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Monthly Archives: January 2015

Watch With Me…

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Part 3

by Linda Boyette


But Jonah rose up to flee… from the presence of the Lord.
Jonah 1:3
The sweetest, mysterious and marvelous truth of God’s covenant relationship in sacred fellowship with man is to realize He desires both our hearts and our human clay pots to participate as watchmen/watchwomen with Him and to be the chosen vessels for the action in watching; His Holy Spirit doing His miraculous work through the likes of you and me. Last week’s reading relayed the responses of three specific Old Testament watchers living in sacred fellowship with God. Nehemiah, Mordecai and Esther saw the plight of a nation, heard the despair of the people, and understood their own desperate need to seek the One and only Almighty God for strength and directions in their watch!

There is another watchman, Jonah, who nearly missed his moment of privileged participation. He saw darkness, he heard the cries, he understood the need and he ran. The Word tells us he ran from sin-filled Nineveh and he ran from God’s summoning presence. Running from God headed him right towards death – for everyone involved. Even the world understood this sobering outcome (Jonah 1). I’m so grateful this time it only led Jonah to the mouth of a chosen, huge and hungry whale that listened to the Master. Praise to the watching God who understood and knew Jonah would only be satisfied, complete and safe when He remained in the presence of the one covenant–keeping God. Jonah had not yet learned that his participation as a watchman is merely to yield to the will and way of God’s Word. The Holy Spirit of Father and Son does the work – every time!

God believed it necessary to share with us a bit more of Jonah’s story. It took a body-shaking trauma for Jonah to come to senses.  ‘While I was fainting away, I remembered the Lord and my prayer came to You, into Your holy temple’…Then the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah up onto the dry land (Jonah 2:7; 10). Even then Jonah’s heart was not yet one with the merciful heart of God.  When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it. But it greatly displeased Jonah and he became angry” (Jonah 3:10; 4:1).

Jonah has taught me an unforgettable truth. God’s watchfulness is never just about me. His love-filled. perfectly good intent for me far surpasses anything I could ever imagine. He chooses to include me to invite the world to Him. Astounding, incredible!

Oh dear beloved Father, fill me, anoint me by Your Holy Spirit to watch with a heart like yours; pure, faithful, holy love.

Wisdom Speaks:  He who watches his way preserves his life…The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the innermost parts of his being. Loyalty and truth preserve … by righteousness [Covenant loyalty].
Proverbs 17: 17; 20:27


Be sure to download your copy of Praying for the United States, which will be used for our prayer emphasis beginning Sunday, February 1, 2015.


 Winter Watch Links

Women’s Conference Announcement

WomensConf

Watch With Me

The Unseen, Unspoken
and Unchanging Status of Covenant Love!
Part Two
by Linda Boyette


Come, and begin to live; learn how to be wise
Proverbs 9:5(NLT).
The winter watch is always a challenge. There is not much evidence of activity among earth’s residents. The air is cold, and the winds are harsh. Days are dreary; nights are dark and extra-long. Adding to the dismal atmosphere, the seeds, sown after autumn’s harvest with such fervent zeal in anticipation of next year’s yield, are now hidden beneath the frozen earth, covered with ice and snow. Even the animals stay buried in their secluded dugouts, unobserved and unattended, sound asleep. Mankind is not excited to face the cold either and looks anxiously to old grandfather groundhog to declare winter is about to end.

The truth is, in the winters of life, amidst the darkest places, facing difficult problems, dealing with deadly pain and living among despairing people, the unseen Spirit of God is mightily at work – watching! We live by faith not by sight, and it is especially urgent in these seasons that we are invited, with grace-filled faith, to live “watchful.”

Our Winter Watch reading gives encouragement as Wisdom Speaks:  But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn that shines brighter and brighter until the full day. My son, give attention to my words (voice); Incline your ear to my sayings (ears). Do not let them depart from your sight (eyes); Keep them in the midst of your heart (center), for they are life to those who find them and health to all his body. Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flows the spring of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth and put devious speech (lips) far from you. Let your eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze (eyelids) be fixed straight in front of you. Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left; turn your foot from evil Proverbs 4:18, 20-27 (NASV).

