He has Eyes of Fire, yet there is mercy found at His Feet.

Last night as we worshiped several spontaneous songs were sung. One song mentioned Jesus having eyes of fire.

I had a dream a few years ago.

In the dream I saw Jesus glorified. I heard a song being sung. He has eyes of fire, yet there is mercy found at His feet.

When I woke up I began to study the Gospels. In every instance, people who fell at Jesus’s feet were either healed, found mercy, or were mentioned for their acts of kindness toward Him.

  • One woman pushed through the crowds just to touch the hem of his clothing. When she touched His clothing she was healed.
  • Four friends were desperate to see their friend healed. They ripped open a roof and lowered their friend to Jesus’s feet. Seeing their faith… their friend was healed.
  • One man threw himself at Jesus’s feet and asked for his daughter to be healed. She was.
  • A crazy man fell at Jesus’s feet. He was delivered, was clothed, and put into his right mind.
  • One woman anointed His feet with fragrance. She is now mentioned in every nation.

He has eyes of fire, yet mercy is found at His feet.
His voice sounds like many waters, yet He often speaks most powerfully in a whisper.
His Spirit is like a flowing river, yet He often touches our lives like the early morning dew or a soft spring rain.
When He walks among us He sees, hears, and knows all things.
He is Holy… yet, He invites us into His presence.

An audience of One.

Often I’ll head into the Big Room, grab my guitar, and worship. Just me, no one looking, no one listening except One. Sometimes new songs bubble up, and sometimes nothing is felt. I know I’m just positioning myself to lean in.

Many times my prayers, my crying out, praying for others, or my heart being exposed are returned to Jesus in song. Sometimes I just play softly saying nothing. Sometimes I sit quietly reading, journaling contemplating. One phrase I’ve found myself singing repeatedly recently … “You are Faithful and True, Your Word speaks of you, This is Who You Are. Who you really are.”

Who Jesus is… is revealed to us through spending time in His Presence, reading who He is in the Bible, and by the revelation of the Holy Spirit.

Mike Bickel in his book Passion for Jesus wrote, “It takes God to know God.” So I often pray: “Open my eyes to see you, open my ears to hear you, open my mind to perceive you, open my heart to believe you, and open my spirit to receive you.”

Who is Jesus? He is revealed to us by what He does in our lives.
He is our salvation.
He is our redemption.
He is our healing.
He is our provision.
He is our forgiving.
He is our protection.
He is our wisdom.
He is our comfort.
He is our power.  
He is our mercy.
He is our grace.

Most likely all the above began to happen when you first fell at His feet asking for forgiveness and mercy.

He is also the holder together of all things.
He is Jesus, Risen King of Kings and Lord of Lords. This is He is who He is, and so much more.

“This is eternal life, that they may know You the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17:3)

Through Jesus we have access to the Father’s heart.

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 NASB

R.C. Sproul expresses the thought this way:

“The moment Jesus died, the instant the just one died for the unjust, the veil in the temple was torn. The presence of God became accessible to us. We now have access to His grace (*which brings peace) but even more, we have access to Him. (*His presence) Now we can feel welcome in the very presence of a Holy God.” The Holiness of God, R.C. Sproul *my note

This is the good news.. we have access.

My friend Stephen Bell states, “The really good news is that the Father now has access to us!” This truth is most amazing.

His sacrifice for our sins brings peace between the Father and who we are. It’s settled.
His resurrection to Life ensures our confident access into the presence of our loving Father.

To fear and yet to be unafraid is an interesting experience.

R. C. Sproul sums it up:

“But when we come, we must remember two things: (1) who He is; and (2) who we are. For the Christian the holy war is over; the peace has been established. Access to the Father is ours. But we still must tremble before our God. He is still holy.” The Holiness of God, R.C. Sproul

Years ago I heard a whisper as I worshiped, “If this was the only thing you did, would it be enough?” My honest answer… “I don’t know. I’m so driven, I strive so much. I have so many insecurities.”

I do know I want to be a worshiper whom the Father seeks. Jesus made it possible. He extends mercy toward me as I fall at His feet.

