Thursday, December 13, 2012
2 Corinthians 4:3, 4 NLT If the Good news we preach is veiled from anyone, it is a sign that they are perishing. Satan, the god of this evil world, has blinded the minds of those who don't believe, so they are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News that is shining upon them. They don't understand the message we preach about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.
Have you ever wondered why people don't understand about Jesus dying on the cross to purchase their salvation? Why is it so complicated to them? They often will say they believe in God, but believing in God does not purchase salvation. James 2:19 says that even the demons believe that there is one God.
James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble.
We know that believing in God, or simply having a mental assent to the existence of God, does not make a person a Christian because the demons believe in God and they are doomed to an eternity separated from Him, in a place of darkness, where there is gnashing of teeth and tormenting fire.
The Greek word for “believe” in James 2:19 is pisteuo and it means to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing) i.e. credit; by impl. To entrust (espec. one's spiritual well-being to Christ):--believe, commit (to trust), put in trust with.
So to believe in God for salvation, you would have to put your trust in Christ to save you, not just have a mental assent in His existence. This is one of the things that has been blinded to the minds of those who are perishing that Paul was talking about in 2 Corinthians 4:3, 4. They have trouble separating the “belief in” God and the “belief upon” Him for salvation. To believe or have faith in Christ for salvation is to entrust one's spiritual well-being to Him, to commit to Him, to trust in Him to save you.
The god of this age, or Satan, has blinded the minds of those who are perishing so that they cannot see or understand that the way to salvation is through the finished work of Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for their sins. They are blinded by a veil that hangs over their minds.
In the Old Testament when Moses would come down off the mountain after having been communing with God his face would be aglow with the glory of God so much that he would have to hang a veil over it so the people would not be frightened by the glow of the glory of God. The people didn't understand God and were frightened by Him.
2 Corinthians 3:7-9 NLT That old system of law etched in stone led to death, yet it began with such glory that the people of Israel could not bear to look at Moses' face. For his face shone with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away. Shouldn't we expect far greater glory when the Holy Spirit is giving life? If the old covenant, which brings condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the new covenant, which makes us right with God!
The Old Covenant that people lived by was a covenant of keeping the law. The New Covenant is a covenant of living by grace. The law was keeping a set of rules and in order to be right with God you had to keep the rules and offer animal sacrifices for your sins. The New Covenant is based on placing your trust in Christ Jesus who was the sacrifice given once and for all the sins of mankind. Jesus took the place of the animal sacrifices in the Old Testament to remove a person's sin.
Hebrews 9:28 NLT so also Christ died only once as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again but not to deal with out sins again. This time he will bring slavation to all those who are eagerly waiting for him.
That glorious gospel of His payment for our sins is what Satan has blinded to people who are perishing so that they can't see how Jesus paid the payment that was required for the removal of sin that would make a person right with God. Satan has hung a veil over people's minds to cloud and confuse their thinking.
2 Corinthians 3:16-18 NLT But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, then the veil is taken away. Now, the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, he gives freedom. And all of us have had that veil removed so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more.
Whenever a person comes to Jesus for salvation and is born again, or places their trust in Him for salvation, the veil is removed and they then shine brightly with the glory of God. Have you ever seen a Christian that just seemed to shine with a glow that was undeniably not of their own works? They just radiate the glory of God! Once that veil is removed we then shine as we draw close to Him. As the end of verse 18 says: “And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more”. If people can't tell that you are a Christian then maybe you need to draw closer to the Lord Jesus and allow Him to change you into His likeness.
2 Corinthians 4:7 calls the glory of God within us “precious treasure”:
But this precious treasure—this light and power that now shine within us—is held in perishable containers, that is in our weak bodies. So everyone can see that our glorious power is from God and is not our own.
It becomes evident as a person goes through trials and tribulations, the ups and downs of life that the glory of God within them is not something they are manufacturing on their own. It is God's glorious power within that causes a person to shine even though them may be going through extreme hardship. His power within gives them the ability to shine whether they are experiencing good or bad times.
