THE IMPORTANCE OF SONSHINE & D3

What are your first thoughts when you wake up in the morning?  Where does your attention turn toward? Is your focus on earthly things? Or do you seek the things above and direct your anxious thoughts to the Lord? “Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, for in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You.” -Psalm 143:8-

                What do Sonshine and vitamin D3 have in common? They’re good for you!

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” -Psalm 84:11-

                The Messiah is referred to as the “Sun of Righteousness” in Malachi 4:2. It’s only through Christ that we can attain any righteousness. The sinless Christ was made to be sin so that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (Rom. 5:21). When we put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light (the Lord Jesus Christ) our sinful nature shrinks away (Rom. 13:12, 14, Eph. 4:22-24).  “Shield” is God’s provision in Messiah. When you apply Sonshine it also acts as a shield that prevents the enemy’s harmful rays (flaming darts) from penetrating through (as Christ is faith’s shield, Eph. 6:16, Gen. 15:1).  The shield of faith is “above all” the other pieces and requires ‘taking’ (which involves action on our part). Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  One of Jesus’s disciples, Thomas, wouldn’t believe that Jesus had risen from the dead when the other disciples told him so. Once he actually saw Jesus and the holes in His hands, he believed. Jesus said, “Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:24-29).

                Salvation is by grace through faith. It’s a gift from God that must be received in order to have spiritual benefits (Eph. 2:8-10). Similarly, toothpaste or skin lotion that’s left in its tube or bottle will be of no use if it’s not applied. How does faith come? “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). “Without faith it’s impossible to please God, for he that comes to Him must believe that He is, and that He rewards those that diligently seek Him” (Heb. 11:6).  Who is the Author and Finisher of our faith?  It’s the Son, Christ Jesus (Heb. 12:2). We miss the blessings of God’s grace as well as the reward He has in store for us when we lack belief in who He is and what He’s accomplished for us. It may sound easy to just believe and trust in God, but we are weak and fallen creatures, prone to sin and distractions that turn us away from the Light.

There were four times that Jesus rebuked His disciples by saying, “O ye of little faith…” 

They were when the disciples were distracted by: (1) the CARES of the world (Matt. 6:25-29), (2) the FEAR of a storm (Matt. 8:23-27), (3) DOUBT (Matt. 14:29-31), and (4) HUMAN REASONING (Matt. 16:5-12). 

What’s distracting you from the sufficiency of God’s grace?

                Internet service can slow down, go down, and disconnect when we need it. Earthly resources that are controlled by man may be difficult to access or be accessed at a price. God’s grace, on the other hand, is available 24/7, free of charge, and from a source that’s eternal (never tires or slows down) — It’s ‘ever ready’, and all-powerful (Deut. 33:24, Isa. 40:28). God’s gifts are good and pure with no harmful additives, fillers, or negative things that lead to side effects (James 1:17). How easily and carelessly we take a pill, vaccine, or ingest other items into our bodies without seeking what the ingredients are inside. Many times, we trade in temporary relief and safety for later detrimental side effects.  Fallen men and women don’t always have pure intentions and motives for what they’re advising (as money, power, pride, and greed get in the way). Contrarily, God is filled with all wisdom, goodness, light, truth, love, mercy, and faithfulness (Eph. 3:10, Deut. 7:9, Ps. 26:5, Heb. 10:23). He has absolute pure, righteous, and loving intentions always—it’s the essence of who He is (1 John 1:5). We need to pay more attention to the One who loves us and gave His only begotten Son as the antibody for our sin and death sentence (John 3:16).  

                Our eternal salvation is securely sealed the moment we believe and receive God’s gift of grace via faith (Eph. 1:13). But in order to walk as children of light (fully protected by God’s armor) we must be aware of the ‘Son blocker’ (2 Cor. 4:4, Eph. 5:8, Col. 2:8, 16-20). He will tirelessly try to get us distracted by the things that are seen and cause us to focus on the cares of this world and our own self-sufficiency (which leads to a mind that’s fearful, doubtful, and anxiety-ridden). We sadly block the very channel that connects us to the source of God’s all-sufficient, fresh, and ever-flowing, grace (Rom. 5:2, 2 Cor. 9:8-14, 12:9). In order to counteract the devil’s attempts and stay bathed and protected in Sonlight, constant communication with God is a must. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Phil 4:6-7).

I like to think of everyday items to help me stay focused on the things above. For example, take D3, which is an essential vitamin that provides bone, and immune support as well as protection from environmental and seasonal threats. Now think of D3 as “D” for Deity (God) and “3” for the members of the Godhead, (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). This D3 is truly broad spectrum, and the source of all spiritual blessings. Just as a flower requires sunlight to grow properly, so too does the believer with Sonlight. Any weeds (thoughts contrary to God’s truth) must be cast down so one can grow strong in the grace that’s in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 10:3-5, 2 Tim. 2:1, 2 Pet. 3:18).  The growth with the increase that’s from God will only occur when one is holding onto the Head, where the whole body is nourished and knit together (perfectly fit in the bond of peace) (Eph. 4:15-16, Col. 2:19). 

