Feast on Joy

1st Thessalonians 5:16 (TPT);

“Let joy be your continual feast.”

What does it mean to “Feast on Joy?”

“Feasting On Joy” is “Partaking of God’s Strength and Power.” “Divine Joy” is nutrient-dense “Spiritual Soul Food” for the weary Child of God!

DIVINE JOY

“Divine Joy,” consumed by a child of God as a “Continual Feast of Joy,” builds a Stronghold of God’s Protective Presence over our lives.

Nehemiah 8:10 (AMPC);

“Then [Ezra] told them, Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet drink, and send portions to him for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is Holy to our Lord. And be not grieved and depressed, for the Joy of The Lord is your Strength and Stronghold.”

My friend, there is a profound spiritual revelation from The Holy Spirit Housed within this scripture. An insight that supernaturally dispels grief and depression. The revelation? “THE JOY OF THE LORD is our Strength and Stronghold!” Not a carnal human joy that our emotions must work up! Ezra, the Priest, knows that the children of Israel need more than natural sustenance to overcome the obstacles before them. They need the “JOY OF THE LORD” to be their “Strength and Stronghold!” THE DIVINE GIFT OF JOY THAT GOD GIVES HIS SON JESUS CHRIST AT CALVARY!

GOD’S GIFT OF JOY

“God’s Gift of Joy” will “birth faith within us!”

Hebrews 12:2 (TPT);

“We look away from the natural realm and we fasten our gaze onto Jesus Who Birthed faith within us and Who leads us forward into faith’s perfection. His example is this: Because His Heart was focused on THE JOY of knowing that you would be His, He endured the agony of The Cross and Conquered its humiliation and now sits exalted at the Right Hand of The Throne of God!”

“God’s Gift of Joy” is the Divine Strength and Power that takes Jesus Christ’s Faith through “the agony of The Cross of Calvary.” As “The Sacrificial Lamb of God” (Ref. John 1:29), Jesus Christ “Focuses On Divine Joy.” THE JOY OF HIS FATHER! The result? This “Feast of Joy” “conquers humiliation! Now “grief and depression” cannot steal the Victory of Calvary! My friend, this Supernatural “Grace Gift of Joy” from Father God is now ours through salvation! THANK YOU, JESUS! “God’s Gift of Joy” can bring us through the roughest of waters, as we like Jesus Christ, “Feast on Divine Joy!” This is the picture of “A Heart of Joy,” fully surrendered to The Will of God.

A HEART OF JOY

A “Feast of Divine Joy” produces “A Heart of Joy!” Igniting an appetite to do “The Will of God!”

John 4:34 (TPT);

“Then Jesus spoke up and said, “My Food is to be doing The Will of Him Who sent Me and bring it to completion.

“A Heart of Joy” Focuses on The Pleasure of “Doing The Will of Him Who Sent Me, and “bringing it to completion.”

“Divine Obedience” is Jesus Christ’s “True Food.” Is it yours?

THE NUTRITION OF DIVINE OBEDIENCE

“The Nutrition of Divine Obedience,” from “Feasting on Joy,” fuels Jesus Christ through the most challenging moment of Calvary. This is where “The Joy of The Lord” becomes “His Strength and Stronghold!” (Ref. Nehemiah 8:10 (b)).

Matthew 27: 45-46 (AMPC);

“Now from the sixth hour (noon) there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour (three o’clock).” “And about the ninth hour (three o’clock) Jesus cried with a loud voice, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?—that is, My God, My God, why have you abandoned Me [leaving Me helpless, forsaking and failing Me in My need]!.”

My friend, there are many opportunities in life to feel abandoned, helpless, and forsaken; the enemy and our flesh will make sure of it. However, focusing on “Divine Joy” brings The Glory of God onto the scene and dispels grief and depression. I’m describing “Divine Resurrection Joy!” The Focused Joy of our Savior’s Heart as He Pays The Price For Our Salvation! A JOY, SO INTIMATE WITH THE FATHER IT COVERS THE DARKEST OF HOURS!

As we follow Jesus’ example and choose to “Feast On Divine Joy,” we are insulated from grief and depression. How? by focusing on “THE JOY OF THE LORD WHO IS OUR STRENGTH AND STRONGHOLD!” (Ref. Nehemiah 8:10 (b)). This truth makes “Obedience” to “be doing the Will of Him Who sent us” (Ref. John 4:34), a “Divine Joyful Priority” in our lives! Not a burden of performance.

THE BURDEN OF PERFORMANCE

One of the quickest ways to lose our “Divine Joy” is to come under “the burden of performance.”

Galatians 3:3 (TPT);

“Your new life in the Anointed One began with The Holy Spirit giving you a new birth. Why then would you so foolishly turn from living in The Spirit by trying to finish by your own works?”

Even Jesus Christ does not complete His Assignment at Calvary in His Strength, under “The Burden of His Performance.” He Chooses To “Focus On Joy,” “The joy that you would be His” (Ref. Hebrews 12:2 (b)). What makes us think that we are capable of accomplishing God’s Will for our lives” by our works” without “The JOY OF THE LORD BEING OUR STRENGTH AND STRONGHOLD?” (Ref. Nehemiah 8:10 (b).

Are you “Feasting on Joy,” or are you under “The Burden of Performance?”

Asking ourselves this question on an ongoing basis is crucial, my friend because it determines where we have set our gaze and joined our life.

RADIANT JOY

“Radiant Joy” is ours as we stay in union with The Living God.

Psalm 34:5 (TPT);

“Gaze upon Him, join your life with His, and JOY WILL COME. Your face will glisten with Glory. You’ll never wear that shame face again.”

Continually gazing upon Jesus Christ produces a life of “Radiant Joy!” A heart consumed with “The Glory of God!” ” We will “never wear that shame face again!” (Ref. Psalm 34:5 (b). Because “Joy is our continual feast!” (Ref. 1st Thessalonians 5:16).

My friend, may the “Fullness of Joy” reflect in our countenance as we choose to:

“BE STRONG AND LIVE “JOYFULLY” FREE……..BOLDLY FOR HIM!”

Psalm 16:11 (AMPC),

“You will show me the path of life; in Your Presence is FULLNESS of JOY, at Your Right Hand there are pleasures forevermore!”

© 2022 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”

Photo: Brooke Lark

Kissed With Forgiveness

No matter how many times that we have been kissed, to be “Kissed with Forgiveness” is the Greatest Kiss that we will ever receive….or give!

Psalm 103:3 (TPT);

“You kissed my heart with forgiveness, in spite of all I’ve done. You’ve healed me inside and out from every disease.”

What kind of Love offers a “kiss of forgiveness?” What type of Love brings “healing inside and out from every disease?” It is The GOD kind of LOVE that the Psalmist King David intimately adores with his whole heart.

Psalm 103:1-2 (TPT);

“With my whole heart, with my whole life, and with my innermost being, I bow in wonder and love before You, The Holy God!” “Yahweh, You are my soul’s celebration. How could I ever forget the miracles of kindness you’ve done for me?”

David’s “Soul’s Celebration” is The One True God that longs to “Kiss His Creation with Forgiveness!” Gifting us with Eternal Life through God’s Son Jesus Christ! He Is The Savior Who restores us to intimate fellowship with The Father! We read about it in the following prophetic overture of David’s heart:

Psalm 103:4 (TPT);

“You’ve rescued me from hell and saved my life. You’ve crowned me with Love and mercy.”

The “Kiss of Forgiveness” rescues us from hell and “crowns us with love and mercy.” Why is this so important? So that we too can give “The Kiss of Forgiveness” with the same “love and mercy” that our Heavenly Father has extended to us!

HAVE YOU BEEN “KISSED WITH FORGIVENESS?”

John 3:16-17 (TPT);

“For this is how much God loved the world-He gave His One and Only, Unique Son as a Gift. So now everyone who believes in Him will never perish but experience everlasting life.” “God did not send His Son into the world to judge and condemn the world, but to be its Savior and rescue it!”

