10.20.2014

The Names of God Series : El Qanna [Jealous, Zealous]


Meaning and Derivation: Qanna is translated as "jealous," "zealous," or "envy." The fundamental meaning relates to a marriage relationship. God is depicted as Israel's husband; He is a jealous God, wanting all our praise for Himself and no one else. [BlueLetterBible]

Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.
Exodus 20:5

Back in the day when I was a young little lady I had a serious jealousy problem when it came the most important person to me on this globe to me. My momma. She, being super loving, kind, and overall awesome welcomed my friends with open arms. Without fail, every day after school we would bounce off of the school bus to find a warm embrace and homemade treats waiting for us. Under most circumstances her affection towards other children did not bother me (as I now know she was doing an amazing job of showing  Christ's love), but on a few occasions it did. One she and I both now laugh about now, was when she invited a friend of mine to go to the mall with us. For whatever reason I wanted this to be just a mom and I outing, and lost it. So my mom did what was appropriate, left me at home wiping my nose to be watched by my diddy while she and Sabrina went out and shopped til they dropped. 
  
While the jealousness that I portrayed came from a human, mildly selfish state of mind, how much more so can the One who created us care for our attention when all of His being is rooted in goodness and love? He wants, He desires, He hopes that we (His creation) will choose Him, worship Him, commune with Him. He has all the right to be known as El Qanna. He is the reason we exist, He is the reason we breathe, He is the reason those who accept His son as savior will be reunited with Him.  

Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.
Exodus 34:14

For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.
Deuteronomy 4:24

Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.
Deuteronomy 5:9


(For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.
Deuteronomy 6:15

Want to read more on El Qanna take a gander of a blog by Tiffany Ann Lewis and/or Jared Williams


10.17.2014

The Names Of God Series : JEHOVAH SHALOM (THE LORD IS PEACE)



Meaning and Derivation: Meaning and Derivation: Jehovah is translated as "The Existing One" or "Lord." The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word Havah meaning "to be" or "to exist." It also suggests "to become" or specifically "to become known" - this denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly. Shalom is a derivative of shâlêm (which means "be complete" or "sound") Shalom is translated as "peace" or "absence from strife." Jehovah-Shalom is the name of an altar built by Gideon in Ophrah. [From BlueLetterBible]

Then Gideon built an altar there unto the LORD, and called it Jehovahshalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
Judges 6:24


I find it interesting that though Jehovah Shalom is used only once in the bible, the word peace is noted over 400 times in the Bible. It's main use is stating how God is the ultimate source for peace, He provides it freely and it is beyond all of that which the world can offer.


Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 14:27

I have had many a conversation with people who have suffered/are suffering with depression, and although I have no "scientific proof"  other than the course of their lives (or unfortunate lack thereof) the ones that are better overall are the ones who turn to God when contrary thoughts enter their mind. They are the ones who seek His peace in the midst of clouded thoughts that they would be "better off dead" and cling to the truth that they have a purpose greater than what some echo is resonating through their  cerebrum. A wise note that I have taken from one of these children of God is to immerse myself in scripture for whatever is disturbing my peace at the moment. Anyone who follows me on Pinterest can attest that from time to time there will be an onslaught of verses all pertaining to a particular topic, whether it being kind to people who mistreat you (aka loving your enemies), loneliness, seeking God, trusting God, heartache, etc.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17

Use it peoples! Let us know just sit and wallow, but rather read it + trust it + claim it + live it + share it!

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
John 16:33


Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
2 Peter 1:2


10.13.2014

The Names of God Series : JEHOVAH SABAOTH (THE LORD OF HOSTS)



Meaning and Derivation: Jehovah is translated as "The Existing One" or "Lord." The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word Havah meaning "to be" or "to exist." It also suggests "to become" or specifically "to become known" - this denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly. Sabaoth (se bâ'ôt) means "armies" or "hosts." Jehovah Sabaoth can be translated as "The Lord of Armies" (1Sa 1:3). This name denotes His universal sovereignty over every army, both spiritual and earthly. The Lord of Hosts is the king of all heaven and earth. [BlueLetterBible]

And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the LORD of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the LORD, were there.

