Showing posts with label Identity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Identity. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Unfailing Love?

The grace that comes through our Lord Jesus Christ, the love that is of God the Father, and the fellowship that is ours in the Holy Spirit be with you all! 2 Corinthians 13:14 PHILLIPS

But God, with the unfathomable richness of His love and mercy focused on us, united us with the Anointed One and infused our lifeless souls with life—even though we were buried under mountains of sin—and saved us by His grace. Ephesians 2:4-5 VOICE 

How great is the Love of God? How wonderful is His great Love? If you've been a Christian for any length of time it's more than likely you've heard that God loves you. 
 
Hearing how much God loves us is wonderful and good. Singing worship songs proclaiming His great Love is amazing. All this emphasis on His Love leads me to ask some questions in light of what most churches teach and proclaim after they tell us God loves us.
 
Most ministries will readily affirm God's Love. They even declare His Love is unfailing. Yet shortly after proclaiming His great Love, the message begins to shift, and the focus becomes about our faithfulness, our obedience, and our performance, and less and less about the unfailing love of God.
  
The questions I have concern the apparent disconnect between a Love that never fails and a teaching that says mercy runs out. That God's forgiveness has limits. That we can sin away Grace. That in spite of unfailing Love, we as Christians can lose our salvation. 

Let's ask some questions in light of this disconnect, this contrast, this possible contradiction;

 Will God ever come to a place where He is done with us?

 Will God ever say to us enough I am through with you?

 Will God ever say to us concerning our salvation, His relationship with us, it's over, we're done? 

 Is this Love really unfailing and unceasing? Can a Christian deplete God's Love and mercy and Grace? Will God's Love diminish the more a Christian fails and falters? 

 Traditional religion will declare His Love is unfailing. Yet they also say a believer can fail God so much that they can forfeit or suffer the loss of their salvation. In essence, a believer's failure can cause unfailing love to actually fail and result in forever losing the object of the unfailing love. 

 The Love that never fails means that it will never fail no matter what someone else does or doesn't do. There is nothing we can do to cause God to Love us more. There is nothing we can do to make God cease loving us. 

 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never turn away. For I have come down from · heaven, not to do · my own will · but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of the one who sent me: that of all that he has given me I should lose none but raise them up on the last day. John 6:37-39 MOUNCE

 God's Love is everlasting and eternal. God's Love is unceasing and unfailing. God's opinion of you has never changed and it will never will change. God's Love will never falter or fade from day to day based on our actions or words. In fact, His unconditional Love received within is the power of God that renews our thoughts and thinking which produces the change in attitude and behavior effortlessly. 

 So let's answer those questions. Will God ever say it's over? Will God ever tell you I'm through with you? Will God ever inform you that you're done? In light of the unfailing Love of God, a thousand times no! A trillion times never, no way, not ever. 

 God's Love is unfailing and unending. When the voice of the condemnation preaching of legalism speaks, God's Love speaks louder. When the voice of the accusation of the enemy speaks, God's Love speaks louder and silences these lies! God's Love is for us! 

 God's unfailing Love proves our relationship with our Father is unshakeable and completely secure. In Christ, we have the hope and reassurance that we are eternally secure and rest firmly, safely, in His hands forever. His Love surrounds us and shields us from the lies of condemnation, accusation, and a performance-driven relationship. 

 In summation, we are forever His. His unfailing cascades over us bringing hope, healing, and wholeness in every area of our life and relationship with God. Is His Love unfailing? Yes, we can boldly declare in light of Redemption, the Cross, the Resurrection, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and Grace, that God's Love never fails! 

 


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Pre-qualified and Approved!

12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. 13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossian 1:12-14 NASB 
 

 How often have you received offers in your mailbox, or other phone informing you that you are pre-qualified for a line of credit or pre-approved for a lower rate? Usually, we throw these letters out with the other junk mail. Did you know God has an even better offer than any "savings and loan" type business can offer? 

 Man's offer of loans and better interest rates are based on achievement, personal assets, and credit ratings. In other words, based on the performance and proven ability to earn on the part of the client the preapproved offers are made. If you have a missed payment, if you have a blemish on your credit rating then no such offers will be made available. 

 When it comes to God He is not looking at man's performance before He offers them anything. If He did, none of us would personally qualify. No matter how disciplined, how self-controlled, or how much one has trained their human spirit, there is no one who can truly qualify to receive what only God can provide. 

 Even if we are seeing manifest blessings in our life, we must know and understand that is God's Love and great mercy being bestowed upon us. Am I saying we can't lay hold of God's promises by Faith? No, of course not. 

 I am saying that none of us in and of ourselves can earn or deserve what God provides. This is why an understanding of Grace is an essential aspect of the successful Christian life. Grace brings us all to an end of ourselves. 

 Grace brings an end to our efforts, our doings, our strivings, our disciplines, and our attempts to earn and achieve what God has promised and provided through Redemption. Grace reminds us that nothing we have achieved or attained is because of ourselves. It was all God's favor, His mercy, and His Love working for us, through us, and sometimes in spite of us. 

