Monday, 25 December 2017

The Promises of God ~ Rabqa.

 All Scriptures are from NLT unless otherwise stated. 
The Promises of God ~ Rabqa.

Today we are going to be looking at the promises of God 

Isa 61:1-2 The Spirit of the Lord God is on me, because the Lord has chosen me to bring good news to poor people. He has sent me to heal those with a sad heart. He has sent me to tell those who are being held and those in prison that they can go free. He has sent me to tell about the year of the Lord’s favour, and the day our God will bring punishment. He has sent me to comfort all who are filled with sorrow. 

This is the Bible passage that Jesus read in the temple that affirmed His calling at the start of His public ministry in Luke 4:14-21. When you read the whole of Isaiah 61 chapter in the context of Luke 4, we can read that it was actually God the Father who sent His own Son into the world to proclaim the good news of the kingdom. 

Jesus came 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 & condemnation.  

Jesus can heal us everywhere we hurt! He wants us to help us mentally & emotionally, as well as spiritually. I did not know this for a long time, so lack of knowledge caused me to live a dysfunctional life. I was abused emotionally which left me wounded but then I discovered Jesus wanted to heal me, give~& all of us beauty for ashes.  

When we accept Jesus as Saviour & Lord, a great exchange takes place in the spirit realm. He gives us everything He has & 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 can live in the past & press into the future at the same time. Let go of what lies behind & start enjoying the new life that Jesus has for you. 
When I accepted Jesus my sin –filed life, miserable hopeless life was 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 need nothing. It is not a shame to be needy. The greatest need that most people have is to admit they have a need. 

It is time for you to enjoy God’s favour (Isa 61:2). That means He will bless you even though you do not deserve it, if you place your 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, physically, financially & socially. Do not close off any part of your life to His healing touch. Invite Jesus into every area of you life & ask Him to make you whole.       The message of the kingdom is simply this... Good news for the poor. Healing for the broken hearted. Freedom for the captives. Wide open spaces to those imprisoned. Comfort for the grieving. & so much more.  This is why Jesus came two thousand years ago and it is the same reason why the Holy Spirit is with us today.   If you are hurting, just open up your heart to the Holy Spirit and let the love of God bind up your broken heart. If you are grieving, let the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort bring His everlasting comfort in your time of mourning. If you are imprisoned, let the Lion of Judah set you free from all that keeps you in chains so that you can truly live a free life. 

Psalm 5:11But let all who put their trust in You be glad. Let them sing with joy forever. You make a covering for them, that all who love Your name may be glad in You. 
In the NLT Bible version of this verse, the psalmist asks God to 'spread His protection over them'. The Amplified Bible says 'make a covering over them'. When I think of this promise, I imagine that Papa God spreads a huge canopy, a nice warm comforting blanket over us that provides warmth, protection and shelter all the days of our life.   The knowledge of a loving God that is brooding over us and protecting us will cause us to trust Him even more & fill us to overflowing with unspeakable joy. I chose this particular photo of cloud cover to remind me that just as the clouds can shield us from the heat of the sun's rays, so God's love covers us and shields us from the harshness that life can bring our way.    May each one of us snuggle under the blanket of God's protecting love today and may our hearts be filled with joy knowing that we are safe and secure today and for the rest of our lives. 

Ephesians 3:17-19 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. 

Time is very valuable commodity. Have you ever found yourself wishing there were more hours in a day? Ask God to teach you to live wisely. Pay attention to the way you spend your time & make the most of every opportunity. 

Verses 18-20 teach that is such a powerful passage that we can obey & stay ever filled with the Holy Spirit. We do this by speaking to ourselves through our thoughts or to others through our words in psalms & hymns & spiritual songs. We need to keep thoughts & words full of God’s Word by continuously offering praise & giving thanks to Him. 

