Category Archives: January 2016

Look to Jesus

1 Corinthians 2:2

For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Corinthian church, said that he determined to know nothing among them except “Jesus Christ and Him crucified”. In other words, Paul, who wrote two-thirds of the New Testament, had his mind full of Jesus and His finished work. God wants your mind full of the cross of Jesus. He wants you cross-conscious. But what does it mean to be cross-conscious? To be cross-conscious is to see Jesus, who loves you so much that He willingly died for you on the cross. To be cross-conscious is to look to Jesus, who offered His own body to be punished, so that your body can be free from all punishment. To be cross-conscious is to fix your eyes on Jesus, who has provided for your deliverance and victory at the cross. At the cross, all your enemies were vanquished. All your diseases were destroyed. Your poverty was removed and your sins were wiped out at the cross.

When the Israelites tasted bitterness in the waters of Marah, God showed Moses a tree, which he cast into the waters, making them sweet. (Exodus 15:23-26) The tree represents the cross, which turned the bitter waters sweet. Today, Calvary’s tree has turned your bitter situations sweet. Because of the cross, you can expect to see the bitter situations in your life made sweet!

When the Israelites were bitten by serpents in the wilderness, God told Moses to put a bronze serpent on a pole. The pole represents the cross and bronze speaks of judgment. Those who beheld the serpent on the pole lived because they saw their problem – the deadly serpent – nailed and put to death on the cross. (Numbers 21:6-9)

Today, you too will not die but live when you see all your sins judged at the cross, and with them, all your sicknesses, diseases, pains, failures and defeats! At the cross, all that is deadly in your life has been removed!

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Jesus Is Lord

Romans 4:7-8

“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.”

Some think that if they were more “right” with God, then He would hear and answer their prayers. God is not like that. He wants you to know beyond any doubt that you can always come to His throne of grace with boldness and have every confidence that you will receive His mercy and grace. (Hebrews 4:16) You see, because of Jesus’ finished work on the cross, you are already right with God. You don’t need to do anything to make yourself more right with God.

In fact, by faith in Jesus, you have received the righteousness of God Himself! (2 Corinthians 5:21) And no matter how many mistakes you make, you will never lose that righteousness because God gave it to you apart from your works. (Romans 4:5-6) In other words, God did not impute righteousness to you because you were good, but because you believed in Jesus. Because of what Jesus has done for you at the cross, all your sins – past, present and future – are forgiven. God will by no means ever remember your sins or count them against you! (Hebrews 8:12, 10:17) So you can always run into His presence knowing that you can boldly stand in and enjoy His presence and His love.

When you know this truth, it is going to set you free in your relationship with God. You can talk to Him without fear or any sense of condemnation. You can practice His presence and trust that He always hears you. Should something happen at home or at work, you don’t always have to call for your church leaders – you pray and God hears you!

When you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior you are righteous in Christ and God hears your prayers – all because of Jesus!

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Jesus Is Everything

Leviticus 2:1

‘When anyone offers a grain offering to the Lord, his offering shall be of fine flour…

Look at the symbolism of Jesus as fine flour. Fine, even flour comes from wheat that has been pounded and beaten again and again, and sifted several times. Doesn’t that remind you of Jesus’ sufferings and sacrifice for you? And like fine flour, there is nothing coarse about the person of Jesus. Everything about Him is in even proportions. Every word that He spoke when He was in this world, every thought of His, every action of His, was so fine! When He was kind, He was not soft. When He was assertive, He was not overbearing. He is steel and velvet, meekness and majesty. Like a perfect diamond, every way you turn Him, you see flawlessness, beauty and brilliance. There is no one altogether lovely like Jesus!

What about Bible greats like Moses and Abraham, or Peter, John and Paul?

Moses, whom the Bible says was more humble than any man on the face of the earth (Numbers 12:3), was once so furious with his people that he struck a rock twice, something he was not supposed to do. (Numbers 20:1-12) His temper got the better of him on that occasion.

Abraham, whom Christians regard as a man of faith (Hebrews 11:8-10), lied about his wife being his sister when a king coveted her. He endangered her life just to save his own skin. (Genesis 20:1-18)

Peter, who was deeply zealous for Jesus, denied Him three times. (Matthew 26:33-34) John, the beloved disciple who leaned on Jesus’ bosom, was all ready to call down fire from heaven to destroy the inhabitants of Samaria who had rejected Jesus. (Luke 9:52-54)

What about Paul, the apostle of grace, who blazed the missionary trail which future missionaries would follow? Even Paul went to Jerusalem when he was told not to by the Holy Spirit through some disciples and the prophet Agabus. (Acts 21:4, 10-11)

The best of us can miss the mark. The only one who is faultless, flawless and altogether lovely is Jesus. And because He never misses the mark, you can look to Him. He will never disappoint you!