 This doesn't mean we live a passive life. This doesn't mean we lead a shiftless, lazy, lethargic, and idle life. This doesn't translate into a "do-nothing" life. What it does mean is we lead a "do-nothing-in order to-to receive-to inherit" all God has provided through Christ kind of life.

 When we accept Christ's free gift of new life and Righteousness we now have free access to all God's stuff. He has made available all things that pertain to life and godliness through Christ. What does through Christ or by Christ or in Christ even mean?

 It means whenever you need something or desire something, or ask for something it's as if Christ is asking. Therefore we are assured we have what we need or desire. We are in Him and When we pray in Jesus' name we are declaring that it is by Jesus we are coming and not in our own strength or performance.

 Greet Apelles, who is approved in Christ.  Romans 16:10a MEV

In Christ, we have been approved. We have free access to all God has provided for us. In fact, because of Christ we are actually pre-qualified and approved.

to the praise of the glory of His grace, in which He did make us accepted in the beloved, Ephesians 1:6 YLT 

To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherewith he hath made us freely accepted in his beloved. Ephesians 1:6 GNV

 to the praise of his glorious grace with which he has highly favored us in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:6 MOUNCE

 We are pre-qualified and approved to receive all God has promised and provided in this New Covenant. Because of the Finished Work of Redemption, all the qualifications to receive have already been met in Christ Jesus. All because of Jesus' work we are fully qualified to receive.

 The tradition of man declares we have to do something to earn or deserve or achieve the blessings and goodness of God. If you do enough good works, then God will bless you. If you abstain from sin and live uprightly at all times then you will qualify. 

If we could attain God's love and blessings through our works why did we need Jesus to die for us? If we can qualify for the blessings of the Lord based on our behavior and actions why do we need to ask in Jesus' name or even pray and believe? 

 When we realize we are already qualified and approved of God then we will lose all sense of the fear of punishment. We will lose all sense of fear and inferiority. We won't allow the enemy or religion to hold our faults and failures over our heads disqualifying ourselves from receiving from our Good Father.

In summation knowing we are prequalified and approved of God means we can come boldly to the throne of Grace and freely receive all God has procured and provided. It means we no longer need to feel like our misdeeds automatically disqualify us from receiving. It means we will be bolder in His presence and rejoice in His Finished work and celebrate perfect redemption. 

 



Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay 

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

The Authority of the Righteous in Christ

I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and authority over all the power of the enemy; nothing may hurt you at all. Luke 10:19 Mounce 

 Our previous study showed that Grace works in three areas of our life. First, He loves us, second He completely forgives us and thirdly He makes us kings and priests. When believers know how much they are loved and just how forgiven they are, they will reign as kings in this life. 

 This truth leads us to an important study that is instrumental in gaining insight into the fullness of our identity in Christ. The subject is the Authority Christ has given to the Righteous. The believer's Authority is something most churches don't seem to teach about.

 Because many churches attribute every incident unfolding on earth as God's doing, that God's sovereignty means He chooses all the outcomes of every event on the planet, they can't see how man has any authority. The concept of hyper sovereignty and God controlling everything gives no place for the believer to possess any authority. In the mind of the religious, claiming man has any authority takes away from God's supremacy and sovereignty.

 This of course is untrue. God is God, the Most High. Nothing can change that. What is true, in His sovereignty, He chose to give mankind authority. Man rebelled, committed high treason, and bowed their knee to satan. Jesus came and defeated satan, and now Jesus has all authority and He has given it back to the Righteous.

 17 For if because of one man’s trespass (lapse, offense) death reigned through that one, much more surely will those who receive [God’s] overflowing grace (unmerited favor) and the free gift of righteousness [putting them into right standing with Himself] reign as kings in life through the one Man Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). Romans 5:17 AMPC 

 Through receiving abundant Grace and of the Gift of Righteousness we reign as kings in life. We reign through Righteousness. No longer can guilt and shame dominate the believer in Christ. We reign over guilt, shame, and condemnation knowing we are Righteous and forgiven. Condemnation has no hold on us or our thinking. We rule over it not giving it a place in our thinking or in our self-image. 

 We have perfect union with Christ Jesus. He became something He never was so we could become something we've never been. We reign in this life through our union with Christ. Jesus exchanged our sins, shame, and unrighteousness, with His Righteousness and holiness, acceptance, and approval, and gave us total forgiveness, complete redemption, and eternal life in Him. 

 We rule and reign in this life through the peace we have in Christ

Since we have been acquitted and made right through faith, we are able to experience true and lasting peace with God through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, the Liberating King.Jesus leads us into a place of radical grace where we are able to celebrate the hope of experiencing God’s glory. Romans 5:1-2 VOICE

 We can rule and reign over depression and down days. Depression has no power over the Righteous. His peace surpasses all understanding. We have to take our place as the Righteous. We have to lay hold of our identity fully and take dominion over anxiety, fear, and depression. 

 We don't have to put up with "the blues." We don't have to bemoan any day of the week. Every day of the week is the day the Lord has made and we rejoice in it.  

 Am I saying dark days don't come? Having Faith doesn't mean mountains aren't going to be there. What Faith does is gives us the assurance that we already have victory over every mountain that is before us. Therefore we speak to the mountain and command it to be moved. 

