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Category Archives: Autumn Harvest 2014

Come Home


by Deb Tomlian

Published in the Titus Women’s Ministry eNews
December 12, 2014


When the Lord brought back his exiles to Jerusalem,
it was like a dream.
We were filled with laughter,
and we sang for joy.
And the other nations said,
“What amazing things the Lord has done for them.”
Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us!
What joy!

Restore our fortunes Lord,
as streams renew the desert.
Those who plant in tears
will harvest with shouts of joy.
They weep as they go to plant their seed,
but they sing as they return with the harvest.

Psalm 126


         

This is what the Lord of Heaven’s armies says:
“Return to me, and I will return to you”,
says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

Zechariah 1:3

The people of Israel had been taken captive by the people of Babylon. The Israelites had been living in exile because their ancestors, whose hearts were as hard as stone, refused to listen and stubbornly turned away from the words of the prophets; they continued with their wicked ways and their evil practices. In chapters 1-7 of the book of Zechariah, the Lord gives Zechariah eight visions. It is a picture of love, restoration and harvest. Each vision is a picture of the Lord’s passionate love fighting for us.

Several years ago our family had the privilege of going to Europe to live for several months. It was the greatest experience of our lives. However, we would not have said that in the first couple months. You see, we did not know the language. Talking with neighbors, buying groceries (esp. deli items) paying bills, getting gas, playing in the park, taking train trips, going to church, getting an auto part, needing medicine or trying to buy something as little as a screw, all seemed foreign. We did not feel like we were taken captive, but we knew we were not home.

Being taken into captivity doesn’t literally mean we have to be taken into  custody by someone else, although that may be the case. It could be the that we allow the world to take our thoughts, our words and our hearts captive which, in fact, could keep us in bondage. Pain, loss of a job, finances, relationships, misunderstandings, death of a loved one, injustices, broken marriages, wayward children, poor health, etc., can put us into captivity. Prosperity can lead to captivity too. In the book of Zechariah, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies is calling out for us to return to Him. It doesn’t matter where we are, He is saying, “Come home. I am going to restore Jerusalem. I am going to restore you! I love you with a
passionate love and it is strong!” Walk with me as we see Restoration in the book of Zechariah.

As the Lord of Heaven’s Armies is calling the people back to Jerusalem, the temple in Jerusalem will be rebuilt, the city will be restored, and its walls will be walls of fire for the Lord Himself is protecting it. He will be the Glory inside the city; the Lord is calling His people back. The presence of the Lord provided a security that the city would be rebuilt. The Lord sees the young man with the measuring tape and He wants him to know that the city will one day be prosperous again, filled with people and livestock. The Lord promises that anyone who tries to harm Israel will be His target for destruction. The Lord desires us to shout and rejoice for He is coming to live among us. Then he states, Be silent before the Lord, all humanity, for he is springing into action from his holy dwelling (Zechariah 2:13). The Lord works on behalf of all his children. The Lord is King! We see Jeshua being appointed as high priest. Satan throws accusations at him and Jesus Himself intercedes, rejecting the accusations from Satan. The Lord rescues Jeshua. He removes his filthy clothes and gives him fine, new clothing. The Lord places a clean priestly turban on his head. (I like to believe that the clean garments not only represent a clean heart but also a clean mind.) Then the Lord spoke solemnly to Jeshua telling him to be very careful to obey the words of the Lord. Jeshua, the high priest, is a symbol of One yet to come, Jesus, the Messiah, our Hope.

The Lord doesn’t just restore our physical being; He restores our spiritual and mental being too. The Lord watches over us, His eyes are searching the earth. When the Lord implements a plan, there is no mountain big enough to stop what the Lord has set in motion, and so it was with the temple. It is neither by force nor by strength, but by my spirit, says the Lord. So very often, the Lord lets us get into predicaments we cannot handle so He alone can be praised, receiving the glory. It is not about us. It is all about Him!

This Christmas season, explore the book of Zechariah; God’s everlasting love, so passionate and strong, God’s mercy so great, His restoration, Eternal and He Himself, our protection. Jesus is calling you today, come home!

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Compelling Love

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For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge(distinguish, conclude) thus: that if One died for all, then all died…  II Corinthians 5:14-21

Today’s verse holds a perplexing truth for us, written directly to the professing church of Jesus Christ. Paul is (according to the Greek dictionary) in a strait, taken with, afflicted in, arrested by and convinced of the truth from Christ’s love. So much so, he stakes his life on a shaking and life-transforming conclusion: If One died for all, then all died… , died to all of the old way of living, doing, and loving. And as Jesus died for all, those who now live in Christ live no longer for themselves, but for Jesus who died for them and rose again for all!

