Recalibrate

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Jeremiah 10:23 “Oh Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man to direct his own steps”

The word “recalibrate” has become quite familiar to all of us GPS users out there. Where would we be without them…literally? When we take a wrong turn, we rely on the GPS to recalibrate. If I didn’t have the GPS I’d have gotten lost so many times! I still remember the days when my dad would pull over and dig out the map from the glove compartment of our station wagon. Those days are long gone. Now we just wait for our GPS to figure out a way to get us back on track.

Recalibrate means to calibrate again, to get back on course again. If you’ve gotten off course, no worries, you have the Guide inside. The Holy Spirit will recalibrate within you. He will prompt you to make a simple course correction. Jeremiah 10:23 says “it’s not in any of us to direct our own steps. In life, we need to recalibrate many, many times. God is okay with that. That’s why He gave us the Holy Spirit to recalibrate us as soon as we begin to make a wrong turn. He guides us to make a small course correction, that’s all we need. The sooner we yield to Him, the less recalibration we need on the path ahead. If you’ve gotten off course, listen to the Holy Spirit and just recalibrate. You’ll get to your destination. Trust your “God Positional System”.

 

Weapon of Mass Instruction

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Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge“

I was reading the other day about Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), such as chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons that can do significant harm and damage on a large scale. Mass means large, massive, profuse, overwhelming. But there’s something even more powerful and effective in the spiritual world called “weapon of mass instruction”.

Hosea 4:6 says that God’s people are destroyed for a lack of one thing…knowledge. Knowledge of God’s Word is the most powerful and destructive weapon in the spiritual realm. That’s precisely why the enemy will do anything and everything to try and stop you from gaining revelation knowledge. Mark 4:15 says that Satan comes immediately to steal the Word. Why? Because he knows it’s a weapon of mass, large, huge, effective proportions.

God’s Word is the only offensive weapon that we have. It destroys every work of the enemy. It tears down strongholds of thoughts. It is sent to heal cancers. With it you rebuke every attack. God’s Word is a weapon of mass instruction that will cause you to win in every battle, in every contest, in every challenge. So the answer to any destruction or problem is instruction, the knowledge of God’s Word. Make a decision this year to give God’s Word first place and final authority in every area of your life. Then watch the supernatural changes manifest as never before.

 

A Change of Diet in 2019

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Joshua 5:12 “and the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of Canaan that year”.

After I returned from Winter Break at Charis Bible College a few weeks ago, I saw a friend of mine and they looked so different. I asked, “What are you doing that you look so different?” They explained about their special diet, listing their change of foods and eating habits.

Speaking of eating habits, can you imagine what it would have been like to eat the same food every day for 40 years? That’s what happened to the children of Israel, before they came into the promised land of Canaan. The manna in Canaan represents “just enough” provision for each day. This is survival. Thank God for His provision, but He wants better for His children.

When they entered the land of Canaan, they began to eat fruit. The fruit was already there. The fruit represents “more than enough”. That’s the difference between a miracle and the blessing. A miracle is for crisis. Thank God for miracles, but the blessing is for every day. It’s a way of believing. It’s believing in God’s commanded blessing on His children because of the cross of Christ. In 2019, choose God’s diet. Choose more than enough! Let’s eat!

 

Death, Taxes and the New England Patriots

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Hebrews 13:5 Amplified “He (God) Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. (I will) not, (I will) not, (I will) not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let (you) down...(assuredly not)!”

Super Bowl Sunday, an American football tradition, is finally here. Get the Velveeta ready, hold your nose to your Zenith (they still make those?), and watch the New England Patriots take the Super Bowl field for the ninth time. Please repeat after me, “Tom Brady is getting old!” Yet at 41, he keeps getting better like a fine wine. Quoting the familiar phrase, “You can count on two things in life: death and taxes”, sports media has added a third…the New England Patriots.

In Hebrews 13:5, God says five times (the number of grace), “I will not, I will not, I will not…I will not, assuredly not leave you, fail you, nor give you up, nor leave you without support, or let you down”. Hallelujah! Do you get the picture? He will not ever, no never leave you nor forsake you. God is more of a sure thing, more unchanging than anything. So, stay secure in His Word, His nature and His love.