To be “Kissed with Forgiveness” is a Gift of God’s Divine Love that Brings Eternal Life and Healing to us, spirit, soul, and body! This “Free Gift of God’s Grace” (ref. Romans 3:24) prepares us to be bearers of “The Kiss of Peace” as we walk in God’s Redemptive Love.

THE KISS OF PEACE

“The Kiss of Peace” is a “Holy Kiss of Love” exchanged from one believer in Jesus Christ to another.

1st Peter 5:14 (TPT);

“Greet one another with a ‘Kiss of Peace’.”

2nd Corinthians !3:12 (MEV);

“Greet one another with a, Holy Kiss.”

When we exchange “The Kiss of Peace” with our brothers and sisters in Christ, that “Holy Kiss” extends The Love of God to them. Assuring them that their relationship with us is safe and secure, free from malice and strife. My friend, through our Salvation, we are “forgiven much,” therefore we have the power through Jesus Christ “to love much.” (Ref. Luke 7:47.) Enabling us to “Kiss with Forgiveness” those that betray us with “The Judas Kiss.”

THE JUDAS KISS

When the force of betrayal hits, it leaves behind the piercing sting of “The Judas Kiss.”

Matthew 26:48-49 (AMPC);

“Now the betrayer had given them a sign saying, The One I shall kiss is the Man; seize Him.” “And he came up to Jesus at once and said, Hail (greetings, good health to you, long life to you) Master! And he embraced Him and Kissed Him with pretended warmth and devotion.”

Judas betrayed Jesus Christ with a kiss and a lie. What has been the weapon of choice? A smile? A hug? A wave across the room? A gift, “just because”…..just because we want control over someone or something, not ours? My friend, if we choose to live contrary to God’s “Law of Love” (Ref. Galatians 5:14), we open ourselves up to be used as vessels of “The Judas Kiss.”

DO YOU HAVE RELATIONSHIPS THAT BEAR THE BIRTHMARK OF BETRAYAL?

Some friendships designed in the Portals of Heaven are severed, leaving behind “The Birthmark of Betrayal!”

Galatians 5:15 (NKJV);

But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!”

We cannot simultaneously “bite and devour one another” and give “the kiss of forgiveness.” When we choose strife over forgiveness, we violate “God’s Law of Love.” Dangerously turning our hearts away from God, we distance ourselves from our brothers and sisters in Christ. By injecting the venom of “The Judas Kiss” into the vein of our relationships. Slander is “the poison of sedition,” blocking the Love of God from flowing freely through our lives. This is a serious affront to The Kingdom of Heaven because “God is Love.”

James 4:11 (TPT);

“Dear friends, as part of God’s family, never speak against another family member, for when you slander a brother or sister you violate God’s Law of Love. And your duty is not to make yourself a judge of the Law of Love by saying it doesn’t apply to you, but your duty is to obey it!”

Remember that we are not called to shun “The Love of God” by “judging The Law of Love.” Instead, as The Body of Christ, we are called to “Live in The Love of God.”

“LIVING IN LOVE”

1st John 4:16 (TPT);

God is Love! Those who are living in Love are living in God, and God lives through them.”

Recognizing that we are a “part of God’s family” will keep us “living in love.” Obeying “The Law of Love” with every Faithful Word that we speak and every “Holy Kiss” that we give, as God Expresses Himself through us.

HOW DO WE OBEY “THE LAW OF LOVE?”…….WITH THE KISS OF HUMILITY!

Nothing moves the Heart of Father God more than the “The Kiss of Humility.” Because it is from the position of a heart, free from pride and arrogance that “The Kiss of Forgiveness” can be freely given and freely received!

Luke 7:37-38 (TPT);

“In the neighborhood there was an immoral woman of the streets, known to all to be a prostitute. When she heard about Jesus being in Simon’s house, she took an exquisite flask made from alabaster, filled it with the most expensive perfume, went right into the home of the Jewish religious leader, and knelt at the feet of Jesus in front of all the guests.” “Broken and weeping, she covered His Feet with the tears that fell from her face. She kept crying and drying His Feet with her long hair. Over and over she kissed Jesus’ Feet. Then she opened her flask and anointed His Feet with her costly perfume as an act of worship.”

“The Kiss of Humility” is an “act of worship.” It is costly and knows no shame. Being free from pride and arrogance, “The Kiss of Humility” is willing to risk it all for LOVE! The Heavenly Love, that only God, through His Son, Jesus Christ, can give us.

Who in your neighborhood, family, church, office, etc., needs “The Kiss of Forgiveness?”

Are you willing to open the door with “The Kiss of Humility?”

My friend, the prostitute in Simon’s house, teaches us a valuable lesson. She took her most cherished earthly possession and exchanged it for “The Pearl of Great Price.” (Ref. Matthew 13:45-46). The Kingdom of Heaven that can only be found at the feet of Jesus Christ! Unashamed and unafraid of her appearance before men, this despised woman of the streets bravely enters Simon’s home. With a repentant heart, she “bows at The Savior’s feet and gives, “The Kiss of Humility!” Not just once but over and over again! Her sacrificial offering of tears, kisses, and costly perfume are an “extravagant act of worship,” that troubles Simon’s, hard heart.

Luke 7:39 (TPT);

“When Simon saw what was happening, he thought, This man can’t be a true prophet. If He were really a prophet, He would know what kind of sinful woman is touching Him.”

It is incredibly uncomfortable to watch someone else’s heart be “Kissed with Forgiveness” while ours remains unchanged. Yet this is what Simon and his dinner guests do. They choose to despise the “Ways of Peace” (Ref. Luke 7:50), as they judge, “The Law of Love.”

“WAYS OF PEACE”

Luke 7:48-50 (TPT);

“Then Jesus said to the woman at His feet, “all your sins are forgiven.” “All the dinner guests said among themselves, “Who is The One Who can even forgive sins?” “Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith in Me has given you life. Now you may leave and walk in the ways of peace.”

Faith in “The Kiss of Forgiveness” gives us life and releases us to “walk in the ways of peace!”

Where is our faith? Are we sitting at Simon’s dinner table, Looking Down our nose in disdain at the open act of worship from a repentant heart? Or are we at the feet of Jesus Looking Up into, “The Face of The One Who Has Just Kissed Us With Forgiveness?”

It’s time to humble ourselves and walk in “The Ways of Peace,” my friend! “Healed inside and out from every disease!” (Ref. Psalm 103:3).

Be Strong and Live “Venom” Free…….” Kissed with Forgiveness” Boldly For Him!

© 2022 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”

Photo: Alex Shute

Cities of Light

Matthew 5:14 (AMPC);

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.”

As Born Again Believers in Jesus Christ, we are literally “Cities of Light!” Beacons of Hope to a lost and dying world! When the world sees us, they should see “The Light” of Jesus Christ beaming from our lives!

John 8:12 (AMPC);

“Once more, Jesus addressed the crowd. He said I Am The Light of the world. He who follows Me will not be walking in the dark, but will have The Light which is Life.”

Living in “The Light of God” keeps us from “walking in darkness,” Playing spiritual, “Hide and Seek.”

HIDE AND SEEK

Matthew 5:15-16 (TPT);

“And who would light a lamp and then hide it in an obscure place? Instead, It’s placed where everyone in the house can benefit from its light.” “So don’t hide your light! Let it shine brightly before others so that the commendable things you do will shine as light upon them, and then they will give their praise to your Father in Heaven.”

It’s not the time to play “Hide and Seek” with our light! Nor is it a time to “dim our light” in fear, living “low beam” lives of compromise. As Christ-followers, we are to be “Bold Cities of Light” Shining Brightly For The Kingdom of God, wherever we go! Rejecting the pull of the world to revel in sins darkness where we used to roam. God has called us “Cities of Light” to “A Mission of Light!” To live so brightly in the world that “the commendable things we do” for The Kingdom of God is easily recognized. “Then they will give their praise to our Father in Heaven!”

Ephesians 5:11 (TPT);

And don’t even associate with the servants of darkness because they have no fruit in them; instead, reveal Truth to them.

