What God Has Given

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“Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.” Joshua 1:3

Whatever God has given we don’t have to pay to receive.  All we need to do is to take it by faith.  And since we don’t have to pay for it, we don’t have to work for it.  It is given.

I think that one of the reasons why we are not taking it by faith is because we are still thinking as the world thinks.  The world’s way of receiving is that you must work for it.  I know you’ve heard the phrase “You can’t get something for nothing”.  Well, that’s the world’s way of thinking.  Romans 12:2 says, “and be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”  God’s good and acceptable, and perfect will is for us to take all that He has given us by faith. 

The world sets boundaries between you and what you want, need, and can do.  And those boundaries will always be based on your efforts or works.  But Christ came and removed the boundaries between us and our wants, needs and abilities.  The children of Israel going into the promise land was a foreshadow of what Christ would do for us.  They went into a land that flowed with milk and honey, a land that they didn’t have to work or pay for, a land where there were vineyards that they didn’t have to plant and houses that they didn’t have to build.  All they had to do was to take it by faith.  Unfortunately, of the twelve spies that Moses sent out to survey the land, only two received by faith.  The other ten only saw the boundaries.

Numbers 13:31:33

“But the men that went up with him said, we be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.  And they brought up and evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, the land, through which we have gone to search it is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great statue.  And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants; and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.”

These ten men infected a generation of people with doubt and unbelief so that they missed out on that good and acceptable, and perfect will of God for their lives.  

So how do we remove the boundaries?  We removed the boundaries by seeing what God has done for us through Christ.  Romans 8:32 says, “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall he not with Him also freely give us all things?” This takes care of our wants and needs and, Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” This takes care of our abilities.

Now, the only thing left for us to do is to take it.  We take it by declaring with thanksgiving that it is ours!

Entangled

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2 Timothy 2:4

“No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

As we’ve talked about previously, the devil is after our faith.  He knows that if he can get us to step away from our faith in the promises of God, we won’t see them manifest in our lives.  He therefore uses the affairs of this life to entangle us and hinder us.  But thank God Jesus came to set us free from the devil and everything that he uses to entangled us.

When you are entangled, you are caught up in something that has you bound.  While some parts of you may be free, you’re unable to free yourself from the trap.  The place of entanglement is the mind. We can become so preoccupied mentally with the things of this life that we’re not focused on the things of God. It’s impossible for us to do what we’re commissioned to do when our minds are entangled.  As believers our one focus should be going into all the world with the gospel of Christ and the love of God.  Because the only way to change the hearts of men is through the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Politics, rules, and laws won’t change men’s hearts only Jesus Christ the Son of the living God can give men a new heart.  2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.”  When a man’s heart is new, he has the ability to live a new life. His old way of living is passed away and all things have become new.

Paul admonished the believers in Galatians 5:1 to “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”  The reason being is that God doesn’t want His people to go back and be entangled in anything He has brought them out of.  God wants us free.  The Galatians had become entangled in the law even though they were now under the new covenant of grace.   And because of that they lost the sweetness and blessedness of grace.  As believers when we become entangled in the affairs of this life, we too can lose the sweetness of grace and our effectiveness as salt and light in the world.    While this doesn’t mean that we’re not involved in the world, it simply means that even in our involvement our focus should be to bring souls to the loving arms of our Father God through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Stand Firm In The Faith

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Our faith is most precious because without it we cannot please God.  It is therefore of the utmost importance that we guard it with our entire being. There can be no breaks when it comes to guarding our faith.  We must be alert and on our guard at all times. 

The devil is constantly trying to get us to move out of faith because he knows that we cannot possess the land without faith.  The children of Israel didn’t possess the promise land when they could have because they had no faith.  Likewise, we cannot possess all that Christ died for us to have if we have no faith.  I Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”  Make no mistake it’s the devil who is walking about seeking whom he may devour not people or things.  He will use whoever and whatever lends itself to him to come after your faith.  Guarding your faith may mean that you will have to separate yourself from people, places and things in order to stay stedfast and firm in your faith. David separated himself from his army and encourage himself in the Lord after the enemy had invaded Ziklag and captured their women and children. I Samuel 30:6, “And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters; but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.”  David had to remove himself from all the negative talk and space in order to hear from God.   Peter said “be sober, be vigilant.” About what you ask?  About knowing who we are, what we have, and what we can do in Christ.  For a person who knows who they are; what they have and what they can do in Christ cannot be devoured.

Faith is both offensive and defensive.  We use it to gain and to defend.  I Peter 5:9, says “whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”  Notice it says, “whom resist stedfast in the faith”.  While we are using faith to lay hold on the things of God, we are also using faith to resist the things of the devil.  Our faith rejects and resists the things of the devil and accepts and receives the things of God.  This is why the devil comes after our faith so hard.  He knows that if we stand firm in faith we will accomplish our goals, realize our dreams and fulfil our destinies.  We need only remember that our Father God has never failed or gone back on His word.  He has proven over and over again His faithfulness.  As we read and reflect on God’s faithfulness it strengthens our faith and empowers us to stand firm on His word.  You are not alone.  All who will to possess the things of God are faced with the same distractions and many are standing firm and possessing all.