 Jesus has given us beauty for ashes. He has given us joy in the midst of turmoil. He has given us the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. We are triumphant overcomers through the revelation of His great Love and the abundant Grace He has poured out upon us. 

What is the point of God continually reminding us of our Righteousness, total forgiveness, divine acceptance, and complete redemption, if it isn't supposed to affect our daily life practically? We rule and reign in this life through all Christ has completed on our behalf. We aren't lacking in Him, we are complete in Christ.

 We rule and reign in this life through the Love of God shed abroad in our heart. This is a powerful truth;

And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:5 NLT

 For so long I only saw this passage as how I can now walk in love. So in essence, I was seeing it as something else I need to do. I was demand-conscious and not supply-conscious. 

 This passage reveals to us how much our Father loves us. His love is overflowing in our hearts. Wow, such an amazing truth! As I write this I am getting overwhelmed with His great love for me. Equipped with the full understanding and knowledge of our Father's great love for us means we can face any challenge or difficulty or circumstance with bold confidence and authority to rule and reign over it. 

 We as the Righteous are authorized to rule and reign in this life. We have been given a position of dominion and authority through Christ. Have you dared to take your place? 



Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay 

Monday, February 20, 2023

Grace Life: Made a King


John, To the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Revelation 1:4-6 MEV

 We have begun a new study examining the work of Grace in our life. We have noted a progression seen so clearly detailed in our text. First, our Good Father loved us. Secondly, He through the Finished Work of the Son thoroughly cleansed us and forgave us of all sins. 

 What Grace did next is what we want to spend some time examining more closely. This last work listed here will transform your life in a great way when you fully receive of this work of Grace. He has made us kings and priests to our God. 

 This is such a powerful truth. In Christ, we are kings and priests. We are priests because we have been cleansed and are always welcome in the Lord's presence. Because we are cleansed we can boldly enter the presence of the Lord.

 When He said we were made kings, God was showing us the power of our new identity. We are made kings. This speaks of the authority of the Believer in Christ. 

 When we look at the word kings in the literal Greek we gain insight into just how far-reaching this authority in Christ is. 

Thayers; βασιλεύς  basileus leader of the people, prince, commander, lord of the land, king.

 Mounce: βασιλεύς basileus a king, monarch, one possessing regal authority.

 This word in some cases refers to a physical monarch such as a literal king. However, pay close attention to Mounce's definition. One possessing regal authority. 

 In Christ, we possess regal authority. We are made a king. We have been given a new nature. We have been made Righteous. We have been forgiven and forever cleansed from all sin. Therefore condemnation, guilt, shame and fear have no place in our thinking, nor in how we see ourselves. 

 Let's look at another aspect of a king seen in Scripture;

Where the word of a king is, there is power; And who may say to him, “What are you doing?” Ecclesiastes 8:4 NKJV

 Where the word of a king is there is power. When we recognize our authority our words will also reflect this dominion and authority that has been given us in Christ. When a king speaks no one says who do you think you are? What do you think you are doing?

 When you know who you are in Christ, you can boldly speak and declare what you want to see come to pass. The enemy and religious tradition can't ask what are you doing! When you know what Jesus accomplished in the Finished Work, and what He purchased and provided in His triumphant work of Redemption you can speak out and lay hold of what is yours in Him!

 That's the problem with religious tradition. They spend all their time asking what are you doing. They don't know who they are, so they settle for a life of defeat and failure and missing out on the promises of God. 

 We are kings and we boldly decree what God has already declared over us. We don't speak how the situation appears. We speak out what we want the situation to become. We speak what we want to see not how it feels like or seems like.

 Kings don't fear or tremble, they walk in authority, they decree a thing and it is established for them. Religious tradition has exalted the theology of God controlling all aspects of life on earth that they unwittingly accept all the affects of the fall and the curse to overtake them in this life. 

 When situations, circumstances, conditions are contrary to what Christ purchased for us in the Finished Work don't lay down and merely accept it. Rise up in your kingly authority and command the darkness to flee. Command the situation to align with God's decreed will. 

 When I was a young Christian, I had found out about who I was in Christ. I heard of our new identity. At this time I was serving as a Sailor in the United States Navy. My position was that of a cook. I was stationed on a ship over seas. I used to work the night time shift by myself. 

 We had what we in a set of chillers or "reefers" as they are known on ships, (basically a type of refridgerator.) Inside the cooking area. One night these chill boxes began losing refridgeration temp. This would cause all the food items to spoil and create a problem for the work we did, and I didn't want to go on report for them going out on my shift. I knew something needed to be done, but this was in the middle of the night.

 Now remember I began hearing about who I was in Christ. I didn't fear, or allow doubt to creep in. So I right then and there decided to exercise my Godly authority in Christ. Honestly, I didn't have "sense" enough to think what if this doesn't work. I wasn't using natural reasoning. 

 I simply laid hands on these chillers and commanded them to work. As God as my witness, over the course of the rest of the shift, the temp began to drop and stayed in the proper range. A Christian brother of mine who worked the day shift commented to me a few days later after he heard my story, tell me that the produce in these chillers all had frost on them. That's how low the temp dropped in them.

