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Sermon of the Week 
Monday, March 27 2017

Wouldn’t it be nice to have, a taste of heaven here on earth, just once in a while to be able to experience in the here and now just a bit of what we will be enjoying for all eternity?  In this fallen world of ours which is known by so many, by its problems and sorrows, what could be better than some heaven on earth?  Well, it must be something which is desired by many because that "heavenly" term is used quite often in our world.                                                                                                                                               There are certain foods that claim to provide a taste of heaven. For instance there are a variety of dishes called Ambrosia; which, in Greek mythology was the food of the gods.  Ive tasted a few of them, and, as good as they were, quite frankly, they  failed to deliver at that level.                                                                                    Then we have angel hair pasta and angel food cake, which are okay, I guess; but hardly heavenly.  And now theres a fast food outfit that makes a sandwich they bill as heaven on a bun (which is odd because theres no bun in this particular sandwich.  Instead they substitute two boneless fried chicken breasts for the bread, and in between they stuff slabs of bacon, cheese, and a creamy, calorie-laden sauce).                                                                                                                                         Im pretty sure they call it what they do because if you eat one itll clog the arteries in your heart and its to heaven youll soon be goingunless, of course, youre headed the other way, in which case they might just as well call their sandwich hell on a bun; but that probably wouldnt sell as well, would it?.                                                                                                                                                                       When it comes to food, Miss Piggy says "Never eat more than you can lift"   Trixie Koontz says, "Love and food are a lot alike, you can't get enough"  Calvin Trillin says, "My mother was remarkable. For 30 years she served the family nothing but left overs. The original meal has never been found"!                                                                                                             

Probably the meal that would be closest to being called "heavenly" would be when Jesus fed a multitude with 5 loaves and two fish!                                                                  What it comes down to, is that people who describe any food however delicious, as a taste of heaven, have a very incorrect view of what heaven will really be like.                                  

Since food can’t deliver a piece of heaven,  there are some places that have been described by travel agents as heaven on earth  of course they would be more than happy to take your money and book you a trip there.  “It’s a little piece of heaven”, or as one add declared, "It's where heaven touches earth".....And when they say that, the chances are high that it’s also a tourist trap; and there’s nothing heavenly about that.  We live in a place that is described by many, as a little piece of heaven on earth...coconut trees, white sandy beaches, prestine, clear, tropical water, exotic tropical fruits, … and there are mosquitoes, mall withdrawel symptoms, roaches, rats, and ants. Nothing heavenly about that.  So whatever place we might call a piece of heaven  on earth, will always fall far short of the mark.  As they say: in this world, even the prettiest rose has thorns.

But we’re not done trying yet.  It has been the lofty goal of various groups through- out history to create a piece of heaven on earth, by putting together a perfect society.  It’s an experiment that has been tried over and over again especially when this country was younger and utopian dreamers from Europe would come here with their followers and try to set up the ideal community. There were the Shakers, the Quakers, the Moravians, the Millerites, and many others. Brook Farms, Massachusetts; New Harmony, Indiana; Oneida, New York were all started as communal colonies in which the members really believed they could bring heaven to earth. Why, even Hitler, tried to create an Aarion race, which would be superior to any other humans. But there’s nothing left of those efforts now except a marker beside the road, or an item in a history book. What they failed to recognize is that to have the perfect society, you need to have perfect people. Such people don’t exist, on earth, and before long, life in these perfect communities, always become more like a prison than a paradise.

The bottom line in all this is that as much as we might like to have a taste of heaven here on earth, there is no food or experience devised by man, no perfect place in the world, and no ideal society that can possibly provide it. Sin cannot create righteousness, and flawed people are not capable of perfection. Cracked pots will always leak! 

Since Adam and Eve were banned from the Garden of God, mankind has searched for a way back to Eden's garden. We have all lived outside that perfect place, but there is in each one of us a longing, a deep, almost inexpressible desire to return to the home that we never knew through personal experience, but that we still have a sense of having lost.  I mean, we look around this world and see its problems, struggles, suffering, and injustice  we know them first hand and we recognize that things ought not to be this way.  The reason we have this sense is that we still feel the loss of what could have been.  And this is why we long for a taste of heaven on earth, wherever we can find it  even though there is no earthly way, in our own selves,  for us to have it.

But it's not about us reaching up to bring heaven down, it's about God reaching down to bring heaven within us. Christ's birth, life, death and resurrection were all about making this possible. Something heavenly happens in our praise and  our worship, even though our singing doesn’t sound like heavenly choirs.  There’s noise and distractions all around.  Our hearts and minds have a tendancy to wander. Our robes may be stained with sin even though we’ve washed them over and over again. 

But in spite of it all, Christ is here with us.  And where he is, heaven has come to earth.  And when he speaks his promises to us, when he washes us by his Word and Spirit, and when we pray together, and receive forgiveness of our sins, we do indeed have a very real taste of heaven on earth.  And this ought to make us appreciate the moments we have, and to hunger even more for the glory to be revealed when we stand in Christ.

From the moment of His miraculous birth, to His miraculous life and death, Jesus was constantly teaching and demonstrating the Father's desire, that the people whom God had created in His own image, would be the agents of heaven in the earth. His life could be summed up with the words "Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven".....

Ephesians 1:18 "The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, v19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power v20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, v21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. v22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, v23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” .

He came to produce the spark of Divine hunger and begin a heavenly revolution in His disciples then and now. He told them and us, "The glory which the Father has given unto me, I give unto you". He taught them through a daily system of "show and tell", that their lives could be more than the daily grind of earning a living and toiling for daily bread. 

So He chose fishermen from their boats, and a tax collector from his desk, and a soldier of fortune and a few others and He showed them how to work in harmony with the Holy Spirit to bring heaven into the earth in the every day events and experiences of life. 

When it comes to seeing heaven on earth....We can certainly apply the 

statement found in Hebrews 11:1 "For faith is the substance of things 

hoped for and the evidence of things not seen"...and notice verse 16 

"But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one: wherefore 

God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He has prepared for them 

a city". This is about having heaven to go to heaven in!!!! Where Jesus is, 

heaven can be found!

                                                                                                                                                                   Heaven is not up there or out there, heaven is where God rules and has the oversight. Because we need someone who has rule and oversight over the universe. Someone to sets up the rules for the universe to function. Someone who has authority. Who governs, or oversees everything we depend upon, to live our lives on this earth. I mean, would we really want humans to even rule something like the weather?  From the most microscopic animal to a star millions of light years away, God created everything so that it all works together according to a plan. 

While this is true, we also understand that the God of this world is Satan and we know this because it is stated in God's word. He was cast out of heaven, into the earth until his time is up. But there is a kingdom within a kingdom. The God of this world has many agents to do his bidding. And each of us is making a choice every day, to be shaped by the world or by the Word of God. Satan is still subject to God's truth, His power and His authority, which He assigned to the believers who make up His church.

Our mandate comes from Act 1:8 "But you shall receive power, after 

the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and you shall be my witnesses (my 

representatives or ambassadors) both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and 

in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth". 

Jesus stated that His mission in coming to the earth can be found in...                                 1 John 3:8  "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, (caused to appear everywhere) that He might destroy the works of the devil".

Colossians 2:14  "For He has blotted out the handwriting of ordinances 

that was against us, which was opposed to us, and took it out of the way, 

nailing it to His cross.v15  And having overcome principalities and powers, 

He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it". 

How humiliating it surely is to Satan and all his demons, that carry out his 

diabolical  purposes, for God to call on frail, finite men and women and 

choose them as His agents, and give them authority and power, to bring 

heaven into the earth. In Christ, Satan has been defeated and Jesus  hands

His victory to us who are His agents. Through His victory, He has appointed 

us, to overrule and reign in the midst of the powers of darkness and set 

boundries which declare...."This far shall you come and no further"!!~

                                                                                                                                                           

The Greek word for the world wide community of believers and 

followers of Christ is "Ecclesia" or the called out ones. The body of Christ    

i n the earth who are His hands, His feet, His voice, His heart. Those who 

are brought out from the kingdom of darkness, into His kingdom of light. 

Those who are called to do His will and accomplish His purposes. They are 

anointed, authorized , and empowered to represent Him. Why would He call 

us to do something which He has not given us the power or authority to do!

 

The whole creation waits with breathless anticipation for those whom 

God has impowered as His true sons and daughters, to set boundaries on 

the devil and remove boundaries and limitations which Satan has placed 

on the people that God has created and made alive on earth.....

 

Look with me at...Romans 8:19 "For the earnest expectation of the 

creation waits (eagerly) for the manifestation of the sons of God. v20 For 

the creature was made subject by reason of Him who has subjected the 

same in hope, v21 Because the creation itself  (iktah'-om-ahee...the very 

fabric of creation) also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption 

into the glorious liberty of the children of God. v22 For we know that the 

whole creation (iktah'-om-ahee...the very fabric of creation) groans and 

travails in pain together until now". 

Jesus spoke to bread and fish, fig trees, storms at sea, sickness, and even 

death! He spoke into (iktah-om-ahee.. the very fabric of creation)

We could substitute the word delivered in Romans 8:21 for the words "set     

free"....To destroy the works of the evil one, is to set free and release, all that has 

come under his power in the earth.

 

How well the words of the prophet summed up our mission as God's agents 

in the earth....as we see what Jesus said of His own ministry, it is an 

accurate view of His call upon our lives....

Isaiah 61:1"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord has 

anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He has sent me to bind 

up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening 

of the prison to them that are bound; [2] To proclaim the acceptable year of 

the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;      

[3] To bring hope unto those that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty 

for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of 

heaviness; that they might be called strong in righteousness, the planting 

of the Lord, that He might be glorified".

 

The church, God’s redeemed society on earth, serves as the divine 

agency for transforming human society, it is the mustard seed which grows 

into a great tree. As of 2010, Christianity was by far the world's largest 

religion, with an estimated 2.2 billion who profess Jesus Christ as Savior. 

Theologians call this the “already is” and the “not yet fully come."             

 

This kingdom, is called to look like Jesus, act like Jesus and speak like 

Jesus. To call ourselves the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, means 

that God is among us and that Jesus can be seen everywhere!

The Church walking and serving in God's glory is the church triumphant!

Our primary citizenship is in heaven, but the deminsion of earth is where 

we live day-by-day. We may be going to a place called heaven one day, but 

we're coming back to the earth....to finish what we started. 

 

One pastor was turned down by a bank for a needed loan, in order to 

build a needed expansion to their church. He told the bank president, that 

he wanted to meet with the board of directors. When the meeting was 

called, his turn came and he shared the gospel with them then he said, 

when the rapture takes place you are not going unless you receive Christ 

as your savior. If you go, you're coming back to this earth for 1000 years  

for the mellenium. Now having said that, you have turned my church down 

for a loan, even though our credit is perfect, and our payments have been 

on time. When I return during the mellenial reign of Christ I'm asking to be 

in charge of this city and then I'm going to fire every one of you!

