As darkness creeps over the land it is good to bring to remembrance the basics of our faith.
Upon loosing my dog Moshe to cancer, after prayer, I made a decision to get a puppy. It had been 40 years, the years of the Wilderness wanderings, since I had a puppy.
What lessons would the Lord Jesus have in store?
“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. ..” Revelation 2:1-7
And they call it Puppy Love…a song from the past. Each morning I now awaken to a loving and enthusiastic greeting. My puppy is teaching me to return to my First Love with its passion, excitement, freshness, and energy. It took a puppy to remind me what was ebbing away from my life due to the toils within dark realm, wrestling powers and principalities and wickedness in high places, the weariness of unending battles, and burdens from waves of wicked problems crashing into my life. I was true to my Lord, but the freshness of my first love was dimming. Jesus gives us commendation but also a rebuke to repent of falling away from our First Love. Remember that falling in Hebrew is the word that we get Nephilim from, falling away from God. If our love has grown cold, let us repent so that when the Bridegroom returns at the last hour, He will find us with our lampstand in place.
Possibly, you also have let the burdens of life weighing down your First Love. There are so many places in Holy Scripture that you can visit to help facilitate your return to your First Love. My favorite is the Shir Ha Shurim, the Song of Songs.
This is the season to return, to repent. Darkness has fallen upon the land, and it is quiet. This is the perfect time to reestablish with Jesus, the Light of the World, and regain what life seems to erode away.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful. 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
My puppy is always under foot, I mean, literally under my feet. She is like glue. That caused me to ponder, "Am I cleaving to the Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit as my puppy is to me?" I see this in the story of Mary and Martha.
38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word.
40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. Luke 10:38-42
Jumping for Joy in Persecution as Prophecy Comes to Pass
Baby animals including my dog leap with joy for all manner of things. It is as if they have springs. Watching them is quite entertaining and inspiring.
Surely in Isaiah 35 the prophet is talking about the Messianic Era, but during these dark hours are we seeing see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God as the Lord begins to fulfill His prophecies of making the desert bloom? That is something to get excited about!
1 The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.
2 It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God.
3 Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.
(It appears that the coming of the Messianic Age is a process. Many of us are weary from the long spiritual struggles that are even now intensifying, and yet, our Lord shows us these prophecies coming to pass to strengthen us and to confirm lest we fail and fear.)
Image Accessed ADAPT 2030 from news media
4 Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.
5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
6 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.
Image Accessed ADAPT 2030 from news media
7 And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.
(Could it be that we are witnessing the Lord routing, even now, the habitation of dragons?)
8 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.
9 No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there:
10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. Isaiah 35
We do not often equate persecution with jumping for joy but that is precisely what Holy Scripture directs us to do when confronted with persecution. Are you ready?
Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For their fathers treated the prophets in the same way. But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort. Luke 6:22-23
Masters or Rich Man's Crumbs?
My puppy has only been with me a week and she already knows her routine and she awaits any scraps that might come her way. You might say she is a beggar of sorts.. Or, is she anticipatory like we should be as we await the goodness, lovingkindness, and provision from our Lord Jesus? Which master are we seeking to get our crumbs from?
Of the two accounts of crumbs mentioned in Scripture one deals with crumbs from the Master Jesus who has crumbs of salvation. The rich man's leftovers were raw physical crumbs that satiate the belly but do nothing for the spirit.
It is interesting that both accounts deal with a pagan steeped in idolatry. We have the Canaanite woman and the rich man who lived lavishly as royalty.
As with many stories the crumbs are portrayed differently. We have two different kinds of dogs:
- Dogs eating the children's crumbs. Mark 7:28
- The puppies (little dogs) eating the crumbs. Matthew 15:27
There is also the Master, Lord Jesus and the Rich Man, a fake imitation.
Regarding Lazarus, Scripture states:
and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. Luke 16:21
It appears as though Lazarus was seeking the crumbs from the wrong table. Sometimes when we are swept away in our misery it is easy to be deceived and seek out the crumbs from a source other than God's good and perfect will for our lives. Maybe Lazarus wanted more than just the crumbs and desired the lifestyle of the Rich Man. Scripture does not tell us, except subtly.
The juxtaposition of the verse is not coincidental for it talks about adultery. In the Aramaic version, it says that Lazar would lay at the gate of the rich man, while being afflicted with sores. Lazar was longing to fill his stomach from the crumbs that fell from the table of the rich man, who wore purple linen and would make luxuriously merry. Even the dogs would come and lick his sores. Dogs will lick out of love and affection and also their way of healing, comforting Lazarus.
I once had a Russian Principal stay in my home. He would only eat bread and drink milk, nothing else, and yet when we went to a used book store he would purchase vast amounts of religious faith books. I inquired as to why, and he relayed to me that once he returned to Mother Russia, he would never again be able to taste exotic delicacies, but with the books, he could feast over and over again with food for the spirit.
Contrast Lazarus with the narrative of the Canaanite mother:
A Canaanite woman whose daughter was vexed by a demon begged Jesus to have mercy upon her, addressing him as her Master, Son of David. He said not a word to her. When she persisted and worshiped Him and said to Him: My Master, help me. He replied to her, "it is not good to give bread of the children and cast it to the dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dog eat of the crumbs which fall from their master's table and live. Matthew 15:27 Then Jesus said to her, Oh woman! Great is your faith. Let it be as your desire. And the daughter was healed from that moment.
This story is so astounding when you grasp the significance of it. This is a Canaanite woman who most probably was a descendant of the Nephilim. She immediately recognized Jesus as King of Kings - the son of David. Knowing who He was, she begged Him for help for her daughter. She did not go to anyone within her culture or faith, but to Jesus for deliverance. Jesus followed other Scriptures when He said that what He had was not to be cast to dogs (who in the middle-east do not have a good reputation). She persisted. What an excellent lesson for us! When we pray and do not see an answer, or possibly that answer is no, we pout and complain and our faith wobbles. Are we persistent like my puppy? This little puppy, though I untangle her from my legs and gently push her away, returns like a boomerang and is once more under foot.
In the end, this foreign woman's persistence paid off. She was not only blessed with deliverance for her daughter, but Jesus said to her: Great is your faith! May we also hear those glorious words!
These are just a few of the crumbs that Jesus leaves for us to ponder during this holiday of feasting.
May you have a blessed Thanksgiving! Please remember those not as fortunate as yourself.__________________________________________________________
Note: November 13, 2018- Sadly, I need to report that my blog was targeted by hackers that began November 1. Because of this I must turn off the comment ability because they bypass moderation. I have enjoyed your comments. Feel free to contact me via my email.
Be blessed. Celeste
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Going where angels fear to tread...
A special thank-you to my Editor and friend- Beate.
Celeste has worked as a contractor for Homeland Security and FEMA. Her training and activation's include the infamous day of 911, flood and earthquake operations, mass casualty exercises, and numerous other operations. Celeste is FEMA certified and has completed the Professional Development Emergency Management Series.
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Celeste grew up in a military & governmental home with her father working for the Naval Warfare Center, and later as Assistant Director for Public Lands and Natural Resources, in both Washington State and California.
Celeste also has training and expertise in small agricultural lobbying, Integrative/Functional Medicine, asymmetrical and symmetrical warfare, and Organic Farming.
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