A MISSION OF LIGHT

Ephesians 5:8-9 (TPT);

“Once your life was full of sin’s darkness, but now you have the very Light of our Lord shining through you because of your union with Him. Your mission is to live as children flooded with His Revelation-Light!” “And the supernatural fruits of His Light will be seen in you-Goodness, Righteousness, and Truth.”

The wattage of God’s Revelation-Light that Heaven has deposited into one Born Again Believer’s Heart as a “City of Light” is beyond Atomic, my friend! It is CATACLYSMIC to the realm of darkness! Why?…… Because” God is Light, and in Him, there is no darkness at all!” Ref. 1st John 5 (b).

When The All-Consuming Light of God shows up on the scene through our lives, Powered by His “Goodness, Righteousness and Truth,” darkness is exposed, and people are saved from the “sleep of death!” The result?……our “Mission of Light” is accomplished in Jesus’ Name! To God Be The Glory! My friend, we must not forget that He has entrusted us with “The Language of Light” that we can successfully carry out the “Mission of Light.”

THE LANGUAGE OF LIGHT

Ephesians 5:13-14 (TPT):

“Whatever The Revelation Light exposes, it will also correct, and everything that reveals truth is light to the soul.” “This is why the Scripture says, “Arise, you sleeper! Rise from your coffin, and The Anointed One will Shine His Light into you!”

As “Cities of Light,” it is our vital privilege to become fluent in “The Language of Light.” Why?…… Because of this Divine Principle of Truth:

“The Language of Light Speaks Loud and Clear In The Darkest of Nights.”

As “Cities of Light,” we are meant to speak, “The Language of Light” Loud and Clear to The Darkest Night of an unbeliever’s soul!

Indeed, at a time and hour when Earth least expected it, “The Language of Light Spoke Loud and Clear!” When Jesus Christ Breathed His Final Earthly Breathe and said, “IT IS FINISHED,” REF. JOHN 19:30 (B); CALVARY BECAME THE SIMULTANEOUS CATACLYSMIC EXPLOSION IN HEAVEN, ON EARTH, AND IN THE SPIRIT REALM THAT OBLITERATED THE POWER OF DARKNESS ONCE AND FOR ALL!

At that Divine, Heaven Appointed Moment, every man, woman, and child that would ever say yes to Jesus Christ as LORD and SAVIOR have the opportunity to become an unconquerable, “City of Light!” With the power to pierce darkness by speaking, “The Language of Light!” Which is “The Language of Revelation Truth and Freedom” that brings the dead back to life, spirit, soul, and body! My friend, we can now speak “The Language of Light” into the darkness of men’s souls, as we rule with “The Government of Light!”

THE GOVERNMENT OF LIGHT

Isaiah 9:6-7 (MEV);

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us, a Son is given, and The Government shall be upon His Shoulder. And His Name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” “Of the increase of His Government and Peace, there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and over His Kingdom, to order it and to establish it with Justice and Righteousness, from now until forever. The zeal of The Lord of Hosts will perform this.”

In The Kingdom of Heaven, there is a “Government of Light,” and the ruling class is YOU and me!

Matthew 28:18-20 MEV);

“Then Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in Heaven and on Earth.” “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in The Name of The Father and The Son and of The Holy Spirit,” “teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you.” And remember, I Am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”

“The Great Commission,” described for us in Matthew 28, is still our Commission today, my friend. God has vested us as “Cities of Light” with “His Authority!” Why?…. To work, THROUGH US, to be “The increase of His Government and Peace.” This impartation is how The Kingdom of Heaven perpetuates, of which there “Shall be no end!” Glory to God! As Born Again Believers, WE ARE “The zeal of The Lord of Hosts” who performs HIS WILL on Earth as “It is in Heaven!” How?…. Through our obedience to “Go and make disciples of all nations.”

As “Cities of Light,” there is a powerful principle of Truth that equips you and me to rule and reign within “The Government of Light,” and we find it in 1st Timothy 6:12 (MEV);

“Fight the good fight of faith. Lay hold on eternal life, to which you are called and have professed a good profession before many witnesses.”

“Cities of Light,” “Fight The Good Fight of Faith!”

The Apostle Paul knew that by learning how to “Fight The Good Fight of Faith,” you and I keep the “Light” of God’s Presence Shining Bright in our lives! My friend, we are the only ones who can dim that “Light.” God through His Son Jesus Christ paid a GREAT PRICE for you and me To Be His Called, “Cities of Light,” The most incredible “Light Show,” (displays of His Power and Governmental Authority) that this world would EVER witness and encounter! “Not by might, nor by power, but By His Spirit.” (Ref. Zechariah 4:6.b)

REFUGE FOR LIFE

Has your light dimmed, my friend?

Have you grown weary “Fighting the Good Fight of Faith?”

If so, let me encourage you with THIS LIGHT FILLED TRUTH:

1st John 4:4 (MEV);

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them because He Who is in you is Greater than he who is in the world.”

“AS A CITY OF LIGHT, YOU ARE A REFUGE FOR LIFE!”…..And, “He Who is in you is Greater than he who is in the world!”

In John 10:10, part (b), Jesus states, “I came to give life and life more abundantly.” Part of that abundant overcoming life works through us as “Cities of Light!” “Refuges of Life” filled with the same CATACLYSMIC POWER that Jesus Christ walked the Earth with!

My friend, where will those in darkness find “The Light of Life,” “A Refuge for their souls? God is encouraging us not to fear, quit, or be intimidated! As the “Eternal Flame” of God’s Presence and Power shines brightly within us, “The Language of Light” will speak loud and clear through us!

Now is the time to:

Be Strong and Live Free as “Cities of Light”…….Boldly For Him!

© 2022 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”

Photo:Timo Volz

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Perfect Peace

Did you know that in a world filled with turmoil and strife that you can have “Perfect Peace?”

Isaiah 26:12 (AMPC);

“You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.”

The following nugget of revelation was given to me by The Holy Spirit regarding this scripture:

“To the degree that the Mind of Christ develops in you is to the degree that you will have, “Perfect Peace.”

1st Corinthians 2:16 (AMP):

“For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND and PURPOSES OF THE LORD, SO AS TO INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ [to be guided by His Thoughts and Purposes].”

A Covenant of The Mind

“Perfect Peace” is a “Covenant of the Mind.” “The Mind of Christ” that has been ingrafted within our Spirit by The Love of God! How?….. Through The Shed Blood of Jesus Christs’ Sacrifice at Calvary. At the moment of our salvation, we are granted eternal life along with the gift of “Perfect Peace.”

John 14:27 (TPT):

“I leave the gift of peace with you—My Peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but My ‘Perfect Peace.’ Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts—instead, be courageous!”

Merriam Webster Dictionary:

PERFECT = Being entire without fault or defect.

PEACE = A state of tranquility or quiet. Freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts.

COVENANT = A written agreement or promise usually under seal between two or more parties, especially for the performance of some action.

MIND = The element or complex of an individual that feels, perceives, thinks, wills, and main reasons.

The Blood of Jesus Christ shed at Calvary “SEALED” the “Covenant of The Mind of Christ” within us as Born Again Believers. This inheritance of “Perfect Peace” is ‘without fault or defect.’ This Divine Love Gift to The Body of Christ enables us to be ‘free from disquieting or oppressive thoughts.’ Jesus Christ did not give us a weak, superficial peace. He paid a Great Price that gave us “His Peace.” This Divine, “Perfect Peace,” when followed, provides us with the COURAGE to be His Ambassadors in a world filled with fear and uncertainty. Conversely, if we choose to rely on the “fragile peace” of the world, we will not experience God’s Best for our lives.

A Fragile Peace

Worldly peace is a fragile peace that can easily shatter. When you and I choose to be comforted by this superficial peace, we ‘yield to fear.’ This causes us to no longer live in “Perfect Peace,” enjoying our “Covenant of The Mind of Christ.” In this weakened state of embracing the “fragile peace” of the world, we become double-minded. People who think and reason in opposition to “The Mind of Christ.” When this happens, we need to quickly repent and ask God for His Wisdom before it’s too late!

