Category Archives: October 2016

God Does Not Count Your Sins Against You

Romans 4:8

“Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.”

You are blessed today because all your sins are forgiven in Christ. God does not count your sins against you. Instead, He counts you righteous in Christ. That is why you are the blessed man to whom the Lord does not and will not impute sin!

What happens to such a man? Let’s look at the story of Jacob to find out.

The Bible records how Jacob had deceived his father and cheated his elder brother Esau of his firstborn blessing. (Genesis 27:1-41) Yet, in spite of his sin of deception, God chose to speak to Jacob. And no, God did not say to this cheat, “You terrible sinner! How can you deceive your own father? You are cursed!” No, to deceitful Jacob, God said, “I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants…Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.” (Genesis 28:13-15) Here was a man to whom God did not impute sin!

God did not rebuke Jacob at all. Instead, we hear Him telling Jacob, “I will give to you…I am with you…I will keep you…I will bring you back…I will not leave you…” Jacob certainly did not deserve these blessings. This is one man who walked in the truth of Romans 4:8 – “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin”! Now, I am not encouraging you to sin, but I want you to see the love and grace of God toward us.

If Jacob was so blessed, how much more you and I today, who are under the new covenant of grace established by the blood of Jesus. How much more is our blessedness because Jesus has removed all our sins at the cross! Because of Jesus’ finished work, God does not impute sin to you. What He does impute to you is righteousness apart from works. (Romans 4:6) And because you are righteous, get ready for His blessings! (Proverbs 10:6)

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The Lord Will Defend You

Psalms 94:22

But the Lord has been my defense, and my God the rock of my refuge.

Imagine being a poor widow, a stranger in the land and holding one of the lowliest jobs in society. That was Ruth’s situation, so it would have been easy for her to feel vulnerable and defenseless. But because she trusted the Lord (Ruth 1:16), He placed her under Boaz’s protection. Boaz, the owner of the field she worked in, commanded his young men saying, “Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her.” (Ruth 2:15) What he was saying to his men was this: “She might be a gleaner, but because I care for her, treat her with respect and make sure she is not put to shame.”

Boaz is a picture of our Lord Jesus. If you are feeling vulnerable and defenseless right now, imagine Jesus commanding His angels, “Watch over this one who belongs to Me. Make sure he is treated with respect and not put to shame because he is someone I love and someone whom I died for.”

God’s Word tells us that if God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31) No one who has set himself against us can prevail because when God is for us, His protection is upon us. Jesus is my defense. If He does not defend me, it means that there are things in my life that are not to be defended, and I would be glad to find out about them now rather than later. On the other hand, because I take the Lord as my defense, and He defends me, what can those who are against me do to me?

When you defend yourself, you have only your two hands and your own human resources. But when you let Jesus take up your defense, He defends you with His nail-pierced hands and His legions of angels! The results will be amazing.

The Lord is your defense and refuge. Trust Him to defend and protect you!

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

There Were Three Things In The Ark Of The Covenant

Psalms 91:1

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

In the Old Testament, there was a place where God met with His people. In Exodus 25:22, God said, “And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony…” This place was above the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant, under the wings of the two cherubim. The psalmist calls it “the secret place of the Most High…under the shadow of the Almighty”.

The mercy seat covered the ark which contained the three emblems of man’s rebellion: the golden pot of manna – man’s rebellion against God’s provision, two tablets of stone on which God wrote the Ten Commandments – man’s rebellion against God’s standard, and Aaron’s rod – man’s rebellion against God’s authority. Once a year on the Day of Atonement, the high priest would sprinkle the blood of the sacrificed animal on the mercy seat and so make propitiation for the sins of Israel.

Today, it is not the blood of animals that makes propitiation for our sins, but the holy blood of the Son of God. (Romans 3:24-25) The word for “propitiation” in the original Greek text is hilasterion, which actually means “mercy seat”. So Christ is our mercy seat. His blood speaks for us and puts God on our side. God does not see our rebellion. He sees the blood of His Son and accepts us!

That is why we can come boldly to the secret place of the Most High, in Christ, and feel secure that we have every right to be in God’s presence. We can come boldly to Him to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

And because Christ, our mercy seat, covers us with His blood, we are under God’s protection. We are in the secret place of the Most High, abiding under the shadow of the Almighty. Here, no evil will befall us, nor will any plague come near our dwelling. (Psalm 91:9-10) In the secret place of the Most High, we are favored and kept safe from all harm!

