Come Away and Rest Awhile

92999341f2e12ce7df707fe34d47d4a1.jpg

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

Offenses.png

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

Jesus Power and Light.png

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.

 

Stressed Spelled Backwards

56683f3a84307655008b8975-750-563.jpg

1John 4:19 - ESV Translation - “We love because He first loved us”.

This morning I was in a beautiful town of Woodland Park, CO and I noticed a little donut shop with lines going out the door, onto their porch, and down their stairs. Can’t beat that for advertisement! I got in line to see what was so great about the place. When I finally got inside, I saw a sign that read “stressed spelled backwards is desserts”…LOL! I know some of you who would love that!

In the New Testament, 1 John 4:19, says, “We love because He first loved us”. In the Old Testament, Deut. 6:5 says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength”. That’s backwards. It’s impossible to love the Lord with all your heart, soul and strength. Utterly impossible. When we live backwards from the new covenant we get stressed. When we live under the old covenant, it’s all works. We are trying to get something through our own works that’s already ours through the finished work on the cross.

If I had a choice between being stressed and enjoying desserts, I choose desserts. They’re much more fun. God wants us to live the sweet life, the good life, the new covenant life. Like 1 John 4:19 says, it’s what He has done first that empowers you second. You decide, old covenant , performance, comparison, impossible standards, always falling short, looking at yourself…OR new covenant, all eyes on Jesus and His finished work! God always serves dessert first. Enjoy it. Guilt free!

 

No Assembly Required

Col 2_10.png

Colossians 2:10 “And you are complete in Him”.

Have you ever bought something that said “assembly not required”, but when you opened the package you found a list of 15 steps? I recently had to put something together, and I was trying to follow the instructions, but before you know it, I had more parts than instructions. I had to go back and figure out where I missed it. It was supposed to be easy… after all, “no assembly required”.

Colossians 2:10 says that when you were born again you were made complete “IN HIM”. All things are become new. What we need to fully understand is that in our born again spirit we are whole, complete, healthy, rich, secure, and every other promise that’s included the good news of the Gospel. As we renew our minds we realize we don’t have to fix ourselves or try and get something from God, there’s no assembly required.

We simply need to believe who we already are through the finished work of Jesus on the Christ! We are a complete child of God, we are “just men made perfect”, Hebrews 12:23. “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ” Ephesians 1:3.

As born again believers, we are complete in Him. No assembly required. No more chasing down what’s already yours. The blessings of God are chasing YOU. Stop! Receive! Rest! Enjoy!

 

Happy Tails, Happy Hearts

Happy Tails Happy Hearts.png

Numbers 6:25 “The Lord make His face to shine upon and enlighten you and be gracious (kind, merciful, and giving favor) to you”.

As I was driving recently from New Jersey to Colorado I saw a sign that said “Humane Society…Happy Tails, Happy Hearts”. Did you know that a dog wagging his tail serves the exact same function as a human smile, a greeting, or excited recognition? And what’s really cool is that for a dog to wag his tail, a person has to be in their presence. They don’t wag their tail when no one is around. This wagging of the tail means “a happy heart”. God created dogs this way!

God always looks at you with an approving look. He makes His face shine upon you, giving kindness, mercy, and favor! He is gracious to you. When He sees you or thinks about you, He overflows with intense love and joy. His greatest desires are to see you happy, joyful, and successful. God’s face is not frowning on you but shining with joy and elation over you, His beloved child. You, or nothing you do will ever change that about Him toward you. Simply smile back and receive it, soak it in!

 

A Grace Growth Spirt

grace growth spirt.png

2 Peter 3:18 “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever, Amen”. 

As children head back to school, they may notice certain classmates that grew several inches over the summer.  They experienced a “growth spirt”, they grew faster than others at an exponential rate. Interestingly, a lot of growth happens at night during sleep.  Secretions of human growth hormone peak throughout the night.  In fact, it is recommended that children ages 6-13 sleep at least 11 hours a night. 