 That is what happens when we walk in our authority in Christ. We have been made a king and it's time we walk in who He made us. Don't allow the naysayers, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, or the couldn't-sees or the wouldn't-sees to move you away from walking in all God has provided and embracing your identity in Christ. 



Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay 

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

What does it means to be Holy?

But you are not like that, for you have been chosen by God himself—you are priests of the King, you are holy and pure, you are God’s very own—all this so that you may show to others how God called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9 TLB

 Have you ever had someone look at you with contempt or bewilderment, and tell you that you are different? At one time or another, all of us may have a similar experience. Maybe we just didn't fit in with a certain group, with co-workers, or perhaps someone we knew and over time we realized we were two different people with differing likes and interests. 

 As we continue in our study we are going to see being different can really be positive. Today, it seemed good to look at holiness and examine it in light of the Gospel of Grace. Some tend to think holiness and Grace are contrary to one another. That is an untruth.

 Grace gives us the power and desire to walk out our true identity in Christ. Grace is what actually made us holy. The challenge with holiness is that tradition and religion have defined holiness as some somber joyless life where keeping all the rules and even finding new ones to observe is what holiness looks like.

 The other challenge with holiness is that the Church still believes holiness is something we aren't and is something we must obtain. Some teach Righteousness is what He did but holiness is what we do. We can't walk out holiness in our life if we don't even know what it is.

 Hebrews reveals the Grace that already made us holy. Hebrews 10 details this Finished Work of Grace. Hebrews tells us those who believe are already made holy.

For by one offering He has forever perfected those who are sanctified. Hebrews 10:14 MEV

 We are perfected and sanctified already because of Jesus. We are in Him. 

let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse them from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22 MEV

 We are already cleansed by the Blood. We are redeemed. We are His. We are set apart. This was done at the Cross. This was realized and received when we partook of His free gift of Grace by Faith.

 So why do we still sin? Why do we still miss it? Why do we still have bad habits and make poor choices? These aren't deep questions that take much pondering, extended times of fasting, and isolation in prayer to search for an answer. 

 We blow it sometimes, we miss it, and we still deal with bad habits. Does this mean we aren't holy? Some would say yes. However, that contradicts what the Word proclaimed. We still make mistakes, but that isn't a reflection of our identity in Christ.

 Why do we miss it? One thing we must continually do is renew our minds. Right believing is the key to right living. We miss it when our mind isn't renewed in various areas of our life. We miss it when we forget our true identity. We miss it when we allow legitimate needs to become perverted, and/or try to get legitimate needs met apart from God and His Grace.

 The problem with religion is they consider the Christian life as an easy bake oven. That the proverbial cake should be done in an hour. As soon as one is saved they should cease all the stuff they are involved in. That's not God's way.

 Our Father paid a high price for us. He recreated and reformed and refashioned us from within. We are brand new in Him. We are made Righteous, we are forgiven and sanctified or set apart for Him when we believed. We are progressively maturing into who He already made us. The focus is on our own growth and no one else's. Relax and enjoy the ride.

 Now, what does this look like in daily life? How do you know you are maturing? Recall how I mentioned being different. This is the real holiness of God. What do I mean?

 Where religion only focuses on rule-keeping God sees our whole life as growth in holiness. I want to encourage you and show that you're more holy than you realize. Holiness means we aren't common, we are uncommon.

 Holiness practically realized is that we are uncommon people. We are different! Though we may still be overcoming in differing areas of our life, I want to show you how you are progressing. 

 When others are out golfing, or day sailing, or sleeping in, usually on Sundays you're found in the house of God fellowshipping with other saints, exalting God corporately. That's being different. When others are spending money on new gadgets, or the latest and greatest new thing, you're sending money to support missions. You're sending money to help feed and clothe orphans. You're funding ministries and Bible schools. That's being different!

 When the doctor's report is of a negative nature, your response is one of trusting in God and not one of fear, panic, and giving up. Whereas others are feeling hopeless, you know where your trust resides. You speak the Word of Faith where others are speaking fear and dread. That is different!

 Are you walking in holiness? Take a second look at your life. Examine it in light of Grace and the Finished Work. You're going to see how different you are in comparison to those without Christ. That is walking in holiness. 

 God is not looking for dutiful servants who mind all the rules. He's not looking for slaves, He's looking for sons and daughters. God's Love for us is overwhelming and unconditional. We speak of the first love, the amazing truth is that we are God's first love. He has a fire burning in His heart for you and me. His heart beats out of his chest when He thinks of you and me. He is Holy and He is Love. 

 In summation, be glad we are different. Being different is a good thing. It reveals our minds are being renewed and "updated" if you will. It serves to remind us we are the Righteous and the ones made holy because of the Blood, the Grace of God, and His Finished Work. Be different, because He is different! This is Good News! 




Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

The Theology of sickness and disease: What does God call evil?

how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. Acts 10:38 MEV

Dear Friend, I pray that in every way you may prosper and be in good health,  just as your soul is prospering. 3 John 2 Mounce 

 God is an unchanging God. He is Love. He is Faithful and True! His love for us is unmatched in this universe. God is for us and never against us. 

