I have some very good news to share with you…
“The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10
This is another encouraging reblog, to read the rest go here.
I have some very good news to share with you…
“The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10
This is another encouraging reblog, to read the rest go here.
“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” ~ Proverbs 22:6
Ernest Biéler (1863 – 1948)
Raising children can be a great adventure. You may be thinking, “That’s one way to put it.” From infant to adolescent, and into adulthood, we find joys as well as sorrows–easy times and challenging ones. And finally the day comes where its time for the baby bird to spread its wings. You look back at the long road you traveled to get where you are, and reflect. You look ahead to what is held in an uncertain future and you pray, and you hope, and you pray some more. Being a parent is not easy, as any parent will testify. It is so very hard when you see your children make poor choices, or finding themselves in the middle of suffering the consequences of their actions. You wonder, you worry, and you weep. Yet we are offered hope. We can place our children in the arms of our Lord–trust Him with their safety–knowing He will actively work in their lives to draw the prodigal children back home.
Reflections ~ Randy Chambers
Day 23 ~ Called Out of Darkness
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:” 1 Peter 2:9
Called out of darkness…how many of you were called out of darkness?
From the concordance darkness means: of night darkness; of darkened eyesight or blindness; of ignorance respecting divine things and human duties, and the accompanying ungodliness and immorality, together with their consequent misery in hell; persons in whom darkness becomes visible and holds sway.
I once was lost…and now I’m found…
I once was blind, but now I see…
“He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.” Psalms 40:2
If I had Christian parents they would have been devastated, but they also would have rejoiced at what Jesus has done in my life. I don’t know that a single prayer was uttered for me during this time of darkness, but Jesus called me out of it.
“Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the LORD Almighty.” Malachi 3:7
Father, you are very aware of what our prodigals are doing right now. For from the beginning of time men turn away from you and follow darkness. Father, right now, our children are living in darkness, making horrendously horrible choices that will effect their lives forever. We cry out to you, Father, for we of ourselves can do nothing. Please bring them out of the miry pit, the ungodliness, the immorality, this horrible wretched darkness that holds sway over them and causes such blindness. Father, we cry out to you today, please call them out of darkness into your marvelous light.
“I ask for your light to fall on this path and lead him home.
Let him see your light from the distance and be drawn to you.
Even though now he sits in darkness, I ask that you will be his light.(Micah 7:8)
I praise you that there is no darkness so black that you can not show him the way out of it.
Bring him to the place where he can say, “You are my lamp, O Lord the LORD turns my darkness to light” (2 Samuel 22:29)” ~ James Banks
And Father…I pray for none of this middle of the road stuff. I pray when our prodigals come to their senses and see your Light…when they truly give their hearts and lives to Jesus, that there will be no turning back. That they will put the past behind them and walk forward…the past immorality, drugs, rock music…make it absolutely abhorrent to them.
Thank you, Jesus, for what you have done in my life, I know without a doubt that you can do it in any life. And I especially ask today, that you would visit the suffering parents. Please take them in your arms. Fill them with your peace, hold them tight so that they know you are with them in their grief. Give them a knowing that you are at work in the hearts of those they love and hold most dear, right now as we are praying.
Forgive us all, Father, for we are so prone to wander, so prone to be unbelieving and faithless.
We are called to show forth your praises, even the sacrifice of praise…
“Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.” Hebrews 13:15
Day 8 ~ Prayer Makes a Difference
And if that is the case we have a very powerful advantage in fervent prayer, because it avails much.
Remember…Prayer makes a difference!
Praying for you today…
I am so excited about this ebooklet. I have seen Diane reaching out to so many people in so many ways with such a compassionate heart, because she knows the pain, she knows the prodigal journey and she knows the hope we have in Christ, and the miracles that enfold as we surrender and allow God to work in our lives and the lives of our prodigals.