This guy had a sense of being part of a kingdom which has no end!

 

We are in the earth but not of the earth. The Bible teaches us to be 

heavenly-minded and that we are to be seated in the heavenly places to 

rule in Christ and with Christ. Heaven is God's pattern for earth and we are 

to live in eager expectation of Christ's second coming in glory, when 

heaven shall come down to earth in all of its fullness. 

 

Jesus said it this way in His message to the church ....Matthew 10:8 

"Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely 

you have received, freely give".

The kingdom of heaven is all-encompassing. It is all-sufficient, and it is 

more than enough!!! Jesus, the king of heaven and earth is waiting to 

reveal Himself through us in all His fullness and all His power!

 

Satan will tell you anything to keep you from believing the truth. Scripture calls 

him the father of lies. I'm reminded of the woman who was pulled over for 

speeding and when the officer asked to see her license, she said "I don't have 

one, I lost it for drunk driving." "Well, let me see your regristration", he asked 

her. "I don't have it, the car is stolen, and I killed the owner and I have him in 

the trunk." 

The officer called for back up and quickly the police are everywhere... The 

ranking officer asks the woman..."Did you tell this officer, you didn't have a

license?" The woman reached in her purse and pulled out her license and gave it 

to him. "This officer said you didn't have registration, because you stole the 

car." The woman reached into the glove compartment and pulled out the 

regristration... "This officer said you had killed the owner and put him in the 

trunk, please open the trunk." The woman opened the trunk and it was empty. 

Then she said, "I'll bet this lying policeman also told you that I was speeding!" 

Satan wants us to believe the lie so we'll miss the truth when it's right in front of 

us!!!

If you go to Budda's tomb, in a shrine at MUMBAI, India, you'll find some bones and ashes which Buddists revere as sacred.... if you go to Mohammed's tomb, which is in a mosque in Medina, Saudi Arabia, you'll find His bones which Muslims revere as sacred.... But if you go to Jerusalem, to a garden tomb where they laid Jesus body, you'll find nothing, because He's alive and His kingdom is alive now and forever!!!!

As we get this revelation, we begin looking everywhere for ways to offer 

God’s love and hope. No matter what our age or our ability, God is inviting 

us to be his agents in this new creation mandate. We are to be looking for 

ways to bring God’s peace and justice on earth as it is in heaven. 

Every day we are to be open to where God is trying to connect heaven 

with earth and be open to how we can be a part of this. Every day we are to 

ask God to help us find ways to assist Him in building a new world of hope, 

peace, justice, and love. 

 

Every day we are to ask, “How can I be an agent 

of God’s new creation?” It begins by praying each day...."Lord Jesus, may 

Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”

Many folks can say they have seen people healed or heard of people who 

were healed, but I can say that I am the man who was and is healed!

As you have received, freely give... Whatever you have received, you are 

qualified to give in Jesus name! 

 

Ephesians 3:14 "For this reason we bow our knees to the Father of our 

Lord Jesus Christ, v15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is 

named, v16 that He would grant usaccording to the riches of His glory, to 

be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man. v17 That Christ 

may dwell in our heart by faith; that we, being rooted and grounded in 

love, v18  May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, 

and length, and depth, and height. v19 and to know the love of Christ 

which passes knowledge; that wemay be filled with all the fullness of 

God.” 

The breadth, and length, and depth, and height, pretty much covers it 

all...everything and everyone is covered in those unlimited deminsions of 

the kingdom of heaven!  

Prayer...Lord, Send me where I can be used, Lord, choose the path that I am to walk, and guide my footsteps. Show me where I am needed not just where I want to be. Though I may make mistakes, help me to accept criticism and correction. May I be Your willing servant. Give me insight to discern those that are trying to help from those that would hinder me in my service to You.  Let me be content wherever You plant me so that I may bloom and flourish there, for Your glory, not mine.                                                                                                                                                                         I pray for a sound mind, so I can hear Your Voice of wisdom and truth and know what to do. 

May the witness of Your Spirit saturate my heart and mind. In all that I do, I acknowledge your holy presence and give thanks for the wisdom, strength, and peace, which you give to me. *....Father, thank you that your constant Presence in my life, is a faithful witness to me, giving insight, and inspiration, and gently guiding me in making wise and compassionate decisions. I know that nothing can touch my life without Your permission. I choose to resist the enemy of my soul and submit myself toYou. 

I know that You only desire and have already provided what is best for me in everything, at all times, and it is planned by the Father, purchased by the Son, and sealed by the Holy Spirit. In You Lord, we have A love that can never be fathomed, A life that can never die, A righteousness that can never be tarnished, A peace that can never be understood, A rest that can never be disturbed, A joy that can never be diminished, A hope that can never be disappointed, A glory that can never be clouded, A light that can never be darkened, A purity that can never be defiled, A beauty that can never be marred, A wisdom that can never be baffled, and resources that can never be exhausted.  Thank You, In Jesus' name…. Amen

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: AT 12:28 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, March 22 2017

I became aware of this as I was watching a program which was out to prove the existance of these creatures, and I realized that the proof was right in the bible....                                                                                                               (Oh, you didn't know Yetti's were in the bible? )                                                                                              

    Well, they are the  reigning world champions of hide and seek, so you've got to look very close and be very thorough if you're ever going to find them! But there are adctually many accounts of sightings of this illusive character in the bible.                                                                                                                                  

    In the story of Moses, there were some Yetti's that were sighted.....                                                           (Of course, I’m doing a bit of a word play on the name Yetti here)                                         All the odds were against Moses as he faced off with the most powerful leader of the most powerful nation and succeeded in bringing his people out of bondage, "Yet he overcame" his adversary....and then the odds of getting them through all the obstacles and into the promised land.... against all the odds, “Yet he overcame” the challenges of the wilderness…                                                                                       So, there are many other "YET HE" sightings in the bible....                                        These are accounts of those who beat the odds…overcame the challenges and discovered the life that all champions of the faith can know….                                              

    Hebrews 11:7 "By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as YET HE,(De’hon…. necessary by covenant) moved with fear, and prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. v8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. v9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:                                                                                                         v10 For he looked for a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. v11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, for she judged him faithful who had promised. v12 Therefore sprang forth even of one, who was as good as dead, so many that they were as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as innumerable as the sand which is by the sea shore."                                                                                  

    I want to go back to verse 6, which we didn't read, "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him". Keep that in mind as we move forward today....There are great and amazing benefits and promises for all who live their lives, desiring to please God, and who make that their first priority!

    The next Yet He I want us to see is in .2 Kings 8:19  "The Lord would not destroy Judah for David his servant's sake, YET HE (De’hon) promised to always give him a light, and to his children as well”.  YET HE in the Hebrew is the word “De’hon, which .means ….”necessary by covenant”)

    This is an amazing promise to David that God had His hand on Judah and would preserve it for David’s sake…because after Solomon, the kings of Judah were .wicked and did evil before the Lord. As an example, Jehoram killed all 6 of his brothers, married Ahab’s daughter  and brought Baal worship into Judah. He built a temple to Baal in Israel and with all this, God kept His promise to David and did not let Judah be destroyed by the enemies who surrounded her. And ultimately it was Judah that was the line of the Messiah!

    I believe the purpose of this scripture is to let the righteous know that God has a covenant with their legacy, in spite of what some in their generational line may do, to preserve a remnant that would remain true to Him. God is faithful when men are not… God sees beyond what we see…… 

    There was a man who all of his life, every time he got paid he took $50 out of his paycheck & put it in a safe under his mattress.  Over the years, it had amounted to a lot of money. Then he got sick & knew he was about to die, so he said to his wife, "I want you to promise me one thing." "Anything you want" she said. "I want you to promise me that when I’m dead you’ll take my money from under the mattress & put it in my casket so that I can take it all with me."  Well, when he died, & his wife kept her promise. She went in & got all the money, then she went to the bank & she  deposited all of it, and wrote out a check and put it in his casket."

God is a lot better at keeping His promises than we are….With God’s promises, you can take it with you……

    Mary Madeline O’Hare did much to oppose Christianity and promote atheist causes…. But after all her indoctrination, her son William, became a preacher of the gospel….It’s interesting that her dad was a Baptist minister and God honored his faith in the salvation of his grandson, in spite of his daughter’s anti-god causes….

    I believe I am preaching the gospel today because my grandpa, who was a minister, prayed that his heirs would follow in his footsteps. Even though my mom, did all she could to pull me in the opposite direction, and when she abandoned me, it was through adoption, that I was brought up as a Christian and Grandpa’s prayers were honored. Our God is a covenant God and we are His covenant people!! Your obedience to Christ has incredible generational repercussions and ramafications….. 

    Let’s find the next YET HE…2 Chronicles_24:19  “ YET HE (De’hon) sent prophets to them, to bring them again unto the LORD; and they gave testimony: but they would not listen”.("De’hon" is a covenant word connected here to God’s sending of the prophets) This (YET HE), is letting us know that God is totally committed by covenant to bringing the message of truth to every living human on the planet, even if they reject it, they will have no excuse….. 

    I am reminded that the gospel came to China through a Christian tract which fell overboard from a ship at sea. The tract floated to shore and was found by Chinese fishermen who found someone to translate it and shared it with the village. The entire village was converted and an angel appeared and told them about a man who would come to explain further the way of Christ. When the missionary landed years later, he found a thriving Christian church waiting to greet him and be taught the gospel. 

As we are faithful, God will work in ways we cannot imagine to fulfill the covenant He has with the earth and it’s people. 

    Max Lucado says… "In the garden, as Jesus felt the weight of the cross, He made a covenant decision. That He would rather go to hell for you than go to heaven without you." 

    No wonder then, that we find these awesome words in Ephesians 3:18 “That we may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; v19  And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fulness of God. v20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that now works in us. v21 Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen”.

God has a way we haven’t even imagined yet! 

    Isaiah found a number of YET HE’S, but let me share this one....Isaiah_53:7“He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, YET HE (De-hon) opened not his mouth, and is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth”.                                               

YET HE, ….here once again means "necessary by covenant" in Hebrew….

    700 years before Jesus was born, Isaiah was declaring how dedicated God was in keeping covenant with us. That in spite of how hopeless it might have looked, He had already provided a way. His plan would not be thwarted and His desire would not be stopped.                                                                                                                                                       

    Jesus didn’t have to open his mouth to defend himself, because His authority was the covenant that He was fulfilling. God has a covenant with you, and you can relax and take a deep breath and be confident that it is in place and already working, even though you may not see it!                                     

His “Yet” will overcome every enemy, every obstacle and every attempt that would stop you from entering into your destiny!

    The next  Yet He, I want us to see, is in John 7:39  “But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because as of YET HE (Ek-i-nos) (Jesus) was not yet glorified”.                                                                                                                 YET HE in this case is the Greek word "Ek-i-nos"...it is the covenant word which is connected to Jesus' glorification, assuring us of the coming of the Spirit. Jesus has a covenant with every believer to receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit. 

