Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Jesus’ High Priesthood Is Forever

Jesus’ High Priesthood Is Forever

Hebrews 6:20
20… Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

Jesus is our High Priest forever. This “forever” aspect changes the way we are blessed and how we receive our blessings from God. As our High Priest, Jesus represents us before God. Since His priesthood is after the order of Melchizedek, which is one of righteousness, His righteousness becomes our righteousness forever. This means that we are forever righteous in God’s eyes!

And because He will never die, but continue as our High Priest forever, we have an everlasting righteousness, not merely a here-today-gone-tomorrow righteousness based on our works. No, we have a perpetual and everlasting righteousness because Jesus is our High Priest forever.

This also means that blessings are perpetually on your head because the Bible says that blessings are on the head of the righteous (Proverbs 10:6), and you are righteous forever!

Unlike the priesthood according to the Levitical order, which blesses as well as curses, the priesthood of Jesus according to the Melchizedek order only blesses. There is no cursing, only blessing — always and forever!

And because Jesus is our High Priest forever, the blessings do not come to us in intermittent drips, but stream into our lives in a never-ending flow. Because He is our High Priest forever, we can never stop His blessings.

By being our High Priest forever, Jesus also touches the blessings that He gives us with a forever effect. He touches our lives and we have eternal life. He touches our ministry and its impact becomes eternal. And the more we see His priesthood as having a forever effect, the more permanent our healing and prosperity will be.

Truly, there is nothing temporal about what Jesus our High Priest does. It is not a case of blessed today, cursed tomorrow. The blessings we receive are sure and steadfast because Jesus is our High Priest today, tomorrow and forever.

So rejoice because Jesus your High Priest changes how you are blessed forever!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Don’t Sweat Over Loss Or Waste

Don’t Sweat Over Loss Or Waste

Luke 15:22–23
22“But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry;

What would you say if your son, whom you had given a large inheritance to, came crawling home one day after wasting all his money on riotous living?

In the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11–24), the father did not say one word about loss or waste, though his son had indeed wasted his inheritance on riotous living. The father only saw his son’s homecoming as an opportunity to show him how much he loved him and to restore to him what he had lost.

Like the father in the parable, it is your heavenly Father’s desire to embrace you and show you how much you are loved. And it is His good pleasure to restore to you what you have lost.

Perhaps you have lost something recently, or you are frustrated that something has gone to waste due to a bad decision you made. My friend, God does not see the finality of the loss or waste the way you do. When you come to Him with it, He sees it as an opportunity to restore to you what has been lost or wasted.

Even if, like the prodigal son, you feel far away from your heavenly Father, or you feel that you have disappointed Him, don’t despair. The truth is that the moment you come to Him, He immediately restores to you the robe of honor to clothe your nakedness, the ring of authority to declare your position of power and dominion, and the sandals on your feet (which servants do not wear) to reinstate you as a son in His house.

He reassures you that you had never lost the position of sonship. And He celebrates your return to Him with the killing of a fatted calf because you are His beloved child whom He cherishes.

Beloved, in your Father’s house, you not only come under His complete protection, but you also enjoy His inexhaustibly rich provisions and unconditional love!

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Good Life Without The Sweat

The Good Life Without The Sweat

Matthew 6:26
26Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

Most people are of the opinion that the good life does not happen without hard work and buckets of sweat. They believe that to achieve success, you first need to have this educational certificate, that professional qualification, this particular job and that many years of hard work. I have good news for you: God has a better way.

We all must work, but the world wants you to believe that there is a natural process of sowing, reaping and gathering, accompanied by waiting, toiling and stress, before the good life actually comes. But God says, “My people do not need to go through this natural process to enjoy the good life for they are not of this world’s system. They can operate out of My economy and I can give them the good life straightaway!”

In the same way that God feeds the birds which do not go through the sow-then-reap-then-gather system of the world, He wants to and will do much more for you!

Your heavenly Father wants you to know the generosity of His heart toward you and how much He wants to make you successful. A case in point is what happened to a church member who believed this truth. After leaving his previous job, he trusted God to provide him with a better one. Within just four months, he found himself heading two companies.

His newly formed distribution company not only clinched a major project in Singapore, but was also made the principal distributor in Southeast Asia for a popular line of products from the United States. His second company, which provided consultancy services, was given two projects by a Korean and a Hong Kong company for a six-figure consultancy fee in US dollars.

