Showing posts with label Prosperity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Prosperity. Show all posts

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 

Monday, April 10, 2023

Does God desire to bless and prosper us in this life?

And my God will supply your every need according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus Philippians 4:19 MOUNCE

Dear friend, I pray that you are prospering in every way and are in good health, just as your whole life is going well. 3 John 2 CSB

 God is a Good Father. God is a loving Father. God is a Father who cares about us. He loved us so much that He gave us His Son to procure our perfect once for all Redemption. 

 This perfect Love bestowed upon us reveals to us we have a heavenly Father. In light of this perfect love, the question then can be asked, does this love have an effect on the life that now is or just the one to come? Does God's love mean we can expect actual tangible blessings in this life?

 There are two extreme responses on this topic. The "prosperity gospel" extreme is one response. I wrote a whole article expounding this viewpoint. The prosperity gospel is in essence a karma-like view of life. Its end goal is extracting money from people to give to an organization or a person. Its claim is God tells us we can all be millionaires if we just give enough and live perfectly. This is not the Gospel.

 The other extreme view is that God is the cruel taskmaster and tyrannical despot in Heaven who puts sickness and suffering and poverty on people, especially His own children. Many churches and ministries teach this view. I have observed that some of the loudest proponents of this view are Calvinists.

 One thing about this view that is astounding to me is the utter hypocrisy of the loudest voices on this topic. One such minister has held a whole seminar against believers who believe in the Gifts of the Spirit for today. This minister speaks strongly against prosperity.

 Yet in all his railings against the idea that God prospers His people, he seems oblivious to his own net worth of $15 million and ownership of more than one home. I researched two other loud voices against prosperity and saw their net worth is above $500,000. It seems the rule of thumb for some is prosperity for me, but not for thee.

 We need to stick with the Word of God and stay centered on what He actually said and put our trust, hope, and Faith in that. We need to find out what God actually said and hold fast to that. We must avoid the religious traditions of man who paint the Father as harsh and uncaring. 

 So based upon the nature and character of God revealed in and through Christ Jesus, and the final authority of the Word of God the answer to the question I presented is yes. God does desire to bless and prosper and provide for His children in this life. Grace supplies, Love gives and Faith takes.

 He who did not spare · his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us · all things? Romans 8:32 MOUNCE

 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Romans 8:32 NLT

 If God has given us eternal life, forgiveness forever, Righteousness, and Eternal Security, all things that pertain to spiritual life and all things concerning eternity, why would He hold back on giving all things pertaining to life in the here and now? If He gave us the best, His Son, He will surely give us the rest. There is nothing God is withholding from His children, He is a Good and loving Father.

 You may look at the lack surrounding you and disagree. Just as when it comes to your Righteousness. you don't focus on your many failures or foul-ups. You focus on what Jesus accomplished and receive your Righteousness. So it is with provision. Look at what Grace supplies and make that your focus. 

 Focusing on Jesus brings unearned favor and wisdom and provision. He is for us and not against us. We need to really examine our thinking, our beliefs, and our understanding when it comes to blessings and provision and the Goodness of God.

 What do we as Christians truly believe our Father is like? Do we really believe He is a Good Father? It seems we can believe He can save our spirits and grant us assurance Heaven is our home but for everything else, it's either up to our performance, or we can have no assurance or confidence in Him intervening or answering prayers because He is uninterested in the needs/desires of this life.

 Think of it, God promised to Israel, under a covenant that is lesser than the New that He would prosper and heal and provide for them because He loved them and they kept His commandments. He declared He had pleasure in the prosperity of His servants. How much more would He have in His own children prospering?

 What so many are really saying is God's love will only provide salvation from sin and Hell. His Love doesn't cover, provide for, or give promise to any form of wholeness this side of Heaven. He is a God who only cares about you keeping the rules and going to Heaven. He is not interested in your bills being paid, savings, having shelter, clothing, sustenance, healthy bodies, access to transportation, protection from the elements and peace of mind.

 Just what kind of a God is our Father in Heaven? Does He withold provision and blessings to better us? Would He rather see us starving and suffering than blessed and overflowing? What kind of God did Jesus demonstrate?

 Jesus fed literal thousands. He didn't first ask the multitude if they kept all the commandments. He didn't first ask if they had any hidden resentment, bitterness, or unforgiveness. He didn't first ask them if they had sin in their lives, or if they needed to repent. He just loved them and provided for them.

