The Greatest Love Song of All Time

His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love - Excerpt 5

In the opening line of this divine romance, King Solomon introduces and commends the Song, naming himself as the author:

 The Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s 
—Song 1:1

The Song of Songs
King Solomon was a prolific writer, composing three thousand proverbs and 1,005 songs (1 Kings 4:32). In describing this Song as the Song of Songs, he is not merely referring to one of his many ballads. Rather, he is accentuating the most excellent, the ultimate, the crème de la crème of all the songs he has written.

In its literal interpretation, the Song portrays the young king’s special love for his Shulammite bride. Even though King Solomon had many wives at the end of his life, it has been said that this poor country shepherdess is the only one he married for love. By God’s great design and because of its allegorical interpretation of the love between Christ and His bride, Song of Solomon was the only song written by Solomon that made its way into the Bible.

It should come as no surprise to us that the name of a book portraying the romance of the ultimate couple—Christ and His bride—would be a superlative in the same manner as King of kings, Lord of lords, and holy of holies. We can be sure of its authenticity because we know that all scripture finds its source in the very breath of God. The apostle Paul writes, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16–17).

Which is Solomon’s
Solomon ascribes the authorship of the Song to himself. The root word for Solomon is shalowm and means “completeness and peace with God in covenant relationship.” You may recognize the Jewish greeting, shalom, in this word. Shalom generally means “Peace be unto you” but also carries with it the well wishes of wholeness, wellness, restoration, contentment, and safety. This greeting certainly packs more punch than our typical day-in and day-out exchanges of “Hi, how are you?” “Fine, how are you?”

After Christ’s resurrection, scripture records that He greeted His disciples three times with the phrase “Peace be with you,” a translation of shalom (John 20:19, 21, 26). The Greek word used for peace here means “the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is.”

Christ’s first message to His followers after He was raised from the dead assured them of their eternal security and peace with Him. Our peace with God in Christ is all-encompassing and has been completely paid for in advance. Through Christ’s finished work on the cross over two thousand years ago and our belief in and acceptance of Him, He completed us, giving us peace with Him—forever.

The Hebrew translation of shalom specifically mentions that our completeness and peace comes through covenant relationship. This is referring to the sacred covenant of marriage. Christ’s bride is complete and at peace with Him (Col. 2:10; Rom. 5:1). Complete means that—through our eternal union with Christ’s Spirit—we possess all we will ever need! We are at peace with the God of the universe because we are no longer separated from Him.

Dear reader, I hope you enjoyed today’s excerpt from my soon-to-be-published Bible study, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love. I would love to interact with you concerning its content by asking you a couple of questions:

  1. If you could choose the ultimate love song of all time, what would it be and why? 
  2. Are you at peace with God?

If you prefer to interact with me through personal email rather than commenting below, you can do so by clicking here.

Until next time,

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070
806.435.5575

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

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What a Difference a Year Makes!

How a Kiss of Hope Helped Me Get Through Gut-Wrenching Circumstances

You’ve probably heard the saying, “What a difference a day makes!” People say that when their not-so-great circumstances one day have dissipated by the very next day. The storm clouds are gone and rainbows are now on their horizon. I wish that would have been the case for me and Steven last year during this time.

But it wasn’t. 2016 will go down in the record books as the most difficult year of mine and Steven’s married life. I wouldn’t wish the dark circumstances we were going through on anyone. Just reflecting on it almost turns my stomach. But God…God was faithful in everything.

In fact, I remember standing in front of the bathroom mirror one morning putting on my makeup when I heard the Lord say, “There’s gonna be brighter days, Kim.” I immediately agreed with Him and said it out loud with passion: “There’s gonna be brighter days!” I think AIR1, the radio station I was listening to, must have also been tuned into the same frequency that God and I were on that morning during that sacred moment. Immediately after I echoed the words of my Father, MercyMe’s song, Move, started playing with the lyrics,

I’m not about to give up
Because I heard you say
There’s gonna be brighter days
There’s gonna be brighter days
I wont stop, I’ll keep my head up
No, I’m not here to stay
There’s gonna be brighter days
There’s gonna be brighter days

I call times like this kisses from the King. And did I ever need a kiss from Him on that gloomy March morning in 2016!

