God Sent His Son To Bless Us (Acts 3:26)

Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquties.

Acts 3:26 (KJV)

How comforting it is to know that God’s purpose for sending His Son into the world and raising Him from the dead was to bless us! And so let no one ever doubt that it is God’s desire for us that we be blessed in every area of our lives. God has willed that in Jesus we be set free from the bondage of inquity, and that we enter into faith-filled and victorious living. All of this has already been freely provided for us in and through the finished works of our Lord Jesus, and all that is left for us to do is to receive this precious gift by faith. So today, let us rejoice as we consider the enormous blessing that is upon our lives, and may we purpose in our hearts that we will take hold of this glorious victory that was won for us two thousand years ago.

Life More Abundant (John 10:10)

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

John 10:10 (KJV)

In Jesus we have been given life more abundantly. This means we may believe for an abundance of joy, peace and fulfillment in every area of our lives, and we may confidently expect for our needs to be supplied. Anything that would attempt to rob us of this does not represent God’s heart for us, and as the children of the Most High we may rest assured that as we keep looking to Him, as we hold fast to the name that is above every other name, we will be victorious over any circumstance or condition.

Laying Hold Of What God Has Prepared For Us (Philippians 3:12)

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.

Philippians 3:12 (NKJV)

We are continually called to press on to lay hold of all that God has prepared for us. May we be comfortable with the journey, with the fact that we are still a work in progress, yet may we always press more fully towards who we have been created to be in Him. Each day offers a fresh opportunity to let go of the old, and to lay hold of the newness of life in Christ Jesus.

Looking To God For Strength And Peace (Psalm 29:11)

The LORD will give strength to unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.

Psalm 29:11 (KJV)

The world conditions us into thinking that we must handle everything in our own strength, whereas God wants us to look to Him. He has promised to give us strength and to bless us with peace, yet the key is for us to remember each day to turn to Him in faith and expectancy. And so let us realize that He is our source for absolutely everything, and that it is in our total and complete dependence upon Him that we actually find our strength, our peace, and anything else we may need.

Know The Truth (John 8:31-32)

Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

John 8:31-32 (KJV)

One of the most crucial aspects of discipleship is to simply continue in the Word. Let us take time each day to renew our minds in the Word and to seek what God is speaking to us for that particular day. Jesus has said that if we will continue in His Word, not only will we be His disciples indeed, but we will also know the truth. This is not speaking of merely an intellectual knowing, but of a deeper revelation in our spirit. The more we know the truth from the depths of our spirit, the more we bear witness to its supernatural power of setting us free from all bondage.

Replacing Our Thoughts With The Thoughts Of God (Isaiah 55:8-9)

For my thougths are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9 (KJV)

One of the most important things for us to do is to replace our thoughts with the thoughts of God. The reason is that God has clearly stated that His thoughts are not our thoughts, nor are His ways our ways. We may know the thoughts of God through His Word, and so our task becomes to get our thinking lined up with the truth of God’s Word. This is a continual process; and the more that we devote ourselves to it, the more will we see our lives changed to reflect more fully who we are in Christ.

Weekly Grace: Exercising Our Muscle Of Faith

Scripture tells us that the Gospel reveals the righteousness of God “from faith to faith” and that “the just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17) And so it follows then that nothing is of greater importance for us than to exercise and thereby strengthen our spiritual muscle of faith.

Let us examine now for a moment why faith is so crucial in our Christian walk, and how we might go about strengthening it. Notice that “the just shall live by faith.” Faith is not something that we are to resort to every now and then when faced with a particularly challenging situation, but much rather does the Word command us to live by faith.

It is certainly encouraging to know that faith is like a spiritual muscle that can be strengthened and developed. And let us also be very clear that faith, as all things in our walk with the Lord, is a gift from God. (Ephesians 2:8) When we realize that our faith is not our own, but that it has come to us from our heavenly Father as one of the many sweet gifts of His precious love, it takes the pressure off. God has already equipped us and empowered us with all of the faith we will ever need. The Bible says that God has dealt to everyone the measure of faith. (Romans 12:3) If you have received Jesus as Lord, you have received with Him all of the faith you will ever need. And so your task, my friend, is not to try and get more faith, but to simply and consistently develop the faith you already have.

