Pete Peterson’s first contact with Vietnam was in the Vietnam War. During a bombing raid in 1966, his plane was shot down and he was taken prisoner. Over 30 years later he returned as US Ambassador to Vietnam. One press article called him “a walking billboard for reconciliation.” He realized years ago that God had not saved his life for him to live in anger. Because he believed this, he used the rest of his life and his position to make a difference by pushing for better safety standards for children in Vietnam.
It is a great responsibility and honor to be appointed as a representative of your country to another. As followers of Christ we are “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Cor. 5:20). Just as God sent Christ to reconcile us to Himself (v.18), we now have the ministry of “reconciliation” (v.19). Our message is that all can be redeemed in Christ because God “made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (v.21).
In response to the reconciling love Jesus offers us, we can share that love with others. Let’s take our role seriously. Wherever God places us in this world, He can use us as walking billboards of reconciliation for Jesus Christ.
I am a stranger here, within a foreign land;
My home is far away, upon a golden strand,
Ambassador to be of realms beyond the sea,
I’m here on business for the King!
Good news kept silent is no news at all.
NEW THINKING, NEW LIVING :
And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins. – Mark 2:22, NKJV
Are you ready for increase? Are you ready to go to the next level, spiritually, physically and emotionally? Many times, people hear that God has more in store and something resonates on the inside. Their spirit comes into agreement with God, but oftentimes, their natural mind will be bombarded with doubt. Thoughts will come like, “It’s not going to happen for you. You’re not going to have a great year. You know what the economy is like.” Or, “You’re never going to get well. You saw what the medical report said.” “You’re never going to get married. You’ve been single so long.”
Those are old wineskins; the old way of thinking that you have to get rid of. This is a new season. What’s happened in the past is over and done. You may have been through some disappointments; you may have tried and failed, or things didn’t work out. That’s okay. God is still on the throne. It’s time to get a new vision for your life. It’s time for new thinking. You can’t move forward with old mindsets. Let go of the old and embrace the new so you can receive all of the blessings God has in store for you!
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18-19).
The Gospel is the good news of Jesus, Who is anointed and empowered by the Holy Spirit to remove burdens and destroy yokes. Receive what He has done for you—there’s no better time than now!
A FIRM FOUNDATION :
These things I command you, that ye love one another. – John 15:17
In Luke 6:47-48, Jesus said:
“Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.”
That’s probably a familiar scripture to you. But today I want you to do something new with it. I want you to put it together with what Jesus said in John 15:17:
These things I command you, that ye love one another.
Love. That one word sums up all Jesus said for us to do. If you’ll build your life on it, even the most violent storms of this world will be unable to shake you. It will make you solid in every area of your life.
If you’ll build your family on love, you can win back those the devil has stolen from you. You can win them to Jesus with the love of God.
If you’ll build your business on love, you’ll prosper beyond your wildest dreams. I had a friend who did that. He went into a television and radio business in his church. He wanted to buy a station from a Jewish man and he offered such a good price for it that the owner was stunned. “Why would you offer me such a wonderful price?” asked the Jewish owner. “Because the Word of God says that if I will bless you, God will bless me. So I’m going to see to it that you get the better part of this deal,” answered my friend.
Before it was all over, that Jewish station owner had made Jesus Lord of His life. He and my friend ended up prospering and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ together on the radio.
When love rules, prosperity can flow!
Commit to living the life of love today. Commit to building your house upon the rock. Then when the storms of life begin to blow–at home, at work, or in any situation–you can enjoy the solid security of knowing that love never fails.
LIVE IN THE REALM OF ‘DONE’
JOHN 17:4 …I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. – John 17:4
Long before man sinned, God already had the provision. The Bible tells us that Jesus was slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). This means that everything you need accomplished in your life has been accomplished. Long before you see your healing, know that God has already finished the work of your healing. If you are in lack, see that all the work for your provision has been finished.
How do we live in the realm of “it is done?” Just look at Jesus. When He saw a man who was lame for 38 years, He said, “Rise, take up your bed and walk” (John 5:8). You don’t say that to the man unless you see the finished work.
Another time, Jesus saw a man in the synagogue whose arm was withered and said to him, “Stretch out your hand” (Matthew 12:13). Jesus treated the man who was lame like he had a pair of strong, healthy legs, and the man whose arm was withered like his arm was whole. He walked in the finished work.
In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed, “Father, I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.” How could He say that to His Father when He had not yet been crucified? It was because He lived in the finished work—the realm of “done”. That’s the place of rest. And that’s where and how God wants you to live!
LOVE YOUR CHURCH – JESUS DOES! (5)
‘If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves.’ 2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV
Can you imagine God’s presence being so real in a Sundaymorning service that the pastor doesn’t get to preach, the choir and special singers don’t get to perform and the deacons can’t attend to their duties? It happened in Solomon’s temple. Observe the elements at work in church that day:
(1) They confessed their sins. John Owen said, ‘He that hath slight thoughts of sin, never had great thoughts of God.’ Things that trouble you nowhere else will trouble you profoundly in the presence of God. What kinds of things? Politics without principle, pleasure without conscience, reputation without character, and knowledge without conviction.
(2) They humbled themselves. The Bible says, ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ (James 4:6 NKJV) Humility means saying, ‘Lord, I don’t have a thing You didn’t give me. And everything I’ll ever need comes from You.’
(3) They prayed; not formal, poetic prayers, but heartfelt prayers of repentance. Here’s how God responded: ‘If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.’ (2 Chronicles 7:14-15 NKJV)
(4) They gave sacrificially. The people brought 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep, the largest sacrifice recorded in the Bible. When you open your hand to lift the name of God up, He opens His hand to lift you up. But here’s the thing: God has a bigger hand!
PRAYER FOR THE DAY :
“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.” (Psalm 68: 19)
Dear Lord God, I praise You. I honor You. May the heavenly blessings shower down on me with the morning rain! May the sweet Spirit of God come upon me and refresh my soul! Let the aroma of Christ penetrate my heart and entire being so I am healed both of my physical health and spiritual body. I rejoice in the Lord and enjoy the gentle breezes come from the throne of grace of this morning. I give thanks to the Lord for You are my strength and shield so that I can achieve all things.
Gratefully, in Jesus’ holy name. Amen !!
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