Chanukah Humility

We continue to count the nights of Chanukah and we have reached day seven. We have seen, and observed, the progression of the fruits of the Spirit as moving toward issues in the heart. The next one is as well, although we often look for it in actions.

On night seven the candle we light is HUMILITY. Yes, I put this in capital letters. Yes, we often think it should be something “smaller or less than.” Without understanding humility, we cannot truly tell ourselves if we are humble or not.

Here is the definition of humility: the quality of having a modest or low view of one’s importance.

The Cambridge English dictionary says this: the quality of not being proud because you are aware of your bad qualities:

I like the idea from the Cambridge dictionary of “being aware of your bad qualities.” I tend to think that if we are humble, than we KNOW what our faults are. We walk out our “bad qualities” with understanding and repentance. We place ourselves at a lower level when we recognize the personality traits we need to change.

There are many verses in the Bible about being humble, or that give the exhortation to be humble. One I find as a challenge for myself is in the book of Micah. Interestingly enough, we once again have a word difference between most translations and the Complete Jewish Bible.

Micah 6:8 (ESV) He has told you, O man, what is good;and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

Micah 6:8 (CJB)Human being, you have already been told what is good, what Adonai demands of you — no more than to act justly, love grace and walk in purity with your God.

In this instance, the CJB uses the word, “purity” to describe being humble. I guess in many ways that is true. If we consider our “bad qualities” and have a “modest view” of ourselves, than we are cleaning ourselves and doing our best to be pure before God. We take the “bad qualities” we know about ourselves and we ask HIM to help us wash them away.

There are LOTS of verses in Proverbs about humility… I encourage you to google them and read them. So many reminders that humility is highly important in our daily walk.

Jesus taught about humility:

Matthew 23:12 (CJB) for whoever promotes himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be promoted.

I Peter 5:7 is another well known verse about humility:

Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that at the right time he may lift you up. Throw all your anxieties upon him, because he cares about you.

This verse is literally telling us to “lower ourselves” under God’s hand. When we submit to Him, HE will lift us up. I love how this verse says to “THROW” our anxieties on Him! When we KNOW that HE cares for us, than HE will LIFT US UP!

In our family we have discussed the idea of a “false humility.” Sometimes we try to “live lower” than someone else, and talk about how we don’t have the same “worldly goods” or the same thoughts as the other person, but inside of our hearts we have pride. It is a form of pride when we compare ourselves and say we are “lower,” but our hearts are far from being lower. The reason we are making the comparison is so that people will think better of us, which is NOT being humble.

Our reflection during this time should be looking inward and examining our hearts. Are we quietly submitting to HIS will for our lives? Are we seeking HIM in SPIRIT and TRUTH?

Our daily walk should reflect HIS LOVE and LIGHT to those around us. Don’t compare yourself to others. Don’t allow the enemy to creep in and bring pride to your thoughts. The minute you begin to believe you have all the answers and promote yourself is the minute that Adonai will bring things your way to humble you.

I think these verses about LIGHT can also bring understanding to humility:

Luke 11:34-35 The lamp of your body is the eye. When you have a ‘good eye,’ [that is, when you are generous,] your whole body is full of light; but when you have an ‘evil eye,’ [when you are stingy,] your body is full of darkness. So take care that the light in you is not darkness!

Don’t let your “evil dark eye of stinginess” affect your walk. Be GENEROUS and HUMBLE as you let your LIGHT SHINE. When people look into your eyes let them see HIS LOVE.

 

Love and blessings,

Rose Horton

His Promise Stands

My friend Megan mentioned something a few days ago about the end of 2019, and the fact that there’s still TIME to accomplish things and complete some of the tasks that God has called us to.  

She reminded us that 2019 still has a certain number of days left, and she brought encouragement to really end the decade well and ask God what else, if anything, He would have us take action in the remaining days leading up to 2020.

Her words resonated with me and I mulled over this most of the weekend.

In the middle of asking God what areas I needed to work on, what still needed to be finished before the new year, etc., He spoke to me very clearly out of one of my favorite verses, Numbers 23:19: “Am I a man that I would lie?”

“Ok God,” I thought.  “You have my attention…I haven’t called You a liar, have I?”

Quick as lightning in my Spirit I heard His response: “No, but you stopped partnering with me on your Promise…just because the year is almost over doesn’t mean I have changed My mind”

Cue mic drop.

