Thank You God for The Lion and The Lamb

Rev 5

Well this March is not disappointing when it comes to the old saying, “March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb”.  It is freezing in the ‘Ville.  Cold winds blowing, temperatures plummeting, and snow flurries in the air.  As much as I want sunny and 75 all year-long I can’t complain,  I am blessed with clothes and shelter to keep me warm and safe and healthy food to nourish me.  As I sit here wishing for what I don’t have, the old saying of March got me thinking about Jesus as the Lion and the Lamb.

When I think about Jesus birth, I don’t see him, like March, coming in like a lion as roaring and loud, I am sure like any newborn he was crying, but he came as our King. Lions are  symbols for kings and Jesus is most definitely the Messiah whom God sent to save us from all our sins, to watch over us, guide us, direct our thoughts and actions, and to show us how to live a life of  love and truth while we are on this Earth.   Lysa Terkeurst puts it this way, “A life between two gardens”.

I love the song by Big Daddy Weave, “The Lion and The Lamb”.  The lyrics go, “The lion of Judah, roaring with power, fighting our battles”.  The lion of Judah, this was the name given to Judah by his father Jacob found in the Book of Genesis, in the begin of the Bible.  The tribe of Judah would be the tribe that would continue to produce leaders. Genesis 49:8-10 . King David, another king, was a descendant of Judah, and who was a descendant of King David?  Wait for it… Wait for it…

Jesus!

Now before we move on to Jesus being the lamb, this is what I think is so incredible, if  like me you  are not a Bible scholar, back in Genesis 49:10 to be exact, it tells us:

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Jacob had given Judah a distinction above his brothers.  His tribe would continue to produce leaders until the coming of the Messiah.  And Jesus lineage can be traced back to the Lion of Judah. Matthew Chapter 1.   Sorry, squirrel in traffic, I get so easily distracted when the Bible all comes together, I hope you do too. And this story just keeps on giving, because if you keep reading I’m going to show you again how this story just keeps on knitting itself together.

Let’s go back to Big Daddy Weave for a hot second, the lyrics continue, “Our God is the lamb, the lamb that was slain for the sins of the world, his blood breaks the chains.”

Yes, when Jesus so selflessly gave His human Will over to God’s Will  that he would die to save us, selfish non deserving humans, of our sins, He was the sacrificial lamb the Old Testament speaks of.  No longer did people have to go and bring a lamb or other animal to the High Priest to sacrifice for their sins.  Jesus death, the gentle lamb, tore the veil.

Take a look with me if you will  at Revelation 5:5-14.

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Who was the one worthy to open the scroll?

Yes sweet friend, the Lion of Judah, the Lamb that was slain.  Jesus.  It takes my breath away every time I read this passage.  It all comes together.

He is always there watching over us, protecting us as a lion, powerful, strong, helping us in the good times and bad. Because dear friend, we have and will continue to face difficult times.  It’s during these times we must cling to our faith in Jesus and grow stronger in our relationship with Him.  As Corrie ten Boom once said, ” No pit is so deep that He is not deeper still; with Jesus even in our darkest moments, the best remains and the very best is yet to be.”

AND

As the lamb, he is gentle, humble, and selfless.  He left His perfect home in Heaven to come to Earth to show us how to live.  Because of His ultimate sacrifice, You and I dear friend can go straight to God with all our mess, hurt, and shame.We can  humble ourselves and ask for grace and forgiveness.   Sounds a little scary, yes, but that is exactly what our heavenly Father is there for and He is waiting for us to lay it all at His feet.  To lay it all at the cross.

My word for this year is “Grow”, I even bought a little bracelet with the word engraved on it to remind me daily that God wants me to “Grow” in my faith in Him and in His likeness.  How can someone like me be a lion, fierce, strong yet a gentle lamb all at the same time?

I am always thinking about something, many times how I could have handled a situation differently, more like Jesus would have handle it. Sometimes I do this too much that I start talking out loud to myself.  One day my husband, Paul, said,  ” You have more conversations with yourself than anyone I know”.  It wasn’t until then that I realized that I was thinking loud enough for others to hear!

