GOD BREATHED INTO MAN THE BREATH OF LIFE

 Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.  (Genesis 2:7)

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BREATH

OF
LIFE

BREATHED

INTO

MAN

FROM

THE

LIVING

GOD.

 Have we truly tried to envision this picture of God breathing the breath of life into the man that He formed from the dust of the ground, so this new creation could become a living being? Do we feel, with awe, the intimacy between God and His creation captured in this moment when the life of man began?

 The spirit of God has made me,
and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

(Job 33:4)

Without this breath of life, we are as dust again. God’s breath inside us maintains the life within. Yet, what we do with the Word of God, “breathed out by God,” creates the living being we each become in this life. Are we a living example of His Word– or are we just living beings?

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

 We are living beings with a choice.  God never breathed into us His Word as robotic obedience. He offers us the best way to live through His Word, “equipped for every good work,” the way He hopes we will live in order to return to Him when our bodies do become as dust once more.

What have we inhaled from His Word?

What do we exhale to those around us?

23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. (Colossians 3:23-

 

(Sharon G. Tate blog 09/15/19) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

 

 

 

 

 

Jehovah-Shalom: The Lord is Peace

 

11 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. (John14:27) 

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” (Isaiah 9:6) who gives us refuge from the storms of life.

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.

13 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, music by Horatio R. Palmer 1874. hymntime.com

(Sharon G. Tate 09/08/19 blog )  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

 

 

 

COMING TO THE LORD IN OUR BROKENNESS

 The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart . . . (Psalm 51:17)

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—– BROKEN —–

Again

The words were not ones I wanted to hear. Yet, I needed to receive the confirmation I already knew. Another fracture in my foot. I tried to do the “fix” myself with the wraps. It had happened so many times before. Didn’t I know how to heal myself by now? But no healing had taken place in three weeks’ time.

You can’t keep walking on brokenness. It just doesn’t fully heal. Ever.

So, the physician placed me in a walking boot with the prescription to wear it faithfully for six weeks.

*****************************************************************************************

—– BROKEN —–

Again

It happens to us over and over in life. Broken families, broken relationships, broken promises, broken hopes, broken dreams, broken lives, broken souls . . .

We try to find a way to repair, mend, heal, sustain, carry on by ourselves—

But we can’t keep walking on brokenness and expect to heal. Ever.

The Physician waits for us, in our brokenness. He waits with open arms.

28 Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”  (Matthew 11:28-30)

 When we go to Him with a humble heart, aware that we need His help, our healing begins.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3)

—– BROKEN —–

Again, and Again

 15 I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. 17 So then it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me. (Romans 7:15-20)

 However many times we find ourselves in the brokenness of being human, of failing in sinful behavior and prideful choices, the Lord is waiting for us to come back to Him again and again, waiting to shape and mold us for His good purpose, so we will be ready to enter into His eternal home.

 Rooms have been prepared for us. Will we be faithful?

—-UNBROKEN—–

ONE DAY

WITH HIM

MADE WHOLE

ETERNALLY.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 09/01/19) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

 

“HERE AM I! SEND ME.”

 

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”

Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”  (Isaiah 6:8) **********************************************

Opportunities

Waiting . . .

For someone.

I am someone.

Am I the one?

Am I willing?

Will I hear

His Voice

Ask “Who?”

Will I say,

“Here am I!

Send me.”

And He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. (Luke 10:2)

 We know the world needs the Lord. Where can we make a difference in our part of the world?  The opportunities are many. We just need to look and listen: Our communities need the Lord. Our neighborhoods need the Lord. Our families need the Lord. You need the Lord. I need the Lord. Every single day and every moment in each day.

Opportunities to share Christ are waiting for each one of us. Some surprise us by their delivery right to us: A message from people we knew ten to twenty years ago and haven’t had any     contact with since then—until now, reaching out. We may hesitate before deciding to open the messages, but if we do, we can see the possibility of sharing the Lord. Just a chance occurrence? I truly believe not. The Lord allows us to hear someone knocking. Do we have the ears to hear? It is our decision to open the door and walk into that person’s life once again. This is my testimony recently. I opened those doors, walked back in, saw a need for the Lord, prayed, and left the door wide open, continuing to connect, pray, and share the Lord.