What has God said to you in the past that you may have “shelved?” Have you given up on the things that He has promised?  Do you believe Him?  Has your heart started to disengage because there is only a matter of weeks left of the year and you are still waiting on something He promised?

If He said THIS is the year, He will keep His promise.  Psalms 12:6 (TPT) says: “For every word God speaks is sure and every promise pure. His truth is tested, found to be flawless, and ever faithful. It’s as pure as silver refined seven times in a crucible of clay.”  

Let me ask you again – What has He said to you?  His word surely does not return void (Isaiah 55:11).

Even with just a short amount of time left this year, God is still God and has not gone back on His word. Don’t give up now! If He said it, you will see it. You’re almost at the end, I encourage you to finish strong and full of HOPE!

Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double.” – Zechariah 9:12 (ESV)

~ Mandy Woodhouse

Love Extravagantly

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.

If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.

If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere.

So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.

Love cares more for others than for self.

Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.

Love doesn’t strut,

Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others,

Isn’t always “me first,”

Doesn’t fly off the handle,

Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,

Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,

Puts up with anything,

Trusts God always,

Always looks for the best,

Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.

Love never dies.

Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.

When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant.

When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.

We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright!

We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

1 Corinthians 13:3,8,11-13

Message Translation

The Way Of Love

Chanukah Faithfulness

Night six of Chanukah we light the LOVE candle again… Five candles and reminders of who HE wants us to be brings us to FAITHFULNESS. What does it mean to have faithfulness inside of us?

One of the most popular verses about faithfulness is in the book of Lamentations. Putting several together we read:

Lamentations 3:21-24 But in my mind I keep returning to something, something that gives me hope —that the grace of Adonai is not exhausted,that his compassion has not ended.[On the contrary,] they are new every morning! How great your faithfulness! “Adonai is all I have,” I say; “therefore I will put my hope in him.

God’s great LOVE is what compels us to keep going. It is clear that when we RETURN to something that brings us HOPE, we will see the COMPASSION of Adonai. The last verse explains His FAITHFULNESS. I think it is easy for us to forget that Adonai is FULL of LOVE, COMPASSION, and FAITHFULNESS. HE really will never LEAVE us or forsake us.  HE ALONE brings us HOPE.

As I looked for the word, “faithfulness” in the Word of God, the only person I could find that faithfulness was attributed too was God. Verses in the PSALMS. Verses that bring understanding to God’s greatest attribute – being faithful. Both of these are encouraging to us as we understand WHO God is.

Psalm 119:90 your faithfulness through all generations; you established the earth, and it stands.

Psalm 36:6 Adonai, in the heavens is your grace; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.

I said last week that as we move through the fruits of the Spirit, the attributes become closer to the heart. Faithfulness takes it a step deeper for sure… Lots of people were considered “full of faith.” We have the faith chapter in the book of Hebrews.

 

As I looked at chapter 11 in the Complete Jewish Bible, I noticed that they used the word, “trust” instead of faith. Now my thought process on all of this is highly intrigued! I want to know WHY????

What is the difference?

The definition of faith is:

1. complete trust or confidence in someone or something.

2.    strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof.

 

The definition of trust is:

firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something.

I do not have a way right now to inquire with Complete Jewish Bible to find out why they used trust. I fully believe they have a good reason. I found a long article written in 2007 that has a great explanation. To go into all the details here is just tough.

Here is one paragraph from the conclusion:

So, we can see that true faith is more than just belief in the existence of God. It is not just believing in God; it is believing God. It is trusting God. It is trusting in what God is, what God has done, and what God promises to do. It is performing what God instructs us to do in his word.

Sermon by Philip Edwards

May 19, 2007

Copyright 2007, Philip Edwards

Studies in the Word of God

If we understand faithfulness in ourselves to be the idea that we do not just believe IN God, but that we TRUST God enough to know that HE will do what He says He will do, than I think we get the right concept. Having FAITHFULNESS inside of us is more than just a belief that God exists. If someone says that we are filled with faithfulness, it would mean that we truly believe God and trust God with EVERYTHING.

When we grasp FAITH in this manner, than we have to realize that carrying the attribute of FAITHFULNESS should not be taken lightly. We have shared things that everyone can agree should be shared (LOVE, JOY, PEACE…). Now we have reached faithfulness and we must acknowledge that the attribute goes deep. This is not “on the surface I believe in You.” Faithfulness is more than just confidence, it is TRUSTING Adonai so deeply that we WANT to do what He says.

