FREEDOM! What Easter Really Means

What does Jesus’ death and resurrection mean to us? The simplest definition is: Freedom! Freedom from death, the curse, the power of destruction. Freedom from lies to live and love the Truth. Freedom from fear, doubt, worry, stress–freedom to be who God created us to be, and to be glad about it!

Here are just three verses (from The Passion Translation) about our glorious freedom in Christ!

Psalm 34:22  “But the Lord has paid for the freedom of his servants, and he will freely pardon those who love him. He will declare them free and innocent when they turn to hide themselves in him.”

Psalm 107:14 “His light broke through the darkness and he led us out in freedom from death’s dark shadow and snapped every one of our chains.”

2 Corinthians 3:12  “So then, with this amazing hope living in us, we step out in freedom and boldness to speak the truth.” (TPT)

Galatians 5:1  It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

It is for freedom we’ve been set free! If we humans desire for enslaved children and people to be free; if we desire animals to be free from abuse; if we desire creation to be free from pollution; if we desire our atmospheres to be free from stress and strife; how much more does the God of Heaven and earth want us to be and stay free–and enjoy it!

Freedom to live in Christ, to His Glory, is what I mean here. In submitting to His loving leadership, we are truly and forever free!

As He says in Galatians 5:1, “Let me be clear, the Anointed One has set us free—not partially, but completely and wonderfully free! We must always cherish this truth and stubbornly refuse to go back into the bondage of our past.”

If you have not received the freedom of Christ, or if you’re not sure, just choose to believe that God is real and good–He is the One Who created you and gives you every breath and every other good thing!

For God so loved the world–everyone–that He gave His only Son, Jesus, that whoever believes in Him should not die, but have everlasting life! John 3:16!

Say this out loud: “Dear Jesus, I believe you were crucified for my sins–what I’ve done against Your Holy Word–and I need You to please forgive and cleanse me. I believe You rose again after three days and live forever, ruling in Heaven and preparing a place for those who believe in You. Please come into my life and be my Leader and Savior and LORD, my best Friend for life. I receive You now and thank You. Amen!”

Now, if you just said this prayer out loud, the LORD is so good to hear and answer! All who call upon the Name of the LORD shall be saved (Romans 10:13)! He loves you and has been waiting for you to acknowledge and receive His loving leadership. Now, you have an eternal Covenant with Him, through your belief (faith) in what He did for you!

As Him to lead you to the right group of people who will help you truly grow in Christ, and to help you find the right Bible for you to study. He will. He loves you, and delights in you and will help you with every detail of life as you ask and trust in Him! As He says in Isaiah 65:24, “Even before they call, I will answer; while they are still speaking, I will hear.”

Trust Him and be free. He is faithful forever!

The Christmas Surprise

James 5:16 : Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (ESV)

I had planned a very quiet Christmas, with just my Beloved and myself, sleeping in, exchanging gifts, and having time to rest and do other things I wanted to do today.

But the enemy had other plans. He loves to try to steal our joy and interrupt our peace. Clayton and I were dreaming deeply last night when there was a loud pounding on our door. My darling daughter had stopped by to tell me my dear mom, a widow less than two years ago, who’d suffered many afflictions, was once again in the hospital. Somehow we’d been unable to hear the phone.

Mom had fallen and fractured her hip and pelvis, even though a caretaker was with her 24/7. Bless her heart! The ambulance had rushed her on Christmas Eve to the hospital, and there she lay. So I was up at different times during the night checking on her.

However, God is never taken by surprise! What the enemy means for evil, the LORD Who knows all things always works for good for us who love Him and are the called according to His Plan.

This morning, I rose and made her some delicious peanut butter balls that she likes, determined to go bring her some cheer on this Christmas Day.  As the LORD often does, I figured He might have other things in mind too, and I knew there were hurting people everywhere at the hospital. So I took a Christian magazine, some Jesus’ Christmas Tree bookmarks (JCT bookmark_TKTaylor ), and an invitation to our church New Year’s Eve service. I asked Him to show me whom to sow them to.

Mom let me pray for her but was hurting too much to read the magazine and even had me take her treats back home till later. I spent some time helping her, then felt led to visit the ICU floor, where my Dad had died less than two years before, and where I’d spent a long month with Mom before that.

