|Posted on June 28, 2018 at 8:00 AM||comments (53)|
Today, I want to talk to you about repentance and judgment. Two words misunderstood by many in the Body of Christ. The word repentance in the New Testament simply means to change your mind. I don't know about you but there have been many times in my life when I have had a change of mind. When I got saved I had a change of mind. When I recommitted by life to the Lord in my early 20's I had a change of mind. When I am doing something wrong and the Lord gives me revelation of that, I have a change of mind. Many times in my life I have had a change of mind, many times in my life I have repented.
The Bible says in Romans 2:4 that the goodness of the Lord will always lead people to repent, to have a change of mind. So it is in my best interest to every day spend time focusing on the goodness of God revealed in His word, so I can constantly have a change of mind in my life.
Judgment is the other word many times misunderstood by Christians. Jesus said in John 12:47-49 that he did not come to judge any one, but rather he came to save that which is lost. Judgment comes from other people, it comes from the devil, and sometimes we even judge ourselves, but Jesus is never judging us. He wants to heal us, deliver us, make us whole, meet all our needs.....but He is never the one judging us.
Today, my prayer for all of us is that we will focus on the goodness of the Lord, and see Jesus as our Savior rather than our Judge.
|Posted on June 21, 2018 at 8:00 AM||comments (47)|
We said last week that the equation for obedience is...
Romans 10: 17 (NIV) + Romans 1: 5 (NIV) = Obedience
In other words, you hear the gospel message concerning Christ and from that comes faith, and from faith comes obedience....the obedience that comes from faith.
This week we want to begin to talk about the gospel message, and our first stop is the love of God. In the Old Testament the word 'Checed' is a powerful word. It means both lovingkindness and mercy. It is a word that gives great insight into the heart of God our Father.
In 2 Chronicles 5: 13 it says that the singers sang "He is good; his love (Checed) endures forever." As soon as they sang those words the glory of the Lord filled the temple. Notice that even though unity was important, praise was important, consecration was important....the thing that caused the glory cloud to come was when they sang about the Lord's love (Checed). In 2 Chronicles 20: 21 as the Levites went out at the head of the army they were saying "Give thanks to the Lord, for his love (Checed) endures forever." Notice the fact that the praisers went out first was important, the fact they were obedient to the Lord's direction was important, but the thing that brought victory over their enemies was that they were talking about and thanking God for his love, his checed. In Psalm 23: 6 it says his love (Checed) pursues us, follows us, hunts us down all the days of our lives.
As you focus on the Lord's love for you it will empower you to love God and love others. 1 John 4: 19 says we love because he first loved us. As you focus on the Lord's love for you Ephesians 3: 16-19 says that we will be filled with the fulness of God. And Galatians 5: 6 says that as we know God's love and are filled with God's love our faith will begin to work..."faith works by love." Our love for God is important, but the first thing, the most important thing, is that we know just how much the Lord loves us.
This Resurrection week as you reflect on the Lord's love (Checed) you will begin to have greater understanding of scripture, you will begin to find it easier to believe, and you will have confidence as you come before the throne of grace....and you will be a long way down the road to understanding the gosple message.
The key to obedience is the gospel message, and the beginning place for the gospel message is the love of God. Until next time, have a great Resurrection Day this Sunday, and receive the love (Checed) of God....let it be shed abroad in your heart by the Holy Spirit.
|Posted on June 15, 2018 at 8:00 AM||comments (48)|
The Bible says in Hebrews 1: 3 that Jesus is the exact expression of what God is like. Not Elijah, Not Moses, but Jesus. That’s not to bring down Moses or Elijah, but rather to exalt the Son of God.
In fact on the Mt. of Transfiguration when Simon Peter said let’s build three tabernacles----God the Father spoke up and said this is my beloved Son, listen to Him. So Jesus is the express image of what God is like and who God is.
