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As we continue to apply 2 Chronicles 7:14 which in short, states,

“If My people humble themselves, pray and turn from their wicked way, He will hear from Heaven, forgive their sins, and heal the land.”

Honestly, as an intercessor when I hear a prayer initiative to pray 2 Chronicles 7:14  it has left me exasperated at times thinking: “Of what else can I pray and repent?”  I’m sincerely willing to yield, but often I find myself repeating prayers. But today I asked, out of this exasperation, what is there left to repent of? 

 I see now, that’s precisely the question the Holy Spirit was guiding me to ask.

The Holy Spirit profoundly spoke to my spirit, the need to repent and renounce the works of evil that directly work against the Kingdom of God.   

If you are an intercessor, as I am, you live a life of repentance;  It’s constantly allowing yourself to be open to Holy Spirit as He speaks, and responding accordingly. Not only in your own life but often for the lives of others and at times for regions, certain cities, situational burdens, nations, leaders, the lowly, communities, and any gap He deems suitable for you. 

May our prayers be effective, with every believer, as we agree with one another in faith for His Kingdom will be done, freedom, the reigning of truth, and the healing of our land to be restored, in Jesus’ Name.  

As you continue to read below on repentance/renouncing, you may not find any suggested sin to be an area in which you are actively participating, but perhaps you have in the past, and never thought to repent/renounce by offering a prayer regarding it. My hope is you allow the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth and respond accordingly.

Perhaps the Holy Spirit will take you deeper still into an area that you find begins to grieve your spirit as you learn that action of the sin has been working against the kingdom and all that you believe in and hope to be a part of building for the God you love.  Please know, He loves a contrite heart.

We are a significant part of building the kingdom of God in faith according to the Word, in repentance, renouncing, declaring, decreeing, testifying, and sharing the gospel as a ministry of reconciliation.

Paul’s words Romans 1:11

 I know that when we come together, something beautiful will happen as we are encouraged by each other’s faith. 

Romans 1 verse 16

For I am not the least bit embarrassed about the gospel. I won’t shy away from it, because it is God’s power to save every person who believes: first the Jew, and then the non-Jew.  You see, in the good news, God’s restorative justice is revealed. And as we will see, it begins with and ends in faith. As the Scripture declares, “By faith the just will obtain life.” 

Romans 1 verse 18 – 

 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. 

The Holy Spirit is Truth.

John 14:26

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

John 8: 32
You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free

Definition Repent: 

to change one’s mind for better, as you begin to see things as God sees them, heartily to amend with loathing of one’s past sins.

Definition Renounce Lies: 

to give up, forbid, renounce.

2 Corinthians 4:2 

But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by a manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

Pray a Prayer of Repentance/Renounce: 

Repent for suppressing the spirit of truth,  being ashamed of the gospel, and every lie that would try to attach itself to the continuation of these sins. 

Pray to ask to reconcile and see the restorative work of the kingdom released. Romans 1:16

That the Spirit of Truth shall prevail against every opposing spirit. (Eph 6:12)

 

Pray prayers both on your behalf as well as standing in the gap on behalf of another if you have first- hand accounts or have participated in actions that would work against the virtue of increasing the Kingdom of God. 

 

What is the Kingdom of God

Holy Spirit came to reveal-John 16:7-11 

 But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him (the Holy Spirit) to you [to be in close fellowship with you]. 

 And He, when He comes, will convict the world about [the guilt of] sin [and the need for a Savior], and about righteousness, and about judgment: about sin [and the true nature of it], because they do not believe in Me [and My message]; about righteousness [personal integrity and godly character], because I am going to My Father and you will no longer see Me; about judgment [the certainty of it] because the ruler of this world (Satan) has been judged and condemned.

John 3:15-16

that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 

Repent/Renounce: 

Not loving the things the Lord loves.

For unbelief: personally, in family, church, state, and nations.

Repent for not allowing Holy Spirit to lead and reveal the true nature of Christ.

His nature is not judgmental, critical, neither of a fearful spirit, foolishness, or self-righteousness. 

Pray to ask Holy Spirit to Reconcile: Believing hearts, for His justice, an increase of Fatih.

