Monday, March 26, 2018

Jesus is in the Restoration Business: Call Out to Him!

"But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore." (Isaiah 42:22)

I have lost so much time and so many opportunities because of false teachers and wrong teachings. For nearly two decades, I was in bondage to the Alcoholics Anonymous Cult, and the further perversion which taught me that Jesus and Bill W. are complementary movements.

Since studying the fullness of the Gospel of Grace, I recognize now that AA is a destructive cult, one based on lies and misapplied Scriptures, teaching men that they can "recover" from their moral failings, or is it a disease of the body? A disease of the mind?! The writings and rhetoric of the program are so convoluted it's hard to distinguish.

At any rate, I spent nearly two years of my life in bondage to this awful program, convinced that I had to spend every day taking my inventory, living a life of constantly keeping short accounts, working hard to stay one step ahead of my sins.

Yet the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sins (1 John 1:7-9). It's the perfect, divine, never-ending tide of sinless blood. Where does anyone get the idea that we are forgiven only when we confess our sins?

Since when did anyone get this idea that we are good enough to overcome the hardships in our lives? Not only that, but the wrongs which other people have done to us are not necessarily our fault, too. Yet AA teaches its members that they have a part in every bad thing that has happened to them.

When Jesus died on the Cross, he not only took our sins, but He paid for restoration for all our losses. Jesus enacted a New Covenant for us, in which God is now our God, and He is ready to step into any situation, to help us with any need.

This is our God, and through His Son we are today more than conquerors (Romans 8:37).

Now I am learning that in spite of all the lost time that I endured because of false teachings, because of pain and condemnation, I can expect restoration for all those losses!

Consider that even under the Old Covenant, our Daddy God provided a means by which we would have restoration:

"18And if men strive together, and one smite another with a stone, or with his fist, and he die not, but keepeth his bed: 19If he rise again, and walk abroad upon his staff, then shall he that smote him be quit: only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall cause him to be thoroughly healed." (Exodus 21: 18-19)

Satan is our "Adversary", and he seeks to strive with us all the time. The lies and distortions that he pushes upon us may have wounded us in the past, but we can expect full restoration of our time and we can expect a full healing.

Jesus paid for all of it!

"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." (Isaiah 53:5)

"For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them." (Isaiah 61:7)

It's important for us to claim this restitution for ourselves. Jesus is in the restoration business. Call out to Him!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Labor to Enter His Rest

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

In the last two weeks, I have begun to learn what it means to "labor" or work diligently to rest, i.e. to believe God, to take God at His Word that He has indeed taken care of everything in my life.

The initial context, or the account in the Old Testament which reveals the type, refers to the Promised Land, and the moment when the Israelites had arrived at the border in Kadesh-barnea.

Instead of simply taking God at His Word, Moses sent in 12 spies. For forty days, they searched the land, but after their tourney in the Promised Land, 10 gave an evil report:

"32And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. 33And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight." (Numbers 13: 32-33)

The report had a terrible effect on the Israelites:

"1And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night." (Numbers 14:1)

Instead of taking God at His Word, they believed the Timid Ten. Such unbelief. God told Moses that none of them--except for the two spies who gave a good report--would enter the Promised Land (Numbers 14: 20-24)

They wouldn't believe!

The writer of Hebrews outlines what happened:

"1Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 2For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it." (Hebrews 4:1-2)

They didn't believe! They went with the evil report.

In fact, in our lives, we will find evil reports abounding around us, both from friends as well as enemies.

We need to accept that there are going to be troubles facing us in our lives:

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation ..."

Jesus answers:

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

He has given us His peace (John 14:27).

He just asks of us one thing:

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

Now, our hearts will have troubles pressed in.

How do we respond?

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

Peter invites us to keep casting our cares to Him. Every time there is a care that tries to afflict your heat, cast it to Him!

That is the labor as we enter into God's rest!

It's a challenge, but it's worth it--a work of not working, but believing on Him whom the Father has sent to us (John 6:29)

Friday, March 23, 2018

God is Busy Avenging His Beloved: Do You Believe Him?

"And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?" (Luke 18:7)

Do you feel that there is great injustice in the world?

It's a fact of this life. There is great injustice, because from Adam's fall to the present day until the Son of Man returns again, evil is still in the world, and Satan remains the prince of the air.

