Juneteenth is a holiday observed on June 19th that celebrates the emancipation of the former slaves in the United States.
“Emancipation Day” is truly a holiday in our country that everyone should honor and consider thoughtfully and with great thanksgiving to God.
For His word says “…The Lord frees prisoners. The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord raises up those who are oppressed…” ~ Psalm 146:7- CSB
Was it not the Lord Almighty who heard the many prayers of these enslaved oppressed souls and answered them in His own way and time as He answers all prayer?
To everything a season… Ecclesiastes 3:1
Was it not He who controls the destinies of all nations who opened the eyes of the leaders to see their blindness and hypocrisy in harboring slavery in a land founded on freedom and Christian morality?
The Lord is the One who sets the prisoners free ultimately.
I believe that the enslaved peoples of our nation, based on their great spirituals and hymns, would agree that it was the Lord God who had heard their fervent cries for freedom and brought about their ultimate deliverance.
For they were truly a longsuffering people of great faith.
Their patience teaches us to trust the Lord and believe and hope no matter how discouraging things look, or impossible or hopeless the situation seems.
They inspire us to never give up believing.
Most of these persevering people kept singing, praising, and working for the unseen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to whom they truly belonged, who had made them His own redeemed children through His death on the cross despite their hardship in the physical world.
His Kingdom was not of this world and they served Himwho was every and all colors, for He was the Great Creator who had made them. And His was the color of love.
The Lord had no favorites. They could see this even if those who had enslaved them were blind~though they too claimed to serve Christ.
The Bible says, “For there is no respect of persons with God.” (Romans 2:11 – KJV) In Him there was no white nor black, male nor female, slave nor free.
All were one in Christ. (*See Galatians 3:28)
In Christ all were made free, for where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. (2 Corinthians 3:17)
He had made them free in the spiritual realm and one day they knew in their hearts that He would make them free in the material world.
What eyes could not see, their hearts could.
These courageous souls walked by faith and not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)
When their freedom in this world finally came, these former slaves knew that their prayers had been answered and they gave praise and thanks to the Lord their Deliverer.
“For the Lord hears the needy And does not despise His who are prisoners.” ~ Psalm 69:33 – AMP
Though this holiday has not widely been observed or celebrated in our nation, many of the children of the former slaves have kept up with the tradition of remembrance since the first Emancipation Day.
For It truly is a Day of Thanksgiving and praise, to gather and celebrate freedom and to honor God and praise Him for the deliverance He brought about for those who were so long enslaved in this land.
He sets the captives free and those who were first delivered from their bondage knew who to praise for their liberty.
They loved the Lord with all their heart and their songs and spirituals remain as a testimony forever to eternity of their faith in Him.
Jesus Christ said, “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be…
Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” Matthew 24:37-44 KJV
The Days Of Noah ~Genesis 6:5-12
And GOD saw that the wickedness of man
was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart.
And the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.”
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, And Noah walked with God.
And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.” Genesis 6:5-12 KJV
Jesus Christ said, “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8 KJV
Enoch was carried away from this earth, so he never died.
The Scriptures tell us that before he was carried off, he was a man who pleased God.
Later, no one knew where he was, because God had taken Enoch to be with Him.
This all happened because he had faith. Without faith no one can please God.
Whoever comes to God must believe that He is real and that He rewards those who sincerely try to find Him.
Noah was warned by God about things that he could not yet see. But he had faith and respect for God, so he built a large boat to save his family.
With his faith, Noah showed that the world was wrong. And he became one of those who are made right with God through faith.”
Hebrews 11:5-7 ERV
MORE ENCOURAGING SCRIPTURES
For yet in a very little while, the Coming One will come and not delay. But My righteous one will live by faith; and if he draws back, I have no pleasure in him. But we are not those who draw back and are destroyed, but those who have faith and are saved.” Hebrews 10:37-39 CSB
Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.
For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions.
These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave.
