What the Bible says about light and seed

The True Light "In him, (the Lord Jesus) was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world,…the world didn’t recognize him." John 1:4,9.

The Good Seed and the Weeds “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seeds in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. Matthew 13:24,25.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Rock of Our Faith - Rio de Janeiro 2010

Written and published by Jean-Louis Mondon

Do not be afraid, Abraham. I am your shied and your very great reward. Genesis 15:1.            
The Song of Moses
…"How could one chase a thousand, And two put ten thousand to flight, Unless their Rock had sold them, And the LORD had given them up? 31"Indeed their rock is not like our Rock, Even our enemies themselves judge this. 32"For their vine is from the vine of Sodom, And from the fields of Gomorrah; Their grapes are grapes of poison, Their clusters, bitter.…Deuteronomy 32:31

(The above picture was taken on a hazy day
Three days ago, while sitting at the top of our apartment building roof top, contemplating the magnificent view of the mountains towering over the bay of Rio de Janeiro, my eyes stopped at a rock outcropping that I never noticed before. .
Seen from afar, it looked to me as if the huge rock near the top had been forced out of the mountain, its distinct contours outlining the shape of a shield.
Here is a better view on a clear day of the Pedra do Maroca - Morro dos Cabritos
Interestingly enough, I had never noticed it even after spending some time meditating on the Scriptures on the roof top before, during the 3 weeks since our arrival here.
Besides the adjustment expected from being in new surroundings, the spiritual battle has been intense, especially with Mírian having to train at a new job, while my life here has been quiet and gratifying.

Needless to say praying for protection efforts have been redoubling. The Lord has answered with an increase in his grace over the situation as he is orchestrating the circumstances in our lives. We have seen the hand of God moving in our family and heard his responses in ways that are so encouraging as we witness his faithfulness and his ever present loving kindness and tender loving care in our lives. 

The morning this happened we had been praying for the edge of protection to be around Mírian and that her faith would be strong against the schemes of the enemy.

As I was looking more closely at the shield shape, the Lord reminded me of the covenant with Abraham and his words when the Lord appeared to him in a vision: Do not be afraid, Abraham. I am your shied and your very great reward. Genesis 15:1.

I am not one given to seeking signs, but the Lord at times shows me visuals and then  confirms it for me through the Scriptures and other witnesses. We all know the various verses relating to faith in the Old and the New Testament. This however was directly related to fear that Mírian was feeling. To me this was clear, we are to raise our shield of faith against the enemy’s flaming arrows as a part of our spiritual armor.

But in looking at the mountain two things seem to be relevant and underline the relevancy of the situation. The shield formation was taken out of but still very much attached to the mountain, which is to say that our faith depends on being connected to the Rock of our faith, namely our Lord Jesus through the communion with the Holy Spirit. 
Secondly, the faith shield was near the top of the mountain, which to me, means that the victory was close but that more efforts and cooperation on our part was necessary to reach the top of the mountain. 

Another component of that scripture is that the reward of faith comes after having exercised the faith that God requires in our daily walk. Isaiah talks in chapter 40: 9,10, 11 about not being afraid and looking at the coming of the Lord in the last days:
Lift up your voice with a shout, Do not be afraid .See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and his arm rules for him. See, his reward is with him, his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.

Hebrews 10:35-38 says basically the same thing adding the need for perseverance in doing the will of God:

"So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, "He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him."

And finally on the last page of the Book of Revelation, the Lord Jesus himself reiterates His promise in Revelation 22: 12:

"Behold, I am coming soon, my reward is with me and I will give to everyone according to what he has done."

Since the Word says that a matter shall be confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses, three more confirmations with more explicit details came from our family who had been praying fervently about our present situation.

I feel so grateful and greatly encouraged that when our Lord gives us instructions and shows us the way, in response to our prayers, He also empowers us and accompanies us even though sometimes we get discouraged and temporarily experience fear and doubts that we are in the will of God. This is why we need to exercise the faith that He provides when we ask Him and to receive the encouragement that we are on our way to the victory that he has promised us and that He already gained for us at the cross.