We need to remember, however, that Satan has been judged:

"1And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. 2And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?" (Zechariah 3:1-2)

Jesus told His disciples during His earthly ministry that the prince of the world would be judged:

"8And when he [The Holy Spirit] 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)

We need the Spirit of God to minister to us, that the prince of the world, Satan, has been judged!

But we tend not to believe it, do we?

We see hurt, we see injustice, we see terrible things happening in the world around us, and even to us.

What are we to do?

Believe on Him! (John 6:28-29)

"Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." (Romans 12:19)

More informed translations read "The wrath of God", because the original Greek reads "give place to the wrath", i.e. the wrath of God.

Let Him handle the hurts that have been done to you. God is in the restoration business. That word "Repay" covers not just meting out punishment, but restoring to those who have lost.

"And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you." (Joel 2:25)

But will we trust Him to do so? Do you believe that He will restore to us? Will you call on Him to restore? (Isaiah 42:22)

Indeed, it is a labor for us to enter this rest, a rest in which God will restore all things to us.

But He promised, didn't He? His Son shed His blood to purchase that for us, too!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

We Receive His Grace No Matter How We Feel

I have to return to this revelation over and over.

No matter how I feel, Christ Jesus continues to shed His grace on me.

For years, I used to think that I had to feel a certain way, that I had to be "free of anger" in order for God's word, will, and wonder to work through me.

That is simply not true. I can feel any way, even if I am overwhelmed with hurt and anger, and God does not stop blessing me.

The world is still filled with people who are angry, hurt, bitter, etc.

It's OK to be angry, and even if we struggle to release our upset, God's grace is still showering on us.

I used to spend so much of my time trying to feel better, in the sense that I wanted to get rid of the murderous thoughts, the wrathful feelings, all that fleshy stuff.

The truth is that God's grace flows in our weakness, though, and I don't have to struggle to get rid of bad tendencies. When I focus on Jesus, He changes me:

"As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness." (Psalm 17:15)

and also

"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)

and finally

"11For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." (Titus 2:11-14)

We receive His favor, which in turn takes from faith to faith (Romans 1:17), and transforms us from dependence on ourselves. No matter how I feel, He still loves me. The more that I understand His love for me, the more that I am transformed!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Rule in the Midst of Your Enemies

"The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies." (Psalm 110:2)

A king does not have authority and dominion in the land because there are no enemies.

It does not matter whether people opppose him or support him, just a man is head of the household not because his wife submits to him. God ordained the man to be the head of the household. He gave him that authority.

In the same wise, we must recognize that we are in Christ today, that we are seated with Him, at our Father's right hand because of Him:

"And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." (Ephesians 1:19-23)

Notice how God the Father put everything under His Son's feet.

And we are in Christ today, seated in Him at the Father's right hand:

"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:" (Ephesians 2: 4-6)

God has made us kings and priests in Jesus (1 Peter 2:9), so we now identify full with Christ Jesus (1 John 4:17)

Our royal kinship has nothing to do with the enemies in our midst.

Let us never think that all our enemies must be gone so that we can reign in His life (Romans 5:17).

"The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." (Psalm 110:1)

and also

"The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways." (Deuteronomy 28:7)

How can our enemies flee in seven ways ... if they don't come at us in the first place?

There can be no spoils without enemies seeking to make war against us, can there?

"24And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped. 25And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much." (2 Chronicles 20:24-25)

Friday, March 16, 2018

Jesus Revealed God as Father, Our Righteous Father

"O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me." (John 17:25)

God is our Father.

That was something that Israelites during Moses' ministry, and that the Israelites during Jesus' earthly ministry did not know.

Consider how Moses spoke about God to the Israelites right before they entered the Promised Land:

"And in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that the LORD thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came into this place." (Deuteronomy 1:31)

Notice that Moses did not say "As a father doth bear his son ..."

That stood out to me.

The Israelites then, under law, under the Mosaic covenant, could not see God as Daddy. He was distance, far away because of sin, and the law was put in place for offenses, until the fullness of time, when God's own Son would be born to us, to redeem us of our sins and grant us His life.

Jesus revealed God as Father, as Daddy!

"And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt." (Mark 14:36)

Jesus called God the Father "Abba" or Daddy before He died on the Cross.

After He died, then rose again and appeared to His disciples, He declared to them:

"Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God." (John 20:17)

Jesus said this to Mary Magdalene, who had come to Jesus' tomb expecting to find Jesus dead.

He was alive--He is ALIVE!--and notice how He referenced His disciples:

"My brethren."


