Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Luke 10:38-42 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. “But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
We are human “beings”, not human “doings”. Martha was distracted from “being” by her need to be “doing” something. She wanted to please the Lord, to make Him welcome in her home and comfortable at her table, and there is nothing wrong with that, but there had become an imbalance in her relationship with the Lord versus her serving Him. She had become distracted and had lost her focus on what was the most important in her life. Jesus pointed out that her problem was not that she had too much to do but that she was troubled and worried and that caused her to try to over-compensate by doing. Mary, on the other hand, had learned the secret of “being”. She chose relationship over service. She knew the value of being close to the Lord, of listening to His voice and following His directions. Jesus commended her for choosing that good part of life; that which could not be taken away from her.
Worried – Greek word merimnao – means “to divide into parts”. The word suggests a distraction, a preoccupation with things causing anxiety, stress, and pressure.
Have you ever been distracted from your focus on the Lord because of being worried about something? Martha's need to do something for the Lord caused her to be worried, distracted, divided in her devotion to the Lord. Sometimes the need to “work for the Lord” takes precedence over “being with the Lord” and we get off balance, out of spiritual kilter, so to speak. Martha had reached that place of imbalance; she had run off into the ditch of “works”.
This morning as I was walking.....and praying, the Lord gave me a picture of me up in His lap resting my head on His chest, totally enveloped in His arms, being jostled up and down on His knees, just being a child in her Daddy's arms. What a relaxing, restful picture that was. Peace washed over me and the thought of everything that I had to “do” faded out of the picture. He reminded me of the scripture in Mark 10:13-15:
Then they brought the little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. “Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”
Jesus said the kingdom of God is like little children coming in total dependence upon their Father. He wants us to come to Him as little children, being who we are, not striving to work to gain His attention or love. He loves us because He is love! He can't do anything but love us and nothing we can do or not do will change His love for us. We are His children!
As a parent I love for my children to call me or come to spend time with me. That happens less and less since I live some distance from them, and I feel left out of their lives if they don't communicate with me. Imagine how God feels, as a parent, when we don't spend time with Him. We become so busy with the details of life, and trying to run the universe on our own so we can work for Jesus, that we fail to come into His presence and just “be” with Him.
Matthew 18:1-5 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. “Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.”
We can't even begin to see what God has in store for us in His kingdom without humbling ourselves as little children and being being born again, thus establishing a relationship with Him. All the work that we do for Him does not even compare with the greatness that we have as His children! We can never work enough to earn God's love and favor, or a place in His kingdom. It is ours for just being His children. We are the greatest in His kingdom, not because of some work that we do for Him, but simply because we are His children! He places all of us on the same level playing field. Our stance in His eyes is simply that of being a child.
Are you trying to please God through works? Has your “doing” taken the place of your “being”? Do you get so busy with your day that you forget to come to the Lord for strength and direction? All of these are indications that life has become out of balance and needs an adjustment to bring things back into their proper places. But it's a simple adjustment; simply a tweaking of priorities!
Father, I thank You that You love us even when we become out of balance. Thank You for making the way possible for us to come back to You. Please forgive us for getting caught up in “doing” things for You instead of “being” with You. Help us to prioritize our relationship with You and choose that best part like Mary did. Bring us back into balance, Lord. Help us to give You the best of our time, our life and our abilities. As we yield ourselves to You, Father, please show us the important things that you would have us do and how to discard the unimportant things. Open our eyes to see what You see that is important. Give us Your vision, Oh Lord! Thank You, Father, for forgiving us for our failures and weaknesses, and for restoring us to a right relationship with You. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Matthew 11:28-30 AMP Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good—not harsh; hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.
Do you ever feel overburdened? Has life become hard for you because of the pressures of adversity? There is a place where you can find rest and relief. It is in the presence of the Lord. He is waiting for you to come and unload on Him.....that's right UNLOAD. Trade your heavy load for His light one.
This morning as I was praying the Lord spoke to My heart:
"Come to Me, Child. Come to Me and rest. Come and lay your head on My chest and rest in Me. You can't carry the burdens of the world on your shoulders, but I can. Release your cares to Me for I am a loving Father who longs to relieve His children of their burdens. Don't try to carry them by yourself. Yield them to Me and I will sustain you. Cast your cares on the One who cares for you. Come unto Me and rest."
