Blessings and Benefits of Shalom

Shalom is the Hebrew word for “peace”, and also often used as a greeting “may things go well for you”. May Shalom be yours, especially during this Christmas Season.

The Blessings and Benefits of Shalom (Strong’s Hebrew #7965) include:

  1. Peace, quietness, tranquility
  2. Salvation and Baptism of the Holy Spirit
  3. Rest, Joy, Hope, Faith
  4. Love
  5. Absence of war
  6. Absence of strife and contention
  7. Peace in our spirit (rational intellect, the part of us that communes with God)
  8. Peace in our soul (mind, will, emotions)
  9. Peace with God, especially in covenant relation
  10. Peace that surpasses our understanding; peace like a river
  11. Unity; concord; harmony (the anointing oil flows with unity in Psalms 133)
  12. Freedom from confusion, addictions and captivity of any kind
  13. The Lord looses the prisoners
  14. Success and Blessings (family, children, grandchildren, houses, cars, land, assets, both material and non-material things)
  15. Giving thanks for all your blessings
  16. Prosperity; wealth; living debt free; debts cancelled
  17. Satiation of God’s goodness
  18. Being filled up with the Word of God
  19. Possessing the promises of God
  20. Completeness, Wholeness
  21. Restoration; Rejuvenation; Refreshment; Relaxation; Recreation
  22. Contentment
  23. Friendship; Friendliness (including friendship with God)
  24. Soundness in mind and physical body; excellent health; wellness
  25. With long life I will satisfy him and show him My salvation
  26. Security
  27. Welfare, Happiness
  28. Nothing missing and nothing broken
  29. Safe (in mind, body or estate)
  30. Restitution; compensation
  31. To walk in favor with God and man
  32. God gives His Beloved sleep
  33. Days of Heaven upon earth
  34. A greeting (“May it be well with you”)
  35. Messianic Reign
Advertisements

The Gift of Salvation, Plus Many More Gifts God Has For You!

The Gifts God Has For You

Christmas is a time of giving. We give gifts to express our love and appreciation. Children, and adults alike, enjoy receiving gifts.

Children are filled with so much excitement at the anticipation of Christmas Day and can hardly wait to open their presents. Their faces light up with joy when they receive the toy or bicycle they wanted so very much.

First John 3:1 says, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.”

Galations 4:6-7 states: “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba Father. Wherefore, thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”

Matthew 7:11 tells us that in the same way that parents enjoy giving good gifts to their children (though they be evil compared to God’s goodness), then how much more does the Father delight in giving good gifts to those who ask Him.

Every good and perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of Lights, with whom is no variableness or shadow of turning (James 1:17).

The Lord has many good gifts to give to us. All we have to do is just receive by faith and thank Him. His gifts are so many, but include:

 

  • Salvation and Eternal Life
  • Heaven
  • Forgiveness
  • The Holy Spirit
  • Health and Healing
  • Abundant Life
  • Wealth and Prosperity
  • Peace of Mind
  • Love and Joy
  • Family, Friends and Children
  • God’s Anointing and Presence
  • Favor of God
  • Gifts of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12
  • The Desires of Your Heart
  • Reconciliation in Family Relationships
  • Every Blessing From Heaven

 

All these gifts are for you with your name on it!

You Can Receive Salvation

In John 10:10, Jesus said that the thief (Satan) comes only for to kill, steal and destroy. But He (Jesus) has come to give us life, and life more abundantly, to the full, until it overflows.

The best gift that anyone could ever receive is salvation and eternal life. Romans 6:23 (KJV) says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Through Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross and His resurrection, anyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.

Romans 10:9-10 (NKJV) says, “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

In Revelation 3:20, Jesus is knocking on the doors of our hearts. If we will open the door, He will come and sup with us and us with Him.

The Lord is knocking on the door of your heart right now just waiting for you to let Him come in. If you do not know Jesus as your personal Savior, you can be saved right now. You can pray your own prayer from your heart, or you can pray this simple prayer. Just say:

“Dear Jesus,

I acknowledge that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe that You rose from the dead. I accept You into my heart as my Lord and Savior. I repent of my sins. Forgive me and wash me clean by Your Blood. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit. Thank You for writing my name in the Lamb’s Book of Life. I want to serve You all the days of my life. Help me to become the person You want me to be. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

If you prayed this prayer for the first time, where is Jesus right now? Do you feel His presence in your heart?