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

God’s Beloved Child

Ephesians 1:6

…to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

At the Jordan river, Jesus heard His Father say to Him, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:22) Later, in the wilderness, Jesus heard the devil say to Him, “If You are the Son of God…” (Luke 4:3) Notice that the devil not only questioned Jesus’ sonship, but he also dropped the word “beloved” when he said to Jesus, “If You are the Son of God…” You see, the devil cannot remind you that you are God’s beloved because when you know this truth, whatever he wants to bring against you will not succeed!

When you know that you are God’s beloved, no temptation can succeed against you, not even the “giants” who may taunt you. Consider David who slew Goliath. “David” in Hebrew means “beloved”. It takes a David to knock down a giant. In other words, it takes someone who knows that he is God’s beloved to win the fights of life! You are God’s beloved not because of what you do. Christ did everything. He is God’s Beloved. But God put you in Christ. That is why you are “accepted in the Beloved”. And what God said to Jesus, He says to you today: “You are My beloved son. In you, I am well pleased.”

So if the devil tells you, “Hey, you call yourself ‘God’s beloved’ after what you just did?” have the assurance that it is not based on what you have done, but what Christ has done. And you are still God’s beloved because you are in Christ! When you say that, I believe the devil screams in frustration because he has no power over you when you are conscious that you are God’s beloved. There is truly a place of safety when you know that you are His beloved.

We are not being proud when we call ourselves God’s beloved. How can we boast when we know that it is God’s grace that has made us accepted in the Beloved!

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Don’t Let Your Heart Be Troubled Or Afraid

John 14:27

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you… Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

The night before Jesus died, He gave His peace to His disciples – “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you…” This peace was not just for His disciples, but also for us today. The moment you believe in Jesus Christ, He who is the Prince of Peace comes to live inside you. And when the Prince of Peace resides in you, every blessing that you will ever need pertaining to your soundness and wholeness is already inside you.

So you might wonder why you still see problems in health, finances, family and relationships. The answer is a troubled heart. That is why after Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you,” He said, “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” A troubled and fearful heart works like fingers that clamp down hard on a water hose. The supply of water is flowing from the tap, but little or nothing is coming out at the other end of the hose. God’s ever-present supply of blessings toward you is like the water flowing freely from the tap. But you don’t see the blessings when you allow your heart to be gripped by worry or fear.

So when fearful, anxious thoughts come, remind yourself of Jesus’ words: “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Even when things appear to get worse, say, “Lord, I refuse to worry about this. In the midst of all this, I see the finished work of Christ. He said, ‘It is finished!'”

No one can “let not” for you. Your family and friends cannot “let not” for you. Only you can “let not your heart be troubled”. So guard your heart from being troubled. You don’t have to guard your career, reputation, children or even health. When you guard your heart, God will guard everything else for you!

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

“Abba” Father

Luke 15:31

…”Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.”

After running a few errands for his parents, a little boy went to his father and said, “I know why you and mom had me.” “Why?” asked his father. “So that you guys would have someone to run errands for you!” Like the little boy, do you see God as a Father who demands obedience and service from you? Have you ever felt that unless you obey Him and keep all His commandments, you don’t have a right to be blessed by Him?

Jesus shared the story of the prodigal son to show how some of us call God “Father” and yet still don’t know His heart. There are two sons in this parable. We know what happened to the prodigal son, but we can also learn something about the older son. This is what he said to his father when he discovered that his father had thrown a party to celebrate the return of his irresponsible, spendthrift younger brother: “Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends.” (Luke 15:29) Now, this son believed that his father had brought him into the world to serve him. He saw his father as someone issuing commandments to him all the time. And he saw himself as someone who had to obey those commandments to enjoy his inheritance. But the truth is that the father had already given him his inheritance. (Luke 15:12) The father even reminded him lovingly: “Son…all that I have is yours.” And I am sure that that inheritance included more than one goat!

Have you, like the older son, failed to understand your Father’s heart? Your heavenly Father already gave you a rich inheritance in Christ when you became His son. He wants you to know that you have received the Spirit of sonship. (Romans 8:15) So call out to Him, “Abba, Father!” and know how much He loves you. Because you are His heir, all that He has is yours to enjoy today!

