Sunday, 25 September 2016

The Believer's Authority [3] ~ Rabqa

We are still looking at the believers authority.

Isa 53.5 But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.

We learn from Isaiah 53:3-6 that if condemnation is filling our consciences, it is not from God. He sent Jesus to die to pay the price for our sins, we also find this teaching in many passages in the New Testament, Jesus bore our sins & the guilty condemnation that accompanies sin. We should get rid of the sin & not keep the guilt.

Once God breaks the yoke of sin from us, He removes the guilt too. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 1 Jn 1:9

Condemnation differs from conviction by having forgiveness in our lives everyday. The Holy Spirit sets of alarm bells in our conscience so we can recognise sin, & gives us the power of the blood of Jesus to continuously cleanse us from sin & keeps us right before Him. This process is called conviction, & it is of the Lord, while condemnation is from the enemy.

Often when we are convicted of sin we become grumpy while God is dealing with us. until we admit our sin, & become ready to turn from it, & ask for forgiveness, we feel a pressure that squeezes the worst we have in us. As soon as we come into agreement with God, our peace returns & our behaviour improves.

The devil knows that condemnation & shame keeps us from approaching God in prayer, but when we do all our needs can be met & we can once again enjoy fellowship with God. Feeling bad about ourselves or thinking that God is angry with us separates us from His presence. God does not leave us, but we withdraw from Him through guilt or fear.

That is why it is so important to discern truth & know the difference between conviction & condemnation. Remember, if you heed conviction, it lifts you up & out of sin; condemnation only makes you feel bad about yourself.

When you pray for people to change, the Holy Spirit convicts them of their sin, & many times they will start acting worse than they did before.

But do not let that make you believe that your prayers are being ineffective. Their behaviour is actually a good sign that God is indeed working, convicting them of sin, & convicting them of their need to change. So keep on praying.

As you pray, regularly ask God to convict you of your own sin. realise that conviction is a blessing not a problem. If only perfect people could pray & receive answers, nobody would pray. We do not need to be perfect but we do need to cleansed of sin. As we begin our pray time it is good to ask our heavenly Father to cleanse us from all sin & unrighteousness. When we pray in Jesus' name, we are presenting to our Father all that Jesus is, not all that we are.

Experiencing conviction through the Holy Spirit's work in our lives is necessary for a vital walk with God. Remember that conviction is a gift from God because it leads us to hear from Him. Do not make the mistake of letting it condemn you, let it lift you up to a new level in God. do not resist it; but receive it.

Jesus came to earth & gave Himself as a sacrifice for sin in order to buy back for you everything that Adam lost. He came to destroy all the works of the devil...sickness & disease included. Once you receive Him as your Lord & saviour, all the rights privileges God intended you to have like the right to fellowship with God, health & prosperity in all area's in your life restored. But it is up to you to exercise those rights.

The devil is an outlaw & even though Jesus has taken away his authority in the earth, even though he has no right to steal from God's children, he'll do it anyway, as long as you let him get away with it.

You must enforce the Word of God by speaking the Word in faith. Act on His Word now. Demand that sickness & disease leave you in the name of Jesus. Then refuse to back of that demand. resist the devil with all you have, he might fight you for a while, but sooner or later He will have to flee from you (James 4:7)

We see in Matthew 8:13 that Jesus told the centurion that the healing he requested would be done as he believed. The centurion had a positive believing attitude & Jesus did what he asked Him to do.

Positive minds produce positive lives. Negative minds produce negative lives. Positive minds are full of faith & hope. Negative thoughts are always full of fear & doubt.

Some people are afraid to hope because they have been hurt so much in their lives. They experience so many disappointments that they do not think that they can face the pain of another one. Therefore they refuse to hope so that they will not be disappointed in case things don't work out as they hoped.

Disappointment hurts! But this type of behaviour sets up a negative lifestyle. Prov 23:7 says For as He thinks in his heart so is he...

Many years ago I had a really negative outlook on everything. Since my thoughts were negative, so were my my words & therefore my life.

But when I began to study God's Word & to trust Him to restore me, I soon realised that negativism had to go. I began to see the truth of Matthew 8:13—that it will be done for me as I believed.

Now I do not mean to imply that we can get
anything we want just by thinking about it. God has a perfect plan for each one of us & we cannot control Him with our thoughts or words. But we must speak in agreement with His will & plan for us.

If at this stage you don't know what God's will is for you, at least begin by thinking, "I may not know God's plan for me, but I know He loves me. Whatever He does will be good, & I will be blessed.