You are now a child of God and are accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6).

I would encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church to help you grow in your newfound faith. I would also encourage you to be water baptized as a declaration that you are now following Jesus.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all (2 Corinthians 13:14 NKJV).

May you have a joyful and peaceful Christmas season!

Kathleen Riley

Pt. 18 – The Christmas Story (God is Faithful to Keep His Promises)

God is Faithful to Keep His Promises

The theme of God keeping His promises is interwoven throughout the entire Christmas Story.

The Lord was faithful to His words to Mary, Joseph, Zacharias, Elisabeth, the shepherds, Simeon and Anna. God did for them exactly what He had said He would do.

There are 332 Messianic promises and implications in the Old Testament regarding Christ’s first coming. God fulfilled every single Messianic prophecy when Jesus came to earth—from His conception up until His resurrection and ascension into heaven.

For a complete list of every Messianic prophecy regarding Jesus’ first coming, I would highly recommend a book entitled Lamb of God: Yesterday, Today and Forever (Clarion Call Marketing, 2004) by Benny Hinn. Please go to his website at http://www.bennyhinn.org/ or http://www.amazon.com .

If God has spoken prophetic promises to you, or that of a loved one, just know that He will be faithful to fulfill those words in His due timing.

Numbers 23:19 (NIV) declares, “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?”

God has promised us many things in His Word. Also, many of us have received prophetic promises that were spoken over us. We want to receive our promise or healing. We know that God is able to do it, but for some reason or another, many are not completely ready to receive their promise or healing at this moment. We have to get to the place where we not only know that God is able to do it, but that He will do it.

In John 5:5-9, Jesus came by the pool of Bethesda and found a lame man who had suffered with an infirmity for 38 years. Jesus said to him, “Do you want to be made whole?”

Rather than the man instantly saying “yes”, he gave Jesus the reasons why he hadn’t been healed in the past. Plus, the man was stuck in the mode of blaming others for his condition. When the man decided to take responsibility for his own life and stop blaming others and making excuses, then he was able to receive his healing.

If prophetic words were spoken over you and it bore witness with your spirit and is in agreement with the Bible, then trust God to perform His Word.

May we prepare our hearts to receive all that God has for us. May we make whatever changes God tells us to make, so that we are ready to receive.

It is time to cross over into our promised land and receive what we have been believing God for. May we not let fear, doubt and other issues get in the way of receiving our promise.

Romans 4:17 says that God calls those things that are not as though they already were. That is what we need to do … begin calling those things in our lives that are non-existent as though they already were in existence. Then we will begin to see those things come into manifestation.

God wants to do something in our life that’s bigger than us. He wants us to believe for the impossible. He’s able to do miracles, even creative miracles.

Jeremiah 32:27 (KJV) says, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for Me?” In verse 17 Jeremiah declares, “Ah Lord God! Behold, Thou hast made the heaven and the earth by Thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for Thee.”

When Zerubbabel (mentioned in Haggai and Ezra) had faced opposition to restoring the temple in Jerusalem and work had been suspended for several years, the situation looked bleak. However, God spoke through the prophet saying, “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a [level] plain” (Zechariah 4:6-7).

We can personalize this for our own lives. Replace the name Zerubbabel with your name or that of a loved one. Declare aloud, “The Word of the Lord comes to __________ saying, It’s not by your might, nor by your power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? Before __________ thou shalt become a leveled plain.”

Matthew 21:21 says that if we speak to our mountain and tell it to move out of our way, and do not doubt in our hearts, that it would obey us. What is the mountain (the obstacle or problem) in your life that stands in your way and tries to intimidate or taunt you? You have to speak to it, telling it to get out of your way.

Luke 3:5 speaks of Jesus, saying that He would cause every valley to be filled and exalted, every mountain to be made low, every crooked path to be made straight, and every rough way to be made smooth.

God wants us to keep our focus on Him, and see Him as powerful and mighty and awesome. Who else is like unto Him? Who else can do what only He can do? There is none like Him!

Hebrews 11:11 says that Sarah received the promise (giving birth to Isaac) because she considered Him faithful who had promised. Like Sarah, we need to believe that God is faithful to fulfill everything He said He would do even before we see it happen.

