The feast of Dedication

feast of dedication

John 10:22, the only passage that says the Messiah celebrates Chanukah, it was winter at this time. And ‘He walked in the temple’, (John 10:23-30). This feast has a deeper meaning for all of us. The feast of dedication, an eight-day festival observing the victories of Judas Maccabaeus (Judas Maccabeus – Wikipedia), and the purification and rededication of the temple. Also called the Feast of Lights; Hanukkah; Chanukah. More than just the miracle of lights. The observed dedication of the altar was a celebration in the Old Testament, (2 Chronicles 7:8-13). And carried through to the New. The festival of lights includes our inner light, our good will, a cleansing of ourselves for we are the living temple. Jesus walked the physical temple, was inside the temple. As His Spirit is inside our hearts. God abides in us. Jesus is the Good Shepherd. Our hope lies in Christ, in our belief in Him, in our accepting Him into our lives, He is the Light of the world. In letting Him cleanse us from all unrighteousness, He leads us to the Father who loves us! He died for us while we were yet sinners. A gift for us to change ourselves from the inside out. His Spirit helps us do that, we cannot do this on our own, for there are powers that be that also wants us, who play havoc on our mind, our being to rebel against our Creator, (Ephesians 6:12).  The heart reveals who we are, the spirit in us manifests in good works, good fruits or its opposite. Which team we choose to be in is up to us to decided. Being influence by One or the other. Better to listen to the Spirit of Goodness then the spirit of deceit. Both struggle to get us on their side, but only one leads us to life. While the other, once the material things no longer satisfies or fills the emptiness, destroys. Loosing your soul ultimately leads to death. (Matthew 16:26), paraphrasing- you gain the world but loose eternity. The world can be enticing but for all the wrong reasons, if not God centered. Those who seek instant gratification love the world and the world loves then back. The cost is the lost sight of the Eternal One, who can give much more. The jewels of God is love, truth, patience, compassion, true peace, true healing which is lost and/or disguised, and for what? material things, fame, fortune that are here today and gone tomorrow. Nothing last that isn’t spirit. God is Spirit, we worship in the spirit of love. True love, not love that vanishes when times get tough, but last through the difficulties of life.

The salvation that Christ gives is redemption from the forces that keep us rebelling, giving us truth from the lies, life more abundant, satisfying our needs. He cares for the little sparrows (birds) of the air how much more us, His precious children. IF you let Him, if you invite Him into your heart, your life. It’s a two way connection, relationship. He never told us life would be easy only that with Him we conquer our mountains and forge ahead to a better life. The penalty of sin is death, no light, no existence, no unity with God. You either let the light of His grace shine in you, accept forgiveness and repent Or you carry your guilt with you and accept the consequence of your actions. There’s no in between, no sitting on the fence, time is too short for dalliance. The Holy Scriptures’ are very explicit on conduct, ten Commandments written in stone that encompasses a respectful, loving life, when followed. It’s keeping all, not just the ones we want to keep. Loving God above all things because you want to for Who He Is, is the first four; loving your neighbor are the last six. Believing in His Son, in the hope that He brings. Emulating His trust in God. Believers are set apart from the world to shine the love/light of Christ. Trusting Him to lead you home.

Light of a new era is coming, where the anguish we feel now will no longer be pulling us toward it, where tears of sadness will no longer exist. The world as we know it is dying, just look around to see how true that is… Evil and the father of is working overtime to ruin everything that God called very good. Yet, the Lord is knocking on each of our heart’s door to invite Him in, to forgive our misdeeds, to help us know Him better, know His truth, His wisdom, understanding our life here and now and what we can do to improve it with Him by our side. Asking Jesus to abide in us, to help us run the race He has for us, til the end. Not giving up but giving your doubts and pain to the One who can heal you better than any physician. Trusting Him to finish what He has started in you! A dedication to follow Him if you do not yet know Him, A re-dedication of self to God if you did and have lost touch with the One who truly cares about YOU, and even if you already know Him, re-dedicating your life to Him in joy. He gives us joy in the mist of chaos, if you believe. Life takes new meaning. Following His lead, for everything works together for our good. Find the joy in Him, times might be hard at times, but Christ offers help to go through it. And who knows if your struggles helps others feeling the same. All of it works together for our good. Even if we can’t quite see it doing good at the time. He offers a new day- light at the end of this tunnel, light at the end of this journey we call life. That even in death we can rejoice for having finish the race with His grace in us. And looking forward to meeting Him with a clear conscience. Remember God knows your past, present and future before you do. Yet, He doesn’t interfere unless ask to. Let the tears come down in repentance of your rebellion, giving Him your heart He WILL give you His, for all eternity. Ask Him to abide in you, every day for everyday we’re met with confrontations we must deal with. In prayer, talking to Him straight from the heart. Faith in Him, faith in letting Him guide you into doing the right thing. Everyone has that little voice (conscience) or gut feeling that tells you when things are not right. What you do with it is up to you.

Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?  James 2:22
Not that works gets you an audience with God, forgiveness and meeting the Father comes only through Christ, with Him our good works are a shining light to a world in need, and our seal we are His.

Christ is our center, everything done in His name prospers. Our mission is not to lose that assurance, the strength to endure and to keep going against all the odds, in His name we are already conquers. Nothing in this world can penetrate ‘the belt of Truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of Peace, the shield of Faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit’ (Eph. 6:10-15 ),  we are called to be soldiers, to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. We are called to put on His armor in a world that has forgotten Him. A world that has been deceived with everything imaginable to distract us away from the Father and His glory; away from Jesus who can give us so much more than tangible trinkets that fade with time, leaving us with an empty feeling. Life instead can be in abundance of things that count, love, harmony, peace with one another and ourselves, everything that’s good. Don’t you think God knows what you need..?.. He does and wants us to acknowledge Him, for who He is. He alone satisfies our soul’s yearning. He alone can fill the empty feeling. He is Spirit and we must worship in spirit. The spirit of love and compassion, not of hatred and discord. If only we leave behind our old self of self-gratification, and believe in His goodness, honoring Him by helping others, (Matthew 25:40). Our life will be better for it. There is power in the name of Jesus, we are His soldiers with His armor on. The festival of lights reminds us to shine our light with joy.  Hope is powerful, giving us true healing in body and spirit. One day at a time.

It’s a journey of discovering who we are… begins with fearing the Lord for in it there’s wisdom to know thyself as God intended you to be, in love and respect to Him, to your person and your neighbor. In a world of confusion He’s an open door, through Him we conquer our mountains – together. Whatever those mountains are we are here for a purpose. We learn from our struggles and forge ahead, having Him to follow, we walk in the daytime without stumbling… and should we fall He’s right there. The theme is not to give up, but brush the dust off and move on. Always in prayer and supplication. Walking in His light. At the end of this journey faith and truth in Christ is what counts. A mind open to truth (see John 3:17-21).

We are blessed to have life. Think about that…

how precious we are… our very breath of our existence speaks of a Higher Being – God.  Formed in His image,

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  Genesis 1:27
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.  Genesis 2:7
But now, O Lord, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.  Isaiah 64:8 
Shouldn’t we give reverence to Him..?.. We didn’t just happen, we were made for a purpose but we have been blinded by the ‘god’ of this world to believe in anything but the One who made us. We need to step back from ourselves, our egos and truly look inside ourselves. We find meaning and purpose through Christ in reconciling ourselves to Him.

We are united in Christ, the bond that was broken through sin is restored only through Him. There’s a bond between us, should we want to accept this mission of cultivating a relationship with Him. And like any relationship it needs to be nurtured and cared for to grow. Everything good is from our God. Everything that destroys isn’t. Yet our Father allows the difficulty to show us the difference of good vs evil. We’re asked to endure and go through these times of hardship, for in going through them we come out of them a better person with greater strength and assurance, with understanding and wisdom. God did not leave us alone, trust Him to know what’s good for you. Rebelling only prolongs the agony, in which sometimes we’re not even aware we’re causing our own demise. God has to find another way to get your attention, YOUR worth it, in His eyes. Don’t harden your heart to His calling and miss out on the joy He can give you . We’re to grow in love and the spirit in us unites with His Spirit bringing forth the fruits thereof;
…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  Galatians 5:22
(for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth),  Ephesians 5:9
In this holiday season lets cleanse ourselves, purge the unseemly out of our lives to reflect His love in us.
that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, Philippians 2:15 

