FACING OUR FEARS THROUGH GOD

With the concerns, disasters, and tragedies of each day constantly before us in the media and social media, FEAR can become a crippling concern that takes away our JOY.

FEAR happens when we FORGET THE PROMISES of our God and Savior.

To counter our fears, we must REMEMBER HIS PROMISES. Each time we feel a concern that results in anxiety, depression, or overwhelming stress from a fear that we can’t seem to handle, we can only give it to God and break down each aspect of FEAR through Him.

F:      Foundation Stone

E:      Eternal Rock

A:      Abba Father

R:      Risen Savior

S:      Sovereign Lord

We cannot calm our FEARS without God.

Foundation Stone:

16 So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic.” (Isaiah 28:16)

Eternal Rock:

Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal. (Isaiah 26:4)

Abba Father:

14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by Him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory. (Romans 8:14-17)

Risen Savior:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. (I Peter 1:3-5)

Sovereign Lord:

When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “You made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them.”  (Acts 4:24)

The One Sovereign Lord who made everything–Who is the Foundation, the Eternal Rock, and the Risen Savior—is, also, our Father. He welcomes us in His arms when we come before Him, needing and asking for His help, His comfort, His security, and His strength. FEAR is not in Him. PEACE is transmitted from Him to us as we seek His help and rely on His promises to, once again, find our JOY through Him. Let us go to Him always.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 05/20/18) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

Mary and her Son: Keeping These Things and Pondering Them in our Hearts

Mary and Jesus and John

 26 When Jesus saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing near, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. (John 19:26-27)

On the cross, while enduring the most extreme agony of suffering for our sins and abandonment by His Father, Jesus looked down and saw His mother. He knew she would need to be cared for, and John, His trusted disciple “whom he loved” was near. Jesus made it clear in the wording He used that Mary was to view John as her son and John was to be that son to Mary.  John accepted this great responsibility and took Mary home with him.

In providing for His mother, Our Lord demonstrated His love for this woman who bore Him. Mary was told by the angel that she, a virgin, would bear a child who would be “the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)  She didn’t understand but humbly accepted this responsibility by verbally stating: “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled” (Luke 1:38).   When the shepherds came to Bethlehem to find The Child, Christ the Lord in the manger, Luke recorded Mary’s unspoken thoughts and feelings about this birth: “… his mother kept all these things in her heart” (Luke 2:17-19) When Jesus was twelve and told his parents, who were looking for him, that he was about His Father’s business in the temple, they did not understand. Luke, once again, recorded her unspoken thoughts and feelings: “But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:48-51). 

We can only imagine what Mary really pondered all those years. “Mary, did you know?” are the lyrics written by Mark Lowry to a well-known Christmas song.¹ Mary had been “pondering” all these years, and she seemed to know that Jesus had the power to perform a miracle at Cana and provide more wine for the wedding occasion. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘O woman, what have you to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.’  5His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever He tells you’ (John 2:1-5). And He, then, turned water into wine, performing His first recorded miracle. “This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him” (John 2:11). His mother had already believed in Him.

Mary was with Jesus, her son, throughout His life, and she was at the foot of the cross when He was sacrificing Himself for all mankind. She was a mother who loved her son and gave Him up for us.  “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:38) Her words could be heard, not only at the beginning, but also at the end of her son’s life on this earth.

Mother has the word “other” in it. A mother has a special bond with her child from conception until she dies. She looks outside herself to her child and gives to that child first above her own self. The “M” in a loving mother is never the completed word “me” for it defers, instead, to the full word “other.” Her “other” is the child she bears, the child who grows inside her, the child who continues to grow outside her body but never outside her heart.  Mary was this mother.

To those of us who are mothers or future mothers, let us strive to be the woman and mother Mary was: “The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you’ ” (Luke 1:28).

Let us all be as caring toward our parents as Jesus was to His mother. In spite of all that He was going through on the cross, He remembered her and provided for her.

 Our mother is our deliverer into this life. Jesus is our Deliverer through this life.

 May we keep all these things and ponder them in our hearts.

¹https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Lowry

(Sharon G. Tate blog 05/13/18) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

DAY-BY-DAY STRENGTH FROM GOD

              

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
(Psalm 46:1)

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**The young mother tries desperately to find a moment to herself behind the bedroom door—as her young toddler knocks incessantly and the baby cries loudly and louder out to her. Never a moment. Door opening.

**An elderly man, who just lost his wife, strives to raise himself from his chair to get to the kitchen and make a meal—but falls back, too short of breath. Not tonight.

