You Are Complete!

There seems to be a verse of Scripture that has been heavily impressed upon my mind & heart recently.

“And ye are complete in him…”

Col. 2:10

Now see it in its context:

Colossians 2:9 (KJV) 9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

Colossians 2:10 (KJV) 10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

In Jesus is the fullness of the Godhead & by association you & I are complete!

Think about what you feel is lacking in your life. Where you “fall short.”

Now realize & accept that “you are complete in Him!

 

 

 

 

 

A Wall Great and High

Part 2

A Wall Great & High

Like you and me, John’s thoughts of heaven were limited by his human flesh. It was when he was carried away in the Spirit that John truly saw the splendor of the Holy Jerusalem.

John was carried away in the spirit.

10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

Revelation 21:10

Without the Spirit, we aren’t strong enough or smart enough to understand the Kingdom of God. The path beyond the great and high wall must go through the Spirit.

God wants His children to realize heaven is so much more than just an escape from hell! If your concept of heaven is nothing more than a nice place to go and live out eternity, then you are missing out. Heaven is so much more than a place to experience pleasures forevermore. Heaven is Heaven because the presence and glory of Jesus Christ is there!

The Holy City that John saw is not just a place, but it represents everything God is working toward in the lives of the redeemed; it’s the culmination of everything God has promised the Church. It’s the long awaited union of Christ with His bride!

But until we actually enter that Holy City, there is a wall great and high between us and Heaven.

12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

Revelation 21:12

This wall doesn’t change or move for anyone. There’s only one way into heaven! You can’t charm your way in or bribe your way in. You can’t disguise yourself as something you’re not. You can’t make it into the Heavenly Kingdom by attending church, or by playing church.

In fact, in Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus warns us that even demonstrating spiritual gifts and doing good works won’t get you into heaven.

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Matthew 7:21-23

Then how am I supposed to make it in? How do I know I will be able to make it past that wall great and high?

27 And [Jesus] said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.

Luke 18:27

You can’t do anything within yourself to be worthy of heaven. God knew it was impossible for us to live without sin so He sent His only begotten Son to be the sacrifice for our sin. All you have to do is accept this gift of salvation and follow the blood trail of Jesus Christ straight to that city.

When you repent and ask Jesus to wash your sins away, your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Have you made Jesus Lord of your life? This is the starting point of your journey, but it doesn’t stop here.

You were saved for a purpose! The Christian life is never a chair of experience; it’s a walk! It’s an ever changing, always increasing experience, a path that leads you closer and closer to God.

How do I get out of the chair and start fulfilling God’s purpose and will for my life?

Be filled with the Spirit!

15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

Ephesian 5:15-18

 The role of God’s Holy Spirit is crucial in your walk with Christ. The baptism in the Holy Ghost is not an option, but a command. The Bible clearly tells us to be filled with the Spirit!

Don’t be drunk with wine for it impairs your senses and judgements to serve the flesh. Instead be filled with the Spirit so God’s Holy Ghost can possess and control your every thought, feeling, and action to serve Jesus Christ.

When you are filled with God’s Holy Ghost, you surrender all control to God’s will. When He says speak, you speak! When He says go, you go! Whatever He wants, you do, because you are no longer in control!

However, just because you’ve been filled before doesn’t necessarily mean you are filled right now. We need to be filled and refilled with the Spirit on a daily basis to flush out all the worldly garbage that our lives are inundated with every day. We need to be refreshed not only to counter the influences of the world, but to keep our own flesh in check.

I don’t understand how I can be controlled by Christ if I am trapped inside this flesh.

Walk in the Spirit!

16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

Galatians 5:16

Walk in the spirit! In the flesh, it’s impossible! You can’t go anywhere or do anything for God without His Spirit! You were saved so that God could have a vessel to live in. God wants to transform you so that you look like, act like, and even think like His Son, Jesus Christ. However, this is impossible in the flesh! Without God’s Holy spirit leading you, you’ll never completely fulfill all that God wants you to be.