These gut-wrenching circumstances started in December 2015. Violent episodes of high morning blood pressure began to wake me up, with accompanying dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and a high heart rate. By the end of January, 2016, I had undergone several medical tests including an echocardiogram, a kidney sonogram, a transesophageal echocardiography, a heart cath, and a kidney MRI.

Through the testing, I learned that I had a PFO – a hole in the septal wall between the left and right upper chambers of my heart and a tiny right kidney that the heart doc assumed I was born with. Though small, my kidney was still functioning and the answer to the PFO was an aspirin a day for stroke prevention. Both of those issues seemed to be an easy fix.

My heart doctor suspected that the secondary hypertension I was experiencing was hormone related, so he referred me to an endocrinologist. After running several tests, my endocrinologist diagnosed me with Primary Aldosteronism, a condition where the adrenal glands secrete too much aldosterone. I didn’t realize the adrenal glands sit on top of our kidneys (I must have been daydreaming when that was covered in Biology class).

So my endocrinologist referred me to a kidney doc. (I’m not sure why the song I learned as a child, the foot bone’s connected to the ankle bone…is going through my head right now. Weird.) After looking over my records, my kidney doc recommended I have a nuclear test in order to rule out any small tumors in my adrenal glands that could be contributing to the overproduction of aldosterone.

And that’s where I was one year ago at the time of this writing (March 23)–at BSA Hospital in Amarillo undergoing the first day of a very expensive, two-day test called an Octreotide Scan. Steven and I had prayed about whether or not to even have the test done. We finally surmised that you can’t put a price tag on peace of mind. And peace of mind was something I was in great need of.

My lack of peace wasn’t just due to the medical issues I was experiencing. There was a situation going on in my personal life that had been off-kilter for way too long. It also needed to undergo an extensive test. And it did–in the midst of all the medical testing I was going through.

To be honest, the personal situation felt far worse than any of the medical issues I was experiencing. Looking back, I realize that it contributed to some of the medical issues. Don’t believe anyone who tells you emotional issues cannot contribute to physical issues. Because they can and they do. They did with me.

Eight days had passed and I still hadn’t heard back from my kidney doc on the scan results. So I just thought, “No news is good news.” Until I got the phone call on Friday, April 1. I had just gotten comfortable with a bag of Sea Salt and Vinegar Kettle Chips, a Diet Ginger Ale, and another episode of one of my favorite Netflix series, The Flash. (I love superhero shows.) It was my kidney doc with some surprising, unsettling news. And it was no April Fools’ joke, either.

All I was expecting was a courtesy call letting me know that my nuclear test results came back clear. Instead I heard, “I’ve been consulting with other doctors on your results. It could be a false-positive. So I’m going to refer you back to Dr. _____ for more testing.” When I asked him where the spots were, he told me they appeared to be on my right adrenal gland and a couple in my liver. The doctors were suspecting that these spots were neuroendocrine tumors (the kind of cancer that Steve Jobs had, also known as carcinoid cancer).

In my follow-up with my endocrinologist, he told me that there wasn’t anything he could do if the cancer had already spread to my liver. He also wanted to do more blood and urine tests and wait three months to repeat the Octreotide Scan. Wait three months? After getting a possible metastatic cancer diagnosis? By that time, Steven and I were in disbelief and started researching other options. We wanted answers now, not three months from now.

The wonderful news is that by June 25th, Steven and I were driving home from Colorado, rejoicing at the diagnosis of one of the top docs at the Rocky Mountain Cancer Center in Denver: No tumors! Steven and I both believe that God did a miraculous healing in my body during that time. We also believe that the faithful prayers of church family, other family members, and friends contributed to my healing.

There is much more to this story concerning my physical health and the extremely difficult situation going on in my personal life last year at this time. I intend to share more kisses of hope from my King during that time in future posts as God leads.

Now, as you may well imagine, every time I hear that MercyMe song, I can’t help but dance and shout, “Thank You, Lord, for much brighter days!” If you would like to dance and shout right now to this fantastic song, please join me:

In closing, I realize that many of you have gone and are still going through much more difficult circumstances than Steven and I were at this time last year. I also realize that many of your stories haven’t had happy earthly endings. Please know my heart breaks for you. But…if you are a believer in Christ, there will be no end to the brightness you will experience with Him in Heaven. I pray you are comforted by these words:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away” (Revelation 21:1-4).

