Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Continue In God’s Grace

Continue In God’s Grace

2 Corinthians 3:6
6… for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

To the Jews, the feast of Pentecost is a celebration of the giving of God’s law. It takes place 50 days after the Passover feast. When God gave the Israelites the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai, it was 50 days after they had celebrated their first Passover and come out of slavery in Egypt.

But what happened after God gave them the law on the first Pentecost? Three thousand people died! (Exodus 32:28) Contrast this with another Pentecost in the New Testament. In the book of Acts, it says that when Pentecost had fully come, God gave not the law but the Holy Spirit, and what happened? Three thousand people got saved (Acts 2:41), which goes to show that “the letter [the law] kills, but the Spirit gives life”!

The law, which was “written and engraved on stones”, ministered death. It killed 3,000 people. That is why the apostle Paul calls it “the ministry of death” and “the ministry of condemnation”. (2 Corinthians 3:7–9) On the other hand, the Spirit ministered life — 3,000 people got saved.

My friend, when you come under the law by trying to keep God’s commandments in order to be blessed, it will lead to death. There will be deadness in your marriage, ministry, health, career… in your life. But when you depend on the Spirit of grace, it will lead to life. You will see breakthroughs and miracles (Galatians 3:5), and manifest the fruit of the Spirit.

So if you want to be blessed, make sure that you are on the right mountain. You see, the law was given on Mount Sinai, but the Spirit on Mount Zion. That is why the Bible says that “you have not come to the mountain [Sinai] that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest… But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels”. (Hebrews 12:18, 22) The Lord blesses you out of Zion (Psalm 128:5), and not Sinai!

Beloved, by grace you have been saved through faith. (Ephesians 2:8) Now, continue in the Spirit of grace. Remain on the right mountain and He will continue to supply miracles in your life!

Jesus Is Your Sweet Aroma To God

Jesus Is Your Sweet Aroma To God

Leviticus 1:13
13… the priest shall bring it all and burn it on the altar; it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord.

In Old Testament times, when a burnt offering is killed, its head is severed, the fat removed, and the entrails and legs washed. Then, everything is placed on an altar and burnt, and the sacrifice is a sweet aroma to God.

All this speaks of the death of Jesus, who has “given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma”. (Ephesians 5:2)

The head of the sacrificed animal speaks of the mind of Christ offered as a covering for our minds. This means that although our minds are often clouded with unbelief, worries, foolishness, filth and human reasoning, God treats us as if we have the mind of Christ, without wrong or displeasing thoughts, bringing pleasure to Him like a sweet aroma.

The fat of the animal speaks of the riches of Christ, His best, for God equates the fat of something with the best of that entity. (Genesis 45:18) The fat of the burnt sacrifice speaks of Jesus giving us His riches, His best, as our covering. So God does not see us in our lack, but in the riches and excellence of Jesus going up to Him as a sweet aroma.

The entrails or intestines speak of Jesus’ motivations, feelings, affections and desires. We often feel fearful, anxious, stressed out or angry (and it affects our stomach and intestines). But God sees only Jesus’ feelings and desires, which are always pure, beautiful and acceptable to Him — a sweet aroma.

The legs refer to Jesus’ perfect walk — His power to serve and obey the Father — imputed to our weak and faltering walk. And the fact they are washed shows that even our crooked walk has been cleansed.

Beloved, God does not see your foolish mind, weak nature, inadequate feelings or faulty walk. Instead, He sees you in the perfection of His Son, who gave Himself up for you as a sweet-smelling sacrifice to God.

© Copyright Joseph Prince, 2006. All rights reserved.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version ®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2006–2009 New Creation Church

Monday, June 29, 2009

Rest And Find God’s Grace

Rest And Find God’s Grace

Luke 2:40
40And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.

The verse says that the grace of God was upon Jesus. The Bible also says that where sin abounds, grace abounds much more. (Romans 5:20) And when you put the two together, you may find yourself asking, “If the grace of God was upon Jesus, does it mean that He sinned?”

No, Jesus did not sin. (2 Corinthians 5:21) So there must be another explanation as to why God’s grace was upon Jesus. There must be another explanation as to why someone can abound in God’s grace even when he has not sinned.

