Luke 11:42 – “But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done and not to leave the other undone.”
When Jesus said, “and not to leave the other undone,” it is clear that He is not arguing against doing what is right. God’s Word stresses holiness in our actions. The Pharisees’ error that caused Jesus’ rebuke was that they believed their actions could produce a right relationship with God. But a proper relationship with God can only come by humbling ourselves and putting faith in a Savior, who is Jesus. God cleanses our hearts by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8) and then we have our fruit unto holiness (Rom. 6:22). Holiness is a fruit, not a root, of salvation.
In a similar instance found in Matthew 23:26, Jesus told the Pharisees, “Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.” True Christianity comes from the inside out. A good heart will change a man’s actions, but a man’s actions cannot change his heart.
One of religion’s favorite doctrines is that if you will just act right, you will be right. Nothing could be further from the truth. You must be born again. And if you are born again, then holiness is a by-product and not the way to a relationship with God.
This is the heart of the Gospel. Every major religion of the world has a moral standard it enforces, but only Christianity offers salvation through a Savior. Presenting holiness in any way other than as a result of salvation is denying Jesus as our Savior and places the burden of salvation on us. Improper emphasis on achieving holiness or salvation through one’s own actions can damn that person. We must trust Jesus completely.
YOUR DEADLY ENEMY :
I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again…. – 1 Thessalonians 4:13
Many of us, even though we’re believers, have seen grief and sorrow as such a natural part of life that we haven’t even questioned them. In fact, if we’re honest, we’d have to admit there are times when we actually want to feel sad and sorry for ourselves.
Why would we choose to feel sorrow? Because sorrow has an emotional kick to it. It offers a surge of feeling that, in the beginning stages, is almost intoxicating.
But grief and sorrow are dangerous things. Several years ago God showed me that they’re not the innocent emotions we’ve thought they were. The force behind these emotions are actually spirit beings sent by the devil himself to kill, steal and destroy.
They are a part of the devastating, satanic barrage Jesus took on Himself when He died on the Cross (Is. 53). He bore grief and sorrow, so we wouldn’t have to. If they come knocking on your door, remember, they are not innocent emotions. They are deadly enemies that Jesus already carried away at Calvary.
Don’t live as those who have no hope. You’re a believer. You know that Jesus Christ died for you and rose again. That not only gives you hope where physical death is concerned, it gives you hope in every situation. Sorrow not!
GRAIN ON THE MOUNTAINTOP
There will be an abundance of grain in the earth, on the top of the mountains. —Psalm 72:16
I’ve been on a number of mountaintops in the US in my time, and I can tell you that not much grows up there. The summits of mountains are bare rock and lichen. That’s not where you would normally find an abundance of grain.
But Solomon, who wrote Psalm 72, asked God for “an abundance of grain . . . on the top of the mountains,” to characterize his reign as king. If grain on the mountain is so unusual, what is Solomon suggesting? That God’s power can produce results in even the most unpromising soil?
Perhaps you think of yourself as a little person, with very little to bring to the kingdom. Take courage: God can produce an abundant harvest through you. This is one of the ironies of faith: God uses the insignificant to accomplish the great. Not many of us are wise or noble; most of us are anonymous and far from extraordinary. Yet all of us can be used. And contrary to what we might think, it is because of our weakness that we can be used by God (1 Cor. 1:27-29; 2 Cor. 12:10).
It’s possible to be too big or proud for God to use, but we can never be too little. “Out of weakness” we are “made strong” (Heb. 11:34). By God’s great power, we can do all that He has called us to do.
Lord, You work through such common things—those of us with flaws and weaknesses. We are in awe of Your power and humbled by Your choice of us. Our hearts long to be faithful to You.
To experience God’s power, we must first admit that we are weak.
Condemnation Is The Root Cause
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1, NASB
When you have a plant with sickly leaves, it would be foolish to just treat the leaves without knowing the root cause of the problem. Similarly, when “leaves” of sickness, poverty and destructive habits start sprouting in your life, you need to know what the root cause is.