1 Samuel 1:3


The count differs on how many times this phrase is used in the Bible (Lord of Hosts), somewhere between 260 - 290 (the most used name of God). Thus, make no mistake about it, that it is a message that the Creator wanted to convey to us all.

As with a previous blurb, upon my research I came upon a nice writing from Do Not Depart by Stephanie Shott: 

In 1 Samuel 17:45, we find just prior to pegging Goliath with a pebble, David boldly proclaimed,“You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”
And in 2 Samuel 5:10, we find - “And David became greater and greater, for the LORD, the God of hosts, was with him.”

§  In Psalm 24:10, The LORD of Hosts is the King of glory and in Psalm 46:7 He is our Fortress.
§  In Psalm 59:5, He is called upon to vindicate His people.
§  In Isaiah 51:15 we see He controls the sea and the waves.
§  In Isaiah 54:5 He is our husband and in Zechariah 4:6, He declares that He alone wins our battles when He tells Zerubbabel, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts.”
§  And in Isaiah’s life-altering, mouth-shutting vision of the Lord, he heard the Seraphim speaking to one another, crying out, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” (Isaiah 6:3)

Throughout Scripture we find this LORD of Hosts as our ever present defender, the Sovereign and Holy God over all the universe who sees us, loves us and moves mountains on our behalf. He fights our battles, wins our wars and is the refuge we can run to in time of need. He is Jehovah-Sabaoth!

There is nothing He cannot do, nothing He does not know, nothing He cannot control, no enemy He cannot defeat, no heart He can not heal, no mouth He can not shut, no miracle He cannot perform. And how beautiful to know He longs to work in our lives and on our behalf as the LORD of Hosts!

Amen!

Thanks be to the Father, Spirit and Son for never leaving us nor forsaking us. Thanks be to the Father, Spirit, and Son for protection from outside forces, as well as protection from ourselves. Thanks be to the Father, Spirit and Son for grace and forgiveness that abounds. May we mimic that as we deal with others. In Jesus name. 


10.08.2014

The Names of God Series: JEHOVAH-RAAH (THE LORD MY SHEPHERD)


Meaning and Derivation: Jehovah is translated as "The Existing One" or "Lord." The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word Havah meaning "to be" or "to exist." It also suggests "to become" or specifically "to become known" - this denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly. Rô'eh from which Raah derived, means "shepherd" in Hebrew. A shepherd is one who feeds or leads his flock to pasture (Eze 34:11-15). An extend translation of this word, rea', is "friend" or "companion." This indicates the intimacy God desires between Himself and His people. When the two words are combined - Jehovah Raah - it can be translated as "The Lord my Friend." [From BlueLetterBible]

“‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord.
Ezekiel 34:11-15


The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
Psalm 23:1


But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:) Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb: The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.
Genesis 49:24-26


Hear us, Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock. You who sit enthroned between the cherubim, shine forth before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh. Awaken your might; come and save us.
Psalm 80:1-2


The verses above remind me of the classic hymn, "What A Friend We Have In Jesus", and I am so grateful I can call Him Redeemer, King, and Friend. As the previous devotions/blogs have mentioned though we are, were, and continue to be sinful (we are born of sin - this world is sinful), the Father, Son, and Spirit seek us to be transformed through an intimate communion, through grace and forgiveness found through Jesus Christ alone.  

God desires to walk with us, to lead us, as we go through-out this space. When we allow Him to navigate our lives it is like the animals who get herded by a sheep, like the sheep who gets led by a Shepherd. The Creator of all things knows all, He formed all, and is aware of past, present, and future, what better One to direct your steps?

