5

#fmf

Well, today proves that you can never be too old to learn something! My participation in Five Minute Friday writings (even though I rarely ever do it on Friday and rarely stay under 5 mins) has challenged me to seek out more information, searching through scripture to find the meaning and understanding of things more deeply. That is never a bad thing!

Immediately when I saw the prompt to be “5”, my mind jumped to the number of grands I have. 5 wonderful and beautiful blessings that God has given me. 5 new little people who challenge me to be a better version of me. 5 creations that God has placed on this earth for me to influence. 5 of His children, with individual personalities, which makes it exciting when dealing with them. Much like dealing with the rest of the world, except with more responsibility. 5 reasons to be Thankful each new day!

In my search for the meaning of 5, I found several interesting things. I’m not going to credit them all to be true or scriptural but I’ll share some of them with you and you can study for yourself. So here we go…..

  • The number 5 symbolizes God’s grace, goodness and favor toward humans and is mentioned 318 times in Scripture.
  • Five is the number of grace, and multiplied by itself, which is 25, is ‘grace upon grace’ (John 1:16).  
  • The Ten Commandments contains two sets of 5 commandments. The first five commandments are related to our treatment and relationship with God, and the last five concern our relationship with others humans.
  • There are 5 primary types of offerings God commanded Israel to bring to him. They are the Burnt Offering (Leviticus 1; 8:18 – 21; 16:24), Sin (Leviticus 4; 16:3 – 22), Trespass (Leviticus 5:14 – 19; 6:1 – 7; 7:1 – 6), Grain (Leviticus 2) and Peace Offering (Leviticus 3; 7:11- 34).
  • The Book of Psalms is divided into 5 major sections. Section 1 (Psalm 1 to 41) refers to the Passover, Israel’s beginning, and the start of the God’s plan of salvation that centers around Christ. Section 2 (42 to 72) sings about a unified Israel in the land and pictures the creation of the New Testament Church. And the others for you to find.
  • We have 5 senses, 5 toes and 5 fingers.
  • According to the Bible, there are 5 big mysteries in this world, which are represented as the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, the Creation and the Redemption.
  • The 5th book of the Bible, called Deuteronomy, is dedicated to God’s grace.

I think that will keep you busy for a while. But to my surprise the #5 has significance!

John 1:16  Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.

In my life 5 has great significance for many reasons. The greatest for me here on this earth are my 5 grands! And as it says in John 1:16, “Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given”.

The grace that I have today with my grands is on top of the abundant grace that He has given me throughout my life and will continue to give me until the end of my day. Not deserved but freely given.

So today Lord, I am grateful for 5. My 5 lovelies, my 5 grands. And I ask that you wrap your loving arms around them for all of their days. Amen!

Take

#fmf

Take………..this one could go in all different directions as most of them can. One train of thought arose in me immediately……….. “Take time to…………..” Whatever it is you want to fill in the blank with. Time is a precious commodity and what you use that time for can be even more precious. So if I take time then that means I want to make the most of it.

I want to ……

Take time to listen

Take time to grow

Take time to connect

Take time to rejoice

Take time to grieve

Take time to learn

Take time to teach

Take time to serve

Take time to just be

I’ve come to appreciate that I have a Lord who

Takes time to just be with me

Takes time to serve me

Takes time to teach me

Takes time to learn from me

Takes time to grieve with me

Takes time to rejoice with me

Takes time to connect with me

Takes time to grow me

Takes time to listen to me

Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

He is in my midst and as I take time to wait for Him through my walk on this path, He will make the most out of all I take time for. His mercy and grace falls over me abundantly as I take time for Him.

Got Questions

#fmf

So many questions! I don’t have 1, I have many!

To watch a child growing, their curiosity is explosive. They are questioning everything. What is this? What does this do? Who is that? Where did it go? Why? Why? Why? I may not have all the same questions but I still have them. Why is one of the greatest.

In my life many questions have arose. Some I get full answers to, some only partially and some I will have to wait till I face my Father in Heaven face to face. And I have to be okay with that, I don’t have much other choice.

There are easy questions! Where are we going on vacation?

There are hard questions! Why did you choose to do such a horrible thing?

But whether easy or hard, God gave us a tool to use to help us manage the answers. Bible! He gave us someone to direct us to peace in the questions. Jesus! He walks with us still as we live out those answers. Holy Spirit!

Jeremiah 33:3 

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.

We may not always have easy questions and we may not always get the answers we want or we may just have to live out the questions to find the answers, all the while living with the understanding that God always will answer us.

