I do not read or speak Spanish, either. When I first read Luke 21:19, the treasure in this verse was hidden to me, just as if it was written in a foreign language. I did not get it. As I dug deeper into these words of Jesus recorded by Dr. Luke, I discovered the richness of this scripture.
“In your patience possess ye your souls.” (Luke 21:19 KJV) “By your patience possess your souls. (Luke 21:19 NKJV)
The word “in” is the Greek word en. This is not a directional word. It is preposition denoting a fixed position in place,time, or state. So, when we are in a fixed position in patience, we possess our souls? We love the word patience, right? What does patience really mean? “Patience” is from the Greek word hypomonē which means:
Enduring (cheerful and hopeful)
Do not lose heart
Bear Bravely (misfortunes, trouble, offense, or injury)
When we remain in a fixed position in place or time, enduring, being steadfast, waiting, enduring, standing, not losing heart and bearing bravely, we possess our souls.
“Possess” simply translated means to get, acquire, obtain, and gain.
Look at the light shined on the uncomplicated words of Jesus in the below translations:
“By standing firm, you will win your souls.” (Luke 21:19 NLT) “By your endurance you will gain your lives.” (Luke 21:19 ESV) “Stand firm, and you will win life.” (Luke 21:19 NIV)
In Matthew 24:13 the same words of the Lord are declared just a little bit differently than Luke:
“But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”
If there was a Tammy’s International Version, Matthew 24:13 would read:
“He who is resolute to the end will be whole, healed and complete!”
Further, Luke 21:19 would read:
“BE RESOLUTE AND YOU WIN LIFE.”
I enCOURAGE you to dig deeper into the word of God for hidden treasures. If you do not understand a verse in the Bible, look at different versions of the same verse. Look into the definitions of words. You will find a treasure trove. Blue Letter Bible is an excellent tool to help you dig.
As I was growing up, I would ask my stepfather the definition of words. He would make me so mad. Instead of giving me what I asked for, he would ALWAYS tell me to go look it up. I am passing on that advice. If you don’t get it, go look it up. In other words, be resolute and you win. Endure and your will be saved and get your answer.
“Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36 NKJV)
STEPS TO FREEDOM
Believe that Jesus is who is says is He is and will do what He says He will do.
“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him,‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’” (Jhn 8:31-32)
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.(Jhn 15:4,7 NKJV)
Abide in Him and live in His word.
“Abide in Me, and I in you.” (Jhn 15:4 NKJV)
“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord [is], there [is] liberty. (2Co 3:17 NKJV)
His word is truth, will make us free and liberate us from the bondage of sin.
“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” (Jhn 17:17 NKJV)
The world is in bondage today because of the lies of Satan. The Truth, His Word, will set us free from the Liar!
Step into freedom.
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” (Gal 5:1 NKJV)
“I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.” (Psa 119:45 NIV)
Walk by faith.
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2Co 5:7 KJV)
“I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.” (Psa 119:45 NIV)
Read the truth of the revelation of the word of God. He is the I AM. He is the Me that lives inside of us.
All authority is given to Me.
All power is given to Me.
(1Ch 29:11; Ephesians 3:20-21; Col.1:11)
All love is with Me.
(1 John 4:8,16; 1 Cor. 13:4, Lam.3:22)
All light is with Me.
(John 8:12;John 9:5; 1 John 1:5)
All life is with Me.
(John 1:4, 14:6)
All joy is with Me.
(John 15:11; Romans 15:13)
All peace is with Me.
(John 16:33: Romans 15:13; Phil 4:7; 2 Th. 3:16)
All longsuffering is with Me.
(Num 14:18; Ps. 86:15; 1 Cor.13:4; Col.1:11)
All kindness is with Me.
(Luke 6:35, 1 Cor. 13:4; Eph.2:4-5, Lam.3:22)
All goodness is with Me.
(Ex. 34:6; Ps. 25:8, 31:19; 84:11, 119:68)
All faithfulness is with Me
( Deut.7:9; Ps. 33:4; 2 Thes.3:3; Num. 23:19)
All gentleness is with Me.
(Ps. 18:35, Mat. 11:29; James 3:17)
All self-control is with Me.
(2 Tim 1:7; Mat. 27:12,14, 27-31, 41-44)
All grace is with Me.
( 2 Cor. 12:9; John 1:16-17; James 4:6; Eph 4:7)
All victory is with Me.
(1 Cor. 13:8; 1Ch 29:11, 1Co 15:57; Col. 2:15)
All truth is with Me.
