Archive for January, 2020

Renewed like the eagles: a word to the 60+ and others

January 29, 2020

This morning I read a word of exhortation from Kathi Pelton: “For All Who Are 60+…The Lord Has a Word for You!” She made this declaration:

“In 2020 your 60+ will be like your 20s again!” She went on to say : “. . . I saw that a weariness and fatigue of age was weighing them down, but suddenly the words from Isaiah 40:28-31 will come upon them and renew them!”

She referred to one of my all-time favorite passages from the Old Testament which I discussed in a previous blog entry which is revised and re-posted here.

Isaiah 40:28-31 (NKJV):

Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the LORD,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
31 But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

In Psalm 103:3-5 (NLT) we find another reference to being renewed like the eagle.

He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
4 He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
5 He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

Exodus 19:4 also gives this comforting reminder:

You have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.

The references to being renewed like the eagles also remind us of the closing verses of my favorite psalm :

Psalm 27:13-14 (NKJV)
13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the LORD
In the land of the living.
14 Wait on the LORD;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the LORD!

This passage also became the inspiration for an original psalm expressed as a prayer:

“. . . And the Spirit of God Moved. . . .”

“Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me.”
Traditional Gospel Song

As the Spirit of God moved upon the water,
As an eagle ascends on high and stirs her nest,
Attentive to the cries of her starving young ones;
As she satisfies her young and then spreads her wings,
So Holy Spirit with a gentle wavering,
Flutter over, move upon us in a new way.
As a gentle dove would hover over her brood,
Cover our soul and saturate our whole being.
As we wait upon you, spread your wings, bear us up
That we might soar to heights above the fowler’s snare.
Renew our strength and refresh our desire to serve.
As you feed us and sustain us, we shall mount up
On eagle’s wings. We shall run and not be weary.
As we look to you, we shall walk and not faint.

Esther Mui offers a spiritual song based on Isaiah 40:25-31: “Those Who Wait on the LORD”:

 

The power of renewing the mind

January 27, 2020

The Verse of the Day for January 27, 2020 in Biblegateway.com comes from Ephesians 6:12-13, one of the most celebrated passage related to putting on the whole armor of God, beginning with verse 10 and continuing through verse 20. King James Version renders the first five verses of passage this way:

Ephesians 6:10-14:

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

In addition to its use in this passage, the expression “to put on” is used in various other places in the New Testament. Note this reference to putting on something other than specifically “the whole armor of God”

Romans 13:12 (NKJV):

12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.

1 Thessalonians 5:8 (AMP) speak of similar elements of the armor mentioned in Ephesians 6:

But since we [believers] belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope and confident assurance of salvation.

Romans 13:14 (NKJV) mentions something else to be put on:

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

References in Ephesians and Colossians in the King James Version mention “putting on the new man” as part of the renewing of the mind: In Ephesians 4:22-25 (KJV) we this find this exhortation:

22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another

Colossians 3:10 continues with these words:

And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

Colossians 3:12-14 elaborate in terms of what believers are to put on:

12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.

The discussion of the above Scriptures reveal that the phrase “to put on” is connected to renewing the mind, whereby Paul encourages followers of God to “put off, put on, and put away.” We are encouraged to change of our minds and develop new thinking patterns. We are to put off the old man and to put on the new man, as we put away lying or any other ungodly practices. This transforming process is ongoing in the life of every believer and becomes the topic of the following poem:

The Power of Renewing the Mind

9 Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off
your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds.
10 Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn
to know your Creator and become like him.

Colossians 3:9-10 (Amplified Bible)

I am learning once more the power of renewing the mind
As I call upon the Lord for new insight to help me see,
For I seek to walk in power and excel and not be left behind,
As I strive to know deepest levels of intimacy.
With laser precision I target the old man nature
And put to death and mortify my members once for all.
I respond in obedience in answer to God’s call;
Not conformed, I transform myself, as new man, mature.
In the secret place of the Lord who ever inhabits
The praises of His people, here I desire to abide,
To put off the old man, vile, corrupt, wrapped in sinful pride
And put on the new man, as one changes garments, habits.
Above all I put on compassionate love from the start
And abide in my hiding place, filled with a grateful heart.