What can I do for God? I have so little to offer, and I am afraid of what God might ask me to do.

Faith is a risk!

In a parable in Matthew 25, Jesus likens the Kingdom of Heaven to a man who goes away and leaves three servants in charge of his money. When the master returns, he honors and rewards two of the servants for taking their talents and investing them wisely. Despite the risk, these two men invested all they had and received a return on the investment. They were called faithful servants and were made rulers over many things. However, the master condemns the third servant for hiding and not investing his part of the money. Despite his excuses, because the servant didn’t use what he was given, what little he had was taken away, and he was called wicked and slothful.

The truth is the only thing we have to offer God is our faith and willingness! When we step out in faith and invest what little we have, God honors and multiplies our willingness into something He can use. When we realize without God we can do nothing, then the flesh can’t take credit, and all the glory and honor goes to God.

Are you serving God with everything you have? Do you hear Christ calling you into a closer walk with Him? Do you feel God challenging you to leave your comfort zone and do the impossible?

Flesh can’t do the impossible!

…Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.

 Zechariah 4:6

If you accomplish anything for God, it must be done by the Spirit of God!

Not only does God want you to make it past that wall great and high, but He wants to use you to lead others into the Kingdom as well. However, the path over this wall great and high must go through the Spirit. Only those things done in the Spirit will last for all eternity.

 

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022: You Didn’t Now You Can’t

You Didn't Now You Can't - Sun Dec 27am

People need peace and will do anything to get it! Sinful relationships! Alcohol! Drugs! Occult practices! You name it and people have tried it, but are left just as unsatisfied as before. Less destructive, but just as costly attempts are made in self-help books, counseling, and support groups. Sadly, the end result is still a life with no peace, no hope, and no meaning.

As a Christian, you may be thinking this is a no brainer. If all else fails, why don’t you just try Jesus? Just believe for goodness sake! However, according to John 12:39, it is quite possible for someone to reach a point in their life that they no longer have the capacity to believe. After repeatedly saying no to God’s mercy and grace, they become so calloused and so insensitive that they can’t ever feel that conviction ever again. That’s something I wouldn’t want to gamble with!

Are you saved? If Jesus is your personal savior, then there was a point in time when you responded to the initial work of God’s spirit. That was the start of your walk with God. What about right now? He’s not finished with you yet! How often do you feel the tugging of God’s Holy Spirit and don’t respond? Or have you become so indifferent that you don’t even feel God’s presence?

Whether you’re saved or not, we all have had one opportunity after another to respond to God’s Holy Spirit. Is the Holy Ghost convicting you right now to repent and draw closer to God? Do you just ignore the leading of the Spirit and choose to do your own thing thinking you’ll respond when it’s more convenient? Now is the time to answer God’s calling because there may come a time when you can’t.

As you listen to this podcast episode, I pray you begin to cherish the presence of God and never take for granted the moving of the sweet Holy Spirit. Every time you feel that Spirit, just believe and know the Holy Spirit is working in your life because God wants to make you a vessel He can use! If you think your heart is beyond believing like those in John 12:39, all you have to do is start crying out to God. Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! I believe, please help my unbelief!

A Wall Great and High

 Part 1

A Wall Great & High

We all have our own thoughts about what heaven will be like. Do you dream of spending an eternity fellowshipping with family and friends? Or do you imagine endless days enjoying your favorite sport, hobby, or pastime? Do images of the perfect paradise come to mind: a place to experience pleasures untold? We talk about the streets of gold, the gates of pearl, and the mansions bright! But the truth is our finite human minds can’t even imagine just how glorious heaven will be.

 

In Revelation 21, John was taken away in the spirit and shown the holy Jerusalem.

10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

Revelation 21:10

Around that holy city there was a feature so prominent that John had to describe it—a wall great and high.

11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.

14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Revelation 21:11-14

 

A structure that extraordinary was not put there by accident. Nothing God does is by accident! Why would God put a wall around His Holy City? What’s so significant about this wall? There are four things I believe this wall tells us.

