Look And Live!

The Fiery Serpent On A Pole

Numbers 21:8, 9 NKJV Then the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.

 

Jesus, through His crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection, has provided all that we need for whatever faces us in this life. Isaiah said in Isaiah 53 that “He has borne our griefs” (sicknesses) and “carried our sorrows”; (pains); “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed”. (Isaiah 53:4, 5) Jesus bore it all, for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of mankind. It is through His vicarious death that we can be saved, healed, delivered and set free from all that came through the Fall of mankind that took place in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve gave up their place of authority that God had given them and through sin transferred that authority to Satan. It is because of that one sin that everything for man changed from the way it was in the Garden before sin entered and the way it was after sin came into their lives. Romans 5:12 says that it was “through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned–”. But as further recorded in Romans we see that the antidote to sin and all it’s nasty by-products is the blood of Jesus. His blood, when shed for mankind reversed all that happened in the Garden of Eden. He purchased our redemption and through His blood we, who receive His gift of righteousness, “will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:17) We receive His righteousness through accepting the free gift that He provided for us on the cross of Calvary!

 

But what happens when we don’t know that Jesus purchased all that we needed to live life to the fullest? Just as the Israelites when bitten by snakes in the wilderness were healed when looking at the bronze serpent that was lifted up on that pole so we are saved when we look at Jesus, who was lifted up on that Cross of Calvary. It is in looking away from the situation at hand and looking to the Solution, Jesus, that we are healed, whether it be spiritual, emotional, physical, financial, mental, or relational. It is only as we look unto Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith, that we will find salvation.

 

Acts 4:12 NKJV “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

 

When we look into the Greek for the meaning for the word “salvation” we find that the word for salvation in that verse is “soteria” and it means “deliverance, preservation, soundness, prosperity, happiness, rescue, general well-being”. According to Strong’s concordance the word is used both in a material, temporal sense and in a spiritual, eternal sense. In other words, salvation as described in this New Testament verse is described as being for not just the spirit of man, but for the whole man, in whatever sense it is needed to bring deliverance, preservation, soundness, prosperity, happiness, rescue and well-being. Folks, that is “GOOD NEWS”!

 

So, how do we access this great “salvation” that Jesus has provided for us? I think we must go back to the Old Testament verse that is referenced above and focus on what it says we must “look” at. We must “look at Jesus” who is the Source and Solution to every problem in life that we will ever encounter. We must “turn away” from gazing on our problems and start “gazing” upon the Solution to our problems. God has made available to us His great salvation through the only One who could have provided sinless blood to wash sinful blood from our lives. Sin is the origin of sickness, disease, poverty, lack, dysfunctional relationships, marital problems, mental illness and all other plans to steal, kill and destroy mankind. There were none of these problems in Adam and Eve’s lives until sin entered the Garden. From that time on man has had to deal with results from that one original sin.

 

Jesus said in John 10:9, 10 “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

 

Jesus is the door to salvation. He is the only way we can enter in and find what we need in the abundant life that He died to give us. Satan is the thief, the one who comes to steal, kill and destroy. That’s the plan that he has for our lives, but Jesus said that His plan for us is that we might experience life, and that more abundantly.

 

Abundantly – Greek word perissos – according to Strong’s Concordance, means “superabundance, escessive, overflowing, surplus, over and above, more than enough, profuse, extraordinary, above the ordinary, more than sufficient”.

 

Wow! That’s living life to the fullest! Jesus died that we might have abundant life; spirit, soul and body. It is in “looking” at Jesus, not just with our natural eyes, nor with our mental abilities, but with our spiritual eyes, our hearts, in giving to Him everything that we are to all that we know of Him, that we can experience salvation.

 

I remember a time years ago when I was a part of a Lay Renewal Weekend Team that went to minister to a church group in a city several hours from my home. In the Saturday night session we broke up into small groups and asked each member of the group to make a “time line” of where they began their walk with Christ and where they were in that “time line” at the present time. I had a young lady tell me that she didn’t have a “time line” because she was not worthy to have Jesus in her life. She was very forlorn, wouldn’t look me in the eye, had her hair drawn back in a tight pony tail and looked very sad, as if she had no hope. Saturday night I prayed with her and she gave her heart, her life, to the Lord Jesus to begin her “time line” of her walk with Him. When she came to church on Sunday morning she was a totally different person. Her whole countenance had changed; her hair was a beautiful, flowing golden color that looked like the sun had just christened it with a glow beyond understanding. She had a spring in her step and you could tell that “new life” had entered her being. She radiated life and proclaimed what the Lord had done for her just the previous night! She was a living example of what it means to surrender your life to Jesus! She was living the abundant life as she knew it, in her limited understanding, as she was beginning her life with the Lord. She couldn’t live it completely because she did not understand it completely, but what she knew of life with Jesus was being lived out in abundance in her.