 This promise is part of the amazing prayer that the Apostle Paul prays for the church at Ephesus in Ephesians 3:14-21. In this prayer, Paul makes his requests known to the Father from whom His family in heaven and earth is named after (v 14 & 15) that He might strengthen our inner man by the power of His Holy Spirit.   The whole point of this prayer is that the Holy Spirit would root us deeply in the love of God so that we would have power to be able to know (grasp, understand) the vastness of His immeasurable love that has been given to us in Jesus Christ our Lord.   The love that God has for us cannot be comprehended any other way. It is far too great for us to be able to grasp in our human understanding. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to make God's love a reality to us. In Romans 5:5, Paul says that God has poured out His love into our hearts by His Spirit.   My prayer today is that each and every one of us would have a love encounter with God through the personal working of His Holy Spirit. I pray that the Spirit of God would give us power to grasp how deep, how wide, how long and how high His love is for us and that we would be filled to the full measure of God's fullness with His everlasting, unending love! 

1John 1:7 But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. 
Jesus is called the Light of the World. In Him is no darkness, only brilliant, glorious light. The good news of the gospel is that when we receive the free gift of God, which is the life of His own Son, we are completely cleansed from all unrighteousness and forgiven from all our sin.   We have become children of the light because we are now joined completely into the holy life of Jesus. Romans 8:1 says because of this exchange, there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ (NKJ). Our adversary the devil is called the accuser of the brethren. His aim is to continually bring accusations against us that would somehow cause us to feel ashamed and hide from God. When you hear these accusing voices, declare the finished work of the blood of Jesus over your life, for it is the cleansing power of Jesus' blood that keeps us walking in the light!   We have no need to hide in shame from God. Jesus Christ has secured our place in His Father's heart and His blood has covered our past sins, our present sins and our future sins. You can rest in the finished work of Jesus Christ. When He cried it is finished! on the cross, He meant it. 

Does this mean that we can go on living a sinful life? No of course not, however, we can rest assured that if we walk in the light as Jesus is in the light, His blood cleanses us from ALL sin.  

In this verse we find that there is power in the shed blood of Jesus Christ! You & I are continually cleansed, not just once in a while but frequently & continuously.  

The Bible states that there is only one requirement on our part that is we must freely admit we have sinned & confess those sins.  

We must be quick to repent, & not to try & hide anything from God. He will never reject you, but repentance releases the power of His blood on your behalf & makes it effective in your life. Confess your sins & allow the blood of Jesus to cleanse you on a regular basis.  

Matthew 5:3 God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. 

We live in an upside down Kingdom. 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 says that God has chosen the poor of this world to shame the rich, the weak to shame the strong, the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. I am thankful that God has chosen the poor, the weak and the foolish!  In today's promise, we read that the Kingdom of God actually belongs to the poor in spirit. I believe that being poor in spirit is just acknowledging that we need God to do for us what we can't do for ourselves. Being poor in spirit is to live a life of simple dependence on God's love and His life. If we were rich (spiritually, not materially) we would not think that we had any needs at all!  Being poor in spirit keeps us dependent on the one and only true life source. Jesus speaks about such things in the book of Revelation in chapter 3:14-22 to the Laodicean church. When we think we are rich and in need of nothing, we tend to live independent, isolated and separated. God doesn't want us separate, but very close to His heart.   So if you are feeling hungry today for His presence, dependent for God to be your very life source, you are in the best place that you could possibly be! For blessed are the poor in spirit, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these! 

Ephesians 6:11 Put on all of God’s armour so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.  

In Ephesians 6, Paul the Apostle exhorts the church at Ephesus to put on the full armour of God in order to be able to stand against the tricks of the enemy. It is interesting to note that the armour does not belong to us, but it belongs to God. It is His armour.   He has given us His helmet of salvation to guard our mind and give us peace. He has given us His breastplate of righteousness to protect our heart. He has given us His belt of truth so that we would know the truth and the truth would set us free. He has prepared our feet with shoes of peace so we can proclaim the good news wherever we go. He has given us His shield of faith so that when we lift it up, we quench all of the fiery arrows from the enemy.   And last but not least, He has given us an offensive weapon, the sword of the Spirit, the very Word of God so we can advance the kingdom. Our God and Father has given us everything we need to live a godly life through Jesus Christ our Lord. We stand in His armour, His power, His protection... not our own. So having done all to stand in the power of God's might, continue to stand. 