And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb (Revelation 21:23).

Dear reader, if today’s post resonated with you, I would love to interact with you by asking you some questions:

  1. Could you describe your current circumstances as gut-wrenching and seemingly never-ending?
  2. Has the King of your heart “kissed” you in the midst of these painful circumstances? If so, how has He kissed you? If not, ask Him to give you a kiss of hope for brighter days. This is a prayer request He loves to answer yes to!

If you prefer to interact with me through personal email rather than commenting below, you can do so by clicking here.

Until next time,

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070
806.435.5575

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

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What You May Not Know About This Romantic Love Song

His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love - Excerpt 4

Song of Solomon is one of the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament and was written in Jerusalem around 1000 BC by Solomon during the early years of his reign as king. He also wrote Ecclesiastes and most of the book of Proverbs. All three books are sandwiched between the Psalms and Isaiah, beginning with Proverbs and ending with Song of Solomon.

Depending on which translation you have, this book is titled Song of Solomon or Song of Songs. It is referred to as Canticles in the Vulgate, the earliest Latin translation of the Bible. In the Jewish Bible (Tanakh), it is referred to as Song of Songs and grouped together with Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther—also known as the Five Megilloth (scrolls). For the purposes of simplification in this study, the book will most generally be referred to as the Song.

This highly symbolic and poetic book has more than one interpretation. Its literal interpretation celebrates love in an earthly marriage and has only existed within the last one hundred years. Many marriages have been strengthened through studies based on the Song’s literal interpretation, but earthly marriage is not the focus of this study. The focus of this study is the Song’s allegorical interpretation, which, in fact, is its most ancient interpretation.

An allegory is “a representation of an abstract or spiritual meaning through concrete or material forms; a figurative treatment of one subject under the guise of another.”  In its allegorical interpretation, the Song illustrates the epic love story between Christ, the spiritual Bridegroom, and His bride, the church. Its intent is to launch Christ’s bride into the depths of His fiery Bridegroom love as she meditates on it.

Song of Songs is considered by Orthodox Jews to be an allegory of the love story between Jehovah and His people, Israel, and is read every Sabbath (sundown Friday to sundown Saturday) and every year at Passover. Because of its graphically sensual literal interpretation, it was at one time forbidden reading until the age of thirty. Nonetheless, Rabbi Akiva, a renowned Jewish sage, defended the Song and was instrumental in its inclusion in the Tanakh. His intense passion for the book was expressed when he declared, “Heaven forbid that any man in Israel ever disputed that the Song of Songs is holy. For the whole world is not worth the day on which the Song of Songs was given to Israel, for all the Writings are holy and the Song of Songs is the Holy of holies (Mishnah Yadayim 3:5).”

The Song is a unique book of the Bible, composed entirely of dialogue except for the opening verse. Due to its numerous exchanges of words of affection between King Solomon and the Shulammite maiden, the Song could have been rightly named Terms of Endearment.

Dear reader, I hope you enjoyed today’s excerpt from my soon-to-be-published Bible study, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love. I would love to interact with you concerning its content by asking you a couple of questions:

  1. What view (if any) have you typically held of the Song of Solomon, the literal or allegorical?
  2. How do you feel about Christ using terms of endearment to address you, his beloved bride? Special? Uncomfortable?

If you prefer to interact with me through personal email rather than commenting below, you can do so by clicking here.

Until next time,

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070
806.435.5575

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

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The Most Important Verse in the Bible

John 3:16 - Revisited

We see it plastered on billboards, painted on signs being waved by fans in football stadiums and also on some of the players’ faces. It’s one of the first verses we memorize as children in Sunday school. Most Americans have been exposed to what I believe is the most important verse in the Bible–John 3:16.

chalkboard_john316

It’s so familiar, there is a danger in missing its rich meaning. For years, I thought I understood what it meant. Well, at least I had it memorized. I was first introduced to it by my believing grandmother and the teachers and preachers at the First Baptist Church in Mobeetie, Texas. But I didn’t really know it until about ten years ago.

