A Double Blessing

A Double Blessing

Our God is a God of comfort and restoration, a God who rewards His people with abundant blessings.

Return to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope.  Even today I declare that I will restore double to you.  (Zech 9:12)  This is speaking to people who are captives, yet because of their faith in the Lord, they have hope.  God is their stronghold, their fortress, and their shield—who provides for their needs.  (Nah 1:7; Ps 18:2)

“Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.”  (Isa 40:2)  This verse says that their warfare is ended because God fights on behalf of His people.  (Deut 3:22; Josh 23:10)  He is the same today—He still fights for His people—for you and for me.  Hallelujah!

Instead of your shame you shall have double honor, and instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion.  Therefore in their land they shall possess double; everlasting joy shall be theirs.  (Isa 61:7)  Our God promises that instead of shame, all who place their faith in Him shall have double honor.  He also states that instead of feeling confusion, we shall rejoice over our measure of blessings from God; and in our land, we shall possess double.  Double what? Double blessings and benefits from the God who is love. What a promise!  What a gift from God’s loving hand!

In a spiritual sense, all unsaved people are enslaved by sin and satan.  Many are not aware that they are imprisoned, yet others yearn for a way out of their state of affairs.  All that they need to do is to cry out to the Lord, and He will respond by saving them.

That is true for saint and sinner:  God responds to each one of us when we cry out to Him for help, deliverance, or wisdom.  God is the deliverer who sets people free, and pours out His blessings upon all who trust in Him.  May God bless you.

King of Kings

King of Kings

Back in the 70s, there was a sweet worship chorus that said, “Oh!  Let the flag fly high on the castle of my heart, for the King is in residence there.”  Since we serve Jesus who is the King of Kings, it is fitting that our hearts be portrayed as the castles where the King mercifully reigns in love and righteousness, in power and glory.

Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  (Mt 6:10 ESV, emphasis added)  Every kingdom has a King, and Jesus is our Redeemer King.

Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world …  (Mt 25:34, emphasis added)  Our King has prepared a kingdom for each one of us.

And Moses built an altar and called its name, The-Lord-Is-My-Banner …  (Ex 17:15)  The Lord Jesus is our banner:  His image is on the flag that flies high over our lives; He is our standard—the rallying point for all spiritual power and resources in battle against the forces of hell.

“And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; For the Gentiles shall seek Him, and His resting place shall be glorious.”  (Isa 11:10, emphasis added)  This verifies that Jesus, a descendant of Jesse, is our banner.

The King whom we serve is filled with love and compassion; mercy for the lost and the wounded; and health and healing for those who are sick.  He is good all of the time, and His plans for us are good and give us hope and a future. (Ps 34:8; Jer 29:11)

He brings reconciliation to relationships and to families.  (Jer 31:17; Rom 5:11; 2 Cor 5:18-19)  All glory to His name.

Jesus is a King whose grace humbles us without ever demeaning us, and who exalts us without causing us to puff up with false pride or ego.  Walking in a consistent relationship with Jesus, the Lamb of God, will mature us and grow us into mercy-filled, loving servants of the Kingdom of God.  Praise the Lord!

Ask, Seek, Knock

Ask, Seek, Knock

So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  (Lk 11:9)

  • This verse of the Bible tells us to ASK, SEEK, and KNOCK—with persistence. In the original language the implication is to ask and to keep on asking, to seek and to keep on seeking, and to knock and to keep on knocking!  And when you ask, it will be given to you.  When you seek, you’ll find.   When you knock, it will be opened to you.  This is not only a representation of the goodness and mercy of God, but also a model of persistence in faith as well as tenacity in believing that God is good and generous, and that He will answer prayers.

Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.  (Mk 11:24)

  • The message to us in this verse is that our faith in God and in the fact that He cannot lie gives us the spiritual, anointed obstinacy to patiently wait—in hope and constant expectation—that our prayers have already been answered.

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.  (Joh 15:7)

  • As we memorize the Word of God, honor it, and obey it lovingly and joyfully, the Lord tells us in this verse that we may ask for our hearts’ desires and they shall be done for us. What a blessing!

And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.  (1 Joh 3:22)

  • This Scripture reminds us that as we please the Lord with our lives and actions by doing what is beautiful to Him, the Lord gives us whatever we ask from Him.

Here are a couple more faith-building verses from God’s Word upon which to meditate:

No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.  (Ps 84:11b)

And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  (Joh 14:13)

When we read the Bible with a heart full of love and connection to God, the promises that He has given to us shine like the genuine treasures that they are!  So, keep on asking, seeking and knocking, and our loving Father God will look upon our faith and trust in Him with favor.  Have a blessed day.