1) The wall creates a boundary.

The wall John saw declares there is an inside and an outside to God’s Kingdom. You are either inside or outside; there’s no in between. There is a stark contrast between what is on the inside and what is on the outside. This boundary creates a property line. Those inside belong in the Kingdom and have rightfully taken their place as heirs to all its riches.

7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

Revelation 21:7

Sadly, those that don’t make it into the Kingdom will be outside, eternally separated from God, and will take their place in the lake of fire and brimstone.

 

8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Revelation 21:8

 

2) The wall is a shield from evil.

We have walls around our homes to protect us from the elements and from anything that will harm us. This wall great and high will shield the children of God from all evil!

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new…

Revelation 21:4-5

There will be no more sorrow, no more pain, and no more death because there will be no more curse (Revelation 22:3).

Our enemy, Satan, will be destroyed, and will never threaten the Christian ever again. Hallelujah! And the greatest enemy, man’s own flesh, will be defeated as well! The flesh man will no longer wage war against the spirit man because there won’t be any flesh in that heavenly Kingdom.

50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

Corinthians 15:50

 

3) The wall denotes exclusiveness.

Nobody likes to be excluded from anything, but not just anybody can enter into the presence of a King. You have to be invited in. The good news is God’s love and mercy is so great that He doesn’t want to exclude anyone from His Kingdom. In fact, “…whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). We all have sinned! And it doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, God has made a way for you. Regardless of your race or ethnicity, He wants to adopt you into His family. Despite whatever crimes you have committed, God wants to be your Father. He wants you to inherit His Kingdom more than you do. All you have to do is accept the precious gift of salvation God has provided through His Son Jesus Christ!

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

 Romans 10:9  

When you make Jesus Lord of your life, He washes your sins away and you become a child of the Most High God! Purchased by the blood Jesus shed on the cross.

16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Romans 8:16-17

By making Christ our Lord, we become joint-heirs with Him. And if we continue steadfast in the faith and don’t quit then we will live forevermore in the wonderful presence of God!

7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

Revelation 21:7

 

However, if you’re not in Christ and not an heir, then you don’t belong in the kingdom. Just know that your exclusion is by your own choice and not because God didn’t invite you in and make provision for you.

 

4) The wall has certain foundations.

Great massive structures are built on deep, solid foundations that don’t shift or give way. Likewise, this great and high wall is not built on just any foundation, but one that is anchored and unfailing. It’s not built on celebrities or personalities! The wall is not built on selfish ambitions or pleasures. It’s not even built on noble causes or good works, for all these will eventually fail.

 

14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Revelation 21:14

The wall is built on the twelve apostles of the lamb. The foundation is the life that is sold out to the Lamb of God: not perfect people, but those that have been washed in the blood of the Lamb and have dedicated every fiber of their being to Christ. Have you dedicated your life to the Lamb of God?

 

Who is this Lamb of God?

He was the sacrifice for my sin and yours: the one that washes our sins away by the blood He shed on the cross.

 …Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

John 1:29

 

The church is betrothed to this Lamb. And one day the bride will join the groom in a perfect union for all eternity to experience pleasures forever more. Heaven is more than just a geographical location. It is the fulfillment of every promise God has made to His Bride—the Church!

 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

Revelation 19:7-8

 

What foundation are you building your life on? Are you washed in the blood? When Jesus washes your sins away, then you become a part of the Church. You become the Bride of Christ!

As the Bride of Christ, is your life sold out to the Lamb of God? A love sick bride longs for the day when she finally unites with the groom in holy matrimony. Her wedding day is all she can think about. It consumes her thoughts and energies in planning and making preparations for the big day. Is Jesus your everything? Do you dream of the day when you will see Jesus face to face? Is your life devoted to pleasing Jesus?

You see Heaven doesn’t exist for our pleasure! The sole purpose of Heaven is for the pleasure of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God! It is God’s Heaven and He decides who gets in.

