Sunday, January 11, 2009

When You See God’s Grace, He Sees Your Faith

Ephesians 2:8
8For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,

Many a time, people ask me, “Pastor Prince, I know that God’s promises are true, but how can I be sure that His promises will come true in my life?”

My friend, if you want God’s promises to be sure in your life, you cannot depend on yourself. If you depend on yourself — your obedience, goodness, service and even faith — you will not be able to receive God’s promises. But when you depend on God’s grace — His unmerited, unearned, undeserved favor toward you — that is when His promises become sure in your life.

This was true of the woman with the issue of blood. (Matthew 9:20–22) She didn’t go around saying, “I must have faith… I hope that I have enough faith… I will have faith… I will not lose faith.” No, she was only conscious of the grace of Jesus — how He always healed the sick, how powerful He was in raising the dead and how willing He was to use that power for her healing.

She just saw His grace abounding toward her, so much so that she said, “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.” And when she came behind Jesus and touched the very hem of His garment, she was healed. At that same moment, Jesus stopped, turned around and said to her, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.”

When the woman saw His grace, God saw her faith! And so it was by grace, through faith, that God’s promise became sure in her life.

God wants you to see His grace. And when you see His grace, He sees your faith. God says, “For by grace are you saved through faith.” The Greek word for “saved”, sozo, doesn’t just mean to save from hell, but also to heal, preserve and make whole. So it is by grace that you are made whole, kept healthy, preserved and prospered. It is by grace through faith that God’s promises become sure in your life.

My friend, don’t worry if you feel that you lack faith. Begin to see God’s grace in your situation and He will see that as faith. And because He sees your faith, you will receive the breakthrough you need!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Choose Not To Worry

Choose Not To Worry

Matthew 6:27
27Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

Many Christians are familiar with Jesus’ rhetorical question, “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” But not many of us actually let it get into our hearts and allow the love of God to free us from our habit of worrying.

The truth is, no amount of worrying can lengthen your life or add anything to your physical person. Instead, worrying robs you of sleep, health and many good years. In fact, it is only when you are worry-free that God’s anointing flows freely in you, strengthening, healing, restoring and adding to you.

A church member, after undergoing a mammogram, found that she had lumps in her breast. Upon receiving the doctor’s report, she wrote this down on the report: “Jesus is my healer. I receive my healing. I am healed. I rest in God completely.”

She was due back at the clinic later the same day for a biopsy to see if the lumps were malignant. Her sister-in-law, who was having lunch with her that day, witnessed her cheerful and worry-free attitude while she ate her lunch.

Back at the clinic, this precious sister sat among other ladies who were also there for their biopsies. They looked very worried, so she started sharing Jesus with them and prayed for some of them. When her turn came and she had an ultrasound scan done, the doctor was puzzled — her scan showed no evidence of any lumps!

The doctor went back to consult her colleague who had first discovered the lumps. Stunned, both doctors conducted their own investigations. They returned to her only to say, “It’s a miracle!”

My friend, when you worry, you are actually believing that the devil has the power to make inroads into your life that God cannot protect you from. But when you refuse to worry, you are putting your faith in God. You have more confidence in His love and power working for you than in the devil’s ability to harm you! When you refuse to worry, but choose to rest in the finished work of Christ, you will see the manifestation of your blessing. You will see your miracle!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Gospel Saves In Every Situation

Romans 1:16
16For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes…

Each time you hear the gospel of Christ, you are hearing God’s good news for you. And the Bible tells us that the gospel of Christ — the good news that God wants all men to hear — is the very power of God for your salvation, not just from hell, but also from illnesses, financial lack, harm, a failing marriage — every aspect of your life that needs saving!

You may say, “Pastor Prince, I’ve heard the gospel of Christ, but it seems like I am one of those whom the power of God has missed.” My friend, when you hear the gospel of Christ, do you really believe it? You cannot just understand it in your mind. You must know and believe the good news in your heart, and then you will see that it is the power of God for your salvation.

