THE NEW EWE

"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"

Luke 15:4-6

January 9, 2019

LIFE IN THE FOLD:

I strongly believe that as believers we should always be growing and learning and maturing in our walk with God. There should never be a point where we think we have it down and know all that we need to know; but as we read the Word of God and pray and develop in our relationship with our Father, we find out how little we really know, for He is constantly revealing Himself to us in new and fresh ways.

The older I get, the more I realize how little I truly know about God. The more I read His Word and listen to Him, I am made aware of how vast He really is and that I will never know all that there is to know.

This week I would like to share something with you that the Holy Spirit recently spoke to me.

We know that God is amazing and awesome and powerful, but I'm not sure that we really "get" it. I think that perhaps there are times our minds limit how big God really is, because it is difficult for us to comprehend His greatness.

It's mind-boggling to really fathom the fact that God has always been and will always be. How can someone have no beginning or end? That doesn't make sense. God is like a circle without a start or stopping point. He didn't suddenly transpire and then decide that He would create the world. The earth does have a beginning point, when God spoke it into existence, and there will come a time when this earth will pass away. But unlike this world that has a time of its creation, God was not created, but He has always been. God has always been and He is eternal and will always be. That's hard to comprehend!

I have been thinking about the throne of God and know that there is so much that I don't really comprehend or know. Honestly, I don't have it all worked out in my mind and I know that there is so much more to God and this throne than what I've learned so far.

Hebrews 4:16 tell us this: "So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most."

How do you picture the throne of God? I think I often have pictured the throne of God equivalent with pictures of kingly thrones I've seen in movies and pictures. I envision this huge room with a big dais in front with this magnificently, beautiful chair where God is sitting. We enter the room and approach Him, with great reverence and respect. But honestly, I'm not sure that I approach Him as boldly as the scripture tells us to do. In stories, people have to be invited or given permission to have an audience with an earthly king. You can't just run into the room and run up to Him anytime you want.

For instance, if I went to the White House I wouldn't automatically be given permission to enter the office of President Trump. He doesn't know me, and wouldn't have time to talk with me. In fact, to take a tour of the White House you have to submit a request ahead of time and tours are limited on a first come, first serve basis (according to Google). I couldn't just show up and walk inside; and I sure wouldn't be granted an audience with the President.

But President Trump's daughter has permission to enter her dad's office, call his personal number, travel with him, eat meals with him, and have conversations with him daily.

We are children of God and have permission and an open invitation to go to His at any moment. We don't have to wait in line, wait for Him to give us consent to enter in and approach Him, or come in fear that what we are asking is too much or too difficult. We are encouraged to boldly come to God's throne.

Here is the revelation that I've recently received.

The throne of God is more vast than I had ever mentally visualized. He is not confined to a room. All mankind is invited to approach His throne at any given moment; so if His throne was as small as what I've pictured, then we'd have to constantly be standing in line trying to get close enough to approach God.

Here are some verses that really bring this to light; and honestly this revelation has been huge for me.

Isaiah 66:1 says, "This is what the Lord says: 'Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Could you build me a temple as good as this? Could you build me such a resting place?"

Matthew 5:34-35 says, "But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King."

Acts 7:48-49: "However, the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands. As the prophet says: 'Heaven is My throne, and the earth is my footstool......"

Wow! Heaven is God's throne! Not just a specific location within heaven or in a room somewhere, but all of heaven is God's throne.

I found other interesting scriptures regarding footstools in the Bible, that give food for thought.

2 Chronicles 9:18 is describing the throne that King Solomon built and it says, "The throne had six steps, and a footstool of gold was attached to it. On both sides of the seat were armrests, with a lion standing beside each of them."

There was a footstool attached to this earthly throne, with a lion standing on each side of the seat. Heaven is God's throne, and the earth is attached to His throne as His footstool. And Jesus, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah sits beside God on His throne.

Jehovah God symbolically dwelt in the holy place between the cherubim above the ark of the covenant. God has always had a deep desire to dwell among His people. The ark was His footstool, as shown in the scripture below:

In 1 Chronicles 28:2, "King David rose to his feet and said; 'Listen to me, my fellow Israelites, my people. I had it in my heart to build a house as a place of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, for the footstool of our God, and I made plans to build it."

Thankfully, we don't have to go to the temple where the ark of the covenant resides to be in God's presence. But we can be in His presence continually and worship Him at all time.

Psalm 99:5 says, "Exalt the Lord our God and worship at His footstool; He is holy." Then Psalm 132:7 says, "Let us go to His dwelling place, let us worship at His footstool, saying....."