**A father of five rushes to his second job, working too late to see his children before they are sound asleep and leaving too early in the morning before they awaken. Aging faster than his 35 years. Missing the sounds and moments with his children.

**A teen girl, the subject of whispers and laughter, walks to her locker at school, head down. Reaching the locker door, she opens it to stare at the girl in the mirror with tear-smudged makeup. The locker door slams against her back. Passing laughter. Tears in the mirror.

**The college student struggles, trying to keep up with grades, athletics for his scholarship, and the social life in the fraternity.  Once again, he thrusts a needle into his arm, the hype less each time. Wanting to be free. Needing more.

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Waves crash against the shore;

We walk into the storm,

Assured of our own stamina;

Winds lash out pummeling us.

Pushing ahead through it all,

We are winning—until a pebble

Becomes lodged in our shoe.

Something so small, yet powerful,

Constant, nagging pain as we move.

Day after day struggles in our life walk,

Dealing with the pebble, always there,

More difficult than storms that subside.

Where is the relief from each day?

“God is our refuge and strength.”

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It is the day-after-day struggles in our lives that can be the most difficult to deal with on a regular basis. The pebble in our shoe seems to grow into a rock by day’s end.

But God is always there, “an ever-present help in trouble.” We need Him as we go through the larger storms that assail. But it is in the everyday moments of difficulty where we come to truly know Him and learn that we need to depend on Him always.

29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

(Isaiah 40:29-31)

       (Sharon G. Tate blog 05/06/2018) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By No Other Name–I AM

Psalms_8-9 thy name

 

13 Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?”
14 And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:13-14)

God declares His name in the present tense, for He has always been, is now, and shall forever be. Stating “I AM WHO I AM” with precise clarity, God describes His character which speaks for itself. It is “WHO I AM.

A name can speak authority, manifest power, declare celebrity, carry legacy. Each name represents life and existence, along with the capability of what we can become. We are named at birth, but the significance of our given name is what we do with our lives. This
becomes our character and our legacy, recognized by–and represented through– our name.

In a Beatles’ song, Eleanor Rigby is “buried along with her name.” ¹ There is no legacy, no lasting measure of a difference made by living.

There is a name, however, that we can chose, beyond our birth name, which gives us eternal life and the opportunity to make a lasting difference in this temporal life. Bearing the name “Christian” means speaking with the authority of the Word, manifesting the power found in Christ, shining with the celebrity of His name (that has not faded with
time), and carrying the weight of His legacy. The character that accompanies this name “Christian” must be worthy. Who we are should clearly show the character of Christ.

The significance of being called “Christian” is clearly shown upon examination of this word. The suffix “ian” or “an” in the word “Christian” means the following: “belonging to or relating to; typical of or resembling; adhering to or following; a person who specializes or is expert in.”² Bearing the name “Christian,” we belong and relate to, resemble, adhere to and follow Christ. We should be specialists and experts in what it means to be a Christian.

By no other name can we enter eternity with Christ but “Christian.” Our character must reveal Christ through our actions and our words to bear this name. It is the name that will not be left on a tombstone to fade and disappear with time. It is a name that will endure and be acknowledged by Christ as we enter the presence of I AM forever.

 ¹ “Eleanor Rigby” by the Beatles/1966 release/Album Revolver                                                             ² Suffix “ian” or “an” meaning from dictionary.com

(Sharon G. Tate blog 04/28/18) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

NEW LIFE UNDER GOD’S LIGHT

 

 

22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24)

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The old self is the familiar self. It is hard to leave the comfort of familiarity and start anew. Like the plant trying to break through the hardened ground to reach the light and grow, we struggle. The darkness underground in the shadows envelops us, seemingly hiding what we don’t want the Light to see associated with our old self.

We know His Light will change us. It will reveal what we cannot hide. We are unable to remain the same under the influence of Light. The plant knows this about light. Photosynthesis is innate to its existence and    sustenance. God imbued the plant with this “understanding.” It is changed by light, as we are when we yield to its life-giving effects.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the  resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.   (I Peter 1:3-5)

The old self, that we have come to know so well, cannot grow and change. It is an Old Life Dying every moment. The old must die to  release the reborn me and you in a New Engaging Walk with the Light.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Death, in our culture, is usually associated with feelings of fear, anxiety, dread, and avoidance. Yet, through the Light of Christ, death to our old self is the means through which we can each grow to prepare for our new life eternal. From death is the hope to rise anew, to break through the hard ground out of the darkness, to reach upward and bend, like the plant, toward the saving Light.

