Our Eternal Home

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My house is being remodeled and it’s quite frustrating. I haven’t had a kitchen for 6 weeks, my floors are ripped up and all day long I hear jackhammers, workers talking loud and so much dust.  Besides that, which is really nothing- when I refocus on the blessings God gives me each day, we recently went through a hurricane, we were happy to be one of the few who still had power but we didn’t have water and when we did it wasn’t safe.   Many were without power for weeks, others lost homes and still others are suffering on the islands, the Keys and Puerto Rico. When I consider their destruction and tragedy , I am silent, really…I have nothing to complain about.

After the hurricane I was praying to God, I told Him how frustrated I was because I felt like I didn’t have a home , but the Lord reminded me that this home on earth is only temporary. I opened up the bible and every day His Word spoke to me. This is what I opened up to the first day:

  2 Cor 5:  For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

Now I know this can also relate to our earthly body, not our literal house, but it had great impact on me on that moment. Even if my body fails and my house falls apart, I know that this is not my eternal home. God has prepared a place for me and you (John 14) not built by human hands. We have a perfect home in heaven that is being prepared. This home will never be destroyed.

Besides all this, God has given us His peace through Christ Jesus. Even in my dusty, noisy home, I can find peace and joy. Though storms, frustrations and fears come, God has given us a way to stand unshakable ( Jeremiah 17:7-8) in faith and filled with peace no matter what we face. There are times in life when it feels like we need to walk through the fire. It could be sickness, death, divorce or any other trauma or tragedy but you see….. this is not the end, eternity lies before us and this eternity is clothed with promises of peace for you because of God’s love for you.

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Philippians 4:8 tells us to fix our thoughts on what is true, noble, and worthy of praise. I can find peace when I refocus my thinking. Another verse in Romans 3:4-5 and also in James 1 tells us to rejoice in our troubles because they are good for us, they make us stronger and they also prepare us to help others who go through the same things we suffered through. There is another verse that tells us not to think it’s a strange thing when we are going through something difficult “ Beloved think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you “ 1 Peter 4:12

Why do bad and annoying things happen? There are many reasons and there at times, no reasons. If we look at examples in the bible we see bad things happen when we sin, when we lose our focus, just because we belong to Jesus, a test, or no reason- we don’t have all the answers. This past Sunday I heard Charles Stanley say sometimes things come our way in life to show us some sin in our life we need to deal with or to open our eyes to repentance in order to save our souls that we might live with the Lord forever.

We can find peace in our storm. We can find comfort and sometimes, we can find answers. Like the reggae song says, Everything’s going to be all right in Christ. Those word are true, He will never let you down.

Last year I was dealing with a lot of head pain after my 3 concussions. Sometimes I could feel fear, worry, anxiety and depression trying enter my space and it wasn’t easy fighting it off. It took a lot of persistence but in all that time, when I laid in bed in pain, I had this strangest feeling that there was truly protection around me. It’s almost as if I could see it spiritually, it looked like a biblical Sukkot tent that was put up over me and there was so much peace and protection. It seemed, like there were wooden sticks set up and a white lined cloth like a tent covering it, and I was in it. I can’t sense it there anymore, but when I felt so bad I thought I would die, it was suddenly up over me. I knew, as if knowledge was imparted to me, that I was in God’s care and I didn’t need to worry anymore.

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Well, I didn’t know this was going to lead to all this talk and completely got off subject, but here I am.

My point today is – we have another eternal home that will never be destroyed. This is wonderful and makes me happy just thinking about it.  This earth will one day pass away but every word of God will stand the test of eternal time. Death isn’t forever, like King David once said when his son died, “ he cannot come back to me, but I can go to him”. David knew death wasn’t the end, he was confident he would one day be reunited with his dead son. In another verse Jesus reminds us of God’s words – That He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob- Jesus said God is God of the living and not the dead.

Below are verses that God showed me that really spoke to my heart on my most frustrating of days. God showed me that He has a wonderful home for me and He truly loves each one of you. Trust Him and find His peace.