If we say that someone has at the gift of FAITH, it needs to mean someone that is trustworthy. Someone who will “do what God asks” because they TRUST God so deeply that they do everything with Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness…

How are you in your faithfulness? Do you TRUST God so completely that others are drawn to Him? Or more importantly, do you TRUST Adonai so fully that others know you follow Him?

Faithfulness… It’s time to do a heart check and see where you stand. You might believe “in God,” but do you truly BELIEVE GOD? WHO is your heart putting faith in? Man, or God?

I know this is what I struggle with. I often want to believe man over God… Tough to trust when man fails. But, if we truly believe the statements above about God, than we have NO reason to not carry faithfulness inside of us.

Chanukah LIGHT… let’s think about HIS LIGHT.

Psalm 27:1 Adonai is my light and salvation; whom do I need to fear? Adonai is the stronghold of my life; of whom should I be afraid?

BE FAITHFUL. BE the one that TRUSTS so much. Share that LIGHT with others…

Love and blessings,

Rose Horton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lean In A Little Further

This morning during my time with God, I had a serious encounter with Holy Spirit.  I hope you know the kind of encounter I’m speaking of.  It was glorious as I was moved to sobbing, I felt breakthrough in my Spirit, and I was trembling in awe and reverence of Who He is and what He has done for me.  

It seemed like every song on my shuffling worship playlist hit me in the heart, and scripture was jumping off the page.  I could hear so CLEARLY and felt such tremendous peace and approval.

Regretfully, I glanced at the clock, which rudely informed me that I only had about 15 minutes left of this supernatural ecstasy before I had to continue with my normal morning routines or I’d be late.  

I don’t know if it was my brain trying to justify my actions or if it was my emotions feeling like I just couldn’t take anymore because it was sooooo good, but somehow, I began to think that it was time to pull out of this beautiful heavenly place.  As if I was “filled up for the day” and therefore somehow released to leave God’s Presence and go about my day.  I certainly felt utter satisfaction – no doubt about that.  I both wanted to start my day but also felt like an anchor was there pulling me back into His Presence.  But I knew that I had things to do and it was time to get up and go.

And then I heard Him speak: “Mandy, I NEVER want to let you go!”

I was wrecked.

I realized then that there is so much more. There is so much more to our “quiet time” with Him.  The “Secret Place” is so much bigger and better than the corner we have settled for.

He asks us in John to ABIDE…. that word in Greek means so many beautiful things, including to tarry and to linger and to stay. HE WANTED ME TO STAY WITH HIM LONGER!

The farther I go in my walk with Him, the more I realize that a fact about Heavenly hunger is that we are actually NEVER filled. We just get invited to keep going and going and pushing in deeper and deeper and we have to actually challenge ourselves to not stop just because we’ve had an emotional or spiritual encounter that we think has set us up for the day.

THERE’S SO MUCH MORE, y’all.

And He is worthy. And He can bend time for us. He will do the impossible just to be with us – again and again.

I was reminded of a dream I had once, and while thinking about this dream I felt Holy Spirit take me into His Presence yet again.  I was able to revisit what He showed me in the dream, but also He gave me even more insight through another vision, rather like an extended version of a movie.  

In the dream I was with this woman who I knew from a previous ministry, and she was chatting my ear off with criticism, accusation, negativity – all the things that pastors deal with and yet struggle with regularly.  I found myself backing up into a deep closet while she kept yapping at me, and I was able to close the door and lock myself in.  When I did that, I could still hear her chatting away, yet it was muffled.  So I went a little deeper, and then a little deeper, until I couldn’t hear anything but my own heart beating in rhythm with the Father’s.  In the extended vision this morning, I then saw that I was so utterly transformed in the “deeper” places, perfectly in rhythm with His heart, that when I finally did exit the closet, the Glory on me was so intense that it silenced the woman completely, and caused her to repent and begin to speak Praises instead of cursing.  

That’s what going deeper into His Presence looks like.

Leaning in and abiding is a supernatural experience. YOU HAVE PERMISSION TO TURN YOUR BRAIN OFF. He’s the God of the impossible, which we all agree on, and He CAN bend time for us. His reality in Heaven is OUR reality because we are seated WITH HIM in Heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6) and if He is the God of the impossible, He can change circumstances, literally stop time (He did it for Joshua) and change our perspective if we allow Him to.

He did it for me this very morning.

God didn’t just want to fill a place called Heaven with a bunch of humans, He wanted INTIMATE FRIENDSHIP with us.  