 Many would quickly and passionately agree. However, when it comes to health, the sad reality of a fallen world, and sickness and disease, many have adopted a different theology. Through tradition, many have embraced a theology of sickness and disease. 

 This theology, this belief system, allows for God to willingly afflict people with sickness and disease. Or this theology says God, for some mysterious purpose, allows sickness and disease to ravish the bodies of His people. This theology of sickness and disease is prevalent throughout the Body of Christ. 

 When we see sickness and disease so common in the bodies of saints and sinners alike it is a challenge not to adopt and accept the theology of sickness and disease. The alternative seems only to stick our heads in the proverbial sand and ignore what is clearly in front of us. However, there is another answer. That is the theology of Jesus.

 Jesus is perfect theology. He perfectly demonstrated the eternal Love of the Father. He perfectly revealed the Goodness of God. He perfectly showed us the power of God. He perfectly made known the will of God concerning sickness and disease. He freely healed whosoever came to Him. Jesus is perfect theology, He perfectly showed us the Father.

 We have to embrace the Father's heart on a matter, not what we see through our natural eyes. We see sin abound in these days we live. Yet God says Grace much more abounds. Though sickness and disease seem prevalent, so also is His healing power!

 What is the Father's heart concerning healing? Through Jesus' actions, and the revealed will of God through Scripture, we can rightly conclude sickness and disease are considered evil by our Good Father. Look at this powerful event recorded in the Old Covenant, 1 Kings 17

 What a powerful demonstration of God's Love and Goodness. In the time of famine, God sustained Elijah and the widow and her son. God provided for His own. When the child became sick and died, God raised up the child.

 and crieth unto Jehovah, and saith, `Jehovah my God, also on the widow with whom I am sojourning hast Thou done evil -- to put her son to death?' 1 Kings 17:20 YLT

 Due to limited understanding and information available under the Old Elijah assumed God brought the sickness. Of course, God healing and raising up the boy from the dead proved that He didn't cause it or "allow" it. The focal point one could miss is the words Elijah used. He called sickness and death evil.

 Even under the Old Covenant, In a Covenant that is not as good as the New, God's prophet knew sickness and death are evil. Elijah, a prophet who only had the Spirit come upon him, not even dwell within him, a man who was not even born again, had enough spiritual discernment to know sickness and death are a curse and not a blessing.

 Today, instead of the man of God commanding death to leave and trusting God for a miracle, religious leaders would just counsel the widow on how it was God's will for her son to die. That God needed a little flower and heaven so God "plucked" her son from the earth. That God had some mysterious purpose, and God is in control, that she should just trust God knows what's best. 

 The fact that God raised the widow's son up from sickness and death, confirms Elijah's words. Sickness and death are evil. The Body of Christ should stand strong against sickness and disease. We should never accept it or welcome it in anyone's life.

 God calls sickness oppression from the enemy. God calls death an enemy, the last enemy to be destroyed is death. Jesus went about doing Good and healing all who were oppressed by the enemy. The theology of Jesus says healing is God's highest and best, and sickness and disease are evil, are a curse, are what Jesus bore on that Cross purchasing our Redemption.

 In summation, let's embrace the theology of Jesus. Let's reject the theology of religious men. Let's reject the theology of sickness and disease. God is always Good, and sickness and death are always evil. Let's look to and embrace the Love of the Father, let's trust Him and receive of all His perfect Redemption. God wants us well, healed, and whole!


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Must we qualify for God to bless us or to receive healing?

 


Dear friend,  I pray that in every way you may prosper and be in good health,  just as your soul is prospering. 3 John 2 MOUNCE

how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. Acts 10:38 MEV

Healing is a subject with much controversy and many questions. In detailing the redemptive work of healing in Jesus' ministry Luke's Gospel reveals much concerning God's will and heart concerning healing. Jesus makes known His heart toward the afflicted and properly identifies who is responsible for the affliction.

 In Luke's Gospel the 13th chapter we see the kindness and compassion of our Father at work through Jesus. Amongst the crowd in the Synagogue, Jesus finds the one afflicted and brings His healing Grace and removes the crippling infirmity. Just like this woman here, God sees you. He sees you in your circumstance and situation and He is there ministering life, healing, and wholeness to you, simply because He loves you. 

 This passage reveals much about God's will concerning wholeness. It reveals that religious tradition sees healing as a work. Something that must be earned. It reveals Jesus declaring the woman ought to be made whole. He saw healing as a Covenant right. It also revealed Jesus identifying the one responsible for affliction and torment as satan and not God. In concluding this look at Luke 13 look once again at Jesus' words to the religious leaders; 

So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound—think of it—for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?”  Luke 13:16 NKJV

 Jesus declared this woman ought to be healed? Why? Because she was a daughter of Abraham. Of course, there are Covenant rights at work but looking closer Jesus is also speaking of her identity. 

 By revealing her identity, Jesus also revealed her qualifications to receive. The Abrahamic Covenant is a shadow of the New Covenant. The New Covenant is a Covenant cut between Jesus and the Father. Those who simply believe become the benefactors of a beautiful Covenant that reveals just how much God our Daddy loves us. 

