Posted in encouragement, theology

Poem of Joy in the Lord

By Elizabeth Prata

Lord, open my heart as a flower to receive your sweet drops of mercy.
Place in me desires that align with yours.
Make my conscience tender as a velvet bloom.
Harden in me a firm resolve.

Your majesty is glimpsed in the clouds,
In the towering mountains,
In the fresh dew.
Yet Lord, we want to see you. How long, O Lord?

You are the Rock on which our feet stand!
You are the eagle upon which we fly!
You are the lion that saves!
Give me a persevering spirit until that Day.

Then, and only then, I rest.

cloud

 

 

Posted in encouragement, theology

Glory Be!

By Elizabeth Prata

*Jesus came for God’s glory. (Hebrews 1:3). Jesus said this over and over. He came for us, of course, to seek and save the lost, but Jesus came to increase God’s glory. God is passionate about His glory, “I am the LORD, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, Nor My praise to graven images.” (Isaiah 42:8)

God’s glory is increased when He redeems sinful man to Himself. It is the single greatest act of a Holy God. Redeeming. Sinful. Man. THAT is the expression of His highest glory in the most glorious act, and that His Son would incarnate (not just for 33 years, but forever) and live a human life and die a horrendous death, and in between would seek God’s glory at every moment. This is something admirable to ponder.

Philippians 4:8 – “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Think on the admirable things.

1 Corinthians 10:31 – “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” This verse is saying that even if we are not missionaries leading thousands to Christ, even if we are not fiery preachers speaking before thousands, even if we are not teachers publishing hundreds of books, we, the small and mundane, should do everything we do for the glory of God. The small tasks, the routine, the everyday, are glorious to Him if performed with Him in mind as the utmost audience. Do all with an awareness that you are doing it for God. And it will be a fragrant aroma unto Him.

and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” (Ephesians 5:2).
So think on the admirable things.

glory hebrews verse

*A version of this post first appeared on The End Time in 2011

Posted in heaven, theology

What a day that will be!

By Elizabeth Prata

I hope you think of heaven every day. I hope you think of our home, the country where we are destined to go. I hope you rejoice in the fact that it exists. I hope you are thrilled with the fact that we will be joining the Savior in heaven someday. I hope you think on the fact that His work on the cross made this possible.

He lived as a human (though still God) … endured a lifetime of mundanity and obscurity (even though He is glorious King of All) … received mocking, insults, beatings, humiliation, and death on a cross (even though He received only praise and honor in heaven)… He did all that to be obedient to His Father, and to redeem a people.

We know all this. (I hope).

I do think about heaven a lot. What it will be like to be there. To be in a place of purity and glory. To praise Jesus.

Jesus expects certain kind of worship. He does not accept any type of worship we throw at Him. He has His commandments, which describe a high standard of having no idols, having no other gods before Him, and not taking His name in vain. He has His Old Testament, in which His standards are scrupulously outlined. (No strange fire, Leviticus 10:1-2, Numbers 26:61). He has His New Testament in which we are given precepts for worship and service (No lying, as Ananias and Sapphira discovered, etc). And so on. Jesus does not receive any old worship.

I often think of when I’m in heaven, praising him from pure lips. (Zephaniah 3:9). I contemplate the praise and song I will be delighted to offer Him. I picture the global Bride before His throne, singing and exclaiming to the King.

Then of late, my mental gaze shifts from seeing me in the global body, to picturing Jesus, receiving praise from His Bride. He will accept the song and worship and acclamations that He is due. He will accept praise and honor and glory and it will not be filtered through the Spirit (Romans 8:26-27). The worship Jesus receives on the Day we are brought home will not be rejected as having impure motivations (Proverbs 16:2, Jeremiah 17:9, Hebrews 4:12).

The praise and honor we give Jesus in heaven will be pure and holy and accepted as His due. I cannot wait to see that moment. Picture the global Bride, installed in heaven’s New Jerusalem, where there is no sun to compete with the Light that is the Son. Picture the songs and praises flowing from the rejoicing (and relieved) humanity He redeemed. Picture that glorious throne, upon which sits the King at the right hand of the Father, the train of His robe filling the temple. (I know I’m mixing metaphors and timing of the heavenly temple and the eternal state). Picture the light around His face, hair white as snowy wool, smiling as He surveys His bride, who is singing to Him.

When from our lips and hearts, we offer all honor to Jesus, and He accepts it, because He deserves it. Finally, finally He is given what He expects and is worthy of.

What a day that will be.

the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they existed and were created.
(Revelation 4:10-11).

And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. (Revelation 5:9).

set your mind on heaven verse

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Justified and made righteous

Here, in 90 seconds Pastor Gabe explains what justification is. When he explained that it is the legal declaration of God as to the pardon of all our sins AND the credit to our account the righteousness of Christ, it made me think of the verse from Luke regarding the return of an unclean spirit. But first, take a listen to Pastor Gabe’s explanation:

When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ 25And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order. 26Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that person is worse than the first.” (Luke 11:24-26).

Without the imputation of righteousness to our account and the indwelling and sealing of the Holy Spirit, we would be damned and punished forever. We can stave off obvious sin and project a certain morality in keeping our ‘house’ empty for a while, but sin soon creeps back in to take over again. (Genesis 4:7), We can’t help it, our sin-nature demands it.

An empty house is ripe for possession again. And as we see in the verse, the unholy spirits return. But they return in force and the state of the person is worse than before.

We always remember how great and wonderful it is that not only are we forgiven of our sins, but our Lord gave us HIS righteousness, without which, we would simply be either a suppurating cauldron of putrid sin, or a temporarily swept house waiting to become the cauldron of sin once again. His purity and righteousness is fresh, clean, and given in grace to His people. Thank you Lord for justifying Your chosen sinners!

glory

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

The glory of men versus the glory of God

Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God. (John 12:42-43)

Isn’t that such a sad statement. The verse in context is speaking of Jesus and the wonderful things He had been doing. He had performed signs and wonders in the presence of the Jewish rulers, yet many did not believe. Others believed, yet did not confess it because they coveted man’s glory more than God’s.

It’s interesting about the word glory here. Strong’s Concordance says of the word glory/doksa, Continue reading “The glory of men versus the glory of God”