Begin to think positively about your life: practice being positive in every situation. Even what whatever is taking place in your life at the moment is not good, expect God to bring good out of it, as He has promised in His Word.

2 Cor 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

Spend time in God presence. Expect the Spirit to transform you into the image of His glorious Son.

Liberty: If you could put the will of God into one word. That would be the word. God Wants His people free from sin, sickness, poverty, oppression & every other curse.

That freedom is what Jesus came to provide. He said in Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the broken hearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed."

That is what He trained His disciples to do & if you are a born again spirit filled believer that is what He wants you to do too!

Some might say "Well I don't know about that, it might not be God's will for today." But the Bible says that God never changes. He hasn't changed His will for the earth, He doesn’t do one thing for a while then something else for a while. Jesus life was a perfect picture two thousand years ago - & it still is! That is why He left instructions for us to go & do the work that He did. That is why He sent the Holy Spirit to empower us to do them.

Jesus still wants to do the will of the father here on earth—but He does it through us. He has to work with us till we are willing to put aside our traditions & let Him do His thing. That is what the early Church did. They started out with a bang because they did what Jesus taught them. everywhere they went people were set free.

We need to pray for the Church today to deliver the liberty of God to the world. We must stop questioning the will of God & start to carry it out instead. He said...even greater works then these will you do...(Jn 14:12). it is time to take up where Jesus left of & set the captives free.

In Luke 4:18 Jesus stood up in the temple to read the prophetic passage of Isaiah 61:1, & after doing so He said "This Scripture has been fulfilled (Luke 4:21). One of the things said in Isaiah 61:1 is that Jesus has come to open the prison doors & set the captives free. I believe this refers to the prison of sin, guilt & condemnation. Jesus died so that our sins could be forgiven & completely removed along with any sense of guilt or condemnation.

Jesus can heal us everywhere we hurt! He wants to help us mentally & emotionally, as well as spiritually & physically. If you are not aware of this it can cause you not to deal adequately with life, but then you discover that Jesus wants to give you beauty for ashes (Isa 61:3) that depicts
the festive joy of the Messiah's reign.

When we accept Jesus as our Lord & Saviour, a great exchange takes place in the Spirit realm. He gives us everything He has & everything He is - & we are supposed to give Him not only everything we are but even what we are not. He takes our weakness & gives us His strength. He takes our sickness & gives us His health & healing. We give Him our sin & He gives us His righteousness. He will give us beauty for ashes, but we must be willing to give up our ashes. We cannot live in the past & press into the future at the same time. Let go of what lies behind & start to enjoy the new life that Jesus has for you.

When we accept Jesus our sin—filled, miserable, hopeless lives are swallowed up in His goodness, mercy & grace. If you have problems you are just the person Jesus died for. He came for the sick & needy, not for those who don't need anything. It is not a shame to be needy. The greatest need people have is to admit they have a need!

It is time for you to enjoy God's favour, that means He will bless you even though you don't deserve it, if you place faith in Him God wants you to enjoy yourself & your life. He wants to heal you everywhere you hurt! He wants to heal you spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically financially & socially. Do not close off any part of your life to His healing touch. Invite Jesus into every area of your life.

If we consistently believe God's Word, He will turn our circumstances from negative to positive—from ashes to beauty—in His perfect timing.

A lot of negative things have happened to me, & satan has used them to sour my attitude towards life & people. I was trapped in a past & did not believe I had a future or if I did it would full of more of the same. But as soon as I believed in Jesus I was released from a past & began making progress toward the good things God had for me. Now it did not come to me immediately in manifested form, but believing in God gave me renewed hope that kept me going from day to day. Slowly but surely I began to see the changes take place in my life, & each change encouraged me to believe God more & more.

Believing in God is the key to receive from Him. No matter what has happened to you in the past,if you believe, you can receive beauty for ashes too. You can begin to enjoy the good future that is set aside for you in Christ Jesus. Who came to do the will of His Father in heaven.

There is a full gospel tradition that says God gets the glory from the wonderful way His children bear pain & agony & that the world is impressed by that. But that is a lie; it is simply a tool of the devil to keep God's children in bondage.

People of the world already have the pain & agony they want. They aren't looking for a way into it. They are looking for a way out. They don't care what is preached. It's the religious people that get worried about that. The world, the sinners, are smarter then that. All they care about are the results.

That is why they will go to a church where people are getting healed, delivered & set free from suffering. That is what they are looking for. & that is what God wants them to receive.

