The Four Chaplains “Faithful Service”

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

THE STORY OF THE FOUR CHAPLAINS


The story of the Four Chaplains is one of faithful service and sacrifice so others could live. The Dorchester was a coastal passenger steamship ship first launched in 1926. As America mobilized for WW II, it was delivered to the War Shipping Administration and converted to a troopship in New York where it was fitted with additional lifeboats, life rafts, and armament.


The Dorchester departed New York on January 23rd, 1943 bound for St. John’s Newfoundland where it would join a convoy bound for the Army Command Base at Narsarsuaq, Greenland.
It was the evening of Feb. 2, 1943, and the Dorchester was crowded to capacity with 904 souls aboard. Hans Danielsen, the ship’s captain, was a cautious man. He knew they were in dangerous waters and that German U- boats were constantly prowling the sea lanes, and several ships had already been sunk. While only 150 miles from its destination, the captain ordered the men to sleep that night in their clothing with their life jackets on. Many soldiers sleeping deep in the ship’s hold disregarded the order because of the engine’s heat. Others ignored it because the life jackets were
uncomfortable.



On Feb. 3, at about 1 AM, a periscope broke the chilly Atlantic waters and the German submarine U-223 spotted the Dorchester and fired. One torpedo hit —striking the starboard side — far below the water line. Within minutes the Captain gave the order to abandon ship. In less than 20 minutes, the Dorchester would slip beneath the Atlantic’s icy waters. Panic and chaos had set in. Men jumped from the ship into lifeboats, over-crowding them to the point of capsizing. Through the chaos, four Army chaplains brought hope in despair and light in darkness. Those chaplains were Lt. George Fox, Methodist; Lt. Alexander Goode, Jewish; Lt. John Washington, Roman Catholic; and Lt. Clark Poling, Dutch Reformed. Quickly and quietly, the four spread out among the soldiers and sailors. There they tried to calm the frightened, tend the wounded and guide the disoriented toward safety. One Army Private found himself floating in oil- smeared water surrounded by dead bodies and debris. “I could hear men crying, pleading, praying,” He recalled. “I could also hear the chaplains preaching courage and calling us to them. Their voices were the only thing that kept me going.” Another, sailor PO John Mahoney tried to reenter his cabin, but Rabbi Goode stopped him. The sailor explained he had forgotten his gloves. “Never mind,” CH Goode responded. “I have two pairs.” The rabbi then gave the petty officer his own gloves. In retrospect, Mahoney realized that Rabbi Goode was not carrying two pairs of gloves, and that the rabbi had decided not to leave the Dorchester.



By this time, most of the men were topside, and the chaplains opened a storage locker and began distributing life jackets. It was then that Engineer Grady Clark witnessed an astonishing sight. When there were no more lifejackets in the storage room, the chaplains removed theirs and gave them to four frightened young men. “It was the finest thing I have seen or hope to see this side of heaven,” said John Ladd, another survivor who saw the chaplains’ selfless act. Ladd’s response is understandable. The altruistic action of the four chaplains constitutes one of the purest spiritual and ethical acts a person can make. When giving their life jackets, Rabbi Goode did not call out for a Jew; Father Washington did not call out for a Catholic; nor did the Reverends Fox and Poling call out for a Protestant. They simply gave their life jackets to the next man in line. As the ship went down, survivors in nearby rafts could see the four chaplains —arms linked and braced against the slanting deck. Their voices could also be heard, offering prayers. When the news reached American shores, the nation was stunned by the magnitude of the tragedy and heroic conduct of the four chaplains.


In John 15:13, Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends (John 15:13 NIV).” That night those four chaplains passed love’s ultimate test. In doing so, they became an enduring example of extraordinary faith, courage, and selflessness.