"I ascend to my Father and to your Father."

Jesus fulfilled the adoption of our spirits, that we could call on God as our FATHER!.

Today, I want you to see that not only is God our Daddy God, but He is our righteous Father.

He is faithful and just in forgiving us of all our sins, and granting us His Spirit:

"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)


"To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." (Romans 3:16)

This is something new about God's character that I need to still learn. Our Daddy God is righteous, and our foundation as His sons is based on a righteous, blood-bought foundation!


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Joseph Prince, Sermon Notes March 15, 2018

I am fearfully and wonderfully made. The literal Hebrew word there is embroidery. (Psalm 139:15)

The spirit of a man will sustain his through infirmity but a broken Spirit who can stand? (Proverbs 18:14)
2nd Corinthians 5:17--All things have passed away all things have become new.
Joy is the flag flown high from the castle of my heart. Your face is the flag that notifies that your heart is at peace
Proverbs 15:13, remember that it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile.
In the above proverb the word for sorrow is the same word and Isaiah 53:4, in which Jesus bore our sorrows.
Rejoice in the lord always, and again I say rejoice. (Philippians 4:4)
If everything is perfect around me all the time, where is the opportunity to exercise faith?
Psalm 129:3 here we see how the Roman cat-of-nine-tails Shred-it tore up his back. Very long stripes.
Deuteronomy 25:1, Jesus became sin that we might be made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. We have been justified by God
If we want the benefits of the stripes that Jesus bore for us, we must take his place as the righteous one.
1st Peter 2:24, by whose Stripes you are healed. We are dead to sin. Live to righteousness righteousness is a gift. Righteousness is a noun, not a verb.
Ecclesiastes 9:7: Eat bread with joy and drink wine with a merry heart. Let your garment be white, righteousness that you had like no oil, moisture righteousness. Communion, Eucharist, Thanksgiving and great joy. Take it in Great Joy.

Great anointing covers our heads.

Struggling to Study God's Word? Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled

Here is something else that I wanted to meditate on.

I was really honored that I could go to Arizona and speak out about the Trump Movement and the opportunities to fight for what is right. It was great to see other like-minded conservatives, and to be welcomed with open arms.

Still, I felt so overwhelmed in Arizona. So many things to do and so little time to do it all. Every time that I wanted to read God's word, my head was just so overwhelmed. I could not focus. It was unusual for me. The time was so much and yet so much needed to be done.

I didn't like the fact that my head was just shaking so much, and that I couldn't sleep as well as I would have liked to.

I got to tell you, I didn't like the fact then I was just so tired.

I wish that there had been a better way to ensure that every need was met and that I was not tired. I felt so hungry for God's Word. I felt that all the bad things that were happening around me we're getting so much more attention than God's goodness and blessing in my life. How true it is that resting in God's Word is a labor, for we are called to labor to enter His rest (Hebrews 4:11).

Sometimes, it's better to pass on attending certain events, no matter how exciting and fun they will be. We simply cannot be everywhere doing everything. I have more respect for President Trump, in that he campaigned like mad across many states in the last two weeks of the 2016 campaign. It takes a lot of energy to do stuff. Man has to rest.

Something else has emerged in the midst of the times that I am going through.

A number of people who wanted to tell me all their problems. There are too many people more interested in fights, conflicts, uproars, and tumults. It has gotten easier for me to confront people kindly, calmly, yet assertively with: "I don;t want to hear it." Someone called me yesterday and wanted to complain about the Trump border rally yesterday. I told him that I was passed that event, and that I was glad that I could be there. That is all that really mattered. I'm so glad that I'm now starting to say "No!" to people. I don't want to hear people complaining anymore. I am not interested in the internecine fights.

What is it about delays, frustrations, and heartaches? God does not want us to suffer, but rather prosper and be in health, even as our souls prosper (3 John 2). One preached shared that there are many things in our flesh, or rather our propensity to depend on our flesh in key issues, which God wants to remove from us. He wants us to rest more in His grace, not our efforts.

I have noticed a few things that I want God to change in me. I don't want to try to take on so many demands on my time to accomplish things. I was interested in running for city council, but there was no way that I could. The time really wasn't there, and yet a sense of goading would rise up in me from time to time. A fear of "What will you think when looking back on skipping this event?" came over me sometimes. What had held me in bondage that compelled me to do this? There is this ongoing sense that if I don't do something, then nothing will get done.