Hold Fast

Hold Fast

Today, we are meditating upon “holding fast to the confession of our hope,” as well as to the faithfulness of God.

Our hope is in the perfect and eternal salvation that was provided by God through Jesus Christ.  Once we receive Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we confess that He IS our Savior. 

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.  (Heb 10:23)

But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.  (2 Thes 3:3)

 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.  (Heb 4:14)

Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, set your focus on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.  (Heb 3:1 BSB)

When we “hold fast” to something, we cling to it or grip it securely so as not to let it go.

A confession is a declaration, affirmation, profession or statement.  So, we must hold fast to our declaration that Jesus Christ is our Savior and our Lord.

Since we have made Him our Lord, that means that we love His Word and we obey His Word.  We live according to the standards He established in His Word, and we trust in His faithfulness to every single promise that He has made to us in His Word.

As you research the Bible, you will see that salvation through Jesus Christ furnishes us who love and obey Him with many blessings and benefits:

  • He gives us the desires of our hearts. (Ps 37:4)
  • He daily loads us with benefits and blessings. (Ps 68:19)
  • He gives good things to those who ask Him. (Mt 7:11)
  • He promises us a long life. (Ps 91:16; Pro 3:2; Eph 6:2-3)
  • He is with us always. (Mt 28:20)

This is just a small sampling of the many promises that God has showered upon us through His Word.  And the fulfillment of each and every promise was paid for by Jesus’ sacrifice.  Hallelujah!

SPECIAL ARTICLE: Hope in the Midst of Crisis

SPECIAL ARTICLE:  Hope in the Midst of Crisis

In the midst of this worldwide health crisis known as the Corona virus, it’s important that we recognize that we believers have a hope that the world does not know.  It’s at times like these that we must hold onto our faith, and be a light in the midst of darkness.

Let’s consider some Biblical truths:

. . . according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.  (Eph 3:11-12)

Our Father God accomplished His eternal purpose through Jesus Christ by giving mankind the gift of salvation.  In Jesus, through Him and by Him, all who have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, have been given access to our Father God; and as a result, we may have full confidence in our relationship with Him.  Hallelujah!

Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.  (Heb 10:35)

So do not abandon your assurance and faith in Jesus Christ and in His salvation.  Hold onto your faith; take a firm grasp of your salvation and never let it go!

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.  (1 Joh 5:14-15)

This is a precious promise from God for us TODAY.  We know that when we ask for something that agrees with the will of God, He hears us AND He gives us the specific answer for which we have asked.

You may ask, “How do I know if it’s God will for me to be healthy and well?”  Here is how you may KNOW:

  • Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3 Joh 2)  This passage would not be in the Bible if God did not want us to be healthy.
  • My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands; for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you. (Pro 3:1-2)  God shares His wisdom with us that as we hide His Word in our hearts, it will add long life and peace to us.
  • It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones. (Pro 3:8)  God is again telling us that His Word, sown into our hearts and minds, will give health to our physical bodies and strength to our very bones.
  • For I am the Lord who heals you. (Ex 15:26c)  The Lord declares that He is our Healer!  If it was not His will for us to be healthy, He would not declare Himself to be the Mighty One who heals us.

Believe in and rely upon these supernatural words of power from God.  Place your faith in Him and in His Word.  Be unshakeable and stubborn in your faith in God, dear brothers and sisters!  Hope in Christ who is our health, our strength, our life.

Holy Boldness

Holy Boldness

Spending time in the presence of the Lord Jesus will impart holy boldness!  What a beautiful sign of how God sanctifies and prepares us for ministry.  The Bible informs us of this blessed benefit in several passages.

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.  (Acts 4:13)  Notice how other people observe and remark upon the impact of Jesus upon His followers.  God calls and anoints ordinary people to serve Him.

And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.  (Acts 4:31)  Sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ courageously with other people is a sign of Jesus’ influence upon us.

Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech—  (2 Cor 3:12)  Hope imparts boldness!

. . . in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.  (Eph 3:12)  In Jesus Christ, we have both holy boldness and assurance of our salvation through faith in Christ.   We have access to the throne of God through faith in Jesus.

Why do I call this article “Holy Boldness”?  I do so because the unique boldness imparted to us through our relationship with Jesus is a consecration and sanctification of our very persons. 

We are set apart for service unto our Lord and King.  We are destined to bring glory to God, our Savior, as the verses quoted above confirm.  So, brothers and sisters, share your testimony with holy boldness.  It is within you; it’s available to you through Jesus who lives within every believer.  God bless you.