Well that got me thinking even more. If he could hear me, then absolutely, my Savior in heaven can hear every word I think and say.  Just like I can take all my mess and thanksgiving to God in prayer, I can also go to Him and ask for guidance and direction, wisdom and discernment.

When I pray and ask God for guidance and direction, He will lead me to the exact place I need to be in His Word for each and every situation I am in.  If I need to be gentle and humble like a lamb I can read:

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“to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.” Titus 3:2

“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”  James 3:17

And sometimes God leads me to people who are following in His likeness to be examples for me in this world. Max Lucado is one of those people God introduced me to his books years ago.  This is a great quote when I need a good example and reminder:

“choose gentleness… Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself. ” Max Lucado.

God has also led me to an amazing husband and wife team, two people, I have found by reading their books and one day would love to meet, (Bob gives his cell phone # in the back of his book, I don’t think I could ever call and say “Hi Bob this is Jane Ann, but after reading his book, it is exactly what he would do.) just live loving people like Jesus wanted us to love as He did. The couple is Bob and Maria Goff.  In their books they share their personal adventures of God’s calling to love even some the people most would consider evil and why would anyone love them kind of people.  Because those types of people need love too.

During times when I need to be more lion-like, protecting myself from Satan’s temptations or times when I need to be bold to stand up for myself. But most of all because on that morning when breathe returned to Jesus body  and like a roaring lion who proclaimed the grave has no hold on me, I have living hope to get through any trouble or difficult situation   I can turn to His word and find:

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The Lord thunders at the head of his army; his forces are beyond number, and mighty is the army that obeys his command.” Joel 2:11 a

The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.” Proverbs 28:1

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Precious friend, join me this year growing in faith and loving like Jesus.

Maria Goff “Love Lives Here”

Bob Goff Website

Max Lucado Website

 

Why It Is Difficult To Let Go And Love

on the contrary_ “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. in doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[b

Today friend we are going to tackle four more characteristics of what Love is not and I have some more Bible verses we can pray to help us get rid of these nasty attributes when they pop up in our daily lives.  Click on the video to see my discussion with Author and Proverbs 31 Speaker, Amy Carroll.

Let me just tell you Satan had a little fun with us last night and we had a little technical difficulties, but as ALWAYS God conquers and the conversation happened!

Living Joy Today Facebook page

Well wasn’t Amy amazing! She mentioned the Four Steps Towards a Tender Heart and a Strong Voice.  Here is the link to Amy’s Blog for the steps to Listen, Feel, Do, Speak and so many other terrific resources.

Amy Carroll

Don’t forget to comment on the blog or Facebook page to be entered to win the copy of Amy’s book, “Breaking Up with Perfect”.

 

I’ll see you again mid March!  Until then

Look Up, Let Go, Live Joy

 

Motivation For Your Monday: Rise Up and and Praise Jesus!

and he began teaching in their synagogues and was praised by all.

WOW! I can’t believe it’s already the last Monday in January of 2019!  Boy does time fly.  I have learned so much studying this month about all the different ways we can hear from God in our daily lives.  This week I will be sharing how we can hear from God by studying the teachings of Jesus and learning about him.

But for today, Let’s just rise up and praise Jesus for all our blessings, beloved friend!

Look Up, Let Go, Live Joy!

Jane Ann

Friday Joy: Peace for Our World

“i have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. in this world you will have trouble. but take heart! i have overcome the world.” john 16_33

Let’s lift up our world’s troubles to Jesus today my sweet friend.  Let’s give Him our fears and doubts, for I just know in my heart that He is a loving, forgiving, and saving God who has overcome this world.

Love and peace to you this weekend friend.  I will be posting on Wednesdays in February and as March rolls in like a lion, Living Joy Today will be rolling in with a new look and a new series on Jesus, The Lion and the Lamb!

 

Look Up, Let Go, Live Joy!

Jane Ann

God’s Word Brought To You Today By The Holy Spirit

all scripture is god-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of god[a]may be thoroughly equipped for every

As I sit here this morning thinking about 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and writing this devotional I am looking out my front window at new fallen snow.  Fluffy, fresh, pure white snow, lightly covering the roof tops and yards.  Tree branches are glistening with the soft white powder.  I start thinking about God’s breath and imagine it being fresh and pure like the new snow.  God’s fresh, pure life being breathed into each line of scripture.

