But [Christ Jesus] made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. – Philippians 2:7
The truth of this verse hasn’t really dawned on most people. They mistakenly think that Jesus was able to work wonders, to perform miracles, and to live above sin because He had divine powers that we don’t have. Thus, they have never really aspired to live like He lived.
“Oh my,” they say with great humility, “I could never live like Jesus did. After all, He had an advantage. He was God!”
They don’t realize that when Jesus came to earth, He voluntarily gave up that advantage, living His life here not as God but as a man. He had no innate supernatural powers. He had no ability to perform miracles until after He was anointed by the Holy Spirit as recorded in Luke 3:22. He worked wonders, not by His own power but by the power of the Father, saying, “The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works” (John 14:10).
And when He prayed, He prayed not as a divine One who had authority as God, but as a man who walked obediently with God. And, as Hebrews 5:7 says, “His prayers were heard not because of His deity, but because of His reverence toward God” (AMP).
Jesus, the divine Son of God, set aside the privileges and powers of deity for a time and lived as a man on earth. Once you grasp that, it will absolutely thrill your soul! Why? Because it means that you, as a reborn child of God, filled with the same Holy Spirit as Jesus was, have the same opportunity to live as He lived on earth.
In fact, that is exactly what He intends. In John 17:18 He said to the Father, “Just as You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.”
Jesus has sent you into the world to live as He lived. Through the new birth, He’s enabled you to exchange the sinful nature of Adam for the sinless nature of God.
He’s given you the ability and the command to live above sin, to live in fellowship with the Father, to preach the gospel, to heal the sick, to raise the dead, to cast out demons, and to make disciples.
Once you realize that, you’ll throw off the shackles of doubt that have held you back. You’ll begin to live as Jesus meant for you to live–not as a sin-ridden son of fallen man, but as a reborn child of the Most High God. Then those around you will actually begin to see Jesus–in you.
Scripture Reading: 1 John 3:1-8
JESUS UNDERSTANDS YOUR STRUGGLES :
Hebrews 4:15 – For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Imagine meeting the new politician who is to represent your district or neighborhood only to discover that he is not familiar with your neighborhood’s needs and problems. You will wonder, “Can this guy really represent us? Does he know anything about our living conditions? Is he familiar with the various challenges that families here are facing? Can he help me get my child into one of the schools here?” I am sure that you would prefer someone who truly understands your challenges to represent you!
In the same way, I am so glad that right now at the Father’s right hand, we have someone who came as a Man to redeem us, and who fully understands what man goes through. When Jesus walked on earth, He went through every human emotion so that He could identify with us in all points. Jesus is God, but He is in the Father’s presence as a Man, representing us.
My friend, you may feel that no one understands your struggles. Listen, while this may be true of man, it is not true of Jesus. He knows exactly what you are going through and He can sympathize with your weaknesses because He was “in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin”.
None of us have been tempted in all points. But God allowed Jesus to be tempted in all points so that He can understand and identify with the struggles of every single person on this earth. He can be touched by our humanity — our weaknesses, tears, disappointments, griefs… all points!
There is no trial, difficulty, challenge or temptation that you face that Jesus cannot identify with. My friend, the moment you go through it, right there and then, He feels it too. That is the kind of representative you have in Jesus! That is the love of God so that you will draw near to His throne of grace (not judgment) to find mercy and grace in time of need! (Hebrews 4:15–16)
The moment we pray in the Spirit, the tide of the battle begins to turn. Stay in faith until you see it fulfilled in the natural!
WE NEED A GOOD OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Before God’s people do anything significant in their lives that will bring ever lasting and concrete results in their lives, they must pray and seek the will of God and win the battle and then they will see the manifestation of their victories. Just dancing and praising the Lord for an hour is not enough! King David danced before the Lord as an expression of his joy and faith and not to accomplish something. God never intended that dancing and praise replace good old fashion effectual fervent prayer! I have been to churches where God’s people have danced for hours and nothing changed. They were no different when they left from when they had first come in!
The same is true about being slain in the spirit and even barking like a dog. Many pastors and preachers were slain in the Spirit for hours and days and there was not change at all in their ministry or character. They were like a wet sponge where a lot of water went through but only a bit was retained. They rest of the water goes through many people because they are full of holes and are not able to retain the shower of blessing that comes upon them when they are touched by God. It all leaks out just as fast as it came in!
We need hearts like Jesus talked about “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38). We need a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon us so that wilderness becomes a fruitful field, And the fruitful field is counted as a forest. Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, And righteousness remain in the fruitful field. God’s people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places and sow beside all waters (Isaiah 32:15-19). And as a result we will have boldness and miracles, signs and wonders done through the name of Jesus.