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Believe And Receive

Hebrews 13:9

…it is good that the heart be established by grace…

God does not want your heart full of worries and fears, tossed and turned by every challenge that comes your way. He wants your heart at rest and established by His grace toward you. But when you think that the breakthroughs to your challenges depend on your ability to obey God, then your heart will not be at rest. It will be full of worries and anxieties. Why? Because you can never obey God perfectly.

But when you depend on God’s grace, that is, His undeserved, unmerited favor, the opposite happens – your heart becomes established. When you know that the only thing that qualifies you to receive God’s blessings is faith in the finished work of Christ, your heart becomes established. Then, you will walk without the fear of your troubles swallowing you up. You will walk with full assurance that His blessings will be manifested in your life. God wants your heart established, knowing that His righteousness, healing, protection and provision are yours – all paid for by Jesus’ finished work at the cross. God’s blessings are sure in your life because they are not dependent on your ability to keep His laws, but Jesus’ perfect obedience.

You see, under the old covenant, you receive God’s blessings only if you keep all His laws. (Deuteronomy 28:1-2) If you sin and fail to keep even one law, you will be disqualified from receiving His blessings. But today, under the new covenant, your sins no longer disqualify you because God Himself has said, “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” (Hebrews 8:12) Because of His grace, you have full access to His blessings. You no longer have to worry about whether you are good enough. You can stand firm on the promises made in His Word and enjoy His blessings because Jesus has paid the price. Your part is only to believe and receive!

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Perfect Standing

Hebrews 2:17

Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

In the Old Testament, the Israelites’ standing as a nation before God was wrapped up in the standing of their high priest. What the high priest was before God, so was the entire nation before God. If the high priest sinned, he brought guilt on his nation, and God would reject the entire nation no matter how law-abiding the people were or how faithful they were in bringing their sacrifices.

Conversely, if their high priest was without fault and acceptable to God, God would accept the whole nation even if the people were sinful. Unfortunately, the high priests of Israel often failed, because like any human being, they were imperfect.

Thank God that today, you and I have Jesus as our High Priest, who is 100 per cent Man and 100 per cent God. As our High Priest, His standing before God is always right. Jesus is always acceptable and pleasing to the Father. Therefore, we can never lose our acceptance with God because as our High Priest, Jesus only brings righteousness on His people. In heaven right now, Jesus our High Priest is seated at the right hand of God the Father. (Romans 8:34) This means that God does not look at you. He looks at Jesus. If Jesus is good, you are good. If Jesus is accepted, you are accepted. If God sees Jesus perfect, then He sees you perfect. If Jesus is righteous, then you are righteous. And we know that Jesus our High Priest is good, accepted, perfect and righteous, which means that that is how God sees us!

You cannot lose your right standing because Jesus Christ is your High Priest. To lose your standing, Jesus has to lose His standing first. But we know that we have in Jesus a High Priest who is perfect and who cannot fail. So you need never be afraid or conscious of your faults when you come before God. Because your standing is completely wrapped up in Jesus your High Priest, you can come to God boldly and receive all that you need from Him!

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Trust In The Lord

Philippians 4:19

“Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

I watched the playoff games last weekend and the Carolina Panthers have been giving footballs to children, in the end zone seats, after they score. They did a segment on this and the smiles and excitement of those children sparked me to think about the verse above. Now you see children in the end zone seats anticipating the blessings of receiving a football. And when they do, the excitement overwhelms them beyond expectation. Just as God wants us to receive all that He has for us, He wants us to be like children and anticipate His blessings.

Adults are not as trusting as little children. To feel secure, all children need is a loving look and gentle touch from someone who cares. Complete intellectual understanding is not one of their requirements. They believe us if they trust us. Jesus said that people should believe in Him with this same kind of childlike faith.

It is as though Christ said, “It is not unworthy of my dignity to take little children into my arms and bless them, because by my benediction they become fit for the kingdom of heaven. And if you full-grown men would become fit for my kingdom, you must give up your ambitious aims and earthly contests, and imitate the simple unworldly ways of little children. The simplicity of the little child is the model and the rule for every one who desires, by the grace of Christ, to obtain the kingdom of heaven.

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God Supplies All Your Needs

Philippians 4:19

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

People of the world feel helpless as the systems of the world go up and down. They turn on the television and they hear, “This war will plunge the world into a recession.” They open the newspapers and they read that “Unemployment is at an all-time high”. They watch the stock market take a drastic drop.

