Monday, January 30, 2012

More abundantly!

Esther 8:11 (NKJV) 11 By these letters the king permitted the Jews who were in every city to gather together and protect their lives---to destroy, kill, and annihilate all the forces of any people or province that would assault them, both little children and women, and to plunder their possessions,

I like to spend time in the book of Esther. This book reveals our covenant with Jesus. The book revolves around two major decrees from the king. The first decree was a decree of death for God's children (Esther 3:13). The second decree completely reversed the situation and provided life for God's children (Esther 8:11).

Jesus completely reversed the situation for us. It was impossible for us to meet the requirements of righteousness that the law demanded. Jesus paid the penalty of our sin (1 Peter 1:24). He then gave us, as a gift, His righteousness (Romans 5:17). The Bible says in Romans 8:2, "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death." The new covenant is, "the law of the Spirit of life" and it over-rules the old covenant of commandments. Since we could not meet the standard of righteousness that the law of commandments required---it was a decree of death.

The Bible also tells us in John 10:10, "...I [Jesus] have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." In other words, the new covenant is, "life and life more abundantly". Now I want to draw your attention to the last four words of our Scripture at the top---to plunder their possessions---and now look at the last four words in this passage from John---have it [life] more abundantly. Both of these decrees are more than just life saving decrees.

To receive life over death is awesome in itself and worth celebrating. However, Jesus provided more on the cross than just a ticket to heaven. Many of God's wonderful people have not taken advantage of all that Jesus provides. Oddly enough, the Jews in the book of Esther didn't either.

The Bible tells us in Esther 9:16, "The remainder of the Jews in the king's provinces gathered together and protected their lives, had rest from their enemies, and killed seventy-five thousand of their enemies; but they did not lay a hand on the plunder." Notice that they did not lay a hand on the plunder. Esther chapter 9 tells us three times that "they did not lay a hand on the plunder (Esther 9:10, Esther 9:15 and Esther 9:16). These nine words repeat THREE TIMES in this ONE CHAPTER. God wants us to make this connection. The Scripture at the top reveals that the plunder belonged to them!

Take the plunder, God has provided it. Study His Word (Decree) until you are convinced it belongs to you. The Book of Esther should do that for you. Next, include God in all that you do. Talk to Him continually, He is always with you. He will show you where the plunder is.


Be Blessed!


Monday, January 23, 2012

Promotion from three ways

Psalm 75:6 (KJV) 6 For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.

According to the above passage, promotion does not come from the east, west or south. So it must be safe to conclude that promotion comes from the North. Let us look at three promotions that come from the north for a believer.

First---the sacrifice of Jesus. Going back to the Old Testament, we read in Leviticus 1:11, "He shall kill it (the animal sacrifice) on the north side of the altar before the Lord..." This refers to the burnt offering that was a sweet aroma to the Lord (Exodus 29:25). According to Ephesians 5:2, "Jesus was a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling aroma". We also believe where Jesus died on the cross was north of the City. When Jesus was crucified, we were promoted to be kings and priests (Revelation 1:6). This is a great promotion in itself because, "where the word of a king is, there is power" (Ecclesiastes 8:4). By the word of a priest, "every controversy and assault is settled" (Deuteronomy 21:5). Take advantage of this promotion, use your words wisely.

Second---the communion table. Inside the tabernacle of the Old Testament, there was a gold plated table. This table was on the north side of the tabernacle (Exodus 26:35). On top of this table was drink offerings---wine (Exodus 25:29) and bread (Exodus 25:30). This is significant of communion. Make communion a regular part of your relationship with God. You will see promotions in your life as you learn to hear Him. The word communion means: to exchange intimate thoughts (according to dictionary.com). As you spend time communing with God, His thoughts will blend into your thoughts. He will show you how to prosper and lead you the way you should go (Isaiah 48:17).

Third---Enemy conflict. The Bible says in the book of Jeremiah three times (Jeremiah 1:14,15, Jeremiah 6:1 and Jeremiah 6:22,23), Israel's enemies came from the north. When one book repeats something three times, it means something. We need to remember that God is the Leader and satan tries to destroy what God is doing. Sometimes we think that we need God to come and put out a fire from the enemy, but the fire is often a confirmation that something great is in the makings. When the enemy starts a fire, it is because God is doing something and the enemy wants to stop it. Whenever you see unusual bad circumstances in your life---an uncalled for attack from someone, maybe a bad break on your finances or even sickness---you know that God has a promotion in line for you! Find good things in the Word of God to think on. This will bring you peace. Peace is a powerful weapon against an attack.