 When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)

Let us each follow His Light.

He is the path to salvation,

Our Guide home through the darkness.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 04/22/18)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

 

Jehovah-Shalom: The Lord is Peace

The Lord gives strength to His people;
the
Lord blesses His people with peace. (Psalm 29:11)

When reading the headlines in the newspaper or hearing the day’s events as presented by the nightly news anchor, we might question,

“WHERE IS THE PEACE, LORD?”

Jesus clearly answers us: 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. (John 14:27)

The world outside may be a raging storm, our inner world may be a tempest–but He gives us peace from it all, if we are willing to let Him into our hearts. The Lord gives us this promise when winds blow,  lightning strikes, hail falls, floods rise, inner thoughts assail in our moments of uncertainty and fear: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)  Jesus is the “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” who gives us refuge from the storms of life (Isaiah 9:6).

10 Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet My unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor My covenant of peace be removed,”
says the
Lord, who has compassion on you.

(Isaiah 54:10)

The only way we are removed from this peace is by our own doing– when our faith is weak, when we fear a sinful society seems beyond redemption, when our internal thoughts become ridden with doubt. Through all of this, we limit God, and His peace cannot reach us. The giving end from God is always powerful and strong; the faulty transmission comes at the point of reception– you and me.

 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him,  so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

PEACE! PEACE! BE STILL. ¹

 ¹ “Master, the Tempest is Raging” lyrics by Mary Ann Baker 1874

(Sharon G. Tate blog 04/15/18) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

 

In Awe of our Awesome God!

 

Many, LORD my God, are the wonders You have done, the things You planned for us. None can compare with You; were I to speak and tell of Your deeds, they would be too many to declare. (Psalm 40:5)

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WONDER: “To be filled with admiration, amazement, or awe; marvel” 1

My three-year-old grandson was tugging on my son’s hand, trying to make him move more quickly around the pond walkway. Suddenly, he stopped, pointed, and loudly exclaimed, “Magic! Magic, Daddy!” We all stopped to look.

Sparkling lights were dancing atop the water from the sun’s reflection and the combined motion of the water with the wind.  Indeed, it did look magical. But the real wonder was not created by sleight of hand through any magic but by God, Who spoke the elements into existence, thus forming the possibility of this scenario of light, water, and wind to create a moment of beauty witnessed first by the innocence of a child. It was the child, imbued with innate wonder, who made the adults stop– and notice the dance.

Tugging the child’s hand, we moved ahead on the walkway, soon reaching the other side of the pond. But the little boy kept looking back at the water, whispering “Magic.” He was still amazed, awed. Did we, too, see with the eyes of the child, with the eyes of children of God—and marvel?

The wonders God has done just for us in this world demand our gratitude, our amazement, and our awe:

14 “Listen to this, Job; stop and consider God’s wonders. 

15 Do you know how God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash? 

16 Do you know how the clouds hang poised, those wonders of Him who has perfect knowledge?  (Job 37:14-16)

 

19 He made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down. 

20 You bring darkness, it becomes night, and all the beasts of the forest prowl. 

21 The lions roar for their prey and seek their food from God. 

22 The sun rises, and they steal away; they return and lie down in their dens. 

23 Then people go out to their work, to their labor until evening. 

24 How many are your works, LORD! In wisdom You made them all; the earth is full of Your creatures. (Psalm 104:19-24)

 

31 May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in His works— 

32 He Who looks at the earth, and it trembles, Who touches the mountains, and they smoke. 

33 I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. 

34 May my meditation be pleasing to Him, as I rejoice in the LORD. (Psalm 104:31-34)

May our meditation be pleasing to Him, Who created wonders just for us to enjoy. Let us rejoice always in the Lord and be amazed by His sparkles of Light, reflected in all creation. May our eyes behold in awe, as our lips whisper, “GOD.”

1 www.dictionary.com

(Sharon G. Tate blog 04/08/18) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

The Good News: JESUS HAS RISEN!

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see Him, just as He told you.’”

Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said      nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.        (Mark 16:1-8)

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     The Stone: a physical barrier to entrance, a spiritual barrier to faith.

                                                      Who will roll away the stone?

The women could not enter the tomb until the great stone was removed from the entrance. It was an impediment to their purpose, they couldn’t move it themselves, and it blocked their view to what lay on the other side. They were worried about something God had   already removed for them. They just needed to “look up” to see that their path was open and clear. Still, the women did not recognize it was God who had rolled away this physical barrier which now allowed them entrance and opportunity to remove the spiritual barrier of their disbelief.

