The Jewish Lamb of God

The Jewish Lamb of God by Karen Jurgens

Israel has been waiting for thousands of years for Messiah to come to earth to deliver them. Many passages in the Old Testament refer to this coming One.

When Jesus was born, He fulfilled every prophecy about Himself, but the Jews rejected Him as Messiah.

Did they just expect an ordinary man? Jesus came as a perfect Son of Man and Son of God. Instead of recognizing their long-prophesied Messiah, Israel rejected Him as a blasphemer and a fraud, refusing to believe in His many miracles, which alone testified of His deity.

The Mystery of the Trinity

Let’s explore this great mystery by first asking a question.  Is the Christian God three-headed? Old Testament Scripture teaches in Deuteronomy 6:4: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord (KJV). Therefore, the concept of the Trinity makes no sense to Jewish understanding. God is clearly One, not Three.

The Jewish Lamb of God by Karen Jurgens

Where did Jesus stand on this issue? In a conversation with the scribes two thousand years ago, He makes it plain.

And one of the scribes came, and … asked him, ‘Which is the first commandment of all?’ And Jesus answered him, ‘The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment’ ~ Mark 12:29-30, KJV.

Jesus agreed that God is One, but the sticking point came when Jesus claimed that God is His Father and that He and the Father are One. Here’s an example of Christ telling them plainly who He is:

 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one ~ John 10:24-30, KJV.

Christians worship God as the Trinity–Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. How can God be One and yet be three persons? For the Jews, this question is a stumbling-block.

Let me attempt to explain this mystery by asking you if you are one person? Of course, you say. But do you recognize that you have three parts? Your physical body, your soul (the mind, will, and emotions), and your eternal spirit. You are three-in-one, but people view you as one person.

We agree with the Scripture that the Lord Our God is One, and we are made in God’s image. But listen to how God describes Himself in the plural in Genesis:

Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’  God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them ~ Genesis 1:26-27, NASB.

This proves that the Trinity existed from the beginning. Another way of looking at it, to satisfy our human understanding, is through the institution of marriage. When a man and a woman are joined together in holy matrimony, they become one flesh. Although they begin as two separate people, their vows before God unite them in marriage. However, every couple operates as two separate physical bodies, even after their union.

The Jewish Lamb of God by Karen Jurgens

God has one physical image, as do we, but He is composed of three persons.

 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. ~ 1 John 5:7-8, KJV.

So Jesus is actually God’s Word that separated from God to become flesh and live among men–still completely God in a man’s body, the Son of God; still the Son of Man, the new Adam.

A Great Mystery

 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.  No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him. ~ John 1:14; 17-18, NASB.

Jesus was rejected by the very ones who had been looking for His coming because Israel didn’t recognize her Messiah when He did arrive. So instead, the light of the gospel was extended to and accepted by the Gentiles through the Apostle Paul.

The Jewish Lamb of God by Karen Jurgens

There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.  But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God ~ John 1:9-13, NASB.

What a joyful day in the near future when scales will fall from Jewish eyes, and they will finally see the truth– Jesus is their Jewish Messiah. But when they realize that we Gentiles have been enjoying Israel’s inheritance along with all the blessings and benefits originally sent only to them, they will have an explosive emotional reaction. Jealousy will bring Israel back to their Jewish Messiah, and the root of David will be forever restored.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek ~ Romans 1:16, KJV.

We, the Gentiles, are the grafted-in branches, forever grateful. Together, Jews and Gentiles will make one tree in God, perfect and complete.

The Jewish Lamb of God by Karen Jurgens

Hallelujah! I can’t wait until that glorious day! Many already believe, but may the rest of our Jewish brothers and sisters come to Messiah even now, today. The prophecy of bringing Israel back to her land and the Jewish people back to God is told in Ezekiel 37:1-14:

The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest. Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LordThus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord. (KJV)

The Jewish Lamb of God by Karen Jurgens

In the next post about the Lamb of God, I’ll discuss another intriguing mystery:

How could Jesus the Lamb of God be born with sinless blood?