Do you have loved ones that are blinded by the enemy this morning so that it seems that they can't see or understand what you are talking about when you try to talk to them about Jesus? Do they become hardened in heart at the mention of the gospel? If so, then pray that the veil that Satan has hung over their minds would be removed so they can see the light of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ and come to salvation. Saturate them in prayer before you attempt to talk to them about the Lord.
Father, I thank You for providing salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross of Calvary. I know that He was the ultimate sacrifice that paid the penalty for the sin of mankind. I thank You for making it possible for all men to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. This morning, I pray for those who are perishing that the veil that Satan has hung over their minds would be torn down so they can see the light of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ and be saved. I ask that You would place people in their paths that would be able to share Jesus with them in ways that they will understand and receive. I pray that their hearts would be softened and prepared to receive Your word to them about their need for Jesus as Savior, for without placing their faith in Him there can be no salvation for them. Father, I pray that You will create divine appointments for them to interact with Christians who shine with the glory of God in their faces. Let them see the difference in the lives of those who have spent time with You allowing You to change them to reflect Your glory. Father, I thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
There are many times that I awaken in the morning with a scripture running through my mind. I know when that happens to listen for the Lord is speaking something to my spirit. This morning as I got out of bed Hebrews 12:25-29 was the subject matter that the Lord was bringing to my attention.
Hebrews 12:25-29 NIV See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “one more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicated the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.”
There are and have been many “shakings” going on in our world in 2012. From major weather events to political unrest and governmental changes, we've seen a year of numerous “shakings”. And for a lot of people those “shakings” were not just world events or major weather happenings, but were very personal “shakings” within their own families. It is at a time of unrest, turmoil and tribulations that we find ourselves looking for a place of refuge; a place of safety where we can hide until the storm passes by.
In this portion of Scripture the Lord tells us to be sure to listen to Him when major “shakings” occur. He shakes those things that are temporal so that the eternal is the only thing that remains. His kingdom is eternal; our world is temporary. When everything in your life is being shaken, what will remain is your spiritual connection to the Living God. Your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ is what will not be shaken away. Everything else in life is temporal and subject to a shaking. For many the old song “there's a whole lot of shaking going on” has become a reality in their own personal world. It is often during a time of shaking that people turn to the Lord. They realize that life is finite; we are but a vapor, a mist; only God is infinite.
James 4:13, 14 NIV Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city,spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
Life is but for a fleeting moment in the grand scheme of eternity. We have but a few years on this earth to fulfill the plan that God has for each one of us. His ultimate plan for man is that we would receive the greatest gift that was ever given, Jesus Christ, as our own personal Lord and Savior. That entitles us to life eternal, with Him in Heaven. When the shaking is going on we often realize that this life is temporary with no guarantee of security. But God offers us eternal life; life that never ends through a relationship with Him that was purchased through the blood of Jesus.
John 17:3 NKJV “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
Jesus said the way to receiving eternal life is through knowing God and His Son, Jesus Christ.
1 John 5:11-13 NKJV And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.
It is at this time of the year that we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, many only see Him as a babe in a manger, born in Bethlehem. They have never gotten past the birth of the Savior to see the risen Savior, the One who lived a sinless life and died the death of a criminal to pay the price for the sin of mankind. We each have to come to the place where we see Jesus, personally, as our own Savior and Lord. Jesus asked His disciples who they saw Him as when the world around them was saying all kinds of things about Him.
Matthew 16:13-16 When Jesus came into the region of Caesara Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
This morning it doesn't matter who your neighbor says Jesus is, or who your husband or wife says He is. What matters is who do you say He is? Is Jesus real to you, personally? Have you received Him into your heart as your own personal Savior? Do you have a relationship with Him that entitles you to eternal life; a life that continues into eternity even after this life is over? These are questions that only you can answer. No one can make that decision for you. There are no works that can gain access into an eternity spent with the Lord. Works will not earn your salvation; it is a free gift; only receiving Jesus will give you the privilege of living in the presence of the Lord.
