Month: November 2022

What is the Cyrus Anointing in the book of Isaiah?

THE CYRUS ANNOINTING Isaiah 44:28, 45:1-5, 13-16

28 That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.

1 Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;

2 I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:3 And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.

4 For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.5 I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:

13 I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the Lord of hosts.

14 Thus saith the Lord, The labour of Egypt, and merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thine: they shall come after thee; in chains they shall come over, and they shall fall down unto thee, they shall make supplication unto thee, saying, Surely God is in thee; and there is none else, there is no God.

15 Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour.16 They shall be ashamed, and also confounded, all of them: they shall go to confusion together that are makers of idols

Have you asked the question, “What is the Cyrus Anointing?” Maybe you’ve heard of this unique anointing. Or perhaps you have read about King Cyrus in Isaiah 45 and wondered how this kingly anointing is active in today’s culture. 

What is the Cyrus Anointing? | The Definition

There is more to the Cyrus anointing than most realize. Most of the time, when you ask the question, “What is the Cyrus anointing?” the answer you get is around the subject of wealth and financial dealings. Many focus on the blessings that come from the Lord and how He opens doors to abundant riches when it comes to the Cyrus anointing. 

However, there is more to this unique anointing. The answer to the question, “What is the Cyrus anointing?” is found in Isaiah 45. This anointing is released to pull down Babylon, which is a description used in Scripture to describe the world systems. 

In order for the Cyrus anointing to accomplish its purpose, there must be resources available to the person or persons carrying it. This is why it is closely tied to the subject of finances and wealth. 

Who Was King Cyrus? | The History

Cyrus was a Medo-Persian king who reigned from c. 559-530 BC; taking Babylon in 539 BC. He was a Gentile or pagan king that God used to bring the Jewish people back to Israel after 70 years of Babylonian captivity. 

King Cyrus fulfilled a biblical prophecy as described in Isaiah 45. The Lord revealed Cyrus’ decree 150 years before Cyrus was born. 

He did what seemed to be impossible. Babylon was a strong and fortified empire. It was believed nothing could destroy or pull it down. However, Cyrus was anointed not to destroy it but to take it over, pulling down its system. 

Cyrus, being a Gentile, was not part of the family of God that carried the blessings and covenants, but God still used him to restore Israel back to her place. This is a picture in Scripture of God’s power being released when Jew and Gentile come together.

What is the Purpose of the Cyrus Anointing? 

As stated above, the purpose of the Cyrus anointing is to pull down world systems. Many spiritual entities and powers, which have been bound for a time, are being unleashed on the earth during this season.

Why have these powers been released? So that the Lord can do what He does—show His power over all the works of the enemy. 

And the purpose of the Cyrus anointing is to partner with the Spirit of God in pulling down the world systems and revealing the power of the Lord.

The Meaning of Cyrus’ Name | The One Who Possesses the Furnace

The name Cyrus means “one who possesses the furnace.” If you have the Cyrus anointing, the fire of God is within you. God will work on your character so that when He releases the Cyrus anointing, it is done in His strength.

  • He will sharpen your mind so that you can think like Him. 
  • He will work on your patience so that you embrace delayed gratification. 
  • He will give you a passion for the things of His heart. 

He will do all this so that He can be shown to others through you. 

The Cyrus Anointing and Israel

As mentioned, Babylon took over Israel and kept them in captivity for 70 years. As prophets, Jeremiah and Daniel warned Israel what would happen if they continued in rebellion and disobedience. These prophecies came to pass because they were out of alignment with the Lord. But there was also a prophecy that stated a man would help bring Israel back and break the bonds that held them in captivity. 

In the spirit, we know that there has always been a war between the sons of Zion and the sons of Greece—the Babylonian spirit. That is what happened at that time in Israel’s history, and it is happening now. 

There is an anointing that breaks the Babylonian spirit—it is the Cyrus anointing. It opens doors that allow those in God’s family to access their inheritance and blessing, giving them the authority that they need in this era. 

The Nine Functions of the Cyrus Anointing 

Isaiah 45 describes how King Cyrus would be God’s instrument in restoring Israel. There are nine functions or purposes to the Cyrus anointing described in Isaiah 45.

  • To Subdue the Nations 

“Thus says the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held—to subdue nations…”

—Isaiah 45:1

God held Cyrus’ right hand. The right hand of God represents authority. Because of the authority God gave King Cyrus, he would subdue not just one nation but all the nations. The same applies to those with this anointing.