Where is the Lamb in Revelation and how is that significant today?

Until then…be blessed!

 

Why Must We Forgive?

Why Must We Forgive by Karen Jurgens

Forgiveness is a hot topic in churches and across the internet. Everyone’s talking about it, including me.

Jesus is coming soon to receive His church and to gather His Saints who are spotless and pure, whose sins have been washed away in the blood of the Lamb.

How is forgiveness a major key in our preparation for that day? You’re invited to join in as I talk with Patti Shene on Step into the Light.

Just click on the link below to go to the archived show. Hope to see you there.

http://ow.ly/GMeH30jhmv5

He is Risen!

 

Blessed Resurrection Day by Karen Jurgens

I trust your Easter weekend has been a wonderful experience, from Maundy Thursday to Good Friday to Easter Sunday. Hasn’t it been a mixture of emotions?

We witnessed the dread of Jesus’s coming to terms with His assignment in the Garden of Gethsemane where He shed drops of blood in fervent prayer.

And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will’ ~ Matthew 26:39, NASB.

On Good Friday, we turned our heads as Judas hanged himself and Peter denied Christ three times.

We agonized with Jesus as He was unjustly accused and sentenced to die by crucifixion.

We cringed in horror as they lashed His back thirty-nine times and slapped the crown of thorns on His head.

We wept as He carried His cross, assisted by Simon the Cyrene, up the hill to Golgotha where they drove nails into His hands and feet.

Blessed Resurrection Day by Karen Jurgens

But Jesus was saying, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing’ ~ Luke 23:34.

We sat amazed when He forgave His tormentors as well as the thief crucified next to Him.

And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!”  And He said to him, ‘Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise’ ~ Luke 23:42b-43.

We mourned with Mary, His mother, as she watched her Son suffer unto death.

But standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son!’  Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’ From that hour the disciple took her into his own household ~ John 19:25-28.

We waited on Saturday. But where was Jesus from Friday night to Sunday morning?

After death, Jesus descended into the bowels of the earth to Sheol. Sheol is a two-sided holding tank for the dead, with the righteous on one side and the wicked on the other, separated by a chasm. We know this from the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-30.

First, Jesus took away the keys of death, hell, and the grave from Satan. Then He preached the Good News to the damned, giving them the opportunity to escape from their prison of hell. Every person who has ever lived must make the choice to accept or reject Jesus as Saviour. Last, the righteous vacated Sheol to live in heaven.

I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades ~ Revelation 1:17b-18.

Good Friday seals the forgiveness of our sins and the healing of our physical bodies through Jesus’s shed blood at Calvary.

The miracle of Jesus’s bodily resurrection on Sunday seals our eternity with Jesus Christ in heaven. We rejoice because His tomb is empty! Our Lord is risen, just as He said.

Blessed Resurrection Day by Karen Jurgens

What joy fills our souls as we rejoice in the goodness of our Saviour! To realize that He loved us that much–to come down from heaven to be the perfect sacrifice for us. We owed a debt we couldn’t pay, and He paid a debt He didn’t owe. He restored our broken relationship with God out of his abundant love for each one of us.

Salvation isn’t a dry, dead religion. It’s a living, personal relationship with the One True God.

May we carry Easter in our hearts all year long. May we be forever humbled and grateful, showing our sincere thanks to Jesus for providing us with the precious, priceless gift of salvation.

Blessed Resurrection Day by Karen Jurgens

 

Forgiven

Forgiven by Karen Jurgens

I’m sharing one of my former blog posts to commemorate the Easter season.

A crowd of men pushes and shoves me outside my house, tearing my clothes, slapping my head. Their deep voices swirl around me, angry and taunting. The dark tones rumble, thirsty for blood. My blood.

I try to wrap my half-dressed body with my shawl, preserving what little modesty I have left. The suddenness of being discovered in bed with my lover has left me in shock. No hope of escape. Their condemnation will have its cruel way.

My heart races, chugging and pounding against my rib cage, pleading to jump out of my chest and dash away.