    You don’t have to earn it, it’s part of your covenant package. It’s not separate and apart from the redemption package you have already received. It is included, if you simply acknowledge it and accept it! The only thing you can do when it comes to covenant things, is accept that it is stuff that is already yours, that you just haven’t received yet!

    Matthew 5:6  "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled".

    DL Moody was to have a campaign in England. An elderly pastor protested the meetings, and he said "Why do we need this 'Mr. Moody'? He's uneducated, inexperienced, and doesn’t even understand our culture. Who does he think he is anyway? Does he think he has a monopoly on the Holy Spirit?" A younger, wiser pastor responded by saying, "No, but the Holy Spirit has a monopoly on Mr. Moody." Perhaps our emphasis shouldn’t be on how much of the Holy Spirit we have, but how much of us, the Holy Spirit has….

    Luke 24:49  “And, behold, I send the covenant of my Father upon you, tarry (wait for it) in the city of Jerusalem, until you are endued (filled) with power from on high”.

    Too often we place the emphasis on the sound instead of the power. We 

should all know that a door that enters a room, is not the room, it is only

the door. Speaking in a spiritual language as they did on Pentecost is a 

gateway gift. It is opening the door to a vast room, filled with all of the 

manifestations and demonstrations that are available in the supernatural 

realm. If you focus on the tongues, it’s like trying to sum up all that is in the 

room by only looking through the key hole.

If I had an empty glass and wanted to get all the air out, I would simply fill 

it with water…If we want to get the sin out of our lives, the best remedy is 

to be filled with the Spirit, then the sin will find no place to lodge….

    I want us to look now at the YET HE in John 9:30 “The man (who had 

been healed of blindness) answered and said unto them, (the Pharisees 

“Here in is a marvelous thing, that you do not know where He came from, 

YET HE  (Ek-i-nos)... has opened my eyes.”  (YET HE, is a Greek word,     

"Ek-i-nos"...which is a covenant term based on the authority of Jesus as 

our healer) Friends, in our covenant package, healing is included! It has 

already been decided that it would be ours for the asking. 

    So, What is THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE  GIFT OF HEALING AND A 

COVENANT OF HEALING? A gift may surprise you when it comes, but a 

covenant is an obligation which God has placed Himself under that should 

be no surprise at all. (He has bound Himself to His word) That being said, 

covenant healing is something which we can expect to live in through out 

our lives. 

   If this is true, then we don’t need to come before God, struggling and 

begging and pleading over and over and over. When the Lord says, “I am 

the Lord, your Healer”. The I AM, always refers to the TIMELESS  and 

ETERNAL EXPRESSION OF HIMSELF, and the expression of His ministry 

toward us. Jesus made a covenant with us, that transforms our bitter 

waters into sweet. It was the covenant activated by His body and His blood. 

    When Israel was out of water and they came to Marah, they found only 

bitter water which they could not drink. Then the Lord showed Moses a tree 

which he was to put in the bitter waters and make them sweet. 

Archeologists can take you to Marah today and show you that there are 

bitter, undrinkable wells there. But no one has ever found anything growing 

in the area that neutralizes the bitterness of the water. Because the tree 

pointed to a covenant with God, represented by the cross of Jesus which 

would occur some 1500 years later. 

    When we come to those bitter waters of affliction, trials and difficulties 

in our lives today, we need the Lord to show us His covenant tree, in the 

form of the cross of Jesus Christ. It will sweeten the bitterness, as we 

apply it to situations and circumstances that bring us unrest, rob us of 

peace and joy, and keep us in a state of turmoil.  Apply that covenant tree 

where you are hurting and it looks like there's no way out. His covenant is a 

way of life, it is a way of health. “I am the Lord your healer! 

    He is saying “I AM THE WAY OF HEALTH, NOT JUST OF GETTING 

HEALED”. This is the very LIFE COMING FROM THE HEALER AS IT FLOWS 

IN YOU AND THROUGH YOU. 

    While covenant originates with God, just as Adam and Eve were 

appointed as the first agents of the covenant in the earth, we also are the 

agents of covenant. Agents come and go, but the covenant remains 

effective as it still does today. 

    The next YET HE is found in John 11:25  Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, YET HE  shall live”:  YET HE, is the Greek word "Ek-i-nos"... and it is a covenant word based on the fact that Jesus is the resurrection…

    I am told that during a tour of the Holy land, the tour guide was busy explaining what everyone was seeing, when he noticed one man had wandered off by himself and was checking out the tomb where Jesus body was laid. He went over to the man and asked him if he had been here before and knew about the area already. The man turned and said, “Yes, I was here 2000 years ago”…If you understand covenant, that’s how you respond!

    We know that life which is greater than death, is working in us and even though our bodies will perish, the real person we are in Christ, will never perish! When those who were dead encountered Christ and were raised to life in His earthly ministry, they could not have faith or believe for them selves, but were raised up in His covenant of life…. He entered into a covenant with the righteous dead, when He spoke the words “I am the resurrection and the life”….

   Death and the grave are now subject to that covenant until death is finally done away with at the end of the millennial age. There are covenants which deal with this age when time marks governs all things and there are covenants which deal with the age to come which is timeless. 

The eternal and timeless covenant can at seasons and places, come into and interact with this physical deminsion….That’s why it’s referred to as Super natural. 

    For example, our eternal covenant cancels the power of the grave for it cannot hold us. It also overrides the power of Satan, since we now have been given power and authority that will outlast his power and authority! 

Our eternal covenant is greater than time itself, since we will still be around when time is done away with….

    Therefore, it should not be surprising when things happen such as time standing still for Joshua, or going backward for Isaiah the prophet, or the opening of the Red sea, then there are the plagues of Egypt in Moses’ time, and enemies being defeated without even having to fight…. And oh, yes, God has some eternal covenant stuff lined up for us today, if we will understand the power of covenant!!!

    Let’s look also at the YET HE of Acts 7:5  “And he gave him (Moses) no inheritance in it, no, not so much as a place to set his foot on, YET HE (Ek-i-nos)....   promised that He would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as YET HE had no child”. 

    I know I’ve said it before, but you are not worth what you can see, your real worth is in your covenant with God, in things you cannot see. It is in the invisible covenant realm that your true value is established. We would be overwhelmed at what He has given us that we have never claimed. 

    A man had a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital. He could receive very few visitors and they were warned to not allow him to become excited.  While in the hospital a rich uncle died and left him a million dollars. His family wondered how to break the news to him, while keeping him from becoming excited. It was decided to ask the preacher if he would go and break the news quietly to the man. The preacher went, and gradually led up to the question. The preacher asked the patient what he would do if he inherited a million dollars. The patient said, "I think I would give half of it to the church." At which point the preacher had a heart attack.

It would shock all of us and we would be in awe, if we could see all that God’s covenant has provided for our inheritance! 

    Noah was able to handle the flood, because he viewed it all from the windows of the ark. The ark is a symbol of God’s covenant with Moses and his family. It’s amazing what we can overcome when we see it all through the windows of God’s covenant. 

    In 1926 there was a storm that hit Florida and Alabama that caused $1.2 billion in damage, leaving the city of Miami devastated and 372 dead. There was the Labor Day storm of 1937 that struck the Florida Keys with 200 mph winds and 20 foot storm surge, leaving 488 dead. It was the most powerful storm ever to strike the U.S. and one of only two Category 5 storms to do so. There was the 1947 storm that hit south Florida and Georgia that left 50 dead. Along with another hurricane and a tropical storm, all in a five- week period, the 1947 storm caused the worst flooding  in that area on record. There was hurricane Camille in 1969 that left 256 dead, $3.8 billion in damage and is listed as the second most powerful storm ever to strike the U.S. There are many others that I could name such as hurricane David of 1979, Andrew in 1992, Opal in 1995, Mitch in 1998, and Floyd in 1999. Yet all of these storms put together would not have the effect of the storm in Noah's day, which affected the entire world.

So just as Noah was hidden by God in the covering of covenant, so likewise, we are to understand that the same applies to all who believe, as we apply it’s privilege. 

    My next YET HE, is found in 2 Corinthians_8:9  “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, YET HE (Ek-i-nos... is connected to His undeserved grace) became poor for your sakes, that you through His (self imposed) poverty might be rich”. 

    The biggest truth which I want to bring out here, is the difference between a testament and a covenant…. A testament is another name for a testimony. When the Lord of covenant shed His blood to seal the covenant once and for all, and make it an eternal covenant, He testified or gave proof of it by the very blood he shed. To testify is to speak forth, so the blood is speaking forth covenant. So the testament has to do with the blood which validated the covenant. To be accurate, the two divisions of the bible should be the old and new covenants. And what makes the new covenant exactly that, is the blood of testament that has activated it and opened it’s promises to all believers is not from an animal but from God Himself. . He gives us a new covenant by sealing it and validating it with His blood.  

    A professor of a contract law class asked one of his better students, to come to the front of the class and he asked, "If you were to give someone an orange, how would you go about it?" The student replied, "Here's an orange." The professor was outraged.  "No!  No!  Think it and say it like a lawyer!" The student said, "Okay.  I'd tell him 'I hereby give and convey to you all and singular, my estate and interests, rights, claim, title, and advantages of and in, said orange, together with all its rind, juice, pulp, and seeds, and all rights and advantages with full power to bite, cut, freeze and otherwise eat, the same, or give the same away with and without the pulp, juice, rind and seeds, anything herein before or hereinafter or in any deed, or deeds, instruments of whatever nature or in kind whatsoever to the contrary in anywise notwithstanding...” He got an A and I’m totally and completely confused!!!                                                                                                                                                                                        But rest assured that God has filled in all the blanks and all the spaces, concerning our lives…. His covenant is thorough and it is complete! He knows how to say what needs to be said so we can do what we need to do!!!

  Hebrews 12:24 “And we come to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaks (testifies)  of better things than that of Abel (the old covenant)”. When we come to Him in covenant, we will never be turned away or denied, but we will be given access to His inner court….Well, Hallelujah.

    This brings me to my final YET HE…..2 Timothy 2:13 "If we believe not, YET HE (Ek-i-nos)  abides faithful, for He cannot deny Himself".

    The difference in a contract and a covenant, is that a contract is broken when either one of the parties involved fails to keep their promise. We know it as a breach of contract. But this is not a contract with Israel or with the church. This is a covenant that God enters into with Himself. Contractors  put together contracts, God produces covenant, based on Himself and dependant on nothing else.

   Three contractors were bidding to fix a broken fence at the White House, one was from Indiana, another from Illinois, and the third from Ohio. They go with an official to examine the fence. The Ohio contractor takes out a tape measure and then works some figures with a pencil. He says, "I figure the job will run about $900...$400 for materials, $400 for my crew and $100 profit for me." The Indiana contractor does the same and says, "I can do this job for $700...$300 for materials, $300 for my crew and $100 profit for me." The Illinois contractor doesn't do any measuring or figuring, but leans over to the official and whispers, "I’ll do it for $2,700." The official, says WHAT?, I’ve got a $900 dollar bid and a $700 dollar bid, and you’re going to throw $2,700 at me…."You didn't even measure! How did you come up with such a high figure?" The Illinois contractor whispers, "$1000 for me, $1000 for you, and we hire the guy from Indiana to fix the fence." (so much for contracts) Contracts can be manipulated, God's covenant can not be!

