December 10, 2006

O Little Town of Bethlehem...

The Lord has continued to speak to me these past few weeks about the Fragrance of God.

This week as I drove to my prayer meeting, I was praying about that Fragrance... I have been in services where we have had a heavenly fragrance surround us... in one season it smelled like Frankincense, and in one season we were surrounded in a Vineyard, smelling pressed grapes! It was divine... we knew He was there... visiting us. We could linger in certain areas of the building and catch a whiff of Him. My, how I want to pass by those who are searching and have them smell His very Presence on me!

I arrived at my meeting, and the leader was teaching out of Luke Chapter One. It was very good and I found myself reading ahead and the verse that stood out to me is in the midst of Mary's Prayer. "He has filled and satisfied the hungry with good things..." (Luke 1:53a)

Jesus is the Bread of Life... He said so Himself! He is the Bread that gives Life. Through His body, His sacrifice, we gain eternal Life. When we feed on Him, we grow spiritually and we live that Abundant Life He promised us! I remember hearing Kenneth Copeland teach on spending time in the Word awhle back... Now, John said that Jesus is the Word... so it is easy to see that the Word (Jesus) is the Bread of Life... and when we feast on the Word - we are filled. Kenneth went on to compare the Word with physical food. He taught on how we need to eat everyday to nourish our bodies and keep us healthy and strong. We do not eat a nice meal on Tuesday and expect it to sustain us through until the weekend, or the next week! We should not assume the same thing when it comes to feeding on Spiritual Manna! We must feast on the Word daily to remain strong and healthy and growing! Now feasting on the Word includes more than just reading a quick devotional... and while I believe the Bible should be opened each day - I am not legalistic in thinking that this is required... but it is desired - and it is beneficial to us... I will be honest - some days I do not get my Bible open - but I have still spent time with the Word... I have prayed, I have worshiped... my goal is to dig into the Word consistentl - but I do not want any condemnation here... just know that while it IS the best discipline - you are able to feast on the Word without opening your Bible everyday. So there is Grace extended... I would rather spend ten minutes in worship - and feast on His Presence, than 5, 0r 10, or 20 minutes in His Word - trying to just get through it!

So, back at my Prayer meeting... during the worship, the Lord led me to read John 6:41-58... I will post it here for you to read:

"The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.” And they said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” Jesus therefore answered and said to them, “Do not murmur among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?” Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.” (John 6:41-58 NKJV)

I was then reminded of the story in the Bible about the two walking on the Road to Emmaus. I LOVE this story! It is found in Luke 24. These two men were so disillusioned, they did not recognize or 'see' Jesus walking along with them. Even when He began to speak to them - they did not see. But there was something in the Breaking of the Bread that caused their blind eyes to be opened, and they could see that it was the Lord! There is a claymation movie about Jesus called, "The Miracle Maker" - I HIGHLY recommend this movie... it is one of my all time favorites! There is a little weaving of a story that ties things together which may or may not have happened, but the overall story is intact and so very powerful! The movie has a scene that includes the road to Emmaus. I love it! There is something so powerful when we see - really SEE - our Lord, willingly breaking Bread with us - FOR us... I encourage you to take Communion in this season... whether on your own - just you and the Lord, or as a family.

If you have ever baked fresh bread in your home - or gone into a bakery when they have just taken the bread out of the oven, you know that smell follows you! It gets into your clothes and stirs up a hunger in you that you didn't even know was there! It reminds me of the Sinner and her Alabaster Box... while she ministered to the Lord, that oil also absorbed into her skin, her hair, her hands... and as she walked away - she carried the scent of worship with her! Even as Jesus - the Bread of Life - was being broken for her... she carried the smell of Him with her! When I gather together with family and friends, I want the Fragrance of God - that Bread of Life - to stir up a hunger and to linger through me as I go about my days!

I pray you carry with you that Fragrance of God in this season, and cause others to hunger for Him as well!


Oh - just a side note, Jesus - who is the Bread of Life - was born in Bethlehem, with means, "House of Bread" (Isn't God just too cool... and thorough!)

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