Archive

Posts Tagged ‘peace’

How To Increase In God’s Unmerited Favor

In the scripture it tells us that we first increase in favor with God and then with man.  Your “vertical relationship” with God should always be given priority over your “horizontal relationship” with the people around you.

Just like Jesus we can increase in wisdom and in God’s unmerited favor.  Romans says that we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand.  To gain access we need to have is faith, faith to believe that YOU, are highly favored!  One thing we do in our family and have posted at our front door is that our covenant as family is, “Because of Jesus perfect work on the cross, we are righteous by His blood and we are greatly blessed, highly favored and deeply loved.  We expect good things to come our way.  We expect good success and have confidence expectations of good because of His finished work.”

What an incredibly powerful statement to be reminded of on a daily basis.

How do you we know we are greatly blessed?
Hebrews 6:13-14 says that He will bless us, the seed of Abraham.

How do we know we are highly favored?
Ephesians 1:6 tells us that by God’s grace, God made us accepted in the Beloved.  In the original Greek text, the word “accepted” is the word charitoo, which means “highly favored.”

How do we know we are deeply loved?
Probably the most famous verse in the bible says that God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son.

Even if you do not believe what I am saying, start speaking the above that is posted by our front door.  Just because you do not believe something, does not mean that it is not true.  Speak this daily!  Whether you want to believe it or not, the truth is you are favor ground and no longer on condemnation ground, God looks at you as His favorite child.

God is interested in your life and because we are God’s children and Abraham’s seed we are greatly blessed, highly favored and deeply loved.

The truth is God is a loving and giving God and His favor is at our disposal all the time in a unlimited fashion.  Your access to this favor is to simply believe by faith.  When you stop relying on yourself and start trusting in the promises of what is and who God is then the power of God will reign in life!

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.   —   Romans 5:1-2

Because of Jesus’ perfect work on the cross, you are righteous by His blood, and you are greatly blessed, highly favored and deeply loved!

Don’t Sweat Over Loss Or Waste

Luke 15:22–23
“But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry;

What would you say if your son, whom you had given a large inheritance to, came crawling home one day after wasting all his money on riotous living?

In the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11–24), the father did not say one word about loss or waste, though his son had indeed wasted his inheritance on riotous living. The father only saw his son’s homecoming as an opportunity to show him how much he loved him and to restore to him what he had lost.

Like the father in the parable, it is your heavenly Father’s desire to embrace you and show you how much you are loved. And it is His good pleasure to restore to you what you have lost.

Perhaps you have lost something recently, or you are frustrated that something has gone to waste due to a bad decision you made. My friend, God does not see the finality of the loss or waste the way you do. When you come to Him with it, He sees it as an opportunity to restore to you what has been lost or wasted.

Even if, like the prodigal son, you feel far away from your heavenly Father, or you feel that you have disappointed Him, don’t despair. The truth is that the moment you come to Him, He immediately restores to you the robe of honor to clothe your nakedness, the ring of authority to declare your position of power and dominion, and the sandals on your feet (which servants do not wear) to reinstate you as a son in His house.

He reassures you that you had never lost the position of sonship. And He celebrates your return to Him with the killing of a fatted calf because you are His beloved child whom He cherishes.

Beloved, in your Father’s house, you not only come under His complete protection, but you also enjoy His inexhaustibly rich provisions and unconditional love!

 

Wisdom And Length Of Days

According to the scripture happiness comes from wisdom and the only good wisdom is that of the Lord.  The scripture said that length of days is in one hand and riches and honor.  Solomon only got one, but why if He had wisdom?

In 1 Kings the Lord told Solomon, “…if you walk in My ways, to keep My statues and My commandments…then I will lengthen your days.”  Notice anything different?  Because Solomon was under the old covenant the only way to be fully blessed was to perfectly keep the law which was impossible.  So because he could not, his days were not lengthened, which is in wisdom’s right hand.

However, the great news is that today, because we are under the new covenant of grace, Jesus is at the Father’s right hand and He is our wisdom.  And when we have Jesus, we can be blessed with the two hands of wisdom because of His finished work on the cross.  This means that riches and honor, as well as length of days, belong to us!  What an awesome God we serve!