( John 14:6; Eph.6:14; John1:14; John 16:13)
“As His divine power has given to us all things that [pertain] to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue (4) by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption [that is] in the world through lust.” (2Pe 1:3-4 NKJV)
We have been given everything we need to do all that we need to do. All that we need is in Him! He says: “I am with you always, [even] to the end of the age.” Amen. (Mat 28:20 NKJV). He is with us! He is in us. We can do nothing without Him and ALL things through Him. We got the power because we got Him. We have freedom because we have Him. And…
“No man shall [be able to] stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, [so] I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. … Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God [is] with you wherever you go.” (Jos 1:5, 9 NKJV)
I enCOURAGE you to experience freedom in Christ. It is the best. He has given us everything we need! Simply…we have to read the Manual, follow His instructions and step into the liberty He paid for. Believe the truth; break the chains that hold you back and…
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” (Phl 4:6 KJV)
I have a grand baby boy and a grandnephew that will be arriving in the next two months. I am so excited, but was “anxiously” awaiting their arrivals. The Lord always find a way to remind me to leave my fears, worries and anxieties at His feet. The below letter reminded me to exchange my fear for faith and worry for peace.
Rick Renner is probably my favorite teacher of God’s word. He is the author of more than 30 books. His understanding of the Greek language and biblical history opens the Scriptures to enable readers to gain fresh insight from God’s Word.
Each month Rick sends out a teaching letter. Below you will find the MAY 2023 Letter: “A WORRY FREE LIFE” It is too good not to share. I would call it, “5 Steps Out of Worry into a Life of Peace”( Watch as Rick reads the Teaching Letter here. This is a link where you can hear the letter read by Rick Renner, if you prefer. ). Read it! Listen to it. Absorb it. Practice it! Be set free from worry.
“A WORRY FREE LIFE” from RICK RENNER:
Now let me share with you what’s on my heart for you today.
Have you ever had a moment when anxiety tried to creep up on you and seize your heart? I’m talking about those times when you are thrown into a state of panic about things that concern you — such as your family, your friendships, your business, or your finances. Very often this state of panic is caused by the mere thought of a problem that doesn’t even exist and is unlikely ever to come to pass — but just the idea of this problem troubles you deeply. Soon you find yourself sinking into such a strong state of worry and anxiety that it literally takes you hostage emotionally!
Some people are so controlled by worry that they pray fretful prayers instead of faith-filled prayers. Have you ever had one of those times? Praying fretful prayers doesn’t get you anything — it is non-productive praying. And God does not respond to fretfulness; He responds to faith.
In Philippians 4:6, we are told, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Do you see the word “careful” in this verse? It is the Greek word merimnao, which means to be troubled; to be anxious; to be fretful; or to be worried about something.
In New Testament times, this word was primarily used in connection with worryabout finances, food to satisfy hunger, or some other basic provision needed for life. It pictures a person who is fretful about paying his bills; a person who is worried he won’t have the money to purchase food and clothes for his family’s needs or pay his house payment or rent on time; or a person who is anxious about his ability to cope with having the daily necessities of life.
This is the same word used in Matthew 6:25, when Jesus says, “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink.…” The word “thought” is also the Greek word merimnao. But in this particular verse, the Greek New Testament also contains the word me, which is a strong prohibition to stop something that is already in progress.
This means Jesus is speaking to worriers who are already filled with fret and anxiety. He is urging these people to stop worrying. The verse could be translated, “Stop worrying about your life.…” Then Jesus specifies that they are to stop worrying about “…what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink….” So again we see the word merimnao used to describe worry, fretfulness, and anxiety about obtaining the basic necessities of life.
We also find the word merimnao used in the parable of the sower and the seed. Matthew 13:22 says, “He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.” The word “care” is the Greek word merimnao, and again, it is connected to material worries and concerns.
Jesus says such worry “chokes” the Word. The word “choke” is the Greek word sumpnigo, which means to suffocateto smother; to asphyxiate; to choke; or to throttle. You see, worry is so all-consuming in an individual’s mind that it “chokes” him. It is a suffocating, smothering force that throttles his whole life to a standstill.
In Luke 21:34, Jesus gives a special warning to people who live in the last days. He says, “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, so that day come upon you unawares.”
When Jesus mentions the “cares of this life,” the word “cares” is the same Greek word merimnao, but this time it is used in connection with the word “life,” which is the Greek word biotikos. This comes from the root word bios, the Greek word for life, and it is where we get the word “biology.” But when it becomes the word biotikos, it describes the things of life — pertaining primarily to the events, incidents, and episodes that occur in one’s life.
This phrase could be understood to mean that we should not allow ourselves to worry and fret about the events, incidents, or episodes that occur in life. This is a particularly fitting message for people who live in the last days and who are confronted by the troubling events, incidents, and episodes that occur during this difficult time.
So when Philippians 4:6 says, “Be careful for nothing…,” that verse is pleading with us not to be worried about the basic needs and provisions required for life. Paul was also telling us not to let the events of life get to us and throw us into a state of anxiety or panic. To let us know how free of all worry we should be, Paul said we are to be “careful for nothing.” The word “nothing” is the Greek word meden, and it means absolutely nothing!
So this phrase in Philippians 4:6 could be translated: “Don’t be worried about anything — and that means nothing at all!”
