Grace, Grace!!

God's grace

Zechariah 4:6, 7 AMP Then he said to me, This [addition of the bowl to the candlestick, causing it to yield a ceaseless supply of oil from the olive trees] is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit [of Whom the oil is a symbol], says the Lord of hosts. For who are you, O great mountain [of human obstacles]? Before Zerubbabel [who with Joshua had led the return of the exiles from Babylon and was undertaking the rebuilding of the temple, before him] you shall become a plain [a mere molehill]! And he shall bring forth the finishing gable stone [of the new temple] with loud shoutings of the people, crying, Grace, grace to it!

Is there an obstacle in your life that seems like a mountain that is impossible to climb or cross over? God gave Zerubbabel the answer to an impossible situation in his life by telling him that it is not by human might nor power, but by the power of the Holy Spirit that he would accomplish it.

There is a ceaseless supply of the Holy Spirit ready to assist you in that impossibility! Jesus said He is our Helper! Just as the angel instructed Zerubbabel so we are instructed to draw on the presence and power of God’s Spirit when we encounter mountain sized challenges in our lives. It is by God’s grace, through our faith, that we receive the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to overcome. His grace is there for us!

In Hebrews 10:29 the Holy Spirit is called the “Spirit of grace”. One of the definitions of “grace” is God’s unlimited power to do in us what we cannot do in and of ourselves. When we draw on the Spirit of grace we are receiving the help that we need in proportion to the need itself. Philippians 4:19 says that “my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus”. “According to” in that verse means “in a manner consistent with”. The manner in which God supplies our need is according to or in a manner consistent with His riches in glory coming by our connection with Jesus Christ through faith in Him. God never runs short or experiences lack in His riches in glory! There is an abundance to supply every need that you and I have in this life as well as in our future eternity.

The angel told Zerubbabel that it was by his hands the foundation of the temple had been laid and it would be by his hands it would be finished. But the power for the work would come through the Holy Spirit for it is “Not my might, nor by power, but by My Spirit” said the Lord.

In our lives we often look for miraculous ways to accomplish what God intends for us to do by His Spirit. Some of us try to accomplish things under our own power without consulting the Holy Spirit for His help and some of us want every challenge to be miraculously removed so we don’t have to “go through” any inconvenience or work on our part. But God has a part to play in our lives and we have a part to play. He will not do our part and we cannot do His. In Zerubbabel’s situation there was a work that needed to be done; the work of rebuilding God’s temple. God sent an angel to tell him that the work would be done through the power of His Spirit as Zerubbabel applied himself to do it. God sent the message that He would help Zerubbabel accomplish the work and that, in essence, the physical aspect would be done by Zerubbabel. The way that he would know it was the Lord speaking these things through the angel was by finishing the work. He wouldn’t know the power that was available to him until he drew on it to accomplish the task at hand.

Verse 10: NKJV “For who has despised the day of small things? For these seven rejoice to see The plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. They are the eyes of the LORD, Which scan throughout the whole earth.”

Are you drawing from the power of the Holy Spirit in your own challenges? Sometimes it seems like you’re not making much progress in overcoming the enormity of the task, but God wants you to see the small steps as progress. As the old saying goes, “how do you eat an elephant?….one bite at a time”, just keep walking forward in the knowledge of what God has asked you to do and count every forward step as a victory! You may not be able to see the finish line, but it’s out there. The Bible records in Hebrews 12:2 that Jesus endured the cross by looking at the joy that was set before Him. He looked far enough into eternity future to see that the victory was in paying the price for all mankind to have an opportunity to know Him as Savior and Lord so He endured the process to gain the prize! He drew on the “grace”, the power of the Holy Spirit within Him to go the distance to finish the race!

My friend, you may not understand what you are going through right now, but if you will depend on the Lord, you will win the fight and carry home the prize that awaits you at the finish line. Do not give up or give in to discouragement, but draw on the power of the Holy Spirit within you to climb the mountain and you will find the mountain has turned into a molehill! Speak God’s grace over your life and declare the power of the Holy Spirit is present to help you! Lift up your head and walk with a positive attitude towards your victory!

