The Grace Invitation

GettyImages-601801589-56baee815f9b5829f8460b9b.jpg

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”.

 

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!

 

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! 

 

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
 

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!!!

 

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!

 

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!

 

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". 

 

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Good and Perfect Gift.png

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!

Out on a Limb

Out on a limb.png

Mathew 14:28,29 "Lord, if it's you, Peter replied, tell me to come to You on the water. Come, He said, then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus" 

Anybody feel like they're living life "out on a limb"?  Taking risks?  Living on the edge?  That's great news.  Why?  Out on the limb is where the fruit is!  

In Mathew 14, the disciples were in a boat in the middle of a huge storm way off shore, and Jesus came toward them walking on the water.  The first thing He said to them was "Don't be afraid, I'm here".  Peter took one look at Jesus and said, "If that's really You, tell me to come".  Did you know that there was really very little difference between being in the boat and getting out of the boat?  A storm is a storm, no matter where you are.  But to get to Jesus or to get to the supernatural, Peter had to make a decision to do something different than what everybody else was doing. 

Jesus said, "Come!"  Peter stepped out of the boat and walked on water!  In verse 30 it says that Peter took a look around and "began to sink".  Technically speaking, he should have sunk as soon as he stepped on water.  But not Peter.  He was doing the miraculous, walking on the water, and only "began" to sink when he focused on the surrounding circumstances.  

If you "stay in the boat", you're never going to see the miracle of walking on the water.  To see the supernatural you'll have to sometimes, well…no…most of the time, take a risk. Jesus said in Ephesians 3:30, "according to the power that works in us" . God wants us to participate in our own miracle. Come on, get out on the limb, walk in the supernatural, get out where the fruit is!!

 

There's a Ram in the Thicket

God Will Provide copy.jpg

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.

 

Cloud Nine

1 John 4-17.png

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

Romans 5-9.png

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

I Wann Hold Your Hand.jpg

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.

 

Fix or Facts by Natalie Fortunato

Fix or Facts.jpg

James 1:14 - "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed" 

Some of you might remember a song from the early 70's called If Loving You is Wrong (I Don't Want to Be Right).  It's a song about a man that's in love with a woman, but he's married, and the woman he's in love with is not his wife!  For some reason, that title has always stuck with me.  I guess it's because I've seen it play out over and over again in people's lives.  They know that something's totally wrong for them, but they want it anyway.   

Are you holding on to or involved in something that you know is not good for you, but you want it anyway?  Are you holding on to something that's hurting you, but you think that letting go will hurt even more?  If yes, then you have a choice to make, do you want a fix or the facts?  

A fix: when you take matters into your own hands, and try to satisfy your desires your way.  When you do things, and won't allow God to do them for you, in His way and in His time. When you decide what's best.  When you answer your own prayers.     

The facts: When you surround yourself with people who will tell you the truth from God's Word, and you make yourself accountable to them.  When you know who you are in Christ and find your value and identity in Him. When you stick to what God has told you to do, no matter what.  

A fix or facts.  You choose.  (Choose facts!)

 

 

Immanuel - GOD with us

Emmanuel.jpg

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

Heb 13-5.png

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.

1 Samuel 14-6.png

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

Miss the parade.png

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!