Clouds of dust boil around my feet as the mob pushes me toward the temple. Many pairs of dusty sandals rush in unison, stomping like a judge wielding a gavel.

“Guilty!” The Scribes scream.

“Condemned!” The Pharisees spit.

Hope has spread its wings and flown. Their hatred settles on me, like a buzzard taking up permanent residence.

Swells of roaring deafen me. Their righteous indignation drowns me.

Rough hands cast me to the ground. My shoulder scrapes across uneven rocks, tearing my flesh. The jolt smacks my side and sends pain down my leg.

I reach out to stop the momentum, but a sandaled foot crushes my hand. I collapse from the pain, laying my head down, observing dirt mingle together with my blood.

My head has changed into a heavy melon. I cannot see my persecutors through the black veil of my mangled hair.

My heart wrings itself dry of tears. Hopelessness consumes me as I surrender to their hands. My guilt waits for the sharp sting of justice, ushering death. I brace myself for the pounding of the rocks. My body shakes with fear.

Seconds pass. Every muscle in my body is tensed.

Nothing.

Voices raise poignant questions through the air. “The Law of Moses says to stone her . . . what do you say?”

I inhale a weak breath through my mouth, pressed hard into the dirt.

“Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” This voice is full of authority.

Silence.

Where are the stones that should be crushing my head? Are they planning something more painful? What are they doing? My entire body throbs.

Stones pummel, one after another, to the ground.

I cringe and gasp for my last breath.

Still, nothing touches me.

The ground vibrates with sandaled footsteps. I hear a creak of leather coming closer and can discern the outline of a man’s foot.

I raise my heavy head enough to peer at him through my hair. My eyes focus. Surprise jolts through me as I look into His face.

I know this man.

Liquid love oozes from his understanding eyes. Compassion flows from his smile. Holiness bathes his being, making me even more ashamed of myself. How can he look on me—an adulteress? I am not worthy of his attention.

“Woman, where are they?”

I push up a little, looking around for the first time. I’m outside the temple, and the men have disappeared. Only He is before me.

“Did no one condemn you?”

“No, Lord,” I answer, still not comprehending what has happened.

“Neither do I condemn you. Go your way and sin no more.”

He pulls me to my feet. The touch of His hand electrifies my entire body. All pain dissolves, and I am bathed in total peace. My flesh that was bloody and torn is now whole. I feel reborn.

He turns and walks inside the temple. I watch him with a clean heart, washed and dressed in the newness of gratitude and hope. Yes, I will sin no more. I am overcome with amazement that I am alive and not dead.

I begin to step toward home when I see something on the ground. It looks like someone wrote a word in the dirt. I pause to read it.

FORGIVEN.

Fresh tears run down my face. “Messiah!”

I will never be the same.

John 8:1-11

Forgiven by Karen Jurgens

How to Become Queen

 

How to Become Queen by Karen Jurgens

Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised ~ Proverbs 31:30 NASB.

How did a common Jewish girl end up in a palace, married to a king? During this month of romance and love, let’s see what it took for Esther to get that kind of promotion.

Hadassah, better known as Esther, didn’t have a privileged upbringing. After the death of her parents, her Uncle Mordecai took and raised her as his own. Her fairytale story began during King Ahasuerus’s banquet to celebrate his three-year reign.

 And he [King Ahasuerus] displayed the riches of his royal glory and the splendor of his great majesty for many days, 180 days. When these days were completed, the king gave a banquet lasting seven days for all the people who were present at the citadel in Susa, from the greatest to the least, in the court of the garden of the king’s palace ~ Esther 1:4-5 NASB.

On the seventh day of the final banquet, King Ahasuerus commanded that Queen Vashti come before the king with her royal crown in order to display her beauty to the people and the princes, for she was beautiful ~ Esther 1:11 NASB.

But Vashti refused to heed the summons.