  • To Loosen the Armor of Kings

“…and loose the armor of kings…”

—Isaiah 45:1

In other words, there is no Babylonian spirit that can stand against the Cyrus anointing. Any armor used by a king in a world system will be loosened, essentially made ineffective. 

  • To Open Double Doors

“…to open before him the double doors…”

—Isaiah 45:1

God was going to break down the doors that no other kingdom could open. He does the impossible through the Cyrus anointing. 

  • To Keep the Gates from Being Shut

“…so that the gates will not be shut…”

—Isaiah 45:1

The fourth function secures the third. In other words, not only will God open doors that seem impossible to open, but no world system will be able to close them. There will always be access to the inheritance in and through the Cyrus anointing.

  • To Make the Crooked Places Straight

“I will go before you and make the crooked places straight…”

—Isaiah 45:2

The Lord is the one making the path straight for Cyrus. For those with the Cyrus anointing, God is creating a shortcut. He is removing the long way. The Cyrus anointing straightens the path that leads to the inheritance. 

  • To Break the Gates of Bronze

“…I will break in pieces the gates of bronze…”

—Isaiah 45:2

The sixth function breaks the things that keep God’s people from moving forward. It breaks the gates that block the inheritance.

  • To Cut the Iron Bars

“…and cut the bars of iron.”

—Isaiah 45:2

The things that have kept God’s people captive, the things that have kept them from enjoying or having access to the fullness of His Kingdom, the Lord is cutting them off with the Cyrus anointing.

  • To Release Treasures of Darkness

“I will give you the treasures of darkness…”

—Isaiah 45:3

The treasures of darkness are the things that the enemy has stolen in efforts to keep God’s people from experiencing everything that Yeshua purchased for them. God is bringing to light all the treasures that were in the dark so they find the fulfillment that is theirs. 

  • To Give Hidden Riches of Secret Places

“…and hidden riches of secret places…”

—Isaiah 45:3

There are things that are hidden that the Lord has for His chosen. These are in the River of “Never Seen Before.” There are many wonders in God’s storehouses that those with the Cyrus anointing have not accessed yet, but all that is about to change. When the Cyrus anointing is activated, these things will be revealed.

The Purpose of the Nine Functions

“…that you may know that I, the Lord, who call you by your name, am the God of Israel. For Jacob My servant’s sake, and Israel my elect, I have even called you by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me.”

—Isaiah 45:3-4

The Cyrus anointing is for those who recognize that God is still for Israel. He knew Jacob and renamed him Israel. He knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb. He chose you just as He chose Cyrus.

He is choosing you to release the Cyrus anointing so that what He instituted from the very foundations of the world would happen, causing people to come to know Him and to be redeemed by the power of the blood of Yeshua, who came through the nation of Israel. 

There is a release of this anointing when those who are redeemed by the blood understand their ties to Israel. 

The Cyrus Anointing for Today

Now that you can answer the question “What is the Cyrus anointing?” it is time to understand why the Lord is releasing it in this season. 

In short, the days demand it. There was an anointing for…

  • The 1960s
  • The 1980s
  • The 2000s

And there is an anointing for this era. 

Things are being turned upside down. Evil is being called good, and what is good is being called evil. This is the Babylonian spirit at work in today’s world system. 

But know this: The culture of God and the culture of His Kingdom has not and will not change. There is still power in the name of Jesus, and knees will bow at His name. 

The enemy is trying hard to keep us, the Body of Christ, so confused and distracted with everything going on in the culture that we don’t focus on what has been given to us by the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

If he can keep us distracted, we will not know the power of God and the authority we have to activate it for His Kingdom. 

This is not about your ability to bring about the Cyrus anointing. It is 100% God’s ability. When you begin to see God’s ability and possibilities, nothing will be impossible for you. 

What You Should Be Aware of with the Cyrus Anointing

If you have the Cyrus anointing, you must know there will be opposition from the culture or world systems. You may not always be “politically correct” in what you say or how you say it. 

Why? Because the world systems—Babylon—is against the Cyrus anointing because it is from the Lord.

The enemy is always against who and what God anoints. 

But if you carry this anointing, you must decide to be in alignment with God rather than the world. 

The Takeaway

Jesus made a promise to us. He said He had to go away, but He would send us a Helper, Comforter, and Advocate. 

He says, “It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7). He said that the Spirit of God, the Helper, would do things in and through you. Everything He hears from the Father He will tell you. He will empower you, and the Word will come alive in you, and greater works you will do—all for the Lord’s Kingdom. 

