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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One Day my Prince will Come, with Power and Great Glory!

Bohem Bride & Groom

By David Cook

אני האהוב שלי ואהוב שלי הוא שלי

“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine”

Kate Mose Wedding

“May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!

For your love is better than wine.

Song of Solomon 1:2 NASB

The lovestruck heart cry of a beautiful newlywed bride, married to the prince who inherited his father’s throne and kingdom; Solomon, the third King of Israel.  The bride was intoxicated with her husband’s love, longing for his kisses.  Not long before, this beautiful humble bride was in the fields tending goats, now because of the love of her beloved she is part of the royal family married to the King; living large in their elegant home with cedar beams and cypress rafters. [1]

Neuschwanstein Castle

Some Moms and Dads read bedtime stories to their children of castles in the sky from days gone by.  Perhaps the tale begins long, long ago with an ancient King and his beloved son the Prince and their vast kingdom.  The loving King arranged a marriage for his son to marry a fair maiden, but dastardly villains who were cohorts of the deceitful dragon had enslaved her and locked her away in a dungeon.  The Prince is on a quest, he will valiantly ride on a white steed to rescue his damsel in distress and slay the dragon and all those who serve him.

Knight Riding Horse

Many young girls grow up with the hope of being swept off her feet by a young prince who is strong and courageous of heart.  Later, in junior high and high school during the teen years this hope is reinforced by numerous songs from the music industry and movies from the motion picture industry.

 

the princess bride

Westley and the Princess Bride.

Sometimes these hopes and dreams can produce unrealistic expectations and relationship reality never quite measures up to the dream.  Yet, as I read the Bible and piece together the puzzle of the epic Biblical narrative of what the Hebrew prophets foretold, and Yeshua the Messiah explained; it is even more spectacular than a childhood fairytale.

In the Bible we read of the King of the Universe and His beloved Son the Prince, who created the heavens and the earth; both everything visible and invisible. [2]  We read of life in the garden of Eden, with the first man and the first woman Adam and Eve; who lived in innocence and fellowship with the King and His Son who created them.

eve apple

Adam and Eve chose sin and rebellion against the King and fell, not down a hill like Jack and Jill; but they fell from innocence to a dark place, knowing both good and evil.  As a result, they lived with shame, alienation and quickly learned how to blame shift their sin on the one they love.  Death entered their world; free communication and communion with God was severely severed.  Spiritual and physical death was a new reality to their self-centered world.

Adam’s choice and sinful action resulted in monumental consequences.  Adam’s sin resulted in spiritual death (separation from God) and ultimately physical death came as a result of his sin.  And death spread to all people since all sinned, sin was passed down from generation to generation. [3]  One of the most severe consequences to Adam’s sin was that the Devil (who is called the the serpent in Genesis and the dragon in Revelation) usurped Adam’s authority on earth and gained access to humanity to kill, steal and destroy. [4]

Most motion picture screenwriters know that a powerful plot needs a hero with a strong desire line.  When we look at history and the prophetic future in scriptures we see that the hero of the metanarrative written in the Bible; past, present and future is the Messiah. Yeshua the Messiah is the A&Z, He is the Prince who will inherit the kingdom from His Father in heaven; the King of the universe.

A Wedding Feast in the ForestBrides Maid

In the Song of Solomon, we are given an inside look at the young love of a royal romance between King Solomon and his bride.  The King is captivated by the beauty of His bride, like a beautiful rose in the desert!

Bohem Hair

“How beautiful you are, my darling,

How beautiful you are!

Your eyes are like doves behind your veil;

Your hair is like a flock of goats

That have descended from Mount Gilead.”

Song of Solomon 4:1 NASB

“Desert Rose” by Sting

Solomon let his bride know how beautiful she is to him, admiring features of her face; her eyes, her hair, her teeth, her lips, her mouth, her temples.  Then in subsequent verses he continues to compliment her, going down her beautiful body with his poetic admiration of God’s creation of a helpmate; who is “suitable for him”. [5]

WEDDING PHOTOJOURNALISM BY RON SOLIMAN

“How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride!

How much better is your love than wine,

And the fragrance of your oils

Than all kinds of spices!

11 “Your lips, my bride, drip honey;

Honey and milk are under your tongue,

And the fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon.”

Song of Solomon 4:10-11 NASB

Verse 11 makes me think that “French kissing” may not be aptly named.  Perhaps it should be called “Israel kissing”, or more specifically; “Solomon kissing”.

The bride of the King responds;

“His mouth is full of sweetness.

And he is wholly desirable.

This is my beloved and this is my friend,

O daughters of Jerusalem.”

Song of Solomon 5:16 NASB

Olive Bar

Friendship is a good base to build a romance on, the King’s bride responds; “this is my beloved and this is my friend”.

Lara in Hait 4-27-14 & Whistli

“I’ve Never Been” by Lara Landon

The Bride says;

“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine,

He who pastures his flock among the lilies.”

Song of Solomon 6:3 NASB

Fruit & Cheese

The Union of the Prince & His bride

“I am my beloved’s,

And his desire is for me.

11 “Come, my beloved, let us go out into the country,

Let us spend the night in the villages.

12 “Let us rise early and go to the vineyards;

Let us see whether the vine has budded

And its blossoms have opened,

And whether the pomegranates have bloomed.

There I will give you my love.

13 “The mandrakes have given forth fragrance;

And over our doors are all choice fruits,

Both new and old,

Which I have saved up for you, my beloved.”