Not wanting to give the married women in the land an excuse to mimic Vashti’s impertinence, the king agreed it was wise to replace this disobedient queen. He invited all the virgins in his kingdom to a year-long beauty pageant. After a beautification regimen of twelve months using cosmetics, spices, and oil of myrrh, each girl would spend one night with the king. Whoever pleased him the most would wear the queen’s crown.

How to Become Queen by Karen Jurgens

Although Scripture describes Esther as fair of form and face, her character played a strong part in sweeping her to the summit of royalty.

First, Esther was obedient to follow instructions. Uncle Mordecai told her to keep her ethnic background a secret and not reveal her Jewish heritage. We can infer that she was humble, with a heart to serve others, so not a surprise that she also found great favor with the king’s eunuch.

Esther was taken to the king’s palace into the custody of Hegai, who was in charge of the women. Now the young lady pleased him and found favor with him. So he quickly provided her with her cosmetics and food, gave her seven choice maids from the king’s palace and transferred her and her maids to the best place in the harem ~ Esther 2:8b-9 NASB.

Second, Esther heeded wise advice. Each virgin had the option of taking along anything she desired from the harem for her special night with King Ahasuerus. Esther, however, listened and heeded wise counsel instead of following her own desires.

Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai who had taken her as his daughter, came to go in to the king, she did not request anything except what Hegai, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the women, advised. And Esther found favor in the eyes of all who saw her ~ Esther 2:15 NASB.

Third, Esther’s character yielded the fruit of great favor.

The king loved Esther more than all the women, and she found favor and kindness with him more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. Then the king gave a great banquet, Esther’s banquet, for all his princes and his servants; he also made a holiday for the provinces and gave gifts according to the king’s bounty ~ Esther 2:17-18 NASB.

The vanity and pride of Queen Vashti stole her title and position.

The obedience and humility of orphaned Hadassah promoted her to the king’s palace to become the new queen in Vashti’s place.

How to Become Queen by Karen Jurgens

 

What does this story have in common with the Church? We, the Saints, will soon become the Bride of Christ. On that day when we are in heaven and He places crowns on our heads, we, along with the twenty-four elders, will fall down and worship, casting our crowns at His feet.

How to Become Queen by Karen Jurgens

 And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, ‘Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created’ ~ Revelation 4:9-11 NASB.

May we, like Queen Esther, be found faithful in heeding God’s wisdom, found in His Word. May we live our lives in obedience and humility. May we be granted favor with God and man as we beautify and anoint ourselves to meet Our Bridegroom—washing with the pure water of the Word and donning clean, white wedding clothes to meet Jesus, our Messiah, in the air.

Maranatha!

How to Become Queen by Karen Jurgens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Me to You With Love

From Me to You With Love by Karen Jurgens

As the month of January concludes, the winter season will soon usher us into February.

What a great month!

Not only is it short, but its centerpiece is Valentine’s Day, the day of expressing love to those who mean the world to us.

It’s a day to enjoy exquisite chocolates, fragrant flowers, and cards with verses that touch hearts and bring tears of joy.

It’s a day full of red and pink hearts, iced cupcakes, and tiny gifts tied up with bows.

It’s a day of white tablecloths, candlelight, and sharing dinner with that special someone.

So, in honor of our February celebration of love, I’d like to express my gratitude to you by gifting you with my novella. Click “Buy on Amazon” under the meme for your free ebook (available from January 27-30).

Curl up by a toasty fire with an afghan and a mug of hot chocolate on a snowy winter’s day.  Lose yourself in Carlie’s senior year of college where she finally decides to put God to the test. Can a girl really find her perfect fit if she turns the matchmaking over to God?

Can Carlie’s faith also challenge today’s single women searching for a godly husband? Find out how 2 Corinthians 6:14 is still relevant in today’s culture.

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? (ESV)

 

Choose to Forgive. Choose Joy

 

Choose to Forgive Choose Joy by Karen Jurgens

Have you ever been betrayed by someone close? I sure have. I call it my Judas Experience.

Deep hurt leads to a crossroadsforgiveness versus unforgiveness. It’s your choice to make.