So, if you want to understand the nature and character of God you have to look at the life, and ministry, and words of the Lord Jesus, and Jesus said in John 12: 47--- “I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.” So that is revelation to us of what God the Father is like.
In fact when you look at the story of the prodigal son which is a story that gives revelation of our heavenly Father you see the father not judging the son but running to the son, and restoring the son. Now will the earth and the devil and nonbelievers receive the judgment of God? Yes. But that day is not today.
Today is the day of salvation….so turn to the Father, and he will run to you and restore you and heal. Turn to the Lord, and let your light shine.
|Posted on June 14, 2018 at 8:00 AM||comments (53)|
Recently I shared with all of you that obedience comes from faith, according to Romans 1: 5. Obedience doesn't come from trying harder...it comes from believing right. As you hear and believe the message concerning Christ, which is the gospel, faith cometh forth from within you, and then from that faith comes the power to obey.
This is the scriptural equation:
Romans 10: 17 + Romans 1: 5 = Obedience
Faith cometh from hearing the message concerning Christ and obedience comes from faith. Again not from trying harder, but from believing right.
So let's go forward and believe right about God's love for us; His provision for our forgiveness and righteousness; and the fact that we can be in a covenant of peace with Him today.
|Posted on June 7, 2018 at 8:00 AM||comments (53)|
The Bible says in Daniel 9:24 that when Jesus came He would bring in everlasting righteousness. In 2 Corinthians 5:21 it says 'He who knew no sin (Jesus) became sin for us, so that in Him (Jesus) we could become the righteousness of God.'
And how did we become the righteousness of God? By believing, truly believing in Jesus. So much so that we confessed Him as our Lord. When that happened we received the gift of His Righteousness. And remember as it says in Romans 5:17 it is a gift. We don't earn it. We believe and we receive. We, in essence, gave Him our sin, and received His righteousness.
Now, when we received the gift of His righteousness, at that very moment we also became holy in the Lord's eyes...we were no longer common man. Now we were set apart to God, consecrated to Him, holy. The Bible says in Hebrews 10 that by the sacrifice of Jesus we have been made holy.
So here is the progression---Jesus was obedient to the cross and was raised from the dead; we believed, truly believed; we received the gift of righteousness; we became holy in the Lord's eyes. (By the way, in the New Testament, when righteousness and holiness are mentioned in the same passage, it is always righteousness first and then holiness.)
Why is all this so important? Because right believing produces right living. As we believe that thru Jesus we are righteous and holy we find ourselves beginning to be who we believe we are thru Jesus---righteous, holy, and obedient. Remember Romans 1:5---Obedience comes from faith. We believe what the Bible says about Jesus and the Gospel and who we are in Him because we have believed and we find ourselves being more obedient by accident than we ever were able to be on purpose.
So I challenge you over the next few weeks, study everything you can on the Gospel---the love of the Lord, His forgivensss, His making you righteous and holy thru Jesus....and as you believe you will be empowered to obey....One more time... obedience comes from faith...obedience comes from belieiving right.
|Posted on May 31, 2018 at 10:00 AM||comments (2634)|
I dont know if you've thought about this much, but God is a God of extravagant blessings, who loves to give to us. You see it in scripture and in the life of Jesus.
In scripture it speaks of him graciously giving us all things in Romans 8:32. In Ephesians 3:20 it talks about him giving to us exceedingly, abundantly above all we could ask or think. In Ephesians 1:3 it says thay he has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus. And in Philippians 4:19 it says he will meet our need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. God clearly teaches in scripture that he wants to bless us extravagantly.
In the life of Jesus you see the same thing. He fed the 5,000 men plus the women and children and they picked up 12 baskets full of food after everyone had eaten til they were completely satisfied. On another occasion he fed 4,000 men plus the women and children and they picked up 7 baskets full of leftovers. When Peter was told to let down his nets in Luke 5 he caught so many fish that his nets begin to break and he had to call for his partners to come and help...and both boats were filled to the point of almost sinking. And on several occasions the Bible says that when he was praying for people, "he healed them all".
