discipleship

The Gallery of Grace

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Once, during a particularly tough trial our family was facing, my husband saw an image of Pinkie (above right) in prayer. At the time, we had no idea what God was trying to say. Being artists and art lovers, we decided to dig a little deeper. What we discovered profoundly changed our lives.

We stumbled upon a very unique relationship between The Blue Boy (above left) and Pinkie. Like many, we’d seen them together many times throughout our lives. My husband’s mother had replicas of both on display in his childhood home. It was this image that God called to his remembrance in prayer. These two works of art have been displayed together over the years on everything from drink coasters and magazine ads to esteemed exhibits at the Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach, CA. Even the set designers of the TV show Leave It To Beaver frequently paid homage to their special bond.

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I’d studied The Blue Boy masterpiece by Thomas Gainsborough in school. Being widely known as the most famous work by a British artist, it’s masterpiece status is questioned by none. In 1921, The Blue Boy was sold to American railway pioneer Henry Huntington for a record setting $640,000. To keep things in perspective, this $640K was equivalent to over 8.5 million dollars today.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Because the two works of art are frequently displayed together, many erroneously believe both to be masterpiece works of Gainsborough. The truth is…Pinkie isn’t even considered to be a masterpiece at all. She was painted 25 years apart from The Blue Boy by another notable British artist named Thomas Lawrence. Lawrence’s works, unlike that of Gainsborough, would never achieve masterpiece status in the art world. In fact, Pinkie would become the most notable of Lawrence’s works due to her connection with Gainsborough’s The Blue Boy.

Pinkie and The Blue Boy weren’t associated until 1927 when she was purchased by The Blue Boy’s owner, Henry Huntington. She was immediately put on display facing The Blue Boy where she remains to this day. I’ve come to call her resting place the Gallery of Grace.

grace: /ɡrās/

(noun)

the free, unmerited favor of God

Because of her relationship to The Blue Boy masterpiece, she has been heralded alongside him on exhibit at the Pageant of the Masters time and again.

My point, and more importantly God’s point in the midst of our struggle, is that Pinkie didn’t need to be a masterpiece after all. She has experienced every honor and esteem possible in the art world solely because of her relationship to the Master.

We realized, like Pinkie, we are esteemed and lifted from obscurity because of our relationship to Him and Him alone. The Syrophoenician woman understood the significance of being in close proximity to the Master.

And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour. Matthew 15:27-28

Incredible things happen at the feet of the Master. He can take us to unimaginable heights if we’ll only do what Pinkie has done…remain in the presence of the Master. The splash-over blessing (crumbs) of His glory is more than enough to accomplish anything in this life. He will take you from the prison to the palace Joseph. He will move you from the lion’s den to the King’s advisory panel Daniel. He will lift you from captivity to the throne Queen Esther.

You need no one and no thing save a relationship with the Master!

discipleship

Send Judah Up

keep-calm-and-send-up-judah
Let Judah go up first. Send Judah up. Judah shall go first. Judah went up…

In the Old Testament, whenever the children of Israel inquired which tribe should go first against their enemy, God ALWAYS responded with…SEND JUDAH UP FIRST.

Judah…Yehudah…simply means praise.

“Now the children of Judah had fought against Jerusalem, and had taken it, and smitten it with the edge of the sword, and set the city on fire.” Judges 1:8

Translation: If you wanna set your city on fire…SEND JUDAH UP FIRST!

If you wanna set your situation on fire…LET JUDAH GO UP FIRST!

If you want God to move on your behalf in any way…SEND JUDAH UP!

Y’all hear me talk about this topic A LOT, lol. The praise was…is…and will always be…in the front…on the front end…in advance…God’s credit is good with me…He has NEVER failed and He NEVER WILL!

Praise = Mouth & Motion

“O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.” Psalm 47:1

What goes up…MUST come down!

Judah was the KEY of David…

“And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.” Isaiah 22:22

Think about that friends…Judah (specifically the Lion of Judah)…praise… WAS THE KEY…of David. Why did Christ choose Judah who wasn’t the firstborn? He inhabits the praise of His people!

“But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.” Psalm 22:3

David had much favor with God largely in part due to his lifestyle of praise. David was the only human in scripture to receive this God nod:

“And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.” Acts 13:22

David was a man after God’s own heart. If that isn’t an exceptional God nod…I don’t know what is!

God chose the tabernacle of David vs the tabernacle of Moses. We must ask ourselves why. There were many similarities in both tabernacles. The main difference was that David’s tabernacle had no walls which placed the praise happening inside on full display to those on the outside. BOOM!

“And David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.” 2 Samuel 6:14-15

Here we see David again writing:

“That I may shew forth all thy praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion: I will rejoice in thy salvation.” Psalm 9:14

David was a fierce praiser!

Praise is why we are here! Prior to his fall, Lucifer was head praiser so to speak in the heavenlies. He was heaven’s worship/band leader and REFLECTOR not PRODUCER of light.

Sidebar: He was also heaven’s treasurer in control of heaven’s economy. (Judas…ring a bell…again we see a link between praise, finance, and betrayal.) So many church splits happen over these two areas…music and money…just saying. But, we’ll save that nugget for another post.

Back to Lucifer: He fell taking 1/3 of the angels with him. Who were those angels…I heard it supposed they were those in his (Lucifer’s) charge…heaven’s praise team if you will. I tend to agree.

Sidebar: (This one’s free, lol.) Pride was Lucifer’s #1 issue…this is why we too often see such pride issues among praise singers/musicians. The struggle is real. Pride is essentially the act of robbing God of the glory due Him. Lucifer said in his heart, “I will be like the Most High and ascend.” Dangerous mental posture. Guard your heart against pride at all costs!

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” Isaiah 14:12-14

Back to my point: We have been created to fill that void. Consequently, this is also what fuels Lucifer’s rage against man. We have essentially taken his place. Creations who will worship God freely of their own accord!

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;” 1 Peter 2:9

Praise is not only why we are here but it is also one of our most powerful weapons next to the Word of God…the Sword of the Spirit. If you want to get REALLY SERIOUS, whip out both weapons at the same time…put the Word of God in your mouth as you praise…praise Him with His Word. He loves it! It shows we believe what He has said. It is an act of faith that demonstrates our belief in every promise written. We are calling it out (invoking it) over our own lives! This is what it TRULY means to stand on the Word of God. Pure power!

So today, give it a go…

SEND JUDAH UP FIRST MY FRIENDS AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS!

 

Related Posts:
The Fruit Of Praise

discipleship

God Sees

sees

“And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,” Acts 9:11

Hey Ananias, go to Straight Street, to Judas’ house and ask for Saul…he’s praying.

Translation: God sees you. He knows the street you are on and whose house you are in. He sees you praying and has dispatched your answer!

“She [Hagar] gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi [the”well of the Living One who sees me”].” Genesis 16:13-14