in His Presence, and to humanity at large that needs so much to know a loving Father in the mist of confusion and chaos. Our life is a testimony of who we are, our conduct shows our heart’s desire and thereby evidence of.  What spirit we abide with shows our fruits, good or bad. We strive to do good in everything, yet living in this world we fall short. Giving our life to Christ cleanses us, He takes our sins upon Himself and gives us His Spirit to endure, persevere, love. Abide in Him and He will abide in us, He did not leave us orphans to combat the evil arrows on our own. He gives us His strength, His power and together we tackle what life throws at us. Taking each day at a time for the past has passed – confess and purge any mishaps, misdeed and let it go before the guilt gnaws your person into doing worst. The future isn’t yet present, don’t worry so much about it, it’ll take care of itself once here, with prayer and the Lord’s help we mustard through to the better person He always knew we were. The present IS now, God is calling NOW to be on His team, to walk with Him through our life’s journey. The end of His manual ends well for those who love Him as much as He loved/loves us.

Jesus replied: ‘Are there not twelve hours in the day?  A man can walk in the daytime without stumbling because he has the light of this world to see by; but if he walks at night he stumbles because there is no light to guide him.’  John 11:9-13

Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 

18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”  John 3:11-21

He knows us already, the good the bad and the ugly, every inch of us, down to the hairs on your head. Everyone has skeletons in their closet, no one’s perfect. In searching our own heart we find we’re broken inside, we’ve rebelled against our very Maker. There’s a spirit inside us that is good and one that isn’t, the price we inherited upon wanting self to rule over us, instead of following God’s instructions, instead of abiding in Him. The choice is ours to make, one leads to the promised land the other to death. As harsh as this sounds it’s the truth. There’s no middle ground, we cannot be lukewarm. God is pleading with us to follow Him, get to know Him. Christ freed us and assures us with Him we are conquers of any mountain that presents itself.

Don’t let self, ‘what’s in it for me’ mentality, ‘we can do it on our own’ mindset set in, this is satan’s lure for us, to his realm of thinking, away from God’s care. No one can do it on his own, God is always watching over us, Jesus is always there, left us His Spirit to helps us. There’s always someone put in our path who helps us along the way, whether parent, teacher, friend, mentor that guides us in the right path. Listen, see the good in your own life and follow through with it. The Spirit of Christ Himself tells us when we’re doing wrong by the guilty feeling we feel. Don’t let guilt come between having a personal relationship with our Lord. We are human but also spiritual beings in Christ. He was human knowing what we go through in this life, and God. Yet didn’t use His godly powers, always relying on the Father, always in prayer, right up to His death. His resurrection is the trust He had in the Father of conducting His life to the will of the Father. Our example and our hope.

Our selfishness, self-centeredness stands in the way of true spiritual growth. Life is a big lesson. It’s in how we handle certain situations, circumstances whether of our making or not that happens throughout our life is what makes us strong or weak. In both having Christ in us our weaknesses turn to challenges we CAN overpower with the strength of grace in us. And our strength will be much more enriched for having God at the helm. Our potential is so much greater for He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world.

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.  1 John 4:4  (see also Deuteronomy 31:6)

We are united in Christ through our obedience to follow Him, getting to know Him on a one on one level. It’s not a collective thing, for God knows our individual heart. And this is what He wants, our sincerity in loving Him back. Truth and honesty. An honest connection of mutual respect of who we are in His eyes not what we are on our own; of who He is, Creator of the universe, Father to all. Jesus is our only way to the Father, (John 14:6). Acknowledging this and who we actually are will tell us how much we need Him in our lives. A rededication, a cleansing of self to reflect His Essences for we are made in His image of everything that is good. We are the light that shines in a darken world and our actions speaks louder than words.

He who earnestly seeks good finds favor, But trouble will come to him who seeks evil.  Proverbs 11:27

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.  Psalm 23:6
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17
Let’s ask for God’s blessing in coming to know Him and our purpose, as we celebrate the festival of lights and shine our light forward…

 Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.  And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

Let’s be like Martha as…

She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”  John 11:25-27

God bless us one and all!

Thank you for visiting 🙂

May this holiday bring you joy, peace and the true meaning of the season!

My gratitude to my sources: https://www.biblegateway.com/ for my NKJV verses;  Wikipedia for the history of J. Maccabeus; picture source http://www.heavenlytreasure.net/feast-of-dedication/  who also has the rich history of the feast of dedication. Shalom

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