There are times when we become lost in life. It moves too fast for us and we feel like a hamster running on a round wheel; running, running, running, trying to keep up but getting nowhere fast. Have you ever felt that way?
There is a place of refuge and safety from the busyness of life. It is in the shelter of the Most High.
Psalm 91:1 AMP He WHO dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand].
In the secret place of the Almighty you remain stable and fixed! No power can come against you when You are dwelling in the presence of the Lord. The winds of adversity become light, gentle breezes. He is a refuge and a fortress away from the storms of life. We each need those times of respite; of rest and refreshment. Are you spending time with the Lord, unloading your cares and problems on Him? If not, you will reach the place of burn-out. You can't sustain carrying a load that is too heavy for you. It will eventually break you down.
When we go into our pre-service prayer times at church before our Sunday morning service, our Pastor will often tell us to unload whatever cares we've brought into that room on the Lord so He can fill us anew and afresh. We can't minister to others if we are over-loaded with our own cares; so we take a few minutes to “unload” on the Lord.
Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.
Cast – Hebrew word – salak – means “to throw, fling, cast, overthrow. The word is used of the “throwing” or “casting” of anything tangible.
When I go fishing with my husband we “cast” our lines out into the water to try to catch a fish. We use a “casting rod and reel”. The object is to throw it out there a long ways so you can reel it back in and have it be noticed by a fish as being a “bait fish” swimming through the water. When he was teaching me to fish he would constantly tell me to cast it out further. You can't get much swim action if you don't get it out there a long ways. So I have learned to throw or “cast” it out there with much strength so I can have a good, long cast. When I think of casting my cares on the Lord I often think of using the same power as when I cast my line out in the lake to catch a fish. Casting your cares on the Lord is not a halfhearted endeavor. God intends for us to get rid of our cares; to throw them off onto Him.
1 Peter 5:7 NIV Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.
Cast – Greek word epiripto – “to cast upon”, as “of casting garments on a colt,”.
Here we see again in the New Testament that God intends for us to “throw” our anxiety on Him because He cares for us. My friend, don't carry around a load that will eventually break you down and cause you to bend over under the heaviness of it. Don't just “release” them to Him; throw them; get rid of them as if you are trying to see how far you can throw them. Throw them onto the Lord. He loves you and cares about your ability to withstand the pressures of life. Then run into His presence and just relax; rest in Him and know that all is well when you are being cared for by your Father.
There is a place of quiet rest, of safe refuge. It is in the presence of the Lord; hidden under the shadow of the Almighty.
Psalm 91:2-5 AMP I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust! For [then] He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. [Then] He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings shall you trust and find refuge; His truth and His faithfulness are a shield and a buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror of the night, nor of the arrow (the evil plots and slanders of the wicked) that flies by day.
There is no foe that can touch you when you are safe in the Refuge of God. Lean and rely on Him, trust Him to handle those problems that you have no answer or solution for. You shall not be afraid for He cares for you.
Father, I thank You for the secret place that we have in You. I thank You that we are safe from all harm when we trust in You. You are our Refuge and High Fortress and it's in You that we trust. Lead us to that safe haven of rest this morning, Father. Allow us to be relieved of the pressures of life. Help us to cast our anxiety and care on You and not take it back. It's not a casting line that we throw out to You and then reel it back in. Help us, Father, to throw these problems on You once and for all! We can't carry the load that was only designed for You. Father, I pray for my friends this morning, that they will find their rest in You. Thank You for loving us so much, Father! Thank You for relieving them of the stress of life. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
Monday, July 09, 2012
Isaiah 55:5-8 AMP Behold, you [Israel] shall call nations that you know not, and nations that do not know you shall run to you because of the Lord your God, and of the Holy One of Israel, for He has glorified you. Seek, inquire for, and require the Lord while He may be found [claiming Him by necessity and by right]; call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have love, pity, and mercy for him, and to our God, for He will multiply to him His abundant pardon. For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord.