May God’s grace and peace be evident in your life today!

Father, I thank You for the power of the Holy Spirit to help us accomplish the mountain sized obstacles in this life. I thank You for granting us the victory through Your limitless supply! May all who read this know and experience today the power of Your Spirit through a living and vital relationship with Jesus Christ. For those who have never surrendered their hearts and lives to You I pray that this will be their day of salvation. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Wonderful, Merciful Savior!

Wonderful, merciful Savior
Precious Redeemer and Friend
Who would have thought that a lamb could
Rescue the souls of men
Oh, You rescue the souls of men

Comforter, Counselor, Keeper
Spirit we long to embrace
You offer hope when our hearts have
Hopelessly lost the way
Oh, we hopelessly lost the way

You are the one that we praise
You are the one we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
Oh, our hearts always hunger for

Almighty, infinite Father
Faithfully loving Your own
Here in our weakness You find us
Falling before Your throne
Oh, we’re falling before Your throne

You are the one that we praise
You are the one we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
Oh, our hearts always hunger for

You are the one that we praise
You are the one we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
Oh, our hearts always hunger for

You are the one that we praise
You are the one we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
Oh, our hearts always hunger for

Almighty, infinite Father
Faithfully loving Your own
Here in our weakness You find us
Falling before Your throne
Oh, we’re falling before Your throne

You are the one that we praise
You are the one we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
Oh, our hearts always hunger for

 

Oh Lord Jesus, You are the One that I praise; You are the One I adore. Who would have thought that a lamb could rescue the souls of men. Who would have thought that such a meek and mild Savior would be born to rescue us from the death and destruction of the evil one. You are the One that I praise today, Lord Jesus! You are the One that I adore! You deserve the praise of my heart this morning. You deserve the adoration of my soul. Thank You for loving me, for saving me, for rescuing me from destruction! Thank You for keeping me in Your care, Father. Thank You, Lord, for Your redeeming power. You know all, see all and are all-powerful. How could I question Your ability to care for those things that are heavy on my heart, Father. You are well able to care for my loved ones; for my life and all that is within it. You are worthy to receive my praise and I do praise You this morning, Father!

 

“Oh My little one, My child. I do see those things that are heavy on your heart this morning. I do see that you care for the ones that are hurting. I see and I care as well, Child. I am working in each situation. Even when You can’t see my hand moving you can trust My heart. You can trust that I will save, heal and deliver those that you are concerned about. I am not a man that I should lie or the son of man that I would change My mind. I died for mankind, to redeem them from the curse and sting of the death of the evil one. You are always on my mind, Child, as well as those that you care about. Turn your eyes upon Me, and look to Me for I am working and will show You the miraculous that you are seeking. I will touch the hearts and lives and bring healing and wholeness as you have requested. I will have compassion on those that are hurting and lost, wandering around without a Savior. I did not die for nothing, Child. I died to secure a work that only I could do. There is no man that could save besides Me. I died for you and those that you love and care for. I will do what is best for each one of them. Do not be disheartened this morning for I care for you.”

You Are Safe In God’s Hands

John 16:32 “Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.”

Jesus was getting ready to go to the cross to pay for the sin of mankind when He spoke these words to His disciples. In His humanity He was about to face the darkest time of His life; a time when even those closest to Him would turn their backs on Him. Can you imagine the pressure that was upon Him at that time? And yet, He knew that He wasn’t alone because His Father was right there with Him.

Maybe you have felt all alone at times in your life. Times when it seemed that everyone who should have or could have been close to you had turned their backs on you and left you to face the unknown alone. But just as Jesus had the assurance that He wasn’t walking through life alone, so can we have that assurance. As children of God, born again believers in the risen Christ, we can know without a shadow of a doubt that we do not face life and it’s pressures alone. The Father, through His indwelling Spirit, is always with us.