But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.” 1 John 2:15-17 NLT
Jesus Christ said, “And when he had called the people unto Him with his disciples also, He said unto them, “Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for My sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when He cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” ~ Mark 8:34-38 KJV
Paul the Apostle wrote, “For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.” Romans 10:11 KJV
Some Bibles translate this verse as they shall not be put to shame. But the sense of the original word is that the author meant the person who puts their trust in Jesus would not be ashamed, embarrassed to believe in Him, or confounded and sorry that they trusted in the Lord. It can be read both ways.
Just as Jesus said, His disciples would not be ashamed of Him or His words because they would know that would make their Master ashamed of them.
If a soul really has faith that Jesus was raised from the dead and lives inside of them they will not be ashamed to confess this Paul said in Romans 10.
“…that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” Romans 10:9-11 KJV
It is when we stop confessing our faith that we not only lose it, but we also lose our love for Christ and our fear of God.
We are in danger of becoming mere professors crying “Lord Lord,” doing many good works perhaps but maybe none of them God’s will, not one truly motivated by His Holy Spirit but by man. (See Matthew 7:21-23)
We will have no true love for the Lord nor belief in Him, for we will love and lust after the world more than we love and worship the One who died to save us from our sins.
It is then that we should meditate on Psalm 36:1-4 and pray earnestly in our prayer closets and seek The Lord with all our heart with fear and trembling. (See Isaiah 55:6-8)
That is why Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 13: “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.” 2 Corinthians 13:5 KJV
For Meditation and Reflection:
Do we care more about what other people think of us than what the Lord might think of us?
Who’s opinion of us matters to us the most?
This tells us a whole lot about how much faith we really have in the living Lord Jesus Christ.
If we truly believed He is real we would tremble to care more what other people thought than what the God who upholds the universe by the word of His power thinks about us.
If we really believed that the Father and Christ have the power to not only destroy the body but cast our spirit and soul in hell for eternity, then would we not fear and respect and honor them?
Jesus said, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” ~ Matthew 10:28 KJV
Grace can be trampled on and Christ recrucified according to the book of Hebrews in chapter 6.
“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame.” Hebrews 6:4-6 KJV
2 Peter 2 alludes to the Christian who loses his salvation comparing them to a dog who returns to its vomit.
“For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” ~ 2 Peter 2:20-22 KJV
Hebrews 10 talks about those who lose their blood sacrifice Christ made for them by negating it.
“For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
For we know Him that hath said, “Vengeance belongeth unto Me, I will recompense,” saith the Lord.
And again, “The Lord shall judge His people.”
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”Hebrews 10:26-31 KJV
I did not make these scriptures up.
There are bible teachers who reinterpret them to fit their denominational systems.
However, the apostles repeatedly said to hold on to what you have been taught from the beginning.
And these are the teachings that have been handed down from the beginning.
Jesus said that he who endures to the end shall be saved.
He said that the way of life is narrow and that few there be that find it. But broad is the way that leads to destruction and many there be that would go in that way.
Salvation is not a done deal once a soul commits their heart to Christ.
Just ask Judas.
Jesus said to the disciples at the last supper “One of you is about to betray Me. It would be better for that soul if he had not been born.” Then the disciples each asked if he were the one.
Even Judas dared to ask since all the others were asking. If we come to Jesus wanting a revelation He will give us the answer. Jesus told Judas it was him. But it did not stop him from committing his sin. Even though Jesus had plainly stated that it would have been better for that soul if he would not have been born rather than to betray Him. Unbelief is at the core of every sin against Christ.
Judas went out and committed his fatal sin against the Lord anyway. He betrayed the Lord for thirty pieces of silver. (See Matthew 26:14-16; 20-25,)
One cannot worship idols and God too. Jesus pointed this out in Matthew 6.
“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (*Mammon can be anything including money that we love more than God) Matthew 6:24 KJV
One either loves Christ or the god of this world. Christ knows every heart. The Lord wants each heart that professes to love Him to seek Him in their prayer closet, apart from social media.
That along with anything else that distracts our mind away from the Lord, is not holy.
He wants us to set ourselves apart unto Him.
Holy means set apart.
Christ will tolerate no idols.