Israel is God's chosen people and we see throughout the Old Testament His interaction with His people and how He lead them, protected them and provided for them. They are a type and shadow of the New Testament church. Those who believe in Christ Jesus and put their trust in Him for forgiveness of their sin become a child of God and a part of His Church. As such, we are His people and He always used His people as a witness to the unbeliever. As we look at Israel throughout the Old Testament God used them to witness to the surrounding nations of Who He was and what He wanted to be to them. As New Testament believers He wants to use us as a witness to those unbelievers around us. As we grow closer to the time of Christ's return it is imperative for believers to draw close to the Lord, to be filled with His Spirit and to be able to share with unbelievers the good news of Jesus Christ so they can enter into the family of God as well.
We do not know when the Lord will return, but He has given us enough information in His word about His return that we can look at the signs of the time and know that it is near.
Matthew 24:3-8 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. “For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. “All these are the beginning of sorrows.”
As we draw closer to the return of the Lord, people will be running to believers because they know Jesus and will be able to minister His love to them. It is as believers seek the Lord for His direction that they will be able to offer answers to those who are fearful about what is happening around them.
Luke 21:25-28 “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; “men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
We see so much happening around us already of which the Scriptures have spoken. We see wars and hear rumors of wars; there is unrest all over the world. There are earthquakes happening all around us and people are fearful of the future, not knowing how to live even in the present. The economy and the state of the nation has provoked fear in the hearts of the people. The word says that men's hearts will fail them because of fear. It is imperative that we as believers are able to give them hope, knowing that God is our Source and He will provide even in the midst of troubled times. People need to know that God loves them and wants them to be saved from the destruction that will eventually take place. We, as believers need to draw near to the Lord so we will have something to give out to unbelievers as they become fearful of the future. You can't give something away that you don't own for yourself. If you are filled with fear then that is what you will share with others. If you are filled with faith and know God's provision for your own life, then you will be able to share with others that He is faithful to provide for them as well.
1 Corinthians 2:1-5 And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God, For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
Paul declared to the people Jesus Christ and Him crucified. He used His relationship with the Lord as a platform to preach the way of salvation to those unbelievers who were around him. He didn't share his own thoughts or feelings about their lives and situations, but he made sure that his preaching was a result of his dependence on the Holy Spirit so their faith could be placed in God and not himself. It is only the power of God that can eternally change people; it is only God that can save, heal, deliver and set free. Man under his own power can have no lasting eternal effect on another human being, but when man places his dependence on the Lord, he then becomes a living vessel through which God's power can flow.
Jesus said this in John 15:4-8 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”
Jesus said the key to being fruitful and having something to share with others on a spiritual level is abiding in Him; living in His presence; praying and listening to His voice and then sharing with others what you have heard. It is a life lived in close communion with the Lord that bears fruit for His kingdom.
Isaiah 55:6 Seek, inquire for, and require the Lord while He may be found [claiming Him by necessity and by right]; call upon Him while He is near.
It is of utmost importance that we seek the Lord before the time of trouble is upon us so that we can be ready to share the help needed with those around us. Are you seeking the Lord as if He is a necessity in your life that you can't live without? Or is your relationship with Him a hit and miss type of thing? It is much more difficult to get answers to a problem when you are in the midst of the battle, but if you have tuned your spirit to hear the voice of God in times of peace when there is no turmoil in your life you will be prepared to hear Him when the pressure of adversity is upon you.
1 Corinthians 2:9-12 But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the hear of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.”
When we draw near to the Lord we can know what God has planned for us because He reveals them to us through His Spirit. Jesus told His disciples in John 16:13 that His Spirit would reveal to them those things that were yet to come, that would be happening n the future.
John 16:13 “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”
He will guide you, share what He hears from the Father with you and inform you of future happenings. It is through the relationship and fellowship that we have with Jesus through His Spirit that we learn the things that God has planned for us and what will happen in the future. If we do not spend time in His presence we will be unprepared for the future and of no use to those around us who are fearful because of the happenings leading up to the return of the Lord Jesus.
Will you be ready to help those around you? Or, will you be one of those believers who is almost like an unbeliever because you have not grown in your walk with the Lord? Will you be able to give out hope and the answers that are needed for salvation to the lost or will you be one who needs reassurance from other believers that things are going to be okay in your own life? Success comes through preparation, planning and activation in all of our life's endeavors.
Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law.