REST CAUSES GROWTH!  The more we rest, the more we grow.  In what?  Grace.  And what else?  In 2 Peter 3:18 it mentions another important component to growing in grace…the knowledge of our Lord Jesus.  We grow in grace when we receive more knowledge.  Not just any knowledge, but knowledge of Jesus.  If you want more growth, study more about Jesus.   Jesus is full of grace and truth. Get ready though, when you grow in your knowledge of Jesus, you will experience a “grace growth spirt”!  Others will take notice that there’s something awesome happening in your life.  You’re standing taller, you’re more confident, and happier, and at peace and rest.  Grow!  Grow!  Grow! 

 

R&R

Rest.png

Isaiah 28:12 “To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith you may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not” 

The phrase “R&R” is an abbreviation for rest and recuperation.  It originated as a military term referring to the time members of the armed forces spend relaxing and resting away from the war or the battle. The military knows that for their forces to be effective and at their optimum, and to avoid burnout, they need R&R!  I love the dictionary definition of R&R, it’s awesome.  It means” relaxing when you’re not working”. 

So how does a believer enjoy this rest that verse 12 talks about?  You need to go back to verse 11 which describes one of, if not the most important, grace gifts, speaking in tongues.  “For with stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to this people”. This is so powerful. 

Many of you have been facing battles and you’re wondering “What should I do?”  Here’s what you should do…get some R&R, praying and singing in the Spirit.  Praying in your prayer language gives you rest and refreshing in the presence of your enemies.  Raise your hand if you could use some R&R!   If you feel tired and worn out, if you’re on edge with your emotions, or having trouble sleeping, get some R&R.  Are you irritable? Frustrated?  Anxious?  All of the above? Take five.  Take five minutes right now and pray in tongues. 

If you’ve never heard of speaking in tongues, or would like to know more about it, Pastor Joe has a free message for you called Speaking in Tongues.  It will truly help you understand and receive this powerful gift.  Receive this grace gift today and start enjoying an unlimited supply of R&R, anytime and anywhere. 

 

Spirit = Spirit

04b0055bf832fd40b6e3174a09583691.jpg

1 Corinthians 6:17 “But he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit” 

Did you know that the instant you were born again, your spirit became identical to the Holy Spirit!  That truth literally changed my whole life and identity.  Here’s something interesting…did you know that identical twins have the exact same DNA.  From birth they are 100% genetically identical.  Because they develop from the same fertilized egg they are exactly the same.  You have the DNA of God.  What’s true of the Holy Spirit is also true of your born again spirit, because they are “ONE”. 

Because there aren’t capital letters in the Greek text of the Bible, translators decided from the context of a passage whether to render it “Spirit” or “spirit”. In 1 Corinthians 6: 17, the word “one” in the Greek is the word Heis, which means “alike” or “agreement” or “one to the exclusion of others”.  In other words, your born again spirit is identical to the Holy Spirit.  That’s awesome!?!  You are wall-to-wall Holy Ghost.  You’re full of the power of God. 

Now, all you need to do is renew your minds to this powerful truth. Find out who He is and you will find out who you are. As He is, so are you, in this world (1 John 4:17).  Look into the mirror of the Word of God and see what it says about you.  Meditate day and night on the Word and see your life transform from the inside out! 

 

Healing is Not a P.S.

Psalm 103-3.png

Psalm 103:3 “who forgives all your iniquities; who Heals all your diseases” 

We all need to get to where we believe God’s report more than any other report from any other source!  You’ve crossed over into the Spirit when God’s word dominates you more than what you can see, taste, hear, smell and feel. 

Physical healing was purchased through Christ’s atonement. It is not just a “P.S.” to forgiveness of sin.  As you may know, P.S stands for postscript, meaning “written after”. It is generally used in a letter – “writing to indicate something added after the body of the letter was completed and signed”. 