Hebrews 13:5b, 6 ….For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

God has promised to be with us, to walk with us through life’s pressures and to give us the help that we need at just the right time. We do not have to fear what lies ahead because Jesus said even though we would experience pressure from this world system and the attacks of the enemy that we could be of good cheer because He had overcome those things for us. We have peace and strength in Him even in the midst of the storms of life.

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.

That word for “tribulation” in the Greek is the word thlipsis and according to Strong’s concordance #2347 it means “pressure, oppression, stress, anguish, tribulation, adversity, affliction, crushing, squashing, squeezing, distress. The word is used of crushing grapes or olives in a press.

How many times have you felt like you were being crushed in a press due to the adversity and tribulation going on in your life? It’s a very real affliction; not just something that comes against you mentally. You can experience very real physical symptoms from the pressures of life. But Jesus said to be of good cheer. In other words, don’t let the devil squeeze you into his mold! Rest in the peace that Jesus has purchased for you on the cross of Calvary. He took our tribulations on Himself when He was crucified on our behalf. The great exchange was made; His peace for our tribulation.

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Jesus said He was leaving His peace with us. It’s a different kind of peace than what we find out in the world. The world gives us peace as we perform according to what is expected of us. If we do what is right init’s sight then things go well with us and we have the world’s type of peace. Peace that is based on conditions. If you meet the conditions things will go well with you. But the peace that Jesus has given us is a peace that has no requirements for you to meet; it is unconditional and can’t be taken back from you. You never have to perform to receive it; it is given by grace and received through the exercise of your faith.

Peace by the definition of the world’s standards is freedom from disturbance or agitation. It is conditional based upon whether or not there is friction or strife in your life. If no strife is there then you have peace. But God’s peace, the peace that Jesus gives us, is the Greek word “eirene” and it means “a state of rest, quietness, and calmness; an absence of strife; tranquility. It general denotes a perfect well-being. It is a calmness even in the midst of the storm. It is not dependent upon the absence of strife for it to work. It is a state of rest, quietness and calmness, even when the pressure is on. The world’s form of peace is totally dependent upon the absence of strife and the peace that Jesus gives is a peace that works even when strife is present. You can experience peace in the midst of life’s trials; if you will trust the Lord, receive it by faith, and keep your focus on Him.

Isaiah 26:3, 4 You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, For in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength.

Keep your focus on the Lord and trust Him and you will experience the peace that passes all understanding. He is there for you! There is none above Him and none beside Him.

Isaiah 45:18 For thus says the LORD, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited: “I am the LORD, and there is no other.”

Remember it is not who you are that matters the most, it is WHOSE you are. If you have invited Jesus into your heart to be your own personal Lord and Savior then you belong to the family of God. You are a child of Almighty God. He is the One who watches over you; who provides for you and cares for you. He is the One who gives you His peace; perfect peace when you trust Him.

Thank You, Father, for Your peace. I know that I do not travel through life alone, but You are right here with me. You are the One that I long for, cling to, rely on and trust in. You are my God and there is no other above you or beside You. I recognize You as the authority in my life and I trust You to take care of the things that I am concerned about. Father, I pray for those today who might be experiencing turmoil, pain, fear and pressure in their lives due to the adversity that is facing them. Father, I ask You to touch them where they are, to provide for them as they have need and to give them peace in their hearts knowing that You love them and are watching over them. Give them peace in the midst of their storms, Father. Show them Your great power in overcoming all that is coming against them. Show them how to rest in You, Lord, and experience the assurance that all will be okay in their lives. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for the peace that You have given us. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Saint or Simply An Old Sinner, Saved By Grace?

Many times we overlook the introduction to the books of the Bible as the writer introduces to whom he is writing. We have a tendency to think that it is not important to us because it was written to a people in a different time period and place. But there is a lot of valuable information in the introduction of the book that will give us a better understanding of how we should view ourselves in relation to our status as children of God.