If you’re like most people, your heart has a compartment where you can jail old soul wounds. You think that if those bad memories stay locked in the dark long enough, they’ll dissolve and blow away with the winds of time, gone forever.

Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. Instead, those hurts fester, rot, and stink inside its little coffin. You may try your best to conceal it with a sweet-smelling cover-up. However, it’s no use because God sees through pretense.

O God, You know my foolishness; And my sins are not hidden from You ~ Psalms 69:5 NASB.

Unforgiveness is like swallowing poison, hoping the other person dies. But, isn’t it funny how that guilty one often continues with his or her life, while you’re stuck in the same spot, sucking the bottle dry? Just the thought of their “getting away with it” drives you mad, which is exactly why you cling to unforgiveness. You believe that if you let go, it would declare innocence for the guilty person. You become a lighthouse guardian of a wrong suffered, proudly carrying a blazing torch to memorialize it–to the grave if need be.

Can unforgiveness affect your physical health?

For some, unforgiveness may fester into a chronic illness hiding deep in cells, poisoning the rest of the body with puzzling physical symptoms. It could open a door for disease to gain painful access. Medicine often can’t diagnose its cause nor find its cure, so chains of suffering could last a lifetime.

That’s not any way to live. How can you cleanse your soul of this toxic waste, like dirty bathwater in a tub with a stopped-up drain?

Think about the life of Jesus. He lived a perfect, sinless life, but His enemies crucified Him to terminate His ministry. He never did or said anything to justify dying the most painful, shameful death imaginable. The Sanhedrin felt threatened by this new miracle-performing Rabbi who was proving to Jewish throngs that He was indeed Messiah, the Promised One.

At the crucifixion, those around Jesus hurled insults, saying, ‘Aha! You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself, and come down from the cross!’ ~ Mark 15:29b-30 NKJV.

Jesus could have commanded legions of angels to come to His rescue and kill all His enemies in a split second. But that wouldn’t have accomplished God’s purpose. Jesus came willingly to lay down His life as the perfect Lamb, God’s perfect sacrifice, for all mankind to be saved.

Suffering and bloody from His crown of thorns, thirty-nine lashes, and spikes driven into His hands and feet, Jesus forgave His enemies with beautiful words, forever memorialized in Scripture.

‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.’ And they divided His garments and cast lots ~ Luke 23:34 NASB.

Can you imagine patiently suffering unto death and still forgiving your enemies as they mocked you? Have any of us suffered to a point like Jesus? Our miseries may seem unbearable now, but they are nothing compared to the glory that awaits us.

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us ~ Romans 8:16-18 NKJV.

How many times should you forgive? Not once, not twice, but 490 times!  

Then Peter came to Him and said, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven’ ~ Matthew 18:21-22 NASB.

Will your tithe be accepted if you harbor unforgiveness toward another?

Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift ~ Matthew 5:23-24, NKJV.

What happens if you refuse to forgive?

‘For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses’ ~ Matthew 6:14-15 NASB.

So, there are serious consequences attached to unforgiveness. Just as Christ has forgiven us, we are commanded to forgive others. It’s not a suggestion. We MUST forgive if we expect to be forgiven and enter heaven. Contrary to today’s culture, God doesn’t bend His Word—there’s no wiggle room.

No matter how our emotions may balk, we overcome through our free will. Pray to forgive your enemies, not because you FEEL like it, but because you WILL to do it in obedience to Christ. The Holy Spirit will certainly reward you with the victory.

Then, in prayer, release your hurts to Jesus. He will come through the Holy Spirit and pour oil and wine into your raw soul wounds, remove the stingers and cover you with a healing balm of Gilead, binding up and covering you with His grace and peace. Jesus promised to never leave nor forsake you.

I’ve found that as I forgive my enemies and bless them in prayer, the chains of inner suffering loosen and disintegrate. Jesus drains the filthy water away and scours my soul clean by the blood of the Lamb. Physically and spiritually, I’m freed from all that poison. My deepest cells heal, and my body can return to perfect health.

