in 1 Samuel 20, the two friends not only renew their covenant (1 Sam. 20:16), but Jonathan pledges to protect David from the wrath of Saul once again. What is interesting, though, is that Jonathan demands in return that David pledge to protect Jonathan’s house (that is, his family) in the event that Jonathan will die. Jonathan seems to understand that for David to become the next king, Jonathan might die. This is not a source of bitterness for Jonathan but a source of joy, so that Jonathan prays, “May the LORD take vengeance on David’s enemies” (1 Sam. 20:16) when he makes his covenant with David.

It is obvious to us that David’s story foreshadows the story of Jesus, since Jesus is the Son of David and since the New Testament explicitly draws many comparisons between the events of David’s life and those of Jesus’. But, we should not allow David to eclipse the glory of Jonathan in foreshadowing Jesus as well. In Jonathan, we see a prince willing to die to uphold the covenant God has sworn to David and to protect David from the wrath of his own father—and all of this happens even though Jonathan is the rightful heir to the throne of Israel. In Jonathan, then, we see an uncommon level of humility—the same kind of humility modeled by Jesus Christ himself, “who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant…becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil. 2:6–8).

Therefore, let us have the same mind—that is, the same mind of humility modeled by Jonathan and ultimately by Jesus himself—among ourselves, looking not to our own interests but to the interests of others (Phil. 2:4).

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Cathey Lynn

The Great I AM

John 6:66 “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.”

From what time is being discussed here? From the time He said they must eat of His flesh and drink of His blood.

In the natural, this does seem to be like being a cannibal, but Jesus had already told them that they must worship in spirit. This great number of followers of Jesus who had just wanted to make Him king and ruler of all Israel, now suddenly leave Him.

The language indicates that the abandonment was decisive and final.

They really did not have the love of God in their hearts. They wanted a great warrior to lead them against Rome. They followed them in His power. They wanted no part in His weakness.

They were like people in our churches today, who just look at the words and not at the meaning of the Word. It is impossible to follow Jesus in the flesh. We must follow Jesus Christ by our spirit.

John 6:67 “Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?”

Here is the first mention of the twelve in John’s gospel. Only five of them have been named thus far: John, Andrew, Peter, Philip and Nathanael. Perhaps this is John’s account of the confession of Simon Peter at Caesarea Philippi.
When things get really hard to do, many will give up and go home. This is just what these disciples did who was not of the twelve.
In the seventh chapter of Judges, we read of a man about to do battle with the enemy of God. Thirty-two thousand men came to take up arms, but God told Gideon to send all of the fearful and all who were not prepared for battle home. Only 300 out of the 32,000 men stayed to do God’s battle.
That is what happened above. The mass of disciples left and the twelve remained. God does not get the glory when it is possible for us to win a battle on our own. God gets the glory when an impossible (in the flesh), job is to be done and God brings the impossibility into being.
These twelve had seen the multitude fed, seen blind eyes opened, seen the lame to walk. Is all of this not proof enough that He is Messiah? Are they like the others, so void of understanding the spiritual meaning of what He had said?
He had taught these twelve to look beyond the physical, or literal, and see the hidden message. He had taught them how to interpret parables, and those lessons were a look into the spiritual.
Jesus says to them “Can you not trust me?” This one percent of true followers, seen in the Gideon lesson, is about the way in most Christians today. Only about one in one hundred are willing to face ridicule from their friends and family to live the kind of separated life Jesus our Lord requires of us, if we are to truly be His.

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@wearywithsorrow

Cathey Lynn

Taken Aside by Jesus


And he took him aside from the multitude (Mark 7:33).
Paul not only stood the tests in Christian activity, but in the solitude of captivity. You may stand the strain of the most intense labor, coupled with severe suffering, and yet break down utterly when laid aside from all religious activities; when forced into close confinement in some prison house.

That noble bird, soaring the highest above the clouds and enduring the longest flights, sinks into despair when in a cage where it is forced to beat its helpless wings against its prison bars. You have seen the great eagle languish in its narrow cell with bowed head and drooping wings. What a picture of the sorrow of inactivity.