 Righteousness, Peace, and Joy

Romans 14: 17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

If you’ve been sowing or participated in strife, division, deceit, drunkenness, jealousy, spreading malicious lies, gossip, entitlement, haughtiness.

Romans 1  Do not suppress the truth …..repent and renounce these works. 

Additional sins working against the Kingdom of God

Most certainly we know that all sin has roots in pride, which genuinely are working against His Kingdom.
We also know that we are contending with spirits, principalities, and rulers in dark places as Ephesians 6:12 tell us. 

Nevertheless, I continue with the prayer directive released for this day.

Psalms 12:2-Everyone lies to their neighbor; they flatter with their lips but harbor deception in their hearts.

Rom 3:7-the mouth full of curses, lies, and oppression. 

Rejecting Christ – this would include Israel (Rom 9)

Repent/Renounce

Dishonest business, lying to Holy Spirit, being a slave to lies, idols, & rituals based on lies, traditions of men, rejecting Christ. 

Denying God’s Power & Authority 

Neglecting to lift up the Name of Christ 

Failing to show love, honor, and appreciation due to the One who created ALL.

Loss of vision and focus

Receiving Faith but not acting on Faith 

Counting your credit with man more than our credit with God. 

 

It’s humbling, yes, but remember the verse states, If My people..

 

Pray, meditate on the Word, seek an ever-increasing measure of the Kingdom of God.

Decree: Our Father in heaven, let Your name remain holy. Bring about Your kingdom. Manifest Your will here on earth, as it is manifest in heaven. – Matthew 6

His restorative justice to be revealed and ever-increasing – Romans 1:16

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer. – Psalm 19:14

This is my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.-John 15:8

Ephesians 5:9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth),

Romans 15:13- Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

John 8:12-Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life.” 

2 Peter 3- Be steadfast and grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;  

The Verse of the Hour – You are a Kingdom Carrier

1 John 2:27

You have an anointing. You received it from Him, and His anointing remains on you. You do not need any other teacher. But as His anointing instructs you in all the essentials (all the truth uncontaminated by darkness and lies), it teaches you this: “Remain connected to Him.”

Deborah Somjak 4-Unfolded Hearts
4- Such a time as this

Appointed Time

“Look at the nations and watch— and be utterly amazed.

For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.

Habakkuk 1:5

He Frames our Future 2019

And so here I am, preaching and writing about things that are way over my head, the inexhaustible riches and generosity of Christ. My task is to bring out in the open and make plain what God, who created all this in the first place, has been doing in secret and behind the scenes all along. Through followers of Jesus like yourselves gathered in churches, this extraordinary plan of God is becoming known and talked about even among the angels!”