The word for revelation in this verse actually means “prophetic vision”. We receive revelation or prophetic vision from the Lord. With out it people run around like chickens with their heads cut off. They do not know what to do. But with God's vision we know what to do to carry us through the difficult days. We can be happy in living by His laws or principles set down through His word and revealed by His Spirit for success. We will have something to share with others that will bring hope and success in their lives as well.
Father, I thank You for Your word and for making it possible for us to come to You through interaction with Your Spirit to know the things that lie ahead of us. Thank You for revealing Your plans to us so we can share them with those around you that may be fearful of the future. Father, open our eyes to see the need for a close walk with You. Grant us the courage to come boldly before Your throne of grace before it is too late to get the help that we need. Father, impress upon our hearts the importance of developing a close and intimate walk with you. Draw us by Your Spirit and give us a hunger and thirst for You, Lord, that can only be quenched as we draw from Your heart. Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my prayer this morning. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Sunday, July 08, 2012
Matthew 4:4 But He answered and said, “It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'”
We talked recently about the Greek words for “word”. There are two: logos and rhema.
Logos is the message; rhema is the communication of the message. Logos is the Bible in its entirety; rhema is a verse from the Bible. The Greek word in Matthew 4:4 for “word” is rhema indicating that the Lord Jesus is saying that for us to live or be nourished we must have the rhema that proceeds from the mouth of God; or we must have the Holy Spirit speak to our spirits a living word from the Word of God. The Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts the verse of scripture that we need at that very moment to nourish our spirits or give us the scriptural help that we need to battle against the enemy and win.
This verse tells us that just as our bodies need nourishment, so our spirits do also. But it is a “now” word that we need; just as the Israelites gathered manna in the wilderness for their daily needs, so we need manna from God's mouth for our daily needs.....fresh manna.
John 6:31-35 “Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'” Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. “For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.” And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who come to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”
Jesus is the living word of God. He came down from heaven to do His Father's will, to give us LIFE. Just as the Israelites were fed manna in the wilderness, so we receive manna from God through His Son, Jesus Christ, as it is delivered by the Holy Spirit. He speaks His word to us that gives us life!
John 6:63 “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”
As I think back through the years contemplating on my walk with the Lord, I see a consistent pattern of growth arising from the time I would spend with Him each day. As long as I came to the Lord and asked the Holy Spirit to minister His word to me I experienced the life of God flowing into me. That desire to be filled came from a hunger and a thirst for the Lord; I needed to hear from Him and He consistently fed me with fresh manna each day. We need to hear from the Lord daily or we will grow stagnant. We are either going and growing or we are sitting and stagnating!
John 5:39, 40 “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. “But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.”
People look for Jesus in a lot of places; shopping, eating, addictions, relationships, etc. And sometimes, they sincerely search for Him through the word, but they approach the Word in a legalistic manner. I once knew a lady who was very knowledgeable of the Word; she could quote a lot of scripture, but her life didn't reflect the life that comes from the Word ministered by the Holy Spirit. She was constantly speaking negatively of her life and her countenance reflected the negativity that was growing in her heart. There was no joy or victory in her life as she battled the enemy. She had approached the Word through a work of the flesh; but not to receive the manna from the rhema word of God ministered by the Holy Spirit. Jesus said the people searched the scriptures thinking they could find eternal life, but they refused to come to Him to receive the life that He offered. The Holy Spirit brings life through the word so our spirits can be nourished and revitalized! When we seek the Lord in the Word, the Spirit brings Him to life within us.
How's your relationship with the the Lord? Is it filled with the life of the Holy Spirit, or does it seem dry and life-less? Do you invite the Holy Spirit to lead you as you study the word? Jesus said that He is our Teacher.
John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”
The Holy Spirit teaches us and brings back to our remembrance the things that Jesus has said. He gives life to the words of Jesus. He anoints us to learn as He teaches us.
1 John 2:20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.
1 John 2:27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.
As I started my college courses in 2010 I was very hesitant in thinking that I could go to college at age 60 and earn a college degree after having been out of school for so long. I had to learn to trust the Holy Spirit to teach me and bring back to my remembrance the things that I needed to pass my tests. He has repeatedly proven to me that His anointing to study and pass my courses with excellency is with me. He teaches me and helps me learn what I need to know to pass the courses. He meets with me and brings life to my courses. He does not just want me to pass academically, but He wants me to have an encounter with Him through each course. It has been an awesome experience. I needed more of the interaction of the Holy Spirit in my life and He has repeatedly shown up and manifested His presence to me through my seeking Him and allowing Him to fellowship with me.
