Monday, July 29, 2013

In Time of Need

Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV) Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

When I meditate on this verse, I get flooded with an amazing revelation of the love of God. First, He has made it possible for me to come to His throne at any time with boldness. If I were flawed with any sin, I could not stand before His throne.

After Adam ate the forbidden fruit, mankind became tarnished with sin. It was not possible anymore to stand in the glory of God without shielding that sinful nature. God provided a way to cover the sin with innocent animals. According to Hebrews 9:22, "without shedding of blood there is no remission." When Adam's sons Cain and Abel presented offerings, God had to turn away from Cain with His offering of fruit because no blood was shed (see Ge:4:3-5).

When the devil went before God, he also needed a shield to protect him from God's glory. The Bible says in Job 1:6 (AMP), "Now there was a day when the sons (the angels) of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan (the adversary and accuser) also came among them." Satan was among the angels in the presence of God. The angels were a shield that protected him from the glory of God.

When Jesus shed His blood, it provided a never-ending shield for us. The Bible says in Hebrews 9:12, "With His [Jesus'] own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption." The word eternal means, never-ending. If a child of God sins, the blood of Jesus has already covered it.

Next, He provides grace to help in time of need. If I need healing, strength, wisdom, encouragement, and even finances; God is available to help.

Many of us overlook another benefit of the sacrifice of Jesus. We can come to the throne any time. That means if we struggle with a sin, He still wants us to come to the throne of grace---even while we are sinning. He loves us no matter what. When we come to the throne, He works in us and gives us healthy desires (1). He does not condemn us for the sin (2), He changes our desire and He often does it without us even realizing it. He created us, He knows how to bring us to a place of ultimate satisfaction in life.

The more we come to His throne, the more He can do for us. Be bold and come to the throne often.

Be blessed!
(1) Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
(2) John 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Fruit that Packs a Punch

Ephesians 5:9 (NKJV) (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth)

In the Old Testament, a person could only be made righteous by obeying the Ten Commandments. However, this was an impossibility which is why we needed the gift of righteousness through Jesus. But if a person could be good enough to obey all the commandments, that person would have been a great friend. They would have been trustworthy, they would not cheat, steal, or even covet your possessions.

In the New Testament the Bible says, "You are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God--and righteousness and sanctification and redemption." (1 Corinthians 1:30). Therefore, we are righteous in Christ. This righteousness produces even better fruit. The righteousness of Christ is the righteousness of the Holy Spirit. According to Galatians 5:22-23, "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law."

This fruit does not need the law to produce it. The fruit comes from our gift of righteousness in Christ.

God has changed me in many ways. The most evident to me is the fruit I produce. I still struggle with several quirks but the world takes a greater notice of the fruit I produce. If you are not as perfect as you like---instead, focus on the fruit you produce. Ask God to release His fruit through you. He has equipped you with His Spirit for that purpose. Ask Him regularly and you will see results.

If you want to attract the world---let the fruit of the Spirit flow through you.

Be blessed!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Without Ceasing?

1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NKJV) pray without ceasing

Many of us see a Scripture that says to pray continually and assume it means to stop whatever you are doing and pray. Since this is not possible to do continually, it must be figurative. However, this is not the case.

The word we misunderstand is the word pray. To pray does not necessarily mean to stop what you are doing and pray. Praying is communicating with God. The Bible tells us in Hebrews 13:5, "For He Himself [God] has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."" Since God is always with us He hears everything we say.

A good example in Scripture is when Jesus raised Lazarus from dead. Jesus said in John 11:42, "And I know that You [God the Father] always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me." Jesus said this just before the words, "Lazarus Come forth", that brought Lazarus out of the tomb. So why did Jesus make a point to say the Father always hears Him?

When Jesus first heard about Lazarus, He did not stop and pray. He simply said, "Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up." (John 11:11) That was it---the dead raising prayer of Jesus Himself.

Now I am not taking anything away from personal fellowship and prayer; that is where you get intimate with God and learn His heart for you. Jesus did this often too.

What I am learning to grasp is His continual fellowship. I consider His presence in all my conversation---I am so glad for grace! It is a process but a worthwhile one.

Be blessed!

Monday, July 08, 2013

Everything the Father Has.

John 16:15 (NKJV) All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.

Shortly before He was arrested and crucified, Jesus made the above statement to His disciples. Jesus said His Father would take everything He had and declare it to His followers. That is exactly what happened when He was crucified. He gave us His righteousness, His wisdom, and even His health.

The Bible says in Matthew 26:26, "And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is My body." This Scripture comes from the New Testament. The New Testament was originally written in Greek. The Greek word translated to, body, comes from a Greek word pronounced, so-mah. According to Strong's Greek Dictionary, the word comes from the root word, sozo. Sozo means absolutely complete (1). What Jesus said was the bread represented all of Him---the complete physical, spiritual, and emotional Him.

Jesus was ridiculed, beaten, and even gave up His spirit for us (2). He suffered physical, emotional, and spiritual brokenness. He even became poor (3). The Father took everything Jesus had---everything, and Jesus lacked nothing. Our heavenly Father has declared it ours.

So the next time you have a need, ask yourself; did Jesus have it? If He did, then the Father has declared it yours. Believe it and receive it. If you have trouble believing it, get connected to God and get to know Him personally by breaking bread, remembering what it means. Commune with Him regularly. He is always with you. As you commune with Him, He will reveal Himself and you will experience His loving-kindness.

As you begin to realize His love for you---and the reality of His presence---you will believe and receive.

Be blessed!
(1) Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary, copyright 1890 by James Strong, MADISON, NJ. Strong’s numbers, so-mah - G4983, sozo - G4982 
(2) Luke 23:46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, "Father, 'into Your hands I commit My spirit.' " Having said this, He breathed His last.
(3) 2 Corinthians 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.

Monday, July 01, 2013

The Secret Place

Psalm 91:1 (NKJV) He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

Psalm 91 is a popular Psalm for the promise of protection, but have you ever wondered where this place of refuge is? The best clue we find is verse 4---"He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge".

To understand this, we need to know a few things from the Old Testament. The Old Testament provides hidden images that become revealed through our study of the New Testament. One such image is the Tabernacle of the Old Testament. It was a tent-like structure designed by God to be His dwelling place among His people (1). In the New Testament, the born-again believer is the dwelling place of God (2).

By studying the description of the original tabernacle, we get a picture of God's connection to the New Testament believer. Exodus 25-31 gives the details of this Tabernacle and its furnishings.

Exodus 26 gives details of the covering of the tabernacle (Vs. 1-12). This cover was embroidered with cherubim. A cherubim was a creature with wings (3). So when the priest was in the tabernacle, he was under the wings of the cherubim. One reason for entering the tent was to partake of wine and bread offerings. Inside the tabernacle was a gold plated table with bread and wine on it. This table is our place of communion with God. It is a place of sharing our intimate thoughts with Him.

The verse at the top provides three key revelations for the believer to enter into this wonderful place. The first key is the word, dwells. This word comes from the Hebrew word pronounced, yashab. According to Strong's Hebrew dictionary, this word comes from the root word meaning, to sit down (4). The next key is found in the words, secret place. They come from a Hebrew word pronounced, say'-ther. This word means, a cover or concealed place (5). The last key is the word, abide. It comes from the word pronounced, loon. This word means, to remain (6).

So how do we access this wonderful place? Come to the table regularly and partake of the bread and the cup. Meditate on what Jesus did for you on the cross. Communion will then take place inside you and you will remain under the wings of the Most High, under the shadow of the Almighty.

Be Blessed!
(1) Exodus 25:8 And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I [God] may dwell among them.
Exodus 25:9 According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it.
(2) 1 Corinthians 3:16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
(3) Exodus 37:9 The cherubim spread out their wings above... 
(4) Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary, copyright 1890 by James Strong, MADISON, NJ. Strong’s number, yashab - H3427.
(5) Strong's numbers, say'-ther - H5643 & H5641.
(6) Strong's number, loon - H3885.