Get the chips and salsa ready, God loves you and so do we! Enjoy

 

Into the Ugh-Known

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Hebrews 11:8 Amplified Bible “Urged on by faith Abraham when he was called, obeyed and went forth to a place which he was destined to receive as an inheritance; and he went, although he did not know or trouble his mind about where he was to go”

On October 14, 1947, Chuck Yeager, an Air Force pilot flew an experimental plane 40,000 feet over the Mohave desert, becoming the first man to break the sound barrier. As he tells it, his jet nicknamed “Glamorous Glennis“ named after his wife was ready to fly into the “Ugh-known”. Just days before, he had a “disagreement” with a horse and broke two ribs, and was flying in a lot of pain. As he got to the point of the sound barrier, which no one had ever gone before, the jet began to shake violently. At that moment Yeager had to make a key decision, to slow down and abort the mission or to throttle down and go. He throttled down and broke through the sound barrier and experienced what is called a sonic boom.

That’s what Abraham had to do. He had to make a key decision in a moment of time. He had to either go back or go “into the ugh-known” where he had never been before. He decided to throttle down and “boom” he received his inheritance. If we’re going to break through barriers in our lives in 2019 and beyond, we need to throttle down and go. We may be in a whole lot of pain. We may be shaking violently on the inside. We may feel like quitting. Perfect, you’re ready for your breakthrough. Press through and get ready for your boom!

 

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

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John 2:9 “When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine.....” 

In 1971, just before his 25th birthday, David Bowie came out with the popular song, Changes, still heard around the world today.  This year, I believe, is a year of great, exciting, and supernatural changes like never before!  2019 is “The Year of Great Change”.   

Great in Greek is the word “megas” meaning huge, massive, surprising, and abundant. The word change means to make a material difference so that the person or thing is completely different from what it was. John 2 demonstrates this great change when Jesus performed His first miracle, He turned water into wine at a wedding feast in Cana. In a millisecond water used for ceremonial washing was turned into the best wine, that’s a picture of your life. 

Normally they served the best wine first and later the lesser quality wine.In verse 10, it says that “He has kept the best wine till now”.Jesus is calling us to a feast in 2019 like never before. To a new covenant, intoxicating year, and celebration. Hallelujah!This is going to be your best and most exhilarating year so far.Get ready for great ch-ch-ch-ch-changes! Your best days are not behind but ahead of you.So enjoy the celebration! 2019, “The year of great change”!

 

Six-Star Dining in 2019

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Joshua 5:12 “And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna anymore; but they did eat of the fruit of Canaan that year”.

Consumer-ratings for restaurants have become increasingly popular over the years, thanks to sites such as Yelp and social media. However, critics say that though they have empowered regular people to post non-expert reviews, the reviews can be falsified or faked. Some prefer a more reliable, expert review as found in the Forbes Travel Guide. Nevertheless, it’s the “five stars” that everyone is searching for! Five represents the best in quality, excellence and atmosphere.

Joshua 5 records that the children of Israel had been in the wilderness for 40 years and now they had finally come into Canaan. Hallelujah! In the wilderness, they had “just enough” manna for each day. We could call this a five-star rating. But a new day had arrived - they would eat manna no more. That year, God took them to a new level of dining, the “more than enough” fruit of Canaan. This is a six-star experience, over the top, off the scale!

In 2019, “just enough” is over and” more than enough” is here! Your table is reserved. You have entered into your six-star life. Six-star health. Six-star finances. Six-stars in your family, your career, your ministry. You’re eating the fruit of Canaan this year. Bon Appetit my friends!

 

Breaking Point by Natalie Fortunato

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Mark 2:22 "And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wineskins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins." (New Living Translation)

Something happened to me in 2018 that changed my life forever...I came to my breaking point. I had been living by the Old Testament (all about what I do) and New Testament (all about what Jesus did) at the same time. I was putting old wine into new wineskins. I was constantly frustrated. Something had to give..."New wine calls for new wineskins".

Then it happened, I turned in my old wineskin of self-effort and sin consciousness for a new wineskin - the pure, unforced rhythms of God's goodness and grace. A life where the Word is more real than my senses. A life of faith in the finished work of the cross.

As you enter into 2019, consider these powerful words, "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me-watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30 The Message). After all, “no one puts new wine into old wineskins”.

 

In His Presence are Presents

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Did you know that every day is Christmas when you are in Christ? I love Christmastime! When I was a kid, my parents would pile the Christmas presents, it seemed like, all the way to the ceiling. We would be excited for weeks waiting for Christmas morning. Then the time would come to open up our presents, and then in a blink of an eye it was over. Opening them was so much fun, we would look around and wonder, are there any more? No, we had opened them all…until the stocking gifts after Sunday mass, ahhh!