Mary said to Gabriel, “Be it unto me according to thy word”, and then she conceived. May we have the heart of Mary and say to the Lord when He speaks something to us, “Be it unto me according to Thy word.”

This is a season of leaving the wilderness and crossing over into our promised land. There are giants there—new challenges and new devils to contend with, but God will conquer every giant. Although the old can be miserable, it’s familiar. The new seems scary because it’s a place of the unknown.

God has a “promised land” for each of our lives (a place of blessings, joy, abundance and fulfilled dreams). The Lord will lead us there if we take His hand, and be willing to leave the past behind.

Pt. 15 – The Christmas Story (Wise Men From the East)

Wise Men From the East

When Jesus was born, there were wise men (also called magi or astrologers) in the East who saw His star and they journeyed to Jerusalem to find the One who was born King of the Jews so they could worship Him (Matthew 2:1-2).

The wise men inquired of the leaders in Jerusalem as to where the newborn King of the Jews was located. When King Herod heard about this, he was troubled, as was also all Jerusalem (Matthew 2:3). Herod was the king of the Jews and felt threatened by the idea of someone else being born to replace him as king of the Jews.

Herod gathered the chief priests and the scribes (religious lawyers) together, inquiring where the Messiah was to be born (Matthew 2:4-6). So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet ‘But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting’” (Micah 5:2 NKJV).

Herod secretly summoned the wise men to his palace to question them, to determine when the star first appeared (Matthew 2:7-8). Then Herod sent the wise men to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search diligently for the young child, and when you have found him, bring word back to me—that I may come and worship Him also.”

In his evil heart, Herod had no plans of worshipping the Christ Child, but of murdering Him.

The wise men departed from King Herod’s presence, and the star that they had seen in the East went before them leading them to the place where Jesus and His parents resided. The star stood over a house where the young child was (Matthew 2:9-10). When the wise men saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy!

From the time that the wise men first saw the star, they didn’t arrive in Bethlehem until two years later. By the time they left for their journey and traveled hundreds of miles to Jerusalem and were detained there, when they finally arrived in Bethlehem, Jesus was around two years old. Joseph, Mary and the toddler Jesus were living in a house and remained in Bethlehem until Jesus was about two years old.

Although the wise men are depicted today as being three in number because they presented Jesus with three gifts, it was probably a whole caravan of magi that came. In those days travelers journeyed in caravans for safety purposes, as there were robbers along the side of the roads.

When the wise men came into the house, they saw the young child with Mary His mother. The wise men fell down and worshipped Jesus. They had brought costly gifts for Him that are suited for a king. When they had opened their treasures, they presented Him with gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:11).

Gold symbolizes Divinity and Eternity. The gold is representative of the fact that Jesus is God, who was in Heaven with His Father and sent to earth to take on human flesh to ransom mankind. Gold also represents the wealth of a King.

Frankincense is a sweet perfume, symbolizing the sweet fragrance of Christ (2 Corinthians 2:14-15). Song of Solomon 1:3-4 (NIV) says, “How pleasing is the fragrance of Your perfume; Your Name is like perfume poured out … let the King bring me into His chambers.” Frankincense speaks of Jesus being our bridegroom and king. Frankincense also speaks of worship and prayers that are offered up to God ascending to the Throne as a sweet-smelling aroma that is accepted by the Father. Frankincense symbolizes the Shekinah Glory of God.

Myrrh is a sweet smelling, but bitter resin, used for cleansing and burial of the dead. Myrrh symbolizes Christ’s sufferings and His death on the Cross. Myrrh also represents the sufferings we go through, and dying to the fleshly nature (Galations 2:20, 5:16-25).

The wise men were divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod. So they departed for their own country another way.

When the wise men had departed, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream saying, “Arise, take the young child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young child to destroy Him” (Matthew 2:13 NKJV).

When Joseph arose, he took the young child and Mary by night and departed for Egypt. They remained in Egypt until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying “Out of Egypt I called My Son” (Hosea 11:1).

Pt. 14 – The Christmas Story (Jesus Dedicated at the Temple)

Jesus Dedicated at the Temple

When the baby Jesus was eight days old, He was circumcised (Luke 2:21). At the circumcision ceremony, Mary and Joseph named Him JESUS, the name given by the angel Gabriel when he appeared to Mary in person and later on appeared to Joseph in a dream.

