Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Spring or Winter ?

Yesterday we drove by a tree dressed top to bottom in pink spring blossoms!
Today, was back to winter wonderland !

Since last May, when our friends from the deep south out for a Canadian vacation decided that they would love to come in winter I started praying for snow.

They are arriving here on Saturday and there is more snow in the forecast!
I apologize to those who don't agree with me ... but I LOVE snow ! It lifts my spirits and fills my heart with song ! To me there is almost nothing as beautiful as a winter wonderland !
While I do prefer to stay off the roads, we did have to be out yesterday so I snapped some photos ... from the car window !

For many, a place like Earls -- you can see the cozy lights inside -- was the best place to be !

My world was white ..... lone trees standing in a farmer's field .....

trees so bridal in appearance......

A barn with a red front contrasting with the snow....
A travelling ride park stood silent and empty ... the weather tooo cold for such outdoor activity...

Not everyone was prepared for the snowstorm .... and I always feel bad for those who are hurt or inconvenienced... We counted 7 or 8 vehicles in the ditch on our way home from grocery shopping ...... Some, like our neighbour, had probably already changed their winter tires for summer ones !!!

NOTE - I am going to be on vacation for the next couple of weeks and so my computer will be shut down.

I will be back mid March !!

If you are reading this, I wish you a blessed couple of weeks.... whatever the weather -- Our God reigns over it all - may He also reign in your heart !

Job 37:6 "For He says to the snow, 'Fall on the earth'; Likewise to the gentle rain and the heavy rain of His strength."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

In Unexpected Places

God hides things in unexpected places ...
a baby duck in an egg,

or a moth or butterfly in a cocoon.....

Often He hides the new in the old... like blossoms in an old dead twig....
but I love best how God hides pictures of the New Covenant in the stories of the Old Testament ... treasures hidden in His Word to confirm that truly God planned the end from the beginning.
I happened upon one of these New Covenant pictures the other night in my bible reading. (I was reading II Chron. 28-31)
Let me share with you what I found .....
Ahaz’s unenviable epitaph reads thus…. “This is THAT Ahaz!”
Which Ahaz ? The one that “in the time of his distress became increasingly unfaithful to the Lord!”

Ahaz was a king who trusted in man rather than in God and it was his undoing.
When the Philistines and the Edomites came against Judah and carried away captives, instead of crying out to God , he went to the King of Assyria to ask for help - even taking treasures from the house of the Lord as a bribe!
When the King of Assyria was not impressed enough to offer his help, Ahaz appealed to the gods of Damascus, of course to no avail.
Not only did his unfaithfulness to God lead to his own ruin but he took all of Israel with him!
When Ahaz died in his ungodly state, he was not buried in the tombs of the Kings because of his evil deeds.

Ahaz so feared man that he could see, that he lost sight of the God he could not see!

How often are we tempted to trust in man's strength or wisdom instead of immediately turning to God ?
And grieve God's heart that we would trust in the frail when we have His powerful arm extended to us !!!
Do we really believe God's promise in Hebrews 13:5,6 that He will help us and keep us from harm ?
“For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you ! So we may boldly say: "THE LORD IS MY HELPER; I WILL NOT FEAR. WHAT CAN MAN DO TO ME?"

Ahaz’s epitaph is a sorry one! How sad when men refuse to turn from their own futile, prideful ways , digging their own graves. And sadder still when we consider that no one sins alone … our sin, our unfaithfulness, always affects those around us .. often the ones we love best!!

Ahaz was dead – 'the old man' - and in his place the ‘new man’ reigned!
Always, God’s heart is toward the one who repents… who turns away from unrighteousness and toward Him!
God is the God who forgives, who has compassion, who allows us to start over.

The 'new man', Hezekiah took the throne. He turned away from the unfaithfulness of his father and turned his heart toward God !
He opened the doors of the house of the Lord … and called the priests to repent and return to serve the Lord! He declared that “it is in my heart to make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel”

I was delighted to find the first priest that responded to Hezeliah’s call was a priest named Mahath, who was the son of Amasai.
Amasai means ‘burdensome’ and Mahath means “a place where something has been erased”

Do you see the beauty here?
Is our own way not ‘burdensome’ ?
And then , finally, we turn to the Lord … and what is His response?
Does He not take all our sin away ? paid for by His own blood … and He leaves our heart “a place where something has been erased” ? the very sin that so burdened us ??
1Jn 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.

