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Forever . . .

by Fanny Crosby

O heart bereav’d and lonely
Whose brightest dreams have fled,
Whose hopes like summer roses
Are wither’d, crush’d, and dead;
Though link by link is broken,
And tears unseen may fall,
Look up amid thy sorrow
To Him who knows it all.

O cling to thy Redeemer,
Thy Saviour, Brother, Friend;
Believe and trust His promise
To keep thee to the end:
O watch and wait with patience,
But question not His will;
His arms of love and mercy
Are round about thee still.

Lookup, the clouds are breaking,
The storm will soon be o’er;
And thou shalt reach the haven
Where sorrows come no more.
Look up, be not discouraged;
Trust on, whate’er befall;
Remember, O remember,
Thy Saviour knows it all.

But Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back [to the things left behind] is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62 Amp)

With God everything is about motive, about intention, about the heart. Yeshua is warning in this passage those who would seek to serve God while keeping an eye on the world and what it can offer. The divided heart is not a new problem. God, through the prophet Hosea accuses the Jewish people of having a divided heart because of their love of idolatry. (Hosea 10:2). David also speaks of the divided heart in Psalm 12. “Help, Lord, for the godly man ceases! For the faithful disappear from among the sons of men. They speak idly everyone with his neighbor; With flattering lips and a double heart they speak. (Psalm 12:1-2)

In the Apostolic writings, James offers a stern warning against double-mindedness. “Now if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all generously and without reproach; and it will be given to him. But let him ask in trust, doubting nothing; for the doubter is like a wave in the sea being tossed and driven by the wind. Indeed that person should not think that he will receive anything from the Lord, because he is double-minded, unstable in all his ways. (James 1:5-8) The remedy is offered by James later in his letter. “Therefore, submit to God. Moreover, take a stand against the Adversary, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and he will come close to you. Clean your hands, sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded people!” (James 4:7-8)

Let us consider our hearts before God. Are they divided? Do I hold things in my heart above God? Is He second to my desires, my ambitions, my job, my kids, my hobbies? Search this thing out for it is no small matter. To have a divided heart is to be unfit for the God’s kingdom–the coming kingdom–the forever kingdom.

 

It is our desire to help you grow in your knowledge of God and His Word. If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. 

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Therefore, if anyone is united with the Messiah, he is a new creation — the old has passed; look, what has come is fresh and new! 2 Corinthians 5:17 (CJB)

This verse offers insight and encouragement.

If anyone . . .
As many Pastors like to say, “anyone” means “anyone.” Thus, we should not understand this as the passage for the super-holy or the seasoned saint. This can be taken to heart by the recent convert and even the one just plucked from the fire. That “anyone” in Christ is a new creation.

United with the Messiah . . .
In other translations, this phrase is rendered “in Christ.” In the Amplified version, “in Christ” is further explained as being “grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior.”
We are united with Messiah when we believe that Messiah (Christ) is who He said He was (God incarnate) and did what He said He did (provided a once-for-all sacrifice for sin, so that mankind could be reconciled to God through the blood sacrifice of the Messiah (Jesus Christ).

Belief not just in the existence of a historical figure–because that has never been in doubt, but belief in what Yeshua said about Himself and the connection He made between Himself and the teachings of the Hebrew scriptures. One cannot believe in Yeshua without believing and relying on the Hebrew scriptures (Old Testament). These were the only scriptures in existence at the time Yeshua said, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.” John 5:39

New Creation
Being united with Messiah is more than simply a state of mind. This belief must be accompanied by actions that confirm a change has occurred. Being a new creation requires being born again. (John 3) Being born again speaks of the new life or new creation possible when one is born from above–born as a result of the indwelling Spirit of the one true God.

This new creation (birth) should be evident by new life, new patterns, new choices, and other marks that one has been changed from within, not by mere changes rooted in human effort. James said that true faith is accompanied by works. It is a yoke (the yoke of heaven) to be taken upon one’s self. It is a life committed to righteousness–the righteousness laid out in Torah (Genesis through Deuteronomy). This life now; however, is not lived by obedience to rules, but rather obedience to the Holy Spirit planted within making the creation new and guiding the new creation in the ways of God. This should be evident and should testify of the work of creation in the individual’s life. Being born again, being a new creation–these are not hidden works. They will be evident to all who know us. Even if we are not perfect–we will be different and more righteous than before–fresh and new!

It is our desire to help you grow in your knowledge of God and His Word. If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. 

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Read Zechariah Chapter 14
1. What is coming according to Zechariah 14:1?

2. What will occur according to Zechariah 14:2?

3. What prophecy is given in Zechariah 14:3-4? What event is it describing?

4. Where is the Mount of Olives located?

5. What happened on the Mount of Olives according to the following verses?

 

It is our desire to help you grow in your knowledge of God and His Word. If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. 