Promise

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Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11 is a promise of the Lords that I have hung on too for quiet a few years now. For so many years, there have been people in my life who have disappointed, have hurt, have harmed, have vowed and have not followed through with the promises that they gave to me. This can make one a bit lerry of trust. But who can live without trust. If you don’t trust, you have no hope and without hope Satan will find his way into your soul.

Satan is the liar above all liars and he knows exactly where to attack. He will use whoever and whatever means necessary to trap you into hopelessness.

It’s hard, I know, when the promises of others have been stripped away and the ripping has torn the skin and created scars but there is a way and that is through the promises of the only ONE whose promises are always true.

This ripping, tearing away and scarring can either make you bitter or make you better. Choose better and remember that the promises you make will make a difference in those around you.

Deuteronomy 23:23 You shall be careful to do what has passed your lips, for you have voluntarily vowed to the Lord your God what you have promised with your mouth.

Practice

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I’m going to take a little time to confess here, when I married @ 19 years of age, I thought that I knew it all. I was an adult now, taking on adult responsibilities and paving my own way. Fast forward almost 40 years, I have had many more times of this type of thinking.

What I have learned is that @ 19 years of age I didn’t really know much at all and now almost 40 years later, I’m just a step more close to being a bit more wise. All these years have simply been practice moments to becoming who God created me to be. And I’m grateful that He is a forgiving and gracious God to allow me to practice over and over again.

Philippians 2:6  who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,

I have decided that in this life God allows me to have opportunities to practice so that He can grow me and watch me flourish as I lean more into Him and less into myself. As it’s said, “Practice makes Perfect” and I know I won’t be perfect until the day I’m sitting next to my maker.

Thanks to God for His patience, Jesus for His example and the Holy Spirit for His guidance. Amen!

Opportunity

Opportunities come in a variety of ways. Are we wise in our thinking? Do we seek advise carefully when we choose which direction we’ll turn? Do we grasp them when they arise?

Sometimes!

I’ve had opportunities that I’ve jumped at, simply later to realized that I shouldn’t have jumped so quickly. And found myself in a storm that was hard to weather. Acts 27:13 When a gentle south wind began to blow, they saw their opportunity; so they weighed anchor and sailed along the shore of Crete.

I’ve chosen opportunities that I knew from the start were not wise. That if I’d sought out advise from friends or leading from the Holy Spirit, it would have led me in the opposite direction than my sinful desires led me.Romans 7:11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death.

I’ve been placed in opportunities to include, love and show compassion to those on the outside and have not seized the opportunity to give it. Colossians 4:5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.

I haven’t always taken full advantage of each opportunity that has been placed in front of me. But when I did, sometimes it was regretted, painful, sinful and unloving. That is because not every opportunity is good. But I have found that I can, with the Holy Spirit’s leading, make good in every opportunity.

A couple months ago I found myself in a position that I hadn’t ever been in. I found myself having the opportunity of free time but I was using it to waller in self pity and frustration until a wise man, my hubby, said “take this opportunity and go spend some time with your dad”. And I’m glad I took my hubby’s advise and spent almost a week with him.

I didn’t realize that this would be the last opportunity that I would have. He past away just 1.5 months later. Unexpected! He was sick but I thought I had more time.

So I say this to encourage you to be wise, seek advise and watch for opportunities that are Spirit lead and stop waller-ing.

Touch

There are many times in the bible that it speaks of the power of touch. Here are a few.

Genesis 32:25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man.

In Genesis, God had told Jacob to go back to the land where his relatives lived. Jacob was fear full about going back and facing his brother Esau. So as we all do, he decided to do things to manipulate the situation and smooth things over with his brother. During his wrestle with God over this issue, he physically had a wrestle with man and overpowered him so the man touched (hit) his hip. And it was shown to Jacob that night that he could stand strong with God as it says in verse 28 “It isn’t anymore!” the Man told him. “It is Israel—one who has power with God. Because you have been strong with God, you shall prevail with men.” So Jacobs name now is Israel.

Mark 8:25 Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.

During a time when Jesus and his disciples were traveling they came to the town of Bethsaida and saw a man who was blind. Jesus took him by his hands and led him out of town. Jesus spat on his eyes and put his hands over the man’s eyes. The man’s sight was partially renewed and then Jesus touched the man’s eyes again and his sight was restored completely. And it says in verse 25, and he saw everything clearly, drinking in the sights around him. In this story Jesus physically touched this man and restored him but in our lives he will touch our souls through the Holy Spirit and will restore us.