It’s is to be noted that in accordance with the Word of God real ministry is done by the body ministering to each others. We are all ministers and can minister to each other love, joy, peace, goodness, faith, miracles, loving kindness, compassion and understanding as well as in the other gifts and fruit of the Spirit. We can cry with those who cry, laugh with those who laugh, sing with those who sing and make a real tangible difference to one another. We can pray one for another so that we can be healed. We can prophesy to one another prophecies given to us by God. We can freely give to one another what we have received from God. We can also gracefully and in love rebuke one another or instruct one another according to God’s word. We can restore those who have been overtaken in any trespass, in a spirit of gentleness, considering that we ourselves are also tempted. We can bring back the lost and pray for the sick for the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven (James 5:15). God’s word is unchanging:
And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD to the shepherds: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? “You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. “The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them. “So they were scattered because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered. “My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, and no one was seeking or searching for them.” Ezekiel 34:1-6
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3:16-18
Nothing Can Stand Up To God’s Love
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Romans 8:35
The pastor of our Hokkien and Mandarin congregations, Pastor Mark, used to suffer from certain health problems before he became a Christian. His doctor told him that he had to be on medication for life. He also had a huge financial debt. But when he caught hold of the teaching that he is God’s beloved, he believed it totally. He also believed that nothing could be greater than God’s love for him.
Today, Pastor Mark is off medication and completely delivered from that debt. God caused him to triumph over his sickness and debt because he cannot be defeated when he knows that he is God’s beloved.
Tribulation, distress or persecution cannot stop your heavenly Father’s love from working on your behalf. His love for you is bigger and stronger than your financial woes, marital problems or health concerns. And when God’s heart of love moves for His beloved, He opens doors that no one can shut and He makes a way when there seems to be none.
Even during lean times, you will never find the righteous forsaken. King David said, “I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread.” (Psalm 37:25) Can famine or recession stop God’s love from providing for His beloved? No! So don’t think to yourself, “I must provide for my family. If I don’t, who is going to take care of them? How are they going to survive?” God wants you to know that His love will continue to provide abundantly for you and your family.
What about deadly pestilences such as bird flu and mad cow disease, natural disasters such as tsunamis and earthquakes, or terrorist bombings? My friend, these things cannot devour you because His love protects you. You will enjoy His protection when you know that you are His beloved.
Because God’s love is greater than all the evil put together, we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us. (Romans 8:37) We always win in the fight of life not because of our love for Him, but because of His love for us!
Thought For The Day
We always win in the fight of life not because of our love for Him, but because of His love for us!
Isaiah 32:15 Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, And the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, And the fruitful field is counted as a forest.
COMPASSION WITH ACTION :
When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” – Luke 7:13
My friend, there is no trial, difficulty or challenge we face today that our Lord Jesus cannot identify with. The moment we experience a trial, right there and then, because He “was in all points tempted as we are” (Hebrews 4:15), He feels it too and is able to sympathize with our weaknesses.
Jesus’ compassion for you is the same compassion He felt for the widow at Nain when He saw the dead body of her only son being carried out of the city gate to be buried. (Luke 7:11–15) It must have been terrible for her to experience the death of her only son after having already experienced the death of her husband. What a horrible thought to be left all alone in the world with no means of support! When Jesus saw her, He was moved with compassion and said to her, “Do not weep.”
Now, some religious leaders might also be moved to approach her, but only to say, “Look sister, something is terribly wrong. Your husband died. Now, your only son has died. You must find out what is wrong. You better ask God what sin you have committed and repent. Or perhaps there is a curse in your life that needs to be broken.”
Isn’t it beautiful that Jesus did not extend more confusion or condemnation toward her? He only extended His compassion to her, telling her, “Don’t weep.” This same Jesus will also come to you when you are most distraught and say, “Don’t cry.”
And Jesus’ sympathy does not stop at “Oh, you poor thing! I am so sorry about what has happened to you.” No, His sympathy will move Him to give you the miracle you need in your life. That is why He raised the widow’s son back to life!
Beloved, rest in the truth that He who is seated at the Father’s right hand today understands what you are going through and sympathizes with your weaknesses. The compassion of Jesus toward you causes Him to breathe life into your dead situation and turn it around for your good!
Thought For The Day:
Jesus, who understands what you are going through, will also breathe life into your dead situation!
YOUR EVER-PRESENT HELP :
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. – Psalm 46:1, NIV
God is always with you. That means He is present at all times, continually, perpetually, throughout all time. In your day of trouble, He promises to be a help to you. How is He your help? “Help” means something different to each person. That’s because “help” is specific to your need. If you need money to pay your bills, a chocolate cake isn’t going to be much help! But we serve a God who is very specific. And because He is always with you, He always knows exactly what you need and is always ready to provide it!
Today, are you facing trouble or adversity? Know that God is with you. Look to Him for help. Trust that He has the answer, and that He is working things out in your favor. As you continue to believe Him and follow His direction, He will lead you in the way that you should go. He will comfort you, revive you, restore you and bless you! He will be your ever-present help because He is forever faithful to His Word!
A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father God, thank You for being my ever-present help. I trust today that You are with me, that You are comforting me and restoring my soul. I lift my eyes to You this day. Help me to follow Your commands and honor You as You direct my steps in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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Hezekiah Walker “Every Praise” http://youtu.be/0dHjgFiISLk
Gordon Williams http://gordwilliams.com/
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