Sunday, June 30, 2013

See By Faith, Not by Feeling

Too many believers want to fix their feelings, trying to shape their moods so that they will proper in their lives.

John prayed for his beloved Gaius as well as every other believer:

"Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." (3 John 2)

"Soul prosperity" depends on walking the Truth:

"3For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. 4I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." (3 John 3-4)

We find the Truth in Christ (John 14: 6) and His Word:

"Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." (John 17: 17)

The more that we see Him in the Word, that more that we walk by faith, believing what God has said instead of the circumstances of the world or the feelings in our flesh, then our soul prospers, and so do we.

"Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)" (2 Corinthians 5: 6-7)

Faith is not some notion of hyperspirituality which speaks to some realm not yet present to us, but rather recognizing based on God's Word what is right now before us:

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2For by it the elders obtained a good report." (Hebrews 11: 1-2)

Jesus Christ holds this entire Universe together (Colossians 1: 17-20) and He is closer than a brother (Proverbs 18: 24). He promises that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13: 5).

The problem for too many of us is that we live in the realm of our senses instead of receiving Himself and His Kingdom by faith.

Besides, our feelings merely respond to whatever we are thinking, and so instead of getting balled up in fixing our feelings, we are called to renew our minds through the Truth of God's Word:

"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." (Romans 12: 2)

We walk by faith, seeing what is invisible:

"By faith he [Moses] forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible." (Hebrews 11: 27)

Moses can serve as an example for all of us who live the world of men dead in their trespasses(Egypt) to enter the Promised Land. As long as we look on Jesus, we are transformed from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3: 18)

What we see with the eyes of our understanding (Ephesians 1: 17-18) cannot be effect by how we feel. Rest in your righteousness, stand still and see the Salvation of the Lord (Exodus 14: 13), and let Him bless you.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Faith flows by Faith in Christ and what He Has Done

In order for God's faith to flow in a believer, he must rest securely in the grace of God, that all of His sins have been put away through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Bible outlines this principle many times in Scripture:

"Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." (Psalm 37: 4)

God the Father delights in mercy, in grace, and not in sacrifice,  or the works which men do in order to establish a right standing with God:

"Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy." (Micah 7: 18)

and of course:

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6: 33)

This righteousness we keep receiving as a gift (Romans 5: 17) of the Holy Spirit (Romans 14: 17)

Without righteousness, the perfect standing before God that all our sins are forgiven, then any other gift granted to us will inspire fears and suspicious instead of praise and worship.

When we are then freed from any temptation of trying to perfect ourselves or justify ourselves throughout our own actions, we then advanced boldly before throne of grace in time of need (Hebrews 4: 16), all of which is predicated on our resting in the Finished Work of Jesus Christ by grace through faith (Hebrews 4: 11; Ephesians 2: 4-8)

Jesus first, last, and everything in between. Faith works through love (Galatians 5: 6) and this love is bound up in God, who has forever pardoned our sins and givenu us the life of His Son.

Rejoice in this wonderful gift, and indeed you will have what you say. In fact, He will give us beyond what we ask or think (Ephesians 3: 20)

In this sense, therefore, many prosperity preachers simply have not gone far enough in expounding the eternal, unsearchable riches of Christ. The more that we see Him, the greater our prosperity in this world:

"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4: 17)

Friday, June 28, 2013

We Do Not Keep Peace, He Keeps Us

"For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;" (Ephesians 2:14)

Jesus Christ is our peace, and he was prophesied of old as the Prince of Peace:

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9: 6)

When we see Jesus as God, as everything, the same  yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13: 8), great indeed is the peace within us. This peace is communicated to us because of what Jesus Christ has done for us:

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5:21)

What does this have to do with peace? Paul explains:

"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5: 1)

This faith is a gift that we receive upon hearing the word of faith (Ephesians 2: 8), and this faith grants us the unending favor of God in our lives:

"By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." (Romans 5: 2)

"Hope of glory" is not a faint wish, but a certainty that good things are coming our way,for Christ is in us now, and He is our "hope of glory" (Colossians 1: 27). David prophesied, and Peter confirmed on the Day of Pentecost, that our flesh can rest, live in hope because Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father, ever justifying us (Romans 3: 26).