James 1:5-8 (AMPC);

“If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the Giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him.” “Only it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting). For the one who wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind.” “For truly, let not such a person imagine that he will receive anything [he asks for] from The Lord,” “[For being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, decides].”

The danger in continuing to live in a state of “Double-mindedness” is that we forfeit our gift of “Perfect Peace.” This causes us to “receive nothing from The Lord.” When this happens, we tend to blame God and others for the missteps in our lives, rather than facing the truth that we have become “unstable, unreliable and uncertain in everything that we [think, feel and decide.].” The Good News is that “The Prince of Peace” has patiently been waiting for us to follow His “Perfect Peace” through the Leadership of The Holy Spirit.

Our Hero The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is our God Given Hero. He helps to “save the day” as we live our lives in His “Perfect Peace.” Relying on The Holy Spirits’ Leadership in our everyday decisions develops “The Mind of Christ” within us. The result? We become sure-footed and stable in our spirit, soul, and body so that others can follow our example. Yielding to the Holy Spirit is how we are “guided by His Thoughts and Purposes” throughout our everyday lives.

Are you allowing The Holy Spirit to be “YOUR HERO” and lead you in your everyday decisions?

Romans 8:14 (AMPC);

“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”

In John 14:26 (AMPC), Jesus gives us a beautiful description of The Personhood of The Holy Spirit, Who is The Spirit of The Living God;

“But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My Name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.”

Developing The Mind of Christ

The Holy Spirit “teaches us all things.” As we yield to His Teachings, we will “Develop The Mind of Christ,” through the Word of God, The Holy Spirit “will remind us, and bring to our remembrance) everything He has told us.” When The Holy Spirit Speaks, He always communicates The Heart of The Father for every aspect of our lives. The Holy Spirit will NEVER violate the Written Word of God. If He did, He would be breaking the gift of “Perfect Peace” that His Son Jesus Christ gave us, and He is not about to do that! “Developing The Mind of Christ” is so vital to The Heart of Father God so that we can learn to walk in “Perfect Peace.” When we do this, we can rest assured that we are now, “living, moving and having our being in Him.” Ref. Acts 17:28 (a).

Walking in Perfect Peace

My friend, you and I are learning that “Walking in Perfect Peace” is a matter of The Mind—our “Covenant of The Mind of Christ” within us. Perhaps one of the most significant examples of walking in “Perfect Peace” comes from the Apostle Paul. From a cold jail cell in the ancient city of Philippi, Paul, a prisoner in dire circumstances, pens a word of “Perfect Peace” for you and I to follow.

Philippians 4:6-9 (TPT);

Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell Him every detail of your life, “then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ.” “So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every Glorious work of God, praising Him always.” “Follow the example of all that we have imparted to you, and The God of Peace will be with you in all things.”

This word of instruction and encouragement from Paul has become my prayer for you, my friend as we choose to,

“Be Strong and Live Free In ‘Perfect Peace’………Boldly For Him”

You will also enjoy reading “A Flood of Healing”

© 2021 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”

Photo: Nadine Marfurt

“Enduring Faith”

The jail cell is cold, yet his heart is on fire! Not even the death sentence of a heathen Emperor can quench the passion and joy that bubbles up within him. With swift strokes of determination, the Apostle Paul begins to pen an urgent message of “Enduring Faith,” to his spiritual son Timothy.

2nd Timothy 1:2-5 (TPT);

“My beloved son, I pray for a greater release of God’s Grace, Love, and Total Well-Being to flow into your life from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ!” “You know that I’ve been called to serve the God of my fathers with a clean conscience. Night and day, I pray, constantly for you, building a memorial for you with my prayers.” “ I know that you have wept for me, your spiritual father, and your tears are dear to me. I can’t wait to see you again! I’m filled with joy” as I think of your strong faith that was passed down through your family line. It began with your grandmother Lois, who passed it on to your dear mother, Eunice. And it’s clear that you too are following in the footsteps of their Godly example.”

The “Enduring Faith” of Timothy’s grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice created a “Heritage of Faith.” One that fills the Apostle Paul “with joy!” Because of this joy-filled faith and the urgency of the hour, the Apostle Paul continually contends in prayer for his spiritual son Timothy.

What is “Enduring Faith?”

MERRIAM WEBSTER DICTIONARY:

ENDURE = To remain firm under suffering without yielding.

FAITH = belief and trust in and loyalty to God.
Firm belief in something for which there is no proof.
Complete trust.

This is how I define “Enduring Faith:”

ENDURING FAITH = To remain firm in our belief and trust in God when there is no proof that a need or difficult situation has changed or will change.

The Word of God provides for us a clear picture of “Enduring Faith” in Hebrews 11:1 (AMPC);

“Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].”

As the Apostle Paul fervently prayed for Timothy, he “built a memorial for him.” A spiritual monument of intercession that covered Timothy to preserve. “The Enduring Faith” that was passed on to him. A faith that the Apostle Paul discerns has come under attack in Timothy’s life and ministry.

2nd Timothy 1:6-7 (AMPC);

“That is why I would remind you to stir up (rekindle the embers of, fan the flame of, and keep burning) the [gracious] gift of God, [the inner fire] that is in you by means of the laying on of my hands [with those of the elders at your ordination].” “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and love and calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.”

Never forget this important spiritual truth, my friend:

FEAR FIGHTS AGAINST THE FIRE OF GOD IN OUR LIVES!

If we allow the spirit of fear to dominate us, the desire and the “Fire” to passionately live our life calling will be quenched. The Apostle Paul knew that Timothy was dangerously close to losing “his fire” in carrying on The Gospel of Jesus Christ. He knew that discouragement and “fear of men” had set in because of Paul’s imprisonment and death sentence. The “Enduring Faith” that was passed down, to Timothy was being shaken to the core. Like Timothy, we too must guard “the inner fire,“the gracious gift of God” that resides within us. There is a race that God has called each of us to run, and it will take “Enduring Faith” to run and finish it well.

Hebrews 10:35-39 (TPT);

“So don’t lose your bold, courageous faith, for you are destined, for a great reward!” “You need the strength of endurance to reveal the poetry of God’s will, and then, you receive the promise in full.” “For soon and very soon, “The One Who is appearing will come without delay!” “And He also says, “My righteous ones will live from My Faith. But if fear holds them back, My Soul is not content with them!” “But we are certainly not those who are held back, by fear and perish; we are among those who have faith and experience true life.

When “Enduring Faith” is alive in our lives, we will “experience true life!” With “Eyes of Faith,” we can recognize and utilize the power of God that resides within us through salvation. This Holy Power, given to us by The Grace of God, equips us to walk in love with a calm and well-balanced mind. These attributes of “Enduring Faith” working together develop our discipline and self-control in God. As our self-control grows in God, the fruit of our life matures into a “bold, courageous faith that receives a great reward!” Glory To God! This is why it was so important for the Apostle Paul to encourage Timothy in his faith. I am grateful that his writing still encourages us in our faith today!

2nd Timothy 3:14 (TPT);

Yet you must continue to advance in strength with the truth wrapped around your heart, being assured by God that He’s The One Who has truly taught you all these things.”

The “Enduring Faith” of Timothy became The “Endearing Faith” of God, which filled The Apostle Paul with joy. This my friend, is the same “Enduring Faith” that “Endears” us to The Heart of Father God as we rest In Him.

Hebrews 4:10-11 (TPT);

As we enter into God’s faith-rest life, we cease from our works, just as God Celebrates His Finished Works and Rests in them.” “So then we must give our all and be eager to experience this faith-rest life so that no one falls short by following the same pattern of doubt and unbelief.”

The Great Hall of Faith”, listed in Hebrews chapter 11, is an eternally documented memorial of “Enduring Faith”. This chapter is filled, with mighty men and women of God who learned by experience how to “enter into God’s faith-rest life.” These ancestors of our faith, which includes Paul and Timothy, did not allow doubt and unbelief to “quench the fire of God within them.” Their love and passion for God enabled them to endure persecutions, trials, and tribulations without wavering. Their stalwart faith endeared them to the Heart of God!