As a postscript I want you to know that the Dorchester is best remembered today by the Four Chaplains who died because they gave up their life jackets to save others. And to note:
• On December 19, 1944, all four chaplains were posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Service Cross.
• In 1948 the U.S. Post Office issued a commemorative stamp in honor of the heroism and sacrifice of the chaplains. This stamp was highly unusual, because until 2011, U.S. stamps were not normally issued in honor of someone other than a President of the United States until at least ten years after his or her death.


• On July 14, 1960, Congress created the Chaplain’s Medal for Heroism. It was presented posthumously to the next of kin of each of the chaplains in ceremonies at Fort Myer, Virginia on January 18, 1961.
• In 1998, on the 55th anniversary of the sinking of the Dorchester,
Congress established February 3 as “Four Chaplains Day” to commemorate their act of heroism.
• And most Army Chapels hold a Four Chaplains service on the first
Sunday in February ever year.

Let this story of four faithful Christian Ministers give you strength to stand strong in the battles you are fighting. Allow the Holy Spirit to give you strength, honor, and service to those whom God puts in your path. As you do, your Lightnside will shine bright and others will be blessed.

Remember the Four Chaplains

This devotion was presented to the National Adult & Teen Challenge Board meeting in April by John J. Rossi.

The Presence of Pain

Romans 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.

One of the lessons from the scripture today may be one we do not particularly want to hear. Before the resurrection, there is a cross. Good Friday comes before Easter. The hard lesson for today is sooner or later, life will involve us in real pain.

The gift nobody wants! The symptoms of pain and illness are not the same thing. The illness exists long before the symptoms of pain. The feeling of pain can be the beginning cure of the illness. The fact that they are unwanted makes them even more a phenomenon of grace— a gift of God to initiate self-examination and repair.   M. SCOTT PECK

C.S. Lewis The Problem with Pain

 From the loss of his mother at a young age to the untimely death of his wife Joy, Lewis experienced pain as God’s megaphone, as he says, to rouse a deaf world. Pain leads us somewhere – to something. That something is a life of faith. Just as there is importance placed in a strong rope when you’re dangling from a precipice, faith is the only way to pull ourselves out from a life of desperation, a life of anxiety and need, a life of doubt and insecurity.

But how can faith be present if we don’t realize we need something beyond our own person? How do we believe unless we recognize how frail our efforts have become to maintain everything just so?

Lewis says that we must understand our fallenness. He interprets the fall of humanity not only as an opportunity for evil to thrive, but also the choice to ignore the purpose of pain. Christianity creates the problem of pain because it provides hope for righteousness and love. Without the revelation that God loves us, the painful world would make sense. Pain would have no cause. Let’s face it: it’s much easier to dismiss God or to regard him only as an airman regards his parachute, as Lewis says, there only if he needs it but he hopes he never does.

When we run headlong into God, Lewis contends that pain is demanded. Why? “How impossible it is to enact the surrender of the self by doing what we like,” he says. The truth is that at the heart of God’s love is a suffering Messiah and followers who take up crosses and follow in like fashion.

“If I knew any way of escape I would crawl through sewers to find it,” Lewis writes. “I am not arguing that pain is not painful. Pain hurts. That is what the word means. I am only trying to show that the old Christian doctrine of being made “perfect through suffering” is not incredible. To prove it palatable is beyond my design.”

The Power of Pain

 Maturity

I Peter 5:10 “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you.”

Humility

Paul’s thorn in the flesh helped him remember that he was still human walking in the flesh. II Corinthians 12:7 “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.”

 Birth – physical and spiritual – requires pain.

 Physical – John 16:21 “A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembered no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.”

Spiritual – James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Eternity for the Saints, no more pain.

Revelation 21:4 “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” 

When in pain, remember it is God’s gift and desire to do more excellent work in our life for physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Lightnside

New wine and new wineskins

New wine must be put into new wineskins

wineskin

Mark 2:21-22   No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; or else the new piece pulls away from the old, and the tear is made worse. 22 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins.”

In Mark the religious leaders criticized Jesus for almost everything.  Healing on Sunday, eating with tax collectors and not fasting the traditional way with the traditional rules. Jesus responded with a comment that was not just about fasting but all the issues listed in Mark.  There is a new kingdom coming into the world that will not work with the existing traditional rules and expectations.