This peace is something that we have now through the Holy Spirit:

"For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." (Romans 14: 17)

This peace is based on the everlasting righteousness (Daniel 9: 24), which we are called to keep receiving (Romans 5: 17)

Christ is our peace, and we have this peace in us and around us through the love of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5: 22). This peace rules in our hearts, conducting us in the way to go in this life (Colossians 3: 15)

We do not keep peace, nor do we have to keep the peace, for Christ our peace keeps us.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

No Conscience of Sin, No Fear

Why are we afraid, really? We are afraid of the shame, the condemnation, the loss of acceptance and the dogged failure that may follow us. Most of all, many of us are afraid that we may anger God the Father, that He will turn us away, or that He will put us in a spiritual "time out".

What does the Bible teach? Even the Old Testament reveals God as one who wishes to establish peace, not enmity:

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus," (Romans 8: 1, NIV)

No condemnation-- none, not one bit, as the Greek communicates a double, unshakable negative, because Christ has died for all our sins:
"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5: 21)

We can never come into judgement, and our sin can never break out us out of fellowship with God the Father, for He know lives in us through His Son by the Holy Spirit. If we sin, His grace superabounds in place:
"But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many." (Romans 5: 15)

and then

"Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: (Romans 5: 20)

The wrongdoing of others will also work to our greater good:

"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

"Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." (2 Corinthians 12: 9-10)

So, in Christ we receive the gifts of no condemnation ever and the unending cascade of grace and favor, which will bless us wherever we go and whatever we do, because Christ has blessed us with all spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1: 3).

When we are not afraid of punishment, when we can rest at ease in the righteousness of God in Christ. We do not even have to stress if we fail, because He makes all things work together for our good and His glory (Romans 8: 28).

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Silver and Gold -- Redemption and Divine Righteousness in Christ

Silver transfers value. Silver speaks of redemption in the Bible.

Gold reflects value. Gold speaks of divinity,
In Exodus 26, the LORD outlines the outer walls of the Tabernacle, would be constructed with the silver shekels that the Israelites donated to Moses and the priests for the construction of the Tabernacle.

First, silver pedestals with two sockets would establish the foundation of the Tabernacle. Then gold would cover boards of acacia wood, which speaks of every believer in the Body of Christ. Wood indicates our humanity, and the gold speaks of God's divinity, the righteousness of God which covers every believer in Christ.

In another sense, the value of gold is  harder to determine without first establishing the merits of silver. In the same manner, who we are in Christ means nothing to us if we do not understand the total and complete redemption which God wrought for us in sending Jesus Christ to be the propitiation of our sins and the sins of the entire world.

For many years, I never really understood that all of my sins were forgiven -- past, present, and future -- nor was I skillful in righteousness (Hebrews 5: 12-13). In Christ, I have received an "everlasting righteousness" (Daniel 9: 24), a gift which God calls every believer to keep receiving (Romans 5: 17), along with abundance of grace, the unmerited favor of God which covers us, for in Christ the Beloved we have been made gracious, or "accepted" as translated in the King James Bible (Ephesians 1: 6).

Do not despise the silver, for the gold has no standing or value without it. Rest in the full redemptive work of Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit will transform you from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3: 18), revealing more of the divinity of Christ in you (Colossians 1: 27).

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

His Love Means Never Having to Say "I'm Sorry"

"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

"And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." (1 John 2:1-2)

If we sin, we have an advocate with our Father in Heaven through His Son, who justifies us.

We do not confess our sins in order to be justified, but rather we confess because we have been forgiven!

Jesus's death on the Cross is God's love for  us:

"Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." (1 John 4: 10)

Because Jesus died on the Cross, God has promised that he will never, ever remember our sins.

"For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." (Hebrews 8: 12)

In other words, even if we wanted to say "I'm sorry", for God there is no point, because He remembers our sins no more. Paul identifies this clearly for us in His definition of Love, which God is (1 John 4: 16):

"It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs." (1 Corinthians 13: 5, NIV)

God keeps no record whatsoever of our wrongs.

His love means that we never have to say ''I'm sorry!"

Monday, June 24, 2013

What is Impossible for us -- He Has Already Taken Care of

"Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come." (John 8:21)

Jesus spoke these words to the Pharisees, because they did not believe on Him.

