Welcome to Day 1 of Part 3‘s Chapter 1 of Arise and Shine. Today, Anna is sharing a free will offering of incense in a poem inspired by God’s Word to her in the crushing.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Psalm 23:5 (ESV)
How can I rest How can I open my palms Let go And rest?
How can I receive The Word That says You delight In me?
When Your Word in me Has closed doors on me In confessing My weakness and sin.
How can I receive Delight in that When Your Word calls me Depart, bereft?
Am I not mistaken? Does not each loss Each door closing Only affirm I'm lost?
"Oh my child," I hear You speak "In your pain, be still Know My Son is calling.
"Let the Sword of Life Now circumcise your heart That ears and eyes May open unto Me.
"For, I have come Not to call the righteous But to pour My oil Of mercy upon sinners.
"Receive My living water Feel My waterfall of grace Now splashing on your face Receive My goodness and mercy
"In My Son's crushing Of your pride and self Receive My oil Richly flowing.
"Yes, there's life In the womb Feel the Son of God Now crowning in you.
"Be not afraid, My child This labor pain you're feeling Is but a shedding of the old To birth the new.
"For, Christ wore A crown of thorns To place a crown Of life upon your head.
"In the garden of Gethsemane My Son drunk the cup Upon the Cross Your debt to pay in full.
"Now be Christ's friend Let the counsel Of the Holy Spirit Set you apart.
"Let each loss Become sweet gain For, into every crushing My oil of comfort pours.
"Let now My Holy Spirit pour Upon the soil Of all Christ's crushing.
"For, is it not your honor To bow before Him here To taste of His sacrifice For you?
"Has He not proven In His crushing for your sins His Bride is worth Far more than rubies?
"Yes, the enemy may rage In darkness all around you But hidden in Christ See your lamp glow bright.
"Sow now Into the good soil Of Christ's own Body Broken open for you.
"Let His seed of truth Long hidden in your heart Now reap perfect peace In the dying.
"Bring no longer a Burnt-out sacrifice of self But a free will offering In mercy richly flowing.
"Watch and wait My holy flame shall fall Upon the oil Of Christ's anointing.
"A fragrant incense In My fire shall rise Repentance and Refreshing reaping.
"Now, delight In Me, My child For I delight In you."
But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep. Acts 7:55-60 (ESV)
‘You will also be [considered] a crown of glory and splendor in the hand of the Lord, And a royal diadem [exceedingly beautiful] in the hand of your God.’ It will no longer be said of you [Judah], “Azubah (Abandoned),”Nor will it any longer be said of your land, “Shemamah (Desolate)”; But you will be called, “Hephzibah (My Delight is in Her),”And your land, “i.e. Beulah, pronounced Be-oo-lah.Married”; For the Lord delights in you, And to Him your land will be married [owned and protected by the Lord]. Isaiah 62: 3 – 4 (AMP)
Welcome to Part 2Chapter 3‘s Day 7 of Arise and Shine. Today, Anna is sharing a poem as a final free will offering of gold, looking expectantly toward the eternal perfection that awaits us in Christ Jesus, as He completes what He has begun in us. She also shares the Scriptures that have inspired and form a part of herpoem.
He made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape, measuring ten cubits from rim to rim and five cubits high. It took a line of thirty cubits to measure around it. Below the rim, gourds encircled it—ten to a cubit. The gourds were cast in two rows in one piece with the Sea. The Sea stood on twelve bulls, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south and three facing east. The Sea rested on top of them, and their hindquarters were toward the center. It was a handbreadth in thickness, and its rim was like the rim of a cup, like a lily blossom. It held two thousand baths.
1 Kings 7: 23-26(ESV)
SEA OF HOLY FIRE
From North and South From East and West We come Your Temple raised.
Purified in fires we've met Refined and tested Your Living Word Has proved us Yours.
Not in our outward wiping clean But in mercy's washing clean In Your blood shed And Your Body broken
You led us the old to shed To know You In Your death And resurrection.
