Stressed Spelled Backwards

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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

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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

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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!

 

You've Already Got It!

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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!

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Google or God?

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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! 

 

Jesus Adds Life to Your Years

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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!

 

I'll Be There

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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". 

 

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

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James 1:17 NIV "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" 

The grace of God can be described in two words "free gift". Everything about the grace of God is simply "the gift that keeps on giving".   Grace is always giving in every circumstance, it's a gift that never stops! 

To understand the grace of God you have to understand that life is all a gift. Health is a gift, a promotion is a gift, a love one finding his way home is a gift, life is a gift. In James 1:17, I'm so glad it says "every GOOD GIFT" and every "PERFECT GIFT".  Sickness isn’t included as a gift from God, a car accident isn’t a gift, although walking away without a scratch is a gift.  Losing your job isn’t a gift, unless very soon after you get a better job with better pay and better opportunities, that’s a gift.   

What's really great is that the Father doesn’t change, He's always "good" and His gifts are always "perfect", that’s good news. The scripture says that God is not like a "shifting shadow".  I love that because a shadow is constantly changing second by second minute by minute day by day.  His love for us is a gift that never shifts like a shadow.  His provision for us is a gift that never shifts like a shadow.  

Since Jesus is full of grace and truth, then Jesus is a gift.  Our relationship with Him is a gift.  His friendship with us is a gift.  He is the ultimate gift that keeps on giving. That's great, great news to me.  It's the nearly too good to be true news.  So enjoy a life of gifts, God's grace that just keeps giving and giving and giving every day!

There's a Ram in the Thicket

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Genesis 22:13-14 "And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah Jireh [the Lord will provide]…" 

Once in a while, our dog Benny will find himself stuck halfway inside the rung of our kitchen counter stool.  We have to go and get him unstuck.  Then we find him stuck halfway under the laundry room bench.  Then the kitchen chair.  And we have to go and get him unstuck.  He's something else! 

In Genesis 22:13, it says, the ram was "caught in a thicket by his horns".  Most rams get caught in a thicket by their fur and are cut by the thorns.  But this ram had to be a without blemish or cuts of any kind to qualify as a perfect sacrifice.  It was a type of our Lord Jesus Christ,  Hallelujah.  As Abraham went up the mountain in obedience to God's instruction, a "ram" was going up the other side of the mountain.  Glory to God!  

Here's a word from the Lord for you today.  There's a "ram in the thicket" for you in your situation.  Whatever your need is today, be encouraged, there is a "ram" going up the other side of the mountain for you.  Jesus is called "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world".  That means, before you had a problem, God had the answer.  Before you had a question, God had the answer.  Before you had a diagnosis, God already provided the healing!  So get up and dance and shout!  Lift up your eyes. God provided His Son, His only Son, for you.

 

Let Go, Live Long

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Psalm 91:16 - "With long life will He satisfy you and show you His salvation" 

It's okay when the Bible says to "number our days" (Psalm 90:12), but it's not okay when the doctor says, "Your days are numbered!"  That's not good news. Maybe your parents died young, and you're fearful that you will die young too.  Thank God for doctors who are doing all they can to fight sickness, but the things that are impossible for man are possible with God.  

God's Word is health to all your flesh (Proverbs 4:20-22).  God's Word is health to your kidneys. Healing to your bones. It's healing to your skin. It's healing to your lungs. Not a single part of your body will be left untouched by the healing power of God's Word!   

Like many people, I used to say, "Well, life is short" to express how we shouldn't take anything for granted.  I stopped confessing that over my life many years ago, because my Bible says "with long life will He satisfy me…" 

Proverbs 14:30 says, "A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones".  A heart at peace is sound.  The Hebrew word for sound in this verse is "marpe" which means "a healing" or "a cure".  So what does that tell you?  When your heart is at peace it becomes a healing heart that gives life to your body!  If you want to live long you need to have a relaxed attitude. Don't let your heart be troubled.  Be at peace.  Be at rest.  Declare today, "I let go and live long".  