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The Gift Of Faith

Romans 4:13

For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

God promised Abraham that he would be the heir of the world. Now, you might be thinking, “Well, that promise was made only to Abraham and not me.” The verse says, “For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” So the promise was not just made to Abraham, but to “his seed” as well, that is, you and I who belong to Christ.” And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:29)

Notice that God did not say that you would be the heir of the country you are living in, but heir of the world! The Greek word for “world” here is kosmos, which means the universe as well as the whole circle of earthly goods, endowments, advantages and pleasures. All these are yours to inherit through the righteousness of faith in Jesus and His finished work at the cross. This righteousness is given to you as a gift from God, so you don’t have to earn it through good works.

For God to fulfill His promise, He has to prosper you. You can’t be the heir of the world and be in lack or in debt! Not only that, He must keep you healthy because you can’t inherit the world when you are sick and always flat on your back.

Don’t listen to people who tell you that you will only get to enjoy these blessings when you get to heaven one fine day. Why would you need riches in heaven? There, even the streets are made of pure gold. (Revelation 21:21) And why would you need healing in heaven? There is no sickness there. So you need the health and provision in the here and now!

God wants you to be the heir of the world today. So lay hold of your rich inheritance today. Jesus paid for it with His blood.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The Glory Of God Is On You

2 Corinthians 3:18

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

When you look in a mirror, what do you see? Of course, you see yourself. But God does not want you to see yourself in the natural. You may be sick, weak, broke and depressed, yet God wants you to see yourself the way He sees you – healed, strong, favored and whole because Christ is in you. (Colossians 1:27) God wants you to behold as in a mirror the glory of His Son who is in you by His Spirit. As you do this, His Word says that you are being transformed from glory to glory – sick to healed, loser to winner!

The world may say to you, “It can’t be that easy. You can’t be transformed just by beholding the glory of Jesus. No, you must do something about you. If you don’t put in effort, nothing will happen. If you don’t start making changes, nothing will change.” But the world will never understand that as you are beholding the glory of the Lord, who is the successful one in you, you are being transformed from a failure to a success. And this is not accomplished by any effort of yours to get ahead in life, but by the Spirit of the Lord! (Zechariah 4:6)

As you behold the glory of the Lord who is the healthy one in your sick body, you are transformed from sickness to health. And this is not accomplished by any effort of yours to keep fit and eat well, but by the Spirit of the Lord! What can be easier than beholding the beauty of the Son? So stop focusing on yourself and your efforts. Look away from these things and begin to behold the glory of Jesus who is in you right now, and you will begin to behold the miracles that you need!

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Lift Up Songs Of Praise To The Lord

Ephesians 5:7

Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

God wants us to walk as wise men and women, and not as fools. (Ephesians 5:15) Now, He will not tell us to walk in wisdom without showing us how. That is why His Word goes on to say, “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

So what is the will of God? The next two verses tell us how to identify it: “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord”. (Ephesians 5:18-19) As you allow yourself to be filled with the Spirit by lifting songs of praise to the Lord, singing or speaking (God knows some of us can’t sing!) psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, and making melody in your heart to the Lord, God promises that you will know what His will is for your situation. You will then have the wisdom to decide wisely what to do next.

So lift up songs of praise to the Lord, whether times are good or bad. For when you fill your mouth with praises to God, He will lead you and guide you in all the affairs of your life. Even if you are stuck with a problem, He will show you the way to go or make a way out for you. Either way, you will get the wisdom and help that you need!

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

God Wants To Bless You

1 Corinthians 3:7

So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.

Sometimes, we think that the increase or success which we enjoy is the result of our own efforts or hard work. Now, I am not advocating laziness, but the truth is that God is the one behind our increase. We see this truth when we read the story of Ruth, a young widow from Moab, who worked as a gleaner in a barley field from morning till evening. Now, we could attribute the entire ephah – a substantial 10-day supply – of barley she collected at the end of the day to her hard work. After all, she did work all day in the field. But when we read about how Boaz, the owner of the field, had secretly told his reapers to “let grain from the bundles fall purposely for her; leave it that she may glean” (Ruth 2:16), we know that it was because of Boaz’s intervention that Ruth ended up with so much.

I believe that Jesus, our heavenly Boaz, does the same thing for us today. He causes people to favor us and “drop” blessings on us because He loves us. Then, He causes us to “pick up” these blessings. Often, it happens so seemingly naturally we forget that it is the Lord who has blessed us with the increases.

Your hard work is not behind your increase. The Bible tells us that it is “God who gives the increase”. He is the one who is behind your increase and He delights in blessing you because He loves you!

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail
1 2