You and I do believe on Him whom God the Father sent to die for us and give His life to us (John 3:16, 6: 29)

Jesus did say to His disciples that where He was going, they could not follow (John 13: 36), but that's because He gave us His Spirit, the Comforter (John 14: 26)

This same Spirit brings Christ to live in us (Colossians 1:27), and causes us to sit in heavenly places with Him (Ephesians 2: 6)

Because of the Holy Spirit who gives us His life, we can also claim with John:

"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4: 17)

We cannot come to Him because for every believer, Jesus has already come to us.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Righteous So That We See Him

Preachers are now teaching people not to confess their sins, but rather to confess their righteousness in Christ:

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5: 21)

This new freedom is not just for us, though:

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." (Galatians 5: 1)

and then

"For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another." (Galatians 5: 13)
We are set free from ourselves that His life may live in us.

We no longer look at ourselves, with a conscience of sin:

"For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. " (Hebrews 10: 14)

Jesus Christ is our life, and so on Him our righteousness (1 Corinthians 1: 30) we look:

"1If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God." (Colossians 3:1)

He is our mercy seat, the sign to Satan and to every enemy thought that would bring us into shame that we are justified forever before God.

"Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." (Colossians 3: 2-4)

We have no further need to look at ourselves, for there is no defect in us before God the Father, for we are now in Christ, and as He is, so are we in this world (1 John 4:" 17)

Like Caleb and Joshua before the Promised Land, so you and I can rest in the Lord, that He will protect us and bless in all that we do. We are righteous so that we can see Himself, and let His light shine through us to a dark world.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Look at Him, and His Light Transforms You

"They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed." (Psalm 34: 5)

When you see Jesus, you are taken from shame and self into glory and greater grace and knowledge of the Lord:

"17Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." (2 Corinthians 3: 17-18)

The Spirit of the Lord is working in us and moving us into living out the Life that He is bringing into us (Philippians 2: 12-13)

Now, Jesus is the Light of the World (John 8: 12), and He lives in every believer (Colossians1: 27) by the Holy Spirit.

Yet He also sits at the right hand of the Father. He is our life, and therefore on Him let us look and be transformed:

"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God." (Colossians 3: 1)


"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." (1 John 3: 2)

Keep seeing Jesus in the Word, and you will be transformed more into His likeness, from glory to glory!

Friday, June 21, 2013

His Love is Righteousness!

I am forever grateful for the insight of Pastor Bob George, whose "People to People Ministries" has helped many Christians who are still struggling under the condemnation of the Old Covenant mixed in with the New.

One of his most profound insights was:

"Love means nothing without acceptance."

In fact, Love is nothing without acceptance, or righteousness.

Let's look at the Bible's definition of Love:

"Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." (1 John 4: 10)

Jesus came to be the justifier of mankind, reconciling us once again to His Father, in like manner as the Father of the Prodigal Son rushed to take him in his arms and bless him with all the trappings of a first-born and promoted son.

But the Love of God at the Cross did more than take away all our sins, and this is the part which too many believers are missing out on:

"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. " (1 John 4: 17)

This love transforms us into children of God, in Christ:

"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not." (1 John 3: 1)

This love makes us children of God

 2Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. " (1 John 3: 2-3)

We are going to be just like Jesus Christ, yet even now, as He is, so are we in this world.

Jesus is our righteousness (1 Corinthian 1: 30), and in Christ we are made the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5: 21)

His love is defined by righteousness, and in Christ we are fully accepted (Ephesians 1: 6)

We cannot conceive of God's love without believing and receiving the gift of righteousness which comes with it!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

You Are Perfected in Him -- So Fear Not

"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." (1 John 4: 18)

"Perfect love" does not refer to our love, but rather God's love for us.

"Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." (1 John 4: 10)

This love is perfected in us because we have received a new identity, a new standing in Christ our Savior:

"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." ( John 4: 17)

"As He is, so are we. . ." God sees us perfect in Christ.

Does that seem radical, or even offensive to you? Consider what scripture says:

"For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." (Hebrews 10: 14)

Paul made it clear that he was writing to perfected people:

"Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought." (1 Corinthians 2: 6)

Paul indicated that the Corinthians were "perfect", even though they still engaged in unseemly practices, fighting with each other (1 Corinthians 1: 10-11), visiting temple prostitutes (1 Corinthians 6: 12-20), and suing each other in court (1 Corinthians 6: 1-8).

Rather than upbraiding the Corinthians as sinners, Paul first addresses them as saints (1: 2). Despite the shock which many readers may feel, we are not perfected because of anything that we do or have done, but in Christ who has done all on our behalf.

