YOSA….Gift Given, Wages Paid


YOSA?? What is that? I will tell you later… but first!!!

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Today, Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter. This religious holiday commemorates the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem in the days before his crucifixion. The people cried out, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Hosanna meaning: “save I pray thee; keep; preserve” (whenever a person would come to a king for help with his needs, he would use the word Hosanna….. so here the people are acknowledging Him as king and deliverer. The one that is able to help them with their needs)
It was a common custom in many lands in the ancient Middle East to cover, in some way, the path of someone thought worthy of the highest honor with branches and leaves.

All of the Gospels report that people gave Jesus this honor. In Mark, Matthew, and Luke they are reported as laying their garments and cut branches on the street. John is the only Gospel to specifically mention palm branches. The palm branch was a symbol of success and victory. (Revelation 7:9 “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and PALMS in their hands;”). Because of this, the detail of the palm branches and the scene of the crowd greeting Jesus as he entered Jerusalem by waving palm branches, and carpeting his path with them, has given the day its name. Palm Sunday. But who was this King? How can we verify His purpose for entering Jerusalem at this time? Was it to heal and deliver? Hhhmmm!!

Let’s go back to the known beginning of this “King”. Let’s take a look at the angels’ joy at the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. Luke 2:13-14 says, “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,(not singing), Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

This scripture is very familiar to most of us, yet there is a lot of misunderstanding about what it’s saying. Some translations say they were proclaiming “good will among men” or “peace to men of good will.” Basically, this passage has been interpreted that Jesus was bringing peace on earth among people. WRONG! Looking at the world today, that cannot be right. There is no peace (no conflict, no unrest) in the world, the nations, the cities, the towns, the neighborhoods, or sometimes even our own families. That’s not why these angels were praising God. If that interpretation were true, then Jesus’ own words in Matthew 10:34-36 would contradict this. He said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” Jesus Himself said He was not sent to bring peace on the earth among people. The peace that the angels were praising God for (Luke 2:13-14) was peace BETWEEN God and man. They were announcing the end of God’s war on sin. Peace now reigns between God and man.

Prior to Jesus’ coming, God’s wrath was against man for his sins. But yet it wasn’t total wrath. Even in the Old Testament, we see God’s mercy and grace towards us. Yet the Old Testament Law was a ministry of wrath (Rom. 4:15; 2 Cor. 3:7, and 9), and man’s sins were held against him. The Law came not to save mankind but condemn mankind. But when Jesus came, God quit holding man’s sins against him. This is exactly what 2 Corinthians 5:19 and 21 say, “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation…”For he hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”

The word “reconciliation” is talking about making peace, bringing back to a previous time of togetherness. God would no longer hold us accountable for our sins. Instead, He imputed our sins to Jesus, making Jesus accountable for our sins. Jesus became what we were so we could become what He was—the righteousness of God. Jesus drew all the judgment of God unto Himself. He not only bore our sins; He actually BECAME sin (2 Cor. 5:21). Bearing or carrying our sin and becoming our sin are two different things entirely.

Isaiah gives us a clear declaration of who Jesus is. He says “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called wonderful Counselor, mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isa 9:6).

But who were these Shepherds that the angels made the announcement found in Luke 2:11-12? How did they know where to go to find this babe? There did not seem to be ANY hesitation to where they went. After all it was not like the angels gave them a location or direction to go. The answer is simple. These were not ordinary shepherds. They were “Priestly Shepherds” and the sheep they were guarding were “Sacrificial Lambs” which were used during the Passover. Because these particular sheep were used for sacrifice they had to be watched 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The sacrifice had to be perfect. Anyone wanting to obtain a lamb for the Passover would come to Bethlehem to be guaranteed of getting “the best”. Bethlehem was considered in that day the “Holding Pen” for the “Sacrificial Lambs”. On this particular night, Bethlehem became the “Holding Pen” for “GOD’S” “Sacrificial Lamb” in the person of Jesus Christ. How appropriate then that the angels would appear first to these “Priestly Shepherds”. How even more significant that they (the shepherds) would be the ones to first take watch over “THE” sacrificial lamb Jesus Christ. If this be the case, the nativity scene we see at Christmas with the baby Jesus surrounded by cattle, and sheep and donkeys is not a reasonable assumption to make.