    Isaiah 49:15 "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, YET HE (De’hon… because of  covenant)  will never forget you!"

Psalms 89:34 “My covenant will I not break, nor can I alter the thing that is gone out of  my lips”

    He has engraven you on His hand, your face is ever before Him, He has counted your tears and heard your inaudible cries. He knows you better than you know yourself and He sees your deepest places. He has been where you were, He is with you now, and He has gone to where you’re going. He’s your Alpha and Omega, the author of your story and the finisher of your journey! Once God speaks covenant, He cannot take it back, but He binds Himself to it!       

Prayer….

Lord, I enter into covenant with You, I am no longer my own, but I place myself at Your beckon and call. I know that as I lift You up and exalt You, I will be lifted up. Put me where you want to, place me with whom You choose, and do as You desire. Let me be of use in Your kingdom purpose, no matter if it be lowly or great if it brings pleasure to You. Let me praise and worship You no matter if I am full, or if I am empty. 

    I am in Yours, if you choose for me to have all things, or if you choose for me have little. I freely and passionately yield all things to Your pleasure and disposal. Father, I continue to be Yours. Even though I have chosen You, Lord, in a greater way, You have chosen me.  Because You are a covenant God, your blessings flow to generations yet unborn. We trust Your plan for them as well as ourselves, and we ask that each one would come into your will and your calling. 

    Lord, this is the confidence we have, that if we ask anything according to Your will, You hear us and guide us in the right paths. In this knowledge, we can rest and not waste our lives chasing after things which are not of You. Your thoughts are higher than our thoughts, and Your ways are higher than our ways. You are worthy of all of our praise, in Jesus name, amen. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: AT 06:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, March 15 2017

 

Well here we are once again at that annual time change where we exchange the time change we made in the Fall for the time change we make in the Spring…. And we succeed in accomplishing another much to do about nothing event which only serves to throw our biological clocks into temporary confusion. 

We set ourselves up in a schedule of change that keeps on changing….. I am more and more convinced that we need to stop changing the time and exchange it all for what we had before we started changing it all!!! (did that make any sense?)

So in light of this opening comment, I want to use the occasion to state that in the Christian experience, it is not about a change,  but it is about a great exchange!!

    Victorious Christian living does not just mean that a person is changed, but rather that a person has made “the  Great Exchange”. 

We are very familiar with Galatians 2:20, which says, "I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith, the faith in the Son of God." 

    But what does this verse really mean? What is it really  wanting to convey to us? It means that our new life in Christ is based on an exchange. Our life is no longer in the realm of "Me, Myself and I"  It’s not all about us anymore. It is not about evil "Me" being changed into a good "Me" or a filthy "Me" being changed into a clean "Me." It’s about “Me” no longer being me. 

    A little boy runs home from school one day and asks his father, “Daddy, are we Christians or Heathen?” The dad replies, “Why do you want to know, son?” the son says “Because a kid at school is selling a bike for $50 and I want to know if I should talk him down to $40 or just steal it!” 

    I have met folks that I knew before they became Christians. It had been a while since I had seen them. But I hardly knew them, because they were not the same person that I knew before. Everything about them was transformed into another person! They had become Christians…

    We can very easily get into a performance spirituality….Spirituality based on performance, can cause you to become weary in well doing, or you can start judging the spirituality of others based on their performance. The greatest mistake we make is to think that victory involves progress and that defeat involves the absence of progress. Which means that when nothing is happening, then nothing is happening…. If we can just keep from losing our temper or if we can just spend more time reading our bible and praying we will be very spiritual people. But if we continue thinking that our victory is about what we can do, then the victory will always be limited by what we can do! When I think of how much difference our own efforts will make in our spirituality…. 

    I think of the farmer who put an add in the paper for a wife. A number of women applied, and were all turned down. The fellow felt like he needed to narrow down what he was looking for in a wife, so he put a new add in the paper that said, “Farmer is looking for a wife, must have a tractor”. That’s what our own efforts will get us, we have value if you add the tractor! 

    Our mistake is that we make victorious living about us, but what Christ wants to let us know, is that the victory has very little to do with us. 

One brother once said to me in tears, "I just can’t  overcome." I said, "You’re absolutely right!”  He said, "No matter what I do, I can’t overcome. " I said, "You’re absolutely right.” (it’s not what he wanted to hear)

    God’s way is to move us from performance to positional spirituality. From religion to relationship. Jesus told the story of the rich man and Lazarus the beggar, and how the rich man was all about performance spirituality, while the beggar was about positional spirituality…. The rich man went to hell, and Lazarus went to paradise. The rich man requested that Lazarus be sent to warn his family about hell, and I believe to warn them that they needed a relationship with the Lord, not just religion based on performance. Here’s the thing, you will serve the Lord more powerfully, when you understand your position in Christ and you minister out of relationship with Him…..

    Every other religion is about what we must do in order to walk a victorious life….Islam teaches that our good deeds must outweigh our bad deeds to make it to paradise. Jehovah Witnesses believe we earn everlasting life through baptism and "door-to-door witnessing." Mormonism says we are saved by works, namely faithfulness to church leaders, Mormon baptism, and marriage. Scientology believes that salvation is accomplished through reaching a perfect state of mind, and removing our hang-ups (referred to as  engrams). Hinduism teaches that we are delivered from further unending reincarnation through meditation and yoga. New Age calls us to offset bad karma with good karma through ascended thinking, self-awareness and spirit-guides. And Buddhism calls for the Eightfold Path to achieve a state of Nirvana. The Common denominator in most religions is the Emphasis on salvation based on something you have to do.                       

    The English Puritan, Richard Baxter, once said, “So then let ‘What I Deserve” be written on the door of hell, but on the door of heaven let ‘By God’s Grace” be inscribed”.  

    Many folks have a sincere heart but they don’t have a clue why they can never seem to walk in victory. They can’t seem to get to the bottom of what is wrong. 

    A woman was telling her doctor that her body just hurt all over. The doctor said, show me what you mean….So she poked her forearm and screamed in pain. Then she touched her thigh and screamed again. She poked her foot and really screamed out. The doctor stroked his chin and said “ Ahaaaa, I think I know what the problem is, all your pain is because You are poking yourself with a broken finger.”                                                                                                           
    We used to get regular calls from a sister who lives out of the area. I have never seen another person who found it as difficult to overcome her challenges as this woman does. She will spend two hours telling us about all of her failures from the time she was a young person, to the present time. She can’t get beyond her hurts and offences. She gets defeated over and over again. No one says they are as eager to overcome as she says she is. Yet she says that no one has it as hard to overcome as she does. She says that, she must be one of those folks that just cannot overcome. (she’s poking herself with a broken finger…)

    She’s like the woman who was getting ready to jump off a bridge and is able to talk you into jumping off with her just to shut her up!!! “I told her that she was absolutely right” There is no way she can overcome!!! (It’s not what she wanted to hear) because it’s not about what she can do!!!

    The truth is, we cannot change, until we experience the Great exchange! The overcoming life is not a change but an exchange. If it were up to you, you could not make it. But if it is up to Christ, He can make possible, what is impossible to us.  Religion requires human achievement, true Christianity is based totally and completely on divine accomplishment. It’s about what has already been done, not what I can do!

    What is victorious living? Victorious living is in understanding and accepting what it means to be more than a conquerer…. Romans 8:37 “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. v38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, v39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”.

    Your worst sin, your home girl, your Aunt Maggie and Uncle Bubba cannot keep you from the Great Exchange once you understand it. There is no circumstance, no situation, no event, no matter how terrible or severe the situation, that can keep you away from the Great Exchange.

    Paul tells the Romans, that NOTHING shall be able to separate you from this!

As a father, If I had a million dollars, our children would get most of it… If I had the ability to get them houses, great paying jobs, amazing life styles, I would do it. All they would need to do is ask and it would be given. More than conqueror, means that someone else took the pain, the hardship, the suffering, so that I could enjoy the benefits.

     The term which Paul uses when he says "more than conquerors," is a new hybrid (Greek ) word which He actually invents to deal with something beyond the natural realm. The word is “Super-Nikao” describing every situation where God wins the battle and gives you and me the prize and all we have to do is receive it.  The E     

    English language doesn’t have an equivalent word for super-nikao. A person who conquers is a conqueror and someone who overcomes is an overcomer. But, how does someone become greater than an overcomer, more than a conqueror? 

    Vine’s commentary says that, to be more than a conqueror is to be, “pre-eminently victorious,” or, “to gain a surpassing, overwhelming  victory.” Satan is never going to be able to tell God that He almost lost, or that Satan almost won. Satan, as we all know, does not even stand a chance before the power and might of our Lord. 

    “More than conqueror” also refers to the overwhelming rewards which come to the winner, Romans 8:31-34 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? [The term “all things” in the Greek, is “ta panta,” the all, the everything, the all inclusive prize.] If you buy a toy, you want to know that it is “Ta panta”…. Batteries included!

    But there is still one more thing that is part of being “more than conqueror”, and that brings us back to the victory that we referred to, that is found  in Galatians 2:20: "It is no longer I who lives (“si-bu-bien”), but it is Christ who lives in me."  This is about carrying away the prize of victory without having to put forth the effort, or take the risk that would normally be involved in conquering, He made the sacrifice; we take the prize.

    Victory is not about you overcoming by yourself or in your strength or goodness, It is accepting that Christ has overcome for you.                                                                             When Chinese people argue in the Fujianese dialect, they often use a colloquial expression, “si-bu-bien”, which means that they will hold their viewpoint  till the day of their death, then everything changes. Every one of us has to tell ourselves that we are si-bu-bien. That death changes everything. We die to the self-life and the self-effort, so that through the great exchange, we become more than conquerers! 

    If God is for us what can stand against us….Let’s say that you have never done any mountain climbing, as a matter of fact, you are afraid of heights! But here you stand at the foot of a mountain with a sheer rock face that for you is unclimbable. But the thing you need most in your life is located at the very peak of this mountain. You stand there convinced that there is no way you can get up to where the thing you need most is located…. But as you’re standing there, an expert mountain climber comes up and offers to scale the mountain and when he is at the very top, he then lowers a rope with a harness and all you have to do is get in the harness, and be lifted to the top. That’s being more than conquerer! Someone else climbed up in your behalf, took the scrapes, the bumps and the bruises, so you could make it to the top and have what you needed most! 