Upon entering the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in white “and they were alarmed.” The young man told them not to be alarmed, for he had good news to tell them: “He has risen!” This angel from God showed them proof that Jesus was not there: “See the place where they laid Him.” Their physical view was clear now, not blocked by the stone, and the women could not dispute what their eyes beheld. Jesus was not there. Only this young man was present, and he was telling them something that, though foretold, they had not quite believed as they had come to anoint the body of Jesus, the crucified Christ buried in the tomb, His final resting place. A stone still needed to be rolled away, a spiritual one.

The women were uncertain in their faith. There was still a barrier. The reaction to the young man’s announcement that Jesus had risen and was going ahead of them into Galilee where they would see Him again was shocking. The angel told them to go and tell the good news to the disciples and to Peter. The women left “trembling and bewildered” in flight from the tomb. And, being afraid, “they said nothing to anyone.” They were still uncertain and confused.  No one would believe this. Did they really believe it, even after seeing that Jesus wasn’t there with their own eyes?

Jesus later met Mary Magdalene, rolling away the stone of her questioning belief, and she left to tell the disciples–who did not believe her testimony. Jesus appeared to the eleven disciples and “upbraided them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw Him after He had risen” (Mark 16: 13).

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Who will roll away our stone?  Our uncertainty, confusion, disbelief, “hardness of heart,” and fear can all be rolled away by faith in the Lord, who goes before us. “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” (Deuteronomy 31:8). All impediments to faith are ones God can remove—if we just let Him. Though we have not seen with our own eyes, we can believe those whose testimonies of first-hand witness tell us.

The Good News: JESUS HAS RISEN!

(Sharon G. Tate blog 04/01/18) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

 

The Man on the Path to the Cross

Crowds gather to watch,

Some crying and wailing,

Others yelling “Crucify Him!”

The man on the path–innocent.

 

His body scarred and bloody,

Flogged and spit upon,

Weakened and fatigued,

Carrying a weight–the cross.

 

Knees collapsing into sand,

Simon forced to lift the load,

Yet the burden remaining

Within the man on the path.

 

Looking ahead to Golgotha,

The place of the skull—

Death awaits, has waited. . .

Since his first cry in the manger.

 

The man has seen the path ahead–

In the temple on His Father’s business,

In the upper room sharing the bread,

In the garden praying alone “Thy Will.”

 

We watch from a distance, His path,

And know the final walk is victory.

The man, Son of God, on the cross,

Obedient to sacrifice–“It is Finished.”

 

(Sharon  G. Tate 03/25/18)    teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

 

J E S U S W E P T: Tears that give us hope.

 32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw Him, she fell at His feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied.

35 Jesus wept.  (John 11:32-35)

Jesus wept. Why? He could—and did—easily bring Lazarus back from the dead. He knew He could exchange their tears of sorrow for tears of joy. Jesus told the disciples, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.” (Matthew 28:18)  There was no logical reason for Him to weep. Yet, He wept-with deep feeling.

He wept with empathy: “the feeling that you understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions: the ability to share someone else’s feelings.” 1 Jesus witnessed the great sorrow of Mary and the Jews who were with her and was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.  He understood what they were feeling and shared this grief and loss with them, even though He knew what they didn’t know or understand—that He could bring Lazarus back to them.  Jesus was a brother in this moment, a man who shared the human sorrow of Mary and those Jews who came with her. Then, Jesus called Lazarus forth from the grave with the power given Him as Lord and Master.

Jesus was both man and God. Yet, He was not above meeting us at our human level. He came to this earth to become human.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (Philippians 2:5-7)

And we are called to become like Him in our relationships with each other, taking on the nature of a servant,” not to be above others—but to meet them at their level with understanding and empathy.

Jesus goes with us through our sorrow, our pain, our loneliness, our desperation, our darkest hours-and weeps with us. He knows what we are experiencing and can empathize fully. The hope we have to overcome these times in our lives lies not in our tears- but in His. If Jesus did not understand us from the human level through His time here on this earth, He would not be as approachable and could not truly hear, see, sense, feel, and share in our daily struggles throughout this life. It is why we can go to Him in prayer with the confidence that He understands and cares.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for “being made in human likeness” for us.

Thank you, Jesus, for your tears.

1 Empathy.http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/empathy

(Sharon G. Tate blog 03/18/18) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word