GET RID OF FEAR
Luke 8:50, “But when Jesus heard it, he answered him saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.”
Jesus told Jairus to “believe only,” implying that faith and fear can operate in us at the same time. This is also the reason James tells us not to be double-minded, or to waiver (Jas. 1:5-8). Fear will negate faith. We can have both thoughts of faith and thoughts of unbelief at the same time.
Fear and faith are opposing forces. Fear is actually faith in reverse. Fear is believing something or someone other than God. Therefore, fear makes us subject to Satan and his death just as faith makes us recipients of all that God has to offer. This is the reason Jesus told Jairus, “Fear not.” Jairus’ fear would have sealed his daughter’s death.
Instead of trying to build huge amounts of faith to overcome our fears and unbelief, a simpler method is to remove our fears by cutting off their source. Then, our simple “child-like” faith that remains will do the job. It doesn’t take big faith – just pure faith.
Where does fear come from? Second Timothy 1:7 says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and of love, and of a sound mind.” It doesn’t come from God. The way that fear is able to come upon us is that we take our attention off of Jesus and put it on our situation.
Fear or doubt cannot “just overcome” us. We have to let it in. In the same way that faith comes by hearing the Word of God, fear comes by hearing or seeing something contrary to God’s Word. We would not be tempted with fear or doubt if we didn’t consider things that Satan uses to minister that fear and doubt.
Satan tries to distract us with thinking about our problems. No problem is too big for God. We should cast our concern about the problem over on God and just keep our eyes on Jesus, the Word.
GOD-ORDAINED MOMENTS …
‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11, NIV
God created you to be successful! Before the foundation of the world, He laid out an exact plan for your life. And in this plan, He has marked moments that are going to come across your path. These moments are not ordinary; they are destiny-altering moments. They are designed to thrust you years ahead. It says in Ecclesiastes that “time and chance come together for every person.” That means you’ll have opportunities to meet the right people, opportunities to advance in your career, and opportunities to fulfill your dreams. God has already pre-arranged times of increase and blessing. You may not be seeing a lot of good breaks right now, but be encouraged because there are seasons of favor and increase marked for your future! There are God-ordained moments planned out for you. Don’t miss these moments! Don’t get distracted by your circumstances. Focus on removing the clutter from your life so you can hear His voice. Approach today with an attitude of faith and expectancy so you can embrace the God-ordained moments in front of you
JESUS, OUR TRUE PASSOVER LAMB
Exodus 12:3 – … very man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household.
Jews worldwide celebrate the Passover feast. The feast, which has been kept for generations, commemorates the deliverance of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. (Exodus 12:14) The night before the Israelites left Egypt, the destroyer went through the land killing the firstborn of man and beast. Only those households with the blood of the Passover lamb on their doorposts were spared.
God had told the Israelites, “Take a lamb, a lamb for a household.” It was a lamb for each family. This tells us that the Lord Jesus Christ, who is our true Passover Lamb, is for whole families to be saved!
So your children are blessed once you receive Jesus. Your unsaved spouse and grandparents are blessed too, because Jesus is now the Lamb for your whole household. Your unsaved loved ones will enjoy the blessings of the saved. The Bible says that the sanctified will sanctify the unsanctified. (1 Corinthians 7:14) Yes, they will still need to personally receive Jesus as their Savior, but God has marked them for salvation because you are saved!
Now, each household took a lamb which God said had to be without blemish. Why? Because the lamb typified Jesus, the true Lamb of God, who is without sin. John the Baptist said of Jesus, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
The lamb was then killed, and its blood put on the two doorposts and lintel of the house (Exodus 12:7), such that it speaks of the cross. Today, the destroyer has to pass over every family that believes in the finished work of Jesus at the cross and puts its faith in His blood, because there has already been a death. The blood proves it — the innocent Lamb for the guilty family!
Jesus also celebrated the Passover the night before He was crucified. But He was instituting the greater Passover. This time, it was not deliverance from Pharaoh and Egypt, but from Satan and his kingdom of darkness! It was not deliverance from slavery in Egypt, but from a life of bondage to sin to a life of liberty as free men in Christ!
Beloved, Jesus, the Lamb of God, sacrificed Himself to set you free. And when the Son sets you free, you are free indeed!
A FATHER WHO RUNS
The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost. —Luke 19:10
Every day a father craned his neck to look toward the distant road, waiting for his son’s return. And every night he went to bed disappointed. But one day, a speck appeared. A lonesome silhouette stood against the crimson sky. Could that be my son? the father wondered. Then he caught sight of the familiar saunter. Yes, that has to be my son!