I have not personally dealt with addictions, but from what I have read in this booklet Diane and Elaine are offering a life changing way to deal with anyone having this problem. They take you step by step and show you if you are enabling your child and how to free yourself of the destructive behavior of enabling. If you are dealing with this kind of trial in your life, I recommend that you read this booklet. You will probably relate in some way with the examples that are given. Knowing how to free yourself and let go of your child or the person in your life who is an addict may be the very thing that leads them to recovery.
Thank you, Diane and Elaine for helping hurting parents of prodigals!
Here is the link to purchase and download the ebooklet …
The Sights and Sounds of Enabling puts the spotlight on the ineffectiveness and collateral damage caused by enabling. Discover why enabling never works and how you can stop enabling today. Step out of the darkness of your hopelessness today; step into your strength—learn how to love your addict effectively and become a guiding light for their recovery.
After writing this third part in the series beginning with Disappointment and Deception, I felt uncomfortable posting it, until I realized that I have responded to my prodigal situation in almost every way this little booklet describes. So, dear readers, as you follow on here, whoever you are, rest assured that you are not alone, if you find yourself saying…’This is me!’…
There is HOPE, though, and I can’t wait to publish the fourth part of the series titled A Way Toward Healing and Freedom. Until then…
“When I cry unto Thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.”-Psalm 56:9
In any disappointing or hurtful situation, we should first cry out to God. In the above verse we are assured that our enemies will turn back when we cry out to God for help. How comforting to know that deception cannot overtake us if we turn to God- for He is for us, not against us.
But how many times, in this vulnerable state of disappointment, do we respond in accordance to lies that we have believed?
Quoting from the booklet “When Disappointment Deceives” by Jeff Olson:
“Unknowingly, many of us have agreed with the lies we’ve been told about life, ourselves, and God. We hang on to them as if they are true. Once we accept a lie, that’s when it starts to control us.”
Jeff Olson points out many different ways that we process disappointment, choose the wrong response and accept the lies. To summarize:
Some may become withdrawn, hoping that others will not see them. Or, in an opposite way, become boastful or use a broad intellectual vocabulary to cover their hurt and make themselves appear as someone they are not in order to keep others from seeing what they presume are flaws in themselves.
By any chance do you see either one of these reactions in your prodigal? Unconfessed sin and guilt often times will cause a prodigal to hide from his parents by withdrawing from them.
On the other hand the shame and pain that the prodigal experience brings to parents may cause them to withdraw from friends and family.
Some respond to disappointments by holding back love and desires. Some may try and protect themselves from further hurt by closing up, and not letting anyone come close.
“For those of us who are deceived into believing that life is just one long series of letdowns, it seems that the only way to keep from being disappointed again is to limit our desires and take pleasure in very little.”
In all honesty I struggle with this one. Because of the pain and suffering I’ve gone through with one prodigal, I find myself pushing away my other children in fear of the same rejection. It isn’t at all fair to them. I consistently have to face that fear, realize it is a lie, and ask Jesus to take that burden from me.
TURNING TO FALSE COMFORTERS~
False comforters can be things like food or hobbies – things that are not inherently bad, but if we are running to them to get our mind off things we do not want to think about, or for the comfort we should be getting from the Holy Spirit, we will not receive the healing that we really need. That healing way deep down in our hearts can only come from God, so what we are actually doing when we turn to false comfort is delaying the process of healing.
Bitterness is another way of dealing with disappointment. Bitterness towards others for the hurt they have caused only brings grief to yourself and the Holy Spirit. Forgiveness is the antidote, and as Jesus said, “Father forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34. Bitterness only causes division and strife…
“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another , even as God for the Messiah’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:31-32
But people can also turn their bitterness towards God…
“If we think He doesn’t care about us, we blame Him for our disappointing circumstances, and then we resent Him for doing nothing about them.”
I’d like to say that I have never done this, but I have. I blamed God for what happened to our family…for the temptation that took hold of my prodigal, for not answering my prayers. I’m sorry to my Father, my Savior, for EVER feeling this way… His ways are not our ways, and our ways are not His ways. Isaiah 55:8
Humbling myself, I learned what little faith I had, what little trust I had, what little patience I had. What does Abba Father say that He is teaching us through our sufferings? To be more like Christ…to be patient …”But let patience have its perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, lacking nothing.” James 1:4
He is the Potter. He knows exactly what this clay needs. He knows exactly how hot to make the kiln to fire the pot, when to put it in and when to take it out…so that it is a perfect work.