And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.O tower of the flock” –

Migdal Eder (see photo) was the watchtower that guarded the Temple flocks those who were being raised to serve as sacrificial animals in the Temple. These were not just any flock and herd. The shepherds who kept them were men who were specifically trained for this royal task. They were educated in what an animal that was to be sacrificed had to be and it was their job to make sure that none of the animals were hurt, damaged, or blemished.

The tower of the flock was where the shepherds would watch over their flock from the second story and where they birthed the newborn lambs in the lower portion of the two story tower there in the fields of Bethlehem. It was in the lower portion of this watchtower that the birthing of the lambs would take place. The shepherds would wrap the newborn lambs in SWADDLING CLOTHES to protect the body of the lambs which would be offered as sacrifice at the Temple just four miles away in Jerusalem. Wrapped in swaddling clothes to keep the new lambs without spot or blemish, they would be laid in a manger until they had calmed down. The prophetic significance of Migdal Edar is understood by the priestly shepherds. They immediately knew where to go to find the newborn Messiah, Jesus Christ. He would be found where the angel had told them, wrapped in SWADDLING CLOTHES lying in a manger in the lower floor of the tower of the flock, Migdal Eder, and He would be there as the Lamb to be sacrificed to take away the sin of the world. Our Lord Jesus was born in Bethlehem where all sacrificial lambs were born, and our Lord Jesus died in Jerusalem where all sacrificial lambs were killed. Oh now we see why Jesus is arriving at this time, HIS ordained time, in Jerusalem.

In John 1:29 – he says “Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.” In other words this is no ordinary man, this is the “Lamb of God”. So why was this “Lamb of God” going to Jerusalem at this particular time, the time of Passover? What other events significantly point out the fact that He indeed is the ‘sacrificial’ Lamb of God? We shall see.

How Ya Living?


I want to continue a little with where I ended on my last post. I do not know about you but I want the Word of God to be manifested in my life in all areas. I believe that His Word is true and if that be the case we should experience the fullness of it. This is a journey with infinite possibilities through Him.

Galatians 2:20 says, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” So my question is….. How ya living? No, not if you are a believer or not. Not if you are saved or a follower of Christ, but how are you living as far as faith is concern? In the past entry I said there is a difference between having faith IN someone and having the faith OF someone.

When I have faith IN someone I look for them to accomplish whatever I might need. When I have the faith OF someone it does not negate my faith in that person but it empowers me to know I can accomplish the same as the one I have faith IN. Yes, we can maybe understand this when we look and have faith in each other, but dare I think I can have the faith OF Christ? Well that question can be answered by your belief of your position. Are you outside of Him, separated from Him? What does Acts 17:28 say? “For in Him we live, and move, and have our being;” We cannot be “in” yet separated “out” at the same time. Not only are we in Him but He is in us. Christ lives in me…wow! So I must always start from a position that I am in Him, and He in me and I then have access to the source, even the source OF faith.

The Apostle Paul after giving credibility to his call says in Ephesians 3:12 that “we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith OF him.”

Ok, maybe some are saying what’s the point, “in or of”? The only important thing is having faith? Hhhmmm… I do not know about that. Let me speak for myself, MY faith has more often fallen short more times than I want to admit. The Father said to me one time, “Douglas… YOUR faith gets in the way.” Go figure.

This might appear simplistic but let’s look at the definition of the 2 words, “in” and “of”.

The definition of “in” is multiple. It is used to indicate inclusion within space, a place, or limits. An example would be John went for a run IN the park. The word “in” is used to indicate inclusion within something abstract or immaterial, such as the trees will blossom IN the spring. “In” can be used to indicate inclusion within an occurrence during a period or limit of time, such as” back in the day” or “I need for you to have that task done IN ten minutes”. Finally, “in” can be used to indicate limitation or qualification, condition, relation, and action, such as to speak IN a whisper or to be similar IN appearance. In all of these definitions of the word “in” what stands out to you? What is the common thread running throughout this definition? You are correct…..LIMITATION and SEPARATION!