Because we are perfected in Christ by identity with Him, we are made the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5: 21) There is nothing that we must do to make ourselves complete in Him, either:

"And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

"In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ." (Colossians 2: 10-11)

Christ has perfected us by His death, and His blood cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1: 7), and by His Holy Spirit we have the assurance that  we are children of God (Romans 8: 15; 1 John 4: 13)

Meditate on Christ's Finished Work, know and believe who you are in Him, and every fear will be cast out of your life!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Joy is Based on His Righteousness and Peace

"For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." (Romans 14: 17)

How do you "get" joy?

For starters, it's all about receiving the Holy Spirit, and the gifts that He brings with Him:

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith," (Galatians 5:22)

So, it's the fruit of the Spirit, and we receive the Spirit by believe in that Jesus Christ died for all our sins:

"To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

"While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word." (Acts 10: 43-44)

When we believe and receive that all of our sins are forgiven through the Blood of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit comes to live in us, not just take residence over us.

The Holy Spirit convicts us of righteousness (John 16: 10).

The Kingdom of Heaven starts with this righteousness, that before God all our sins are forgiven, and we are thus justified from everything that the law of Moses could never justify us (Acts 13: 38-39)

With righteousness comes peace. Paul explains:

"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." (Romans 5: 1)

God is no longer angry at us. We can never invite His displeasure ever again because Jesus died on the Cross for us, and He is and remains forever (Hebrews 13: 8) our mercy seat (1 John 2: 2).

When we know that all our sins are forgiven -- past, present, future -- and thus we have peace with God no matter what happens, or what we do,  then joy indeed will spring forth in your life, not by your efforts but by His grace.

Joy is based on Jesus living in us through His Holy Spirit (Colossians 1: 27), who is our righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:30) and our peace (Ephesians 2: 14).

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Hope: Not "Maybe" but "Will Be"

"And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." (Romans 5: 5)

Hope is a confident expectation of good -- not a by-the-by wish or a partial likelihood, but an  impartial certainty. We have to stay steady on this hope:

"That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:" (Hebrews 6: 18)

and then

"Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)" (Hebrews 10: 23)

What was this promise, anyway? Paul explains to the Romans:

"What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8: 31-32)

Christ is now living in every believer, are hope of glory (Colossians 1: 27)

Because Jesus now sits at the right hand of the Father, justifying us before God on our behalf (Romans 3: 26), and He is now our life (Colossians 3: 4), our flesh can rest in hope (Acts 2: 26).

Peter spoke this verse on Pentecost:

"Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope."

"Rest" does not convey the total confidence accorded to every believer. Fully renders, we are forever "tabernacled" or settled in hope. Hope is our residence, we need never think that we have to strive to maintain or place in Christ. God has sworn that He has engraved us on His hands (Isaiah 49: 16)

Hope in Christ is not a "Maybe" but a "will be" and a certainty:

"For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us." (2 Corinthians 1: 20)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Stop Caring -- Start Believing

"Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." (1 Peter 5: 6-7)

Most people think that they are being responsible when they worry about pothers, or when they share that they care about other people.

In reality, when people say that they care about you, they are operating from the false notion that God does not care, and therefore they have to make up for God.

Let's reassess such unbelief, shall we:

"Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son." (Genesis 18: 14)


"Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?" (Jeremiah 32: 27)



"But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible." (Matthew 19: 26)


"And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible." (Mark 10:27)

"For with God nothing shall be impossible." (Luke 1: 37)

God has taken care of everything for us:

"I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." (John 17: 4)

So, let's enter His rest by believing on His Finished work:

"For we which have believed do enter into rest" (Hebrews 4: 3)


"Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief." (Hebrew 4: 11)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Old Covenant: Honor Parents; New Covenant: Receive New Parent

"Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee." (Exodus 20: 12)

We all want to have long life, and by honoring our parents, the LORD promised this life to us.

Yet, under the New Covenant, everything is granted to us through the Gift of His Son,  by whom we receive the adoption of sons (Ephesians 1: 5).

Because of the Holy Spirit living in us, we have the witness that God is our Father:

"For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." (Romans 8: 15)

Later in Ephesians, Paul provides the commandment:

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 3That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth." (Ephesians 6: 1-3)

Yet in the previous chapter, Paul provides the new motivation:

"1Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour." (Ephesians 5: 1-2)

We love our parents because God our Father first loved us (1 John 4: 19). In Christ, then, we are more than able to honor our parents, because in Christ we have been seated in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6).

