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Archive for July, 2011

Rest And Receive Your Miracle

Hebrews 4:9
9There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.

In the healing of the paralyzed man at the pool of Bethesda (John 5:1–16), Jesus knew that for 38 years, the man had been flat on his back, unable to do anything for himself or others, no matter how hard he struggled.

In the case of the woman oppressed with a spirit of infirmity (Luke 13:10–13), Jesus knew that the woman had been bowed over for 18 years. And in that condition, she saw very little that was beautiful in life, only thedusty ground, dirty sandals and bruised feet.

What about the man with a withered hand? (Luke 6:6–10) Jesus knew from His carpenter days how a useless hand could have easily given the man a very poor sense of self-worth.

I believe that all three of them must have struggled for so long to get back on their feet, to try to lift themselves up, to attempt to do something about their situations, only to be disappointed each time they failed. In fact, they got so frustrated with striving to get better that by the time they met Jesus, they had probably given up trying to change their situations.

It was then that Jesus came and extended His offer to turn their situations around. And when they embraced His offer, they received the miracles that they had sought for so long.

You too may have been struggling to get back on your feet, or to lift yourself out of the problem that has sorely weighed you down. You have attempted to do whatever you could, hoping that it would amount to something, but you have been frustrated time and again. My friend, God wants you to cease from all your struggling and accept the offer He extends to turn your situation around.

It is no coincidence that all three of them received their miracles on the Sabbath, the day of rest for the Jews. God’s Word says, “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.” The day you cease from your own laboring and striving, and rest in the finished work of Christ, is the day you receive your miracle.

Jesus has done all the work. Whatever you need has been provided for at the cross. So just be at rest and receive your miracle!

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Jesus Overpaid Our Debt!

Hebrews 10:12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God,

Do you know that we once owed God a huge debt? No, it was not a money debt, it was a sin debt. We owed God a sin debt which we could never pay. But God so loved us that He came up with a plan to pay the debt — He gave us His Son to die on the cross for our sins. Jesus was without sin. So when He went to the cross as punishment for our sins, He paid for us a debt He did not owe.

My friend, the reality is that our sin debt has been more than paid in full. In fact, Jesus overpaid it! Jesus’ sacrifice was an overpayment because it was not just a good man, revered for his saintly qualities and good character, who died for us. It was the Son of the living God, the Creator of the universe, the perfect Man, who died for us!

Because Jesus is God, His sacrifice is greater than the sacrifices of all good men — past, present and future — put together. His sacrifice avails for all who lived in the past, all who are currently alive and all who will live in the future. And His one sacrifice forever took away all our sins.

Jesus’ sacrifice was also an overpayment because His blood is of far more value to God than the blood of bulls and goats used in the past to atone for the sins of the Israelites. His blood is the blood of God Himself, not of animals. Because His blood is eternal, His blood cleanses us forever, so we have eternal forgiveness!

My friend, the next time you are mindful of a bad deed, remember that Jesus, your sacrifice for sins, not only paid 100 per cent for your sin, but His sacrifice was also an overpayment. You can therefore truly and completely rest in the presence of God, knowing that He is fully satisfied and completely at rest concerning you. He is not going to find some sin you had committed that Jesus’ blood failed to cover.

Beloved, God can righteously give you His blessings and you can expect to receive them because Jesus overpaid your debt!

Jesus Is Your Sweet Aroma To God

Leviticus 1:13  the priest shall bring it all and burn it on the altar; it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord.

In Old Testament times, when a burnt offering is killed, its head is severed, the fat removed, and the entrails and legs washed. Then, everything is placed on an altar and burnt, and the sacrifice is a sweet aroma to God.

All this speaks of the death of Jesus, who has “given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma”. (Ephesians 5:2)

The head of the sacrificed animal speaks of the mind of Christ offered as a covering for our minds. This means that although our minds are often clouded with unbelief, worries, foolishness, filth and human reasoning, God treats us as if we have the mind of Christ, without wrong or displeasing thoughts, bringing pleasure to Him like a sweet aroma.