Today, God wants you to know that you are not of the world’s system. You are of the kingdom of God — the same kingdom that feeds the birds that do not toil, but simply trust their Creator for all their provisions in life. Be convinced that you are of more value to your heavenly Father than the birds, and let Him give you the good life without the toiling and laboring of the world

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Let Jesus Wash Your Feet

Let Jesus Wash Your Feet

John 13:8
8Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”

Can you imagine the Lord wanting to wash your feet? Peter could not. His shocked reaction — “Lord, how can you wash my feet!” — would probably be ours too.

I want you to notice what the Lord said to him: “Peter, if I don’t wash your feet, you have no part with Me.” What the Lord was actually saying to Peter was, “Peter, you cannot flow together with Me, you cannot walk together with Me in ministry, in service and in effectiveness, if you don’t let Me wash your feet.” So Peter said, “Lord, [wash] not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!” (John 13:9)

But Jesus answered him saying, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean…” (John 13:10)

Once we have accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are bathed all over, and cleansed by His blood once and for all eternity! His blood has perfected us forever (Hebrews 10:14), and we only need to wash our feet because we walk in the world and our feet pick up dust and dirt, causing us to stumble.

So how is Jesus washing our feet today? Ephesians 5:25–26 tells us that “Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the Word”.

We, the church, are cleansed with the washing of water by the Word. The more we come under anointed teaching that unveils Christ through the Word, the more the cleansing goes on. And as our feet are washed, instead of stumbling, we will be walking and even running!

Today, though high and lifted up in heaven, Jesus is dressed in a robe with a golden girdle around his chest. (Revelation 1:13) Like a servant who uses his girdle as a towel to serve, Jesus wants us to sit down and let Him serve us — by washing our feet with a deeper revelation of Himself through His Word. Beloved, this is what gives us victory in our daily walk!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Seek First God’s Kingdom

Seek First God’s Kingdom

Matthew 6:31–33
31“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

As a child of God, know that it is your Father’s pleasure to meet all your needs. Jesus Himself tells us, “For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.” But God does not want you to seek after things. He wants you to seek first His kingdom. And when you do that, all the things that you need will be added to you!

So your first priority every day is to seek His kingdom. The word “first” in verse 33 is the Greek word proton, which means “first in order or importance, holding the highest place in all our affections”. My friend, God wants us to seek first His kingdom, and all things will fall gloriously in place.

We are not to seek after things the way Gentiles do. The word “seek” in “the Gentiles seek” (verse 32) is the Greek word epizeteo. It means “to seek with all their might with much sweat or with much stress”. However, the way God wants us to “seek” in “seek first the kingdom of God” is the Greek word zeteo, which means “to hunger, to desire to worship”. It is simply a hungering, a desiring for the kingdom of God, without any labor or toil.

But what is the kingdom of God? Romans 14:17 tells us that it is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. And the kingdom of God dwells within you because the Holy Spirit indwells you. So the kingdom of God is His righteousness, peace and joy in you.

Beloved, if you want to have peace and joy in the Holy Spirit flowing inside you, then seek every day to be conscious of your righteousness in Christ, not your own righteousness, but His righteousness given to you as a gift. Pursue Jesus first. Spend time with Him and listen to His Word. And when you do these things, you are seeking His kingdom and His righteousness, and all the things that you need will be added to you!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Taught By God Himself

Taught By God Himself

Hebrews 8:11
11None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.

As a parent or someone serving in Sunday school, you may think that the children under your care are too young to know the Lord. And you wonder if you are wasting your time reading Bible stories and singing hymns to them.

Or you may have been buying Mandarin and Hokkien sermon CDs for your dialect-speaking parents or grandparents, and you wonder if the Bible teachings are too difficult for them to understand.

My friend, don’t underestimate the Holy Spirit. Many elderly folks in our Mandarin and Hokkien services, who first heard about Jesus through the recorded messages given to them by their children, are now born again and attending church regularly. And they are so full of Jesus that they cannot stop talking about Him to their relatives and friends.

