Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It Is Finished!

John 19:30
30So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

Imagine looking at Leonardo da Vinci’s famous Mona Lisa painting in the Louvre museum. Would you think of adding more brush strokes to it? Of course not! It was done by a master, so what could you possibly add to the painting to improve it?

In the same way, that is how we are to look at Jesus’ work on the cross. He cried out, “It is finished!” You cannot complete a completed work. You cannot finish a finished work. Our salvation is won. Our sins are all forgiven. We are made forever righteous by His blood. Christ paid completely and perfectly for our total forgiveness, righteousness and every blessing!

In fact, these three words, “It is finished”, come from one Greek word teleo. In the days of Jesus, a servant would use it when reporting to his master: “I have completed the work assigned to me.” (John 17:4) The word means, “It is finished, it stands finished and it will always be finished!” Perhaps the most significant meaning of teleo is how it is used by merchants: “The debt is paid in full!” When Jesus gave Himself on the cross, He met fully the righteous demands of the law. He paid our debts in full!

Today, it is not our works that will bring us the blessings. It is Christ’s finished work. Christian living is not about doing, but believing in His finished work. Under the law, we must do. Under grace, it is done!

Maybe you are faced with overwhelming odds today. Jesus promises, “It is finished!” You are not going to be delivered because you have already been delivered. You are not going to be healed because you are already the healed! God healed you 2,000 years ago! Isaiah 53:5 declares, “By His stripes you are healed!” You are already pregnant with healing. Keep resting in His finished work and it will manifest!

My friend, the work is finished. The victory is won. Our blessings have been bought by His blood! Live life knowing that there is nothing for you to do — only believe! It is finished!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Your Problem Must Bow To Jesus Name

Philippians 2:10
10… at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,

Whatever is troubling you, if it has a name, it must bow to the name of Jesus! Cancer must bow to the name of Jesus. Poverty must bow. Shame must bow. The Bible tells us that God has highly exalted Jesus and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee must bow!

That is exactly what happened when a severely demon-possessed man saw Jesus. The demons in him — called Legion for there were many of them — not only begged Jesus not to torment them, but they also fled when Jesus commanded them to go. The man was left whole, healed and in his right mind. (Luke 8:26–35)

My late father was similarly delivered from his drinking addiction of many years. I remember how he was in a drunken stupor one day. I prayed over him in Jesus’ name for him to be loosed from his addiction to alcohol. He threw up violently soon after that and from that moment on, he never touched the bottle again!

Beloved, if your child is sick, lay hands on him and say, “In Jesus’ name, cough, stop. Fever, go in Jesus’ name. Health flows in your body in Jesus’ name!” If there is strife and confusion at home, deal with it the same way. I have used the name of Jesus as I prayed for a couple who were quarrelling in a food center. It was amazing. All the strife between them seemed to melt away and they started to talk calmly after that.

That is the power of the name of Jesus because that is the name of the one who died for you, who rose again and today is at the right hand of God, for you! That is the name which is above every name, and at which every knee must and will bow!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Don’t Sweat It, Rest!

Don’t Sweat It, Rest!

Ruth 3:18
18Then she said, “Sit still, my daughter, until you know how the matter will turn out; for the man will not rest until he has concluded the matter this day.”

God does not want you to “sweat”. Sweat here does not refer to your body’s perspiration, but your self-reliance or self-effort. God does not want you to believe that if you don’t do anything, nothing will happen. That may be true for someone without God in his life, but it is not true for you because you have God. And when He is in the picture, the God-factor changes everything!

When you are resting in God, He works for you. In fact, when He works, you end up with more. He is the one who is giving to you. It is not about you trying to give to yourself.

This was what happened to Ruth in the Old Testament. After laboring in the barley fields from morning to evening, she was able to glean one ephah of barley (Ruth 2:17), which was equivalent to a 10-day supply of barley. Certainly, this amount was a blessing to her.

But when she rested at the feet of Boaz, her kinsman-redeemer, and did not labor, she received six ephahs of barley (Ruth 3:15), which was equivalent to a 60-day supply! When Ruth sought her own blessing, she obtained only one ephah. But when she sought the blesser, she received much more.

Ruth’s blessings did not stop there. While Ruth rested and sat still as her mother-in-law Naomi had instructed, Boaz, who was the owner of the barley field, went to work, initiating actions, executing them and speaking on Ruth’s behalf. Right through it all, Ruth sat still and rested. Eventually, Boaz, the barley man himself, married Ruth. (Ruth 4) That meant no more measured wealth of six ephahs, but the yield of the whole barley field in total!

Boaz is a picture of Jesus, our heavenly kinsman-redeemer. When we rest in the Lord, He will not rest. He will work on our behalf. What do we do then? We just trust in and enjoy His love for us.

Beloved, stop striving and be at rest. If salvation, the greatest work, comes to us by resting in Jesus’ finished work, how much more will all the other blessings?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

See Your Situation Through God’s Eyes

Psalm 1:3
3He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.

When darkness covered the face of the earth, God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. (Genesis 1:3) When a certain man paralyzed for 38 years lay helpless at the pool of Bethesda, Jesus said, “Rise, take up your bed and walk,” and immediately, the man was healed, took up his bed and walked. (John 5:8–9)

You don’t say such words unless you see something others don’t. God does not see the way man sees. Man, however, must see the way God sees. We must see the vision of the Almighty.

The prophet Balaam saw the vision of the Almighty when the Spirit of God fell on him. As he looked down from a mountain at the camp of the Israelites, he found himself saying, “How lovely are your tents, O Jacob! Your dwellings, O Israel! Like valleys that stretch out, like gardens by the riverside, like aloes planted by the Lord, like cedars beside the waters.” (Numbers 24:5–6)

Balaam would not have said this unless he saw Israel not in the natural, but as God saw it. At that time, the Israelites were a discontented lot, always murmuring and complaining in the wilderness. But when God looked at them, He saw them like flourishing gardens planted by the rivers — fruitful and prosperous.

Beloved, God wants you to see yourself the way He sees you — “like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper”. So see yourself like a tree planted by the rivers of water, bringing forth fruit in your season. See yourself as one who will not wither, whose health will not fail. See whatever you do prospering!

See the vision of the Almighty. That vision is always a good vision. Whenever you see your situation through God’s eyes, you will find that your situation will change because when you see as He sees, you allow Him to work as the Almighty in your life!

My Life With Jesus...