The Bible says that God gets the glory when they see the lame walk & the blind see. In Matthew 15:31 The crowd was amazed! Those who hadn’t been able to speak were talking, the crippled
were made well, the lame were walking, and the blind could see again! And they praised the God of Israel.

Jn 15:8 Jesus said When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.

That fruit is lives being restored & healed by the power of God.

Kenneth Copeland tells there was a man who went to one of his healing services who was so far gone with cancer he had almost no energy or life about him. He didn't even know the Lord but he came expecting a miracle. During the service the Lord told Ken someone was being healed of cancer, in the glands, in the throat & in the chest. When the man came up & receive his healing he said that he had left the hospital that morning with cancer & now I'm healed. He went back to the hospital that afternoon the doctors cheeked him out & dismissed him all cancer had gone. As a result of this the man received Jesus as His Lord & Saviour, & later that same day he was restored to his wife from whom he had been separated. He was born again, healed & his marriage put together all in one day.

Now that is fruit! That brings God glory. When we minister healing & deliverance like Jesus did on earth that brings God glory. We need to do away with religious tradition & do what the Word says. Lets impress the world with Jesus & give God the glory.

God wants us to depend entirely on Him. He wants us to lean, trust & rely on Him. That is part of the definition of faith. We are partners with God & that means we have a responsibility. But first we must lean on Him in order to do the things that are our part. He will then anoint us to do what we need to do, but we still have to trust Him & remember how much we need Him at all times.

Sometimes we may think that we don't need Him for things that we have done successfully over & over again. It is dangerous to become too self reliant. The book of proverbs speaks frequently of the self-confident fool. People who think they are self sufficient & can take care of themselves are being foolish & eventually will be proved to everyone including themselves.

An independent attitude is part of the baby stage of Christianity.

 A mature Christian knows that he can do nothing of any real value apart from Jesus. Of course we can do things but that does not mean they will be done right or that we will enjoy them or that they will produce any real lasting fruit.

When the Lord says we can do nothing apart from Him, He means things will not work out properly unless we invite Him into everything. His presence can eliminate much of our struggle we experience in life. It makes impossible things possible, hard things easy & frustrating things peaceful. Do not ever be afraid to say HELP LORD I can't do this without you & not only that it gives Him the glory He deserves.

Acknowledgements Kenneth Copeland.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Jesus Healing ~ Ganeida

What we are looking at today is Healing. Last time we considered the part forgiveness plays in healing.  Today we are going to consider one aspect that Faith plays in healing.

The 2 texts you need to keep in mind are Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. & Mark 16:17~18 These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won't hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.

Have you ever thought that church was very, very dull? I can remember very clearly how I thought when I first began reading the bible for myself.  I was struck by the incongruity of how the bible talks about God & what actually happened in church. I thought church was nothing like God. Where was the parting of the seas? Water flowing from a rock in the desert? People raising from the dead?  Walking on water? Where were the earthquakes freeing people from prison? Angels leading believers? The power of the Holy Spirit?

Not only did the church I grew up in not talk about these things, they didn’t really believe them either.  They might have happened once upon a time, like in a fairy tale, but they were not for now.  Not for us. The signs & wonders & miracles had ceased with the last apostle.

However we have a problem.  Nowhere in Scripture does it teach that signs & wonders have ceased.  In fact scripture teaches the complete opposite.
Malachi 3:6  "I am the LORD, and I do not change.”

Hebrews13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

So who do you believe?  Do you believe what the word of God says or do you believe what men teach?

Mark is absolutely blunt about it: These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe… He doesn’t say they may follow, they might follow, they will only follow 1st century believers… NO!  He says they will follow.  There are no qualifications except one: that you believe.

The qualification that one must be a believer is very simple.  I cannot heal anyone; nor can you.  However a believer has the power of Jesus Christ within them & every person Jesus ever laid hands on for healing was healed.  He raised the dead.  In fact He carried so much power & authority that one woman didn’t even bother to ask Him for healing.  She just reached out to touch the wings of His garment & was instantly healed!

What’s more Jesus Himself said very clearly that we have this power & authority as believers.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.  “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. John 14:12~14

Mark 11:24 says I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you've received it, it will be yours.

John 16:23 At that time you won't need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name.

As believers you have direct access to the Father because of your belief in His son, Jesus, & Jesus says whatever we ask for in His name is ours.
Despite this some people hesitate to ask for healing ~ let alone receive it.

Well, they say, God is sovereign. I’ll be healed if it is God’s will.

I tell you it is God’s sovereign will that you are healed.