Psalm 23:1 says, “The Lord is (present tense) your shepherd. A shepherd provides for his sheep, feeds them, and protects them, every day, all day. Because Jesus IS your Good Shepherd you don’t want for anything . You don’t lack wisdom, direction, provision - anything. In His presence are His presents, Hallelujah! Jesus IS with you, He is our Emmanuel, God with us. He is present with you providing presents. Now, right at this moment, just meditating on Jesus, faith is released out of your spirit, the faith of Jesus. Let your heart be encouraged with the reality that Jesus IS with you.

When you are facing your challenges, Psalm 16:11 says, “In His presence is fullness of joy”. Fullness here means completeness, wholeness, abundance. John 1:16 says “of His fullness we have all received grace for grace”. That’s grace replacing the grace that was there before it! In His presence you release this fullness. In His presence there are presents! Enjoy Christ in Christmas. Enjoy family. Enjoy!

 

Emmanuel Our Friend

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Matthew 1:23 “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us”

Every Monday morning, we start our week at Charis Bible College with live worship. I absolutely can’t wait for Monday mornings, what a way to start another great week. This past Monday, I arrived early and was sitting in the auditorium and the worship team was practicing a beautiful song, Rejoice Emmanuel! A good friend of mine, Emmanuel, was playing the key board. This brought the song to life for me. I thought to myself, that’s so awesome, Jesus was born to a virgin and she bore a Son and the name was “Emmanuel”, God with us.

Jesus is our Emmanuel. He’s our friend that is always with us and will never leave us or forsake us, never (Hebrews 13:5). He’s our ever present help in the time of trouble (Psalm 46:1). He abides in us, and we abide in Him, by the Spirit (1 John 3:24). He’s our friend that sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). Contrary to what some religious people have said, He’s a friend to sinners (Luke 7:34). In Matthew 28:20, He said “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world”. So enjoy your forever Friend, your Emmanuel, God with you.

 

No More Law School

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Galatians 4:24 “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ”.

I commend the students who, after four years of college, go on to law school. I mean, four years of studying, taking exam after exam, studying some more, and late nights is a lot of work. Yet they are determined go back and do it again at a whole nutha’ level!

So, now let’s talk about a different kind of “law school”. One of my favorite books in the Bible is Galatians. In this book the apostle Paul addresses Christians who welcome the good news of Jesus Christ when Paul is present, but after he leaves their city, others come right behind him and mix the good news of grace with the Jewish law, and they welcome that too.

Paul was strong in combating this mixture. He said in Galatians 3:1, “O foolish Galatians who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth”. He explains to them in Galatians 4:24 that, yes, the law has a purpose, it was “our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ”. Then goes on to say in verse 25, “but after that faith is come we are no longer under a schoolmaster”. In other words, we are no longer under the law, we are no longer in “law school”.

A schoolmaster here means a servant to care for children until they become a mature son.As Christians, we are no longer servants but sons.We are not under the law but under grace.You can’t be under both law and grace.He exhorts us to beware of leaven, “a little leaven leaves the whole lump” (Galatians 5:9).Beware of mixture that focuses on what you must do and not putting the focus on what Jesus has done.No more law school folks.School’s out!Enjoy your endless grace summer!

 

Bad News Sold as Good News

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Matthew 6:15 “If you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins”

This is not good news. This is bad news that is intended to make us shake in our boots. It links God’s forgiveness to our own. It’s not grace, it is law. It’s something you must give to get. Why did the Lord preach law? Because some people will never value the gift of grace until the law has been allowed to do its condemning work. Some need to hear the bad news before they will appreciate the good news.

Romans 10:4, says “Now Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to all who trust in Him”. Maybe you’ve heard that God won’t forgive you if you have unforgiveness in your heart. Under the law that Jesus preached that was true. But the law keeping covenant was FULFILLED at the cross! In Acts 26:1, after the cross, He said forgiveness is a gift to be received! At the cross verbs became nouns! It is finished, you are forgiven. Now that’s the good news!

 

The Accepting Church

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Romans 15:7 NIV - “Accept one another, as Christ accepted you”.

Divine acceptance will change the world! But before it does, it must first change the church. The problem with a “mixed” grace message (mixing grace with the law or a works based message) is that it makes the children of God fearful of their Heavenly Father. It paints a frown on the face of love. Can you imagine God the Father frowning at Jesus? Of course not. Neither is He frowning at you.

In the old covenant they prayed for the day when the Lord would make His face shine upon them, be gracious to them, and give them peace. The awesome news is, we are living in that day, right now. He is looking you in the face and beaming with a galaxy sized smile. You are the apple of His eye. He rejoices over you with singing. When we get a hold of this, it will transform us into the “accepting church”.