    “Since God is for us”all that God is, all that God has and all that God does, is available in the Great Exchange. Can the devil stand against us? No, because he has been defeated. Can the world stand against us? No, because Jesus has overcome the world. Can the flesh destroy us? No, because in Jesus Christ we can overcome the pull of the flesh. Therefore, let the people of God be bold. Who and what can stand against us if God is for us?

    There is another question which sometimes keeps us from entering into the Great Exchange….Let me give you the answer before the question…. We go back to Romans 8:34 “He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for us allhow will he not also, along with him, freely  give us all things?

*.....The question we often deal with is about the issue of availability… Will God really make available to me all that I need so I can obey Him? Our problem here is that we get to looking at the things, instead of the one for whom all of these things actually exist!

    It’s like going into a jewelry store and deciding to buy a beautiful and expensive diamond ring. (the women are drooling) You put down your money and you’re about to take your diamond ring. And you say to the jeweler, “Oh, by the way, do you mind if I take the box, too?” What would you think if the jeweler said, “Oh, no, you can’t have the box.” If you buy the diamond, the box comes with it, it’s part of the deal!

    Or let’s say that you enter a contest and you win a Maserati mc13(now the men are drooling)…this is a car that would cost you well over one million dollars. You go into the dealership and say, “I want my car,” and they say “Here it is!” You get in the car and find there are no keys. You say, “Do the keys come with the car?” And the salesman says “Oh, no, you just won the car, you didn’t win the keys.” Hear me please….if you win the car, you win everything that’s necessary to drive it off the lot, that includes the wheels, the steering wheel and the motor.

    When I had the 5th heart attack in 2000, they told me that the rest of my life, every EKG that was done would show the scars on my heart. But in 2010 Dr. Buroughs asked me what happened….there are no scars on your heart…. I had one of Paul’s “ta panta,” blessings. (an all inclusive, will He not freely give us all things blessing)!!! The doctors can repair a heart, but God can give a new heart!!

    Romans 8:28 puts it this way….“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose”. 

Will he hold back from us food? No, he won’t. Will he hold back from us water? No, he won’t. Will he hold back a job? No, he won’t. Will he hold back from us answers to our prayers? No, he won’t. Since he has given us the greatest, won’t he also give us the least? Yes, He will.        

    If he’s given us the diamond, will he hold back the box? If He’s given us the Maserati, will he hold back the key?

    Someone may still ask the difference between a change and an exchange. I illustrate it with an old Bible. Let’s say you have an old bible, the cover is coming apart, the pages are falling out, and the print is missing on some of the pages. So you take a lot of time and effort, and you give it another cover and add glue to the spine to hold the pages in place. You even put new gold foil on the cover and the edge of the pages. If letters are missing from the pages, you fill them all in with the original words. After so much work and so many days working on it, it’s still an old bible that has been repaired! 

    But if we exchange it for a new one, that can happen in just a moment. All you have to do is give the bad one to me, and I will give a new one to you. Then everything is done. God has given us His Son. There is no need for us to strive for anything. Once we make the exchange, it is done! Even in the Old Testament, we see that God’s way was not to repair or to change, but to replace.                                                   

    Isaiah 61:3 says, "To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified."

    God does not change the ashes, He replaces the ashes with a new thing. He does not change the mourning, He replaces the mourning with the garments of praise and gladness. God is for you, who and what can stand against you? “  

    Satan comes and testifies against us in the court of heaven, “Get rid of him! He’s a bum! He’s a sinner! Did you see what he did? Did    you hear what he said? Do you know where she went last night?” Who is there who can bring a charge that will condemn us in the ears of Almighty God? The answer is no one! Not even Satan! Why? Because it is God who justifies us in the Great Exchange! Jesus stands in our place between our sins and failures and Satan can find nothing to accuse Him of, and we stand behind His righteousness, His holiness, His sinlessness…That’s the Great Exchange!

    Can the law bring a charge against us? No, because the law was fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Can the devil bring any charge against us? He can try but it won’t work because with all his efforts he couldn’t find anything to charge Jesus with. What about our own consciences which often rises up against us? Our consciences have been judicated by Jesus Christ. 

    1 John 3:20 “For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. v21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God”. 

    Not anyone, not any angel, nor any demon, nor anyone in heaven or on earth or under the earth, or anybody we know can bring a charge against us that will effect our position of confidence in the grace of God.

    Romans 8:33 “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifies”. (just as if I had never sinned) 

    Our scripture in Romans 8:39 gives us seven things that somebody might think can separate us from the love of God. He says what about trouble? No. Hardship? No. Persecution? No. What about famine? No. Nakedness? No. Danger? No.
Praise the Lord. We have attempted to change ourselves for all these years. Now God is making the Great exchange. This is the meaning of holiness. This is the meaning of perfection. This is the meaning of victory. This is life in the Son! Hallelujah! 

    From now on Christ’s meekness becomes my meekness. His holiness becomes my holiness. His fellowship with God becomes my fellowship with God. From now on there is no sin too great for Christ in me to overcome. There is no temptation too great for Christ in me to withstand. 

    Is there any sin too great for Christ to overcome? Is there any temptation too great for Christ to conquer ? From now on, it is no longer I but Christ.Victory is Christ in me, the hope of Glory!

    Corinthians 15:57-58 “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, [by virtue of that victory] my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is never in vain in the Lord”.

    Prayer…..We give you the honor and glory, Lord. We recognize your presence in this place. Lord, I know that we don’t overcome problems by ourselves. It’s You within us. It’s your Holy Spirit in us Lord, it’s the comforter, the encourager, and the enabler. We know you’re in control of everything, and we know that your heart wants to bless us. You want to reveal yourself to us and, above all things, shape in us a special attitude that might make us to become people that are capable of living at the level of your purpose. You have a purpose for each one of us, a purpose for our families, and a purpose in this congregation. Lord, today we submit to your purpose and receive this word, this challenge in our life. We say: “Yes, Lord, we believe in it.” We desire that you show yourself among us. We receive what you have promised. We are ready and willing to abandon whatever needs to have an adjustment in us, because You have redeemed us unto yourself. Lord, today we say: “Yes” to you. We renounce any spiritual opposition in our life. Now we tell the enemy of our souls that you have nothing for us here. Jesus is our Lord and He is the owner of our desires and our will. Thank you, Father. Thank you, Holy Spirit, that you have made it possible in a world full of difficulty and persecution and opposition of every kind, that no matter what happens to us, through Jesus Christ, we are more than conquerors.” Heavenly Father, I pray that you will drive this truth home to us that we might leave here undefeated because Satan has already been defeated. May we leave here victorious because through Jesus Christ you have made us overcomers, and we shall be more than conquerors. Amen.

 

Posted by: AT 11:52 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, March 08 2017

 

I'm not asking this question about your retirement account, your current salary, what your inheritance is worth, or how much you can sell your house for, and yet I'm asking about all those things and more....

    1 Kings 17 tells the story of the widow and her son, who were starving in the midst of famine, who because of her obedience, even though she had very little faith, ushered her into a new season which was her due season, just as we talked about last Sunday....  

    1 Kings 17:8 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah saying, v9 ‘Go now to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and live there; for I have commanded a (poor, starving) widow there to feed you.’ v10 So he set out and went to Zarephath and when he came to the gate of the town, a widow was there gathering sticks. 

    He called to her and said, ‘Bring me a little water in a vessel, so that I may drink.’ v11 As she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, ‘Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.’ v12 But she said, ‘As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing to bake, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a jug; I am now gathering a couple of sticks, so that I may go home and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.’

    v13 Elijah said to her, ‘Do not be afraid; go and do as you have said; but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterwards make something for yourself and your son. v14 For the Lord the God of Israel says, "The jar of meal will not be emptied and the jug of oil will not fail until the day that the Lord sends rain on the earth". v15 So she went and did as Elijah said, and she as well as Elijah and all her household ate for many days. v16 The jar of meal was not emptied, neither did the jug of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah".

    Don't judge your new season timing or appearance, by what God is doing in others around you. When your “new season” which contains your due season, is about to break, it often gets worse before it gets better. The woman could have thought, why should she be blessed when folks all around her were starving...Your schedule isn't always the same as the folks around you, because we are all on our own personal journey into the miraculous.  

    We've heard of the child who was walking along the beach and was stooping over again and again as she picked something up and threw it in the water. A man who saw it and got closer to see what she was doing, realized that the beach was covered in starfish as far as the eye could seethey had been brought in with the tide and were now stranded. The little girl was picking them up one at a time and throwing them back into the ocean.        

    Amused at her feeble efforts, the man asked her, Why are you doing that?And she replied, If the starfish dont get back into the ocean, theyll dry out in the sun and die. So Im putting them back. The guy laughed and said, But there are thousands of starfish on the beach, theres no way you could possibly save them all. Even if you spent the rest of the day doing thisit just wouldn’t matter.” As he spoke, the little girl picked up another starfish and stared down at it for a minute. Then she held it up to show him and said, “But it matters a lot to this one.” And she proceeded to throw it in the water.                                                  

    Regardless of  how seemingly insignificant, our acts of obedience, in God's economy of redemption, it matters. While an observer is overwhelmed by the magnitude of the problem and doesn't feel that what he could do would be worth the effort, and does nothing....The girl sees the value in each starfish and as a result, she  sees whatever she can do as important and valuable.                                                      

    What is Worship? What is Patience? Do we have enough Patience to Worship God passionately, even when God is late? And we may feel as stranded as one of those starfish.....Do you have enough trust to wait for God’s Answer when it doesn’t happen on your time table or look like what you expected? You may feel like just one starfish stranded on the beach of life among so many…                                                                                                                                                   

    In our scripture passage for today, the act of obedience seems insignificant compared to the overwhelming size of the problem. The woman does what most of us would have done in the same situation. She feels incapable of meeting the need which is presented to her. She doesn’t have enoughnot even for herself and her sonso she can’t give enough. She tells Elijah that she has only enough for her and her son and then they will die.                                        

    But Elijah encourages her to trust God and give Him her insufficiency, her lack, and even what she doesn't feel she has. It is when the woman places her "Not enough" in God's hands, that it becomes her "more than enough"...  and she has enough for herself and her son and Elijah, and the meal and oil do not run out so that the 3 of them are fed for many days till the famine is lifted.           

     Even though we may sometimes stress about our budget or our uncertain  future, we are not on the verge of death. The cupboards and the refrigerator are not completely empty. We don’t wonder where we will sleep tonight. 

We are aware as we watch TV and other media, how badly many folks in the world, have it today and we may feel so helpless to do anything about it.     

