Tuesday, July 08, 2014
Psalm 107:1, 2 NKJV OH, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy.
We have a little poodle named Abby and Gerald has her very well trained so that she will not step over the threshold of the door to go outside. Sunday afternoon I was taking her out for a potty break and she waited very patiently at the garage door for me to hook her leash onto her collar and lift her over the threshold and down the steps to go outside. When I picked her up it was at an angle and I felt a painful feeling in my lower back, one that I had felt before back in 2005 when I lifted my keyboard and injured my lower back. I immediately thought back to that experience, never wanting to go there again, as it took months of prayer and medical treatment for my back to fully recover. I remembered the difficulty I had in just maneuvering through my daily activities of home, church and work. All the thoughts of helplessness and trying to function with enough pain medication to get me through the days came flooding into my mind. I dreaded going through that experience again!
After taking Abby out I brought her back in the house and immediately told my husband, Gerald, what had happened and he went to prayer for me, laying his hands on my back and declaring the healing power of God to flow through it. We agreed that it was done and I began my stand of faith for healing! It wasn't long until bedtime so we decided I should take a couple of Tylenol and a sleep aid to assure a good night's rest so my body could have the best opportunity to relax and cooperate with God's healing power. I got up yesterday morning still in pain but determined that I was healed by the stripes of Jesus just as His Word declares. I began reading God's Word for healing and thanking Him for doing as He had promised in His word. I determined that this injury would not defeat me or cause me to experience what I had experienced in 2005, so I began to go about my daily routine as usual. When it came time to go out for my morning walk Gerald thought I should stay in and rest my back, but I knew I had to do as the scripture says and “let the redeemed of the Lord” say so! I determined to walk and proclaim Jesus as My Healer just as His word says!
Well, my walk took a little longer but as I walked I praised the Lord for healing me, even though it hurt and even though I didn't see a manifestation of answered prayer, I knew that I had asked in faith believing and His word is true that says that “whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive”. (Matthew 21:22) I knew that this would be a challenge of my faith! All through the day I had opportunities to either proclaim that I was the healed of the Lord or that I was injured and in pain. I had to choose to believe and then align my mouth with that belief. As I walked I began to see a difference in my stature. I was able to stand up a little taller as I walked; my stride began to increase and I noticed it wasn't as painful as when I started. I completed my walk and went on to go about my daily activities. Yes, I still had pain and it was uncomfortable to sit, stand or lie down. But God deserved my praise regardless of how I felt and I praised Him for His healing power in spite of the pain. As the day progressed I noticed that I was not in as much pain and it was easier for me to do my normal daily activities. I finished the day still proclaiming God's faithfulness.
This morning as I got up I felt a little bit of pain but nothing like yesterday and as I started my day I noticed the pain was lessening to the point that it is almost completely gone now! Praise the Lord! He has done it again! He has met my need with His provision and I am healed by the power of God!
One of the things that kept coming to my mind as I was standing in faith for my healing was the fact that Sunday morning we had partaken of the Lord's Supper, or Communion, at church and when we take the bread that represents His body that was broken for us we were asked to remember what Jesus suffered as His body was broken and His blood was shed for us. I repeatedly expressed to the Lord Jesus yesterday that I remembered the stripes that He took upon His back that I might have healing in my back. I remember, Lord Jesus, how You suffered under that scourging on Your back that my back might be healed. I also laid my hands on my back numerous times and thanked the Lord for effecting His healing power through my touch as His word says that believers shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover. (Mark 16:18)
You see, friends, I believe that God has provided through the crucifixion of Jesus all that I need for salvation of my spirit, soul and body. I believe that His body that was broken for me was for my healing and His blood that was shed for me purchased my redemption from every sin that I have committed in the past, the present and will commit in the future. His salvation covers and protects me from every evil plan that the devil has arrayed against me. I believe and I desire to receive the full benefit of what Jesus died to give me. I don't know why some are not healed when they pray; if I did I would be God and I'm not. But this I know, in this instance, He has healed me and I give Him all the glory!