Paul in prison. That was another side of life. Do you want to see how he takes it? I see him looking out over the top of his prison wall and over the heads of his enemies. I see him write a document and sign his name–not the prisoner of Festus, nor of Caesar; not the victim of the Sanhedrin; but the–“prisoner of the Lord.” He saw only the hand of God in it all. To him the prison becomes a palace. Its corridors ring with shouts of triumphant praise and joy.

Restrained from the missionary work he loved so well, he now built a new pulpit–a new witness stand–and from that place of bondage come some of the sweetest and most helpful ministries of Christian liberty. What precious messages of light come from those dark shadows of captivity.

Think of the long train of imprisoned saints who have followed in Paul’s wake. For twelve long years Bunyan’s lips were silenced in Bedford jail. It was there that he did the greatest and best work of his life. There he wrote the book that has been read next to the Bible. He says, “I was at home in prison and I sat me down and wrote, and wrote, for joy did make me write.” The wonderful dream of that long night has lighted the pathway of millions of weary pilgrims.

That sweet-spirited French lady, Madam Guyon, lay long between prison walls. Like some caged birds that sing the sweeter for their confinement, the music of her soul has gone out far beyond the dungeon walls and scattered the desolation of many drooping hearts.

Oh, the heavenly consolation that has poured forth from places of solitude!

Taken aside by Jesus,
To feel the touch of His hand;
To rest for a while in the shadow
Of the Rock in a weary land.
Taken aside by Jesus,
In the loneliness dark and drear,
Where no other comfort may reach me,
Than His voice to my heart so dear.
Taken aside by Jesus,
To be quite alone with Him,
To hear His wonderful tones of love
‘Mid the silence and shadows dim.
Taken aside by Jesus,
Shall I shrink from the desert place;
When I hear as I never heard before,
And see Him ‘face to face’?

Myhopeisinthee.WordPress.com

Cathey Lynn

Shut Up To Faith

  • Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; (Gal. 3:23).

God, in olden time suffered man to be kept in ward by the law that he might learn the more excellent way of faith. For by the law he would see God’s holy standard and by the law he would see his own utter helplessness; then he would be glad to learn God’s way of faith.

God still shuts us up to faith. Our natures, our circumstances, trials, disappointments, all serve to shut us up and keep us in ward till we see that the only way out is God’s way of faith. Moses tried by self-effort, by personal influence, even by violence, to bring about the deliverance of his people. God had to shut him up forty years in the wilderness before he was prepared for God’s work.

Paul and Silas were bidden of God to preach the Gospel in Europe. They landed and proceeded to Philippi. They were flogged, they were shut up in prison, their feet were put fast in the stocks. They were shut up to faith. They trusted God. They sang praises to Him in the darkest hour, and God wrought deliverance and salvation.

John was banished to the Isle of Patmos. He was shut up to faith. Had he not been so shut up, he would never have seen such glorious visions of faith.

Have you had some great disappointment, have you met some sorrow, some unspeakable loss? Are you in a hard place? I know I have. We should praise God. This means we are shut up to faith. We need to take our troubles the right way. Commit it to God. Praise Him that He maketh “all things work together for good,” Romans 8:28, and that “God worketh for him that waiteth for him.” Isaiah 64: 1-4. There will be blessings, help and revelations of God that will come to us that never could otherwise have come; and many besides yourself will receive great light and blessing because we were shut up to faith.

 

Great things are done when men and mountains meet,
These are not done by jostling in the street.

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Cathey Lynn

What Do Angels Look Like


Many people often wonder what angels look like.
The Bible doesn’t tell us exactly what angels look like; in fact, they often are invisible to us, because they are spiritual beings who seldom take on any physical appearance.

At times, however, they do become visible. When the prophet Isaiah was given a vision of God’s majesty and glory, His throne was surrounded by angels. They were similar in appearance to humans, with faces and feet, but they also had wings and could fly (see Isaiah 6:1-3). When the angel announced Jesus’ birth to the shepherds outside Bethlehem, the Bible says that “the glory of the Lord shone around them” (Luke 2:9). On the other hand, angels sometimes took the appearance of ordinary men, and were only recognized as angels later (see, for example, Genesis 19).

