The only physical description of Jesus in the Bible occurs in Isaiah. “Want to recognize the Messiah when he arrives?” Isaiah asks. “Look for the man who resembles a little tree growing out of barren ground” (53:2, paraphrase mine).
Do you need more of a physical description of Jesus than the one above? Well, I did. So I prayed and asked the Holy Spirit to help me visualize the essence of Jesus Christ. Following is a brief exert from the prayer I prayed.
“Dear Holy Father, as stated in 2 Corinthians 3:18, You see all of us human beings with unveiled faces being transformed day after day into Your likeness. And this transformation should produce an ever-increasing shekinah glory that emanates from the Holy Spirit. Now, since Christ Jesus is Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth, please give me some sign like you did Jeremiah. Although Jeremiah was fleeing from God at the time, he admitted that his flight was in vain. Basically, because God’s presence was like a fire in his heart, shut up in his bones, and he became weary holding it in. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for being that Tree in my life like the one in thepicture above. Please supply me with that ‘Break-through’ strength and help me break every chain that attempts to prevent me from becoming all that I can be in Him. Amen!
The Process Produces The Product..
I have learned that the key to growing up in the likeness of Jesus Christ is not to attempt it on your own. The process is in the ingredient. And the ingredient is called The Holy Spirit which has already been purchased for you at a price. All you have to do to claim it is to posture yourself in a position of submission; humbly asking, earnestly seeking, and surely you will find it.
You will soon discover that your whole demeanor and way of thinking has changed. Your perspective of the world will not be sadness and shame. You will move on to a new way of life. And when you go outside, you will see the world in a new light. You will find out that God’s Rock is higher and bigger than yours and mine.
Featured below is an illustrated rendition of Alfred Joyce Kilmer’s very famous poem entitled “Trees”. He was killed in 1918 while on a battle field. His poem explores the wonderment, creation and mysteries of God. (Click and Enjoy)
Do you believe that since Jehovah God is the God over all people and places, should not his devoted followers be challenged by God to become bridge builders and to more and more live a life of servitude to whomever we meet along the way? Knowing that such encounters by his followers will open their eyes and strengthen their hearts to become more Christ-like in so doing.
Personally, I am a witness that this is true.
During the summer of 2012, I traveled to Amman, Jordan, with a very dear friend of mine (we will call her Naomi) and her teenage son. Since Naomi is a native born Jordanian and owns property in Amman, we were privileged to stay in her home while visiting there. Naomi immigrated to the United States from Amman after she became a widow some years ago. Nevertheless, she keeps close ties with her biological family and friends who remain in Jordan.
A story of Bridge building impromptu…
One afternoon while attending a house prayer meeting in one of Naomi’s friend’s home, the services were interrupted. An announcement was made that more than a few Syrian refugees had fled their country in the north and had migrated down into Amman. We were told that many of the Syrian refugees had arrived from their country with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. I was amazed at how quickly the prayer services turned into a volunteer rescue mission headquarters.
Without hesitation, the pastor shepherding the group called for the secretary to pull up a table and chair and be seated. He proceeded to ask the small congregation gathered there what food supplies, clothing items and monetary gifts they could donate to help assist these migrant people. I heard shouts of medical supplies, shoes, clothing, sundry items, bibles, monetary contributions, baby formulas and eye glasses. I even heard someone shout mobile transportation and another, room and board.
No church parishioner asked what denomination the upheaved sojourners were affiliated with. No church member called for a meeting with the Trustee Board. No church clerk wanted to make a report on how much money was allotted in the church budget for this kind of unexpected philanthropy distribution.
A miracle in the making…
What I witnessed was one “Bridge Builder” at a time, in that house of God, volunteering to be counted among the saints and ‘Barnabas‘ for the work of the Lord. The generosity of those congregants overwhelmed me! And I had tears in my eyes. I vowed then and there that although I had arrived in Amman, Jordan, with two suitcases, I would return to the United States with none. Additionally, I had already presented a modest monetary contribution, funded by myself and my home church back in the states, which I presented to the Amman church. Yes, I left everything I had packed in my suitcases right there in the city of Amman for those persons less fortunate.