Today I thank God for healing my back! I thank Him for giving me His word that I can stand on to fight the good fight of faith. Jeremiah 1:12 says that God watches over His word to perform it. (Amplified Bible)
Psalm 107:20 NKJV He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions.
God sent His Word, Jesus, the living Word, to die on an old rugged cross that I might be healed, both spiritually and physically and He gave me His written Word, the Holy Bible, as food to be used as medicine when I am sick.
Proverbs 4:20-22 NKJV My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my saying. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh.
That word “health” in the Hebrew is marpe and it means restoration of health, remedy, cure, medicine, tranquility, deliverance, and refreshing. God's word, when taken like a prescription, provides healing power to work with His healing touch.
Isaiah prophesied of the coming Messiah and His crucifixion that would pay for mankind's redemption in Isaiah 53:4, 5:
NKJV Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But 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.
When you look at some of the key words in the actual Hebrew translation you find that the word for “griefs” is defined as sicknesses and “sorrows” is defined as pains. So in looking at the crucifixion of Jesus we see that the payment for sickness and pain was a part of Jesus' redemption for mankind. He was wounded or “pierced through” for our transgressions, or sin, and was bruised or “crushed” for our iniquities, our sinful nature. The stripes or “blows that cut in” purchased our healing! These two verses of God's Word describes the crucifixion as the payment for sin, sickness, our natural bent to live a sinful lifestyle, and the separation from God that we experienced through sin.
Some faith challenges are more difficult than others and sickness is probably the greatest one of all because you have the symptoms of illness and pain in your body that keeps you from being able to focus fully on God's word to receive His healing. Sometimes God instructs people to receive His healing through medical treatment. That's great! He gave us doctors to help us, but the healing comes from God regardless of how it comes, because He is the Healer. Exodus 15:26 says that He is the LORD who heals you. I have had times of illness where God has instructed me to go to a doctor and receive medical treatment for healing. The time I injured my back in 2005 I was standing in faith believing for healing while receiving medical treatment. There's nothing wrong with going to a doctor for help. God works through physicians also. I've also had times when I've prayed for people to be healed and they weren't. I prayed for my former husband to be healed and he died. I don't understand the “whys and why nots”, but I trust my God, and when it doesn't turn out the way I've prayed I trust that He, who knows all, has chosen to handle the situation in a different way.
Father, I thank You for touching and healing my back. I thank You for reaching down and sparing me from further injury and pain. Thank You for the stripes that You took on your back, Lord Jesus, that secured my healing. I remember and I thank You for willingly going through that crucifixion that I might be saved and healed. Thank You for giving Your life for me! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Friday, June 20, 2014
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.
Wednesday, June 04, 2014
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.
Monday, May 12, 2014
Life is a journey that often leads to forks in the road and we have to make choices about which way to go and what route would be the best for each one of us. Many times we find that we need to seek others to advise us about what has worked for them, how they have reached their destinations with the greatest success. It is at those times that we need a mentor, a discipler; a person who has already walked the road and has learned from their mistakes and how to help others avoid the pitfalls that they may have experienced in their life's journey.
Mentor – defintion from dictionary.com is “a wise and trusted counselor or teacher”. Dr. Mark Virkler, founder and CEO of Christian Leadership University, gives this working definition of being in a discipling or mentoring relationship: “This is the core of a discipling relationship: receiving the spirit and anointing of another.” He goes on to say: “For example, the disciples saw in Jesus a Spirit and an anointing which they desired. After spending a year and a half with Him, watching Him in action and experimenting alongside Him, they received the same anointing and the same Spirit. They were then able to go out on their own and minister in the same way that Jesus did. He had passed on to them the Spirit and the anointing which He had. That is what I hope to receive from others when I am discipled by them.” (quotes used by permission)
Do you sense a need for someone to come alongside you to impart into you a greater anointing for success? Or are you successful in a certain area of life and feel that you would be beneficial in helping others reach their destination in that life goal?
