Deep & Wide

Deep As It Is WideAmy Grant, Eric Pasley and Sheryl Crow
perform “Deep As it Is Wide”

…the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ
which surpasses knowledge

Ephesians 3:18-19 NASB

“Deep As It Is Wide” written by Eric Paslay.
Performed by Amy Grant, Eric Paslay & Sheryl Crow
How Mercy Looks From Here album by Amy Grant.

By David Cook

When I was young I attended Vacation Bible School and sang a song called “Deep & Wide”.  The song was about a fountain flowing deep and wide.  I really didn’t comprehend what the song was about.  A water fountain?  Hard to say, but hey; I liked the song anyway.

We sang that we could plunge right in and lose your sin in the fountain that is flowing deep and wide.  As I grew older I began to comprehend more of what the song was really about.

In the sanctuary we sang a song in the Hymnal called “There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood.”  The fountain filled with blood flowed from Emmanuel’s veins; and us sinners can plunge beneath that flood to lose all our guilty stains.

God loved us so much that He sent His own Son Jesus to die on a cross for our sins. Jesus allowed His own blood to flow so that we could be redeemed by His blood.  God’s Son paid for the penalty of all of our sins with His own blood.  So now we can be completely forgiven of our sins and began a relationship with God our Father in heaven.

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.   Ephesians 3:14-19 NASB


“If I Stand” performed by Rich Mullins

Once in a while we hear something that deeply challenges the beliefs that we hold tightly about ourselves, others or even beliefs we hold about God.  Sometimes our beliefs are true, sometimes our beliefs are skewed.  Sometimes our beliefs are only slightly skewed other times we may well be holding onto false presuppositions.

Sometimes we need a shift in our thinking based on new light, based on the truth.   Sometimes we need a paradigm shift in our thinking.  Today may well be that day.

This talk by Brennan Manning on God’s unconditional love and mercy may well challenge some of your beliefs about yourself, others and God.  For some of you this talk will only reinforce the truth you already hold onto but it may well help you look at it in a fresh new way.

 “Be who you is,
cause if you ain’t who you is,
you is who you ain’t.”

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I Will Never Leave You

By David Cook

 “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Yeshua the Messiah, the Son of the living God

janis_joplin

JANIS JOPLIN

Have you ever felt useless?  Have you ever wondered why you are here on earth?  Have you ever asked the question; when will I find somebody to love, who will really love me?  When will I ever know someone on a deep level and be deeply known?

Have you ever wondered if the Lord Himself would leave you all alone?

Evidently, Janis Joplin could identify with some of those same questions since she recorded the song “Work Me, Lord” written by Nick Gravenities.  Janis closed out her performance at Woodstock in 1969 with this song.

Are you pushing, trying to move forward in life but you feel like something is moving you in the wrong direction; backwards?  Like something has a hold on you, that you just can’t shake?  Have you thought about what it would be like to be a new and different you, but mistakes from your past haunt you and then just repeat what has been?

larry_norman_only_visiting_this_planet

Larry Norman wrote about this inner struggle in his song;
Walking Backward Down The Stairs“.

Being loved and loving begins by beginning a relationship with God, who is the source of love.  Knowing the true and living God and being fully known by Him is where life begins.  Making peace with God through His Son Yeshua (Jesus) is the place to begin.  Finding forgiveness of all sins and being declared righteous by God is what the free gift of salvation is about!

21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Romans 3:21-26 ESV

Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say,

“The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear;
what can man do to me?”

 Hebrews 13:4-6 ESV

 

Lost

By David Cook

Yeshua_talit

“The Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.”
—Yeshua the Messiah
Luke 19:10 NASB

While living in sunny Southern California one day we realized our daughter, who was almost three years old; was nowhere to be found.  “She was just here a few minutes ago, where could she be?”; I thought to myself.  We walked around the house and looked in her room, in the closet, under her bed.  “Is she hiding?”  We went into the family room where her brothers were watching Inspector Gadget on Saturday morning cartoons; “Where’s your sister?”, I asked.  They shrugged their shoulders and said, “Don’t know Dad.”  I walked into the living room and the front door was wide open.  I walked outside and quickly looked around the front yard and then scanned up and down the street.  Panic!  “Where’s my daughter!?!”  “Is she lost?”  “Lord, please help us find our daughter!”