Today one of the world’s most adamant accusations against Spirit-filled Christians is that of being judgmental. If one was to read Paul’s letter without the anointing of the Holy Spirit, Paul might be considered “judgmental” also.  In I Corinthians Paul doesn’t sugar coat, water down, or overlook the place of the “old life” or carnal practices threatening purity of heart in the church at Corinth. Now in his second letter He clearly affirms and reminds them of the answer to their every crossroad of decision by boldly presenting the truth of the new covenant, a new life in Christ and life in the Spirit.  Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (5:17).

Paul gives a reason for his boldness by declaring that the compelling love of Jesus is the only motivator for his preaching the glorious mystery of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: the ministry of reconciliation, the miracle of purification and the marvel of life transformation. This emphasis in II Corinthians is also to you and me who profess to have His life within us. Do we have and live the same compelling Calvary love of Christ who gave Paul the unrestrained confidence of proclaiming the miraculous truth of Jesus – so all would know Jesus for Who He truly Is, even if it costs us our reputation…our life?

Paul is writing these letters to the Church of Jesus Christ. They are chosen to be ambassadors for Christ in the sacred privilege of proclaiming the gospel. There is nothing judgmental in Paul’s heart, only the compelling love of Christ. He longs for the body of Christ to know, live and remain in the reality of Who He is so that they may overflow Jesus in a culture where every problem, pressure and pagan  practice confronts them.

Like the Corinthians, we have the incredible privilege and challenge of partaking in the God-given ministry of reconciliation. We are in day three of the forty days set aside to intercede for hearts needing His compelling and transforming love. It is fitting for us to hear Paul’s admonition to the Corinth believers: Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you  (II Cor. 13: 5)? We must live the truth, share the truth and pray the truth with Paul and judge thus for  we no longer live for ourselves but in Him who died for all and rose again (I Cor. 5: 15-paraphrased)! Continue Falling into Jesus….PRAY!

 

Things Unseen

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Things Unseen
by Joanna Coppedge

‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him.’BUT it was to us that God revealed these things by His Spirit.

 1 Cor.2:9-10

Daniel 10 overwhelms me. Read it again. We read that The WARRIOR OF LIGHT, who is supposed to come and respond to prayers and meet needs, is delayed. For 21 days Daniel had been feeling completely isolated and in this battle ALONE. He did not hear a word from the throne of grace, not even a glimmer of hope, only silence. Yet he prays on, fasting, mourning, desiring, waiting and unbathed as well (vs. 3).

What are you crying out for passionately? What has so possessed your heart, you don’t eat or bathe, without bringing it to the Father’s attention? Who is on your heart? What people group do you carry to Jesus daily? Has the situation changed? Have you wondered if God has forgotten you? Do you ever feel like Daniel, lonely and alone in the battle (help us, Jesus!)?

In verse 10 Daniel receives this message: YOU ARE NOT ALONE in this battle. From the day Daniel called out, help was sent. The throne of heaven heard the first thought of a petition that agreed with God’s heart and sent a response IMMEDIATELY! But help was delayed for weeks. Sometimes we fail to realize that there is SO MUCH going on in the unseen world. The enemy has tricked us into a fluffy, inconvenient, things don’t go my way view of spiritual warfare. We blow off the battle being fought to the death around us daily, around our children, our husbands, and churches, even our enemies. We ignore it for the most part.

Yet once the warrior of LIGHT breaks through enemy lines and gets to Daniel, he ministers to him so sweetly. “Daniel (insert your first name), You are very precious to God.” Imagine what Daniel might have thought, and how we often feel when prayer seems to be unanswered. “What? I thought He was ignoring me? I thought if he was letting me suffer like this, He didn’t care?!” The whole future of God’s people hangs in the balance, waiting for an understanding of this vision, and God’s message to His man is, you are very precious to me. I LOVE THAT!

So, I don’t know who you are crying out for. I don’t know what burden you have allowed, invited Him to put on your heart, but I do think I know what He thinks of YOU! You are precious! Believe it. It’s a word from the WORD. You are precious! Yes, dirty, hungry, ruffled YOU!

I think believing God is as important as obeying His next command: Do not be afraid. That is a command from the throne of grace, not merely a good suggestion. Do NOT be afraid! The not fearing part was put right in there, as the depth and intensity of spiritual warfare is revealed: I was battling to get to you this whole time. Powers unseen were holding me up. Really. Do you believe that?! Incredible!