Hebrews 11:39-40 (TPT);

“These were the true heroes, commended for their faith, yet they lived in hope without receiving the fullness of what was promised them.” “But now God has invited us to live in something better than what they had—faith’s fullness! This is so that they could be brought to finished perfection alongside us.”

By the end of his life, the Apostle Paul shares with Timothy a beautiful snapshot of “Enduring Faith.” One that is meant to encourage us today.

2nd Timothy 4:6-8 (TPT);

“And now the time is fast approaching for my release from this life. And I am ready to be offered as a sacrifice.” “I have fought an excellent fight. I have finished my full course. I’ve kept my heart full of faith.” “There’s a crown of righteousness waiting in Heaven for me, and I know that my Lord will reward me on his day of righteous judgment. And this crown is not only waiting for me, but for all who love and long for His Unveiling.”

We must “love and long for His Unveiling,” my friend!

Why? So that we can:

Be Strong and Live Free with Enduring Faith…………. Boldly For Him!

Hebrews 11:6 (TPT);

“And without faith living within us, it would be impossible to please God. For we come to God in faith knowing this He is real and that He rewards the faith of those who passionately seek Him.”

© 2021 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”

Photo: Esther Wechsler

Breaking Bitterness

Hebrews 12:15 (TPT);

“Watch over each other to make sure that no one misses the revelation of God’s Grace. And make sure no one lives with a root of bitterness sprouting within them which will only cause trouble and poison the hearts of many.”

While preparing to write this blog, I heard the following statement from The Holy Spirit:

“YOU MUST BREAK BITTERNESS BEFORE IT BREAKS YOU!”

Stunned, I realized then that this is an urgent warning to all of us from The Heart of God!

What Is Bitterness?

According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, Someone bitter is angry and unhappy because they cannot forget bad things that happened in the past.

How Does Bitterness Break Us?

First and foremost, bitterness will cause us to miss the revelation of God’s Grace, as stated in Hebrews 12:15. Without a revelation of God’s Grace, His Love will not be a tangible reality to us, and we will never be able to comprehend or receive true forgiveness for our sins. We will also be unable to extend Christ-Like Grace, Mercy, and Forgiveness toward another individual who has sinned against us. Living in this perpetual state of un-forgiveness creates an atmosphere of torment in our souls and will manifest in our lives. This heavy load of bitterness then becomes a beast of burden that we carry around within us, and it will eventually break us.

Matthew 11:28-30 (TPT);

“Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me, I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis.” “Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me.” “For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear.”

This Word is Good News, my friend! Though the weight of bitterness will continually try to break us, God has an answer for us as we learn His Ways.

How Do We Break Bitterness?

Through Forgiveness!

The Oxford Languages Dictionary offers a simple and concise definition of the word forgive.

FORGIVE = Stop feeling angry or resentful toward someone for (an offense, flaw, or mistake).

Matthew 6:14-15 (TPT);

“And when you pray, make sure you forgive the faults of others so that your Father in Heaven will also forgive you.” “But if you withhold forgiveness from others, your Father withholds forgiveness from you.”

This scripture is astounding! You and I can cause GOD TO WITHHOLD HIS FORGIVENESS FROM US, WHILE OUR PRAYERS GO UN-HEARD! When we choose to withhold forgiveness from someone who has hurt us or that we perceived has hurt us, we are planting a root of bitterness within our hearts. Unforgiveness keeps our prayers from effectively being heard by God! By not breaking bitterness, we forge a, “Barrier of Bitterness” over our hearts that repel the Love of God and His Blessings from flowing freely in our lives. Ultimately, if we refuse to identify and repent of bitterness, we will reject God and His Plan for our life!

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (MEV);

“For I know the plans that I have for you, says the Lord, plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” “Then you shall call upon Me, and you shall come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.” “You shall seek Me and find Me when you shall search for Me with all your heart.”

Bitterness is spiritual cancer that can spread quickly by stealing our future and killing our hope. Thus, causing trouble and poisoning the hearts of many, starting with ours! A poisoned heart is a divided heart. It is imperative that you and I consciously recognize and BREAK BITTERNESS BEFORE IT BREAKS US! The survival rate of the God Given relationships in our lives depends on our willingness to forgive decisively and quickly.

Recently I heard a teaching from a well-respected, trusted minister of The Gospel who shares some valuable eye-opening insight regarding the root of bitterness. He described bitterness as undeveloped murder. Another way that he put it is, bitterness is murder in diapers. This minister then went on to relay a story that impacted me. During his ministry, he had counseled two different people on two different occasions, who were believers. They came to him for help to break free from the root of bitterness. However, these individuals were so consumed with the “Spirit of Bitterness,” that they both ended up killing people and are now in jail after rejecting his help! My friend, These brutal acts of murder are a sobering account of “The Root of Bitterness” in action.

1st John 3:15 (TPT) describes the minister’s tragic story for us;

“Everyone who keeps hating a fellow Believer is a murderer,” and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.”

The message from The Lord is loud and clear, my friend. We must ”Break Bitterness Before It Breaks Us!”

1st John 4:20-21 (MEV);

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar. For whoever does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” “We have this commandment from Him: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.”

What Barriers of Bitterness are weighing you down?

Is there anyone, or perhaps even yourself that you need to forgive?

Are you, “Breaking Bitterness or is it Breaking You?”

If Breaking Free From Bitterness has been a battle for you, please join me in the following prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, I recognize today that I have been carrying the heavy burden of the sin of bitterness and un-forgiveness. I come to You and lay it down at Your feet. Please forgive me for walking in bitterness and un-forgiveness toward_________________(name the person or persons).

By an act of my will, I release them now and choose to forgive them for hurting me. Father God, If I have unknowingly hurt someone, I ask that you bring their name to me now, and I ask that you forgive me for hurting them in Jesus’ Name! Direct may path to restitution for the pain and hurt that I have caused them in this situation.

Lord, I now receive the total cleansing, healing, strength, and refreshing that comes from Your Presence as I walk with an upright heart before You, in Jesus’ Name! Amen! I Love You, Lord!

II Chronicles 7:14 (AMPC);

“If My people, who are called by My Name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.”

Be Strong and Live Free as you Break Bitterness………….. Boldly For Him!

© 2021 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”

Photo: Niel Taelman

Birthing A Deliverer

Can this be happening? She’s pregnant again! All Hannah wants to do is run into her tent and hide! Peninnah’s taunts are becoming unbearable; every word is a vindictive razor that cuts at her weary, barren womb.

Safely out of sight, crying uncontrollably, Hannah buries her head into a pillow, trying hard to forget that she is in a polygamous marriage. Emotionally exhausted, she wonders how her husband Elkanah could have taken Peninnah as a secondary wife?! Isn’t Hannah “worth more to him than ten sons?” If it weren’t for the laws of the land, Hannah’s love for God, and devotion to Elkanah, she would have left for Jerusalem a long time ago. Yet, there is a Deep and Holy desire that has been growing in Hannah’s heart for years, and she won’t be denied!

Spiritual and natural pregnancies can sometimes be uncertain because you don’t readily see that you are pregnant, so you forget you are. All you know is that suddenly you feel overwhelmed, uncomfortable, and challenged. What you may not realize is that there is a “Peninnah,” an assignment of the enemy dispatched against you!

Why?

To keep you from “Birthing a Deliverer!”

Merriam Webster Dictionary:

DELIVERER: One that saves from danger or destruction.

Never forget that nobody else can “Birth The Deliverer” that God has called you to, “For such a time as this!” Ref. Esther 4:14 (b). The fruit of your womb is a God Sent Solution to a lost and hurting world! An answer that has the ability through God to “save from danger or destruction.” Don’t allow the taunts of a “Peninnah” cause you to question or miscarry your God-Given Deliverer!

Who is “Peninnah?”

The meaning of her name is “coral,” in this instance, the razor-like coral that has the potential to wound or kill if touched, cut and left untreated.