 He provided for Peter's tax debt by means of a miracle. He found the money in the mouth of a fish. The first miracle of Jesus was a miracle of provision. This provision was merely a want not a neccessity or need. The wedding feast simply ran out wine. Jesus turned water to wine and satisfied the desire for more wine at a feast. No one turned to God because of this. He just met a physical want.

 Jesus supplied both needs and wants. He revealed a Good Father who cares for us. He demonstrated to a lost and hopeless world, a Father who so loves them He even takes care of the little things as well as major things in this life.

 In summation, we can boldly proclaim God our Father is a Good Father. He wants our absolute best. He desires to bless and provide for us. Not because we are good, or earned it, or achieved it, but simply because He loves us. We can trust in the Lord no matter the situations and circumstance. He is a Good Father and Loving Savior. 


Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay 

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

The Truth about giving under Grace

 Let each one [give] as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion, for God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, “prompt to do it”) giver [whose heart is in his giving]. 2 Corinthians 9:7 AMPC

 Over our last few articles, we've been looking at the practices of tithing and giving in the New Covenant. This study somewhat responds to the uproar and outrage of traditional churches and ministries because an international megachurch pastor spoke the truth concerning tithing under Grace. It seemed good to continue examining our giving in light of Grace. 

 Over the many years that the Church has thrived in America, and throughout the earth, one constant is always prevalent. That is the act of giving financial donations. Just as with any practice, man has perverted it, corrupted it, misused and abused it. This is why God allows men of God with international platforms to address controversial issues to help us get back to the center, to the basics once again, in essence, to bring Jesus back into the focus. 

 When we see Jesus again as the focus, as the center of it all, our motives and our actions become Christ-centered. We are engaging in Christian practices because we are honoring our risen Savior. We pray, we read and study the Word, and we volunteer our time and talents to help others, we are a blessing to our local church, and yes we give financial donations. All these are sincere responses to Jesus and His Grace and Goodness in our life.

 We aren't acting under compulsion, pressure, or spiritual obligation. We aren't bowing to the crippling commands of the religious taskmaster. We aren't dutiful to the demands of traditional religion. We are responding to the Love of a loving Savior who took our place, bore our shame, and received our due punishment gladly.  

 This is what God intended. This is Grace in action. This is how life in Christ flows so freely. No demands, no obligations, and zero pressure. Just simply abiding in Him. Just basking in His Goodness and Grace. 

 My times in prayer, devotion, and detailed study of the Word are not "forced" or chores I must finish before I can enjoy my day. Religion turns relationship into tasks that must be completed. Instead of I get to spend time with my Father, I get to invest in His work, and I get to help that work come to pass through my talents, religion twists it into, I better spend time with God or He won't hear or help me later. I better give or I am cursed, or won't prosper in life, I better volunteer or I will never be rewarded. 

 The truth is God so loved this world and sent His Son so He could offer life everlasting to whosoever will freely receive it. He gave His Son, so He could have more sons and daughters. His Grace and Goodness are what motivated God our Father to do this. That's the point of it all. His Love. His Grace. His Goodness. 

 This is what draws the love response from His people, His family, His kids. God's Love for you, God's Love for me, that's what strengthens and encourages us to follow this Savior, to lay our plans down and embrace His. This is what moves us to know Him more and more. This is what moves us to invest our time and talents and our finances so others can see and know this beautiful Savior!

 What is not of God, what is the works of tradition, of man, is this obligatory concept concerning our walk with God. Use all the mental gymnastics you want to convince yourself and others, but when one says we must give a certain percentage, and/or teaches our giving or our doing is the source of blessings and prosperity then it's no longer about Grace but the works and performance of man.

 Want to be blessed and protected financially? Then you better give ten percent! Well, what about the people who've tithed faithfully for years and went bankrupt? Must have been in sin, is the only response they have.

 Want to be blessed and prospered? Give and keep giving above ten percent. Give right and you'll receive the hundredfold return! I have given above the ten percent consistently for years and never even saw thirty times, or sixty times. Let alone one hundred times my giving returned to me. Their response? You didn't give in Faith!

 Wait, let's analyze that comment. Faith is of the heart. Real Faith, Bible Faith is a persuasion, a fully persuaded heart that moves one to act on what is heard from God. Those of us who heard the teaching about giving to receive were persuaded in our hearts and minds. We, therefore, gave our finances. The fact we gave means we gave in Faith. 