    When we see the devastation of communities hit by the tornadoes, or floods, or earthquakes.... we are inundated with all the tragic, terrible things happening in our world. Winnie and I give $20 dollars a month to TBN and to Operation Blessing... It's not much, but it can be all the difference to that one starfish or that one family....                                                                                                                                                        

    The Chicago Tribune revealed that 5 died and 18 were wounded in that city in one night. It told the story of a young mana Stanford studentconvicted of sexually assaulting a woman at a party and b sentenced to only 6 months in prison. It talked about a professor killed in a shooting on the UCLA campus.                                                                                                                                                   

     We rejoice at the good, hopeful stories that find their way to us, but we cannot ignore all that is troubling iand rotten n the world around us. Countries and regions that are torn by war. Ceaseless gun violence in the streets of our cities. The overwhelming hate and fear, pain and prejudice, illness, poverty, loneliness, and loss. It's at a level which is hard not to see even if you try to look away.                                                                                                                                                                

    As Christians, we believe that we are called to be generous. To work for justice. To care for our creation, to serve others and especially to help those who are most vulnerable.                                                                                                                                                   

    But I think this question of how much is enough often gets us to the place that we are so staggered at the vastness of the need that we do nothing at all.                                                                                                                           In a world as broken as ours: where do we begin? And perhaps a more troubling question: where do you stop and just say no? For surely if we tried to solve every problem and meet every need, we could give away everythingwhile hardly making a dent in all that’s wrong in this world, whether it's about homelessness and poverty, or violence, and so much more. .                                         We just don't feel that we could make much of a difference, so why fool ourselves.....it's just never enough.                                                                                                              

    I came across a story which tells of a river with a village on its shores. One day, a villager noticed a baby floating down the river and jumped in to save it. Then more and more babies began to float down the river and the villager called out to other people to help her save them before they drown. Eventually, one woman leaves the group and starts to head upstream along the shore. Someone asks her, “Are you giving up and leaving us?” And she answered them by saying, “No, I’m going upstream to find out how to stop these babies from ending up in the river in the first place.” All the others were active, but she was pro-active.                                                                                                                                   

    We need both direct service and love, and the deeper work of dismantling systems which create and sustain these disfunctional and toxic environments. And both are equally important and both are crucial.                                                                                      Our faith demands that we act with care and service toward others in all the ways we can, when we can, as much as we can. 

    Too often though, we become so involved and overwhelmed with bailing out the boat, that we don't put our efforts into stopping the leak!                                                                                                              So many throw up their hands and give up, as they cry out "what's the use"!!! But we as believers who are followers of Christ are clearly told where we are to begin. We are called to deal with the source of the famine spiritual famine in the land....

    We are called to do something, which will usher in a new season of transformation, a fresh start, of new life and new hope. Each of us can be world changers, and each of us can begin to stem the tide of spiritual famine in the land...Scripture tell us that in the last days there will be a famine in the land, not of bread and water, but a famine of the word of God….                                                                                                                                                  I believe the principles of national transformation may be seen in …                                     

    Acts 16:23  And when they had laid many stripes upon them (Paul and Silas), they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them confined. v24  Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. v25  And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. v26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed. v27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. v28  But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do yourself no harm: for we are all here. v29  Then he called for a light, and rushed in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, v30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? v31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, and your house".  

    When it looked the darkest, they worshiped and praised the loudest! Sometimes you have to dance when you don’t feel like dancing, you have to lift your hands when they’re too weary, you have to shout when the breath has been knocked right out of you, and you have to do in faith, what you couldn’t do any other way!

    All of the churches in the country, giving everything they possibly could, would not be enough to end the spiritual famine that has gripped the earth. But we each have the answer that has the power to bring a global “new season”      His name is Jesus, and as we bring men and women and young people and children to Christ, we can change the world and break the power of this spiritual famine..... The little woman gave the bread she had and it was enough.                                                                 

    John 6:48 "I am that bread of life. v49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and they are dead. v50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it, and not die. v51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my self, which I will give for the life of the world".                                                                                                                                                            

    The Lord's workings and His touch are as unique as we are....Different people saw and experienced Jesus in different ways, and even had different outcomes But then again, Jesus didn’t work the same in everyone either, did he? One was healed by touching the hem of his robe... someone else had to go wash in the river, someone else got mud put in his eyes... someone else just had to have faith and his daughter was healed with no physical touch from the Lord at all...another was healed as he went to the temple and on his way it was done…and how about those who couldn’t believe because they were dead!  Jesus met people exactly where they were, in whatever condition they were in. He didn’t offer hand outs, He offered a way out!!! 

    If Elijah had been turned away by the woman's lack, he might have gone on his way and remained a stranger. Instead, his fate, his life, his well-being and that of the widow and her son become bound together in a "Due Season" of God. In fact, it is because of this Divinely appointed relationship that Elijah was around to raise up the same widow’s son when he dies.                                                    

     “One day, a little girl got lost in the woods on a farm near where she lived. The farmer who owned the land found the little girl and said to her, ‘Don't be afraid; I'll take you home.’ The little child looked up at him, and with a smile, said, "I'm not afraid. I knew you would come, I was waiting for you." "What do you mean, you were waiting for me?" said the man. "What made you think I was coming?" "Well, I was praying that you would." she said. The farmer asked. "What were you praying?...When I first heard you, you were just saying the alphabet.' What was that for?" She looked up to heaven  and said, "I wasn't sure exactly what to say, so I was praying all the letters of the alphabet and letting God put them together the way He wanted. God knew I was lost and He can make sense of it all, better than I do." 

Well Hallelujah!! Even though the little girl could not see God, she had faith that God could make sense of it all.                                                                                                                                          

    How much faith is enough? The followers of Jesus said to him one day, "Give us more faith." Jesus answered them, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you." A mustard seed, is so small that you can hardly see it!                                                                                                                                                          

   The question that is asked in Luke by those closest to Jesus, is asked because they believe they need more faith, “Increase our faith!” they asked Jesus.       The real question is, does God exist for my needs or do I exist to fulfill His purposes? We can't just be focused on God always being there to help us, we must also be thinking that we are here to help God fulfill His greater plan and purpose for others through us...Our needs are supplied in fulfilling His plans.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

    2000 years later we often make the same request, the disciples did, especially in a culture where more seems to be better, and it's easier to notice what we lack when we see so much abundance all around us. But the Lord wants us to  recognize that whatever we have is enough to set in motion a "Due season" manifestation. 

    The challenge is always to understand the difference in what we can do with what we have compared with what the Lord can do with what we have..... There must be a balance in our thinking.... 

    In the early 1940’s the Germans were experimenting with extracting an oil from the mustard plants. They would pick the plants and put them through a process that would pulverize and squeeze the juice out of the plant. When that was done, they would reprocess the remains to be used for cattle feed. They chopped up what was left, then they formed cakes from it, baked the cakes to dry them out and used this for cattle feed. The cows then chewed on the cakes, passed the mulch through their multiple stomachs and after it passed through their systems, they expelled what was left.                                                                                       

    The problem for the farmer was that wherever the droppings landed, mustard plants began to grow. In this account we are given some insight into the parable of the mustard seed....and it suggests to us, that the size of the mustard seed should not be thought of in terms of measurement but in terms of endurance and its ability to reproduce itself. Great faith is not a matter of quantity but of endurance and its ability to be multiplied by itself over and over again.                                                                                         

    In the experiment of the mustard plant, it endured the process of mulching, and of pressing, chopping, baking, being eaten, and passing though all those cow stomachs…and still reproducing itself. Mustard seed Faith is not about what's happening to us, but God is looking at what can happen through  our availability, that can release a miracle…The old song says “Through it all I’ve learned to depend upon the Lord”….                                        

    There comes a stirring within our spirit that indicates opportunities are being given us, one by one to deposit a seed in someone's life, so that they too can come into their new season. When we avoid it, rationalize it, ignore itwe fail to truly see one another with the value, God would have us to.                                                                                                                                     

    When we share the greatest gift we have been given in love, we are reminded again and again, that we belong to each other. That our struggle is one struggle. That our story is one story. And that our hope is one hope. And together we really can make a difference! 

    Be grateful when God answers your prayers, but be more grateful when God uses you to answer someone else's prayers! The little girl in the starfish story doesn’t ask whether she has enough to give or that she can do enough to really matter. She just knows that it matters enough for that one starfish that she is doing what she can and it matters enough to herto do it and keep on doing it.                                                                  

    What is enough? This is a question our faith compels us to wrestle with, but our faith also tells us that this is not a question that God asks at all. God offers us a love and grace that helps us to see each other as people on the same journey, and he binds us together in a common need, and empowers us to love and serve one another in ways beyond what we could ever imagine possible. Its much more than joining hands and singing kum by yah…                                        

    Its about heading upstream in a proactive faith, that must know what is at the root of the spiritual famine…. And we discover that it is ourselves, in each missed opportunity to lead someone to Christ and set them on a new journey toward faith, hope, love and obedience to Christ.                                                                      

    Even when we feel we dont have enough or cant do enough, we can trust in God that He is always enough. When it comes to how much of that love and grace God offersto us and through usthe measure is never just “enough.” The measure is more than enough. Abundant, more than we can ever think, ask or imagine. THANK YOU JESUS!                                                                                                                        

    During the depression there was a sheep ranch owned by a man named Yates. Mr. Yates wasn't able to make enough with his ranching operation to pay the principal and interest on the mortgage, so he was in danger of losing it all. With very little money for clothes or food, his family (like many others) had to live on a government subsidy. Day after day, as he grazed his sheep over those rolling West Texas hills, he was no doubt greatly troubled about how he would pay his bills.                                                                                                                                  

    Then a seismographic crew from an oil company came into the area and told him there might be oil on his land. They asked permission to drill a wildcat well, and he signed a lease contract.                                                                                              At 1,115 feet they struck a huge oil reserve. The first well came in at 80,000 barrels a day. Many subsequent wells were more than twice as large. In fact,   

30 years after the discovery, a government test of one of the wells showed it still had the potential flow of 125,000 barrels of oil a day.                                                     

    You see, Mr. Yates owned it all but He didn't understand what he had. The day he purchased the land he had also purchased the oil and mineral rights. Yet, he had been living on government relief. He was a multimillionaire but he was living in poverty. The problem? He didn't know the oil was there even though he owned it all.                                                                                                                                     

    When you change your perspective, you change your outcome. So many Christians live in spiritual poverty, subject to the moral, economic, social and spiritual famine in the land. They are entitled to the gifts of the Holy Spirit and his energizing power, but they are not aware of all that's included in their birthright because Satan has put blinders on them. So they give the enemy, advantage over them and their family for generations yet to come….They become like Esau, who sold his birthright for a bowl of pottage and forfeited the long term blessing for instant gratification .                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

    Jesus words still ring as true as ever…. John 8:32 “You  shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”. 

    One day when Jesus was preaching to thousands, it got late and everyone was hungry, but all they had was one small lunch. Surely, in the natural, without spiritual insight, it would never be enough. But they had the people sit down. Then Jesus broke the bread, and gave it to the disciples …then the disciples broke the bread and gave it out to the groups of 50, …then the people broke the bread for their neighbors. And it was more than enough                                              

    Notice that in this miracle of multiplication, Jesus broke it and gave it to the disciples, and they continued to break it and give it to the multitude. When they aligned themselves with what Jesus was doing, they were able to do the same thing with miraculous results!                                                                                                                                        

    OK, moving on….Luke 4:16-30  "Jesus went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. (17) The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. (after reading from Isaiah, he said) (24) “I tell you the truth , "no prophet is accepted in his hometown. (25) I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah's time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. (26) Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon".                                                                        

     This was Jesus’ first recorded public  sermon….He is making the point that when one way closes another will always be opened …When one thing runs out, another will be provided…You have a Divinely appointed destiny, and all  the steps to that destiny are accounted for in God’s detailed and inclusive plan.

