Six-Star Dining in 2019

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

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

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

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

 

Breaking Point by Natalie Fortunato

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

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

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

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

 

In His Presence are Presents

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

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

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

 

No More Law School

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

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

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

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

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

 

Bad News Sold as Good News

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

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

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

 

The Accepting Church

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

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

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

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

 

The Grace Invitation

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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!

 

Spirit = Spirit

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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!

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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! 

 

Bed, Bath, and Beyond

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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

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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

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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

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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!

Out on a Limb

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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

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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.

 

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.