Purified of Satan's curse Washed in a cup of wrath You bore for us Our hearts awash in mercy.
We ran the race In Your jealous flames of love Your liquid gold now pouring In incense sweet arising.
Our hardened hearts You broke To flow in mercy Your Holy flame in trials thick and fast All dross destroying.
Made in Your image Temple Of Your Holy Spirit Purposed born
We bear Your Name To lay down our crowns At these Your feet.
Harps are playing Our hearts And lips Are singing:
“Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations!
Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.”
Revelations 14:3 (ESV)
And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire—and also those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,
“Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations!
Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.”
Revelations 14:2-3 (ESV)
Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. James 1: 12 (ESV)
Welcome to Chapter 3‘s Day 1 of Part 2 from Arise and Shine. Today, Anna is sharing a testimony of God’s perfecting power in her weakness and a prayer inviting God to pour out His Holy Spirit upon us.
When the LORD began to call me to share the Words and visions I saw with a family I had been praying for, I struggled. What if these were just figments of my imagination? What if they gave them false hope or upset them?
I could hear the enemy breathing down my neck: “God would never call someone like you to intercede for others in prayer. He would never give someone like you these kind of Words and visions.” When I looked at myself, I saw my newness in faith as a recently returned Prodigal, my mental illness diagnosis (CPTSD) and my sinful past and found myself beginning to agree with the enemy.
Then, a leader I deeply respected affirmed the very accusations I was already hearing, when I asked for advice. And so a tug of war ensued. Until finally, I cried out in frustration. I told God enough was enough. Either I was going to zip my lips, or God had better show me that it was indeed He, who had called me to speak His Word into this family’s situation.
Moments later, three separate affirmations arrived. But the most amazing affirmation of all was what unfolded with a stranger, mere minutes after my prayer. I was standing at a train station minding my own business, when a man approached me. He asked to borrow my phone to call his brother to let him know he’d be late. I was frightened by his dishevelled exterior, but didn’t want to be rude, so I offered to call his brother for him and tell him.
After doing so, the man thanked me profusely and suddenly began to share parts of his life story. He started by sharing his full (Hebrew) name and his Christian upbringing. And went on to share of the incredible suffering his parents walked through and their inability to love him as he needed to be loved. He then shared about his struggle to believe and to be freed from his addictions.
I listened intently, praying for God to fill me with the wisdom I lacked. I longed to help this man see how much God still loved him and yearned to comfort and bring healing. It’s then, as we sat together on the train, that the Holy Spirit prompted me to openly share about the trauma I had walked through as a little girl and how God was leading me to a place of healing and forgiveness.
The Holy Spirit also provided a question to ask the man. It is this question that visibly moved the man. He kept repeating it and working through its implications. Suddenly, I saw compassion enter the man’s eyes as he spoke of his parents, rather than the hurt and bitterness that had been there moments earlier. The Lord was so clearly working in his heart.
I sat there beside him on the train, amazed. If it was not for the Lord’s promptings I would never have gone near this man. He stunk of alcohol and his dishevelled appearance both frightened and revolted me. But God was not put off by my fears or judgement. He pressed until I responded in grace and love as He wanted me to.
After this experience I knew. I knew that even in my newly returned Prodigal state, as I struggled through trauma triggers, God was calling me to intercede and speak encouragement into others’ lives. It’s then I knew the Scriptures and visions of Bible stories I was receiving in prayer were gifts from God, not given to hoard, but share.
As I shared what God had given me, it affirmed what this family had already been receiving from the LORD. It brought them such comfort and encouragement through a time of great loss and grief. In the months that followed, as I continued to share with them, God grew me in discernment and wisdom, burning away and shaking off the dross that was not of Him, as He continues to do today, even as I share with you here.