Luke 8:46-48 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.” 7 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

In another story where a women who had a bleeding disorder for 12 years come to Jesus quietly and seeing that there were so many people surrounding Jesus but knew that if she could just touch him that she would be healed. Even in the crowds Jesus knew that someone had touched him, as it says in verse 46 But Jesus told him, “No, it was someone who deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.” So because of her faith and a simple touch of Jesus’s garment, she was healed.

How many times do we wrestle with God about what he is clearly wanting us to do? How many times have we seen his healing power in our lives, when it’s evident that it could only be in the power of Jesus? How many times do we resist but should simply reach out to touch the garment of Jesus for our healing, whether physically or emotional?

How many times do we need to trust in His touch?

Next

#fmf

With the season of change upon us, I think “Next” is appropriate for such a time. Literally the season is changing and we are anxiously awaiting the new and more beautiful growth of Spring. And it is also Easter, as we celebrate the Rising of our Lord Jesus from the tomb and what that selfless act of His brings next.

Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

They were discussing on the radio the other day about the in between time. The days between when Jesus was hung on that cross and the day He rose. And how those days were about mourning the loss and fear of not knowing what was coming next.

Even though I was not there on that fateful day of my Savior’s death or on the day He rose. I have been in those in between days. Days when I was wondering where He was and what was going to happen next. The days in between a loss or hurt so great that I mourned aloud to Him and asked Him to rise up and save me. I’ve been in many of those days. And what I found is I must be still and know that he is God. Know that He will rise again in my life and it will be made beautiful.

So I wait!

MEASURE

#fmf

We use a form or another of measure each day. We start it off by deciding what time to rise in the mornings so we get where we need to go that day. And we end it by deciding what time to go to bed so we get enough sleep to rise when that alarm goes off! Measure is part of our day whether we want it or not.

We frequently use measuring as a way to measure our worth. Here are a few.

The measurement of others approval

How I feel I look measures how I feel

How does what I’m good at measure up to what someone else is good at

Does my family love me to the full measurement of what I want

Am I at the same level as others around me – do I measure up

The impact that my post had is measured by how many likes and emojis it got

The problem with these forms of measuring ourselves is that it can be deeply skewed. It can be skewed by our past experiences whether good or bad. Over many years of how others talked to us and how they treated us. Our measurement of ourselves is determined ultimately due to how others measured us.

I am not to measure myself by my measurement of others or by their measurement of me. God is the only ONE that has the only true measurement.

“I am sure that nothing can separate us from God’s love — not life or death, not angels or spirits, not the present or the future, and not powers above or powers below. Nothing in all creation can separate us from God’s love for us in Christ Jesus our Lord!” Romans 8:38-39

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

“For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

It would not matter who approved, how we looked, others love, whether I can keep up or who likes me, God’s love for me will never go away. We can not be separated from him. We can leave him but he will not leave us. We will never be perfect but Christ died for us anyway. So stop looking to your outward appearance and search your heart because that is God’s measure of us.

Reward

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When I was growing up, my first real memory of getting a reward involved making money. Tooth fairy, cleaning my room or making A’s on my report card. That is generally where we start teaching our children about reward. What can “I” do to get rewarded? Reward is financial.

Then as I aged, the reward seemed to move from just doing simple things that didn’t really take much effort to having to be the BEST at something. My reward was based on performance.

Sometime after that it moved to, who I married, how my children behaved, what I drove or where I lived. Appearance gave me the reward I was seeking.

But are the earthly rewards what my Lord is about? It seemed that the rewards became harder and harder to achieve. That the struggles became greater and the rewards disappeared. At least that was until I met Jesus on a more personal level. I had called myself “Christian” for many years at this point but I hadn’t allowed the gift, the reward, of the Holy Spirit to fill my soul. I had unknowingly shrugged my shoulders at His guidance in pursuit of the earthly rewards I found so valuable. Missing out on the true reward of God.

Philippians 1:19-24 for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.  For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.  If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ,which is better by far;  but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.

So even though my time here on earth my come with pain and hardship, as long as I have the Holy Spirit living in me and guiding my steps, my reward will be eternal and not limited to things of this earth. And prayerfully my reward on earth will be showing others the rewards of Christ.

I have lived at least half my life on earth already. And I plan to spend what time I have finishing well for the glory of God.

2 Timothy 4:6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near.

As a friend shared this verse below with me, I am reminded that through the struggles Jesus is there. He has given us a great reward of eternity as long as we ……..

1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 Rejoice always,  pray continually,

And when it comes to the end of this earthly life, I know that I will be rejoicing and my reward will be for eternity. As CS Lewis says…. “Now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”