 The disconnect is God never promised any believer if you give money you're going to get more money. So in reality, we were giving in "faith" to man's misuse and misinterpretation, and manipulation of the Father's Words. Keeping it about Jesus, and being transparent, giving and then getting more money in return, is not about giving to increase the work of God, but giving to increase the bank account, and fatten the wallet or purses of men and women. There is no Grace in this!

 Look at Jesus alone! Look to Jesus alone! Jesus is our Savior. Jesus is the source of life, healing, hope, protection, and prosperity. Our behavior isn't our Savior, Jesus alone is! 

 In summation, look again at Jesus Christ. The Author and Finisher of our Faith. The only One who can satisfy. The Lord of all, who died for all, so that whosoever will may come and abide with Him forever. 

 Look at this Savior, The Lord of Heaven and earth. This loving Savior, who gave all so He could be with me and you. Put Him back in the center of it all. When Christ is the focus, when He is the exalted One, our performance, our doings, our works, and disciplines, fade away in comparison. Live your life loved by this Savior. Live life with Him as the center of it all, the exalted One, and see how dead works fall by the wayside, and genuine worship and responses to the Love of God flow from you without strenuous effort. 

Image courtesy of anankkml at

Monday, February 21, 2022

Redeemed from Poverty and Lack


Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us. For it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” Galatians 3:13 BSB

We've begun a new study looking at our redemption purchased for us by Christ Jesus. Many Christian denominations and ministries will rightly agree that Jesus has redeemed us from sin, but that's as far as their theology will go. In any other area of life, we are apparently offered no promise or guarantee. 

 Is this what the Bible actually teaches? Is this really the full scope of Jesus' redemptive work? Does God offer redemption only for sins and nothing more? If we honestly study Scripture and see Jesus' work of redemption in its fullness we can see just what His death and burial and resurrection purchased and procured for us. 

  In this curse of the Law, we see poverty and lack overtaking those who fall under it. Recall the curse of the Law is threefold; spiritual death, poverty, and sickness. Jesus gave His life for us, thus purchasing our full redemption. We are redeemed from the curse of poverty and lack because of Jesus. 

 Now when the subject of blessings instead of lack is mentioned much controversy rises up. When ministering and proclaiming the Good News Gospel of Jesus Christ I always endeavor to bring Biblical balance to this topic. Biblical balance, not man's so-called balance. I have addressed the excesses and the balance before. You can see the answer to excess in this post here, you can see the balance in these studies here and here.  

 With this foundation laid let's explore our redemption further. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law. Poverty and Lack are part and parcel of the curse we have been redeemed from. Deuteronomy 28 clearly details this curse

 What has Jesus done for us in the New? What has His perfect work of redemption procured for us concerning blessings and abundance?

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9 MOUNCE

 This is Jesus' work of redemption. This aspect of the Cross has been long neglected in most circles of the Body of Christ. Paul revealed to us that Jesus bore our poverty and lack on the Cross. This is His Grace in action. His Grace took our poverty and insufficiency and gave us freely His abundance, His fullness, His supply, and His access to all of Heaven's blessings and riches in glory. 

 I know the word rich in this passage causes some religious traditional ruled minds to seemingly lose their minds. In others, it may trigger concerns about some of the abuses and excesses they experienced concerning prosperity. Let's allow God, His Word, and His Grace to settle the issue.

 Strongs defines this word rich here as to be increased with goods, Mounce defines this word as to abound in, be abundantly furnished with. This is reminiscent of something Jesus said in John 10. 

The thief does not come, except to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10 MEV

 Jesus redeemed us so we can possess, walk in, and have abundant life. Abundant life in this life and in the hereafter is ours through Him. Abundant life is a life that is superabundant in quantity and superior in quality. This is the God kind of life. A life that is enjoyed, a life that is so full it overflows. This life is ours now procured by Jesus on our behalf.

 This doesn't mean, of course, that all believers will become millionaires. It doesn't mean there won't be any challenge in life. It does mean that God desires His riches and best be ours because of Jesus.

 What we must herald and proclaim is that God's Love for us is all-encompassing. Jesus loved us enough that He bore the punishment for all our sins. God loves us enough to have forgiven us of all our sins past and present and future. This is such good news, but child of God there is more. There is much more redemption in Christ Jesus. God also loved us enough that He bore our poverty and lack, and exchanged it with His supply and increase and sufficiency.  