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2 Cor 5:  For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human handsMeanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwellingbecause when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him,whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart.13 If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

John 14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me.Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” 23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

28 “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. 30 I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, 31 but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me.“Come now; let us leave.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord WILL DELIVER YOU from them ALL Psalm 34

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I love to meditate and think about Psalm 34. There are so many promises and words of encouragement and hope. It’s a faith builder!

1-He will deliver you from all your fears! God doesn’t want you to worry or fear . Jesus even told us that in the last days when terrible things are about to come to the earth, He said – but don’t be troubled!.  If you are in dread or fear today, consider that there is a good chance they are unfounded and complete lies. Satan loves to fill people with fear  through lies

2- The Lord watches over you and Hears all your prayers and all your cries

3-The Lord  will save you from all your troubles.

4-His  angels have been sent to encamp around you. It’s true!

5-The Lord is near to those with a humble hear.

Photo from: http://www.causeforjoy.com

PSALM 34

I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
 My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
 Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.

 I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
 They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces were not ashamed.
 This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles.
 The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him,
And delivers them.

 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
 Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints!
There is no want to those who fear Him.
The young lions lack and suffer hunger;
But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.

Come, you children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Who is the man who desires life,
And loves many days, that he may see good?
Keep your tongue from evil,
And your lips from speaking deceit.
Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry.
The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all.
He guards all his bones;
Not one of them is broken.
Evil shall slay the wicked,
And those who hate the righteous shall be condemned.
The Lord redeems the soul of His servants,
And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.

 Behave!

BLESSED ARE THOSE WHOSE HOPE IS IN THE LORD. Cursed is the one who trusts in Man, they will not see prosperity when it comes. Do not follow the way of people, do not fear what they fear.

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Throughout the story of Moses and the Israelite’s, we find many lessons in trusting God. The Israelites complained and worried even though God miraculously saved them with mighty miracles. They easily forgot His power and ability to save them. Punishments for not trusting God ranged from plagues, death, war, sword, consumed by fire to the scariest ever – the ground swallowed them up (Numbers 16). Complaining and worrying is actually acting out in distrust to God.

Image result for phil 2:14In Numbers 14:28-35,  every complaint, worry and word of doom they spoke of, God made happen to them because they spoke it! Watch your words, don’t speak evil over yourself or anyone.

 So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say:  In this wilderness your bodies will fall—every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me.  Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.  As for your children that you said would be taken as plunder, I will bring them in to enjoy the land you have rejected.  But as for you, your bodies will fall in this wilderness.  Your children will be shepherds here for forty years, suffering for your unfaithfulness, until the last of your bodies lies in the wilderness For forty years—one year for each of the forty days you explored the land—you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.’  I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will surely do these things to this whole wicked community, which has banded together against me. They will meet their end in this wilderness; here they will die.”

The Israelites listened to an evil report and they believed it. God promised the people a new land but fear stuck the people and they didn’t trust God to carry out His promise.  Jeremiah 17 tells us that “CURSED IS THE ONE WHO TRUSTS IN MAN”. In Isaiah 8, the Lord tells Isaiah that he “is not to think like everyone else, do not fear what they fear nor dread what they dread, but instead fear the Lord God, it is He you should dread”. Cursed is the one who trusts in man………

Hear the Word of the Lord :

Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Proverbs 18:21

From the fruit of their lips people enjoy good things,  but the unfaithful have an appetite for violence.3 Those who guard their lips preserve their lives,  but those who speak rashly will come to ruin. Proverbs 13:3-4

Sometimes when we hear “trust in God” we think it simply means that we believe in Him, but it’s much more. It also involves our actions, our thoughts, our words and our motives. It also means not allowing yourself to worry about tomorrow. Trusting in God extends to our health, our finances, our home and our tomorrows.  I like the way Psalm 131 puts it

 My heart is not proud, Lord, my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters  or things too wonderful for me.
But I have calmed and quieted myself,
I am like a weaned child with its motherlike a weaned child I am content.