1st Samuel 1:1-7 (AMPC)

“There was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim, of the hill country of Ephraim, named Elkanah, son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.” “He had two wives, one named Hannah and the other named Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.” “This man went from his city year by year to worship and sacrifice to the Lord of Hosts at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were the Lord’s priests.” “ When the day came that Elkanah sacrificed, he would give to Peninnah his wife and all her sons and daughters portions [of the sacrificial meat]. “But to Hannah, he gave a double portion, for he loved Hannah, but the Lord had given her no children.” “[This embarrassed and grieved Hannah] her rival provoked her greatly to vex her because The Lord had left her childless.” “So it was year after year; whenever Hannah went up to the Lord’s House, Peninnah provoked her, so she wept and did not eat.” “Then Elkanah, her husband, said to her, Hannah, why do you cry? And why do you not eat? And why are you grieving? Am I not more to you than ten sons?” “So Hannah rose after they had eaten and drunk in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on his seat beside a post of the temple (tent) of the Lord.” “And {Hannah} was in distress of soul, praying to the Lord and weeping bitterly.” “She vowed, saying, O Lord of Hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your handmaid and [earnestly] remember, and not forget Your handmaid but will give me a son, I will give him to The Lord all his life; no razor shall touch his head.”

Hannah is upright before the Lord. She doesn’t ask God for revenge against Peninnah or Elkanah, She asks for a “Deliverer!” A son that she vows to give back to The Lord as a Priest. That is what the scripture means when Hannah prays, “no razor shall touch his head.”

The sharp “coral” edge of Peninnah’s cutting words and Elkanah’s indifference to Hannah’s barrenness could not defile Hannah’s heart! Hannah is determined to “Birth A Deliverer,” A son who will one day replace Hophni and Phinehas, the evil sons who serve as Priests under their father, Eli. Hannah’s prayer so moved God that He “remembered” her request.”

1st Samuel 1:19-22 (AMPC);

“The family rose early the next morning, worshiped before The Lord, and returned to their home in Ramah. Elkanah knew Hannah, his wife, and The Lord remembered her.” “Hannah became pregnant and in due time bore a son and named him Samuel [heard of God]. Because she said, I have asked him of The Lord,” “And Elkanah and all his house went up to offer The Lord the yearly sacrifice and pay his vow.” “But Hannah did not go, for she said to her husband, I will not go until the child is of age, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before The Lord and remain there as long as he lives.”

Hannah could have asked for a son that she could raise as her own, yet she chose the greater and made a decision to “tithe” her womb by offering to God the best. Her “First Born” son. Hannah understood that her pregnancy was a “covenant” between her and God. What an important truth that you and I must remember. Whenever we are pregnant with a Promise of God, we are pregnant with a “Covenant of God.” There is Covenant in our womb, and that Covenant must come forth In Jesus Name!

Merriam Webster Dictionary:

COVENANT: A written agreement or promise usually under seal between two or more parties, especially for the performance of some action.

How do we safely carry our “Covenant Promises” to full term and have a healthy delivery?

By being committed to the process! You see, when God calls you to pregnancy, He calls you to the process. Every pregnancy has a process from conception to gestation to the water breaking to the actual birth. In both spiritual and natural pregnancies, you may have cravings at each stage of the process. Feed your growing baby with the right spiritual and natural nutrients to create a safe and nurturing environment that develops a healthy baby and makes way for safe delivery.

Like Hannah, our pregnancies are also prophecies. With each prophecy is a God-Given Promise with a name. For Hannah, the name was “Samuel,” for you; the name could be Sarah or Peter or the cure for cancer or the name of a new business or ministry or the preparation process for marriage; the list is endless.

What we have to keep at the forefront of our minds is that the enemy hates our pregnancies. He will always send a “Peninnah” our way to discourage or miscarry or abort those God Given Promises, which are His Prophecies in Motion for our lives.

Ephesians 6:12 (TPT);

“Your hand-to-hand combat is not with human beings, but with the highest principalities and authorities operating in rebellion under the heavenly realms. For they are a powerful class of demon-gods and evil spirits that hold this dark world in bondage.”

Why does the enemy hate your pregnancy so much?

The enemy hates your pregnancy because he knows that, “You Are A Deliverer,” one called to “Birth A Deliverer!” Our wombs nurture spiritual and natural assignments of God’s Presence, Power, and Purpose! Think about it, when you were born your mother, “Delivered” you. She was and is a “Deliverer” who “Birthed A Deliverer,” YOU!!! I sense by The Holy Spirit that I am to remind you of something VERY IMPORTANT RIGHT NOW:

“THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN UNWANTED PREGNANCY IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN!”

No matter what the circumstances were or are surrounding your birth or pregnancy, God wants you to know that HE IS LIFE. Therefore THE LIFE that you carry in your womb is a Covenant With Him! You Are Pregnant With The Covenant of God and that child that promise must come forth In Jesus Name!

Psalm 139:13-18 (AMPC);

“For you did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother’s womb.” “I will confess and praise You for You are fearful and wonderful and for the awful wonder of my birth! Wonderful are Your works, and that my inner self knows right well.” “My frame was not hidden from You when I was being formed in secret [and] intricately and curiously wrought [as if embroidered with various colors] in the depths of the earth [a region of darkness and mystery].” “Your Eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book, all the days [of my life] were written before ever they took shape when as yet there was none of them.” “How precious and weighty also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them!” “If I could count them, they would be more in number than the sand. When I awoke, [could I count to the end} I would still be with You.”

Beautiful, Precious Friend, God Is With You!

“Be Strong and Live Free…..As You Go Forth and Birth Boldly For Him!”

© 2021 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”

Photo By: Andriyko Podilnyk

“Table For Two”

I don’t have to close my eyes to re-live one of my most cherished memories. Captured in my thoughts and stored in my heart, it is a beautiful scene that I often revisit.

It’s a chilly winter night, and the intimate “table for two” is set against a quaint brick wall in the small dining room of a cozy restaurant in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. The ambiance creates an atmosphere of expectancy, igniting questions of hopeful love to swirl through my thoughts and dance through my heart! Is this “The One?” I wonder, My Knight in Shining Armor? The man that God has called to be my husband?

Song Of Solomon 2:4 (AMPC);

“He brought me to the banqueting house, and His banner over me was love [for love waved as a protecting and comforting banner over my head when I was near Him].”

Through the flickering candlelight, I can see in Mark’s eyes the “Protecting Presence of God’s Banner of Love” waving over my heart. His beautiful blue eyes reflect an inviting Peace that is both comforting and intimidating to me at the same time. As a fairly new Believer, I wonder, How could this handsome and Godly man be interested in me? At moments I feel like I am in the midst of the most beautiful dream that I never want to end!

For once in my life, the “Cinderella Shoe” fits and I’m wearing it!

It has been several years since the concert in Dover, Delaware. My best friend growing up begs me to go with her; at first, I’m not interested since I’m not a big fan of “rock music” and had never heard the term “Christian Rock” before. Besides, I have not been feeling well, and it’s going to take us a few hours to get to our destination from where we live.

Several phone calls later and a promise that we will stop to get something to eat finds me on the road to Dover! As we journey along, my friend, who has previously dated the bands’ drummer, realizes that we are running late and decides to forego the food. After all, there is no time to waste!

Getting to the Church where the concert is taking place catches me by surprise, where is everybody?

As people begin to filter in, the lights dim, and the atmosphere begins to shift, dry ice adds to the mystique of the moment. Suddenly, the spotlight highlights a guy blindfolded in a plexiglass phone booth-shaped box, wearing a red shirt. From an opening in the top of the box, there is a key hanging from a string dangling in front of him.

As the music starts, the guy in the box grabs the key takes the blindfold off, swings the door wide open, steps out, and confronts another guy dressed as a demon. As they go through the motions of a staged fight between good and evil, I am intrigued by what I am witnessing.