Thankfully, about five minutes later (which seemed like five hours) my observant and compassionate neighbor found our daughter and brought her home.  I was exuberant and relieved to see my little lost lamb come home!  My adventurous daughter didn’t know she was lost; she was on an adventure, out exploring the world.

Thanks be to God, His Son Yeshua is our good Shepherd; ever watching over us!

The Prodigal Son

Yeshua told this story; “A man had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ So he divided his wealth between them. 13 And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living.

prodigal son

14 Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished. 15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him. 17 But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! 18 I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.”’ 20 So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; 23 and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.

25 “Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him. 29 But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; 30 but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.’ 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.’”         Luke 15 NASB

Party on! Wine, women and song! This was the mantra of the young prodigal son.  But after he squandered all of his inheritance and lost all of his “friends” and “lovers” he finally wised up and came home.  Are you on an adventure looking for what life is all about?  Perhaps you’re lost but don’t even know it?  Your Father in heaven wants you to come home.

Yeshua said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”  Mathew 22:37-40 NASB

Loving God is a vertical relationship.  Loving people is about relating on the horizontal level.  We can live each day in the vertizontal, loving God will all your heart, soul and mind and loving people as you love yourself.  The whole Torah (613 Laws given by God to Moses) and the writings of the Hebrew Prophets rests on these two commandments.

Knowing the true and living God, who is love; is the prize!                                                       http://www.knowhimpersonally.com

The Son of the Most High, who is much wiser than all; taught that life is all about loving God with all your heart, soul and mind.  And about loving your neighbor as yourself.  Today is a good day, now is a good time; if you hear the voice of your Father in heaven calling you home then turn to Him in faith and humbly ask for His forgiveness.

5 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.  1 John 1:5-10 NASB

The Great Adventure

Jackson Hole Wy Barn & grand Tetons Mountain Range

by David Cook

I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved,

and will go in and out and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;

I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

—Yeshua the Messiah

John 10:9-10 NASB

Steven Curtis Chapman has won five Grammy awards and 56 Dove Awards from the Gospel Music Association.   Steven has sold more than 10 million albums and has 8 RIAA-certified Gold or Platinum albums!  But not everything in his life has been peaches & cream.  In the great adventure of life, we experience mountaintop highs and valley lows.

Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman

After Steven and his wife Mary Beth had a few children they adopted three girls from China.  Their daughter Maria Sue Chunxi Chapman died from a tragic auto accident in their driveway on May 21, 2008.  The loss of their daughter was a severe test of faith for them and their family.  We read of a man of true faith from long ago who tragically lost all of his children in a single day.

Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head,

and he fell to the ground and worshiped.  He said,

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,

And naked I shall return there.

The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Job 1:20-21 NASB

YMCA Rocky Mountain Cabin

During my youth my father and mother would take our family to Estes Park, Colorado for a summer vacations!  It was breath taking when this Missouri boy first ascended the Rocky Mountains from Loveland, Colorado and viewed the distant snowcapped peaks and valleys among the pines and aspens. Rocky Mountain Scene in Estes Park Colorado We would stay at the YMCA of the Rockies just above Estes Park.  During my college days I went on an adventure in Estes Park, Colorado.  It was the summer of 1975, the first “Student Venture” Summer Project.  Student Venture is the High School ministry of ‘Cru’ www.studentventure.com   I’m on the lower left with Pat Hurley, (youth speaker, stand-up comedian and author) and some other bros from around the USA, including my friend Jim Powers, who is holding a Bible.  Student Venture 1975 Summer Project in Estes Park Colorado

Estes Park Downtown Dusk

It was a fun summer, living in Estes Park all summer and working on a construction crew building a Swiss Chalet on the mountain adjacent to the YMCA of the Rockies.  I’d start the brisk morning off with a t-shirt, work shirt and jean jacket.  By the time lunch time rolled around I had my shirt off, sharing my lunch with chipmunks and watching mountain climbers in the distance.