The fat of the animal speaks of the riches of Christ, His best, for God equates the fat of something with the best of that entity. (Genesis 45:18) The fat of the burnt sacrifice speaks of Jesus giving us His riches, His best, as our covering. So God does not see us in our lack, but in the riches and excellence of Jesus going up to Him as a sweet aroma.

The entrails or intestines speak of Jesus’ motivations, feelings, affections and desires. We often feel fearful, anxious, stressed out or angry (and it affects our stomach and intestines). But God sees only Jesus’ feelings and desires, which are always pure, beautiful and acceptable to Him — a sweet aroma.

The legs refer to Jesus’ perfect walk — His power to serve and obey the Father — imputed to our weak and faltering walk. And the fact they are washed shows that even our crooked walk has been cleansed.

Beloved, God does not see your foolish mind, weak nature, inadequate feelings or faulty walk. Instead, He sees you in the perfection of His Son, who gave Himself up for you as a sweet-smelling sacrifice to God.

Be Righteousness-Conscious And Experience Every Blessing

Our scripture today is a very popular one but only the first part is generally quoted, the secret to unleashing this promise of protection and your inheritance in Christ is the verse quoted fully.  You see, beloved, it is when you know that your righteousness is from the Lord that no weapon formed against you will prosper, and every tongue of accusation, judgment and condemnation that rises against you will fail!

For most of us it is easy for us to confess we are righteous when everything is going well but lets talk about when times are tough.  When times are tough is when the devil will come against you and scream thoughts of condemnation toward you.  Friend, that is the time to start speaking your righteousness, and no weapon formed against you shall prosper.  The accuser want you to focus on your performance, and if you go into the realm of the law, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect.  But if you maintain your belief that you are righteous in Christ irregardless of your circumstances, the promise of Abraham and all the blessings of being an heir of the world will be unleashed into every aspect of your life.

Faith often is used for material things such as a car or job and the devil has no problem with this as long as your faith is not used for the most important thing — believing that you are righteous by faith in Jesus.  Once you focus and channel all your faith in that direction, not only will the accuser lose his power over you, all the blessings that you desire will also be added you!

One thing to remember that is very important is that we do not deserve the blessing of Abraham.  That is why it is so important for us to know we are righteous by faith.  We are not getting what our own righteousness deserves.  We are getting what Jesus’ righteousness deserves.  We did nothing right, but Jesus did everything right on our behalf!  This is grace — God’s undeserved, unearned and unmerited favor.  His grace is the key to becoming an heir of the world and to experience the full blessings of Abraham.
What

What did Abraham believe?  He believed that God justifies the ungodly.  Take some time to meditate on this.  God wants you to use your faith to believe that even when you have failed, He is a God who justifies the ungodly and makes them righteous.  That is grace.  Put your faith in His grace instead of your works.  Being righteous is not based on your perfect performance.  It is based on His perfect work.  Your part is to use your faith to believe that you are indeed righteous by faith, so that you will reign in this life, become an heir of the world, and live an overcoming and victorious life.

When you believe that you are righteous and you are indeed an heir of the world then Jesus becomes your source.  When you put your faith in your body and put your faith in the works you will ALWAYS fail.  When you put your faith that you are righteous irregardless of your accomplishments then you will always SUCCEED!!!

My friends, God wants to intervene in your life and give you good success.  This is impossible when you make the choice to be under the law and put your faith in your hard work.  When you put your faith in your righteousness through Christ, God will begin to work in you, changing your heart, your mind and your wisdom.  He will work through you and show you that you are righteous even when you fail.

You see, when you put your faith in Jesus we are getting what righteousness deserves.  When we put our faith in Jesus and we proclaim our righteousness we are not putting our faith in our works but rather in Him and who we are in Him.

No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn.  This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me,” says the Lord.   —   Isaiah 54:17

God wants you to use your faith to believe that even when you have failed, He is a God who justifies the ungodly and makes them righteous.  This is grace.