I recently attended a mentoring conference through Judy Jacobs' International Institute of Mentoring ( iiom.info/ ) and where I received an impartation and commissioning from her for a mentoring relationship for ministry. I expect to receive from her and that group the mentoring that I need to move forward in the ministry that I feel God has given me. There are others that I look to as mentors: my college instructor, who has been very helpful in mentoring me through the courses that I have been taking to obtain my bachelor's degree; a former pastor that was very instrumental in God's hand in molding me into the person that I am today, and others too numerous to count. I have found that I need mentors in my life in many areas, not just spiritual or ministry, but also in health and fitness and finances. Dave Ramsey has been very instrumental in my financial health and there are those that I am seeking out right now for more help in the health and fitness area of my life.
There are several things that a person needs to consider in choosing a prospective mentor: he/she appears to be ahead of me in the area in which I am seeking mentoring; I am comfortable with him/her; it appears that he/she would be willing to invest time in me; he/she appears to be humble and transparent; it appears that he/she can be trusted to be confidential; and I can sense that this is a person that I need to enter into a mentoring relationship with. In spiritual mentoring you would add to that list that he/she is a person who is under the spiritual covering of others; he/she appears to be able to sense the direction of God's Spirit; he/she appears to have a good Biblical understanding and has allowed the Lord to heal his/her insecurities; he/she appears to have reflected on his/her life's experiences and has seen God's purposes in it and is a person that you can sense God saying this is the right mentor for me.
It's important when choosing a mentor that you can see success in that person's life. A good financial mentor would not be a person who's finances are in disarray, but one who has shown success in managing their finances. A good health or fitness mentor would be one who shows good heath and fitness in their life. One who has succeeded in whatever area of mentoring that you need would be the one that you would want to lead you to success because it is through that relationship that you will receive of their spirit and anointing. Elisha asked Elijah to give him a double portion of the anointing that was on his life for ministry:
II Kings 2:9 And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?” Elisha said, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.”
Joshua served Moses and received an impartation of his spirit and anointing:
Numbers 27:18-23 And the LORD said to Moses: “Take Joshua the son of Nun with you, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him; “set him before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation, and inaugurate him in their sight. “And you shall give some of your authority to him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient. “He shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall inquire before the LORD for him by the judgment of the Urim. At his word they shall go out, and at his word they shall come in, he and all the children of Israel with him—all the congregation.” So Moses did as the LORD commanded him. He took Joshua and set him before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation. And he laid his hands on him and inaugurated him, just as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses.
We see in the New Testament that Paul mentored Timothy. He called him “a beloved son” and “a true son in the faith”.
II Timothy 1:2 To Timothy, a beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
I Timothy 1:2 To Timothy, a true son in the faith:....”
He told Timothy in II Timothy 1:13, 14: Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.
Paul later told Timothy in II Timothy 2:1 to pass on those things that he had heard from Paul to men who were faithful and would be able to teach others.
Paul also mentored Titus and called him a “true son in our common faith”. (Titus 1:4) He instructed Titus, as well, to teach others by appointing elders in every city and setting in order the things that were lacking in those places. It is evident that God intended for us to mentor those coming up behind us.
We see in Paul's letter to Titus that the older women were to teach the younger women. (Titus 2:3-5) And the older men were to set an example for the younger men to follow: one of being sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, and in patience.
So what does mentoring entail? It is a duplicating or replicating process of depositing into another person that which you have learned along the way through spiritual understanding, life's experiences and knowledge that you might have acquired through personal study and revelation. To duplicate yourself is to leave a life legacy to those behind you, as it is transferred to another person and they, in turn, transfer it to someone else. For a Christian I believe it is a legacy of faith that is the greatest inheritance we can pass on to the younger generations!
One of the definitions of “replicate” is “to fold over or bend back”. That's a really interesting definition, but just think about it for a minute. If you fold a paper over itself you have the exact same paper but now it has become two instead of one. It is the same paper, but simply multiplied exactly as it is. When you are mentored by a person for any length of time you become like that person. It reminds me of the old commercial that used to be on television of the dogs that resemble their owners.
And it is for that reason that you would want to choose a mentor that you know is highly respected in their field and is a person of integrity, honesty and upright character!