As I entered the ICU waiting room, there was one man there, asleep. I quietly left the materials, then went to the bathroom across the hall. The LORD impressed me to ask the man if he needed prayer. He woke and said, ‘Sure!” I told him my husband and I were lay ministers and he said he was a local pastor too, and was there for his mom. He gave me details of her afflictions and he and I prayed together.  I told him at the end that I expect a good report, even if I don’t know about it till Heaven!

Then I handed him theinvitation to our church’s NYE service, which is the 29th this year. Perhaps he and his family will come. Anyway, I know this was the LORD–and it was His surprise gift to me. Later that day, I received some delightful and very thoughtful gifts from my Beloved husband. However, the gift of the LORD directing me to be a vessel through whom the LORD ministered to my dear mom and the pastor and his family was the very best gift of all!

Ask the LORD how you can receive more of the priceless gift of being a vessel through whom He works to bless others this Season that we celebrate the living Christ!

For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

He is Keeping You!

23 The steps of a [good] man are directed and established by the Lord when He delights in his way [and He busies Himself with his every step].
24 Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord grasps his hand in support and upholds him. — Psalm 37:23, 24 (AMPC)

Our Daddy God is so very faithful! Every moment, He is watching over us, blessing and keeping us! His angels and Holy Spirit are guarding us moment by moment–and with eternal perspective, for He Who was and is and is to come knows all things, sees the end from the beginning, and thus goes ahead of us to thwart the plans of the enemy, as we observe and obey spiritual laws. And still, even when we are ignorant and disobedient many times, His grace and mercy cover us!

Friday afternoon I was tired, after a full week at school. I had reached my home city, and was at the light in the left turn lane ready to make the last turn before a couple blocks to my driveway. I was looking down, writing a note about something, and wishing the light would change. I was first in line. I glanced up a few times. Still no green. (Sigh.) I wrote again.

Then when I looked up, the left arrow was green.

Finally! And I bet the people behind me wish I would go! I thought.

Then, just before I started to turn, a car thrust through the intersection–through the red light–wayyyy past when it should have entered that area!

In other words, God protected me from what could have been a horrible wreck! If I had been impatient, or even not looking down writing, I would have been in the wrong place!

He is faithful to help us every moment, if we will let Him and be sensitive to His leading. I fully believe, upon reflecting about it, that He brought those thoughts to my mind–knowing I would want to write them down so I wouldn’t forget. He orchestrated even those tiny details to preserve me from evil; to keep me safe.

HE LOVES ME!! And HE LOVES YOU TOO!  Why don’t you look up and THANK HIM TODAY FOR HIS FAITHFULNESS!!

 

Choose Joy

22 But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, 23 Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [[a]that can bring a charge]. —Gal. 5:22-23, (AMPC)

“It’s joy!” I said, and laughed gently some more, watching my sweet fourth grade students giggle and look around at each other, delightfully confused. They had just come into my afternoon  class, and some started laughing for no apparent reason.  I could tell that they were not trying to be disruptive, nor were they scorning one another–I just let the LORD have His wonderful way!

Happy tears  came to my eyes also, and they noticed. “Look at Mrs. Taylor! Her face is red!”

Indeed it was, and I my heart felt so good. I could not stop smiling, and the kids smiled back.

As I’ve told them, we feel better when we smile. We get more oxygen, and it’s just so much better than a frown!

Part of my joy was thankfulness;  it is so wonderful to have the Presence of God with us always!

Many of us laughed gently a few minutes, then they started to settle down.

“What is joy?”one asked.

I love it when Daddy opens doors like this!

“It’s part of God,” I said. “A fruit of the Spirit!”

“Oh!” he said, and smiled. A few had not laughed, and my heart ached for them to experience the freedom and lightness that comes when the true Spirit of Joy, the LORD Jesus Christ, rises among us.

Truly, this Season, we have so much to be joyful about. Let us sing for joy to the One Who is faithful forever, for He died so we could live with joy!

Sing for joy, O heavens, and be joyful, O earth, and break forth into singing, O mountains! For the Lord has comforted His people and will have compassion upon His afflicted.
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth and sing for joy, yes, sing praises!

Flags for America!

