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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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Medical Facts About Speaking In Tongues – Carl R. Peterson, M.D

Dear Friends,

First a caveat, I am not a Charismatic but I am fortunate to recieve the gift of tongues even without anyone laying his or her hands on me.

Secondly, this note is not only for people who do not believe in the gift of tongues but those who don’t understand why God would give such a gift as his first gift to the church and whether is it relevant today.

I ask that you read it with an open mind. My intention is to bring praise to God for such a gift and pray that those of you who have recieve such a gift use it for His glory. To those who do not think it is relevant- think again. To those who has it but do not use it – Use it. To those who abuse it – Speak with understanding. Grace and peace to you.

“The Physical Benefit of Speaking in Tongues

God has made provision for you and I to be whole, to be well and to have access to His healing process. There is a study that has been done by Dr. Carl Peterson, M.D. (the husband of author and evangelist Vickie Jamison Peterson). This Study revealed that there is an available healing power that can be released from our own bodies for our own benefit. Dr. Carl Peterson, M.D. worked on this study at ORU in Tulsa, Oklahoma a few years ago. Being a brain specialist he was doing research on what the relationship was between the brain and praying or speaking in tongues. Some amazing things were discovered.

Through research and testing he found out that as we pray in the Spirit, or worship in the Spirit, (our heavenly language) there is activity that begins to take place in our brain. As we engage in our heavenly language the brain releases 2 chemical secretions that are directed into our immune systems giving a 35 to 40 percent boost to the immune system. This promotes healing within our bodies. Amazingly this secretion is triggered from a part of the brain that has no other apparent activity in humans and is only activated by our Spirit led prayer and worship.

Before the fall of man did God in His perfect creation provide for the total healing of mankind in this manner? As Adam walked and communicated with the Father in the Garden was this close and intimate fellowship and communication causing divine health to flow in his body? Just something for us to think about. God is the restorer of all things. As we exercise our life in the “Spirit” by speaking in our heavenly language that He has put within us, we are touching the supernatural power of God and we are letting Him restore part of what was lost.

Now science has proved the process and you and I can turn this healing process on by our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Just one more great reason to be filled with the Holy Spirit and commune with the Father in your “Heavenly Language.” According to the Holy Spirit, speaking through the apostle Paul: “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself” (1 Corinthians 14:4). We always thought of the edification as only spiritual edification, which is great and always needed, but Christian psychiatrist Carl R. Peterson, M.D. describes physical edification also! Isn’t God amazing?

We have found on the Internet documentation from Dr. Peterson’s office, which is below. As a matter of reference, Dr. Peterson is highly respected, as a psychiatrist and as a Christian.

PLEASE NOTE: Dr. Peterson begins his attachment by specifically referring to praying in the spirit (speaking in tongues), then begins to just use the words prayer or praying. Throughout his paper he is referring to speaking in tongues, as that is the context of the whole paper, and is as introduced by his letter.

From
CHRISTIAN-PSYCHIATRY SERVICES, INC.

Dear friend,
Thank you for your inquiry regarding the relationship of extended periods of praying in tongues and joyful laughter to brain activity. As you will read in the enclosed explanation, I shared some information concerning this with several ministers at a gathering some time ago. I pray this information will be helpful to you.

Respectfully,
Carl R. Peterson, M.D.”

This excerpt is extracted in verbatim.

——————————————————————————–

EFFECTS OF EXTENDED VERBAL PRAYER
I have had a number of inquiries concerning the efficacy of praying in the spirit (speaking in tongues) and its benefit to the human immune system, i.e., immunity enhanced by chemicals released from a part of the brain. I am attempting to clarify some information I have shared with a number of ministers. This is information that may be deduced from what we know about the way the brain functions. We do know the part of the brain affected most noticeably by extended prayer represents a significant portion of the brain and its metabolic activity. Therefore, voluntary speech during extended vocal prayer causes a major stimulation in these parts of the brain (mainly the hypothalamus).

