The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly. John 10:10, New American Standard (NAS)
The Christian life is not automatic. The joy of the Lord, the Peace that surpasses all human understanding, the spirit of power, love, and a sound mind (II Timothy 1:7, NKJV): all of these things are ours in Jesus through the Holy Spirit but we grow into them. Paul writes, “But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit”. 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NAS). It is the Holy Spirit, living within me who teaches me how to live with joy and peace and stability of spirit but I do not sit passive. I believe with all I am that everything my life in Jesus is, is meant to be, is becoming, comes from Him. I do not earn it. Rather, I live in partnership with what His Spirit is doing in me and that sometimes involves giving myself a good talking to.
I wrapped up a study on John 3:5 where I agreed with the conclusion that being born of water and the Spirit is being born of the word and the Spirit. Which word? The logos (G3056) or the rhema (G4487)? Is there a difference? I found Vines Expository Dictionary a help in distinguishing between the two: “Logos denotes the expression of thought-not the mere name of an object-as embodying a conception or idea…the revealed will of God…Rhema denotes that which is spoken, what is uttered in speech or writing”1
I enjoy doing word studies. A study is never over. As I was looking into John 3:5 I saw many different subjects I want to pursue. I found it difficult not to get sidetracked and looking at “the word” in the New Testament was one such temptation. There is far too much to say for this post so I will limit myself to saying I believe there is and is not a difference. There is no rhema without the Logos-Jesus Himself-and yet the logos is not expressed without the rhema. The Spirit reveals Jesus to me but then I find I need to hear words spoken. I listen to teachers, I read, and I often have to speak to myself. Ephesians 5:18-19 says, “…be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns, and spiritual songs”. While not explicit in this passage, I believe talking to myself is just as important as sharing with others. I hear so many other voices, even when I step away from social media outlets, and few of them are saying edifying things. My thoughts begin to whirl and I must talk to myself, remind myself who Jesus is, and remind myself who I am in Him.
This is one such poem I wrote to remind myself of reality in Christ.
What is the source of my joy?
How can I know joy exists
When I see so much adversity?
Because I know the One who is Joy.
What is the source of my peace?
How can I believe in peace
When I see so much tragedy?
Because I know the One who is Peace.
What is the source of knowledge?
How can I see Him
When I see so much death and pain?
Because I know the One who Speaks.
His Spirit is knowing
His Spirit is certain
He is the Source
In the depths of me
Knitted to me
Opening the heart’s eyes
The welling spring
The River of living water
The Fountain of my life
The All in All
The Fear Not
The Living and Enduring Word.
Vine, W.E., Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old & New Testament Words, 1997, Nashville, Tennessee, Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1241-1242
May Christ through your faith (actually) dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love. Ephesians 3:17, Amplified
My roots reach deep
Into the One who IS
First of firsts
Within me the rich soil of life
Though the tempest roars
And the locusts swarm
The Harvest comes
I am Faith Unstoppable.
I stand planted
In the One who WAS
Inhabiter of time
The rock of my salvation
Though the mountains crumble
And are swallowed by the waves
I do not falter
I am Faith Unshaken.
I have my shelter
In the One who IS TO COME
Making all things new
My fortress, my tower, my strength
Though I'm bombarded
By flaming arrows
I stand strong in the gap
I am Faith Immovable.
Some of the best poetry ever written appears in the Bible in the Song of Songs: the Song of Solomon. One of my favorite lines is SOS 6:4; Thou art beautiful, My Love, as Tirzah. There’s something musical about it and, while musing on it, I wrote this poem.
“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be.” ~ Anne Frank
I found this quote online and wanted to share it because how true it is! There is not, in my opinion, any substitute to being alone with God. This alone time has been important to me my entire life. Both my parents worked through my childhood so, of necessity, I spent a great deal of time on my own and could sneak off into a field or tree and have time alone with Jesus once my chores were done. Now that I am older and know Him in a deeper way, that time alone with Him with the sky overhead our cathedral is of utmost importance.
So important, that years ago I wrote a poem about it.
Someone asked where I found You
So I sat right down and thought
Did I find You in my prayers?
Yes, but I know I don’t pray as I ought.
And did I find you in the written Word?
Yes and no, I said
For I don’t read it as I should
There’s so much to do instead.
I’m a miserable Christian! I exclaimed
And guilt was a heavy stone on my back.
But wait, where was I?
Oh, now I remember-
How did I get so far off track?
I banished the guilt, shrugged it off
Cleared it all from my mind.
I focused completely on thoughts of You
And left all others behind.
Where did I find You? I asked myself
I turned my eyes to the heavens above
I smiled with Joy as I realized I knew
All Creation testifies of your love.
Especially for me, it’s the skies themselves
That bring my heart closer to Yours-
When the sun rises and when the sun sets
I feel that my spirit soars.
The skies are alive with colors like flame
That swirl and bend in a dance.
Look up! You say, See what I’ve made
This will be your only chance-
For each one is different-not one is the same
What has been before won’t come again.
And each new sunrise and sunset that I’ve seen
Are more beautiful than the last ones have been.
I feel so privileged, so singled out
As I wonder how it could possibly be-
That You’ve been there waiting every day
To paint the sky new just for me.
So that’s where I find You-the works of Your hands
As all Creation attests to Your fame
For through You, by You, and for You all things are made