The definition prescribed to the word “of” is also multiple. It is used to indicate derivation, origin, or source such as a piece OF cake. “OF” is used to indicate cause, motive, or reason such as to die OF hunger. Finally, “of” is used to indicate material, component parts, substance, or contents such as a scarf made OF silk or a desk made OF mahogany wood. What is the common thread running throughout this definition? You are correct again… SAMENESS and CONNECTION!

When we take a look at the “in faith” versus “of faith” using the above definitions it would appear the “in faith” definition would provoke a question. How long do I have faith “in” someone? What is the limit? Even though I am “in” it, I am not a part of it; in fact I am apart from it. (Hhhmmm, that is good… I need to stop and think on that myself). So, if I only have faith “in” Jesus is there a limit to this faith based upon condition, relation and action? Is there a time limit? You know what I mean. Lord, I am waiting and trusting on You BUT if You do not bring me a mate by January 2014, I might have to go find one myself.

When we are not of Him, or outside of Him, we walk by our own faith, our own precepts, but Paul in Galatians 2:20 says wait a minute, “the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith OF the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” When I am in Him, I must have a “nu mind” to see that I no longer live and no longer walk by my own faith, which vacillates and is EXTREMELY fragile but I live by the faith OF the Son of God, which is of the same substance and component parts of the whole. My “nu mind” faith then says if God never fails and I am a part of Him, then I never fail. All I do is win! (..that is a message I ministered on a few years ago.) My faith says I can’t but the faith OF the Son of God says “I can do ALL things”, on my own… no, through Christ who strengthens me. The original Greek text (Philippians 4:13) says it this way, “ALL I am strong in the one EMPOWERING me.

I think that is what the Apostle Peter understood when he meets the lame man sitting at the temple entrance in Acts chapter 3. Notice Peter said, “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” What did Peter have? I believe he had the “faith of” Jesus Christ. Again, we must understand that His Name is given to us to use in authority, as representatives, as a source. I notice Peter did not pray to God. He did not ask the Father to do it. He used his authority given to him by Christ. Once we grasp all that Christ has given to us, we will see our mindset change and we will not have a “let’s get Jesus to do it” mentality but we also will walk in a “rise up” faith OF Christ. We will speak to our mountains, our storms, ourselves. 1 John 4:17 “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have BOLDNESS in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world.” I pray that the Lord helps us to live by the faith OF the Son of God. So…How ya living?

It’s raining, pouring, yet Jesus is snoring! (Part 3 of 3)



So what have we seen so far? On a sunny day, we have Jesus teaching along a seaside shore. We have a boat ride invitation with the destination being the other side. We have willing people accepting Jesus’s invitation to get on the boat. We have others who are intrigued just enough to follow along in their own boats. We have calm seas, and then in an instant we have stormy weather. We have wind and waves that are threatening to overtake the boat. We curiously have Jesus sleeping and the disciples panicking. We have TROUBLE. Oh, we also have accusation. Let’s not leave that out. There is nothing like being accused of being unjust, uncaring and judged unfavorably when it is nowhere near the truth. Most importantly we have Jesus who is on board and in the midst of all that is going on.

Storms, I am sure on the sea are no fun. I have never experienced one when I was in the middle of the sea and hope not too. The closest I have gotten to that experience is through the movies. I remember watching a movie called “The Perfect Storm” which is about fishermen who are caught in the midst of a horrific storm on the ocean. The scenes are so realistic you almost get seasick just watching the movie. It is good. One curious question comes to mind. How is it that the disciples are so fearful in this storm? After all they should be used to encountering storms on the sea. Some were fishermen and I am sure that this is not their first storm experience. What is it about this storm that brings them into such a panic? Oh I am beginning to see it now. It not necessarily the storm itself that causes such panic but is the circumstance that surrounds the storm that can bring new depth to the intensity of the turmoil. I am sure you can relate. When you are given a pink slip from a job and it is just yourself that you are responsible for, however uncomfortable and distressing the situation is, it does not compare to having the same situation to happen but this time you have a wife and young children you are directly responsible for. Circumstances have changed. Circumstances like the natural changes of life precipitated by getting older that are beyond our own control, the changes on your job, financial struggles and setbacks and health problems. In the midst of this we sometime forget that God is the God of any circumstance we might face and the circumstances of the storm will not compromise, nor negate the destination, the goal, His word has declared for your life. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” God will help you get through your current set of circumstances that you are facing right now. All we must do is WAKE UP THE WORD within us! Bolts of lightning, loud thunder, strong winds, waves and torrential rains were all circumstances trying to derail the preordained destination, but those things did not stifle the faithfulness of Christ.

