Monday, January 27, 2014

Every Curse---Some Twice

Deuteronomy 25:3 (NKJV) Forty blows he may give him and no more, lest he should exceed this and beat him with many blows above these, and your brother be humiliated in your sight.

In Deuteronomy 28 we read about the curses for failing to live up to the standards of the law. These curses list pain, sickness, poverty, to name only a few. In fact, you will find 41 curses listed, covering every possible challenge we can face.

When Jesus was arrested, He was beaten and flogged. In Galatians 3:13 we read, "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law..." This means He had to receive a penalty for each and every curse listed in Deuteronomy. In other words, He had to receive at least 41 blows.

The Bible says in Isaiah 61:7, "Instead of your shame you shall have double honor..." Since Jesus took a blow for the curse of humility, and suffered it as wellHe paid for it twice. Being redeemed from the curse of the law is wonderful on its own, but we benefit from double honor as well.

Maybe you have been a victim of shame and humility. Perhaps someone received a promotion at your expense or took it though you deserved it. It is money in the bank. The Bible promises to make up for it---double!

God has promotion for you. It could be your job or even your reputation. God is increasing your stature. He is doing this for every child of God who allows Him to flood their heart with His grace. When we are flooded with grace---we overflow with grace. This is a magnet for favor and promotion.

Be blessed!

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Keys to the Kingdom

Isaiah 65:24 (NKJV), "It shall come to pass That before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear."

I sponsor an underprivileged child in another country. She sometimes sends me a letter with a prayer request. One prayer request in particular had to do with their rainy season. By the time I received the letter, the season had come and gone. At first I felt it was too late to pray, then the above passage came to mind. I realized God had already answered my prayer because He knew I would be calling on behalf of my special little friend.

You may be asking why I would even bother praying if God already answered my prayer. The Bible says in James 4:2, "... you do not have because you do not ask." God is outside of Time, He can answer our prayers even before we ask, but we still have to ask. God knows all things. He knows our needs and has given us access to everything we could ever need through prayer

Jesus said in Matthew 16:19, "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." We carry the keys. We have been given the authority to release heaven on earth. If we do not release it---heaven is bound. The power of God is not released.

God has restricted Himself by giving us dominion on this earth. Just as we have to choose His free gift of salvation, we have to choose to release Him into our affairs. He has given us the avenue of prayer to release heaven on earth.

Pray. You are an avenue for the full power of God to be released to a world that truly needs it. You have your own set of keys to access it.

Be blessed!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Waiting on the Lord

Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV) But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

Sometimes waiting for that breakthrough seems to take forever. When Moses waited for the Pharaoh to let the people go, it took ten plagues. When Job lost everything he had, including his health---he went through a time of despair. It was at least nine months before he was delivered. And then there was Joseph. He had a dream as a young man and it would be about 17 years before the dream was fulfilled. He went through abandonment by his own brothers, slavery and prison time.

The Bible says in Isaiah 30:18, "But GOD's not finished. He's waiting around to be gracious to you. He's gathering strength to show mercy to you. GOD takes the time to do everything right---everything. Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones" (The Message Translation). God is a just God. The picture is always bigger than what we see. When we are tormented by the enemy, it is like money in the bank. The more trouble---the more the blessing.

When Moses and the people left Egypt, they plundered the Egyptians (Ps. 105:37). They had so much gold; they built a calf out of it and had plenty left over. The Bible says Job was so wealthy to begin with, he was the greatest of all the people of the East (Job 1:3). God restored double to him (Job 42:10). Joseph was exalted to the highest position in Egypt. Only in regards to the throne he was second in command to the Pharaoh.

Many believers are facing great challenges these days. It stands to reason. The body of Christ is coming out stronger and bigger than ever before. Like Job, health is being restored. Like Moses and the people of Israel---we are plundering the enemy. Like Joseph, we are being exalted to places of authority.

If you face a challenge today---wait upon the Lord. It is always worth the wait!

Be blessed.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Does Your Soul Prosper?

3 John 1:2 (NKJV) Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.

With the help of computers we can find many interesting patterns in Scripture. Sometimes a pattern can reveal a hidden message or, sometimes God can use them just for one-on-one communication with us.

The other day I was thinking about our verse at the top. It seems to indicate that a prosperous soul should be an automatic benefit of being a child of God. I can tell you in my own experience it did not. My soul is very prosperous now, but it did not come automatically with my salvation. So how do we obtain a prosperous soul? I prayed for an answer and learned one way that is sure to get you there.

Back on November 25, 2013, I posted a message titled "Remember My ..." The message was about a specific Greek spelling of the word "My". The Bible quotes Jesus using this particular word eight times in Scripture. He used it three times in Communion (Lu. 22:19, 1Cor. 11:23 & 24). The other five times we find in the Gospel of John.

In John 8:43, Jesus said "My speech". In John 8:56, "My day", 14:27, "My peace", 17:13, "My Joy", and 17:24, "My glory". The Apostle John gave us five elements of a prosperous soul.

1) His speech. Jesus said many encouraging things. One of my favorite things He said was, "All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you" (Jo. 16:15). To know the words He spoke is to know what He provided for you.

2) His day. This is the time of the New Covenant. The cross brought about a new day. I find it interesting that it is the break of day in the last chapter of each of the four Gospels. The cross marked a new day for mankind.

3) His peace. In John 14:27 Jesus said, "My peace I leave with you". The verse before (v. 26) says the Holy Spirit will teach us all things and remind us of the things Jesus said. Whatever your challenge might be, Jesus said something to bring you encouragement and peace. The Holy Spirit will teach you and remind you.

4) His joy. The Bible says, the Joy of the Lord is your strength" (Ne. 8:10 & Ps. 21:1) His joy is powerful!

5) His glory. The glory of God is the most beautiful presence in existence. This is a place where only the sanctified and holy can exist. When Adam ate the forbidden fruit, mankind became tarnished with sin. After the fall of Adam, mankind could no longer survive in this place. The Bible says no man could see the face of God in His glory, and live (Ex. 33:20-23).

So where do we collect these elements? The other three times Jesus is quoted using this word, He is referring to communion. Communion is the most intimate place we can be. It is in the presence of God's glory. We can enter this holy place by receiving true righteousness from the only source possible---a gift from God (2 Cor. 5:21).

Commune with God and let Him fill you with the knowledge of His speech, covenant, peace, joy, and glory. You will begin to enjoy that prosperous soul available to every child of God. (1)

Be blessed!
(1) For More on Communion see my post "Let's Celebrate Communion" December 26, 2011