 

Cloud Nine

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1 John 4:17 - "Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is so are we in this world" 

According to the International Cloud Atlas, which defined ten types of clouds, the ninth type of cloud is a cumulonimbus, which rises over six miles, the highest a cloud can be.  Hence the phrase, "floating on cloud nine"…or a state of bliss, happiness, elation, and euphoria.  

Cloud nine seems pretty awesome, huh.  Well here's nine words that are even more amazing - "As He is so are we in this world".  Those are the nine words I wake up saying every morning.  Notice the verse doesn't say "as He was" or "as we will be".  It says, "as He is", right now, present tense, "so are we". 

Let me ask you a question, is Jesus healthy?  Of course He is.  As He is so are you.  Is Jesus worried today?  No.  As He is so are you.  Is Jesus poor?  No.  As He is so are you.  Is Jesus righteous?  Yes.  As He is so are you.  In your born again spirit, you are wall to wall Holy Spirit.  When the Father looks at you, He sees Jesus.    

These are the most powerful nine words in all the universe.  As you say them out  loud, you are declaring that everything that Jesus IS right at this moment, is released into your life.  Into your marriage.  Into your business.  Into your body.  Cloud nine?  It's no match to the "1 John 4:17 nine"!  

 

God's Grace Graph

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Romans 5:9 "Much more then, being justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him" 

If you followed the news recently, you may have heard about the sudden shift in the stock market.  How it skyrocketed for twelve months, and then a few weeks ago declined at a rapid rate.  When it was going up people were up.  When it went down, some commentators were reporting that the "sky was falling"!  Well guess what, it started back up again. 

I want to ask you a very important question…is your view of God's love for you up some days and down the next?  If it were charted on a graph, how would it look?  Perhaps after a great church service, you feel God's love for you is "up".  Then you do something you shouldn't have, and you feel God's love for you is "down".  Then you read your Bible, and you feel like God really loves you!  Then you don't read your Bible one day, and your graph shows a decline.  Here's some good news.  God's love for you is constant.  It never changes.  Your behavior does not change God's love for you.  

Romans 5:8 says "But God commended His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us".  Then in verse nine it says, "Much more then, being justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him".  In other words, before you were saved, as a sinner, God's grace abounded toward you.  How "much more then", after you were saved, did His grace super abound toward you. That's really big.  

Fix your eyes on His love for you, not on your performance or behavior.  His love for you is unshakable and immovable.  When you do, you remain stable, settled and strong no matter how you "feel".  No more up one day, and down the next.  God's grace graph is always the same…love, love, love.   

 

I Wanna Hold Your Hand

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Isaiah 41:13 "For I the Lord thy God will hold thy hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee" 

It seems like yesterday that my whole family would gather around our TV in our basement every Sunday night to watch the Ed Sullivan show.  Anyone with a TV set was doing the exact same thing, all across America.  On one particular Sunday night in February of that year, a band from England rocked the nation with their new hit called I Wanna Hold Your Hand.  The band…the Beatles.  

In Isaiah 41:13, the prophet Isaiah says "For I the Lord thy God will hold thy hand".  How many of you know that a child holding on to a mother's hand is never as secure as when the mother holds the child's hand. I would always grab hold of my daughter's hand when she was young, when we were in a store or at some kind of event.  I held her hand tighter and more secure than she held mine. 

I want you to encourage you, you're not holding on to God's hand, God is holding on to your hand, and He'll never let go. The verse says "I will hold your hand, fear not".   When God holds your hand, there's nothing to be afraid of.  Even when we are weak, His hand is strong. Hallelujah!  Do you feel weak today?  He's holding on to you. 

You might ask, "What about Psalm 51 where it says, "Take not your Holy Spirit from me"?  David prayed that because he was under a dispensation where the Holy Spirit would come upon you, and the Holy Spirit would go.  As a born again believer, the Holy Spirit lives and abides in you, and will never leave you, ever, no matter what. That's good news for us today.  Let that sink in.  Rest and be secure in His love for you. He will never let go.

 

Trust Now, Understand Later

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John 13 :7 " What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand" 

Much of the Christian life is spent trusting Jesus now and understanding later. Jesus typically doesn't always explain on the front end why He is doing something the way He is doing it. Like Peter, when something looks wrong to us, we are tempted to go against the Lord's will.  God wants us to trust Him.  During those times when we don't understand, we need to remember Jesus' words to Peter, "What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand". 