I shall never forget that experience. It was like a dream where I was surrounded by angels. Nothing but “Bridge Builders for the Kingdom of God” were in attendance! One nation of peoples helping to shore up another nation of people! And thanks be to God for allowing me to have been a part of his bridge building project.
My Prayer for you…
Dear Jesus, thank You so much for loving us. And please continue to help us to experience opportunities that will equip us to better and more intimately know You. Continue to allow us, as You allowed Your servant Paul, to develop a personal and intimate relationship with You that broadens our understanding of Your suffering, power to overcome and resurrection from the dead. The true incident of the Syrian refugees and the generosity of the Jordanians was truly a revelation on how to show love to our fellowman and how to build bridges that can help to promote Your holy word to others. We ask these blessings in the precious Name of Our Lord and Savior. Amen.
Scripture Lesson:“If it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.” Romans 12:8
Imagine this! Let’s suppose that everyone in today’s society is going on a journey. Before embarking on this venture each traveler must register their affiliation with one of two very different societies characterized by its idealistic approach to moral and/or immoral living. Also, each person must declare their travel status. Are you traveling under the guise of a Migrant or an Immigrant?
How to know where you stand…first, realize whateveryour status, you are going to need help!
I used the word ‘guise‘ because many people apply conflicting interpretations to these two words. So, allow me to impart to you a bit of advice. Once you start your journey, you will need two things: an identification card bearing your name and status, as well as access to an InfinityBridge.
Did you know that as people cross the bridges of life their sojourn can be as a migrant today and as an immigrant tomorrow? If you are traveling as a Migrant, no matter where you go, you can always go back to your original place of origin and resume your life. But, if you decide to leave your place of origin and permanently settle down where you have immigrated to, your traveler status has now changed and you are referred to as an Immigrant. This designation means if you have legally entered this country, you can be granted permission to stay and work there without restrictions.
Reasons why you need access to an Infinity Bridge…
Since the journey for every card carrying traveler will be inflicted with setbacks and detours, an imaginary bridge named Infinity will be at their disposal at all times, and each traveler will always be welcome to use it. To access the bridge you must show your card which declares your current citizenship and reason for traveling.
This Infinity Bridge is safe and is necessary for traveling because it is limitless and has no beginning and no ending. However, each traveler will be required to pay a toll every few miles. There will be signs posted along the bridge advising when it is time to pay. The price of each toll is for the traveler (whether on the road as a Migrant or Immigrant) is required to speak directly into a voice box affixed to the bridge; declare their traveling status and reflect on how the social mores (immoral and/or moral) of each locale he or she has visited thus far, have influenced their perception on life. Just how are they viewing the world collectively. What sound measures were necessary to navigate safely and responsively through it.
At this juncture, the traveler should also assess whether or not he is traveling on the right bridge and if it is taking him in the direction he wishes to go. Other signs along the bridge will remind the traveler to get an understanding about different circumstances in life and the various ways available to him as to how they can be followed, circumvented, improved upon, mimicked or discarded.
Finally, the traveler may encounter a law enforcer who has the authority to remove him from the bridge or to issue him a citation. The traveler’s civil infractions may cause him or her to be detained for a short period of time. But know this, the ultimate critique of whether a migrant or immigrant is living an immoral or moral life comes from a much Higher Power. He is known as the Keeper of the Bridge. The One Who can set speed limits, repair potholes, revoke traffic sentences, issue pardons, right wrongs and hand out rewards. So, another suggestion for the travelers is for them to keep a copy of the ‘Traveler’s Handbook For Life‘ in their backpack. They should review it every few miles and remain on the Infinity Bridge. Do not detour off of it neither to the right nor to the left.
(You may wish to categorize the above allegory as a story that has a hidden meaning typically concerning moral and political views. And you would be correct in so doing. Therefore, please allow me to send up a quick prayer of forgiveness for intruding into your private space. Straight forward talking about ‘bridges’ is not my forte.)
Dear All-knowing God of us all: There is nothing too hard for you. We come on bended knee confessing that we have neglected the stranger among us. (I’m a witness, because I, too, have been a foreigner in a strange land.) But now, Sweet Jesus, it is our hope that You will equip all mankind to strive to build bridges and not barriers, to show love and not be loathsome, to be filled with your Spirit and not emboldened with self-righteousness.