He knows the exact, precise detail to bring you to perfection. Do you believe this?
“Disappointment can eventually wear us down to the point where instead of staying bitter, we give up…At times, we can become so exhausted by disappointment that we just want to quit a marriage, a friendship, or a career… Even though we may never fall into a state of severe depression, many of us quietly resign ourselves to the fact that this is the way it’s always going to be.”
The good news – there is A WayToward Healing and Freedom. That will be my next post.
“It’s possible to trust in Jesus as our sin-bearer and receive forgiveness of sins, yet live much of our lives imprisoned by old lies of disappointment. Many of us have been deceived for so long that we just can’t talk ourselves into believing the truth. On our own we can’t free ourselves into believing the truth. On our own, we can’t free ourselves from the slavery of deception. We need divine help to reinterpret the lies we’ve been taught in the midst of disappointment.”
Again, if you would like to read the booklet booklet yourself or the PDF version, go to discovery series booklets.
What was Jeremiah prophesying about here?
Here again we are faced with an adversary seeking whom he may devour. Quoting Sylvia Gunter from her article entitled Praying for Rebellious Ones…
“Thus saith the LORD; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the LORD; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy. And there is hope in thine end, saith the LORD, that thy children shall come again to their own border.”
“I have prayed for thee.”-Luke 22:32How encouraging is the thought of the Redeemer’s never-ceasing intercession for us. When we pray, He pleads for us; and then we are not praying, He is advocating our cause, and by His supplications shielding us from unseen dangers. Notice the word of comfort addressed to Peter-“Simon, Simon, Satan hath desired to have you that he may sift you as wheat; but”-what? “But go and pray for yourself.” That would be good advice, but it is not so written. Neither does he say, “But I will keep you watchful, and so you shall be preserved.” That were a great blessing. No, it is, “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.” We little know what we owe to our Saviour’s prayers. When we reach the hill-tops of heaven, and look back upon all the way whereby the Lord our God hath led us, how we shall praise Him who, before the eternal throne, undid the mischief which Satan was doing upon earth. How shall we thank Him because He never held His peace, but day and night pointed to the wounds upon His hands, and carried our names upon His breastplate! Even before Satan had begun to tempt, Jesus had forestalled him and entered a plea in heaven. Mercy outruns malice. Mark, He does not say, “Satan hath desired to have you.” He checks Satan even in his very desire, and nips it in the bud. He does not say, “But I have desired to pray for you.” No, but “I have prayed for you: I have done it already; I have gone to court and entered a counterplea even before an accusation is made.” O Jesus, what a comfort it is that thou hast pleaded our cause against our unseen enemies; countermined their mines, and unmasked their ambushes. Here is a matter for joy, gratitude, hope, and confidence.
I found this very helpful article by Sylvia Gunter posted on PrayerForProdigals GCX Community :
Pray The Basics Of God’s Sovereignty
God is sovereign. All authority and all power are His. Matthew 28:18. Nothing takes Him by surprise. All circumstances are His servants. He knows the end from the beginning. Psalms 119:91, Isaiah 46:9-10. His word is forever settled in heaven. Psalms 119:89.
Romans 8:28-29 is still in our Bible. He does all things for our good and His glory is to conform us to the likeness of Jesus. There is no circumstance, person, place, or time that the blood of Jesus does not cover. The one who spared not His own Son will freely give us all His best things. Rom 8:31-32. He promises that He is for us and nothing can separate us from His love. That was settled on the cross. Rom 8:35-39.
God’s lovingkindness never ceases. His compassions and great faithfulness never fail. They are new every morning. Lamentations 3:22-23. He supplies all our needs by His riches in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19. He knows and cares. The very hairs of our head are numbered. Matthew 10:30.