Isn’t that an amazing promise? 

It is up to you—to us—to see the promise fulfilled. 

Let the Holy Spirit move through you. Let Him wash you with a Cyrus anointing. Expect and anticipate that God is going to move in this era.

Tools Available to Withstand Evil!

Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV

The Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 

13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 

15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 

17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Tools Available to Withstand Evil (NOTES)

1 Peter 5:8 King James Version

8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

2 Corinthians 11:14 New International Version

14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.

1 John 2:16-17 King James Version

16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

1 John 2:16-17 New International Version

16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

Truth Still Sings While Memories Sting

It happens every October. The first cold front comes through, college football kicks off, and I remember fall was the time of year my life fell apart.

For years, it embarrassed me that the sadness would quietly bubble up when I wasn’t expecting it. It happened in moments that should have been innocuous, fun. Who feels triggered walking into a college football game? It was as if my body remembered old grief before my brain realized what was happening.

But it would happen any time I walked on the college campus where I’d imagined so many of my childhood dreams. At birth, my mom had swaddled me in the school colors and taught the fight song alongside my ABCs. It was a given that I’d graduate from there, keeping the family tradition alive—until a chronic illness kept me from even filling out the application. Years later, I still felt it:

  • Loss of community I was never a part of.
  • Frustration over physical symptoms we couldn’t control.
  • Disappointment that life had taken such a radical detour.

People like to say that time heals all wounds, but what if old aches can always be reactivated? Is it possible to think back on unfulfilled dreams without feeling the sting of disappointment?

The Pain of Past Hurt

If you walked into a stadium with fifty thousand people, you wouldn’t be able to go more than a few steps without bumping into someone with a bruised heart. 

Some struggle to sit in the stands because cheering on the home team was a tradition with a family member who’s no longer able to attend. Some can still picture the seats where they sat on their first date, the beginning of a relationship that didn’t end with an engagement. Others hear a ringtone in the crowd that reminds them of the night they got the news that they had been betrayed by someone they trusted, an act they’re pretty sure they’ve forgiven but don’t think they’ll ever be able to forget. 

As long as we live in a world impacted by sin, our stories will have sore spots. You may share my embarrassment and not have mentioned how you still feel about it to anyone except God. He not only sees, but He cares, and He’s able to ease the ache. 

One of the great comforts of studying Scripture is getting to see how God has healed those who have come before us. We see that in the familiar story of Joseph in Genesis 37–50. Joseph suffered deeper and wider pain than many of us can even comprehend. It would have made sense for him to have been held captive to the losses he experienced his entire life, but what Joseph reveals in Genesis 41 shows that God is able to set us free from the painful memories of past hurt.

A Painful Past

You may already be familiar with the main plot points of Joseph’s life: betrayal by his brothers, slavery in a new land, false accusations, imprisonment, disappointment after disappointment. He had been away from home for thirteen years when his life finally started to trend in a positive direction. Joseph got a job promotion, essentially becoming prime minister under Pharaoh (41:40) and married Asenath, an Egyptian woman who would give him to two sons (41:50).

It’s hard to imagine what went through Joseph’s head when he found out his wife was pregnant for the first time. If ever there was a time for the memories of his own family to come flooding back, wouldn’t it be then? No matter how many times he had tried to forget what had happened, wouldn’t he feel the loss of all the normalcy he’d missed over those thirteen years? All the family dinners, the weddings, the nieces and nephews. All the conversations, the arguments, and the advice from his father about how to (and how not to) grow little boys into godly men.

All of those simple moments had been replaced with years of suffering. After everything he’d experienced, we might expect Joseph to be bitter and resentful—or even hostile to God. But the insight we’re given into his heart reveals something different.

Forgotten and Fruitful

Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh and said,
“God has made me forget all my hardship and my whole family.”
And the second son he named Ephraim and said,
“God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.” —Genesis 41:5–52

In Israelite practice, it was common for the mothers to name their newborns, but Asenath didn’t name their boys. According to Genesis 41:51, Joseph named them.

It wouldn’t have been that surprising if the names he had chosen sounded similar to the one Naomi later called herself in Ruth 1. “Call me Mara,” she had said, “for the Almighty has made me very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. . . the Lord has opposed me, and the Almighty has afflicted me” (vv. 20–21). 