Oh there have still been moments since that day at the train station, that I have turned to hide and dim my light, believing the enemy’s accusations. But my God has been so faithful to return me to Himself and to remind me that His power is perfected in weakness. He has lifted me back out of the mire to set my feet upon the Rock and to shine the light He’s given me, brightly, in the places He has set me apart to make His glory known.
Thank You, Jesus, that You call the foolish of this world to shame the wise. Thank You that You call the weak of this world to confound the strong. Thank You that You call us, Your broken open vessels, to shine Your love brightly into the lives of those around us.
Father God, fill us with Your courage today to shine the light of Your love, where You call us to. Help us to turn away from the lies we hear that condemn us or those You are calling us to love. Help us instead to see Your reflection as we look into the mirror and as we look into the faces of those You have set before us.
Melt away our insecurities and fears in the truth of Your holy love for both us and for those you call us to bless. A love You expressed by pouring out the judgement each one of us deserved upon Your very own Son, so that we could be freed from our sin and shame, to run with joy into Your abundant life. Thank You, Father, for Your incredible sacrificial love, a love like no other.
Forgive us for the moments we have rested in the safe of our insecurities and fears. Help us not to be ashamed of our weakness or fearful in our inadequacies, but to lean into the perfecting power of Your living Word in our weakness instead. Fill us with the faith to believe You at Your Word. To believe that You will perfect Your power in us, precisely in and through our weakness.
As our knees shake and our hearts tremble, thank You that You are the God who presses us forward to do Your holy will. Awaken us in the light of Your loving countenance today. Clothe us in Your holy love, wisdom, strength and grace.
Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us in power that we may live and move and have our being in You and Your perfect love. Shine the light of Your love in and through us today that we may be a blessing, where You have planted us and where You are sending us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Welcome to Day 5 of Part 2‘s Chapter 2. Today, Anna is sharing a free will offering of bronze. Her poem shows us how the LORD exchanged her human judgment of His Sword’s painful dividing to see the gift of His healing and wholeness coming in each setting apartunto His heart of mercy toward her.
Trust isn't the absence of pain Trust isn't the absence of tears Trust isn't the absence of gaping loss.
No! It's Christ Inviting me into His arms In the Sword's dividing.
It's perfect Love driving out my fears Bottling all my tears It's the everlasting arms beneath me.
It's the sure foundation Of God's Word Catching me as I leap toward Him.
It's Christ yielding my heart To each and every painful wounding That He may humble me to heal me.
It's Christ taking my weary and divided heart To exchange it For His surrendered, trusting heart
It's my Rock and mighty Redeemer Perfecting His power In weakness.
So I resist the enemy In every accusation flung as the pain returns To rest instead on my Promise.
In each and every ache's returning Let me now heed the Spirit's quickening To turn toward and not away.
Let my tears now flow My knees now bow And my heart now open.
For, each boasting in my weakness To God's glory and God's grace Wafts Christ's sweet incense high.
No! Trust is not my holding tight To what my God has rightfully taken To draw me unto Himself.
It's releasing each precious Word No longer in shame But in worship and praise.
It's watching and waiting Expectantly For each and every Promise to unfold.
It's Christ birthing fresh trust in me As a fountain of grace Now gushes and pours down upon me.
It's bringing my broken heart to Jesus To find His whole heart Beating there.
It's finding my salvation In returning and resting Upon the pillow of My Promise: Christ Himself.
So I will lay down Each accusation birthed in pride To now receive my Abba Father's pride in each surrender.
For, the branches Were never meant To support the Vine.
But the Vine Died and rose again To give life to each branch.
So, I shall put down my roots No longer into human soil But ever deeper Into the good soil Of Christ's heart for me.
May He Become my trust Pressing into Jesus May I find the Word Flowing fresh As living water From the throne of grace.
Yes! Those aches Those tears Those gaping holes They're the very Building stones.
The building stones of trust Are the Word of God's Dividing.
For Love Himself Is the only righteous Judge.
The Son of God Who came not to condemn me But to seek and save me.