Freedom is found in the Fathers acceptance, when you know that you are your Daddy’s delight. When you know that He loves you and accepts you, unconditionally. You are accepted in the Beloved. People who know that they are accepted, are more apt to accept others. Be free! “Accept one another, as Christ accepted you”.

 

Good Things Come to Those Who GO!

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1 Samuel 16:1 – “Now the Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go…for I have provided...”

You’ve heard the phrase good things come to those who wait. I agree, but sometimes good things come to those who GO! In 1 Samuel 16, Samuel was mourning for Saul who he had anointed to be king. But God had made a change. We have trouble sometimes with change.

The Lord said “How long are you going to mourn?” Perhaps God is asking you the same thing, or maybe, “How long are you going to live in regret?” Or, “How long are you going to try to relive the past?” Before you have a chance to answer, He declares “Fill your horn with oil and go”. There’s your answer. There’s your mandate.

In the same breath, He says, “For I have provided”. Two thirds of GOD is GO. Good things are waiting for you as you go. Have you ever tried to pick up spilled milk? You can’t. Stop trying.

I believe this message is for many people who are stuck in the past, or even stuck in the present. He’s saying to you today…”How long are you going to live in the past when I’ve moved on? I’m sending you. It’s time to make a change. Get going! I have provided!” Take a step forward. It’s your time for new beginnings.

 

The Grace Invitation

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Revelation 3:5 “I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels."

Before the foundation of the world, every person’s name was written in the Book of Life. On the cross, Jesus carefully counted the sin of all mankind to Himself, once and for all. Therefore, God is not counting sin against us. Instead, God is extending an invitation to all mankind to receive the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross on their behalf. To receive Him as their Savior and forgiveness for their sin.

What is your name? Did Jesus die on the cross for your sin? Yes. Then your name is written in the Book of Life. What about the names of your relatives? Did Jesus die on the cross for their sin? Yes. Even though they may not be born again yet? Absolutely. Then their names are also written in the Book of Life. If unsaved people got their name written in the Book of Life when they got born again, then Jesus would need to die on the cross all over again for them.

However, Revelation 3:5 speaks of names being blotted out from the Book of Life. What does that mean? Let me explain it this way. God has extended an invitation to all mankind to receive Jesus as their Savior the same as a couple would extend an invitation to someone for their wedding. They prepare a guest list then send out the invitations. With the invitation comes a request for a response, an RSVP. For those that accept the invitation their names remain on the list. For those who decline, their name is removed (blotted out).

God has written the name of every person in the Book of Life. He extends an invitation for salvation. For those that accept, even up to the very second before their death, their names remain written in the Book of Life. Sadly, for those who decline and leave this earth without having accepted Jesus, their names are blotted out. 1 Timothy 2:3-4 says that it would please God if “all would be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth”.

How does a person receive God’s invitation? Through us! We have the privilege of sharing with every person we meet that God has already accepted them, that God sent His only Son to die on the cross for them because of His intense love for them. We get to tell them that God has their name is written in the Book of Life, and an open invitation is waiting for them to accept Jesus as their Savior and spend eternity with Him. We get to extend the “Grace Invitation”.

 

Staying at the Comfort Inn

Isaiah 40:1 Amplified Bible “Comfort, Comfort my people says the Lord”

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On my way to Charis Bible College this past August, I drove a full day then stayed my first night at the Comfort Inn. I mean, it wasn’t a five star hotel but it had all the necessities - nice room, pool, workout gym, and a nice hot breakfast. These were certainly a “comfort” to me! I like that word, comfort. It means an alleviation of pain, distress, worry. In Genesis 6:8 it says that “Noah found grace”. The name Noah means “comfort, rest, quietness”.

Putting this all together in Isaiah 40:1, he says “Comfort, Comfort”. That’s twice the comfort for…who? You and me! He has an open invitation for us to stay in the “comfort inn”, a place to receive rest, food, and provision for your journey! Declare that over the situations you are facing today, “Comfort Comfort!” Over your family, your church, your place of business, and everywhere you go. He’s the God of all comfort who comforts us in all of our trials! He gives restful increase. Make your reservation! It’s free!

 

Preparing or Repairing

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Psalm 77:6 “I will meditate with my heart, and my spirit ponders”

John Maxwell in his book Today Matters, said this “I believe that everyone chooses how to approach life. If you’re proactive you focus on preparing. If you’re reactive you end up focusing on repairing“. Preparation time is never wasted time. If you prepare your heart before you have that conversation, it’ll be fruitful. If you don’t you may have to “repair” what you didn’t prepare for! Preparing will actually save you time and energy, repairing takes a lot more time and could end up costing you some big bucks.