Let’s take a few moments to savor this wonderful verse. The words are the very words of Jesus sharing the good news of the gospel of grace with Nicodemus, a Pharisee and ruler of the Jews:

Scripture Template

Father God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world so that He could die on a cross for the sins of mankind. And He did it because He loves the human race. In fact, He created us for the sheer purpose of pouring Himself–His eternal life and love–into us.

But He does not force Himself on anyone. He gives everyone a choice whether or not to believe in Him. So today, we are going to focus on the phrase, “believeth in him.” What does it mean to believe in Jesus? For every person born into this world, answering this question and actively responding to it will mean the difference in eternal life and eternal death.

That’s a heavy statement, but really very simple.

The English word believeth comes from the Greek word pisteuō and means “to think to be true; to be persuaded of.” The word in comes from the Greek word eis and means “entrance into a place; literally into.” So in in this context actually means “into.”

If you think like I used to, you think believing in Jesus means you believe He existed and what He said is true. But a person can believe Jesus was a real historical figure and that some or all of His words are true without personally experiencing His life and love.

When a person believes in Jesus, what they are really doing is believing into Him. They literally and actually enter into His very life. His eternal–no beginning or ending–life. When a person believes into Jesus, they are saying they want Jesus’ life living in them. As a nine-year-old, I described it as “asking Jesus to come live in my heart.”

believe_into_jesus
Jesus has lived in my heart (my spirit) since the fall of 1974, but it is because my spirit was immersed into His Spirit. The following verses emphasize our being immersed into Christ when we believe in (into) Him. All of the italics were added by me:

  • “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-4 NASB).
  • God has brought you into union with Christ Jesus, and God has made Christ to be our wisdom. By him we are put right with God; we become God’s holy people and are set free (1 Corinthians 1:30 GNT).
  • Anyone who is joined to Christ is a new being; the old is gone, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17 GNT).
  • It is through faith that all of you are God’s children in union with Christ Jesus. You were baptized into union with Christ, and now you are clothed…with the life of Christ himself (Galatians 3:26-27 GNT).
  • In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation–having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:13 NASB).
  • He has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins (Colossians 1:13-14 NLT).
  • He has now reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault (Colossians 1:22 NLT).
  • In Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is head over every ruler and authority (Colossians 2:9-10 NLT).

Every one of these verses highlights the believer being baptized into, united with, joined to, or brought into Christ. So I hope it’s obvious that believing in Jesus isn’t just an intellectual assent, but an action where you believe yourself right into the very life of Christ–life eternal. And once you are in Christ, you can’t disbelieve yourself out of Him. It’s a done deal (John 10:28; Hebrews 13:5). Now that’s the good news of the gospel of grace that Jesus shared with Nicodemus in John 3:16.

In today’s post, I shared the most important verse in the Bible along with additional verses to enrich its meaning. Dear reader, I would like to ask you the two most important questions you will ever respond to:

  1. Do you believe Jesus died for your sins so that you can enjoy eternal life in union with Him?
  2. Do you want to be immersed into His life and sealed in Him forever?

2 Important Questions
I realize some of you have already believed into Jesus and have been enjoying a personal relationship with Him for some time now. But I never want to assume that every one of my readers is in Christ.

If you answered yes to both questions for the first time in your life, tell Father God right now that you believe and ask Him to seal you in His Son’s life forever.

If you asked Him–if you believed into Jesus–you can rest assured that you are in Christ and He is in you…forever. And thank God for His indescribable gift!!! (2 Corinthians 9:15).

I would love to rejoice with you if you believed into Christ through reading this post. You can let me know in a private message through emailing me or share your wonderful news below as a comment.

I also invite you to ask any questions you may now have about your new life in Christ.  I would be honored to help you grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18 NASB). If I don’t know the answers, I will seek the One who does in my response to you.

Until next time,

 

 

P.S. If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070
806.435.5575

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

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This Is Way Better Than a Fairy Tale!

His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love - Excerpt 3

It is no coincidence that we in America and other parts of the world are obsessed with weddings. The dream of finding our one true love is paramount in the hearts and minds of women and men all over the world.