Let’s look at the word “grace” when it is first mentioned in the Bible. Genesis 6:8 says that “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord”. Noah’s name means “rest”. So the verse is telling us that rest found grace. In other words, when you rest, you find grace!

So grace was upon Jesus because His life was a life of rest and trust in His Father. He said, “The Son can do nothing of Himself. He can do only what He sees His Father doing.” (John 5:19)

Likewise, grace comes upon you when you rest and trust God. If you have a wayward child, stop nagging at him and trust God to handle the problem. Say, “Jesus, I commit this boy into Your hands. I cannot control him. You can.” If you have a persistent pain in your body, bring it to the Lord. Say, “Jesus, I hand all my worries about this pain to You. You work on the pain.”

“Pastor Prince, what if nothing happens?”

Honestly, if after you have given the matter to Jesus and nothing happens, what can you do? If Jesus Himself can’t do anything about it, do you think you can? But praise God, once the problem is handed over to Jesus, He can and will do a perfect work of taking care of it for you!

So live a life of rest. Have this attitude and tell the Lord, “I can do nothing of myself. I just rest in You Lord and I trust You.” Beloved, what you will see is the grace of God upon you in every situation of your life!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Grace And Peace Multiplied To You

Grace And Peace Multiplied To You

2 Peter 1:2–3
2Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,

Imagine if God were to visit you in a dream tonight and ask you what He could do for you. What would you say to Him? Would you ask Him to give you a deeper knowledge of Jesus our Lord?

God’s Word tells us that when you receive revelation in the knowledge of Jesus, it will cause grace and peace to be multiplied in your life. It will cause you to receive all things that pertain to life and godliness.

What is grace? It is the unmerited, unearned and undeserved favor of God shown to us. There is nothing we can do to earn God’s grace. But the more we learn of the beauty and love of our Lord Jesus, the more we see His perfect work on the cross, and the more we position ourselves to receive a multiplication of God’s grace in our lives.

The verse says that peace too, is multiplied to us through the knowledge of Jesus our Lord. The peace of God sets our hearts free from fear, stress, worries, anxieties and cares. Wouldn’t you want to have the peace of God presiding over your heart always?

God’s divine power has given us all things that pertain not just to godliness, but to life as well. Wouldn’t you say that health, money, a good job and a nice home for your family pertain to life? Well, all these things and everything else which God has already given is released to you through the knowledge of Jesus our Lord.

So let’s ask God every day, “Father, give me wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus.” For to know Jesus is to have grace and peace multiplied to us. To know Jesus is to receive all things pertaining to life and godliness!

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Reason Believers Are Sick

The Reason Believers Are Sick

1 Corinthians 11:29–30
29For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.

Have you ever wondered why some Christians are weak and sick, and die young? I thank God that the Holy Spirit gives us the reason as well as the solution. In 1 Corinthians 11:29–30, He tells us clearly that the one reason some Christians are weak and sick, and die prematurely, is that they don’t discern the Lord’s body when they partake of the Holy Communion.

Many believers don’t understand that the pierced, striped and slightly burnt bread, which represents the Lord’s body, is for their health and healing. And when they partake without discerning this truth, they partake in an unworthy manner. The reverse is true: If they discern accurately the Lord’s body, then they will be strong and healthy, and live long.

Unfortunately, the church down through the years has misconstrued this teaching and taught that if you have sin in your life, you are unworthy and cannot partake of the Holy Communion, lest you become weak and sick, and even die! We have turned a blessing into a curse. Because of this, many Christians are afraid to come to the Lord’s table and are therefore robbed of the health-giving power of the Holy Communion.

My friend, there is no such thing as a worthy person! The best of us still miss it and fail. So unworthy people are the only people who partake of the Lord’s Supper. But because Jesus died for unworthy people, He has qualified those of us who take Him as our righteousness to partake of every benefit that He died to give us.

