Friday, November 10, 2017

moving forward

artwork by Cherry Ashen Fargo
This beautiful work of artMove Forward, by Cherry Ashen Fargo was so inspiring to me. As followers of Christ, we face obstacles in our lives, and walking in God's will doesn't guarantee that our way will be easy. It helps me to remember that no matter how difficult our trials and tribulations may be, we can trust God and move forward in faith.

I often think of this when leaving a gated community. There is an automatic gate designed to open when a car activates a hidden sensor near the entrance. When I drive toward the gate, it remains closed, blocking the entrance. But as I get closer, the gate opens, allowing me to proceed. If I stop my car a few feet from the entrance, the gate would stay closed. Only when I move forward does it open.

It's the first step into the unseen that proves we have faith. Abraham, for example, "went out, not knowing where he was going." He obeyed God and relied on Him to clear the path. When we walk in obedience to the Lord and come upon a closed gate, we can confidently take the next step of faith.

As we move forward, we will see God make a way where there seems to be no way. This led to do a word study of the word, written, from Romans 8:34-36

NASB: 
Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

Amplified:  Who is there to condemn [us]? Will Christ Jesus (the Messiah), Who died, or rather Who was raised from the dead, Who is at the right hand of God actually pleading as He intercedes for us? Who shall ever separate us from Christ’s love? Shall suffering and affliction and tribulation? Or calamity and distress? Or persecution or hunger or destitution or peril or sword? Even as it is written, For Thy sake we are put to death all the day long; we are regarded and counted as sheep for the slaughter.

NLT: Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”)

Phillips: Who is in a position to condemn? Only Christ, and Christ died for us, Christ rose for us, Christ reigns in power for us, Christ prays for us! Can anything separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble, pain or persecution? Can lack of clothes and food, danger to life and limb, the threat of force of arms? Indeed some of us know the truth of the ancient text: ‘For your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter’.

Wuest:  Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus, the One who died, yes, rather, who has been raised, who is on the right hand of God, who also is constantly interceding on our behalf?  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or peril or sword?  Even as it stands written, For your sake we are being put to death all the day long. We were accounted as sheep destined for slaughter.

Young's Literal: Who [is] he that is condemning? Christ [is] He that died, yea, rather also, was raised up; who is also on the right hand of God -- who also doth intercede for us. Who shall separate us from the love of the Christ? tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (according as it hath been written -- `For Thy sake we are put to death all the day long, we were reckoned as sheep of slaughter,')

In Greek, the word, written, is grapho which means to engrave or inscribe with a pen or stylus characters or letters on a surface which can be wood, wax, metal, leather, stone, parchment, dirt, paper, etc. The verb grapho is in the perfect tense (gegraphtai) signifying that God's Word has been written down at a point of time in the past and remains on record as the eternal, unchanging Word of God. The perfect tense signifies the permanence of the written word of God. The phrase it is written (in perfect tense) always refers directly or indirectly to an Old Testament quotation and thus it carries great authority for the believer. The idea is that this divine revelation was written down at a specific time in the past and stands written and effective. As Jesus declared,  Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away. (Matt. 24:35)

Warren W. Wiersbe commenting on the significance of the phrase it is written reminds us that "Our Lord used the Word of God to defeat Satan, and so may we. But the Word of God is not only a sword for battle; it is also a light to guide us in this dark world, food that strengthens us, and water that washes us. The Word of God has a sanctifying ministry in the lives of dedicated believers. Those who delight in God’s Word, meditate on it, and seek to obey it will experience God’s direction and blessing in their lives. The Word reveals God’s mind, so we should learn it; God’s heart, so we should love it; God’s will, so we should live it. We do not study the Bible just to get to know the Bible. We study the Bible that we might get to know God better. Too many earnest Bible students are content with outlines and explanations, and do not really get to know God. It is good to know the Word of God, but this should help us better know the God of the Word."

Lord Jesus, without You, I can do nothing, I cannot move forward. May Your Holy Spirit take authority and so flood my soul--the seat of my emotions, and my body--my fleshly desires and appetites, that only You remain and I remain in You. As Your Word says in Philippians 3:10 amplified, my determined purpose is that I may know You, that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with You, recognizing, perceiving, and understanding the wonders of Your Person more clearly and more strongly. I am resting in who You say I am in Christ... blessed, accepted, adopted, chosen, redeemed, forgiven and loved with an everlasting love and underneath are Your everlasting Arms. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

Look Up—meditate on Romans 8:34-36 … pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.

Look In
—as you meditate on Romans 8:34-36 … pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: "Because God is_________, I will_____________."

Look Out—as you meditate on Romans 8:34-36
…pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.

* If you liked this post, you’ll love this book – Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ

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24 comments:

  1. Oh, dear Beth! This is just wonderful reading today and so edifying to my soul. Something caught my eye that I have never noticed before...in the NLT translation above where it reads, "Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?" I never thought of it this way. It is the first thing that can come to our minds when we are pressed beyond measure...does God still love me? If He does, how could He allow such? But, today, I am seeing this in a new light...not being separated from His love during those times actually means that His love for us does not stop when we are going through such darkness. These trials are appointed unto us, and He has winnowed our path and left them there for a purpose. Of course, He still loves us...thank you for reminding me today. I always find such encouragement here. Sending love and hugs to you, sweet friend. :)

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    1. Cheryl, it is such a blessing the way the Holy Spirit has knit our hearts together through our blog posts...He is so amazing. As soon as I read your post today, and your comment on my post today, the Lord immediately brought this illustration to my heart to share with you, and I found it on one of my earlier blog posts...