If you pursue Jesus, you will experience wisdom in every area of your life.  You cannot try to earn, deserve or study to acquire God’s wisdom.  It comes by His unmerited favor.  His wisdom will give you good success and to succeed in whatever you do.  Whatever your crisis today depend on the Lord for His wisdom.  There are no “real problems”, only “idea problems.”  Trust that the Lord will bless you with the wisdom from heaven to cause everything that you touch to prosper.

Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding…Length of days is in her right hand, in her left hand riches and honor.   —   Proverbs 3:13-16

Because of Jesus’ finished work on the cross, riches and honor, as well as length of days, belong to us!

The Secret To Solomon’s Wisdom

Most people know that Solomon was known for his wisdom but do many people know how he became wise?  Solomon was 18 years old when he became the successor to David’s throne, but was clearly very earnest.  He went to Mount Gibeon, where the tabernacle of Moses was, to offer a thousand burnt offerings to the Lord.  At the Mount the Lord asked Solomon, “Ask!  What shall I give you?”

How many of us would have asked for wisdom?  How many of us in that position would have asked for riches, wealth or honor in our life?  Solomon responded, “…give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can judge this great people of Yours?”

In 1 Kings it states that the Lord was pleased with Solomon and because he did not ask for riches or wealth or honor that his request for wisdom would be granted to him.  In 1 Kings is says that Solomon asked the following, “therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil.  For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”  So when Solomon asked for wisdom and knowledge, he was asking for an understanding heart.

I believe this same request still pleases the Lord today.  I believe that God is pleased when we ask Jesus for wisdom.  To ask Him for wisdom is to put ourselves in a posture of trusting and depending on His grace.  Only the humble can ask Jesus for wisdom and a hearing heart.

Here is where it gets really important and I believe this also is true today.  Although Solomon only asked for wisdom, the Lord added “riches and wealth and honor” to him.  Too many people chase riches and wealth not realizing that they come through the wisdom of Jesus.  Even if someone were to come into sudden wealth, without the wisdom of Jesus to manage it, the money would be squandered away.  But with the wisdom of Jesus, you won’t only be blessed, you will also be able to hold on to the blessings in your life.  Jesus makes you safe for good success that produces lasting and abiding fruit from generation to generation!

I believe we all have some sort of desires in our heart that are earthly and I also believe that God wants to grant that to us.  I do also believe that it will not be granted if the Lord knows we will squander it.  Why?  Because squandering wealth is not the wisdom of Jesus.  My point is, if you first seek Jesus wisdom (because it is the primary thing) then Jesus wisdom will make you safe for success no matter the circumstances.  I fully believe that if you seek wisdom first that you will be blessed with the desires of your heart but you will do so and be able to keep them.

Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil.  For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”   —   1 Kings 3:9

With the wisdom of Jesus, you won’t only be blessed, but you will also be able to hold on to the blessings in your life.

Work Out Your Salvation with Fear and Trembling by D.L Moody

What does that passage mean—“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling?” Well, I want you to emphasize the word your: “Work out your salvation.” That is most important. You hear people talk of working out salvation, when all the time they have not got it. How can you work out what you do not possess?

Paul is here writing to the Christians at Philippi. They were already saved by the grace of God.Now that they had got this wonderful gift, he says: “Go, work it out.” When you see a person working for salvation, you may know that he has got a false idea of the teaching of the Scripture. We have salvation as a gift; and of course we cannot get it by working for it. It is our appreciation of this gift that makes us work.

Many people are working and working, as Rowland Hill says, like children on a rocking horse—it is a beautiful motion, but there is no progress. Those who are working for salvation are like men on a treadmill, going round, and round, and round; toiling, and toiltoiling, and toiling; but nothing comes of it all. There is no progress, and there cannot be until you have the motive power within, till the breath of life comes from God, which can alone give you power to work for others.

Suppose I say to my son: “You are going away from home; and I want you to be very careful how you spend that $500.” “Well,” he says, “if you will give me $500, I will be careful about it; but how can I be careful in spending what I have not got?” And so, unless you have salvation, you cannot work it out.