The hypothalamus has direct regulation of four major systems of the body, mainly: a) the pituitary gland and all target endocrine glands;
b) the total immune system;
c) the entire autonomic system; and
d) the production of brain hormones called endorphins and enkephalons, which are chemicals the body produces and are 100-200 times more powerful than morphine.

In summary, a very significant percentage of the central nervous system is directly and indirectly activated in the process of extended verbal and musical prayer over a period of time. This results in a significant release of brain hormones which, in turn, increases the body’s general immunity. It is further enhanced through joyful laughter with increased respirations and oxygen intake to the brain, diaphragm and other muscles. This same phenomenon is seen in physical activity in general, i.e., running, etc.

We know from the Word of God that there is a true joy that builds and sustains. Nehemiah tells us the joy of the Lord is our strength. There is joy in the presence of Jehovah. We, as believers having entered into that wonderful presence of our Lord, know this to be true. What we must continue to remember is that the joy of the Lord spoken of in the Word is so much more than any manifestation. We can truly have that unspeakable joy in the face of any trials we may encounter, if our joy is grounded in a knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I hope the above information helps to clarify the report you received regarding my statement in the area of the physical effects of speaking in tongues and joyful laughter for extended periods of time. Truly, we all benefit — body, soul, and spirit — from obedience and yielding to the Spirit of God in every area of our lives.

Carl R. Peterson, M.D.”

This excerpt is extracted in verbatim.

We are not priests. We are royal high priests!

Believers Worship at David’s Tabernacle
Many Christians are ignorant of one fact. They are royal preists. They are not just normal preists. The difference is significant and important. We are not from the line of Aaron. We are from the line of David. Like Melchizedek, David was both king and preist. What is the big deal you say? Well it has to do with the tabernacles Aaron and David. Aaron was a preist in the tabernacle of Moses. David built his own tabernacle. I am reproducing an article from Paul White to show you why to me it is a HUGE DEAL. It is as huge as LAW AND GRACE.

Amos 9:11-12

11 “In that day  “I will restore David’s fallen shelter— I will repair its broken walls and restore its ruins— and will rebuild it as it used to be,

12 so that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations that bear my name,” declares the LORD, who will do these things.

In Acts 15, the Apostle James speaks to the assembled apostles and preachers at the council in Jerusalem. The council was held so that the Jewish apostles could determine what they should say and preach to the new Gentile converts regarding the observance of Jewish law. In his speech, James quotes our text from the book of Amos, placing Amos’ prophecy in New Testament times, not far off in some future millennium.

James states that the advent of Jesus and His death on the cross has brought back the tabernacle of David. Even the least experienced Bible student knows that the tabernacle was built by Moses, many years before David came along, and that David’s son Solomon constructed the temple. So when and where was there ever a tabernacle of David?

David decided that the Ark of the Covenant had been missing from Jerusalem for too long. Moses’ tabernacle was set up in Gibeon, but David wanted to bring the presence of the Lord to the capital of Israel and Judah, so he had a cart constructed so that the Ark could be rolled in. On the way, one of David’s men touched the Ark as it was shaking on the cart and he fell over dead. David was frightened of the Ark’s power so he took it to the nearest house, the home of a Gentile named Obed-edom.

Obed-edom means, “Servant of Edom”. Edom is another name for Esau, showing us that this man was actually a descendent of Jacob’s brother Esau. For the next 3 months, blessings are poured on the house of Obed-edom, and as David hears of this, he becomes a bit envious in his spirit, desiring that God would bless him with such goodness. This prompts David to take the Ark out of Obed-edom’s house and bring it up to Jerusalem, this time with priests carrying it, as Moses had been instructed.

David places the Ark in a tabernacle that he pitches for it (2 Samuel 6:17). 1 Chronicles 15:1 tells us that this “tabernacle” is a tent. David seems unconcerned with placing the Ark in the Holy of Holies, in the tabernacle at Gibeon, for he makes no effort to do so. Instead, he leaves it in Jerusalem, basking off of the same blessings that were on it while in the house of Obed-edom. Through all of this he had learned that God’s blessings were not on the tabernacle, but on the Ark, and that God would bless all who approached it, even an unworthy Gentile.