Why do we hesitate to enter those doors that seem to have opportunities waiting behind them? Do we fear involvement, engagement, a personal cost?

Seek the Lord and His strength, seek His presence continually! (I Chronicles 16:11)

 We won’t go alone when we seek to do His Will. We won’t be afraid, knowing His Presence is with us continually. We won’t be weak in the task when we lean on His strength to guide us and keep us strong. Yes, there will be involvement. Yes, there must be engagement. Yes, there is a personal cost. That is discipleship with Jesus.

Many doorknobs are waiting to be opened. People are knocking on the other side. Maybe faintly, wanting to be heard but fearful to be heard. Maybe aggressively, demanding to be heard in a way that seems the opposite of need and, yet, strongly suggests a need. Maybe just hoping someone will interpret the knock and open the door. Maybe not knocking at all but waiting for us to knock and ask to enter.

Maybe we know them. Maybe they are strangers. Maybe they are close to our heart.

Everyone is an opportunity placed before us.

Will we say-

“Here am I!

 Send me.”

(Sharon G. Tate blog 08/25/19) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

Today Is My Eternity: TIME

 

     “How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here                                        before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn.                                                                                     How did it get so late so soon?”¹

 TIME: We often wish to hold onto it-to linger in the moment, the hour, the day- and make time pass more slowly. Just one more day, just one more hour, just one more moment. . .  And then we will have time to say what we want to say, do what we intend to do, and be what we think we can be. But time just, somehow, slips away—and we don’t have time enough, we reason.

TIME: It does not wait for us. It does not hold “the moment.” It does not provide the “right time.” We decide what to do with the time God gives us. The main focus and allocation of our time should be to follow the Lord, obey His Word, and wake up to the reality that Time does pass and it really could be “too late too soon.”

11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. (Romans 13:11-12)

TIME: It gives us the hope to change. It grants us the opportunities to make a difference. It bestows us with the gift of each second to unwrap and open the possibilities.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Galatians 6:9-10)

TIME: Isn’t it about time we DID SAY what we wanted to say, we DID DO what we intended to do, and we DID BECOME what we wanted to become—before we end up asking ourselves “How did it get to be so late so soon?”

 “God will bring into judgment
    both the righteous and the wicked,
  for there will be a time for every activity,
    a time to judge every deed.” (Ecclesiastes 3:17)

TIME: It won’t last forever here. It will last forever with the Lord. There is much to do in the time God grants us in this life. Let us “put on the armor of light” and boldly SAY what the Lord would have us say, DO what He would have us do, and BECOME what we know we must become-like Christ- to make a change, a difference, and open the possibilities to “do good to all people.”

What we do-or don’t do- each and every today affects our eternity in a forever way.

 1 Dr. Seuss.  http://www.goodreads.com/quotes

(Sharon G. Tate blog 08/18/19)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

The Voice of the Lord

 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.AND GOD SAID,“Let there be light”; and there was light.

AND GOD SAID, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.”

11 AND GOD SAID, “Let the earth put forth vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, upon the earth.” And it was so.

14 AND GOD SAID, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so.

20 AND GOD SAID, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the firmament of the heavens.”

24 AND GOD SAID, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so.

26 THEN GOD SAID, “Let us make man in Our Image, after Our Likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (From Genesis 1)

What do we hear in our minds when we read this passage? What sound, pitch, volume, intensity, intonation is speaking to us internally when reading this? Do we hear power, the tone of the One in charge? Do we hear love and tenderness in the Voice of the One who created us in His own Image?

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The Voice of the Lord.

