“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.
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
Perhaps there’s a promise you too have been asking for!
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.”
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
‘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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
Deborah Somjak 4 Unfolded Hearts Ministry
May this song by Lauren Daigle minister to you.
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.
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.”
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.
While this ancestral list may not include everyone, there are five women who are mentioned: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Uriah’s wife – Bathsheba and Mary.
Many are most familiar with Mary. This is the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus. Its interesting, to me, that Mary is most known by and associated with being called, the Virgin Mary. We can read the prophecy of the virgin birth found in Isaiah 7 and it fulfillment in Matthew 1: 22, 23.
I am certain it is for reasons that extend far – beyond the first glimpse of scripture and the birth of Jesus. I like to call it; God’s spiritual reasoning of Redemption. What is Redemption? Salvation, Deliverance, Rescue, Liberation, Release and Recovery. I think these are all such great descriptive words especially for, women. Not that we ought to just know them but to experience them.
Redemption on so many different levels.
Did you know that Tamar, Rahab and Bathsheba were connected with sexual sins; Rahab and Ruth were not Jewish, and Ruth belonged to the Nation of Moab, which had its origin in incest. It’s quite shocking isn’t it? In fact, if this you’re first time ever hearing such a report and you’re trying to wrap your mind around the thought, could this be true ? Could it be possible? Is this factual? Or even scripturally correct?
Decided for yourselves: see Gen. 19:30-37; Duet. 23:3
Listen, I am not a scholar or do I pretend to be. I would say, I enjoying learning. I am a devoted woman who is deeply in love with my savior, Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. I would even refer to myself, as a Berean. We find Paul stating in the New Testament as he ministered at Berea in Acts 17:11…they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.
I will surrender to the unction of the Holy Spirit, in my life. Consequently my friends it is under His influence in how we meet.
You may or may not believe this next statement – I find it a discipline to write. OK, so I’m saying, it’s not enjoyable for me to write. I find it can be similar to a chore to some degree. I liken it to ironing. In my early days of marriage I really didn’t care for ironing in fact I avoided it, most days. My mother in law felt the same way except, about dusting. So, we had a deal with each other when we would visit each others home. I would dust when at her house and in return when she would come to visit my husband and me she would do the ironing. In some small way this made the chore a bit more bearable.
Although, I have learned that as I give in to the discipline it didn’t mean I was giving up.
The process of discipline held within it a wisdom and reward of its own.
This process is a lifelong training in our growing, learning and granting all such forms of discipline in order to yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness. I’m hoping it yields true in this case. 🙂 See Hebrews 12:11
Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Uriah’s wife – Bathsheba and Mary these women were a part of God’s unique providence in preparing for and bringing the Messiah to His people.
Author, Francine Rives writes a novella on each one of these ladies. Listen to quote from the inside cover of her book, “Five women God chose. Each was faced with extraordinary – even scandalous – challenges. Each took great personal risk to fulfill her calling. Each was destined to play a key role in the lineage of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World.”
While I found these books to be enlightening and helpful to strengthen my view of scriptures certainly the best place to start to learn and hear each of these women’s stories is in Scripture itself! ~ Debbie 4 Unfoldedhearts
Tamar a women of hope
Rahab is a woman of faith.
Ruth is a woman of love.
Bathsheba is a woman who received unlimited grace.
Mary is a woman of obedience.