Hezekiah, when the temple was cleansed and ready for ‘service’ , sent a call out to all of Israel ! He called for them to “yield themselves to the Lord, and serve Him” promising that “the Lord your God is gracious and merciful and will not turn His face from you , if you will return to Him! “

Is this not the Father God that we know ? The father standing waiting for the prodigal son to return, watching with a yearning heart so ready to forgive?

But how sad to see the reaction of Israel…. “but they laughed at them and mocked them” .

Have you noticed that once people are offended by ‘Christians’…it is so hard to convince them to turn back to God? How careful we need to be that we do not allow the Ahaz’es to rule among us - not in our own hearts nor can we be silent when we encounter them around us !
And yet God’s compassionate heart calls out .. again and again .. “Return to the Lord God !”

Although the people mocked, there was a remnant that responded… and then there is a verse that so shows us the Father heart ….”Also the hand of God was on ….. them… to give them singleness of heart to obey ….”

Does God not help us to live godly before Him ? He has given us a new heart and He has given us His Holy Spirit to guide us, to comfort us, to strengthen us , to teach us !
1Pe 5:10 “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. “

I found too a beautiful picture of the New Covenant in God’s mercy !
A great multitude of people responded to Hezekiah’s call to return to the Lord God with all their heart!
They were so eager to celebrate the Passover ( which they had not done for a long time) that they did not take the time to sanctify themselves as was the law ! It was a serious omission – yet here what do we read ? Hezekiah prayed “May the Lord provide atonement for everyone who prepares his heart to seek God, the Lord God of his fathers thought he is not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary!”
We are told that the Lord heard Hezekiah's prayer "and the Lord healed them!"

Do you see it ?
Here we see God’s heart laid bare! He was not interested in the rituals of the law… even though they were necessary in the Old Covenant. He was ever looking forward to the New Covenant when the law and requirements of the Passover would be taken care of by the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world.
The New Covenant saints can take part of the Passover --- not by first cleansing themselves, purifying and sancitifying their homes, and ritualistically performing all the tedious lawful requirements… NO – we can come with only our heart prepared and right before the LORD !

There was an immediate change in the kingdom when the people set their hearts to seek God. We read “there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem” ever before , not since the time of Solomon!

What are we told happened in the kingdom ?

***There was great joy among the people… such that when the celebration of the Passover feast was over .. the cry went up “Let’s do it again !” and so they did !!
A prophetic picture of how we celebrate it today , isn’t it ? over and over again ?

*** Their prayers were heard ! “and their voice was heard and their prayer came up to His holy dwelling place to heaven” !

That reminds me of the verse, “Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. “ (Rev. 8:3)

***There was an abundance of provision … the more the people gave the more there was ! Everyone prospered and God’s blessings were upon them!

Provisions were made for everyone who whose name was ‘written’ in the geneology. It is mentioned several times !
How that made me think of us as believers .. our names are written in the Lamb’s book of life, (Rev.21:27) in the memory book of God, (Malachi 3:16) registered in heaven (Heb.12:23)!

And for every one of us God provides - all that we need for life and godliness ! “as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue” (2Pe 1:3)

*** there was a pulling down of things that hindered - idols, places of false worship.
Are we not to live in such a way that everything we do is centered on glorifying God? Do we SAY that we worship God but then speak and do that which indicates otherwise ?
Rom 15:6 "that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."
1Jn 5:21 "Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen."

*** There was a 'heart focus' “to serve, give thanks, and to praise” the Lord!!
Is this not our duty as New Covenant believers ?

“To grant us that we, Being delivered from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear” Luk 1:74
“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.“ 1Th 5:18
God's character, His heart and His purposes never change. Our God is a God we can steadfastly trust in . We know that His word is sure.... it will never fail !!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Birthday Tribute to Someone Special

Someone is turning 50 today !
Someone I have know all my life, but only got to know well since someone invented blogging!