The Bible is God’s love letter to His people, so all of it, even the “Greeting” is written, not only to the ones that it was addressing in that day and age, but also to us. Paul starts a lot of his writings “to the saints” in the church. He doesn’t remind the people that they were once sinners, but he addresses them as who they are in Christ Jesus, because they “were” sinners, but they are now “saints”. Do you see yourself as an old sinner saved by grace, or a saint who occasionally sins? Well, you were a sinner and if you’ve invited Jesus into your heart you are now a saint, but God is not in the business of reminding people of how bad they were in the past. He encourages people to be who they are in Christ Jesus and to see themselves as that “saint” that they have now become. Here are some of the New Testament “Greetings”:

1 Corinthians 1:2 To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

2 Corinthians 1:1 PAUL, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in all Achaia:

Ephesians 1:1 PAUL, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:

Philippians 1:1 PAUL and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

Colossians 1:1, 2 PAUL, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse:

Romans 1:7 To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints:

Paul even identifies himself as what God has made him to be, an apostle, not what he used to be as a persecutor of the church of Jesus Christ. He knew that he was a new creation in Christ Jesus, and as such, he identified himself as what he was as that new person, not what he had been. It is important for us to see ourselves as the person that God has made us and not the sinner that we used to be. If we constantly see ourselves as an old sinner saved by grace we will live with a defeatist attitude.

If you have been born again through the blood of Jesus and received Him as your Savior and Lord, then you are beloved of God, called to be saints just as much as the Romans were, or the people of Philippi or Colosse or Ephesus or Corinth! We all have to go through the blood of Jesus to become a saint of God! It is true that we have not been perfected, but God has begun a good work in each of us and He will bring it to completion at the day of Christ’s return. (Philippians 1:6)

Ephesians 1:3-6 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

Have you ever thought about the fact that God chose you before the foundation of the world to be His and that through the shed blood of His Son you have been placed and accepted into the Beloved; His family? Do you understand that you are a child of the King; a royal priesthood, a holy people? And that He has blessed you with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places through your relationship with Christ Jesus? You are a VIP, very important person!

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

You are God’s own special person! He has a plan for your life, to proclaim His praises! He has delivered you out of darkness and into His marvelous light and you are now a part of His family; His own people. He has given you mercy when you didn’t have it before. He has a good plan for your life!

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

God has a plan for your life that is full of hope, peace and goodness! It is as we see ourselves the way that God sees us that we will live up to the standards that He has placed before us. We strive to be what is expected of us. If you have a child that is constantly belittled and criticized he will grow up with a negative attitude thinking he can’t do anything right. But if you constantly praise and encourage that same child he will grow up with a positive attitude thinking he can conquer the world! We are the same way in our spiritual journeys. We live up to what we are told about ourselves. Our spirits need spiritual truth to flourish and grow. Our emotions and actions will follow what comes out of our spirits. It is important to feed your spirit man daily on the word of God to assure proper spiritual nourishment for growth.

 

In my younger years I suffered from low self-esteem that stemmed from an emotionally abusive past. As a part of my deliverance God had me create a list of positive confessions from His word that I used to counter the negative thoughts that would come against me. They are powerful confessions for practical living. I would like to share them with you because I feel there are others that may be suffering from that same “spiritual illness”. Please feel free to take them as you would any prescription medication; with regularity! It will help if you read them out loud to yourself so your eyes see the words and your hears hear them. That multiplies the effectiveness of the confessions.

Father, I thank You for Your word that brings life into my spirit! I ask You, Father, to open the eyes of the blind and those who are oppressed to see the freedom that they have in Christ Jesus! Father, bring them out of darkness, whatever it might be. Deliver them from the evil one and set their spirits aflame with Your love and desire. Father, I ask You to deliver them from the oppression of low self-esteem and show them who they are in Christ Jesus! Bring them out of darkness into the light of Your word! Increase their desire to be free and give them the ability and courage to speak Your word over their lives every day until their spirit man is built up and nourished! Thank You, Father, for setting them free! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

SPIRITUAL VITAMINS

 

I am a new creation in Christ, old things have passed away and all things have become new. 2 Cor. 5:17