James references this prophecy because of what Christ’s finished work has accomplished. Under the Old Covenant, God was to be feared and placed at a distance. Only the high priest ever saw the ark while it was in the tabernacle, and that only once per year. David is hearkening forward to a better covenant built upon better promises, when all of God’s people can go boldly into the presence of the Lord and have their moment at the mercy seat of heaven, covered by the blood of the precious, spotless Lamb.

Believers no longer worship a distant entity, but a living God. Because Christ lives in us, we worship at David’s tabernacle, where God’s presence is always right where we are. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and God dwells in us (1 Corinthians 6:19). Just as in David’s tabernacle, the blessings are not on the tent, but on the Ark in the tent. The blessings that we experience are not because of us but because of our Jesus in us! Therefore, His blessings are not dependent on how good we are or how consecrated we may be, but rather they are dependent on how good Jesus is. As Amos said, even the remnant of Edom and all of the heathen are called by the name of the Lord (Amos 9:12).

Church People, Must Quit Adding The Word “But” To The End Of Our Sentences About Grace

Andy Stanley is one of my very favorite authors and speakers. Last week, we released his newest book, The Grace of God.

In case you don’t know, Andy Stanley is the founder of North Point Ministries (NPM), one of the fastest growing and most influential Christian organizations in America. Each Sunday, over 20,000 adults attend services at one of NPM’s three campuses in the Atlanta area: North Point Community Church, Browns Bridge Community Church, and Buckhead Church.

Andy is also a best-selling author of Visioneering, The Next Generation Leader, and The Principle of the Path. He and his wife, Sandra, live in Alpharetta, Georgia, with their three children.

Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Andy about his new book and about what he is learning.

Q: So often we hear from you on leadership, vision, and communication. I’m curious. Why did you choose to write on the topic of grace?

My publisher, Matt Baugher, pointed out that I preach on this topic often but had never written about it. He asked me to consider a book on grace and immediately I got excited about it.

Q: There’s no subtitle to this book. If you were to add a subtitle, what would it be?

“The Solution to Just About Everything”

Q: It is easy to see the grace of God throughout the New Testament, but you say, “a careful reading of the Old Testament reveals grace to be God’s preeminent characteristic from the very beginning.” When do you believe we are first introduced to God’s grace?

Creation. Not to get too philosophical, but why is there anything? Why did God bother to create anything? For His glory, certainly. But life itself, the opportunity to live, to love, to be loved is an expression of God’s grace.

Q: It is evident that the church today has an uneasy relationship with grace. How can we, the church, do a better job of consistently communicating the message of grace?

The church, or I should say, church people, must quit adding the word “but” to the end of our sentences about grace. Grace plus is no longer grace. Grace minus is no longer grace. We are afraid people will abuse grace if presented in its purest form. We need not fear that, we should assume that. Religious people crucified grace personified. Of course grace will be abused. But grace is a powerful dynamic. Grace wins out in the end. It is not our responsibility to qualify it. It is our responsibility to proclaim it and model it.

Q: In the opening chapter you say, “When we are on the receiving end, grace is refreshing. When it is required of us, it is often disturbing.” It is true. How do you fight this constant tension?

The only reason I have for extending grace to others is that it has been extended to me. All the “one another” passages in the New Testament: Love one another, serve one another, forgive one another… are anchored to the fact that God did all of that for us. I am to extend grace to others as a response to God’s offer of grace to me.

Q: I find that people often confuse grace and mercy. How do you clarify the difference between these two ideas?

Mercy is not proactive. Mercy is not getting what I deserve. I can decide not to punish my children. But that different from doing something FOR them when I should actually be doing something TO them. Grace is proactive. Grace doesn’t merely withhold retribution. Grace offers something good in addition to withholding what an individual deserves.

Mercy says, “I won’t sue you.” Grace says, “I won’t sue you AND I’ll come over next week and serve you. God didn’t merely withhold punishment, He sent His Son to die for us.