So it is not a matter of whether you are worthy or unworthy to partake, but how you partake. Come to the Lord’s table with boldness and partake because Jesus has qualified you with His precious blood. Don’t treat it as a ritual, but release your faith for health and healing as you discern that Jesus’ body was broken so that yours can be healthy and whole today. When you partake like this, you are partaking in a worthy manner, and you will not be weak or sickly, or die prematurely!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Head And Body Are One

The Head And Body Are One

Colossians 1:18
18And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.

God’s Word says that Christ is the head and we the church are His body. So Christ and the church are one. Christ and you are one! You cannot say that God sees Christ the head perfect but His body imperfect. Or that Christ is accepted but His body not accepted. The measure of Jesus’ acceptance with God is the measure of your acceptance with God!

So it makes no sense to say that the head is well but the body sick, that the head is rich but the body poor, or that the head is at rest but the body full of stress. My friend, what Jesus is before God, you His body are. As He is, so are you in this world! (1 John 4:17)

Today, God wants you to lay claim on Christ being your head. Start believing that all His perfections, and the delight and joy that He brings to the Father’s heart, He has set to your account. And you will begin to realize that as Jesus is a sweet-smelling aroma to the Father, so are you!

The more you begin to see that you are one with Christ, the more you will realize that whatever you need right now, He is dispensing to you. If you are sick in your body, Christ your head imparts His health and healing to you. If you lack wisdom, Christ your head freely imparts His wisdom to you. If you have any lack, Christ your head gives you His exceeding riches.

Beloved, have this rich revelation that Christ and you are one. You can never be separated from Christ your head from whom comes all the supply for your body — all the power, wisdom, prosperity and health. So declare, “As He is, so am I in this world!”

© Copyright Joseph Prince, 2006. All rights reserved.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version ®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2006–2009 New Creation Church

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Condemnation Is The Root Cause

Condemnation Is The Root Cause

Romans 8:1, NASB
1Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

When you have a plant with sickly leaves, it would be foolish to just treat the leaves without knowing the root cause of the problem. Similarly, when “leaves” of sickness, poverty and destructive habits start sprouting in your life, you need to know what the root cause is.

Experts will tell you that it is stress. They may go a little deeper and say that it is fear — fear of the future, of rejection, of loss, of death and so on. But is fear really the root? Or is there something deeper than fear?

The Bible shows us that the most fundamental cause of problems in our lives is condemnation. With condemnation comes fear. Fear then induces stress which brings about the symptoms of the curse.

This is what happened to Adam. Long before he faced poverty, sickness and eventually death, he had stress. Because of his sin, God told him, “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground.” (Genesis 3:19) Sweat speaks of stress. But before there was stress, there was fear because Adam told God, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” (Genesis 3:10)

But what made Adam fearful? Adam only feared when, seeing his nakedness, he realized that he had sinned against God. He felt so ashamed and condemned that he hid himself. God then asked him, “Who told you that you were naked?” (Genesis 3:11) There was no one else in the garden other than Adam and Eve, so we know that it was probably the devil who told Adam that he was naked.

My friend, condemnation is the root cause of the symptoms of the curse manifesting in your life. That is why you need to know that at the cross, God took all your sins, put them on Jesus and unleashed the full fury of His wrath against them until Jesus cried out, “It is finished!”

All your sins have been completely punished in the body of Christ who was condemned for you. The root cause of all your problems has been dealt with. This means that the devil cannot enforce the curse in your life apart from your receiving condemnation. So come to the place of no condemnation and no sick leaves will sprout in your life!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Son’s Heartbeat For You

The Son’s Heartbeat For You

3 John 1:2, KJV
2Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

Let’s say that you are now in your nineties. Someone comes along and asks you, “Sir, you have been a Christian for a very long time. You have seen much and done much with God by your side. You have prayed all kinds of prayers too. So what would you place as top priority when you pray for people?”

I believe the apostle John was asked a similar question and his reply was, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” When the apostle John wrote 3 John, he was already a very old man and probably the only disciple of the original 12 who was still alive. It had been so long ago since he last walked alongside his beloved Lord, and witnessed His crucifixion, resurrection and ascension.

The apostle John had also leaned on the Lord’s bosom on the night of the Last Supper. And I believe that there on Jesus’ bosom, he must have felt the heartbeat of the Son of God — that loving and compassionate heartbeat which had caused Him to go about “doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil”. (Acts 10:38) In fact, two-thirds of Jesus’ ministry on earth had to do with healing the sick.