But what is the good news that God wants you to know in your heart, which will release the power and salvation of God into your situation?

“For in it [the good news] the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith…” (Romans 1:17) The good news is that you are the righteousness of God in Christ, which you receive from faith to faith.

This means that this righteousness comes because you have faith in His blood, not your good behavior, to make you righteous. It is from faith to faith, not faith to works, or works to works.

The good news is not preached to show you what is wrong with you. It is preached to show you what is right with you because of Jesus’ work at Calvary, in spite of what is wrong with you!

There is nothing left for you to do to earn God’s blessings for your life. You only need to hear and believe the all-encompassing saving power of the gospel of Christ to heal you of diseases, preserve you from danger, prosper your finances and bring well-being to your family.

The world may say that the good news is too good to be true. But for those of us who are the righteousness of God in Christ, the good news is so good because it is indeed true!

You Have First-Class Righteousness

2 Corinthians 5:21
21For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Some Christians believe that they have to work at becoming more righteous. And they kick themselves when they do wrong. They don’t realize that by doing these things, they are not seeking God’s righteousness, but are trying to establish their own righteousness by their law-keeping and right conduct.

Righteousness is not about right conduct. It is a gift from God to us through Jesus. And since it is a gift, we cannot earn it by our law-keeping and right conduct. We can only receive it!

How do we receive this gift? We receive it through the cross. God made Jesus “who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him”. So today, we are the righteousness of God in Christ. We are as righteous as Jesus is!

But some of us think that in the body of Christ, there are different classes of righteousness, like the seating classes in an airplane. They think that some of us have economy-class righteousness, others have business-class righteousness and a select few have first-class righteousness.

That is nonsense! When God gave us Jesus, He became our righteousness. So we have His righteousness. This means that we are 100 per cent righteous in God’s eyes! We cannot but have first-class righteousness!

You might say, “Pastor Prince, I don’t understand. How can I be righteous when I have done wrong?” Think about this: Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin for us. Jesus knew no sin, did no sin and in Him was no sin. But at the cross, He received our sin and became sin for us.

Likewise, we, who were sinners, knew no righteousness, did no righteousness and in us was no righteousness. But at the cross, we received His righteousness and became the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.

At the cross, the divine exchange took place. Jesus took our place so that we might take His place. He did not deserve to be made sin, but He was made sin in our place. We did not deserve to be made righteous, but we were made righteous because we received His righteousness. What good news! What amazing grace!

Friday, January 2, 2009

God Remembers Your Sins No More

Hebrews 10:17
17… “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

I don’t know about you, but I would say that Hebrews 10:17 is good news. God sees all our sins — past, present and future — and says, “Your sins I remember no more!” The words “no more” are a strong double negative in the original Greek text. In other words, God is saying, “Your sins I will by no means ever remember!”

Has God lowered His standards? No, He is still perfectly holy. He did remember all our sins — 2,000 years ago at the cross. Every sin which we have committed or will commit has been punished to the full in the body of Jesus Christ at the cross. That is why today, God remembers our sins no more. We should, therefore, not be sin-conscious.

Each time we fall into sin, God wants us to remember the cross and say, “Lord Jesus, you were sentenced for this sin I committed. You bore the judgment, so God will not judge me for this sin. You were condemned for this sin, so God will not condemn me for it.”

If you don’t look to the cross, you will become sin-conscious and you will walk around with a certain expectation of judgment. And that expectation of judgment will give the devil a chance to get you thinking that God has something against you because of your sin.

You must come to the place where you know and believe that all your sins are forgiven, that there is no sin that will ever disqualify you from God’s blessings, that there is no sin that will ever send you to hell, because you are forgiven and saved eternally.

Hebrews 10:12, 14 says, “But this Man [Jesus], after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God… For by one offering He has perfected forever…”

You and I are perfected forever because of Jesus’ perfect work on the cross. We are perfected by God’s full acceptance and perfect delight in His Son’s work that has so glorified His holiness. Beloved, hear God say to you, “I will be merciful. Your sins and lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

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