Please don’t take my word for it. Go in to your prayer closet and pray and seek Christ without distractions.
Meditate on the Word of God without the constant interruption and intrusion of the internet or social media, work, hobbies, or anything that takes your mind or interest away from the Lord.
Jesus said, ““My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.” ~ John 10:27-28 KJV
Those who really want to come back to Christ will listen and hear Him speaking in this message to them.
They will recognize the voice of their Good Shepherd. For they belong to Jesus and are His true sheep. Jesus said the voice of a stranger they would not follow.
But Jesus said that those who do not believe and who have no faith, do not belong to Him. Those who are His want above all else to please Christ and do His will.
Jesus told the Pharisees who kept questioning Him despite all of the amazing miracles they saw that witnessed to His deity:
“…I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of My sheep, as I said unto you.” John 10:25-26 KJV
“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”~ 2 Corinthians 5:20-21 KJV
“Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, “To day if ye will hear His voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, In the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted Me, proved Me, And saw My works forty years.
“Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; And they have not known My ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) “
Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
While it is said, “To day if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.
But with whom was He grieved forty years? Was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?
And to whom sware He that they should not enter into His rest, but to them that believed not?
So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” Hebrews 3:7-19 KJV
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart…” Proverbs 3:5
A few weeks ago I had a dream. In it the Lord Jesus Christ was on His throne.
He held the earth in His hands. He was enormous, while the world was so little it fit safely into His palm.
He had a firm grip on the planet as He smiled at me and said, “I’m in control. No matter how chaotic things appear trust Me.”
I woke up and He helped me to paint that image, only not nearly so beautiful and powerful as it appeared in my dream.
Since I draw and paint with digital media on my IPad I like to record my painting journey and share it with my little granddaughters in hopes of inspiring them to become artists.
I believe the Lord would have me share this painting video with you in the hopes it will bring some hope or comfort to someone who may need it.
The Lord inspired me to begin this painting with one of my original bird paintings, a rather chaotic looking one! First He led me to deconstruct that bird painting and out of that insanity to begin something brand new; something bold and stable~
His throne began to emerge and then the form of Christ.
You will see this as you watch the video.
I have added the scriptures and end credits to my original drawing video with other video software since the art application software does not do anything but record the drawing, painting, or other creative processes, even mistakes!
But mistakes are part of the journey, aren’t they? 🙂
And now a word about my recent absence.
I know I can be silent sometimes for many long spaces.
But please don’t be alarmed by those seasons.
Chronic migraines make it quite a challenge to do anything with social media sometimes.
Always know I will come back, Lord willing, and share whatever He gives me to share with you.
Thank you always for your prayers.
Please know that no matter whether I’m present or absent, I’m always praying for you and your families. God knows this is true.
May the Lord use this painting video to bless and encourage those who need hope, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Love always and forever in Christ,
“The Lord hath prepared His throne in the heavens; and His kingdom ruleth over all.” Psalms 103:19 KJV
There has been so much bad news lately that sometimes I find myself feeling very anxious and unsafe. Psalm 103:19 reminds me that God truly is in control of all things no matter what is going on in the world.
“The Lord hath prepared His throne in the heavens; and His kingdom ruleth over all.” ~ Psalms 103:19 KJV
The Psalmist tells us, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits:” Psalms 103:2 KJV
The word he used for “forget” means “to forget, ignore, cease to care…”
He then goes over all of the wonderful things the Lord does for us: “Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; Who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; Who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” ~Psalms 103:3-5 KJV
Imagine spending a night in an agonythat affects every fiber of your body, unable to feel Christ’s loving presence, certain that you’re the chief of sinners, unforgiven, forever condemned to this abyss of torment.
Whenever there is a bad storm or rainy weather, I get violent migraines that rupture my mind with as severe emotional pain as the physical and neurological symptoms they cause.