 Where the excess prosperity misses it by teaching that our behavior, our performance, and faithfulness and giving are what causes us to be blessed and not Jesus' Faithfulness and goodness alone, religious tradition also cling to an additive to the Gospel. They reject any message that includes provision and blessing in this life. Just as the prosperity extreme morphed unwittingly into works, likewise religious tradition's "suffering gospel" creates a new standard of what makes someone a real "committed" and "sincere" and "mature" Christian.

 These religious-minded believers when presented with any message that proclaims the good news of blessing in this life quickly point to the early church. They only see early Christians as paupers, who lived in squalor and were tortured and murdered at all times and everywhere. This view is an overstatement of the lives of early Christians.

 We don't want to understate the persecution of the early church but let's not overstate it either. The early Church truly suffered persecution, but they were also victorious. The Church grew and grew despite the efforts against them. 

 Tradition actually teaches the Church grows stronger through the blood of the martyrs. They exalt suffering and death. This is an affront to Grace and the Finished Work. Jesus' Blood is the only blood that makes the Church strong and brings growth. The blood of imperfect men is not the sacrifice God looks for.

Religious tradition in an effort to come against prosperity has created a new gospel where suffering is what makes one a real Christian. Instead of Jesus' words declaring I have come that you might have abundant life, they reject and renounce this as false teaching and instead proclaim God came to give you needy, wanting, and insufficient life. 

Whereas the Good News reveals we can have our best lives here and in the next, religious tradition objects teaching God demands we live our worst lives now. If we want to be counted as God's real committed saints, we must experience some form of suffering. The God kind of life is a meager, depleted and lacking life. 

 Receive the fullness of God's Goodness and Grace. Receive freely the perfect redemption He purchased for us. Yes, this is a fallen and fractured creation. Yes, the enemy is on the loose. In spite of the attacks from the enemy, and the effects of the fall, we can still live victoriously in this life. We can trust God in the midst of circumstances. Many are the afflictions of the Righteous, but thanks be to God He delivers us from them all.

 In summation, Christ has purchased a perfect redemption for us. Not only does He give us new life in Christ and forgive our sins, but He also redeemed us from poverty and made Heaven's blessings available to us. Again religious tradition has more faith that afflictions are many but reject the faith for God to deliver them. Our performance or behavior isn't what causes God to accept us more, and hear this, how much we suffer doesn't either. We are redeemed and accepted and approved because of Jesus. He procured for us abundant life, so freely receive it and gladly walk in it. 

Image by Herbert Bieser from Pixabay 

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, May 18, 2021

Receiving Righteousness: Freely received or Earned and Achieved?

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

For if by the offense of the one, death reigned through the one, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:17 NASB

We have been in an extended study of Righteousness. We are focusing extensively on receiving of the Gift of Righteousness. It is not enough to know you have been made Righteous we must also receive of that gift in every area of our lives to see the full benefits.

 We have seen how Righteousness blesses and strengthens relationships, how Righteousness covers our faults and failures. We have seen the healing power in God's gift of Righteousness.

 Today, it seems good to examine a major truth we touched on in our last study. When it comes to healing or any other promise, often people tend to focus on their works, their doings and not on Jesus' perfect work and once-for-all-time sacrifice. They aren't seeing the finality of the Cross, but merely the beginning of the work. They see the Cross as the downpayment and their actions, performance, and efforts as the continued payments needed to appropriate all God has for them.
 The Cross is a Finished Work. It is final, once for all time. Jesus said it is finished, not, to be continued. The finality of the Cross is what the writer of Hebrews rejoiced over. With Christ's once for all sacrifice there can be no other sacrifice offered. Therefore our works, our performance, our attempts to earn or achieve the blessing, are unaccepted currency.

  So to understand the finality of the Cross, we must first ask the most important question in the universe next to the question of who do you say Jesus is. What must I do to be saved? This seems so basic, so elementary yet it is the foundation of our entire relationship with God. 

 Let's allow Paul to answer this question.

He then led them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you and your household will be saved.” Acts 16:30-31 MEV

 What must we do to be saved? Believe. We simply must believe. Any response other than only believe is in serious error and opens the door to all types of burdensome toil in relating to God. 