Please unite us into a spirit of togetherness realizing that we are all fellow citizens in a state of transition through a strange land, trying to find a permanent home. Unite our hearts, souls and minds to become more like You. Constantly remind us, Lord Jesus, that You are that Bridge over troubled waters whose steel pylons were not made by human hands. Amen
And finally, my friends, I wish you farewell and hope your journey will be a fruitful one. But most of all it is my desire that your bridge is well anchored in a sure foundation.
Scripture Lesson“You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence; with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.” Psalm 16:11
This blog post will conclude our time together exploring nine of the colors that dominate the creation story in the Bible. The final three colors featured here in Part Three of “God’s Holy Word Has Something To Say About Colors” are: Purple, Green and Pink. Needless to say, this has been one of the most fascinating adventures that the Holy Spirit has taken me on. And for that I am truly grateful.
The Color Purple
Did you know that the KJV of the Bible refers to the color PURPLE 48 times! Most likely what contributed to its high demand was its popularity, absorbent expense to manufacture it and exclusivity to obtain the knowledge of how to convert this color into a dye. In ancient times, only society’s affluent, the higher echelon of the clergy, royal deity, and high government officials could afford to adorn themselves in purple attire.
The ingredients to produce purple comes from the stinky glands of snails (scientifically known as mollusks) which emerged themselves at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. The procedure to extract just one pound of retail dye from snails during the ancient Roman Empire days, was for sailors/fishermen to catch and extract the glands from more than four million mollusks. This procedure was because each snail gland only produced one drop of the fluid needed to make this precious dye.
I am quite sure you are all familiar with the famous bible story found in Acts 16 about a merchant seller of purple garments named Lydia. She was a very spiritual and wealthy Philippians female entrepreneur who, as a gentile, believed in God’s morality laws. She was later converted to Christianity by the Apostle Paul.
Purple has come to associate it self with royalty, wisdom, luxury, and to possess visionary acumen.
The Color Green
I find that GREEN is the strongest of all the colors we have been studying in this lesson. It is also more descriptive of man’s character than the other eight colors. Why? Because Green denotes strength, growth, health, money, and healing…just to name a few attributes.
Listed below are scriptures that bear this out:
The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures: he leads me besides the still waters.
For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dy:
All the trees of the forest will know that I the Lord bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish.
For like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.
The Color Pink
PINK is a universal color that is recognized as feminine, immature, romantic, beautiful and sensitive. As to how the color Pink relates to Scripture, pink is believed to represent the compassionatelove of God (for he gave his Only Begotten Son), and Jesus is also a friend to the friendless. And let us not forget the faithfulness of his Son who suffered, bled and died on the Cross for all mankind. (Words in italics are listed above in the color chart under the color Pink.)
In the Holy Scriptures, the color ‘PINK’ is believed to represent the Love of God. How? Because the color Red is Jesus’ blood and White is purity. Therefore, the combination of both colors turns out to be Pink!
My prayer for you…
Dear Sweet Jesus: You are so gracious, kind and understanding. I implore You to please forgive my slothfulness in not dedicating my new found life in You to serving you more earnestly. For truly, it is with sincere thanksgiving that I praise You for allowing me to stumble upon these truths concerning how Your assignment of various colors played an intrical part in helping mankind to understand the creation story. Who would have thought that by painting my bedroom a psychedelic red for all my teenage years could have contributed to my high blood pressure problems later in life. (If only I had known You then.)
Therefore, Heavenly Father, please continue to help me change my thoughts. Make me anew, Lord. For I not only want to be born again, but I want to be a new kind of thinker, too.
Help us, Lord…HELP!! In the Name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior I surrender all…Amen and Amen!!!
Scripture Lesson:“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.“ Colossians 3:2
As we continue to proceed with Part Two of “God’s Holy Word Has Something To Say About Colors”, I trust you have not only enjoyed Part One, but have learned something very interesting (based on their description) and gratifying concerning the election of various colors God chose to assign to his creation. And the beauty of God’s selection of colors is that he did not have to labor over nor give a great deal of thought to his assignments. That’s because God already knew what mental effects various colors would have on mankind’s physic and mental welfare.
