Archive for the ‘Quote of the Day’ Category

Health and wellness and more

April 23, 2019

This morning I noticed the words on an advertisement for health insurance which serves as the Quote of the Day for April 23, 2019:

“It’s your life. Live it well.”

The packet of information provided tips, activities, programs, and services related to health and wellness. Generally speaking, the concept of wellness brings to mind our physical well-being. Perhaps, if pressed, most people might also acknowledge the desire to achieve a state of well-being mentally or emotionally.

We recognize wellness is a difficult word to define. Charles B. Corbin of Arizona State University offers this definition: “Wellness is a multidimensional state of being describing the existence of positive health in an individual as exemplified by quality of life and a sense of well-being.”

Wellness usually connotes “a healthy body and sound mind.” As the old folks used to testify: “I thank God for a reasonable portion of health and strength and that I am clothed in my right mind.” God, our Father and creator, however, desires for us to experience wholeness, spiritually, mentally, or emotionally, as well as physically. I Thessalonians 5:23 in the Amplified Bible reminds us of this truth:

And may the God of peace Himself sanctify you through and through [separate you from profane things, make you pure and wholly consecrated to God]; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved sound and complete [and found] blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah).

Apostle Eric L. Warren acknowledges that Christians most often place emphasis on the “Body Man” or the “Soul Man” but totally overlook the “Spirit Man.” The Bible encourages believers to be renewed in the spirit of their mind. We must walk in the spirit and not according to the flesh. Without question, spiritual wellness is the most important dimension of one’s sense of total well-being.

Those who seek to find and maintain wellness physically, mentally, and most importantly, spiritually obtain a priceless treasure. Indeed, they are wealthy beyond belief, as expressed in this response:

A Question of Wealth

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper
in all things and be in health,
even as your soul prospers.

3 John 2

 

How do you measure the fullest meaning of wealth?
What is the total value? How much is the price
Of a fruitful spirit, a sound mind and good health?
Can you calculate the sum and then square it twice?
To prosper and be in health, even as your soul
Prospers cannot be measured by any amount
Withdrawn from the world’s treasures, for even the whole
Earth could never contain so vast a bank account.
But those who set their affections on things above
And not on things on the earth are free to explore
The infinite riches of God’s favor and love,
For they alone know their true value even more.
The truly rich ask to receive and seek to find
The priceless wealth of strength in God and peace of mind.

Many times when someone asks, “How are you doing; how’s it going?” I will respond, “It is well.” The lyrics to one of the most popular hymns of all time come to mind as we close with this rendition by Chris Rice:

The strong, the wise, and the righteous

April 3, 2019

The blog post for April 4, 2019 offers the Quote of the Day, an insightful statement from Apostle Eric L. Warren:

(more…)

How long will you be a work in progress?

March 26, 2019

 

 

The blog entry for March 26, 2016, is a revision of a previous post discussing the concept of a “work in progress” or a “work in process” (sometimes abbreviated “WIP”). We could use the following statement as the Quote of the Day:

“Each believer is a work in progress.”

Fil Anderson of In Touch Ministries acknowledges this truth:

However, I’m no longer embarrassed or afraid to admit I’m unfinished, incomplete, and imperfect—a work in progress. Neither is God surprised or disappointed with my lack of development. God’s work in my life will never be finished until I meet Jesus face to face. Desiring to follow Jesus isn’t about being complete and perfect; it’s about doing my best and trusting God to finish what He began.”

Philippians 1:6 (AMP) expresses the same truth:

I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return].

The New Living Translation says this:

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

God completes the good work begun in us so that, as believers, we will be complete in every good work to do His will, as Hebrews 13:20-21 offers this benediction:

20 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen

Throughout the Scriptures, we find that “. . . God is faithful and means what He says.” 1 Corinthians 1:9 (AMP) makes know this truth:

God is faithful [He is reliable, trustworthy and ever true to His promise—He can be depended on], and through Him you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

This blessing and benediction also remind believers of God’s faithfulness:

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (AMP):

23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.

Until the Lord returns, we continue to learn and grow up in Christ, recognizing that maturation is a process that never ends. As adolescents, we envision the day when we will finally grow up and attain our new status as adults. We often think adulthood as the final stage of the maturation process, but we recognize the process is ongoing, and we must not only accept the process, but we must embrace it:

The Process

“When everything that can be shaken is being shaken,
we must acknowledge the process . . . trust the process. . .
embrace the process . . . and enjoy the process.”