Did you know that storm winds are mostly counterclockwise in circulation? The winds in a hurricane, tropical storm, cyclone, and any cyclonic storm in the northern hemisphere blow in a counterclockwise direction.

Let’s look at Mark 4:39-40. These two verses are where I want to pull my final three points. The King James Version says “And He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And He said unto them, why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?”

1 – “He arose and rebuked the wind”
2 – “And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.”
3 – “Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?”

Point 1 – “He arose and rebuked the wind”

“Jesus, wake up! Get up Jesus!” Can you hear them above the external storm? Jesus rises up and rebuked the wind. “The original Greek said “having been thoroughly raised He admonished the wind and He said to the sea be silent, be muzzled.” The disciples are made conscious of their fragile humanity in the presence of this storm. Jesus, the Lord of the winds and waves, deepens His relationship with His disciples by using His power in the service of compassion for them and by using the storm to build up their faith. “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind and the waves died down and it was completely calm and serene. Here the kicker, a Nu Mind moment, maybe it’s just how I think, but Jesus says “Quiet! Be Still!” His words are so powerful that ALL of the storms ceased their howling and became calm. Yes in my mind there were two storms represented at that moment. They are the external storm which is easy to see and recognize in this story and the internal storm that the disciples are illustrating. I wonder which storm is more important for Jesus to address. Again, this is just me thinking in print, so to speak, so bear with me. Could it be His main target was the internal storm but because of who He is the external storm recognizes the authority in His voice and it lines up also? I was thinking of a situation where the kids and the dog are yelling, barking and disturbing your peace. (smile) You cannot take it anymore and you just say, sit down and be quiet and both the dog and the kids sit and become quiet. There is one command, yet two different entities obeying the one command, recognizing the voice of authority and lining up with its directive.
One more thing, the Bible states “He arose and rebuked the winds”. Why did He not just say those same words “peace, be still” lying down, turn over and go back to sleep? I told you, I think of stuff, real stuff. Would not His words have been just as effective? I am just saying. What is the significance of Him standing? I believe Jesus stood in order to give illustration that He stands alongside His people, in every situation, to give them encouragement, peace and strength. He does not consider Himself so much, so Holy, that He refuses to stand alongside you in whatever circumstances you are in. Just to know He is standing with you, by you and in you should encourage each follower of Christ. Not only does He stands but He speaks, not from a lazy, I really do not have time to be bothered position, but He speaks from a position of authority, dominance, togetherness and power. Standing alongside you!

Point 2 – “And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.”

Jesus arose and said “Quiet, be still and calm down”. Remember I said storm winds are mostly counterclockwise in circulation. To be counter is to be against something else. Which storm REALLY was counter to the destination given by Jesus? I submit to you it was the storm inside that was creating the hindrance more than the external. Can you not hear the winds howling, “We are not going to make it?” “This looks bad.” “We are going down”. “We are finished”. “In all of my years, I have never seen something this bad”. “We are going to die.” All these affirming words are creating reality. The more they talked, the worse it got both in their minds and imagination and ultimately their reality. When we recognize the difference between the external and the internal storms we will find that the internal is much more powerful than the external. What if Jesus ONLY spoke to the external storm in this story? Not that the sea had any perception, but to show that the power of His voice can reach the elements which are without feelings and the ability to make decisions. Would that have abated the internal storms of the disciples? What if Jesus NEVER spoke to the external storm in this story? Could He not have called a “quiet, calm down” result to the internal storm raging within the disciples? Fast forward to today. What if He does not change the external circumstances in your life? Can He not give you peace that passes all understanding? Can this peace be so impacting that friends and family wonder how you are making it through and how you are so calm and content even in the midst of the storm? God still reigns over the storm. The voice, the expression of God will still prevail in every aspect of every storm we might encounter. The “peace” He speaks is not an exemption from storms but it is being assured in the Word of Jesus and His plan for you and a knowing that He is with you, in the boat. King David put it this way, “yeah though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me”. Let me add… standing! In nature, storms of all types have created the beautiful landscapes and sceneries we now find so breath taking. Let’s have a “nu mind” set and be grateful for those storms that are in His control and allow them to shape and create us a more perfect vessel to illustrate His Glory.