God does not want you to feel helpless because you are not of the world. (John 17:16) You are of God and therefore need not be subject to the world’s systems. Whatever the world’s situation is, fear not because “God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus”.

Notice that Philippians 4:19 says that “God shall supply all your need”. It does not say that God may supply some of your needs. It also says that God will do it “according to His riches”. It is not out of His riches. If a millionaire gives you a hundred dollars, it is out of his riches. But if he gives to you according to his riches, it means that he is lining up his millions for you! The verse says that God does it “according to His riches in glory”. It is not according to the riches of your company or how well the economy is doing. No, it is according to God’s riches in glory!

So how do you stop yourself from feeling helpless in uncertain times? Don’t look at your circumstances or the bad things that are happening in the world because you will get “earth-sick”. Instead, look at the unshakable, eternal Word of God. Your heart will become stable and you will see your God supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus!

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Stop The Worrying

Genesis 15:12

Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

In business, a sleeping or silent partners does not work but still take home huge profits. Did you know that in your covenant with God, you are like a silent partner?

When Abraham asked God how he would know for sure that he would inherit the land that God had promised him, God made a covenant with him. (Genesis 15:8-21) But instead of cutting the covenant with Abraham by walking in between the animal pieces with him, God put Abraham into a deep sleep and cut the covenant with Jesus instead. Jesus, the light of the world, appeared as the pillar of fire and cut the covenant with God the Father who appeared as the pillar of cloud. In other words, Jesus took Abraham’s place. He was perfect Man representing Abraham when He cut the covenant with His Father.

By substituting Abraham with Jesus, God was being gracious because if Abraham had done it, he would also have been responsible for keeping the covenant. And Abraham, being a mere man, would fail. But God the Son can never fail! Abraham’s blessings were therefore guaranteed because they did not depend on his performance but Jesus’ performance. Abraham was literally a sleeping partner, a beneficiary of the covenant.

Today, God has also made a covenant with you, called the new covenant. And like Abraham, you are a sleeping partner because the new covenant was also cut between God the Father and God the Son at Calvary. You are simply a beneficiary of the new covenant. You enjoy all its benefits without having to work at keeping it. Jesus, your representative, has already fulfilled all the conditions on your behalf. And because His obedience is perfect and His work is perfectly finished, the covenant blessings for you are guaranteed! There is nothing left for you to do, but everything for you to believe. Don’t try to work for your covenant blessings. Rest in the Son’s finished work and receive them by faith!

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Don’t Worry

Matthew 6:27

Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

Many Christians are familiar with Jesus’ rhetorical question, “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” But not many of us actually let it get into our hearts and allow the love of God to free us from our habit of worrying. The truth is, no amount of worrying can lengthen your life or add anything to your physical person. Instead, worrying robs you of sleep, health and many good years. In fact, it is only when you are worry-free that God’s anointing flows freely in you, strengthening, healing, restoring and adding to you.

When you worry, you are actually believing that the devil has the power to make inroads into your life that God cannot protect you from. But when you refuse to worry, you are putting your faith in God. You have more confidence in His love and power working for you than in the devil’s ability to harm you! When you refuse to worry, but choose to rest in the finished work of Christ, you will see the manifestation of your blessing. You will see your miracle!

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Be Strong And Courageous

1 Peter 5:8

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

The devil cannot just walk right up to you and rob you of your health, peace or family. He cannot just come into your life to enforce disease and destruction. If the devil can do that, then he would not have to walk about “seeking whom he may devour”. He would only have to walk straight up to anyone he wants to devour and devour him! But since the Bible says that he goes about seeking whom he may devour, then the truth is that there are people whom he cannot devour.

You see, the devil goes about like a roaring lion trying to stir up fear in people. But the people who are not devourable are those who refuse to be intimidated by his roars because they know that the true Lion of Judah, Jesus Christ (Revelation 5:5), has already come and rendered powerless him who had the power of death. (Hebrews 2:14, NASB) They know that the devil cannot just do anything to them because the Lion of Judah resides in them, and that He is greater than the devil who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

The Lion of Judah is in you. He has given you rights, privileges, authority and power. He redeemed you with His blood. Therefore, everything about you and your life is redeemed by His blood. Whatever you have covered with the blood of Jesus, God declares, “Protected! Redeemed!” And the devil flees when he sees the blood. And when he flees, he takes with him sicknesses, diseases, pains, sufferings, destruction and loss.

Once the devil knows that you know who you are in Christ and what you have in Him, his days of intimidating you are over, and you are numbered among the undevourable!

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