Dr. Mark Chironna

 

Dear brothers and sisters, 

when troubles of any kind

come your way, consider it

an opportunity for great joy.

James 1:2 (New Living Translation)

 

What we perceive as failure, God sees as success.
In peace and confidence, we know that we will find
Understanding that reveals what God had in mind.
As we pursue truth, we acknowledge the process.
Though adversity seeks to hinder our progress,
Though we may be shaken to the depths of our soul,
If we refuse to give up, we will be made whole.
Because our God is faithful, we trust the process.
God’s heart of compassion forever seeks to bless.
We no longer wrestle but surrender—we yield.
As bold soldiers, we vow to stay on the battlefield.
Though we would shun it, we embrace the process.
Our gracious God is good, despite the strain and stress;
Resting in the Lord, we now enjoy the process.

Until the Lord returns, we are all “works in progress,” learning to embrace the process and ultimately to enjoy the process.

In reflecting upon Philippians 1:6 and other related verses, a familiar song immediately comes to mind: “He Who Began a Good Work in You” performed in this classic medley by Don Moen:

 

One more time: Spring is coming

February 5, 2019

 

This year February 2, Groundhog Day, slipped past without much recognition of the famous day that offers a prediction of the coming spring. According to tradition, if the furry critter sees his shadow and emerges from his burrow, we are in store for six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t and retreats into his dwelling, the weather forecast is for milder weather in the interim. Since 1886 the celebration of Groundhog Day on a grand scale has been associated with western Pennsylvania, home of the legendary Punxsutawney Phil, the famed rodent. As it turned out, Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow this year, indicating a forecast of six more weeks of cold weather although other groundhogs around the world provided opposing predictions of a long winter. Whether our furry friend sees his shadow or not, we are assured that after winter still comes the spring. Indeed, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?

Another traditional sign of the coming of spring is the sighting of robins on the Northern landscape. On January 31, 2019, I noted a gathering four robins on my way to work. This welcome committee provided a sure sign that spring is on the way. When I see robins returning after a brief absence, I recall that I made my acting debut in the second or third grade when I played “Robin Redbreast,” with my red sweater and brown paper wings that I flapped vigorously as I ran across the stage proclaiming, “Spring is coming! . . . Spring is coming! . . . Spring is coming!”

Robins are generally thought to be a sign that “Spring is coming!”

A few years ago my daughter, Melissa, sent me a card with the “Easter Legend of the Robin” on the cover:

A little grey robin, as he was flying to the Holy Land, saw Christ hanging on the cross. His heart filled with sadness. He noticed the crown of thorns the soldiers placed on the crucified Savior. The small bird, forgetting his timidity, flew down to remove a thorn from the brow of Christ. As he did so, a drop of Christ’s blood stained the little bird’s breast. The robin, through his act of love, earned the red badge of courage. From this time forth, all robins have had red breasts as a reminder that one of them was kind to the Lord. Thus, the robin is truly the harbinger of spring. He welcomes Easter with his cheerful note of hope, reminding us that from death comes life.

In reflecting upon my acting debut, I composed a new song that I sing when I see a robin returning in winter:

Red Robin, Red Robin—Harbinger of spring,
Rear back with your red breast
And sing, sing, sing.

Here is a poem originally written in light of the Challenger Spacecraft disaster expresses anticipation of one of my favorite seasons:

Until Spring

So when this corruptible has put on incorruption,
and this mortal has put on immortality,
then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written,
“Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death,
where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?

I Corinthians 15:54-55

Whether on earth or shuttled in the sky,
Death snuffs out our candles in devious ways,
For each man must learn to number his days,
Although the soul still probes to fathom why.
The mind made numb with pain can only try
To make sense of the immense ache that stays
The answer sounds since Adam but still dismays:
It is appointed unto man once to die.
Though grief surrounds us, comfort can be shown.
The sun melts frost with new life as surely
As blossoms will flourish from seeds once sown.
Until spring, on tip-toe I yearn to see
The day when I shall know as I am known,
When death is swallowed up in victory.

Despite predictions for more harsh winter weather or when we are blessed with unseasonably mild temperatures, we remember the words of Robin Redbreast, and enjoy this magnificent rendering of Steven Curtis Chapman’s excellent musical composition, a reminder that, indeed, “Spring is coming!”