God communicated to individuals the specific truth of scripture through his breath of life, the Holy Spirit.  The Hebrew word for Spirit is rauch which means “air in motion”.  This is the same word in Hebrew for breath and life.  Super cool, right. The Greek word for “God Breathed” is theopneustos, theo meaning God pneo meaning breath.” (Click the link to go the The Blue Letter Bible to hear the pronunciation of theopneustos.  I thought this would be a fun little addition to this week’s blog and to share one of my favorite on-line study tools! Blue letter Bible pronunciation)close-up-dandelion-dandelion-seeds-39669

My Woman’s Study Bible says, “The Holy Spirit Superintended” , or oversaw the process in the writing of scripture so there were no errors in the original writings.

2 Peter 1:20-21 tells us, “ Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”  

Peter is addressing the false teachers who argued the reliability of the Christian message.  They believed that the apostles were making up the stories they were about Jesus.  Peter contended that the Old Testament was recorded by men who were moved, or carried by the Holy Spirit.

And if we go to the very beginning, Genesis 1:2 the Spirit of God was there, “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”

Peter was right!

God chose these precious Prophets of Old and Apostles of New, ok well some of them not so precious but I think that was to get some very special points across to us,  anyway he chose them to breathe His Holy spirit into them to carry His life to us.

I have to believe that all of this connection of scripture from Old to New Testament, and my friend this is just a simple example, the Bible is a seamless story from beginning to end,  that when I need to hear from God for a word of encouragement, discipline, training, or teaching I can turn to scripture and without a doubt know I can rely on His word.  It so much more pure and fresh than new fallen snow outside my window, it is LIFE!

Heavenly Father, Thank you today for sending your Holy Spirit to this world to live in your believers.  Lead us Father to your word when we are confused, need a little discipline and guidance or just need a word of encouragement because we know it is true and trustworthy.  In your Son Jesus’ name, Amen.

Motivation for Your Monday: The Holy Spirit Is With Us

for prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from god as they were carried along by the holy spirit. 2 peter 1_21 (1)

Well friends it’s a cold Monday in the “Ville” and I would love to be curled up on the couch in front of the fire in my blanket.  But off to work I go and so grateful I have the Holy Spirit to come along for my daily journey!

My prayer is the Holy Spirit will lead us today in all we do!

Wednesday I will bring you another video devotional about why we can rely on God’s Word in all areas of our lives!

Until then

Look Up, Let Go, Live Joy,

Jane Ann

Friday Joy: Three Bible Verses To Pray When You Need to Hear From God

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Glorious Friday, Friend!  I pray  God blesses us today and throughout the weekend.  Here are three verses we can take along with us to pray when we need to hear from Jesus. There are so many many more, this is just a start. I know they have given me peace, wisdom, discernment, and guidance I pray they will do the same for you!

We can pray Hebrews 4:16 when we need mercy and grace:  “Heavenly Father, I come confidently to your throne, I need your mercy and grace in my life”

When we need to see with a different perspective we can pray Psalm 119:18: “God, open my eyes so I can see the amazing truths in your instructions”

Pray Psalm 29:11 for strength and peace: “Lord, today I need your strength.  I come to you today and ask for your blessing of peace.”

And the Winner is:  Marian H.  Congrats Marian

I will be sending you a copy of Lysa Terkeurst’s Book, “It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way, Finding Unexpected Strength When Disappointments Leave You Shattered.”9780718039851

It’s not too late to sign up for this amazing study taking place at Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies.  Here’s the link to sign up. Sign Up  The study begins Monday, January 21st!  The small groups are full, but never fear, you can still participate through the Community Facebook Group and the Teaching Series.  Both links available when you sign up.

Oh, just FYI, I do not get any kick backs from Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies, I just want you to sign up because I know this is going to be a life changing study!!  Hope you will join me and the over 91,000 who have already signed up!  Let’s get that number up to 100,000.  Share my blog with a friend and invite them to join the study!

 

Until Monday, Look Up, Let Go, Live Joy,

Jane Ann