GOD KEEPS HIS PROMISES
It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed that God would keep His promise. – Hebrews 11:11, NLT
How do you continue to believe God for the breakthrough that you need when you don’t feel that you have the faith to go on?
My friend, the answer lies in today’s scripture. Sarah was “barren and was too old” to have a child, but “by faith” she received strength to conceive and gave birth to Isaac. Her faith was involved. How did Sarah exercise her faith to receive her miracle? She simply “believed that God would keep His promise.” In other words, she banked on the faithfulness of God. Her eyes were not on her faith or lack of it, nor were they on how tough her natural circumstances were.
When you feel that your faith has run out, just rest in how God is always faithful! Count on His faithfulness, not your faithfulness. Lean hard on the fact that He remains faithful even when you’re wavering in faith (2 Timothy 2:13).
Beloved, once God gives you a promise from His Word, it’s not for you to struggle and conjure up faith to make His promise come to pass. You cannot make the miracle happen—only God can. You are to rest in Him who has promised, rest in His faithfulness, and you will experience your miracle!
HEALTH THROUGH THE OIL, BREAD AND WINE
The Lord will answer and say to His people, “Behold, I will send you grain and new wine and oil, and you will be satisfied by them… – Joel 2:19
A brother from New Zealand shared an amazing healing testimony with me. After undergoing two surgeries, he was diagnosed with grade eight prostate cancer and given a grim report by his specialist.
A couple, who were elders from his church, anointed him with oil and prayed over him. He felt God’s power go through him. Following this, his wife would anoint him every night with a bottle of oil, and they would pray and take the Holy Communion together. His symptoms started to disappear and he began to feel so much better. At his next checkup, his specialist was amazed. She proclaimed his blood test report ‘‘fantastic” because it showed all indicators in the normal range!
Beloved, the oil, bread and wine represent Jesus’ finished work at the cross. Jesus provided His own body to be punished for the healing of your diseases and afflictions. Rest in the reality that by His stripes you are healed!
CRUSHED FOR OUR TOTAL WELL-BEING
But the Lord was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief… – Isaiah 53:10, NASB
How is holy anointing oil produced? By crushing olives in an oil press to extract the oil. This is a beautiful picture of the crushing of our Lord Jesus, which began in the Garden of Gethsemane. “Gethsemane” literally means “oil press.”
The Bible tells us that Jesus was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.
Jesus came to be crushed for us. He came to be bruised, scourged and pierced. Why? So that all that He is—health, life, wholeness, abundance, fruitfulness, grace, goodness—can flow out like golden oil into our lives!
My friend, whenever you use the holy anointing oil for healing, provision or protection, remember that Jesus has already been crushed for your total well-being. See the work as completely finished and enter into rest. That’s how you receive your victory!
BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING
And God [is] able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all [things], may have an abundance for every good work. – 2 Corinthians 9:8
Do you remember the words that God pronounced over Abraham? He said, “I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing” (Genesis 12:2).
My friend, as you trust God to walk more and more in the fullness of Abraham’s blessing, have a revelation that He blesses you because He loves you, and gives to you the privilege of being a practical extension of His love to your community, your country and beyond.
God’s financial provision is for a divine purpose. Don’t use people and love money. Instead, use money to love people! When it comes to our relationship with people, it is always more blessed to give than to receive. Have an abundant eye and heart, look around for people in need and bless them. Let your light so shine before all men for the glory of the name of Jesus Christ!
Today, see His abundant grace abounding toward you and your family so that you will have an abundance for every good work!
BLESSINGS IN SLEEP …
…He gives [blessings] to His beloved even in his sleep – Psalm 127:2, AMP
The Lord longs to pour out blessings on you constantly—even when you sleep! Many people today struggle with sleeping at night. They stay awake or get poor sleep because they are constantly focused on their problems and worrying about tomorrow. But that’s not God’s plan for you! He wants you to enjoy your sleep as a time of blessing and refreshing. Understand that God has His hand on your life even in the midnight hour. He wants to speak to your heart and restore your dreams. He is taking care of those things that concern you.