To declare my weakness, His strength And my brokenness, His wholeness By the power Of His Living Word.
The only Way The only Truth The only Life Is Jesus.
Come Let's take His hand Make Him our trust.
Come Let in the Sword's sweet dividing Eternal peace In the blood of Christ Now flow.
For at the Cross What Christ now joins together No man can separate.
Colossians 2:7 (NLT) Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
Welcome to Chapter 2‘s Day 2 of Arise and Shine. Today, Anna is sharing a poem the LORD spoke to her heart, as she felt like she had nothing left to give. She was judging her circumstances with her human understanding. God invited her to see and embrace His judgment of her situation and to celebrate His refining work in her.
May God speak to you through it too, encouraging your heart in those places you feel you have nothing left to give. May God cleanse each one of our eyes to see what Hesees.
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)
By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil. Proverbs 16:6 (ESV)
A New Offering
Oh my heart So worn, so torn Emptied of all tears No more to give.
Kneeling here At these Your feet What do I have To offer You, My Lord.
"My child" I hear A gentle Voice within "Here at My feet You have given all An offering of poverty But more than Ever before.
"Shed here your clothes Of old And let me clothe you In the new A living Hope An inheritance imperishable Now your crown.
"Behold, the new has come Shed here the old Arise now in the morning sun Shining ever brighter Till the full light of day.
"I have not left you orphaned here My breath to you I give To carry, lead and guide Sending out My Light and Truth ahead.
"Behold then, open here your eyes Do you not perceive it? My way in the wilderness? My rivers in the desert?
"My righteousness within I have forged Behold the jealous fires Of My love The dross of all your Prideful striving I have consumed My rivers of peace To bring.
"Drink of my living water Let your weary heart Now rest On everlasting arms beneath My grapes to harvest No longer just in one, But in each and every season.
"My rivers shall now Stream freely Washing all devouring And destroying tongues Away.
"My chosen and anointed child Watch your delight Now grow, abound For, My Spirit shall now reveal A flood of beauty All your buried desires I am breaking open To fulfill.
"Promises of covenant True and pure You shall now declare No longer in trembling Fear of man But in trembling awe Of your Maker Your Husband and LORD.
"See now my Word of life Not empty return But accomplished In leaves of beauty And abiding fruit In the soil Of My heart for you Now flourish."
You have taken account of my wanderings; Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not recorded in Your book? Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call; This I know, that God is for me. Psalm 58:9 (AMP)
And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all;for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”Luke 24: 1-4 (NKJV)
Welcome to Day 1 of Part 2‘s Chapter 2 of Arise and Shine. Today, Anna invites you to join her as she shares the first free will offering of bronze: a poem that sprung up, as God spoke to her in her bitterness, through multiple losses. She also invites you to join her in a time of prayer and praise and worship.
Proverbs 14:10 (ESV) The heart knows its own bitterness, and no stranger shares its joy.
John 12:24 (ESV) Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
A TREE OF LIFE
Guard thy heart My child Let not one bitter word Or thought or deed Take root and Thistles reap.
Oh yes My dear Pierce it does Just as My crown of thorns But even then Draw near.
Let each thorn Beckon to you "come" Pour all out That not one bitter word Root where tender Heart resides.
Come, I'll soothe And bind and balm For, this wound I have inflicted Is not sent to harm you But to heal you.
Now bury Each and every Blessed seed No longer At the feet of man But in the good soil Of My heart for you.
And in the dying Of each seed of wheat Behold my love and mercy Turn Your every Bitter Into sweet.
See each Promise You have clung to Now no longer Hope deferred remain But in My death And resurrection Bountiful desires Manifest.
Not eye for eye And tooth for tooth But love so strong Each seed Be broken, bled My blood for you
In undeserved mercy Pouring.
Behold now In death's shadow Your idols are no more For taking up your Cross To rest in Me You see by faith And not by sight My broken Body Now made whole.