Ephesians 3:8-10 Message

Unfolded Hearts Ministry has been a ministry in the hands of the Lord since day one, and it will forever remain under His care and transformation. For He has created, sustains, and shapes all things according to the frame of His purpose.
My gift(s), that He has graciously bestowed, have been to serve Him. While the ministry is small-scale, He is now bringing me to a broad place in 2019. [Ps 18:19]
I don’t feel I can expound fully here all the ways the Lord has been leading.
But I can share this: I will be taking a sabbatical.
In the words of Corrie Ten Boom,“Hold everything in your hands lightly, otherwise it hurts when God pries your fingers open.”
Friend, I don’t find this troubling. However, it is a transition I’m adapting to.  I’ve stated over the years to family that UHM is not who I am, but what I do.
The gift(s) reside, I remain, In Christ-that is who I am!
I have strong faith and patience endurance as I’m assured that I will receive what God has fully promised!
The Lord led me to the above verse in Ephesians 3 which clued me in to some of the framing of how I will use my gift(s) to make His Name known in 2019.
I believe we are in the 11thhour of Christ’s return. This will be UHM’s 11thyear.
If we look at the current number ten, it biblically represents completion, divine order, nothing further is needed, the cycle is complete. The number 11 can indicate a time of transition or spiritual shift, of which I’m sensing to be true in my own life.
Many years ago the Lord called me a forerunner. Often the Lord uses things in my life outwardly for what is happening prophetically as a forward sign, such as my description of the numbers in the above paragraph or for intercession or as a living parable of what is happening in this hour.
The Lord shall preserve my going out and coming in, from this time forth and even forever more.
I have much to share, steward, speak forth, and write for the great honor of our Lord.
________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Let me end with this significant and timely testimony from my Mom. Significant because early in the year, I was back in MI helping my Mom due to a fall she had. While in the house and sleeping in my childhood room, I had a dream. It was an angelic encounter, as the Lord was releasing eleven thousand angels for my families generational line. I found this odd, yet I knew it was divine. I shared it with my pastors who confirmed it bore witness with them. Again, notice the number 11. After I had this dream encounter, I now personally associate the #11 with the generations and generational blessings and believe it to be a part of the transition of faith in the Body of Christ.
The Lord has my heart and fully knows that I’ve asked for the generational blessings for years. He has begun to show me where I could find them. One is through my Mom’s salvation, which took place during the time of the Charismatic movement. This is huge as my mom became aware of the work of the Holy Spirit through this moment. If we take care of the generational curses, any familiar spirits who come to bring judgement, and all forms of witchcraft, we can partake of extensive generational blessings for our families. This subject deserves more time than I can devote here, however it must be mentioned. For further information consider reading, “Blessing or Curse: You Can Choose”, Third Edition by: Derek Prince.
Be encouraged as we look back in Ephesians 3 and throughout the entire Bible, were we find mention of generations.
We read in the latter verses Ephesians 3:20-2, Message translation:
“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
Glory to God in the church!
Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
Glory down all the generations!
Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!”
Perhaps there’s a promise you too have been asking for!
Why a timely testimony? Timely, because it’s for such an hour (11th) as this!
John and I were in Michigan earlier this month and stayed with John’s parents.
We had planned to take my Mom on a special day trip to Frankenmuth, which is well known and traveled to by many for the holidays. (If you’re curious you can Google it.) She used to go every year and I thought it would be a nice time for her to reminisce and enjoy all that it offers, including a famous chicken dinner at Bavarian Inn and also Bonner’s world’s largest CHRISTmas gift shop.
The day we arrived in MI, she was not feeling well. In fact, she had missed a doctor’s appointment the day before. She missed getting her hair done too, and if you don’t already know, for a 90year old woman making it to the hairdresser is at the top of the list!
I was a little concerned as she had a surplus of excuses as to why she probably wasn’t going to make the upcoming trip to Frankenmuth. I kept telling her that it’s OK because we’re not going to decide right now. The night before our day trip we got all her items ready and laid out her clothes, keeping it simple for her in the morning to get ready. Our trip was planned for Sunday day 5 into our visit. My mom told me she would call if she wasn’t feeling well. Sunday morning arrived and all was going well; it was a beautiful sunny and crisp day. My phone rang and I could see it was my Mom calling. John noticed too, nodding his head in doubt, certain she was calling to cancel.
I answered the call, hearing “good morning,” and was greeted by a strong and excited voice: “I just want to confirm what time you’re picking me up?” she asked. When the call ended, I told John that she’s excited to be going!
It wasn’t until we sat down for dinner that she shared with us what God had done for her that very morning. Tearfully she stated, “I want to say something. This morning I was watching TV (church) and I said to myself, I don’t want to just listen to what I think I want to hear in my own ears.”
I thought to myself that’s a mature statement- I’m listening.
She continued, “So, I turned the channel.”
It occurred to me, she was searching for God’s voice.
Mom proceeded “and would you know,” as she fought back more tears, “the Priest said, you’re going to get well. You might not think you were going to feel better, but you are. In fact, other people have been telling you you’re probably not going to be well!”
She cleared her throat and said, “do you know when I heard those words I said, OH MY GOD, You are speaking directly to me. I could feel those words inside of me. I knew He was speaking to me!”
This is amazing and it is all I could think then and now. Had I known this is what she was going to share, I would have voice-recorded her.
My mom doesn’t usually talk like this, my friend. We are in a spiritual shift. A transition in time is upon us. We will receive our generational blessings by faith.
Faith has action. Faith has sustenance. Faith has evidence.
What, where, or whom are you putting your faith in?
Let us learn from the One who was sent on our behalf, Jesus, and those exhibiting the finest of faith, as found in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews.
By Faith We Understand
Hebrews 11:1-3
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
Other subtitles of Hebrews Chapter 11
Faith at the Dawn of History
Faithful Abraham
The Heavenly Hope
The Faith of the Patriarchs
The Faith of Moses
By Faith They Overcame
Hebrew 11:9
By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise.
In His watchful care,
Deborah Somjak
Unfolded Hearts Ministry

The Garden of Gethsemane

Personal photos taken in Jerusalem of March 2017.