Monday, August 21, 2017

What Lies Beyond the Door - A Light Poem to Counter Dark Times

Composed, Revised and Published by Jean-Louis Mondon
Dedicated to my brothers Paulo and Cezar Elbert who are an inspiration. 

While I was still dreaming
Contemplating the blushing dawn,
My Father, the Master Gardener
Drawing me from my sleep
Invited me to step beyond
The threshold into the deep.
With a Word of His mouth
and a twinkle in His eye

Come with me to my garden.
We will stroll down the path 

Where the cool, soft breeze,
Exhales its subtle, calming fragrance
Splashing the resplendent light
Dispersed in diaphanous tones.

Together in sweet communion

we will rejoice walking
On this earth, your temporary home
My good and beautiful creation.

Behold, the most exquisite flower
One that grows and blooms toward the sun
Of a matchless love
In Jesus Christ my beloved Son.

The soft soothing warmth of the rays
Emanating from his eyes,
Filled with mercy and compassion 

Beckons the humble and contrite at heart,
Even the most broken: “Come and rest in me”

The fragile beauty of its essence
Never fades into forgetfulness
But dying to self will be transformed

Into good and lasting fruit,
For the flowing spring of the water of life

That feeds her never, ever runs dry.

In My Father´s Garden

In my Father´s Garden
Composed and published by Jean-Louis Mondon 

As the golden dawn was announcing  a new day
My Heavenly Father, the Master Gardener
Woke me up from the morning mist
And invited me for a light walk

Let´s go down to my Garden, he said
Together we will stroll where the air exhales
His sweet subtle calming fragrance
Splashing with resplendent light
The foot paths in diaphanous tones

Together in sweet communion
We will walk rejoicing on this earth
Your blessed home, granted to you
My good and beautiful creation

There I will show you a most exquisite flower
One that grows and blooms
Turning towards the sun, matchless love
Of my beloved Son, Jesus your Lord

The soft soothing warmth of the rays
Emanating from His eyes filled with goodness
Beckons the poor in spirit and humble at heart,
Touching and healing even the most broken

The fragile beauty of its essence
Never fades into forgetfulness
But dying to self will be transformed
Into good and lasting fruit
For the flowing spring of the water of life
That feeds it never, ever runs dry.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Intercession and the Heart of God - When Mercy Triumphs over Judgment

Written and published by Jean-Louis 

The Lord is concerned about the lives of His people and what injustice has been done to us. But it is not for us to prove ourselves or God to others. The Lord will prove Himself and His power, if, when and how He wants. Our duty is to follow Him, to obey Him, to love and serve Him with a willing and whole heart. He will take care of the rest and  signs of confirmation will follow the believer. 
In Exodus chapter 3, we read that when God sent Moses to Pharaoh to give him the message to free the Hebrews from slavery, He gave him 2 signs (to the Hebrews) which should have been enough to identify him and establish his position as a leader capable of proclaiming the Word of the Lord and accomplishing the works that accompany the proclamation through the power of God.

The first one was for judgment and the second was for merciful healing and deliverance.
Both of these are manifest proofs of God’s work in response to prayer.
After the demonstration of His power changing the staff of a Moses the shepherd into a snake and changing it back to its original shape, The Lord doesn’t stop at the sheer manifestation of His power, but wants to be recognized as a judge, a healer and deliverer so “that they may believe that the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you”.

First sign: the judgment.
We read in verse 6 that following the Lord’s command Moses placed his hand underneath his robe near his heart and when he took it out it was leprous like snow.I John 3:19-20 declares: “We shall know by this that we are of the truth and shall assure our heart before Him, in whatever our heart condemns us; While the judgment takes place, it is covered by the garment of Moses that covered his heart. I John 3:20, 21 continue: “For God is greater than our heart and knows all things. Beloved, if our hearts doesn’t condemn us, we have confidence before God”.

God in His mercy covers our sins. The mercy seat on the top of the Ark of the Covenant was overshadowed by the wings of the cherubim, a gesture echoed in Psalms 17:8:“Hide me in the shadow of your wings” and 36:7;” And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of your wings.” I Peter 4:8 gives us a perfect example of the covering of love in the New Testament: Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another because love covers a multitude of sins.” Peter, the apostle to the Jews knew that his readers were acquainted with the Old Testament Proverbs 10:12: "Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all transgressions.

Second sign: healing and deliverance.
Then, the Lord said to Moses: "Put your hand into your bosom again; and when he took it out of his bosom, behold it was restored like the rest of his flesh.” This sign as a prophetic demonstration is a graphic illustration for the rebellious Hebrew children once they were out of Egypt, at the time when people complained to Moses about their lives in the desert and started questioning Moses authority. Numbers 11:12,15 records Moses’ complaint to God: “Was it I who brought them forth that You should say to me: “carry them in your bosom as a nurse (or foster father) carries a nursing infant to the land which you swore to their fathers.

Here we see both signs carried out in sequence again, but this time it is not Pharaoh who questioned Moses leadership position, but his own brother and sister Aaron and Miriam, grumbling and murmuring against him. So now instead of finding comfort and help from his own family, he finds himself isolated and burdened beyond his own capacities.

Fortunately, God comes to his rescue and reminds him and every one else of the same lesson that he taught them in Egypt: Judgment of sin, consequence of sin, repentance, mercy, forgiveness, healing, restoration and moving forward.

Once again, we can look at the steps. In verses 4 through 9, God calls Moses, Aaron and Miriam to the tent of meeting to appear before Him. God defends Moses saying: “He is faithful in all My household …and he beholds the form of the Lord”; then turns to Aaron and Miriam and asks them: “Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant, against Moses?

The Lord was angry and departed from the tent of meeting. The tent represents the place where God meets with His people just as now in the new covenant of the blood of Jesus, he meets with us individually in our body His temple where He dwells and corporately as well when 2 or 3 of His believing children are gathered together in His Name.  It also represents the covering away from the eyes of others.

In this instance, God wanted to protect Moses and called Aaron and Miriam to step out of the tent into His presence to be judged. And when the cloud of the presence of God had lifted up, Miriam was covered with leprosy, a symbol for sin. Aaron and Moses both interceded for Miriam for her forgiveness, healing and restoration. Moses himself requested from God that Miriam be isolated for 7 days away from the camp. But she was still part of the family and all the people of Israel waited for her return to move on.

In the New Testament, we find such an instance of the love and mercy that believers are commanded to show one that has been caught in a sin that affects the whole congregation.

 In II Corinthians 2:6-8 Paul, after having asked the church to discipline and put out the man who was having an incestuous relationship calls them to forgive and comfort him with these words: “Sufficient for such a one is this punishment which was inflicted by the majority, so that on the contrary you should rather forgive and comfort him, lest somehow such a one be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. Wherefore, I urge you to reaffirm your love to him.”

Notice that the man up to the point of being dis-fellowshiped was under the covering of the church body, the authority provided by God through the elders and the other members and that his punishment was to be removed just as Miriam´s was in the passage above. But then, they were re-integrated into the body of believers after following the steps outlined by God.

Our prayers for ourselves and intercession for others when we release our lives to God result in sin being revealed and judged in our hearts and sometimes manifested out in the open.

Therefore, let us carry ourselves and if necessary our brothers and sisters who suffer from some kind of servitude in our hearts under the protective cover of discretion and confidentiality unless the Holy Spirit directs otherwise. Let us lift each other up to the Father´s heart of God to receive forgiveness, comfort, healing and restoration according to Galatians 6:1

Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:13b.

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