Lovella is my cousin… our mothers were sisters. But since she is 12 years younger than me we never played together at family gatherings.
I, of course, was in the loop of all the important events in her life hearing through the family grape vine what Lovella was up to ! And I could tell some stories, but I think I’ll refrain here… smile !
Although we shared some special times as adults, such as our favorite aunt taking her nieces out for a special get-away weekend , it was only recently that I really got to know Lovella as a ‘friend’ rather than just my cousin.

About 2 ½ years ago, I got a phone call from Lovella. Her purpose ? To inform me that she had started a ‘blog’ (little did I know at the time exactly what a ‘blog’ even was!!) and she invited me to visit her site.
But that was not the main purpose of her call. She had got it into her head that I should start a blog too. I found out in that phone call that Lovella is rather tenacious… very kindly so - but tenacious none the less. I was terrified of ‘opening’ my front door and just letting the whole world walk in , but finally to appease Lovella I promised to think about it and start one later . That wasn’t good enough for her either, and she insisted on me putting a time frame around my ‘thinking’. I thought quickly and said “ the end of the year”, rationalizing that by then she would have forgotten all about it .
That’s the second thing I learned about Lovella … she has a good memory and follows through what she has started. I got a call at the end of the year… “Well ? it’s the end of the year. Have you started your blog? “

I HAD been thinking about it and decided that if I started a blog, a devotional one would be something I would enjoy writing. At that point I learned a great deal more about Lovella.
She was immediately so encouraging and offered her help in anything I needed ! I don’t know if I tried her patience at the beginning --- what I knew about blogs I learned from her . If she at any point became impatient with me, she never showed it ! She was always most gracious and so willing to give helpful advice. Her ‘computer savvy’ was always passed on in a way I could understand !!

She was the first to comment on my first post and has commented, on almost all of my hundreds of posts since !!

Lovella has many giftings! She is a wonderful hostess, a chef in her kitchen, the queen in her home and a hands on crafter, a photographer !

But what I most appreciate about her…. is her heart. She loves the Lord and has a deep desire to please Him. Her love for Him is lived out in her relationships with others. She is a loving wife and mother, and a delighted Grammie and a loyal friend to many !
She is a great encourager that comes so natural to her. She has warmed my heart many times when I was discouraged or nervous to step into the unknown! She is also an administrator , able to discern others giftings and strengths and pull them together into a team.

A wonderful part of her that may never have been discovered had she not discovered blogging, is her unique way of expressing herself though the written word.
She can take an ordinary day and put her finger on a simple moment and make it something special – and always compliment that moment via her camera !
But she can also take the deeper things of her heart and life and pour them into words that touch and speak to many.
She has touched multitudes through her personal blog and also through her MGCC blog that has exploded in popularity – beyond what even she could have imagined !
She has become quite the 'expert' in computer knowledge and has done such an amazing job of setting up the MGCC blog and managing it - putting her 'vision' into practical reality ! The fact that it has found such a large happy audience is because of her diligence and her work... the credit belongs to her !

Since she ‘talked me into blogging’ I have gotten to know who she is as a person - someone that I value in my life! I have watched her grow in her faith, in her character, in her striving to be more like Christ ! She is real ! What you see is who she is ! and I count it a privilege to have her not only as a cousin, but to also know her as a friend!

“Lovella, I wish you the most blessed birthday you have EVER had, and may this side of 50 be daily a gift that you open to enjoy and to share! HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!! “

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Worst Day

He had slept little , if at all!
The morning light greeted him… but there was no smile in its glance.
He only noticed the light begin to dawn because it signalled the beginning of the worst day of his life… and the last.

Did he know where it had all started ? That downward spiral that brought him to THIS day? He could come up with excuses, people and things that could be blamed… he could point fingers, even justify himself but in the end - all the rationalization in the world would only bring him to the place he now stood.

He knew he deserved his punishment – he was a criminal!
And yet… deep in his heart was a yearning… a longing for something he had never found.

Waves of horror , of terror , of chilling dread washed over him - again, and again !
How could he bear it ? and yet bear it he must …..

“Crucify him!”
The words endlessly echoing in his head pierced death into the core of his being … but the death was yet to come… a long excruciating one! There was no escape… no slim offer of comfort…. No reprieve … no hope ! His life was over – TODAY !!
He was alone as he had never been alone!

He heard them come to get him…. No mercy was shown. The Roman soldiers were simply carrying out their duty.