Take another illustration. One summer my boy asked me to give him a piece of ground that he might have a garden all to himself. I said I would give it to him; but that I expected he would keep it clear of weeds, and use it in some way that would make it pleasant and profitable to him. He was to work out the piece of land; but he could not do that until I had given it to him. Neither was it his working it out that secured him the garden. I gave it to him freely, apart from any merit of his own; but I did so on the understanding that he should employ it to the best advantage. I think that is a fair illustration of our working out the salvation that God has given us.

Of course these illustrations fail in some points. I could not impart to my son the willingness to work out the piece of land, though I could provide him with all the necessary implements. God not only gives us salvation freely, but he gives us the power to work it out.

A writer says on this point: “Paul does not command the Philippians to save themselves. There was no thought in his mind of any meritorious self-righteousness. Man can by no work of his own either procure salvation or merit salvation. God worketh the salvation within the soul—man only worketh that salvation out in the Christian life. To break off from known sin; to renounce all self-righteousness; to cast ourselves in loving faith on the merits of Christ crucified; to commence at once a life of self-denial, of prayer, of obedience; to turn from all that God forbids, resolutely and earnestly, unto all that God requires—this is what the text implies. But then this is not salvation. Salvation is of God—of grace—of free grace.

From the germ to the fruit, from foundation to top-stone—it is of grace, free grace, altogether and only. But the ‘working out of salvation’—is man’s part in the work of salvation. God will not repent for the man; nor believe for the man; nor lead a holy life for the man. God worketh inwardly—man worketh outwardly. And this outward human work is as necessary as the inward Divine work.”

God works in us; and then we work for Him. If He has done a work in us, we certainly ought to go and work for others. A man must have this salvation, and must know it, before he can work for the salvation of others.

Many of you have tried hard to save yourselves; but what has been the end of it all? I remember a lady in the North of England who became quite angry when I made this remark publicly: “No one in this congregation will be saved till they stop trying to save themselves.” Down she came from the gallery, and said to me: “You have made me perfectly miserable.” “Indeed,” I said, “how is that?” “Why, I always thought that if I kept on trying, God would save me at some time; and now you tellme to stop trying: what, then, am I to do?” “Why, let the Lord save you.” She went off in something like a rage.

It is not always a bad sign when you see a man or a woman wake up cross, if it is the Word of God that wakes them up. A day or two afterwards she came and thanked me. She said she had been turning over in her mind what I had said; and at last the truth dawned upon her, that though she had worked long, though she had formed a good many resolutions, she had made no progress. So she gave up the struggle; and then it was that the Lord Jesus saved her.

I want to ask you this question: If sin needs forgiveness—and all sin is against God—how can you work out your own forgiveness? If I stole $100 from a friend, I could not forgive myself, could I? No act of mine would bring about forgiveness, unless my friend forgave me. And so, if I want forgiveness of sin, it must be the work of God.

If we look at salvation as a new life, it must be the work of God. God is the author of life: you cannot give yourself life. If we consider it as a gift, it must come from some one outside of ourselves. That is what I read in the Bible—Salvation as a gift. While I am speaking, you can make up your mind that you will stop trying, and take this gift.

I wish I could get this whole audience to drop the word try, and put the word trust in its place.The forgiving grace of God is wonderful. He will save you this very minute, if you are willing to be saved. He delights in mercy. He wants to show that mercy to every soul. The religion of Christ is not man working his way up to God; it is God coming down to man. It is Christ coming down to the pit of sin and woe where we are, bringing us out of the pit, putting our feet upon a rock, and a new song in our mouth. He will do it this minute, while I am speaking, if you will let Him. Will you let Him? That is the question.

Have Confidence In The Unmerited Favor Of Jesus

This is another short but sweet devotion but the message is powerful.  There are countless examples in the Bible and in the world today about being in the right place at the right time.  I have had countless examples looking back in my past were I have not been able to explain it but I just have been in the right place at the right time.  I have had countless times where my plans have not worked out because God had different plans for me and positioned me in the perfect place in the perfect timing.  My plans are generally the wrong timing at the wrong place and it is why my plans generally do not work.  However, I have learned that if I simply trust in the Lord that I will be positioned to have success in His perfect timing and His perfect placing.