Behold now In the dying To your old A tree of life In love I'm pruning Now strongly rooting To overflow With fruit for food And leaves For tender healing.
Grace upon grace In the fullness Of My love For My blessed Body Watch Me Every month A bountiful crop Now harvest.
Proverbs 13:12-13 (ESV) Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself, but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded.
Proverbs 11:30 (NASB) The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And one who is wise gains souls.
Revelations 22:1-2, 14 (ESV) Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.
Thank You, Father, for sending Your Son to this earth to carry the judgment our sins deserve. Thank You for refusing to leave our deceitful hearts to their own destructive devices, for sending Your Son to die for us, so that we now have direct access to Your mercy.
Thank You, that You are no stranger to our hearts and that unlike man, You willingly exchange our bitterness for Your abundant joy, as You turn our hope deferred into desires fulfilled, through the power of Your holy Word.
Father, we invite You now to uncover and break open any bitterness that is lurking in our hearts. Forgive us for resting in our fleshly judgment of our earthly circumstances. Perfect Your power in our weakness now. Help us to let go of our idols, of the judgment of man and of our own fleshly judgment. Help us to embrace Your healing and wholeness, so we can see ourselves and others through the light of Your love, truth and grace.
Fill us with fresh faith. Cause us to rest in the fulfillment of Your Promises that a tree of life might spring up in us, bearing healing leaves and fresh fruit for food for not just us but the nations of this world.
Thank You for Your soft and tender heart of love and mercy that is so strongly present in us. Help us to bring forward the free will offering of bronze. Help us to joyously surrender our own judgment and the judgment of others to rest in the finished work of the Cross: in the judgment Your holy Son has already borne for us and those You are asking us to surrender into Your hands. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Will you join me now in a time of praise and worship?
Welcome to Day 7 of Part 2‘s Chapter 1 from Arise and Shine. Today, Anna is sharing a poem as a final free will offering of silver, together with a link to a Scriptural song she sung as a little girl that God continues to bring back to her to encourage her. We, Bettie and Anna, pray that these daily offerings of praise, declaring God’s redemptive power, have been an encouragement to your heart this past week. Even as we have been editing these offerings ourselves, to publish here, God has brought us deeper repentance, freedom and joy also.
The Great I AM
Turn not back in pain But toward the I AM He's watching over every step Before, above, around His everlasting arms beneath.
Turn not back in despair But toward the I AM He's redeeming every piece Broken to whole at the Cross His Word a lamp unto our feet.
Turn not back in fear But toward the I AM He's lifting every accusation In the light of His truth Leading us all to repentance.
Turn not back in shame But toward the I AM He's righting every wrong In thought and deed and word Wrapping His cloak around us.
For the Son of God came Not to condemn but save He's a well of living water Springing up to eternal life Come let us drink from -
Welcome to Day 6 of Part 2‘s Chapter 1 from Arise and Shine. Today, Anna is sharing a testimony of God’s redemption in her own life and heart and invites you to join her in prayer at the end. This is an edited version of a blog post she published here on shalomaleh.com at the end of May.
A few years ago, I sat lamenting my past and all the decisions that were made on my behalf as a child that I saw as pushing me down my Prodigal path. In effect, I was blaming my parents for the path my life had taken. But as I began to do so, God began to ask me to look for His thread of redemption weaving through every decision made on my behalf.
I blamed my Dad for choosing to send only me to a non-Christian school and taking me away from my “safe” environment. But God asked me to open my eyes to see what He had gifted me in those years. It’s then I saw the beautiful souls He had had me befriend from multiple nations and multiple faith backgrounds. Jesus taught me so much through these girls, who were so genuine with me and, unlike me, didn’t hide beneath a veneer of self-righteousness.
Through these girls, I now see Jesus showing me my own need for salvation. For, the sins I saw them fall into, I saw reflected in my own heart. The only difference was that no one but God saw that darkness hiding in me. Jesus was showing me that it’s not Christian environments that are our Savior, but Him alone.