 There are those who hold to the idea that only believing makes the Gospel too easy. That believing is not enough. You have to promise God you will quit being bad and will start being good. You have to promise God you will give up all your bad habits right away. If you don't then you really aren't saved.

 If salvation must be earned in some way shape or form then all the promises of God must be received in the same manner. What must we do to be saved? Believe. Paul said to believe. Paul didn't say believe but also stop smoking, stop gambling, stop your cussing. Behavior change happens from the inside out, not by our outward efforts and works.

 Still, some acknowledge salvation is by Faith alone but put stipulations and clauses on receiving all the other promises of God. They will quickly agree we are saved by believing in Jesus but healing or provision? Better earn it, better get busy achieving it, activate the promise by your actions, your doing, your efforts.

 They will use phrases like you need to position yourself to receive it. Answered prayer, God's provision, healing, favor, blessing? You have to live exemplary lives, free from all sin, no strife or unforgiveness allowed, and then and only then will you possibly receive. Salvation is freely received by believing but everything else is on a wage and earning system?

 If salvation is only received by Grace through Faith then so are all the other promises and provision of God. We aren't Righteous by works or any other thing we have done. We are Righteous by what Christ has done. In the same manner, we are only healed, prospered, blessed, favored, and protected by what Christ has done not by what we have done.

 Look at provision. Paul declared a powerful truth in 2 Corinthians 8. he revealed the Grace of Jesus who through His poverty we might be increased. Christ bore the curse of poverty on the Cross. So what brings the increase? Our doing or was it Jesus' Grace and His becoming poor so we could be blessed?

 Listen, I am not suggesting all believers are promised that they will be millionaires but I am sharing what Jesus provided on the Cross. How could imperfect humanity dare ask a thrice Holy God to provide for their needs? It's because of Jesus' work. The Cross made it possible to receive provision and blessing in this life.

 The Cross provided the wholeness we all need. The Finished Work provided salvation, Righteousness, healing, provision, deliverance, protection, and direct access to the Father. It is Jesus' work that has achieved this not our works. It's by His stripes we are healed, not our efforts. It's by His becoming poor that we have divine provision, not any action on our part. 

 On that Cross, Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the Law. Christ's perfect work of redemption perfectly purchased our complete wholeness. We are redeemed through His work. So if the work of the Cross is only appropriated by simply believing then why add stipulations to receive the other aspects of redemption, that is, healing, protection, or provision? 

 In summation, the work of the Cross is only realized and received by Grace through Faith. Therefore, your healing, your provision, your protection, your favor, your wholeness is received by simply believing. 

Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. Matthew 8:10 MEV

 Freely we have received. That word freely Jesus uses here is the Greek word meaning undeserved. We have received because of Jesus' goodness not our own. So in times of need, look not at your performance, your efforts or achievements, or even your giving. Look only at Jesus' perfect work, put your whole trust and Faith in that alone and freely receive all He has freely provided. 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Monday, March 22, 2021

Our Inheritance in Christ: The Blessing


to open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’ Acts 26:18 MEV

 We're continuing in our study of our inheritance in Christ. Did you know child of God that you have an inheritance? When Christ died and rose again He procured perfect redemption and gave us an inheritance that can't be done away with. The enemy cannot contest this will. It's ours because of Jesus!

 We've seen through this inheritance we have received the gift of no condemnation, in this inheritance we receive the benefit of no separation, there is nothing that can separate the believer from God. We saw last time how we are accepted, highly favored, and honored because of Jesus' work. 

 Today, it seemed good to focus on one major aspect of our inheritance in Christ. In Christ, we have received the blessing of the Lord. So often, we struggle and strive to receive what God has already provided. We listen to ministries who put clauses and conditions on what God has already provided. We work hard trying to earn what can only be freely received.

 Hear the Good News, in Christ you are already blessed.

How we praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every blessing in heaven because we belong to Christ. Ephesians 1:3 TLB

 Let us give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! For in our union with Christ he has blessed us by giving us every spiritual blessing in the heavenly world. Ephesians 1:3 GNT

 Some of the religious traditional detractors will suggest because Paul said spiritual blessings then he must only mean spiritual things like forgiveness of sins but never provision or healing or deliverance. Not so, what Paul is saying is that all the blessings we ever need are first in the spiritual realm. We lay hold on our inheritance by putting a demand on the supply by believing with our heart, our spiritual man. 