Instead, the names Joseph chose focus on two ways Joseph had seen God work in his own suffering: how God had made him forget his hardship and his family (Manasseh), and how God had made him fruitful in his affliction (Ephraim). 

Could Joseph have really forgotten his family? It’s clear they haven’t been fully erased from Joseph’s mind. Despite spending his entire adulthood in Egypt, despite marrying an Egyptian woman, Joseph didn’t give his sons Egyptian names. His Hebrew heritage would be on his lips from the first time he spoke to them.

Both names are a description of God at work in Joseph’s life. The Lord was the one responsible for changing his fortune and helping him to prosper in affliction. The years spent in a land filled with suffering and uncertainty were the backdrop against which God had been with him and God had blessed him. Or super-blessed him, as his second son’s name implied. 

Joseph didn’t forget the evil that had been done to him. It wasn’t that he no longer remembered his family—we see that a few chapters later when they unexpectedly arrive, and he identifies them first. But in the birth of these sons, we see that the memories of the past do not have a hold on him. As Bible teacher Chuck Swindoll explains: “God made him forget the pain, the anguish of what had happened . . . God removed ‘the stings’ in Joseph’s memory and replaced them with waves of gratitude.”

From Grief to Gratitude

Thousands of years have passed, but God is still able to remove the stings from our stories. You may not even be aware of the ways He already has.

I realized it earlier this month: God has taken away some of the stings I thought would follow me forever. About thirteen years ago, I spent October in the guest bedroom at my grandparents’ house—too sick to attend school, too sick to dream about the future. I thought I’d always live there, in that hard and hopeless season, where every memory of October would bring the heartache of what was lost back then. 

But November always comes—and I’m reminded of all the ways God has brought blessings into the places where I was afflicted, even in areas that haven’t seen full resolution. Year after year, the painful memories have been filled with comfort from the Lord and replaced with perspective: God has been faithful. 

Those tender points in your life? God is able to heal their sting. One day, you may wake up and realize your heart doesn’t hurt the way it used to. When that happens, give thanks for God’s grace in your story. Give thanks that November always comes. 

By Katie Laitkep – Revive Our Hearts

Mathematical Miracle for Moses

A2J Addicted to Jesus
Mathematical Miracle (Awesome – must read)

Moses and the people were in the desert, but what was he going to do with them? They had to be fed, and fed, that is what he did, according to the Quartermaster General in the Army.It is reported that Moses would have to have had 1500 tons of food each day.Do you know that to bring that much food each day, two freight trains, each a mile long, would be required!

Besides you must remember, they were out in the desert, so they would have to have firewood to use in cooking the food. This would take 4000 tons of wood and a few more freight trains, each a mile long, just for one day. And just think, they were forty years in transit.

And oh yes! They would have to have water. If they only had enough to drink and wash a few dishes, it would take 11,000,000 gallons each day, and a freight train with tank cars, 1800 miles long, just to bring water! And then another thing!They had to get across the Red Sea at night.

Now, if they went on a narrow path, double file, the line would be 800 miles long and would require 35 days and nights to get through. So, there had to be a space in the Red Sea, 3 miles wide so that they could walk 5000 abreast to get over in one night.

But then, there is another problem. Each time they camped at the end of the day, a campground two-thirds the size of the state of Rhode Island was required, or a total of 750 square miles long…think of it!

This space just for nightly camping. Do you think Moses figured all this out before he left Egypt?I think not! You see, Moses believed in God. God took care of these things for him. Now do you think God has any problem taking care of all your needs? I believe anything is possible for my Lovely God. He is doing great miracles in our Life.

Made for a Purpose – We are God’s Artwork

Ephesians 2:1-10 NIV

Made Alive in Christ

1  As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 

All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Made for a Purpose (NOTES)

Genesis 3:15 New International Version

15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring[a] and hers; he will crush[b] your head,    and you will strike his heel.”

Romans 3:23 New International Version

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 6:23 New International Version

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[a] Christ Jesus our Lord.

John 19:30 New International Version

30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Psalm 34:2 King James Version

2 My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof and be glad.

1 Corinthians 1:31 New International Version

31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

Philippians 2:13 New International Version

13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Philippians 2:12-13 New International Version

Do Everything Without Grumbling

12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Jesus’ sermon on the Mount – The Beatitudes!

Matthew 5:1-16 The Message
You’re Blessed

1-2 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:

3 “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.4 “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

5 “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.6 “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.

7 “You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.8 “You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

9 “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.10 “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.

11-12 “Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.Salt and Light

13 “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.

