HIS PURPOSE REVEALED …
From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. – Matthew 16:20-28
Despite the abundant and clear prophecies about His death and resurrection, Jesus’ disciples didn’t understand or remember Jesus’ words until after His resurrection (Lk. 24:5-9). Luke records twice that Jesus’ sayings about His resurrection were hidden from the disciples. It is interesting to note, however, that the chief priests and Pharisees remembered Jesus’ prophecies about His resurrection (Mt. 27:63) when His disciples didn’t.
One of the great truths of the Bible is that Jesus died for our sins, not for His own. Jesus was totally sinless. This is one of the major differences between Christianity and the religions of the world. No other religious leader has ever claimed to be sinless, therefore no other religious leader is even in the same class with Jesus. Also, no other religious leader has ever given his life in sacrifice to atone for the sins of others. It wouldn’t have done any good if one had. Since the religious leaders were sinners themselves, their lives weren’t worth any more than any other sinner. But, since Jesus was the sinless Son of God, His life was worth more than all of humanity throughout the ages.
Every detail of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection was already prophesied in scripture before it happened. All the events of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection had fulfilled scripture. God’s Word is the ultimate authority and only through His Word can we receive faith to be born again. We must preach the Word, not experiences. Experiences are only useful to illustrate that God’s Word is true. Jesus is alive from the dead. His tomb is empty. Jesus provided us with the ultimate verification of His authority. He arose from the dead.
THE BLAME GAME
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! —John 1:29
I’ve been blamed for a lot of things, and rightly so. My sin, failure, and incompetence have caused grief, anxiety, and inconvenience for friends and family (and probably even for strangers). I’ve also been blamed for things that were not my fault, things I was powerless to change.
But I have stood on the other side of the fence hurling accusations at others. If they had just done something different, I tell myself, I would not be in the mess I’m in. Blame hurts. So whether guilty or not, we waste lots of time and mental energy trying to find someone else to carry it for us.
Jesus offers us a better way to deal with blame. Even though He was blameless, He took upon Himself the sin of the world and carried it away (John 1:29). We often refer to Jesus as the sacrificial lamb, but He was also the final scapegoat for everything that is wrong with the world (Lev.16:10).
Once we acknowledge our sin and accept Christ’s offer to take it away, we no longer have to carry the weight of our guilt. We can stop looking for someone to blame for what’s wrong with us, and we can stop accepting blame from others trying to do the same.
Thanks to Jesus, we can stop playing the blame game.
Help me, Lord, to be honest when I am at fault and to confess that to You—instead of looking for someone else to blame. Thank You for taking my blame on Yourself.
Honesty about our sin brings forgiveness.
DON’T LET OTHERS LIMIT YOUR DREAMS :
What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God’s faithfulness? – Romans 3:3, NIV
Have the opinions of other people caused you to water down your dreams? There will always be critics and naysayers in life. It’s not what’s said about you that affects your life, but what you say and believe about yourself.
One of the most important things you can learn is that other people don’t have to believe in you in order for your dreams to come to pass. Other people don’t set the limits for your life — you do. In Romans 3:3, the Apostle Paul is saying, “It doesn’t matter if other people don’t believe. Their unbelief is not going to keep me from believing in my dreams.” When God puts a promise in your heart, it’s not up to other people to bring it to pass, it’s up to you! You don’t need everyone to validate you.
You have to follow the voice of God for yourself and allow Him to order your steps.
Remember, God sees the hidden treasures that you’ve had buried on the inside of you. He wants to bring those treasures out and make your dreams reality! As you get rid of old, defeated thoughts and replace them with what God says about you, you will remove the limits and live the abundant life God has in store for you!
PUT THE SPOTLIGHT ON JESUS’ FINISHED WORK
casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ 2 CORINTHIANS 10:5
The devil is not called the “accuser of our brethren” for nothing (Revelation 12:10). When you’ve done wrong, he will remind you of it day and night. Even when you’ve done right, he will tell you that it wasn’t good enough.
The enemy just loves to bring up your failures, to put a spotlight on how your behavior has disqualified you from God’s acceptance, love and blessings. He loves to heap condemnation upon you and give you a sense of guilt and distance from God. He knows that the more condemnation and guilt you experience, the more likely you are to feel alienated from God and to live life defeated.
Beloved, the only way out of this vicious circle of defeat is to put the spotlight on the finished work of Jesus. Bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ at the cross. Through His perfect obedience and death at the cross, He has taken away your condemnation and qualified you to receive God’s acceptance, love and blessings forevermore!
YOU ARE A BLESSING GOING SOMEWHERE TO HAPPEN
Deuteronomy 28:10 – Then all peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you.
Today, we are called by the name of Christ—Christ-ians. Therefore, the blessing of Deuteronomy 28:10, which says, “Then all peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord” is no longer just a promise but reality!
The second part of the verse—“and they shall be afraid of you”—is also true for you. People will respect you. Your boss will favor you and even your competitors will esteem you highly. They know that there is something special about you because good things happen when you are around!
I experienced this blessing when I first started working. I worked in a small third-floor office which constantly smelled of salted fish because there was a salted fish stall on the ground floor. It was in that small, dingy office that I kept on confessing that I was blessed by the Lord, and I experienced divine favor with my clients. My boss could see that there was something different about me.
The company’s business flourished and before long, we moved out of that small office to a building which in the mid-eighties was considered an information technology hub. There, we occupied a couple of offices, and started specializing in computer software and courses. Soon, we occupied the entire floor! That was how much God was prospering us.
God was also blessing me tremendously. I was drawing a very good monthly income, enjoying the favor of my boss and was in his inner circle. A few years later, I decided to go into full-time ministry. When I broke the news to my boss, he cried. I never knew how much I meant to him until then. It was only then that I realized what a blessing I had been to him by the grace of God.
Beloved, because you are also called by the name of the Lord, wherever you go, you are a blessing. His blessing is on you. The people around you will look at you and know that you are a blessing going somewhere to happen!
AN AWESOME GOD
“The fear of the lord is a fountain of life, to depart from the snare of death”. – Proverbs 14 27 (KJV)
God’s hand shapes the universe, and it shapes our lives. The Creator maintains absolute sovereignty over His creation, and His power is beyond our comprehension. If we are wise, we’ll develop a healthy respect for God and for His awesome power.
The Bibles tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7). But a healthy fear of the Lord also means the death of every other fear, because we sense and trust God’s immense power to take care of us.
So today, as you fact the sometimes scary realities of everyday life, instead of focusing on your fears, cultivate a reverent “fear” of God. Only then can your spiritual education, and your faith be complete. Once you acknowledge God’s power over everything, including you, you will have acquired the most important wisdom of all..
GOD IS ON YOUR SIDE …
…If God is for us, who can be against us? – Romans 8:31, NIV
As a believer in Jesus and a child of His, God is on your side today! If you haven’t thought about it yet today, remember, you were created for greatness. You have the seed of Almighty God inside of you. There is no obstacle that can stop you. There is no disadvantage that can hold you back! You’re in the palm of God’s hand, and He has equipped and empowered you for everything.
When God is on your side, He sets the right people in your path. In fact, He’s already released favor into your future. He’s planning for you to come into new seasons of increase. He has a plan for victory in every area of your life!
Let that sink down into your heart today. Begin to expect His favor. Expect Him to work in your life. Focus on the fact that God has equipped you. He has anointed you. Your best days are still out in front of you! If God is for you, no one can rise against you! Meditate on this promise so you can walk in the favor and victory God has in store for you!