The terrifying pain , the suffering - was even worse than he had imagined !

Finally, the JOLT of the cross as it was erected into its place almost made him mercifully pass out… but the instinct to move his body so he could breath quickly revived him to struggle to live even though his horrifying end loomed before him.

His mind was clear enough to take note of what was going on around him..

He was not the only one awaiting a cruel death on a Roman cross.
He knew the thief crucified with him…. But the man on the center cross touched something deep within him .. and as he watched he knew….. this Man was Someone special.

Mocking words from the mouth of the other thief, offended him. In fact, they disturbed him, deeply ! in a way that made him reach down into the hidden recesses of his soul and find a desire for righteousness. He responded, willing the physical effort it took, …. “Do you have no fear of God? We deserve our punishment, but this Man has done nothing wrong!”

Then something powerful rose up in his soul… something more powerful than the pain wracking his tortured body… FAITH ! and it found expression in his plea! “Lord, when you come into Your Kingdom, remember me!”
A simple request “Remember me” not “Save me, Lord!!” not “take me off this cross” but a simple, child-like humble “remember me”
In those words he expressed his trust in the One hanging on the cross beside him, that He would judge righteously with a judgement not of this world.

The words he next heard were beyond his wildest dreams !!!
Had he heard right ? but yes…. The words “Crucify him!” were no longer echoing in his mind…. There were replaced with … "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise."

The worst day of his life? The last?? OH NO !! it was the BEST day of his life and the FIRST of eternal joy!
A miracle beyond miracles !

I can’t imagine the joy that must have exploded through him when he took that first step across the threshold between his cross and Paradise, and Jesus holding his hand!!!

What a lesson he has left for us !!

We awake some days with a dread for what the day holds or what tomorrow will bring… and yet .. the morning and the evening of ANY day may be drastically different from what we expected!!

I love the peace of mind expressed in the familiar lyrics ..

I don't know about tomorrow,
I just live from day to day.
And I don't borrow from the sundshine'
Cause the skies might turn to grey.

And I don't worry about the future,
'Cause I know what Jesus said,
And today I'm gonna walk right beside him
'Cause he's the one who knows what is ahead.

There are things about tomorrow
That I don't seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand.

And each step is getting brighter
As the golden stairs I climb
And every burden is getting lighter
And all the clouds, they're silver lined.

And, I'll be the sun it's always shining
There no tears will ever dim the eye
And the ending of the rainbow
Where the mountains, they touch the sky.

There are many things about tomorrow
I don't seem to understand
But I know who hold tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand.

(words and music by Ira Stanphill)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

God - Male or Female ?

It began way back in early history recorded for us in our own scriptures - an obsession with worshipping a female god.

Manasseh, an extremely evil king, went so far as to make a carved image of Asherah, who was a Semitic mother goddess of Baal, and set it up in Solomon’s temple that was to be holy to the Lord God! (II Kings 21:7)

The people of Israel did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord by worshipping Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians.. (Judges 3:7, I Kings 11:33)
King Solomon, at the end of his life - in spite of his wisdom and experiences with God - built a temple for Ashtoreth, who “was the abomination of the Sidonians”. (II Kings 22:13)

The people of Israel also worshipped the Queen of Heaven . She probably identifies with Ishtar, known in Mesopotamia as a goddess of love and war and the planet Venus. (Jer. 7:18, Jer. 44:17)

We have the history of many cultures who had female gods: Isis, Sophia, Shakti, Aphrodite, Athena - to name a few.
Christianity, of course, has held to the masculine when referring to the God of all Creation and the God of the bible.

Until recently......

Suddenly, there is a rebellion, an aversion, a shift away from an unquestionable 'He' to referring to God in the feminine pronoun.
New bible versions lean to the gender inclusive, hymns are reworded, books like The Shack go to the extreme in portraying God outright as a woman, voices are arguing for the validity of ‘mother’ God.

A justification reason is that God is beyond gender .. therefore is neither male or female, and since there has been an imbalance in the insistence of declaring Him male there is need to now portray him as feminine. Another reason given is that many people have a problem with the father figure in their life and they find it much easier to accept God if they see him more like a mother.

What is it we want ? Do we think that if we can visualize God as a mother , we will fear Him less ? that we can count on a more benevolent god, one more easily moved to compassion and One who will overlook our sinful ways ? One less inclined toward judgement ?