Is there one particular thing Satan keeps using to strike your mind with worry? Can you think of a single time when worry and fretfulness ever helped make a situation better? Doesn’t worry serve only to keep you emotionally torn up and in a state of panic?
I urge you to put an end to worry today, once and for all. If you let worry start operating in you — even for a moment — it will try to become a habitual part of your thought life, turning you into a “worrier” who never knows a moment of peace.
Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father right now, interceding for you continually. Jesus understands every emotion, every frustration, and every temptation you could ever face (see Hebrews 2:18). So why not make a deliberate decision to turn over all your worries to Jesus today? Rather than try to manage those anxieties and needs all by yourself, go to Him and surrender everything into His loving, capable hands. Walk free of all those choking, paralyzing fears once and for all.
Jesus is waiting for you to cast all your cares upon Him because He really does care for you (see 1 Peter 5:7). Then once you throw your worries and concerns on Him, He will help you experience the joy and peace He has designed for you to enjoy in life all along!
I can vividly remember a time when I was very concerned about something that was about to occur. Although the challenge before me wasn’t so life-shattering, at the moment, it seemed huge and mountainous. I was extremely concerned.
I’m sure you know what it’s like when worry tries to flood your mind. It has a way of magnifying issues to the point of being ridiculous, but when you’re in the midst of the situation, it seems very real. Only after the event has passed do you realize how silly it was to be so worried about something that was so non-eventful.
But at the time I’m telling you about right now, I was consumed with worry. I paced back and forth, fretting, thinking, and pondering, making myself even more nervous by my anxious behavior. I was nothing but a bag of nerves. Realizing how deeply I was sinking into worry, I reached for my Bible to try to find peace for my troubled soul. I opened it to Philippians 4:6, which says, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
I tried to push everything else out of my mind so I could concentrate on God’s words in this verse. Through Philippians 4:6, I could see that God was calling out to me and urging me to lay down my worries and come boldly before Him to make my requests known. As I focused on this verse, I suddenly saw something I had never seen before. I realized that this verse showed me step by step how to lay down my worries and boldly make my requests known to God. If I followed the steps laid out in this verse exactly as I understood them, I would be set free from worry and fear! I promptly followed these steps, and in a matter of minutes, my worry was replaced with a thankful, praising, and peaceful heart!
In moments when worry or fear is trying to wrap its life-draining tentacles around me, I rush back to the truths found in Philippians 4:6. Just as I followed the steps found in this verse so many years ago, I still carefully follow them whenever I start getting anxious. Every time I do, these steps lead me from worry and fear to a thankful, praising, and peaceful heart. In fact, I have learned that if I faithfully follow these steps, fear will always be eradicated and replaced with the wonderful, dominating peace of God.
So don’t let worry wrap its tentacles around you. Instead, listen to Paul’s advice about how to deal with the problems and concerns that try to assail your mind. Let’s look once again at what he says in Philippians 4:6: “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
In this verse, Paul lays out five very important steps to move from fear to faith, from turmoil to peace, and from defeat to victory. We’ll look at five key words that tell us exactly what we must do when worry and concerns are trying to assail our minds: 1) prayer; 2) supplication; 3) thanksgiving; 4) requests; and 5) known.
The word “prayer” in this verse is the Greek word proseuche, which is the most commonly used word for prayer in the New Testament. This particular word and its various forms are used approximately 127 times in the New Testament. The word proseuche is a compound of the words pros and euche. The word pros is a preposition that means toward, which can denote a sense of closeness. Nearly everywhere it is used in the New Testament, the word pros carries the meaning of close, up-front, intimate contactwith someone else.
The second part of the word proseuche is taken from the word euche. The word euche is an old Greek word that describes a wish, desire, prayer, or vow. It was originally used to depict a person who made some kind of vow to God because of a need or desire in his or her life. This individual would vow to give something of great value to God in exchange for a favorable answer to prayer. Thus, inherent in this word is the idea of an exchange — giving something to God in exchange for something wanted or desired.
So instead of carrying your worries and burdens, you are to take the first step Paul gives you to move from a place of turmoil to peace: Come close to the Lord in prayer. Once you are in that intimate, face-to-face place with God, take that opportunity to give Him your worries, fears, and concerns. Then ask the Lord to give you something back in exchange for the worries you have given Him — ask Him for peace! You see, this is a part of the great exchange found in the Greek word proseuche. When you give God yourproblems, in return, He gives you His peace.
Perhaps you’ve experienced this great exchange at some previous moment in your life. Can you think of a time when your mind was hassled with fears? Once you truly committed your problem to the Lord, did a supernatural peace flood your soul and relieve you from your anxieties? This is the first step that Paul urges you to take when worry, fear, and concerns are trying to take over your mind or emotions.