New Wine is a new level of Holy Spirit power.

Jesus said this new kingdom or new spiritual experience that is coming cannot co-exist with the structure and rigidness of the existing expectations.  The new kingdom can only exist in a new structure.  Trying to experience a new spiritual life without any change in their current behaviors and expectations would be a disaster.  Not only would it not work, but even the existing structure would break down in where you would be worse off than if you had not sought a new experience with Christ.

In my devotion, I began to meditate on this truth.  New wine needs new containers.  New patches of cloth can only be used on new material.  Obviously, Christ and the Holy Spirit are the source of the new vine or spiritual empowering.  But before we can receive this new ability or spiritual gifting from God there must be intentional work in our lives to prepare ourselves. A hunger for more of God. Submitting to spending time in the word and in prayer.

New wine preparation

Are you being challenged by new responsibilities or frustrated by your management ability?  Is God nudging you to deal with a sin issue or challenging you to be aware of an issue of your personality that could use refining?  Are you working harder on your daily devotions, work habits, or more concerned about a social issue that you never noticed before?  The Holy Spirit may be leading you in developing a new wineskin in preparation for a new spiritual assignment.   Allow this process to do its work.  Be determined with self-control and focus on these issues.  God is preparing you for some New Wine for some new assignment or influence in your world.

Ask the Holy Spirit to help you develop new wineskins to receive new anointing from the Holy Spirit.

The new wine is God’s work.  The wineskin is our work. God will give you guidance and ability but the work is yours.  It requires self-control, commitment, seeking truth and advice, adjusting your priorities and faith. Your lightnside will shine as new wine from the Holy Spirit is poured into your heart.

Psalms 32:2-5 Listen to your body

When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.  For day and night, your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.  Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord .” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.  Psalm 32:3‭-‬5 NIV11

Groaning hearts and bodies

As a  Christian we enjoy the power of God and the presence of Christ.  However we are still part of the fallen nature of man.  We sin.  We are turned by our desires and traps designed by our enemy (James 1:14-15  “14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.“)  Like King David our eyes see something we may not even have been looking for.  Our carnal fallen nature rises up and we find ourselves falling into sin.

The first response is to justify and minimize the sin.  Using our logic we devise a world where we can live with the pleasure and pretend it has no effect on our relationship with God.  But, we notice a dryness of God’s presence.  The desire of seeking God’s presence is reduced or replaced.  Day after day a decrease of seeking God is replaced by the carnal desires you tasted and liked.

If this is you,  listen to your body and heart.  As David described during his sin his body reacted to the lack of God’s presence.  There is pressure and groaning in our bodies.  You feel it.  Trying to escape this pressure you keep yourself occupied with distractions and entertainment. But all along a Christian’s body that houses God’s presence moans and suffers. The joy of God’s presence is dampened as the Holy Spirit calls for repentance.  This is a difficult and uncomfortable feeling.  The clash of God’s presence with our selfish desires is an inward battle.

Listen to the Holy Spirit

I am glad the Holy Spirit does not give up.  I know I need to confess and reject that carnal pleasure that was birthed by gossip, lust, anger, or any other emotion.  Once I begin to confess this to God, a sweet presence floods my life.  I am forgiven.  I am free of inward pain. The joy of seeking God and His word returns and strengthens me.  We serve a great God who knows we are part of a fallen world.  He understands and His grace covers us during these times of wondering.  We can continue to reject Christ to our own shame and judgment but as I confess, I am restored.

Listen to Jesus’ understanding and compassion

Jesus prayed for Peter (also called Simon) when He saw his future denial of Christ.  Luke 22:31-32 NIV “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. [32] But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Jesus knew Peter would deny Him but Jesus prayed for him as He is interceding for you today.

Be still and listen to your body and God’s still voice. Let your lightnside beat strong and faithful.