Top photo: Current Day-Garden.

Below photo: from a Historical Museum picture of  a heel-bone from a Crucifixion. 

As Jesus began his most personal and profound prayer, knowing of the betrayal and agony set before Him as an intense physical, emotional and spiritual battle was at hand, He prayed. He prayed inviting others to join him.

 

Matthew 26:36-46 Amplified

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane (olive-press), and He told His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” And taking with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee [James and John], He began to be grieved and greatly distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, so that I am almost dying of sorrow. Stay here and stay awake and keep watch with Me.”

And after going a little farther, He fell face down and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible [that is, consistent with Your will], let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “So, you men could not stay awake and keep watch with Me for one hour? Keep actively watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

He went away a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.” Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So, leaving them again, He went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words once more. Then He returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Listen, the hour [of My sacrifice] is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners [whose way and nature is to oppose God]. Get up, let us go. Look, My betrayer is near!”

As I read the above verses from a distance, my heart is all in and for my Jesus. I find myself pressing my ear to this passage listening to the pleas He repeatedly makes to both His Father and disciples. I’m listening to learn lessons and instructions, in prayer, as He is leading His disciples to follow; for us to follow. I feel as I am there in the garden, a disciple, near to Him watching Him pray, desiring to ease His pleas and ask, “Lord, teach me to join You in prayer.”

  • We know Jesus prayed: constantly– day, night, alone, with others, before working miracles. We read here He kept returning three-times to pray. His prayer was not repetitious, but continual.
  • It seems that the Garden of Gethsemane was a favorite private place to prayer because John 18:2 says, “Jesus had often met there with his disciples.”
  • Jesus prayed out of a deep and honoring love relationship calling God “Father.” We are commanded to do the same in Matt 6:9.
  • Prayer is not always smooth, as it requires focus especially when experiencing intense emotions, physical pain, and spiritual warfare. It requires more from us when we seemingly are at our weakest. When we come before Him, with humility, at the foot of the cross, we can ask for strength to aid us, in the will of the Lord.
  • Verse 41, Jesus address’ the disciples: Keep actively watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

Jesus knew the power of temptation: He shares of His own distress and grieved soul.

Actively = deliberate, positive, energetic, vigorous way.

Watching = give strict attention to, be cautions, active.

Praying = to offer prayers, to pray.

 

Pray, dear one, pray to your Father…..

 

Gethsemane is where He died; the cross is only the evidence.

Leonard Ravenhill

When a man really gives up trying to make something out of himself – a saint, or a converted sinner, or a churchman (a so-called clerical somebody), a righteous or unrighteous man,…and throws himself into the arms of God…then he wakes with Christ in Gethsemane. That is faith, that is metanoia and it is thus that he becomes a man and Christian.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Jesus defeated satan in Gethsemane on the cross, not by directly confronting the devil, but by fulfilling the destiny to which He had been called. The greatest battle that was ever won was accomplished by the apparent death of the victor, without even a word of rebuke to His adversary!

Francis Frangipane

This is the centre of the gospel – this is what the Garden of Gethsemane and Good Friday are all about – that God has done astonishing and costly things to draw us near.

John Piper

EM Bounds

How difficult it appears to be for the Church to understand that the whole scheme of redemption depends upon men of prayers The work of our Lord, while here on the earth, as well of the Apostle Paul was, by teaching and example, to develop men of prayer, to whom the future of the Church should be committed. How strange that instead of learning this simple and all important lesson, the modern Church has largely overlooked it. We have need to turn afresh to that wondrous Leader of spiritual Israel, our Lord Jesus Christ, who by example and precept enjoins us to prayer and to the great Apostle to the Gentiles, who by virtue of his praying habits and prayer lessons is a model and an example to God’s people in every age and clime.

Deborah  4-Unfolded Hearts Ministry

Dreams. It shall be.

Job 33:15

In a dream, a vision of the night [one may hear God’s voice], When deep sleep falls on men while slumbering upon the bed.

