Saturday, 18 February 2017

The Work of the Cross

"I must work the works of Him who sent me, while it is day. The night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world." Jn 9:4-5

There is a growing ground swell around the world of believers who are out in the market place seeing the sick healed.  They have had a revelation of the work of the cross and of the person of Jesus Christ, and have taken on His commission and go, in His authority, to carry on His works.

In the above passage of scripture, Jesus gives sight to a man born blind for the glory of God.  He called this miracle a work.  From scripture, we see the works Jesus did according to His own manifesto:

"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, to deliver those who are crushed, and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord."

This was the heart of the Father and the blueprint for the work of our Saviour.  His work always was the result of His Father's desire and heart toward us and of who He is - LOVE!  Just think on this fact.  The father's love for us, made provision for our salvation and for any and every circumstance through the Cross of His Son. That is the eternal work of the cross.

What then shall we say about these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who didn't spare his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how would he not also with him freely give us all things? Rom 8:31-32

Jesus, the Word of God, come in the flesh, the light of the world, introduced us to the realm of the supernatural motivated by love and compassion in dramatic healings, deliverance and salvation.
The work of the cross, forged in earth time, but eternally powerful has the only ability to save, heal and deliver mankind's souls and affect our physical world too. Christ's spilt blood eternally cries out its covenant of provision for the forgiveness of sin, reconciliation with Father, totally healing body, soul and spirit, and in fact for every need we have.  The answer is found in the work of the cross.  Not only that, The Cross has given us status as Kingdom people, who carry the same manifesto as Christ on earth, to bring the Kingdom to earth as He did, through the power of the Holy Spirit who indwells us.

The work of the Kingdom never ends for we have a King who is the same, yesterday, today and forever.  Heb 13:8. Motivated by His love for the world, His desire is still to do His work through those who have a revelation of the Cross which was His greatest work for us and the greatest example of His love.  His blood eternally cries out its covenant of the healing and saving provision Christ paid for on that tree.  Receive that healing power and freely give what we have been given as we bring the Kingdom to earth.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Enabling Grace

"The word became flesh and lived among us.  We saw His glory, such glory as of the one and only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14

"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound."  Jesus was recognised as "one full of grace and truth" by the apostle John, whose gospel portrays the divinity of the One and only Son of God.  I find that fascinating and how true when we consider Jesus knew the truth, as He is the Truth, that He would come into the world and to His own, but they would not recognise Him or accept Him.  His grace and love for us was more powerful than the rejection He would suffer from us.

The Creator of the world, stepped down out of eternity to grace mankind with the light of His presence, to be rejected and to die for those He came for.

I think of encounters with this God-man full of grace and truth, such as the woman at the well.  Jesus fully knew, by the Holy Spirit, the life she lived and how she was in de facto with her 6th man, but that didn't stop His grace reaching her and healing her hurts.  His grace covered over her sins. He elevated her to an increased spiritual realm, where she became the bearer of Good News to those in her village who rejected her because of her lifestyle.  His grace and love seeks to save those who are lost; those who are sincerely seeking something better.

Thirsty, guilt-laden hearts can find comfort in His grace when they recognise the truth of who He is, the Holy One from God, and, who they are, sinners, who have missed the mark of Holiness yet who are saved by grace.

His grace enables us to live better, make better choices, to accept ourselves where we are and to grow up into the full stature of Christ.  An encounter with His grace humbles the human heart. The truth that God Himself, our Lord and Saviour, could come and take our sins and punishment on the cross, so that, in believing, we can have the power given to us to become sons and daughters of God Most High.

Every heavenly gift comes to us because of His grace toward us and the cross.  It's at the foot of the cross where heavy hearts and burdens are laid down at His feet as grace pours down even as His blood did to bring forgiveness and freedom.  It's at the cross where we are spiritually awakened to the depth of our depravity in comparison to His holiness and purity. Yet it is the place to receive the grace He freely offers to be cleansed and pure.  Oh the cleansing power of His blood; there's none like it!

Monday, 6 February 2017

The Rich Young Ruler


Behold, one came to him and said, "Good teacher, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?"