Today there's a whole lot of shaking going on, but that shaking can be used for your good if it leads you to the Savior! If you've never invited Jesus into your heart to be your own personal Savior and Lord, I would like to lead you in a prayer to do that; to seal you in Him once and for all eternity. Won't you pray this prayer with me and sincerely mean it in your heart?
Father, I come before you right now realizing that I have never made Jesus my own personal Savior and Lord. I understand that You gave Him to be the payment for my sin; that He died for me and rose to new life that I might also die to my sin and raise to new life in Him. Thank You for the gift of salvation that You have given to the world; to me personally. Father, I ask You to forgive me for living my life for myself. I realize that I am a sinner both by birth and by choice. I choose now to live for You, to give my heart to Jesus and to receive Him as my Savior and Lord. I will live from this day forward for You. I give You my heart and all that I am and ever hope to be. I receive Your gift of salvation in Christ Jesus now and I thank You for saving me. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
If you prayed that prayer for the first time and truly meant it in your heart, tell someone about it. It is with the confession of your mouth that salvation is secured according to Romans 10:10. We boldly proclaim that Jesus is our Savior and Lord!
Father, I thank You for those who have received Jesus as Savior and Lord today! Thank You for saving them; for giving them a home in heaven with you when this life is over. Thank You for providing eternal life for each one of us who have believed in our hearts that Jesus is the Son of God who died for our sins and have proclaimed Him as Lord with our mouths. Thank You for so great a salvation. At this time of the year when we celebrate His birth I pray that the eyes of the blind will be opened to see that He is not just a baby in a manger, but He is the Savior of the world. I pray that hearts will be touched and the blinders will be taken off the minds of those who are perishing so that they can see the light of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ and come to salvation. Father, may the shakings that we are experiencing in our lives be a beacon to lead us to Jesus. I pray that none will be lost, Father, but that all will come to salvation. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Ephesians 3:20, 21 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
“Exceedingly abundantly”.....I like that phrase. God is the God of “exceedingly abundances”. There is no lack, no shortage, no inability or impossibilities with God! He is El Shaddai, the all-sufficient One!
The Amplified Bible records Ephesians 3:20 like this:
Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do super abundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]--
God, by His power that works within us is able to do super abundantly more than what we would dare to ask of Him that is far beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes or dreams!
I want to ask you this morning: What is it that is far beyond your highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes or dreams that you would like to see God do in your life? God is able! God is willing! God has the power to do it! God has the resources to bring it into being!
The question then becomes: Why am I not seeing it happen?
Now that's where the complication comes in. We often do not see the super-abundance that God wants to bring into our lives because we don't believe that He wants to do; that He will do it, or that He is able to do it for us. We can see Him doing great things for other people, but we have difficulty believing that He would do those same things for us.
It then boils down to this question: What power is it that is working within us?
The Scripture says God works His super-abundance within us according to “His power that works in us”! His power is what does the work to provide the super-abundance! But many times the negative, unbelieving power that says “it'll never happen for me” becomes more influential or more outstanding to us than the fact that God's power is greater than any other power that would try to manifest itself in our thinking.
The power that is referred to in this Scripture is the power of God's Spirit within a believer! That is the same Spirit that raised Christ Jesus from the dead after His crucifixion!
The Greek word for “power” in Ephesians 3:20 is “dunamis”. It's definition is force (lit. or fig.); spec. miraculous power; ability, abundance, meaning, might; power, strength, violence, mighty (wonderful) work.
It is the word from which we get our English word “dynamite”. The dynamic, miraculous, abundant, wonderful power of God is what works in you to manifest His exceedingly abundant promises!
Exceedingly abundantly – Greek word “perissos” – means super-abundance, excessive, overflowing surplus, over and above, more than enough, profuse, extraordinary, above the ordinary, more than sufficient.