Releasing hurts and injustices to the Lord has wonderful benefits. Not only will it free and restore your joy, but it permits the Lord to work on your behalf. God’s Word testifies about how much He hates injustice, fights for His children, and punishes their enemies.

For the Lord loves justice And does not forsake His saints; They are preserved forever,
But the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off. The righteous shall inherit the land, And dwell in it forever ~
Psalms 37:28-29 NKJV.

When I realized that God can fight my battles FAR better than I ever could, even on my best day, I now gladly release my enemies into God’s hands. As I pray for my enemies, my heart is restored through God’s grace, and I once again dwell in peace and joy.

Today, I am thankful to live in the freedom of forgiveness. I trust God—not myself—to be Judge.

How about you? Will you lay down unforgiveness and embrace joy?

Choose to Forgive. Choose Joy by Karen Jurgens

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will You Choose Joy?

Will You Choose Joy? by Karen Jurgens

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth; Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises ~ Psalm 98:4 NKJV.

Christmas has recently passed, and if you’re like me, all the decorations are neatly tucked away for another year. Although the house is back in apple-pie order, my emotions mourn.

A month before Christmas, I labored for a week to arrange twinkling lights, pine boughs, crèche figures, and ornaments. But now, after just a few short days, no trace of that joyful celebration remains.

Will You Choose Joy? by Karen Jurgens

I admit, I was rather sad to see such lovely beauty vanish.  I also pondered why my JOY had disappeared along with the decorations.

True JOY isn’t a by-product of the physical realm–that kind is passing, not permanent. Instead, JOY is a lasting gift God plants deep down in our spirits.

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation ~ Habakkuk 3:18 NKJV.

Years ago, when I was still teaching, I used to always smile and bubble over with JOY. Students would often ask me why I was so happy all the time—especially early in the morning. Since it was a public school, I danced around the real reason, which was the JOY of Jesus living in my heart. But it thrilled me that my witness made a difference, even in a place where I wasn’t verbally allowed to share my spiritual beliefs.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven ~ Matthew 5:16 NKJV.

 

The Holiday Blues by Karen Jurgens

We realize Christmas isn’t just about outward glitter, presents, and holiday feasting. All that is a by-product of the JOY of the birth of Jesus Christ.

This first month of the New Year, let’s take that precious JOY, live it out in our daily lives, and let our lights shine from the housetops!

Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart! ~ Psalm 32:11.

Although happiness can turn upside down and dissolve with life’s circumstances, let’s allow the JOY of the Lord to shine through every word and action. No matter what comes our way, we can choose our response–JOY. 

Will You Choose Joy? by Karen Jurgens

 

So, let’s take off the lid of that pot of JOY bubbling in our hearts and allow the bliss of God’s love to overflow to the world in 2018. Let JOY be the witness of our salvation through the blood of the Lamb, having made us whole in Christ Jesus.

 

 

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation ~ Psalm 95:1 NKJV.

Will you choose JOY to shine from your life this year?

Will You Choose Joy? by Karen Jurgens

 

 

 

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year by Karen Jurgens

Wishing all my readers a blessed and prosperous New Year!

Thank you…

I want to take this opportunity to thank you so very much for following me, whether you’re new or have been here from the beginning. I appreciate each and every one of you for taking time to read my blog. My goal is to always bring you fresh insight from God’s Word that will bless and enrich your spirit as we travel along life’s path.

Next Year…

Look for some new changes I hope you’ll enjoy. Each month will have its own theme, and I plan to blog at least twice a month. January will begin with the theme of finding deeper JOY–won’t that be a great springboard for us as we launch into 2018? I’m anticipating a wonderful New Year and trust you are too.

A Deeper Path…

You will also receive an invitation to subscribe to a newsletter for more in-depth communication. I’m creating something you’ll be excited to receive in your inbox just three or four times a year. So, be on the lookout for it this winter.  I earnestly hope you’ll come alongside as we travel a deeper path.

Warmest Blessings for the Happiest of New Years,

Karen