 We know this because we don't always feel forgiven or Righteous. We don't always even look Righteous. Yet we know inwardly we are the very Righteousness of God in Christ. That blessing is spiritual then manifests in the natural as we mature in Christ. Our life begins to match who we are already inwardly. So these blessings begin in the spiritual realm and later manifest in the natural as we believe.

 So are you suggesting we don't do anything to receive the blessing? That there isn't anything we can do to increase the blessing in our life? No, I didn't suggest it I just agree with God who said it through His Apostles.

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 2 Peter 1:3 KJV

Everything we could ever need for life and godliness has already been deposited in us by his divine power. For all this was lavished upon us through the rich experience of knowing him who has called us by name and invited us to come to him through a glorious manifestation of his goodness. 2 Peter 1:3 TPT

We see here we already have all we need for life and godliness. For life is everything we will ever need in this natural world and godliness means we are already equipped for victorious living spiritually. Note we don't have to do anything but believe for them to manifest. 

 Now Peter did mention knowledge. That is the knowledge of what is ours through our inheritance in Christ. Traditional religion keeps us ignorant of all that's ours in Christ. Legalistic, law, and Grace mixing ministries either knowingly or unknowingly keeps us striving, struggling, and attempting to earn what we already have in Christ by our doing, our behavior, or our giving.

 Remember law and Grace mixture is any attempt to earn or achieve or merit what only Grace gives. It's trying to gain what is only freely received. What Christ procured and purchased on the Cross in the Finished Work is only received by Grace through Faith never on any actions on our part.

 Many fall into the error of mixture because they don't grasp what it truly means to be Righteous. Righteousness is divine acceptance, approval, and perfect right standing before the Father. We who believed received His perfect Righteousness in the great exchange. We are now as Righteous as Jesus. Righteousness is a gift we receive by Faith alone. It is not a work we achieve. 

 When it comes to material blessings many want to link provision with our giving and even with the practice of tithing. I have written extensively on tithing in the past you can find those links in the archive section of this blog. Let me briefly address this issue.

 If we look at Acts 15, we can clearly see this issue addressed and settled. Some misguided believers wanted to mix the Old with the New. They wanted to mix Law and Grace. They desired that believers keep the Law of Moses. This would include tithing. The Gentiles were never given the Law, so how could they have known anything about tithing?

 What did the Apostles conclude? They declared in a letter, some are requiring you to keep the Mosaic Law, but we gave no such command. There we have it. We as believers are not commanded to keep the Law. That would include tithing. Some would say but tithing was before the Law, well so was circumcision as a sign of following Jehovah and we aren't commanding that today.

 Apart from the tithe, still, others want to focus on our giving. They teach that Paul taught in 2 Corinthians that our giving is our seed and we sow it to become more blessed. Is this true? 

 This idea is rooted in the seed-faith message. This teaching infiltrated many charismatic and word of faith ministries. Instead of simply believing God's Word and speaking it (this truth I still strongly affirm), the focus became what you gave and how much you gave and how often you gave. 

 Placing stipulations on the blessing such as giving and doing turns the Goodness of God into a works and performance-rooted system of earning and achieving. The blessing then becomes a wage earned and not a gift of Grace. 

 Teaching that all our actions and our giving are seeds sown gets us reverting to some form of karma like existence. Where the Love of God doesn't guide our actions but the desire for a better future and for more and more good to come our way. It also produces fear and gets us back to Law, "do good get good do bad get bad."

 Paul likened giving as a seed in 2 Corinthians 9 only in the sense that as the whole body of believers give (he was addressing a specific church), the gift would multiply to those who received it. In other words, my gift of $50 given with the right motive to be a blessing is good but adding that to the amount the body will give is multiplication. In essence that one gift is like planting a single apple tree, but that gift coupled with others is like planting many apple trees.

 We are blessed because of what Jesus did. We look to Jesus' work never our own. Our blessings come from Christ alone never us. If the blessing comes from us and our doing then we have a place to boast, "look at what my giving, doing, and behavior produced."This replaces Grace and inheritance to a wage earned.

 In summation, in Christ, because of Christ alone and our trust in Him, we are blessed. The blessing is not determined or stipulated upon us by our doings but by Jesus Christ alone. Trust in Him and not your doing, your giving, or your behavior. Christ determined the blessing, He earned it and gave it to us, freely receive it. 

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

The Prevailing Word: What are you hearing?