The abundance that is referred to in this scripture is the same abundance that Jesus spoke of in John 10:10:
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may it more abundantly.”
This is the same Greek word “perissos” that means super-abundance. Jesus came to give us a super-abundant life! When we think of abundance as a Biblical term we must understand that God gave His Son, Jesus, to die for us to forgive us from the sin that separates us from God, to heal our bodies, and to deliver us from poverty and lack. Those three areas comprise the needs of the total man: spirit, soul, and body. Biblical abundance or prosperity then means health for your total being (body, mind, emotions, relationships), as well as provision for your material needs. The power of God's Spirit within us works to supply in abundance the provision that is needed in each area of our lives.
Are you seeing the exceedingly abundantly happen in your life? If not, have you asked God to do the miraculous in your situation? If so, are you believing that He will do it?
Everything that we receive from God comes by His grace through our faith. His grace is what supplies the super-abundance and our faith is what carries it to us. God has already laid up in Heaven the grace to supply your every need, even the miraculous things that seem to be too big and too far out of reach.
There is a promise in God's word for every need that we will ever face in our lives. Faith reaches out into God's storehouse of provision and lays hold of the promise that He gives us that meets the need that we are facing. When we place our trust in God, pray for our needs, believe we receive them when we pray and do not doubt, God's word says we will have those things that we have ask of Him.
Mark 11:22-24 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”
Faith and doubt cannot co-exist if you want to see the promises of God manifest in your life. I'm sure you have heard the term “doubting Thomas” sometime during your lifetime. It is referring to Thomas in the Bible when he didn't believe that Jesus had risen from the dead without first seeing Him. It is recorded in John 20:24-29:
Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Thomas is termed as “doubting Thomas” because he doubted that Jesus had risen from the dead and refused to believe until he saw Him. Jesus told Thomas that he had believed because he saw the proof right there with him, but those who believe without seeing are the ones who are blessed. Faith reaches out into the spiritual realm where God has laid up His promises for us and pulls those things that we have need of into existence through believing before we see them manifested. Jesus said those are the ones who are blessed!
Paul referred to this act of faith as fighting the good fight of faith and laying hold on eternal life.
1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
I remember as a little girl that sometimes we would have snapping turtles come into the ditch in front of our house after a big rain and my mother cautioned me about not getting too close to them because with their long necks they could reach out and bite me. She said a snapping turtle wouldn't turn loose until it thundered. Of course, as a little girl that frightened me and has stuck with me all through the years. Fighting the good fight of faith brings that thought back to my remembrance and gives me a picture of fighting like that snapping turtle holding on for dear life. Another term that I think about when I am fighting the good fight of faith is that of “bull-dog tenacity”. In other words, both of these terms give me the connotation to “lay hold of eternal life” as being done with tenacious endurance, fighting as if I were in a fierce battle to win at all costs! That's what faith does!
Hebrews 10:35-39 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: “For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith, But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in Him.” But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.
Don't give up before the manifestation of your promise! Don't throw away your confidence that God is working in you to do the exceedingly abundantly things that He has promised! Exercise tenacity and endure until it arrives! Live by faith, not by what you see, hear, think, feel or taste. God is faithful to do all that He promises in your life. Will you receive it?
Father, I thank You for the exceedingly abundances that I have seen You do in my life. You have always been faithful to keep Your promises to me. Thank You for Your faithfulness to Your word and to Your people. You are great and greatly to be praised! Wonderful, precious, Almighty God, I worship and praise You today for you are worthy!