1 Peter 2:24 is a favourite verse on healing:
"He himself bore our sins" in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; "by his wounds you have been healed." But there are many, many verses about God being our Healer, about Him healing.

Proverbs 4:20-22
My child, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.

Jeremiah 17:14
Heal me, LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.

Psalm 41:3
The LORD sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness.

And that’s before we get into the New Testament!  As Paul says we have a better covenant based on better promises. Hebrews 8:6

Jesus said that He came that we might have life, & have it abundantly. John 10:10 It is the adversary who comes to steal, kill, destroy ~ to in any way possible mar the image of God in Man. The Greek word for life is Zoe & according to Strong’s refers to the absolute fullness of life, both essential and ethical, which belongs to God, and through him both to the hypostatic "logos" and to Christ in whom the "logos" put on human nature.
There is no sickness or disease in Christ, therefore there is neither sickness or disease in the life He imparts.

So what are we to think when we lay hands on someone for healing & it seems like nothing happens?

We know from Scripture that war in the heavenlies sometimes prevents God’s messengers from getting through:

Daniel 10:13

1 Thess 2:18

The word Paul uses is egkopto & means to elbow a runner out of the race, to so tear up & destroy a road it is impassable.

We know faith plays a part. Numerous times Jesus told people their faith had made them well.  If you don’t believe God can do it…well, it’s not going to happen. Even Jesus can’t over~ride unbelief. Mark 6:5 And because of their unbelief, he couldn't do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them.
It has always bothered me that the Church so often seems to be powerless but as I was starting to prepare this message God led me to Todd White’s Testimony & if you remember nothing else from today’s message, remember this!

God radically saved Todd from drug addiction. By his own testimony he was a bad, bad man.  He enjoyed a cocktail of different drugs.  He was violent.  He was barely literate, had never read a book & never worked a day in his life. Yet God turned his life around & today not only is he a free man because He who the Lord sets free is free indeed, he has a miraculous healing ministry.

Now there are those who stand in the Office of Prophet or Teacher or Healer & I am convinced that Todd is one of those.  What I am not convinced about is that Todd was always a Healer.

Todd got saved & like so many others he looked around him at the church & went, Wow, nothing like the church I read about in the bible.

See Todd read Mark… They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed… and he went, Well, I’m a believer; I can lay hands on the sick & they will be healed.

So while he was at the shops he began approaching people & praying for them. He prayed that they would be healed and… NOTHING happened. So he prayed for some more people. He prayed & he prayed for healing & NOTHING!!! He was so embarrassing about it his wife refused to go out in public with him. 

Day after day, week after week he prayed that people would be healed in Jesus name.  Day after day, week after week nothing happened. He was averaging at least 10 people a day. That equals 10 failures a day. Now if that was me I’d’ve gone, Well, I tried. Not Todd.  He went back to his bible & read: They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed then he went Well, I’m a believer so I can lay hands on the sick & they will be healed, then he went & prayed for some more people. He wasn’t deterred. Then one day He prayed for a man & healing came. The man lept up shouting: You have the Power!!! You have the POWER!

Todd has no more power than you or I have & he’s smart enough to know that. What he has is the Holy Spirit & an unshakeable belief in the word of God. See, we get a little setback.  We pray with all the faith we can muster, we quote our favourite verse on healing & if nothing happens we retreat defeated & satan crows with glee.  Another Christian down & out!

Why do we do that?  Why don’t we believe what the word actually says & hold fast to that?  I think often we are afraid.  We are afraid of looking foolish.  Afraid of embarrassing ourselves.  Afraid God won’t show up.  Afraid we haven’t got enough faith. Afraid of what people will say or think.

We need to get over ourselves. In Luke 11 Jesus tells a story about 2 neighbours. Neighbour one comes banging on neighbour 2’s door after he’s locked up his house & gone to bed for the night.  He doesn’t want to get out of his nice warm bed to answer his neighbours plea for bread to feed an unexpected guest but Jesus says: But I tell you this--though he won't do it for friendship's sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.
It is in the context of this story Jesus says: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.…

Sometimes we have to be persistent.  If we give up at the first hurdle we can be absolutely sure nothing will happen. If we persist then we are acting as the church is called to act so if you are a believer I want to encourage you to look for people you can pray for & step out confidently knowing you are doing the will of our Father. If you are in need of healing today I invite you to come forward & we will pray for you in Jesus name because He has promised us that whatever we ask for in His name He will give to us.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

The Authority of the Believer ~ Rabqa

Today we are continuing on with the
authority of the believer.

Num 14:8 "Do not rebel against the LORD, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the LORD is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!”