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Rainbow: Light Broken for Us

The Rainbow is a Reminder
of No Condemnation
"I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth." (Genesis 9: 13)

A token in the Old Testament points to the Finished Work of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The rainbow makes two other significant appearances, both in connection with Jesus seated on His throne:

"As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake."" (Ezekiel 1: 28)


"And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald." (Revelation 4: 3)

What does the rainbow have to do with Christ and Him Crucified?

Jesus is the light of the world (John 8: 12)

A rainbow is light that is refracted, or broken. Jesus, the Light of the World, was broken for us, that in His light we receive full and forever pardon for all our sins. Just as the rainbow appears after the rain, in the case of the Old Testament, the rain which wiped out the mighty half-men, half-fallen angels which walked the earth, so God has wiped away the mixture of trying to receive God's grace, or trusting in ourselves somewhat yet at the same time trusting in God for other things.

Jesus has been broken for us, so that we might be made fully righteous (2 Corinthians5: 21) and complete in Him (Colossians 2: 10).

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Lord has Provided Everything -- Through His Son

Early in my walk in Christ, I did not even know that I was in Christ, or when I learned that I was in Christ, I thought that it was just a neat concept about identity.

Yet Jesus, who sits at the right hand of the Father, holds the entire Universe together:

"For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 20And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven." (Colossians 1: 16-20)

Jesus made the worlds, He is the center of all creation, He is the image of The Godhead bodily, He is also the head, the leader, the supporter of the Body of Christ,

 Yet He is also our High Priest:

"For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 4: 15)


"Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec." (Hebrews 6:20)


"2But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." (Hebrews 10: 12-14)

He has perfected us within, that we need never sense a conscience of sin in our lives.

By His death, Jesus can freely give us all things, too (Romans 8: 31-32), and in Him the Work is Finished (John 17: 4).

The Lord has indeed provided everything, through His Son -- receive this revelation!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Labor to Enter the Rest? -- Grow in Grace and Knowledge of Him

"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me." (John 14: 1)

No one can “let not” your heart for you, one pastor told me. When I heard that, I thought that someone was bringing me back under law. It is my job to stay in peace?
And how do I "let not" in the first place? It seems like a contradiction. . .
Point of fact, the answer is right there in the same verse:
"Believe also in me!"
Jesus repeats the same command that he gave to the devout Jews earlier in His ministry:
"Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
"Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." (John 6: 28-29)
In another Gospel, Jesus presents Himself as our rest:
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11: 28)
All of this comes together very powerfully in the Book of Hebrews:
"Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief." (Hebrews 4: 11)
Because of Jesus' death and resurrection on the Cross, the work has been finished in Him (John 17: 4; John 19: 30),  our job is to enter into the same rest, in which Jesus Christ is everywhere working on our behalf.
Instead of striving in our efforts, we are called to grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord (2 Peter 3: 18), and the more we see of Him, the more we see Him as God who saves, the greater our rest:
"For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:
"Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:" (Acts 2: 25-26)
The more that we see Jesus -- our yesterdays, our todays, and our forever, the Author and Finisher of faith -- the more that we can rest in the belief that He has all things taken care of for our good!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

How You Answer Depends on Who is in You

"Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.   "Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit. " (Proverbs 26: 4-5)  

At first, this set of maxims may maximize one's confusion.  

On the contrary, the matter is the source of one's answer.

"4" speaks of the world: four corners, four winds, four directions.  

We are not called to live the way the world lives --  

"Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." (1 John 4: 4)  

Why live like the world, when in Christ we are more than conquerors?

Yet for  many in the world, because they have neither the revelation of God the Son or His grace (2 Peter 3: 18), they feel that they must fight back, they must bring down every enemy, so that in retaliating, they end up becoming the very person whom they attack.  

Yet if we live out the life that He lives in us (Galatians 2: 20), we find that His Spirit leads us (Galatians 5: 16)  

"5" speaks of grace -- this grace transforms us into children of God (John 1: 12) so that no one every threatens us or can take our peace. In fact, we can delight in the reproach of men, for then we are made stronger in the grace of God (2 Corinthians 12: 9-10).

By His Spirit, then, we can respond in the same manner as others, deriding their folly. "Thou hypocrite" (Matthew 7: 5) Jesus would say, playfully to his listeners in the Sermon on the Mount. "It is not meet to give the children's food to dogs" Jesus said to the Syro-Phoenician woman, who attempted to get something from Jesus by posing as a Jew (Mark 7: 24-30) . 