The second step Paul tells us to take is found in the word “supplication.” The word “supplication” in Greek is the word deisis, which depicts a person who has some type of lack in his life and therefore pleads strongly for his need to be met. The word deisis is translated several ways in the King James Version, including to beseech, tobeg, or to earnestly appeal. This word pictures a person in such great need that he feels compelled to push his pride out of the way so he can boldly, earnestly, strongly, and passionately cry out for someone to help or assist him.
One of the most powerful examples of the word deisis is found in James 5:16. In this famous verse of Scripture, the Bible says, “…The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” Here the word deisis is translated as “fervent prayer.” You see, deisisis a passionate, earnest, heartfelt, sincere prayer. It comes to God on the most serious terms, strongly beseeching Him to move and to meet a specific need that the person praying is facing in his life.
So when you are facing a problem that deeply concerns you, don’t be afraid to go to the Lord and earnestly beseech Him to meet your need. Paul’s use of this word means you can get very bold when you ask God to move on your behalf. There is no reason for you to be timid or mealy-mouthed when you pray. You can tell God exactly what you feel, what you’re facing, and what you want Him to do for you. This is what “supplication” is all about!
After mentioning “supplication,” Paul then gives us the third important step to take when giving our worries and concerns to the Lord. Paul tells us to make our requests known to God “…by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving.…”
God not only expects you to be bold; He also expects you to thank Him for being good to you! It simply isn’t right to ask boldly without expressing thanksgiving. If you’ve ever generously given to someone who never took the time to thank you for the sacrifice you made for him or her, you know how shocking ingratitude can be. In a similar way, you must be careful to thank God for being so good to you!
The word “thanksgiving” that Paul uses in this verse is the Greek word eucharistia, which is a compound of the words eu and charis. The word eu means good or well. It denotes a general good disposition or an overwhelmingly good feeling about something. The word charis is the Greek word for grace. When these two words are compounded, they form the word eucharistia. This compound word describes an outpouring of grace andof wonderful feelingsthat freely flow from the heart in response to someone or something.
By using this word, Paul was teaching us that when we earnestly ask God to do something special for us, we must match it with an earnest outpouring of thanks. Although the request has only just been made and the manifestation isn’t evident yet, it is appropriate to thank God for doing what we have requested. Thanking Him in advance demonstrates faith.
So always make sure to follow up your earnest asking with earnest thanksgiving! Make it a goal to be just as passionate in your thanksgiving as you were when you made your request.
Paul then gives you the fourth step out of worry and anxiety when he tells you, “…Let your requests be made known unto God.” The word “requests” is the Greek word aitema, from the word aiteo. The Greek word “ask” destroys any religious suggestion that you are a lowly worm who has no right to come into the presence of God. You see, the Greek word aiteo means to be adamant in requesting and demanding assistance to meet tangible needs, such as food, shelter, money, and so forth.
In fact, in the New Testament, the word aiteo is used to portray a person who insists or demands that a specific need be met after approaching and speaking to his superior with respect and honor. Additionally, it expresses the idea that one possesses a full expectation to receive what was firmly requested.
There is no doubt that this word describes someone who prays authoritatively, in a sense demanding something from God. This person knows what he needs and is so filled with faith that he isn’t afraid to boldly come into God’s presence to ask and expect to receive what he has requested.
This means when you pray about a need that concerns you, it is right for you to pray authoritatively. As long as your prayer is based on the Word of God, you can have the assurance of God’s promise regarding the issue you are most concerned about.Furthermore, when you pray, it is spiritually appropriate for you to fully expect God to honor His Word and do what you have requested.
As a final, fifth point, Paul says, “…Let your requests be made known unto God.” The word “known” comes from the word gnoridzo, and it means to make a thing known; to declare something; to broadcast something; or to make something very evident. This plainly means that your asking can be extremely bold! Declare to God what you need; broadcast it so loudly that all of Heaven hears you when you pray. You can be exceptionally bold when you come before Jesus to make your requests known!
An expanded, interpretive translation of Philippians 4:6 could be rendered:
Don’t worry about anything — and that means nothing at all! Instead, come before God and give Him the things that concern you so He can in exchange give you what you need or desire. Be bold to strongly, passionately, and fervently make your request known to God, making certain that an equal measure of thanksgiving goes along with your strong asking. You have every right to ask boldly, so go ahead and insist that God meet your need. When you pray, be so bold that there is no doubt your prayer was heard. Broadcast it! Declare it! Pray boldly until you have the assurance that God has heard your request!
So in moments when worry or fear is trying to wrap its life-draining (breath taking) tentacles around you, obey the steps in Philippians 4:6. You don’t have to live subject to worry, concerns, and fears the rest of your life. If you follow these steps, worry and fear will always be replaced with a peaceful and praising heart!