 Building on the concept that traditional religion espouses that healing is a work, it is even more clear that they view all of the goodness of God as received by only those who qualify. Sadly many ministries, even those who believe in God's willingness to heal or bring blessings, have also embraced this concept. So much so their teachings have become mere instructions on how to qualify and not on how to receive.

 What are the qualifications to receive healing or blessings from God? To qualify to receive one must be completely sinless, without fault or errors, perfect in all their dealings in business, and with family. One must be faithful in all things, in essence, 100% perfection, 100% of the time. Who then qualifies? Only Jesus!

 This is why this New Covenant is based solely on the work and faithfulness of Jesus. Because Jesus is the only one that qualifies, He is the only one, who based on His work and performance, could ask with complete confidence and boldly receive. Therefore, we who believe in Him should base our receiving on His performance alone.

 Traditional-minded ministers and believers, and those still convinced that they play some part in their receiving of blessings, look to, and lean on Old Covenant qualifiers to receive from God; 

 “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today...Deuteronomy 28:1a NKJV

 and said, “If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes...Exodus 15:26a NKJV

I have heard whole messages based upon the beginning qualifiers of these passages. Note the qualifications. If you do, if you observe, if you heed. These are all based upon your obedience, your performance, your behavior.

 Can you imagine a gospel message that began this way? You will be saved eternally only if you diligently obey. You will be eternally saved only if you do what is right in God's sight. Who then would be saved?

 The Old Covenant was a covenant made between God and man. Its fault was found in man's inability to keep it. That was the whole point of it, to reveal man's need for a Savior. To show us we can't ever earn or achieve His blessings or His healing. 

 Yet in light of His Grace, His Finished Work of Redemption, and the Father's great Love, ministers still insist we play a part in receiving the blessings and Goodness of God. They stand by these Old Covenant qualifiers and put them on New Covenant children of God. 

 They claim we need to do more to receive. We need to do it exactly right and it must be done long enough to achieve healing, wholeness, and blessings. It's no longer about Jesus alone, but our added works, performance, faithfulness, and behavior. 

 Think of it. How much do we need to do to qualify to receive His Goodness, His Love, His blessings, His benefits, and the Healing He procured for us? Is it spending enough time in personal Bible study? Is it spending hours a day in prayer? Is it abstaining from all sinful habits and deeds? Just how much is enough? How will we know when we've done enough to qualify? 

 The fact we pray in Jesus' name eliminates all these erroneous concepts about trying to qualify to receive. When we ask in Jesus' name we are coming to the Father and basing our receiving on Jesus' Goodness, faithfulness, and performance alone not our own. We come to God based solely on Jesus' track record never ours.

 We need to abide in the New Covenant and stop trying to live under the illusion of dual covenants. God didn't institute the New, ratified by Jesus' blood, only to require us to still observe the statutes, regulations, and requirements of the Old. Jesus has triumphantly given us a new and living way in relating to our Father and how we receive from Him. 

 Jesus has made the Old obsolete and it, therefore, has passed away. Behold the New has come. We must stop resurrecting it so we can keep giving believers qualifiers to receive. 

In summation, let's cease from placing believers under the Law and Old Covenant every time they come to God in prayer to receive from Him. Jesus is our qualification to receive all God has for us. Jesus alone is why we can receive healing and wholeness and blessing. Let's put our Faith and complete trust in Jesus' Faith and Finished Work and receive all God has procured for us based upon Jesus' faithfulness and performance and not our own. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

How Faith Works: Faith Receives

 

Now the just shall live by faith... Hebrews 10:38a MEV

 We've been in a series examining how Faith works. An important distinction must be made as we conclude this study. We are exploring Faith and how it works in light of the Grace of God and His Finished Work. Faith and Grace go hand in hand in order to walk in the complete victory Christ procured for whosoever will believe. 

 In studying how Faith works we've seen that Faith sees. Faith when continually fed the Word produces an image inwardly of all the promises of God. This Faith image not only inwardly illustrates the promise it also brings about an image of us actually possessing and walking in those promises of God. 

 We've seen that Faith believes. Faith believes what God has declared true concerning us. Faith believes because God said it and because His Goodness proves He is Faithful to His Word. 

 We've seen that Faith speaks. Faith agrees with God. Faith speaks out what the Grace of God and Finished Work have made available. Faith speaks out and agrees with what God has spoken. God said we are Righteous when we believed. Faith agrees and speaks declaring I am the Righteousness of God in Christ. God said the believer is forgiven of all their sins forever. Faith agrees and speaks forth saying I am forgiven. God said by Jesus' stripes we are healed. Faith agrees and declares boldly I am healed. God said we are blessed and provided for. Faith agrees and speaks out saying I am blessed.

 Today, we want to conclude by looking at the last aspect of how Faith works. Faith receives. Faith is not passive or nonparticipative. Faith reaches out and lays hold on what Christ made available.

 Not to bring shame or make light of someone but simply ask an average person what it means to receive. Many will conclude receiving simply means having a positive expectation of something good coming their way. That sounds nice but as we saw last week this is only hope in operation. This isn't how Faith functions. 

 Faith isn't passive or unresponsive. Faith is active and assertive. Faith lays hold of the purchased promises and provision the Finished Work of Grace and Redemption purchased for us. Faith receives it as its own. Faith lays claim to what Grace provided and refuses to be denied.