Song of Solomon 7:10-13 NASB

CA Wine Country 01

CA Grapes

CA Wine Country 02

A husband & wife is a picture of Christ & His Bride

Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.  25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.  Ephesians 5:22-33 NASB

The apostle Paul compared the marriage relationship of a husband and his wife to Christ and His Bride, the church.  The love Christ Jesus has for His Bride is a hard act to follow. Yet this is the challenge God gave to husbands; to “love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her”. [6]  (Christ is the Greek word for the Hebrew word Moshiach [Messiah] which means “Anointed”.)

When Yeshua came to earth He revealed to us what His Father in heaven is like.  Yeshua the Son of God, “is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.” Hebrews 1:3 NASB  The character of God is revealed through Yeshua His Son; God’s righteousness, God’s love, God’s power and His mercy.

CA Wine, 2 GlassesCA-wine-country-cheese

The desire line of Yeshua the Prince of Peace

Sometimes before a person leaves a loved one, they say things that are deep in their heart that they want their loved one to know.  Messiah and His Bride are a match made in heaven!  The Prince knew He would be leaving earth soon and His bride (God’s elect, the chosen people of God, chosen Jews and Gentiles collectively are the bride of Christ) whom He loved deeply. [7]  In His private conversation with His Father in heaven the Prince poured out His heart and reveals His strong desire line.  His prayerful desire for His Bride, the people chosen by God.

“I desire that they…be with Me where I am”

John 17:24 NASB

As we look at the Bible from beginning to end, the heart of the Father and His Son; is to be with the people who believe in and receive Messiah Yeshua.  The true and living triune God (Elohim) was with Adam and Eve in the beginning in the Garden of Eden. [8]  After the fall, Adam and Eve were dispelled from the Garden.  Their relationship with God was altered and they died spiritually and later physically.  Adam sinned and sin entered the world, and death came as a result of sin; and death spread to all people. [9]  God loved us so much that He sent Yeshua to die an atoning death.  Messiah took our many sins upon Himself.  Yeshua came to earth and gave His life as a ransom for many, He took upon Himself the fall of all mankind. [10]  Yeshua is Emmanuel – God with us!  This is the incarnation, the Son of God born of a virgin; who lived on earth as a human being. [11]   At first the Holy Spirit was moving in the world with God’s creation.  After the ascension of Yeshua to the right hand of His Father in heaven; and for those who are “born again”, the Spirit of Christ indwells you. [12]  When a believer in Yeshua dies he or she is “present with the Lord”. [13]  The apostle Paul wrote that “at the last trumpet” the dead in Christ will be transformed from mortal to immortal. [14]  Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.  [15]  Then in heaven, will be the long awaited Wedding Banquet of Messiah with His Bride!  [16]  During the millennial reign, God’s people will reign on earth with Messiah for 1000 years. [17]  After that the first heaven and earth will pass away and there will be a new heaven and a new earth.  We will live with His Majesty, the Prince from Heaven and His loving Father, the King of the Universe; throughout all eternity.  [18]

Bride in the Get Away Car

The Prince is captivated by the beauty of His bride!
His desire is for her and she wants her Beloved.

SONY DSC

“How beautiful you are, my darling,

How beautiful you are!

Your eyes are like doves behind your veil;

Your hair is like a flock of goats

That have descended from Mount Gilead.”

Song of Solomon 4:1 NASB

LL 3-23-17 Spring

“I Want You” by Lara Landon on her OVERCOME album.

“I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride;

I have gathered my myrrh along with my balsam.

I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey;

I have drunk my wine and my milk.

Eat, friends; Drink and imbibe deeply, O lovers.”

Song of Solomon 5:1 NASB

All Praise to the Lord

A Match Made in Heaven

The Prince from heaven and His bride have an arranged marriage.  The King of the Universe chose a bride (individuals from every tribe, nation, ethnic group and language) for His Son before the foundation of the world.  The desire of the Prince of heaven is to be with His beloved Bride!

Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me,

be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me,

for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 

John 17:24 NASB

To hear music by Lara Landon visit;

www.LaraLandon.org

  1. Song of Solomon 1:17
  2. Genesis 1:26, Isaiah 48:1-16, John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:13-18
  3. Romans 5
  4. Revelation 12, John 10:10
  5. Helpmate suitable for him, Genesis 2:18
  6. Bride of Christ, Ephesians 5:25
  7. A Match Made in Heaven, John 17:24, Ephesians 1:4, 1 Peter 1:20
  8. “Let Us make man in Our Image”, Genesis 1:26
  9. Death entered the world through sin, Romans 5:18-19
  10. God gave His Son to die in our place, Isaiah 53, Daniel 9:24, John 3:16, Mark 10:45
  11. The Incarnation, a virgin gave birth to Immanuel, Isaiah 7:14, John 1:14
  12. Sealed with the Holy Spirit a pledge of our inheritance, Ephesians 1:11-34, John 3:7
  13. Present with the Lord, 2 Corinthians 5:8
  14. At the last trumpet, resurrection, rapture and immortality; 1 Corinthians 15:50-52
  15. Rapture of the living believers in Yeshua the Messiah, 1 Thessalonians 4:17
  16. Wedding Banquet of His Bride, Revelation 3:12 and 19:8-9, Ephesians 5:22-33
  17. Reign with Messiah for 1000 years, Revelation 20:6, Isaiah 2:1-5
  18. A New Heaven and a New Earth, Revelation 21:1-8

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