Even for a young child like my daughter Jessica, when she was one year old, she would spontaneously raise her hands whenever she heard Christian songs, but not secular ones. My wife Wendy and I had never taught her how to recognize Christian songs. The only explanation we have is that Jessica was taught by the Lord Himself. (Isaiah 54:13)

When Jessica turned two, she surprised us again. Wendy was tucking her in bed one night when Jessica looked at her and said, “Jesus died for Jessica because Jesus loves Jessica.” No one taught her to say that. But I remember looking at her when she was younger and by faith saying, “You know, darling, Jesus died for Jessica.” She just looked at me and I did not know whether she understood me then. I just believed that the Holy Spirit is a better teacher than I am.

So don’t limit the Holy Spirit by saying things like, “The children are too young… My grandparents are not well-educated… My atheist friend won’t be interested…” Just send God’s Word into their lives by faith, and trust the Holy Spirit to do the teaching and imparting. For God says that no one has to teach anyone to know the Lord because all shall know Him, from the least, including little children, to the greatest!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Choose The Good Part And Profit

Choose The Good Part And Profit

Isaiah 48:17
17… “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you by the way you should go.

God instructs us for our own benefit. He wants us to profit in every area of our lives — health, finances, career, marriage and family relationships. The Bible says that it is God who teaches us to profit. And it is He who leads us in the way that we should go.

God always has our best interests at heart. We only have to sit at His feet, listen to His Word and just have fresh, daily communion with Him, and He will make our way prosperous.

But we are constantly bombarded with things to do every day, like sending the kids to school, attending a business meeting or making a sales presentation. Likewise, in church, there are just as many important things to attend to — ministering to the needy, reaching out to the lost and healing the sick. But you know what? All these things will be taken care of when we sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to His Word.

What was the Lord’s response to Martha’s complaint that her sister was sitting at His feet and listening to Him, instead of helping her with the many tasks? “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41–42)

Yet, many of us are like Martha. We worry about many things. And we are so busy that we have no time to sit at Jesus’ feet to listen to His Word and enjoy communion with Him. When we fail to draw from Him, we end up running on our own strength, and relying on our own flesh and wisdom to get things done. Listen, you can never have a plan that is better than God’s!

My friend, do you want to be led by God’s wisdom and timing in your decision-making? Then, make it a point to choose the good part like Mary did. Spend time with Jesus, open your Bible and say, “Lord, speak to me.” You will find that your heavenly Father takes care of your troubles, and teaches and leads you to profit!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

God Still Performs Miracles

God Still Performs Miracles

John 11:40
40Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”

God, who parted the Red Sea, rained manna from heaven, caused the walls of Jericho to fall, shut the lions’ mouths, healed the sick, raised the dead and calmed the sea, still performs miracles today.

However, some Christians doubt that God wants to work a miracle for them today. They believe that there were miracles when Jesus walked the earth, but they think that the day of miracles is over. And they talk about how everything will be perfect one day in the sweet by and by. But God wants us to know that He is still the God of miracles today.

Martha was like one of those Christians. She wondered if Jesus could perform a miracle when her brother Lazarus died. By the time Jesus arrived on the scene, Lazarus had already been dead for four days. So she thought that Jesus was four days too late. That is why she said, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” (John 11:21) And even when Jesus said that Lazarus would rise again, she said, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” (John 11:24)

Martha believed that Jesus could perform miracles in the past and would do the same in the future, but she did not believe that He could give her a miracle when she needed it right then. You see, Martha was someone who lived wishing that the past could be changed and believing that the future would be better. But she did not believe that the “I Am” was there to meet her present need.

Today, God stands at the point of your need. What miracle do you need from Him? Believe that He is still the same miracle-working God today. Believe that you will see the glory of God. Believe and you will see your miracle!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Count On God’s Forgiveness

Hebrews 10:2
2... For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins.

What are you more conscious of today? Your sins or the fact that you have been forgiven? My friend, don’t be conscious of your sins. Be conscious instead of Jesus and His finished work. The Lamb of God has taken away all your sins at the cross, so count on the fact that you are a forgiven child of God!

No matter what has happened or what you have done, God wants you to know that because of His Son’s finished work, He will be merciful to your unrighteousness, and your sins and lawless deeds He will remember no more. (Hebrews 8:12)

That is why you should not be conscious of your sins. In fact, when you are sin-conscious, the devil brings in condemnation, and the more you receive it and condemn yourself, the more you will find yourself unforgiving toward yourself and even others.