And so while the son was “still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him” (Luke 15:20). It is remarkable that the family patriarch did something that was considered undignified in Middle Eastern culture—he ran to meet his son. The father was full of unbridled joy at his son’s return.
The son didn’t deserve such a reception. When he had asked his father for his share of the inheritance and left home, it was as if he had wished his father dead. But despite all that the son had done to his father, he was still his son (v.24).
This parable reminds me that I’m accepted by God because of His grace, not because of my merits. It assures me that I’ll never sink so deep that God’s grace can’t reach me. Our heavenly Father is waiting to run to us with open arms.
Father, I’m so grateful for all Your Son did for me at the cross. I’m thankful for grace. I offer You a heart that desires to be like Jesus—merciful and gracious.
We deserve punishment and get forgiveness; we deserve God’s wrath and get God’s love. —Philip Yancey
PRACTISE BEING UNSELFISH (3)
…take an interest in others, too. – Philippians 2:4 NLT
John Craig says, ‘No matter how much work a man can do, no matter how engaging his personality may be, he will not advance far if he cannot work through others.’ That requires you to see value in other people. This truth is understood worldwide by successful people from every walk of life. At an international meeting of company executives, an American business person asked an executive from Japan what he regarded as the most important language for world trade. The American thought the answer would be English. But the Japanese executive, who had a more holistic understanding of business, replied, ‘My customers’ language.’ Having a good product or service isn’t enough. Becoming an expert isn’t enough. Knowing your product but not your customers just means you’ll have something to sell and no one to buy. Furthermore, the value you place on people must be genuine. Leadership coach Bridget Haymond writes, ‘You can talk until you’re blue in the face, but people know in their gut if you really care about them.’ If you want to connect with others you have to get over yourself, change your focus from inward to outward, away from yourself and onto them. And the great thing is, you can do it. Anyone can. All it takes is the will to change, the determination to follow through and a handful of skills anybody can learn. The motivation to learn can be found in these words from the apostle, Paul: ‘Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.’ (Philippians 2:4 NLT) When you look for opportunities to invest in others, you’ll find them.
DO NOT DESPISE HUMBLE BEGINNINGS
Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.ZECHARIAH 4:10
It’s interesting to see how God never despises the little things.
When the boy brought his five loaves and two fish, the disciple Andrew scoffed, condescendingly patted the boy on his head and said to Jesus, “What are they among so many?” In direct contrast, God did not despise the boy’s small lunch.
So don’t despise the little things that you have right now. See them as your very own “five loaves and two fish” even when people around you mock and belittle you. Learn to disregard such people and lay your little before Jesus. While you and I have no power to multiply, Jesus certainly does!
Beloved, whatever you are building right now in your career, ministry or business, don’t despise the day of small, humble and seemingly insignificant beginnings. Involve Jesus and allow His provision of favor, wisdom and power to multiply and grow the little things in your hands.
DON’T LOOK INSIDE THE ARK
1 John 2:2 – And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
In the movie, Raiders Of The Lost Ark, the people who tried to look inside the ark were struck dead. What was inside the ark that brought judgment to those who looked into it?
The Bible tells us that the ark held the two tablets of the Ten Commandments, the pot of manna and Aaron’s rod. (Hebrews 9:4) These items were tokens of man’s rebellion. The two tablets of the Ten Commandments represented man’s rejection of God’s standards. The manna represented man’s rejection of God’s provision, and Aaron’s rod, man’s rejection of God’s appointed priesthood.
God did not want to look at these tokens of rebellion. He wanted to be merciful to His people, so He instructed them to place the items in the ark and to cover the ark with its mercy seat, which is also the place where the blood of the animal sacrifices was sprinkled.
Once a year on the Day of Atonement, the high priest would enter the Holy of Holies to sprinkle on the mercy seat the blood of the animal that had been sacrificed. The two cherubim on the mercy seat stood as guardians of God’s righteousness and holiness.
Representing God’s eyes too, they looked at the blood on the mercy seat. As long as the blood was there, the entire nation of Israel was forgiven. God’s judgment passed over them and they were blessed for another year. (Leviticus 16)
Today, the blood sprinkled on the mercy seat is not the blood of bulls and goats, but the precious, eternal blood of the Son of God! (Hebrews 9:12) Jesus is our “mercy seat” for “He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world”. The word “propitiation” in the original Greek text is the same word as “mercy seat”. (Romans 3:25, Hebrews 9:5)
Beloved, God does not see your sins and count them against you because He sees His Son’s blood. He sees His Son’s perfect work that has more than satisfied Him. God does not want you to see your sins either. He does not want you to look inside the ark by focusing on your sins. He wants you to focus on Christ and His finished work!