The Mizpah Coin (Guess Blogger)

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But it was also called Mizpah (which means “watchtower”), for Laban said, “May the LORD keep watch between us to make sure that we keep this covenant when we are out of each other’s sight. Genesis 31:49

I have always liked these necklaces, I even had a mezzuzah on the door until the sun faded it, though I am not Jewish or Messianic, but grafted in through Jesus. I have a Catholic miracle medallion, and a necklace with water from Lourdes. My faith is not in these objects but in Jesus, they are not talismans or charms but reminders, they don’t make miracles, He does and love does.

The Mizpah coin uses the verse from Genesis, it is Laban’s covenant with Jacob, who was to work seven years from Rachel to be his bride, it was like no time because he loved her. But while apparently Jacob kept his part of the bargain, Laban deceived him with a well veiled bride, Leah, and it was seven more years for Rachel. Jacob goes on to deceive his father.

The Bible is full of covenants and promises, and while there grace in the beginning and a repentant Abraham who has lied ends up rich, and Jacob ends up with sons that become the twelve tribes of Israel, they made a lot of sacrifices. And the day of Atonement covered sin once a year.

The Ten Commandments were given because they wanted to follow them, anything God could command they said. And they could not, they starting breaking them right away. Thankfully, Jesus gave us a better covenant and promises, and like God, He cannot lie and keeps them, even if we don’t always, we are back under grace.

Paul even calls the commandments the ministry of death, and the era of grace with Jesus, the ministry of the Spirit, how much more should we be blessed, favored, healed and protected. The Holy Spirit is in us as believers to teach and guide and settle us in the one commandment given by Jesus to love, then we are not breaking all the others, but if we sin we have and advocate, He is our High Priest on the Day of Atonement, and really year round. His sacrifice was once and for all.

Whether you have a Mizpah coin or not, He is watching to see that you are keeping covenant, like marriage, business deals, ministry. He knows your heart and what you are keeping or neglecting and is there to help. I’m so glad he keeps His word even if we don’t always, whether by commission, or omission.

Mizpah was also a place where intercession was made and a rock was placed there. The Old Testament is full of altars, you can create your own in your home. I used to have a Bible displayed and a nice set of golden cups and a decanter for Communion. I still have a beautiful lion, lamb and dove painting over the mantle, and one called the Invitation, with a dinner table. Some things I have had to move at times because of children.

I even decorated my Victorian Christmas tree, with crowns, crosses, keys, ( to the kingdom ) and angels, family photos and lots of things, doves and feathers, anything to remind me of the reason for the season, maybe, I can add some Judaica, I scaled down Christmas for a while but it might be back bigger and better. You can scroll back to July and see that I’m ready. Hanukkah coins, made of chocolate are called gelt and given to children as gifts. The Hebrew word for coin is matbea, mat bayh ah. Ancient coins were called zuz or zuzzim, and the phrase piece of money would have been silver.

Jesus even mad a point of a lost coin in a parable and sent Peter to get a coin from a fish’s mouth to pay taxes, He mentions widow’s mites, and once had to clear the temple of the money changers, and was betrayed for thirty pieces of silver, so you see, coins are significant and not just tokens or so called good luck pieces, I don’t believe in luck, I believe in love. Look at all the coins that have bee found in the sea, they are considered treasure, Jesus is our and we are His, I hope this story is a reminder that He keeps His covenant, and watches while He is apart from us, though He is ever present by His Spirit.

Whatever traditions, jewelry, statuary, paintings or even baubles, whatever the meaning to you, It is important not to just remember the keepsake, but the sentiment and the promise, to keep covenants and promises. God holds them in high esteem, even with grace, it is sacred to Him, intimate, like a marriage vow or wedding ring. May He watch between us until you visit me again. Rebecca Jones / public domain

Thank You Rebecca for you blog post you can read more of Rebecca’s writings at adaughtersgiftoflove.wordpress.com

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Come Into The Light (Guess Blogger)

Good Morning Everyone I would like to take this opportunity to introduce to you Don Merritt:

Don Merritt (that’s me) is just a regular guy who has had a half-century of living life. I’ve had experiences that are quite normal and typical… and some that are less common. I’ve been busy for a long time in activities that range from politics to writing to running a business I am finished ghost-writing for others and writing things from a purely technical point of view; it’s my turn to write about the things that are really important in life: God, hope, faith, understanding and encouragement for others. It’s my hope to do so in a way that you will find interesting, unusual and non-threatening… and at the same time challenging.