In April 2011, the world was buzzing with excitement over the impending wedding of Great Britain’s Prince William, son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana—to Kate Middleton, daughter of Michael and Carole Middleton. Unlike Princess Diana, who was the former Lady Diana Spencer of the British aristocracy before she married Prince Charles, Kate was a commoner with a middle-class upbringing.

Although Kate’s parents were well-to-do, sending her to the finest schools, this is still a Cinderella story because a member of the royal family was joined in holy matrimony to a nonroyal. This is our love story. Once upon a time, we, the bride of Christ, were spiritually separated from God. Now, we are spiritually united to the King of kings and Lord of lords! (1 Cor. 6:17). Someday soon, we will reign with Him as coheirs in the kingdom of God (Dan. 7:18, 22, 27; Rev. 5:9–10; 20:4, 6; 22:5).

God, our Father, who transcends time, has written our entire love story—the divine romance. Dwelling in the eternal now, He has seen the end of time since its inception. He didn’t look at earthly marriage between a man and his wife and decide, “I think I’ll pattern My Son’s relationship with His bride, the church, after a human marriage.” He patterned earthly marriage after the marriage between His Son, Jesus Christ, and His bride, knowing that history would culminate in the ultimate wedding of all time and eternity.

It may surprise you to know that the Word of God begins with a wedding—

  • So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. (Gen. 2:21–24 NASB)

—and ends with a wedding in Revelation 19:7–9.

  • Let us be glad and rejoice and give glory to him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his bride has made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright: for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints. And he said unto me, Write, Blessed are those who are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he said unto me, These are the true words of God. (JUB)

I don’t believe this is a coincidence. Do you? If you are a believer in Christ, your story is much more glorious than the current Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s. At best, their marriage will last until death do them part. But our marriage–our spiritual union with Christ–is eternal. Now that’s way better than a fairy tale!

Dear reader, I hope you enjoyed today’s excerpt from my soon-to-be-published Bible study, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love. I would love to interact with you concerning its content by asking you a couple of questions:

  1. Does it seem strange to you to think of your relationship to Christ as His bride?
  2. If Father God made sure the Holy Bible begins with a union and ends with a union, what does that say about His heart?

If you prefer to interact with me through personal email rather than commenting below, you can do so by clicking here.

Until next time,

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070
806.435.5575

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

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My Sweet Spot

Where I Go When Life Goes Sour

Do you have a sweet spot? A place where you experience life to the fullest? A place where all is good and right and wonderful in your world?

Just in case you’re wondering, I’m talking about a state of mind–not an actual, physical place. A state of mind where you find contentment regardless of your external circumstances. A state of mind where, even though some pretty awful things are going on in your life, you can experience a peace that surpasses any human understanding.

A smidgeon of that awful touched our family’s world in the last part of 2015 and the first part of 2016. My 83-year-old mother-in-law, who was the picture of health and vitality all of her life, didn’t do well for several days after her quadruple bypass surgery. In fact, she was in the hospital 34 days.

She was very weak and struggled to breathe deeply, due to extra fluid around her lungs and her entire body. It was difficult to see her in such a vulnerable state. My sister-in-law and I took turns sitting with her while she was in the critical care unit. Also during that time, another family member received tragic news.

To say that our family was running low on resources would have been an understatement. We were dog-tired. (That’s Texan for “physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted.”)

In addition to being worn out, I began dealing with health issues. That was frustrating (to say the least) because I wanted to be helping with my mother-in-law. But then I remembered something. Something that helped my state of mind tremendously.

I was reminded that I had everything I needed because the Spirit of Christ lives in me 24/7 and promises never to leave (2 Peter 1:3; Hebrews 13:5). He is my strength, my refuge–my Everything. He has proven to be my Oasis in the midst of every scorching desert experience of my life.

Photo by Feel the Planet

Not only was I reminded of my provision in Christ, I began saying out loud, Greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. If God is for me, then who can be against me? (See 1 John 4:4; Philippians 4:13; Romans 8:31).