He promises that He is God of all comfort, Father of mercies. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. He is able to supply His abundant grace to us in any situation, so that in all things, at all times, we have all of His sufficient grace we need for encouragement and hope. 2 Corinthians 9:8. He is able to show His perfect power in our weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.
We can know with certainty that He is able to guard what we have entrusted to Him. 2 Timothy 1:12. He promises that He is our strength, our shield, our strong tower, our refuge, our hope, our joy, our peace, our everything, our all. Psalms 18:1-3, Colossians 3:11.
He promises to renew our strength as we wait on Him. Isaiah 40:31. He promises that He never leaves us nor forsakes us. He is with us, a very present help. Hebrews 13:5-6. He never goes back on a promise. Joshua 21:45.
He has a heart that tears can touch and invites us to climb up in the Father’s lap and just cry. Hebrews 4:15, Psalms 56:8. He gives gladness instead of mourning and praise instead of fainting. Weeping endures for a night, but He gives the joy that comes in the morning. Isaiah 61:3, Psalms 30:5.
He is enthroned on the praises of His children. Psalms 22:3. When we lift Him up continually in a sacrifice of praise, we glorify Him in this situation in the here-and-now. John 12:28.
We pray all these things for ourselves and our children.
We choose to glorify Him in this situation now and always.
I have found myself weeping for the iniquity of the world, and the iniquity of my prodigal son…
“Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.” James 4:9
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem by Greg Olson (Matthew 23:37)
Our heavenly Father describes the same experience that a lot of us relate with on a smaller scale in our own families…
“Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. Why should ye be stricken any more? Ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment. Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.” Isaiah 1:2-7
We have nourished and brought up children and they have rebelled against us. God is confronted with this every day. Are we not communing with Him in grieving for the rebellious? Is this not a deep communion and heart cry and intercession with the God of all Creation? Can we as His children be exempt from what He is feeling in His heart?
Romans 1: 18- 32 further echos the heart cry of our Father professed in Isaiah… ”When they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations , and their foolish heart was darkened…Professing themselves wise, they became fools…”
Watching as prodigal children turn in rebellion from God and their parents… and on a larger scale…seeing the acceptance of fornication and homosexuality in our society and what is worse in our churches …
“And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.” Ezekiel 9:4
This lead me to a very interesting study on the word mark or Tav in Hebrew…
The word mark here in Scripture is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet Tav…(tawv); from OT:8427; a mark; by implication, a signature: KJV – desire, mark.
This mark (T) set on the foreheads of those righteous men saved them from the wrath of Yahweh. Where else do we see this same shape saving the righteous, but in Egypt where the men were to take the hyssop, dipped in the blood of the Passover lamb, and place it on the lintel and doorposts…
This quote I found very interesting ~ a comment on the letter Tau by James Read:
“The earliest explicit mention of anything which describes the shape of the instrument of Roman execution is Barnabas’ epistle where he likens it the Greek letter Tau which is very much T shaped. Also, some other early Christian reference to how Moses was foreshadowing a T shape when he kept his arms raised to his sides while Israel was doing battle with Joshua (Yehoshua, Yoshua, Isus) doing battle.Ezekiel 9:4 depicts a vision in which the Tav plays a Passover role similar to the blood on the lintel and doorposts of a Hebrew home in Egypt. In Ezekiel’s Old Testament vision, the Lord has his angels separate the demographic wheat from the chaff by going through Jerusalem, the capital city of ancient Israel, and inscribing a mark, a Tav, upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. In Ezekiel’s vision, then, the Lord is counting Tav Israelites as worthwhile to spare, but counts the people worthy of annihilation who lack the Tav and the critical attitude it signifies. In other words, looking askance at a culture marked by dire moral decline is a kind of shibboleth for loyalty and zeal for God.”
In the Ancient Hebrew Alphabet Chart Tav means crossed sticks and is represented by an x or T shape.