Paul tells in our New Testament reading that we need the Holy Spirit to reveal to our spirits the things unseen, the spiritual realities (end of 1 Corinthians 2). Are you willing to ask Jesus what is going on in the spiritual realm around you and your family? Do you feel bold enough to ask for eyes to see? What is the unseen battle in the world He desires you to participate in? You are precious to Him, and you need not fear.

Back in Daniel 10, an overwhelmed and anxious Daniel is touched a second time (LOVE THAT) and is told again not to be afraid because he is precious to the Father, just as we are. Believe that! And as Daniel experienced, the great battle is revealed, and more of the Truth and Word is revealed at the same time! What a joy and hope, to know Him more and see His truth revealed, to see more as He sees!!! We can live as He desires us to, falling forward into more of HIM!

Joanna Coppedge serves Jesus as a missionary mom of four daughters, currently living in Scotland as her husband, Billy pursues further education.

Lord, Take Me to the Fire

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Lord, Take Me to the Fire
by Deborah TomlianThen King Darius sent this message to the people of every race and nationand language throughout the world:
“Peace and prosperity to you! I decree that everyone throughout my kingdom should tremble with fear before the God of Daniel.  For he is the living God, and will endure forever.  His kingdom will never end. 
He rescues and saves his people; he performs miraculous signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth.He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions”

Daniel 6:25-27

 …I watched as thrones were put in place and the Ancient One sat down to judge.  His clothing was as white as snow, his hair like purest wool.  He sat on a fiery throne with wheels of blazing fire, and a river of fire was pouring out, flowing from his presence.Millions of angels ministers to him;many millions stood to attend him. Then the court began its session and the books were opened. 
Daniel 7:9, 10 NLT

Idols! Idols! Idols! They are everywhere.  Every day they are battling for the throne room of my heart and mind.  They come in the form of materialism, money, sex, achievements, family, friends, work, entertainment, self and many more. An Idol is anything that vies for my affections from the One True Lord and King. In the book of Daniel we see much idol worship.  In chapter 3 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were brought before an angry King because they had refused to bow to his god.  King Nebuchadnezzar gave them another chance, again they refused. The king wondered what God could rescue them from his power.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the King,  “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us.  He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t we want to make it clear to you that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up (v.16-18)

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had had an encounter with the living God.  No other God would ever satisfy their souls.

The King, now more angry, demanded that the blazing furnace be turned up seven times the heat.  He ordered his strongest men to bind up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the furnace.  The fire was so hot in the furnace that the soldiers who threw the Hebrew men in were killed. Suddenly, in amazement the King shouted out, “I see four men!   Didn’t we tie up and throw three men in?!” As the king counted, he again came up with four men, and the fourth was like that of the Son of man! The men were unbound, unharmed and walking around the fire. Nebuchadnezzar got as close to the fire as he could and he called each by name recognizing them as servants of the Most High God. He called them to come out and come here (from v. 19-26).

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the fire. They were untouched by the fire; no smell of smoke was upon them, neither their clothing nor their hair was scorched by the fire.

There are times in our lives that the furnace is turned up; we do not have the strength to go through the fire alone.  Three men were thrown into the blazing furnace, four walked around, three men walked out, “Where is the Son of Man?”  … He is still in the fire! We may feel bound, weak, and unsure if He will pull us through, but when we are willing to die for Christ, rather than serve or worship any other god, we have a heart satisfaction that says, “Lord take me to the fire!”

 The Lord’s promises are pure, like silver refined in a furnace, purified seven times over.  Psalm 12:6

Deb Tomlian serves Jesus as a pastor’s wife and mother in Pennsylvania.

From the fields white unto harvest in Africa we are privileged to hear from the heart of another one of our harvesters. This week’s scheduled Autumn Harvest readings so ministered to Kelly Hallahan she wanted to share her gleanings with us. I pray we will all read both Deb’s and Kelly’s  ”grain for gleaning” causing us to fall on our knees before God for His purifying fire in our lives and around the world.

In Psalm 10 we read about the wicked and evil men who prey on the weak and helpless.  There are so many corrupt leaders and politicians around the world!  They are doing as they please and prospering while the people they were chosen to serve suffer in poverty.  But God sees! How my heart aches for all the small people in the world oppressed by wicked leaders.