I can’t really explain it, but something amazing happens when we not only think about what is true, but we vocalize it. When life on planet earth goes sour, through Christ, we can speak eternal truth to it. We can experience our sweet spot–a state of contentment and peace–because our Sweet Savior lives in us continually and nothing escapes His attention.

Dear reader, I hope you enjoyed today’s post. I would love to interact with you concerning its content by asking you a couple of questions:

  1. What “sour” externals are you currently experiencing, and how are you responding?
  2.  If your circumstances are pretty sweet right now, what sour externals have you experienced in the past and how did you respond?

If you prefer to interact with me through personal email rather than commenting below, you can do so by clicking here.

Until next time,

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070
806.435.5575

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

Home          My Core Beliefs          About          Resources          Speaking          Contact

 

 

My Personal Testimony

His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love - Excerpt 2

For the past ten years, Christ has drawn me again and again to Song of Solomon. I believe He strategically placed this book at the center of the Bible because its message is central to His heart. No other book of the Bible reveals our Bridegroom’s extravagant affection for His bride, the church, like this one. It brims with descriptions of the divine romance.

I love romance! I have often wondered why the Lord created me to be such a romantic. At times, I’ve even thought, There must be something wrong with me because of my strong desire to be romanced. My teenage years were spent dreaming of the day when the perfect man would ride into my life on a white stallion, sweep me off my feet, and then whisk me away into the sunset of Happily Ever After.

I really believed that life was supposed to happen like it did in the movies, the Harlequin and Danielle Steel romances, and the soap operas (except for the unbelievable stuff, like people coming back from the dead again and again). Nobody ever told me any different!

I accepted Christ when I was nine but because of not knowing who I was in Him, I sinned greatly and hurt a lot of people in my search for my Mr. Perfect. I have been married three times, so the ministry Christ has called me to in communicating His Bridegroom love to His bride may seem ludicrous to those who have no idea how He has faithfully romanced my heart, causing me to fall head over heels in love with Him. It is amazing how God can take our greatest weakness in the natural, cause us to seek Him as the fulfillment of that need, and then use us to help others do the same. Only He can do that.

Most of us can identify people in the Bible with whom we most closely relate. The sinful woman in Luke 7:36–50 is the one with which I most identify. In fact, I have a Home Interiors’ “Tears of Repentance” figurine in my office to serve as a frequent reminder of the pit Jesus brought me out of.

There have also been several Christian songs written about this harlot. I’ll never forget the first time I heard CeCe Winans’s “Alabaster Box.” I was sitting in church one Sunday morning just a couple of years after the Lord brought me out of that shameful lifestyle. I was moved to tears as our worship leader’s daughter sang it with incredible passion. Jesus embraced me with His fiery love through the melody and the words. The heart of this song is the thankfulness of someone who has been rescued from a lifestyle of deplorable sin. I completely identified with it, feeling like I could have written the words myself.

Throughout this study, I will share the names of songs and videos that are relevant to the material. I highly recommend that you listen to or watch them in order to help you experience Jesus’s affection for you. Doesn’t it make sense that you would want to add music to your study of Song of Songs (another name for Song of Solomon)?

In Winans’s “Alabaster Box,” the harlot’s name is Mary, but Luke doesn’t actually name her. Some believe it is Mary Magdalene, from whom the Lord cast out seven demons (Luke 8:2). But the likelihood of Luke’s introducing Mary Magdalene by name for the first time in 8:2 is slim if she were the main character in the Luke 7:36–50 account. She certainly cannot be Mary of Bethany, whose life was characterized by faithfulness (John 12:1–8). I believe this woman was unnamed on purpose. She represents one who realizes the extent of her own sinfulness and her absolute inability to do anything about her condition, apart from the extravagant grace offered through Christ.

If I had to choose one verse that characterizes my life, it would probably be Luke 7:47: “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love” (NLT). I never want to forget Jesus’s faithfulness in pursuing me all of those years, even though I was busy pouring my life—as Winans’s song says—into this world’s “treasure box.”

I realize that some of you can relate to my story and some cannot. If you can say, “I don’t have a great testimony of the Lord’s delivering me out of a shameful, sinful lifestyle,” I think that is nothing short of miraculous, given all the temptations of today’s world. Praise the Lord that you were spared the heartache and pain that comes with those choices.