14-16 “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.LikeCommentShare

God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong!

1. Weaknesses create a dependence on God.

2. Weaknesses prevent pride and act as a governor in your life.

3. Weaknesses cause a greater dependence upon other people.

4. Weaknesses expand our capacity to minister.

Admitting our weaknesses brings us closer to others, giving us the ability to minister more compassionately. In fact, admitting your weaknesses probably needs to be written on your resume if you’re going to minister effectively to others.

“If you’re going to have a Christlike ministry, it means that sometimes other people are going to find healing in the wounds that are in your life”.

Who can better help an alcoholic than someone who is a former alcoholic? Who can better help a childless couple than a childless couple? Who can better help than the person who’s been there?

I believe that our greatest life messages come out of our deepest hurts.”God wants us to live dependent on him. God wants us to be people in touch with our limitations, aware that we can’t do everything on our own, conscious that without Him and others we are weaker”.

”What about you? What weaknesses are you trying to hide today? Look for opportunities to reveal those weaknesses in order that others might see your dependence on God and be encouraged to do the same”.

Wisdom as Enlightenment of Heart!

Ephesians 1:15-23 NIV

Thanksgiving and Prayer

15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 

17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[a] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 

19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 

21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Wisdom As Enlightenment of the Heart (NOTES)

Luke 22:32 New International Version

32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

Luke 23:34 New International Version

34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”[a] And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

John 17 New International Version

Jesus Prays to Be Glorified

17 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:

“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.

3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

Jesus Prays for His Disciples

6 “I have revealed you[a] to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you.

8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.

10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of[b] your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.

12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by[c] that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.

13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.

15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by[d] the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

Jesus Prays for All Believers

20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you[e] known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

Romans 8:34 New International Version

34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

Ephesians 1:3-14 New International Version

Praise for Spiritual Blessings in Christ

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.

In love 5 he[a] predestined us for adoption to sonship[b] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding,

9 he[c] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

11 In him we were also chosen,[d] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.

13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

John 10:28 New International Version

28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.

Matthew 6:33 New International Version

33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

She Needs Truth – How Hard Words Serve Women

As an adult, the famous preacher Charles Spurgeon remembered hearing his mother pray for him and his siblings like this:

Now, Lord, if my children go on in their sins, it will not be from ignorance that they perish, and my soul must bear a swift witness against them at the day of judgment if they lay not hold of Christ.

He recounted how deeply her prayers and warnings had shaped him, writing, “How can I ever forget her tearful eye when she warned me to escape from the wrath to come?”

I too grew up with a mother who warned me of my sins and their consequences. Once, after observing a pattern of sin in me as a teenager, she called into question my sincerity toward Christ, reminding me of the deadly hypocrisy of acting one way at home and another way at church. Her words stung deeply, revealing my cavalier attitude toward God. I didn’t fear him as I ought, nor did I honor him.

Those hard words, although painful, were like a meat tenderizer to my heart, softening and sensitizing it. The frank and pointed way she spoke to me throughout my childhood left me no room to hide in vague half-truths or nice-sounding platitudes or Christless good-girl behavior. She was God’s ambassador to me, and as such, she regularly created a fork in my road: follow Christ or go your own selfish way.

Rare Gift of Warning

The longer I live, the more I realize how rare it is to have a mother, or anyone at all, who earnestly warns those around them of the deadliness of sin.

Many women are simply terrified by the prospect of speaking hard words to someone they love, like their child or a close friend. They are terrified of the possibility that a relationship could be damaged or undone if the person won’t receive a biblical warning. It is easier to offer vague encouragements to grease the wheels of relational ease than to say something truthful that you know could offend.

“Good job, Mama” or “You did the best you could with what you knew” are just a couple among thousands of common encouragement-memes that get shared and reshared among women. They’re tailored to quell an anxious conscience, never mind whether they’re true or not. Yet we rarely hear similar speech when it comes to the warnings of Scripture, particularly warnings shared from women to women.

Off-Limits Sins

It seems many today — not just fellow women, but even pastors — have taken a hands-off approach when it comes to applying hard truths to the lives of women. Some of this may simply be because well-meaning teachers feel ill-equipped to understand precisely how they might faithfully apply some passages to women. Some of it may be because we know so many women who are in a self-professed hard time, so we worry that they might hear a hard biblical word and wince, taking it in a way it wasn’t intended.