Further in Ezekiel we see a reference to two sticks one representing Judah (the Southern tribe) and another for Joseph (Ephraim) and the children of Israel(the Northern Tribes) and the prophecy that these two sticks shall become one.
Jesus was the Repairer of the breech as he hung on the cross, the two sticks becoming one… Ezekiel 37:15-19
“The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand. And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these? Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.”
From the National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi:
“We know from ancient texts that Roman crosses consisted of two pieces. The stipes was the upright piece, fixed in the ground, often permanently. In restless areas and times with constant executions there could have been whole groves of them. The horizontal piece was called the patibulum; it weighed about a hundred pounds or so, and the condemned person was usually forced to carry it to the place of execution. Hence his name, the patibulatus.
After the patibulatus carried the crosspiece of his cross out to the field of execution, he’d be attached to it with ropes or with nails—hence the term crucifixio, from crux, cross, and figo, to affix. Then he’d be hauled up so that the patibulum could be fastened to the stipes. We tend to think of the two pieces being mortised into each other to form the familiar Latin-cross shape ( † ). More probably the Roman army carpenters, with hundreds and thousands of crosses to make, didn’t bother with that kind of fancy joinery. They probably just fixed a peg in the top of the stipes and bored a hole in the patibulum; that would make it easier to assemble the cross in a single motion, and it would make the weight of the crossbeam and the crucified man hold the cross together; it would result in a shape like the Greek letter tau …T”
So the mark set upon those who were mourning and weeping over the abomination of the land was also the cross that we take up and was the instrument used for the cruxfiction of Christ our salvation. Do you realize that Jesus told the people to take up the cross before He was crucified?
“And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them,Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Mark 8:34
The Hebrew letter Tav (T) is the last letter in the Hebrew language…it finishes the Hebrew alphabet and Yahshua said as he died on the cross (T), “It is finished.”
“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” John 19:30
The Crucifixion by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696 – 1770)
For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2
So you see that we have a deep communion with our Father and Savior in intercession and weeping and mourning for the lost…Are we Tav Christians? Are we bearing our crosses? Are we in deep communion with the heart of the Almighty?
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18
The signs of the times ~ 2 Timothy 3:1 “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.”
Our hope is in Christ who finished the work on the cross…He is the resurrected King, the Savior of the whole world for He has overcome it, the Alpha and Omega or in Hebrew the Aleph and Tav ~ the Beginning and the End ~ the Author and the Finisher… Hallelulyah!
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”Heb 12:2
Diego Velázquez: Crucifixion of Christ, 1632.
“I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” Psalms 27:13
Love can be so bitter sweet…like the love of a parent for a prodigal.
A chasm deep and wide … so incredibly deep. I picture my hand reaching across it as far as I can reach and the hand of my son reaching from the other side of the great chasm, but our hands can not touch.
We ache for our love for each other, but we can not reach each other for that chasm of sin lies between.
A chasm of space and time…
I wept and my heart was once again broken, because God’s timing was not yet right. I wept the tears of longing.
For days the waters kept overflowing and my eyelids could not press them back.
Where was my HOPE?….Where was my FAITH?
We gathered around our living room for our devotion time…lifting up our voices in unison we sang songs of worship and praise…
As the deer panteth for the water so my soul longeth after Thee…
You alone are my heart’s desire and I long to worship Thee.
You alone are my strength my shield…
To you alone may my spirit yield …
Choking up there were times I could not voice the words from my mouth, but I heard the melodic harmonies in rapturous song floating all around me…
And then prayers emanated around the room …the most beautiful perfumed fragrances floating up to the Father on High…a healing balm to my broken heart.
To hear the earnest prayers of my children desiring the will of the Father in each life…all in their own personal way… their own personal relationship with Jesus…
It was awesome…so awesome that my broken heart in a moment’s time was touched by the most awesome LOVE in the Universe.
…”to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.” Isaiah 61:3
“But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.” Matthew 21:28-31
Parents have hope…our prodigals have said no, but they will repent…
A beautiful card given with LOVE to me from my sons and daughters…