Allow the Lord to develop in you the spirit of Caleb & Joshua. Follow the Lord wholeheartedly.

God desires devotion from His people, the lives of Caleb & Joshua provide outstanding examples of the devotion that God honours. They stand in bold contrast to Israel's unfaithfulness.

Thousands of years ago God told the children of Israel to go up & occupy the land He had given them. He told them to take it without force & without fear, from the ungodly ones who were living there.

He is still saying that today. God is still trying to get us, as His people, to take up the good land He has given us. He is still trying to get us to use the power He has given us to run the wicked one out.

You see, this earth doesn't belong to the devil, it belongs to God (Ps 24:1) The earth is the Lord's, & all it's fullness, the world & those who dwell therein.

The devil has just moved in & taken control of things all because we believer's haven't stopped him.

That is our job, Jesus took satan's legal right away from him on the morning of Resurrection Sunday. Then Jesus put us in charge of enforcing satan's defeat. The Scripture's say that Jesus is going to sit at the right hand of the Father till His enemies are made His footstool (Heb 10:12-13). This means that Jesus is waiting for us to kick the devil & his cohorts out of the affairs of this earth. He is waiting for us to carry out the victory He won at Calvary & occupy this land.

Just like Israel had to rise up physically to take the land of Canaan, you & I have to rise up in the spirit if we are going to establish the dominion of God on earth. We are going to have to move, instead of just sitting around waiting for
something to happen.

You may or may not know that we are at war. We are in a spiritual battle - & we are winning. In fact, if you realised what was already established in the spiritual realm, you would laugh at the devil every time he showed his face. So if today the devil has control of an area of your life,- your church or your community, rise up in the spirit through faith, prayer & the Word & start taking that territory back. Do not be afraid. His defence has departed from him. He has not got a weapon that can stand against you.

The Lord is with you. Rise up & take back the land.

We see in Exodus 14:10-21 that water was in front of the children of Israel & Pharaoh & his army were behind them. They were trapped & had one of three options: Surrender, trust God or fight. But we need to be still as God works, then we will see His deliverance.

Godly living is living with God in your life & His life in you. He give us guidelines to help build His precepts in our lives. God calls us to acts of faith to that build godliness. Without faith, our acts
become vain religion. 

Godliness embraces godly practices & shuns vain religious acts.
Num 33:51-53 Give the following instructions to the people of Israel: When you cross the Jordan River into the land of Canaan, you must drive out all the people living there. You must destroy all their carved and molten images and demolish all their pagan shrines. Take possession of the land and settle in it, because I have given it to you to occupy.

God Has given you a promised land it's a place that is flowing with milk & honey, where your every need can be met. a place where you can keep sin underfoot as you rule & reign with Christ. A place where no weapons formed against you will prosper. A place where you are seated with Christ in heavenly places, far above principalities & powers—far from oppression.

You may be saying, yes, that sounds great in theory, but I'm dealing with reality. The rent is due, & all I see is sickness, oppression & fear. That doesn't look like much of a promised land to me.

Are you still letting the devil live there? He's not going to pack up & go home, you know, God has promised you victory, you must to kick him out.

Don't let that scare you, God has given you the power to do it. Remember What Jesus said. I give you power to dread on serpents & scorpions, & over all power of the enemy; & nothing by any means shall hurt you (Luke 10:19).

Not only that the devil is totally unarmed! col 2:5
In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross. The A M P puts it this way When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities [those supernatural forces of evil operating against us], He made a public example of them [exhibiting them as captives in His triumphal procession], having triumphed over them through the cross

Be aware of empty threats which can stop you cold if you believe them. So don't. Instead Believe the Word of God, use the Word & the name of Jesus to drive the devil out of every last detail of your life. Do not let him dwell in your territory. Force him to pack up & go home. & start progressing in your promised land.

Mk 16:17-18 These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed 

The signs accredit the gospel message, & cannot be limited to the apostolic age, any more then the Lords commission to carry the gospel throughout the world. The signs therefore confirm the ministries of Christ's ambassadors in every generation. Casting out demons, speaking in tongues & healing all appear in passages of the New Testament, & it is not scriptural for them to cease before the Lord returns. Taking up serpents does not mean handling snakes in religious ceremonies, but casting them away without being harmed (Acts 28:3-6). When Jesus said in Mark 16: 17-18 He intended for us to carry out His command, just as much as in verse fifteen He tells us to take the gospel into all the world. It is such a dangerous business to pick & choose among the Scriptures. If we are going to follow the full Gospel, we cannot take just the Scriptures we are comfortable with & ignore the rest. We need the whole counsel of God's Word & not just bits & pieces of it. 