We conclude with another Scripture Memory Song: Put on the Full Armor (Ephesians 6:11-12)

The first day in 2020—another brand-new beginning

January 1, 2020

Today, January 1, 2020, we awake to embrace the first day of the New Year. In the Hebrew calendar the New Year has already begun, and we note this designation for the Year 5770—Year of the Mouth. Many times, I start off the New Year with a theme which I often express poetically:

Overflowing goodness from Almighty Jehovah’s horn of plenty
will abound toward those who open their mouths and
declare His favor without measure in 2020.

Thinking further about today representing a new beginning or a fresh start inspired this response:

The first day in 2020—another brand-new beginning

Today, the sun arises in splendor, in glorious array,
As we declare once more with conviction, “Yes! It’s a good news day.”
We seek to do the will of God and more fully and learn to serve Him
With gladness of heart, as we usher in the coming Kingdom.
Each day we draw breath flames the passion to be all God called us to be.
We fervently pray, Lord, open our eyes that we might truly see.
With outstretched necks we lookup, waiting to mount as eagles ascend
Each new day blossoms in beauty, a new the beginning of the end
When the Lord shall restore all the thief came to steal, kill, and destroy
When at last we dwell in God’s presence where there is fullness of joy
We learn once more that to love is also totally to forgive
And know the more abundant life we were designed to live.
For His glory, our spirit, soul, and body the Lord has healed
When face to face what we knew in part our God has fully revealed.
As we walk in love, we never lose, but we are always winning.
On the first day in 2020—another new beginning.

As we think about the Year of the Mouth, we should follow this simple admonition from Brent Jones:

“Open Your Mouth and Say Something” and the exhortation of Pastor Patti Mellette: “Open Your Mouth and Say Thank You.”

As we do, however, we must also realize the importance of speaking or confessing the Word of God with our mouth:

Isaiah 55:11(AMP)

So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

Luke 1:37 (AMP):

For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment.

In this Year of the Mouth, this is my prayer:

Psalm 19:14 (NKJV):

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.

As we begin the New Year, this familiar passage from Isaiah reveals the creative power of God Almighty who also declares:

Isaiah 43:16, 18-19 (NIV):

This is what the LORD says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

We reflect upon blessings of the past year with gratitude and anticipate even greater blessings awaiting us in the coming year, as each New Year represents a fresh start, as God reminds us once again that He makes all things new. As we considered deeply the concept of a new beginning or another chance, think about these simple lyrics:

It’s new, new, new–brand new.
God is doing a new thing.
Lift your voice and sing His praise.
Bless the Lord and glorify His name.

It’s new, new, new–fresh as the morning dew.
God is doing a new thing in our midst.
If we do not faint, we shall reap in due season.
Open your eyes and see, it’s a brand-new day.
God is pouring out His spirit in this new season.                                       Open your ears to hear what the Spirit has to say.

It’s new, new, new–brand new.
God is doing a new thing.
Lift your voice and sing His praise.
Bless the Lord and glorify His name.

It’s new, new, new–fresh as the morning dew.
God is doing a new thing in our midst.

As we embark upon this new season unfolding before us, we pause to reflect upon God’s goodness and mercy that sustained us through the most challenging circumstances of the past year. We also recognize that in the coming year we may encounter even more challenges and more difficult situations that seem impossible to resolve on our own. We are assured that if God triumphantly came through on our behalf before, He can and will do it again. During this time, we also savor the present reality that in all our circumstances “we conquer more and more.” Finally, we look forward even greater triumphs in the days ahead, as we move from faith to faith, glory to glory, and victory to victory.

Here is a word of encouragement from Ricky Dillard and New Generation who make this declaration: “Today Will be the Best Day of My Life.”