I blamed my parents for the trauma of my childhood. I blamed them for making me feel like Jesus had abandoned me and my little adopted brother, as in their pain, frustration and exhaustion, they began to follow the letter of the law and abandoned the Spirit’s leading in their methods of discipline. But God asked me to open my eyes to see my story through the lens of truth and grace.
Now, I know my parents never forced me to worship them. My parents never forced me to put my trust in them above God. I chose to clothe myself in lies and turn to sin to numb my pain. I now know that Jesus has given me the gift of free will – the free will to choose Him, to be set apart unto Him.
I now know that He so longed for me as a little girl to rest in His love and acceptance. He longed for me to persevere through suffering, by abiding in Him and His Word to me, a Word that did not return void, but reaped the fruit for which it was sent, more than twenty years later.
I now know I have been given the honor and free will to rejoice in the hope of glory that will not put me to shame, as I choose to be set apart according to the purposes of God:
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5: 1-5 (ESV)
I now know that to honor my mother and father was to honor Jesus in them. It was to allow Jesus to set me apart for His purposes. It was to discover that I have the free will to deny myself, take up my Cross and follow Jesus that He might bless each one of us.
Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Matthew 10:34-37 (ESV)
Jesus showed me that when my parents dedicated me to Him as a baby and when I gave my heart to Him as a four year old, He bound Himself to me. I became His.
My parents and I invited Jesus to become the author and finisher of my faith, in response to our Heavenly Father’s invitation and Christ has shown Himself faithful and still is, daily. Now, I see how Jesus used my parents’, my little brother’s and my own weakness to perfect His power. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28, ESV).
God knew my prideful and adulterous heart needed this experience of being set apart, so the branches that were not bearing any fruit could be cut off and burned. Now, through His patient labor of love and mercy, I am embracing the discipline and pruning work God first began in me as a little girl. And I am seeing the fruit of His labor of redemption: His buying back of my life and heart from sin and death.
For, Jesus is turning my mourning into dancing. Through each new setting apart, He is opening my eyes to see by faith and not by sight. Through my experiences of His faithful and never-forsaking love, my heart is learning to trust and obey Jesus. Now, I know that “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11, ESV).
Yes, forever He will be the Lamb upon the throne:
Dear Abba Father, thank You for the thread of redemption running through our families and the beauty You are bringing from the ashesof our past. Help us not to sit in the ashes of our old life, longing for someone to bring us to You and to make us acceptable in Your sight, when Christ has already made us acceptable in Your sight. Remind us that Christ has given us the power and authority to pick up our mats and walk into the new life You have ordained for us.
Father, forgive us for defining ourselves and others through the eyes of the world. Open our eyes to see Your redemption at work in our lives, to see all the ways You have already been transforming our hearts and minds to look more and more like You, through our setting apart. Open our eyes to the beauty of the unseen: the fruit of the Spirit You have been growing in us, as You have cut off and burned all the branches that were not bearing fruit in our lives.
Help us to embrace the Cross, to honor Your Son’s obedience, as He took upon Himself our sin and our suffering at the Cross, by now taking up our own Cross to follow Jesus. Help us to hear and obey the Holy Spirit’s promptings, to put to death the works of the flesh and to heed Your call to be set apart unto You alone. Teach us to trust You that we might pray without ceasing, even when it hurts. Help us to hear Your call and to continually pour our hearts out before You in the loss and pain. Help us to listen for Your Word to us, that we might be transformed by the renewing of our minds, that by testing we may discern what is Your will and what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Help us not to bow to our idols of pride, self and man, but to recognize the honor You are bestowing on us to fill up in our flesh what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of His Body, the church, as You set us apart that we might be holy, as You are holy.Teach us, moment by moment, to walk in the light of Your truth. Give us undivided hearts that we might fear Your Name above all else.