God created the angels before the beginning of time, and they had one purpose: to be God’s servants. Today, angels watch continually over God’s people, to deliver them from evil and safeguard their entrance into heaven. We may not even think about them very much or realize their importance, but they still watch over us—and we should thank God for them. The Bible says, “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14).

The angels’ work on our behalf should remind us of God’s love for us. At the same time, we are not to worship the angels or give undue attention to them. Christ alone is our Savior, and He alone is the One to whom we should look for our salvation. We must put your faith and trust in Him

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Cathey Lynn

Flowers That Grow In Gloom

I have all, and abound (Phil. 4:18).
In a garden book there is a chapter with a very interesting heading, “Flowers that Grow in the Gloom.” It deals with those patches in a garden which never catch the sunlight. And my guide tells me the sort of flowers which are not afraid of these dingy corners–may rather like them and flourish in them.

And there are similar things in the world of the spirit. They come out when material circumstances become stern and severe. They grow in the gloom. How can we otherwise explain some of the experiences of the Apostle Paul?

Here he is in captivity at Rome. The supreme mission of his life appears to be broken. But it is just in this besetting dinginess that flowers begin to show their faces in bright and fascinating glory. He may have seen them before, growing in the open road, but never as they now appeared in incomparable strength and beauty. Words of promise opened out their treasures as he had never seen them before.

Among those treasures were such wonderful things as the grace of Christ, the love of Christ, the joy and peace of Christ; and it seemed as though they needed an “encircling gloom” to draw out their secret and their inner glory. At any rate the realm of gloom became the home of revelation, and Paul began to realize as never before the range and wealth of his spiritual inheritance.

Who has not known men and women who, when they arrive at seasons of gloom and solitude, put on strength and hopefulness like a robe? You may imprison such folk where you please; but you shut up their treasure with them. You cannot shut it out. You may make their material lot a desert, but “the wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose.”

 

“Every flower, even the fairest, has its shadow beneath it as it basks in the sunlight.”

Where there is much light there is also much shade.

Thank you Lord for the strength you give us in times when we are in darkness, knowing your peace and love always has victory.

myhopeisinthee.wordpress.com

Cathey Lynn

Prayers of Elijah


Elijah learned to be completely dependent on God.

Elijah was in hiding from the evil King Ahab. He had no way to meet his own needs. He was completely at the mercy of God himself, doing his best to walk in obedience. And God, Jehovah Jireh, provided as only He can.

Even when the brook dried up, Elijah had no need to fear. His source of provision dried up, but His God’s faithfulness didn’t. He went to the widow of Zarephath, completely convinced of God’s faithfulness to provide for his needs. And, as before, God did what only He could do.

2. Elijah prayed boldly for God-sized miracles.

“Elijah the prophet walked up to the altar and prayed, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, prove today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant. Prove that I have done all this at your command. Immediately the fire of the Lord flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up all the water in the trench!” 1 Kings 18:36, 38

Elijah was bold. He asked with incredible faith, believing that God was able. And, without fail, God answered those audacious prayers. He poured out His power repeatedly, giving Elijah opportunity to proclaim God’s greatness.

3. Elijah’s prayers pointed the world back to God.

O Lord, answer me! Answer me so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God and that you have brought them back to yourself.” 1 Kings 18:37

Yes, Elijah called down fire from heaven to consume the water and the sacrifices not for his own glory, but so others would know that Yahweh is God and there is no other God in heaven or earth. Elijah’s prayers were about pointing the world back to God.

4. Elijah prayed fervently until he saw the answer.

Elijah had prayed the drought into existence. Now, it was time for the drought to end. He began to petition the God of the universe for rain. Not a little rain, but enough rain to quench the thirst of the land. He asked. No response. He asked again. Still no response. Seven times he asked and sent his servant to look for an answer. He prayed expecting an answer.

Finally, after seven times, a small cloud began to form. Even just a small indication that God had heard his prayer was enough. He knew a small cloud indicated God was moving in response to his prayers. And, God did exactly what he asked. He ended the drought. He sent rain on the land.

Elijah prayed through until he received an answer.