I pray this has helped and encouraged you today. And if you are facing anything that has tried to steal your peace or fill you with fear or worry, we are ready right now to hear from you so we can pray with you and encourage you in the Word. Just call, email, or write to us, and we’ll immediately join you in prayer to come against whatever is concerning you. We’ll believe for peace that passes understanding to fill your heart and mind and for you to experience the answer from God that you are needing. We are praying for you anyway, so hearing from you will only help us to pray more effectively!
I know my letter is a little longer than usual today, but it was really on my heart to minister this message to you. Never forget that Jesus is there for you — and we are here for you. And we are ready to pray for you right now!
We are your brother and sister, friends, and partners in Jesus Christ,
Rick and Denise Renner
For deeper insight on this subject, we have just released my newest book called MyPeace-Filled Day. It is a 31-day guided journal with teaching about how to keep the peace of God ruling your heart instead of panic and worry. I really encourage you to get it for yourself or for someone else who needs to learn to live free of worry, and it’s available to order at renner.org.
I enCOURAGE you to “be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”. I pray this teaching was as insightful to you as it was to me.
Do not let worry take one more minute of your life or breath away!
Viva Magenta: Live. Breathe. Be…careful for NOTHING!
P.S. I bought and am going through the journal. It is simple and good.
“But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober and watch unto prayer.” (1 Peter 4:7 KJV)
When we think of the word sober, our minds usually conjure one meaning. Don’t get drunk. Why do “we” get drunk? “To lose our minds” from the bombardment of the day and to kill the pain. However, pain has its purpose and can be numbed in a better way, sober prayer. When we keep our mind sober from chaos and pain, we are able to stay aligned. We do not fret, worry, teeter totter, nor lose our minds.
In the original Greek “sober” appears twice in 1 Peter 4:7. Each word has a little different meaning. Translated 1 Peter 4:7 could read, “Be sober(1) and sober(2) unto prayer.” A double encouragement to be sober.
The first sober we see in the verse is the Greek word sophroneo. It means be of sound mind; self-controlled; be in the right mind without excess of any kind; moderate and discreet. Sophroneo is a derivative of the Greek word sophron (see above) meaning, of sound mind, sane, in one’s senses, curbing one’s desires and impulses, self-controlled, temperate, calm, impassionate, exercise of cool reasoning. The root words of sophron are sozo, meaning, saved, whole, healed and phren meaning mind or understanding. Hence, we can deduce being sober is having a saved mind, a whole mind, and a healed mind.
The second time sober shows up in 1 Peter 4:7 is in the word watch. The Greek word for watch is nepho. It originally had a physical meaning, opposed to drunkenness and to be free from the influence of intoxicants. It further means to remain temperate, impassionate, calm, cool and collected.
Think about it. Excess clouds the mind. Excess divides the mind and our attention. Excess distracts and diverts our focus. Excess of anything… the negative’s: care, worry, fear, pain, chaos and disaster causes us to become “drunk” and to lose our mind. The good things in life like food, sugar, music, and sports can also lead us into drunkenness of mind. So, we have to watch out and remain sober.
What does 1 Peter 4:7 mean to me? I hear:
BE SOBER. Be self-controlled. Do not lose your mind. Don’t get drunk. Don’t get drunk on alcohol. Don’t get drunk on drugs. Don’t get drunk on sex. Don’t get drunk on food. Don’t get drunk on power. Don’t get drunk on money. Don’t get drunk on fame. Don’t get drunk on anything but the spirit of God. “Don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless living, but be filled by the Spirit.” (Eph 5:18 CSB) BE SOBER. BE ALERT. BE AWAKE. Stay calm, cool, and collected. BE SOBER and always in the place of prayer. Be filled with THE SPIRIT. Drink what Holy Spirit is pouring out, not the other spirits. His drink is the only thing that will get us through every day life!
I enCOURAGE you (and me) to be sober. We are blessed. It is so easy to step or slip into excess and “lose our minds.” We are called to be sound minded and self- controlled in all things.
1 Peter 4:1 tells us to arm ourselves with the same mind as Christ. This is not possible if we are drunk with the things of the world.
“Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of [his] time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For we [have spent] enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles–when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries.” (1 Peter 4:3 NKJV)
Remember, as followers of Jesus, “We have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:16 NKJV). We don’t want to lose it! Our desire should be to be filled by Him alone.
“You also be ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Luk 12:40 CSB)
My husband, Kris and I will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary this summer, but more importantly we are expecting our first grandchild. We have organically postponed a big trip because we want to be ready, present, and around for the arrival of baby Jack. However, we have planned a couple small trips.
I am a planner! When departure day for the trip arrives, I want every detail planned so that I can enjoy the vacation. I have been preparing for our get-a-way ever since we determined our destination. I have tirelessly searched and narrowed down the perfect place to stay. I have booked our flights: the best day, time, and most cost efficient. I have scheduled parking and booked our rental car. I have even chosen the restaurants where we will dine and am in the process of making reservations. I have organized ours daily agenda, even if that means just sitting on the beach. I do not want to miss anything our destination promises. I have studied, prepared and I will soon have a complete itinerary. Our bags will be packed. I will be ready when departure day arrives so that I can simply enjoy the ride without fretting.