Nevertheless

Do you find yourself in a place of struggle? Is the path you are seeking leading you to a wilderness? I have those feelings, and I need to remember one special word from the Bible. Nevertheless…

Christ spoke the word at a time of His greatest challenge. It was in the Garden of Gethsemane when He was only hours away from death on the cross. During this time, the humanity of Christ was in total agony. In His mind and imagination came the visions of what was going to happen soon physically. He had seen other people crucified. Not only the physical death, but He was to die for all man’s sins. The stress of the situation is recorded in Matthew 26:38 “My soul is sorrowful, even to death…” The Bible records His physical, mental and spiritual condition was so stressed that even His sweat was mingled with blood. The rock He cried out to God on was red with Jesus’ struggle.
Jesus spoke to His Father in prayer and said “Father, if there be any other way…please let this cup pass from me.” Then Jesus spoke a powerful word. You will not think of this word as one of the great words like faith, hope, or love. It’s not recorded in the Ten Commandments or the Beatitudes. The great word Jesus spoke was “nevertheless”. What an odd word to find comfort in! It is a word of transition. Although the topic before the word is true, the topic after this word is more true. Jesus said to his Father, “nevertheless, not my will but Yours”. Everything changed! Jesus rose up a conqueror of death and brought hope to all of us through His death on the cross.

You may find yourself in a time of frustration. Use the word “nevertheless”. This word changed Simon Peter’s life forever in Luke 5:1-11. (Luke 5:5 But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless, at Your word I will let down the net.” [NKJV] Luke 5:5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” [NIV])

A few quotes from devotions I have read that Elijah felt his life was over after a great victory.

To trust where we cannot trace is to give our God the full sovereignty that He longs for.

Our error lies in mentally fixing our future according to present conditions. Have faith in God.

Nevertheless, Because I have faith in God and believe the promises of God’s word, I will press on with my Lightnside.

Are you Holy?

 Ephesians 1:4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.

What does holiness mean if it’s different from blameless or pure? Does holiness mean sinless? Do we still sin after accepting Christ? (yes).  Can we still be holy? (yes) Let’s look deeper into the meaning of being Holy.

 Holiness – definition means “set apart”

Isaiah 6:1-3

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

Holiness began with God. The use of three “Holy’s” toward God is a measure of great holiness. What does the Bible mean when the word Holy is used? In Isaiah, the angels were looking at God almighty and declaring He is “Holy, holy, holy”. More holy than anything else on earth or the heavens. God is all-powerful, omnipotent, was never created, lives outside time. All creation, visible & invisible, was created by God. God is different from all creation, from angels to apples. He is set apart from creation, or He is “holy”. Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. God is Holy. He is different, separated from all creation. 

Holiness in the Old Testament

Exodus 3:1-5 – When Moses saw the burning bush, he began to walk toward it. God called out to Moses and told him to stop and take his shoes off because it is holy ground. Why was it Holy? Because God was there. Wherever God is, holiness is there. That piece of ground was different than other locations. It was set apart by God for a divine purpose.

Exodus 40:33-34 – Moses built the tabernacle to God’s instructions. The innermost part of the tabernacle was the Holy of Holies. The place where God would meet with Moses. It was holy because God was there. There were great care and caution to obey God’s commands in making the tabernacle because it was where God would meet with man. The tabernacle was holy (separated), Israel was a holy nation (separated from all other nations) because God was among them in the tabernacle. 

Holiness does not mean sinless it means separated. Where ever God goes, the place becomes Holy and is separate from the everyday world.

Holiness in the New Testament

Holiness is only possible if God, the source of holiness, is present.  

Matthew 1:18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.

God with man – Jesus came into the earth as totally human, and TOTALLY GOD (Holy, Holy, Holy) Jesus was separated from all humanity. Read John 1:9-11.

John 1:9-13 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

If we believe in God and give Christ our heart (John 1:12-13) we can become a “child” of God through spiritual birth. We can become connected to God, or better yet God in us. God, who is holy, moves into our hearts along with His holiness. We become separated from the world.  We become Holy.