God’s Kind Intention… A Bible Study

 
God is kind…He is intentional…
The intentional kindness of God is part of his overarching love and will for man.
When we intentionally come into an agreement with the intentionality of our Father in Heaven, His power is released upon our acts of generosity, and upon our acts of kindness.
Ephesians 1 NASB

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
In love
He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself,

according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace,
which
He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.(Jesus)

In Him
we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses,
according to the riches of His grace
which
He lavished on us.

In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will,

according to His kind intention

which He purposed in Him (God was in Christ Redeeming the world to Himself)
with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens, and things on the earth.

In Him
also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,
to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.

In Him,
you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation”having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,
who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

He bestowed grace upon us in the Beloved. (Jesus)…and He lavished grace upon us according to His kind intention.
 
What does bestowed grace and lavished grace look like?

I used to think His love and kindness looked like this.

But now I know His love and kindness looks like this.

Bible dictionaries often define the word kind… by a simple word like: good, gentle, easy, useful, and gracious.

Dictionary Definition.

Kind: being of good or benevolent nature or disposition; characterized by or expressing goodwill or kindly feelings: a benevolent attitude; desiring to help others; charitable; patient, considerate, or helpful; to be kind to another; mild; gentle; loving; affectionate; having an intention to benefit another

Intention: purpose; an aim or plan; a goal to accomplish; what a person intends to do; a moral decision; an attitude to propose to benefit another; a mental state that represents a commitment to carrying out an action, in the present, or the future; an aim that guides one’s actions.

British Dialect. Being loving; affectionate.

How do you know when a person is kind?

Kindness by definition is an action. Kindness is revealed through people.
She is a kind person.

He is a kind man.

What a kind child!

There is kind evidence which flows from their character and from their values into action. Their actions do speak louder than their words!

They are defined as being kind by what they do, by what they say, and how they act.

The same is true for our Father in Heaven.

God is kind to allPs 145:17 NASB
The LORD is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His deeds.

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. (Luke 6:35)

God is Love…
Love is patient and kind.  (1st Corinthians 13:4)

John and 1 John’s theme. God is Love.

As we receive His kindness, He leads us out of our stuff and leads us into His light and love.

Psalm 23:3 EVS You lead me into paths of righteousness for your name’s sake.

John 8:12 EVS Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darknessbut will have the light of life.”

Romans 2:4 NAS Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? (a change of mind and heart which leads you to a radical life shift)

Reading the book of Hosea is an amazing study of the goodness and kindness of God.

Hosea 2:14-15 NASB
His previous statements of Israel’s waywardness leads Him to respond in such a way that reveals His mercy and kindness.

He asks Himself, “What am I going to do with Israel?” 

Therefore, behold,
I will allure her,
Bring her into the wilderness
And speak kindly to her.


Then (after He speaks kindly to her)
I will give her her vineyards from there,
And the valley of Achor (trouble) as a door of hope.
And she will sing there as in the days of her youth,
As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.

Joseph despite his difficulties experiences the Lord’s kindness…
Here is the repeated phrase that followed Joseph…
“But the LORD was with Joseph and extended kindness to him.”

The continued acts of kindness expressed to Joseph were revealed by the extreme Favor upon Joseph’s life… He found favor where ever he went: Pit, Palace, Prison, and to become Prime Minister. He then revealed and released God’s kindness to His family.

Kindness, Loving-kindness was the foundation of all David understood and knew about God.
When he committed unthinkable sin and was exposed, in the midst of his greatest failure, he knew (by experience) his God was kind. He humbled himself and prayed to ask forgiveness (according) to what he knew (by experience) about the goodness, love, mercy, and kindness of God.

Ps 51:1 NASB
According to your loving-kindness have mercy on me.
Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your loving-kindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.

A lot of people were boasting about many things in Jeremiah’s time. Jeremiah discovered what to truly boast about.
Jeremiah 9:23-24 NIV
This is what the Lord says:
Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or
the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,
but
let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,(that he knows me)
that I am the Lord,
who
exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these, I delight, declares the Lord.

He exercises, releases the action, of His grace, mercy, and kindness on earth… or on us (our earth).

The Lord’s prayer… Your kingdom come, your will be done, on (in us our earth) earth, as it is in heaven.