This “staged” fight seems a lot like the life that I am currently living. I am a reasonably new Believer in Jesus Christ, yet the ties to my past are strong, and I am having a difficult time “Breaking Free” from a very toxic relationship in my life. I find out later that this is one reason my friend has asked me to accompany her to the concert.

By now, the guy in the box has won his fight against the force of evil, and the band comes out in full force. The guy in red is singing a song that he wrote entitled, “I Surrender.” With tears stinging my eyes and rolling down my cheeks, God uses every lyric he sings to fully open the eyes of my heart and break me free from the “soul ties” of my past.

For the first time in my life, I am not afraid to Dine with Father God at His “Table for Two.”

Revelation 3:20 (TPT);

“Behold, I’m standing at the door, knocking. If your heart is open to hear my voice and you open the door within, I will come into you and feast with you, and you will feast with me.”

Feasting with God at His “Table for Two,” created a “Holy Hunger” within me, a True Divine Appetite. Yes, “I Surrendered” to God’s Perfect Will for my life that night, and I am so glad I did!

Many years later, I can testify that the beauty of my relationship with Mark, (the guy who was in the box that night) is that WE BOTH LOVE GOD MORE THAN WE LOVE EACH OTHER! We have learned to continually dine at Father God’s, “Table for Two,” developing our intimacy with Him individually through His Word before communing as husband and wife.

Why?……because anything less would be idolatry!

Deuteronomy 5:7 (AMPC);

“You shall have no other gods before Me or besides Me.”

Idolatry is the antithesis of intimacy with God.

Idolatry is the devil’s playground.

Idolatry is the force behind “crimes of passion!”

Idolatry is the trap that the enemy will use to destroy your intimacy with God and kill the relationships in your life, spirit, soul, and body!

Merriam Webster Dictionary:

IDOLATRY = The worship of a physical object as a God.

ANTITHESIS = The Direct Opposite.

My friend, when you and I choose to love someone, something, or even our desires more than God, that person or thing becomes an “object of our worship.” our god! By desecrating our hearts in this manner, we sit and dine at the tables of “foreign gods,” feasting on the carnality of our fleshly desires. This heart action works in “The Direct Opposite” to developing True Intimacy with God, at His Holy, “Table for Two.”

The danger in all of this, “idol worship,” is that our true soul satisfaction can never come from any source outside of the “One True Source,” Jesus Christ!

John 4:13-14 (TPT);

“Jesus answered, If you drink from Jacob’s well, you’ll be thirsty again and again,” “but if anyone drinks the Living Water I give them, they will never thirst again and will be forever satisfied! For when you drink the water I give you, it becomes a gushing fountain of The Holy Spirit, springing up and flooding you with endless life!”

To drink from the well of human efforts will bring disappointment, and leave us spiritually dry, brittle, and thirsty “again and again. “However, drinking the “Living Water” of Jesus Christ will fill our souls to the Brim with Him! We become a “Gusher” of Holy Spirit Power as He “Springs up and Floods us with Endless Life!”

Whose dining table are you sitting at, my friend?

Have you chosen to dine at the table of foreign gods?

Have you answered God’s RSVP for Eternity?

I am so grateful that God, “Who Is,” “Love Himself,” offers His Love to us in all of the “Right Places.” My journey with Mark began at The Most Important “Table For Two” FIRST. The Table of Intimacy With God, Dining on His Word and Feasting on His Presence!

When I reflect, my heart’s deepest desire was to meet and marry a man who LOVED GOD MORE THAN HE LOVED ME! In Mark, I have found that “Dream Come True!”

Luke 12:37 (TPT):

“What great joy is ahead for The Awakened Ones who are for The Master’s return. He Himself will become their servant and wait on them at His Table as He passes by.

Be Strong and Live Free…………..Boldly For Him!

© 2021 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”

Photo: Raissa Lara Lutolf ( -Fasel )

Unshakable Hope

Did you know that as Born Again Believers in Christ Jesus, that you and I have a “Hope Chest?” I’m not talking about a cedar chest filled with “earthen treasures.” I am referring to a “Heavenly Hope Chest,” an “Unshakable Hope,” that God wants everyone to know.

Merriam Webster Dictionary:

UNSHAKABLE = Not possible to weaken or get rid of, Not able to be shaken.

HOPE = To cherish a desire with anticipation to want something to be true.

Colossians 1:23 (b) (TPT);

“Never be shaken from the Hope of The Gospel you have believed in. And this is the glorious News I preach all over the world.”

How does our hope in The Gospel of Jesus Christ remain unshaken?

We continue to advance in Faith.

How do we advance in Faith when everything around us is being shaken?

By tapping into our “Heavenly Hope Chest.”

Where is our “Heavenly Hope Chest” found?

Colossians 1:26-27 (TPT) lets us in on this “secret surprise”;

There is a divine mystery, a secret surprise, that has been concealed from the world for generations, but now it’s being revealed, unfolded, and manifested for every Holy Believer to experience.” “Living within you is The Christ Who Floods you with the expectation of Glory! This mystery of Christ, embedded within us, becomes a Heavenly Treasure Chest of Hope filled with The Riches of Glory for His people, and God wants everyone to know it!”

Jesus Christ, The Son of The Living God, is “embedded within us!”

Merriam Webster Dictionary:

EMBEDDED = Attached to a military unit or group for some purpose (such as covering a conflict or providing expert advice.)

Oxford Languages Dictionary:

EMBEDDED = (Of an object) fixed firmly and deeply in a surrounding mass, implanted.

In this case, my friend the PersonHood of Jesus Christ is “The One” fixed firmly and deeply within the surrounding mass of our spirit man’s heart when we invite Him to be our Lord and Savior.

This is powerful, Jesus Christ, through salvation has been “IMPLANTED” within us!

Not only that, He is our “Ever Present Help in a time of trouble.” Ref. Psalm 46:1. He covers us in every conflict that may come our way, always providing us with “Expert Advice” just when we need it! As we choose to stay connected to Jesus Christ, Who is our “Heavenly Treasure Chest of Hope,” drawing our strength from Him, we will remain faith-filled and rock-solid in The Kingdom of Heaven. This stance of faith enables us to become reliable, joyful dispensers of “His Divine Unshakable Hope,” wherever we go! Glory To God!

While praying and asking God to make this word, “A revelation from His Heart and not merely a human explanation,” He shared something very profound with me about Divine Hope…..

WE ARE GOD’S HOPE CHEST!

When The Lord shared His Word with me, I was surprised and began to ponder it throughout the day. Early in the morning, when I woke up, I continued to think about what He had shared with me and then I asked The Lord:

“God, how are we YOUR Hope Chest?”

Immediately came The Reply of The Lord:

“I have placed Eternity within the hearts of men, IN HOPES that man would live for ME!”

Wow! God Has Hopes! I had never heard that before. I got excited with expectation! The Lord then gave me the following scripture:

Ecclesiastes 3:11(AMPC);

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He also has planted eternity in men’s hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy], yet so that men cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.”

Can you see this friend? The whole worth of Heaven has been, Divinely Deposited within us because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ at Calvary! We are “God’s Hope Chest,” a “Heavenly Treasure Chest” filled with “The Riches of His Glory!” This is our “Unshakable Hope” in The Gospel of Jesus Christ that lives within us! As men and women created in The Image of God, The Lord has implanted a yearning for Eternity, a “sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy!”

Jeremiah 29:11 (AMPC);

“For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts, and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you HOPE in your final outcome.”

Do you know what God Has placed in His Hope Chest for your life?

My beloved friend, God Has Eternal High Hopes For Us! He has filled His “Hope Chest” that is you and me with His “thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give us HOPE in our final outcome!”

Why is this so important to The Heart of Father God that you and I grasp this revelation?

Proverbs 13:12 (AMP) holds the key to our answer;

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a TREE OF LIFE.”