Healing is an integral part of what Jesus died to give us. In fact, His sacrifice provides physical healing just as much as forgiveness of sin.  God would no more give someone sickness than lead them into sin. WHY? Jesus shed his precious blood to completely redeem us from both! 

Here is what I believe is a huge key, believing that you are forgiven of all your sins, directly relates to healing of all diseases. In other words make God’s “ALL” your “ALL”. Christ has redeemed you from ALL the curse, it’s not just a “P.S.” at the end, it’s all included!  Receive divine health today!

 

You've Already Got It!

Stop-begging-2.jpg

Philemon 6 "That the communication of your faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus" 

You've already got it!  Everything that you will ever need for this life has already been provided for you. Your healing has already been provided.  Your deliverance has already been provided.  Financial prosperity has already been provided.  You’ve already got it! 

Where is it?  It's IN CHRIST JESUS!  Philemon 6 say's that if you're in Christ, then every good thing is already in you, in your spirit!  It's like a water well, and the pump is activated by "acknowledging every good thing that's already in you”.  In Christ Jesus you are now living from the inside out, not the outside in.  Peace is in you.  Joy is in you.  More than enough is in you.  Start declaring it.  Why?  Because you’ve already got it!

One definition of faith is - a positive response to what Grace has already provided!  God didn't provide healing the day you got sick, HE provided it over 2000 years ago.  God didn't provide finances the day you got that bill in the mail.  He provided it over 2000 years ago!  God didn't provide deliverance the day you fell into bondage or addiction.  He provided it over 2000 years ago!  

If you’re born again, every good thing is already in you, you've already got it!  All that you need is not “out there” somewhere, or in your future, you don’t have to go get it from God.  Simply release the healing that is already in your born again spirit.  Release the finances that are already in you through the finished work on the cross.  Release the peace that is already in you, a fruit of the Spirit.  Halleluiah!  Whatever you need, you’ve already got it.  It is finished!

Subscribe-to-FFM.png
 

The 490 Forgiveness Club

20130517-214526.jpg

Mathew 18:21-22 “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive Him? Till seven times? Jesus said to him, “I say not to thee until seven times, but, until seventy times seven” 

There’s a tremendous amount of liberty that comes with recognizing and releasing Christ in you. When you’re really angry with someone, don’t turn the other cheek and say through gritted teeth, “I love you”.  It’s better to say, “Father, in my flesh, I’d like to punch them in the nose right now.  But in my spirit, I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me”. Please live through me, help me to release supernatural compassion for this person so I can love them!”  

Peter thought he was being generous when he asked, “How many times should I forgive my brother, up to seven times a day?” Jesus answered, “Not seven times, but seventy times seven”…490 times in one day!  In other words, there shouldn’t be a limit on your forgiveness. 

In your flesh you might be able to forgive a person for something once, twice, or maybe seven times in a day, but what Jesus asked goes far beyond your human ability.  The only way you can forgive like that is by saying, “Father, I can’t do it, but You can.  Lord please love them through me.” 

When you humble yourself, and turn away from your own natural ability and look to God and His divine ability, you’ll discover a supernatural strength flowing through you.  You have an unlimited supply of the God-kind-of-love in your spirit. In your spirit, you have an unlimited ability to forgive, endure, believe, and hope. 

If you catch yourself saying, “I can’t stand this anymore, I just can’t take it, I’m at the end of my rope”, this is good news.  What you’re really saying is, “I’ve come to the end of my flesh!”  Now let your spirit take over. Pray, God, I’ve been trying this myself, which is why I’m burned out, frustrated, and angry. Live Your life through me.  I believe you’re Word. In my spirit, I’m a brand new person, in my spirit I know I can do this!”  Join the 490 Forgiveness Club, the membership is free!

 

Google or God?

Google or God.jpg

Proverbs 4:20 “Give attention to My words and incline your ear to My sayings” 

Is there any part of your body that is not experiencing life and health?  Many doctors have said that sometimes their patients know more about their illnesses than the doctors themselves!  Why?  Because they’ve gone online and “Googled” it and learned everything they can about their symptoms and sickness. 

