Category Archives: Meditations on God’s Word

Praying with Perseverance

1 Thessalonians 5:17 translations:   

Pray continually.                                                         1599 Geneva Bible                           

. . . Continually be prayerful.                                 International Standard Version   

. . . pray constantly. . .                                                Revised Standard Version

 Be unceasing in prayer.                                             Amplified Bible  

(praying perseveringly)  

Pray without ceasing.                                                              American Standard Version

. . . and never stop praying.                                    Contemporary English Version

 . . .pray at all times. . .                                                             Good News Translation

 Pray without ceasing.                                               King James Version

. . .pray all the time . . .                                             The Message

. . . without ceasing pray ye;                                  1382 Wycliffe Bible

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The message across time and translations remains the same:

constant, continual, unceasing prayer.

One version included this addition in brackets: “ praying perseveringly.”  To “persevere” is to:  “persist, continue, carry on, go on, keep on, keep going,      struggle on, hammer away, be persistent, be determined, see/follow something through, keep at it, press on/ahead, be tenacious, stand one’s ground, stand fast/firm, hold on, go the distance, stay the course, plod on, stop at nothing, leave no stone unturned, hang on, plug away, stick it out, hang in there”  (google.com).

Prayer changes lives, events, attitudes, history.  What could be different if we each prayed with unceasing perseverance? How would our lives be changed? In what ways would the world be altered? How could the Father of Lies ever      confront, intercept, or halt such a barrage of unceasing prayer?

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have   received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24)

 This means WE are responsible. Our personal prayer lives matter. Our church family prayers matter. Our belief is crucial.  The world we live in desperately needs our intervention. The means to do this is through “praying perseveringly” to God who can—and will—respond.  “And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him.” (1 John 5:15)

We must pray without ceasing! Amen and Amen!

(Sharon G. Tate blog 09/23/18) teacherforjesus.com   Meditations on God’s Word

 

“Word(s) Fitly Spoken” with Grace and Wisdom from God

 

 

“Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a ruling rightly given.”  (New International Version of Proverbs 25:11)

The language of the citizenry in a country is, often, a mirror of the culture and civilization of that society.  What words are said publicly and regularly now that were not accepted just a few years ago? Language changes with time and cultural acceptance.  Do our words today give us this beautiful image as depicted in   Proverbs 25:11?

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” (Revised Standard Version of Proverbs 25:11)

When we think of the word choices used in our society today and what may be regarded as “fit” for the occasion, what “word” do we visualize in our minds or “hear” in our thoughts? Does it come from a television character, a news moderator, a commercial, a celebrity, our next-door neighbor, a colleague, a spouse, our best friend, a politician? Does the word fit the image described in Proverbs 25:11?

“The right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of  jewelry…”(The Message translation for Proverbs 25:11)

Custom-made.  Just for you. Just for me.  We can go online and find words to copy and paste that might seem like the right words for the occasion. But they are not custom-made just for you and just for me. Only God can give us THE right word at THE right moment, custom-made.

1) Luke 21:15 “For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.” 

2) Psalm 141:3 “Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.”

3) 2 Timothy 2:14-15 “ 14 Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. “

4) I Peter 4: 10-11 “10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. “

5) Colossians 4:6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Our words speak much about us–as a people, as a society, as a culture. Our words speak much about us-as individuals. Our words speak much about us- to our    children and our grandchildren. Our words speak much about us-to all those with whom we engage in conversation, discussion, or debate. Where do we turn to find the words we should speak? Only God can give us “a word fitly spoken” that evokes an image of “apples of gold in a setting of silver.”

Let us turn to the Creator of everything to know what to say and how to say it with thought, with grace, with wisdom, and as “one who speaks the very words of God.”

(Sharon G. Tate blog 09/16/18) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

 

PREPARING TO MEET OUR GOD  

 

 

 

1To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 

A time to be born, and a time to die . . . (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2)

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Green leaves tinged red and yellow,

The air crisp in the evening walk,

This season of life before us;

Entering fall with expectancy,

A brilliance of color waiting

To explode in vibrancy around us;

And we, in the autumn of our lives,

 Hold onto that season before leaves fall.