Consider that when you go to the gym for physical exercise your body is not suddenly growing new muscles. You are simply strengthening the muscles you already had all along. The same applies to our spiritual muscle of faith!

And so what does this look like? How do we strengthen our muscle of faith? The answer is found in Romans 10:17: “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” If we want to work out physically, we go to the gym. If we want to work out spiritually, we go to the Word of God.

Each of us are called to continuously immerse ourselves in His Word. One of the greatest lies the devil is attempting to sell Christians on these days is that it is possible to live a victorious Christian life without being regularly filled up with the Word of God. In addition to hearing faith-filled and life-giving sermons where the Word is preached, we must each take responsiblity to renew our minds daily in God’s Word. (Romans 12:2 & Ephesians 4:23) The more that we fill our hearts and minds with the promises of God’s Word, the more will we strengthen our spiritual muscle of faith.

I will oftentimes describe the Word of God as the fuel for our born-again spirit. The more that we feed our spirit with God’s Word, the stronger our spirit becomes. And the stronger our spirit, the more receptive it is to the promptings of the Holy Spirit which ever so gently bears witness with our spirit that we are a precious child of God. (Romans 8:16) “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ;” (Romans 8:17)

Brothers and sisters, I encourage you today to be diligent in your daily spiritual exercise by immersing yourself in God’s Word. There is a reason why the Word of God is referred to as the sword of the Spirit. (Ephesians 6:17) When we begin to stand firm upon the Word, and use it to counter attacks of fear, doubt, worry, guilt, or any type of insecurity, we will bear witness to the supernatural ability of the Word of cutting straight through the lies and deceptions of the enemy, and awakening within us a revelation of who we are in Christ.

And so let us set time aside every day to consider His Word, and let us meditate on all that our heavenly Father has so freely provided for us. The Word can also be referred to as a spiritual mirror. (see James 1:23-25) The more that we feed our born-again spirit with the Word, the more will we see in the Word a reflection of who we are in Christ as we live the victorious and overcoming lives He has called us to live.

Father, I thank You for Your precious Word. I ask, Lord, that You would awaken in me a continual desire and hunger for Your Word. May it speak to me, and may it remind me of all that You have done for me and all that You are calling me to be. I thank You, Lord, that even now Your Word is working in me to dissolve and eliminate every wrong thought or false perception I may have inherited from the world, and it is shaping in me a heart of righteousness, a heart that is pleasing to You. Thank You that Your Word is casting out all doubt as it brings my every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. I praise You for this, Lord, and I give You all of the glory. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

SCRIPTURES:

Romans 1:17, Ephesians 2:8, Romans 10:17, Romans 12:2-3, Ephesians 4:22-24, Romans 8:16-17, Ephesians 6:17, James 1:23-25, 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

Particepating In What God Is Seeking To Do (Philippians 2:13-14)

for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Do all things without complaining and disputing,

Philippians 2:13-14 (NKJV)

It is God who works in us, giving us the desire to live lives that are pleasing to Him; and yet while it is God who is prompting us, we must each cooperate by doing the things He has given us to do without complaining and disputing. The reason is that God will never force anything upon us, He will never take away our free will. Yet how wonderful it is to realize that we need not live in the strain of self effort, but that we may simply yield to the flow of grace by particepating in what the Lord is already seeking to accomplish in us. And so take time each day to be in the Word and to listen for the promptings of the Holy Spirit. He is already at work in you, awaiting your particepation.

Choosing Love (Romans 13:8)

Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.

Romans 13:8 (NKJV)

As disciples of Jesus we are called to love all those whom the Lord leads into our path. Yet the only way we can truly do this is for us to first receive God’s love for us. The more that we receive God’s love, the more will we be able to reflect it into our world. And so let us remember that in all things, whether we may agree with a person or not, we have been given the option to choose love. May we resolve to live lives of radical love, and in so doing follow the example of the One who loved us first.

The World Has Been Overcome (John 16:33)

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

John 16:33 (KJV)

There is a continual peace available to us in Christ. Though the world may be filled with challenges, let us remember that Jesus has already overcome the world. And as we abide in Him, we get to partake in that overcoming. We abide in Him through His Word and through being of good cheer, knowing that regardless of circumstances and conditions, the the victory has already been won. When we live in this faith-filled state of heart, we will have peace and be filled with joy.