Peter had grown used to Jesus doing and saying unpredictable things, but in the context of John 13:7, the way Peter saw it, Jesus washing the disciples feet was just plain wrong.  He believed Jesus was the last person in the room who should be washing feet, that was a house servant's job, a non-Jew.  People traveled in sandals, their feet were smelly, dirty and came in contact with things the law declared unclean.    

Here's the twist.  Under the law the unclean makes the clean, unclean.  But under grace, the clean makes the unclean, clean.  Jesus washed the disciples feet, when it should have been Peter down washing the feet of Jesus.  It looked like it was all backwards.  Peter didn't understand in the now, but he would later.

Today you may not understand what God is doing in your life, but trust Him, you'll understand later.  Follow the example in His Word, listen to that still small voice that says "This is the way, walk ye in it" (Isaiah 30:21). Remember this simple truth, God is good, all the time. When your down to nothing, God is up to something!  Something good.  

 

Step Into Peace

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Mark 5:34 "and He said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague" 

Imagine being healed of a blood disorder after 12 years of going to every doctor you could find, spending every penny had, and things just getting worse.  Just like that, one encounter with Jesus and she was instantly healed.  What happened next?  He said to her "Go in peace", or in the original Greek, "Go into peace".  This is really important.  Jesus wasn't bidding her farewell.  He was telling her to step into the realm of peace, the way you would step into a house. 

You might be going through a prolonged season of challenges where nothing you have done seems to work. Perhaps you are dealing with a chronic condition.  Or maybe you’re a single parent struggling to make ends meet. Or possibly you have done all that you can to mend a broken relationship, but all your efforts have come up short.  

Jesus is inviting you to receive grace for your situation, step out of your place of fear, worry, and anxiety, and step into the realm of peace.  Peace is a key component to keeping what grace has given through the finished work of the cross.  Grace and peace always go together, as seen in so many of Paul's epistles.  So, go ahead, receive your victory, and step into peace, it will change the course of your life.  

 

Immanuel - GOD with us

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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 Immanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." 

The prophecy in this verse, when fulfilled, would change the course of history.  Never before had God walked "with" His creation.  He came "upon" them in the old covenant, but never "with" them.  "A virgin shall be with child", that's impossible!  Not when that child has been conceived by the Holy Ghost.  "She shall bring forth a son and they shall call his name Immanuel, God with us".  That's why this prophecy brought  such great joy.  The Messiah had come to deliver His people.  God had not forgotten them. This is awesome!  

For the first time ever, God took the form of a man, and walked among His people, healing the sick, raising the dead, delivering the oppressed.  The Word became flesh.  But when Jesus died on the cross, did God "leave us"?  Did His works come to an end?  No!  

Through His death, Jesus destroyed the separation between God and man, once and for all.  Then, on the day of Pentecost God sent the Holy Spirit to live and abide in every believer, and He has never left!  Imagine that, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, communes with you, works in you to will and to do of His pleasure.  GOD lives in you.  Wow!    

 

Never, Never Land

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Hebrews 13:5-6 - "…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.  So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me." 

In the popular children's story Peter Pan, there is an imaginary place that is so ideal and perfect called Neverland.  As believers, we too have an ideal "Never" land of our own.  In fact, it's a "Never, Never" land.  The only difference, it's not imaginary, it's real.  

As described in Hebrews 3:5, it's a place in Christ that God promises to never leave us.  Never.  When things are going great, He's with us.  When things are falling apart, He's with us.  When we are doing everything "right", He's with us.  When we're doing everything "wrong", He's with us.  

He said it twice, "I will never leave you, nor forsake you", meaning never, never.  God is saying to us in the strongest possible way, that He will never ever leave us or forsake us.  

Still not convinced, look at this verse in the Amplified Bible:  "…for 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 (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]" 

No matter what is happening in your life today, God is with you.  Living and abiding in you.  Even if you have turned your back on Him, He will never, never leave you.  He doesn't come and go based on your performance or behavior.  He is committed to you.  He loves you.  

 

The Lord Saves. The Lord Saves.