30 “Now when forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in a flame of fire in a bush. 31 When Moses saw it he wondered at the sight; and as he drew near to look, the Voice of the Lord came, 32 ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob.’ And Moses trembled and did not dare to look. 33 And the Lord said to him, ‘Take off the shoes from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. (Acts 7:30-33)

Are we bowed down and humbled inside before the God of our ancestors, the Holy One whose Presence we are with through His Word? Can we hear the Voice of His authority, the Voice of His Holiness? Are we in awe and trembling like Moses?

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The Voice of the Lord

16 And when Jesus was baptized, He went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on Him; 17 and lo, a Voice from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16-17)

Are we speechless before the Lord God and His Son? In God’s Voice do we hear tenderness, parental pride? Can we, also, hear the tinge of sadness that obedience here will lead to obedience on the cross?

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The Voice of the Lord

Hearing with awe,
Listening in humility,
Bowing to His Voice
In obedience and love.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 08/11/19) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

 

 

 

The Great Physician Who Has Been There— And Can Empathize

 

12 And His disciples came and took the body and buried it; and they went and told Jesus. 13 Now when Jesus heard this, He withdrew from there in a boat to a lonely place apart. But when the crowds heard it, they followed Him on foot from the towns. 14 As He went ashore He saw a great throng; and He had compassion on them, and healed their sick. (Matthew 14: 12-14)

Jesus had just been told that John the Baptist was beheaded. He sought a place away from the multitude to grieve this loss privately. Yet, moved with compassion and empathy, understanding the needs of the people seeking Him, He left His solitude, putting aside His personal grief, to minister to them and heal their sick.

How many times have we gone to a doctor seeking help and left feeling that the physician just didn’t understand our needs and didn’t have the compassion to make that extra effort to find a cause, a solution, a treatment, a referral. Have we wished that doctors could just experience what we are enduring for a day or even a week, so they could have the empathy needed to walk as we walk, day-by-day?

“The great Physician now is near,
The sympathizing Jesus;
He speaks the drooping heart to cheer,
Oh, hear the voice of Jesus.” 1

 Ultimately, we can find only One who has been there with us and has endured what we have experienced.

For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have One who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet He did not sin. (Hebrews 4:15)

Jesus heals both body and soul. He IS the Great Physician. Turning to Him, we find a balm for whatever suffering we are experiencing. He hears with ears that listen, watches with eyes that see, feels with a heart of compassion, touches with the power of healing.

Do we seek the Great Physician in those times of struggle, sickness, despair, loss—and even in the day-to-day trials that weigh us down? He is ever near us. No appointment necessary. No waiting to be seen. No fee as we leave; it has been paid by Him.

“Sweetest note in seraph song,
Sweetest name on mortal tongue;
Sweetest carol ever sung,
Jesus, blessed Jesus.” 1

 Will we speak His Name and go to Him for healing?

 

 1 Hunter, William. “The Great Physician.” https://library.timelesstruths.org/music/The_Great_Physician

(Sharon G. Tate blog 08/04/19) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

I KNOW I CAN—WITH GOD’S HELP

 

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

(2 Timothy 4:7)

In the children’s story “The Little Engine That Could,” the Little Blue Engine used positive self-talk to achieve the seemingly impossible task of pulling the train full of toys to the top of the mountain and down the grade to the city below. Merely thinking about the possibility of success was not quite enough as she huffed and puffed: “I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.” 1 It was only when those spoken words were truly believed that the little engine chugged “faster and faster,” reaching the top of the mountain. The belief was uttered in a new phrase on the decline down the mountain to the city: “I thought I could. I thought I could. I thought I could.” 1

Sometimes, our life circumstances make our daily walk a difficult uphill climb, “chugging” and “puffing” as we struggle to keep ourselves going. Our self-talk during these times is critical. These internal words can defeat us, delay us, or inspire us. This self-talk is not ours alone, for God hears everything we think. There is no alone time. God is ever-present.