In either case, though, every one of us must come to grips with a vital truth—the truth that we are all born into this world, dead in our trespasses and sins, living in the lusts of our flesh, and are, by nature, children of wrath (Eph. 2:1–3). Whether our sins are despicable or respectable, we must realize that we are as much in need of a Savior as the sinful woman who anointed Jesus’s feet, Judas Iscariot (the disciple who betrayed Jesus), and the thief on the cross (Luke 7:36–50; 22:48; 23:39–43).

Dear reader, I hope you enjoyed this excerpt of my study. Now I would love to interact with you concerning its content by asking you a couple of questions:

  1. Is there a person in the Bible that you most closely relate to? If so, who is it and why?
  2. Do you have a favorite song that reminds you of your own story of coming to faith in Jesus?

If you prefer to interact with me through personal email rather than commenting below, you can do so by clicking here.

Until next time,

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070
806.435.5575

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

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What You See Isn’t Always What You Get

What Russian dolls taught me about my new life in Christ

About a year and a half ago before my fifty-first birthday, Steven asked me if there was anything in particular that I wanted. Gifts is one of his love languages so he loves to give and get them. Most of the time, I can’t think of anything I want or need. But this particular time I told him that he could get me a doll.

Lest you think I’m reverting back to my childhood, let me clarify what kind of doll. A matryoshka doll. (Your guess on the pronunciation is as good as mine.) I already have an authentic one that my dad brought back from Russia several years ago while he was still working in the oilfield.

If you’re familiar with these dolls, you know that there is more to them than meets the eye. Upon closer inspection, you will find that these dolls come apart at the middle. When you take one apart, you find a smaller doll nested inside. That doll also comes apart to reveal yet another one inside it. And so forth…depending on which doll you have. The very first matryoshka doll was comprised of eight dolls altogether.

The original matryoshka set by Zvyozdochkin and Malyutin, 1892

What you actually get from one of these dolls is so much more than you first realize! It’s the same with the Christian life. Although I wasn’t aware of it then, the moment I believed in Jesus in the fall of 1974, Father God changed my spiritual location. He literally (not just philosophically or theologically) took me out of Adam and placed me into His Son (1 Corinthians 15:22; Ephesians 2:5). It’s a spirit thing.


Another Scripture which speaks of our being “in Christ Jesus” is my site’s signature verse found in the header: First Corinthians 1:30 says,

By His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption. (NASB)

If you are a believer in Christ, by Father God’s doing, you are in His Son. You share His life. Jesus is your wisdom, your righteousness, and your sanctification (fancy word for holiness).

If someone would have shared these truths with me about my being in Christ when I first believed, I might have been spared a ton of self-inflicted heartache. But for some reason, back then in my neck of the woods (the Texas Panhandle), nobody was stressing identity in Christ. Or if they were, I wasn’t hearing it. The main message then was, “You need to ask Jesus in your heart so that you can go to Heaven when you die.”

When you die. Fire insurance. Life in Christ is so much more wonderful than that!

You may be wondering why I want to start collecting the Russian dolls–why one isn’t enough. Simple. I love tangible keepsakes of invisible, eternal truths. Every time I see one of these dolls, I remember that I am safely nestled in Christ for all eternity. And that is something every believer needs to be reminded of often!

Dear reader, in this post I shared with you how matryoshka dolls help me remember the wonderful spiritual truth that not only does Christ live in me, but that I am eternally alive in Him. I’m wondering, do you also have items in your home, car, or workplace to help you recall spiritual truth? If so, I would love to hear what they are and what they mean to you.

Until next time,

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070
806.435.5575

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

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Just Who Is the Bride of Christ Anyway?

His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love - Excerpt 1

Thank you for your interest in my blog and my soon-to-be-published Bible study for women and men, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love! I would love to interact with you and get your feedback. Every Friday until my study is published, I will be posting an excerpt from it. My post today is an excerpt from the introductory section of my study:

I am delighted you have decided to join me in this journey toward a greater understanding of our relationship to Christ as His spiritual bride. The bride of Christ is made up of every believer in Christ throughout the ages (John 3:29; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:22–32; Rev. 19:7–9; 21:2, 9; 22:17). I believe He has called me, along with many others, to proclaim to the church her identity as His deeply cherished bride. He longs for His bride to know who she is, how He feels about her, and her destiny to rule and reign with Him throughout eternity (Rev. 5:10; 20:6).