When you come to God through the blood of Jesus, your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Revelation 21:27

Until we actually enter that holy city, there is a wall great and high between us and the Kingdom. If your mind is made up to live for Jesus, then you are going to inherit and inhabit this heaven. God wants you to go to heaven more than you do! However, it’s God’s wall, His Holy City, and His kingdom. God makes up the rules. We either get in His way or not at all. So until you’re ready to exchange your will, your passions, and your preferences for His divine purposes, you won’t get in. You have to surrender everything to Jesus Christ!

 

 

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021: I Jesus

I Jesus

Think for a moment, if you were Jesus.  He’s the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords! All hell trembles at the whisper of His name. Yet Jesus left the splendor of His Heavenly Kingdom to live on this earth, to walk where we walk, to feel what we feel, to face the same temptations we face. He suffered the same things we suffer. Why did He do it? Jesus wanted to be “…made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people” (Hebrew 2:17). He’s our priest, but not just any priest. Jesus is the only merciful and faithful High Priest who has first-hand experience with what we are going through! Yet, He was despised and still is being rejected today with bitter hatred.

Would you have given up your throne in a heavenly kingdom to save a wretched people who hated you? Jesus sacrificed more than just His throne. He humbled himself and was obedient even to the point of death, but not just any death. He died in the most despicable way: as a common criminal, hanging on a cross, convicted by the very ones He was destined to save. Jesus suffered more than any human has ever endured. Still, His response to the crowd’s anger was “Father, forgive them…”

Now Jesus is at the right hand of the Father back in His Heavenly Kingdom where He is ever interceding on our behalf. The next time He comes back to earth, He will be accompanied by all the splendor and glory that rightfully belongs to a majestic King. Jesus has every right to retribution; His holiness demands it. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord! However, even in the last chapter of His word to humankind, Jesus never lashes out in retaliation, never claims vengeance. From Genesis to Revelation, the message is still the same. Whosoever will, come!  As you tune in to this podcast episode, I pray you get a glimpse of the mercy and compassion that Jesus is still extending to a lost and dying world even to the very end.

020: Three Days Journey

Three Days Journey - Sun Nov 15

Are we there yet? How much further do we have to go? If you have ever taken a long road trip, then you know what I’m talking about. And if you have kids, then you’re all too familiar with these words.

As children of God, we have asked these same questions.   As you journey through this life, many times it may feel like you are wandering in a wilderness with no destination in sight. It’s easy to get tired and wonder will you ever arrive. It’s tempting to pull over and take a break for a while, or maybe even take what seems to be an easier road. Distractions are everywhere and the devil is a master at knowing when to use them to get you off course.

But God knows the path He has laid out for you, and He knows how long it will take you to reach your destination! It is a perfect path that will lead you into eternal fellowship with Him. All the troubles and trials you ever experience along the way will be worth it all when you finally reach your destination. One day, if you continue steadfast on your journey of faith, you will see Jesus face to face! What a day that will be!!!

If you’re tired and weary then tune in to this podcast episode and be encouraged! Our destination is in sight!

019: Magnifical

Magnifical - Sun Nov 22

Magnifical! No, it’s not an error even though spellcheck will tell you otherwise.

 

“…the house that is to be builded for the Lord must be exceeding magnifical, of fame and of glory throughout all countries: I will therefore now make preparation for it. So David prepared abundantly before his death” (1 Chronicles 22:5).

You probably already guessed, the word magnifical means something like magnificent. However, this word, found only once in scripture, deserves further study.

From towers to coliseums to cathedrals, people have traveled the world over to witness man made architectural wonders. The construction of God’s house was to be so magnifical that its glory would be known throughout the land!  What are you building for the Lord? Is your relationship with God exceeding magnifical or just a formality? Do others see a magnifical Jesus in you, or some imitation? It’s not about a building made with human hands, but a Kingdom made by God’s hand. Whatever God inhabits becomes magnifical!