I recently had a dream. When I was awakened I knew instantly it was from the Lord. You see, at times but not always, the Lord speaks to me in dreams in the same manner in which He speaks to me when I am awake. Let me explain: the Lord often speaks to me through the gifts He’s so graciously bestowed upon me -two of which are words of wisdom and words of knowledge. In my dream, I was inquiring of the Lord regarding two caution points that didn’t make sense in my mind and they left my spirit unsettled. After asking the Lord in the dream, He replied and answered, revealing a word of knowledge for each caution point.

When I have these types of dreams and especially if I am awakened from this type of dream, I know it is from the Lord and is about a current day issue. Rather, I should say, I have come to learn this is how He speaks to me in dreams. Certainly, I have other dreams too, some are bizarre pizza dreams, I’ve had instruction dreams, comfort dreams, some are imparting assurance He is with me, at times warning dreams, prophetic dreams often with symbolic meaning that have led to intercession, and even angelic dreams.

How about you: have you had any dreams lately? How is the Lord speaking to you?

Let’s look at few scriptures regarding dreams and learn how the Lord has spoken in dreams to those who have gone before us.

  • God said in a dream [Gen 20:6] God came in a dream to Abimelech [Gen 20:3]
  • God also came in a dream by night to Laban [Gen 30:24] The Angel of God said to me in a dream, Jacob and I said, “Here am I?” [Gen 31:11]
  • Now Joseph dreamed a dream. [Gen 37:5,6]
  • Then it came to pass, at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh had a dream; and behold, he stood by the river. [Gen 41:1]
  • At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask! What shall I give you?” [1Kings 3:5]
  • The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream;And he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully.What is the chaff to the wheat?” says the LORD. [Jer 23:28]
  • I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts on my bed and the visions of my head troubled me. [Dan. 4:5]
  • Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way. [Matt. 2:12]

Finally, when we read in the book of Acts we see that the Lord not only desires to give dreams but that He desires to continue to speak in our dreams. Perhaps even tonight, to you, friend.

Acts 2:17

‘And it shall be in the last days,’ says God,

‘That I will pour out My Spirit upon all mankind;

And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,

And your young men shall see [divinely prompted] visions,

And your old men shall dream [divinely prompted] dreams;

When I was awakened from the dream, immediately I shared it with John, my husband. We prayed together regarding the dream as well as for our family about the word of knowledge that the Lord revealed, in the dream.

I had an unction in this dream that I was to share it with a specific person because of how they serve and minister to the Lord, noting to them to be on guard as the enemy can be subtle in his schemes. As the Lord in his grace would have it, I ran into this person that same day. I shared the dream simply out of sheer obedience explaining the word of knowledge over the two caution points, and beyond my human understanding the dream was confirmed. We were able to pray together, possibly sparring our dear friend from the schemes of the adversary, I believe. Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. [2 Corth. 2:14]

I share this dream not to draw attention to myself but to reveal the heart of the Father through the presence of the Holy Spirit as we co-labor in all things unto Him. For the Father is all knowing and full of grace and truth. [John 1:14; John 12:49,50]

As we embark on learning that He is the one initiating, lavishing His love, and supplying an answer to our requests through dreams, we too can relate our dreams to hearing from the voice of God as we have read in the scriptures above. What we are truly learning is to respond to His voice as we search the matter out.

Proverbs. 25:2 says, It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter. Psalms 44:21 Would not God search this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart.

With that said, I’d like to touch on a few practical tips and key principals.

  • Write your dreams down.
  • Ask the Lord to illuminate light and truth. Many times as I am writing a dream out the Lord begins to enlighten me with the interpretation as well as bring scriptures to mind; you want to capture that on paper!
  • Use dates.
  • Draw pictures or symbols if you can’t find the right words for what you’ve seen in your dream.
  • Almost all dreams that are from the Lord are going to be dreams with a message for you such as encouragement, instruction, comfort, and impartation.
  • Almost all dreams are symbolic – a night parable, one might say.

Once when traveling out of town we stayed the night at a friend’s home and that evening the Lord gave me a dream for my friend. It highlighted the word, Ode. I had no idea of the meaning or ever recall seeing that word before. I looked it up using the Webster’s and Wikipedia and it proved to hit a love cord for her, the one it was intended for. I share that to say, the Lord is not trying to make it complicated nor should we. John 10:27 The sheep that are My own hear My voice and listen to Me; I know them, and they follow Me.