The God Of Heaven Prospers Us

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Nehemiah 2:20

“Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, He will prosper us; therefore, we His servants will arise and build; but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.”

I think when we think of God prospering us, we think of God being far off in heaven and only prospering us to be where He is one day.  However, Nehemiah said “the God of heaven He will prosper us” while embarking on something that was well beyond his qualifications and experience. Nehemiah was aware of God being present there with him to help him prosper in accomplishing the greatest thing he would ever do.

Paul said in Romans, 8:31 “…If God be for us, who can be against us”. Imagine that, God is for us not against us!  God is for and not against our dreams and goals. He is for and not against you starting that business, getting married, writing that book, or having that baby.   He is right there with you to see that you prosper in all these things or whatever you desire to do.   He is your heavenly cheerleader.  Hallelujah!  No one wants you to prosper more than God.  So much so that He Himself came to live in us to assure us of prosperity.   Now ask yourself, has God ever failed? Of course not.  Therefore, you cannot fail.  Paul goes on to say in Romans 8:32, “He who spared not His Son but delivered Him up for us all how shall He not with Him freely give us all things”.  My friend, “all things” includes prosperity.

Listen, regardless of what you have to face as you work towards your dream or desire, know that you are prospering and the devil is in a constant state of defeat.  Think about that, if you are prospering anyone or anything that opposes you is defeated.   Romans 8:37, “Nay in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.”  The key here is knowing that you are not alone.  That God is with you to prosper you.  You must persuade yourself of this very fact as Paul did.  Paul said “I am persuaded …”  Romans 8:38. It might take you some time to become fully persuaded but don’t stop, keep confessing what you want to see until you can say “I am fully persuaded that the God of Heaven prospers me.”

Separated From Evil

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This world is full of evil. Jesus said in praying to the Father in John 17:15, “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of this world, but that thou shouldest keep them from evil.” How will the Father keep us from evil? Jesus tells us how in verse 17. “Sanctify them through thy Truth, Thy Word is Truth.” Jesus Christ is the living Word of God and the Word of God is the Truth that will sanctify or separate us from all the evil that’s in the world.

Evil is of the devil. It is right there in his name. Jesus called him a murderer, a liar, and the father of lies. Therefore, we can say that all evil is based on lies. Evil entered the world because Eve believed the lie the devil told her in the Garden of Eden. If you are doing anything evil whether morally, ethically, or physically it is because you have believed a lie. Somewhere at sometime you believed the lies the devil has told you. And know this, you will continue to be imprisoned by the evil that you are doing until you know the Truth. Jesus said, “And ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free.” John 8:32.

The devil will tell you lies about who you are, what you have and what you can do. He’ll tell you that you are not loved. That your mother doesn’t love you, your father doesn’t love you and most of all that God doesn’t love you. When you believe these lies not only will you practice evil, but evil in the form of sickness, disease, depression and other mental illnesses will come upon you. All of these are evils in world from the devil. Now here is the good news! John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but should have everlasting life.” That’s the Truth! Believe it and hold on to it because it is the Truth that set you free. It doesn’t matter what your background is, whether you’ve been abandon or abused. Knowing this Truth will set you free from the lies of the devil and all the evil that is in the world.

When God Is For You

I John

“If God is for us; who can be against us.”

Do you realize what it means to have God for you? Well, here’s what I think it means. It means that God has our back and He has our best interest at heart.  It means that He wants us to succeed and He will help us.  It means that He will go out on a limb for us and do whatever is necessary to give us what we need.  When God is for you it really doesn’t matter who rises up against you because God is with you!

Beautiful Thoughts

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Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

God is a Father who never has a negative thought about His children.  His thoughts about us are always good.  And He loves to think about His children because it causes Him to rejoice.  Remember, how it was when you first fell in love?  How you thought of that person all the time and most of your thoughts where good?  Maybe you thought of a touch, an embrace or a kiss. Remember how the thoughts awaken and heighten your emotions so that they flowed through your body?  Well, just think if our thoughts can affect our emotions, how much more God’s thoughts affect His emotions?  After all we’re made in His imagine and likeness.  God feels what He thinks just as we do.  But unlike us His thoughts don’t come from the outside of Him, His thoughts come from Himself where there’s only love because He is Love.

So if you want to know what’s on the Father’s mind about you simply look at Jesus because He is the expression of all the thoughts and plans that God the Father had on His mind for His children.  Jesus Christ the Son of God, the Word of God are the beautiful thoughts of God for all mankind.

One day, God thought my children will need a place where I can come and visit with them so He expressed His thought by speaking His Word and creating the world.  Then He thought it’s not good that they be alone so I’ll make them male and female and together they will fill the earth.  Then again He thought because I know they won’t always obey my commandments they will need someone to deliver them from the penalty of sin.  So He thought I’ll give them my Son, my only begotten Son, to redeem them from death, and ransom their souls from the power of darkness. God’s thoughts towards us are always thoughts of peace and not evil to give us good in our final outcome because He loves us.