The Inexorable Force

The Inexorable Force

Our God is the Inexorable Force of the universe.  What He says always, ALWAYS comes to pass.  When we become born again, He places His hand upon us in such a way that we must share His Truth and His Word.  These verses illustrate what I’m saying:

But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! 20 As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (Ac 4:19-20 NIV, underlining added)

But if I say, “I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones.  I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.  (Jer 20:9 NIV)

 “Well, I have come to you now,” Balaam replied. “But I can’t say whatever I please. I must speak only what God puts in my mouth.”  (Num 22:38 NIV)

In our hearts, we feel that force within us that compels us to testify that Jesus is the Redeemer of all mankind—the hope of all the world.  If we are not aware of an inner inducement to share the Good News with others, then it is time to renew our commitment to the Lord and to rededicate ourselves to His purposes.

In Acts 17:16-17, we read that Paul was provoked to share the gospel message with the people in Athens.  Jesus addressed His followers in Acts 1:8 to tell them that they would be His witnesses in this world.

We must confess, along with 2 Samuel 23:2:  “The Spirit of the Lord speaks by me; His word is on my tongue.”  Let us lift our voices and testify to the loving goodness and kindness of our God and Savior.  The Holy Spirit (The Inexorable Force) within each one of us lovingly requires it of us all.

Looking for Blessed Hope

Looking for Blessed Hope

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ . . . (Tit 2:11-13, emphasis added)

I think it’s too easy in this age of high pressure and constant stress overlaid by tense world events for us to lose sight of our HOPE.  We need to meditate more frequently and regularly upon the truth that we are expectantly waiting and watching for our blessed hope which will be evidenced by the glorious appearing of our Savior, Jesus Christ! 

Here is what the Bible has to say about it:

Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.  (Mt 24:30-31) 

The righteous rejoice to even anticipate this event, so think of what the reality of it will be like!  In the meantime, we have many responsibilities to attend to—not only those of being responsible spouses, parents, children, or friends—but also the responsibilities that we have to Jesus, our Savior.  We have an active and eager enemy according to the Bible.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Pet 5:8) 

Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.  (1 Thes 5:6)

Do not be taken unawares.  Do not be drowsing or spiritually dull.  Keep yourself spiritually keen, effective and alert.  Read the Scriptures; praise and worship God regularly; fellowship with other believers, and be a witness of what Jesus has done for you.  This lifestyle will energize your faith and move you forward in realizing your purposes in the Kingdom.  God bless you.

God’s Goodness

God’s Goodness

In the last days, they will tremble in awe of the Lord and of his goodness.  (Hos 3:5b NLT)

To be in awe of something means to be afraid, tremble, or to be so alarmed—even to the point of shaking in fear. Everything God does is good, but His goodness can be overpowering, particularly when it is clearly unearned.

God’s goodness is on display every minute of every day, but clearly, in the last days God will be performing such amazing miracles that the vast majority of people will not be able to ignore it any longer.  The Lord will make sure that His acts will be center stage before the nations.

The Lord is called the Prince of Peace (Isa 9:6), and peace provides the tranquil environment needed for healing of all illnesses—mental, physical, and relational.   Healing is only one of God’s many good gifts to mankind.

Consider these truths from the Word of God:

  • God’s goodness gives us hope (Ps 27:13)
  • God’s goodness prevails continually (Ps 52:1)
  • His goodness leads us to repentance (Rom 2:4)
  • We are told to consider (meditate upon) God’s goodness (Rom 11:22a)
  • God takes pleasure in His goodness (2 Thes 1:11)

The first usage of the word “good” in the Bible (Gen 1:3-4) establishes the fact that God is origin of everything that is good.  When God moves, speaks, or acts, something GOOD is always produced. 

The goodness of God contains no darkness or evil of any kind.  (Ps 5:4; 1 John 1:5 AMP) 

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.  (Jas 1:17)

It’s time to reflect upon and rejoice in the goodness of the living God, whom we serve.

Hope in God’s Grace

Hope in God’s Grace

Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  (1 Peter 1:13 NKJV)

Gird up the loins means to gather your long robes with a belt to prepare for action (for a battle); but this verse is talking about the mind being prepared for action.  We’re to be sober which means temperate, restrained, serious, thoughtful, calm, and unruffled. 

We can be calm and tranquil because the revelation of Jesus has already occurred!  His work is finished!  Praise our God!

We’re instructed to rest our hope (confident expectation) upon the grace given to us at the revelation of Jesus, our Savior.  We’re so highly blessed to be among those who have received this sacred revelation!

We may rest confidently upon His grace.  We may rest, knowing that our salvation was paid for fully by Jesus.  There is no work or striving that we need to do, but just to live our lives for Him by the grace that He has already provided.

. . . through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  (Rom 5:2)

. . . that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.  (Tit 3:7)