God knows that our flesh, the enemy, and sometimes the decisions of others can detour the timing of our hopes and dreams from being realized. The result? A spiritually sick heart, which is a confused heart. When the spiritual Heart becomes confused we can potentially “skip a beat,” regarding life-altering decisions. This can cause us to misjudge the people around us and misstep the path that is before us. However, when we stay “In Sync with God,” the desires, hopes, and dreams that He has for our lives will be fulfilled. Why?….. because the root system for our “Unshakable Hope” stems from “The Tree of Life Himself,” Jesus Christ! This is how everyone will know that we are “God’s Hope Chest” and give Him ALL The Glory For Eternity!

Ephesians 6:10 (AMPC);

“In conclusion, be strong in The Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides].”

“Be Strong and Live Free with an Unshakable Hope now and into Eternity…..Boldly For Him!”

© 2021 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”

Photo By: Lena De Fanti

“Insulated”

For years I have held back the following personal testimony, mostly in silent contemplation, sharing it only with a handful of people. It wasn’t until December 2020 that I sensed a release from The Lord to share it publicly. My prayer is that we all continue to embrace the Invaluable Power and Presence of God’s Eternal Word Spoken through “Our Mouth” no matter what situation we face.

Matthew 24:35 (TPT);

“The earth and sky will wear out and fade away before One Word I Speak loses its power or fails to accomplish its purpose.”

It was one of those late-night flights from Dallas, Texas, to Honolulu, Hawaii. Mark had just finished his final session in the recording studio for his “Still Waters Run Deep” project, and we were excited to get back home. The lights recently dimmed by the Flight Attendants, everyone began to settle down for the long ride ahead. The peaceful hum of the Jet engines created a soothing lullaby causing weary passengers to doze off. SUDDENLY like a BULLHORN FROM HEAVEN, THE AUTHORITATIVE VOICE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT URGENTLY and LOUDLY DECLARED in my Spirit

“THERE IS A TERRORIST ON THIS PLANE”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

FULLY ALERT and ALARMED, I remember thinking what!!!!!!!, a Terrorist! As I clutched the arm of my seat, a horrific fear that I had never experienced in my entire life, before or since began to overtake me. I quickly turned to Mark, who was quietly resting. I wanted to tell him what I had just heard from The Lord, BEFORE I COULD EVEN OPEN MY MOUTH TO SPEAK, THE VOICE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT INTERJECTED, DIRECTING ME “TO NOT” SPEAK OUT LOUD WHAT HE JUST SHARED WITH ME AND TO “IMMEDIATELY” START PRAYING PSALM 91.

In quick obedience to The Instruction of The Lord, I began to quote Psalm 91verse by verse. Visibly shaken and still unsure of what was going on, I began to wonder if this was the specific reason that He had me memorize this passage of scripture several years earlier.

The more I quoted Psalm 91, the calmer my spirit became, though I remained on guard and cautious, looking over my shoulder from time to time. Getting up from my seat to go to the restroom, I could not resist scanning the plane with my eyes to confirm a sense of “normal.” As The Peace of God “INSULATED” me, I made my way back to my seat and buckled in for the remainder of the flight home, I never did say anything to Mark that night.

The mornings in Hawaii are a beautiful gift from God, and this one was no different. As I arrived at work, I suddenly wondered, “where is everyone?” Finally, the Office Manager greeted me and promptly told me that I could go home. As I questioned her why, she looked at me strangely and said, You don’t know? I replied, no. She then proceeded to tell me that several planes had flown into The World Trade Center in New York City and The Pentagon in DC. Potentially the White House and that America was under attack!

Somehow with the time zone difference and me rushing to get to work on time, I had missed the devastating news. Like the rest of the Nation, I am stunned, horrified, and in complete shock! September 11th, 2001 is a nightmare of epic proportions and one of the saddest events of American History. So, I leave the office in a state of numbness, my thoughts race back to the plane ride home that Mark and I had taken just weeks earlier, and what occurred during that flight, there is a pit in my stomach.

Throughout the ensuing years, there has been a myriad of questions that have bombarded my mind from time to time, but the Lord has Graciously answered some, others only Heaven will reveal. What I have come to realize, though, is with every fiber of my being, there was a Magnitude of God’s Divine Protection, Through His Spoken Word, which Insulated me…….and others at a very intense moment.

Proverbs 30:5 (ESV):

“Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.”

At the moment that God released His Instruction to me and I obeyed, reciting Psalm 91 verse by verse, His Power and Presence released as “A Wrap-Around Shield of Protection.” To God Be The Glory! This is how God “Insulates” us with “His Word” as WE SPEAK HIM from our HEART through our MOUTH, as He Directs us.

What does it mean to Insulate Us?

Here is the Cambridge Dictionary definition of the word insulate.

Insulate = To Cover and Surround something with a material or substance, to stop heat, sound, or electricity from escaping or entering.

God’s Word Spoken through our mouth is Creative Power and Substance. “The Insulation” of His Divine Protection, Provision, Wisdom, and Favor for whatever may be needed, in our life, according to His Will. My friend, this is how His “Wrap-Around Shield of Protection” becomes our confidence. It activates and “Insulates” us for everyday life.

Hebrews 11:1-3 (NKJV) says;

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” “For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.” “By faith, we understand the worlds were framed by The Word of God so that the things which are seen, were not made of things which are visible.”

You see friends, our trust and total reliance on The Word of God Spoken through our mouth no matter what we can see, taste, touch, hear, smell, or even “feel like” is what will ultimately provide you and me with “a good testimony” like, “the elders” of faith that have gone before us! I can personally attest to that plane ride decades ago that I felt anything but courageous or overcoming. It was ONLY “HIS Word” spoken through me, “not mine” that created the “Substance,” the “Faith,” “The Frame,” “The Insulation” and ultimately the “Divine Protection” that calmed the atmosphere.

Why is speaking The Word of God so important?

Here is our answer,

Psalm 107:20 (AMPC);

“He sends His Word and heals them and delivers them from the pit and destruction.”

God can’t Send forth His Word to bring healing or deliverance, “from any pit or destruction” unless we Open our mouth and “Speak His Word,” which releases His Manifest Presence, (His Personhood) into the atmosphere surrounding the obstacle or obstacles that we may be facing at the time. Yes! His Words, coming out of our mouth my friend can alter History! Go back and read Joshua 10:12-14, in your Bible where this Mighty Man of God commanded “The sun to stand still,” in order for the Israelites to win an important victory, and you will see what I am talking about!

I have witnessed Father God Show up, time and time again when I have implemented this vital truth in my life! However, when I have failed to implement this principle in my life or have been delayed or distracted in utilizing The Word Of God against the attacks of the enemy, I have experienced some serious and costly setbacks. My friend, the cry of my heart in sharing this testimony with you, is to remind us of the importance of learning to be quick in our obedience to The Instructions of The Lord at ALL TIMES! Our life could depend on it, and for many of us, it has!

How do we learn to operate in this principle?

Through Obedience.

1st Samuel 15:22-23 (AMP);

“Samuel said, Has The Lord as great a delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of The Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as idolatry and teraphim (household good luck images). Because you have rejected the Word of The Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.”

Here the Prophet Samuel is informing a disobedient King Saul of the penalty of doing things, “his way,” (disobedience) versus “God’s Way,” (obedience). You see my friend, anytime we choose to do things “our way” outside of The Will or Direction of God for our lives, we are actually, “Rejecting God” through our disobedience. When we do this, we reject His Safety and Protection for our lives! If we continually live this way, outside of God’s Will, rejecting His Safety and Protection for our lives without making an, “About Face of The Heart,” we will, like this Ancient King, “lose everything!”

What Instructions has God given you, my friend If any, that you have yet to acknowledge or follow-up?

Are there any areas in your life that you do not sense God’s safety and protection?

Have you allowed your decisions to replace God’s Direction for your life?

Is there a passage of scripture or scriptures that The Lord has impressed you to study or memorize?

My friend, I want to encourage you to invest some time with The Lord, Listening to His Heart for Your Life. See what He has to say to you, then quickly follow through on any instructions that He has given to you. Your life and others may one day depend on it!

Psalm 119:11 (AMP);

“Your Word have I laid up in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”

BE STRONG AND LIVE FREE……….BOLDLY FOR HIM!

© 2021 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”

Photo By: Joanna Nix