 There are times in our life when we are dealing with matters that are too great for us to bear. It is here were we can have the peace that surpasses all understanding (John 14:27 and Phil 4:7) because we have full faith that God knows our tomorrow. NO amount of worrying can change that. In fact, Jesus commanded us not to worry (Matthew 6:24). So don’t concern yourself with worrying about matters that are too great for you to bear, rest in the arms of your creator, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

When our world seems to be falling apart and the words of doom fill our heart and mind, we can easily feel hopeless. We are told not to trust in man’s words. Consider the Shumanite woman whose son died, there’s a true act of trust in God. Even thought her son was dead before her eyes, she fought on knowing to trust in her God.  There was a time that I felt like I had overwhelming troubles and I could see no hope ahead, I was listening to negative words around me. I cried out in my prayers to God about my situation and as I cried out to God, I saw a verse coming toward me out of the darkness.  It started off far away and so little that I didn’t know what it was, but as I watched these words come closer to me, I saw “Isaiah 51:12”

I, even I, am he who comforts you.   Who are you that you fear mere mortals,  human beings who are but grass,13 that you forget the Lord your Maker, who stretches out the heavens  and who lays the foundations of the earth,that you live in constant terror every day  because of the wrath of the oppressor, who is bent on destruction?For where is the wrath of the oppressor? The cowering prisoners will soon be set free;they will not die in their dungeon,  nor will they lack bread. For I am the Lord your God, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—the Lord Almighty is his name. I have put my words in your mouth  and covered you with the shadow of my hand—I who set the heavens in place,  who laid the foundations of the earth, and who say to Zion, ‘You are my people.’” Is. 51:12-16

 I immediately knew and understood that God did not want me listening to or believing bad reports of doom around me. God wanted me to trust in Him, He is the one I turn to, He is the One who comforts me. Why in the world would I fear man’s words – even if they make logical sense and seem right – when I have a great and mighty God who loves me and fights for me?  I needed to set my mind right. It’s easy to forget these truths if we aren’t in God’s word every day.  Remember His good works, remember His saving power and remember His love for you. Never forget and make a daily effort to remember God’s goodness.

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  •  CURSED IS THE ONE WHO TRUSTS IN MAN AND WHOSE HEART TURNS AWAY FROM THE LORD
    This is what the Lord says:“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,  who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord.That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;  they will not see prosperity when it comes. They will dwell in the parched places of the desert,   in a salt land where no one lives. Jeremiah 17:5-6
  •  IT IS BETTER TO TAKE REFUGE IN THE LORD THAN TO TRUST IN PRINCES
    When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; he brought me into a spacious place. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.  What can mere mortals do to me? The Lord is with me; he is my helper.  I look in triumph on my enemies. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes. All the nations surrounded me, but in the name of the Lord I cut them down.  They surrounded me on every side, but in the name of the Lord I cut them down. They swarmed around me like bees, but they were consumed as quickly as burning thorns; in the name of the Lord I cut them down. I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. Psalm 118:5-14
  • BLESSED ARE THOSE WHOSE HOPE IS IN THE LORD
    Do not put your trust in princes,  in human beings, who cannot save.4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;  on that very day their plans come to nothing.5 Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,  whose hope is in the Lord their God. Psa 146; 3-5
  •  HUMAN HELP IS WORTHLESS
    Give us aid against the enemy, for human help is worthless. With God we will gain the victory,  and he will trample down our enemies. Psalm 60;11-12
  •  DON’T GO ANYWHERE WITHOUT CONSULTING THE LORD FIRST
    “Woe to the obstinate children,”  declares the Lord,“to those who carry out plans that are not mine,  forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit,  heaping sin upon sin; who go down to Egypt  without consulting me;who look for help to Pharaoh’s protection,  to Egypt’s shade for refuge. But Pharaoh’s rotection will be to your shame,  Egypt’s shade will bring you disgrace. Isaiah 30:1-3
  •  CONSULTING WITH MEDIUMS WILL LEAD YOU ALONG A DARK AND FEARFUL PATH
     When someone tells you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? Consult God’s instruction and the testimony of warning. If anyone does not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn. Distressed and hungry, they will roam through the land; when they are famished, they will become enraged and, looking upward, will curse their king and their God. Then they will look toward the earth and see only distress and darkness and fearful gloom, and they will be thrust into utter darkness. Isaiah 8;19-22
  •  DO NOT FOLLOW THE WAY OF PEOPLE, DO NOT FEAR WHAT THEY FEAR
     This is what the Lord says to me with his strong hand upon me, warning me not to follow the way of this people: “Do not call conspiracy everything this people calls a conspiracy; do not fear what they fear,  and do not dread it. The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread. Isaiah 8;11-13
  • WOE TO THE ONE WHO DOES NOT SEEK HELP FROM THE LORD
    Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help,  who rely on horses,who trust in the multitude of their chariots  and in the great strength of their horsemen,but do not look to the Holy One of Israel,  or seek help from the Lord Is Jeremiah 31:1-2
  • Ask God for wisdom  But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. James 1:6

