THE POWER OF GOD’S WORD
Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Luke 8:11-15
It is through the reading of the Word and the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit that Christ in His fullness is known. What a privilege it is today to have God’s Word in our own language. Six hundred years ago there was no English translation of the whole Bible. Thanks to the efforts of John Wycliffe (1384) and William Tyndale (1523), today we are able to read and understand the writings of the apostles for ourselves. Men gave their lives to bring us God’s Word. We should take advantage of this wonderful privilege.
The piece of armor known as the “sword of the Spirit” is the only piece of armor that has the ability to cut, wound, and hurt our enemy, the devil. It’s not the Bible lying on your coffee table that makes the enemy flee, but it is the Word of God hidden in your heart, activated by the power of the Holy Spirit, and spoken in an appropriate situation. It’s similar to what is spoken when Jesus said in John 6:63, that “…the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.” The Word by itself doesn’t make us free. It is the Word we know and speak that will deliver us (Jn. 8:32).
Why is the Word so effective? It’s because it is the WORD of God. It has authority, because it is indeed the WORD of God. God’s Word supersedes all authority of the church, of reason, of intellect, and even of Satan himself.
It is the Holy Spirit that wields this Word as it is spoken in faith. Speaking God’s Word in faith brings the Holy Spirit into action. In Luke 4, when Jesus was tempted of the devil for forty days, it was the Word of God, that Jesus used to defeat the enemy in the time of His temptation. Jesus constantly met His temptation by quoting from God’s Word as He repeatedly stated the phrase, “It is written.” Likewise, the Christian soldier must avail himself of God’s Word by placing it in his heart, so that the Holy Spirit may bring it forth at the appropriate time to accomplish a complete and total victory. It’s yours
A BRAND NEW THING
For I am about to do a brand new thing. See, I have already begun!… – Isaiah 43:19, NLT
Can you see the “brand new thing” God is doing in your life? Sometimes we can see the hand of God moving, and other times the storms of life can cloud our vision. No matter where you are in life today, focus on the fact that God is working behind the scenes! You can trust Him because He is always faithful. His plan for you is good, and He wants to give you a future and a hope.
Ask the Lord to show His plan for you today. Ask Him to show you the new thing He is doing. Set your mind on things above and let go of the old. Take a step of faith and embrace the blessing and victory God has in store for you!
ALL THAT JESUS IS BEFORE GOD, YOU ARE
2 Corinthians 5:21 – For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
When an Israelite brings an animal as his sin offering, he lays his hand on it before killing it. (Leviticus 4:1–4) By laying his hand on the sin offering, his sins are transferred to the innocent animal. The animal dies for his sins and he goes free.
In contrast, during the burnt offering, when the Israelite lays his hand on the animal (Leviticus 1:3–4), the beauty, worthiness and acceptance of the unblemished animal are transferred to him. God accepts the perfection of the animal sacrifice on his behalf to make atonement for him. Because God accepts the unblemished burnt offering, the offerer now has right standing before God.
Do you know that the two offerings speak of Jesus’ one offering of Himself when He hung on the cross? He is both our sin offering and burnt offering—“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us [as our sin offering], that we might become the righteousness of God in Him [as our burnt offering]”. The moment you put your faith in Him, just by His one sacrifice, your sins were transferred to Him, and His righteousness was transferred to you. That is the grace of God toward you!
As our sin offering, He offered Himself once and for all. (Romans 6:10) The sin offering was never a daily offering because God does not want His people to be sin-conscious. However, the burnt offering was both a morning and evening sacrifice (2 Chronicles 13:11) because God wants His people to be righteousness-conscious.
Beloved, God wants you to lay claim daily to Jesus as your burnt offering and say, “Father, I thank You that Jesus is my burnt offering. All that Jesus is before You—His righteousness, excellence, beauty and perfection—has been transferred to me. Jesus has Your unclouded favor, so I enjoy Your unclouded favor in my life. Jesus is the righteousness of God, so I am the righteousness of God in Christ. As He is before You, so am I.”
Because Jesus became your burnt offering, what He is to the Father today, you are! That is what it means to be in Christ.
God loves you constantly! You belong to God. In His eyes you have infinite worth and value. If you have been rejected or treated badly, don’t let resentment build up in your heart. Keep your eyes on God and follow His instructions. Always believe what God says about you above your own feelings or what others say about you. God’s opinion is the only one that matters.
SHARING A BURGER
Do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. —Hebrews 13:16
Lee Geysbeek of Compassion International told about a woman who had the opportunity to travel to a distant land to visit the child she sponsored. She decided to take the child, who was living in abject poverty, to a restaurant.
The boy ordered a hamburger, and the sponsor ordered a salad. When the food came to the table, the boy, who assuredly had never had such a meal in his life, surveyed the scene. He looked at his huge hamburger and over at his sponsor’s small salad. Then he took his knife and cut the burger in half, offered it to his sponsor, rubbed his tummy, and asked, “Hungry?”