God made Jesus to be sin for me that I might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Cor. 5:21

I am working out my own salvation with fear and trembling because it is God who works in me both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Phil. 2:12, 13

I am confident of this very thing, that God has begun a good work in me and He will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. Phil. 1:6

I have the mind of Christ and He has not given me the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 1 Cor. 1:16; 2 Tim. 1:7

I have an anointing from the Holy One and I know all things. And the anointing which I have received from Him abides in me, and teaches me all things that are true and not a lie. 1 John 2:20, 27

The Holy Spirit is my teacher and He guides me into all truth; He does not speak on His own authority but whatever He hears He speaks to me and tells me things to come. John 16:13

Jesus is the good shepherd and I am His sheep. he speaks and I hear His voice and the voice of another I will not follow. John 10:6, 14, 27

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want or lack for any good thing. Ps. 23:1

The Word of God is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path. Ps. 119:105

God’s Word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against Him. Ps. 119:11

I delight myself in the Lord and He gives me the desires of my heart. Ps. 37:4

My steps are ordered of God because I am a good woman and the Lord delights in my way. Though I may fall, I shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds me with His hand. Ps. 37:23, 24

The Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword. It pierces my heart and divides between my soul and my spirit. It judges my thoughts and intentions and brings change into my life. Heb. 4:12

I can take authority over the thoughts that come into my mind because my weapons are not carnal but mighty in God to the pulling down of strongholds and God has given me authority over all the power of the enemy and He cannot harm me. 2 Cor. 10:3-5; Luke 10:19

God has delivered me from the power of darkness and conveyed me into the kingdom of the Son of His love. Col. 1:13

I can submit myself to God and resist the Devil and he must flee from me. Jas. 4:7

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil. 4:13

I thank God because He always leads me to triumph in Christ. 2 Cor. 2:14

I am the healed of the Lord because by His stripes I was healed. 1 Pet. 2:24

My God is my healer. He has sent His word and healed me and delivered me from all my destruction. Ex. 15:26; Ps. 107:20

I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD. Ps. 118:17

No weapon formed against me shall prosper and every tongue that raises up against me in judgment I shall condemn for this is my heritage as a servant of the LORD and He is my righteousness and vindication! Is. 54:17

All my children shall be taught of the LORD and great shall be their peace [their undisturbed composure]. Is. 54:13

My afflictions may be many, but the Lord delivers me out of them all. Ps. 34:19

Because I dwell in the secret place of the Most High and abide under the shadow of the Almighty, I can say of the LORD, “you are my refuge and my fortress. You are my God and it’s in You that I trust. Ps. 91:1,2

Because I have made the LORD my refuge and my dwelling place, no evil shall befall me and no plague shall come near my dwelling. And He gives His angels charge over me to keep me in all my ways. They hold me in their hands so I won’t stumble and fall on the rocks of life. Ps. 91:9-12

Because I have set my love upon God, He will deliver me. He sets me on high because I have known His name; I know Him personally and understand His character and nature. I call upon Him and He answers me. He is with me in trouble. He delivers me and honors me and satisfies me with long life. And He shows me His salvation. Ps. 91:14-16

When I am afraid, I trust in my God; I praise His word and trust in Him. I will not fear because my God is for me. When I cry out to Him my enemies turn back. Ps. 56:9

My soul trusts in my God and I hide in the shadow of His wings until the storm passes by. Ps. 57:1

Because my God will never leave me or forsake me, I can boldly say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear.” Heb. 13:5,6

If my God is for me, who could possibly be against me? My God gave up His only Son for me and with Him He freely gives me all things. Rom. 8:31, 32

There is nothing that can separate me from God’s love. And He has made me more than a conqueror through Him who loves me. Rom. 8:35, 37

My God is greater than anything the devil or the world can throw at me. He has overcome the world and He is the greater One living in me. Because I am in Him and He is in me I have overcome the world and have the victory through my faith in Him. 1 John 4:4; 5:4

 

 

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