Yet the Scriptures are full of fork-in-the-road sayings, some of them aimed directly at women. Sometimes I like to picture what might happen if we regularly heard these sorts of biblical imperatives without all the hemming and hawing and caveating and ducking:

Deny yourself and follow Christ (Mark 8:34).

Be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to your own husband so that God’s word isn’t reviled (Titus 2:5).

If you’re a younger widow, don’t be an idler or busybody, but seek to get married and serve the Lord (1 Timothy 5:11–14).

Stop worrying about how you look or being vain; instead, be gentle and quiet in your spirit (1 Peter 3:3–4).

Just as the church submits to Christ, you should submit to your husband in everything (Ephesians 5:24).

If you do not obey the Son, the wrath of God remains on you (John 3:36).

Do you know what I picture in churches where verses like these are stated clearly and unashamedly? Not a mass female exodus or a bunch of mad-crying women (although that’s a possibility) — I picture women receiving a precious gift and becoming strong in Christ.

Hard Words That Heal

Why speak hard words to women about their sin? Because if you believe women can be co-heirs, then you also believe they are fallen in Adam and in need of the salvation found in Christ. Their sin must be dealt with — repentance, faith, and conformity to Christ are the only way.

If the Scriptures rebuke parents for not disciplining their children, calling it hatred, then what must our Lord think of those who refuse to address the damning sins of women with the hope of the gospel? How much do you have to hate women to ignore their culpability for their sins?

“Sometimes, in our good desire to minister to women, we can begin to treat them like hypersensitive car alarms.”

Sometimes, in our good desire to minister to women — to meet their needs, to build them up — we can begin to treat them like hypersensitive car alarms, tiptoeing around their sin, rather than loving them enough to help them obey, and to make them unflappable in him. The truth is, when you read an online “encouragement” that declares you’re doing a great job as a mom, it’s possible that it is true. But it also could be completely false. You may be doing a poor job, and that’s why you’re on the Internet looking for someone to tell you you’re doing great. Yet when we read the hard words of Scripture, they are always true — and they are always truly good for us. There is always an application. We always need to repent and believe. We always need to deny ourselves. We always need to obey God.

We love women with the truth. We speak truthful words that upset, that cause pain, that produce guilt, that pierce, but only because we know his healing and forgiveness and comfort is found no other way. I often think about the hard words my mother spoke to me — they were God’s appointed means to preserve me and keep me from making a shipwreck of my faith. How many daughters have wandered from the faith for want of such a mother?

Make Hard Words Normal

Another statement my mom was not afraid to say to me was, “You’re being too sensitive.” This is true for scores of women today — they are sensitive to their own feelings and reactions and therefore quick to take offense. And we need to hear, in truth and love, from other women when the gift of our sensitivity is becoming sin.

“Flat-out refuse to let yourself be offended by anything God says to you.”

Most of all, the way to desensitize an easily offended or disquieted spirit is by regular exposure to the unfiltered word of God. We can’t survive on a Bible diet of uplifting bits only. We must not let ourselves get skittish and squeamish around direct and discomforting truth. Try saying out loud the parts of the Bible you find most difficult. Put God’s own words in your mouth and start to get used to them. Say them in love to a friend. Make them normal.

Lastly, flat-out refuse to let yourself be offended by anything God says to you — whether his words are on the page of your Bible or rightly handled in the mouth of your husband or friend or pastor (2 Timothy 2:15). You may be wounded by God’s word, but his words are the faithful words of the truest friend you’ll ever have. And they are the only words whose wounds can make you whole.

In the hands of a good God, Suffering is a Gift!

𝑰𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒂 𝒈𝒐𝒐𝒅 𝑮𝒐𝒅, 𝒔𝒖𝒇𝒇𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒊𝒔 𝒂 𝒈𝒊𝒇𝒕.

Colleen Chao is living under the shadow of terminal stage four cancer, and she’s learning how to suffer with hope. It’s stunningly beautiful.

“Here’s the thing about suffering (at least in my own limited experience): none of us are good at it. None of us have the capacity to suffer well with hope and joy.”

But the secret to slowly growing into a hope-filled, joyful sufferer has been shockingly simple: Go to God. Again and again and again.

I go to Him when I’m angry at His will for me. I go to Him in the middle of the night when grief threatens to undo me. I go to Him when I’m weary to the bone, or when I’m throwing myself an epic pity party.