We need to learn to rest in God's grace. He is taking care of so much in our lives. People like me just want to do, do, do. It's very hard for me to receive God's exhortation to "Rule in the midst of your enemies" (Psalm 110: 2) I want my enemies under my feet NOW! We have to wait, because we want God's goodness to be fully manifested in our lives.

As I had written, I have wanted to do so much. After coming back from Arizona, in which I flew over
I wanted to go to the Border rally and then I wanted to root for the president while he was having a fundraiser in Beverly Hills. I wanted to go to the border Rowling and then I wanted to route for the president while he was having a fundraiser in Beverly Hills. I flew in at 12 midnight, and I slept for only 4 hours, and then slept in the truck of my friend who drove me to the wall. Yes, it was fun yes it was nice to being in the media, yes it was really good to connect with new faces who were big fans of President Trump. 

But then I wanted to try to go to Beverly Hills, and the fatigue was so great that I couldn't do it. How true it is that "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Matthew 26:41). It all seemed possible to me when I was flying over from Arizona to LAX. What could really stop me? But the actual facts of fatigue cannot be ignored.

Something else is still not settled properly in my heart. I have seen and endured injustice in the past, and instead of trusting God to handle it or to know that he is taking me to a better place, I still want to avenge what's happened to me. He makes the promise that vengeance is His (Romans 12:19), and yet I still struggle to believe him.

My heart was troubled, but then I could just simply remember that I don't have to have the troubled heart. Jesus invited His disciples and invites me today to believe the same thing (John 14:1,27). This is the will of God that you believe on him whom the father has sent (John 6:29). I want to get better at taking all things easy and not feeling rushed when I am visiting other people in other states. There is so much opportunity to do good wherever I go, and there is no need to rush.

Last of all, one of the most important things that I could do over the weekend was to meet with Tony of Arizona and share the Word with him, and I was able to share with him specifically what I had read earlier that weekend and 2nd Samuel, Chapter 12. More events like that are coming my way, because I trust God to lead me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake (Psalm 23: 3).

Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled

"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me."

This is the work that Jesus calls us: "Believe on Him whom the Father hath sent." (John 6:29)

This is a work, a work of resting in His promises.

This rest of faith does not come easily to mankind.

Paul wasn't kidding when he wrote "Fight the good fight of faith."

In the original Greek, it reads more like "Let the good fight of faith be fought."

We don't have to keep fighting the devil. He is defeated. We do not have to fight sin, since it's been paid for and condemned on the Cross.

We must fight to stay at rest, to know that Jesus accomplished a perfect work for us at the Cross.

There is so much in the world to incite us to upset and disharmony.

Yet Jesus encourages us with "Let not your heart be troubled."


He also informed His disciples, and to us:

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

It's good to meditate on God's Word, to read the Scriptures, since we are so inclined to look over, to pass over words of hope and encouragement which would otherwise slip away from us.

After all, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ (Romans 10:17). We keep hearing, we keep listening, and we keep receiving new revelation from the same word, from the same verses.

Jesus spoke His word to us from John 14 to John 16, that we would have peace in Him!

We do not have peace in the world. We do not have peace in our circumstances. We do not even want the peace that the world can offer, since it's temporal, faulty, and ultimately false.

Jesus did not sugar-coat the truth that the world is fallen and fraught with sin and problems: "In the world, ye hall have tribulation."

There will be weapons that form against us--but they will not prosper (Isaiah 54:17). One thousand men may fall at our sides, and 10,000 more at our right hands, but the plague, the menace will not touch us (Psalm 91:7).

Let's accept these promises today. Let's step up to the one exhortation which Jesus laid at our hands:

"Let not your heart be troubled."

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

My Meeting With Tony of Arizona (Focus on Jesus, not Your Hardships)

Last week graciously, I was invited by a strong, active contingent of Trump supporters in the Phoenix area who wanted me to join them in their latest Patriot Rally.

I really looked forward to it. One of the organizers even paid for my plane ticket, room and board. I have never felt so honored in my life.

On Thursday, throughout the day, I visited the Grand Canyon.

The next day, we visited the offices of different elected officials to make our voices and concerns heard.

Then I went back to the local McDonald's, where I get a lot of my work done.

It was Friday night in Arizona, and another man was sitting where I used to sit. It was no big deal, since I don't own any table in any restaurant. I asked if I could sit at the same table with him, so that I could plug in my computer, my phone to recharge it, etc.