So, let’s continue our study of colors by investigating ‘White’, ‘Back’ and ‘Gray’.
The Color White
In the Western cultures, especially in the Christian Holy Bible, the meaning for the color “WHITE” represents honesty, innocence, purity and cleanliness. But the one symbol that I find the most interesting is ‘hope’. Let’s review how in Genesis 30:25-43, Jacob (later called Israel) whose name means ‘supplanter‘, tricked his boss, Laban, into paying his wages in livestock.
Jacob proposed that Laban allow him to go through Laban’s flock and remove every spotted, blemished and speckled goat, lamb and sheep (livestock that was deemed unprofitable financially), and they be given to Jacob as his wages. By the way, Laban had changed Jacob’s wages ten times, but had never paid him a dime of it.
So, Jacob proposed to Laban that he separate his ‘worthless’ livestock and give them to him as his wages. Laban agreed. Unbeknownst to Laban, Jacob cut branches from poplar, almond and plane ole ordinary trees. He peeled the bark from the branches but allowed stripes of white inner bark to show through on the cut limbs. Next, Jacob, placed some of the branches in Laban’s watering troughs so that they would be directly in front of the livestock when they came to water and to mate.
The Holy Spirit did not communicate to me the meaning of Jacob’s actions, but suffice it to say that Jacob’s shenanigans worked out and flocks of little lambings and kiddings were born with streaks and speckles; enough to make Jacob a very rich herdsman. Those white streaks on the branches were the cause of it all. (And of course, God’s miraculous hand of intervention.)
The Color Black
“BLACK” is known as a sophisticated color. This hue is timeless and classic. It symbolizes strength and power. Black is also the most popular color in the advertising/signage world. There is also an air of mystery, disception and evil associated with this color. In scripture, God says that He formed the light (to depict righteousness) and he created the darkness (to be the consequence of disobedience, sin and trespasses. (Isaiah 45:7)
Black is also associated with our sins, moods of depression, loneliness and harboring pessimistic feelings of anger.
Question? So why do we say: “He/She told a little ‘white’ lie? Why isn’t the question; “He/she told a little ‘black’ lie?” Go figure!!!
The Color Gray
While the color black represents Good Friday in the Christian world, the color ‘GRAY’ represents the season of Lent and is closely associated with fasting and prayer. And naturally the color gray denotes repentance and maturity (Senior citizens).
In some circles, psychologists define gray as a color that fosters stability. It is preceived as being a neutral color and brings balance and harmony. At other times, gray adds sophistication to situations like being a go-between for the colors white and black.
Sometimes you hear people express a particular negative mood that they are in, such as: A gray mood or a melancholy mood. The root syllable for melancholy is ‘mel’ which denotes bad or evil and the ending is ‘holy’. Could this color silently signify that God is not pleased with our wishy-washy sacrifices of praise. (I’m just sayin’!!!)
PLEASE RETURN NEXT FRIDAY, MARCH 11, 2022, FOR PART THREE OF THIS HIGHLY INTERESTING AND INFORMATIVE SUBJECT ON COLOR PSYCHOLOGY IN THE BIBLE. HOPEFULLY, MY RESEARCH ON THIS SUBJECT WILL HELP INCREASE YOUR BIBLICAL KNOWLEDGE ON HOW GOD EMPOWERED ALL OF US TO SEEK AND LEARN MORE ABOUT HIS GOODNESS AND MERCIES CONCERNING THE SECRETS OF CREATION.
My prayer for you
My Dear Lord and Savior, please make me willing and unashamed to witness to others about my relationship with You. Help me to develop scriptures along with my own life experiences around colors that can represent You in a mighty and truthful way. Empower me to show them Your marvelous will and Your loving precepts. Guide my enthusiasm and direct my search for resource materials like children’s bibles that come with colorful felt swatches of materials that will help me use colors in my delivery of Your truths. And then use those whom I have witnessed to and whom You have empowered with the Holy Spirit to spread the Gospel to their families, friends and communities. I ask it all in the precious Name of Jesus the Christ. Amen.
Scripture Lesson:“Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him. “We have found the Messiah” (that is the Christ). John 1:40-41