 20 So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed Acts 19:20 KJV

....For I will hasten My word to perform it.” Jeremiah 1:12b MEV

   In our last study, we revisited the prevailing Word study. We asked the simple question what are you looking at? Are we looking at the circumstances, the trial, the storm, or how long it's been? Or are we looking at the Finished Work? 

 Today, it seemed good to ask another simple question. What are you hearing? What are you listening to? 

 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  Romans 10:17 MEV

 It's important to ask what are we hearing. Why? Because what we are hearing is what we are feeding on. What the Word shows us is an eternal truth. Faith comes by hearing God's Word. Faith is being divinely persuaded. It's trusting in who God is and what He said. 

 If we gain trust, become divinely persuaded by hearing God, what happens when we hear other voices? When we give attention, by our hearing, to what the enemy says then we will become persuaded by what he says. 

 For instance, many studies have been conducted concerning the words we speak. That is when children in one group were told they were failures and unsuccessful they began to fail at the tasks assigned. The other group of children was told they were successful and they became successful in their assignments. What I am saying is what we feed on causes us to be persuaded, be it positively or negatively. 

 So what are we feeding on? What are we hearing? Are we listening to God, and thus growing in our trust and persuadableness of His Word and Finished Work? Or are we listening too much to the other voices which cause us to have negative expectations?

 What are you hearing?

 Are you listening to the lies of the enemy? God says we are victorious and triumphant in Him. The enemy likes to put a question mark where God puts a period. The enemy's words try to convince you that you are a failure. That you are unloved. That you are a mistake. Even that you love sin and wrongdoing. 

 The Word of God says differently. The Word says greater is He that's in you than he that's in the world.  That you are loved and the apple of God's eye. 

 Are you listening to the world system? The world has divisions, opinions, and produces much anger, strife, fear, and anxiety. They try to meet their own needs apart from God. The world has it's own standards of right and wrong. 

 The Word says otherwise. The Word says we love one another. We do good to each other. We bless and expect nothing in return. We live by the leading of the Spirit and the new desires of the New Creation. We don't satisfy the flesh, that is living contrary to God's will and ways, no we do things God's way and are joyful because of it.

 Are you listening to religious tradition? Tradition says God is the source of our suffering. That God wants us broke and poverty-stricken. That God is not interested in our life here on Earth. That He only ordains suffering and a powerless life. 

 The Word says otherwise. He declared He desires we prosper in all things and be in health. The Word reveals God is the source of life not death. He is the One bringing life in abundance and it's the enemy that steals and kills and destroys. 

 Are you listening to Law and legalism? Legalism says you are unworthy. That you're just a sinner. That you must earn and achieve God's love and blessing and favor. 

 God's Word says otherwise. The Word says we are under Grace, not Law. God's Word reveals He made us worthy by the Blood. His Word shows us we are already blessed in Him. That we are favored and made righteous by Faith. We are accepted and approved of God by Faith not our performance. 

 What are you hearing? What are you feeding on? The words of the enemy that produces fear? The words of the world system that produces division, lust, and a trust in man's ways and not God? The words of religious tradition and Law that produce a mistrust of God's Grace and trust in your own works? Or are you hearing God and what He says about you? That He is for you not against you. That He loves you eternally. That you are accepted and approved because of Jesus. 

  In summation, hear God and Him alone. Don't listen to the lies of the enemy. Feed on God's Word for victory and success.

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Monday, May 11, 2020

Another Mistaken Idea: Luke 6:38 is speaking of money

 13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.” Mark 7:12 NKJV

  In times of crisis, one constant we always see is the helpers arising. We see those who respond with actions of love, kindness, and ministering life to those who've been negatively affected. First responders bring physical aid and then we see charitable groups bringing material aid. Many sincere people will give something, no matter how small, to help.

 In the face of such charitable giving, it seemed good to share again on some more mistaken ideas. When it comes to giving there is a mistaken idea that abounds through much of the Body of Christ. The idea that Luke 6:38 is referencing financial giving and receiving. 

 I can't number the times I've seen or heard this passage referenced before an offering at a church gathering or special meeting. The idea is that if you give your money, then it will come back to you good measure, pressed down, and running over. God will give all this money plus more into your life by using men to give financially to you. 

upon hearing news like this many many people will open their wallets, grab their checkbook, or empty their pockets. What a fantastic promise! God is going to make us richer and richer because we gave in a particular offering. 