From there, he started telling me about his life. He shared with me how he had been abused repeatedly as a kid, moved from one foster home to the next. He had his first child at 15, and he married the mother.

They had since divorced.

While he was talking with me, he told me that he has seen me sitting at the same table, and said "There was something about you." He then told me that I look like his son.

His son had died, washed out in a heavy rip current along the shores of the Hawaiian Islands. Tony was the man's name, and he shared with me the pain of losing his son, who had disappeared. He spent a large sum of money searching for his son, and sent out a search team, but no one was able to find him.

Tony then opened up to me and shared "I am so angry with God." He also talked about how he had lived in a rehab center for a while, trying to get off of alcohol. At that point, I could share with him that Alcoholics Anonymous is a cult, and he needs to get away from it as soon as possible. He actually agreed with me.

When we talked more about his son, I candidly told him that I could not explain why his son was dead, how such a tragedy could strike against him; but I found myself having to correct him at great length with the following statement:

"God did not take your son. It is not God's fault!"

In fact, I went to great lengths to explain to him that death is an enemy.

Then I started reading to him from 2 Samuel, the account in which David committed adultery with Bathsheba, and then the child born to David from another man's wife ended up dying.

"21Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread. 22And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? 23But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." (2 Samuel 12: 2-23)

Part of the reason I share this story with you is to show that God our loving Daddy is guiding us all the time! He guided me to read the right word so that I could share God's word with Tony about his lost son and the troubles overwhelming him in this life.

I found that he frequently came back to "Look at me. Look at all the things that have happened in my life. How could it be that God allowed all of this in my life?" My response: "No matter what is happening in our lives, do not blame God. Justify God, no matter what may be happening in and around you. It's not God's fault that your son died."

In fact, because the shoreline was dangerous and the authorities had gone to great lengths to inform people of the dangers, I had to inform Tony that his son made that decision. I also asked Tony if he felt guilt about his son dying there. "He had asked me to go with him, and I didn't go because I had to take care of other things."

Very serious. It must have grieved him a great deal that he had not gone with his son, and thus he didn't see his son again after he had left for Hawaii.

I talked about the Old and New Covenants, and how God cannot operate in our lives if we trust in ourselves and our flesh rather than in God's grace. We cannot be responsible for our children's decision once they make them.

After that, I took out a CD sermon which I had purchased: "God has condemned sin in the flesh", but Joseph Prince. Tony told me that he recognized the face. I offered it to him, and he gladly received it.

After that, I prayed with him, and told him that God is our Daddy, and He is caring for us in every way. Tony felt better after all of it, and told me that he was going to go to sleep feeling so much better after all that he had been through.

Five days later, I look back on this incredible God moment and I am sharing with you now why it matters enough to me to share with all of you what happened.

Why was this man so sad? It's true that he had endured so many terrible privations in his life. It was so easy to look at all of those troubles. But then I realized that the true source of so much of his pain was "I ... I ... I."

"Look at what has happened to me!"

"How could God let this happen to me?"

"Why is this happening to me?"

I began to realize another reason why we must be established in the truth about God's salvation for us. He didn't come to make bad men good. He came to make dead men live.

He is our life. I have nothing apart from Him. Period. That is not some psychological novelty to help me bear sorrows in this dark, fallen world. This is the truth. Adam sinned, man died, and death reigned through Adam (Romans 5:12-17).

We need to accept this revelation. We need to get over the idea that we are independent from Him, and that anything we suffer is somehow a result of God's doing.

We then need to focus on how good He is, and He he is very much in the restoration business:

"25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.

"26 And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.

"27 And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed." (Joel 2: 225-27)

In fact, I read from the 2 Samuel account further to show how God makes good on the greatest griefs which we endure:

"24And David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her: and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: and the LORD loved him. 25And he sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and he called his name Jedidiah, because of the LORD." (2 Samuel 12: 24-25)

Notice God's grace to David and Bethsheba, in spite of their great sin. Their next son was Solomon, who would be the next king of Israel, and the greatest king in the nation's history:

 "Where sin increased, grace superabounded" (Romans 5:20)

I shared the same revelation to Tony, and he acknowledged that he had heard that too. It is important for us to realize, too, that faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of Christ! (Romans 10:17). We need to hear it again and again for our faith to be built up in Him.