By ‘going to Him’ I mean I turn my thoughts to Him and tell Him exactly what I’m feeling, all the nitty-gritty, gory details. I ‘pour out my heart like water in the Lord’s presence’ (Lam. 2:19)—and with the smallest mustard seed of faith, I believe that He’s listening to me and that He will be able to do something about my suffering (Isa. 64:4).

That rhythmic act of going to Him softens my heart to listen to Him, to hear His voice, to end my self-absorbed monologue and begin a beautiful dialogue with Him.

And here’s what I’ve become increasingly convinced of through this process over decades now: I cannot hear from Him or dialogue with Him (and thus cannot suffer well) apart from His Word.

Through the pages of Scripture He speaks exactly what my heart needs to hear. He reveals himself (sometimes in ways I don’t immediately recognize), and those revelations change everything—my thoughts and desires and perspective and all.

And herein lies one of the most sacred gifts of suffering: the sufferer has a unique capacity to experience God through His Word in ways that cannot be experienced through days of comfort and ease.

I know I sound like a broken record, but I’ll sing this song to my last day: in the hands of a good God, suffering is a gift.”

Read more of Colleen’s blog post:

Chosen – We are God’s Artwork!

Ephesians 1:1-14 NIV

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,

To God’s holy people in Ephesus,[a] the faithful in Christ Jesus:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Praise for Spiritual Blessings in Christ

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 

he[b] predestined us for adoption to sonship[c] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 

he[d] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

11 In him we were also chosen,[e] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 

13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

Chosen (NOTES)

Esther 4:5-17 NIV

5 Then Esther summoned Hathak, one of the king’s eunuchs assigned to attend her, and ordered him to find out what was troubling Mordecai and why.

6 So Hathak went out to Mordecai in the open square of the city in front of the king’s gate. 7 Mordecai told him everything that had happened to him, including the exact amount of money Haman had promised to pay into the royal treasury for the destruction of the Jews. 8 He also gave him a copy of the text of the edict for their annihilation, which had been published in Susa, to show to Esther and explain it to her, and he told him to instruct her to go into the king’s presence to beg for mercy and plead with him for her people.

9 Hathak went back and reported to Esther what Mordecai had said. 10 Then she instructed him to say to Mordecai, 11 “All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold scepter to them and spares their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.”

12 When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, 13 he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”

17 So Mordecai went away and carried out all of Esther’s instructions.

Ephesians 3:1 NIV

God’s Marvelous Plan for the Gentiles

3 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—

Ephesians 4:1 NIV

Unity and Maturity in the Body of Christ

4 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.

Ephesians 6:20 NIV

20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Acts 18:19-21 NIV

19 They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. He himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20 When they asked him to spend more time with them, he declined. 21 But as he left, he promised, “I will come back if it is God’s will.” Then he set sail from Ephesus.

Hebrews 9:22 NIV

22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

Romans 8:17 NIV

17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Who was Jezebel in the Bible?

“Jezebel” is a name synonymous with evil; she is the epitome of the wicked woman. So infamous is her name that, to this day, no one names their baby daughter “Jezebel.” To call a woman a “Jezebel” is the greatest insult imaginable.

Jezebel was the daughter of Ethbaal, a priest of the cruel, sensuous, false god Baal. Ethbaal, the priest-king of Tyre who murdered his own brother to take over the throne, was hardly a good father figure. But Jezebel followed in her father’s footsteps and was herself a power-hungry murderess who stopped at nothing to get what she wanted.

The king of Israel at the time was Ahab, a weak, self-pitying man who abdicated his authority to his bride, the princess Jezebel. In spite of God’s laws forbidding idolatry and the worship of any god but the Lord, Ahab married this princess who brought to Israel with her hundreds of priests of lewd Baal worship, a cult that tended to destroy manhood and drag womanhood into shame.

Jezebel was such a domineering person that she soon became master over her weak husband. One of her first acts was to order the extermination of the prophets of the Lord (1 Kings 18:413) and set up altars to Baal. So pervasive was her idolatrous influence in Israel that Jesus later used her name to refer to a woman who led the church at Thyatira into immorality and the worship of false gods (Revelation 2:20).

Jezebel’s strongest enemy was the great prophet Elijah, who defied her and opposed her evil rule. First, he pronounced the punishment of God upon Israel in the form of a drought which lasted three years (James 5:17). This culminated in a contest on Mount Carmel between the powers of Israel’s true God and the Baals.

After the 450 priests of Baal and 400 priests of Asherah spent the day beseeching their gods with wailing and self-mutilation to end the drought, all to no avail, Elijah prayed to his omnipotent God who responded by accepting the sacrifice, having the false prophets slaughtered, and providing an abundance of rain (1 Kings 18:16-46).