                So, apply Sonshine generously each day and let the grace of the Lord penetrate down to your roots so you may walk in faith as you await to bloom with Him in glory (Eph. 3:16-21, Col. 3:1-4).

Laura

THANK GOD FOR GOODNESS’ SAKE

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; 
Praise Him, all creatures here below; 
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host: 
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

                God remains good and deserves our continual praise of thanksgiving even with the current state of affairs in our present fallen world. It’s easy to lose sight of who God is when the world’s focus is so set on praising and extoling humanity (the creature) instead of the Creator (Rom. 1:19-29). “Because when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful” (Rom. 1:21).

Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!” (Psalm 107:8)

                God stands alone and apart from mankind (and all His other created beings) as He is incorruptible (Rom. 1:23), righteous (Psalm 119:142, 160, 145:17), cannot lie (Titus 1:2, Heb. 6:18), cannot be tempted with evil (James 1:13), and the list goes on. Since God is the source and embodiment of good, all good things flow from Him (as the above doxology says). James 1:17 says, “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.” The word ‘lights’ means underived (not from something else) and absolute (the opposite of darkness) and so used specifically of God (John 1:4-5, 8:12, 1 John 1:5). “For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light” (Psalm 36:9). The entrance of God’s words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple and illuminates and guides ones way (Psalm 119:130, 105). Through God’s word one receives understanding and learns to hate every false way (Psalm 119:104). The word used for goodness in the Bible is many times synonymous with ‘grace’ or ‘lovingkindness’. The Bible reveals a kind, benevolent God who is tenderhearted, full of mercy, and slow to anger (Psalm 103:8, 145:8, Joel 2:13, Jonah 4:2). Because God is purely good and righteous, evil cannot dwell with Him nor can He take pleasure in lawlessness (Psalm 5:4).

                Our Creator has made clear the boundaries that He’s set for mankind but has also allowed men and women the capacity to choose (either to obey His good word and stay within His boundaries or not). The angelic beings must have been allowed free will as well (Jude 6, Gen. 6:2, Rev. 12:9). Lucifer (Satan) proved that angelic beings could become corrupted. It was Satan’s pride of his beauty that corrupted his wisdom and he became the ‘father of lies’ (Ezek. 28:17, Isaiah 14:12-14, 1 John 3:8, John 8:44).  Mankind also revealed its corruptibility after the first created man and woman chose to disobey God’s words and heed Satan’s lies (one being the desire to be gods themselves) (Gen. 3, Rom. 5:12-19).

                It’s only when one comes to terms with their sinful nature as well as their lost and helpless condition that they can truly embrace the greatness and goodness of God (Rom. 5:6-11, Eph. 4:22).

In the Bible, there are many examples of this: the lost son (Luke 15:11-32), the tax collector (Luke 18:9-14), David (2 Sam. 12:1-13), and Isaiah’s vision (Isaiah 6:1-5).  Even the suffering and patient Job came to the realization of who he was in comparison to almighty God and so learned the great lesson that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful (Job 42:5-6, 10, 12). We too can find God’s amazing grace and goodness when we come with empty hands and a broken, contrite spirit (Isaiah 57:15, 66:2). “In mercy and truth Atonement is provided for iniquity; and by the fear of the Lord one departs from evil” (Prov. 16:6).

“In Christ we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7).

                “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,  that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 4:4-9).

“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Cor. 9:15, Eph. 1:6-7).

                                Mankind has so much to be grateful for at the hand of God. The 107th Psalm is a great template for us today. This Psalm begins the fifth and final portion of the Psalms relating to the book of Deuteronomy (*see below note), which extols “God’s word the only good”. Its opening verse is, “Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”  The following phrase is repeated four times in this Psalm, “Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!” (with testament of why in between vs. 8, 15, 21, 31).  The Psalm ends appropriately with “Whoever is wise will observe these things, and they will understand the loving kindness of the Lord” (vs. 43). In order to observe these things one must see that God’s word is the only good, and pursue and meditate on it habitually and continuously (with thanksgiving) (Psalm 1:1-3).   

Laura

                                *The Psalms correspond with the first five books of the Old Testament (The Pentateuch). Book One: Genesis corresponds with Psalms 1-41 and concerns Man; Book Two: Exodus corresponds with Psalms 42-72 and concerns Israel as a nation; Book Three: Leviticus corresponds with Psalms 73-89 and concerns The Sanctuary; Book Four: Numbers corresponds with Psalms 90-106 and concerns Israel and the nations of the earth; Book Five: Deuteronomy corresponds with Psalms 107-150 and concerns God and His Word. The counsel of God re: His word shows that all blessings for man (book 1), all blessings for Israel (book 2), and all blessings for the earth and the nations (book 4) are bound up with living on the words of God (book 5) (Deut. 8:3). Disobedience to God’s words is the source of man’s sorrow (book 1), Israel’s dispersion (book 2), the Sanctuary’s ruin (book 3), and earth’s miseries (book 4). To study this interesting aspect of the Scriptures further, see The Companion Bible notes by E.W. Bullinger that precede the book of Psalms and are prior to each section of the five groupings.