Drive Out All Fear

Drive Out All Fear

I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.  (Ps 34:4)

To grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear . . . (Lk 1:74)

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.  (1 Joh 4:18)

For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”  (Rom 8:15)

Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.  (Heb 2:14-15)

Fear does not come from God; it comes from hell.  Fear involves bondage and torment.  Christ came that we might have life and have it abundantly.  (Joh 10:10)  He has delivered us from all fear through His salvation. 

The Scriptures tell us that God did not give us a spirit of fear, but rather He gave us the Holy Spirit—who testifies to us that God is our Father!  Allow yourself to have an encounter with the powerful, never-ending, love of God, the Father!  Search out and meditate upon the many Bible verses that discuss God’s love for us.  God bless you.

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.  (Rom 5:5)  God’s perfect love for each one of us actually drives out fear (1 Joh 4:18) so meditating upon and coming to an understanding of God’s unchanging love for you is crucial to living a good and abundant life.

 

The Weapons of our Warfare

The Weapons of our Warfare

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.  (2 Cor 10:4 – emphasis added)

. . . that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.  (2 Tim 3:14)  As we study the Bible, the Lord helps us to become mature and to equip us for every good work.

Weak men we may be; but it is not as such that we fight our battles. (2 Cor 10:3 NEB)  We don’t have the mindset of being weak; but rather, we fight because we have a supernaturally mighty friend in Jesus, our Savior. 

What are our weapons?  Our weapons are the Word of God; prayer; preaching the Gospel and teaching the Word of God to all who are hungry.

The Holy Spirit is our Helper, and He accesses the power of God on our behalf. (Zech 4:6)

Paul did not use violence; psychological maneuvering; a crusade of lies against his enemies; political power; money; or denominational loyalty as weapons.  Paul used the spiritual weapons that were at his disposal, revealed to Him by God.

The same weapons that were available to the apostle Paul are available to each one of us today.  Pick up the sword of the Spirit (the Word of God) and study to show yourself approved as one who “rightly divides the word of truth.”  (2 Tim 2:15)

The New Covenant is Better!

The New Covenant is Better!

Today we’re thinking about various way in which the New Covenant is far better than the Old Covenant.  Please read 2 Corinthians, chapter 3 in preparation (only 18 verses). 

Here are some ideas on how the New Covenant surpasses the Old: 

NEW   1.  The Holy Spirit validates God’s people. (Rom 14:18; Eph 1:6)

OLD    1.  The Holy Spirit strove with God’s people who were rebellious. (Gen 6:3)

NEW  2.  The law is written in our hearts. (Heb 10:16 NLT)

OLD   2.  The law was written on tablets of stone. (Ex 24:12; Deu 4:13)

NEW  3.  We have confidence to draw near to God. (Jas 4:8)

OLD   3.  Only the priests could draw near after performing rituals. (Ex 19:22-24)

NEW  4.  We serve a spiritual truth–salvation is real. (Joh 3:16-17; Col 2:16-17; 1 Pet 2:9)

OLD    4.  The Old Covenant priests served symbols and shadows. (Heb 10:1)

NEW   5.  Gives spiritual life. (John 1:4; 14:6; 2 Cor 3:6; 1 Joh 3:5)

OLD    5.  Revealed spiritual death because the law could only condemn. (Eccl 7:20; Ps 51:5; Isa 59:7)

NEW   6.  God’s glory lives within each of us. (Ps 3:3; Col 1:27; 1 Cor 6:19-20)

OLD    6.  God’s glory was seen for a time upon Moses’ face; it was temporary. (Ex 34:33)

NEW   7.  Gives us a living righteousness. (Rom 3:22; 2 Cor 5:21)

OLD    7.  Could not impart righteousness but could only offer forgiveness. (Num 14:19; 2 Sam 12:13; Rom 4:13)

NEW   8.  Unveils the heart. (2 Cor 3:16)

OLD    8.  Required a veil. (2 Cor 3:13, 15)

NEW   9.  Sanctifies and transforms us. (Acts 26:18; Rom 15:16; 1 Cor 1:2; 2 Cor 3:18)

OLD    9.  Could only unmask, condemn and slay people. (Gen 6:5; Eccl 7:20; Isa 59:7; 64:6)

I hope that this article has encouraged you and reminded you of how greatly we are blessed through Jesus Christ, our Savior.  

Clothed With Power?

Clothed With Power?

God is the only One who can bestow special power upon people.  His purpose for doing so is to enable witnesses to broadcast the gospel [good news] of Jesus Christ to the world.

For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.  (Eph 3:14-21, emphasis added)

Note that our witness, according to verse 17 above, is to be rooted and authenticated in LOVE!  This will result from our own experience of the love of Christ for us. (v. 19)  Love is the bond of perfection, and it must be our sole motivation for all ministry.  (Col 3:14)

I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.  (Lk 24:49 NIV)

In Luke 24, Jesus was instructing His followers to wait for the arrival of the indwelling Holy Spirit.  The disciples wouldn’t have received the grace that they needed to be effective witnesses for Christ until then.