Suddenly it seems I’ve fallen into a bottomless pit and that no one loves me—not even Jesus. I feel as if I’m the most despised of souls by everyone, even my family. I’m completely cut off, isolated in an abyss of pain. The burden of all the sins in the world are fastened around my aching head in a crown of thorns as sharp as daggers. My legs will not be still and seem like a thousand snakes are crawling inside of them. “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”
I see Jesus on the cross crying to His Father and I cry out in tears for the Lord to come rescue me from this horrible torment. But I neither see nor feel Him. I’m a condemned sinner screaming and weeping in the darkness for I can’t bear to look at any light.
There in the Abyss I weep tears of remorse. Surely I must have been unkind to my husband, been the worst of mothers and grandmothers, daughters, siblings, friends, and citizens. I’m certain that I must have failed God and everyone else. And the most tormenting of all—-I must have committed the unpardonable sin— why else would I keep having these wretched migraines? Why else would God keep letting this happen to me?
In that pit of Sheol showers of condemnation pour mercilessly upon my soul like the rain drumming endlessly upon our windows and roof as the pain and neurological symptoms torture me.
My precious husband comes and prays for me, while I weep and pray unable to feel either Christ’s presence or love, nor even Mark’s, until at last I fall asleep, exhausted.
The next morning my symptoms are gone. I awake as if resurrected to new life. I’m filled with wondrous joy and peace, How grateful I am that Jesus went to the cross for me; that He has washed my sins away as far as the east is from the west. “Bless the Lord oh my soul. Forget not all His benefits. Who forgives all our sins, who heals all our diseases…” The beautiful sense of Christ’s love and presence enfold me in His arms.
I know then that He has held me throughout the night. He had not really abandoned me. Yet the dark storm of pain from my fierce migraine made me feel hidden from Christ’s presence and forsaken by Him who had promised to never fail or forsake me.
The Psalmist once experienced something like this. “Will the Lord cast off for ever? And will He be favourable no more? Is His mercy clean gone for ever? Doth His promise fail for evermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious? Hath He in anger shut up His tender mercies? Selah.
And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High.” Psalms 77:7-10 KJV
He goes through the bad things he suffers but then he says, “Ok, this is happening because of my afflictions. But I won’t dwell on the suffering. I will remember the good things God has done for me.”
In other words, “Bless the Lord oh my soul! Forget not all His benefits!”
Nationally we are experiencing a stormy path of darkness. Severe pain and troubling circumstances can make us feel isolated from the loving presence of God and cut off from all His promises.
God’s word promises that He heals all our diseases, He forgives all our sins. God is watching over all of us. He is still on His throne. He has not hidden His face from us. He hears all our prayers. Just as He eventually heals me from my migraines, I believe that the Lord will ultimately heal our nation from our current plague of troubles.
The definition for the word the Psalmist used for healing is interesting: (BDB Bible Dictionary Definition of original translation~ rapha~Strong’s H7495) To be healed of national hurts (figuratively) Of personal distress (figuratively) Of national defects of hurts (figuratively) To heal (literally) Of hurts of nations (Involving restored favor)
“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will He keep His anger forever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalms 103:8-12 KJV
Not one of us deserves the grace that has been given us by the Lord through the cross of Christ, for the Bible declares that all of us are sinners.
The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Psalms 14:2-3 KJV
I guess our world reflects what the Bible declares we are. A mess. Jesus, the Son of God, came to die for us all to make us holy and to clean our souls up~to forgive our sins and heal us spiritually~to make us one with Him. This is very good news and fills me with such joy and peace!
Peace I Leave with You
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 KJV
I appreciate Christ’s gift of salvation and forgiveness more than I can ever say because of my chronic migraine affliction. Therefore I pray that I will never forget, mislay, or cease to care about this wondrous benefit from God, this gift and treasure of everlasting life and peace with God that my Lord Jesus suffered and died on the cross to give me and everyone in the whole world who will receive it.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits…” Psalms 103:1-2 KJV In Jesus’ name, Amen and amen.
Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your Gift of Salvation in Christ, the forgiveness of sins As far as the east is from the west, Your measureless love for us, Oh thank You and may we never forget Or mislay, or cease to care about all You do for us every day For Thy mercies are new every morning, In Jesus name. Amen and amen.