      "When Hitler began bombing the city of London with his air force, the English moved trainloads of children out to the country for safety. One little youngster was asked, “Where are you going?” The child responded, “I don’t know, but the king knows.” I don’t know where I’m going from here, but my King knows. In the midst of it all, King Jesus knows where you are going from here. Even though you have hurt like never before, He is there, and He “knows."

      https://bethwillismiller.blogspot.com/2014/05/blessed-is-person.html

      Many blessings to you dear friend ❤️

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  2. Get to know the God of the Word is vital! I always enjoy and learn so much from your word studies.

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    1. Debbie, thank you for your encouraging words...all praise, honor, and glory to our Lord Jesus Christ from Whom all blessings flow! Many blessings to you ❤️

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  3. Thank you for this post today. I love the illustration of the gate that will open if we have the faith to advance forward. Being in a place where it feels like what I'm trying to accomplish is impossible it reminds me to just do what God calls me to do and He will make the way.

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    1. Patricia, it is always so amazing the way God's word never returns void...His timing is perfect. Many blessings to you ❤️

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  4. Beth,
    Not only is His Word written so that it might defeat Satan, but so that we might have life by reading what is written, meditating and praying upon it. Ultimately, what is written leads us into a deep and abiding relationship with God. Love this. Always good Truth and nuggets of wisdom when I stop by!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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    1. Bev, thanks so much for stopping by. You are a wonderful encourager to me and so many others. Many blessings to you ❤️

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  5. Wow, Moving Forward captures the essence of the New Testament so well with its stories of perseverance in spite of obstacles and fearless faith in the midst of persecution!

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    1. Michele, oh that we could so keep our focus on Jesus and His finished work on the Cross, so clearly written throughout scripture from Genesis to Revelation! Many blessings to you, friend ❤️

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    2. Back again to enjoy your words and images. When I saw that I had "parked" next to you today, I was thankful to see you there!

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    3. Michele, it is a joy and precious blessing to me to see your comments on any of my posts. I'll always be so grateful for your lovely review of my book... “The infinite variety in nature, the curious complexity of human behavior, the synchronicity of multiple systems in our own anatomy — and in the solar system — all point, through general revelation, to the nature of God: multi-faceted, magnificent, and yet mysterious. Special revelation in Scripture picks up where creation leaves off, and Beth Willis Miller has teamed up with artist Krista Hamrick to focus on twenty-six pieces of evidence in Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ. The result is an alphabetical collection that resembles a twenty-six sided gem, each facet reflecting a slightly different hue of the nature of God the Son. From Alpha and Omega to King of Zion, each devotional highlights the Scriptural basis for the name in multiple translations and then provides commentary on the verses. Beth applies the truth and then invites her readers to join her in a prayer that turns the truth into a paean of praise. No mere academic exercise, the point of Name Above All Names Devotional is threefold:

      Look up – Meditate on the name and what it reveals about the character of God.

      Look in – I am propelled to ask galvanizing questions about my discoveries: “Because God is ___________________, I should therefore _______________.”

      Look out – Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.

      With full-color art work and space for notes, Name Above All Names Devotional is a treasure for devotional reading, a resource for serious study, and a thoughtful and inspiring gift for loved ones.” (review by Michele Morin))

      Many blessings to you, friend ❤️

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  6. Hi Beth, I'm visiting you from Holley's linky. I'm a word nerd too and loved the word study, and I really loved your "Look up, Look in, and Look out" section. I'm encouraged to move forward. Thank you. I needed that. - Andy

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    1. Andy, I so appreciate you stopping by! It is a joy for me to share what has encouraged me with others. Many blessings to you ❤️

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  7. Yes, that's the direction I want to head. Forward, onward, upward. Leaving what's past behind, learning from mistakes and forgiveness ... and the good things, too.

    Thanks, Beth!

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    1. Linda, I so agree with you...truly, all is grace...His grace is sufficient for this moment in time...He is with me, giving me everything I need to keep moving forward with Him, praise His holy name! Many blessings to you ❤️

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  8. Love your quote from Warren Wiersbe (did I spell His name right?) ... We study the Bible that we might get to know God better. Too many earnest Bible students are content with outlines and explanations, and do not really get to know God. It is good to know the Word of God, but this should help us better know the God of the Word."
    I found that for so long I studied as a duty, a means to an end and thought the study was the same as knowing God but found that it wasn't- the focus of my heart had to truly be on knowing Him

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    1. Amen, Naomi, praying Philippians 3:10 amplified, my determined purpose is that I may know Christ, that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, recognizing, perceiving, and understanding the wonders of His Person more clearly and more strongly.

      Many blessings to you ❤️

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  9. Thank you so much for this strengthening encouragement. I am at that closed gate, knowing my Christ is calling me forward. It has been a year of so much pain, but I see His beautiful Hand at work in it all. There is purpose in it all. But that pain weighs heavily upon me, inciting fear. Thank You, Jesus for Truth. Thank You, Jesus that You beckon me come, walking here before and beside me.

    I will be returning to do those exercises you advised. I can already see they will bless. Thank you so much.

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing your heart with me, Anna. I will be praying for you as you move forward. Many blessings to you ❤️

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  10. Beth, this is so GOOD! I especially love Wiersbe's quote about knowing the God of the Word. Our relationship with God is what enables us to move forward. Thanks for sharing your gift with us!

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    1. Neca, I so appreciate you stopping by. It is a blessing to share what has encouraged me with others. Many blessings to you ❤️

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  11. Love that we are free to live, un-condemned through His mercy!

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    1. Amen, Carol, I so agree with you! Many blessings to you ❤️

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