Matthew 3:11   “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

How to Grow in Holiness

 The question, do you still sin? (yes, you do) When you sin do you lose your holiness? No. Holiness means separated. You have separated away from the world and toward God. Remember Ephesians 1:4 calls us to be Holy and blameless.  

How do we increase our holiness as we work to overcome sin (blameless)? Rely less on your abilities through self-improvement efforts and saturate yourself with God’s presence. The more we become separated from worldly attractions and more saturated with God, Christ, Bible, worship, the more we grow from glory to glory and become more holy. We will never get to “Holy, Holy, Holy” status, but because God is in us as we follow Christ and the Holy Spirit, we are holy. We are separated to God, a vessel for His glory to the world. You will be noticed, hated but also sought out by hurting people.   

1 Peter 1:16 “Be holy, because I am holy.”

Let your lightnside glow with holiness. This dark world needs people who are Holy. A people who carry God with them. A people who are separated from the crowds. A people who have the light of God in them. Let it shine.

God’s names Pt4 (Our righteousness, The Lord is there, God of Israel)

These last three names of God deal with the present age and the millennial age when Christ returns to set up His kingdom. Where God’s presence will remain, these names can strengthen your faith in a broken world to assure us and look forward to a restored kingdom someday.

Yahweh Tsidkenu (sid-ca-noo) The Lord our Righteousness

God gives Jeremiah a prophetic promise concerning Israel. God speaks of a righteous leader who will rightly reign over the earth.  

Jeremiah 23:5-6 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now, this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

The righteousness of God will save the nation of Israel and all Christians who follow Christ. It is also the Righteousness of God that we receive personally when we come into a faithful following of Christ.

Romans 1:16-17  For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

The Lord (through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit) is the righteousness that is placed upon us and in us. This righteousness from God is what delivers us from the darkness in the world and our fallen nature. Call upon the Lord our (MY) Righteousness when you need a boost.

Yahweh Shammah (shaw-maw) The Lord Is There  

God speaks to Ezekiel of Israel in the past and of the city after Christ returns. The difference between these two cities and all the other cities of the world is this…The Lord Is There. That is what the city shall be called. That is why the nations of the world are against Israel. Because The Lord Is There. The Lord will also save Israel from the world, and one day the city will be host to the returned Jesus Christ along with His saints, and forever The Lord Is There. No more need for the sun for the Glory of the Lord will produce all the light needed.

Ezekiel 48:35 “The distance all around will be 18,000 cubits. “And the name of the city from that time on will be: The Lord is there.”

Let our heart, mind, and spirit be a place where we can say “The Lord is There. ” He is living in me. God is the mayor of my life. I am a citizen of the Lord’s place.  

Finally, the last name we will look at in this series of study is:

Yahweh Elohim (E-lo-him) – The Lord, the God (mighty, true God of Israel.)

The Prophet Deborah sings a song to Yahweh Elohim of Israel because God helped Israel defeat the mighty army of King Jabin of Canaan who oppressed Israel for twenty years because of Israel’s rebellion against God. Israel repented and called out to the Yahweh Elohim for help.  

Judges 5:1-5  On that day, Deborah and Barak, son of Abinoam, sang this song: Praise Yahweh! Men in Israel vowed to fight, and people volunteered for service. Listen, you kings! Open your ears, you princes! I will sing a song o Yahweh.  I will make music to Yahweh Elohim of Israel. Yahweh, when you went out from Seir, when you marched from the country of Edom, the earth quaked, the sky poured, the clouds burst,  and the mountains shook     in the presence of Yahweh God of Sinai, in the presence of Yahweh Elohim of Israel.

Sing out to the Yahweh Elohim (almighty God) in your battles. He is the one who can save. Let these three names of God enhance your prayers this week. The God our righteousness, the God who is there, and the God who is THE mighty God of Israel…and your lightnside.