We humans seem to love to have a check list that we can tick off to see if we're on the right track and going to heaven.  Even Jesus gave this young man a list from the 10 Commandments which he should be keeping.  At this time, the Israelites were still under the Law of Moses as Jesus was not yet crucified and the Holy Spirit not yet given.

The thing is, under the law of grace, we don't do anything to gain eternal life.  Christ has done it all. We just need to accept the gracious gift of the cross. After Christ died, we were no longer under Law, the requirements of which were fully satisfied with the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and His resurrection. Jesus sent the Helper and now we live not by the Law but by our submission and obedience to the Holy Spirit. We no longer need the check list of the Law, which Paul said leads us into bondage.

"But now rather you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, why do you turn back again to the weak and miserable elemental principles, to which you desire to be in bondage all over again?"

This does not mean that we throw out the 10 Commandments, as the wages for sin is still death, and for which Jesus fully paid,  but we now achieve them by the help and power of the Helper and not by our own strength. The word is very clear that Jesus became our sin so that we could become the righteousness of God in Him.  When we do falter, we have forgiveness in the cross when we repent.

There is nothing we can do to gain eternal life, except believe.

"For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed - a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as is is written: "The righteous will live by faith." Rom 1:17

The main message Jesus wanted to get across to this young man was about intimacy.  "Come follow me."  This is what Jesus wanted, fellowship with him.  However, the young man had affluence and riches that kept a tight hold on his soul.  It is interesting to note that Jesus did not quote the first four commandments in his conversation with the young man.  These deal with man's relationship with God, the awareness of who He is and our response that comes out that awareness.

If this rich, young ruler had recognised Jesus as the Son of God, Messiah, instead of just "good teacher", would have his decision been different?  He walked away from the One who is Eternal Life in favour of the riches that tied him to the temporal realm. He had his faith and trust in his riches and not in the Son of God.  Yet, in having an intimacy with the Lord Jesus, he would have found that Jesus would have been more than enough in giving him sufficiency of soul.

This story is in stark contrast to those in the early church who had this intimate relationship with their Lord and Saviour.

"All the believers were together and had everything in common.  They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need." Acts 2:44

I wonder, if facing the same predicament as the rich, young ruler, would I do the same? With all my heart I hope not.

Monday, 8 August 2016

God is Love

"love...bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails." (1 Cor 13: 7-8)

The love passage of 1 Corinthians is very challenging in that it clearly can show the motive of our hearts.  Love is the universal language because God is love (1 Jn 4:8) and He is the Creator of all things, which have been created by and through His love.  Love is the essence of God and all things created, especially mankind made in His image show His loving thoughts and touch.  But we have, because of sin and self, a love deficit in areas of our hearts.  Experiences of rejection in life teach us to withdraw and build walls, which ultimately keep us from love and loving.  This passage clearly shows us what love is and the lack of it, or indeed its fullness, in our hearts and even in the world. We just need to look at all the crime in the world to see that people do not walk in love for others.

Anything that we do, even if it is good, that is done without love being the motive, profits nothing. Everything God does is motivated by His love for us and we are to be imitators of Him.  Ultimately it is the experience of God's perfect love that will cast out fear (1 Jn 4:18) and open our hearts more to Him and others.

There is a vulnerability in love.  Jesus loved all and kept His heart open, even to those who rejected Him and sought His death.  This is why He could pray, "Father, forgive them for they don't know what they are doing", (Luke 23:34) even as He watched them divide and gamble for His clothes at the foot of the cross.  Love bears no grudge but is full in its forgiveness, which is why the act of forgiveness, even in extreme hurt, is so powerful and releasing. That is why movies such as "The Railway Man" touch us to the core of our being, when we see the act of forgiveness so powerfully portrayed as a Japanese POW meets and forgives his torturer.