 

You see, we don’t begin knowing everything about the Lord or what He has provided for us. We grow in our knowledge and understanding of Him. We grow in developing a relationship with Him and as we grow the Holy Spirit who lives within us, the Spirit of Christ Jesus, gives us revelation knowledge, or a better understanding of all that Jesus died to give us. Peter said in 2 Peter 1:2-4 that God has given us “all things that pertain to life and godliness” through the knowledge of Him. We grow in that knowledge by spending time in His word and in praying and listening as He shares His heart with us. That’s what prayer is; us speaking to Him and Him speaking to us. We grow through interaction with Jesus as His Spirit leads us in prayer and Bible study. We grow as other believers share their experiences and men and women of God proclaim God’s Word to us. Even life’s experiences teach us things about the Lord and the good that He has planned for us. Jeremiah records in Jeremiah 29:11 that God has a good plan for our lives that includes hope for a good future. God has good things in store for His children. But if we continue to look at the problems instead of Jesus, our Solution, we will continue to experience the downward spiral that comes with overwhelming obstacles.

 

Do you seem to have the same problems over and over again? Does life seem overwhelming to you? Look unto Jesus! Proclaim His promises in the face of life’s problems. Each of us has times when we feel overwhelmed at what life throws at us. Jesus said we would have difficult times, but then He told us to not be discouraged about them because He had already overcome them for us. (John 16:33) When we constantly live “under our circumstances” it’s usually because we have bought into the lie of the devil that we are victims instead of victors. But Jesus said we are “more than conquerors through Him who loved us”. (Romans 8:37) We are “more than conquerors”! That phrase as defined in Strong’s Concordance means “one who is super victorious, who wins more than an ordinary victory, but who is overpowering in achieving abundant victory”. We may not always feel like we are more than conquerors, and it may not look like we are victorious, but God sees us as that way as we live through His love. Does that mean that everything will be perfect in our lives or that we won’t have problems? No, but it means that the problems of life do not get the best of us. We live above them through making a decision that we will live life from an eternal perspective instead of an earthly perspective. And as we look at Jesus we can live the abundant life that He paid the price to give us. It is living according to the Spirit more than having to an earthly, fleshly world view.

 

Where are you in your “time line” of your walk with Jesus today? Have you begun yet? Or do you feel it’s time to move forward, leave the past behind and walk towards all that Jesus died to give you? That might mean you have to get into God’s Word to clarify your belief system or it could mean that you have to press in to receive more of God’s Spirit moving in your life. It might mean leaving behind some baggage that has been holding you back from living the abundant life that Jesus made available to you. What decision do you need to make for Him today?

 

Father, I thank You for the abundant life that You have given me through the death of Your Son, Jesus Christ. I thank You, Lord Jesus, for choosing to lay down your life for me and for giving me all things that pertain to life and godliness through my relationship with You. And I thank You, Holy Spirit, for revealing to me the goodness of God’s plan for my life. Thank You, God, for all that You have given me.

 

I pray today for those who may have not started a relationship with You. I ask You to pull down the blinders that the devil has hung over their minds that has blinded them to the light of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ that would bring them to salvation. I pray that today they will pray and invite Jesus into their hearts, their lives, to live with them and give them eternal life through Him.

 

I pray for those who are struggling through life’s circumstances that they will look at Jesus, meaning that they will see Him as the Source or Solution to their problems and begin to proclaim Him as Savior and Lord over each situation that they are experiencing. I declare Him Lord over sin; sickness, poverty, lack, emotional issues, mental illness, and relationship obstacles. I declare Him LORD over every problem that they would encounter! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

Hard Cases

Ant carrying stick

As I was out walking this morning I came upon a little ant carrying a twig much larger than the ant. I stopped in amazement as I watched the little ant carry a load that seemed to be an impossibility.

 

Sometimes in life we come upon obstacles in our path that need moving, but seem to be impossibilities! We become discouraged at what we see before us as we view it through our limited human perspective. We fail to see that the God that we serve is the God of impossibilities and that what he expects us to do is to bring it to Him so that through His strength and power we, too, can do the impossible.

 

Matthew 19:26 NKJV But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

 

So, what is it that makes the impossible possible with us? What can we do to cooperate with God in seeing these humanly impossible situations change?

 

In Mark 9:23 Jesus told His disciples that “….all things are possible to him who believes”.

 

Our part is to believe and God’s part is to act on our request. At other times He tells us to “hear and do”; to “ask and it will be given”; “seek and you will find”; to “speak and you will have what you say”. (James 1:22; 2:22; Matthew 6:7; Mark 11:23,24) In all these instances we have a part to play in asking, seeking, saying and believing and God has His part in hearing, answering, and doing what we’ve requested of Him.

 

2 Corinthians 6:1 NKJV We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain.

 

We are workers together with Christ Jesus. He has provided all that we need for success in His grace, but it is our faith that accesses the grace of God. In praying we make our requests known to Him with thanksgiving, believing that He hears and answers our prayers and then He is is the One who answers. (Philippians 4:6) In ministry we work together with Him in presenting the gospel to the lost and hurting and He works with us confirming His word with the accompanying signs. (Mark 16:20)

 

Hebrews 11:6 NKJV But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

 

Are you facing an impossible situation today? Take it to God and ask Him what He would have you do to cooperate with His work in you and through you to change this situation. Then listen for His instructions and do what He says. He rewards those who diligently seek Him in faith!

 

Father, I thank You for the impossible things that I see you doing in my life. I thank You for empowering me to succeed and for working with me as I share God’s word with the lost and hurting. Thank You for allowing me to work with You in changing impossible situations into victories! To You be the glory, honor and praise! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Ephesians 3 20, 21

 

 

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