The ultimate mentor we see in the Bible, of course, is Jesus to His disciples. They lived with Him for less than three years and through His examples and teaching the world has been impacted and continues to spread the good news of the Gospel that Jesus died to give us. Generations later we are still receiving of the Spirit and anointing of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. He told His disciples in Matthew 10:8 “Freely you have received, freely give.” And again when He sent the seventy out he instructed them to “heal the sick” and “say to them, 'The kingdom of God has come near to you'. Then when He ascended into heaven He left a mandate for all of us who would follow after Him that we should “go therefore and make disciples of all the nations....” (Matthew 28:19) It is evident that Jesus intended for us to be in mentoring relationships!
So, how do you know if you would make a good “mentee”? There are some “right attitudes” that need to be evident in your life to enable you to receive all that you would want from a mentoring relationship. Some questions you might ask yourself would be: do I have a humble and teachable attitude?; do I have a passionate desire to learn?; am I willing to be open and transparent?; and am I willing to follow an agreed-upon course of action?. Based on your answers to these questions you might see yourself as a willing or unwilling candidate for mentorship. Of course, the best answers would be “yes” which would indicate that you are, indeed, ready to receive the spirit and anointing of a mentor in the area of your need.
Sometimes in life we simply do not know which road to take. But the Bible tells us in Proverbs 28:18 that if we don't have revelation or vision that we will cast off restraint, simply going with the flow of life with no particular direction or goals to guide us to success. To fail to plan is to plan to fail. When we “cast off restraint” we simply do whatever feels good at the moment which very seldom includes a plan of action that will bring the desired results that we wish to see. Another Proverb says that we are to be “diligent to know the state” of our flocks, and “attend to your herds”. (Proverbs 27:23) When we do that the Word says that we'll have enough to provide for our families and the needs that we have. I have found throughout my life that if I seek God for His plan for success and I do my part in working towards it that He will bless my efforts and bring the desired achievements for success. I have a part to play in the life that He has given me and a responsibility to follow His directions. He often gives that to me through mentors.
Our ultimate Teacher and Helper is the Holy Spirit who comes alongside us to give us the directions and empowerment that we need for success. And God does work through His people. He says in His word in Ephesians 4:11-16 that He has placed certain people in our lives to instruct us and help us to attain the maturity of Christ Jesus. He describes each individual in the Body of Christ as being “a joint” that has a “supply” to give to help others in this journey to maturity. God uses His people to encourage, support, correct and instruct in the way to “growing up” in Him. Mentorship is one avenue to growth that we all should be taking advantage of!
Who do you respect and admire for their success in an area of your life that needs a new perspective? Will you seek out that person and see if he/she would be willing to mentor you? We all need a helping hand. What can or will you do to fulfill the mandate of Jesus to “make disciples”?
Father, I thank You for those that You have placed in my life as mentors. I thank You for working through them to help me be the person that You have designed and created me to be. Father, I pray that I will be able to pass on to others that which You have deposited in me, to leave a living legacy and inheritance of faith to the upcoming generations. May You be glorified in every mentoring relationship that I have and may I be one to whom You would entrust the care of those that would come to me for that “helping hand”. I ask You to bless those who have been so instrumental in my life and who have taken the time to deposit of themselves into me! May You receive the glory and honor for those mentoring relationships. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Saturday, May 10, 2014
Free.....there's not a person that I know that doesn't like to receive something for free. I looked up the definition of the word “free” on dictionary.com and found 49 definitions for this one little four letter word! I think the one that we identify with the most is “without cost, payment, or charge”. But is it really free? To the recipient yes, but to the giver there is a cost.
The Scriptures record salvation as God's gift to man. It is free for the taking; the receiver of that gift is given eternal life with no strings, no cost, no payment or charge. But what about God, the Giver? It cost Him all of Heaven as He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the cost of that free gift.
Philippians 2:5-8 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
The “free” gift that you and I have been offered for eternal life cost Jesus His life.....He gave that we might receive!