Father, I pray this morning for those who are needing a miracle in their lives. I ask You, Father, to bring into manifestation those things that they are praying for, believing for and waiting to see come into existence. Give them a glimpse of what You are doing in their lives so they may continue to hope and put their trust in You. Father, I know that You are able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that they might dare to pray, ask, or imagine according to Your power that works in them. Thank You for fulfilling Your promises in their lives. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Monday, December 10, 2012
Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
It is the time of the year when we all begin to think about what we will do in the upcoming year. There will be New Year resolutions that many will make and hope to see fulfilled. New diets will be started; some will stop smoking and vow to give it up through the power of a New Year's resolution. But the only thing that works successfully is what is done through the power of the blood of Jesus. Life can't be lived to fulfillment through human, fleshly endeavors. The only sustainable success is found in the life that we life in Jesus Christ. If you lack the victory, you might want to take a look at from what you are trying to achieve your success. Is it through trying to be good, or strong enough to accomplish it on your own? Or is it through your dependency on Christ Jesus?
I see three key components in Galatians 2:20:
1) When Christ died on that cross, I died with Him. Does that mean that I physically went to the cross and died? No, it's a spiritual death in relation to the ability of sin to reign over me. Paul said in Romans 6:6:
knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
Once Jesus nailed our sins to the cross, that dominion of sin over our lives was broken. Now when we sin it is because we have yielded to it. There is no power of sin that holds a believer in Christ captive to do what it wants. We have the freedom to choose.
Romans 6:12-14 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
We no longer have to obey the lust of the flesh, the sinful acts that go against God's righteous plan for our lives. Sin no longer gets to control us. We now can yield to the power of the Holy Spirit through the blood of Jesus that was shed for us to obtain victory in every area of our lives! Hallelujah!
2) Christ lives in me. According to Colossians 2:8-10 In Christ dwells the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form. It goes on to say that we are complete in Christ Jesus who is the head of all principality and power. What exactly does it mean to be “in Him”? Well, to me it means that when I accepted Christ Jesus as my Lord and Savior I was placed “in Him”, in the family of God and in Him I lack nothing that I need, whether it is physical, spiritual, mental, emotional or financial, because there is no lack in Christ Jesus. The fullness of God bodily dwells in Him. He is the Head and I am a part of His Body, the Church.
3) The life I now live I live by faith in the Son of God. I live my life in Christ Jesus by faith, not by sight; not by what I see, feel, hear, think or touch, but by what the Word of God says. Faith reaches out and takes the word of God literally by believing it is true and that it will work in my life before I see it happen in the natural. If God says I can do all things through Christ Jesus and He places within my heart to accomplish something for Him or to better my life in Him, then I depend on His directions to accomplish it and step out in faith to do it. I don't wait for things to line up perfectly so I can see that it will work, I rest my trust in Him to lead me to accomplish it by faith.
Ecclesiates 11:4 NIV Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.
If you are waiting for things to be perfect, then you will wait all your life because perfection is not in this world that we live in. If we do not seek the Lord and follow His directions we'll be waiting forever for a perfect set of circumstances in which to accomplish what we desire.
My desire for 2013 is as the picture above states: to be so full of Christ Jesus that even the mosquito who bites me goes away saying: “there's power in the blood”! In other words, I pray that in the upcoming year my life will reflect to all around me that it is the life of Jesus within me that accomplishes all that I set out to do. For I am not my own, I was bought with a price: the precious blood of Jesus!
1 Peter 1:18, 19; 21 NIV For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. Through Him you believe in God, who raised Him from the dead, and glorified Him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
I like how the New International Version describes my life before I met Christ: “the empty way of life”. My life was empty before I came to salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ. My life now is full and exciting with purpose! I know who I am in Christ Jesus. How about you?
Father, I thank You for this year. I can look back and see things that I would have liked to have been different, but I know that Your goodness has surrounded me throughout this year and that You will go before me into 2013 to prepare my way to be successful and victorious in it! Thank You, Father, for the power that I have in the blood of Jesus to effect change not only in my life, but in the lives of others around me. There is power in the blood of Jesus! Thank You, Lord Jesus, for shedding your precious blood that all mankind might be free from the dominion of sin, sickness and disease and poverty and lack. I thank You for the full work that you did on the cross for mankind. Your died for the whole man: spirit, soul and body and I thank You for the complete work effected on our behalf through Your death, burial and resurrection! To You be all glory and honor and praise!