Point 3 – “Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?”

Ok here, you have to allow me to be me. In my mind I can imagine at least one or two of the disciples saying to themselves or whispering to each other “No he didn’t. Tell me I did not hear what I heard him say.” The original Greek puts Jesus words this way. “And He said to them, why cowards are you? Not yet you have trust?” Maybe this is Peter’s thought, “Ok Jesus, who are you calling a coward? Just because my voice was as high pitched as an eight year old girl on a roller coaster ride, does not mean I am a coward, well not really… I am just saying.” ((Smile)… I know, pray for me)

Before I proceed, there is something significant in the order of Jesus’s actions. He speaks to the storm first before speaking to His disciples. Jesus is considerate enough to remove the danger or at least the noise of the storm before administering the rebuke and ultimately the lesson presented by the storm. The disciples would not have been in a state of hearing and listening if the storm causing the distraction, either external, internal or both had not been addressed. Now that He had their full attention He says “Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?” In today’s vernacular He says “What was up with that?” I do not think it was their natural anxiety of danger that He is addressing. After all we are not robots. (I just heard somebody reading this entry say…thank you) But I believe He is addressing their mistrust, their unbelief, while in the midst of the storm, concerning what He had previously said about their destination before the storm arose. Most interpretations of this verse say, “Why are ye fearful, O ye of LITTLE faith?” You see they had to have had some faith IN Jesus. Who did they wake up? Who did they turn too? But they only had a LITTLE faith. Their faith fell short in the power to dispel fear, mistrust and unbelief in the presents of the storm. I am personally not condemning them. How many times have my faith fallen short, or even yours? The strength of our faith is shown in our actions despite our natural tendency to be afraid when we are in a storm.

The disciples had a little faith IN Jesus but they did not have the faith OF Jesus. There is a difference. Now LITTLE here is not dealing with the quantity of the faith they possessed from the Father. It is dealing with the extension of the faith they possess. I am always confused when Christians pray like the disciples in Luke 17 “Increase our faith”, as if the Father rations it out a little at a time. Jesus in His response in Luke 17 said if you had faith of grain of a mustard seed you could move this tree, this mountain. You just need to use the measure of faith He has given to all men. Use what you got and you will find you have MORE than enough. For the past few months the Father has been speaking to me about how about how OUR faith gets in the way. This is just me and I would appreciate any feedback on this, but I can have faith IN Jesus, yet lack the faith OF Jesus. If the disciples had the faith OF Jesus, the storm, with its waves and rocking back and forth would have lullabied them to sleep like it did Christ. Why? Because He said let’s go to the other side. His faith is not dissuaded or detoured by circumstances. That is why He tells us to “say to the mountain” not pray and ask Jesus to say to the mountain. When we have faith IN someone we rely on that person to do the work, when we have the faith OF someone we walk in the authority of that person to do the work.
I wonder what would have happened if the disciples full in the faith OF Jesus would have said to storm “Quiet, be still….. SHADD UP!” Hhhmmm! I am just saying! Paul says in Galatians 2:16 “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith OF Jesus Christ, even we have believed IN Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith OF Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Even when we pray and we use the phrase “In Jesus name”, we must understand that is given to us to use in authority, as representatives. Before leaving Jesus told His disciples “in my name, ye shall cast out devils, in my name ye shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover… in my name. You have the authority of my name. With this authority we must not only have faith IN Jesus, but the faith OF Jesus.

Conclusion: Let’s keep our mind on the destination He has set, knowing He is with us. Wake up the Word in the midst of our storms and despite our natural tendency to fear have faith IN Christ and the faith OF Christ.

PLEASE Feedback and comments are welcome.