The problem is, they know too much about their problem. We don’t need to know the problem better; we need to know the Problem Solver better! God has given us the solution for that. He said, “Give attention to My words and incline your ear to My sayings”. It all has to do with our focus and attention. 

When sickness comes against you, where do you immediately focus your attention?  Don’t Google it, get in the Word!  Google will instantly tell you all the information about the sickness.  God’s Word will tell you what He has to say about sickness.  Which source will heal you?  Which sources will tell you… 

By whose stripes you were healed (1 Peter 2:24)
I am the Lord who heals you (Exodus 15:26)
I will take away sickness from among you (Exodus 23:25)
He sent His Word and healed them (Psalms 107:20) 

Google or God?  It’s your choice!  His words are “life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh”, Proverbs 4:22.  Whatever you may be facing – illness, job loss, loneliness, financial issues, family problems, choose to go to God’s Word…not Google! 

 

Bed, Bath, and Beyond

Not Going Back.jpg

John 5:8 – “Rise, take up thy bed and walk” 

Many of you are familiar with the retail store called Bed, Bath and Beyond, great name, right?  Great truth too…from John’s gospel, a bed, bath and beyond experience like no other! 

In John, chapter 5, there was a pool called Bethesda, meaning house of mercy.  It was a public infirmary for the blind, weak, paralyzed and sickly.  It was told that when the waters started to move in the pool, the sick person who could make it in the water first would be healed.  One day, when Jesus was visiting this pool, He spoke to one of the sick folk and asked him a very important question “Do you want to be made whole?”  This is a key factor in receiving a change in your situation, because we can get so used to our “condition” that we can’t even imagine what it would be like without it.  

Notice that Jesus didn’t ask, “Do you want to be healed?”, He asked, “Do you want to be made whole?”  Why?  Because He knew that sickness, poverty, depression and any other prolonged negative circumstance affects every area in a person’s life.  It’s all they think about from morning until night.  They’re not thinking about others, or a bright future or all the amazing opportunities available to them.  It’s about survival.  Jesus is saying, “I’m offering wholeness, not only physical health, but restoration in every area of your life that has been stolen”.  

In John 5:8, Jesus said three things.  First, He said “rise”, meaning change your position, change the way you are thinking to the way He thinks, start to believe that this is not how it’s going to be forever, make the first move toward change by deciding in your mind to simply get up!  He wants us to come to where He is, and not just ask Him to come to where you are.  In John 17:24, Jesus prays for us to “be with Me where I am”.  

Next, He says, “take up thy bed”, meaning, you are NOT going back to that bed!  Everyone that sees that bed in your hands will know that you’ve been delivered.  Taking up your “bed” of affliction says that you are NOT the same, you are the victor and not the victim, and you are NOT going back. 

Lastly, He says “walk”, or live as the delivered, go “beyond” where you were, break through the barriers and limitations that have held you back, put one foot in front of the other!  Open up that savings account and deposit 25 cents a week if you have to, enroll in one college course at a time until you get that degree.  There is certainly nothing wrong with a gradual progression in a positive direction, there’s power in consistency.  In Exodus 23, they took the land little by little.    

So, next time you see a Bed, Bath and Beyond store, think of these three commands, “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk!”…transformation God’s way!!!

 

Fast, Slow, Slow

How-To-Be-A-Good-Listener-That-Others-Want-To-Talk-To.jpg

James 1:19 “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” 

Ever been in a conversation that starts out pretty calm, and then gets a little heated?  I think we all have.  In verse 19, James specifically starts with “my beloved brethren”.  He is speaking to believers…yes, believers get angry.  He is reminding believers that it’s important to know and remember that they are God’s beloved.  That their value comes from God and not the person they are in conversation with.  That people who know they are loved, find it easier to love others. 