God is a “watchful” God. As we discussed last week, watch is the essence of a covenant. God, a covenant keeping God, lives in the continual state of being at watch. He is also proactive – watching by working all things together for our best interest (Romans 8:28, 29). God is for us! He is keeping watch over us; He remains on guard. However, if we desire to know the reality of life under His watch, we too must be “watchful” people, people in a state of watch. Why? God has one good will, one perfect way and one divine work that is absolutely the best – HIS! We are created for, intended to, and offered the source of knowing His will, being made “in Their image” and living in “Their” likeness. This is why we have Christmas. This is why Jesus went to Calvary. This is why the Father sent the Holy Spirit of Jesus at Pentecost. The Holy Spirit – the Spirit of God the Father and God the Son – is the Spirit of Holy Love. He is the One Spirit who allows us to “see/watch” with eyes of divine love, think with the mind of Godly wisdom and pours into us the eternal life Who is the Light of men. God calls us into a covenant relationship of lavish love; a relationship of sacred fellowship with Father and Son and Holy Spirit; a fellowship of participation  in “watchfulness.” This invitation is not for a fleeting, momentary decision to be His. God is inviting us to an eternal life-changing encounter with Himself, receiving His Holy presence IN Jesus to live IN us every moment of every day, filling, filling, filling our center, our minds, our eyes, ears and mouth. Such Spirit-filled living stimulates, equips and empowers us to keep “watchful,” yielding every aspect of life into in HIS Watch of Holy Love! This is the perfect will of God! This is knowing Jesus! He never demands His will. He never forces His presence. He invites us into His sacred fellowship!

Wisdom speaks: “Remain here and keep watch with Me…”
Matthew 26:38b

Watch!

Beams of Hope

The Unseen, Unspoken
and Unchanging Status of Covenant Love!
Part One

by Linda Boyette


  For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He watches all his paths.
Proverbs 5:21
I have learned this week that in our English language dictionary the little word watch is used both as a noun and verb. I’ve also discovered through God’s Word the term watch receives its foundation straight from the character of The Almighty Holy God whose heart overflows with unfailing, unending love to you, me, and all who will receive Him.  Watching is a trait of His likeness and is the essence of the promise for living in a covenant with another. As a noun, the word watch comes from the same root as wake, which see. The noun is a state of attendance without sleep, giving close observation and vigilance against danger and being on guard, of keeping and protecting against an enemy. The verbal usage of watch is to be awake or continue without sleep. The action overflows right out of its being – seeing, guarding, to have in ones keeping, to lie in wait for, to tend, to observe in order to detect, prevent from enemy and to “see” the progress of. WOW! What a clear description of the God who neither slumbers nor sleeps, who sees, cares, guards, keeps and lays down His life for His sheep.

Often times I desire and seek to live in the fulfilled promises of the New Testament Covenant without asking the Holy Spirit of Jesus to give me His wisdom and understanding of God’s intent in His Word declared and demonstrated in the Old Testament. In this week’s reading, we are given, at great length, the truth about wisdom and living “watchful” to the intentions of God. Solomon admonishes his readers to cry out, search for, give ear to and live in the wisdom of God, presenting key verses in these Old Testament Proverbs to prepare us for the daily reality of living in God’s watchful eye of wisdomJESUS!

Wisdom speaks: From everlasting I was established, from the beginning, from the earliest times of the earth… For he who finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord (Proverbs 8:23, 35). Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you (Proverbs 1: 23b). For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding (Proverbs 2: 6).

Do you remember the wonderful truth of last week’s II Corinthians 1:20? All of God’s promises are yes or fulfilled in Christ Jesus. Jesus allows all of us to participate in the life promised in Proverbs. And since we are His children, we will share His treasures- for everything God gives to His Son, Christ, is ours, too. But if we are to share His glory, we must also share His suffering  (Romans 8:17 NLT).

In other words we must have the Spirit of JESUS within us speaking, guiding, feeding, loving and thinking if we are going to know the reality of Godly wisdom and desire to live in His “watchful” eye. The Holy Spirit brings to us the One, Christ, in whom lie hidden all the treasure of wisdom and knowledge  (Colossians 2:3). The Spirit of the Triune God takes up His residence in us! Incredible! Unbelievable! We can have the intimacy of His watchful, loving and caring eye every second of everyday living within us. Only the Holy Spirit of Jesus can make us truly wise as we live under the “watchfulness” of Jesus while He pours into us His love, His hope, His peace and His joy.

Wisdom Speaks: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…In Him was life and the life was the Light of men (John 1:1,3). The Spirit is God’s guarantee that He will give us everything He promised and that He has purchased us to be His own people. This is just one more reason for us to praise our glorious God(Ephesians 1:14 NLT).

Watchful Challenge:  Read the following and be encouraged to continue your  Winter Watch with joy!

Deuteronomy 11:11-12 (NASV)
Jeremiah 24:6; 31:10
Matthew 24:42
Read Proverbs 8 again.
Continue your  WINTER WATCH with Joy!

Welcoming Winter Watch

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Marblehead Lighthouse SunriseWaiting in the Hope of God’s Promise – Part 1
He’s Coming!
by Linda Boyette

Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name IMMANUEL, which translated means, ‘God with us’  (Matthew 1: 23).Well done, faithful beloved one of the Father and Son. You have completed the Autumn Harvest 2014 and are ready to enter the Winter Watch 2015. Included in God’s renewed covenant with Noah was the assurance the seasons of the earth would not cease until we enter the new heaven and earth (Genesis 8: 22). Winter actually invites the New Year in. To finish out the old and set the New Year aright, God in all His goodness allows us the great and glorious celebration of Christ’s birth.