Are you allowing the Holy Spirit to fellowship with you? He is a person; the third person of the God-Head. He longs to reveal Jesus to you and fill you to overflowing with His love; manifesting His presence in your life.
John 16:13-15 “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. “He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine an declare it to you. “All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.”
The Holy Spirit wants to glorify Jesus in your life. He wants to guide you into all truth and tell you of things to come. Won't you invite Him to come and fill your life with His overflowing presence?
John 7:37-39 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
The Holy Spirit has been given today. He came to live within believers on the Day of Pentecost. He now is living in the hearts of those who believe in Jesus. But there is a difference between being indwelt by the Spirit and being immersed in the Spirit. If you fill a glass with water it has the water within it, but if you put the glass in a bowl of water it not only has the water in it but it also has it all around it. It has now been immersed in the water. That's the way it is with being baptized in the Holy Spirit. He comes to live within you when you ask Jesus into your heart to be your Savior, but you are immersed in Him when you receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. That subsequent event in my life is when I really experienced the life of God within me. The Holy Spirit filled me to overflowing with His very presence. The word of God came alive to me and I experienced a new joy and power from above. I became alive with a new reality of Who Jesus really was to me through the manifestation of His Spirit within and upon me. And I received a heavenly prayer language that I could use in praying and praising the Lord.
If you have not received that gift from the Lord, just ask Him to baptize you in His Spirit, receive it by faith and allow Him to fill your mouth with His heavenly prayer language. Begin praising Him and using that supernatural language that He has given you. Let Him take you to new places in Him.
Father, I thank You for Your Spirit who lives within me. I thank You for the manifest presence of Your Spirit and that I can fellowship with Him. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for glorifying Jesus in my life. Thank You for teaching me and anointing me to do the things that the Father has called me to do. I pray for my friends that they might fellowship with You and allow You to teach them and reveal Jesus to them in an fresh, new way. I pray that they might have a life-giving encounter with You, Holy Spirit. Father, bring the Spirit of Jesus to life in each one of them; not just in living within them because they are born again, but through the manifestation of Your presence living and moving through their lives, refreshing and revitalizing them, baptizing them in Your Spirit! Set them on fire for you, Lord Jesus, through the presence of Your Spirit living and flowing out of them! Thank You, Lord, for hearing and answering my prayer because I believe I receive when I pray. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Saturday, July 07, 2012
1 Corinthian 12:4-11 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all; for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
The gifts of the Spirit are high-tech weapons that God has made available to us through the Holy Spirit to defeat the works of the enemy in our lives and the lives of those for whom we are praying. These are the gifts of the Spirit, not ours to be used at our will, but His to be used as He sees fit. He flows through believers to touch the hearts and lives of people for His glory, not ours. We are His body, and as such, when we yield ourselves to His Spirit, He will touch through us bringing salvation, healing and deliverance to those in need.
Jesus told His disciples in Mark 16:15-20 that they were to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He said there were certain signs that would follow those who believe.
Mark 16:17 “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; “they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
And in verse 20 the word says:
And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.
God is waiting for us to do our part in preaching the gospel and ministering healing and deliverance to those around us so that He can confirm His word through what we say and do!
I remember a few years ago I was in a park near my home walking early in the morning, as was my daily custom, and as I walked I would pray. So, this one morning I was walking on the track when an elderly couple pulled up in their car. I watched as this sweet, little lady got out of her car and began making her way down to the track. She could barely shuffle along. I could tell that it took everything she had within her to walk that distance to the track. As I was walking towards her the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and asked me to stop her and pray for her. I was not used to approaching someone that I didn't know in that manner and, being somewhat of a shy person, I spoke to her and walked right on past her giving the Lord some lame excuse about not knowing her and being shy and not wanting to offend her in case she wouldn't receive my offer of prayer. Well, He didn't let me off that easily, so as I approached her on the next trip around He asked me to pray for her again. This time I obeyed. I spoke to her and told her my name and that I walked there every morning and usually prayed as I walked. Then I told her that as I was walking that morning the Lord asked me to stop and pray for her and would she mind if I did that. She very graciously accepted my offer so I laid my hands on her frail, little body and began to pray for God to touch her with His healing power. I closed my prayer and she thanked me and we both went on our way. I didn't see any immediate result of my prayer but day after day she began to walk more briskly and with a strength that had not been visible when she first came to the track. It was evident that Mark 16:18 “they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover” was working in her physical body. One day as we met she stopped me and thanked me for praying for her. She said she had gone to the same church for 50 years and no one had ever prayed for her like I did. She was so grateful.....and I was so blessed!