    Gideon is a classic example.  When the angel speaks to Gideon he says “O mighty man of valour” but Gideon is hiding away in a wine press, trying to hide his stuff from the enemy. The angel of the Lord calls him and says “go in your strength” and Gideon says “Who, Me? I am the least in my tribe and the least in my father's house, why are you calling me?” Gideon is saying “Look I am an empty barrel, I don't have the ability”.                                                                                                                        

    Moses was the same, He was schooled in the wisdom of the Egyptians.  He had it all. Then God took him into the desert and began stripping it all away until He spoke to him in the burning bush and called him saying “I want you to go down to Egypt”.  Moses says “you’ve got the wrong man, I can't speak, I am a stutterer and  I am just an absolute failure”.  At that point in Moses’ life he was, in his opinion, an empty barrel, with nothing to actually give. And that was what God was waiting for….                                                                                                    

    Peter was the same, he had these big proud boasts “Lord if e-veryone else leaves you, I will follow you even  to death” but after he failed the Lord comes to him very gently and says to him, not once but three times,  “Do you love Me??.. I want you to go and look after my sheep”.  He once considered himself a full barrel, but after the Lord had worked with him he was broken, he was empty, and it was then that God called him to lead His church. 

    A fellow was hobbling along the road, with only one shoe, with a huge smile on his face, when a lady feeling sorry for him, remarked how sad that the man only had one shoe, and yet he was so cheerful! The man, still with a big smile, said....Yes! I just found it... to him, one shoe was to be grateful for!                                                                                                                                                                                         

     We may not understand God's provision for us, we may not understand His ways, but we need to trust Him that He actually knows the outcome that is best for us, and how to get there.  God came through for the widow and let her know that what she already had was enough to set a miracle in motion.                                                                                                    

    When Jesus showed up for Mary and Martha, their brother Lazarus had already died 3 days earlier. TALK ABOUT BEING LATE!!!   Martha said… "Lord, If you would have been here my brother would not have died...!"             

    But then she got a revelation that took her from not enough, to more than enough…. something dawned on Martha that didn't dawn on her sister and  she said, "But even now Lord, you have the power to raise him up again."                                                                                                                                                    

    God has an “Even Now Miracle” for some folks listening to me today! Regardless of what has happened or not happened…."Even now" you've got what it takes to see God amaze you with what it takes to fulfill your destiny…. Get you faith back out. Get your Joy back out. Get your ... shut up Devil, back out... Just because it's too late for you doesn't mean it's too late for Him. He's able! He's able! "Even Now".... it shall happen!  YES LORD!                                                                   Now listen to this, listen to what Jesus said to Mary and Martha….He said,    

    "Show me where you laid him down." Show me where you gave up? Show me where you stopped believing that I could do the impossible? Show me where you got too weary to keep going? Who bewitched you that you quit trusting me? Show me where you decided I wasn't going to do it? I can't give you a miracle until you show me where you left your faith and you gave up!                                                                                                        

    Show me where you got so busy with the work of the Lord that you forgot about the Lord of the work? Who hurt you so bad, disappointed you, let you down so bad, that you forgot how you used to worship Him?                                              

    We need to go back to that place, so we can get up again…   You see, sometimes the Lord will wait until all of your critics  All of your enemies  All of your Doubters  All of your Neighbors  All of your Co-workers know its' impossible, and then, He brings forth His "even now".. He removes all doubt as to who He is, and that He is still able!                                            

    If you have Christ in your life, you have whatever it takes to meet that pressing need that is upon you today....Depend on it. God's work, done in God's way, will never lack God's supply”. And it takes a lick’n and keeps on ticking!!!! What you have is enough, because what you have plus God, is the substance for your "New season" miracle~! 

 

Posted by: AT 06:46 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, March 02 2017

Let me open this thought with something that happened to me this week....                   On Wednesday, the lease on the Rav 4 ended and when I drove into the dealer's lot, I had 8 miles to go before going over my 36000 mile limit. After that I would have to pay for each mile that I was over. I had 2 options, buy out the remainder which was owed or begin a new lease on another vehicle. I opted to begin a new lease on a brand new 2017 Rogue. It still had the protective wrap on it which had to be removed before I could drive away in it... I started out with zero miles in a car that I now had to learn all the bells and whistles.                                                                         

    I could do it the hard way, by trial and error, or I could read the manual..... When we come into new seasons of life, we have the same options... We can do it by trial and error, or we can read the manual which the God of all seasons has given us... (the bible).  

    Most of the mistakes that we can make, have already been made by many, many others, so why make them all ourselves when we can learn from the mistakes of all those other folks? The salesman who set me up in the Nisson, walked me through some things which I was not familiar with on the Rogue, but I'm going to have to check the manual for most of the things I will be dealing with. 

    A man wanted his 4 sons to understand that every season of life needed to be accepted and appreciated and they needed to be careful about judging things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest, to go into an orchard and look at the fruit trees which were there.
The first son was sent in the winter, the second one was sent in the spring, the third one went in summer, and the youngest son went in the fall. When each son returned, they were asked to describe the fruit trees.  
    The first son said that they were bare, and twisted, with no signs of life. The second son disagreed, and said oh no, they were loaded with blossoms that filled the air with sweet fragrance and looked beautiful, it was the most colorful and sweet smelling thing he had experienced. The third son said oh no, they were loaded with with newly formed apples that were full of promise...The last son disagreed with them all and said they were filled with delicious, ripe fruit, and he couldn't resist eating some of it.
Each of the sons had viewed the same orchard in different seasons of it's life. Each of them were judging the orchard by the season that he experienced.                                    

    But you can't judge the summer by the winter, and you can't judge the fall by the spring. If you give up when it's winter, you will miss the promise of your spring, and you miss the full experience of summer, and you'll give up before you reach the fulfillment of the fall harvest time. You can’t enjoy a bumper crop in autumn if you waste your summer taking siestas.
    Don't let the pain and the sacrifice of one season destroy the joy and the fulfillment of all the rest. So, if we judge the seasons of our lives by God's plans, we have to say that "The best season of them all, is Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall" One student was asked to name the four seasons. He said they are Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar.

    A Canadian was heard to say, “In Canada we have two Seasons...six months of winter and six months of lousy skiing.

    As we look back on our lives, we can all point to those milestones, that mark the beginning of the new seasons we’ve experienced. In fact, as we go forward, we can be sure that the future will be the same, with it’s own new markers. New seasons of our life will have their own markers and some new beginnings are about to be launched even as we gather here today.

    Every season we enter, has a shelf life and an expiration date, so that we can be free and we can be unencumbered to fully reap the blessings of the next season, because we have a tendancy to cling to the last one.                                                       

    Jesus taught us to pray..“Give us this day our daily bread.” We need fresh oil of anointing, fresh manna, and fresh revelation or we become stagnant.

    We need to be “season sensitive” in how we live our lives. Sometimes, we are tempted to charge ahead without heaven’s witness, and at times we are sluggish in moving forward from the place we’ve become too comfortable with.

    This is the theme of Ecclesiastes 3:1 "There is an opportune time to do all things, a right time for everything under heaven. v2 A right time for birth and another for death, A right time to plant and another to reap, v3 A right time to terminate and another to restore, A right time to destroy and another to build,  v4 A right time to cry and another to laugh, A right time to lament and another to cheer, v5 A right time to make love and another to abstain, A right time to embrace and another to be apart, v6 A right time to keep searching and another to count your losses, A right time to hold on and another to let go, v7 A right time to rip out and another to plant, A right time to shut up and another to speak up, v8 A right time to love and another to hate, A right time to wage war and another to make peace".  

    Everything that God did or God does is on purpose and there are no accidents with God! You may have heard that you weren't planned, that you were an accident, but I want you to know that God planned you....you were no accident! We hear so much about the "big bang" theory and we can know that if there was a BIG BANG that started it all, it wasn’t an accident!  Everything God does is for a purpose and He has an intention and a design for doing it!

    For example, God's purpose for trees is to provide wood for lumber, fuel to keep us warm, fruit for us to eat, shade from the sun, to produce the oxygen that we breathe, and some trees produce rubber, and some produce maple syrup. And on and on we could go....There are thousands of purposes for trees. 

God had a purpose for rocks and stones, we extract minerals from them and these minerals are used in thousands of ways that benefit us all.... and my point is, are you not more valuable than a rock or a tree!!!?

    Solomon said "For every THING, there is a SEASON"...(Say it with me)          He didn't say "to every season there is a thing". But to every thing, there is a season!!!  We look for the season to bring new things, but God says,                                      

    The season exists for the thing, not the thing for the season!                                                                                                  Without the purpose or the thing that  God has planned, there wouldn't be the season!! What Solomon is saying is that you are so important to God, and His plan for you is so valuable, that you change the atmosphere, you influence the season, so that you can fulfill and complete what God has planned for you.     For Every THING, There Is A Season!!                                                                                                     New things bring forth, release and activate new seasons. 

    Daniel 2:20 "Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever 

and ever: for wisdom and might are His: v21  And He changes the times and the 

seasons: He removes kings, and sets up kings: He gives wisdom unto the wise, 

and knowledge to those that know understanding: v22  He reveals the deep and 

secret things: he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells in him". 

(Did you notice... it says "He changes the times and the seasons")                                                                            

    You see, there is hidden wisdom in the story of the bible which describes 

how on one occasion, Jesus was hungry and He came to a fig tree and looked 

for figs, but there were none, so He cursed the fig tree and it died... Here's what 

most of us miss in the story....we are told that it was not the season for figs!!!! 

Jesus certainly knew that!!! But here's the scripture, see for yourself...

    Mark 11:13  "And seeing a fig tree afar off, having leaves, he came, looking to find figs on it, and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for it was not the season of figs. v14  And Jesus responded by saying unto it, May no man eat fruit of you hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it"…..

They heard it, but did they really hear it?

What Jesus is saying is that the season exists for the thing, not the thing for the 

season!!!

    The Master does not serve the season, but the season serves the master!!

When God is doing a thing in the earth, He creates a season for it! 

TO EVERY THING THERE IS A SEASON, AND A SEASON FOR EVERY THING!

When we are walking with God, He makes a way where there is no way, He 

makes a season where there is no season!

"Didn’t He make a path through the sea when there was no way through .... 

Didn't He bring water from a rock when there was no water.... Didn't He bring 

manna from heaven when they had nothing to eat....Didn't He bring them 

through the wilderness when they were surrounded by their enemies...He went 

with them, He fed them, He clothed them, and He protected them..      