Fear is NOT of the Lord. If you are experiencing fearful dreams I would suggest either you are simply processing your own fears or anxieties through your dreams. Clue in on the subject matter of your dream and if you sincerely feel the same way during your awake hours, it’s likely revealing a fear. The other possibility is it could be a demonic attack in the night. Please know, above all, the enemy is a coward. That is one reason he attempts to come at night. You have been given power in the Name of Jesus to resist and rebuke your enemy, and as you do, it will lead you to gain peace.

Lastly, the Word of God is our source of truth and life that which supplies our spiritual nourishment. If the Lord is to convey a message in our dreams it will likely be confirmed alongside of His Word. If you want to hear from God we have 66 Books in the Bible. There you will learn the language of Heaven to earth.

Let us keep looking unto to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Heb.12: 2

In His watchful care ~

Debbie 4 Unfolded Hearts Ministry

 

Christmas Joy

The Christmas season is fast underway! I hope you are able to take some time and recognize the rhythm of His grace and enjoy all He has given to you, to each one of us.

As I was preparing things in my home for the season, the Lord showed me the word “joy” three times. I felt He wanted to me to know more on this word and to share it here with you. To be perfectly honestly, I was a bit hesitant to pursue and speak on joy – I mean, I watch the news and hear the daily devastation and great personal loss that our communities are contending with locally and across the globe. We are in a unique time in history, in which joy is not commonly found. Yet, when I open the Word of God, specifically to the book of Luke, there is different news for me, for us. A declaration of joy! In fact, a declaration of great joy that has come. So, let us too come and see what the Lord has done together and hear what he might say regarding Joy.

Luke 2:10,11
Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy with will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

The Hebrew definition for joy: glee, exceeding gladness, mirth, pleasure, rejoice.
The Greek definition states: calm delight, gladness.

Joy is given by God. It is established in our hearts along with the confidence of hope. It is the fruit of the Holy Sprit, an evidence He is with us. It’s not just a simple smile or laugh based on our surroundings or on a successful outcome of our own performance. Joy is something that is deep within and doesn’t leave quickly. God wants us to have joy. We can learn more in His Word [see below] that its Christlikeness within.

Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Romans 14:17
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking [what one likes], but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Let me ask you, who do you know that exhibits these kingdom traits? Maybe for you, you’d list three different people, one for each trait: righteousness, peace, and joy. As I ponder this question myself, I desire to see an increase in genuine joy, gladness, and a calm delight. These will only be fulfilled as we yearn to seek the one who possesses and eagerly dispenses these heavenly traits in earthly vessels. Yearn, friends, for Jesus to fill you and your household, that the whole counsel of God might be fulfilled in the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

There’s a classic acronym for joy you may have heard.
Jesus, Others, Yourself. While this is a well noted phrase to follow.

 

I’d like to introduce a new acronym for a new discovery of the fruit of joy in this unique season.


J,
for Jesus, He remains first-rightfully so!

O, is for Our, He is ours personally & intimately. We belong to Him.

Y, is for Yearning; yearning is to desire strongly or persistently.
How we need Him! How we need to get back to Yearning for Our Jesus as only He can turn things around for the kingdom’s cause in this unique season expectant for good news and JOY.
Jesus Our Yearning.

Share the J.O.Y

Merry Christmas,
Deborah Somjak 4 Unfolded Hearts Ministry

May this song by Lauren Daigle minister to you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9B-81mZV5E

God Sent a Savior

God Sent a Savior
By Max Lucado
God has given a son to us.…
His name will be Wonderful Counselor,
Powerful God … Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

Every Christmas I read this reminder that came in the mail several years ago:

If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. But since our greatest need was forgiveness, God sent us a Savior.

Christmas cards. Punctuated promises. Phrases filled with the reason we do it all anyway.

He became like us, so we could become like him.

Angels still sing and the star still beckons.

Isaiah 9:6 proclaims, “God has given a son to us. His name will be Wonderful Counselor.”

Powerful God.

Prince of Peace.

The wonder of it all is that…

He loves each one of us like there was only one of us to love.