Although Solomon built the house for the Lord, David was the one who made all the preparations: acquiring the property, drawing up the plans, gathering all the materials. Like David, Jesus has already made the provisions for you and me.  We just need to surrender our plans to God’s plan. It’s not about what we can build, but what God wants to build through each of us so that the world no longer sees us, but the glory and splendor of Jesus Christ living in each of us.

God wants to build something magnifical in you and through you! Tune into this podcast episode to find out just how magnifical your relationship with God can be.

The Miracle Jesus Would Not Perform

The Miracle Jesus Would Not Perform

PT 2

Throughout His life on earth Jesus performed many miracles: ministering to the hurting, the hungry, and the hopeless.  While He was hanging on the cross, the onlookers taunted and provoked Him to perform yet one more miracle.

He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.

Matthew 27:42

They all watched and waited with anticipation to witness some magic.  But kingdoms aren’t built on sensationalism.  Kingdoms are built on sacrifice! What are you willing to sacrifice for the Kingdom of God?  Are you afraid of what God will ask you to do?  Much like Jesus, Nehemiah knew what had to be done.  When Nehemiah heard that the wall of Jerusalem was broken down after the Babylonian Captivity, he responded to God’s call.

And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,

And said, I beseech thee, O Lord God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:

Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned.

We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.

Nehemiah 1:4-7

Nehemiah mourned and was burdened for the condition of His homeland.  Notice how he not only fasted and prayed, but repented, not just for his sin, but for the sin of the whole nation.

God called Nehemiah to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem.  From the very start of the project, Nehemiah met opposition.  If you serve God with any diligence, then you will certainly encounter opposition as well.

Nehemiah and the workers toiled in the hot sun building a wall, brick by brick.  It was hard, back breaking labor, but they were committed.  All the while, Sanballat “…took great indignation, and mocked the Jews” (Nehemiah 4:1), along with Tobiah taunting “…if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall” (Nehemiah 4:3).  Nobody likes to be made fun of!  However, Nehemiah suppressed his feelings and refused to come down and compromise the work God called him to do.

Sanballat and Tobiah were angry when they saw the worker’s determination and the wall progressing, so they changed their tactics.  Their mockery turned to terrorism!  Nehemiah and all the workers were in constant fear of an ambush.  Has satan ever tried to paralyze you with a spirit of fear?

Despite the distraction, Nehemiah and the workers prayed and “…set a watch against them day and night…” (Nehemiah 4:9).  Nevertheless, Nehemiah refused to step off the wall, and the people worked as a team; half of the people worked, while the other half watched with weapons in hand ready to defend against an attack.

When the work was on the verge of completion, and all the breaches in the wall were closed, Sanballat and Tobiah employed a whole different strategy.  Knowing Nehemiah was a diplomat and involved with political affairs, Sanballat repeatedly insisted Nehemiah join in a very important meeting.  Sanballat continued attempts to manipulate Nehemiah into a compromise by slandering Nehemiah’s name and even hiring a false prophet to prophesy gloom and doom over him.

It would’ve been easy for Nehemiah to justify leaving the wall to right the wrong committed against him.   The devil wants us to come off of the wall for just a little while.  He knows once you start coming down, there’s nowhere to stop. Many people compromise the call of Christ (or put it on hold, if that’s even possible) for a “good” cause.  However, there isn’t a cause great enough to abandon God’s will.

There are many examples in the Bible of those who didn’t stay the course, compromised their calling, and eventually left God’s will completely.  Samson left his work and went down to Gaza, and eventually met Delilah.  Jonah left the call and went to Tarshish, and from there down to the belly of a fish.  … You can’t run from God’s will. He will win out in the end!

The devil will use whatever means necessary to distract you from carrying out God’s plan for your life.  When God calls you to start a work, no matter how small or great it may seem, no matter how far-fetched or ridiculous it is to others, you must follow through and keep your focus on building the Kingdom for Christ.

Just like Jesus upon the cross, Nehemiah’s mind was made up to stay on the wall because if he compromised, the project would have never been completed.  But it was completed! The wall was finished in 52 days because Nehemiah refused to come down.