It is generally easier for women to picture themselves as the bride of Christ because many are either brides in an earthly marriage or dreaming of someday becoming one. Men, on the other hand, have the advantage of better understanding the role Christ plays in relationship to His bride because many are husbands in earthly marriages. In the same way that women have to adjust their thinking when the Bible refers to them as sons of God, men also need to adapt their mental perception in order to see themselves as the spiritual bride of Christ.

Man (humanity in general) is a spiritual being who lives inside a physical body, not a physical being who houses a spirit. In order to understand our relationship with God, we need to see with spiritual eyes. Being sons of God refers to our new birth in Christ (the Son of God) and our role as spiritual children of our Father, God. Being the bride of Christ, however, refers to our spiritual union with Christ and our role of experiencing and expressing His cherishing love and exuberant life. Just as a husband and wife in the natural realm share a physical union and bear the fruit of children, Christ and His bride share a spiritual union where He has implanted His bride with His life and, with her cooperation, causes her to manifest the fruit of His Spirit (Rom. 7:4; Gal. 5:22–23; Eph. 5:9).

So, men, don’t let it bother you when the words she or her are used in reference to your relationship to Christ as His bride. Just think of it as a spiritual role rather than a physical relationship. There are also women in the body of Christ who have a difficult time viewing their relationship to Him as intimately as that of a bride. Let me encourage you too to adjust your perception to a spiritual view, rather than an earthly, physical view.

Deeply cherished bride of Christ, your beloved longs for you to understand that you are the love of His life. I could tell you this again and again, sounding like a broken record, but until His Spirit gives you revelation of this truth, it will not affect you personally. You might agree that this is true information because the Bible says Christ’s church is His bride, but you will not experience the enjoyment of truly knowing you are the object of His extravagant affection until it becomes personal revelation.

So the task at hand is for the objective truth of God’s Word (all believers are the brides of Christ) to become subjective truth for you (I am Christ’s bride). Christ’s Spirit is your teacher (John 14:26). He is the one who causes spiritual truths to become personal through revelation. When we read and meditate on God’s Word, we need to have this conviction: Because You, Lord, have spoken this, I choose to believe it. I agree with You that this is true, regardless of how I feel. Cause me to personally experience the wonders of this truth through Your revelation.

When spiritual truths become personal, they become part of our autopilot—what we believe and act on without consciously thinking about it. When we back our car out of the garage, we don’t have to think, First, I need to press the garage door opener. Then, I need to turn on the ignition while pressing the accelerator. Then, I need to press on the brake while I put the car in reverse. Then, I need to look in the rearview mirror, and so forth. We automatically do those things because they are deeply ingrained through personal experience—they are habits. When we truly begin to understand and habitually see ourselves as Christ’s deeply cherished bride, we will begin to live like who we already are.

My prayer is that your personal journey through the Song will help you experience and express Christ’s cherishing love and exuberant life. Ask Him to reveal His Bridegroom’s heart for you through this study. His greatest desire for His bride is that she would experience wondrous delight in intimacy with Him. The heart that hungers and thirsts for experiential intimacy with Jesus is the heart that will relish this study of Song of Solomon (Matt. 5:6; Rev. 22:17).

Dear reader, I hope you enjoyed this overview of my study. Now I would love to interact with you concerning its content by asking you a couple of questions:

  1. Are you a believer in Christ? If your answer is yes, then you can move on to question 2. If your answer is no and you would like to become a believer, please contact me. I would love to share with you how you can enter into eternal spiritual union with Him.
  2. Are you currently experiencing wondrous delight in intimacy with your spiritual Bridegroom, Jesus Christ? If your answer is yes, I would love to hear your story. If your answer is no, what do you think is hindering you from enjoying Him?

If you prefer to interact with me through personal email rather than commenting below, you can do so by clicking here.

Until next time,

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070
806.435.5575

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

Home          My Core Beliefs          About          Resources          Speaking          Contact