Many of us fight the battles in the realm of our emotions, but as Ephesians 6:11 -18 teaches, our battle is not just with our emotions, but with the spiritual forces that play on our emotions.  

In the King James Version of Ephesians 6:12 we are told that we do not war with flesh & blood but against principalities & powers. rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. This means we war against strong spiritual entities. 

It is so important for us to see that we cannot fight darkness with darkness. I believe the way to resist & overcome our powerful spiritual enemy is not by venting our anger & frustration in some fleshly manner. Rather, we need to put on our spiritual armour as described in Ephesians 6:13-17 & yield ourselves to the power of the Holy Spirit within us as we pray. 

We would not leave home half dressed. But many of us forget to put on our spiritual clothing. Every day forces of satan wage war against us, & it is important to protected with this spiritual protection & authority, we can learn about our spiritual armour in Ephesians 6:10-18, & as we put our clothes on each day, also put on our armour & pick up our sword! For example, walking in peace is equivalent to putting on the shoes of peace, or walking in righteousness, is equivalent to putting on the breastplate of righteousness which protects our heart in the soulish realm from all condemnation. God supplies the armour we need to defeat all the attacks of the devil, but you must put it on. 

God is always there for us when we need comfort & or encouragement  as we see in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 AMP Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of sympathy (pity and mercy) and the God [Who is the Source] of every comfort (consolation and encouragement), 
4 Who comforts (consoles and encourages) us in every trouble (calamity and affliction), so that we may also be able to comfort (console and encourage) those who are in any kind of trouble or distress, with the comfort (consolation and encouragement) with which we ourselves are comforted (consoled and encouraged) by God. 

Have you ever been disappointed, hurt or mistreated? Have you had changes in your life or are you experiencing loss of some kid? Have you failed in some way? Are you just simply tired? What is your trouble today? These verses tell us that God wants to help you by comforting you when you need it. 

The Holy Spirit is actually called the comforter (John 14:26)). His various names describe His character. They reveal what He does & what He desires to do for believers. He is willing to do a great deal for us if we are willing to receive His help. 

For many years I became angry when I could not get the comfort from family or friends when I needed it, I am sure they were trying BUT now I realise that God would not allow them to give me the comfort I should have been seeking from Him. God was longing to give me that comfort by the power of the Holy Spirit. If only I had asked!  

God will allow people to do only a certain amount for us, & no more. Even those people who are extremely close to us cannot give us everything we need all the time. When we expect others to do for us what only God can do, we have our expectations in the wrong place, & we will always be disappointed. 

No comfort is as good as God’s. People can never give us what we really need unless God Himself uses other people to reach out to us, which He often does. Whether He uses another person to comfort you or He comforts you Himself By the Holy Spirit, let me remind you that He is the Comforter. Ask & receive His comfort whenever you need it. 

These are just some of the wonder promises of god, let them renew your mind & don’t just read these wonderful promises but process them slowly, deeply, prayerfully & repeatedly, letting the truth of them change our thinking & strengthen your faith. 

We see from psalm 119:49-56 Remember your promise to me;     it is my only hope. 50 Your promise revives me;     it comforts me in all my troubles. 51 The proud hold me in utter contempt,     but I do not turn away from your instructions. 52 I meditate on your age-old regulations;     Lord, they comfort me. 53 I become furious with the wicked,     because they reject your instructions. 54 Your decrees have been the theme of my songs     wherever I have lived. 55 I reflect at night on who you are, O Lord;     therefore, I obey your instructions. 56 This is how I spend my life:     obeying your commandments. 

Verse 56 teaches to practice obedience to God’s WordUnderstand that it is the key to further understanding. 

By living your life according to the Scriptures & its instructions you will grow in godliness.  

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