Q: From your studies and/or experience, what has surprised you most about grace?

It is extraordinarily powerful. It is often extraordinarily slow. Fear works quicker. But fear erodes relationships. Grace is like a crock pot.

Q: Who are some voices that you are learning from these days?

These days, my staff. I’m surrounded by some great thinkers and great communicators. As I told the crowd at Catalyst last week, my opening talk was inspired by two of our staff communicators. I get a lot of credit for ideas and results that are actually a reflection of the efforts and insights of the brilliant people I get to work with every day.

Receive Jesus’ Shalom

Stress is incredibly common in our society.  Everyone to every degree stresses about something.  In the past few years there has been much more research and attention to what stress actually does to the body.  Stress can cause a number of physical issues that can actually have deadly consequences.  My blogs are not long enough to really get into the details so I would encourage you all to also read up on the recent studies of stress, the problems that stress causes and what some of those problems may be.

Just like sin, when someone tells you not to stress the chances of actually stressing more increases.  I think most of us can come to the conclusion that less stress in our life is a good thing, but how do we go about having less stress?

In the Gospel of John, Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  So Jesus peace and being in his presence is the answer, but wait…………..

Jesus would not have used the word “peace.”  The Greek New Testament renders “peace” as eirene, but since Jesus spoke Aramaic-Hebrew, He would have used the word “shalom” — “Shalom I leave with you, My shalom I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.”

In the Hebrew vernacular, “shalom” is a very rich and loaded word.  There is no English word that can accurately encapsulate the fullness, richness and power contained in the word “shalom.”  Hence, English Bible translations were only able to translate it as “peace.”  But while the word “shalom” includes peace, it means so much more.  Let’s look at the Brown Driver&Briggs Hebrew Lexicon to get a better idea of what Jesus meant when He said, “Shalom I leave with you.”

The Hebrew Lexicon describes “shalom” as completeness, safety, soundness (in body), welfare, health, prosperity, peace, quiet, tranquility, contentment, peace used of human relationships, peace with God especially in our covenant relationship and peace from war.”  Wow, what a powerful word!  This is the shalom that Jesus has for you.  Never again should you think of your peace through Christ that He gives as just peace, it is so much more and these things are all part of your inheritance in Christ today!

Can you just see what will happen when you step into His presence and allow His shalom to flow through your life?  It is more than just peace, it is the wholeness of Christ that protects, prospers, gives you life and health.  Enjoy Jesus shalom today!

A heart at peace gives life to the body…   —   Proverbs 14:30

Stress is not from God.  Peace is from Him!

Our Part In The New Covenant Of Grace

That’s right my friends, all you have to do is believe.  So what are we supposed to believe?  In Jesus.  Sounds simple huh?  Yes but people make it a bit more complicated than this.

Reason being is simply go on the streets and ask people what they believe about Jesus.  You will get some that will say He was a historical figure, moral philosopher, charismatic leader or prophet.  You will even get people who say He was a liar or did not exist.  Sadly, believing any of these things will not be enough to save them.

So to believe in Jesus and be saved is to believe and receive Him as your personal Lord and Savior who died on the cross for all your sins.  To believe in Jesus is to believe that Jesus is the only way to salvation and that once you receive Him, you receive the gift of eternal life.  Furthermore, to believe in Jesus is to believe beyond the shadow of a doubt that all your sins past, present and future were all punished on the cross and that today (here is where it gets important) all your sins and lawless deeds, He remembers NO MORE!!!

In the new covenant there is no works, the only and I mean only thing we have to do is believe.  That is why I say, RIGHT BELIEVING ALWAYS LEADS TO RIGHT LIVING!!!  You can believe in Jesus and believe wrong and it will affect your life.  You have to do nothing but believe, but make sure you are believing in the correct doctrine.

Today you are made perfectly righteous by Jesus’ finished work.  If you do not believe what I am saying then it will be impossible for you to depend on and expect God to protect, provide for and prosper you and you will be robbed of His blessings in your life.  When you believe all I am saying you become bold and you have the confidence to expect His goodness, blessings and grace in your life.