Everything that Jesus went through was for INTIMATCY.  I am convinced that one of the devil’s best tricks is to cause us to forget that fact and to keep us from going deeper and lingering longer.  

Why stop short of everything He has for us?  Even if you feel that you can’t take it anymore, let Him burn you with His love a bit longer. Burning leaves a mark, yes, but it’s a heavenly mark that has the supernatural power to transform the earth.

Next time you are pressing in and feel the need to “come out” a little early, I dare you to press in just a bit longer.  Watch the GLORY that comes forth!  He is so worthy.

~ Mandy Woodhouse

Chanukah Goodness

On the fifth night of Chanukah the “Love/Servant” candle lights the Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness and finally the Goodness candles…

Goodness… What exactly does this mean? The definition of goodness is: “the quality of being morally good or virtuous.”

If you are kind, isn’t that being good? If you show love, isn’t that being good? If you are patient, that is being good. And yet “goodness” is definitely set apart in this understanding.

As I reflect on this “fruit of the spirit,” it seems to have a deeper quality to it. From this definition, it is the quality of being “morally good.” When one stops to think about it, a person could show an act of kindness and not technically be a “morally good” person or full of virtues. One could show love to another person and not be “good” within their heart. Even joy and patience can be accomplished without having “good intentions.”

I believe that as we move through the fruits of the spirit, we move closer and closer to heart issues. We begin with “acts” that can be done and are a part of many people’s lives, even if they don’t believe in God. Most people would say we should show love, be joyful, have patience, show kindness, and definitely want peace.

This “fruit” of goodness begins to move us to the heart. It should make us stop and reflect on what is happening inside ourselves and ask “why” we are doing something. It should make us think about the reason we are kind, or loving, or patient.

Being “good” is deep. It means that at the heart your intentions are trustworthy and honest. You are not just doing something to “get a reward.” Being filled with “goodness” means that you are focusing on accomplishing something because it needs to be done and is the right thing to be done, even if there is no reward in the end.

What are some verses with the word, “goodness?” I actually found many with the word “good,” but only the fruits of the spirit and a verse in Psalm had the word “goodness.”

Psalm 27:13 If I hadn’t believed that I would see Adonai’s goodness in the land of the living, . . . (CJB)

Psalm 27 is such an encouraging Psalm. I challenge you to read the whole chapter. Here is the last verse, verse 14:

Put your hope in Adonai, be strong, and let your heart take courage! Yes, put your hope in Adonai! (CJB)

David knew that Adonai truly cared for him. David believed that the GOODNESS of God was there for him to see and experience ALL the time. After everything David had faced, he still believed that God’s GOODNESS was there for him. David was said to be a “man after God’s own heart,” which means that David had goodness in him. David’s motives and actions were moral and full of virtue.

As we reflect on what it means to be “filled with HIS LIGHT” and GOODNESS, check your heart. Ask yourself if your motives are pure. Ask yourself if your intentions are “good.” Than move in those actions and be HIS LIGHT to those around you. Spread HIS GOODNESS to all you come in contact with. The fruits of the Spirit really will draw all men to HIM, if we just let HIS SPIRIT flow through us.

This concept is told to us directly by Jesus Himself in Matthew:

Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they may see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven. (CJB)

Take time today to REFLECT on the GOODNESS of Adonai and let HIS goodness flow through you and SHINE HIS LIGHT to those around you.

Love and blessings,

Rose Horton

A Spiritual Weapon

We all have them – those scriptures that you may read a thousand times in life, but one day when the penny drops, you feel like you’ve read it for the first time.  

Understanding Ephesians 2:6 was like this for me.  In fact, it has actually changed my life.  And it has specifically changed the way that I pray and my understanding of what “intercession” truly is.

God is most definitely moving hearts toward intercession in this hour.  I am seeing people across the globe “suddenly” realize that they are called to intercede for nations and generations, and I have walked with a handful of these people just this past week.  I feel that God is redeeming intercession in the Church, and teaching His people how to remain happy and hope-filled while they pray.  

Intercession is an invitation into hearing more of God’s heartbeat for His people and the globe, it’s not meant to be a weird thing reserved for only a few “special” ones nor is it only a tool to bring home the prodigals.  Intercession is actually the very thing that will shake and smash the idols and the sinister spirits that have had such open space in our nations, families, marketplaces and governments.

I believe that it is Bill Johnson who said that intercession is the power to release God’s heart onto the Earth.  What an invitation!  Yet with this release of God’s heart, an intercessor must both know God intimately as well as know the power and authority that he or she carries.