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This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

1 John 1:5-7

Earlier we looked at the introduction to this letter, and here, we enter the first section of the letter which begins at verse 5 and continues through 2:14. This section is given context in verse 5: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. Thus, this section is all about John’s declaration of light versus darkness, and it contains comparisons and contrasts.
Before we take a look at it, keep in mind what John wrote in John 1:4 “In him was life, and that life was the light of men.” All through the Gospel story, John used “light” as signifying the presence of Jesus, contrasted with “darkness” denoting His absence. Keeping this in mind, let’s take a look at our text. After proclaiming that God is light, John gets down to his explanation claiming that if we claim to be in fellowship with God, but walk in darkness, we lie, and are not in the truth. This is a rather easy statement to understand, for if we are in darkness, then we aren’t in His presence, and if we aren’t in His presence, we couldn’t possibly be in fellowship: There is no half-way.

The contrast is that if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship… because we are with Him in the light. If we have this fellowship in the light of His presence and truth, then His blood purifies us from all sin. The reality of the statement is that we can’t be in fellowship with Him until our sins have been forgiven by His sacrifice on the cross.
Sometimes, we may walk a ways in darkness, and by this I mean that we may stray from time-to-time. John doesn’t suggest that our errors kick us out of fellowship as we will see a little farther through this text, but that there is a way to return to the light of His presence, by confessing our sins., as we see in the next paragraph:

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
1 John 1:8-10
I think we all would agree that a claim by any one of us to have never sinned would be little short of crazy. John seems to think it’s worse than that− all have sinned, but take heart, for there is a way out, confess your sins and He will forgive; this is our covenant promise. There is simply no need for us to wring our hands and carry around a burden of guilt and shame before God, for when we confess our sins (acknowledge them) He will forgive; we have His Word on that.

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No Compromise

Matthew 6c.pngOur God is a holy God, and He makes no compromise with sin, He doesn’t tolerate it at all! In this day and age, even the idea of punishment is becoming outdated. Children must not be punished anymore because it infringes on their personal right. But sin remains sin before God and we pay a high price for it. Now the sinful human grabs at straws. Is God not merciful? He is after all, love. But He is also just and holy! We must not play His holiness off against His love. Of course God is merciful, The fact that we are alive is proof of God’s mercy. But His love is by no means weak, it is strong and holy. It gives much but also demands much. God is merciful, but God is also just! God is just, but God is also merciful! Do you see the difference between the two concepts? Come with me to Golgotha, there the impossible became possible! There the tension was broken when Jesus was broken. Their righteousness and mercy flowed into one.

Jesus had to die for the sake of God’s righteousness. He paid the highest price so that we, the rebels, could be set free. He endured God’s wrath that we could experience His love. He was forsaken against by God so that we could know God, never to be forsaken again. He carried our curse so that we might be showered with blessings. The message of Golgotha is: God is righteous! God is Love! That is why Jesus teaches us to pray, “Forgive us our trespass, or sins or some Christians may say debts, it all means the same, we have all sin and have fallen short of the Glory of God. But through God’s love that he sent His one and only son Jesus into this world to die for all sinners (all of mankind) so that we will never be separated from God.

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Grace and Peace to You My Friends

The Heart of Worship

 

Romans 6.pngIn the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourselves to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and offer every part of yourselves to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.      Romans 6:11-14

The heart of worship is surrender. Surrender is an unpopular word, disliked almost as much as the word submission. It implies losing, and no one wants to be a loser. Surrender evokes the unpleasant imagines of admitting defeat in battle, forfeiting a game, or yielding to a stronger opponent. The word is almost always used in a negative context. In today’s world we are taught early in our lives to never give up, or never give in. so we don’t hear much about surrendering. If winning is every thing (like in sports), surrendering is just unthinkable. We would rather talk about winning, succeeding, overcoming, and conquering than yielding, submitting, obeying and surrendering. But to surrendering to God is the heart of worship. It is the natural response to God’s amazing love and mercy. WE give ourselves to him, not out of fear or duty, but in love, “because he first loved us”. True worship bringing God pleasure–happens when you give yourselves completely to God.  Offering yourselves to God is what worship is all about. This act of personal surrender is called many things, consecration, making Jesus your Lord, taking up your cross, dying to self, God wants all of you, not just part of you, he wants all of you. Everybody eventually surrenders to something or someone. If not to God, you will surrender to the opinions or expectations of others, to money, to resentment, to dear, or to your own pride, lusts or ego. You were designed to worship God, and if you fail to worship him, you will create other things (idols) to give your life to. You are free to choose what you surrender to, but you are not free from the consequences of that choice. If God is going to do his deepest work in you, it will begin with this. So give it all to God, your past regrets, your present problems, your future ambitions, your fears, dreams, weaknesses, habits, hurts, and hang-ups. Put Jesus Christ in the driver’s seat of your life and take your hands off the steering wheel. Don’t be afraid, nothing under his control can ever be out of control. Mastered by Christ, you can handle anything. I can do all things thru Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

 

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

 

God Does Listens

Psalm 66a.pngCome and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. I cried out to him with my mouth, his praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened, but God surely listened and he has heard my prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love for me!