I have never had a problem with God being spoken of as HE - in all references referred to in the masculine. It is the language of the bible and I have never been tempted to wish it to be otherwise.

But with the changing popular trend around me I have been forced to think about it and
have come to a firm conclusion...... There is a very solid reason to not move away from the Father/male image of God.
It came to me the other morning while my husband was praying before breakfast.

When God created man , He created Adam first – then took Eve out from his side.
The woman was created out of man. (Gen 2:23)
Yes, MAN - created in God’s image - is male and female… BUT … the woman was created FROM man… she is therefore ‘a part of man’.

God can never be ‘a part’ or spoken of in terms that indicate 'coming from someone or something ' else !! He must be the whole, the first! Therefore He cannot ever be spoken of in female terms.
He speaks of Himself in the masculine… as the Father -- because that is the only accurate description of who He is and how we are to think of Him!

"A FATHER of the fatherless, a defender of widows, Is God in HIS holy habitation." (Psa 68:5)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Question

Recently, a friend asked me what exactly a Mennonite was . It was in a way a startling question because what you have been all your life does not need explanation!
But I thought for a minute and this is the quick answer I gave her .

“What exactly is a Mennonite anyway ?

In the 16th century there was a man named Menno Simons, a Catholic priest who began to question the doctrines of the Catholic church... namely transubstantiation and infant baptism and he began to search the scriptures..
He left the Catholic church and his priesthood and began to teach from the Word of God. He was of course persecuted, as were his followers who came to be called Mennonites. Menno never wanted to gather to himself followers , he desired that people follow only Christ and the scriptures... but the name stuck and Mennonites there are even today!

The Mennonites, because of the persecution from all sides, stuck together... and were especially isolated as a group when Catherine the Great invited them to come farm in Russia in the 1700s.
There they lived ...and developed their own dialect, customs, food, dress, even look! For all intents and purposes they became an ethnic group with all the characteristics peculiar to a national people, including recognizable ‘sur-names’ --- though of course they were without a country.
When they moved to the US or Canada or Paraguay they retained their ethnic distinctions and stayed , until recently, in their own social and church groups.
It is only in the last generation that they have really begun to integrate into other churches and society as a whole. In another generation or so , ‘Mennonite’ will be little more than something left in one's ancestral history !”

In writing out the above simple definition of a ‘Mennonite’, I realized that there is a parallel happening in Christendom.
Almost 2000 years ago, a very special man walked this earth, who taught the Word of God. His name was Jesus, the Christ. He, Himself, never called His followers Christians, but the name was given (Acts 11:26) and it stuck. There are Christians in the world today.

As their leader was persecuted so were His followers through the centuries and they stayed tightly knit together.

Christians, in becoming like their Leader, developed their own characteristics – in speech and actions , character and even dress…. They stood out from the world around them. They were either respected – and gathered to themselves converts - or they were hated, scoffed and persecuted.
They have always been a tight ‘family’ - IN this world but not having their own country!
(Heb 11:16 "But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.")

Until this last generation…..
I have become increasingly concerned and saddened at how the Christians no long stand out. More and more , Christians are being absorbed into the world around them, accepting the 'norm' of the world's teaching , morals and standards. As a result the world is finding its way into the church.
Non-Christians no longer find it easy to define “what exactly is a Christian?” And, sadly many Christians no longer find it a question they themselves can easily answer.
After another generation, if the Lord tarries, will the world know what a Christian is ?

The bible (II Thess. 2:3) talks about a ‘great falling away’ that will come before Jesus comes back. But there is a ‘remedy’ ….. a safe guard . When we see the things happening in these ‘end times’ then we are to pull in closer together.
Heb 10:25 "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching."
We know there is safety and encouragement and strength in numbers.
Recently, I have been seeing encouraging signs here and there of people who are desiring to press in together , to study the bible more , to pray more ! A bible study that Vic and I lead is no longer satisfied with meeting once a week – most weeks we meet twice!

Are you a Christian ? Do you know what it means? Do you stand out from the world around you ? Do the people who watch your life know who you are in Christ and why ?