Colorado Chipmunk

David Cook on the Wind River Trail in RMNP above Estes Park

Years later, each of my three children have each had great adventures on the mountain ranges in the USA.  My son Derek led the way in the summer of 2008 he went on the SROM 40 day backpacking and mountain climbing expedition in the majestic mountains of Wyoming.  SROM is a premier Christian outdoor leadership education and wilderness adventure ministry, www.srom.org .

SROM 40 2008

Derek on the 2008 SROM 40

Mountain & Lake Buffalow Yeah Moose

 

Grand Teton National Park is one of the most awe-inspiring places in all of God’s creation.  The National Park is in the Jackson Hole Valley, with massive mountains, pristine lakes, cold mountain rivers, and abundant wildlife; elk, moose, black and grizzly bears, bison, deer, and more!

Derek on SROM 40

Derek, Eric, Nathan, Kevin on the SROM 40.

Gannett Peak

Rainbow over YMCA Chapel in the Colorado Rocky Mountains

At the end of the summer Derek got to climb Gannett Peak with expert climber Austin Haller and Elisa from SROM and one additional climber the “Fantastic Four” ascended the 13,809 feet (4,209 m) peak.  Gannett Peak is the highest peak in the state of Wyoming and straddles the boundary between Fremont and Sublette Counties along the Continental Divide.

My daughter Courtney spent the summer of 2009 in Estes Park working at the lodge at the YMCA of the Rockies!  Later that summer, her brothers and I came out for a visit and mini vacation backpacking and camping along the Wind River Trail in the Rocky Mountain National Park above the YMCA www.ymcarockies.org

CNC on the trail in RMNP

Derek on the trail in Colorado

It was a blessing for Christopher, Derek and I to visit Courtney that summer in Estes Park and go backpacking and camping up above the YMCA of the Rockies and see the bright starry nights!

Starry Night at the YMCA of the Rockies

Derek & Chris having breakfast above the YMCA

DC camping above YMCA of the Rockies summer 2009

 My son Christopher was blessed to go with the 2011, 40/40 “Amazing Team” with www.SROM.org on a backpacking and mountain climbing adventure on the Wind River Range & Vedavoo in Wyoming which reflects the amazing beauty of God’s creation.

SROM Roping Down Mountain

CRC Mountain Climbing

CRC SCROM UofT Sign

CRC laying down SROM

CRC Camping on the Snowy Mountain

SCROM Mountain Sunset

The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains,
The world, and those who dwell in it.
2 For He has founded it upon the seas
And established it upon the rivers.
3 Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
And who may stand in His holy place?
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood
And has not sworn deceitfully.
5 He shall receive a blessing from the Lord
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.

Psalms 24:1-5 NASB

Knowing the true and living God and living in relationship with Him in this life and in the one to come is the greatest adventure of all!  www.knowhimpersonally.com

Mountains & Valleys

Now it will come about that
In the last days
The mountain of the house of the Lord
Will be established as the chief of the mountains,
And will be raised above the hills;
And all the nations will stream to it.
3 And many peoples will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
That He may teach us concerning His ways
And that we may walk in His paths.”
For the law will go forth from Zion
And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
4 And He will judge between the nations,
And will render decisions for many peoples;
And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not lift up sword against nation,
And never again will they learn war