James 5:7-9 Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near. Don’t grumble about each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. For look—the Judge is standing at the door!

 Patience is not just the ability to wait; it is the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting. Now James is not saying to be patient if you wait; he says be patient as you wait. Waiting is a part of life. Many do not wait well, & yet we spend more time in our lives waiting then we do receiving. Ask God to help you wait well. James is encouraging his readers to be patient with the reminder that the coming of the Lord is near, at which time God will fulfil His function as judge to reward the righteous & punish the wicked. We must understand that we have to develop patience to receive the harvest & the crown that you desire, you must persevere. The testing of faith produces patience which is the ability to endure, that is the hallmark of the mature believer. Only under the pressure of trials can the believer see his depth of his faith in God. The established heart will not waver, but will rejoice in the knowledge of the goodness of God.

John 1: 1,14 (AMP) In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself. (14) And the Word (Christ) became flesh, and lived among us; and we [actually] saw His glory, glory as belongs to the [One and] only begotten Son of the Father, [the Son who is truly unique, the only One of His kind, who is] full of grace and truth (absolutely free of deception).

We learn that in the beginning is an allusion to Genesis 1 with intention of linking Jesus with the God of creation. The event of Jesus incarnation, therefore, had a cosmic significance. The Word is Jesus Christ, the eternal, ultimate expression of God. In the Old Testament God spoke the world into existence; in the gospel God spoke His final word through His living Word, His Son. The phrase "The Word was God" attributes deity to the Word without defining the Godhead as "the Word."

The deity of the Lord Jesus Christ is something that can never be bought in to question by any born again believer. Our very salvation rests on the fact that Jesus Christ is divine, the second person of the Godhead, God—the Son.

The beloved disciple & apostle, John, puts it that in John 1:1&14 anyone who doubts what those verse say could not have born of the kingdom of God. For the deity of Jesus forms the very foundation of our faith in Him.

Yet if you search the gospels, you will see that Jesus didn't go around proclaiming Himself as God during His thirty three years on earth. He acknowledged that He was the Son of God, the Messiah, He referred to God as His Father (which enraged the Pharisees), but He never made the assertion that He was the most high God, in fact He told His disciples that God Father was greater & mightier that He Jn14:28).

The reason is simple He hadn't come to earth just as God. He came as a man. The Word says He set aside His divine power & took the form of a human being—with all it's limitations. Since God was His Father He was not born with the sin nature that had been passed along to the sons of Adam. But by being born of a woman, in all other respects He became a man & called Himself the Son of Man.

You may wonder how He did all those mighty works? The answer is the same way He expects us to them today—by the anointing & by the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:38) He said, "It's the Father within Me who does the work."

This means that Jesus meant exactly what He said when He said you as a believer, would be able to do the works that He did. (John 14:12).

It means that you as a reborn child of God filled with the same Holy Spirit as Jesus was, have the opportunity to live as He lived when on earth.

In fact, that is exactly what He intends. He went before you as a man & opened the way. DON"T just admire Him for it Follow Him in it today & everyday.

Understand that the Holy Spirit enables God's people to understand & live by the truth.

Obeying Jesus is the primary evidence that we love Him & are His disciples. Our decision to obey Jesus is the key to understanding the scriptural realities of the Scriptures & frees the Holy Spirit to teach us.

I Tim 6:11-12 But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.

Keeping our thoughts pure & in the will of God is a life time battle. We must fight the good fight of faith according to verse 12
The mind is the battlefield on which we fight. Satan wages war in the realm of our thoughts because he knows that if he controls our thoughts, he controls us & our destinies. As we live our lives & peruse our destinies, there will be times of fighting the good fight of faith, & if we win enough battles, we will win the war. We need to recognise that excellence in Christian ministry often involve long & arduous struggles. Do not give up; stand firm. 

Endure in your struggle for righteousness regardless of the cost. When you are against the wall, do not start begging God to break through it for you. That is not the way He works. He will give you the plan. He will give you the power. & He will guarantee victory. But it is your hand not His that will get the job done. You are going to have to stretch forth your hand by speaking & acting on the Word, even when circumstances are against you. If for example you see yourself say in church on a Sunday morning then you see a fire breathing dragon enter the church, snorting so much fire it almost burns you. 

