WHEN FEAR IS NEAR . . .

When I am afraid, I put my trust in You. (Psalm 56:3)

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Fear is Near–                                                                       Muscles tense,                                                                    Thoughts  implode,                                                           Clarity fades,                                                                       Reason irrationalizes,                                                      Anxiety thrives–                                                                 Peace is Distant.

30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O men of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well. 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day. (Matthew 6:30-34)

Fear is like a thief in the night, stealing God’s promises from us,

as we toss and turn in restless slumber.

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (John 14:27)

His peace has been given to us. It is now—and everlasting. Only our fear and anxiety can make us question His promises, lose sight of His gifts, and cast His hope away.

Yet, He is near, sending us a lifeline back to Him.

When anxiety was great within me,
    Your consolation brought me joy.

(Psalm 94:19)

FEAR separates us from God’s loving, outstretched hand.

FEAR separates us from Jesus waiting on the other side of the door.

FEAR holds us back from opening ourselves to Him to receive His peace.

FEAR allows anxiety to grow and create a vacuum, a space devoid of God’s hope.

38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

 NOTHING CAN SEPARATE US FROM GOD— EXCEPT US.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)  AMEN!

(Sharon G. Tate blog 03/29/2020) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

IN GOD, WE MUST PUT OUR TRUST.

23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. . . (Hebrews 10:23)

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From the time we were children, we have experienced fear: 

 “When but a child, I feared the dark, yet under covers peered                         

At ghastly forms by street-illumed in bedroom corners drear; 

Near heaps of clothes uncanny shapes in shadows moved about; 

My widened eyes sleep could not close as creatures nearer crept . . .”

From a poem I wrote to my grandmother, the ending involves her coming to rescue me by watching over me as I slept. I had a very special relationship with my grandmother, spending many summers with her and my grandfather, always feeling safe in her presence, putting my trust in her when I was a child. But, then, Alzheimer’s claimed her, and I went to stay with her for another purpose—to calm her fears and watch over her as she slept.

Human caregivers and loved ones cannot be the ever-present protectors that we need –for the simple fact that they are mortal and subject to the many frailties of life. The only ultimate caregiver who will always watch over us and protect us when we put our trust in Him is God, our Creator, the forever “I AM”. He knows us better than our parents, our grandparents, our close friends, our brothers or sisters in Christ.

God knows our fears and holds our tears.

We are living in uncertain times. Life is not as we have known it, from expectation. This can result in increased anxiety and fear as we face unknown circumstances and futures. Yet, the Psalmist David says it clearly, “In God I put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 56:11). In these times of global uncertainty, it is not a virus or men that we should fear—but God, for if  we do not put our trust in Him and praise His Word , we cannot secure our eternity with Him.  He is ever with us, but we must also be with Him.

6 Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.  

(Deuteronomy 31:6)

“Now I lay me down to sleep/I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake, I pray to God my soul to take.
If I should live for other days/I pray the Lord to guide my ways.
Father, unto thee I pray/Thou hast guarded me all day;
Safe I am while in thy sight/Safely let me sleep tonight.” ¹

I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.  (Psalm 4:8)

 ¹ A Child’s Bedtime Prayer: version by Henry Johnstone.  http://www.beliefnet.com

(Sharon G. Tate blog 03/15/2020)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

GOD’S GIFT OF LIFE

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:1-5)

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Our mind’s eye view of a gift may be on a Christmas morning as a child, looking excitedly with wonder and joy at all the presents under the tree, wrapped in beautiful  paper and colorful bows, the glowing hues of tree lights and a shining star illuminating the room. Yet, life is not always the ornately wrapped gift that we await in anticipation and excitement to view. What we open and experience in our gift of life can involve difficult, tragic, heart-breaking circumstances with great suffering. Not the version of a “gift” we remember as a child.

What can we do when life is not the gift we want to unwrap, behold, and accept as our own with our name tag on it?

O God, thou art my God, I seek Thee,
my soul thirsts for Thee;
my flesh faints for Thee,
as in a dry and weary land where no water is.
So I have looked upon Thee in the sanctuary,
beholding Thy power and glory.
Because Thy steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise Thee. (Psalm 63:1-3)

 “THY STEADFAST LOVE IS BETTER THAN LIFE . . .”

Through His steadfast love, the Light to guide us through the darkness of the difficult aspects of life is provided with the gift of this life. Christ dispels all darkness with His Light. We must turn to Him to find sanctuary, hope, and strength in His Light. When we do, the Light reveals gifts in life that we may have overlooked as we tried to deal with the struggles on our own. . .

Did we miss the sunrise, that promise of another day? Did we not hear the birds awakening the new day with song? Were we too overwhelmed with the difficulties in life that we missed the wonder of a child’s smile, then failed to notice our own joyful smile in return? Was the meal before us at the table not welcomed with thanksgiving?  Did we not gaze with appreciation and awe as the flaming brilliance across the western sky closed the day to give us rest?

