WE ARE COMPLETE, ONLY IN HIM
For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. – Matthew 26:27-29
The principle of the Old Covenant was “do” and you shall live. The principle of the New Covenant is “it is done,” and includes redemption, reconciliation, righteousness, and sanctification. The work is finished! We are complete in Him!
If the Old Covenant had no defects, there would have been no attempt to institute another (Heb. 8:7). In the Old Covenant, men found themselves unable to abide in its agreement, for it was based upon a man’s performance.
The new agreement, however, is based totally upon God’s grace. Under the Old Covenant, men approached God through a priest, while under the New Covenant, we have direct access to the Father through Jesus Christ. Under the Old Covenant, a man’s sin led to his death while under the New Covenant, God is merciful to our unrighteousness. Under the Old Covenant, man could not be cleansed of a consciousness of sin while under the New Covenant, our sins and iniquities are remembered no more, and our guilty consciences are cleansed.
Prior to salvation we are incomplete and there is a constant striving in every person to satisfy their hunger. Through the new birth we are complete in Christ and our hunger now should only be for more revelation of what we already have in Christ.
In the same way that Jesus had the fullness of God in Him, we also have the fullness of Christ in us. That makes us complete or perfect in Him, that is speaking of our spiritual man. Our born-again spirit is identical in righteousness, authority, and power to Christ’s spirit, because our born-again spirit is the Spirit of Christ (Rom. 8:9). It has been sent into our hearts crying “Abba Father” (Gal. 4:6).
TREASURES IN HEAVEN
Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. —Matthew 6:20
Poorly installed electric wiring caused a fire that burned down our newly built home. The flames leveled our house within an hour, leaving nothing but rubble. Another time, we returned home from church one Sunday to find our house had been broken into and some of our possessions stolen.
In our imperfect world, loss of material wealth is all too common—vehicles are stolen or crashed, ships sink, buildings crumble, homes are flooded, and personal belongings are stolen. This makes Jesus’ admonition not to put our trust in earthly wealth very meaningful (Matt.6:19).
Jesus told a story of a man who accumulated abundant treasures and decided to store up everything for himself (Luke 12:16-21). “Take life easy,” the man told himself; “eat, drink and be merry” (v. 19). But that night he lost everything, including his life. In conclusion, Jesus said, “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God” (v. 21).
Material wealth is temporary. Nothing lasts forever—except what our God enables us to do for others. Giving of our time and resources to spread the good news, visiting those who are lonely, and helping those in need are just some of the many ways to store up treasure in heaven (Matt. 6:20).
In what ways are you storing up treasures in heaven? How might you change and grow in this area of your life?
Our real wealth is what we invest for eternity.
BEWARE OF LOVE OF MONEY
“For the love of money is a root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have been led astray and have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves through with many acute [mental] pangs” (1 Timothy 6:10, AMP).
The love of money is the root of all evil, not money. Many people have a wrong relationship with money because they have placed their trust in it instead of in God.
Learning to look at life from God’s perspective is something we must do to promote joy and peace in our lives.
God has your back today and intends on prospering your every step. Say it with me, “My God plans on prospering me today!” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Your life will be infinitely better when you allow the Word to dominate you.
In each of our lives, in one way or another, we will face tough times and prove that even in the storm, He is still God!
David constantly encouraged Himself by meditating on the goodness of God. Let’s stay focused on God’s goodness and His unfailing Grace!
Your prosperity is not determined by what you have, but by who you are with and that’s Jesus!
Stand up in the midst of the storm. Speak to it with all the power and authority that’s been given to you. If you’ll do that, you’ll dominate the storm and put the devil on the run!
God can take the worst thing that you could possibly imagine and somehow or another, He throws a few of His own ingredients in there and it turns out to be a miracle. And all you have to do is give it to Him.
When your CONFIDENCE comes from GOD, no matter how UNSTABLE things in the world may get, you will always remain ROCK SOLID and SECURE.
LOVE COMES FIRST
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. – John 13:35
Jesus didn’t say that all men would know we are His disciples by our doctrine, our rituals, our hatred for sin, or even by the way we express our love for God. He said very clearly, that the one characteristic that would cause the world to identify us as His followers, is our love, one for another.
This same night, the Lord prayed to His Father using this same thought saying, “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me” (Jn.17:21). The only way that Christ’s body will be one as the Father and Jesus are One, is through God’s kind of love.
Unity of believers, that can only come through a genuine God-kind of love, is the greatest tool for evangelism that the church has or will ever have, according to Jesus. The early church didn’t have the massive organizational structures that we see today or the ability to travel anywhere in the world in just a matter of hours. They certainly did not come close to spending as much money, in proportion to us, to spread the gospel. And yet, the pagans of Thessalonica said of Paul and his companions, “These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also” (Acts 17:6). They had evangelized the known world in less than thirty years.
Before we can ever fulfill the great commission of Matthew 28:19-20, there must be a revival of love in the church, where doctrine and ritual take a “back seat” to love for one another.