I was told by a pastor friend that when a lady, who had cancer on her face, asked for prayer for healing, the Lord revealed to him that it was self-hatred that was keeping her from receiving her healing. She could not forgive herself and was full of self-condemnation.

When she realized her problem, she counted on the fact that God was merciful to her unrighteousness and that she was already forgiven. She received the love of God. Then, right before the pastor’s eyes, her whole face changed — she received her healing that very moment!

Something happens when you believe that you are forgiven. That is why God says to you, “I want you to believe that all your sins I will remember no more. I want you to believe that you are My child enjoying My mercy and that you can always count on My forgiveness.”

Beloved, remember that all your sins have already been paid for by Jesus on the cross. And the more you count on the fact that you have the Father’s forgiveness and that He does not condemn you because of Jesus’ finished work, the more sin and its effects — sickness, hatred, lack and so on — will lose their grip on you. You will find yourself walking in a greater measure of God’s grace and blessings!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

God Is Your Strength

God Is Your Strength

Ephesians 6:10
10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

When you say, “I can manage this problem by myself, Lord,” God says, “Okay, you do it then.” But when you say, “Help me, Lord! I need You. I cannot do this on my own,” God says, “Good, I have been waiting for you to say that. You cannot, but I can. Now, watch Me!” That is how God is — He loves it when you depend on Him.

You see, when you think that you are strong and don’t need God, He cannot help you. But when you need Him and look to Him, He will not leave you weak and helpless. He comes and becomes the strength of your life. He becomes the breakthrough that you need.

A church member with a smoking habit came to me one day and said, “Pastor Prince, please pray that God will help me. I want to stop my smoking habit.”

I told him simply, “You cannot, but God can.”

He replied, “Yes, I know that I can’t. But with God’s help, I will discipline myself and try my best to quit the habit.”

I told him, “No, you cannot, but God can.” I repeated this to him a few times until he realized that it was not his self-discipline or willpower that would help him overcome his smoking habit, but the power of God. He finally understood that true deliverance from this destructive habit would not come by his own strength, but by “[being] strong in the Lord and in the power of His might”.

When I saw him again a few weeks later, he said, “Pastor Prince, since that day, I didn’t even try to stop myself from smoking. But each time I lit up, I told God, ‘I cannot, but You can.’ Then one day, the craving was gone! Jesus has completely delivered me from my bondage to nicotine!” This man experienced true deliverance, not just an outward form of discipline and willpower.

So when you say, “I can do something about it,” you are still relying on your human strength. But when you say to God, “I cannot, but You can,” you have just tapped into the real source of your strength — Jesus. And as you rest in His strength, you will see His power manifesting in your life!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Your Advocate Always Wins Your Case

Your Advocate Always Wins Your Case

1 John 2:1
1My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

If you want a glimpse of some real-life celestial drama, picture this: God the Father sits as Judge of the universe with Jesus Christ at His right hand, who is not only your High Priest, but also your Advocate.

When your accuser, the devil, comes along and says, “You have done this wrong and you have not done that right,” Jesus says, “Father, the devil is right, but My blood has paid for what the devil is accusing him of.”

Then the devil adds, “You have also not been reading the Bible or praying enough. And this morning, you told a lie.”

Again, Jesus will say, “Father, the devil has indeed reported correctly, but My blood has paid for all these failures.”

God the Father will then slam the gavel on the sound block and say, “Case dismissed! Next!”

You need to understand that God can justly declare you innocent and completely righteous because Jesus took your place at the cross, and shed His blood to pay for your sins and condemnation. (2 Corinthians 5:21) God is simply being faithful and just to what Christ has done.

When Jesus rose from the grave, He rose as your Advocate, your lawyer. But unlike most earthly lawyers who take on cases because it serves their interests and wallets, He is a lawyer who is personally interested in your happiness and well-being. Unlike earthly lawyers who are not caught up in the feelings and sufferings of their clients, Jesus went through great sufferings for you and paid with His own life so that you can receive all the blessings of God.

As your Advocate today, Jesus ensures that what He died and suffered to give you, you get! In heaven today, He defends and represents you to ensure that the healing, wholeness, protection and other blessings that He died to give you are enforced in your life. Beloved, have confidence in and rest in the ability of your Advocate!

My Life With Jesus...