The Greek name translated into English as Jesus, is the name Iesous (pronounced ee-ay-sooce, Strong’s New Testament #2424). It is of Hebrew origin (Strong’s Old Testament #3091) from the name Yehowshua, or Joshua, meaning “Jehovah is Salvation”.

When the days of Mary’s post-birth purification had been completed, according to the law of Moses, Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem to be dedicated to the Lord (Luke 2:22-24).

In the Barnes’ Notes Bible Encyclopedia, it states that among the Hebrews, a mother was required to remain at home for about forty days following the birth of a male child and about eighty days after the birth of a female child. During that time she was reckoned as impure, and was not permitted to go to the Temple or to engage in religious services with the congregation (Leviticus 12:3-5).

A sacrifice was required when dedicating the firstborn son at the Temple. Mary and Joseph brought a sacrifice to be offered. As it is written in the law of the Lord (Exodus 13:2), every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord. And in keeping with the law of the Lord, a sacrifice must be offered of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.

At the temple, there was an elderly man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon (Luke 2:25-40). This man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel (a name for the Messiah), and the Holy Spirit was upon him.

It had been revealed to him by the Holy Ghost that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ (the Messiah). So he came by the Spirit—he was led by the Lord to come—into the temple that exact particular day that Mary and Joseph were there with baby Jesus. When the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, Simeon took Jesus up in his arms and blessed God and began to prophesy over Him saying:

“Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your Word. For my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel” (Luke 2:29-32 NKJV).

Joseph and Mary marveled at those things which were spoken of Him (Jesus). Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, the mother of Jesus: “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed” (Luke 2:34-35 NKJV).

Now there was a prophetess named Anna, who was the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher (Luke 2:36-38). She was 84 years old. When she was young, she was married to her husband for seven years and became widowed. She never did remarry but remained single the rest of her life. She remained at the Temple for all those years, serving God with fastings and prayers night and day.

When she saw the baby Jesus, at that very moment she came up and began to give thanks to God, and continued to speak of the newborn Messiah to those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem and all of Israel.

Pt. 12 – The Christmas Story (The Birth of Jesus the Messiah)

The Birth of Jesus the Messiah

In those days, a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that a census be taken of all the inhabited world. The King James Version says “taxation”, while other versions say “census”. Maybe it involved both things. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.

Everyone was on his way to register, each to his own city of lineage. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of King David. (King David’s birthplace is Bethlehem.) Joseph registered, along with Mary his wife, who was in the later stage of pregnancy.

While they were there in Bethlehem the days were completed for her to give birth. There were no rooms available in the inn since there were so many people in Bethlehem during that time to register for the census.

The only available shelter they found was a stable or cave where the animals were kept. Mary gave birth to her firstborn son; she wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger—a feeding trough (Luke 2:7).

In the same way that there was no room in the inn for the Messiah to be born, many people today make no room for Christ in their lives. They have room for others and for things, but no room for Jesus. May we make room in our hearts for the King of kings and Lord of lords. Jesus should take first place in our lives.

Jesus was born in “humble” surroundings although He is a King. He was not born and raised in a palace like kings of this earth. He wasn’t even born in a hospital or a house.

He was raised in Nazareth and worked in the family business as a carpenter along with His father. He was a King, but was not raised in a wealthy and influential family, although He was not poor either. His family had a prosperous carpentry business. He did not grow up in a prestigious city. God chose who His parents would be not based on economic status, but on their blameless character and righteous living.

Jesus’ disciple Nathanael said in John 1:46 “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” The city of Nazareth was held in great contempt by the people of Judaea, because the people of Galilee spoke a crude dialect and were less cultivated. Also, the Galileans were held in disrepute because they were largely influenced by the Gentile heathen who mingled with them, and also because of their lower type of moral and religious character. The people of Nazareth and the Galilee region were less educated.

Jesus left the wealth of Heaven to come to earth. On earth He was poor in comparison with Heaven’s wealth. But He was not poor according to this world’s standard. His family owned a business. Jesus owned a home in Capernaum. Jesus had a treasurer in His ministry. When Jesus died on the Cross, lots were cast for His seamless tunic.

Most of Jesus’ disciples were from the region of Galilee. They were rough around the edges, but the Lord used them powerfully.

On the Day of Pentecost, the 120 who gathered in the Upper Room were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in languages they had never learned before. In Acts 2:7, devout Jews from every nation who came for the feast of Pentecost were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans?” The Galileans were uneducated and yet began to speak fluently in languages they had never learned before. Another significant thing is that the Galileans, who usually spoke rough and rude, began to speak with eloquence and gracefulness.