A NEW REVELATION OF LOVE …
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. – John 13:34
Jesus previously stated that all the law and the prophets were dependent on loving God first, and then loving your neighbor as yourself. These truths were already in the law but people missed them. So, this commandment was not new in the sense that it had never been given before, but it was brought to the forefront and given new meaning through the example of Jesus. Jesus not only loved His neighbor as Himself, He loved us more than Himself.
John, the apostle who wrote this gospel, later wrote about the new commandment of love. No doubt, he received his inspiration from this teaching of Jesus. John wrote, “Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth” (1 Jn. 2:7-8). He then goes on to speak of loving one another.
This commandment, or the revelation that God gave to man through His Word, wasn’t new, but was never clearly seen by men because of the darkness that separated them from God. In the light of Jesus’ life, the darkness was removed and the old commandment of love became new through the example of Jesus in a way that mere words could never express.
LOOK WHAT HE’S DOING …
For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? – Isaiah 43:19, NLT
God wants His people to be the most blessed! He wants His people to increase so they can live as an example of His goodness. But in order to partake of everything He has in store for us, we have to be open to what He wants to do in our lives. We have to have a vision for increase. If you’re not expecting favor, if you just get satisfied with where you are, then you’re living below your privileges. But if you will get a vision for increase, a vision of who you are as a child of the Most High God, you’ll see supernatural opportunities, favor and increase in your life.
Today, take time to focus your thoughts on God and His promises. Meditate on His Word. Look for what He is doing and receive the blessings He has in store for you!
EXPECT GOD’S GOODNESS AND ABUNDANCE
Psalm 65:11 – You crown the year with Your goodness, and Your paths drip with abundance.
The economic experts may have painted a gloomy picture for the year, but as far as God is concerned, He has crowned the year with His goodness and abundance! God’s supply and provision are never affected by world events, so good times or bad times, expect every month, every week and every day of this year to be surrounded by His goodness. Expect His abundance to meet your every need!
“But Pastor, I’ve not done much good in the past year, so how can I be confident that God will provide for me this year?”
My friend, God doesn’t bless you because of what you have done. He blesses you because of what Jesus has done. At the cross, Jesus bore all your sins and was punished to the full for every one of them, so that you can have His righteousness as a gift and be blessed with every one of God’s blessings. (Ephesians 1:3)
Now, look at the word “abundance” in Psalm 65:11. It is the Hebrew word deshen, which means “fatness”. The idea here is abundant provision, blessings and even fertility. (So if you have been believing God for a child for many years, believe that this is the year you will conceive!) Now, the word deshen has another meaning—“ashes”. Ash is the final form of something that has been burnt. For example, the animal sacrifices to God in the Old Testament were burnt on the altar until they became ashes. (Leviticus 4:12) So ashes here speak of the finished work of Jesus at the cross that has put away your sins.
My friend, because of Jesus’ finished work you can confidently believe and declare that the year is crowned with goodness and that God’s paths drip with His provision, blessings and good success for you every step of the way. If the devil tells you that God won’t bless you because of your sins, just tell him, “Ashes!” and point him tothe cross of Jesus!
Beloved, you are blessed not because of your good works, good looks, qualifications or industry experience, but because of Jesus’ finished work. He alone has qualified you to receive God’s goodness and abundance every day for the rest of your life!
TAKE REFUGE IN HIM …
Taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! – Psalm 34:8, ESV
Where do you take refuge when the storms of life come? Where do you go for comfort and safety? Some people find it easy to turn to their friends, their job, or even a bowl of ice cream. There’s nothing wrong with any of those things, but God wants us to turn to Him first. He wants us to take refuge in Him. He longs to protect us, defend us and give us His strength. We serve a good God, and when we take refuge in Him, He will pour out His abundant blessing in our lives.
Taste and see that the Lord is good, and His promises are good. When you turn to God, the Bible promises that you will find rest and refuge for your soul. No matter what you may be facing today, come to the Father. He will give you His peace and strength as you take refuge in Him.
LET GOD MINISTER TO YOU
Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. – John 13:5-8
Peter’s refusal to let Jesus wash his feet came from a knowledge that he was totally unworthy to have the sinless Son of God serve him as a common servant would. Peter was correct in his assessment of his relative worth, but what he missed was that God doesn’t minister to us because of our worth but because of His love.
Even though Peter’s attitude looked holy and humble, he was actually resisting God’s will and committing an act of pride. Pride is not only exalting yourself above what is proper, but also, it can be debasing yourself below what is proper. Pride is simply self-centeredness or being self-willed instead of God-centered and submitted to God’s will. Peter should have been humble enough to know that Jesus knew what He was doing and he should have submitted himself to God’s will.
Likewise today, some people refuse to let God bless them, thinking they are unworthy of His favor. While it is true that our actions don’t warrant God’s goodness, a truly humble person will receive the Lord’s blessings as an expression of His love and grace toward them. Misguided humility is every bit as damaging as exaggerated pride.
Peter wanted to serve Jesus, but did not want to be served by Jesus. Jesus was telling Peter that unless he received His ministry to him, Peter would be unfit to serve Him. We cannot cleanse ourselves or others. We are totally dependent on the work of God’s grace in our lives. Then and only then, are we equipped to minister to others. Before we can be the blessing that we desire to be to God or to others, we have to let God be the blessing to us that He desires to be.
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