Experts will tell you that it is stress. They may go a little deeper and say that it is fear — fear of the future, of rejection, of loss, of death and so on. But is fear really the root? Or is there something deeper than fear?
The Bible shows us that the most fundamental cause of problems in our lives is condemnation. With condemnation comes fear. Fear then induces stress which brings about the symptoms of the curse.
This is what happened to Adam. Long before he faced poverty, sickness and eventually death, he had stress. Because of his sin, God told him, “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground.” (Genesis 3:19) Sweat speaks of stress. But before there was stress, there was fear because Adam told God, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” (Genesis 3:10)
But what made Adam fearful? Adam only feared when, seeing his nakedness, he realized that he had sinned against God. He felt so ashamed and condemned that he hid himself. God then asked him, “Who told you that you were naked?” (Genesis 3:11) There was no one else in the garden other than Adam and Eve, so we know that it was probably the devil who told Adam that he was naked.
My friend, condemnation is the root cause of the symptoms of the curse manifesting in your life. That is why you need to know that at the cross, God took all your sins, put them on Jesus and unleashed the full fury of His wrath against them until Jesus cried out, “It is finished!”
All your sins have been completely punished in the body of Christ who was condemned for you. The root cause of all your problems has been dealt with. This means that the devil cannot enforce the curse in your life apart from your receiving condemnation. So come to the place of no condemnation and no sick leaves will sprout in your life!
Thought For The Day
Condemnation is the root cause of the symptoms of the curse manifesting in your life
Have A Large Revelation Of Jesus!
…grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ… 2 Peter 3:18
In the Old Testament, three types of burnt offerings were brought to God. I believe that the rich brought offerings of young bulls (Leviticus 1:3), the not-so-rich brought sheep (Leviticus 1:10) and the poor brought turtledoves. (Leviticus 1:14) Though of varying sizes and values, the different burnt offerings were all accepted as sweet aroma to the Lord. (Leviticus 1:9, 13, 17)
These burnt offerings speak of Jesus and His perfect work at the cross. Today, to bring a “rich” offering means that you have a large revelation of Jesus and His finished work. To bring a “not-so-rich” offering means that you have a smaller revelation of Jesus and His finished work. But whatever the size of the revelation you have of Jesus, God accepts you just the same because Jesus is the only measure of your acceptance before God.
However, God wants you to grow in your revelation of Jesus because your well-being hinges on it. Before that first Passover night, all the children of Israel had received the same Word of God — “when I see the blood, I will pass over you”. (Exodus 12:13) But I believe that some households lived through that night trembling in fear as they heard the loud wails outside their homes, while other households rested in God’s Word, ate their Passover lamb and spent the night rejoicing in His protection, deliverance and love for them.
You see, as long as the households came under the blood, they were all saved, trembling or not! But when they didn’t have a revelation of the power of the blood to save them from the destroyer, fear came in even though the blood availed for them. In the same way, God does not want you to struggle through trying times with fear, apprehension and stress. He wants you to enjoy and rest in a greater revelation of Jesus as your deliverer and salvation.
In 2 Peter 1:2, it says, “Grace and peace be multiplied to you…” God wants you to experience more of His grace and peace in your life. How? The verse continues, “… in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord”. The more knowledge of Jesus you have, the more God’s grace and peace will rest on you!
Thought For The Day
Grow in your revelation of Jesus so that more of His grace and peace will rest on you.
JESUS’ AUTHORITY HAS BEEN GIVEN TO US :
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
19 Go therefore…
When God created man, He gave man authority to have dominion over everything on earth. (Genesis 1:26) But when man sinned, he gave this authority to Satan. And when man’s authority was transferred to Satan, Satan brought in diseases, poverty, strife, bitterness, pain, loss and death. He messed up everything on earth for man.
“Pastor, why didn’t God just grab the devil by the neck and throw him out of the garden?”
God did not do that because He is a judicial God. It was a man who gave away his authority to Satan. So it had to be a man who would legally take it back. And God has done this through a Man. His name is Jesus!