Instead of acknowledging the awesome power of the one true God, Jezebel was enraged and vowed to kill Elijah (1 Kings 19:1-2). Elijah fled from her wrath to the wilderness (1 Kings 19:3-8).

In the meantime, Jezebel was proving herself to be the greedy, murderous, evil woman she truly was. A righteous man named Naboth owned a vineyard next to Ahab’s palace. Ahab offered to buy the vineyard, but Naboth, honoring God’s command to keep inheritances within the family, rightly refused to sell.

Ahab became “sullen and angry” and went home to sulk on his bed. Jezebel ridiculed him for his weakness and told him to cheer up for she would get the vineyard for him. She plotted with two lying scoundrels to have Naboth falsely accused and denounced, then put to death.

Then she calmly declared to Ahab that the vineyard was his (1 Kings 21:1-16). Here we see the formula for a disastrous marriage: a weak, childish man who allows his evil, domineering wife to rule the home. This is the exact opposite of God’s plan for marriage: a loving husband who leads his family, and whose care for his wife mirrors that of Christ and His church (Ephesians 5:25-2628-29), and a godly woman who submits to her husband “as to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22), each submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:21Colossians 3:18-191 Peter 3:7).

As with all who defy the Lord, Jezebel’s end was not a pretty one, although it was more gruesome than most, perhaps as an object lesson to all who set themselves up against the one true God. Her doom was sure, having been prophesied by Elijah in 1 Kings 21:23.

Even as she saw her death approaching, she remained defiant to the end, painting her face and adorning herself in queenly garments. She looked out the window and shouted her defiance to Jehu, the next king of Israel who came to take his throne (2 Kings 9:30-37).

Jehu commanded her to be thrown out the window to her death, where she was trampled by the horses’ hooves and almost entirely consumed by dogs. Her thirty years of tyranny over Israel had ended. The terror visited upon Jezebel was a testimony to the Israelites, and to us, that God’s power is supreme and those who defy Him will meet a terrible end.

Jeremiah Chapter 5 – King James Version

Jeremiah 5 King James Version

5 Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it.2 And though they say, The Lord liveth; surely they swear falsely.

3 O Lord, are not thine eyes upon the truth? thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return.4 Therefore I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish: for they know not the way of the Lord, nor the judgment of their God.

5 I will get me unto the great men, and will speak unto them; for they have known the way of the Lord, and the judgment of their God: but these have altogether broken the yoke, and burst the bonds.6 Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them, and a wolf of the evenings shall spoil them, a leopard shall watch over their cities: every one that goeth out thence shall be torn in pieces: because their transgressions are many, and their backslidings are increased.

7 How shall I pardon thee for this? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses.8 They were as fed horses in the morning: every one neighed after his neighbour’s wife.

9 Shall I not visit for these things? saith the Lord: and shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?10 Go ye up upon her walls, and destroy; but make not a full end: take away her battlements; for they are not the Lord’s.

11 For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have dealt very treacherously against me, saith the Lord.12 They have belied the Lord, and said, It is not he; neither shall evil come upon us; neither shall we see sword nor famine:

13 And the prophets shall become wind, and the word is not in them: thus shall it be done unto them.14 Wherefore thus saith the Lord God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.

15 Lo, I will bring a nation upon you from far, O house of Israel, saith the Lord: it is a mighty nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language thou knowest not, neither understandest what they say.16 Their quiver is as an open sepulchre, they are all mighty men.

17 And they shall eat up thine harvest, and thy bread, which thy sons and thy daughters should eat: they shall eat up thy flocks and thine herds: they shall eat up thy vines and thy fig trees: they shall impoverish thy fenced cities, wherein thou trustedst, with the sword.18 Nevertheless in those days, saith the Lord, I will not make a full end with you.

19 And it shall come to pass, when ye shall say, Wherefore doeth the Lord our God all these things unto us? then shalt thou answer them, Like as ye have forsaken me, and served strange gods in your land, so shall ye serve strangers in a land that is not your’s.20 Declare this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah, saying,

21 Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:22 Fear ye not me? saith the Lord: will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it?

23 But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone.24 Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the Lord our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest.

25 Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you.26 For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men.

27 As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich.28 They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge.

29 Shall I not visit for these things? saith the Lord: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?30 A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land;

31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?LikeCommentShare