Be Blessed!

Monday, January 16, 2012

The wealth of the sinner is yours.

Proverbs 13:22 22 ...the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.

One of my favorite books in the Bible is the book of Esther. This book demonstrates how God can easily turn the tables on any problem---no matter how impossible the situation seems to be. In this post, we will focus primarily on one character and his name is Mordecai.

Mordecai was a Jew in a foreign land. He was nobody. In the end of the book, he became prime minister, second only to the king. Along with the promotion, Mordecai also received all of the possessions of Haman. Haman was an evil person who had a plan to destroy all of the Jews. Haman even financially sponsored a campaign to do it. He was the prime minister to the king.

The Bible tells us that Haman approached the king in Esther 3:9 saying, "If it pleases the king, let a decree be written that they (the Jews) be destroyed, and I (Haman) will pay ten thousand talents of silver into the hands of those who do the work, to bring it into the king's treasuries." Haman must have really hated the Jews. Ten thousand talents are about 375 tons. At today's rate of 30 dollars an ounce, that is 360 million dollars worth of silver. Most likely Haman was a billionaire by today's standards.

Now look at what the Bible reveals about Mordecai. Mordecai trusted God. He knew God would take care of His children. He did not know how---he just knew that God would. The Bible reveals this to us in Esther 4:14. Mordecai says to Esther, "For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" This means that Mordecai knew God.

We also see another important characteristic about Mordecai. Mordecai rested in the fact that God would somehow deliver his people. The Bible reveals this five times (Esther 2:19, Esther 2:2, Esther 5:9, Esther 5:13, Esther 6:10), Mordecai was always sitting. In the end, God delivered the Jews and promoted Mordecai. The Bible says in Esther 8:2, "So the king took off his signet ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai; and Esther appointed Mordecai over the house of Haman."

I am not teaching you to sit around and do nothing with your life. That would be foolish---the Scripture is clear about that. The message here is a spiritual one. Leave the big battles up to God. Seek peace by studying the good things in God's Word (like the book of Esther). The Bible says in 2 Peter 1:2, "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord," Getting to know God will multiply your blessings. Get to know God like Mordecai did. Seek the peace of God and learn to rest.

Be Blessed!


Monday, January 09, 2012

Two Types of Faith

Hebrews 11:40 (NKJV) 40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us. 
The Bible says that faith is a gift. The Bible puts it this way in Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,” The faith that comes from God is not the same as faith that comes from man. The Bible says in John 14:27 (Montgomery-NT), “Peace I leave with you. My own peace I give to you. It is not the world’s ‘Peace’ I give you...” Notice that Jesus said, the peace that He gives is not the same as the world's peace. Faith is no different.

Hebrews chapter 11 lists several prominent people of Old Testament times who had amazing faith. The chapter ends on a most precious revelation for New Testament believers. Hebrews 11:39-40 (NKJV) says, “And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.”

This Scripture says that we have something better. The Bible tells us in 1 John 5:4, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” Take notice that it says, our faith, it does not say Abraham's faith or even your faith. That is because we have Jesus' faith.You see these people had a faith of their own, but we have the faith of Jesus. You need to grasp this; we have the same faith that Jesus has. So the big question is, how do we activate this faith?

The Bible gives us a demonstration of Jesus' faith in the Gospel of Luke. This is what it says (Luke 5:4-6), “When He (Jesus) had stopped speaking, He said to Simon (Peter), “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking.”

The Bible makes it very clear—Peter had no faith but he knew what Jesus said. If Peter tried to believe, he may not have received his blessing. His own faith definitely was not as powerful as Abraham's faith. The Bible tells us in Matthew 14:29, “So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.” Once again, it was not a display of Peter's faith, the faith was in the words that Jesus said.

Several times in the Gospels Peter continues to exercise a lack of faith.  Even when Jesus was arrested, Peter showed no faith and denied Jesus 3 times (Luke 22:54-62). After Jesus ascended to heaven, Peter demonstrated a mountain moving faith. Now he had Jesus' faith inside of himself.

For several years, I tried to believe for miracles in my life and so many times, they just did not happen. As soon as we put our effort into something, then we are not taking advantage of this gift of faith. You see, faith is a gift given to us by grace (Ephesians 2:8 above). We do not have to work for it. The Bible tells us in Galatians 2:21, “I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law (working for it), then Christ died in vain.”

What you really need is a grace revelation. You only need to believe that Jesus said it. When I struggle with believing, I remind myself—it does not even have to make sense to me, Jesus said it and that is all that I need to believe. If you need a miracle, spend time looking to see what the Bible says. To receive a miracle, quote the Bible. Don't try and believe, just quote. If you try to believe, you are setting aside the grace of God. Quote His Word and leave it at that. Stop struggling, move on to other things to think about.

The Bible says in Philippians 4:8-9, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”

Study the good stuff in the Word of God that brings you peace and let God handle your problems. When you get to a place of peace, you will see the power of God in your situations. Continue to seek peace.

When you find what the Bible says about your circumstances, keep reminding yourself where the Words came from. It doesn't matter if you even believe it, just that you know who said it. Then fix your thoughts on good things and find your God given peace.

We have a better faith; we have the faith of Jesus.

Be Blessed!

Monday, January 02, 2012

Happy New You!

Romans 8:11 (NKJV) 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution that you did not succeed in? Chances are, if you are like most people, you have. In fact, over 95% of New Year’s resolutions fail within the first two months. This year I am encouraging you to turn this into an opportunity. Let God become more personal in this opportunity. God can miraculously break bondage in your life. It could be a bad habit like smoking. It could be a desire for too many unhealthy foods. Maybe it is even alcohol or drugs. Jesus paid a price for us to have freedom. If you struggle with bondage, then you have not yet tapped into this freedom.

I struggled with smoking for 32 years and about three years ago, I discovered how to let God free me from this ugly bondage. In fact, it regularly gives me encouragement when I realize the freedom it has given me. It is a constant reminder of how real the power of God is. I tried every non-smoking aid that I came across. I tried no-smoking computers, two different prescription drugs, nicotine patches, laser therapy, I tried what I learned from preachers, what other people that I knew did, I tried cold turkey and even purchased the nicotine gum (although I never got around to using it). After all these things, I concluded that I just could never quit.

It is funny how when I realized my hopelessness in the matter, then God delivered me. The Scripture at the top clearly indicates that He will bring life to your body. How can we tap into this amazing power?

First, determine what bad habit or self-control issue that you would like to break. Make sure that it is something that you really know that you cannot do on your own. Next, choose what antidote you want to use to fix this problem. God gives every believer access to a solution, you may have a personal preference.

Option 1: Communion

Hebrews 9:14 (NLT) 14 Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins.

As you celebrate communion, think about the freedom that Jesus purchased for you on the cross. Simply thank Him for it. Do not do anything new to change whatever impossible bad habit that you are trying to break. Just come to the communion table remembering that Jesus paid with His life to make freedom available to us. Remember, if it is impossible for you to do, then it will prove that God broke the chains.

Celebrate communion as if it was a prescription from the doctor. Celebrate it routinely—whether daily, weekly, or whatever seems comfortable to you. The idea is to make communion a natural part of your relationship with God.

Perhaps you have an unhealthy desire for too much junk food. Each time that you come to the table, remember that Jesus suffered on the cross to pay for our freedom from bondage. Boldly declare, "Lord Jesus, you did this so I could be free, and that includes bondages to unhealthy foods." You likely will not see an immediate result, but you will see results. Do not feel condemned if you simply cannot get the problem under control, just keep coming to the table in this way. After all, Jesus loves you just as much with or without this problem.

Here is how it works. You see the word communion means, an exchange of intimate thoughts or ideas (according to dictionary.com). As you come to the communion table, you will find yourself getting to know His voice. This voice will tell you how to handle the issue and when you will be prepared. Every person needs to deal with issues in their own way and Jesus knows exactly how you need to deal with it. When you handle it this way, it will be easy.

Option 2: Pray in Tongues

Romans 8:26 (NKJV) 26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

This is another wonderful way to connect with God. If you do not pray in tongues, then simply connect to God with communion, it is every bit as powerful. I like tongues though because I can do it in every spare moment, even if I am driving a car. You have to take advantage of two-way communication so make sure and pray that you can interpret. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 14:13, "Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret." This is another wonderful way to exchange intimate thoughts or ideas with God.

Either choice is going to give you freedom from that bondage. The more impossible that it seems, the stronger your relationship with God will become. It may take a month or two. I remember with my smoking, I said to God, Hey I am still smoking. He seemed to say it is time to quit. So I just quit. It was easy. I am not sure how but he had prepared me to quit. I did not need any drugs and I had no withdrawal issues. It does not bother me to be around someone who smokes and I never have a desire to light up.


Be Blessed!