Do The One Thing That Is Needful

Is it practical to be occupied with Jesus?  Does it help you?  Does it put food on the table?  Does it prosper your finances?  Does it make your physical body healthy?  Let’s explore these questions!

Mary and Martha were in Jesus presence when the Lord came to visit them.  The differences in Martha and Mary are drastic.  Martha was busy serving Jesus and was frantic running around making sure that she was serving Him, sound familiar?  Mary on the other hand simply rested at Jesus feet, beholding His beauty, beholding His glory and hanging on to every word that proceeded from His lips.  While Mary was resting and drawing living water from Jesus, her sister Martha was restless, frantic and stressed from serving Jesus.  One sister was focused on serving, while the other was focused on receiving.

And what happened?  Martha’s stress from serving finally led to the outburst of frustration.  The Lord looked at her and said, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.  But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”  WOW!  I didn’t say it!  The Lord said it!!!

The absolute greatest way that you and I can minister to God when He is in your home is to sit at His feet and keep drawing from Him!  That is what delights our Lord.  So is the one thing that is needed to be so occupied in serving the Lord, to be troubled by many things or is the one thing that needed to simply rest at Jesus’ feet and keep your eyes, ears and heart on Him?  Which of the sisters do you think complimented Jesus and made Him feel like the God that He is?

I really think that one of the hardest things for us to do is sit and cease from our efforts and worries and simply rest on Jesus unmerited favor.  We are like Martha — worried, busy and troubled about many things.  We can have the best of intentions by trying to serve the Lord day and night but in reality we are missing out on the one thing that is actually needful.  Believers who do that one thing that is needful are not worried about anything else.  On the other hand, believers who fail to do that one thing end up being troubled and many things.

So to answer the original question, YES it is practical to be occupied with Jesus!  But the best time is right now.  In scripture Mary knew this and took a time when she could be serving Jesus and rather did what was needful and washed His feet with her hair with expensive oil.  On resurrection morning women went to the tomb with oil and where ready to anoint Jesus but there was a problem, He had already risen.  Their intentions where good, their timing was bad.  This should prove to you that when you do the one thing that is needful that you will do the right thing at the right time, and God will cause all that you touch to be amazingly blessed.

You have a choice and choose to focus on the beauty, glory and love of Jesus.  Choose not to be troubled about many things or constantly occupied with yourself.  Choose to focus on the Lord and rest in His finished work.  As Jesus is, so are you in this world!

And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.  But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”   —   Luke 10:41-42

Are small, frequent meals good for teens?  Are they good for anyone?  The quick answer is YES!

Make Jesus Your Priority And See Blessings Added To You

The scripture today is all about what we all do very well and that is worry.  There are plenty of things on the bible about worry but the truth of the matter is no matter how much we worry it will not help the circumstances, many times it will hurt our circumstances.  You can worry all you want about your current problems, but worrying will not improve or change your situation one bit.  I do not make light of your situations or my situations, I simply am giving you the best solution to worry that I know.  The only solution that I have ever found does not come as a result of your struggling, it will come alone by resting in the person of Jesus and His finished work.

In the scripture Jesus tells us not to worry about certain things as “your heavenly Father knows what you need” and promises “that all these things will be added to you.”

Ok here is a little review.  How is God’s righteousness?  Jesus!  And are we completely in Jesus and He in us?  Yes!  So if Jesus is God’s righteousness then because we are in Him and He is in us then we are the righteousness of God through Christ.

The scripture Jesus is actually preaching of himself.  Because Him and God are one in the same the scripture says that when you seek Jesus first in your life and make Him a priority each day, all the material possessions (what you eat, drink and wear) will be added to you.  No matter what anyone tells you, God does not delight in taking things away from you, He only delights in adding to you, increasing you, promoting you and enriching you.  The Lord’s goodness and grace is available for us every single morning we awake.