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.  (Acts 1:8)

The indwelling Holy Spirit enables us to obey the instructions that Jesus gives us in Matthew 10:8 – Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

Fulfill your mission, brothers and sisters!  Share the power that God has placed within you now . . . today!

Render to God the Things That Are His

Render to God the Things That Are His

When they had come, they said to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and care about no one; for You do not regard the person of men, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Shall we pay, or shall we not pay?”  But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, “Why do you test Me? Bring Me a denarius that I may see it.” So they brought it.  And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” They said to Him, “Caesar’s.”  And Jesus answered and said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”  And they marveled at Him.  (Mk 12:14-17, emphasis added)

The chief priests and scribes heard Jesus teaching the people, and they decided that they wanted to test Him. They wanted to trick Him into saying something publicly for which He could get into a lot of trouble.  But Jesus answered them with the wisdom that He received from God.  The crowd marveled at His answer, and the chief priests and scribes were silenced.

When Jesus asks whose image and inscription were on the coin, they answered correctly, “Caesar’s.”  Genesis 1:26 tells us that mankind was made in the image and likeness of God.  Believers also have the inscription of God’s law written within them.  (Ex 13:9; Isa 44:5; Jer 31:33)

WE have God’s image and inscription written upon us, as believers, so we should desire to give ourselves to Him.  We are obligated to pay taxes, but we owe our very lives and all that we are and all that we have to God.  Our duty to God will always surpass our duty to the government.  Why?  Because when we were born again we were “conformed to the image of His Son.”  (Ro 8:29)

Another thing that is due the Lord is a tithe of our income to support the preaching and teaching of the Gospel.  In Bible times, the Hebrews also were expected to give tithes to their priests, because the tribe of Levi had not been given an inheritance in the Promised Land.  So they relied upon the Hebrews for their livelihood.

. . . because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.  (Ro 1:21, emphasis added)

One of the major things that we owe to God is to glorify Him.  Even our very bodies belong to God! 

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.  (1 Co 6:19-20)

We should rejoice in our God, in our salvation, and in our blessings.  For these reasons, alone, let us thankfully give the Lord all of our praise and worship continuously.

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ . . . (Phil 3:20) In the end, we are citizens of Heaven—our eternal home.

His Life in Us

His Life in Us

The Holy Spirit teaches each one of us about Jesus, so that we may see Him clearly and accurately.  The goal of our lives should be to know Him as He is, for only then can we represent Him faithfully.

As Jesus has dealt with each one of us in love and mercy, He desires us to reach out in that same manner to those who don’t yet know Him as their Savior.  In fact, Jesus’ very own love and mercy emanates from the Christ who lives within each one of us! 

Here are a few Scripture verses that support this concept:

But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the spirit is life because of righteousness. (Rom 8:10)  This would be more accurately translated: “But since Christ is in you . . .”

I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.  (Gal 2:20)

Christ in you, the hope of glory.  (Col 1:27)

We cannot have spiritual life without the One who is Life—Jesus Christ.  Jesus told us Himself that He is the Way, Truth, and Life.  (John 14:6)

Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.  (1 John 5:12)

Since we are so honored and blessed as to have the Source of Life living within, let’s share Him freely and unashamedly with everyone whom we meet—pouring out His love and mercy upon all.

How to React to the Enemy; Our Calling

How to React to the Enemy; Our Calling

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.  (Mat 5:44)

Jesus is speaking in this passage.  This Scripture goes completely contrary to our carnal nature as well as to “man’s wisdom.”  This passage demonstrates the nature of Jesus—and He is our shining example. 

We’re directed to love our enemies; bless people who curse us; do good to those who hate us; and pray for those who abuse and persecute us.  These things are impossible to do without the grace of God, and without the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.

Since Jesus and His Father are united in nature, purpose, and love, those who have known Jesus have also known the Father!  Here are Bible passages that demonstrate and support this concept:

  1. “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen”  (John 14:7)
  2. Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?  (John 14:9)
  3. God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high . . . (Heb 1:1-3)

So in reading the Scripture at the top of this article (Mat 5:44), we understand that Jesus is teaching us how to respond to and deal with our enemies—those who spitefully use us.  When we obey His instructions, we are following Jesus’ example to us.  We’re also proving that we are His disciples and followers.

As Jesus’ followers, these are the instructions that we must follow (our “to do” list):

  • And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.  (Mat 10:1)
  • And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.  (Mat 28:18-20)
  • Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. (Lk 9:1-2)

So we know how to treat our enemies, and we also know what directives Jesus gave to us.  These show us our true calling!  May our God bless you abundantly as you live each day in obedience to His call upon your life.