In fact, throughout the entire Sermon the Mount, Jesus destroyed the Pharisees' standard of righteousness, bringing the law back to its ultimate standard.   In the same manner, everyone of us who boasted in our ability to be obedient to God received the full condemnation of the law, thus we received an answer according to our folly, and thus we became fools in ourselves that we might be made wise in Christ.  

How we answer others, how we answer God's call, depends on Him who lives in us!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Habakkuk: The Gospel of Grace

"The righteous shall live by his faith." (Habakkuk 2: 4)

This minor prophet - minor only because of the length of the book, but the major truth defines the reason why Jesus came to the earth, why God became the perfect man.

Indeed, every person who is made the righteousness of God in Christ lives by His faith:

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5: 21)


"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2: 20)

When the Holy Spirit prompted the writer to utter the verse, he was telling him that the righteous live by the faith of God, not just faith in God! How amazing! We receive God's own faith by hearing, and hearing the word of Christ (Romans 10: 17).

What I find interesting about this prophet, in contrast to the other writers, is that Habakkuk is not afraid to ask God serious questions. He boldy comes before God demanding an answer, and he knows that he will get one! He asks more questions than other prophets, yet these are not sacrastic or despairing questions, like those of Jeremiah.

He asks the questions in the first chapter, God answers him in the second, and in the third he has a calm joy which fears nothing because he "joys in the God of his salvation" (Habakkuk 3: 18)

What gives him such pause and then peace? He has received the revelation of God who is mighty, greater than all problems, all fallouts, every enemy, every loss, every form of poverty and weakness. That the righteous man lives by faith then permits him to receive the grace of God, for we are saved by grace through faith, not by works (Ephesians 2: 4, 8).

Habakkuk gives the Gospel of Grace through the God of our Salvation, who is Jesus!

He declares very little, and because he humbly demonstrates the same dependence that we are all called to walk in, God graciously imparts to him what life is about:

"For we walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5: 7)

What does God want us to be looking at? Paul shares with the Colossians:

"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God." (Colossians 3:1)

He is our righteousness (1 Corinthians 1: 30) and seated at the right hand of the Father, we find that all of our needs are met, that His blood keeps on cleansing us from all sin (1 John 1: 7)

Not only has Jesus given us hind's feet, but by God's grace we are now seated above the heavenlies in Christ (Ephesians 2: 6) far above all principalities and powers!

Habakkuk got a revelation of this grace -- and for us, who abide in Jesus, full of grace and truth (John 1: 17), we rejoice indeed!

Monday, June 10, 2013

By God's Grace, You Have Victory in The World

John means "God's grace" in Hebrew.

The number "four" speaks of the world: four corners, four directions, four winds, four major elements of the world.

The number "seventeen" represents victory.

These three elements come together in a powerful revelation to the believer.

Consider John 17: 4 --

"I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do."

In Christ, we have more than the victory because in Christ we have all things.

By God's grace, we have victory in the world.

Now consider 1 John 4: 17 --

"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4: 17)

By God's grace, in the world we have victory.

Could it be any more compelling? This grace comes to us through Jesus Christ:

"For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." (John 1: 17)

Behold once again, seventeen, the number of victory, which we receive by God's grace in His Son!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

God is Holding you!

"And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." (John 10: 28)

When you receive Jesus Christ, the Way , the Truth, and the Life (John 14: 6), He holds you in His hands, and no one can take you away.

For too many believers, they are convinced that after they are saved, it is up to them to hold onto God. Yet the Bible does not teach such self-reliance at all:

"But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, 21Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life." (Jude 20-21)

We do not "do" anything, but merely believe on Him, and His everlasting life cannot be cut off from us. "Praying in the Holy Ghost" means resting in the Kingdom, praying in the Holy Spirit, for in Him you have righteousness, peace, and joy (Romans 14:17).

In effect, we do not hold onto God, but rather He holds on to us. Jude confirms this:

"Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy." (Jude 24)

He keeps us from falling because He is our righteousness, and even when we sin, His grace abounds (Romans 5: 20) to more than make up for our failings.

God is holding you. Believe and receive this wonderful truth.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Know that the Devil is Judged

"The devil that you know is better than the devil that you don't know"

This common piece of folk wisdom indicates to people that they are better off taking no risk with something bad that at least is predictable instead of taking risks with something that may yield worse results.