I can tell you that putting Jesus first in your life, reading His word, practicing His presence and the consciousness that He is with you is the key to success, but I am not going to tell you to do that.  There is too much preaching in this world so another blog telling you what you should and should not do is not what you need.  I want to tell you what brings success to your life but I do not want to demand that you do it.  I want to simply encourage you to know Jesus, find out who He is and who you are in Him.  Once you do and seek that you will fall in love with Him.  Once you fall in love with Him you will want to spend time with Him.  Once you spend time with Him you will do all that it takes to be a success.  Demanding you do it is not the answer, encouraging that you learn more about Him and who you are in Him is the only way to you making the choice to fall in love with your Savior.

The scripture today is all about what we all do very well and that is worry.  There are plenty of things on the bible about worry but the truth of the matter is no matter how much we worry it will not help the circumstances, many times it will hurt our circumstances.  You can worry all you want about your current problems, but worrying will not improve or change your situation one bit.  I do not make light of your situations or my situations, I simply am giving you the best solution to worry that I know.  The only solution that I have ever found does not come as a result of your struggling, it will come alone by resting in the person of Jesus and His finished work.

In the scripture Jesus tells us not to worry about certain things as “your heavenly Father knows what you need” and promises “that all these things will be added to you.”

Ok here is a little review.  How is God’s righteousness?  Jesus!  And are we completely in Jesus and He in us?  Yes!  So if Jesus is God’s righteousness then because we are in Him and He is in us then we are the righteousness of God through Christ.

The scripture Jesus is actually preaching of himself.  Because Him and God are one in the same the scripture says that when you seek Jesus first in your life and make Him a priority each day, all the material possessions (what you eat, drink and wear) will be added to you.  No matter what anyone tells you, God does not delight in taking things away from you, He only delights in adding to you, increasing you, promoting you and enriching you.  The Lord’s goodness and grace is available for us every single morning we awake.

I can tell you that putting Jesus first in your life, reading His word, practicing His presence and the consciousness that He is with you is the key to success, but I am not going to tell you to do that.  There is too much preaching in this world so another blog telling you what you should and should not do is not what you need.  I want to tell you what brings success to your life but I do not want to demand that you do it.  I want to simply encourage you to know Jesus, find out who He is and who you are in Him.  Once you do and seek that you will fall in love with Him.  Once you fall in love with Him you will want to spend time with Him.  Once you spend time with Him you will do all that it takes to be a success.  Demanding you do it is not the answer, encouraging that you learn more about Him and who you are in Him is the only way to you making the choice to fall in love with your Savior.

“Therefore do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” … For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.   —   Matthew 6:31-33

The Lord loads us with benefits daily!

Go Forth Neither Poor Nor Feeble!

Psalm 105:37 He also brought them out with silver and gold, and there was none feeble among His tribes.

When the children of Israel were slaves in Egypt, they lived in poverty and faced daily hardships from their cruel taskmasters. Scars and fresh lashes from their masters’ whips covered their bodies. The blistering heat of Egypt caused excruciating sores to fester. Many of them were bent over because of the long hours spent carrying tons of bricks and mortar. Slaving away for long hours under harsh conditions added years to them. And with no proper nourishment, many of them were feeble and emaciated.

But something happened to them on the night of the Passover. (Exodus 12) With the blood of the lamb applied on their doorposts, they came under God’s protection. And inside their homes, as instructed by God, they ate the lamb roasted in fire.

I believe that those who were blind ate the eyes of the lamb, believing that the perfect eyes of the lamb would give them perfect vision. If they had heart conditions, they ate the heart of the lamb, believing that their hearts would beat strong again. And if they were lame, they ate the legs of the lamb, believing that they would be frisking like lambs.

And when morning came, something new and miraculous happened to them. They went forth with God no longer as slaves but free people. They were no longer poor and needy, but possessed silver and gold given to them by the Egyptians. And none of them — there were about 2.5 million of them — were feeble or sickly!

If this was what the children of Israel experienced after partaking of the Passover lamb, which was only a shadow or type of Christ, how much more will we who have come under the covering of the holy blood of Jesus, the true Lamb of God, experience such blessings?

When you put your trust in the Lamb of God who was burnt by God’s fiery judgment meant for us, you will go forth daily, neither poor nor feeble, but richly supplied and divinely strengthened in Christ!

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