Jesus tells us to BE READY for our departure day and His return. Have you spent as much time preparing for His return as I have for our trip? Is your head in the sand ignoring the signs of the times or are you ready? Do you know the signs that He told us about in the Bible to give us a heads up and make us ready for the journey of a life with Him to paradise?
Jesus says, “Therefore be alert, because you don’t know either the day or the hour.” (Mat 25:13 CSB). “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near.” (Luk 21:20 NKJV). “But when these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is near.” (Luk 21:28 CSB)
Have you seen the news lately about Israel and the world? Do you know the “things” Jesus talks about in Luke 21:28? Do you care?
I wanted to write about something else , anything else, today, but you know how a song gets stuck in your head? “Be ready” has been on replay for weeks.
I continue to mess up in my life, as I have said many times, “I am not perfect.” However, Jesus was, is and will always be perfect. I am forgiven and made right in Him, alone! So, I am standing up. My head is lifted up. I am watching and I am waiting because I know my redemption is near.
I enCOURAGE you to BE READY. Get ready because the word of God says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. (22)“Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ (23) “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Mat 7:21-23 NKJV).
I want you to KNOW Jesus. I want Jesus to know you. I want Jesus to know me, and I want to know Him. I want to know His voice when He makes the call to paradise. I want to do His will. I never want to hear Him say, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” (Luk 6:46 NKJV)
In the last book, last chapter and last few verses of the Bible, Jesus tells us, twice, “Look, I am coming soon, and my reward is with me to repay each person according to his work. … “Yes, I am coming soon.” (Rev 22:12, 20 CSB). Ready or not, He is coming. Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!
GOD’S BUILDING: BE RESTORED AND RENEWED by Tammy Phillips (with most of the content contributed by Pastor Freddy T Wyatt) April 17, 2023
“For we are God’s coworkers. You are God’s field, God’s building.” (1Co 3:9 CSB)
I was gently reminded more than once that I am so not perfect, but ever a work in progress!!!
Yesterday, I looked up to my husband and said, “Is he done?” Pastor Freddy T Wyatt brought the word of God for about fifteen minutes in a short, powerful sermon entitled, “The Building Ain’t the Building.” He might as well have “dropped-the-mike” after he was finished. Boy did it pack a punch, in more ways than one. He read 1 Corinthians 3:1-9. He focused on verse nine, “For we are God’s coworkers. You are God’s field, God’s building.” Pastor preached that we are the church, His coworkers, and His building. We are his home. We are what he is building up and working on. He illustrated that the Holy Spirit is like sandpaper, smoothing down the edges of our lives so we are not so splintery! He is constantly working on us.
The following words of God raced through my mind:
We are the temple of the living God. (2Co 6:16 CSB)
He restores us. (Psalm 23:3)
He transforms us He renews us. He renovates us. He completely changes us for the better. (Rom 12:2 KJV)
He renews us day by day. (2Co 4:16 CSB)
He perfects us. He repairs us. He restores us. He renovates us. He puts us in order. He fits and frame us. He mends what has been broken in us. He makes us what we ought to be. He renders us complete. (He 13:21, 1 Peter 5:10)
“Therefore, if anyone [is] in Christ, [he is] a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Cor 5:17 NKJV)
Pastor also explained that we are God’s tilled up soil and that God has to break us up to prepare us to grow His fruit. I Corinthians 3:6 and 7 says, “but God gave the increase and the growth.” It is God who grows us up. What’s He growing?
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things.”(Gal 5:22-23 CSB)
Then Pastor Freddy T issued a challenge. I called it a “punch list.” A punch list is prepared by a contractor in a building project. It outlines any work that has not been completed, or has not been completed correctly, down to the smallest detail, that will need to be rectified before the project can be considered complete, or perfect.
Pastor ended the service with the following “Fruit Punch List” and directive. Rank yourself 1 to 10 in the following rooms in your spiritual house:
Then he said, “If you are really serious about being God’s building, ask someone who lives with you to rank you.” OUCH!
Let’s just say the Architect of the universe and my favorite Carpenter, Jesus, has some MAJOR renovations to do in “This Old House!”
I enCOURAGE you to slow read 1 Corinthians 3:1-9, listen to the brief sermon (“The Building Ain’t the Building”-Pastor Freddy T Wyatt ), and complete the challenged, Fruit Punch List. (I also let my husband rank me.) Afterwards, join in and ask the Lord which room or rooms He wants to begin renovating. Take it day by day.