Every good endowment and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1:17)

And from His fulness have we all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:16-17)

This gift of life will include struggles, as we try to live as Christ lived. Yet, God’s grace is ever with us. His gifts are always good. To enter eternal life with Him, we must open the gift with our name tag on it—and live the life He has given to each one of us, living this life for Him and His purposes.

20 Now to Him who by the power at work within us is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, 21 to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)

 (Sharon  G. Tate blog 03/08/2020) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

LIVING FORWARD IN CHRIST JESUS

 “Say not, ‘Why were the former days better than these?’ For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.”(Ecclesiastes 7:10)

THE GOOD OLD DAYS

Those days of yore

Cast in the lore

Of memories,

Picture-framed

In glass perfected,

Rose-colored

In time sight–

The captured past.

How “good” were the “good old days?”

We tend to reflect on those times with rose-colored glasses.

 “You can’t go back home to your family, back home to your childhood. . . back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time–back home to the escapes of Time and Memory.” 1

But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.       (Genesis 19:26)

Remember Lot’s wife. (Luke 17:32)

The best days are ahead, not behind. The eternal home is before us. To enter, we must become a new creation. And not look back.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

 The “new has come.” Have we crossed the new threshold and entered, closing the old door securely behind us? Have we obtained the wisdom: “I haven’t come this far, to come this far.”

12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own. 13 Brethren, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12-14)

 “I press on—” The goal is ahead. The Lord waits, patiently waits, for us to continue forward, persevering onward toward Him.

1Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured from sinners such hostility against Himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.   (Hebrews 12:1-4)

 “Consider Him” when we grow weary, frustrated, or depressed. “Consider Him” when we feel we cannot go on and think of turning back. “Consider Him . . . seated at the right hand of the throne of God” and find the strength and hope to continue, “forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.”

LET US PRESS ON TOWARD THE WAITING ARMS OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR–AND TRULY ARRIVE HOME.

1 Wolfe, Thomas. You Can’t Go Home Again. http://www.goodreads.com/quotes

( Sharon G. Tate blog 03/01/2020) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

JESUS DEFINES LOVE FROM THE CROSS

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. ” (1 Corinthians 13:13)

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Jesus gave us the example of what love is through His actions.

“(16)This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. (17) If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? (18 ) Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” (1 John 3:16-18)

Our Lord exemplified humility on the cross as He took our sins upon Himself. He showed great patience with us, even as sin continued while He endured this trial. He acted in gentleness, not lashing out at those who were crucifying Him, but instead asking the Father to forgive them–to forgive us.

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2)

The love Christ showed to us all that day on the cross, with outstretched hands held by nails, has endured past those dark hours to the sunrise when He arose and to every sunrise thereafter and yet to come. Love knows no boundaries of time.

“Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are    tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”           

(1 Corinthians 13:8)

(Sharon G. Tate blog 02/23/2020) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

 

God’s Valentine to Faithful Christians

V ictory through Jesus

A bsolution from our sins

L ove that never fails

E mpty tomb of Risen hope

N ew body incorruptible

T omorrow-eternal promised

I  nheritance of adoption

N ever-ending Light

E ternity with God our Father

1 John 3:1 – See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him.

Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

1 John 4:10 – This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

John 3:16 – 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.

1 John 4:9 – This is how God showed His love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.

1 John 4:8 – Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is LOVE.

(1 Corinthians 13:13)

(Sharon G. Tate blog 02/14/2020)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

HE Waits at the Door

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears My voice and opens the door,  I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with Me.  (Revelations 3:20)

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“A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that’s unlocked and opens inwards, as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.” 1

Jesus waits at the door. If we just open it to Him,  He will enter. When we open our inner selves to Him, He releases us from the bondage of self.

The door will open

When we pull it toward us.

Yet, we push and push outward,

Exerting our own strength

In an attempt to escape

The imprisonment of self,

That inner room

Where we dwell alone.

 

 

If only we would pull,

To open ourselves to the Lord,

Allowing His entrance inside,

Freeing the self of us

Through the sacrifice of Him,

Our inner room filled

With the sound of His voice,

The fullness of His presence.

 

WHEN WILL IT OCCUR TO US TO PULL OPEN THE DOOR–

AND GREET THE MASTER?

 

(Sharon G. Tate blog 01/19 2020) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

Ludwig Wittgenstein. http://www.wiseoldsayings.com

RESOLVED TO SERVE GOD IN 2020

                      

Ready for the Lord’s Will in my life.

Enlisted in His service as a Prayer Warrior.

Servant to others in His Name.

One with the Lord, able to make a difference for God in word and deed.

Leaning on God for daily strength, decision-making, and wisdom.

Vocal in spreading His message of hope, truth, and salvation.

Embracing the call of discipleship, following Jesus all the way.

Devoted to God, first and foremost, in my life.

With man alone, resolve fails.

With God, all things are possible.