By His death on the cross, Jesus righteously restored all that man had lost. That is why, just before He went back to heaven, He said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore…” Those words tell us that He has transferred His authority to us. The same authority that He had over the storm, evil spirits, sicknesses, diseases and even death is now ours to use.
So when there are reports of a flu epidemic and of young children falling sick in the media, know that you have dominion over the epidemic. Declare, “By the authority given to me in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, this flu virus will not come near my children. I plead the blood of Jesus over them.”
If you have been told that your family has a history of heart disease, take dominion and declare, “By the authority given to me in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I destroy every form, manifestation and hereditary cause of this disease. By His blood, my family has been redeemed from this and every other curse.”
My friend, the authority which has been restored to us is not just the authority on earth which man had before the fall, but Jesus’ unquestionable and complete authority in heaven and on earth!
A LITTLE BIT OF HEAVEN ON EARTH :
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another…even as Christ forgave you. – Colossians 3:12-13
Living in a home filled with the love and the peace of God Himself is almost like living in heaven right here on earth. We all know that’s true. And we long to live in such a home. Yet, time and time again, we shortchange our families. We spend our kindest words and our most winning smiles on those beyond our front door.
Have you ever wondered why?
The answer is simpler than you might suspect. Spiritually speaking, your family is under attack. You see, it is not only one of your most precious gifts, when it’s operating in harmony, it’s one of your most powerful resources. Satan knows that even if you don’t–and he’s out to destroy it.
His battle plan is simple. He will do everything he can to create strife in your home. He’ll stir up feelings of self-pity and jealousy. He’ll encourage you to nurse resentments and harbor bitterness. And through it all, his purpose remains the same, to divide and destroy your home.
When God’s people get in harmony with each other, miracles start to happen. Their agreement creates an atmosphere in which God’s supernatural, miracle-working power is free to flow! So Satan is constantly tempting us to spoil that atmosphere, to foul things up by being at odds with each other. All too often we fall prey to his tactics simply because we don’t realize just how dangerous strife really is. One close look at the Word of God will solve that problem, however. James 3:16 says, “Where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.”
Don’t open the door of your home to Satan by allowing your family the “luxury” of a few quarrels.
Stop the destruction before it starts. Anchor yourself to God’s Word. Find out what He has to say about the power of agreement. Stop looking at your family from your own limited perspective and start seeing it as God sees it–as a powerhouse! That way you won’t drift helplessly into an argument every time a gust of emotion blows through your home.
Determine right now not to let the devil have your family. Instead, pray for them, support them and love them. Bring them together, so you can all enjoy a little bit of heaven on earth.
See The Abundance Within You
…For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:21
When you were younger, were you often scolded for not finishing all your food or leaving the lights and fan on when you left your room? Were you constantly reminded that there are people starving in the world, that electricity costs a lot of money and that money doesn’t grow on trees? Now, do you find yourself telling your child the same things?
We are naturally conscious of lack, but Jesus isn’t. Even in the midst of lack, He was always conscious of abundance. Remember the little boy’s five loaves and two fish? What did Jesus do when these were placed in His hands? Did He say, “What do you expect Me to do with so little?” No, His eyes were not on the natural, the visible, the lack. His eyes were on the kingdom of God where there is always abundance. So in His hands, the little boy’s lunch was multiplied, and 5,000 men, not counting women and children, were fed that day! (John 6:1–13)
God doesn’t want you to be conscious of the lack in your natural circumstances. He doesn’t want you to live by how much you earn or how much you have in the bank. Now, I am not encouraging you to spend foolishly beyond your means. I am saying that God wants you to be conscious of the abundance of resources in His kingdom.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY :
“The earth is filled with your love, LORD; teach me your decrees.” (Psalm 119:64)
Dear Heavenly Father, I praise You. I honor You. I sing You hymns of praise with my lips of pureness caused You are my Creator and Provider. Your unfailing love in me endures forever. May God shower down abundant blessings upon me like the pouring rain of this morning! May God grant me wisdom and knowledge and help me to fulfill Your great plans in the coming days! Let the words of God fill full my mouth as they are sweeter than honey from honeycomb.
Gratefully, in Jesus’ holy name I pray. Amen !!!
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