Father, I pray for those this morning who are expecting You to work miracles in their lives in the upcoming year. It is by faith that we receive all things from You. Your grace has provided for our every need and our faith is the vehicle that brings it into manifestation. As You prayed for Simon Peter in Luke 22:32 that his faith might not fail in the time of testing by Satan, so I pray for my friends this morning that their faith would be strengthened for the journey and that they would be able to accomplish those things that are set before them through faith in You, in Your ability to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we could ask or imagine through Your power that works in us. Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Sunday, December 09, 2012
Psalm 147:1-5 PRAISE the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful. The LORD builds up Jerusalem; He gathers together the outcasts of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds. He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.
God is great and greatly to be praised! His power is mighty; His knowledge is infinite. He sees everyone in every situation all at once. He sees the beginning to the end in one big picture. One day is as a thousand years to our God. And He is intimately involved in all our ways.
Matthew 10:29-31 “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will. “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. “Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
God knows everything that is happening in your life. He even knows how many hairs there are on your head. He values you above all of His creation. He loves you and cares about your every move. His love is never-ending.
Isaiah 54:10 NIV Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.
Psalm 145:8, 9 The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy. The LORD is good to all, And His tender mercies are over all His works.
When troubles come upon us and we feel we have no place to turn we must remember that God is greater than anything that would come against us and He loves us, cares for us and wants to help us through the difficulties. The enemy comes with his voice of discouragement and despair, but God is always there to help us overcome the temptation to give up, to quit or to end it all because of the disappointment of life.
Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
That phrase “of old” in that scripture actually means “from afar”. “The LORD has appeared to me from afar”. Does it seem that God is far away from you because of the problems in your life? He really isn't, but difficulties will try to separate you from Him. The devil will tell you that God is far away from you and doesn't care, but His word tells us otherwise. God's word proclaims throughout from Genesis to Revelation His love for His people. When the enemy comes with His lies you must be the one that shuts the door on his condemning words. God loves you and has proven His love through His gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:8, 9 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
If God loved you so much while you were still a sinner to give Jesus to die for you, does He love you any less now? No, He loves you! Many people are walking around thinking God is mad at them because of something they may have done or not done, or because they are going through difficulties, but God is not made at you! God loves you! The enemy is the one who comes to steal your peace! The devil wants to destroy you; God loves you and has provided salvation and deliverance for you. He sent Jesus to die for you that you might have abundant life!
John 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
The thief is the devil. He comes only to steal from you, to kill you and to destroy your life. He has a plan for your life just like God has a plan for your life. The difference is that the devil's plan is for evil and destruction and God's plan for your life is for abundance! When the devil comes with his lies you must recognize them for what they are and shut the door on His voice. Listen to God's voice; believe in His plan for your life and trust Him to bring you through the difficult times to abundance.
Even though this is a season of celebration, there are many who are among us who are hurting and discouraged. Life goes on and days of trouble still happen even in times of joyous celebration. The key to winning over the difficulties of life is remembering that regardless of what you may be experiencing, God is for you; He is with you and He will help you overcome!
Father, I come before You this morning to worship You for Who You are! You are our God! There is none above You or beside You. You are worthy, Lord Jesus, to receive glory and honor and praise, for You are the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of mankind. Thank You for laying down Your life for the sheep. Thank You for dying that I might live!
Father, I lift up the brokenhearted to You this morning. You said in Your word in Luke 4:18 that Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted. Father, I ask You to heal the hurts in the hearts of those who are brokenhearted this morning. I pray that You will lift them up from the despair that they are in right now and give comfort and healing to their hearts. Father, I praise You for being close to them. I thank You for wrapping them in a cocoon of Your peace today. I ask You to reveal Yourself to them in ways that they will know that it is You and that You are with them to guide, direct and help them. Thank You, Father, for bringing restoration into their lives and for giving back to them the years and things that the devil has stolen from them. Restore Your children to good health; physically, mentally, emotionally and financially! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
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