Open our eyes to the beauty of Your setting apart that You have purposed to destroy our idols and make us truly One in You, just as You, Your Son and the Holy Spirit are One. Thank You that it is You who works in us, both to will and to work for Your good pleasure. Continue to bow our knees in awe of Your majesty and power and glory.In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Welcome to Chapter 1 of Part 2 from Arise and Shine. Today, Anna is introducing us to the free will offering of silver. She gives examples from her own life of how God has compelled her to bring forward this free will offering – the Promise of redemption. And Bettie and Anna invite you to join them in prayer at the end.
We will be adding additional poem, prayers and devotionals to this page, on the theme of silver and redemption, as the LORD directs.
Take from among you a contribution to the Lord. Whoever is of a generous heart, let him bring the Lord’s contribution: gold, silver, and bronze; Exodus 35:5
In the temple, 100 silver hooks held up the curtain ushering the priest into the Holy of Holies and the presence of God. These hooks were made from the free will offering of silver brought forward by the Israelites and King David for the building of the Temple.
Silver was also melted to make the basins and bowls for the ritual purification and cleansing of the priests. And it was used to make the silver bands with their hooks of silver for all the pillars that held up the court. Additionally, it was used to make two trumpets of silver, of hammered work that were used “for summoning the congregation and for having the camps set out” (Numbers 10:2).
Silver is known as the currency of redemption and a metal refined and purified by fire:
“The words of the LORD are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.”
(Psalm 12:6, ESV)
Take away the dross from the silver,and the smith has material for a vessel;
(Proverbs 25:4, ESV).
Instead of bronze I will bring gold,
and instead of iron I will bring silver;
instead of wood, bronze,
instead of stones, iron.
I will make your overseers peace
and your taskmasters righteousness.
(Isaiah 60:17, ESV)
30 pieces of silver were paid to redeem a slave from captivity. 30 pieces of silver were paid by the religious leaders to Judas, so he would betray Jesus with a kiss. 30 pieces of silver were thrown by Judas back into the temple, before he hung himself. 30 pieces of silver were used to buy the Potter’s field to bury the bodies of foreigners.
Thus, the free will offering of silver symbolized the very redemption Christ would bring through His death on the Cross. The Word “redemption” in Hebrew literally means a buying back. God bought back our hearts, freeing us from our enslavement to sin, through the very betrayal of man.
For thus says the LORD: “You were sold for nothing, and you shall be redeemed without money.” (Isaiah 52:3, ESV)
So, now, when Christ compels us to bring forward the free will offering of silver, we are literally bringing forward His Promise of redemption. We are bringing forward God’s Promise to buy us back, fully and wholly. We are declaring His faithfulness to move through His Living Water (the Spirit-infused Word of God) to:
lift up the Body of Christ and bring it to complete healing and wholeness
strengthen us and establish us in Christ
to gather us together and cause us to depart at His command, as the trumpet is blown.
In what situations have you found God encouraging you to bring forward His Promise of redemption? In what ways have you noticed God has been redeeming you and others you know?
God has been redeeming me personally through the repeated pruning of healthy branches and the cutting off of dying branches in my life. Through His good gardening, God is helping me to be able to differentiate between the voice of our enemy, with his cruel accusations of condemnation, and the moment by moment revelation of the Word of God, through the Holy Spirit’s promptings.
In setting me apart unto His purposes, Christ is helping me to lift up the Name of Jesus above all else. He has been teaching me, through the pain and sorrow of each surrender, to lay before Him the accusations haunting me, so He can arise in power through His Holy Word to me. He has repeatedly cleansed my conscience, plowing up my unbelief to fill me with fresh faith and Promises from His Word to lift up in praise.
I now see, how under His leadership and in His strengthening, I am daily choosing to die to old thought patterns and arise unto the new. Through all the surrenders Christ is working in me, I am beginning to see my past through new eyes: Christ’s eyes of redemption.