We’ve all had things that need to be addressed or conflict that needs to be dealt with. It’s so much better to prepare, get a good night’s sleep, and meditate with your heart. Your “heart” is not the organ that beats in your chest. Your heart is made up of your soul and your spirit. When we allow our soul to align with our spirit, we have good success. Psalm 77:6 says “and my spirit ponders”. I love that because our spirit knows all things and has in it the mind of Christ. So, the next time something important comes up, prepare, meditate with your heart, and take time to allow your spirit to ponder. OR, you can take double the time and effort repairing the situation. So which is it for you? Prepare or repair?

 

Come Away and Rest Awhile

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Mark 6:31 “come away ......and rest awhile”

Burnout is something that all of us face in one form or another in life. Burnout can look like: 1) overwhelming tiredness over what needs to be done or what is looming ahead. 2) frustration at the constant needs, demands, and expectations of others. 3) lack of vision of what the future holds 4) depression, agitation, anger, stress, and anxiousness. 5) physical illness and lack of care for yourself, and 6) judgement and offense towards those you feel are demanding of your time, energy and efforts.

There are always things to do. There is always more that could be done. More that should be done. The question comes up, are these things we’ve laid on ourselves from the heart of God or our own devised plans or demands of others? Wayne Cordeiro, author of Leading on Empty, says that “people’s needs are great and their expectations are endless. You can’t base your life on the expectations of others”. He said, “It is good to wean ourselves off the need to be needed.”

In Mark 6 it says “come away...and rest awhile”. I like that because you need to actually get away from some things to truly rest. Remember, God doesn’t give you a vision for your life that will end in burnout. That will hurt or destroy relationships, or cause stress or illness. Our visions and lifestyle are to be birthed out of our relationship with the Father, therefore they are sustained by that same relationship. Even in your thoughts and your mind, it’s good to “come away...and rest awhile”. His grace is always available to keep you refreshed, renewed, and refilled! So, how about you? Whether it’s for a minute, a day, a week, or a month…when the activity of this world starts to crowd your mind and your life…stop…come away…breathe...rest awhile…then head back refreshed.

 

End Time Global Chilling

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Matthew 24:10-12 “Then many shall be offended, and shall betray one another, and many false prophets shall arise and deceive many…and the love of many shall wax cold”.

The greatest end time threat to our lives and to our society is not global warming, but global chilling. Let me explain. In Luke 17:1 Jesus said “it is impossible that no offenses should come”. What a statement. Every one of us will have the opportunity to be offended, be misunderstood, experience an injustice, and a heartache of some kind. However, it’s our choice how to respond when these things happen, because they will happen. Unfortunately, offense has become the “legal drug” of the church.

When we get offended, we get deceived, and then we begin to view everything through the prism of our pain. Notice the progression, first the offense, then the decision to be offended, then betrayal, hatred, false prophecy, and then finally our heart becomes cold... frigid…and global chilling sets in toward others…brrrrrrrrrrrr!

But, here’s the good news. We can be set free from offense. Psalm 119:165 says that people who love the Word of God have great peace, and nothing offends them. They don’t judge other people’s motives behind their actions. In Exodus 15, the people of Israel came to a body of water and it was bitter. Then God showed Moses a tree, and instructed him to throw it into the waters, and they became sweet. That’s an example of the cross of Calvary when applied to bitterness in our souls. Nothing so bad has happened to you that is greater than what Jesus has done for you at the cross. So when offenses come, and they will come, let all bitterness be turned into sweet waters that will produce healing for others. The change starts with you. Put a stop to global chilling!

 

Jesus Power & Light

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Exodus 10:21, 23 - “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that darkness spreads over Egypt--darkness that can be felt’. No one could see anyone else or move about for three days. Yet all the Israelites had light in the places where they lived.”

This was an amazing miracle. All the homes in Egypt were so dark that the darkness could literally be felt. But the children of Israel, which had no oil to light their lamps, had light in their homes. It was a supernatural light, not a manmade light. No matter what’s going on in your home, Jesus has paid the “light bill” and His “power” is available to restore every area of your family and household.

None of us have done everything perfect. It’s so good to know that God’s grace is sufficient for us. When darkness tries to close in on our homes, we have Light in our dwellings. There is a supernatural restoration that was bought and paid for by Jesus Christ, through the finished work of the cross. Every family member and every adverse situation is being supernaturally reconciled. Rejoice! There can be darkness all around, but not in your house! Jesus’ power and light never dims and never runs out.