 What does it mean to receive? To receive means one can't be passive or uncommitted. To receive means to lay hold of, to take, to seize, to make your own. Going deeper, to receive means to take possession of, to claim for one's self. To receive also means of that which is taken, none is let go, it means to not refuse what's been offered. 

 Name it and Claim it?

This phrase was created by detractors of Faith and propagators of unbelief and a powerless Christian experience as some sort of pejorative. It's used to describe anyone who believes Faith can change circumstances. That Faith can create a better life in the here and now and not just in the afterlife.

 Thus said Jehovah, The Holy One of Israel, and his Former: Ask Me of the things coming concerning My sons, Yea, concerning the work of My hands, ye command Me.' Isaiah 45:11 YLT

 God invites us to partake and freely receive from His kingdom. God welcomes us to take our place at the King's table. To freely partake of the King's feast and pull up a chair next to the King at His banqueting table. 

 Name it and claim it? The truth is God "named it" through His Finished Work. He already "named it" by His Grace and His Word agrees with and confirms it. We who walk by Faith are simply claiming what His Grace has already purchased, procured, and provided.

 God purchased our Righteousness. We lay claim to that Righteousness by receiving it. God purchased our forgiveness and freedom from guilt, shame, and condemnation. We lay claim to that by receiving it freely. We don't reject it whenever we miss it or blow it. We receive it as ours now and forever. God provided for our every need. We lay claim to this by fully receiving it and not being moved by contradictory circumstances. God's Grace named it and we who believed claim it!

 In summation, Faith works. Faith sees. Faith believes. Faith speaks. Faith receives. Take God at His Word. Believe Him and trust Him. He is a Good Father who loves us unconditionally. Lay claim freely to all that's yours because of Him. 

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

How Faith Works: Faith Speaks



  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith. As it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17 MEV

 We've begun a new study examining how Faith works. Faith is not something that is so complex, so difficult, so hard to muster up and walk-in. No, Faith is simple. The New Covenant is a Covenant established by Grace and its currency is Faith. The New Covenant is better, so Jesus didn't bring us something that's impossible to possess, to grow in, and to walk by. 

 So far we have seen that Faith sees. Faith when fed the truth of Grace, Jesus' Finished Work of Redemption, and the promises of God through His Word creates a positive image of good inwardly. Faith sees the promises as our own before we can see them in the natural. 

 We also saw that Faith believes. Faith believes with the heart. How do we believe? We believe by listening to and feeding on the words of Christ. We believe boldly because of the character of the one promising. God is a Good Father, so we can take Him at His Word. 

 At the same time, What we feed upon determines what we believe. If we are feeding on the traditions of men, the way of this world system, and the lying words of the enemy, we won't walk victoriously. Let's continue then examining how Faith works.

 Faith sees, Faith believes, and Faith speaks. Faith is in our hearts but released with our mouths. Our words agree with the reality Grace made in order to create that reality in our own life. 

 Words are powerful. Words can be one of the most powerful forces in the universe. Our words can build up or tear down. Our words contain either life and blessing or cursing and death. 

 Words are containers. They contain Faith, life, love, and joy, or they contain doubt, unbelief, loss, and depression. Faith can create the reality Grace made available in our life by agreeing with God. Or we can take the world, the lying enemy, or religious tradition at their word and create the reality of death, defeat, disorder, disease, and disaster in our life. We can choose either life or death, blessing, or cursing by the words we speak.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21 NKJV

 Let's once again look at Paul's words;

 for with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:10 MEV

We have the same spirit of faith. As it is written, “I believed, and therefore I have spoken.”So we also believe and therefore speak,                                       2 Corinthians 4:13 MEV 

 Take note that these passages also align with and agree with the words of our Lord Jesus in Mark's Gospel. Faith is in our hearts but must be spoken out to be released. As essential as it is to believe by Faith we must also see the vitalness of speaking out what we believe by Faith.

 So what are you saying? Do your words agree with God's? They can. If anyone feeds upon the words of Christ, trusting in His great Love and goodness they will build an image within that the enemy, religion, the world, or contradictory circumstances cannot shake or withstand. You'll see how quickly your words agree with God then.

 Now don't misled to only speak words of hope and not Faith. For you won't walk in the manifest promise. Hope is the divine blueprint. Faith gives substance to hope. Hope is like the contractor with the plans. The plans may be good and right but there is no building to walk in yet. Again Faith gives substance to hope. So Faith is like said contractor getting workers to construct that building. 

 How can you distinguish words of hope and words of Faith? Hope is positive expectation of what God has said and done through Christ. Faith is the title deed, the confirmation that what God said is in fact ours. Hope says I will be healed, I will be forgiven, I will have what He promised. Faith on the other hand says I am healed, I am forgiven, I have what God said now! Faith says it's mine, I have it now, not someday, now!

 Once again look at Abraham. See Paul's words of him in Romans 4. God literally changed Abram's name in order for him to speak forth the promise. Abram who had no promised son yet had his name changed to literally father of multitudes. 