In the bible I love the story of Ruth.  She was a poor widow who had nothing.  Her mother-in-law Naomi left their family and were in extreme poverty.  They did not even have grain.  Ruth said to Naomi, “Please let me go to the field, and glean heads of grain after him in whose sight I may find favor.”  Ruth was confident that God would give her favor even though she was a foreigner and had no connections with anyone in the field.  She didn’t even know whose part of the field she would be able to glean in.

Ok so let’s look at what happened.  Ruth went in the field with her “hap” and went into the part of the field that belonged to Boaz.  The word “hap” is an old English word it means “to happen” to be at the right place.  However, in the original Hebrew text, the root of this word is the word qarah! (as we talked about yesterday).  The Lord’s perfect timing and placing put Ruth in that field.  Boaz saw her and fell in love with her and they married.  Before the meeting she was in her lowest point with everything in the natural against her.  But, Ruth trusted in the Lord and He positioned Her in His timing and His placing that was perfect for her.  It was so perfect in fact that she was named in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew.  Wow, that is awesome!!!

No matter what natural circumstances may be against you today, have confidence in the grace of Jesus and He will give you what I call “qarah success.”  He will cause you to be positioned at the right place at the right time to experience His protection and success in your relationships, career, finances and health!!!

And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers; and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz; who was of the kindred of Elimelech.   —   Ruth 2:3

Have confidence in the unmerited favor of Jesus and He will cause you to be positioned at the right place at the right time to experience success.

Rejecting Rejection

“…to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:6)

The emotional soil our roots are planted in has a bearing on our entire lives. God designed that we should receive love, care and protection in the family. As a child is born into a family it is totally defenseless, and dependable on the family that surrounds it. It is during the formative years of its life that it will receive its identity message. A child brought up in a loving atmosphere and home will face future relationships with security and confidence. Our family loved us and valued us; therefore we must be people of worth.

Psychologists confirm this. They tell us there are three parental attitudes that are absolutely necessary for a sense of security and to develop a wholesome personality. These are acceptance, affection and approval. A lack of any of these things will be interpreted by the child as rejection. Rejection may come as a deliberate hostility from others, or as a failure to communicate acceptance. Often it is communicated in its more subtle form of parents not being emotionally available to their children.

If for some reason love and acceptance were not there for us in the formative years of our lives we will face all other relationships with suspicion, mistrust and insecurity. If a life has not been properly rooted in love, its entire lifetime will be a struggle against fear and anxiety. We expect to be let down, left out, ignored, rejected. The rejected expect the present and the future to be a repeat of the past. Some people seem to get hurt in almost every encounter with others. The fear of rejection is a severe form of insecurity.

Parents who reject their children usually do so because they were rejected, or are going through problems of their own. Sometimes children are rejected because they were unwanted from the start. Rejection says nothing about the real worth of the child. It is a perception. Since a child has such a high regard for its parents it will naturally think that there is something wrong with him, when rejected.

Rejection is not being wanted, valued or regarded as significant. It brings shame. Shame, like guilt, has to do with how we feel about ourselves. Unlike guilt, which is based on my performance, shame is feeling bad based upon the way others have esteemed me. But shame is deeper than guilt. Guilt says, “I made a mistake.” Shame says, “I am a mistake.” If I make a mistake there is hope. I can confess and be forgiven. I can change what I do, but not who I am. Shame causes us to hate ourselves. Robert Louis Stevenson once confessed that he was suffering from “crushed wormery”, i.e. the feeling that he was no more than a worm, groveling on the ground.

One Hebrew word for shame is also translated as blushing, another word as contempt and another still as nakedness. Closely associated with the idea of shame is nakedness. When Adam & Eve sinned they were ashamed, and knew they were naked. Shame is a feeling of being uncovered. It is the feeling that everyone is looking at you and can see every part of you. It comes from being abandoned by the significant others in your life. Those who should have covered you have actually exposed you, uncovered you, abandoned you and made you feel vulnerable. Shame strikes at our identity and makes us hate ourselves and feel worthless.

Rejection can result in:

Spiritual consequences. There will be difficulty in relating to the Fatherhood of God.