 

 

Overcoming dangerous emotions

January 25, 2019

The blog post for January 25, 2019, includes both a Quote of the Day and an expanded rendering of the Verse of the Day. All in all, we have not merely a double-decker but a triple-layer sandwich–delicious, nutritious, and soul-satisfying made from the Bread of Life.

We begin with a statement from author and philanthropist, Steve Maraboli, who offers this sobering reminder:

Nothing is worth your health. Nothing is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety, and fear.

The Verse of the Day for Biblegateway.com provides a response to the quote found in m Philippians 4:8, but to comprehend more fully this remedy, we need to examine verses six and seven as well:

Philippians 4:6-8 (Amplified Bible):

Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].

Finally,believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].

Both the Quote of the Day and the Verse of Day bring to mind my newly published book, Embracing Your Life Sentence: How to Turn Life’s Greatest Tragedies into your Greatest Challenges. In Chapter 4, The Fight of My Life, the Fight for My Life, I talk about “Overcoming Toxic Emotions” in a section related to our discussion today.

A deep internal cleansing or detoxing of the body can be part of the strategy some individuals choose to undergo when they have cancer. Similarly, some patients may need an emotional detox program to overcome toxic emotions, which can negatively impact the body’s response to disease. In discussing the concept of renewing the mind, Bishop Charles Mellette speaks of managing your mind: “You have to renew your mind to manage your thoughts (pictures of the mind that have constructive possibilities that affect your life, positively and negatively).”

If not properly handled, these toxic emotions can precipitate a destructive, downward spiral that could sabotage the destiny of a believer. The following poem speaks of negative feelings with devastating consequences:

Dangerous Emotions

We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:5b

As the champions of God, ministers of the Word,
We must overcome each dangerous emotion.
As we fight the good fight, using our shield and sword,
Clothed with the whole armor, not seeking promotion
Of ourselves but of the Savior, who gave His life,
An example that we should follow in His steps,
That we might slay giants of fear, envy, and strife.
Stubborn rebellion that would defy God’s precepts
And defile desire to serve Him in purity,
We defeat with one smooth stone of obedience.
Resentment, guilt, anger and green-eyed jealousy:
Each toxic emotion yields deadly consequence.
Pride, described as the most dangerous of them all,
Leads to destruction and goes before a downfall.

In critical situations where a person may have accidentally ingested a highly toxic substance, the state poison control center, if contacted, can suggest a specific antidote to counteract that poison. In some cases, they recommend a universal antidote. Activated charcoal has the well-earned reputation of being such an antidote since it can facilitate the removal of many poisonous substances before they can cause harm. In the case of some of the toxic emotions previously discussed, another universal antidote comes into play to counteract any and all of these negative issues of life. A heavy dose of thanksliving will counter the potentially crippling adverse effects of resentment, guilt, anger, and green-eyed jealousy along with fear, envy, and strife. A contributing factor to the increased activity of these negative thinking patterns is a stubborn rebellion, which aggravates situations involving toxic emotions.

The chapter goes on to explain the concept of thanksliving as opposed to “thanksgiving. The discussion involves the proper attitude, coming full circle with a reminder that attitude begins with gratitude. J. Rufus Moseley speaks of “an attitude of gratitude and boundless goodwill. “ It is a great and joyful response-ability, that is, our ability to respond to God’s love and grace. As believers, we continually endeavor to demonstrate our gratitude to God from the fullness of our hearts, overflowing with thanks. More than merely occasionally expressing how grateful we are, we desire to maintain a continual attitude of gratitude, a lifestyle of thanksliving. The essence of this attitude of endless gratitude we express in everything we say and do: “With each breath, each move we live thanks to Him,”

To close we listen to Debra Arnott with a musical summary of Philippians 4:6-8:

 

Embracing Your Life Sentence: How to Turn Life’s Greatest Tragedies into Your Greatest Triumphs is available wherever books are sold and online. For more details check out https://lonnelledwardjohnson.com.

A New Year: A new way

January 9, 2019

As the New Year continues to unfold, I happened to read a statement from Apostle Eric Warren, and it will serve as the Quote of the Day for January 9, 2019:

God wants to reveal Himself to you and through you in a new way this year! Are you available?

Several thoughts came to mind as I continued to consider deeply the passage from Isaiah: which serves as a launching pad for the New Year.Isaiah 43:16, 18-19:

16 This is what the Lord says,
He who makes a way through the sea and a path through the mighty waters,
“Do not remember the former things,
Or ponder the things of the past.
19
“Listen carefully, I am about to do a new thing,
Now it will spring forth;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will even put a road in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert.

The Message Bible puts it this way:

“Forget about what’s happened;
don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.
It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
There it is! I’m making a road through the desert,
rivers in the badlands.

Each New Year represents a new beginning, as God reminds us once again that He makes all things new. In thinking about a new beginning or a fresh start, I thought of the power of the Word of the Lord when spoken and believed:

God’s Unfailing Power

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper
than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division
of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow,
and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12 [NKJV]

No word of God spoken shall be devoid of power
But shall prosper in the thing to which it is sent,
Beyond all past limits, to its farthest extent
And thus abound in fruit as seed of the sower,
Returning four-fold measure to the one who lent.
It is impossible not to fulfill God’s will,
Once spoken and thus declared that the Lord might show
The wonders of His amazing ways and instill
In us His unfailing power that we might know
That in the beginning God spoke, and it was so.
Sharper than a two-edged sword, cutting as a knife,
The word is quick to energize and encompass
The past, present and future, merging to bring forth life.
While yet in our mouths, it has come already come to pass.

The question raised at the end of the Quote of the Day brought to mind this response expressed in one of my all-time favorite Gospel songs: “Lord, I’m Available to You”:

 

Still perfecting the art of patience

December 28, 2018

A recent blog entry examined a passage from James 1:2-4 which ended by focusing on patience. The discussion of this timeless topic also brought to mind my newly published book: Embracing Your Life Sentence: How to Turn Life’s Greatest Tragedies into Your Greatest Triumphs. Here is an excerpt from Chapter 8 which opens with this statement from Brian Adams:

Learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure. Patience creates confidence, decisiveness, and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success.ing

Throughout the entire healing process of my encounter with prostate cancer, I have been learning to perfect the art of patience by waiting on the Lord. The closing verses of my favorite psalm also come to mind.

Psalm 27:13-14 (NKJV)

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!

In the Bible the word for patience has been translated to mean endurance or perseverance, steadfastly bearing up under and remaining faithful while waiting. Patience or perseverance is a fruit of the spirit that should be evident in our lives, as we wait on the Lord.
When we examine one of the words translated—patience—we see a compound word meaning “to stay, remain, abide,” literally abiding under. The verb form means to stay under or behind, remain; figuratively, to undergo, that is bear (trials), have the fortitude, to persevere—abide, endure, take patiently, suffer, tarry behind.

The root idea of the noun is that of remaining under some discipline, subjecting one’s self to something which demands the yielding of the will to something against which one naturally would rebel. It means cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy—enduring, patience, patient continuance (waiting). It is a bearing up in a way that honors and glorifies our heavenly Father, not merely to grin and bear it.

James 5:11 provides an excellent example of the word for patience being used as a verb and as a noun in an individual who embodies the character trait of patient endurance. The New Living Translation offers this rendering containing a familiar phrase that encompasses a character trait most often associated with Job—

We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him in the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy.

The Book of Job is a classic example of the principle of first usage and first spiritual principle, which highlights as particularly important the first time that a concept is mentioned in the Bible. E.W. Bullinger and other Bible scholars surmise that the first book written was the Book of Job, believed to have been composed by Moses. Job, whom Chuck Swindoll described as a “man of heroic endurance,” was a real person, and his story is one of the first demonstrations of many spiritual principles, one of the first being that God is “full of compassion and tender mercy” and that He rewards those who demonstrate patience. Although it is said that patience is its own reward, God also rewards patience, as so clearly demonstrated at the end of the Book of Job. Recall Job 42:10—

And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the
LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.

After being introduced to Graham Cooke and his book on crafted prayer, I recall reading a statement he made regarding prayer and patience, part of the introduction to the psalm that closes Chapter 8—

A Prayer for Patience

My suggestion for people in a season of birth or upgrade
is to write out a prayer for patience and pray it every day.
—Graham Cooke

For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance,
so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God,
and thus receive and carry away [and enjoy to the full] what is promised.
—Hebrews 10:36 (Amplified Bible)

We look back and pause and then look ahead to see
Clearly who God is and who He has called us to be.
We still journey down the road less traveled by
And pray that patience may serve as our trusted ally.
We must say “No” to the pressures of this life
And say “Yes” to the rest God gives, despite the strife.
As we stay our mind on Him, we abide in peace.
When we praise God, works of the enemy decrease.
May we remain and not fall by the wayside as some
But like Job wait until at last our change shall come.
Patient endurance seems delayed for some reason,
But fruit abounds to those who wait in their season.
We pray that in this time of transition and shift
We will embrace waiting as a wonderful gift.

We close with encouraging from John Waller:
“While I’m Waiting”:

Embracing Your Life Sentence: How to Turn Life’s Greatest Tragedies into Your Greatest Triumphs is now available wherever books are sold and online. For more details check out https://lonnelledwardjohnson.com.

Adversity is good

December 22, 2018

Instead of the usual Verse of the Day, the blog entry for December 22, 2018 takes a close look at the benefits of the adverse situations we face each day with an original Quote of the Day:

“Adversity is good. It may not seem to be good to us at the moment, but ultimately it will be good for us if we wait and see what God had in mind.”

In thinking about the topic, James 1:2-4 came to mind, rendered this way in The Voice translation:

Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure. And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journey and cross the finish line—mature, complete, and wanting nothing.

I also recall a previous post discussing this same passage where Bishop Charles Mellette of Christian Provision Ministries in Sanford, NC explained that as we face trials on every hand, we are “Coming through Stronger.” He reminded us that we will encounter various trials; however, “The problem is not the problem but our perception of the problem.”

He went on to explain what he meant by trials: the “trying, testing, the putting to the proof of something.” They are experimental actions applied in order to obtain results. Trials involve being subjected to intense and challenging times that test our motives and values. In the same way that God sent the Children of Israel through the wilderness for an extended period of time in order to test or to prove what was in their hearts, the trials we face prepare us for the next level of service to God. He went on to say, “You will shorten your season of testing or trials if you will only allow your trials to make you stronger.”

The message concluded with a reminder of the blessings and benefits of trials which are a way of life for every believer. Trials forge humility and give birth to perseverance. Indeed, we have the capacity to persevere to see God’s promises come to pass in our lives.
Hebrews 10:36 also offers this reminder in the New Living Translation:

Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.

Knowing this, we can count it all joy when we encounter various fiery trials that test our faith and build patient endurance.

Reflecting on the Quote of the Day and the related verses inspired this response:

Advancing in Adversity

Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the LORD delivers him out of them all.
Psalm 34:19

Advancing in adversity is not easy.
As we fight the good fight and patiently endure,
We learn to discern the source of adversity.

We face the common foe of all of humanity.
Like Abraham, we walk by faith, strengthened and secure.
Advancing in adversity is not easy.

No longer in bondage, for we have been set free
And stand in His presence with a heart that is pure.
We learn to discern the kind of adversity.

Judge the source, whether of God or the enemy;
Recall we live in a fallen world—that’s for sure.
Advancing in adversity is not easy.

Does a predicament or problem confront us?
In every test and trial God reveals His purpose.
We learn to discern the kind of adversity.

Each day we design and refine our strategy,
Following in the steps of Christ as we mature.
Advancing in adversity is not easy.
We learn to discern the kind of adversity.

We close with this scripture memory song based on James 1:2-4:

“When your battle is fiercest, your victory is nearest.”

December 8, 2018

From time to time, the blog entry for the day will focus on the Quote of the Day rather than the usual Verse of the Day. Such is the case for the Quote of the Day taken from Kary Oberbrunner’s comments about the need for encouragement while facing the struggles not merely to survive but to thrive despite the resistance we face each day.

He reminded us:

“When your battle is fiercest, your victory is nearest.”

The quote also brought to mind the encouraging words of this classic anonymous poem:

Don’t Quit

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,:
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh.
When care is pressing you down a bit –
Rest, if you must, but don’t quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow –
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

In Chapter 3 of my newly released book Embracing Your Life Sentence: How to Turn Life’s Greatest Tragedies into Your Greatest Triumphs. I recognized that life is a battlefield, and the battlefield is the mind. In actuality, I really came to grips with the intensity of a battle to fight when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2000. I described my encounter as “the fight of my life” as well as “the fight for my life.” In sharing my battle plan for combating cancer, I examined many scriptural references to the verb fight.

In 1 Timothy 6:12 (NKJV), Paul speaks about fighting:

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed a good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

I thought of other scriptures related to fighting in those instances where the Lord fights for His people. Think about this seemingly impossible situation where the words “no way” echo through the mind. Take a look at the account in Exodus where the Children of Israel in their escape from bondage in Egypt run right into the Red Sea with the armies of Pharaoh in hot pursuit behind them. You can imagine the concern they expressed to Moses, their leader and spokesman for God, who offered these word of assurance:

Exodus 14:13-14 (NKJV):

13 And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. 14 The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”

We find a similar exhortation in Deuteronomy 20:4 (NKJV):

For the LORD your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.