Yes God does know all things, but yet and still He desires to hear it from you. This is one of the things I am still working on, speaking out loud to God about my praises, prayers, daily happenings, and personal reflections. However, when I do so, I can say there is a difference in my spirit. Talking aloud just makes it more real, albeit your neighbor may think you are bonkers their opinion really won't matter come the day of Judgment. Plus, when you vocalize your side of the conversation it makes it all-the-more easier (in my opinion) to drown out any distracting thoughts that many are plagued with when they try to focus in silence. Not to mention, when you are open to communicating (in all ways) it makes the being led part a bit more smoother. 

How thankful we are to have you dear God, in form of Father, Son, and Spirit. We thank you for creating us, we thank you for giving us our friends, and family. May we seek to know Your will more, may we seek to share Your love with others. May we go the extra distance to spread the message of salvation, may we have compassion for others. May Your desires, turn into our desires, and may seek a closer relationship with You each and every day. In the name of Jesus. 




10.06.2014

The Names of God Series : Jehovah Mekoddishkem (The Lord That Sanctifies You)



Meaning and Derivation: Jehovah is translated as "The Existing One" or "Lord." The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word Havah meaning "to be" or "to exist." It also suggests "to become" or specifically "to become known" - this denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly. Mekoddishkem derives from the Hebrew word qâdash meaning "sanctify," "holy," or "dedicate." Sanctification is the separation of an object or person to the dedication of the Holy. When the two words are combined - Jehovah Mekoddishkem - it can be translated as "The Lord who sets you apart." [From BlueLetterBible]

Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.
Exodus 31:13

And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the LORD which sanctify you.
Leviticus 20:8

There are many things I could write about this name of God, however the Word of God does it so much better. It is the thing that I am most grateful for: sanctification aka salvation through Jesus Christ.  Some of the definitions of sanctification are : to set apart as or declare holy; consecrate - free from sin; purify. Just as the believers in the old testament were made holy through God from their animal sacrifices; we (all of mankind, past - present and future) have been made holy through God from the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, should we chose to accept it as such
.
As it is written:

This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
Romans 3:23-26

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Mark 10:45

Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
John 14:6

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.
1 Peter 3:18

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Romans 5:1-11


We give thanks to You God for salvation offered freely through Your Son, Jesus Christ, as You knew there would not be enough animals to cover the rebellion of all the generations. We give thanks to You Savior, for abiding by the will of the Father and suffering a horrific death on a cross for mankind, although You could have called down legions of angels at any time, and I would probably not be here to type this now. We give thanks to You Spirit, for leading and guiding us, for directing our path with quiet utterances or sometimes loud booms (if necessary). We rejoice in the fact that the world we see is not all that is left, that one day we (those who believe) will rejoice together, evermore living out in peace and harmony. In the name of the Perfect One, Jesus Christ. 


10.01.2014

The Names of God Series | JEHOVAH SHAMMAH (THE LORD IS THERE)


Meaning and Derivation: Jehovah is translated as "The Existing One" or "Lord." The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word Havah meaning "to be" or "to exist." It also suggests "to become" or specifically "to become known" - this denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly. Shammah is derived from the Hebrew word sham, which can be translated as "there." Jehovah Shammah is a symbolic name for the earthly Jerusalem. The name indicates that God has not abandoned Jerusalem, leaving it in ruins, but that there will be a restoration. [from BlueLetterBible]

It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, Jehovah Shammah [The LORD is there].
Ezekiel 48:35

As doing study for the this particular Name of God I came across this lovely devotional, and would like to share it with you all in replacement of one that I would write on my own. Leah Adams shared the below on CBN in 2011, and I invite you to visit her blog for more about her, and her ministry.  

Jehovah-shammah
By Leah Adams

Although I love the nation of Israel and the city of Jerusalem in particular, this name of God speaks to me in a very unique way. First let’s examine the meaning of this name and then seek to apply it to our lives.

Jehovah-shammah is a name for God that is symbolic of Jerusalem. We find this name for God used in Ezekiel 48:35 (NLT): “The distance around the entire city will be 6 miles. And from that day the name of the city will be ‘The Lord is There.’”

At the height of the idolatry of God’s chosen people, God withdrew His presence not only from the temple, but even from the city of Jerusalem. Such was his anger and displeasure over the repeated rebellion of the Israelites that He said, in effect, “I’ve had it. I’m out of here.”