Free....another definition “enjoying personal rights or liberty, as a person who is not in slavery”. This gift of salvation that Jesus gave His life for has released us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of God. (Colossians 1:13) The price He paid for our free gift gave us “personal rights or liberty, as a person who is not in slavery”. Wow! Satan no longer has a hold on us! He has no legal right to exercise his authority or power over us! What a price Jesus paid for us to walk in freedom! Again, free to the recipient!
How about this definition of free: exempt from external authority, interference, restriction, etc., as a person or one's will, thought, choice, action, etc.; independent; unrestricted. The recipient of God's free gift of salvation is free from external authority, interference or restriction. Jesus said it this way: “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36) There is no external authority that can take the place of the freedom that we have in Christ Jesus! There are those around the world that would like to impose their will's over ours, but He has made us free from the force of another's will! That's freedom in it's fullest; to be free to follow Him and not another person, ideology or culture. We are free to be God's children, to hear His voice and to walk in His ways, rather than to be servants of those who would try to control us and force us to serve them or a dead god that they have idolized!
Free....given readily or in profusion; unstinted. God's provision, His gift of salvation was given readily or in profusion! It is like an all-expense paid trip! Nothing was left out. God gave His best that you and I might receive the fullness of all that He is and has! It's not just a ticket to heaven, it's an all expense paid trip through life including eternity. Life goes on and on and on! The benefit package that we have in Christ Jesus is referred to as His “covenant” of promises. Hebrews 8:6 describes Jesus as the “Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises”. Colossians 1:20 says that “the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” These promises include freedom from demonic oppression, sickness, financial dis-ease! Jesus said that the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but that He came to give us life and that more abundantly! (John 10:10) You can look at the life of Jesus and see the provision that God has made available to His children. Hebrews 1:3 says that Jesus is the “express image of His person”, or of God. When we see Him going about healing and delivering people we see the will of God in action. When He preaches that the kingdom of God is at hand and that we need to repent or “turn around” it is God speaking through Him for us to turn our lives over to Him, to be saved. This world is just a chapter of life and God has provided for all our needs here on earth, but there is a life after the death that we experience here on earth that goes on throughout eternity. Provision has been made for all of life, in the here and now and in the hereafter!
1 John 5:11, 12 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son does not have life.
Eternal life as defined by dictionary.com is “life without beginning or end”. It is also described as “everlasting life”. Eternal life will be experienced by both those who know Jesus as Savior and Lord and those who don't. The difference is in the quality of the life that they will experience. When the Bible says that those who have the Son have life it is referring to having that great salvation that Jesus died to give us because it is rooted and continued in the relationship that we have with Him. Having the Son is described in Scripture as being “in Him” or “in Christ Jesus”. The first chapter of Ephesians gives us a lot of “in Him” examples: “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world...” (vs. 4); “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins...” (vs. 7); “In Him also we have obtained an inheritance...” (vs. 11). Verse 13, 14 of that chapter give us the key to being “In Him”: In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
God chose you to be His before the foundation of the world. His intention was that you might have the freedom that He sent Jesus to die to purchase for you. He desires that you might live forever in His presence, to enjoy the fullness of all that He died to give you. It is a free gift to you, but it cost Him all of Heaven! Will you receive it or will you live your life eternally separated from Him? You are free to make the choice and your choice determines how you will live in your earthly life and throughout eternity.
John 1:12, 13 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Romans 10:12, 13 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
God has given each one of us an opportunity to be “free”. It is in calling on the name of the Lord, in receiving Jesus as the supreme sacrifice that paid the price for our salvation. Will you choose to be free today?
Father, I pray for those who have not made that choice to be free, that have not prayed to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord. I pray that today they will make that decision to pray and ask Jesus into their hearts to be their own personal Savior and Lord. Father, open their eyes to see the goodness that You have made available to them through the crucifixion of Jesus. Pull down the blinders that Satan has hung over their minds that has blinded them to the light of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ and bring them to salvation. May today be their day of salvation!
And for those who are not walking in the fullness of the freedom that You have provided I pray that they will search out Your word and see the promises that You have given to them for an abundant life in this earthly realm as well as in eternity. May they know the truth so that the truth can set them free! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Get An Email Alert Each Time AVANELL Posts