“Therefore, we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day.” (2Co 4:16 CSB)
Viva Magenta! Live! Breathe. Be…renewed and restored. (You know some of my walls will be painted magenta.)
by Tammy Phillips April 10, 2023 (Originally posted September 24, 2021)
“Finally, all [of you be] of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, [be] tenderhearted, [be] courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:8-9 NKJV)
Until Jesus set me straight a few years ago, my motto was like many others, “You do you and I’ll do me.” I had a very small group of friends. I liked it that way and believed the small circle was all I needed. I did not let people in because, in general, I did not trust people. Jesus welcomed and loved all. He provided me with a little, transformative, attitude adjustment. He opened and expanded my circle with 1 Peter 3:8-9, we are called to:
Be like minded and be together in understanding. Have compassion for one another and have a “fellow-feeling.” Love as brothers. Be friendly, like a brother. Be tenderhearted. Have a heart full of mercy and kindness. Be courteous. Be humble minded and friendly of mind. Don’t return evil for evil. When you really want to slap, don’t slap back. Be a blessing. Give a good word.
These were and are learning points for my attitude alignment. I wish I could say I have aced every test when it comes to these lessons, not true. They were and are goals but not always achieved! I am embracing this word from the Lord. Now, I welcome new people into my world instead of having the “you do you and I’ll do me” attitude.
At the time, I had only known Kirsten Licari for six months, but because of our husband’s professions, our lives intertwined often. One night, Kris and I had dinner at the Licari’s home. She not only had lemons on the table, but also perfectly cut wedges of lime. I know you are thinking, so what? I do not drink beer, wine, alcohol, nor sodas. My drink of choice is ice, cold, refreshing water with lime. At some point, Kirsten took note that I liked limes. She chose to bless me with a simple gesture from her tender heart that spoke “good words” to me. What did her blessing say to me? “You are welcome here. I am personally interested in what is important to you. I hear you. I paid attention. I care.” Yes, I heard all that from the small plate of lime wedges. Kirsten exemplifies the person spoken of in 1 Peter 3:8-9. I have come to know her as one of the kindest humans that I have ever met. There are people who have been around me all my adult life that might not have recognized, nor cared about by affinity for limes. She did and it blessed me. To this day, she still has lime at her home every time that I go for dinner.
Little things do mean a lot, positively and negatively. We will never know the pain inflicted by one selfish, manipulative, nasty, ungracious act. However, I have found small, gracious gestures like a smile, a hug, an opened door, a listening ear, an encouraging word, or a simple act of kindness can turn someone’s day around.
I enCOURAGE you to prepare “a small plate of lime wedges” for someone. Be compassionate. Have that “fellow-feeling” for someone who is hurting. Share brotherly love. Be tender hearted and courteous. If someone is short with you, maybe do not be short back. (I hate to even write those words because you know what is headed my way, a short, unkind person.) If someone is unkind, be a blessing! Remember, we are called to be a blessing, so that we may also inherit a blessing. Give someone a good word that needs a good word. Share a lime!
The enemy will always try to beat us up and knock us down, BUT NOT GOD! He tried to do it to Jesus over and over, but Jesus stood. Listen to what the Lord told me one day when I was feeling less than…
Excerpt from my journal on March 30, 2023:
“The Lord moved yesterday through our prayers. He whooped me- ouch!!!This crucifying the flesh thing is hard, BUT I can do- through Jesus!Love you, Lord, But honestly, I feel like such a failure sometimes. I know it’s a lie! Hopefully, I cry because I don’t want to disappoint you, but I just can’t seem to get this right.
I heard the Lord say, ‘There is none righteous, No, not one. There is none who does good, No, not one.’
I went to Romans 3 and continued reading…
‘There is none righteous, no, not one…There is none who does good, no, not one.’ … (21) ‘BUT NOW the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, (22) even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. FOR THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE; (23) for ALL HAVE SINNED AND FALL SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD, (24) BEING JUSTIFIED FREELY BY HIS GRACE THROUGH THE REDEMPTION THAT IS IN CHRIST JESUS, (25) whom God set forth [as] a propitiation (payment) by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, (26) to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that HE MIGHT BE JUST AND THE JUSTIFIER OF THE ONE WHO HAS FAITH IN JESUS.’ (Rom 3:10-12, 21-26 NKJV)
It is not about me. It is all about Jesus and what He did in His life, on the way to and through the cross! Jesus is the Justifier. (Following is the full meaning of the Greek word for Justifier, dikaioō.)
HE IS THE JUSTFIER He renders righteous. He shows on to be righteous, such as he is and wishes himself to be considered. He declares one to be righteous. He pronounces one to be such as he ought to be. He declares and treats me as worthy. He absolves me. He frees me. He judges ME ACCEPTABLE.
It is all about Jesus the Justifier. None is right-No! Not one, but in Him. It is all about being in Him. It is about having faith in Him and standing in Him. I am made righteous through Jesus alone. I am right in Him alone.
Thank You, LORD! Thank you for what you did on the cross for me and all. I will stay hidden in you, my Justifier!”
I enCOURAGE you to begin “casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2Co 10:5 NKJV).
