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Sermon of the Week 
Tuesday, January 31 2023

This is That ....

This statement is about pre-existence, or that something exists before it actually becomes manifested. 

 I have told you that the messages that I deliver unto you on Sunday, I usually receive from the Lord on Tuesday. Holy Spirit wakes me up and drops the theme into my spirit and then I follow along as He unwraps it and develops it. So, I might say to you “This is That”.... Before I speak it forth, it already was. It existed before I declared it....I preached this message before I preached this message. God has already done what He is about to do....He has already performed what He is about to perform...God thinks and speaks something and it is the pre-existent future reality . 

That’s why Ecclesiastes 1:9 “What has been, is what will be, And what has been done, is what will be done.So there is nothing new under the sun”.

I used to go to job interviews and I would start getting nervous, or I would go into a new experience and be anxious and the Holy Spirit would whisper, “what will be, already is, and what will be has already been”....and it would calm my spirit and let me know that God has this already figured out!!! I was living in a pre-existance..

John 14:3 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am”. The Lord is saying He has been where you are going to assure that you will accomplish your purpose as you seek first His kingdom.

On the Day of Pentecost, when Peter stood up and said “This is That”, He was referring to the fact that before it happened it had already happened. So he quoted the address in Joel where God said He would do it before He did it..... 

We see this pre-existance as God said it before He did it at another address... Isaiah 28:11 “For with stammering lips and other tongues will He speak to this people”. (This people being the Jewish people that were present).                                                                                                             So look at this with me.....Acts 2:16 “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy”                                                                                         and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy”

(Man, this lets us know that whatever is coming, has pre-existed, it has already been, and God has got it all covered!)

Every thing that is coming has already been....If you know your bible, you have the advantage on everyone else. You have a leg up, while everyone else may have 20/20, you have binoculars to tap into pre-existance! 

When the prodigal son left and was in the pig pin, all messed up, having squandered his inheritance, and he was eating in the pig pin with the oinkers... there is a powerful verse that is part of the story.

Luke 15:20 So he (the prodigal) got up and went to his father. But while he was still FAR OFF, his father saw him and with compassion, He ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him”. 

The father saw him far off, started running towards him, and had everything ready.... He said “put a ring on his finger, shoes on his feet, a robe on his back, and kill the fatted calf.... He couldn’t say that if it didn’t pre-exist, before the son arrived. Then when the son said “let me just be your servant”... Dad said, welcome back to your full inheritance.... This is That!!!                                                                                                    The father here, is a type of the heavenly Father, who sees the modern day prodigal far off and fore-knows that there will be a moment when he will come to his senses and has everything already prepared.                                                                                     When Joseph was in Egypt, having been elevated to assistant Pharaoh, his conniving brothers came, looking for food to sustain them during the famine, which already was foretold, before it happened. It pre-existed....They got their food, but Joseph set them up.... (SOMEBODY SAY “God is setting you up!                                  IT’S A SET UP”)  He hid his royal cup in Benjamin’s sack, then sent his servants to arrest them. (God is revealing things that He hid, to bring you back, to what always was)... He’s getting ready to reveal “THIS IS THAT”.... There’s a royal cup in your stuff that has yet to be revealed, but when it is revealed, it will change everything!!!                                                          You wondered why you went through that, or why you’re going through it.... but you already have the royal cup, you’ve been set up, for the time of revealing... everything is about to change... THIS IS THAT!!                                                                                    That royal cup, for the prodigal was hidden in a pig pin.... he didn’t know it, until he went through the revealing process and lost everything...  

That royal cup. to the apostle Paul was his purpose, and he didn’t find it until he was on his way to kill Christians, and on the way, he went through the revealing process....He got a new boss and found what he was always meant to be....                                                                

David was always king until he was king....but the process of revealing hadn’t manifested his purpose yet. When Samuel went to Jesse’s house, it was to anoint what was to be, that already was...7 sons were brought before him but none were chosen, then a red headed, little, freckled face, teen, who was born as the result of his mom’s adulterous relationship, is brought in from the fields,  And when Samuel saw David, he said “he’s the one”.... THIS IS THAT!..

Romans 8:28 “And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those God foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed (shaped and fashioned) to the image of His Son, so that He (Jesus) would be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified”.…

(there’s the golden cup of our purpose, hidden, waiting to be found) It has been hidden, but the revealing process is bringing it forth)  

This uniqueness in our purpose does not mean that we are less than or more than someone else....and this is evident in the lives of two great leaders in history, the apostles Peter and Paul.

Their overall purpose was the same. Both were given the task of reconciling mankind to their Creator and spreading the Good News of the Kingdom of God. Beyond that, their individual revealing processes were different.

Peter, after the vision that led him to the house of Cornelius (in Acts 10), related primarily to the Church in Jerusalem. His purpose was to be a leader among the Jewish believers, convincing them that God was also incorporating Gentiles into

the Church by the gift of Holy Spirit (that sermon is in Acts 2:11). 

Paul, on the other hand, was rarely in Jerusalem. His visits there were for the primary purpose of defending His ministry among the Gentiles to those same leaders that Peter influenced in the Messianic congregations.

Galatians 2:7-8 “They saw that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, just as Peter had been to the Jews. For God, who was at work in the ministry of Peter as an apostle to the Jews, was also at work in my ministry as an apostle to the Gentiles.”

Paul’s purpose or reason for being born was to specifically go to the non-Jewish world and share the good news of reconciliation to God.                                                         The apostle Peter was called to overseethe Church in Jerusalem. But both shared in the spread of the Gospel, even though their purposes were separate and specific. They could not have changed places and remained true to God’s purposes for their lives. The same is true for you. No one can take your place or purpose, and for your purpose, there is no substitute.The revealing process is so that what already was, can now be manifested!

Our healing for example, was finished 2000 years ago, so, when a healing occurs, it is now, what it always was... “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, and by His stripes we are/were healed”.... But go back a little further.... God said in Genesis...“He (satan) will bruise your heel but you will crush his head”.... You are healed, because you always were healed in Christ.... THIS IS THAT!! It is because it always was!!! It is pre-existant from the moment Jesus said IT IS FINISHED!

God had a REALLY BIG IDEA.. it included all the stars and galaxies, it encompassed The entire universe. It determined exactly how much the earth is tilted on its axis and it’s exact distance from the sun, also the shape of it’s orbit and the speed of it’s rotation. It’s core is super heated and the molten ore is a huge nuclear reactor which creates gravity and keeps everything from coming apart..... and holds the air we breathe in place, and the water and dirt down to the atoms and molecules that it’s all composed of. 

Oh, yes, each of us are a part of the Big Idea from the beginning. It includes all that now is, and will be, because it always was, in His Idea.

The big idea is the ultimate governing program for mankind that provides for all of

Our highest aspirations, such as equality, justice, peace, love, unity, respect for human dignity, the value of every human being, as well as personal andcorporate empowerment. 

It is an idea that is superior to and contains the solutions to all of our earthly problems—such as war, terrorism, crime, AIDS epidemics, child abuse,environmental destruction, culture clashes, poverty, oppression, ethnic cleansing, economic crisis, family disintegration, political and religious corruption, community violence, and the culture of fear that is like a global disease.

The only way to defeat a bad idea is with a better idea. Ideas are destroyed by better ideas. The battle for the soul of Earth is a battle of ideas.

One of the most misunderstood people on the planet was a young Jewish philosopher, who came to the earth 2000 years ago, still lives today, and always was, the same yesterday, today and forever, who presented the idea that humankind can be restored to the original passion, purpose, and plan of the Creator through a global invasion of love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, justice, patience, and righteousness under the supervision and heavenly oversight of the Spirit of God. 