Then he gives the progression of a productive conversation.  Be fast to hear.  Self-control makes you a good listener.  Be slow to speak.  Hear the person completely before you respond.  Be slow to wrath.  If things are heading in the wrong direction, wait for a more appropriate time. 

In Proverbs 20:12 it says, “The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord has made both of them”.  God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason.  I’ve been learning lately that I don’t always have to say something.  It’s okay to not always have to speak if we don’t have something to say. In other word, when someone is sharing something with you, you don’t have to force yourself to come up with something profound to say, you can actually just listen. 

One of the most powerful gifts that we have is to be a good hearer, or a good listener.  James said to be “fast” when it comes to hearing, be slow to speak, and take it to an even slower gear if you find yourself getting angry.  It’s easy…fast, slow, slow.  

 

May the Fourth Be With You

As You Rest.png

Genesis 1:19 "And the evening and the morning were the fourth day" 

With Independence Day just behind us, I trust you enjoyed a day of rest and celebration of our nation’s birth, and the blessing that we have in being…the United States of America.    

However, there is another “fourth” that is very, very meaningful to all of us, no matter where we live. On the fourth day of what is called "creation week", God spoke into existence our sun, the moon, all the stars and the seasons. (Genesis 1:14) Interestingly, the Hebrew word for "seasons" is MOED, which is literally translated as "appointed times" (divine appointments).  Get ready for divine appointments in the coming days and some appointed times that are waiting specifically for you. 

“In the evening and the morning were the fourth day".  The Hebrew day started in the evening.  This means that while you are sleeping and resting, God's day has already begun.  Before you open your eyes in the morning, God is already causing favorable opportunities to be presented to you in your life, career, relationships, and pursuits.  

I really believe this means that God wants us to rest.  In the days, weeks and months ahead, as you rest in what He has already finished, divine appointments, key relationships, and Holy Ghost led associations are coming your way.  It's your appointed time.  A time where you will be at the right place with the right person.  

May the 4th be with you!...divine rest, divine activity, totally directed by the Spirit of God, that brings you to your appointed time.  So get ready and get excited because the 4th is with you, and His name is Jesus!

 

Jesus Adds Life to Your Years

John 6-51.png

John 6:51 "I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he will live forever and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world" 

In this powerful verse, Jesus is telling us that He has given us a conduit for HIS life to affect every area of OUR life…Holy Communion.  Jesus said, "the bread that I will give is my flesh".  The more you partake in communion, the more life is released into your physical body and every other natural part of your life. The more you partake the stronger you become, the more you partake your youth is renewed.  

He has prepared a table of benefits in the presence of all of your enemies. The more you partake the more prosperous you become. He said "as often as you do this you remember His death till He come".  When Jesus died, Colossians 2:15 says that He "disarmed" principalities and powers.  So if you're going through a battle today, release the total disarming of every enemy through Holy Communion.  Fear is an enemy, depression is an enemy, arthritis is an enemy.  

Yes, you can add years to your life and life to your years! How often? It depends, how often you want to disarm you're enemies? It depends how much life you want released into your organs, your brain, your arteries, your joints. How often do you want life released into your finances? Into your home? Into your marriage? You decide!

 

Comparison: The Thief of Joy

John 21.png

John 21:21-22  "When Peter saw him [John], he asked, 'Lord, what about him?' Jesus answered, 'If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you, you must follow me'" 

Theodore Roosevelt once said, "Comparison is the thief of joy".  Folks, there is no joy to be found in measuring your life against anyone else's. One of the best pieces of advice I've received is, "Never compare your beginning to someone else's middle".  

I hear all the time…I want to be further along in my career. I want to provide better financially.  I want a bigger house.  I want a nicer car.  Why is it easy for her to talk to people?  Everyone loves her.  Why am I not more like that?  I wish I was more outgoing and popular.  He has such a good handle on life, why do I constantly feel like I am struggling to figure things out?  I wish it would be easier, why not me?  These thoughts are like a vacuum that sucks the joy right out of life.   