Isaiah 2:2-4 NASB

Derek on the 2008 SROM 40

My son Derek’s love for the outdoors was fostered near Estes Park, Colorado in Rocky Mountain National Park during family vacations as a young boy.  In his twenties Derek connected with SROM as a 40/40 Intern in 2008. The experience of going through SROM’s 40-day course as a student and then serving immediately afterward as an assistant field instructor made a lasting impact on his life.  In November of 2014 Derek joined the staff of SROM.  Say a prayer for him for God’s protection and provision as he begins a new adventure with this premier outdoor ministry!  http://srom.org/donate/staff-support/derek-cook/

[1] Give thanks in all things, 1 Thessalonians 5:18, and God causes all things to work together for good for those who love Him, Romans 8:28-29.

For by Grace

New Zealand Beach

By David Cook

For by grace you have been saved through faith.
And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
  Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV

So many good things in this life come from human effort, hard work and the payoff from that effort and work.  It could be physical effort, intellectual work, creative effort or networking work and various related rewards.  But what about grace, divine grace that comes out of the blue?  When perhaps you don’t get what’s due; instead you are embraced by an avalanche of grace.  Perhaps you’ve never experienced it. Or perhaps you have, over and over again; like waves rolling in from the deep blue sea of God’s love.

523px-Celsius Library-DK

The Celsius library ruins in the ancient city of Ephesus.

The apostle Paul wrote to believers in Yeshua the Messiah who lived in the ancient city of Ephesus.  The city of Ephesus is near present-day Selçuk, Izmir Province, Turkey.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.  4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.    Ephesians 2:1-10 ESV

Paul wanted believers in Messiah Yeshua to understand their past spiritual condition, dead in our trespasses and sins and the amazing grace of God.  Because of the immeasurable riches of God’s grace, when a person puts his (or her) faith in Yeshua the Messiah; a spiritual new birth transpires and eternal life begins!  After a person has been born again transformation begins to take place in our thoughts and actions!!  We begin to understand our new identity in Messiah!  God has raised us up with Yeshua and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Messiah! So that in the coming ages God might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Messiah Yeshua.

For By Grace You have been Saved through Faith

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.   Ephesians 1:3-10 NIV

Know Jesus Know Love

Yeshua explained God’s love and the gospel; 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.  John 3:16-18 NIV

When you put your faith in Yeshua the Messiah, the Son of the living God you pass from God’s condemnation of your sin into God’s pardon of your sin and eternal life.  You are born again and you receive new life.  You become a child of God!

See what great love the Father has lavished on us,
that we should be called children of God!
And that is what we are!

1 John 3:1 NIV

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The Prodigal

Mirage in the Desert

by David Cook

Have you ever felt like you’re on the run, chasing an illusive dream?  Running after a mirage in the desert, only to be left with your face down drinking the sand?

Or perhaps running from something in your past.  Have you ever compromised your soul for pleasures, that in the end only robbed you?  The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life can be alluring.

For everything in the world–

the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–

comes not from the Father but from the world.  

1 John 2:16 NIV

Since the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden the Serpent has continued to lie and deceive Adam’s children down to this very day.  The Serpent offers us the kingdom of this world and all that goes with it, the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes and the pride of life. Yet like the prodigal, when we chase these pleasures of the world that are not from our Father in heaven; we end up empty.

Yeshua taught a most amazing story to reveal the heart of our Father who is in heaven.

“There was a man who had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. 13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. 14 And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.

17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ 20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.

25 “Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29 but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.  Luke 15:11-31 ESV

No doubt, our sinful choices hurt us and those around us who love us.  Perhaps a friend or family member has been praying for you.  Praying, perhaps even shedding tears that you would come back home to your Father in heaven who loves you.

Is there anything too difficult for God?  Is there a person so messed up and sinful that God cannot save them?  Or is God all-powerful?  Is the Almighty God really omnipotent?

Do you know a prodigal son or daughter?  Pray for them and extend to them the mercy and love God has given to you.  Perhaps you are a prodigal son or daughter? Come to Yeshua the Messiah, He is Mighty to Save!