Just Ask

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“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” St. John 14: 13

When we ask our Father for anything we ask in Jesus name and we can expect to receive because the Father will not deny His Son.  He has given Him all things and we are in Him.  We are in His Son Christ Jesus.

Do you see yourself on the inside of Christ seated with Him in heavenly places?  Or do you see yourself looking up to Him from the outside?  When you see yourself on the outside of Christ you’re standing on your own works and on our own righteousness.  And therefore, you stand lacking because our righteousness can never measure up to the righteousness of God our righteousness is as filthy rages.  This is why God has made us to be righteous in Christ because He knows we could never be righteous on our own.  2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”

Therefore, you must see yourself as being in Him.  2 Cor. Says, “… in Him we live and move and have our being.”  When God looks at us He only sees His beloved Son.  He only sees the blood that He poured out at Calvary. So why not see as God sees, why not see yourself in the Son.  In Christ is where you receive all the faith, boldness and confidence you need to ask and receive whatever you want from God.  But on the outside of Christ there’s fear, doubt and unbelief.

Our being in Christ takes us completely out of the equation.  We no longer have to worry about whether or not we’ve been good enough to receive our request because we’ve been taken completely out of the equation.  It’s between the Father and the Son.  And the Father will not deny His Son anything.  He has given Him all things and you are in Him.  You are a joint-heir with Christ of all things.  Therefore, whatever you ask the Father in Jesus name expect to receive because the Father will not deny His Son.

I am an heir of God a joint-heir with the Lord Jesus Christ therefore; all that belongs to Christ belongs to me.

Christ My Rock

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“He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved.” Psalms 62:6

Every day of our lives we are faced with pressure. Pressure to perform on our jobs, in our homes, in our relationships even the pressure that we put on ourselves to meet certain expectations. But regardless of how much pressure life presents, we don’t have to let the pressure cause us to be pressed.

When we are pressed we’re full of anxiety and when we’re full of anxiety we explode. We explode by making the wrong decisions. And decisions made out of anxiety are decisions made out of our heads instead of our hearts. When we make decisions based solely on head knowledge our decisions will be based on external factors and not faith. Faith is in our hearts not our heads because faith is Christ in us. God doesn’t want us to be pressed under the pressures of life instead He wants us to lean and press into Him the Rock of our salvation. When we do we see His glory.

Moses was human just like you and I and he to faced pressure. He had the responsibility of leading a rebellious and faithless people into that which God had promised them. However, Moses knew he couldn’t do it without God being with him. Exodus 33:15, “And he say unto Him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.” Moses was leaning on God to carry him through. When Moses asked God to show him His glory God told Moses to stand upon a rock and that He would hide him in the cleft of the rock. “And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by” Exodus 33: 21-22. Moses would not only be standing on the rock but he would be completely surrounded by the rock and that’s when Moses would see the glory of God. And it was seeing the glory of God that enabled Moses to carry out what God had called him to do.

Are you feeling the pressures of life today? You don’t have to get pressed because God has placed you in the Rock Christ Jesus. You only need to stand upon the Rock. Take the word of God and lean hard and press upon the Rock of your salvation and like Moses you will see the glory of God.

It’s when you’re standing in and on the Rock Christ Jesus that you see the Glory of God.

Sweet Smelling Savor

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Genesis 8:21, “And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.” And the Lord smelled a sweet savor; and the Lord said in His heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more everything living, as I have done.”

There are fewer smells that can compete with a fresh pot of coffee brewing in the morning it stimulates my senses to the taste. I image myself with my fingers wrapped around my favorite mug as I bring the cup up to my lips. Aw! No other beverage can capture my attention like a hot cup of freshly brewed coffee. Imagine how Noah’s sacrifice stimulated God senses as it rose up to His nostrils. It moved Him to the point that He made a promise that he would never again curse the ground any more for man’s sake. It wasn’t so much the smell of the beast and the fowl as it was what they foreshadowed. When God smelled the aroma of Noah’s sacrifice He smelled the aroma of the life of His only begotten Son who would die for the sins of the world.

Oftentimes we think of giving our sacrifice to God but the truth is God wants us to give Him His sacrifice that He’s given to us. What do I mean? When you come before God don’t think about sacrificing yourself, think about the fact that Jesus became your sacrifice He laid on the altar or the cross and died our death once for all. There’s no need for us to do again what Christ has so perfectly done for us. All we have to do is offer Him up to God give God His sacrifice. When you do it becomes a sweet smelling aroma to God from the earth that releases blessings from heaven just as it did for Noah. It was after Noah offered up the sacrifice which typified Christ’s sacrifice that God blessed Noah and his sons. When we lift Jesus up we lay ourselves down. This is how we sacrifice ourselves by lifting Him up as our sacrifice. It is the only way that our sacrifice is holy, acceptable unto God because Christ is holy, acceptable unto God. Romans 12:1 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

The mercy of God is Christ because it is God not giving us what we deserve. It’s because of Christ that God doesn’t give us what we deserve. Therefore, it’s through Christ that we present our bodies as a living sacrifice. We lift Christ up as our sacrifice because He alone is holy, acceptable unto God. It is His life that causes our lives to smell like a field that the Lord has blessed (Gen. 27:27).