We must remember that it is God’s faithfulness that we are calling on, his character. It’s about a God who longs to connect with us, to help us in our time of need. We must have faith that He is willing and able to do far more than we could ever ask or imagine.

We must remember prayer is about ordinary people calling on an Omnipotent God.
Cathey Lynn

Days of Heaven Upon Earth

He went out, not knowing whither he went (Hebrews 11:8).
It is faith without sight. When we can see, it is not faith, but reasoning. If crossing the Atlantic we observed this very principle of faith. We see no path upon the sea, nor sign of the shore. And yet day by day we were marking our path upon the chart as exactly as if there had followed us a great chalk line upon the sea. And when we come within twenty miles of land, we know where we were are exactly as if we had seen it all three thousand miles ahead.

How had we measured and marked our course? Day by day the captain had taken his instruments and, looking up to the sky, had fixed his course by the sun. He was sailing by the heavenly, not the earthly lights.

So faith looks up and sails on, by God’s great Sun, not seeing one shore line or earthly lighthouse or path upon the way. Often its steps seem to lead into utter uncertainty, and even darkness and disaster; but He opens the way, and often makes such midnight hours the very gates of day.

Let us go forth this day, not knowing, but trusting

“Too many of us want to see our way through before starting new enterprises. If we could and did, from whence would come the development of our Christian graces? Faith, hope and love cannot be plucked from trees, like ripe apples. After the words ‘In the beginning’ comes the word ‘God’! The first step turns the key into God’s power-house, and it is not only true that God helps those who help themselves, but He also helps those who cannot help themselves. You can depend upon Him every time.”

“Waiting on God brings us to our journey’s end quicker than our feet.”

The opportunity is often lost by deliberation.
Cathey Lynn

 

 

The Evil One

Matthew 4: 8-9

Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; (9) And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

Satan’s power is over all the nations of the earth. That could be very frightening when we realize he can influence men in such a way that they are not even aware that they are being influenced toward evil. His power is so extensive that he is over all the nations of the earth. Jesus calls him the ruler of this world (John 14:30). He affects people’s attitudes by moving our reasoning processes toward satisfaction of the self. He gives disinformation and stirs up our spirit.

Here is what is so perverse about this: It is not evil for one to take care of himself. What is evil is to make the satisfaction of the self more important than God or others. We are to serve God before all else (the great commandment), and the second is like it—we are on an equal par with others physically. Nowhere are we given the right or privilege by God to make ourselves greater than or more important than God or other human beings.

We can imagine the direction Satan is going to move us toward—to the point that satisfaction of the self becomes more important than conforming to what God says is the limit of our authority. In other words, he will push us toward making ourselves greater or more important than righteousness or truth
Cathey Lynn

Prayer—Battle in “The Secret Place”


When you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. —Matthew 6:6
Jesus did not say, “Dream about your Father who is in the secret place,” but He said, “…pray to your Father who is in the secret place….” Prayer is an effort of the will. After we have entered our secret place and shut the door, the most difficult thing to do is to pray. We cannot seem to get our minds into good working order, and the first thing we have to fight is wandering thoughts. The great battle in private prayer is overcoming this problem of our idle and wandering thinking. We have to learn to discipline our minds and concentrate on willful, deliberate prayer.

We must have a specially selected place for prayer, but once we get there this plague of wandering thoughts begins, as we begin to think to ourselves, “This needs to be done, and I have to do that today.” Jesus says to “shut your door.” Having a secret stillness before God means deliberately shutting the door on our emotions and remembering Him. God is in secret, and He sees us from “the secret place”— He does not see us as other people do, or as we see ourselves. When we truly live in “the secret place,” it becomes impossible for us to doubt God. We become more sure of Him than of anyone or anything else. Enter into “the secret place,” and you will find that God was right in the middle of your everyday circumstances all the time. Get into the habit of dealing with God about everything. Unless you learn to open the door of your life completely and let God in from your first waking moment of each new day, you will be working on the wrong level throughout the day. But if you will swing the door of your life fully open and “pray to your Father who is in the secret place,” every public thing in your life will be marked with the lasting imprint of the presence of God.
Cathey Lynn