Love pulls at the strings of our heart.  There is a deep desire in us to experience true love (not just romantic love) but to be deeply and unconditionally loved and appreciated by family and friends.  Even the heart withdrawn, at its core, desires this love as much as it fears it.  A preacher known as "The Ambassador of Love" once said we need to ask God to heal and fill those areas in us that are uncomfortable with love.  Only God can heal these areas in our hearts and so fill them with His love and light that they can become vulnerable and fully open before Him, healed and overflowing towards others.  His love is safe and a refuge for the weary and love-starved heart.

Jesus fully knew the love of  His Father and the total acceptance of His God and Father even before He began His ministry and He powerfully walked in the same love for humankind.  We too can know the Father's love for us through Jesus Christ.  We just need to mediate on the cross to know how much He loved us with a perfect, sacrificial love.

One of Apostle Paul's prayers for the church was, "that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; to the end that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be strengthened to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know Christ's love which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." (Eph 3:17-18)

God is Love

"love...bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails." (1 Cor 13: 7-8)

The love passage of 1 Corinthians is very challenging in that it clearly can show the motive of our hearts.  Love is the universal language because God is love (1 Jn 4:8) and He is the Creator of all things, which have been created by and through His love.  Love is the essence of God and all things created, especially mankind made in His image show His loving thoughts and touch.  But we have, because of sin and self, a love deficit in areas of our hearts.  Experiences of rejection in life teach us to withdraw and build walls, which ultimately keep us from love and loving.  This passage clearly shows us what love is and the lack of it, or indeed its fullness, in our hearts and even in the world. We just need to look at all the crime in the world to see that people do not walk in love for others.

Anything that we do, even if it is good, that is done without love being the motive, profits nothing. Everything God does is motivated by His love for us and we are to be imitators of Him.  Ultimately it is the experience of God's perfect love that will cast out fear (1 Jn 4:18) and open our hearts more to Him and others.

There is a vulnerability in love.  Jesus loved all and kept His heart open, even to those who rejected Him and sought His death.  This is why He could pray, "Father, forgive them for they don't know what they are doing", (Luke 23:34) even as He watched them divide and gamble for His clothes at the foot of the cross.  Love bears no grudge but is full in its forgiveness, which is why the act of forgiveness, even in extreme hurt, is so powerful and releasing. That is why movies such as "The Railway Man" touch us to the core of our being, when we see the act of forgiveness so powerfully portrayed as a Japanese POW meets and forgives his torturer.

Love pulls at the strings of our heart.  There is a deep desire in us to experience true love (not just romantic love) but to be deeply and unconditionally loved and appreciated by family and friends.  Even the heart withdrawn, at its core, desires this love as much as it fears it.  A preacher known as "The Ambassador of Love" once said we need to ask God to heal and fill those areas in us that are uncomfortable with love.  Only God can heal these areas in our hearts and so fill them with His love and light that they can become vulnerable and fully open before Him, healed and overflowing towards others.  His love is safe and a refuge for the weary and love-starved heart.

Jesus fully knew the love of  His Father and the total acceptance of His God and Father even before He began His ministry and He powerfully walked in the same love for humankind.  We too can know the Father's love for us through Jesus Christ.  We just need to mediate on the cross to know how much He loved us with a perfect, sacrificial love.

One of Apostle Paul's prayers for the church was, "that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; to the end that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be strengthened to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know Christ's love which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." (Eph 3:17-18)

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Glorifying Jesus

Glorifying Jesus

"He will glorify me, for He will take from what is mine, and will declare it to you." Jn 16:14

Jesus was speaking of the Holy Spirit in this passage of scripture. The Spirit of Truth who would take of what belonged to Jesus and reveal it to the disciples, leading them into all truth and declaring things to them that were coming.  This scripture really struck me this morning that the word the Holy Spirit heard from Jesus, He would declare the same, and by it Jesus would be glorified.

We all have a desire to glorify Jesus and if I get this passage right, we do so by declaring the word.  God declared in Isaiah 55:11 about the word of His mouth: "so shall my word be that goes forth out of mouth; it shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing I sent it."