Then you see Jesus standing there with a sword in His hand, you are wondering to yourself why doesn't He do something, but no He doesn't move, He just stands there frowning, you know He wants you to do something. We read in 1 Cor 10:5 Yet God was not pleased with most of them, and their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. 

Now you see Jesus hand you the sword & point to that dragon, you know beyond any shadow of doubt that you have to take hold of that sword, but before you touch it Jesus turns it lose. The sword stays in mid air of its own accord, you grab it & it begins to pull you up, not only does it hold firm but it begins to lift you. You stand & touch the dragons chin with the sword & split him from one end to the other. You are truly amazed & wonder why you haven't used that sword before. Don't wait for God to sly the dragons in your life. You have the sword of the Spirit, the all powerful Word of God, at your finger tips. Pick it up & start using it today. We learn in Joshua 5:2-7 that after Joshua led the Israelites into the promised land, they needed to be circumcised before they would be ready to conquer their first city, Jericho.

 After the men had been circumcised, the Lord told Joshua he had rolled away the reproach of Egypt from His people. Now they were able to overcome & capture Jericho. The word reproach means "blame, disgrace or shame." When God said that "He had rolled away the reproach of Egypt from the Israelites, He was making a strong point. Egypt represents the world. & after years of being in the world & becoming worldly, we all need the worlds reproach to be rolled away. I think that about eighty five percent of our problems stem from the way we feel about ourselves.

 In my life I had a shamed nature because certain people had told me that I would never amount to much, so I blamed myself for whatever happened to me, despite the fact that this happened in my childhood. Disgrace told me I was no good—not worthy of God's love or His help. I was constantly ashamed of myself—I didn't like myself. I needed God's help to roll away my reproach. He was willing, but I had to believe it was possible. Now I do believe & I am a completely different person, No more shame, blame or disgrace! I am a new creation in Christ (2 Cor 5:17). Grace is God's power coming to us, it is His free gift to us to help us do with ease what we cannot do ourselves.

 God wants to give us grace & satan wants to give us disgrace, which is another word for reproach. God's action of rolling away our reproach means we have received the
forgiveness for all our past sins. Self-hatred, self rejection & refusal to accept God's forgiveness that is by not forgiving ourselves, not understanding righteousness through the blood of Jesus, & any related problems will keep us wondering in the wilderness. Our mind must be renewed concerning the right standing we have with God through Jesus—not through our own works. 

We never deserve God's blessings or be worthy of them. We can only humbly accept & appreciate them, of how good He is & how much He loves us. The Bible tells we that we are joint heirs with Christ (Rom 8:17) He earned our blessings by carrying our reproach to the Cross. Let God roll that reproach off you, & experience the freedom from shame that Jesus wants to give you.

Acknowledgement Kenneth Copeland.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Healing & Forgiveness. ~ Ganeida

Every time we come to Communion we come according to Jesus in Luke 22:19 * to remembrance of me*. But what are we to remember?  How are we to remember? Why are we to remember?

We understand that Communion originated as part of the Passover the night Jesus was betrayed by his treasurer.

The character of Judas is a difficult one. Jesus calls him *the son of Perdition* in John 17 ~ perdition being that state beyond redemption; one for whom there is no salvation.  Only twice is this term used: once of Judas Iscariot & again of The Man of Lawlessness who will be revealed in the End Times.
It is possible to have experienced a certain closeness to God, to have a good understanding of salvation & yet, in the final analysis, to be told that you were not known to the saviour, not one of His flock.
Paul, instructing the Corinthian Church in participation in the Communion meal instructs:
So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.”
1 Corinthians 11:27~29

Elsewhere Paul explains:
Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith.  2 Corinthians 13:5

We are to discern the body of Christ. There are 2 aspects to this.  The first is the obvious: the bread representing Christ’s body which was broken for us, & the cup, representing His blood shed for us. The second is the ecclesia, the church, which is called the body of Christ. We need to recognise both things.

Today I want to focus on the 2nd thing, though that is not a separate thing from the first. We understand according to Romans 6:8 that since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him.

Each of us, if we belong to Christ, has been buried with Him & are dead to sin. I would suggest to you one of the purposes of the communion meal was to keep believers in unity: unity with Christ & unity with each other.

Paul goes on to explain in 1 Cor11:6 that this failure to discern the Lord’s body is the reason why some are sick & others have died.

Now our large picture is Christ. We have Isaiah 53:5 showing us this picture of His death: But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.