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Fall back. Spring forward. The clocks are changed to manipulate time.

But seasons change as ordained by God. And the leaves will fall.

When the winter of our life comes upon us, will we have prepared to meet our Lord through the seasons of spring, summer, and fall? We cannot maneuver,  engineer, or mastermind the time we have left. We can’t “fall back” and try to stop the leaves from falling or the snow from coming.

A time to be born — a time to die. But there is that important dash, the life space of seasons in-between. These seasons of time are gifts from God. It is up to us if we grow, experience, change, and mature through them.

What will we do with this time allotted to us?

35 “ ‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit Me.’  37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of Mine, you did for Me.’”  (Matthew 25:35-45)

 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.                     (2 Corinthians 5:10)

 What will I have done before this appointed time?

 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. . . (Hebrews 9:27)

Have I prepared, through the seasons of my life, to meet my God?

 (Sharon G. Tate blog 09/09/18)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

 

 

 

Catastrophic Damage–WITHOUT GOD as our Refuge

 (Genesis 6:7-8) 7So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.”  8But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.)                                                                                                                 

(Genesis 7:17-24) 17 For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. 18 The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. 19 They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. 20 The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits. 21 Every living thing that moved on land perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. 22 Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. 23 Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark. 24 The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.

(Genesis 8:2) Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky.

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Winds blast gusts at 90mph;

Trees bend and branches crack;

Lightning flashes across the night sky;

 Thunder rumbles and grumbles behind;

Clocks flash. Time stops. Darkness comes.

Our power grid has failed us.

Where is the refuge we need?

Is there an ark? Is there a Noah?

We experience storms in life that seem catastrophic when we are in the epicenter—in the midst of the figurative lightning, thunder, winds, and darkness. Time seems to STOP right there, and we are stuck in the storm. Where do we turn? Our little ray, like a penlight, barely pierces the blackness. We fumble and stumble around, looking for a refuge or an escape. But there is no man-made ark. Noah is not here. And we are not there.

What we may have regarded as catastrophic disasters in our life at the time may be seen in retrospect, through much thought and prayer, as times when we did not turn to the ever-present Refuge. There is no need for the ark ever again. God is our refuge, our Light to find our way out of the darkness and storms we face. With His comfort, guidance, and peace, these seasons of life are not catastrophic. He is the power grid that never fails us.

12 “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.”                       (Philippians 4:12-13)

We don’t need to find a “Noah.” We should be the person who “found favor in the eyes of the Lord” as we realize we must turn to Him and trust Him. It doesn’t mean we won’t endure the storm. It doesn’t mean we won’t be tossed about and drenched. It doesn’t mean we won’t be struck or hear the rumbles against us. It doesn’t mean we won’t bend—but it does mean we won’t crack and remain broken. Our darkness will be dispelled by His Light.

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.                             (2 Corinthians 4:6-9)

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

(Psalm 46:1-3)

 (Sharon G. Tate blog 09/02/18) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

 

 

 

 

 

 

The City Illumined by God’s Glory

 22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. (Revelation 21:22-25)

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The sun shone brightly ahead with a fierce intensity. It was impossible to look directly at it. Because the lowered car visor was insufficient, I raised my hand to try and deflect the rays to continue driving. This temporary, and mostly ineffective, shield did not allow me to look at the sun, but I did view a sight I had never witnessed before. The power lines all along the road ahead of me were ablaze with light, a golden brilliance that seemed to sweep upward toward the sky. Literally aglow from the sun’s radiance reflected onto the lines, the sight brought to my mind’s eye the path to the City we each strive with hope and faith to reach one day at the end of our life journey.

This City is described in Revelations in the context of many precious gems that we regard as valuable in this mortal world: jasper, ruby, pure gold, sapphire, emerald, topaz, turquoise, jacinth, amethyst, pearls, onyx, chrysolite, and more.

DESIRABLE. BEAUTIFUL. PRECIOUS.

The depiction is one that gives us some understanding and context as we attempt to grasp what this place is like that awaits us when we follow His Light. As we travel in this world on a dusty, bumpy, pot-holed road with weed growth in the cracks that is not paved with gold, the Light beckons–and we continue onward in anticipation of our arrival at the gates of this beautiful City of God’s Light.

