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.

No Longer a Slave

No Longer a Slave

A slave is a person who is held in a permanent position of servitude to another; a person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey them.  Imagine being the legal property of another human being?  The idea brings up a tremendous sense of outrage in those of us who have been blessed to live in a nation renowned for freedom, as well as a sense of regret, shame and deep sorrow over our nation’s past history.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we have been set free from all types and forms of bondage or slavery.  Hallelujah!

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.  (Joh 8:32)  Jesus is the Truth who sets us free.  Jesus tells us that He IS the Truth in John 14:6.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed . . .  (Lk 4:18, emphasis added)  Jesus read these words in the temple in Nazareth.  In Luke 4:21, Jesus went on to say:   And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”  Jesus clearly states that HE is the fulfillment of this passage originally found in Isaiah 61.  Jesus sets at liberty ALL who are oppressed.

Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.  (Joh 8:36)  This Scripture could easily read:  “Therefore SINCE the Son makes you free, you are free indeed.” 

Think about this:  Jesus has set us free from all bondage, both external and internal. 
In Jesus we have been set free from:

  • Fear – Fear involves torment. The perfect love that Jesus bestows upon us casts out fear. (1 Joh 4:18) Our Savior and King does not use fear as a tool–ever. 

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)  Please see also 2 Timothy 1:7.

  • Sin – We have been set free from sin. (Rom 6:18)  We are not under the rule of law but we are under the rule of GRACE.  (Rom 6:14)  There is only one thing it is permissible for us to serve, and that is righteousness“Sin is a power within that is trying to draw you away to worship idols, to compromise, to go and make yourself God rather than submitting to the living God.” ~ Andrew Wilson
  • Death – In Christ, we have received eternal LIFE.  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  (Joh 3:16)
    In the way of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death.
     (Pro 12:28)

Rejoice in and appreciate the liberty that our Savior has given to each of us.

God Resists the Proud

God Resists the Proud

The Scriptures have a lot to say about pride.  Most of the verses and passages criticize and denounce pride.  There are many more verses on this topic in addition to those that I’ve shared below.

  • To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. (Prov 8:13 NIV)
  • When pride comes, then comes shame . . .  (Pro 11:2)
  • By pride comes nothing but strife, but with the well-advised is wisdom. (Pro 13:10)
  • The Lord detests all the proud of heart. be sure of this: They will not go unpunished. (Pro 16:5 NIV)
  • Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. 19 Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.  (Pro 16:18-19)
  • But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”  (Jas 4:6)

The Lord doesn’t want us to have a haughty and proud attitude towards other people.  He never approves of us feeling that we are better or more valuable than another individual.  This is the kind of pride that God sets Himself against because it puffs us up and blinds us to our own faults.  This is the pride that cuts us off from other people.  No one chooses to be around or to befriend a supercilious, self-important person.

We are allowed to recognize and receive satisfaction from our own work and our accomplishments as long as we recognize that they make us no more valuable than anyone else, and that God blessed us and enabled us to accomplish them.

Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else . . .   (Gal 6:4 NIV)

The Bible says, I know that there is nothing better for people than to … find satisfaction in all their toil—this is a gift of God. (Ecclesiastes 3:12-13).

The pride that cuts us off from other people displeases God because He has a different vision for His people.  His plan is for us to work in unity and harmony, carrying one another’s burdens, and serving Him with excellence and joy together.  (Rom 12:6; 1 Cor 13:4; Col 3:23; Gal 6:2-3)

An even worse outgrowth of poisonous pride is that it cuts us off from God, Himself!  When the enemy persuades us to be conceited and proud, we no longer feel that we need anyone else; so pride causes us to turn away from God. 

In his pride the wicked man does not seek Him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.  (Ps 10:4 NIV)  This is a catastrophic state of affairs. 

Rather, let us humbly thank God for giving us talents and abilities; and determine to use what we have received to bring glory and honor to God.