The preparation for the Winter Watch has caused me to ask, and allow the Holy Spirit to do some fresh and serious searching and cleansing of my heart, soul and mind once again. There are eternal lessons we can learn from the Christmas Narrative in God’s Word. Many missed His coming by rejecting the OT prophecy, fearing society’s rejection, being unwilling to be separated from the world and because of plain old self-centered living. But instead of focusing on those who missed His coming, I would rather concentrate on the ones who  watched for, waited on and saw the fulfilled Word of God.  The lives of Mary, Joseph, the Wise Men, Shepherds, Simeon and Anna displayed what truly matters in this lifetime: living hope waiting upon the Lord in worshipful submission. Their watching for His promise was based in their hope upon the Word of WHO they were waiting for: GOD in FLESH! They knew the life to be received from His life given is enough! All they desired was Jesus.  Not one of these dear saints of Christmas entered in with the expectation of “getting” anything other than Jesus; in fact it cost them everything earthly. But God assured them that Immanuel, God with Us, sufficed. He was the salvation from everything but life… and life is WHO they longed for- Eternal life- JESUS CHRIST – the SAVIOR FOR ALL THE WORLD.

Personally, as I  approach this season of watching and waiting, I realized often times my hope is built around receiving what I am asking for instead of seeking Jesus to  know and love Him, believing that my hope should be in Him alone. Mary was filled with hope and praise because she was waiting with her hope placed in one promise: God’s Word.  And blessed is she who believed, because there will be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her from the Lord  Luke 1:45. We have His spoken Word, His written Word and the witness within of the Living Word. Will I again and again identify with Mary and believe? Will I wait for the One who is here now, alive, pouring His Spirit into my life, knowing He will supply every need, meet every desire and fulfill every promise given under heaven?  For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding ‘Yes,’II Corinthians1: 20a.

Am I willing to relinquish all of “my” earthly wants and fleshly needs to Jesus alone who is life eternal? Jesus IS Enough. Is He Enough for me? AMEN and AMEN! “And through Christ, our ‘AMEN’ (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for His glory.” II Corinthians 1:20b

JOYOUS CHRISTmas and Hope-filled New Year! 


Winter Watch Links

Christmas Edition

CHRISTmas Is Our Winter Watch
by Linda Boyette
  There is a sound of the shepherds’ wail, for their glory is ruined…  Zechariah 11:3a

In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keepingwatch over their flock by night.  And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;  for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”  And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.”  So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger.

As you keep watch follow the shepherds …
Come in a hurry and find your way to CHRIST JESUS!
JOY TO YOU!
JOY TO THE WORLD!
THE LORD IS COME!

May this holy season be filled with unspeakable joy, and this coming year filled with all the richness that comes from knowing Christ, the new-born King!

Waiting in Hope

Marblehead Lighthouse Sunrise
Winter Watch
1-2-2015
Waiting in the Hope of God’s Promise -Part 2
He is Here! 
by Linda Boyette

  Listen one more time to the story of Simeon. And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law, then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said, “Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace, According to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation, Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, A LIGHT OF REVELATION TO THE GENTILES, and the glory of Your people Israel” Luke 2: 25-32

Simeon built His entire life upon God’s Word and in doing so he abounded with hope. As he watched for the Old Testament promise of God to appear the Word tells us Simeon believed, obeyed, and  worshiped Almighty in God in His temple. In the power of the Holy Spirit, the eternal life-giving Spirit, the equipping Spirit in Mary, the rejoicing Spirit in Elizabeth, the interceding Spirit in Anna and the very Spirit of God Who is in JESUS, Simeon remained faithful. In the fullness of God’s time, Simeon saw God’s promise fulfilled. He was the first loyal Old Testament follower to know the New Testament reality. He was expecting the Messiah and He saw Jesus! He was longing for peace and He received the Prince of Peace. He was holding on for his fellow man and he presented to them the HOPE of the world.

Christmas is the sweetest reminder of our privilege to enter each day of this New Year watching with expectant joy for the fulfillment of each and every one of God’s promises to be fulfilled here on earth because Jesus is here.  God now in human flesh is the Father’s absolute promise of His unfailing and everlasting love. Christ’s birth, life, death and resurrection made possible for you and me to know all of God the Father’s provision of real life, eternal life, His intended life – for the whole world! Remember Paul’s encouraging words to us; “For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding ‘Yes!” II Corinthians 1:20. Yes, indeed! We wait not in a hope for things to come. We live in the One is here, who is hope, and who is the source of our hope. When we place our faith IN Jesus Christ, He Himself is the presence of promise that all things are provided to us for godly living.

As we enter this new year keeping the Winter Watch, let us ask of Jesus to give us and keep us IN the Holy Spirit evident in Simeon, the rest of our “Christmas Cast;” the Spirit in Peter, James, John, Paul, and I added edit one and final. in the thousands of others before us who chose to believe all they need is Jesus.  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…abounding in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (I Peter 1: 3; Romans 15:13b)