But we have to look at God and know that our redeemer lives. Even Job, despite his self-righteousness, called upon God as His redeemer (John 19:25)

And God not only redeemed Job, but provided for him double for all his losses:

"10And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before." (Job 42:10)

That same promise holds true for all of us. We need to see Jesus more than ever, and we need to see how good He is, how gracious He is!

Final Reflection

This morning, I learned something new about true godly counsel to those afflicted, in great pain. When we are confronted by the woes and hurts of others, we are not to focus on the sin, but the sin offering. The priests in the Old Testament ate from the sin offering. We feed on God's faithfulness, not man's sinfulness!

"The priest that offereth it for sin shall eat it: in the holy place shall it be eaten, in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation." (Leviticus 6:26)

We are to focus on Jesus, to see Him nourishing us, restoring us to wholeness no matter what pains, hurts, and sorrows we have been through. I must say that this new teaching, this greater revelation of God's grace and truth is essential for me. I spent about an hour talking with Tony about Jesus and how He overcomes all the horrors and sorrows in our lives.

I am so glad especially that I learned how much God restores in our lives, too! He is a very much a restorer. With that, I want to share with all of you that every person I have met, men and women who have lost their children, in their lives they experienced an incredible restoration. One of their other children would not only have kids, but TWINS.

This has happened to angel moms whose sons or daughters have been murdered. This happens to men and women whose spouses have died or were taken from them for unjust reasons, too. There is no need for us to live in bitterness or anger about something taken from us.

God is very much in the restoration business! Let's focus on His goodness, not the world's badness:

"Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed." (Psalm 37:3)

The original Hebrew reads more like "Feed on His faithfulness".

Not our sin, not the fallen world, but on Jesus, for through Him we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37).

Thursday, March 8, 2018

God's Love for Your is Priceless: Just Receive It

"Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned." (Songs 8:7)

God's love for us cannot be quenched, cannot be finished:

"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)

This love grants us eternal life. Why? Because God's Son, Jesus, shed His blood, a blood which cleanses forevermore:

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

His love for us cannot be bought. God's love cost Him His own Son, the most precious Person to Him:

"Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;" (Proverbs 8:30)

and also

"And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Mark 1:11)

There is nothing that we can do to earn God's love.

It is priceless. Anything that we can offer to receive something from God is condemned outright:

"8I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually before me.

"9I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds.

"10For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.

"11I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.

"12If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.

"13Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?

"14Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High" (Psalm 50: 8-14)

Don't try to earn God's love. It is all grace, for we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2: 8-9)

His love overcomes all the wrath of God's sin, for Jesus became sin that we would be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Stop trying to earn God's love. You can't. Receive it, and keep receiving it!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Wherever You Go, The Fear of God is There

"And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife's sake." (Genesis 20:11)

God enacted a covenant of grace with Abram, whom He later named "Abraham" for the miracle He would work in his life and that of his wife Sarah.

Not once, but twice Abraham lied about his wife to protect himself, not even considering her safety.

Notice that Abimelech, the King of Gerar, just took Abraham's wife, and he didn't even do anything about it!

"2And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah." (Genesis 20:2)

Now, Abraham was convinced that if he told everyone plainly that Sarah was his wife, the heathen kings would kill her.

He believed that they did not care about God nor did they fear Him.

And yet:

"3But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man's wife." (Genesis 20:3)

Even if the enemies in our lives do not know or fear God in any initial sense, we need to trust God that He will put fear upon them, and induce them to honor and respect us, for we are His children:

Remember God's promise to Noah after he and his family left the ark:

"And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered." (Genesis 9:2)

Before that, God issued a clear promise of protection to Cain and then Lamech:

"13And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me. 15And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him." (Genesis 4:13-15)

God also assured protection for Lamech, who had fought to defend himself:

"23And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.

24If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold." (Genesis 4:23-24)

Much of the time, we enter into new, different situations, or find ourselves in challenging circumstances. Instead of looking at Jesus, the author and finisher of faith (Hebrews 12:2), we look at ourselves or our circumstances. Notice that Abraham on his "thought" that there was no fear of God in Gerar.  Yet God not only appeared to Abimelech to demand that he restore Abraham's wife to him, but threatened him that he would "surely die" if he did not.

That was the same warning God issues to Adam and Eve about the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Beloved, let us never forget that wherever we go, our Daddy God is determined to protect us in every way, and that whatever weapons or obstacles may come our way, He is a God to us (Hebrews 8:10-12), and that no weapon formed against us will prosper in any way. (Isaiah 54:17).