If we change our self-talk to “I think I can- with God’s help,” then we are closer to reaching the top of the mountain we need to climb– to reach a goal, endure a crisis, survive the work week, pay the bills, overcome a loss, see a way to keep going.  To truly attain these things, however, our self-wording must be one of firm belief and action based on that faith: “I know I can-with God’s help” and “I thought I could-with God’s help.”

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.” (Proverbs 16:3)

“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” (James 1:6-8)

With God as our Engineer, steering the course of our lives, we can know and believe with assurance that we will be able to “finish the race” and reach the “prize” waiting for us over the mountain in the City below:

13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 3:13-14)

 Let us press onward like Paul, trust fully in the Lord, and commit to the ultimate goal of heaven.

         “I didn’t come this far, to come this far.” 2
I know I will behold the view
On the other side of the mountain,
The Eternal City where I shall reside.

                                                                                   

1 Watty Piper’s 1930 “The Little Engine that Could.” www.printmag.com

2 Anonymous. thinkinghumanity.com

 

(Sharon G. Tate blog 07/28/19) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

 

SEEING WITH THE COMPASSION OF JESUS

#InvisibleIllnessAwareness: An online hashtag representing a community of people with “invisible” illnesses. In reality, this group could contain the community of the church and that of the world. There is the “invisible” within everyone that only God can fully see, for our vision is limited here.

 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. 13 So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (I Corinthians 13:12-13)

Even if “dimly,” do we try to see the invisible through our relationships with one another? Does the greatest of the three—love—lead us to an awareness of others? When we become more aware of others’ difficulties and circumstances, this can result in a greater capacity for compassion, a more caring understanding, and the deeper engagement of empathy. It is an awareness the hashtag group seeks, one that Jesus had in His encounters with others.

¹ So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any incentive of love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. (Philippians 2:1-7)

 We can have a mindset like Christ, who became like us by taking on the weakness of human form. The more we are in Christ, the deeper our awareness and outreach will be toward others. It is not a mindset of the society in which we live where personal “ME” interests are the priority. It is a self-sacrificing devotion to follow the path of Christ and become the servant, not the served.

–The leper is on our path. Will we try to see what he feels inside and not just notice his outer wounds?

–A blind man passes by with his white cane. Do we seek to understand his darkness?

–The woman who held her head up with worth suddenly looks to the ground as she passes those who begin to mock her. Are we able to feel her pain and fear?

–A child stares, wide-eyed, unmoving as her parents fight profanely, angrily. Can we see the images she has witnessed in her young life–and weep?

How do we look to the interests of these–and others?

With empathy.

Prayerfully.

Seeking wisdom from the Lord.

Having an awareness of the invisible.

Seeing with the compassion of Jesus.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 07/21/19)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

GOD SIGNS

 

Light beams

Glowing

Through clouds,

Quietude

At eventide,

A whisper

In stillness-

I AM.

God Signs. Everywhere. Do we see Him? Is His Voice immediately recognized?

16 For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 He received honor and glory from God the Father when the Voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.” 18 We ourselves heard this Voice that came from heaven when we were with Him on the sacred mountain. 19 We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. (2 Peter 1:16-19)

The Voice from the Majestic Glory. The Voice from heaven.

The Light through the clouds shining in a dark place.

When our day dawns, do we awaken to His Voice?

As our day closes at dusk, can we still see His Light?

Silent darkness

Permeating all

But for one ray,

Faith can see

Light breaking

Through clouds,

Witness to

I AM.

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of life— the life was made manifest, and we saw it, and testify to it, and proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing this that our joy may be complete. This is the message we have heard from Him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. (I John 1: 1-5)

 We did not see firsthand. We did not hear directly. Yet, we are witnesses. We can still see and hear our Lord and our Savior through His creation around us, through His creation within us in our hearts, minds, and souls. We hear and see Him through the Holy Spirit, whom He sent to be with us.

God Signs. Seeking through awareness. Finding through faith. Longing for what was from the beginning.

Through the eyes and ears of faith, we are witness to the ever-abiding Presence of I AM.

 

(Sharon G. Tate blog 07/14/19) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word