1Pe 3:14-16 "But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you are blessed. "AND DO NOT BE AFRAID OF THEIR THREATS, NOR BE TROUBLED."
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed."

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Testimony

Even thought I think I know my bible pretty well…. I am still delighted so often by some new insight …or gem that I had somehow previously missed !
I came across one yesterday and when I put it all together, I wanted to share my thoughts here in this post.

"And when He had made an end of speaking with him (Moses) on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony... .." (Ex.31:18) "Now the tablets were the work of God..." (Ex.32:15)

I can't even imagine what that experience must have been like for Moses. We have Moses’ own descriptive words , “And so terrifying was the sight …I was exceedingly afraid and trembling!” (Heb. 12:21)

The people who stood watching from a distance were also afraid…

“And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.” (Ex.19:16)

(Sometimes we think we would love to have God speak to us in an audible voice… but aren’t you glad He speaks in a still small voice ? in a whisper? So we are not terrified?)

Moses was instructed to take the tablets of the Testimony, on which were inscribed the words of God, and put them into the ark which stood in the tabernacle.

The tablets of the Testimony were so important that the tabernacle and the things in the tabernacle were spoken of in reference to the Testimony.
- The Tabernacle of the Testimony…..( Num 10:11, Rev.15:5)
- the tent of the Testimony (Num.9:15)
- the ark of the Testimony (Ex. 16:34)
- the veil of the Testimony (Lev.24:3)
- the mercy seat upon the Testimony (Lev.16:13)
- Even the jar of manna, Moses was instructed to place it in front of The Testimony.
(Though, Jesus is the Manna , He Himself stood before God’s Word – He spoke only the words that He heard from His Father.)

It is not hard to understand that the Word of God is always central and forever…. “The Law of the Lord is perfect …. The Testimony of the Lord is sure…” (Ps.19:7)

But there is more…God, being ‘the God who speaks’ desires that His Voice be heard among His people. Though His Word was perfect, the stone tablets holding it were not. They were waiting until God revealed His perfect plan.

He made His Word flesh and sent it to dwell among us in bodily form…. As a man … JESUS !

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory ..” (John 1:14)
The Word, the Testimony, came to us - in Jesus.
.".. The Word of God and The Testimony of Jesus Christ".. (Rev.1:9)
"... for The Testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." (Rev.19:10)

Moses’ physical tabernacle was patterned after the one that is in heaven, and in this heavenly tabernacle there is The Testimony! (Rev. 15:5)
From heaven , from the Father, came Jesus…..

“ He who comes from above is above all….and what He has seen and heard that He testifies …..and he who has received His Testimony has certified that God is true…..” (John 3:31-33) “..The Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:2 )

Jesus , heard all that God Spoke – He is The Testimony (the Word) of God. He is The One who testifies of God.
Instead of a stone Testimony kept hidden in the ark of the Covenant … God sent a Living Testimony that we could touch and feel and hear!

Yesterday, I noticed something that I have never noticed before. In the introductions of Psalm 60 and 80 there is a Hebrew word… ShushanEduth .. that literally is translated, The Lily of the Testimony… the name of a song that was sung.
In the word translated as Lily there is also the meaning of Trumpet – always symbolic of God’s Voice… or Word.
I wonder… did they know of whom they sang? The Lily most lovely, The Lily of the Valley . We sing a song too .. “He’s the Lily of the Valley, the bright and Morning Star, He’s the fairest of ten thousands to my soul!”

The Most Beautiful One of the Testimony of God … not the Words of God on stone.. but the Words of God written in Visible Love walking among us.

How poetically beautiful that is, is it not ?

But there is another application here.
In the Song of Solomon where the Lily of the Valleys scripture is.. (Song of Solomon 2:1) the Lily is feminine.
Does that negate Jesus being the Lily? Not at all, it only makes it more beautiful .. because Jesus’ body is spoken of as feminine in the ‘church’ .
We are in Him and He is in us…. We are called to reflect the beauty of His face… We too are lilies of the Testimony – testifying of God’s Word.

Jesus First, our example… then we in Him by His Spirit … living, breathing, obeying , witnessing to God’s Testimony… His Word, His Truth !

Together - Lilies of the Testimony of God!

"May our words be pure and true, speaking the same words that Jesus speaks. May we not dishonor Him with The Testimony of our lips!"