That’s God’s Idea.....Everything began as an idea. The shoes on your feet, the clothes on your back, the house in which you live (well, maybe not that one) the car you may drive, your job, your marriage, your children and YOU BEGAN AS AN IDEA!.... (your mom and dad wondered about it sometimes).... but all began as ideas!

Ideas begin as precepts and a precept is in two parts, “Pre, which means “before” and “Cept”, which means “thought.” Therefore, the word precept means “the thought before the thought”...

So, if you follow this process, a precept becomes “an idea.” An idea becomes a concept, which then develops into a mental image and that image results in a product. 

God’s Precept, became a concept, which developed into a product.....The invisible kingdom became visible and physical when God created the garden and put the man in it.....Eternity was entering the physical realm, The kingdom of heaven was invading the physical earth....

Genesis 1:26 Then God (had a precept which became a concept) and said, “Let Us (Jehovah is always plural in the Hebrew) make man in Our image, after Our likeness, So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.”

God’s intent, which is His original purpose, was and is, to fill the earth with the kingdom of heaven. Jesus taught us to pray, “thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.”.... So, each of us have His intent, or original purpose built into our DNA....

Jesus likened the process to the way yeast leavens bread: 

Matthew 13:33 The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.

He also compared the Kingdom to planting a mustard seed:

Luke 13:18-19 “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew, became a tree, and the birds of the air perched in its branches”. Little is much when God is in it.....With God great things come in small packages, but miracle power is contained within it!

God’s ultimate goal was and is, to fill the Earth with His glory. The glory of God is one of the significant themes of the Bible.

For example, God told Moses, Num. 14:21 “Truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled

with the glory of the Lord”. (when’s the last time you were lost in His glory)

King Solomon, son of David, prayed, Psalm 72:19 “Praise be to His glorious

name forever; may the whole earth be filled with His glory” 

God wants to fill the Earth with His full presence, His full and true nature, all the fullness of who He is and what He is like. He wants to be on Earth just as He

is in Heaven. This is a God idea and it will come to pass!!! And we shall stand and say THIS IS THAT!

Think about it.... all of that was packed in a dirt house, named Adam! He was the Epi-center of God’s Big Idea.... God didn’t make any more men.... all the rest of mankind was in the one man...all humankind were in Adam...                                                God made everybody in one body, so what He said to one body, He says to everybody...... It says God saw that Adam was alone.....

that word “alone” in the Hebrew, is “All in one” And God said it’s not good that everybody is in one body.....So God put the one body with everybody to sleep....and he reached inside the one body and pulled out another body... It was another man, but he made an adjustment and gave it a womb, and called it “Wombman”.....Now with the wombman, he can begin to get everybody out of the one body.....two men can’t get everybody out, and two wombmen can’t get everybody out.....God said to the man who was everyman, and the wombman, multiply and fill the earth.... God doesn’t make people any more from the dirt, they were all in the everybody man and they’re still coming out!!! What God said to the everybody man, and the wombman, He says to everybody...”Have dominion over the earth”....God keeps looking for those who won’t just be here, but will understand their purpose for being here.... to fill the earth with the glory of God!!!

Abrahm was an everybody man, His name meant “Father”..

God changed his name to Abraham, which meant “Father of many”... He renewed that covenant to Isaac and Jacob because their blessing was the blessing of every man that flowed out of an everybody man...                  

He stopped making people, because the many were in the one, and part of the dominion they were given was given to us, because what He said to one was for the many and what He did for the one, He did for the many.... 

Romans 2:10 For, glory, honor, and peace, is to every man that works good, (agathos.. that which is empowered by God) to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 11 For there is no respect of persons with God”.                                                                                                                                                             In the one, He came into covenant with the many. God is in it all, for it all and through it all.....

It’s for the good of God’s big idea! (even if we don’t often see it) that

nothing exists for itself; everything is related to something else. The moon doesn’t shine, it reflects the light of the sun. So the sun must shine in order for the moon to reflect, or it cannot fulfill it’s purpose. We are all connected in purpose....

A car battery stores energy but a car battery cannot fulfill its purpose unless you turn the key in the ignition and allow the battery to send power to the engine, which starts the engine that powers the wheels that move the car.                                                                            

The world needs you and the purpose for which you were born. You also need the purposes of others in order to fulfill your purpose, because we are all connected.

You are who you are, where you are, how you are, why you are, and when you are for a purpose, and that purpose is connected to the purpose of others around you.

God’s purpose is not hindered by your past or your present circumstances. .

Nothing you have done can cancel your purpose. And the world is

waiting for each of us to discover and live out our purpose.

He turned the coward (Gideon) into a mighty leader, and he turned a stutterer and a murderer (Moses) into a deliverer. He turned a prostitute (the Samaritan woman Jesus met at the well of Jacob) into a preacher who reached her entire community. Imagine what He could make of you. You are never too old to resume your purpose.        

There are no mistakes. God has a purpose for each of us when He planted us in our mothers’ wombs. That purpose has not changed. The challenge that lies before us is to understand and accept the process of purpose at work in our lives and allow it to guide and redirect our paths.

If you are in a boat and the lighthouse is in your way, the lighthouse is not going to move out of your way. God’s purpose is like that lighthouse. It’s calling to you, but it won’t move and you may crash into it, but when you have sunk, it will still be there, calling to you.

God knew your purpose when He designed you....Your success is in His best interest, because He put His likeness on you. His name is on you....”Christian”... means like Jesus”.... 

Now, your shoes have a name on them, your clothes have a name on them, your car, your watch, your cologne or perfume, your phone, your appliances, all have a name on them. And most of those things have the manufacturers image or logo on them. When that product is ready to go out of the factory, the last thing to go on, is the image or logo. That means it is finished. That means it has been tested, they pay folks to go through every component and check everything to make sure it’s up to par. They’re so sure of the product that they include a book..... a book of promises, about the product. How it will work, and what it's capable of. 

You see, God saw you as the finished product, before He put His name on you!!!

God said to Jeremiah, what He says to you....

Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations."

Say with me, “Who I am, and what I am, is built into me. I was born with my purpose embedded in me”..... If you knew who you really are, you would be shocked at yourself.... Hear me today! High five somebody!!

You were created with greatness, you were made to win... “Who is man that you are mindful of him, you made him a little lower than angels, you crowned him with glory and honor”.....

Most of us get a phone which has over 300 functions and we never use but 10 of them. The manual says this phone will make phone calls, connect to the internet, it will text, play music, take pictures and videos, make video calls, and how do they know that..... they’ve tested it!. Your new phone is not new, it has gone through hours of testing, so they can tell you what it will do. Then they have stores where people can show you how it functions, and what it will do, because they’ve tested it. They want to make sure it lives up to the image that’s on it!!

How many have read every page of the manuel (I call it your promise book) for your refrigerator, for your car, or for your phone. That book that tells you what it can do, and what it’s capacity is....

Our manual is the bible, and if we don’t check it, we miss our purpose and we just go through life, always knowing there is more.... We get up, eat, go to work, eat, go back to work, eat, sleep, and get up, eat, go to work, eat, go back to work, eat, sleep, get up.... and so on....and the merry go round goes round and round.....

The last two pages of the manual for your phone, your appliance, or your car, contain the warrantee.... the warrante says we stand behind this product, if it gets broken we will fix it. Then there is the guarantee. Which means they guarantee it will work like they said in the manual. Now, listen, all of this is not about you, it’s all about the manufacturer who has their image on the product. They want to protect their image and their good name!

Your manufacturers manual the bible has a warrantee and a guarantee that you, the product, will function at capacity.... or He will fix it!!!! No one knows the product like the manufacturer!

We read it already, didn’t we.... Romans 8:28 “And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those God foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed (shaped and fashioned) to the image of His Son.”

Who is it that is trapped in you.... I’ve come to pour oil on your head and release the person of purpose that you really are. (hold hand like I’m pouring over you)

You and I have the most powerful person on the planet in us and with us, to help us fulfill our purpose....

John 16:13 “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come”.

He stands in your future and brings you things to come, before you get there. The future is not out there somewhere, the future is right here right now.... You have the edge, you have the advantage, in order to occupy until He comes and be more than conqueror, because the price has been paid to fulfill your purpose!!! It already pre-exists, You are predestined for your purpose, and I came today to declare the release of the Lord over you, in Jesus name.....

Posted by: AT 12:57 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, January 16 2023

Summoned By The King

My text is from II Samuel 9:5 “So King David summonedhim from Lo Debar”....

Since the Holy Spirit directed me to declare 2023 to be “the year of the Lord’s Release”, on New Year Sunday..... the message the Lord gave to me for this Sunday, is a graphic demonstration of the desire of the Lord to go to any extreme to make that release reality!                                    *..........There are few illustrations in the Bible that are as powerful as the story of Mephibosheth in Lo-Debar. This wonderful story isan amazing picture of how the Lord refuses to allow anything to get in His way, when He is determined to bless all of those He has appointed to receive grace in the midst of every hindrance, every handicap, every barrier, every condition, and every force that is against them!                                                                                                                                                               1 Corinthians 1:27 “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the insignificant things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence”.

We may know there IS a God. But we don’t really KNOW Him until he reveals Himself to us. People talk about finding Jesus, but Jesus is not lost, we are! Too many people are like Mephibosheth. They are utterly unconscious of the fact that there’s so much more than they could imagine, because where they are is all they’ve known. Lodibar is located in Gad, which is the tribe which refused to cross the Jordon and enter the land of promise. It is adjacent to Manassas, where half of that tribe also refused to cross over. The name means “Without a place” 
Those in spiritual Lodibar, have no idea that they are, in reality, lost and separated from the one who is consumed with finding them and revealing Himself to them. They don’t know that the first step in coming to Christ is to realize that they are lost and desperately need to be found and rescued. Some folks are hard to help and it’s frustrating to do all the right things and get no results, because that kind of person is committed to doing it the hard way.  

One day a kindergarten teacher was helping one of her students put on his cowboy boots. He asked for help and she could see why. Even with her pulling and him pushing, the little boots still didn’t want to go on. Finally, when the second boot was on, she had worked up a sweat. She almost cried when the little boy said, "Teacher, they’re on the wrong feet." She looked down and sure enough, they were. It wasn’t any easier pulling the boots off than it was putting them on. But she managed to keep her cool as together they worked to get the boots back on - this time on the right feet. And it was only then that he announced, "These aren’t my boots." She bit her tongue rather than scream, "Why didn’t you say so?" like she wanted to. And, once again she struggled to help him pull the ill-fitting boots off his little feet. No sooner had they got the boots off then he said, "They’re my brother’s boots, and I’m using them. My Mom made me wear ’em today cause mine have holes in them. "Stifling a scream, she mustered up the grace and courage she had left to wrestle the ill-fitting boots on his feet again. Helping him into his coat, she asked, "Now, where are your mittens?" To which he replied, "I stuffed ’em in the toes of my boots." The teacher is now looking for another job!

Mephibosheth knew that through the natural order of things, as Saul’s grandson, he did not have an easy road ahead. He was, by tradition, officially an enemy of the current King. In that day, it was not unusual for the incoming king to slay all those in the line of the former King, so that there would be no threat to his crown or those in his family who would follow his rulership. That’s why as soon as his nurse maid heard that Saul and Jonathan were killed, she fled with the young child and in her haste she fell, and the boy was injured badly in his feet, making him a cripple.                                                                                                                            Satan loves to make God into a cruel, judgmental, and harsh ruler, who rains down cruel and undeserved judgments. He loves to paint the heavenly Father as a mean, and unjust judge, who is constantly striking down people and kingdoms in His wrath. He spreads the lie, that if God is so good, why are so many diseases, why is there war, why does He let people die before there time? He knows that if nations turn to God, the world and all of our lives would be radically improved. So, he blinds their eyes and stops up their ears, lest they see and hear and believe. That’s why he fights so hard to keep Jesus out of the public square, out of government, the media, and then inserts himself in those places....He promotes cults, and religion based on human effort and works. He promotes foreign Gods and changes laws and policies which do his bidding....                                                             Mephibosheth knew there was nothing he could do to make things right and he would be doomed to hide all of his life..Lo Debar is a barren wasteland. Mephibosheth was hiding out in a desolate place. How tragic it is to hear folks express how hopeless they feel, and they resign themselves to ending up in hell, or better yet, that everyone is going to heaven, because God won’t send anyone to hell, if He is truly good. (The truth is that God doesn’t send anyone to Hell, people make the choice to go there, in spite of God’s efforts to keep them out)         

Oh, yeah, a good lie Satan tells folks is that there is no hell, or heaven...this is all there is, but they will use hell as a curse word, but (if there is no hell, why say it so much)!

Anyway, like this young man, if we’re not careful, we canfind ourselves in a desolate place, of lack and insufficiency, when we forget that God’s kingdom is all about mercy and grace and redemption. But we get so locked into our religious patterns, and human reasoning, and the cares of life, that we begin to think that’s all we can expect, so just make the best of it. (that’s Lodibar)

So, when David’s kingdom was secured and he had carved out a time of peace, and there were no immediate enemies to threaten him or the nation, David was able to reflect, and recall the promises he made when he and Jonathan had last took counsel. But Saul,  Johnathan, and all his descendants had been killed, according to the information which Davidhad received . He didn’t know there was one member of that family left. God loves to use what’s left.....

When Elijah was facing the prophets of Baal, he thought he was the only one left, and God had to let him know that he had 7000 who had not bowed the knee. When Cora Ten Boom was in the Nazi death camp, she felt that she was alone against Hitler’s death machine, but little by little she changed the odds as she witnessed with her life and words, and Christ revealed Himself through her light... (someone said “witness for Christ with your life, use words only if necessary”).... 

Are you the only one on your street, on your job, in your family, or in your class at school who stands for Christ? Consider the great privilege you have been given, because someone took that place of being forsaken, and rejected, so you might know Him today!

When the prophet showed up at the widow woman’s house in the midst of famine, and asked if she could give him something to eat, she told him what she had left. 

I love left overs, first of all because I don’t have to pay for them, they’re already paid for, and second, because they seem to taste better than the first time around. A miracle started with the left overs.

When Samuel was looking for a king in Jesse’s house, Jesse paraded the 7 tallest, oldest, and most capable in front of him. Samuel said is there anyone left.... Jesse said, yes we have a left over out in the field keeping the sheep, I’ll fetch him, and the rest is history!  So Mephibosheth was the left over, alone, abandoned, cut off, and forsaken, but didn’t even realize that he was remembered, and very special to someone.....

Would you look at someone and let them know, “only by the grace of God, are you here”. Only by the grace of God, have you received, the revelation of Christ, when so many have not!

Any time the enemy has stolen from your life — and you’re standing there saying, “What happened? Where did it go? Why did this happen?”— it’s God saying to you, “I know you feel like a left over that’s been passed over, but I’m going to use what’s left.”                                                                                                                                                                                   “I’m Lord over what’s left and I will bless you sovereignly and mightily with what’s left. Trust me. Believe me. Hold to my promises.” What you have left is going to frustrate the devil’s plan. God will always bless His children not by what they’ve lost but what they have left.” He’s not just God of what you’ve got, He’s the God of what’s left.

Mephibosheth, get over yourself, move on from your pity party and living with regret, you’re not forgotten.....You’re being summoned by the King!

Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy, but I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly”! He came into our desolate place so that we could have life “You shall not die, but you shall live and have a future and a hope” is His promise.

God takes the initiative to seek out and to find. Remember the parable of the lost sheep. The Good Shepherd left 99 healthy sheep back in the safety of the sheep-fold while he scoured the countryside all night, looking for one lost lamb, in a perilous place.

As I was thinking of David’s question about Mephibosheth, I thought that the promise he made to Jonathan finally had a name to it. Isn’t it a powerful moment when the answer to your problem has a name to it....and the end of your search has a physical address!!

Isaiah 49:13 Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones. 14 But my people said, “The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.”

15 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! 16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your place (My plan for you) is ever before me.

Jeremiah 1:4-5 “Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed your destiny.”

Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

When life came into each of us from God our maker, He imparted a piece of himself in us, that means we have greatness, endless possibilities, tremendous potential, and access to God himself. No matter where you are, or what you feel, what you think, or what you have imagined, that’s who you are. God’s not finished with you yet, He is still writing your story! 

A mom was testing her 3 year old to see if he had his personal information correct, in case he got lost or separated from her. She asked him “Where do you live..” and he told her correctly.. Very good, “what is your name?”.... Jonathan Stephen, was his response. “OK, that’s your first and middle name, but what is your last name”...he paused a moment and said, “You better get in here”..... 

So, David the king, is sitting in the palace, thinking of the promise he made to his best friend, Jonathan and he’s asking... “‘Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?’

Like Mephibosheth, we were actually SAVED FOR SOMEONE ELSE’S SAKE.

II Samuel 9:1,7 “David said to him, “Do not fear for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually.” 

David loved Mephibosheth from the very beginning … not for his own sake … not for anything Mephibosheth had done to deserve that love … but for Jonathan’s sake. His love for Jonathan extended through the generations to Jonathan’s descendants.

I can understand that because … as a grandfather … my love for my children extends to their husbands, their children (my grandchildren) … and, to my great grand kidsas well. I love everything connected to my children. And --- (though I do have the best looking family in the world) --- I would love them no matter how they looked or what they did. In much the same way, God loves every one of us for Jesus His Son’s sake. We don’t have to earn His love … we already have His love. God’s love was given freely … It was given in the name of His son, Jesus. We just need to receive it. 

It reminds me of one of my favorite verses, in Ephesians 1:6. The apostle Paul says that we are accepted “In the beloved.”Also see, Ephesians 1:3... 

Ephesians 1:3 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he[b] predestined us for adoption to sonship[c] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—

6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he[d] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ.”

We are fully acceptable to God purely because we belong to His Son, Jesus Christ. And even if we don’t, each of us are loved so much that He would die for us.....                                                 If God has given us His best, will He not give us all things.  

In every human being I’m addressing right now from the youngest person listening to the oldest, there is something that wants to be acknowledged and recognized. It doesn’t matter how introverted or extroverted you are—you want people to acknowledge you as someone significant. My problem is that some people just don’t understand how important I am. I’ll be in a traffic jam, and I’ll say to the cars in front of me... “You must not know how important I am”.....(I do it, because I know they can’t hear me)

The King is summoning you into His presence, to sit at his table, and enjoy His company!

Thank God he knows our name and He has sent us an official summons. In Christ, you have an advantage over others that have rejected Him. You have the winning edge....                                                         

It is a blessed thought to know that in Jesus Christ I’ve already been approved and exalted, and not just exalted but seated in a place of great authority and power.

Now the story of Mephibosheth has a happy ending. And our story, too, can have a happy ending because --- like Mephibosheth --- we are personally invited TO THE KING’S TABLE. (That’s an actual picture of Queen Elizabeth’s royal table)....

II Samuel 9:3 The king asked, “Is there no one still alive from the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness?” Ziba answered the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is lame in both feet.” 4 “Where is he?” the king asked. Ziba answered, “He is at the house of Makir son of Ammiel in Lo Debar.” 5 So King David summoned himfrom Lo Debar, from the house of Makir (the closed offplace) son of Ammiel (the people of God).

6 When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, he bowed down to pay him honor.

David said, “Mephibosheth!” “At your service,” he replied.7 “Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.” 11 So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table as one of the king’s sons. (Oh, I’m getting blessed!) 12 Mephibosheth had a young son named Mika, and all the members of Ziba’shousehold were servants of Mephibosheth. 13 And Mephibosheth was given a palace in Jerusalem, but he always ate at the king’s table, even though he was lame in both feet”. “As for Mephibosheth,” said the king, “he shall eat at my table as one of the king’s sons.”

My friends, an invitation has gone out from the King of Kings to each and every one of us. Jesus has set a place at HIS banquet table … and the place mat has your name on it! Everyone likes to know that someone knows their name and taken the time to know them. These days, unfortunately, we are seldom known by our names, but rather by a number.

You need to know your Federal ID Number by heart. When you complete forms you have to enter your Id Number.When you complete your Tax Return you have a number that was allocated to you. If I were to apply for a loan at a bank they would know me as Mr. Elliott (but that was actually my father).                                                                                                                                      My loan application is merited not by who I am as a person, but by numbers. By what I earn and how much my worth is in dollars and cents.

When Jesus called Zacchaeus out of the tree, he knew all about him, because he called him by name. Zacchaeus was satisfied to know Jesus from a distance, but Jesus saw his heart, and said, I’m coming to your house (I want a relationship with you, and I want you to get closer to me)... No one else saw him up in the tree, but Jesus did. Whatever you’re going through, believe me, the Lord knows, and he’s wanting to get in there with you. Let Him into the situation, the secret thing, the challenge you’re facing, that you would not want anyone to know about.....

Your place at the banquet table was secured by someone who knows you so well, and it was at the cost of the priceless blood of the lamb who was slain. He has provided for each of us a place at His table for all eternity. If He gave something priceless for you, that means you are priceless! (tell someone, I hadn’t noticed, but you are priceless)

But, thank God, it is also true that the King has come. He has gone out of his way to seek us out. He has found us in the far place with all our flaws and failures and problems. He wants to adopt us into His family so we can sit in His very presence. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to miss a meal or have someone else take my place at the table.

The story of Mephibosheth is a reminder of how God actively seeks all of us to bring us to his table, to fellowship with Him, and have Him share His heart with us. To bring us into His counsel and reveal the secret things of the Father. That kind of love deserves all our praise, all our worship, and all our love. In love and gratitude, we need to reach back to the ones who have yet to receive the invitationso they too can sit with us and the one who already reached out to us.

The phone rings at your home and you answer. A strange voice says, “This is the White House operator, is this,” and they say your name.

“Yes, it is,” you say, while thinking, Is this a practical joke or what?

Then the person says, “The President wants to speak with you.” There’s a long wait and finally a voice comes on that you recognize, not because you’ve met him but because you’ve heard the President many times on the television.

“I need you in Washington D.C. I’ve researched and I believe you’re the right person for the job. I need someone to be a close advisor to me and I’m going to give you an office right next to the Oval Office. There will be none greater in my administration than you. You’ll be my most treasured and trusted advisor.”

You no more than hang up the phone, when a knock comes at the door and men in blue suits with earpieces stand waiting for you to open the door. They introduce themselves as the Secret Service. They usher you into a black Cadillac limousine with the President’s insignia and you fly to D.C. You don’t enter through the portico or the normal doors of the White House, you enter through the entryway of the special staff and are ushered into the Oval Office where you meet the President of the United States. There he once again confirms what he’s offering you. He’s going to trust you more than he has any other advisor. You’re going to be the power behind the throne, so to speak, and you’ll have access to him 24/7. He will listen to your advice and will implement most of what you advise him.

Of course, this sounds so silly and fantastical that it’s hardly believable. And yet, One greater than the President, One better than any king or principality has invited you, not into the Oval Office, but into the throne room of heaven. There He has seated you and I in Christ Jesus where we are not the power behind the throne, but where the power of the throne is behind us. This is true. This is what this text states about you and me and it is so because of our union with Jesus Christ.

(I want to Bring everyone up to the table I have set up, that represents the King’s table, to be seated one by one) 

Now, I want to read this again to you who are sitting here....

Ephesians 2:4-6 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

Sometimes you felt it so close that you could reach out and touch it. In moments of clarity you could see it and you knew it belonged to you, but today I want to escort you to it, and let you sit in that place you know God has for you, at the King’s table. Lodibar, that place you have felt stuck in, where you wonder if it will ever happen, is being left behind, and you’re entering into all the King has prepared for you....This seat has been reserved for you, in His presence continually, as a daughter and as a son!  

Posted by: AT 04:38 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, January 09 2023

You’ve Got To Believe!!

I use those strong terms, because Jesus used them. If we are part of His kingdom and He is the King, then His word is a command to those who are in that kingdom. It becomes our mandate. There are times when believing can be a life and death matter...

Believing comes as a command from the Lord to all His followers.

John 3:18 “Whoever believes in Him (Jesus) is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed on the name of God’s one and only Son”.             (That’s a mandate we are given)....

Hebrews 11:6 “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He is and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him”. (That a Kingdom command).

Mark 9:23 “If you can believe, all things are possible to those who believe”. There is a reason those who follow Christ are called believers.

Just having faith is not enough. Having the ability or the knowledge that you need to believe, is not enough. There must be action that is consistent with what is believed. James tells us that faith without corresponding actions is lifeless and dead. You do not actually believe anything until you are willing to put action behind it.                                                                                                        Hope is not enough, because hope must have a plan for what is hoped for. Proverbs13:12 says “Hope deferred makes the heart sick”….Life gets to be a heavy load when hope has no plan, and no clear path.... 

One man in the bible who was struggling with getting the mix right is found in Mark 9:24 Jesus presented Him with what He could do with the man’s son and his condition, and the man’s reaction was… “Lord I do believe, help my unbelief”… He was actually saying, “I have faith, and I hope this is true, but I need help putting this into action”….

Let me give you some good advice…. when you don’t have a plan, accept the plan the Lord has for you!!!

Let me give you a simple formula…. Faith + Hope = Belief

Faith in His promise, plus Hope with a plan, equals belief that brings it into reality….

TO THE PALSIED MAN in Luke 5:24, CHRIST GAVE THIS COMMAND – “But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, I say unto you, Arise, and take up your couch, and go into your house”. 

Do you see the formula? Faith in the promise, brought hope with a plan, and belief that it was possible, sprang forth into action....

TO THE MAN WITH THE WITHERED HAND – Matt. 12:13. Stretch forth , your hand. (action accompanied belief that it was possible...

TO THE MAN WITH AN INFIRMITY 38 YEARS John 5:6.– Jesus asked for a decision to act.....Will you be made whole? 

TO THE MAN BORN BLIND – John 9:7, belief required action....Gowash in the pool of Siloam. 

TO THE WOMAN WITH AN ISSUE OF BLOOD... Luke 8:45-46 – Your faith (or belief) has made you whole.... (her belief had corresponding action as she touched the hem of His garment)

We see it again Luke 17:14, WITH THE TEN LEPERS – Jesus required that their belief have corresponding action..... “Go show yourselves unto the priests”.

Peter received faith to walk on the water when he heard Jesus say, ‘Come.’ But that faith did not come alive until he threw his leg over the side of the boat and started walking on the water. 

So we see in all these accounts, that action unlocked the power that wasresident, when faith in His word plus hope with a plan of action, becamebelief that it would be done!!.

Find and study the promises in the Bible that cover your need. Give yourself to them wholly, and meditate on them until they get deep down inside of you. Spend time with God and listen to Him. Do what He says and make the changes and adjustments that He requires. Hearing His voice produces faith and Hope begins to form a plan, and obedience to what He says produces the victory. Some of you need to start by reading the word about healing and then just find someone and believe for their healing (come on, we all know someone) Read where it says bring them to Jesus, and either lead them in a prayer to receive Christ or bring them to church (we all know someone who needs to be in church) But it’s a start!! A trip around the world starts with 1 step!                                                                   If He says go then go…. If He says come then come…. If He says stop then stop…. If He says do nothing, then spend the time receiving the plan that will be implemented when He says Go!!!                                                                                  The combination of Faith and Hope, will determine what you believe and act upon….                                                                                            Evangelist, Jonathan Whitfield was preaching to coal miners in England. He asked one man, "What do you believe?" "Well, I believe the same as the church." "And what does the church believe?" "Well, they believe the same as me." Seeing he was getting nowhere, Whitfield said, "And what is it that you both believe?" "Well, I suppose we believe the same thing." He said... “oh, boy”!!!                             

Knowledge is the accumulation of information, while wisdom is knowing what to do with that knowledge and how to apply it in real world situations and in our own life. We may hear a sermon or read scripture but if we get in the habit of not applying those truths in our lives, we are training our spirit to give place todoubt and unbelief which defeats our spiritual health and gives Satan opportunities to undermine our faith. This opens us up to error and Satan’s many lies. 

Look at it this way, would you invest time and money to go to a trade school for (carpentry, or being an electrician, or mechanic) and never do anything except the book work.                                                                         Imagine becoming a master carpenterbut you’ve never picked up a hammer during the entire experience. It sounds ridiculous but this is how many Christiansdo it. 

Once when I was visiting my Son Chris, in Va. Beach, a group of us guys went to the shooting range. And on the way there, I mentioned that I had never fired a pistol, only rifles and shotguns, and one of the guys, who was an M.P. at the Naval Base, said that he was excited to be shooting live rounds. We were all stunned, since he was an M.P. Then he *.......said that he had never fired a live round through out all of his training. All he had ever fired was blanks....                                                                                Too many Christians are shooting blanks!!! It’s time to try some live rounds! Blanks will make a noise, they will even cause a reaction, but they make no holes in the target!                                                                                                                             If we sit through sermon after sermon, plus all of our personal Bible reading, but rarely apply any of it to see lasting change, correction in our core values, or a new direction in our lives, then we are professional spectators, not doers of the word.. We’re just shooting blanks and we fall short of the target....!

James 1:22 “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”

We can all do something as we are challenged with the promises of God. There is some plan of action we can take, which corresponds with the hope that is in us. 

A teenage girl in college was believing God for the man God had for her to do life with....she was believing for a Godly husband. So, she wrote a prayer, that was her faith plan, she posted it on her dorm mirror and this is what she said:

“Dear God, I do not pray with selfish wants, As girls are prone to be

I do not want a handsome man / But make him, Lord, like Thee.

I do not need one big and strong / nor yet so very tall,

Nor need he be some genius / or wealthy, Lord, at all;

But let his head be high, dear God, / and let his eye be clear,

His shoulders straight, whate’er his fate / whate’er his earthly sphere.

And let his face have character, / a ruggedness of soul,

And let his whole life show, dear God, / a singleness of goal.

And when he comes / as he will come

With quiet eyes aglow / I’ll know, dear Lord,

That he’s the man / I prayed for long ago”.

We know that girl as Ruth Graham, she later met and married—Billy Graham. Her life had a profound effect as one who so faithfully supported and surrounded Billy Graham with love & encouragement.

See it again.....Faith in His promise, plus Hope with a plan, equals belief that brings it into reality….

Abraham believed God and moved away from Haran, to a city whose builder and maker was God….., Joshua and the people believed God for victory and marched around Jericho….., David believed that God appointed Him as the next king so he left the farm and into his destiny…..                                                                                                           We see over and over that you can’t please God or fulfill your purpose in life if you don’t have Faith, Hope and belief, working together.                       

Martin Luther, the great reformer said, “Faith that gives nothing, costs nothing, and suffers nothing, is worth nothing”.

When the disciples had faith in Jesus words, “Follow Me”…..hope began to plan that out, and their belief put it in action. Amazing things began to come into their lives and many people were glad they did.                                 

In the book titled “Inkheart”, which was made into a movie... the lead character discovers that he has a special power. When he reads a book out loud, he brings the characters to life in the real world. Each of us have a special power.... 

And the book is the Bible, The words within it are alive and God breathed. When we read it, those words and events, the miracles and works of God, come alive in us and as we believe and act, we bring them into the real world where we live.....We begin to see the faithful God behind it all, who is the same Yesterday, today and forever, guiding everything according to his plan and purpose, and our faith grows more and more, which translates into greater actions in the real world. Maybe you have cried out, “Lord, what’s happening with my life?”                                                                                                                                                                                                   I have often thought about times when we are taking prayer requests, and when all the usual requests are recorded, someone will raise their hand to say, “I have an unspoken request.”                                                     What falls into that category? An unspoken request is something so close to the heart that it’s very personal, you cannot mention it without breaking into tears. It’s a request that comes forth at the painful intersection between biblical faith and the reality that the hope that is within, still needs a plan for decisive action.

How do we keep hope alive when life itself seems to take a wrong turn down a dead-end street? What if all that we hold dear is suddenly snatched away, if all the familiar landmarks are removed, if our friends desert us, if our job is gone, if our health disappears, if death comes unwelcomed to our door, and we’re in an uncertain place where nothing is familiar anymore.                                                                                                                                                  We are now dealing with a difficult but undeniable reality.            Sometimes God’s plan is different from what we expected. It’s not that God isn’t hearing or seeing what’s happening, It’sthat He has another direction, another way, that we haven’t tuned in to yet....                     (I said yet!) God won’t say yes if His plan is a No... or a wait, or You’ve got to be kidding!!! 

We have all just received an amazing gift of 365 new opportunities for a miracle, (minus 7 days).... That’s a lot of chances for God to do a new thing in each of our lives, families, careers, and foundations of the future....

He’s been doing it different than people expected, for His people for thousands of years, and He’s ready to do it now!

It happened when Moses showed up and led them out of Egypt.

It happened when God sustained them for 40 years in the wilderness.

It happened when they crossed the Jordan River.

It happened when the walls of Jericho came tumbling down.

It happened when they conquered the Promised Land.

It happened when Gideon defeated the Midianites.

It happened when Samson defeated the Philistines.

It happened when Elijah defeated the prophets of Baal.

It happened when David defeated Goliath.

You’ve got to believe, it’s ready to happen again..... Are you ready? Does your faith in His promise, plus Hope with a plan, equal belief that brings it into reality…Yes, a thousand times, Yes!!!                                                                                                                                                           When D L Moody, the renownevangelist of the last century, who led millions to Christ, was laying on his deathbed, he said to his sons, "If God is your partner, then you need bigger plans."

Imagine an ant crawling across a priceless painting by Rembrandt. It crawls across the dark brown and thinks all of life is dark brown. Then it hits green and thinks, ‘”Oh, this is better. Now all is green.” But soon comes the blue and then a splash of yellow, a streak of red, and then another patch of brown. The ant only sees that part of the painting it is in at the moment, and doesn’t appreciate the entire painting. 

We are the ant, and as we journey, from one color to another, in the episodes of our lives, we can’t see that God is actually painting a masterpiece, using all the colors in His great plan to grow, and develop us into mature men and women of faith and hope.                 One day we will learn that every color had its place, had a reason, nothing was wasted or out of place. Just as there is a time and a season for everything, there is also a color for every stage of life’s journey. When the painting is finished, we will discover that we were part of a masterpiece from the very beginning. Time is the canvas on which God does His painting, and eternity is the viewpoint from which we will see the amazing beauty of His handiwork.

This is His story, being written out through our lives. And we are the ones He has chosen to bring it into the real world. It is so much bigger than you and me that we can’t begin to comprehend all that His plan contains.

Pioneer missionary J. Hudson Taylor founded the China Inland Mission to reach the multitudes of Chinese people who had never heard the gospel. During the terrible days of the Boxer Rebellion (1900-1901), when missionaries were being captured and killed, he went through such an agony of soul that he could not pray. Writing in his journal, he summarized his spiritual condition this way: “I can’t read. I can’t think. I can’t pray. But I can trust.” 

The poster said, “Lost dog, 3 legs, blind in left eye, missing right ear, tail broken, recently castrated,  answers to the name of “Lucky”.....Maybe you have felt a bit like “Lucky” looks..... we’ve all had those times when we felt lucky!                                                                                           There will be times when we don’t feel like reading the Bible. Sometimes we may get so busy, we may not focus our thoughts on God at all. Sometimes we may feel like our prayers are bouncing back in our faces, but in those moments we can still trust in the loving purposes of our heavenly Father. Hudson Taylor had faith in the promises, and his hope produced a plan, and a deep belief in the author of all things, which gave it corresponding action, and multitudes of Chinese believers can testify that it changed their lives and their eternity.

Look up, child of God, for redemption is drawing near....seebeyond your own problems, difficulties, disappointments and challenges...look up and you will see the hand of God at work everywhere, in everything!

William Cowper, was one of the most popular poets of the late 1700’s, who struggled with frequent bouts of depression and battled forces of darkness that kept trying to pull him down, most of his life. But he held to the promises, and wrote with hope, as he stated his belief in God’s eternal plan. He wrote....                                                                                                

God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform;

He plants His footsteps in the sea, And rides upon the storm.

Deep in fathomless mines, Of never failing skill

He treasures up His bright designs, And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take, The clouds you so much dread

Are big with mercy and shall break, In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, But trust Him for His grace

Behind a frowning providence, He hides a loving face.

His purposes will ripen fast, Unfolding every hour

The bud may have a bitter taste, But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err, And scan His work in vain

God is His own interpreter, And He will make it plain.

Oh, Hallelujah, to the Master painter and designer of destinies!

I want to close with God’s word to the people of Judah, when they had gone into captivity. Judah means “Praise”...So God is speaking to the people of praise in a time of captivity in Babylon....

Jeremiah 29:10-14 "This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill My good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord...

What He said then, He says to you now....Even your captivity has a purpose, even your season of feeling abandoned and hopeless fits into the greater plan. Keep your eyes on the prize and know that He is still the rewarder of those who put their trust in Him. 

Could we all read the following together....   

Hebrews 12:2  “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”.

Hebrews 7:25 "Therefore He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through Him, for He ever lives to make intercession for us."

Let’s take a moment to thank God that He is working out an amazing plan through us, as we believe and bring His amazing constantly unfolding story into the earth! Could we take a moment and just give Him praise that He is working through His plan for us.... Surrender to His all sufficient work, He knows how to bring it to pass!

Posted by: AT 11:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, January 04 2023

2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, they are new creations. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come”. Positionally, through the transforming power of God’s grace, we have become new creations in Christ, but experientially, we are still processing what it means to be released from the person of the past that we were, in order to fully enjoy and function as a new creature in Christ!  Let’s suppose for a moment, that twins, a sister and brother were talking to each other in the womb. The little sister says to the little brother: 'I believe that there is life after birth!' Her brother protested: 'No, no, this is all there is. This is a dark and cozy place, and all we have to do is just stay attached to the cord that feeds us and sustains our life.'
But the little girl insisted: “There must be something more than this dark place, there must be something else where there is light and freedom to move.” Still she could not convince her twin brother. Then...after some silence, she said hesitantly: 'I have something else to say, and I am afraid you won't believe that either, but I think there is a mother!'
Her little brother now became furious: 'A mother, a mother, what are you talking about? I have never seen a mother and neither have you. Who put that idea in your head? As I told you, this place is all we have so let's be content with it.'
The little sister finally said: 'But, don't you feel the pressure sometimes? It's really unpleasant and sometimes even painful, but it pushes against us.' 'Yes,' he answered, 'what's special about that?' 'Well,' the sister said, 'I think that pressure is there, to get us ready for another place”.

If you have felt that pressure, get ready for the next level, the next place
I think Paul must have felt the same way, in writing to the Corinthians, in 2 Corinthians 5:17, that the pressure we now experience is there to get us ready for another placewe have not experienced yet. ...

Just like the baby in the womb, who comes to the place that it is released to move on to the next place.... I am hearing in my Spirit, that we have come to the place of release, where we are being moved to the next place....(can you say “we’re moving to the next place”)

My message today is “2023, The Year Of The Lord’s Release”                                               1 Samuel 12:16 “Now then, stand still and see the great things the Lord is about to do right before your eyes”.

I believe that God’s people (myself included) have yet to comprehend the commanding power we have been given, by the anointed, God breathed word that is within us!

Moses stood before the most powerful person in Egypt, with a God breathed word he had been given to declare, and when he said “Let my people go”... it was no longer Moses speaking, it was God proclaiming what was about to happen.... and things started shaking & releasing!!!

I have a God breathed word in me today, that says “THIS IS THE YEAR OF THE LORD’S RELEASE” In your lives and in Eagle’s Rest!!

Sometimes we look at ourselves and say, “Oh, we can’t do this and we can’t do that because we are too lacking in this or that. I’m reminded of the story of a man who had done something wonderful in service to the king and the king called him in and told him he could mark off as much of the kingdom as he wanted and it would be his. The man took a stick and drew a circle in the dirt around himself. The king watched as he finished and said, “Is that all you want? Just what’s in that circle?” The man said, “NO. I want everything OUTSIDE the circle.”                                                                                                              What if we drew a line around ourselves and said, In 2023 I want everything you have for me Lord, outside the limits I have put around myself.....                                                                                                               The purpose of the New Year is for us to learn, the reward of the New Year is to grow, the nature of the New Year is to change, the challenge of the New Year is to overcome, the virtueof the New Year is to care, the opportunity of the New Year is to be your best self, the mandate for the New Year is to love. This New Year comes so that everything can heal. Your heart will heal, yourmind will heal, your hurts and wounds will heal. Your happiness will always depend on you, not things. Bad times won’t last but theywill prepare you for the blessing that is coming your way. 

This is not a Sunday Morning fix.... it is not a “get you through the week spiritual vitamin supplement”....It’s not a “feel good” goose bump visitation.... I’m talking about a new direction, in a new thing, that releases a new creation! 

Jesus said it Himself as He often quoted from portions of...                                               Isaiah 58 in describing His ministry.....                                                                                               Isaiah 58:5 “I have not chosen a fast for a man to afflict his soul..or to bow down his head in great sorrow, or to spread sackcloth and ashes under him and be in anguish. 6 For the fast that I have chosen, is to release people from the power of wickedness, to undo their heavy burdens, to let the oppressed of the Devil go free, and that you destroy every yoke of bondage. 7 It is to feed the hungry, and to provide shelter and safety for the poor. That you clothe those who have no covering, And that you be reconciled to your own flesh. 

8 Then shall your days break forth as the morning, and your health shall spring forth speedily, and your deliverance, victory, and prosperity shall go before you, and the glory of the Lord shall bring your reward unto you, and separate you from all that was in the past. 9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer you, you shallintercede, and He will say, Here I am”. So I guess the Lord is saying that He can handle our stuff far better than we can if we just turn it all over to Him....

God is entering into covenant with His people that He will bring a great release in 2023 if we will put Him first, before being distracted by all the things that keep rendering us ineffective and spiritually eviscerated....

Jesus quoted Isaiah to highlight the disconnect between the temple and the people in the streets. He was describing to them what to expect in His earthly ministry.

Jesus told his disciples, “I have prayed for you that you fail not in bridging the gap and restoring the broken relationships by bringing people back to Me.”

Matthew 11:10 says “Behold, I send my messengersbefore My face, which shall prepare the way before Me”.                                                                       Who are these messengers, He is sending.... It is every believer, It’s you and me, to bring the release of the Lord, and fulfill the promise He made.

Jesus is the Source of our Authority

When He says “It is written,” It is Imperishable and unbreakable.

Matthew 5:18 “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or comma shall pass away until all is accomplished,” 

“He is the ultimate in Truthfulness, durability and reliability...

John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”                                        (could I add, “In 2023) Jesus has come to bring release and restoration.                                                                                                            Job lost everything, he was rich but became poor. He lost it all, but Job trusted God and everything was restored back to him. As a matter of fact he received all he lost and then God doubled it!! I have been hearing in my spirit that God is ready to restore all the things He has promised for us as well. When God restores you, He does not only restore to you what you lost but He also adds even more blessing to all that was lost. Oh, my, He wants to amaze us in 2023!

The Bible tells us that “the Shemitah” is an important key in this release....”Shemitah” actually means “to release”. It is the 7th year cycle, in which everything is released back to God. Debts, land, slaves, and any desire for retribution and unforgiveness is all released or given to Him....                                                                                                       Basically God promised that if His people would turn everything over to Him, (the source of all things), every 7th year, and not plow and plant the fields, release the slaves for that year, not charge interest for loans for that year, give forgiveness of debt that year....then the other 6 years, He promised that there would be more abundance in every area, than there would have been if they held on to everything for themselves, (as they usually did). So as the people gave it to God, God would give it all back, full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over....           The Shemitah is when everyone decides if they want just enough in the coming year, or if they want abundance and overflow!!!

One of the most apparent ways you can tell if a person has turned things over to God, is if they have patience....Long lines at the grocery store are not for the impatient,having someone pull out in front of you on the highway and then drive extremely slow, is not for the impatient. Waiting for hours at the doctors office, slow service at McDonald's, long winded preachers who talk way too long. -- all will try your patience, won't it?                                                 We go on a diet and expect to lose weight an hour later.... One church advertises a 30-minute church service and their motto is "Church designed with you in mind"... Yes, with the impatient people in mind !!Everything about our culture is oriented towards that which is fast. Fast is good. Slow is bad. We have fast food, quick print shops, faster and faster computers, expressways, instant messaging, and overnight delivery. We think the faster life goes, the better it is for us.

The Shemitah declares to us, “give it to God, and He will add His blessing and give it back to you”... just be patient!                                                                                                                              There are places in all of us, that God designed,which only He can fill. Everything else will only fail and fall short of what He can do....                                                                                                                                                                                Activate the Shemitah, when you are struggling in your finances, release it to God. God wants to bless us, so we need to put our finances in their proper place.. In God’s Hands. God will take care of us better than the stock broker, the banker, or the IRS agent. We simply need to surrender our money and obey His leading which He makes very clear in His word.. God didn’t ask for an amount, He asked for a percent. That means whether you make a lot or a little, the percent is the same. So in God’s eyes, you are not rich according to what you have, but according to your obedience in the financial Shemitah.... How you obey Him with your finances.. (would you say, “Do the Shemitah”.... Tithe and offerings, are proof that you are doing The Shemitah.  

Activate Shemitah, when you are struggling in your marriage and relationships, let go and release it to God. He can handle it. In obedience to His Shemitah marriage guidelines, every marriage will prosper. (would you tell someone “do the Shemitah in your relationships”)

When fear and worry over what the future holds has you paralyzed, do The Shemitah, and release it to God. Give up Control, and Give up the Worry.... they are very connected. We worry about what we can’t control.

1 Peter 5:7 (NLT) tells us to “Release all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.”                                                                                              I’ve mentioned that when my mind won’t rest, and I lie in bed trying to fix what hasn’t happened yet, I only lose sleep. But if I get up, write it down, do the Shemitah by releasing it to God, and go back to bed, I can sleep. (Can you say, “Do the Shemitah”.....You see, I did what I could about it, until I could do what I needed to do about it. By writing it down, it’s on the paper, not on my mind.... I handed it to God, and He doesn’t sleep anyway, so I might as well let Him stay awake with it instead of me. Why should both us stay up all night!

So, Give it to God – activate Shemitah, and give up your stuff... The old saying is that “you either control your stuff or your stuff controls you.... You either own your stuff, or your stuff owns you”..

It’s not one thing, it’s many things wrapped up together. It’s a job, school, money, work, health, bills to pay, your husband, your wife, your ex-husband, your ex-wife, the in-laws, the kids, and on and on it goes. Any one thing we could handle or even two things, but when you get three or four together, your knees start to buckle.., Which may be a good thing if it takes you to your knees!

A survey showed that when we don’t do Shemitah, each week we spend 14.31 hours worrying. That equals 744 hours of worry each year. Which turns into 45,243 hours of worry over a lifetime.

That equals 1885 days in a lifetime spent doing nothing but worrying. Which means that we spend 5.2 years of our life worrying.                                                                                                                                                                                          The modern word “Worry”, comes from the Old English word, which means to strangle or to seize by the throat.

It’s referring to “excessive concern over the affairs of life.” Yes we should be concerned, but not excessively concerned.                                                    Excessive Worry is a sin for two reasons:                                                           First, because it displaces God in your life. When you commit the sin of worry, you are living as though God did not exist. And you are living as though you alone can solve your problems. So you replace God with yourself....

Second, because it distracts you from the things that really matter in life. As long as you are worrying, you can’t do other things as well as you should. You are strangled by worry.

Let’s face it, the only way to get rid of all the things that we tend to worry about is to die!! (I’m sure I won’t get a lot of takers)

Give it to God... Activate The Shemitah and release today, this moment, to Him ... What 2023 will look like, starts today, it starts right now.       

Everyone is going to go on a diet tomorrow, go to the gym tomorrow, be a better person tomorrow. We can only change the now that we are in, yesterday is gone, tomorrow isn’t here yet.. Living in the future robs us of the joy of today just like living in yesterday strangles the opportunities of today. The old song says it well, “One day at a time, sweet Jesus, that’s all I’m asking from you.”(Good advice) The devil is defeated one choice at a time. One attitude adjustment, one moment of surrender, one letting God have His way at a time. 

Trying to control the future is like trying to control the wind. You may be able to harness the wind, but you can’t control it. 

Luke 17:21 “Do not say, Lo the kingdom is here! or, lo it is there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within younow”. This is about fully believing that the Kingdom is operating in your todays, not someday in the future. Not if this or if that happens or something changes.                                                                                                 This is the definition of Contentment, which is the belief that the working of the kingdom of God is right now, today, and that belief will prevent our eyes from wandering off into the maze of the procrastination that is tomorrow. It prevents us from operating in the philosophy “Why do it today when I can put it off till tomorrow”. 

When Jesus ministered, He ministered in the moment. He was 100 percent in the moment. 

2023 can be composed of thousands of these “Now” moments all put together, to form a life well lived...2023 will be fulfilled in you and me, as we “Carpe Diem” or seize the day, we are given in the now! That takes a “now faith”... Hebrews says “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.”

Living well, in 2023 is a lot about “Carpe Diem”... seizing the moment.... The Lord began shouting this into my spiritas I was developing this message.....Holy Spirit said to me....

“This is the Shemitah which I have planned to become your tangible reality, as I pour out My blessings upon all who have waited for Me and trusted in Me, says the LORD. I will restore, restore, restore, says the LORD. I will rebuild, rebuild, rebuild. I will release, release, release. I command, and your help is on the way. What is broken shall be mended. I will heal your wounds and bring health to your life. For I Am YOUR GOD that heals you. Believe, and receive, for all that you have need of has already been provided. Walk in Me and you will be made complete in ME, and you will see it working out in your life as you walk in complete faith and trust in Me,regardless of the circumstances around you. This is a time that I have chosen, it is a way you have not considered. It is already in you now, and it is waiting on your obedience, for the fullness of what I have for you is according to My Word.  My will and My work are aligned with My Word and MY voice within your spirit.  BELIEVE AND RECEIVE it, for I bring you a new thing for a new year and I tell you, This is that which I promised, for I have come into covenant with you who believe and are ready to receive it. You will not be disappointed, says the LORD, and the desires of your heart shall be granted for I have remembered you. When others said they would pray, but forgot, I remember. When others promise you, then forget, I remember. Wait and see! For the ruins shall be rebuilt. The waste places shall be restored. The good work of returning to you again shall begin. Hope is NOT lost. For I will breathe new life in you, and cause you to flourish once again. I am releasing energy, your health is returning, lost things are being found, dreams of the past are being renewed, honor is coming, promotion is coming, a better life I am even now bringing forth. I will complete the good work that I have begun in you, and your purpose and your future shall be secured”.

One Chorus says, “Leave it there, leave it there. Take your burdens to the Lord and leave it there. If you trust and never doubt, He will surely bring you out. Take your burdens to the Lord and leave it there”. 

As we have our closing prayer. Let us present all our stuff as we enter this new year. The year of the Lord’s release. Let’s leave it with Him, and hand it all to Him. The kids, the bills, the job, the education, the relationships, health issues, the wisdom and guidance we need.... leave it all with Him....

(Closing Prayer) ....“Lord, when I’m troubled by thoughts and feelings of fear, You know, and You are here waiting for me to give it to You. You know how deep the hurt goes and how long I have lived with it. But I don’t want to live with it any longer. I don’t want to be a fearful, hurting person any longer, so I surrender it and let it go. Lord, I release my loved ones into your care. You know all my concerns and You understand them, So, I release them into Your hands and I choose faith in You, instead of fear and worry.          

    Lord, I release and I surrender my need to feel in control, and embrace the truth that You are the one in control. Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot control, the courage to change the things I can (my thoughts and my actions) and the wisdom to know the difference. Lord, I release all the negative thoughts, feelings and impressions that cause me to live as a victim. I choose to live in the truth of Your Word that says I am more than a conqueror rather than a victim, through the One who loves me and gave Himself for me.                                                                                                              

     I give it all to You and choose to live a victorious life from this moment on. Lord, Your Word says there is “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ the law of the Spirit who gives new life has set me free.” I release all the shame, the guilt and condemnation that has come, because of the lies I’ve believed about myself. I declare that in Christ, old things have passed away and now all things have become new. Lord, thank you for freeing me from any thing that has me bound, spiritually, mentally and physically.

     Thank you for creating in me a clean heart and renewing a right spirit within me, as I walk forward to never go back there again.Wash me, cleanse me and make me whole. Help me to renew my mind to think like the free, redeemed, child of God, that You say I am. Father, You have found me, you have forgiven me and you love me with Your unlimited love. I stand upon these truths, and I set my feet firmly upon the rock of my new life. In Christ’ name, Amen.

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