Yet Jesus told his disciples not to worry about the devil.

"8And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged." (John 16: 8-11)

Don't worry about the devil that you know, or the devil that you may not know. Instead, know that in Christ you are perfectly righteous before God, and know also that the devil, the Accuser of the brethren, has been judged and disarmed (Colossians 2:15), never again to have power to condemn you in Christ (Romans 8: 1)

Friday, June 7, 2013

His Love, Not Ours -- Casts Out Fear

Why does perfect love cast out fear? Because it’s all Him, and none of us. This love has nothing to do with us, whether we are good or bad! It’s all about Him.

"And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him." (1 John 4: 16)

Just to remind you, this is how God showed us His love:

"Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."  (1 John 4: 10)

Now, this is His love, and His love gave us the following:

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5: 21)

At the Cross, the Great Exchange took place, in which Jesus Christ the Son of God took all of our sins, and we receive His righteousness, His peace, and His joy through His Holy Spirit (Romans 14: 17)

This perfect exchange is outlined in the New Covenant:

"For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

"And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

"For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." (Hebrews 8: 10-12)

He will be a God to us, taking care of every need, watching out for us, looking over our past and transforming failure into fantastic to His glory. He puts His laws in our hearts and our minds, so that by His peace will know what He wants us to do (:Colossians 3: 15)

This love, one that has prepared all things for us and within us (Hebrews 4: 3; Ephesians 2: 10).

His grace and His love have nothing to do with you -- you just have to believe that all of your sins are forgiven. I admit, however, that that takes time.

So, grow in grace and knowledge of Him who loved you and died for you! (Galatians 2: 20-21)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Do You Now Believe?

"Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? " (Isaiah 53: 1)

What is the report that Isaiah was talking about? He relates the account of Jesus, our suffering Messiah:

"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."" (Isaiah 53: 6)

All our sin has been laid on Jesus Christ:

"And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;" (Colossians 2: 13)

Do you believe this? Do you believe that Jesus is the propitiation of our sins, and the sins of the whole world (1 John 2: 2)

Most believers still think that they must confess their sins or change their habits, or do something about their way of thinking and behaving in order to earn God's attention and favor.

Yet Jesus made it clear that God's love for us has nothing to do with us:

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3: 16)

We are called to believe on Him whom God the Father has sent for us (John 6: 28-29)

For a long time, I knew that Jesus died for me.

I did not yet learn that He died for my sins. I just knew that He died for me.

Then I learned that He died for all of my sins: past, present, and future. Many believers have not yet rested in this certainty, still heeding their feelings or listening to the judgment of other people instead of receiving His gifts of righteousness and grace.

The other part about "everlasting life" does  not get enough attention, either. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14: 6). In effect, God gives us Himself through His Son by the Power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2: 33).

My revelation of Jesus Christ and all that He has done grew over time, the very hope that  Paul prayed for every believer:

"[I] Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; 17That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him" (Ephesians 1: 16-17)

Do you now believe? If not, keep asking God for the spirit of Wisdom, that your knowledge of Him will increase, that you may believe.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

We Receive the Good News By Receiving Him

"But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.

"For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." (Galatians 1: 11-12)

"Revelation" is not an arbitrary occurrence which may or may not happen, but a certainty which already exists in plain view. Jesus Christ is everywhere holding this universe together:

"For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

"And he is before all things, and by him all things consist." (Colossians 1: 16-17)

Most people either do not see Him at all, or they do not see Him who provides all things because  they are focused on the law, focused on themselves, focused on what they must do:

"12Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: 13And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: 14But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. 15But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. 16Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away." (2 Corinthians 3: 12-16)

The Gospel is simply thus:

"38Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: 39And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses." (Acts 13: 38-39)

When we accept that the law of Moses cannot make us justified, we then turn to the Lord our Savior, and the veil of the law is done away with. From then on, the Spirit of the Lord transforms us from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3: 18)

Jesus Christ is the Good News for us -- God made flesh, crucified, buried, and risen again, the hope of glory and righteousness and grace for all who believe

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

See Himself As He Fully Is

How do you see Jesus Himself? Do you see Him as King (Gospel of Matthew), as Servant (Gospel of Mark), as Man (Gospel of Luke) much like you? He is all of those things, but He is also much more! Have you received the entire vision of Jesus – King, Servant, and Son of Man all wrapped up on His Divine Being (Gospel of John)! He is God, as much as He is King, Servant, and Man, tempted in every point like us.