And, praise the Lord, in Daniel 6 we read that God can put His man (or woman) in high places of authority and accomplish His purposes even when corrupt leaders try to thwart Him.  We are here in Uganda working with university students that we are praying will be Daniels and Esthers in the coming generation!  We are discipling and training the 1% of men and women in Africa who get a university degree and will, by default, become the next leaders of their communities, families, and perhaps, countries!

Even as I pray against corrupt leaders, and beg the Lord to ARISE, I am seeing Him answer as we hear about alumni from our ministry in places of authority (as high as personal advisor to the Vice President of Kenya!)! Praise the living God  who endures forever, whose kingdom will not be destroyed and whose dominion will never end!

Grateful to kneel alongside you, even from Uganda!

Kelly Hallahan serves Jesus through WGM Uganda. She and her husband Josh focus on discipleship of university students. Read more at Hand in Hand with the Hallahans. 

20/20 Vision

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autumn label correctedBehold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.
John 4:35
Titus Women’s Autumn Harvest has begun. I am so delighted you have joined this tremendous privilege of falling forward into His presence through the study of His Holy Word, and enjoying communion with Him through prayer. While reading the first scripture for these twelve weeks of autumn  I was immediately reminded of the absolute necessity of knowing my place in the entire scope of God’s intended plan for man. In this week’s reading of Exodus 32-34, the powerful object lessons and shadows of the life to come in Christ are beautifully pictured through Moses and the people of Israel. I was amazed again how the perspective and responses to our entire life and every life around us is based on how we “see,” and how we see is dependent upon who is the “god” of our heart.  Moses “saw” the people’s problem – sin. Moses remembered God’s Word and understood the divine intended plan for Israel: to be God’s treasured people. Moses “saw” their only need – God’s forgiveness, and he “saw” their only hope – God’s Hesed (Hebrew for unending,unfailing) love of mercy, compassion, pardon, abounding kindness and truth. In other words, Moses knew the only future for Israel was to intercede for God’s pardon and ask for His abiding presence.While we fall forward into Jesus, it is essential to remember when God is my God all perspectives, responses, victories and hopes for me and for those among whom I live are centered in the Son’s atoning blood of pardon and indwelling abiding presence – the Holy Spirit of Jesus. Only the Holy Spirit of Jesus gives a heart to hunger, ears to hear, a mind to understand and eyes to see with 20/20 vision.The harvest of righteousness for us and for the world comes only as His righteousness is living IN us. This brings pleasure to the heart of God and guarantees a bountiful eternal yield.


Extra Sowing: Read John 15, Acts 6-9, &
I Corinthians 2: 9-16


The following are suggested tools for gleaning the blessings while falling into Jesus through His Word and the communion of prayer. You will be prepared as one of His true laborers “seeing” hearts white unto harvest.
PRAY! Trust the Holy Spirit to teach you the truth from His Word (John 14:16,17,26.) Who is the author of this book? Study his life and personal encounters with Jesus before and after his authorship. Who is this passage addressed to and for what purpose? Read some of the before and after passages/chapters to understand the whole context of the passage. Look for the principles, privileges, promises, patterns and commands that were given. Remember, all of God’s Word is a promise – in other words, it WILL take place, just as He says. And, ALL of God’s promises are yes in Christ Jesus (II Corinthians 1:20).
Write down the verses that speak to you. Ask of Him; “Jesus, what do you want me to receive from this passage? Pray this verse to be a reality for you or for those for whom you are praying. Apply and obey every insight you receive.  Remember, there is much mystery to the Kingdom of God, but He will give you understanding of what you need to know now (Deuteronomy 29:29).

Use your concordance or Bible dictionary as helpful tools for interpretation, but not in place of the Holy Spirit. PLEASE allow Him the privilege and you the delight to SEE the truth of God’s Word from a hungry heart, anointed eyes, and yielded will in Jesus (John 14:26; Psalm 119:33,34; Psalm 25:4-5)

Pray: “Search my heart, is there anything displeasing to you in my thoughts, words or deeds” (Psalm 139:23-24) ? How does the scripture reading for today affect my interactions with my spouse, children, friends, parents, co-workers, enemies? Pray and, as Jesus instructs you, obey (James 1:22-24).

As the Holy Spirit leads, share the truths you are receiving and applying into the practical situations of everyday living with someone (I Peter 3:15).

You can be sure of this: ‘the Lord set apart the godly for Himself. The Lord will answer when I call to Him… The boastful shall not stand in Your sight! (Psalm 4:3 & 5:5).

 

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