In John 21, Peter was consumed with what John was going to do.  He was comparing himself to John, and Jesus answered and said "What is that to you?" In other words, Jesus had something unique and special for both John and Peter, but in essence was saying, "Get your eyes off of what he's doing and get your focus on what I've told you to do and Me". 

Listen family, you’re an original, you're not meant to be a copy of someone else.  Don't let comparison be a thief in your life.  Comparing who God has made you to be to someone else, comparing your child to someone else's, or comparing your spouse to someone else's.  That’s a recipe for frustration, disappointment, bitterness, and resentment.  Listen to what Jesus is saying to you…"Don't worry about everyone else, follow Me, listen to me, keep your eyes on ME!

 

Grace for the Last, the Lost, and the Least

End of Your Rope.png

Genesis 32:24 "And Jacob was left alone: and there wrestled a man with him until the break of day" 

Did you know that grace is attracted to our weakness?  So why do we always try to "put our best foot forward" and fix things ourselves?  Why do you we think that God is waiting for us to turn our weaknesses into strengths?  Why do we think God is only interested in our strengths?  Hmm, that leads to another question.  If God is only after strengths, why are the parables all about "the last, the lost, and the least"? 

Wait!  As Spirit-filled Christians who love God, are we sometimes amongst the last, the lost, and the least?  Yes.  Nobody has arrived, we are all in a process of growth.  Before God, we need to "put our worst foot forward" and tell God "I'm weak, God, I have this problem, I can't do that".  God then says, "no problem, I'll be your strength".

In Genesis 32, Jacob wrestled with God.  We heard this taught that Jacob was implying, "God I won't stop wrestling until You bless me".  But if you read it carefully, as Jacob wrestled with God, God said in verse 26, "let Me go".  God wanted to leave, but when God touched his thigh, Jacob now needed God, and God couldn't  go.  There was no way Jacob was going to let God go, he needed Him in this state of weakness.  That's when God's grace came…when Jacob was at his weakest.   

If a person is drowning in an ocean, and someone comes to rescue them, if the person who is being rescued is thrashing in the water, he will bring both people down.  If the person being rescued simply lets go, and stops exerting his own strength, he will live.  

Jesus loves to help the last, the lost, and the least.  It's the self-sufficient and self-confident that He can't help.  When you're at the end of yourself, you have just found the beginning of God!  He loves to help those that have no more hope, no more help, no end in sight.  If you are at the end of your rope, there is a life line waiting for you, His name is Jesus, and He is a very present help in your time of need.

 

I'll Be There

#I'llBeThere.png

Judges 6:15-16 -  "So he said to Him, 'O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house'.  And the Lord said to him, 'Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man'.” 

Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 recorded a song in August, 1970 called I'll Be There.  In his autobiography Moon Walk, Michael Jackson said I'll Be There was one of the most important songs that they had ever recorded. All Music said about the song "Rarely, if ever, had one so young, sung with so much authority and grace, with wisdom and understanding far beyond his years". It was the most successful single ever released by the Jackson 5. 

Well, 5 is the number of unmerited favor and grace in the Bible. In Judges 6:15-16, it's speaking about a young man named Gideon who God had chosen to deliver all of Israel. His response when he was called?  "My family is poor in Manasseh", and did you notice, Lord? "I'm the least in my father's house". 

You see, grace flows best when we feel the weakest, the smallest, the poorest, the least qualified.  But in God's economy, He doesn’t "call the qualified", He "qualifies the called".  God loves choosing the foolish things to confound the wisdom of the world.  Him?  Her?  Are you serious? 

Great confidence rises up on the inside of you when you hear God say to you, "Surely, I will be with you".  Whatever the task is, no matter how big the situation looks, if He called you, He has promised to "be there".  He will never leave you or forsake you.  Verse 17 goes on to say, "Lord, if I have found grace…"  Grace is a person, and His name is Jesus, and He is in you.  Grace is with you in the impossible situation you are facing, rely on Him. Hear Him saying to you this week, "I'll be there".