Kindness, Justice, and Righteousness are in Heaven. It’s a reflection of who God is. He wants to reveal His Kindness, Justice, and Righteousness to the people of our sphere of influence. He wants to do this through us by releasing kindness, expressing His justice when confronted by injustice, and revealing the right paths that lead people toward freedom and abundant living.

Kindness is found in our earth, inside of our being. We have the fruit of the Spirit… Love, joy, peace, kindness within us.

We can release His kindness through our attitudes, through our words and by our actions.

Proverbs 3
1 My son, do not forget my teaching,
But let your heart keep my commandments;
2 For length of days and years of life
And peace they will add to you.

3 Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.

4 So you will find favor and good repute
In the sight of God and man.


The Point:
As believers we should be reflections of the kindness and of the grace He has bestowed, and lavished upon us.
How?
By practicing being kind, and doing acts of intentional kindness; by developing kind attitudes and by speaking kind words.

When we intentionally come into an agreement with the intentionality of our Father in Heaven, His power is released upon our acts of generosity, and upon our acts of kindness.

Come and See…Influence together.

The Upper Room Worship Center in Tipp City is a small town church that has an amazing amount of influence in our community. Several members are prominent in businesses, local government, Police, and Fire departments.

Yesterday I spoke about the power of influence together and how our personal story is the message. I mentioned our invitation to the people within our spheres of influence is …come and see. I reflected back over the past year from April to April.

1 John 1:1-4 NASB What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life—and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us—what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.

The messenger the message is! We embody the message. What Jesus has done in us and for us is the message.

There is power in our story.

Our good deeds do not save us. Good deeds and our actions reveal us. Our actions often speak louder than our words. This is why we serve the people in our spheres of influence. Putting on a heart of love and positive attitudes is imperative.

Our attitudes are important! Have you ever been served by someone who has a bad attitude? This is why we need self-awareness, and why we sow seeds into our hearts that will bear positive fruit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control.

All ya’ all, are the light of the world.

Serving outside of our Church reveals the love, kindness, and goodness of God in demonstrable…practical ways.

The You and Your in the above passage is plural. You, all together, are the light of the world.

Going out to serve and love our communities is prophetic, in the sense of unveiling the heart of God to our world. As we go, serve, love, and care for our community, our good deeds reveal the goodness and kindness of God.

Good deeds do not save us. Good deeds reveal us.

Community Care.

The Upper Room, serving from April to April, is an example of a church serving and loving a Community.

Hundreds of people were loved and cared for as we reached out together and as individuals.

Here is some of what we accomplished last year. (‘m writing this hoping you will be encouraged and you will begin to think about what you and your church could do to reach out to your community.

  • We served our community with a Food drive-through during the pandemic in April. (We just happened to have had a translator on our team who led two Spanish-speaking people to Jesus.)
  • Thanksgiving meals were taken to low-income apartments unannounced. Most people received prayer. One person who was healed last year was still healed this year!
  • Grounds For Pleasure, our coffee house, collected items for several organizations throughout the year. The manager, Teanna Lambert, of GFP was invited to be on the board as Vice-President of the Downtown Tipp City Partnership. Serving creates influence within a community.
  • Nicole Simmons increased our connection to our school systems by providing 320 gift cards for one preferred coffee for every employee once a month for a year, which equals 3842 coffees at GFP. Nichole also helped raise hundreds of items for families in need in our school system and engaged in a partnership with two local agencies who were also helping families in need at Christmas.
  • Hundreds of people were served through our Love Explosion’s and Kindness-to-go which we schedule on weekends throughout our year.
  • We also raised thousands of dollars to help meet pressing needs in our community and giving to missionaries and relief agencies beyond our community.

We know what we do reflects Jesus and His love for the people in our community. What we do also reflects our values.

I’m hoping what I’ve written will encourage you and your church to begin to reach out to your community…Together. If you are, leave a note in the comments to let others know what you are doing to be salt and light in your world.

Every person reading this has a sphere of influence. I’d encourage you to begin to ask Jesus, “How can I serve you today?” Tell Him, “I’m open for business. Help me to be aware of what you want to do and who you want me to serve today? Act upon what you hear.

Resistance? Stand Firm.


Have you ever had spiritual resistance as you pressed in to the Father’s heart?

I have. Mainly the resistance is found in my thought life.