The power lines that late afternoon were a reminder of the Power of the One Who IS Light—our Lord and Savior. The golden glow emanating from them seemed like a path paved with gold, directing my focus upward. How many times do we miss these sights provided just for us. Everywhere we look, we see God’s glory. Do we fail to witness and stare in awe?

That day, that moment in time, a golden glow of His Light from the sun was cast onto a row of power lines. I was a witness to this beautiful sight. I could not stare directly into the sun, for it was/it is a power beyond my ability to meet eye-to-Eye. Yet, the reflection was one I could behold, a gift that afternoon and a reminder that God is here. We just have to look and witness.

(Sharon  G. Tate blog 08/26/18) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

God’s Wondrous Creation-Through our Children’s Eyes

My granddaughter had the biggest smile on her face, as did my grandson who was standing next to her in the picture that arrived on my phone. I couldn’t make out what she was holding, but it looked alive. This mystery was solved when a magnification clearly showed several worms in her hands. My grandchildren had dug up these worms in their backyard to give to a Momma Robin to feed her little ones who weren’t yet born. The nest was in a tree branch at the rear of the house. They were excited to be helping this new Momma and her babies, keeping a daily watch until the real excitement came as the eggs hatched and little mouths opened, wanting to be fed!

There was no computer screen nearby, no television, no Netflix, no I-pad. Just the nature that God created. And it was exciting to them!

How many are Your works, Lord!
In wisdom You made them all;
the earth is full of Your creatures.

(Psalm 104:24)

 What WONDER to hold God’s creation in our hands and what WONDER to behold the birth of life. But we might not truly appreciate this if not for the smile, excitement, and awe of a child.

 But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
or let the fish in the sea inform you.
Which of all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?
10 In His hand is the life of every creature
and the breath of all mankind.

(Job 12:7-10)

Ask the children, and they will teach you.

1At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”  He called a little child to Him, and placed the child among them. And He said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in My name welcomes Me.” (Matthew 8:1-5)

 Our children are our teachers while we become the students who need the tutorial of how to appreciate the smallest creatures that we, otherwise, might overlook as common and unworthy of wonder.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”  (Matthew 19:14)

Watch our children,

Wonder of Creation

In their eyes;

Behold the reflection

Cast into our own;

Watch our children,

To see God’s Wonders

All around us.

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

PRAYER VOICES TO GOD

Voices… praise, penitent, present, patient.

Voices…cries, complaints, compromise, consent.

Voices…soft, sincere, solemn, submissive.

Voices…articulate, academic, artificial, announcer.

 Voices…inaudible, innermost, introspective, intentional.

 Voices…rote, rigid, repetitious, recitation.

Voices…joyful, jubilant, joyous, joy.

Voices…thanksgiving, transparency, trust, truth.

Voices…unspoken, underneath, unconscious, unresolved.

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What prayer voices do we offer to God? Our tone, attitude, purpose, approach, language in prayer all indicate something about our relationship with God. We know that He can listen even when we don’t physically utter words, because He is omniscient and all-knowing. I AM—in present tense—is always present when we use our public voices, our inner voices, and even our unconscious voices for prayer. Yet, as David’s prayers indicate, God will not listen and hear if sin is “cherished” in our hearts.

Psalm 66:17-20                                                                                                                                                              17 I cried out to Him with my mouth; His praise was on my tongue.
18 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;
19 but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer.
20 Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!

 Psalm 116I love the Lord, for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy.
Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live.

What voice should we present before God–that He will listen to and hear the prayers we bring to Him? What heart must we have that He will listen to what has been uttered and hear what is really being said?

Like any father, God desires communication with His children. We owe Him a respectful voice; we owe Him our utmost presence; we owe Him our praise, our submission, our gratitude; we owe Him joy for all He has done for us. We owe Him a voice and a heart that demonstrates our love for Him, our Father.

Hallowed is His Name and hallowed is our time with Him. Our prayer voices must be appropriate for this special time spent with our God.

(Sharon G. Tate blog -8/12/18) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

 

We Are His Creation, Wonderfully Made!