God opens doors for us to be His body; to minister His love, grace, and healing power to those around us. But how many times do we slough it off? How often do we accept His offer to be His mouthpiece, or His hands and feet? One illustration that the Lord gave me of how He wants to flow through us as His body is like a hand inside a glove. We are the glove and He is the hand that moves inside the glove.
When we yield to the Holy Spirit for Him to flow through us to touch people He becomes the voice within us speaking God's word or the hand inside of us; the One doing the work through us. It is then that He ministers His gifts through His people, His body.
I often tell the ladies that are preparing for counseling and deliverance sessions that most of our session will be spent in prayer seeking the direction of the Holy Spirit for guidance and following the instructions He gives for deliverance. He can do in just a few minutes what might take me months to accomplish. It is as we yield to Him and ask Him to lead us and show us how to minister that He will be right there working through us to accomplish His will in that person's life. The gifts that He gives are high-tech weapons used to help us overcome our shortcomings in spiritual warfare. We operate in the natural through our limited knowledge and ability, but when the Holy Spirit operates through us with one of His gifts it is done supernaturally and very often instantaneously! There is nothing that compares with Him!
It was said of Jesus in Luke 4:18, 19: “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”
We don't have any trouble accepting the fact that Jesus was God in the flesh, sent to do the will of the Father, to redeem mankind and bring healing and deliverance to those who were in bondage. But what about the verse that Jesus shares with His disciples in John 14:12?
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”
“He who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do”. Do you believe in Him? Do you believe that He will do the same works and greater through you than He did Himself? Faith opens the door for Him to work through you just like it does in you receiving God's grace for salvation, healing, or deliverance for your own personal benefit.
The man, Jesus of Nazareth, who walked on this earth preaching, teaching and healing, received His power from God through the anointing of His Spirit.
Acts 10:38 “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.”
Jesus said in Acts 1:8 that when the Holy Spirit comes upon us we will receive power to be His witnesses.
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
The Holy Spirit is the person of the God-head that is in operation in the earth today. He is the Spirit of Christ Jesus that was sent when Jesus ascended back to heaven. Jesus described Him in John 16:7 as the “Helper”. He is working in and through His body in the world today. He has chosen to work through individual believers in the body of Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:27, 28 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.
Each one of us has a calling on our life to fulfill the will and purpose of God in reaching the lost and hurting around us. No one is more important than the other.
1 Corinthians 12:18-26 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
There is no one person in the body of Christ that is more important than another. God has set each one of us in the body as He pleased. We each have our own part to play in His work. He is the one working in us to establish His will and good pleasure.
Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
Jesus said that He didn't do anything that He didn't see the Father doing and He didn't say anything on His own judgment.
John 5:19, 30 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.” “I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.”
The Son lived in such sweet communion with the Father that what He saw the Father doing was what He did. And He spoke only those things that He heard from the Father. Philippians 2:5-8 tells us that He laid His deity aside when He came to earth and submitted Himself to the will of the Father. He was anointed by the Holy Spirit, and followed the directions given by the Father to do His will. He is our perfect example of how God wants to now flow through His body of believers, to accomplish His will through the Spirit in our world today.
Father, I thank You for Jesus, who came to this earth, lived a life of ministry as You anointed Him by Your Spirit to do Your will. I thank You that He became our substitute for the payment for our sin. Thank You for redeeming us and placing us in You as Your body. Father, may we represent You well by listening to Your Spirit as You direct us in ministry. May we flow with the Holy Ghost as His mouthpiece and hands and feet! Father, do through us what You want to do to bring salvation to the lost and healing and deliverance to those who are in bondage. Fulfill Your will through us today, Father! In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
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