 When Abraham introduced himself from then on he was speaking and agreeing with God. If anyone called his name they too were inadvertanly agreeing with God. Did you know you can agree with God in the same manner? 

 We can call those things that be not as though they were. When we miss it, blow it, or just plain sin we can call ourselves Righteous and forgiven. If sickness and disease rear up with symptoms we can call ourselves healed because Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law. Part of that curse was sickness and disease. If lack appears we can agree with God and call ourselves blessed because Jesus bore our poverty so we could have His riches. When we agree with God and His Finished Work of Redemption, speaking it forth we will see things changed in our lives for the better.

 We can agree with Grace. If we feel unworthy or unloved we can speak forth what His Grace says about us. He made us worthy, we aren't unloved we are accepted. We aren't lonely we are not only accepted we are accepted in the beloved. We are in the Family of God. We can agree with Grace, we are loved, cherished, forgiven, and a beloved member of God's Family.

 In summation, we understand how Faith works more and more. Faith sees, Faith believes, and Faith speaks. We can speak and agree with all God has said about us and done for us in the Finished Work of Redemption. Beloved, agree with God with your heart and your words. 


Image by mcmurryjulie from Pixabay 

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

More Good News: All your sins have been forgiven

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings good news of happiness, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7 MEV

In our last study, we began sharing some Good News truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In a fallen, fractured creation we all need to feed on Good News not bad news or sad news. We need to shift our focus on the good things God has done through Jesus and is doing each and every day of our lives, and not on the schemes of the enemy or the lies of tradition, or the fallen world system.

 Last week, we shared the Good News that our salvation is fully secure in Christ. That Jesus is more than enough. Today, I want to continue sharing how secure we are in Him by proclaiming the Good News that in Christ all our sins are forever forgiven.

 Admittedly, I once struggled some with this notion. It wasn't that I didn't believe it in my heart. I had heard this truth when God captured my heart with the truth of the Gospel of Grace. My spirit immediately received this. My head was a little hesitant. I wanted to see more Scripture on this.

 In one sense, that is commendable. We must establish and confirm the truth with the Word of God. God is so Good and is THE Truth so He quickly took me on a journey through the New Covenant. Upon searching the Scriptures, my heart and mind were even more refreshed. The Word established over and over that all our sins were forgiven once for all time by Jesus.

14 who bought our freedom with his blood and forgave us all our sins Colossians 1:14 TLB

13 You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. Colossians 2:13 NLT

12 I am writing to you, little children (believers, dear ones), because your sins have been forgiven for His name’s sake [you have been pardoned and released from spiritual debt through His name because you have confessed His name, believing in Him as Savior]. 1 John 2:12 AMP

He is the one who took God’s wrath against our sins upon himself and brought us into fellowship with God; and he is the forgiveness for our sins, and not only ours but all the world’s. 1 John 2:2 TLB 


32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32 NLT

13 bearing graciously with one another, and willingly forgiving each other if one has a cause for complaint against another; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so should you forgive. Colossians 3:13 AMP 

 Through Christ, God has forgiven us of all our sins. God is not keeping scores or tabs on how often we screw up or fail. Our Father has accepted the Work of Jesus. His precious blood was enough.

 These powerful passages reveal the heart of God and the Love of our Savior. It displays plainly the clear truth that God in Christ has in fact forgiven us of all our sins. These passages exhibit the fullness of the work of Jesus on becoming a curse for us. He has forgiven us of all our sins.

 One may say yea but for how long are we forgiven? How much are we forgiven of? Don't these passages simply state we are forgiven only of our past sins? Are we forgiven of our sin if we continue committing the same sin?

14 For by one offering He has forever perfected those who are sanctified... 17 then He adds, “Their sins and lawless deed will I remember no more.” 18 Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer an offering for sin. Hebrews 10:14,17-18 MEV

This passage answers these questions. Couple this with the ones we just shared and it eliminates all doubt and settles any disputes. God has through Christ and His precious perfect blood forgiven us of all our sins once for all time.

 We are forgiven of all our sins for all time and eternity. God has accepted the work of His Son. We are forgiven of all our sins, past present, and future. The Word clearly declared we are forgiven of all our sins. All means all. All of our past has been wiped clean and all our future sins have already been paid for and forgiven. There is no more judgment and condemnation and punishment for our sins the moment we believed. 

 This is the Good News. We are forgiven forever. What about those sins we commit and sometimes keep committing? The Finished Work of Christ, the once for all sacrifice and payment for sin is not some vessel that runs out eventually. This work of Grace is an endless well of love and mercy and forgiveness that never runs dry. Rejoice that your failings and foul-ups will never exhaust His supply of mercy and Grace and forgiveness.

 In summation, we can rejoice in the Good News. It is good news that we are forgiven of all our sins. We are forgiven and have perfect acceptance before the Father. We can approach God with boldness. We can have a bold, and loving expectation of mercy and relinquish a fearful expectation of judgment and condemnation. Focus on the Good News of Grace. Turn away from the bad news and lies of the enemy, the world system, and the religious tradition of men. The Blood has cleansed you of all your sins and shortcomings. You are accepted and loved and forever forgiven in Christ Jesus. 



Image by Daniel Reche from Pixabay