Psalm 66:16-20

So many times someone ask why do you bother with praying to a God who does not seem to care. Oh my friend you are so far from the truth, God does hear all the prayers, the big ones, the quiet ones upon our hearts, the ones we seems to do through all of our tears, and even the little ones from a child, God does hear them all. Just think for a moment that you and I are able to go to God of the universe with all of our problems with all of our cares, and dreams, and even with our frustration and he does listen. But please don’t take this awesome prayer privilege for granted! Don’t let foolish arrogance step in either, making you act as if you are doing God a favor by spending time with him, remember he knows your heart even better you do and he will know if you do come to him with a willing a heart, to prayer, the to listened for the right answer because he does know what is best for all of his children and then we simply Praise Him for who he is, the God of the Universes the “Great I Am” The best antidote to such foolishness is recognizing it and repenting of it. The we need to remember who he truly is, The King of King and Lord of Lord, Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is also our shepherd, tenderly leading you and me step by step through out our lives. Always remember how precious that you are to him, and even when things get difficult for you or me we need to remember to always Praise Him, why you may ask because he is worthy of our praises and because you and I are a child of the Most High King.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

A New Heart

Ezekiel 36.pngI will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.                     Ezekiel 36:26

Therefore if any person is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here!                                                     2 Corinthians 5:17

 

Jesus tells us to come just as we are with all of our short comings, and he will give us a new heart and put a new spirit within you and me. He is aware of the many little different things that may changes the beauty of our hearts. He wants us to Trust him to do what we are unable to do, remove the stony bits one by one. Do not expect this work in you or me to be painless. Heart surgery is serious, and it always involves pain. Many of the hard things you have experienced were, unknown to him. Jesus skillful operations on our heart. When we go through those very difficult times we need to look up to him with a smile and thank him for the renewal that he is working within us. This act of faith does not instantly stop you or me from suffering, but it does lend meaning to our pain. Marvel at the wonder of being a new creation grafted into Jesus–the Messiah. You and me are forever set free from the condemning law of sin and death. I can rejoice in this glorious truth even while I am suffering because I am not alone. Since God our Creator of all that is, and has made me in his image, I have a wealth of creative powers within me. I need to strive to look at my situation from a fresh perspective, eager to collaborate with Christ as he is making those necessary changes within me and even you. Through God the Lord of the universe, he desire to work in partnership with us. As we say yes to this sacred adventure, I know that in time I will become the person that God have design me to be as I continue to Praise the “Great I Am”

 

Grace and Peace to you My Friends

Jesus at the Temple

Temple 3.pngAs we continue to read in the gospel of Matthew 21:12-17, Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches ,of those selling doves. Jesus in the temple 2It is written, he said to them. “My house will be called a house of prayer, “but you are making it a den of robbers. The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts,” Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant, Do you hear what these children are saying? they asked him. “Yes replied Jesus, “have you never read, From the lips of children and infants you, Lord have called forth your praise. And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany where he spent the night.

The chief priests never understood what Jesus was teaching to his disciples as well as of us today. God’s house today, the church, have we turn our church into something other than what God had intended his children to do. Even today too many still don’t or even care to understand the teaching of Jesus. His church should be a place where we can go to worship and Praise Him, as well as a place for us to pray and meditate as long as we choose to, and more important I truly believe that the doors to the building of God’s church should always remain open to invite all to come in and pray. Many also believe that our body is a temple where God lives inside once we invite him in as a new Christian.  However if you think of it that God dwells in all of us, what have we turn our temple into, is a place for too many secrets, God knows them already, our temple is also a place where our thoughts are not pure thoughts, and the evil than dwells in humans to cause sin lives inside of us all. Jesus wants us all to change overtime, to become more like him, by loving one another, and by caring for another human being. As we look around in our world today yes there is too much sin, but each person can change if they choose to, remember God did give us all free will to live here on earth. God’s house is a house of prayer, let us start today there and pray for peace on earth, and pray God’s will be done in all of our lives.

 

Grace and Peace to you my friends