The Word says it. We are justified in Him. Jesus did it. He died and paid for our justification. Our job is to believe Him. And to cast down anything that says the contrary, like, “I am not good enough. I am a failure. I can’t get this right. I am a loser. I am broken beyond repair.” These are all lies. Believe the Truth. Believe what Jesus did and what He says.
“For GOD so loved the world that He GAVE His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17 NKJV)
“GOD is LOVE.” (1 John 4:16)
God gave. God=Love. LOVE GAVE! What did Love give during the Passion week?
Love patiently listened to the strife of twelve at His last supper. Love agonized in the garden. Love sweat like great drops of blood. Love was sorrowful and very heavy. Love was exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death Love knew the cup he was to bear and did it anyways. Love asked Abba Father that he not have to bear the cup, three times. Love said the spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak. Love said save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Love said not my will but my Father’s. Love found His best friends sleeping through his darkest hour. Love was betrayed. Love said, “I AM.” Judas and the multitude went backward and fell to the ground. Love did not call down 80,000 angels to fight the multitude against Him. Love was bound. Love was allowed Himself to be taken captive by a multitude. Love was again forsaken by the disciples closest to him. Love was repeatedly spit in the face. Love was shamed. Love was humiliated. Love was insulted. Love remained silent. Love was punched. Love was mocked and made fun of. Love was beat. Love was blindfolded. Love was slapped on the face by the multitude. Love was reproached, reviled, and blasphemed. Love was vehemently falsely accused. Love remained silent. Love was utterly despised. Love was made no account. Love was mocked again. Love was scourged. Love was stripped and tied in a bending posture to a pillar. Love was whipped with leather thongs, weighted with sharp pieces of bone or lead, which tore the flesh of both his back and his breast. Love was beaten and beaten and beaten Love was stripped naked in front of about 600 soldiers. Love was robed in a scarlet robe. Love was crowned with a crown of thorns. Love was mocked again. Love was spit on again. Love was nailed to a cross. Love was crucified. Love said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Love said, “”Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” Love said, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Love was mocked again by the soldiers at Calvary. Love cried with a loud voice, “It is finished.” and gave up the ghost. Love died so we could live. Love declared our debt, “paid in full.” Love was buried for three days and nights. Love defeated death and the grave. Love arose as He as he said He would. LOVE LOVED US THIS MUCH. Love gave so that we may be saved. Love gave so that we could live. Thank you, JESUS!
I enCOURAGE you to accept the love and life that Jesus died so we could have. Choose Jesus.
Then those who feared the Lord talked often one to another; and the Lord listened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him of those who reverenced and worshipfully feared the Lord and who thought on His name.
And they shall be Mine, says the Lord of hosts, in that day when I publicly recognize and openly declare them to be My jewels (My special possession, My peculiar treasure). And I will spare them, as a man spares his own son who serves him. (Malachi 3:16-17)
The LORD treasures us. We are his jewels formed by years of pressure, trials, and tribulations. He says to Israel, “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth [is] mine.” (Exodus 19:5 KJV). Since He said it about Israel, He is no respecter of persons. We are his people adopted in Jesus. We are also His peculiar treasure, shut up and hidden away.
How do we know we are His treasure?
He said we were. So, we believe Him, and we are. He bought and paid for us with the blood of His only son. (Any time you are not feeling enough, think on that for a while!)
He, God of the universe, pays attention to what we say and do.
He, King of Kings, stops and hears us.
He is so delighted. He loves that we are amazed and spend time talking about Him. He has a book written to record every word that we speak about Him. It is like how we take pictures to capture the gift of the sunrise and sunset that He often bestows on us in the morning and evening sky.
He says, “They will be mine!” Isn’t that what you say when you pass by the TJMAXX counter and see some sparkly new jewel or pair of shoes? “It’s mine! I have to have it no matter the cost!” This is exactly what God did for us by giving us Jesus. God paid the highest price for His jewels.
He promises to declare us openly to be His peculiar treasures.
He will declare us openly, but He treasures us like we treasure our prized possessions. He keeps us shut up and protected from the thief who will try to kill, steal, and destroy us.
I enCOURAGE you to obey His voice. Do His word and be amazed by Him. Accept His forgiveness, plan, and purpose for your life. Then Emerald, Sapphire, Ruby, or Diamond, you can be assured that He will declare YOU as HIS. You will be His prized possession, His precious jewel! He loves you. He treasures you. It does not matter what you do or have done, He looks at you through the lens of Jesus and He sees His peculiar treasure.
“Then those who feared The LORD, with awe-filled reverence, spoke, texted, emailed and called one another. The LORD paid attention and heard it. He had a book written of those who feared and lived amazed by Him and thought and meditated on His Name. ‘They will be mine,’ says the LORD of Hosts, ‘on that day when I publicly recognize them and make up my own jewels, my peculiar treasures,’” Tammy Phillips version of Malachi 3:16-17