I am learning to trust Christ to prove me His. I am learning to still and listen for the moment-by-moment revelation of God’s Word by the Holy Spirit. I am learning to obey the Living Word of God – Jesus – who speaks inside of me. The Living Word that is now becoming a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.
I can see how Christ has taken ownership of me, buying me back from the enemy who once had tethered me to sin, striving and idol worship (of self, church, religious leaders and friends). Through every surrender His labor of love has wrought in my heart, God has opened my eyes to the gift of free will He has given me, the free will to choose Him and the true desires of my heart.
And in this purifying work of the Living Word, Christ is redeeming the years that the locusts ate. In our LORD Jesus, our Rock and Redeemer, nothing is ever wasted. Not one detail of our stories is ever too shameful or unimportant, but rather each detail becomes an essential part of God’s masterpiece, declaring His love and great mercy to the world.
When God reminds us through His Word that the old has gone and that we are not to look back on our past, it means that when we give our life to Jesus, our slate has been made clean. Our failings turn from being a shameful burden to carry, to evidence of God’s great love and compassion for us and His power to save and redeem our lives – and others’ – for His glory.
Peter’s heartbreaking denials of Jesus now declare the power of the Cross to save and redeem us all. They remind us that absolutely nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Saul ordering the execution of Stephen now awakens our hearts to the depths of God’s mercy that we too can draw upon in suffering and persecution. It also reminds us of the power of the Cross to open our own and others’ blinded eyes to see and to give us new names, declaring us new creations in Christ Jesus. Paul’s thorn in his side reminds us all, even today, that God’s power is perfected in our weakness and not in our own ability, health or strength.
Perhaps you too, recognize Jesus doing a similar work of redemption in your heart and life, as He has been in mine. For, Christ labors in each one of us to exchange our heart of stone for His heart of flesh. A heart of flesh not hardened by sin and pain, but compelling us to willingly join Christ in His suffering that we might draw upon His love and mercy to declare each heart set before us: eternally His. A heart of flesh declaring each one of us purchased by the blood of the Lamb and our inheritance of redemption – complete healing and wholeness in body, mind, heart and soul – as safely sealed by the Holy Spirit.
And oh how I long, as I am sure you do also, to see this redemption unveiled in us all: fully and wholly, when Christ returns.
Dear Great and Glorious Lord,
We come before you acknowledging that we are so in need of redemption. You are Holy and we are not. You are pure and we are tainted. Lord will you daily cleanse us from our old way of thinking? Will you continue to take away our striving and show us that You alone have the power to redeem us from our sins?
You, our God, have purchased salvation for us with the precious blood of your own Son. May we let you redeem us from these sinful ways of living, and find Your gift of new life flooding into our hearts.
And as You compel us to boast in our weakness, may our testimonies to Your glory and grace and the blood of the Lamb arise to silence the accusations of the enemy against our brethren. May Your redemption not just flood our own hearts, but others’ also, not by might, nor by power, but by the Spirit of God.
In the precious name of your Holy Son, Jesus, we pray.
Welcome to Day 2 of Chapter 2 from Arise & Shine. Today, Bettie Gilbert invites you to join her at the feet of Jesus, with a poem she penned, as she poured out her heart and listened for the LORD’s response to her. May God bless each one of us, as we draw near to Him today, as Bettie did in this poem. May He cause us to bring forward a free will offering of pure white linen ourselves, as we lay before Him all that is swirling inside of us. May He clothe us in His pure white garments of grace.
“He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.” Revelation 3:5 (NKJV)
My heart aching
What have I missed?
I am only a sinner
But saved by grace?
Out of the fog
“Are you listening My child?
You are My Beloved
Will you take My hand?”
“Can you hear My voice?
I have called your name
Are you holding to My promise?”
What am I holding onto?
A Kingdom that cannot be shaken
Is it true that I belong?
Now set free.
Am I dancing?
With feet not broken
Will I hold on a little longer?