Here is another reminder of the same truth in Joshua 23:10:

Each one of you will put to flight a thousand of the enemy, for the LORD your God fights for you, just as he has promised.

We also find wonderful words of encouragement from David in Psalm 144:1–2:

Blessed be the LORD my Rock,
Who trains my hands for war,
And my fingers for battle—
My lovingkindness and my fortress, My high tower and my deliverer,
My shield, and the One in whom I take refuge,
Who subdues my people under me.

Throughout the Old Testament and beyond we see instances where the people of God are grossly outnumbered by forces that appear overwhelming, but God reminds His people of who He is and what He will do. In an encounter with “a great multitude,” “a vast number” of the enemy, Zechariah offers these strong words of encouragement to Jehoshaphat, the King and to the people:

2 Chronicles 20:15 (Amplified Bible):

He said, “Listen carefully, all [you people of] Judah, and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and King Jehoshaphat. The LORD says this to you: ‘Be not afraid or dismayed at this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.

Yolanda Adams offers a musical reminder of this truth:

 

We close with a related quote from Les Brown to end on a victorious note:

“The harder the battle, the sweeter the victory.”

As believers we are on the winning team and must remember this:

1 Corinthians 2:14:

Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.

Embracing Your Life Sentence: How to Turn Life’s Greatest Tragedies into Your Greatest Triumphs is now available wherever books are sold and online. Check out my website for more details: https://lonnelledwardjohnson.com.

Thanks again for your prayers and support that made this possible.

Open our eyes to re-look

September 14, 2018

Many times when looking for specific information located in a particular file on your device, you may “Providentially” come across something that ministers to you in a special yet unexpected way. Such was the case when I located a poem written years ago that I had not discussed nor posted. It opens with a statement from Chuck Pierce that I am calling the Quote of the Day for September 14, 2018:

“What the Lord is saying to us as we enter this season is: “’RE-LOOK!”

That statement became the inspiration for this response:

“Open your eyes. Look again, re-perceive.”

What the Lord is saying to us as we enter this season is: “RE-LOOK!”
Chuck Pierce

And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.
And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
Luke 24:30-31

God says “Open your eyes. Look again, re-perceive.”
This time look at yourselves from a fresh vantage point.
He will refresh with loving kindness and anoint.
Look unto Him: Do not doubt but only believe.
We must reset our will to be in alignment
To see the truth and maintain the right attitude.
With a pure heart overflowing with gratitude,
We serve God and prepare for our new assignment.
Even in troubled times God has always been there.
As we commune with Him, blinded eyes receive new sight.
The Lord is our salvation. The Lord is our light.
With renewed strength we rest in hope and not despair.
As we complete our course, we look again and see
What was once a test is now our testimony.

In thinking about God’s desire for His people to “see” with fresh eyes and to be enlightened anew, I recall a previous blog entry discussing our request that God will open our eyes, as we echo the sentiments of the Psalmist in Psalm 119:18:

Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.

We find a corresponding command from the Lord who offers this exhortation in Jeremiah 33:2-3 (AMP):

“Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it—the Lord is His name, ‘Call to Me and I will answer you, and tell you [and even show you] great and mighty things, [things which have been confined and hidden], which you do not know and understand and cannot distinguish.’

Most providentially, we find another expression of God’s desire that our eyes might perceive what God desires us to see in Ephesians 1:18 (KJV)

The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

In actuality verse 18 is part of a prayer, an expression of God’s desire for His people written by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 1: 14-23. Verses 17-18 are part of the introduction, as indicated in the Amplified Bible:

17 [For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him,
18 By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones),

The passage from Ephesians 1, along with the previously cited verses, brings to mind the words of the hymn “Open My Eyes that I Might See” which is, in essence, a similar prayer expressed in song. The lyrics to the hymn are displayed while Nathanael Provis plays the melody on piano:

Not only is our prayer to God like that expressed in Psalm 119:18 and Jeremiah 33:3: that God will enlighten us and illuminate our lives, but we also recognize that God’s prayer for us is the same: that by means of the spirit of wisdom and revelation, that the eyes of our heart may be flooded with light, as is expressed so powerfully in Ephesians 1.

We close with a musical rendering of the prayer from Ephesians 1:18-23: