When the Holy Spirit woke me up with this, it was evident that He wants us to take a look at how well we have done at serving Him, one another, and those who think the world is full of grabbers and users. Perhaps our roll is to change the thinking of the world by our willingness to choose the towel instead of a title....
*........Matthew 20:28 “For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many..”
Jesus chose a donkey on Triumphant Sunday over a stallion.
He chose fishermen over scribes, pharisees, and people of position.
He chose a humble home and humble parents over king’s palaces.
He could have chosen a lawyer, to get him off, but instead, he chose to be nailed to a rugged cross....They didn’t take His life, He chose to give it... It was His choice....
Jesus taught His followers that the last shall be first and the first shall be last. He told them to choose the lower seat and wait to be invited to come up higher. He made sinners and common folks his choice to be around, instead of religious folks and the self-important.
So as one of His final acts before being tried, beaten and crucified, He girded Himself with a towel and wash the disciples feet.
*.......When I was a child, growing up, we attended various churches. For a while we went to the church of God, where foot washing was considered a sacrament, and was a monthly observance just like communion. Now a lot of folks would be sure to clip their nails, and clean their feet for the service, but my Grandpa would not wash his feet for a week before foot washing service, and he was a farmer, so his feet were not a welcome sight to whoever drew his number. He said he wanted to give a double blessing to whoever washed his feet!
I believe foot washing is a wonderful way of making a statement that we honor one another, and we’re there to support and stand by one another. One church went out to a homeless area and washed the feet of the homeless folks while they prayed for them, which was a great testimony. Wives and husbands should wash one another’s feet, our children should wash one another’s feet, a church foot washing now and then might be a good thing, but I don’t think we will make it a sacrament of the church. (somebodylike my grandpa may show up!!!) But what a wonderful way to teach our kids from their early years to serve each other and honor each other....
*.......John 13:12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his outer garment and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them”.
In the time of Jesus, folks wore sandals or usually no shoes at all. Their feet got pretty dirty, so, before entering the house, they would wash off the dirt, or they would have a servant do it for them.
It was not the foot washing act itself that Jesus was telling them they were to observe, after He was gone... *.......It was the act of servanthood which was to be a signature trait, by which all Christians were to be known. It was about caring about one another’s well being, about feeding the hungry, about serving those who are shut in, those in prison, those who are homeless or unable to help themselves. It was about acts of loving kindness which preach louder than any sermon in any pulpit. It was about walking out the love we preach about. It was about, “you don’t really know me until you’ve walked a while in my shoes.”
Too many Christians are putting people down more than we are lifting them up. John Wesley provides the most convicting analysis on what it *.......means to be a true servant: “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, for as long as you can.”
*........Mark 12:30 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”
God’s favor and blessing, will run after and overtake all those who give to those who cannot give back to them...When He was finished serving them, Jesus even pronounced a special blessing on those who would serve one another....
*.......He said in John 13:17 “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed (“makários” Highly favored and provided for) if you do them”. We will be held accountable for what we know to do if we do it not. So, Jesus is holding every follower accountable, by saying “Now that you know these things”, but He is also pronouncing a special blessing when we do them.
*........This guy Joe Hill, built a ramp for this dad, Tony Bentinand his daughter and paid for the materials, when he saw the man struggling to lift Almay up the steps to get her in the house. And he didn’t even know the man, but he parked his truck and asked her dad if he could build them a ramp. While she was at school and her dad was at work, Joe finished the ramp and had it ready when she got off the bus. Joe asked for nothing in return, but when it hit the news, his business was flooded with business, because everyone wanted an honest contractor. Jesus said that the servant would be doubly blessed! Amen?
*.......Paul says this about that....Romans 12:1 “So I beg you, brothers and sisters, because of the great mercy God has shown us, offer your lives as a living sacrifice to Him—an offering that is pleasing unto him. Considering what He has done for you, it is only right that you should worship Him in this way, by serving one another”.
I dare you to try to outgive God.... You can’t do it! *.......It has been well said, folks don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care....
When people are dying, they don’t ask for trophies they have won, the degrees they have earned, or the gold watch they got when they retired, no, they want to be surrounded by the people they love and those who loved and cared for them. It’s all about relationships.
*.......What really blows my mind here is that Jesus washed the feet of the very person who had already betrayed Him for 30 pieces of silver! What a lesson in forgiveness! Jesus served the man who handed him over to his crucifiers. So, this special blessing, is to those who are willing to forgive, and who refuse to allow what others do, to rule their emotions and their actions. He didn’t wait till everything settled, He forgave even while He was being betrayed.
*.......We can’t apply the wrong set of rules, and expect the right results. Because they were wrong, doesn’t mean we can do wrong. We do the right thing because it’s right! (that’s what righteousness means) doing the right thing no matter what others are doing. Judge and you shall be judged, Give it and it shall be given unto you. It’s the law of attraction. It’s one thing to know it, it’s entirely another to walk it out, and see the results for yourself. Aren’t you glad, God is a righteous God... He does the right thing no matter what we do!!
*.......Luke 6:44 “For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush do they gather grapes. v45 Agood man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth that which is evil: for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. v46 So, why do you call me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
Look at John’s gospel....for a moment...
*.......John 13:13 “It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for Him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end”. It is possible to not love enough, but it is impossible to love too much! Someone told Winnie one time, “You’re going to spoil those kids”... Well, that was her goal.... Just spoil them real good with love. Don’t ever let them think for a moment that there is any other way to love, but completely.
*.......Laura Hammond wrote that Her grandparents played a little game from the time they met each other. The game was to secretly write the word "SHMILY" in a surprise place for the other to later find. They took turns leaving "SHMILY" in unexpected places around the house. As soon it was discovered by one of them, it was the other one’s turn to hide it once more.They traced "SHMILY" with their fingers through the sugar and flour containers to be found by the other. They painted it in the dew on the windows overlooking the patio. "SHMILY" was imprinted in the steam left on the mirror after a hot shower, and once, her grandmother unrolled an entire roll of toilet paper to leave "SHMILY" on the very last sheet.
This strange word, "SHMILY" would pop up on post-em notes stuck on dashboards and car seats, or taped to steering wheels. The notes were stuffed inside shoes and left under pillows. "SHMILY" was written in the dust upon the mantel and traced in the ashes of the fireplace.
This mysterious word was as much a part of her grandparents' house as the furniture. It took her a long time before she was able to fully appreciate their game. Skepticism had kept her from believing in true love – one that is pure and enduring. However, she never doubted her grandparents' love. They had love down pat. It was a way of life to them. They held hands every chance they could. They stole kisses as they bumped into each other in their tiny kitchen.
But a dark cloud eventually crept into her grandparents' life, when her grandmother got breast cancer. As always, Grandpa was with her every step of the way. He stayed with her when she was too sick to go outside. They still went to church faithfully every Sunday morning. But grandma grew steadily weaker until, finally, she could not leave the house anymore. Then one day, Grandma was gone. At the funeral,
"SHMILY" was scribbled all over the casket.
As Grandpa stepped up to the casket, the secret of the mystery word was finally revealed, as he spoke it to her one last time, “S-H-M-I-L-Y” *.......See How Much I Love You.
So how long should we love someone... Jesus loved till the end... I’m sure most folks would rather have on their tombstone... “Oh how they did love”... instead of “They got what they deserved”? How much better that they write.. “they served, they cared, they loved”.....
Where your heart is, there’s where your treasure is...If Jesus is your treasure, that’s where you’re heart will be also. Thousands of those who left Egypt, kept looking back, and forgot where they were going, and died in the wilderness. Don’t camp at your disappointment, or you’ll get sour, and you can’t love as you should. Don’t hang around the place of betrayal and injustice too long, or you’ll get bitter and you can’t love as you should. Keep moving towards heaven, keep pressing forward toward the prize that’s waiting for you when you cross the finish line.....
*.......John 13:4 “so Jesus got up from the meal, took off His outer garment, and wrapped a towel around His waist. 5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that wrapped around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, surely, you’re not going to wash my feet?!!” 7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” 8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” We need to be careful that we don’t put a “No” where we should say “Lord teach me,” because we don’t understand or my flesh disagrees with the Your word is to us. He already sees the end from the beginning, He sees the outflow before we get the income... He knows the ending before we even start out!
Jesus said it, I believe it, and that settles it! Peter almost missed it because he tried to understand it.... If it’s in the word, then believe it!
*.......King Agrippa missed it because he couldn’t understand it... He said to Paul, “Almost you have persuaded me”... There is no “almost” hand on a watch, either it is or it isn’t.
Some folks will almost get to heaven, but they’ll end up in hell.
They’ll almost obey what God is telling them, but miss the blessing.
You cannot satisfy your hunger by “almost eating.” You cannot succeed in your marriage by being almost faithful. You cannot succeed in addiction recovery by almost stopping. You cannot catch a bus by being almost on time. You cannot pay off your mortgage or car loan by almost having enough money. A boomerang that almost comes back is just a stick....
Don’t be like the guy who said he "always gave 100% at work.
He gave 14% on Monday. 30% on Tuesday. 30% on Wednesday.
24% on Thursday. 2% on Friday." He is now 100% unemployed!!!
Don’t you just love Peter’s response when Jesus said if I don’t wash your feet, you have no part with me....
*........John 13:9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” Lay it on me Jesus, give me all you’ve got!
The Lord is looking for some folks that WANT IT ALL! If He has it for me, I want it....The little woman had an issue of blood for 12 years had spent all her money, and grew worse, but when she heard that the leper cleanser, and the dead man raiser, and the blind man healer, and the deaf ear opener was coming, She believed she could have it all!
He's the new life giver for us today. He’s the demon man deliverer and the victory giver this very hour!
And He’s looking for some folks like Peter, who will go for it, and not settle for less than all He’s got!
Lord here is all of me, so I can have all of you!
*......This isn’t just a foot washing, this is the great Exchange!
2 Corinthians 8:9 “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich”.
The great exchange message is that we must keep moving forward, and never look back. What we are is not what we used to be...
We may be sorry for the things that we have done, but we cannot go back in time and undo them. So, what good is it, to sit around and beat yourself up over the things that you've done? Whom the son sets free is free indeed! If you are really sorry, then pick yourself up, receive the grace that makes us new creations, and do something different with your life. There are folks who have served time behind bars for despicable acts, but there's stillabundant life left to live in the great exchange. You may have gotten into drugs, or premarital sex, or been pulled into the gay lifestyle,but there's still abundant life left to live in the great exchange.
Regardless of what was in the past, what are you going to do about your future? Stop worrying about things that you cannot change and do what you can to change the things that are still within your power to do something about! Hallelujah, and Hello Mary Lou, The things that were meant to destroy us, drove us to the safest place we could ever hope to be.....Into the presence of the Lord! *.......John 10:10 Jesus has told us “the thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; but I have come that you might have life, and life more abundantly”. We've got everything to live for. We now live to please the Lord. We now live to do His will. We now live to give Him praise. We now live to tell somebody else that Jesus Christ is still the same yesterday, and today, and forever; and if he did it for us, with our messed up past, He can do it for anyone and make our tomorrow better than our yesterday.
Peter knew it, all the other disciples knew it, Jacob, Joseph, Daniel and three Hebrews knew it. It’s a theme which runs all through the bible...
*.......Grace will always get there before you do... The power, anointing and authority which He gave you, arrived before you got there... Grace says, “Before you call I will answer, before you cry out I will hear”.
The Lord was waiting for the 3 Hebrews in the fiery furnace.
God lit the burning bush before Moses arrived. Jonah’s ticket was already punched for Nineveh before he landed in a seaweed suit.
God was waiting for Joseph in Egypt, before he was put in the pitand He already had his dream seat reserved in the throne room. God declared David to be king while he was still out herding sheep in the wilderness...
And He’s already been where you’re going and everything is all prepared, so, Hurry, don’t drag your feet, it’s all waiting for your arrival!
*.......John 14:3 “I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.
Restoration is waiting, the breakthrough is waiting, promotion is waiting, the next level of blessing is waiting....
*.......This reminds me of what Jesus said when He told Lazarus to come forth from the grip of death, and he walked out of the tomb, still wrapped in grave clothes. He turns to the disciples and said, “Loose him and let him go”.... or Let him become what I’ve called him to be....Help him be all that I’ve raised him up to be! I declare that those who shall be raised up in the coming months will also be loosed to be all that they are supposed to be. They won’t stop at just coming out of drugs, or prostitution, or alcohol, or pornography, or witchcraft..they’re going to get unwrapped, and this church is going to respond to the call...Loose them and let them go!!!
*......That’s what “SHMILY” is all about... It’s about picking up the towel. I want to show you how much Jesus loves you by how much I LOVE YOU. I love you enough to get you unwrapped and get you to where you’re supposed to be!
Is it worth going out of your way to introduce someone to the Lord and let them become what God called them to be. Is it worth, bringing someone to church with you. Is it worth buying someone a meal, who may not have one if you don’t, and then use the opportunity to introduce them to the one who will love them like no one ever has or will. Is it worth, visiting someone at the hospital and bringing comfort and encouragement and then as you pray, watch Jesus, the healer, do what the doctors can’t? Is it worth volunteering your time in the church, and see children and young people find their purpose in the kingdom and become all they can become?....
I need to hear someone say “It’s worth it”!!!
*.......If you really believe what I’ve been sharing is true, then as we close,and before you leave here today... I want you to find someone, who isn’t family, and plan to get with them this week, for lunch, for breakfast, dinner, or just have coffee and desert together and find out what’s happening in each other’s lives and families, just get together and have a love feast, in the Lord of course!!.
come on....Scripture says, forsake not the fellowship together with those of like precious faith.... (that’s us)
First, we’re going to pray together.... Who needs prayer while we’re in this moment of shared faith and belief in God’s promises? I want you to come and bring your special need, and we’re going to surround you with SHMILY....
When I put this message together, I didn’t realize that March 4th was national Sons Day. So the Holy Spirit must be ready to say something to someone, if we’re listening.....
Nancy Gibbs, says that when her mother celebrated eachbirthday, the grand kids always asked her age. Year after year, her reply was the same: "I’m 29." And Her 8 yr old daughter, Becky, accepted this answer until Nancy’s 30th birthday. After Nancy opened her presents, her daughter sadly informed her, "Mamma, you're 30, and Grandma is 29. I hate to tell you this, but I think you must've been adopted."
Jesus by His grace and mercy, adopted us, and through that transformative act, we went from orphans to sons and daughters of God and He moved us into His own house.
Galations 4:3 “We were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world. 4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those in slavery to the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship (“Huios”, a full heir with full privileges). 6 Because you are become His sons (Huios), God sent the Spirit of Sonship (Huios) into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child, and since you are His child, God has also made you His heir”.
There are two ways to relate to God. You can relate to him as an heir, or you can relate to him as an orphan. An orphantries to become acceptable to his master by presenting him valuable service, or by what he does, but the heir knows that he has access to his father’s house by virtue of sonship or whose he is.
Growing up as an adopted child, with a sister and brother who were biological, they would try to push my buttons when they would yell “your adopted, you’re not really our brother”... my response was “At least they wanted me, and chose me, they must feel terrible cause they HAD to keep you”... they took whatever came out!!!
(I should feel bad now about it, but not really) If it hadn’t happened, I couldn’t tell you about it!!
In biblical times, the firstborn was given certain unique rights, responsibilities, and privileges. A married couple’s firstborn male child was given priority and preeminence and that involved a double portion of the household estate and the leadership of the family if his father became incapacitated or was absent for some reason.
God has no second born children, only first born. He has no grandkids, no nieces and nephews.... no step children, only firstborns. John 1:12 “But to all who receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the power “exousia” (Delegated authority and jurisdiction) to become “ginomai” (ordained to be made) the children of God”.
Winnie and I had gone by Ray’s carpet store and we were talking to Matthew. I said, Matt, you look like your daddy, you act like him, you talk like him, and it’s easy to see that you are his son. Do people watch us, and know that we are God’s sons and daughters, or is it the best kept secret in town. They know that we’re His children by our what? (fill in the blanks here) We could start with “Christlikeness”
In the Bible story of the prodigal son, which I will call “the prodigal brother”, we are given a glimpse of the older brother who stayed at home, and was obedient, and the firstborn, but didn’t understand sonship....we can see this by what he says...
Luke 15:29 “These many years I have worked like a slave for you, and I never disobeyed your commands. Yet you never gave me even a goat so that I could celebrate with my friends!”
He was a son, but he was thinking, acting and speaking like an orphan .....(the orphan thinking began to bring resentment and jealousy into him.. He was on the inside, but thinking like an outsider.... Look at the words of the father.....
Luke 15:31 “And he said to him, ‘Son (teknon), you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.”
The Greek word “Son” can also be interpreted “teknon,” which is an affectionate term of love a parent calls a child. Even though the older brother was initially referred to in this story as the firstborn son, he never saw himself that way, which led to his self-righteousness, bitterness, resentment and anger. He was performance-oriented instead of being conscious of his father’s love toward him. He lost sight of his position and his sonship.... He had it all, and HE WAS ANGRY OVER NOT GETTING A SERVANT’S PORTION!(a goat) You can grow older without growing up! (tell someone, grow up)
When you look at the coaching career of Bobby Knight, the winningest coach in division 1 basketball, you see that he has coached some pretty impressive players. He has coached Isaiah Thomas and Michael Jordan (who played on the Olympic team as well) as well as other very notable players and an examination of the greatest players ever to wear an Indiana uniform shows that 70 percent of the top 10 was coached by Knight. So, which one do you suppose was his favorite player to coach?
There was a picture of Bobby Knight in the newspaper at the height of his coaching career at the end of a regular season crying and hugging a player. He was not known for showing a tender side. His reputation is based more about his bad temper. But here he was hugging Pat Knight who was finishing four years of playing for his father. The caption to that picture stated that Coach Knight said his son Pat was his favorite player of all time.
Why was Pat Knight his favorite? Pat never received the great honors of many of the others. In the four years he played he was never a starter. So why was he the coach’s favorite? The reason is obvious. It had nothing to do with scoring ability or ball handling. He was the coach’s favorite only because he is the coach’s son. This tells us a lot about the power of Sonship.
As a believer, you are God’s favorite.. All the Father’s sons and daughters are His favorite. (Tell someone, I hope you know, you’re His favorite) You are highly favored, that’s right, you are deeply loved, and honored by your Father. You might see others who are more talented, more capable, who have risen to the top of the heap.... and you may compare yourself to them, but stop it!! That’s orphan thinking....Be the best you can be, God has the capacity in His great plan, for all of us to be His favorites.... that’s right.
Thank God, He has given us the spirit of sonship! Becoming a Son is immediate through new birth, but there is also a process of revealing and bringing forth all the potential of our sonship. 1 John 3:2 “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is”.
We have all heard the saying “Coming of Age”.... that statement explains why, we put covers over the outlets when we have small children, why we have child seats to strap them in, we put special covers over the door knobs so children can’t open them, we keep chemicals out of their reach, we have high chairs to hold them in place and locks on everything.... we don’t let them cross the street by themselves, and all the other things we do.... but there comes a time, when they come of age, and we hope we have taught them well, and trained them to handle the life of liberty and independence when restrictions are lifted off and they make their own choices and decisions.
We teach them responsibility, and accountability, and how to live life well. Hopefully if we get it right, they will learn to think for themselves, they will succeed on their own and not live on our couch and eat our food and drive our car the rest of their lives.....
The same is true in the kingdom of God... Paul says in...
Galatians 4:1–2. “As long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set (the set conditions approved) by his father” We may wonder why this or that is happening to us, or why we have so many problems. But God has set the conditions which will come to us and go through us, so we can develop as we need to in order to become His heirs.
In Christ, the Holy Spirit is working through many channels that we might come of age. The Father already knows what our potential, and our purpose is, so He is certainly able to bring us through it and to it.
It’s called Godly character.... you can be very gifted, but lack the character to succeed in your gifting and skill set.
Character is defined as the qualities, values, and integrity, acquired through experience and training that determine how a person handles challenges, other people and situations of life. So how does this apply to sonship?....
1. The Spirit of Sonship makes the Mind of Christ available to us.
1 Corinthians 2:16 “For ‘who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.”— (a fool does not regard sound teaching) You can’t tell them anything. They know they need to change, they just don’t want to make the effort....It’s not that they can’t, it’s that they don’t have the desire to do it.
2. The Spirit of Sonship Believes and Expects the full Manifestation of God’s Promises. They know and understand that they share in the full family provision.
Isaiah 55:11 “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”—
3. The Spirit of Sonship Lives According to the Spirit, not the flesh
Romans 8:13-14 “For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”— The flesh and the carnal mind are at constant conflict with sonship. So living according to the spirit is denying and giving no authority to those thoughts and feelings which are contrary to your Divine purpose and potential....
4. The Spirit of Sonship Has Confidence in it’s Identity and Purpose
Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”—
It was right around the end of the war, about spring of 1865, that a boy named George was born. Though he was a slave, his life would help shape the course of US history. His father was killed in an accident shortly after George’s birth. While he was just a baby, he and his mother Mary were kidnapped and taken to Arkansas. His slave owner traded a horse for him to get him back. Though George was found and returned, his mom wasn’t. The orphaned slave-child returned home to what was then called Diamond Grove, to the farm of his owners, Moses and Susan.
Though they were slave owners, they had supported the Union all throughout the war. But they took it to another level, andGeorge was given the family name, and the Carvers raised him as their own son, George Washington Carver.
If he had remained an orphan, we would never remember his name today as a great agriculturalist and inventor? He would never have risen to the position of professor and teacher? Carver’s a good example of what can happen when an orphan is given sonship, a family name and a future as an heir.
5. The Spirit of Sonship Welcomes Godly Discipline and accountabilitywhich is the foundation of good character.
Hebrews 12:7-8 “If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are orphan children and not sons.”—
6. The Spirit of Sonship abides and is positioned in Full Acceptance.
Ephesians 1:4-6 “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.”—
(We are accepted!) (say “I am accepted)
7. The Spirit of Sonship is highly favored and Has Access to Every Spiritual Blessing, in Christ.
Ephesians 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.”—
When we get to eternity, this short life will seem like the blink of an eye. But our faithfulness here as we handle what is given to us, will determine the positions and all that we will be entrusted with in eternity, after the judgment seat, when our rewards and positions are assigned . We are told that no matter how much we receive in this life, it is nothing compared to what we will be given there.
Jesus gave the story of a faithful, trustworthy man, ....
Matthew 25:21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful one. You were faithful over a few things. I will put you in charge over many things. Enter into the joy of your master’. In our humanity, we are now so limited, its hard to imagine God ever giving all things He says He will give to us… Revelation 5:10 And He has made us to our God, kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. (it’s already been decided, we just need to receive it and act like it) if your limited mind were looking up into the sky, gazing at the un-countable numbers of stars, you would only be seeing a fraction of what is out there, based on what we currently know about the universe with our gigantic telescopes and equipment. There are so many stars out there that if you were to start counting them at 1 per second it would take you 1 trillion lifetimes to count… but the mind of God can take it all in! Psalms 147:4 “He tells the number of the stars; he calls them all by their names”.......Not only can God count all the stars but he can call them all out by name. (billions of them) Romans 8:17 And if we are His children, then we are heirs: heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ— if indeed we suffer with Him, so that we may also be glorified with Him. 18 I consider that our present sufferings are not comparable to the glory that will be revealed in us.… He not only has intimate knowledge of the vastness of the universe but that knowledge applies to the number of hairs on your head.
And get this next verse.... 1 Corinthians 13:2 For now we see only an unclear reflection as in a mirror, then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
We are reading about your inheritance as a mature, spirit born, blood bought, child of the heavenly Father..
Ephesians 3:19 “That you might know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, so that you might be filled with all the fullness of God”.
In our natural state, we can’t get a grip on that, but that’s what’s ahead and soon coming for those who have received sonship!
Friends, no matter what challenge we face, no matter what hardship befalls us, no matter the test we may have to deal with, it is for our good, that we may learn the lesson, overcome the trial, grow and mature as heirs of God, and step into the next level of rulership.
The founder of the Asbury College, where the revival broke out in Kentucky, just weeks ago, was sent out by Charles Wesley to evangelize the American colonies along with many other circuit riding preachers in 1771. Most of these died by the age of 20 from the hardships and sickness. Francis Asbury became the leader of the 2nd Great Awakening. It’s estimated that he traveled 270,000 miles on horseback preaching the gospel. Asbury wrote: “We must reach every section of America, especially the untaimed frontiers. We must not be afraid of men, devils, wild animals, or disease. Our motto must always be FORWARD!" He never married, perhaps because he knew his sacrificial lifestyle would be difficult for a wife. He was so loved by his Christian brethren that more than 20,000 people followed his coffin when he was buried in Virginia after his death at age 70.
What a life, what a heritage.... FORWARD.... IT WILL BE WORTH IT!
Oh, my, to be part of all the sons and daughters of the most high God, who will fill their places and make up the family that rules the universe, what’s that worth?. Can someone say “Forward”!!!
You are a child of God, who bears the name of Christ, live worthy of your family name. Do you realize how special you are? I hope you do.
When God created fish, He spoke to the sea. When He created trees and all the plants, He spoke to the earth. But when He created man, He turned to Himself and said “Let us make man in our image and in our likeness. It reminds me of what Jesus said when He told Lazarus to come forth from the grip of death, and he walked out of the tomb, still wrapped in grave clothes. He turns to the disciples and said, “Loose him and let him go”.... or Let him become what I’ve called him to be....
Is it worth going out of your way to introduce someone to the Lord and let them become what God called them to be. Is it worth, bringing someone to church with you. Is it worth buying someone a meal, that may not have one if you don’t. Is it worth, visiting someone at the hospital and bringing comfort and encouragement. Is it worth volunteering your time in the church, and see children and young people find their purpose in the kingdom?....
The church is called to be a home to spiritual orphans who are looking for sonship. We have been entrusted with the process of unveiling and revealing and unwrapping orphans and discipling them as sons and daughters of God....
“For God has sent the Spirit of Sonship into our hearts, the Spirit that calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s children, and since you are His children, He has also made you His heir”.
The revival which is spreading everywhere, is the spirit of sonship, calling out to orphans that are searching for the Father’s heart...
A farmer who grew the most delicious apples in the county, was plagued by kids who would get in his orchard and steal his prize apples. He decided to get the sourest apple trees he could find and plant them all around his orchard. When the kids snuck into the orchard, they couldn’t stand the sour apples, so they stopped invading his orchard. The point here is, that many only stand around the fringes of all that God has made available for those who go in deeper. The fringe folks are always eating sour apples and never press in further. We can bite into disappointments, failure, fear and regret, guilt and shame, and stop pressing in to all that God said we could have, but we must refuse to let all the sour fringe stuff stop us.
Last week we opened with a scripture in Mark which I want to start with today.
Mark 16:17 “Miraculous signs will accompany those who have believed, in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues.... v18 they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” This is Jesus’ kingdom contract with believers.... “Miraculous signs shall follow those who believe”
Last week, I went around the room with a bible and had everyone lay hands on the kingdom contract that God makes with each believer. Because this is the language of the kingdom and it is the only way we get the Kingdom perspective which the King, desires for us to live out in the earth. So we are going to do that again. As you lay your hand on the kingdom contract, there are many witnesses that are attesting to this agreement we have made with Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and the holy angels. All these will honor the contract, when we accept it...and honor it.... John 16:13 “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak what He hears, and He will declare to you what is to come. 14 He will glorify Me by taking what is Mine and manifesting it to you”.…
We said last week that Our greatest privilege in life is to host His presence.To learn to be available as a person that God’s presence will rest upon is about His image and likeness. To be the location where the kingdom of God touches the earth. He is in all of us by covenant, but He is not upon all of us because of our wrong priorities. Hosting the presence of the Lord is our greatest calling and priority in life.
It is normal to hunger for God, we were created for this. It’s abnormal to not seek Him, and when a person is not hungry for God, you know Satan is very present and working. We are commissioned to break the spirit of paralysis and lethargy and the grip of spiritual death from off of them. But as we become faithful to host the presence of the Lord, we find a tension between two realities. He has been given to us in full measure but the tension is in the area of our willingness to surrender to Him. So we begin to set the limits with our fear, shame, guilt and self will, on that unlimited measure we have received. There is no limit on God’s end of the equation, the limits are all put in place and operate on our end of the equation.
Whatever you will jealously guard, is the measure you will have on a consistent. basis. Keep the whole armor of God in place and accounted for. When all is said and done, we can experience the measure of presence we are willing to jealously pursue after and set as a priority.. The Kingdom is based on this principle: the faithful use of what you have been given is what qualifies you for more.
If our mission is impossible without the miraculous, then it is abnormal for a Christian not to have an appetite for the impossible. It has been written into our spiritual DNA, to hunger for and expect the impossibilities around us to bow at the name of Jesus. The lack of miracles isn’t because it is not God’s will for us. The problem exists with our undisciplined thinking and our stubborn will! You can shove a spoonful in a babies mouth, but you can’t make it swallow. (is that right?)
As a result, a transformation, and a renewing of the mind, is needed, which is only possible through a work of the Holy Spirit that typically comes upon people who have become desperate enough to yield to that working and brooding presence. Come Holy Spirit, come upon us in your own glorious way.
John 6:53 “Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you”. The word “eat” here is to digest.... when you digest food, it becomes part of you, it merges into your body. Bone, and muscle, organs and oh yes, fat! Jesus even told us that babies need milk, but there must be a time when they need meat. They need more protein to develop and grow. A baby is all about “me, me, me”... no matter what the age. Feed me, change me, dress me, entertain me, love me, take care of me. Meat is about coming into maturity, where we begin to give and serve, and sacrifice for the kingdom. When Jesus said in Luke 10:27 – “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself”. It was not a suggestion, it was a command from the King. How long do we do it? As long as we are in the kingdom!
Like Jacob who wrestled with the angel, we just refuse to be denied what He promised, so we keep on knocking. The secrets of the kingdom will not be kept back from hearts that will not be denied. Jesus taught in Matthew 5:6 that “Those who continually hunger and thirst for righteousness, will be filled (choratzo) ”.The word “filled” in the original Greek, is chortazó which means to be fully satisfied.
As we look and see how Christ delivered Peter from his guilt, It will help us in dealing with our own struggles with guilt, and self-limiting thinking. In John's account of this conversation which Jesus had, Peter is insisting that if everyone else left, he would still indeed, follow Jesus…… Peter is trying to accomplish the impossible in his own strength....He knows there’s an answer, but He’s knocking on the wrong door. We saw last week in John’s gospel, that Peter couldn’t do the impossible mission he was called to do, until he got a kingdom perspective. Failure is no reason to stoppursuing what God said you could have. Jesus is bigger than our failure. John 13:36 “Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, where are You going? Jesus answered him, where I go, you cannot follow me now; but you will follow me afterwards”.
Jesus saw the guilt, fear, failure, and shame that was coming to sift Peter, but He also, prophesied that he would overcome all these things, in the power of the Spirit, as He stated, “You will follow me afterwards”…. The grace of God has prophesied over our lives, that there is a victorious outcome, which the power of guilt and condemnation cannot destroy! (Tell someone, “Jesus says, we will make it and we will overcome”)
2 Corinthians 2:14 “Now thanks be unto God, which always causes us to triumph in Christ, and makes manifest the sweet fragrance of His grace and knowledge by us in every place”.
Last week I closed with the fact that Jesus’ provided a surplus of grace and it was laid up for our present and future needs, more than we would ever have need of. This righteousness is transferred to our account as we repent and receive it, by faith in God. It is not the will of God for any born-again Christian to practice sin, but, in the event that a Christian does stumble andsin, through omission or commission, there is a surplus of grace which is more than enough.
Please get it, that the supply will never run out, as we repent and obey! He’s got you covered! The blood of Jesus Christ has been offered at the mercy seat, in the holiest of holies in Heaven. This means that the things that take place here, cannot effect it, diminish it, weaken it, or cancel it outthere! Our grace supply is out of this world! Matthew 6:19 says, “it is where moth and rust cannot corrupt, and where thieves cannot break through and steal it”…. You see, when we try to keep it in the earth realm, (and that’s what guilt and condemnation want to do)….they want to get you to keep it here and out of the heavenlies. Satan knows he can’t touch it in the heavenlies, where it is secure…. but he wants to bring it into the earth realm, into your fear, insecurity, guilt, shame, rejection, judgment, and punishment mind set, then he can steal you blind! It’s kind of like someone who plants a garden, and keeps digging up the seed to see if it’s growing, and it never does…because of their actions which flow out of a lack of trust.
Have faith in His grace. Faith must trust Grace enough to let it do it’swork, when obedience has done it’s part. (I hope you get that, let me repeat it)
Romans 8:31-34 "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifies, Whois he that condemns? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even now at the right hand of God, who also is presently making intercession for us."
If you got locked out of your house, and there was no one to let you in, you might attempt to sleep in the car, you might even try sleeping on the back porch, but the mosquitos would insist on draining you of all your blood. Now, suppose you looked at that locked house, and out of your misery and the lens of your bad situation, you began to doubt that you really did own the home, because if it was yours, you would be in it. Of course, you say, this would not happen. Your common sense would remind you that tucked away safely in a certain place inside the house or in your vault at the bank, was a signed document attesting to the fact that you’re the owner of the house. But isn’t it the same thing, when we run into a place where we feel as though we’re locked out of God’s blessing, because of guilt and condemnation! We may feel like we’re sleeping on the porch, but the grace of God is always there, reminding us that the house, and all its benefits are still ours! Stop sleeping on the porch, God has given you the whole house! So if you own the house, what’s keeping you on the porch? Well we need to get you into the house and off the porch.....
So, OK, it’s time for a little quiz, to let you check to see what’s keeping you out of enjoying what God has fully given you…. Here’s some statements that might reveal what might be going on in your mind to sift you andcause you to miss out…. *.......1. “I don't see how God could do anything with someone like me”.
2. “I really messed up, now I'm going to get it”. 3. “I feel like everyone can see all my faults hanging out”. 4. “I often feel the need to justify my position, and defend my actions”. 5. “I feel like there is a sword hanging over my head about to fall at any minute”. 6. “I feel like withdrawing from everyone, and hiding because of what I've done”. 7. “I often feel like God is pointing his finger at me and saying you are unacceptable”. 8. “I often feel like God is looking down on me with anger and bitterness”. 9. “I feel when I pray, that God won't listen to me because I have not obeyed Him”. 10. “I resent myself and beat myself up because I have let God down”. 11.. “I deserve to be punished because of what I have done”. 12. “I often really hurt inside, because I am feeling so inadequate”. 13. “I have let God down and now He will leave me here to suffer my fate”. 14. “I feel like I’m stuck in a place where I’ll never make any progress”. 15. “How can God ever love a goof-up like me”? 16. “I have not lived up to expectations and I feel as though I will be rejected and abandoned”. 17. “I feel like a step-child in God's family and an outsider at times”. 18. “Things have really been going great, that means something terrible is about to happen”.
If you identified with more than four of those statements, then guilt and condemnation, have been given a place of authority in your life that is destroying your spiritual liberty, vitality and health!
You’ve opened yourself to an Orphan spirit and once this spirit shows up, it becomes a stronghold in a person’s mind and remains there until a new foundational truth of the Word of God takes it’s place. The orphan spiritoperates and has power, in three areas of our lives…
#1. A Sense of WORTHLESSNESS….I'm a failure, I'm not competent, worthy, or capable.
#2. A Fear of PUNISHMENT….Now I'm going to get it, I deserve to be punished...Why would God ever want to bless me…
# 3. A Feeling of REJECTION… God won't love me because of that... I won’t be accepted because of what I have done or what or who I am…There’s a Fear of the Loss of reputation, losing face before others, and frequent feelings of shame…are also symptoms. We can even get to the place where we feel guilty about being blessed! It is important that we locate the address of our guilt, and look it straight in the face and announce to it that it has been nailed to the cross of Christ and taken out of the way. It’s power is gone, destroyed, and dismantled. Having done that, we can feel more fully alive, more fully redeemed as we always were anyway, and go forward, renewed and rejuvenated and ready for whatever comes our way.
We must be able to discern that there is a great difference between condemning guilt and convicting grace from the Lord Jesus…. Because, condemnation judges and accuses you, while conviction seeks to set you free… Condemnation is from the accuser, while conviction is from your heavenly attorney who ever lives to represents you before God! If the Holy Spirit dealt with you about how much you do for God each week compared with all the other things you do, that would be to convict you, not to condemn you...Amen?
That’s the difference in sons and orphans. While It is true….that no matter what you do God will love you, still the mantle of His glory comes when we understand that we have been adopted as sons and daughters to break the orphan spirit off of our lives. Paul describes this level of fellowship as sonswhich brings great power into our lives. Galations 4:3 “We were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world. 4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those in slavery to the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. 6 Because you are become His sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child, and since you are His child, God has also made you His heir”. The orphan inherits nothing, but the son inherits everything!!!
(1) To the sense of WORTHLESSNESS…He says.. Genesis 1:26-27; James 3:9….We are made in the very image and likeness of God. Matthew 6:30; Mark 12:12…We are highly valued by God. (2) To the Fear of PUNISHMENT and JUDGMENT… He says…Isaiah 53:5….All punishment for our sins was placed on Christ. Romans 3:25….He was our sacrifice which satisfied the wrath of God against sin. 1 John 4:15-18….There remains no more judgment for those who are in Jesus Christ . (3). For the Feeling of REJECTION and ABANDONMENT….. He says… Romans 8:31-39….No one and nothing can separate us from the love of God, that is in Christ Jesus. Hebrews 13:5….We have God’s promise that He will never leave us or forsake or reject us.
Jesus knew on the night that he was being beaten and unjustly accused, that Peter’s will, was still being trained and brought under control of the Spirit… even as he warmed himself by the fire of those who hated and denied Jesus, till the rooster crowed 3 times. His heart was right, but his will was wrong. Peter stepped back into an orphan spirit. The knowledge of good and evil, is not enough by itself, in order to do the good and refuse the evil… An orphan spirit will compromise and weaken our will. The will must be trained and brought under the rule of the Spirit, in order to walk in the spirit as sons and daughters and not obey the flesh! Adam and Eve had direct knowledge and revelation from God, but no will power! We know that Peter went on to become one of the leading apostles of the church, and many were brought into the kingdom, through the lessons he had learned about overcoming guilt and condemnation.. and operating in Sonship. You may have failed, you may have fallen far short, you may have felt terrible about it…But the great news today, is that while you were going through all that, Jesus was praying for you, and prophesying victory and an awesome out-come in your life!
After Jesus had asked Peter about his love for Him…. Look at how he concluded the conversation…. John 21:19 “And when He had spoken this, He said unto him, FOLLOW ME”… Grace gave more than he deserved....it was surplus grace!
It was time to move forward, full speed ahead, laying aside all the weights, and distractions, and stuff from the accuser… There comes that moment when we meet with Jesus, and it’s time to put it all behind us… and follow Him, and never look back! To bring our wills into a place where it will not betray our hearts! I believe Jesus is asking all of us today… who will follow me to the next level? Who will show the world that I really am who I said I was? Who will go where you know in your heart you aught to be standing and operating, but you’ve been waiting and maybe you’ve allowed the orphan spirit of fear, or guilt and other distractions to keep you out….Jesus is saying, “Who will follow me and take the next step into sonship”? We sang the song last week that says “Heal my heart and make it clean, open up my eyes to see the things unseen. Show me how to love like you-- have loved me, for always. Break my heart for what breaks yours, everything I am is for your kingdoms cause, as I go from earth into Eternity. In Luke 10.19 we hear Jesus say, “Behold, I give you AUTHORITY to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you”. AUTHORITY means the legal right to act in behalf of the one who authorizes you.
A six foot, five inch, 300 lb defensive tackle, is a very intimidating force on the football field or off the football field. But a little man in a striped shirt half his size can blow a whistle and order him off the field. The umpire’s uniform declares his authority, and the football player must recognize it and obey it, or he isn’t allowed in the game.
Jesus has given us a mantle and sonship. We have Kingdom Authority over the power of our enemy and it’s time to take up the mantle and start moving out of the orphan spirit and into our son ship, cause we know who we are in Christ! We need to send Satan the signal, “Offsides”, “Personal Foul”... “Unnecessary roughness” ... “You’re out of here”...
let the sons and daughters of the most high God, stand together today.....The orphan doesn’t inherit anything, but the son inherits everything! Next week I plan on going deeper with the message and position of sonship....
But right now, let me ask.... If you’re facing something that you don’t know how it’s ever going to work out.... or there’s something that just looks impossible right now... or perhaps you’ve prayed and believed, but the breakthrough just hasn’t come yet... Perhaps you’re facing something that is really uncertain right now and you really need some direction from the Father.....
I want you to just stand as the singers come back to the front....
Last week some folks came up and told me some things God did for them as we just stood in His presence and worshipped ..... someone needs to open up and receive what the Father is sending your way today....He’s going to do it again.....
Let’s close with the Song.... Do It Again....
If these messages have ministered to you and you would feel to support our ministry in any way, you may send any support or drop a note to "Eagle's Rest, P.O box 2820, Key West, Florida 33040.... But most important, keep us in your prayers that we may be a tool in the Master's hands, and Jesus may be exalted continually in our lives and ministry. Thank you in advance and God richly bless you.. We look forward to hearing from you.