Monday, July 30, 2012

You have been chosen!

John 16:23 (NLT) At that time you won’t need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name.

It may not seem to be the most exciting study, but the tabernacle of the Old Testament brings details of the cross to life. The tabernacle was a tent-like structure in the wilderness where Israel could connect with God. When God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, He also gave him instructions to build the tabernacle. It was to be the dwelling place of God (Exodus 25:8).

The tabernacle was deemed to be a holy place. One section of the tabernacle, separated by a curtain, was the most holy place. Although a lampstand provided light in the tabernacle, the most holy place did not need any light. This section was illuminated by the glory of God.

Inside the most holy place was an ark. It was a chest-like structure that contained the two tablets with the Ten Commandments on them. On top of the Ark was the mercy seat, this is where the glory of God was. The Glory was so intense, even though the high-priest went through extensive preparations, he still had to be shielded from the glory. He was protected by the wings of two birdlike creatures on top of the mercy seat (see Exodus 25:16-20).

The preparations required from the priest are outlined in Exodus 29, but to give you an idea; amongst the list of preparations were three types of sacrifices---the burnt offering, the sin offering, and the consecration offering. These sacrifices were performed by the priest daily, for a week in advance, as part of the preparation.

After preparations, the high priest could enter into the presence of God's glory on behalf of the people. Before the crucifixion, Jesus was our High-Priest. The verse at the top tells us that because of the cross, we can enter on our own. He was crucified so that we could enter into this glory as priests.

The Bible says in 1 Peter 2:9, "You are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession." As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light." The word wonderful is better expressed as, to be wondered at. This is no ordinary light. It is the glory of God.

The verse at the top is only one of the benefits provided by the cross. We simply declare that Jesus gave us the privilege and we receive all the benefits of a priest. The Bible says in Deuteronomy 21:5, "The Lord your God has chosen them [the priests] to minister before him and to pronounce blessings in the Lord’s name. They are to decide all legal and criminal cases."

You are a royal priest---start blessing, start declaring justice---most of all, enjoy the presence of God!

Be Blessed!

Monday, July 23, 2012

God's secret weapon.

1 Samuel 17:26 (NKJV) Then David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, "What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?"

You may be familiar with this old tale of a prison escape. An inmate received a cake with a file in it. He used it to file the bars of his prison cell and escape. It makes me think of a story in the Bible. A true story, not a tale---God delivers a weapon with a packed lunch.

You can find the story in 1 Samuel 17. The story is about David who later became King of Israel. At the time of this story, David was just a young man. Israel was in battle against the Philistines. A very large man---about nine feet tall---challenged Israel to send a man out to battle him one-on-one. This man’s name was Goliath.

This man was a giant compared to any man in their own army. The Bible says Israel was dismayed and greatly afraid. Jesse, David’s father, sent David with a packed lunch and some snacks for his older brothers who had gone to battle. For forty days, Goliath had been challenging Israel to battle. David arrived on the scene to hear him. When David heard the man, he said, "who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?" David knew this giant wasn't a problem for God.

David was God’s secret weapon. He went on to kill the man and give Israel victory in this battle. The Bible says, “The race is not to the swift, Nor the battle to the strong, Nor bread to the wise, Nor riches to men of understanding, Nor favor to men of skill; But time and chance happen to them all” (Ecc. 9:11). Whenever I face a battle of my own, I have to remind myself, I do not need to be bigger or more powerful, I do not have to be wiser or better educated, I do not even have to be wealthy. This is because God only needs a willing person to work through.

If you have called on Jesus to be your Lord, He can work through you too. God wants you to win your battles (see 1 Cor. 15:57,58). Put your trust in God instead of trusting yourself.

If you are like me, you sometimes feel a little under-qualified. When I begin to feel this way, I just remind myself, I too am God’s secret weapon.

Be Blessed!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Most Holy Faith

2 Timothy 2:13 (NKJV) If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.

I used to think that I had to have faith that can move mountains to live a life of victory. I thought it was my responsibility to change things through faith. Some of the time, I would see some success but, there were many bondages that I could not break. It seemed---the harder I tried to believe---the harder it was to believe for these much desired breakthroughs.

One day I was reading about the great people of faith, in Hebrews 11. The last verse of that chapter says (v. 40), “God having provided something better for us...” I suddenly realized; God has a put a better faith in us than the natural faith people of the Old Testament had. God then showed me the verse at the top of this post.