Wherever we worship, we are worshipping at the feet of God! I find that thought so powerful and amazing and wonderful. Since the earth is the footstool of God, His feet rest upon the earth and covers every surface, so every time we pray, every time we worship, we are always at God's feet. In fact, we don't have to wait for His presence to come, for He is already here. The truth is, even when we aren't worshipping or praying, but just going about our every day life, we are still at the feet of God and in His presence. Wow! I just had that revelation as I wrote it right now!

I feel like this topic is so vast and parts of it still over my head and I'm sure that I don't yet have a full understanding; and perhaps at some point, God will reveal deeper secrets regarding this and I will write on His throne in yet deeper detail.

This is what I believe: The Spirit of God is everywhere, and has been since the very beginning of the world. Genesis 1:1-2 says, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters." So when God first created the heavens and earth, His Spirit was hovering over or covering the earth.

We often envision heaven being this far off place, but I'm not so sure about that. I think that perhaps heaven is much closer than we realize. In fact I believe that there is no division between heaven and earth. True, we can't visually see into heaven, but God can see earth. So if heaven is God's throne and the earth is His footstool, then there can't be a vast separation between the two as we often visualize.

Therefore, since the earth is God's footstool and attached to His throne, which is heaven, then we are attached to God's throne at all times. We are in His presence continuously. We have an audience with God every moment of every day. His Spirit covers all of heaven, for that is His throne; and yet His Spirit covers all of earth, for that is His footstool where He rests His feet. And yet His Spirit dwells within our heart.

This gives Psalm 139:7-12 more in-depth meaning: "I can never escape from Your Spirit! I can never get away from Your presence! If I go up to heaven, You are there; if I go down to the grave, You are there. If I ride on the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there Your hand will guide me, and Your strength will support me. I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night -- but even in darkness I cannot hide from You. To You the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to You."

I pray that all of this fills you with great wonder and joy, to know that God's throne fills all of heaven; there is nowhere in heaven where God is not there. To know that God's footstool is the earth, therefore, His feet touches every surface of the earth so we are consistently kneeling at the God's feet each time we pray and worship; therefore, we are constantly in His presence, regardless of what we are doing throughout the day. To know that we can never escape God's Spirit. Regardless of where we go, God is there. God fills all of heaven and all of earth and all of the universe; there is no place void of His Spirit. Yet, He can live and dwell inside of each and every one of us.

There is an older song that says, "How big is God? How big and wide His vast domain. To try and tell, these lips can only start. He's big enough to rule His mighty universe; yet small enough to live within my heart."

JON'S PERSPECTIVE:

It's often hard to understand enormous scales. An acre is a good start. It's big, but still easy to see entirely. Earth has more than 10 billion acres of 'habitable' land, plus uninhabitable land and seas. The solar system is several billion times as big as Earth. Our galaxy, the Milky Way, has several billion stars. And there appear to be many billions of galaxies in the universe. Some physicists think there are many universes; possibly billions of them. It feels overwhelming to think of the immensity of it all.

I've heard an interesting analogy about God being the Light, and we are a result of that light. Imagine a projector shining on a blank screen. The screen itself isn't an image. Neither is the projector. But the screen is a canvas on which the projection appears. We are the blank screen that reflects the glory of God shining on us.

I'd like to expand on that analogy a bit, though. Instead, I'll call the image all of our world, and all of the history and future of our world, all together, projected onto a flat surface. The room is heaven. God is still the projector. Everything we and all of humanity know and have ever known is a 2-dimensional image. We can't naturally see the room, the projector, or the wall behind the screen. But they are there, and have an influence on us. We couldn't even exist without them.

ON THE MENEWE:

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake

1 yellow cake mix (not the butter cake mix)

2 small instant chocolate pudding

1/2 cup oil

1-1/2 cup water

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients together and pour in a bundt cake pan. Bake at 325 for 80 minutes; check at 1 hour to make sure you don't over-bake. Let cook 5-10 minutes, then invert onto a serving plate.

Glaze: German Sweet Chocolate Bar and 1-2 Tablespoons of butter. Microwave to melt and pour over the cake.

THIS, THAT AND THE OTHER:

After school being out for 2 weeks for Christmas break, my great-niece wasn't ready to go back to pre-K. It happened on the first day back for the second semester, both she and her sister had pink eye, so had to end up missing. She told her mama, "I wish I could have pink eye every day so I could stay home from school; don't you?!"

Later that evening her 8-year old sister was laying in the floor throwing a temper tantrum. Jovie laid down on the floor beside her sister and began copying her and said, "Look! I'm her twin!!" She's a mess!! She's a cutie, but can be a funny little stinker some days.

THOUGHT TO PONDER:

Whether we are rich or poor, we are all homeless working our way back home [to heaven]. - unknown

OUR HEARTFELT THANKS TO YOU:

We love you!

Loretta & Jon

http://www.graysheep.org