The thoughts usually tell me who I am not, where I fail, have failed, or the droning you never measure up. Sometimes the thoughts are regrets because of my stupidity in certain past failed situations. In response, I own the thought. Pray, and ask forgiveness. A lot of the time I say out loud, “Not my thought! Get out of here!

It’s interesting sometimes, my choice of resistance is spiritual ignoring …refusing to acknowledge the enemy or his taunts by shifting my focus. Alexa, play Upper Room Worship Radio.

Dreamland Troubles

I occasionally have troubling dreams. When I wake up I refuse to say out loud anything to describe the dream. I simply begin to meditate on, or pray out loud, Psalms 23.

On Track

Often resistance is an indication we are on track. It’s why Jude tells us to exercise our faith by, “keeping ourselves in the love of God.” Have you noticed resistance comes from people? This is why we need to keep ourselves in the love of God. Some of my greatest failures were when I focused upon the person, instead of focusing upon the love of My Father, giving Him my hurt and offense. Anger never heals wounds.

Keeping ourselves in His love is something we have to do for ourselves. No one, except you, can keep you, in His love. Your Pastor can’t. Your spouse can’t. Your friends can’t. They can encourage, exhort and comfort, but it’s really up to you and your faith to keep yourself in His love.

Resistance strengthens our Spiritual heart, when you have done all… stand.

Jehoshaphat was told to go stand and see …after they heard the promise …after worshipping together. The next day Jehoshaphat consulted with the people… they decided their best response to the Fathers promise was to give Him worship and praise. As they stood fast and worshiped ….focusing upon… the Father and His promise, their enemy was defeated.

Pause for effect….  They didn’t focus upon their situation, nor upon the enemies threats.

Their decision, in response to the Fathers command “to stand and see” was to worship and praise. Their focus helped them shift their mindsets and to renew their faith in His promises. As they worshipped He brought the victory.

Then in the midst of the assembly the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, the Levite of the sons of Asaph; and he said,

“Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s. Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the valley in front of the wilderness of Jeruel.

You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the LORD is with you.”

Their Response to His Promise.

Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the LORD, worshiping the LORD. The Levites, from the sons of the Kohathites and of the sons of the Korahites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel, with a very loud voice.”
‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭20:14-19‬ ‭NASB

The Next Day

“They rose early in the morning and went out to the wilderness of Tekoa; and when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said,

“Listen to me, O Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, put your trust in the LORD your God and you will be established. Put your trust in His prophets (His Word) and succeed.”

When he had consulted with the people,

(I often wonder what they talked about.

Hey, you’ve heard His promise for today’s battle. We are to go stand and see what He is going to do when He defeats our enemy. What should we do in response to this wonderful promise and in response to our God, Whose lovingkindness is new every morning?

The people’s response…Let’s worship and give praise! Hey, let’s also dress for the occasion.

Jehoshaphat’s response… sounds good to me!)

Side note: Good leaders trust and include people in the midst of a battle. He didn’t have to consult with the people. He could have given a directive. Jehoshaphat knew he needed to be inclusive in this major life threatening situation.

he appointed those who sang to the LORD and those who praised Him in holy attire, as they went out before the army and said, “Give thanks to the LORD, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.

When they began singing and praising, the LORD set ambushes against the sons of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were routed.
‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭20:20-22‬ ‭NASB

Tip: Notice where your focus turns when you are in a battle. If you are like me …you will have to consciously shift your mindset and heart. Shift by worshiping, declaring, reading, journaling, and resting in His presence.

Here is a song I sing most days.

You are Faithful and True,

All of your promises speak of You,

You are Faithful and True… O God.

It’s Who You are,

It’s  Who You are.

Key phrases:

1. Having done all, Stand.

2. Direct worship toward the Father…as you are standing firm, and as you are responding to His nature and to His promises.


Speak / Declare

I also speak out loud as I put on Eph 6 armor and as I stand against.

“Finally, I am strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.
I Put on the full armor of God, so that I will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

For my struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Therefore, I take up the full armor of God, so that I will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

I will Stand firm …therefore…

Usually as I close my ‘stand firm’ worship times… I sing the names of my family, my relatives, the people and leaders within my sphere of influence.

Having done all, Stand Firm! His promises are true!