Physical consequences. E.g. identity is found in performance and achievement therefore this leads to burn out.

Emotional consequences. When there is a breakdown in the human family, or a failure to communicate acceptance, there are profound emotional and personality effects in the lives of the children involved. This later results in personality and relationship problems., such as:

 Inferiority, isolation and the fear of abandonment.

 Withdrawal for protection.

 Will never get into situations that we cannot control. Thus no risks, no creativity.

 Driven to cover mistakes. Not allowed that luxury.

 Because rejection tells us that we do not have a legitimate reason for being it leads to constantly wanting to justify our existence.

 Fear of failure. Fear of trying new things. The need to succeed in order to be accepted.

 A reluctance to ask favours. Giving, but not receiving. A “repay” mentality.

 Fear of saying “no”.

 It is wrong to have a need. It is wrong to express your opinion.

 Shame is veiled by dress. Great emphasis on appearance.

 Drawing back from God.

Ministering to the rejected.

Only God can minister effectively to the rejected. David said, “When my father and mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me” Psa.27:0. If you have been rejected God knows all about it. In fact Jesus suffered rejection more than any other person. Isa.53:3&4 tells us, “He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He is despised and we did not esteem Him. Surely, He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted.”

He was rejected:

 By His own people. “He came unto His own and His own received Him not”

 By the religious authorities. He was “the stone which the builders rejected.”

 By His disciples. “They all forsook Him and fled.”

 By the Father. “My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

The Bible says that Jesus was made perfect through sufferings. This is not a reference to moral perfection but to being perfected or completed as our High Priest. He passed through every kind of suffering known to man and is now equipped in the role of a sympathetic High Priest, able to identify with us, and minister to us in our pain. The Bible says He bore our rejection. (Isa.53:3&4). He, Who died of a broken heart (Psa.69:20), now lives to heal the broken-hearted.

The opposite of shame is glory. God created us for glory. At creation He crowned us with glory and honour (Gen.2:25). Glory is the feeling of dignity, being of value. Satan wants to fill us with a sense of shame. He uses significant events and people to do that to us. When Jesus was crucified they took His garments. This is figurative of what took place at the Cross. He took our sin, rejection and shame and exchanged it with the robe of His righteousness and glory. We are in Christ. And the glory has been restored to us, 2 Cor.3:18. We are no longer products of the past, but of the cross. We are no longer rejected, but accepted in Him.

Rejecting Rejection.

We must be willing to part with rejection, including the lifestyle that goes with it, self-pity, etc. Do you think often of past failure and rejection. When you recall past experiences is it with strong, painful emotions. Do you believe that certain past experiences have ruined your life and that you only have second best now? Do you have a victim mentality? Do you withdraw from people? The Bible says that you are no longer a rejected person. Therefore, reject rejection. Do it once, do it well.

Receive God’s unconditional acceptance of you. Eph.1:6. God took the initiative. He knew what we were like before we were born. His plans for us are positive. He acknowledges us, has established a relationship of permanence with us, has a purpose for us, is patient with us, has granted us access to Him, and accepts us unconditionally. There is a difference between acceptance and approval. Acceptance is a legal matter that deals with our status within the family of God. Approval has to do with our actions. These do not affect our position in the family.

Forgive all who have ever rejected you.

Ask God to heal you of a wounded spirit and make you a whole person with a whole personality. Knowing the truth will set us free.

Understand that you have been empowered with meekness. Knowing we are no longer rejected people does not mean that others will no longer reject us. But we need to understand that we do not have a problem with rejection any longer. “Rejected people, reject people. Healed people, heal people.” Meekness is the ability to handle rejection. God’s grace does not just free us from the past, it empowers us in the present.

Enjoy human relationships, but draw your confidence from your relationship with God. Heb.13:5. Rejection is like the bottom falling out (lack of support). But underneath are the everlasting arms.

Mark Rutherford once said, “Blessed are those who heal us of our self-despisings!” Thank God for His wonderful grace to us in Jesus Christ.

“Ministering to the Rejected” is one of the subjects covered in “Counselling God’s Way”, by Ken Legg Counselling God’s Way.

%d bloggers like this: