Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New You!

Galatians 6:15 (MSG) It is not what you and I do—submit to circumcision, reject circumcision. It is what God is doing, and he is creating something totally new, a free life!

This year, the same as every year, multitudes of people will make New Year's resolutions. Some will try to get fit, quit smoking or give up a bad habit. They may enjoy unhealthy lifestyles and bad habits, but the drawbacks out-way the positive. These things are bondages and in many cases, we really do not want to give them up.

Someone who has an alcohol addiction may enjoy drinking. They may have a strong desire to drink that overpowers the desire not to. This is bondage. According to our passage at the top—and many others in the Scripture, Christ has provided us with a totally new, free life. So how do we tap into this freedom?

The Scripture at the top has a key point to notice. It says, "He is creating something totally new." True freedom lies in knowing you do not have to do it because He will do it for you.

When you understand His love and acceptance of you, no matter what you may be into—you allow Him to be close to you. When you allow Him into your life, it allows Him to change your desires. The pleasure you can gain by some of these addictions, is nothing compared to the pleasure He can give you. He created you; He knows what can make you happy.

The Bible says in Hebrews 9:14 (MSG), "think how much more the blood of Christ cleans up our whole lives, inside and out." It is the blood of Christ that carries the power. The best way to access this power is to have communion, the bread and wine that represent the body and blood.

Have it regularly like medicine. According to dictionary.com, the word communion means, "an exchange of intimate thoughts and feelings"*. Communion is a way to fellowship with your best friend. When you commune with Jesus, He will saturate your being. Over time, you will see changes take place, even bondages you did not realize you had. He loves you even with all your faults. He loves to commune with you. Expect results and you will see results.

You can have communion as often as you like. As you begin, thank Jesus for what He has done. Give Him praise and get personal. Talk about everything the same way you talk to a best friend. You will get to that place of freedom and enjoy life—like never before.

Happy New Year, may you be amazingly blessed this coming year!

*https://www.google.ca/search?q=define+communion

Monday, December 24, 2012

Sometimes we need to know

Luke 1:34 (NKJV) Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?"


When Mary found out she would give birth to the Savior of the world, she needed to know how it would happen. After all, was she to do something to initiate it? She was still a virgin and not married yet. Luke 1:35 reveals how the Holy Spirit Himself would overshadow her and impregnate her.

What Mary did not know was how this Baby would become a king. Jesus began His ministry about thirty years later. For thirty years, Mary anticipated how her child would become king. She did not know about the cross and did not know her baby would be gruesomely tortured and beaten. Perhaps if she knew, as a loving mom, she might have interfered with God's plan.

Mary had a secret she could not share with just anyone. How could anyone say their child is going to be the king of kings, and yet, how could anyone keep this secret to them-self? She managed to wait patiently for three decades to see this promise fulfilled.

Many of us have a promise so big; we can hardly share it with anybody. Dreams for a miracle or deliverance from an issue. We need encouragement to keep believing. Mary had to be an amazing woman, but she was human, just like you and me. How did Mary keep this dream alive?

When Jesus was born, the shepherds arrived and shared a prophecy concerning Jesus. They had just received a word from an angel in the fields while tending their sheep (see Luke 2:8-18). The Bible says in Luke 2:19, "But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart."

When Jesus was twelve years old, Joseph and Mary took Him to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover. During the journey home, they realized Jesus had stayed behind to listen and share with the religious teachers of the day. The Bible says the teachers were amazed at His understanding (Luke 2:47). The Bible then goes on to say in Luke 2:51, "His mother kept all these things in her heart."

Mary had a long wait to see this promise fulfilled---but what a promise. The bigger the promise, the more likely we will need encouragement to get there. When Mary saw God involved, she, "kept those things in her heart". God selected her because He knew she could handle it.

If God has given you a promise, whether it is health, relationship, addiction, or even ministry related, He knows you can handle it. Follow Mary's example. Take notice of the unusual. Keep it in your heart. It is the encouragement you need to see the promise fulfilled.

The birth of Christ is one of those things to keep in your heart. God made your promise possible when He gave His only begotten Son. Ponder it and be encouraged.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Share the Lamb

Exodus 12:4 (NLT) If a family is too small to eat a whole animal, let them share with another family in the neighborhood.

Christmas is just over a week away. The Houses in my neighborhood are decorated with lights, the malls are busy, and we may even have snowfall before Christmas Eve. This is one of my favorite times of the year. Unfortunately, for some---it is a hard time of year. For some people who have lost a loved one, it may be their first Christmas without them. Other people have financial stress or relationship issues that make this a difficult season.

As the body of Christ, we are the avenue for God to flow through to the unsaved. For the most part, people are reminded that Jesus is the reason for the season. Whether they know God or not---He is on their minds. Christmas time, being such a roller coaster of emotions, is a great time for the church body to reveal Jesus.

God sent His Son to provide salvation to the world. He did this because He loves the world---even if they are living in sin. This Christmas I am going to make a point of  letting God flow through me. The Bible says in Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT), "The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." These are powerful tools for sharing Christ.

Stay connected to God through this wonderful season and let Him flow through you. People are more likely to see God when He is on their mind. Pray according to 2 Corinthians 9:10, "Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness,"

Remain connected by acknowledging His continual presence. This is how you connect to the flow of God. Chances are you will sow a seed into someone that could lead them to Christ.

Be blessed & be a blessing!

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Passover revealed Christ

Exodus 12:21 (NKJV) Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, "Pick out and take lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the Passover lamb. 

Before God gave us the Ten Commandments, only one type of offering was necessary to allow God to connect with His children. The most common name for this offering in Scripture is the burnt offering. The first record of a burnt offering was Abel's sacrifice that made Cain jealous (Ge. 4:3, 4). The Passover lamb we read about in Exodus 12 was also a burnt offering.

The Passover celebration was an annual event (Ex. 12:17). The Passover was a special burnt offering because it was prophetic of Jesus. This offering had unique instructions that pointed to Jesus. Jesus became the final Passover sacrifice about fifteen-hundred years later.

One special instruction God gave the people for this sacrifice; select the Lamb on the tenth day of the month and keep it to be sacrificed on the fourteenth day (Ex: 12:3-6). God did not give a reason for the four-day period; this was never required for any other sacrifice. This is because it was prophetic of the crucifixion.

The Pharisees selected Jesus four days before He was crucified. The Bible tells us in Mark 14:1, "After two days it was the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take Him by trickery and put Him to death." Notice that Mark said, "After two days it was the Passover." This means Passover was in three days. Jesus was hung on the cross the day after Passover.

The Bible says in Matthew 26:15, on this night the Pharisees counted out thirty pieces of silver for Judas Iscariot who agreed to give them Jesus. The Pharisees purchased their lamb four days in advance, unwittingly fulfilling the prophetic message of the Passover.

Since Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice, all the benefits provided to God's children at the first Passover, are benefits to those who believe in the crucifixion of Christ. God's people were freed from slavery (Ex. 12:33), they received healing (Ps. 105:37), and even plundered the enemy (Ex. 12:36).

If you suffer from any sort of bondage, health issues, or lack---declare what belongs to you through Jesus. He paid a hefty price so you can have it. Restoration will begin the moment you believe it belongs to you.

Be Blessed!

Monday, December 03, 2012

Jesus made two payments for shame.

Isaiah 61:7 (NLT), "Instead of shame and dishonor, you will enjoy a double share of honor."

One story in the Bible has been preached on repeatedly. It is how Peter denied Christ three times. Although there is much to reveal in the story, I have never heard the significance of the rooster crowing nor the reason Jesus was denied three times.

First, Jesus had to provide three offerings to prepare us as priests (see Exo. 29). Jesus, being our offering, had to be denied (rejected) three times, once for each offering. Another significant message in this verse lies in the fact that it was during the break of day.

The Bible says in Exodus 29:39, these offerings were to take place during the break of day or during Twilight, the break of the night. While Peter denied Jesus, the first sacrifice, a burnt offering, was taking place. Since a rooster will crow at the first sign of daylight. The rooster crowing is evidence of daybreak, the correct time for this offering. This was the burnt offering, the first sacrifice necessary.

The second offering took place while Jesus was on the cross. The Scripture says in Luke 23:44, "By this time it was noon, and darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock." The sin offering took place while Jesus hung on the cross. Darkness fell during crucifixion. Twilight is the time when darkness falls. The second sacrifice Jesus provided, took place during twilight.

The third offering happened during the resurrection. The Bible says in Luke 24:1-2, "But very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance." The third sacrifice, the consecration offering, happened during the break of day.

By now, you may be asking why this is so important. When we understand the offerings provided, we understand what Jesus paid for us to have. For instance, do you know Jesus paid for shame twice? Jesus was ridiculed in the morning after He was arrested; He was also ridiculed while He hung on the cross. The Bible says in Genesis 3:7, "At that moment their [Adam and Eve's] eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves." This was immediately after they sinned. The burnt offering was necessary to remove the shame.

When God gave the Ten Commandments, the sin offering became necessary. This was to give redemption from the curses of the Law in Deuteronomy 28. The Bible says in Deuteronomy 28:37, "You will become an object of horror, ridicule, and mockery among all the nations to which the Lord sends you." This was a curse for failing to follow God's commands. The sin offering redeemed us from this curse.

The verse at the top says we get double honor for our shame. This is because Jesus paid for our shame twice. If shame has ever been an issue for you, now you can confidently declare, "Jesus has provided double honor for me!" As you expect it, you will see it manifest.

Be Blessed!