God’s names Pt3 (Lord of Host, makes Holy, Shepherd)

During this last week, I have used in my prayer times the specific names of God Yahweh Jireh, Nissi, and Shalom. The effect on my soul and mind was amazing. My faith in God’s power became stronger. I knew God was fighting with me as I worship. I also felt God speak into my heart…”peace.”

This week we will focus on three more names of God.

A man reads a Bible while his shadow is David fighting goliath.

Yahweh Tsebaoth (saw-baw)- Lord of Host  

David runs toward Goliath in the name of “The Lord of Host (army of mighty angels)”

1 Samuel 17:45-47  David told the Philistine, “You come to me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Yahweh Tsebaoth, the Elohim (God almighty) of the army of Israel, whom you have insulted. 46 Today Yahweh will hand you over to me. I will strike you down and cut off your head. And this day I will give the dead bodies of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals. The whole world will know that Israel has an Elohim47 Then everyone gathered here will know that Yahweh can save without sword or spear, because Yahweh determines every battle’s outcome. He will hand all of you over to us.” [Names of God Bible]

What a powerful verse. God does not need the weapons of this earth. He is the Lord of Hosts. God has power over all the earth. So I pray against my enemy in the name of Yahweh Tsebaoth (The Lord of Host), the commander of all God’s army. Don’t fight your battles alone. You are fighting against principalities and powers, so in the battle bring the God of Hosts along with you.

Yahweh Qadas (ka-dash) – Lord who makes you holy 

God is telling Moses to instruct Israel to honor the sabbath.  God is making a nation that is holy.  It is separate (different) from other nations.  God will be in their presence and will make them a holy nation and a holy people.

Exodus 31:13  “Say to the Israelites, ‘Be sure to observe my days of worship. This will be a sign between me and you for generations to come so that you will know that I am Yahweh Qadas who makes you holy.”

The word “holy” does not mean sinless. It means separated. It means to be set apart from what is common. When we have God in our hearts, He makes us holy. We become set apart from the world. We rest in God and honor God. Holiness only comes from God and can only be obtained from God’s presence. Today, be set apart from the world around you. Feel the holiness of God. Rest in God. Trust in God.  He has made you Holy (separated for Him.)  

Yahweh Roeh (raw-aw) – The Lord is my shepherd

From the most often read chapter in the Bible, Psalms 23. God is my shepherd. Now in the New Testament God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit work for and in me as my father, savior, friend, guide. I lack nothing!

Psalms 23.1  Yahweh is my Roeh. I am never in need. [Names of God Bible]

Psalms 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. [NIV]

I lack nothing. I am never in a state of need. Do I know this? Do I live with this truth? God is my Shepherd. The sheep have no needs because the shepherd watches and cares for them. If you have Christ in your heart, you lack nothing. God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit have all you need. You have no lack. In our daily troubles on Earth with its pains and pressures, let our hearts be at rest because God is our shepherd. Our spirit lacks nothing. We can overcome, we can develop patience, endure and build faith. We can be assured Yahweh Roel is in us, and our needs are only met in Him.

This week as you pray, let your lightnside strengthen as you add God the Lord of Host, the one who makes you holy (separate), and who supplies our needs to your daily prayers.

God’s names – Pt 2 (Jireh, Nissi, Shalom)

God’s name was so holy the Israelites gave Him a name that could not be spoken. They named God “YHWH”, Hebrew verb meaning “to exist, or be.” The usage shows God to be the independent and self-existent God.  Later, verbs were added to YHWH to be able to pronounce the name (Yahweh). Several names are added to “Yahweh” to better describe various powerful facts about God’s character.   

Yahweh Jireh (Yireh): “The Lord will provide.”

Abraham was asked to sacrifice Isaac to God.

Genesis 22:12-14  And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”

13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”

Are you praying for a need? Yahweh Jireh stresses God’s provision for His people. God is our provider always. We need to remember this in difficult times. Are you in a place of need? Call out to Yahweh Jireh. (Jehovah Jireh) and identify Him as your source and supply.  