A child who had next to nothing his whole life was willing to share half of what he had with someone he thought might need more. This child can be a good reminder the next time we meet someone in physical, emotional, or spiritual need. As followers of Jesus, our faith in Him should be mirrored through our actions (James 2:17).
We encounter people in need every day. Some around the globe, some simply around the corner. Some in need of a warm meal, others a kind word. What a difference followers of Christ, who have experienced His love, could make by doing good and sharing (Heb. 13:16).
Today, Lord, help me see beyond my own problems to the needs of others. Guide my hand to give instead of get, to offer instead of ask, and to bless instead of seeking blessings. May Your name be honored.
To be doing good is man’s most glorious task. —Sophocles
ARE YOU FLOURISHING?
…It is [God] who has made us, and not we ourselves…’ Psalm 100:3 NAS
Do you need motivation today? Take a look at the palm tree.
(1) You can cut it, but you can’t kill it! The minerals and nutrients most trees need to survive are found on the surface, just below the bark, so, when you cut them, they die. But not the palm tree. Its life comes from within, so it flourishes, even under attack. Listen: ‘…we have this treasure in earthen vessels…’ (2 Corinthians 4:7 NAS) How wonderful; even though the earthen vessel without may be cut and wounded, the treasure within is secure, beyond the enemy’s reach!
(2) It will bend, but it won’t break. Tropical winds can blow most trees away, but not the palm tree. The stronger the wind, the further it bends—sometimes all the way to the ground. Yet when the storm ceases, it straightens up again and is actually stronger in the place where it bent. What a picture! We were made to bend, but not break, because God strengthens us ‘…with His glorious power so [we] will have all the patience and endurance [we] need.’ (Colossians 1:11 NLT)
(3) Its depth always exceeds its height! While the roots of the average plant go only a few feet under the ground, the palm tree’s roots can go down hundreds of metres in search of water. David said, ‘As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you…’ (Psalm 42:1 NIV) Go deep, work on your own connection to God and you’ll never be uprooted or barren or blown away
RIGHTEOUS FOREVER THROUGH CHRIST’S OBEDIENCE
For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.ROMANS 5:19
Take some time today to meditate on how you have been made righteous forever through Christ’s obedience.
Because your righteousness from the Lord is not based on what you’ve done, but what He has done at Calvary, you cannot lose this righteousness through what you do or don’t do. And because you are righteous, healing and provision—blessings that belong to the righteous—belong to you!
When you realize that you cannot earn this righteousness, you’ll realize that your failures cannot cause you to lose this righteousness, and therefore your right to God’s healing and supply.
Beloved, you are forever righteous because of Jesus’ obedience (not your obedience) and finished work. Through His perfect sacrifice, He has qualified you for healing, wholeness, good success and long life!
HIS LOVE IS OUR LIGHT
Mark 4:21, “And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?”
Just as a candle or lamp is not to be hid, but rather displayed so that everyone can benefit from its light, so a Christian must let his light so shine before men that they might see his good works and glorify his Father which is in heaven. God has ordained us to go and bring forth fruit (Jn. 15:16). The great commission of the Church is to reach the world.
The early Christians experienced the love of Christ in an intimate and life-transforming way. This motivated them to reach their known world with the Gospel of Christ more than any other generation of Christians has since. They didn’t have the benefits of our modern technology, but they did have the benefit of being full of the love of Christ. Experiencing the love of Christ causes us to be filled with the fullness of God (Eph. 3:19) and makes us a witness that the world cannot resist (Jn. 13:35).
Today, much of the emphasis of the Church is placed on techniques of evangelism or spiritual warfare. We motivate people to witness through feelings of guilt or punishment if they don’t. Much of our evangelism has become as dead and non-productive as the efforts of the cults whose people knock on doors and argue others into their way of thinking. The Church today needs a revival of our personal relationship with the Lord. When we can truly say with Paul that the love of Christ constrains us, then we will impact our world for the Lord, too. We can’t give away what we don’t possess. We need to personally know the love of Christ in an experiential way before we try to share it with others. Let Him love you, and let His love flow through you to others. The world is hungry for love, real love.
Hold Fast Your Confession
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.
Matthew 17:18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour.19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.
God created the heavens and the earth by the spoken word. And He has given us the power and authority to do the same! He said if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. So we are to hold fast to our confession even if what we confess is impossible. God’s word is true:
HEBREWS 10:19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality.
Romans 2:11 For there is no partiality with God.
Jesus Christ who is God and is the same yesterday today and forever still heals people of crippling disease or pain even instantly. He restores sight to the blind and straightens out visions. Our awesome Jesus, brings healing time and time again and because God is no respecter of persons and shows no partiality He can and will make believers whole body, soul and spirit, those who believe God for it!