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1 Samuel 14:6 "Then Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the Lord will work for us. For nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few.” 

Yahweh, the Lord saves!  He saves us from our addictions.  From our bad habits.  He saved us from sin.  He saves us from getting in further trouble.  One of the greatest things about salvation is, the Lord saves us from ourselves  From our bad decisions, our mess ups, our mistakes. Grace is giving you victory in your time of trouble!  

Every day you need to know the Lord saves.  The Lord is the name of JESUS, Yeshua!   What area of your life needs saving right now?  You might say "I don't  need saving, I've got things under control".  Fine, you're on your own.  But if you say, "I need help", the Lord will save.  He loves to save, saving is what He does best. 

In 1 Samuel 14:4 it says, "there was a sharp rock on one side and a sharp rock on the other side".  Jonathon and his armor bearer were "caught between a rock and a hard place".  There were 30,000 Philistines that came and surrounded the whole area.  

It says in verse 16 that their enemy was "uncircumcised".  That's covenant language, meaning God was not with them.  But like Jonathan, God is with us.  On your job, in your family, in your marriage, in every area of life, why should you be like the people of the world?  You must have this attitude, we are God's people!  

Maybe you feel like you're between a rock and a hard place.  Or perhaps surrounded by an impossible situation today.  The Lord saves by few or by many.  He's not moved by the odds against you.  He's not looking at your bills or your bank account.  He's not reading over the doctor's report and saying "What shall I do now?"   Our verse today says, "He will work for us".  While you're resting He's working!  The Lord not only saved you, He saves you in every situation.  

 

Did You Miss the Parade? by Natalie Fortunato

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Colossians 2:15 - "Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it" 

What a great time we had at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade many years ago.  Getting up before dawn, taking the train into the city, loading up on hot chocolate, bundled up and standing street-side along the parade route.  Made some great memories.  Loved it! 

As awesome as it was, there is no match for the greatest parade in history.   When God disarmed Satan and all principalities and powers, making a show of them openly!  What a triumph.  What a victory.  Satan is defeated.  It is finished. 

Yet there are Christians still engaging in "spiritual warfare".  If you're still engaging in spiritual warfare, you must have missed the parade!  Warfare is between two undefeated foes.  Every time you say you are "warring" against the devil, you are declaring that he is on equal status with you.  He's not!  Satan was defeated by the blood of Jesus on the cross.  You won.  You have dominion over all the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19).  

There's a battle raging, but it's not with Satan.  It's between your two ears.  "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 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 10:4-5  

To the obedience of Christ.  Not our obedience.  His obedience made us righteous.  His obedience made us victorious.  His obedience defeated the enemy once and for all.  You're not trying to get the victory, it's already yours!

 

Are You Plugged In?

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John 15:5  “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing." 

Jesus said , "Without Me you can do nothing".  Wait, there are people all around us that are doing a lot of things without Jesus.  They work hard, they accomplish some big things, so what did Jesus mean?  Only what is done for Christ will last forever. What He meant is, apart from Him, you can do nothing of value, of substance, of eternal consequence of permanency that has results in this life and the life after. 

The other day I was trying to troubleshoot a problem with my freezer.  I spoke with someone on the phone, and the first thing they asked is, "Is there any power?  Was it plugged in?"  Very important, huh.  I ask you the same question today.  Are you plugged in to your power Source?  Just like your electric company, they are providing the power, but unless you "plug in" to that source, you are cut off.  

Galatians  5:4 in the NASB says, "You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by the law, you have fallen from grace".  Or in other words, you have fallen from the higher ground you fell from.  In the new covenant, grace is high ground.  Grace is heavenly, grace is where God is. How does someone fall from grace?  By sinning?  Nope!  You can't find a verse in the New Testament that says when you sin, you fall from grace. 

So how do you fall from grace?  By seeking the law, works, trying to be righteous on your own merit.  You don't lose your salvation, but the moment you start living by the law, you cut yourself off from the grace supply.  Christ is of no effect, you're not plugged in to God's unlimited supply.  Jesus is grace.  Get plugged into grace and don't unplug, stay connected.  Apart from the unmerited, undeserved favor of God, you can do nothing!