The cross dealt with our sin. It also dealt with our sicknesses. It is also, perhaps surprisingly, conditional.  Matthew 6:14 ~ 15 says  “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.  But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Jesus took our sickness & disease to the cross but our failure to forgive the people who sin against us, who hurt & betray us, can interfere with our ability to receive His healing. It is such a central aspect of life in Christ, Christ modelled it for us on the cross by petitioning His father for those who killed Him: Forgive them for they know not what they do

Keep the big picture of what Christ did for you on the cross in mind then start filling in the details. John 15:7 If you abide in me, & my words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, & it will be done for you.

Abide [Meno in the Greek] means to remain; it is a continuous, ongoing condition. If Christ is in you, you will recognise that Christ is also in your brother & sister & they too are in Christ; that you are in Christ together & together you make up the body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 12 makes it perfectly clear that believers belong to each other & [V25] This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other…If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it.[V26] 

The body cannot be at war with itself.  A body at war with itself is sick.

It is imperative we keep a spirit of forgiveness alive & well.  Forgiveness is not the same as trust.  You can forgive & do your utmost to live at peace with everyone yet still remain cautious, modest, sober.  For example you can forgive the drunk but you do not trust them with alcohol; forgive the gossip but not trust them with secrets; forgive the paedophile but not trust them with children.

When it comes to healing our physical ailments we need to examine ourselves. Are we harbouring unforgiveness?  James 5:15 instructs us to confess our faults, & pray for one another that we might be healed.  If we persist in harbouring an unforgiving spirit we open ourselves to spiritual consequences.
In Matthew 18 Jesus tells the story of a man who owed a great debt ~ & was forgiven it ~ yet failed to forgive another man who owed him little. For his failure in forgiveness he was handed over to the torturers. So too when we fail to forgive:  We will be tormented with thoughts of what has been done to us & we will have no peace.  Scripture teaches that we are to give that sin to Christ & access His forgiveness for others that resides within us for He Himself abides in us & we in Him.

Unforgiveness is not of Christ & thus grieves & quenches the Spirit of God within us. Worse, unforgiveness become chains of bondage when Christ came to set us free & a weapon of satan with which he can torment us. It hinders us as we work to reconcile a broken world to Christ. It impends healing for our bodies.

Having said that it is necessary to add a rider because most of us do not really understand what forgiveness is & thus fail to understand how to extend forgiveness to others. Firstly forgiveness, like love, is not an emotion; it is an act of the will.  It has nothing to do with how we feel & everything to do with our attitude. It is a decision.

When we choose to forgive we choose to trust God with the other person’s offence knowing that God judges justly [1 Peter 2:23; That only God knows the state of another’s heart [Jeremiah 17:10]; that God works all things together for our good.[Romans 8:28]

When we choose forgiveness we choose to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice.  We give up our right to revenge.  We give up our right to payback.  We choose to give our pain & hurt over to the one who can heal us & trust Him for the end result.

Choosing to forgive is a decision but forgiveness is often a process that needs to be worked through.  Our salvation is dependent on Christ & He will honour our attempts to walk in forgiveness even though we may struggle & find it difficult to fully forgive. Forgiveness is not becoming a doormat for abuse, nor is it allowing toxic people to continue to operate in our lives but it is letting go of our rights~ our right to get justice; our right to be recompensed; our right to see the offender get what they deserve.

In his book The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren says:
Many people are reluctant to show mercy because they don't understand the difference between trust and forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go of the past. Trust has to do with future behaviour.
Forgiveness must be immediate, whether or not a person asks for it. Trust must be rebuilt over time. Trust requires a track record. If someone hurts you repeatedly, you are commanded by God to forgive them instantly, but you are not expected to trust them immediately, and you are not expected to continue allowing them to hurt you.

Once we understand this it is easier to extend forgiveness.

Forgiveness is linked to how we view others & how we view others is linked to our physical bodies.  Now not all sickness is linked to unforgiveness.  All sickness is linked to satan because his agenda is to steal, destroy & kill.  If we come into agreement with him through unforgiveness we open ourselves to attack from the evil one.

So as we prepare to partake of communion today we need to examine ourselves.  If there is any unforgiveness in us we need to confess it & repent of it.  We also need to recognise the body of Christ as expressed in our brothers & sisters in Christ understanding that we are to bear each other’s burdens in love. Lastly we are to recognise what Christ has done for us on the cross purchasing our freedom from sin & sickness.

Having done this we can approach communion with confidence knowing that whatever we ask in Jesus name He can & will accomplish for us because if you abide in me, & my words abide in you, you will ask what you desire & it will be done for you.  Done is ginomai & it means to bring something into existence, to birth something. If you need healing today, ask.  It is His delight to give good things to His children.