When you cast your cares on Him and trust Him to work out every detail of your life, you’ll be able to enjoy that sweet sleep that He has promised. Make the decision today to enjoy the blessing of the Lord as you sleep tonight. Say a prayer before you go to bed and cast your cares on Him. As you allow the Lord to bless and refresh you in sleep, you’ll see a tremendous change in your waking hours. You’ll be more invigorated, more alert, and full of the blessing of the Lord in every area of your life!
I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.’ Matthew 11:29 NLT
Jesus said, ‘I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.’ We’d all be a lot better off if people like Jesus ran the world, because those who aren’t gentle are making a real mess of things! Francis de Sales said, ‘Nothing is so strong as gentleness, and nothing so gentle as real strength.’ Just as you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, people respond more readily to gentleness than aggressiveness. The famous football coach, John Wooden, told the following story: ‘My dad, Joshua Wooden, was a strong man in one sense, but a gentle man. He could lift heavy things men half his age couldn’t, but he would also read poetry to us each night after a day working in the fields raising corn, hay, wheat, tomatoes, and watermelons. We had a team of mules named Jack and Kate on our farm. Kate would often get stubborn and lie down on me when I was ploughing. I couldn’t get her up no matter how roughly I treated her. Dad would see my predicament and walk across the field until he got close enough to say, “Kate.” Then she would get up and start working again. He never touched her in anger. It took me a long time to understand that even a stubborn mule responds to gentleness.’ When the Bible speaks of humility and meekness, it’s not speaking of weakness. Meekness means ‘power under control’. An unbroken horse is useless; an overdose of medicine kills rather than cures; wind out of control destroys everything in its path. Jesus was powerful but He was gentle. And you are called to follow in His footsteps (1 Peter 2:21).
THE LORD WITH YOU EQUALS SUCCESS
Genesis 39:2 – The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man…
You may have no qualification, position or money—nothing in the natural. But when the Lord is with you, you will end up with everything because He will cause you to be successful.
Joseph had nothing when his Egyptian master Potiphar bought him from the slave market. Yet, even then, it was said of him, “The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man…”
Joseph the slave a successful man? He was a nobody with nothing, not even a shirt on his back, not a dime to his name, no family members with him and no friends to turn to. All he had was the presence of the Lord. But it was precisely because of this that he was successful wherever he was. He eventually became the most powerful man in Egypt, second only to Pharaoh, who set him over all the land of Egypt. Joseph was given power, authority and riches (Genesis 41:40–44), all because the Lord was with him.
A junior college student worshiping in our church experienced good success in his examination results for the same reason. The first to admit that he was just an average student, he obtained his first ever straight As for all his subjects when he sat for the Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education (Advanced Level) Examination simply believing that he would be successful because the Lord was with him!
Another church member, who was a fresh university graduate, believed that because the Lord was with her, she would be successful in the workforce. Even though she had no work experience and was faced with a gloomy job market, she succeeded in getting her first job in a short period of time and which gave her a salary beyond her expectations. Then, in spite of a directive from the parent company to freeze the wages of all employees, she received a pay increment as well as a company scholarship for further education!
Beloved, it does not matter if you are a nobody with nothing in the natural. When the Lord is with you, you will end up with everything because He will empower you to succeed and live the abundant life. Indeed, you will end up enjoying His favor, goodness and grace!
HIS FATHOMLESS PAIN
And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. – Luke 22:43-44
It is interesting that Luke is the only one of the gospel writers to mention that Jesus’ sweat was as great drops of blood. This is probably because Luke was a physician (Col. 4:14), and therefore, this had special significance to him.
There have been documented cases of people actually sweating drops of blood under extreme emotional pressure. This might explain why Luke is the only writer to mention the angel strengthening Jesus. Just as when Jesus encountered Satan during His forty days of fasting and temptation in the wilderness and the angels ministered unto Him (Mk. 1:13), so here, He needed supernatural strength to endure His sufferings.
The use of the words “as it were” might also mean that the sweat of Jesus was only comparable to blood in consistency or size, but it certainly underscores the effect Jesus’ agony had on His physical body.
Jesus’ sufferings for us were more than just physical. In the garden, before He suffered physically, He suffered emotionally, almost to the point of death. As Luke records, an angel had to come and give Him strength or the emotional struggle alone would have killed Him.
All that Jesus did was motivated solely by love. It was for the joy that was set before Him that He endured going to the cross. He didn’t do what He did to save us out of pity or a sense of obligation as our Creator. He did it because He loves us.