The LORD opened my eyes recently to pray these verses over America!
They raise their voices, they shout for joy; from the west they acclaim the Lord’s majesty.
So [as the result of the Messiah’s intervention] they shall [reverently] fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him and put him to flight [for He will come like a rushing stream which the breath of the Lord drives].
            Even more recently, I was honored to hear teaching by an apostle from South Africa, who said that she and her team pray and fast for America–for they know that what happens in America affects the world.
            So let us humble ourselves and pray and proclaim, and our good God Who founded and keeps and has had great mercy on our country will hear and answer!
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
They raise their voices, they shout for joy; from the west they acclaim the Lord’s majesty.
So [as the result of the Messiah’s intervention] they shall [reverently] fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him and put him to flight [for He will come like a rushing stream which the breath of the Lord drives].

 

FREE PDF for You!

And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
            There are certain ways that royalty are trained to walk and talk. Our young people (and those a little older!) need to be trained and reminded (myself included) on how to operate in this world to the Glory of God.
             Here is a link to the article, and a FREE PDF of “The 7 Ps of Prince and Princesshood,” which the LORD gave me in 2014.   Feel free to share it, as you keep the copyright information intact.
             Have a peaceful Thanksgiving!
Tonja

Double Glory!

I love how the LORD speaks in nature and other things in His world (some call them “signs”). Him speaking this way to us is part of His Glory, His goodness– and He will speak this way to anyone who truly wants to see and know.  You can ask Him to speak to you–and to help you make sure you know it is Him. He is good, and His mercy endures forever. He will help you!

Yesterday afternoon I was headed home from my position where I teach at a public school over a half hour away. As I admired the clouds along the way, I saw a slice of a rainbow, high in the sky. It delighted me. “Thank You for the Covenant!” I said. “You are so good!”

I enjoy driving (most moments), especially because I can get quiet and listen to Him, pray, worship, and enjoy His beautiful creation. As I quietly prayed and worshiped, I enjoyed His peace.

He loves to delight me with cool things, unusual things, and I am always ready to see them.  As I drew near to the airport, which is right around the curve from my church, I saw two trains on the tracks–not a phenomenon in itself, but these were: Both were moving; with lights on, they were pulling many loaded cars–and they were parallel to each other; both headed the same direction, at the same time, only one was a few cars behind the other!

I knew this was a sign from my dear Daddy God to me about how He has double Glory for me (and you and everyone else)–if we will just believe and receive it!

Truly, this is the time for the double Glory–including double restoration; the restoration of what we should have had, and the restoration of ourselves to His original intent for us! The LORD is pouring out His Glory–as He promises us in Joel chapter 2 (and several other places!). Ask Him to help you believe and perceive and receive the double Glory!

          23 Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord, your God; for He gives you the former or early rain in just measure and in righteousness, and He causes to come down for you the rain, the former rain and the latter rain, as before.

            24 And the [threshing] floors shall be full of grain and the vats shall overflow with juice [of the grape] and oil.

           25 And I will restore or replace for you the years that the locust has eaten—the hopping locust, the stripping locust, and the crawling locust, My great army which I sent among you.

          26 And you shall eat in plenty and be satisfied and praise the name of the Lord, your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you. And My people shall never be put to shame.

          27 And you shall know, understand, and realize that I am in the midst of Israel and that I the Lord am your God and there is none else. My people shall never be put to shame.

from AMPC, www.Biblegateway.com

Check out Kim Potter’s article on “The Month of Kislev 5779″ for more about this, on her site for A New Thing Ministries!

 

Birds!

The LORD has been speaking to me lately, especially through birds! I am going deeper to discover what He is saying. Meanwhile, the birds have been getting closer — literally!

Today, I was having a joy ride (the REAL kind–where I drive and praise and worship Him and pray, just for the JOY of it!) after shopping a bit, enjoying the lovely light, praying, at peace–and a white crane came from my right and flew DIRECTLY across the highway RIGHT in front of my car!

It could not get any closer unless it had come inside, but of course the timing was perfect (only the LORD can do that!! LOVE IT!) and there was no danger. I just started laughing, DELIGHTED, and thanking Him that He is showing me IN DETAIL what I need to know! I’ve done some research and am getting a better idea…..if any of you have comments to add or insights otherwise on birds, please let me know!

Meanwhile, I am excited to have found this verse:

[Even the migratory birds are punctual to their seasons.] Yes, the stork [excelling in the great height of her flight] in the heavens knows her appointed times [of migration], and the turtledove, the swallow, and the crane observe the time of their return. But My people do not know the law of the Lord [which the lower animals instinctively recognize in so far as it applies to them].