The point is God is not stingy,nor is he holding out on us. He desires to graciously give us all things. But to receive from him in this way you have to believe this way.
I encourage all of us today to begin to believe in what Jesus did and the promise of God's word. As we do we will begin to change how we see God and how we receive from him.
Put this thought to memory from our first verse mentioned, Romans 8:32---"God is good and wants to graciously give us/me all things."
Proverbs 23:7 says "as a man thinketh in his heart so is he." As you begin to think that God is good and wants to graciously give us all things, you place yourself in a position to receive from our heavenly Father, who is the God of extravagant blessings.
|Posted on May 25, 2018 at 8:00 AM||comments (49)|
Today's thought for believers----Jesus bore all of our sins on the tree (1 Peter 2: 24). Therefore, all of our sins have been judged. Therefore, all of our sins, past, present, and future, have been forgiven (Colossians 2: 13). This doesn't cause me to want to sin more, but empowers me to sin less. Thank you Lord for being the sin offering for all my sins.
Some would say, "but what if I sin?" 1 John 2: 2 speaks to that. It says "if I sin I have an advocate who speaks to the Father in my defense, Jesus Christ The Righteous..." And He doesn't speak to the Father about my righteousness, but about His righteousness....and how I have believed and been forgiven and received the gift of His righteousness.
But "what if I sin? Don't I need to ask for forgiveness?" Absolutely. But not for the purpose of eternity...rather for the purpose of the here and now. You see if I sin, it impacts my heart in a lot of negative ways. So, if I sin, I ask the Lord to forgive me for my benefit because forgiveness still cleanses my heart from all unrighteousness (1John 1: 9). And if I sin against another person I confess my sin to that person, as well as, the Lord.
But the bottom line is this. The devil can no longer condemn me or judge me or make me feel guilty for weeks on end for a mistake I make. My sins have been judged, I have been forgiven, and there is therefore now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus. Praise the Lord.
And again, this doesn't make me want to sin more, but it empowers me to sin less. Thank you Jesus for bearing all my sins in your body on the tree, so I could be forgiven of all my sins---past, present , and future.
|Posted on May 24, 2018 at 10:00 AM||comments (43)|
You know one of the great ways to let our light shine as Christians is to forgive other people. Whether it be a family member who has hurt us, or someone at work or church, or maybe a close friend who rejected us years ago. Forgiving others is a powerful way to let our light shine. Our forgiving others has the capacity to release the power of God into our culture and into the atmosphere.
Certainly our knowing that God has forgiven us of all our sins helps us to forgive others, but we also have to forgive ourselves if we expect to be able to truly forgive others.
Today I encourage you to find your forgiveness in Jesus, then begin to forgive yourself of your mistakes, your failures, your shortcomings. Look at yourself in the mirror every day and say I am forgiven and I forgive myself.
As you do that a change begins to take place in your life, and you become empowered to forgive others and let your light shine.
|Posted on April 27, 2017 at 9:00 AM||comments (71)|
The Bible says in Matthew 1: 23 that Jesus would be called Immanuel---which means God with us. So if you want to clearly understand our heavenly Father you have to look at the life, and ministry and words of the Lord Jesus.
And Jesus said in John 12: 47 I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. Now that is a powerful statement, and remember Jesus is the express image of what God is like, not the Law or the Prophets of the Old Testament as important as they were….but Jesus is the express image of what God is like and who God is.
Now when Jesus returns there will be a time of judgment….for nonbelievers it says in Rev 20: 12 that they will be judged according to what they have done. In Rev 11: 18 it says that the nonbelievers will be judged and the saints will be rewarded. But right now God the Father and Jesus are not judging anyone.
You know it’s important that you see God correctly depending what part of history we are in right now. Today is the day of salvation. And God is not judging us. God wants to save us, heal us, restore us.
Today, don’t see the Lord as your judge. See him as your savior, your healer, your helper. Turn to him and let your light shine.