 Don’t Worry

Don’t Complain

Don’t speak words of hopelessness, FEAR or doom
But instead trust in the Lord God, He is with you! Put all your hope in Him, you can trust in Him to deliver you. Wait on the Lord, Be silent before Him. Lift up your hands and Rejoice, for the Lord is coming to save you. Everything is going to be alright in Christ.

 

Don’t cower in fear when you hear words from man, watch the news, receive bad news or when your thoughts bring you to the “what if’s”. It’s important to trust God in all things, cast down all imaginations (that’s when your mind wanders- worst case scenarios), and also to fix your mind or make an effort to control what you think (Philippians 4;8). The devil can’t hear your thoughts, but he can throw lies and terror into your mind (those are the fiery darts).  Trust God and never give up the good fight of faith. Proclaim the name of Jesus on the Mountaintops and let your life honor the greatness of His name.

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Psalm 91- The Lord protects me

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I live in the shelter of the Most High
And I find rest in the Shadow of the Almighty
This I declare about the Lord on High,
He alone is my rock and my safety
He is my refuge and where I go to hide
When my enemies surround me
And a thousand fall at my side
Traps and snares try to grab me
But the Lord rescues and I rejoice gladly
Deadly diseases and a world of evil things
Yet My God covers me and protects me under His wings
His promises are yes and true
Our armour, protecting me and you
I will not be afraid of the terrors in the night
Though the world tries to fill each heart with fright
The Lord goes before me, He strengthens me with His might
No evil can touch me, my prayers reach His heights
For I know He hears each word I pray
Protecting me each night and every day
I have made the Lord my refuge, a shelter is He
Therefore He’s promised no evil can conquer me
Plagues cannot touch those I love
His angels protect me, commissioned from above
They hold me up with their hands
And protect me as I walk through this land
I love my God, whose throne is on High
And Jesus, His Son, on His right Side
He is with me through all my troubles and fear
Always besides me, always near.

Lessons I learned this morning  in Deuteronomy 1-2

  1. Don’t fear the giants nor be dismayed with their strength
  2. The Lord goes before me and fights for me
  3. I remember all He has done for me – and I strengthen myself as I remember His good works
  4. Deut 1:17: Do not be afraid in any man’s presence
  5. Deut 1:21 Do not fear nor be discouraged.
  6. Do not speak words of doubt or fear – nor allow yourself to worry and ponder on them in your thoughts
  7. Though the evil that has begun to show itself in the world seems powerful and mighty,  we can trust in the Lord to fight for us- and protect each one of us from evil
  8. The Lord does not want us to be terrified. He goes before us and He will fight for us
  9. “and in the wilderness where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, in all the way that you went until you cam to this place” – and so he will carry us though the times that lie ahead, as a father carries his son.
  10. The Lord was angry with all those who worried, doubted and were full of fear. Yikes!  I need to fix my thoughts – Phil. 4:8
  11. Don’t fear – even if they are mighty and powerful
  12. Treat your brothers and sister’s right. Be fair and kind
  13. Stand up! For the Lord you God goes before you.
  14. ” This day I will begin to put the dread and fear of you upon the nations under the whole heaven, who shall hear the report of you, and shall tremble and be in anguish because of you” Deut 2:25