Yahweh Nissi:“The Lord is my Banner.” 

Amalek is defeated when Moses’ hands are raised to God.

 Exodus. 17:11-15  And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses’ hands became heavy, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. 14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.” 15 And Moses built an altar and called its name, The-Lord-Is-My-Banner16 for he said, “Because the Lord has sworn: the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”

God is our rallying point and our means of victory; the one who fights with His people. Are you fighting a battle? Do you feel you are at war with the enemy? Lift up your hands to Yahweh Nissi. Call out upon this name to ask for strength in battle. As long as Moses’ hands were lifted up, Israel overpowered the enemy. You may get tired. Ask others to pray along with you and encourage you.

Yahweh Shalom: “The Lord is Peace.” 

God calls Gideon to fight a vast army with a few men.

Judges 6:14, 23-24 Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?” 23 Then the Lord said to him, “Peace be with you; do not fear, you shall not die.” 24 So Gideon built an altar there to the Lord, and called it The-Lord-Is-Peace

This name points to the Lord as the source of our peace and rest even in a battle that is coming. Do you feel overwhelmed? Has God not called you to be a warrior? When God called Gideon to fight, there was doubt and fear. But God said to Gideon, “Peace be to you; do not fear.” Gideon built an altar and called it “The Lord is Peace”, Yahweh Shalom. Are you filled with fear? Do you have sleepless nights because of worry and dread? Set a time of prayer to the God of peace. Allow His presence and power to calm you. Trust in His name. Let Yahweh Shalom say “Peace be with you” as you prepare for battle.

In your prayers, use God’s specific names of Yahweh Jireh, Nissi, and Shalom to better identify God’s attributes in your life. Let these names of God fuel your lightnside.

Names of God Part 1

Psalms 138:1-2 I will praise You with my whole heart; Before the gods, I will sing praises to You. I will worship toward Your holy temple, And praise Your name. For Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word above all Your name(s).

What is in a name?

The Lord Jesus said in John 17:3, “And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.” The many names in scripture constitute an additional revelation of God’s character, His works, and His relationship to us based on His works. The names which God chose for Himself are ascribed to Him in the Word of God. They are additional revelations to us of God that we may know and better relate to Him.

In our current times, the names of people are to identify themselves. The names usually do not signify anything, not so in the Bible. Many names represent events and national crisis or blessings. God changed the names of people in the Bible when He dealt with them.  Abram to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah, Jacob to Israel. When Daniel and his friends were captured, Nebuchadnezzar changed their names to try and influence their beliefs.

God chose His own names

God did not allow Israel to choose His names. He proclaimed His names among them to identify more about His nature and greatness.  

Exodus 33:19, 34:5  Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you… Now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord.

God’s names are to be kept Holy. We are to be careful not to slander the Names of the Lord. Leviticus 22:32  You shall not profane My holy name, but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel. I am the Lord who sanctifies you, Also, one of the ten commandments. Exodus 20:7 You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

Elohim – “EL” means strong one. The plural form of EL is Elohim. There is a sense of the Trinity (God the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit) wrapped up in the name Elohim.  

In the following scriptures, the Hebrew word for Elohim is translated as God. Genesis 1:1  In the beginning God (Elohim) created heaven and earth.

Isaiah 54:5  For your Maker is your husband, The Lord of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God (Elohim)  of the whole earth.

Jeremiah 32:27  Behold, I am the Lord, the God (Elohim) of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?

Psalms 68:7-8 O God (Elohim), when you went in front of your people, when you marched through the desert, Selah the earth quaked and the sky poured in the presence of the God (Elohim) of Sinai, in the presence of the God (Elohim) of Israel.

This week, let us meditate on the creator of all there is by Elohim. Let us worship His greatness and respect His Holy Name (Elohim) as the Almighty over all things…our God.

Let your lightnside swell at the mention and worship Elohim.