When God’s presence departed the temple, it signaled to the Israelites and all who dwelt around them that God had removed His hand of protection from them. They would ultimately be scattered to the four corners of the earth and taken captive by surrounding nations.

God did not completely wash His hands of the Israelites, however. His love and mercy were always with them, continually drawing them back to Himself. Through the prophet Ezekiel, God promised a restoration of the nation and a return of His presence to Jerusalem. In that day the city would be called Jehovah-shammah. That very prophecy came true when the exiles returned to Jerusalem and rebuilt the walls. God’s presence returned to the temple in the form of a tiny baby brought to the temple to be offered back to God by his parents, Joseph and Mary.

Let’s think about how this name, Jehovah-shammah, applies to us. So often you and I live our lives looking ahead to some event, some time in our lives, some potential disaster, some looming date. We may wonder what that date will bring to our lives or how we will survive it. Perhaps it is a doctor’s appointment or a court date or your child leaving home or your mate passing away. It could be a new job, a divorce or moving from a place that you have called home for many years. Whatever this future event is, it causes you to have a knot in the pit of your stomach every time you think about it. Be it real or imagined, this future occurrence causes you huge amounts of stress, angst and worry.

Jehovah-shammah. THE LORD IS THERE!! Our God is already in your tomorrow. He already knows what your future looks like and He has complete control over it. We are told in Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT) that Jehovah-shammah says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope”. THE LORD IS THERE!! You cannot be in your future now, but He can. You can’t control the future events of your life, but He can. Jehovah-shammah will walk with you into whatever tomorrow holds because of His great love for you. God is THERE in your tomorrow and in my tomorrow. He simply desires that we trust His heart.

~~~~~


9.29.2014

The Names of God Series | JEHOVAH NISSI (THE LORD MY BANNER)



Meaning and Derivation: Jehovah is translated as "The Existing One" or "Lord." The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word Havah meaning "to be" or "to exist." It also suggests "to become" or specifically "to become known" - this denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly. Nes (nês), from which Nissi derived, means "banner" in Hebrew. In Exd 17:15, Moses, recognizing that the Lord was Israel's banner under which they defeated the Amalekites, builds an altar named Jehovah-Nissi (the Lord our Banner). Nes is sometimes translated as a pole with an insignia attached. In battle opposing nations would fly their own flag on a pole at each of their respective front lines. This was to give their soldiers a feeling of hope and a focal point. This is what God is to us: a banner of encouragement to give us hope and a focal point. [From BlueLetterBible]

And Moses built an altar and called its name, Jehovah Nissi [The-Lord-Is-My-Banner]; for he said, “Because the Lord has sworn: the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”
Exodus 17:15-16


Jehovah Nissi is most commonly translated into "the Lord is my banner". Although through-out the years it has also taken on "the Lord they miracle", "the Lord my refuge" and "the Lord my Exaltation". All which really do speak to how God is our protector, hiding place, and shelter even when there seems to be no hope. He is our Commander and Chief, in Him alone should we place our ultimate trust. By God's grace we have victory over sin, through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

What was the specific reason though that Moses designated this name for God in the place an time?

Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said to Joshua, “Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.” So Joshua did as Moses said to him, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.”
Exodus 17:8-14


How amazing! If you have had a chance to read, 31 Rays of Hope, you know that I am intrigued by the blatant "acts of God" in the Old Testament. Albeit I am learning more and more every day we have those same miracles - we just don't recognize them as such. Though thankfully we do not have to sacrifice animals in atonement for our sins as days of old, as Jesus Christ paid the debt that we could not pay.

May we give thanks for God for His loving-kindness, for never leaving us, whether we are on the mountain tops or low in the valley. For giving us victory over this world. For giving us a way into His to spend eternity with Him and the Savior, if we only believe. May we pray for those who are persecuted for His name sake. May we call upon forgiveness, and may the Spirit abound in us, as we shine our light to everyone we meet. In Jesus name.