    Deueronomy 6:10 "And it shall be, when the LORD your God shall have 

brought you  into the land which he swore unto you, that He shall give you  

great and goodly cities, which you did not build...v11 And houses full of all good 

things, which you did not fill, and wells which you did not dig, vineyards and 

olive trees, which you did not plant..."

Now to tie this promise which was made to the Jewish people, into where we 

are today...Listen to  the way God put it on the day of Pentecost.....

    Act 2:16  But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel...

(THIS IS THAT)….That was then, and this is now..and God has not changed!

What He said to Joel, still applied to those in the New Covenant, if they would 

dare to believe it and receive it!!

What He has said, He is still saying..."Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall 

spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, 

and rivers in the desert.

   God has appointed to every thing a season, Seasons in our lives are appointed 

by God according to the things that He brings into our lives. New Things 

produce new seasons!

    A thing called "marriage" creates a new season...When you get married I can 

confidently promise you, one season is over and another begins. The season of 

singleness better be over!!! Growing old is mandatory, growing up is 

optional and a choice we all have to make.

    A thing called a baby coming in a family, whether you are ready or not, 

produces a new season. You better start making some adjustments, and 

believing for provision for new expenses, new demands, and a lot of new 

experiences. 

    If you fully embrace the new season, it can be the most fullfilling and joyous 

time of your life! If not, I feel sorry for you and your kids!!!

A married man can't continue to act like he's single...that season is over, and a 

mom and dad need to make some important adjustments in every area of their 

lives if they are to succeed as good parents.

    The new things God has ordered for me, can't happen if I'm hanging on to the 

season that has already passed!

    I am told that in one church, there is old man named Dic-Tate who wants to 

run everything, and his Uncle Ro-Tate tries to change everything. Then there's 

sister Agi-Tate who stirs up plenty of trouble, with help from her husband, 

Irri-Tate. Whenever new projects are suggested, Hesi-Tate and his wife,Vege-

Tate, want to wait until next year. Then there is Aunt Imi-Tate, who wants her 

church to be like all the others. Devas-Tate provides the voice of doom and 

gloom, while Poten-Tate wants to be a big shot. But not all members of the 

family are bad. Brother Facili-Tate is quite helpful in most church matters. And 

there’s a delightfully, happy member of the family named Miss Felici-Tate. 

A couple of cousins Cogi-Tate and Medi-Tate always think things over and lend 

helpful, steady hands. And of course there is the black sheep of the family, 

Ampu-Tate, who has completely cut himself off from the church.                               

How about it - do you know anyone in the "Tate" family?....Well, the Tate family 

is hanging onto the way it's always been done....

    Someone figured that only 50% of the folks who say they are Christians, are 

going to make it to heaven.. The reason is that if any more got in . . . it would 

just be hell all over again!

    At the beginning of every new year I have to really be careful in writing 

checks to make sure I don’t write the old  year on the check for the new year. I 

tell myself, not to do it, and every year, sure enough, I’ll write the old year 

instead of the current year.

It’s easy to get caught up in the former things because we’ve lived with them so 

long we have develop patterns that are part of that former season. We just do it 

that way because we’ve done it that way for so long we can now do it without 

even thinking about it.....it's comfortable, it's what we are used to...                            

    We want the new thing, but we want to keep the old patterns and ways of 

doing things...New patterns, new thinking and new actions are necessary in 

each new season. Can you imagine what would happen if you went from a job at 

First State Bank to working at First Federal and told them that you would be 

doing everything the way you did at First State...IT JUST WOULDN'T WORK!! 

You would accept the fact that you were in a new season, and it would require 

new ways of doing things.

    Philippians 3:13 “Brethren, I do not count myself to have arrived, but one 

thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind I press  forward to those 

things which are ahead”

    The story is told of the Big Brown bear who, all of its life had lived in a cage 

at the carnival. During the day it would be put in a display cage on wheels and at 

night it was put in a 12 by 12 inclosure. The bear was a big attraction in the 

traveling Carnival. That was all it knew for its entire life.  

    As the bear grew old someone was moved with compassion for the old bear 

and purchased it from the carnival so it could live out the rest of its life with 

more space to roam around in a beautiful park like setting and explore to its 

heart’s content. However when they removed the bear from its cage all it knew 

how to do was 12 paces to the left and grunt and growl then 12 paces to the right 

and grunt and growl, even though it now had acres of habitat to enjoy. 

Finally after prodding and forcing and luring it out with food to go a little 

further and a little further, the bear began to move out of it’s old pattern ...and 

began to enjoy the new season in it's life.... 

    You see, the world of the bear was totally consumed with former things!  

Even though the cage was gone. Even though the man with the whip was gone, 

in its mind it was still operating in the former season...

I can picture God sometimes, trying to coax us out of the old and into the new...

God is doing a new thing, and with that new thing, comes a new season!!!

    Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of THINGS hoped for, and it is the 

evidence of THINGS not seen”. 

Faith is the substance of things...Faith is the evidence of things...

When we’re ready for our break through, we must not allow any former things 

to keep us from our new season!

    Isaiah 43:18,19 'Remember not the former things, neither consider (continue 

to focus on) the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring 

forth, shall you not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers 

in the desert." 

(THIS IS THAT)….That was a former season, and this is a new season..

Healing is a thing, provision is a thing, finances are a thing, and as you open 

yourself in faith, a season is created by the one who changes the times and the 

seasons, so that the thing of healing, and the thing of provision can come 

forth and manifest itself and be your new season!!!

    Galatians 6:9 "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we 

shall reap, if we faint not". 

A New Season is a Due Season....

    The thing God plans for you has the potential in your life, to create your "due 

season". It becomes the season of things showing up, of dreams you’ve been 

praying being fulfilled, of things falling into place, and problems you’ve 

believed for the answer, beginning to turn around..

Because it is your "due season" the thing that has been delayed, that has been 

sabotaged by the enemy, and that has tarried so long, can now take place!

(Say it with me...."The things God has desired for me, have created a due 

season for me."

    This is what the woman with the issue of blood had to do in Mark 5:25. The 

experts said she’d never get well. But she knew that she was supposed to get 

healthy and well. She heard that her due season in the form of Jesus, was 

coming to town. Something inside told her that the very thing she needed, was 

creating a season of opportunity for her. 

She didn't listen to her body, even though she was weak from losing blood. She 

didn't stop because of her circumstances in the form of a big crowd that was a 

barrier between her and her season. She pushed thru the crowd and didn't let 

the former things keep her from her new thing!!! 

    She said in Mark 5:28 "If I can just touch the hem of His garment, I know 

that I will be healed". 

She was full of expectancy and she felt the favor of God all over her....

When you love what God loves, and want what God wants, the favor of God is 

all over you...You begin to access through surrender, what you could never get 

through sheer determination. Sometimes you have to push past the last season 

you were in and forget the former things or you’ll trip over them.

 

    Your “due season” is  why this is the time to accomplish your dreams. This is 

the time to break free from the fear and depression, this is the time to enter into 

your healing. 

Release the regret and choose to forget!

This is the season that changes everything...

    Isaiah 61:3 "I will care for the needs of all who mourn, and give them bouquets 

of roses instead of ashes, Messages of joy instead of news of hopelessness, a 

praising heart instead of a heavy spirit. I will rename them "Pillars of 

Righteousness" planted by God to display his glory. v4 They'll rebuild the old 

waste places, raise a new dwelling place out of the wreckage. They'll start over 

again, and use the rubble left behind to transform into a new thing". 

 

    Would someone say with me… “Lord I want to thank You that this is my due season”.

One thing remains the same in every season we go through….God desires that we grow and increase in….The capacity to forgive… the strength and courage to proclaim His Good News and a single-minded love and devotion to the Lord Jesus.

    When God gives you power, it is to empower others…. When God gives you 

success, it is so you can bless your successors… When God imparts to you it is 

so you can impart to others, When you are touched by God it is for the purpose 

of touching the lives of others…When you are restored it is so you can restore 

others….Freely you have received, freely give….

Begin now to celebrate, begin now to praise Him for it, begin now to rejoice 

your due season….                                            

    Ephesians 1:4  “For He has chosen us in Christ before the foundation of the 

world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love. v5 Having 

predestinated us unto adoption as His children by Jesus Christ to himself, 

according to the good pleasure of his will, v6 To the praise of the glory of his 

grace, wherein he has made us accepted (approved) in the beloved. v7 In whom 

we have redemption through his blood, and the forgiveness of sins, according 

to the riches of his grace. v8  And  he has abounded toward us in all wisdom 

and Divine insight”.

    God has given us an upgrade to help us to be free of the orphan mentality. 

What are the signs of an orphan spirit in the church...? (here's just a few)                                                    

   If you feel the need to perform for attention and acceptance, you're struggling 

with an orphan spirit... true sons and daughters know they are accepted...

If you've tried a number of churches but none ever meet your needs, so you just 

decide to go it alone...you have an orphan spirit...True sons and daughters put 

the family first and find the place they can be most effective in the family unit...

If you are defensive and need to constantly prove yourself, and need 

constant praise and assurance...You have an orphan spirit....True sons and 

daughters know who they are and do all to please the Father not for the praise 

of men, they are not so focused on getting praise, but giving praise and support 

to everyone around them....If you are judgmental and have a difficult time in 

trusting others, you have an orphan spirit....True sons and daughter leave 

the judging to God because they are to busy loving and they can accept others 

because they trust God to deal with the people.....

    We are the redeemed and the transformed…

We are in a season where we are trading up and for iron He gives us gold… for 

mourning, He gives us the oil of joy… for the spirit of heaviness He 

gives us the garments of praise!

(Tell someone)“God didn’t save you to be a chump, he saved you to be a champ" 

    God has placed things in you, that are creating an atmosphere of “Due Season”that is allowing you to move into His power and prosperity....Where He is opening up His good treasure to you….where you shall lend and not borrow… where you will be the head and not the tail…where you will be above and not beneath... It’s a season where the veil of the heavenlies is being pulled back so you can see what you couldn’t see before…. Where those who once were held under are now going to be going over… Where those who were once forgotten are now going to be remembered…. Where those who were depressed will once again begin to rejoice… Where those who were once rejected will now be accepted… Where those who are trodden down will have their heads lifted up…. Where those who grieve will experience everlasting joy that will not diminish….Those who were once poor will say I am rich…

Those who are afflicted will once again walk in wholeness….

    We are stepping into a new season where those things that have been taken from you will be restored 100 fold.

Look at somebody and say with a shout of triumph, “My season is here. There is a fresh anointing flowing my way. Put your hands up in the air right now and proclaim it.

     Expect great things in this new season of your life....Right now Heaven’s anthem is being played over you, and the banner of the Lord is being hoisted over you. On God’s winner's platform there are no second or third places, there are no silver and bronze, there is only gold that has been refined in the fire. And Jesus has already won the Gold medal and He desires to place it on each one of us!!!!

 

 

 

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