When we declare God's word, we are agreeing with Truth and this glorifies Him and His word.  Confession of the word is a large part of our faith and in declaring His word, we actually prophesy His word into the atmosphere.  God's word is eternal and He honours His word even above His Name for He is a covenant keeping God who never breaks His word.  It is His bond with us and inherent with His creative power. We only release that power, when by faith we receive the word and declare it.  When it comes to pass, as God has declared, it brings Him glory and praise.

We have a choice.  We either speak God's word and agree or we go against truth and agree with our enemy.  satan is a legalist and when we agree with him, he has a legal claim to bring our words to pass in our life.  For example, if we declare lack in our lives instead of speaking the truth, "and my God shall supply all our needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus" (PHIL 4:19), satan can bring lack into our lives.

The other way we can glorify God is to do His works on earth.  Jesus said, "I have glorified you on earth.  I have accomplished the work you have given me to do."  When God directs us to pray for someone and we are bold enough to lay hands on them and release His healing into their body, for by His stripes we are healed, their healing will bring glory and thanksgiving to God.

Let us follow Jesus and take what is His, all the promises, and release them on earth, so that glory can rise from hearts to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

As it is in Heaven

As it is in Heaven... Luke 11:2

God, our Father's main mission is to bring His Kingdom to earth so that it resembles Heaven.  We know His heart, for He sent Jesus to us, to save, heal and deliver and to do serious damage to the kingdom of darkness, as He brought the fragrance of the Heavenly Kingdom to earth.

The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim release to the captives, recovering of sight to the blind, to deliver those who are crushed, and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." Lk 4:18-19

Jesus is the exact representation of the image of God and we, as His body, should be the exact representation of Him displayed on earth - challenging!  Jesus came to show us the great unfailing love the Father has loved us with, from before the foundations of the world, and His heart for humanity.

So what are the citizens in heaven like?  Do they lack joy? Do they lack love? Are they sick, depressed, miserable, SELF FOCUSED and defeated?  All of us would declare with conviction, no, no, no, they are none of these things.  They dwell in the presence of God and His great glory.  They are filled with the life, health and vitality of the Living God whose glory fills them, as well as all His attributes.


Then why are we...if the truth is...your will be done on earth as it is in heaven?  Do we forget we have access to His presence 24/7 and of His fullness we have received and grace for grace.  The glory of the Godhead dwells in us by the Holy Spirit.  We are not alone, nor walking this walk of a faith alone.  The Living God's health and vitality and attributes all dwell in us, just like the citizens of heaven, yet we don't appropriate these truths to our lives.

We are God's citizens on earth - yet often we are defeated, sick, depressed, complaining, unthankful and full of unbelief and doubt.  Yet many of us are awakening to the fact that we, the bride of Christ and His body here on earth presently, should be more like the Citizens of heaven - victorious, overcomers who apply His Word to our lives and hang out in the presence of our Almighty King and God.

In doing so, we become what we magnify (Ps 115:4-8) and spending time worshipping our Great God in His presence will ensure we do become more like Him.  And becoming more like Him, we will begin to manifest His work and will on this earth.  We firstly need to receive from our Heavenly loving Dad, before we can manifest His essence and attributes to others.

Some find it hard to forgive and let go, especially if they haven't first felt His cleansing power when He forgave them of all sins and trespasses against Him and others.  But when we understand the full depth of what Jesus went though and the full depth of His mercy in pardoning all our iniquities, we have mercy and grace to pass on to others and are able to let their sins against us be released and forgiven.  Unforgiveness is really a very serious issue and I cannot, for one, imagine the citizens living in heaven now squabbling and backbiting or filled with envy.  No, instead they would be cheering us up and on to let the word of Christ dwell in us richly and to live a life full of forgiveness, unity wherever possible and growing in peace and favour with God and man.

If we are to bring heaven to earth, we must firstly love the Lord our God with all our heart and soul and mind and strength and love others; allow His love in us to go though us to touch others.  We are the body of Christ and we are called to show all the fullness of Godhead that dwells in us.  God wants us to be His eyes, His ears, His Heart, His mouth, His arms to those who desperately need a touch from the Loving Saviour.

Are we going to respond to this call?  Very challenging but with His overcoming spirit and prayer we can.