What is your why?

Why are you serving God? Are you in it for the many blessings and benefits it brings?

Is it because you were raised as a Christian and it’s all you know?  Do you fear letting your parents down?  Do you serve God as your insurance to escape hell?  Whatever your reason, if it’s not to bring glory and honor to God,  if it’s not to spread the gospel and build Christ’s kingdom for eternity, then it will all be in vain.

When your why is bigger than your what, then you will accomplish something for God!

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018: Escaping the Vulture’s Eye Part 1

Escaping The Vulture's Eye - Sun Oct 25

It’s no use anymore! No matter how hard I try, the devil still seems to find me! Do you ever feel like the devil just has your number, that no matter where you go, or what you do, he always shows up to torment you? Yes, the devil is working overtime to attack God’s children. Whether it’s through condemnation, manipulation, or deception, regardless the tactic, he won’t rest until he has destroyed every Christian he possibly can. But there is a refuge, “…a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture’s eye hath not seen:” (Job 28:7). When the buzzards are circling above, you know there is something dead or on the verge of death. These birds feed on rotting, decaying flesh, or anything that is just too weak to fight back. As blood bought children of the Most High God, we don’t have to be prey for the devil! If you are tired of feeding the devil, then tune in to this podcast episode to find out how to fight back.

The Miracle Jesus Would Not Perform

pt 1

The Miracle Jesus Would Not Perform

 

Have you ever wondered if all the effort and sacrifices you make as a Christian are really worth it?  Are you tempted to give up, slow down, or just take a short break thinking it won’t matter?  Jesus faced this same temptation to do His own thing, to satisfy His own flesh and desires, and abandon the will of His Father.

Throughout His life on this earth, Jesus was moved with compassion and performed many miracles. From calming storms to casting out demons, from healing sickness and disease to raising the dead, there was no question He had authority over everything.  However, there was a miracle Jesus didn’t perform. A miracle that would have relieved His own suffering, yet He chose not to do it.

While Jesus agonized on the cross,

39…they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,

40and saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself.  If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. 

Matthew 27:39-40 (emphasis mine)

Could Jesus have come down from the cross?  Absolutely! It would have been the easy thing to do!  Think for a moment, if you were hanging on that cross.  The physical agony alone would have been unbearable.  Add to that, the condemnation, the shame, the ridicule…

41 Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said,

42 He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.

43 He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.

Matthew 27:41-43(emphasis mine)

While Jesus hung on the cross the devil in desperation used every force in his power to tempt Jesus to compromise the mission.  You see the devil knew Jesus was so close to fulfilling the Father’s perfect plan for His life.  Like Jesus, God has a perfect plan for your life, and satan will do everything he can to distract you from following it.   The devil’s tactics haven’t changed.  He will discourage you, mock you, and even slander your name.  He will do whatever it takes to get your focus off of building the kingdom of Christ.

If Jesus had come down from the cross and not fulfilled His Father’s will, then the whole plan of salvation would have been jeopardized. Instead, He declared “…not as I will, but as thou will” (Matthew 26:39). Jesus stayed on the cross so you and I would not be condemned to death and eternal suffering in a devil’s hell.  But more importantly, Jesus refused to come down from the cross so He could fully keep His word in fulfilling the will of The Father!

And [Jesus] said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Luke 9:23

Jesus was saying, you can’t be my disciples unless you stay latched to your cross.  You may find yourself struggling to stay committed and focused on your walk with Christ, but if you come down from your cross, there is a great work that will suffer.  If you quit now, you might be on the brink of a major breakthrough for the kingdom.

In the end, all that is going to matter is what’s done for Christ! It’s not about me and my comfort level.  It’s not about getting out of an uncomfortable situation, but about whether or not I am going to stay the course and be faithful to Christ.

Jesus could’ve performed the miracle of His own deliverance, but He refused. In doing so, He accomplished so much more for His Father and for us!

What about you? Are you willing to follow Christ everyday when it means staying committed to the cross?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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