Believing in Christ will make you bold, self-confident and open your heart.  You will not have to rely on yourself, your understanding and your talents, you will rely on His.  You will not have to be arrogant or prideful because when He is working in you there is no you, only Him.  When He is working in your life you become extremely confident because in yourself you have fallen short but when you believe in what I am saying then you fully understand God is on your side and you know you will not fail because it is not you but it is Him.

It is like getting lost and trying to figure out how to get back on track without a map.  With God, He is your GPS and when you believe in what I am saying you are boldly able to open your heart to have Him fully work in your life.  Even if you are lost, God takes over with His perfect GPS and gets you back on course really quick.  He takes a lost soul and helps them find their direction quickly.  The direction is just not found however; the roadmap for the rest of the journey is laid out.

Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.   —   Acts 13:38-39

Your part in the new covenant of God’s unmerited favor is to believe that you are completely forgiven of all your sins, and that Jesus’ blood cleanses you from all your unrighteousness and lawlessness.

Categories: Grace, Jesus, Love, New Covenant, Rest

We Are Seasoned Do-It-Yourselfers by Tullian Tchividjian

Thanks to my good friends Mike Horton, Rod Rosenbladt, and Shane Rosenthal from The White Horse Inn, I was introduced to Harold Senkbeil. Dr. Senkbeil is a confessional Lutheran theologian who for many years served as Associate Professor in the Pastoral Ministry and Missions Department of Concordia Theological Seminary. He’s the author of many books including the one I’m reading right now entitled Dying to Live: The Power of Forgiveness. You’ll be hearing more from me about Senkbeil, but this section on page 170 that I read last night is too good not to share right away. 

Speaking specifically to Christians, he writes:

Our Heavenly Father attaches no strings to His love. His love for us doesn’t depend on our love for others. Our relationship with the Father was established long ago, in the body and blood of His Son. Jesus Christ erased all our sins and shouldered all our sorrows. Already now we have a solid relationship with our heavenly Father; there’s no need to fret about it. That relationship doesn’t depend on our love for Him, but on His love for us. It hinges on the Gospel of God, not the Law of God…Again, the Old Adam betrays us. Our sinful nature would much rather hear Law than Gospel. The sinful nature is a seasoned do-it-yourselfer. We’d rather know what we should do, yet God insists on telling us who we are. The best way to tell you what to do as a Christian is to tell you who you are in Christ. The sinful nature likes to think it can earn (and keep) God’s favor. Our Old Adam prefers to base security with God the Father on His Law rather than His Gospel.

What Senkbeil gets at in this section is the fact that we are, without question, a society of doers. Ever since the Enlightenment, we’ve been told in a thousand different ways that accomplishment precedes acceptance; that achievement precedes approval. And since we all long for affirmation and validation, we set out to prove our worth by working. Unwittingly, Christians in this cultural context have absorbed this mentality and taken it into their relationship with God and their understanding of the Christian life. As it was with Martha in Luke 10:38-42, so it is with us: we just have to be doing something. We can’t sit still. Achieving, not receiving, has become the mark of spiritual maturity. With this in mind, Martin Luther wrote, “To be convinced in our hearts that we have forgiveness of sins and peace with God by grace alone is the hardest thing.” The hardest thing to do even as believers in Christ is to simply sit down and receive something, which is why Mike Horton titled one of the chapters in his book The Gospel-Driven Life, “Don’t Just Do Something Sit There.”

As I mentioned a few posts ago, preachers these days are expected to provide a practical “to-do” list, rather than announce, “It is finished.” They are expected to do something more than placard before their congregations eyes Christ’s finished work, preaching a full absolution solely on the basis of the complete righteousness of Another. It’s important to remember that the application that defines Christians is the application of Christ’s work to them, not their work for Christ.

John Piper once asked:

“How do you glorify a water fountain? Come thirsty and drink!” Jesus is not glorified by our “doing” things for him. He is glorified by our resting in, and receiving, what he’s done for us.

Categories: Grace, Jesus, Love, New Covenant, Rest
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