If you study the Gospels (the first four books of the New Testament), You will see how faithless the disciples often were, yet they still got to see miracles. It was very clear that it was not their faith---it was Jesus’ faith. There was the time Peter brought in the haul of fish when he reluctantly obeyed the word of Jesus (Luke 5:5). There was the time Jesus was sleeping during the great storm---Jesus clearly stated the disciples had little faith (Matt. 8:26).

The Gospels reveal to us, our need for a Saviour. Jesus demonstrated our true un-righteousness. He made it clear that there is an enemy---the devil---without Jesus, the enemy could cause all sorts of trouble for us. Jesus also showed us that we needed His faith. The Bible says in Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” God’s faith is a gift.

How do we tap into His faith and put our faithlessness aside? One way to do this is praying in the Spirit. The Bible says in Jude 1:20, “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit.” Most holy is God. Most holy faith is God-faith. This is the something better for us in Heb. 11:40.

The next time you feel faithless, remember that He is faithful. Tell God you need His faith in the matter and pray in the Holy Spirit (tongues). Pray until you feel a refreshment or until you receive instructions. Either way, you will feel the victory and go back to enjoying this wonderful gift of life.

Be Blessed!

Monday, July 09, 2012

You are a King---I want you to act like one!

Joshua 14:12 (NKJV) "Now therefore, give me this mountain...and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said."

One day I was feeling a great deal of pressure dealing with life issues. Suddenly, the thought came to mind; you are a king---learn how to act like one, after all the Bible says, "those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life" (Rom. 5:17). The Bible also says, "He has made us kings" (Rev. 1:6).

I started to ponder a Bible verse related to the greatest king in the Old Testament, King David. The Scripture says in 1 Chronicles 14:11, "'David said, 'God has broken through my enemies by my hand like a breakthrough of water.'" Okay, God works through me.

The next question I had was, "how do I get God to work through me?" When Israel was to enter the promised land the first time, they sent twelve men to see what they would be up against. Ten of the men came back with a bad report saying the men were powerful and the cities were too protected to overtake. Two of the men, Joshua and Caleb, declared that the victory would be theirs because God was with them (see Num. 13-14).

God led me to Joshua 14:12. This verse says, "Now therefore, give me [Caleb] this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said." WOW, there are a lot of revelations in this verse but I'll stay on topic.

This was a period of time when there was no king of God's people. God wants every child of His to be a king. This is why He said Jesus is the King of Kings (Rev. 17:14). Caleb was a good example of this. Initially, he was not a leader of a tribe or even in any natural prominent position. He simply acted like someone empowered by God. Caleb was ready to battle with even greater odds. His army was a very small portion of Israel. This did not discourage him in the slightest. In the beginning he was a man like me. God was able to promote him because he knew what God had promised.

Caleb reminded Joshua what God had promised and declared the victory based on His word. When I understood this, I declared the promises of  God over every challenge I was facing. I saw fire coming from my mouth. The pressure immediately dissipated and solutions to my problems began to take place. Bigger mountains mean bigger victories.

If you are facing a mountain, declare the Word of God over it! Get rid of the pressure and get back to enjoying this wonderful gift of life.

Be Blessed!







Monday, July 02, 2012

See Christ in "All Things".


And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 (NKJV)

Many of us are familiar with this Scripture. In many cases, the full impact of these words are not fully realized. For one thing, few people understand that these words are for two categories of people; Christians and pre-Christians. The next verse (v. 29) brings this to light. It says, “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.” There are many people predestined to be Christian. Some of which have no love for God yet. These words are for them too.

God is more than able to turn any situation from bad to good. What the enemy uses to destroy---God can turn it into an opportunity to promote you; whether you are a pre-Christian who needs salvation, or a born-again believer.

This amazing power of God to trump the enemy is a good demonstration of His existence. When I began my personal relationship with God, it was not the stories of the flood, or the parting of the red sea that caused me to believe in Him. I only had to look at my life to see His loving touch. There was situation after situation of coincidences that were a little too coincidental.

Supernatural experiences in my own life, charge my faith battery the most. Verse 29 reveals that God has already begun a work in many of the un-saved. If you have loved ones you are longing to see accept Christ, look for God already working in their life. When you recognize His involvement, your faith battery will receive a powerful charge. Of course, this works for any difficult challenge we face.

Most of us have spent much too much time worrying about a loved one or a tough situation. When we see God’s involvement, we are reminded He is there for us. This insures us we will see victory and we can focus---instead---on things that give us joy.

Life is a gift from God---do not allow the enemy steal it from you.

Be Blessed!

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