Ephesians 2:5-6 – “…even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (ESV)”

I suppose to fully grasp the meaning of this verse, we have to go back to the end of Chapter 1 to get the context of Paul’s statements in Chapter 2.  Let this sink in while you read it because this is the truth about who YOU are, as His Beloved:

I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.  And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:16-23).

The idea that we are seated WITH Christ in Heavenly realms blows my mind.  The implications of this are listed above – as the Church, we have been given His authority over all things.  He sat us at the right hand of the Father (in Jewish culture, sitting at the right hand of the head or leader is the highest form of honor given), and we sit far ABOVE all rulers, dominions, powers, and anything that is basically not Jesus.  

We are seated in a place of absolute power, ultimate victory, and all of the same authority as Jesus.  1 John 4:17, “as He is so are we in this world.”

Understanding this and actually believing it changes everything.  Notice how Paul states there is “immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe.” What if it’s simply our belief that holds us back from the power that is already ours?

I ran from intercession for a long time because I had a wrong picture of it in my mind.  I guess one could say, I “threw the baby out with the bathwater” because I didn’t want to carry the strangeness, the heaviness and the grumpiness (oops…I said it) that some intercessors in my world seemed to carry.  Because of what I saw in some, I had the very wrong impression that being an intercessor meant signing up for a life of constant warfare and burdens, though I could not understand how this was possible with scriptures like Ephesians 6 and Isaiah 61:3.  There definitely were times that I felt a call to go to war in prayer for certain things – especially as I began to step out in the prophetic – but I always felt like I was begging God to pull Heaven down over Earth, which greatly frustrated me.

Until I discovered that I was already seated in Heavenly places!

Dear friend, if you are currently feeling a draw toward intercession and you want to run from it because of past experiences, misunderstanding or just not knowing how to walk in it, I’d love to encourage you to meditate on the first few Chapters of Ephesians.  Ask God to reveal to you the authority and power that He has given you as an inheritance.  There is a sense of frustration in always feeling like you have to pull Heaven down to Earth, but there is great ease and joy in knowing that you can, in fact, PUSH Heaven down because of the authority Jesus has given His Church.  

We always pray from a place of peace and victory, and though the warfare may be slight, it can never really touch the Child of God who knows how high they are actually seated.

I am by no means an expert on this subject, but I am passionately journeying through the invitation into intercession, and these passages in Ephesians have been the most eye-opening for me yet.  It took me some time to fully believe and therefore walk in His immeasurably great power, but once I started to believe I felt the shift in my prayers and began to see Him move mountains.  

Now it is my great joy to carry people, nations and situations into prayer.  Another book that I would like to suggest for further reading is Beni Johnson’s book, “The Happy Intercessor.”  Both her book and an understanding of the ease of my prayers (because of Jesus) have turned me into a Spiritual weapon – and I believe that this is a promise for YOU, as well!

 

~ Mandy Woodhouse

Scarcely Saved

If the righteous are scarcely saved, what is to become of the ungodly and the sinner?” – 1 Pt. 4:18.

Sometimes we think that life should get easier as we grow in our faith and become mature adults.

However, there is something about walking by faith that is intrinsically difficult, no matter how long we have been doing it.  

The same old doubts and fears never tire of appearing out of nowhere to trouble our spirits.  

Like Jesus, we often must pray in our distress with “fervent cries and tears.” He prayed “to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.” – Hebrews 5:7.

Through it all, day by day, moment by moment, we overcome by our faith. It is not easy or pain free, but in the end it bears sweet fruit.

We become like Our Savior.  

We develop Our Father’s heart.  

We love more deeply with greater wisdom and understanding.  

We develop patience and perseverance—proven character.  

We become kind and compassionate, faithful and true.

Our Father is greatly pleased when he sees his image in us. He is proud of us. He delights in us. And not just for a few moments – his pleasure is eternal. He is shaping us to enjoy his company forever.

That is why it hurts sometimes. He is pruning away every branch of our lives that doesn’t look like Jesus – all self centeredness, all childish behaviors, all traces of evil. And then he grafts in nobility, generosity, and true goodness. Almost without our noticing how, we become more and more like Jesus.  

May we continually behold the glory of The Lord and be increasingly glorified with him!

~ Brad Heilhecker

He Works ALL THINGS For Good

Yesterday I wasn’t very confident or convinced.

Things didn’t feel good or look good.

Today, they still don’t.

Tomorrow may not either.

But what I do know is God is good.

His Promises are Yes & Amen.

He is not a God that would lie.

He is no respecter of persons.

What He does for one –

He can do for me!

I shall prophecy this Promise and keep believing that even “this” is not beyond His reach and He will work ALL THINGS out for my good.

We press on peeps and keep pursuing

His Promises!

~ XXOO Michelle

So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose.

-Romans 8:28 TPT

We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan.

-Romans 8:28 VOICE

And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.

-Romans 8:28 AMP

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Chanukah Kindness

The fourth night of Chanukah is marked for us by the word, “kindness.” The “LOVE” candle lights Joy, Peace, Patience and now Kindness…

The moment I hear this word I think back to a song from years ago that Leslie Phillips sang and the words say, “It’s your kindness that leads us to repentance oh Lord…”

It truly is amazing to think that we have a GOD who loves us so much that He will carry ALL our worries and sins. HIS KINDNESS should lead us close to Him, and then we SHARE that kindness with others.

What happens when someone treats you with kindness? When you know you have done something wrong and the person still treats you with kindness, your life is changed. When you take the time to treat someone else with kindness, both your lives are changed. Acts of kindness are a way to share HIS LOVE with those we come in contact with. Kindness can CHANGE the world we live in!

What does the Word of God say about KINDNESS?

In Genesis 40:14 But remember me when it goes well with you; and show me kindness, please; and mention me to Pharaoh, so that he will release me from this prison. (CJB)

This is the story of Joseph. He was in prison and had just interpreted the dreams of the cupbearer and baker. He asked them to “show him kindness.” Joseph requested that they remember him when they went before the king. Joseph’s kindness was repaid to him.

As I was researching verses, I found that many translations have exchanged the word “kindness” for the word “grace.” Here is an example:

Isaiah 54:8 in the NIV says: In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the Lord your Redeemer.

The Complete Jewish Bible says: I was angry for a moment and hid my face from you; but with everlasting grace I will have compassion on you,” says Adonai your Redeemer.

This happened in many verses throughout the Old Testament. It shows that God’s GRACE was there throughout the time that many believe laws abounded.

Many believe that the Old Testament is only filled with God’s judgement when they didn’t follow those laws. Many people read the Old Testament and think that GRACE began when Jesus came. This is something we need to reconsider. GRACE was shown to the Children of Israel many times. God should have, and could have, completely destroyed the nation. They walked away from His TRUTH and were not following what HE desired them to obey. By showing them GRACE and KINDNESS, HE allowed them to LIVE.

Through this line, our Messiah was born and now we really have a reason to show KINDNESS and extend GRACE to others. OUR sins and wrongdoings should cause us to be destroyed. It is only because of the GRACE of GOD and HIS KINDNESS towards us, that when we REPENT, HE turns to us and receives us.

Our ministry, Touched by Grace, says that God’s GRACE:

God

Rescues

Adopts

Completes

Equips

us for HIS SERVICE. God really does care about His children and He will do whatever it takes to HELP THEM SUCCEED. Once they are taken care of, HE wins because they share that KINDNESS with others.

What does the New Testament teach about kindness? Most of us know many verses that explain we are simply required to “be kind.”

Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with feelings of compassion and with kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  (CJB)

2 Corinthians 6:6 We commend ourselves by our purity, knowledge, patience and kindness; by the Ruach HaKodesh; by genuineness of love (CJB)

Titus 3:4 But when the kindness and love for mankind of God our Deliverer was revealed, (CJB)

Clearly, every community of FAITH in the New Testament was responding out of KINDNESS to those Holy Spirit brought to them. This was done because (as it says in Titus) the “kindness and love for mankind was revealed…” When the communities of faith did NOT respond in kindness, Paul challenged them.

As we are entering Thanksgiving season, prepare your heart now with KINDNESS. Kindness that will lead you to repentance and LOVE for your fellow communities of faith. Kindness that shows HIS GRACE to others. KINDNESS that leads others to HIM.

Since Chanukah is known as the Festival of Lights, we can also focus on verses about LIGHT:

I John 1:7 But if we are walking in the light, as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of his Son Yeshua purifies us from all sin. (CJB)

When we WALK with the LIGHT, than HIS GRACE cleanses and we show KINDNESS to others. Take time to show KINDNESS today and be HIS LIGHT.

Love and blessings,

Rose Horton

Listen to the song by Leslie Phillips below
 https://youtu.be/t5aFoxyrL4E