This goes to show that God can raise up a person who feels like a nobody from nowhere—from any neighborhood or economic situation—and prosper them and use them for His glory.

Jesus understands the financial pressures that most people go through. God wants us to be blessed and walk in abundance, having all of our material needs met and be able to pay all of our bills, and have money left over in the bank, plus have investments and assets, because He bore the curse of poverty on the Cross.

Second Corinthians 8:9 (AMP) says, “For you are becoming progressively acquainted with and recognizing more strongly and clearly the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (His kindness, His gracious generosity, His undeserved favor and spiritual blessing), [in] that though He was [so very] rich, yet for your sakes He became [so very] poor, in order that by His poverty you might become enriched (abundantly supplied).”

If we be Abraham’s seed, we are heirs of the promise or the covenant (Galations 3:29). In the Abrahamic Covenant, one part of it is that God would bless us and that we would be a blessing to others. You can only bless others if you have it to give. God is Jehovah Jireh, our Provider. He wants to bless us.

Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 9:8 (AMP): “And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient [possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation].”

Pt. 11 – The Christmas Story (Mary’s Dilemma)

Mary’s Dilemma

The time came when Mary had to tell her fiancé Joseph that she was with child. She tried to explain to him how the conception occurred: The archangel Gabriel appeared to her in person, he announced that she was chosen to be the mother of the Messiah, the Holy Spirit overshadowed her and she conceived, and the child she is carrying in her womb is the Son of God.

Of course, how could Joseph believe such a preposterous story? It sounded ludicrous. How could a mature, logical and sensible man like himself buy such a story? After all, every young woman dreamed of being chosen to give birth to the Messiah.

Just imagine all of the tumultuous emotions that Joseph was feeling. He was betrothed to Mary and in love with her. He had dreams and plans of spending his entire life with her, but now his dreams of the two of them having a future together was dashed on the ground into a thousand pieces. He must have felt betrayal, anger, confusion, hurt, rejection, deep pain, disappointment and grief. He felt jilted. He had been cheated on, or so he thought. He was brokenhearted.

He must have felt rage in his heart, wondering which man it was that took advantage of Mary who was a young teenager, using her for his own selfish desires. If he found out who the man was, he was probably ready to kill him.

Song of Solomon 8:6 (NKJV) says, “Love is as strong as death; jealousy as cruel as the grave.” Proverbs 6:32-35 (TLB) states: “But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys his own soul. Wounds and constant disgrace are his lot, for the woman’s husband will be furious in his jealousy, and he will have no mercy on you in his day of vengeance. You won’t be able to buy him off no matter what you offer.”

In that culture, the betrothal period was just as legally binding as the marriage itself, and it appeared that Mary had committed adultery.

Joseph could not believe such a bizarre story of how Mary supposedly conceived. He had the legal right to have her stoned to death in the town square before the religious leaders and the people. However, he was a just and righteous man, and he was in love with Mary. Although Joseph was hurting, he did not want to expose Mary’s shame or see her go through public humiliation and a brutal execution. So he had it in his mind to divorce her quietly (Matthew 1:18-25).

While Joseph thought on these matters, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:20-21 NIV).

The Lord defended Mary’s purity.

All of this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 7:14 NKJV): “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (which translated means God with us).

Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him. He took Mary as his wife, but had no intimate relations with her until she had given birth to her firstborn son (Matthew 1:24-25). Mary was not a virgin her entire lifetime.

After Jesus was born, Joseph and Mary had children together, for the Bible records that Jesus had younger brothers and sisters (Mark 6:3). Jesus was the eldest child because it was He who determined who was going to take care of His widowed mother Mary after He ascended to Heaven. He chose John the Apostle (His cousin), rather than one of His siblings, to take care of Mary for the rest of her life (John 19:26-27).

The Lord was faithful to fulfill what He said to Mary. Just as God promised, spoken through Gabriel, she was overshadowed with the Holy Spirit and conceived a son—being a virgin. For with God all things are possible (Luke 18:27).

Joseph is depicted as a man of honor and excellent character, a man who obeyed the voice of the Lord. What a great man that God chose to be Mary’s husband and Jesus’ adoptive father!