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Read Zechariah Chapter 13
1. What does “that day” refer to in Zechariah 13:1?

2. God say will happen in “that day” in Zechariah 13:1?

3. What does God say He will do with regard to the idols in “that day” in Zechariah 13:2?

4. What does God say will happen to the prophets in “that day” in Zechariah 13:2-6?

5. What does the LORD say about the Shepherd in Zechariah 13:7?

6. What is the prophecy given in Zechariah 13:8?

7. Copy Zechariah 13:9 here. Meditate on this. Record your thoughts and impressions.

 

It is our desire to help you grow in your knowledge of God and His Word. If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. 

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As I encounter the Holy God, El Shaddai, Y-H-W-H, HaShem, Adonai . . . call Him by any one of His myriad of names–as many as there are aspects of His character and people who desire to know Him–I’m confronted with unwelcome truths about myself.

I am unholy. I become painfully and shamefully aware of my sinfulness in the presence of his holiness. It is impossible to enter into the divine presence without sensing how unlike Him I am. He is righteous, pure, just, merciful . . . I am not. If I were not to remember the righteousness of Christ that became mine the moment I believed, I would be desolate and inconsolable, eternally separated from the only true and living God.

I am finite. My end is clear and unmistakable in the presence of His infinite nature. I am but dust, like grass, a vapor His Word declares. With Him, I would be insignificant, a dust speck on the face of the sun were it not for the significance He has given me, ordaining my days before the foundation of time, laying paths for me to walk in, calling me by name, collecting my tears . . .

I am temporal. God is eternal and in His presence, I am pulled temporarily into the eternal realm, but my feet are planted here–in the temporal realm. The eternal part of my being calls to me, bids me seek that eternal nature of God. It is only through connecting with God that my temporal nature can be made eternal–it is only through Yeshua and the covenant of His blood that I have the promise of eternal life with God.

My heart isn’t always right. The presence of God reveals the state of my heart. It is the light that exposes darkness, revealing everything that tries to keep secret, hidden. It is impossible to hide from God.

The character of God sometimes frightens me. Sometimes I find that I have taken for granted my relationship with the Creator. I remember His righteous standards, and I fall short. It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God. It is right to fear Adonai. It is right to give honor and glory to the King of Heaven. In His mercy, He remembers that I am mere dust and draws me close. He alone is God. There is no other.

I am not alone in this terror of God. Job experienced this terror. “This is why I am terrified of him; the more I think about it, the more afraid I am.” Job 23:15 (CJB)

Isaiah responds similarly, “Woe to me! I [too] am doomed! —because I, a man with unclean lips, living among a people with unclean lips, have seen with my own eyes the King, Adonai-Tzva’ot!” Isaiah 6:5 (CJB)

Fear should lead us to worship for surely He is worthy of our praise and adoration.

 

It is our desire to help you grow in your knowledge of God and His Word. If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. 

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also known as “Whate’re my God ordains is right”


Samuel Rodigast, 1675
Translated by Catherine Winkworth

1 Whatever God ordains is good!
Holy His will abideth;
I will be still whate’er he doth,
and follow where he guideth,
He is my God; though dark my road,
he knoweth how to shield me,
wherefore to him I yield me.

2 Whatever God ordains is good!
he never will deceive me;
he leads me by the proper path,
I know he will not leave me,
And take content
What he hath sent;
his hand that sends my sadness
Will turn my tears to gladness.

3 Whatever God ordains is good!
His loving thought attends me;
No poisoned draught the cup can be
That my Physician sends me,
But medicine due;
For God is true,
Of doubt, then, I’ll divest me,
And on His goodness rest me.

4 Whatever God ordains is good!
My Life, my Light can never
Intend me harm; then, to His care
I give myself forever
In weal or woe;
For well I know,
I once shall see quite clearly,
That God did love me dearly.

5 Whatever God ordains is good!
though now this cup in drinking
may bitter to my taste appear,
I take it all unshrinking;
For to my heart
God will impart
A timely balm of healing,
and end each painful feeling.

6 Whatever God ordains is good!
here shall my stand be taken;
though sorrow, need, or death be mine;
yet I am not forsaken;
My Father’s care is round me there,
His arms embrace and shield me;
Then to my God I yield me.

Read Zechariah Chapter 12
1. What does the term “burden” mean in Zechariah 12:1?

2. Against whom is God speaking this burden in Zechariah 12:1-2?

3. What does God say He will do in Jerusalem in the following verses?
Zechariah 12:3

Zechariah 12:4

Zechariah 12:5-6

Zechariah 12:7

Zechariah 12:8

Zechariah 12:9

Zechariah 12:10-14

4. Copy Zechariah 12:10 here. Meditate on this. Who is the one “whom they pierced?”

 

It is our desire to help you grow in your knowledge of God and His Word. If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. 

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Come, Let Us Worship . . .

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