Monday, March 31, 2014

Keep the Avenue Open

Genesis 29:10 (NKJV)And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother's brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother's brother, that Jacob went near and rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother's brother. 

In February of 2012, I posted a blog titled, "Remove the Stone---for Good!" It was a word God gave me for the body of Christ. The foundation of the post came from Genesis 29. The shepherds would block the water well with a stone and only remove it at a specific time when all the sheep were gathered together. It was a parallel to the modern day church. They gather on Sunday and receive grace then the rest of the week ignore God because they do not live holy lives. They separate themselves from God with their sin. The sin is the stone and the water well is God. If you have never read it, I encourage you to. The title is a link.

However, there is another lesson here. Jacob, who was such a conniver, was blessed by God. This story gives us a clue why he was so blessed.

One of the first things you notice about Jacob; he did not let his sin separate him from God. In our passage at the top, he removed the stone even though all the flocks were not gathered. Jacob did not concern himself with rules, but that did not keep him from God.

Jacob knew he was a sinner. A few chapters later, Jacob needed God. He said to God, "I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which You have shown Your servant; for I crossed over this Jordan with my staff, and now I have become two companies." (Genesis 32:10)

When Jacob had only his staff, he committed to give God a tenth of all his blessings (Gen 28:22). God made him very wealthy. Jacob knew God was his source for everything. He also knew God wanted to bless him so he kept an avenue open for God to do it.

Jacob did not let sin separate him. Jacob knew God was his supply. He also knew God wanted to bless him and it was totally by grace.

Don't let anything separate you. Learn about the grace of God. When you do, you will be happy to give back a tenth and keep the avenue of blessing open.

Be blessed!

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Cross has Your Back

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.

Over the years, many of us were taught that Jesus was given thirty-nine lashes when He was whipped. The idea was it was against Jewish law. However, thirty-nine lashes would not have been enough. In Galatians 3:13, "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law..." The curse of the law is revealed for us in Deuteronomy 28:15-68. There are forty-one curses listed.

Jesus was punished by the Romans. They had no obligation to Jewish Law. Jesus would have to receive a blow for each curse to pay the penalty. Because of this we received a twofold blessing. The Bible says in Deuteronomy 28:37 (NLT), "You will become an object of horror, ridicule, and mockery among all the nations to which the LORD sends you." Jesus paid for this curse with a violent lash, but He was also beaten beyond our comprehension, ridiculed, and mocked, so He paid for this curse twice. That is why the Prophet Isaiah wrote, "Instead of your shame you shall have double honor..." Isaiah 61:7

Jesus' sacrifice was complete. He did not leave out a thing. If you have a health problem---you have been redeemed. Poverty---paid for. Soundness of mind---it is yours. Every curse listed was paid for by those stripes and then some. So how do we receive it?

Since this has already been dealt with by Jesus, we do not have to do anything. Now I am not saying if you are broke, you do not go out and work. If you are sick, you need to see a Doctor. You do not just roll over and die.

Ephesians 6:14-18 lists the armor of God for the believer. There is a breastplate, belt, shoes, shield, helmet, and sword. There is nothing for your back. When the Egyptians pursued Moses and the people to the Red Sea, "The Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them..." Exodus 14:19 In the same way, the cross is behind us.

When the enemy pursues you, tell God, the way a child tells his father. The communion table is a great place for this. Let God deal with the enemy. While He takes care of that, go find someone to pray for and bless. This is what the armor is for---taking from the enemy. God is our defender, the best possible defender we can have.

Get aggressive with the enemy. Release God into the lives of others, that is the hardest punch you can throw.

Be blessed!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Oil Up

Isaiah 10:27 (NKJV) It shall come to pass in that day That his burden will be taken away from your shoulder, And his yoke from your neck, And the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil.

Oil signifies the Holy Spirit and His gifts (see 1 Corinthians 12:4-11). There are nine gifts listed---wisdom, knowledge, and faith, an anointing to heal, perform miracles and prophecy, and the gifts of discernment, tongues, and interpretation of tongues. These are supernatural tools available to the body of Christ to fulfill His will as needed (1). He desires to give us good health and meet all our needs so we can be a source of good health and needs to a world that needs it.

In this fallen world we have an enemy, the devil, who wants to block the will of God. Since God gave dominion to man, it is up to us to defeat the enemy. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are armed with the Holy Spirit to stop him from hindering the will of God. He is no match for the Holy Spirit.

So how do we tap in to the anointing oil of the Holy Spirit? We continually pray for it. The Bible says in Exodus 27:20, "And you shall command the children of Israel that they bring you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to cause the lamp to burn continually." The proper interpretation of this verse should have a comma between burn and continually. Moses was instructed to collect oil to burn the lamp---continually. Continually because the Spirit gives these gifts as needed. So continually ask for the anointing oil so you have it as you need it.

Whatever you need---healing, wisdom, or any particular ability---pray for the anointing to do it. The Apostle Paul said, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13).

Pray continually for the anointing in all things.

Be blessed!
(1) 1 Corinthians 12:11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Gift of Righteousness

Matthew 6:33 (NKJV)  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Deuteronomy 28:1-14 lists some of the blessings we could expect for obeying the laws of God. When Jesus ministered on earth, He made it clear; obeying the law was beyond our ability. He said things like, "If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off" (Mark 9:43). He said these things to express the value of obeying the laws of God and the extremes we would have to take to accomplish it.

When God gave Israel the commandments, He also gave them an avenue of grace. They could achieve right standing by offering animal sacrifices. These were to be performed twice daily as well as annually for special ordinances such as Passover and the Day of Atonement. This was a way for God to forgive them of their sins so He could bless them.

In Mark 11, Jesus tells teaches the disciples that faith can move mountains---but there is a catch. Verse 25 reads, "And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses." Jesus was still ministering under the Law Covenant. In order for God to move into our situations and perform miracles for us, He needs an avenue of forgiveness.

When Jesus ministered on the earth, He was 100% human. Yet He went about healing the sick and performing miracles. Since He did not need forgiveness because He had no-sin (1), God was able to perform miracles through Him. Jesus walked the earth as a human who was of the Holy Spirit (2).

Once you receive God's gift of forgiveness, you are born of the Holy Spirit (3). When this happens, you receive the gift of His righteousness (1). Since it is a gift, you just receive it and there are no other requirements. The Bible says in 1 John 2:12, "... your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake."

When you are born-again, the avenue God needs to perform miracles in your life has been created. This means the blessings of Deuteronomy 28 now belong to you. It also means you are equipped with the Holy Spirit to perform healing and miracles. Expect the blessings---expect to see miracles. God is in you, waiting to be released.

Be blessed!
(1)  For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21
(2)  And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Luke 1:35
(3)  Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."  Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?"  Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. John 3:3-5