 This kind of hype and gimmickry will fatten the offering plate or donation basket, but what about when people don't see their $50 offering returning unto them by the hundreds of dollars? What then? What happens to the offering plate then? 

 Now one must convince the giver that there must be some reason they aren't seeing this kind of promised return in their life. Maybe it's because they've sinned too much. Or maybe it's because they didn't give in Faith. They didn't believe just right when they gave. Or maybe the group the giver gave to wasn't "good ground." The giver needs to give to the "right" group. The "right" group, or "good ground" is usually the ministry or church that's currently asking for the financial offering.

 I want you to see just how much confusion and discontentment arises from mistaken ideas. The first and foremost method to see if something is true or not is to look at the passage in its context and setting. I challenge you to look at Luke 6:38 in its full context.  

 Note the setting and context of this passage. Jesus is speaking about how we treat our enemies. How we treat others who've wronged us. How we look upon others without judgment and condemnation. He is speaking to us to be merciful as our Father is merciful. Not one place does Jesus mention a financial exchange between God and man. 

 So if Jesus isn't discussing a financial exchange what gives us the right to lift one verse out of its setting and try to assign some financial exchange teaching to it? God's Word is God speaking to you. It is God speaking to me. It is not, nor ever been man speaking to God how things ought to be. We don't get to pick and choose what we like or don't like based on our emotions or intellectual reasonings. We don't get to assign meanings and interpretations to passages just willy nilly. 

 It's been said before, and it's worth repeating. When we lift a text out of its context, all we have left is a con. Men have been using Luke 6 as some offering or financial exchange teaching and all they have done is bring about disappointment and heartache and setback and shipwreck to the faith of so many.  

Why are you giving?

This brings the most obvious question. Why are you giving at all? Are you giving to further advance the Kingdom of God? Are you giving so that avenues such as radio, TV, and books are paid for and made available to proclaim the Gospel to a lost and hurting world? Are you giving to fund the operation and upkeep of the local church so they can feed the flock, seek and find the lost, and impact the local community? 

 Or are you giving financially so you can be made richer? I mean really ponder that. Luke 6:38, as it has been traditionally taught, turns giving into a selfish act and not a loving one. If we are giving to get back or receive something then we are focused on ourselves and NOT the Gospel or the Kingdom of God. 

 I strongly encourage all of us as believers in Christ, to relinquish man-made ideas, mistaken ideas. Understand the Word, rightly divide the Word. Keep the Word of God in context and don't let mistaken ideas con you. 

 So let's ask again with a confident heart and mind in Christ, why do we give? We give because we are loved eternally and unconditionally by God our Good Father. Because we are loved, we can now demonstrate that love. His Love is our supply that never runs dry. 

 So we give because we love God and want to see His Kingdom advance on Earth. We give because we want to see this Gospel of Grace, the Goodness and Love of God proclaimed through every means available. We give because we belong to a family. The Family of God. We, therefore, give to the local church where the local family gathers throughout the week. And finally, we give to aid and help meet the physical needs of the truly poor and needy.

 Well, what about our own needs one may ask? What about our own financial position? No matter our financial status we should give something, even if it's just a dime. Give something. Also, we can freely give of our time and prayers. 

We aren't giving to get something. We are giving to bless others. We are blessing God's work on Earth. We are already blessed in Christ. We also have the promise He supplies our needs. So we can give generously and joyfully. 

Every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm has already been lavished upon us as a love gift from our wonderful heavenly Father, the Father of our Lord Jesus—all because he sees us wrapped into Christ. This is why we celebrate him with all our hearts! Ephesians 1:3 TPT

19 But my God shall supply your every need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 MEV

 However, one may be inquiring if there is any passage speaking of giving and receiving. Paul speaks of this in 2 Corinthians. Again the purpose of giving is to be a blessing not seek after a blessing. Paul simply encourages us that when we give we won't go without or be in want, when our heart, our motive is to be a blessing when we give.

 In summation, Luke 6:38 is about giving love and mercy and forgiveness and not giving condemnation and judgment. It is telling us when we give mercy we will get mercy in abundance from those around us. Don't allow mistaken ideas to rob you from the wonderfully amazing truths of God's good Word. We give to be a blessing not to selfishly desire some personal gain. We are blessed so we are a blessing. 

Image by 3D Animation Production Company from Pixabay