He is King, no questions about it:

"Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him." (Matthew 2: 2)

He wants to serve us, giving us His life and healing:

"But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:" (Mark 10: 43)

He knows what we have been through as Son of Man:

"The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!" (Luke 7: 34)

Most of all, taking in everything, He is God:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1)

See Jesus Christ Himself as He is.

Monday, June 3, 2013

You Believe that He Is – Do You Believe that He Saves?

"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." (Hebrews 11: 6)

Faith is more than knowing that God exists – you have to believe that He rewards those who desire Him.

The more that you know Him, the more of His grace you receive (2 Peter 3: 18), and by His grace you receive more blessings in your life.

For us believers, He has given us His Son, who is our life (Colossians 3: 4), and with Him we receive all things (Romans 8: 31-32)

Many people believe in Jesus. They believe that He was a good man who did good things. Yet they do not believe that He is Savior - -not just one who saved us from death, hell, and the grave, but God in the flesh who comes to save us every day.

There are Christians who believe in Jesus, that He died for their sins and has provided them a place in heaven, yet they live their daily lives convinced that they are on their own, that as far as eternity is concerned, they have nothing but grace, but on this earth it’s keep the rules or getting the bat. Nothing could be further from the truth – for the law is of the Old Covenant, and that covenant was faulty and has vanished away.

In the Old Testament, there were two prophets – Elijah and Elisha. Elijah is a picture of the Old Covenant – God Is – and Elijah did great things, but when he fled from Jezebel following her empty threats, he came to the end of himself, for the law will always bring man to the end of Himself.

Elisha  -- whose name means “God saves”  -- is a picture of Jesus Christ and the New Covenant. From the first time we read of Elisha, he requests a double portion, not afraid to ask for more. Like Jesus, Elisha went about healing and doing good (Acts 10: 38). While Elijah called down fire on his enemies, Elisha led the blinded Syrian hordes to the Israelites, only to have their needs met and then set free. The goodness of God led them to repentance, enough that the Syrians never bothered the Israelites again.

We need to see Him and see Him as one who serves and gives and ministers to us! That is Jesus, full of grace and truth! To see Him as a static God who does not care about us – well, that’s just not the truth!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Heaping Teachers or Seeing Jesus?

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears" (2 Timothy 4: 3)

When you listen to a sermon, when you a read a book – what are you seeking?

Are you seeking your well-being? Are you looking for principles on how to live a good life? Are you looking for tips on good relationships?

Many people are looking for more knowledge, an empty exercise at best:

"Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth." (1 Corinthians 8: 1)

Paul prayed that they would seek to see the source of all that they need:

"The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:" (Ephesians 1: 16)

Do you not know that you are dead, and that now your life is hid in Him (Colossians 3: 3-4)
As Christ is, so are you in this world. So, it’s not knowledge about a person that you need – you need to see more of Him in everything! We are now dead, and He is our life. God is not reckoning your sin, your self, to you anymore. He wants you to rest in Him!

Too many of us are caught up in teachers and trends, instead of the Teacher who is Truth, who is revealed to us through His Holy Spirit (John 16: 13)

Many believers in the Body of Christ are motivated not to grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord, but rather are motivated to grow in space and knowledge of the Bible. Yet the Bible is all about revealing Jesus (John 5: 39), both His heart and mind, which is caught up in loving and serving us, that we may love and serve others.


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Don't Fight for Your Rights -- Receive His Righteousness!

Rights have to do with the law:

"Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again." (Leviticus 24: 20)

Yet in fighting for our own rights, we find ourselves under law, and thus in bondage:

"Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?" (Galatians 4: 21)


"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. " (Galatians 5: 1)

We do not have to fight for our rights, because we have an advocate, a comforter:

"But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:" (John 15: 26)

and then

"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:" (1 John 2: 1)

We do not need to fight or strive on this earth:

"In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." (John 16: 33)

We have and Advocate who leads us on earth and pleads our righteousness in heaven?:

"1Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? 2Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?" (1 Corinthians 6: 1-3)

So, Beloved, do not fight for your rights, but receiving the abundance of grace and gifts of righteousness which we receive in Christ (Romans 5: 17). Let Him fight for you and restore to you all that you have lost (Acts 3: 21)