God seeks us out, His lost children.  He sent His Son Yeshua to earth to bring us back to Himself.  To bring us home to heaven.  Yeshua explained;

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.  16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”  John 3:15-21 ESV

Yeshua is the Son of God and the Son of Man.  What does this mean?  The Son of God lived with His Father in heaven before His incarnation; before He was born in Bethlehem.

“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity.”

Micah 5:2 NASB

Long ago, from days of eternity Yeshua existed with His Father, the King of the Universe.of eternity.  Yeshua was there in Genesis 1:1, in the beginning; and created the heavens and the earth with God His Father and the Spirit of the Lord.  Moses wrote about this in Genesis chapter one.  We also read in the Torah where Moses lifted up a bronze serpent and all who looked to it were healed of the deadly venom of a snake bite.

So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.  Numbers 21:9 NIV

Why did Yeshua compare His death on the cross to Moses lifting up the serpent in the wilderness?

Because when Yeshua was lifted up on the cross to pay for all our sin, He took all our sin upon Himself.  Messiah Yeshua is the propitiation for our sins.  God’s just wrath was poured out on His Son so that we might be justified before God.

He is the propitiation for our sins,

and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.  

1 John 2:2 ESV

When we in faith look to Messiah who died on the cross for our sins, then we are healed from the deadly bite of the serpent.  The same crafty Serpent who tempted Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden–the Devil. [1]

Our Father who is in heaven seeks to have a relationship with you, now and forevermore. If you hear His voice calling you today, then call on the Lord in faith.  Have a heart to heart conversation with your Father in Heaven through prayer.  Wherever you are, He is there; He is omnipresent.  If you call on Him in faith, He can hear you.

Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity
And passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession?
He does not retain His anger forever,
Because He delights in unchanging love.
19 He will again have compassion on us;
He will tread our iniquities under foot.
Yes, You will cast all their sins
Into the depths of the sea.
20 You will give truth to Jacob
And unchanging love to Abraham,
Which You swore to our forefathers
From the days of old.

Micah 7;18-20 NASB

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[1] The fall of man, Genesis 3:1-22.

Show Me the Love!

Authentic Red Roses

by David Cook

Sometimes a romance ignites and you think you’re bout to have a heart attack…yet in time for various reasons you realize, it wasn’t meant to be.  Sometimes a romance transitions from high feelings to love, then marriage and a lifelong commitment.  Sometimes in a romance you reach for a rose and grab a thorn, resulting in pain and sorrow. Sometimes you learn how to forgive and grow closer to one another. Sometimes because of hardness of heart you grow apart and one day you’re left alone with a wounded ego, a broken heart, and the termination of a lifelong dream; and so it goes.

Red Roses Wet on Black

So many people talk a good game about many things.  But there is One who wasn’t just blowing smoke when He spoke of His love…God Himself.  We hear about God’s love for the people He created, but it wasn’t just cheap talk.  You see, God took action and implemented a plan that He had from long ago.  God demonstrated His love for us in way that is hard to comprehend.

We read in the gospel of John;

“For God so loved the world,that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16 ESV

Paul wrote to the believers in Rome;

 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:6-8 ESV

Perhaps when you reached for a rose in romance you were hurt by a thorn.  Instead of the beauty of love you were hoping for, you found pain and sorrow and are left alone.  Because of His great love for you, God sent His only Son to suffer on our behalf, to wear a crown of thrones and give His life on the cross so that we could be forgiven of our many sins.

Crown of Thorns

So God gave, He gave His only Son.  God demonstrated His love in a very real way, He gave His Son Yeshua the Messiah to die on the cross in our place for all our sins.  The One without sin, the sinless Messiah; gave His life for sinners.  Let His love sink in, into your mind, into your heart and into your life.  I pray His love breaks through to you today!

Reminds me of the song by Phil Keaggy – “Your Love Broke Through”