 The spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life. (Job 33:4) ***********************************************

How often do we think about and reflect upon–

**breathing–unless there is a health concern that affects that life necessity?

**walking–unless something happens which impairs or prevents our ability to move?

**seeing–unless our vision is reduced, diminished significantly, or gone?

**hearing–unless communication becomes challenging or lost through this sense?

We, often, take much for granted in this life—until something is missing, changed, or gone.

Maybe by taking the essentials of our creation for granted,

we are taking God, our Creator, for granted.

 So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:27)

For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:13-14)

Yet You, Lord, are Our Father. We are the clay, You are the potter; we are all the work of Your hand. (Isaiah 64:8)

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?  (I Corinthians 3:16)

 We should daily think about and reflect upon God’s gifts of–

**breathing —taking in every breath gratefully as it is given from God.

**walking —moving forward in the moment and experiencing joy in the ability to do so.

**seeing—beholding the creation around us, including family, friends, and family in the Lord.

**hearing—listening to the sounds of God’s nature, the voices of loved ones, the praises to God.

His gifts to us, just in the creation of our own being, are beyond what we can comprehend. Even when impairments occur within our mortal forms, there is so much wonder in how we have been “knit together” by God that we should always be in awe. We can–and must–daily appreciate, in wonder and gratitude, our created existence in all its complexity and simplicity from our Father, our God, our Creator.

Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His;
we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. (Psalm 100:3)

 

(Sharon G. Tate blog 08/05/18) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

Walking on Water, our hand in His Hand

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowd. 23 After He had dismissed them, He went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray. Later that night, He was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a  considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.26 When the disciples saw Him walking on the lake, they were  terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s You,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to You on the   water.”

29 “Come,” He said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came   toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” He said, “why did you doubt?”

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.” (Matthew 14:22-33)

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Walking on water. Have we tried it?

“I can do this alone!” boasts self,

Boldly venturing out in defiance

Against depression, loneliness, fear.

 

Seeing only the murky depth below,

Our belief in self reveals false hope;

Sinking into the sea of doubt, failing

To look up at His outreached Hand.

 

Lord, save me!” is the utterance

We should speak first in humility,

Acknowledging Jesus gives courage,

Offering His firm Hand, a sure hope.

 

Come,” He speaks with gentle voice,

Leading us through our fear and doubt;

We hold onto His Hand without release,

Walking on water, our hand in His Hand.

 

Thank You, Lord, for waiting with outstretched Hand.

We need You to hold our hand through troubled waters.

“Truly You are the Son of God.”

 

(Sharon G. Tate blog 07/29/18) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

 

God is Always Near

 

I call on you, my God, for You will answer me;
    turn Your ear to me and hear my prayer. (Psalm 17:6)

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Surgery

Finances

Jobs

Young children

Older children

Elderly parents

Disease

Diagnosis

Trauma

Depression

Treatment

Abuse

Losses

Marriage

Loneliness

Addiction

Chronic pain

More . . .

More . . .

More . . .

PRAYERS!

–I have a prayer ministry. Receiving prayer requests can be an emotional experience.

–Emails, texts, messages, voicemails, calls, encounters: PLEASE PRAY!

–I read. I listen. I hear. I cry. I pray.

–I send out the prayer request if it is meant to be public. The message may be sent as written.

–I am, at times, asked to phrase the request better or not include all the information just shared. I must decide how to do that with discretion, empathy, kindness,  urgency, importance.

— I am there in heart with those involved when prayer requests come one after another after another with updates for the outcome of a surgery, major health  concern, or trauma.

—I must walk away and break temporarily from the situation at times when the    emotional level is too high.

At those times, especially, I think of our Father. He never walks away. How many prayers go up to Him in a second of our time here? How does He bear the load we send to Him moment by moment across the globe?

The Lord is near to all who call on Him,
to all who call on Him in truth. (Psalm 145:18)

He never walks away. He is God.

So, we pray to Him in this manner:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)

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PLEASE PRAY!

I read. I listen. I hear. I cry. I pray. I send.

The prayers go by email, in the bulletin to the church.

The requests are heard by God, always near.

 

(Sharon G. Tate blog 07/22/18) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word