 I AM RESOLVED: 2020 BIBLICAL RESOLUTIONS

As we form–and affirm–our own resolutions for this new year, may we take to heart the Word of the Lord our God; the counsel of His servants Paul and Joshua; and the prayers of David, whom God called “a man after My own heart, who will do all My will” (Acts 13:22).

Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.             

Philippians 3:12-14 12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 

Colossians 3:14-15 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.       

Luke 6:31  And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.                            

Ephesians 6:17-20  17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.                                                                          

 Luke 6:27-28 27 “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.                                                              

Psalm 139:23-24 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; 24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,  And lead me in the way everlasting.                                  

Joshua 24:15 . . . But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.                                             

Isaiah 43:18-19 This is what the Lord says: 18 “Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old.19 Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

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As we contemplate a new year of promise, let us follow Biblical examples of resolve. What “new thing” can we do for the Lord? What “road in the wilderness” can we tread daily so others can clearly see the path to follow, joining us in our walk with Christ? What “rivers in the desert” will flow with Living Water when we share Jesus with those who thirst?

   NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION:

366 DAYS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR THE LORD.

 

(Sharon G. Tate blog 01/05/2020) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

The Wise Seek Wisdom: The Journey to Worship Christ

 

“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” 1

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1Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king,  behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East, and have come to worship Him.”

. . .Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star appeared; and he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found Him bring me word, that I too may come and worship Him.” When they had heard the king they went their way; and lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. (Matthew 2:1-2, 7-10)

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The wise men did not need Herod to prod them to follow the star in search of the Christ child. They had already determined in their hearts and minds that this was their path. They had traveled far and would not be deterred from seeking and worshipping Him who was prophesied.

The guide: A night light in the sky to lead them to the Light

Who would extinguish all night, all fear of darkness.

They had seen His star in the East.  Significantly, the east is the place of sunrise.  A new dawn for mankind was beginning in a birth that would change the world. The wise men came to worship this child who would grow and keep “increasing in   wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52). As a young lad of twelve, He would be found “sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions; 47 and all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers”  (Luke 2:46-47). As a grown man, He would teach in the synagogue; and the teachers would be awed by His learning: “Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to him, and such miracles as these performed by his hands?” (Mark 6:2)

 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and    righteousness and sanctification, and redemption… (I Corinthians 1:30)

The wise men sought the one who, they believed, had “been born king of the Jews.” They had traveled a great distance to find Him. The star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was” (Matthew 27:9).    Although they did not understand His kingdom would not be of this earth, they were right to seek Him and worship Him, the embodiment of “wisdom from God.”  When we,      likewise, choose to seek and worship the Lord, He will go before us, guide us, and lead us through the darkness, even if by a glimmer, until His full glory is revealed.

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being,     sustaining all things by His powerful word. After He had provided purification for sins,   He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. (Hebrews 1:3)

And the wise still seek Him– not by a star, not by fate, not by destiny but by

earnest desire and need to find the Christ and worship Him.

( Sharon  G. Tate blog 12/22/19) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

1 Lisa Mantchev, Eyes Like Stars. http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/stars

SINGING TO GOD WITH THE VOICE OF THE HEART

 

“Music is well said to be the speech of angels;
in fact, nothing among the utterances allowed to man
is felt to be so divine.
It brings us near to the infinite.” 1

 “Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.”  (Psalm 95:1)

Through the music, we sing to the Lord–

**expressing our joy, adoration, love, and thanksgiving;

**requesting His forgiveness, His grace, His mercy, and His hope;

**reaching up to Him in awe, in wonder, and in praise;

**crying out to Him in distress, in loneliness, in despair, and in grief;

**worshipping Him with the outpouring of our souls through song.

Through the music, we connect with each other on a spiritual level:

“Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.

“Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord…” (Ephesians 5:19)

Through singing, we are in harmony before the Lord, lifting our voices and our hearts in one accord to Him. The words of the music become our devotion, our prayer, our praise, our thanks, our joy, our hope, our confession, our penance, and our love to the Father.

Through the music, that which truly dwells within us is given voice:

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16)

How we sing the music is an indication of the nature of our inner being. If the Word of the Lord is deeply rooted within us, firmly secured in our hearts, our voices will sing spiritual songs.

Through the music, we proclaim His Glory:

“I will sing of your love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will sing praise.” (Psalm 101:1)

“I will give thanks to the LORD according to His righteousness And will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.” (Psalm 7:17)

“I will be glad and exult in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.” (Psalm 9:2)

As we sing to our Lord and our God, let us remember that He is listening. As we sing to the Most High, let us not forget that He is hearing. As we offer our voices in song to our Father, let us bear in mind that He wants us, His children, to acknowledge Him with due respect and honor.

Let us each search within and ask:

What voice will the Lord hear from my heart today?

                                                                                                                                                                                      

 Thomas Carlyle (1795 –1881) was a Scottish philosopher, satirical writer, essayist, historian and teacher.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 12/15//19) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word