And now, nearing the end of his life, and after all he had heard, seen and experienced, the apostle John prioritized, above all things, health as well as prosperity. He said, “I wish above all things that you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.” He knew the Lord’s heartbeat. He knew that the Lord wants and will always want these for His people.

Jesus had prioritized divine healing during His earthly ministry. And Jesus, who is “the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8), will do the same for you today. His heart still beats for you. He will never miss an opportunity to do good to you, to heal you of your broken body, emotional scars and weary spirit, and to prosper you!

Jesus Met Every Claim Of God On You

Jesus Met Every Claim Of God On You

Leviticus 1:5
5He shall kill the bull before the Lord; and the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall bring the blood and sprinkle the blood all around on the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of meeting.

When the children of Israel were in the wilderness, God instructed them to set up a tabernacle as a place of meeting between Him and them. Near the door of the tabernacle was an altar. It speaks of the claims God makes on the righteousness of man. For this reason, an offering had to be killed, its blood sprinkled all around on the altar and its body burnt on the altar before one was counted worthy to go into God’s presence.

The sprinkling of the blood of a bull or goat all around on that altar meant that the Israelites were under the covering of the blood of that animal. Even when they sinned, their sins were covered by the blood until the next sacrifice.

The blood speaks of Jesus’ blood shed for us at the cross. Yet, His blood is worth so much more than the blood of bulls and goats because His blood is effective forever! In fact, His blood has met every single claim of God on man to the point that God is so completely satisfied that He now enjoys the savor of rest in what His Son has done.

You too can rest knowing that God is fully satisfied with you because of Christ’s perfect sacrifice. Even if you fall into sin, you can turn to the blood of Jesus. Your sins are not merely covered by His blood, like how the blood of bulls and goats covered sins. No, your sins have been washed away by His blood! (Revelation 1:5) In fact, your sins and lawless deeds God remembers no more! (Hebrews 8:12; 10:17)

Jesus was your perfect offering placed on the altar of sacrifice. By just one offering of Himself, “He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified”. (Hebrews 10:14, KJV) Jesus has not only sanctified you or made you holy, He has perfected you forever! Today, you can enter boldly into God’s presence because He sees you the way He sees Jesus. He sees you perfected forever because you are in Christ!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Jesus Overpaid Our Debt!

Jesus Overpaid Our Debt!

Hebrews 10:12
12But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God,

Do you know that we once owed God a huge debt? No, it was not a money debt, it was a sin debt. We owed God a sin debt which we could never pay. But God so loved us that He came up with a plan to pay the debt — He gave us His Son to die on the cross for our sins. Jesus was without sin. So when He went to the cross as punishment for our sins, He paid for us a debt He did not owe.

My friend, the reality is that our sin debt has been more than paid in full. In fact, Jesus overpaid it! Jesus’ sacrifice was an overpayment because it was not just a good man, revered for his saintly qualities and good character, who died for us. It was the Son of the living God, the Creator of the universe, the perfect Man, who died for us!

Because Jesus is God, His sacrifice is greater than the sacrifices of all good men — past, present and future — put together. His sacrifice avails for all who lived in the past, all who are currently alive and all who will live in the future. And His one sacrifice forever took away all our sins.

Jesus’ sacrifice was also an overpayment because His blood is of far more value to God than the blood of bulls and goats used in the past to atone for the sins of the Israelites. His blood is the blood of God Himself, not of animals. Because His blood is eternal, His blood cleanses us forever, so we have eternal forgiveness!

My friend, the next time you are mindful of a bad deed, remember that Jesus, your sacrifice for sins, not only paid 100 per cent for your sin, but His sacrifice was also an overpayment. You can therefore truly and completely rest in the presence of God, knowing that He is fully satisfied and completely at rest concerning you. He is not going to find some sin you had committed that Jesus’ blood failed to cover.

Beloved, God can righteously give you His blessings and you can expect to receive them because Jesus overpaid your debt!

Be Anxious For Nothing

Be Anxious For Nothing

Philippians 4:6–7
6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

When faced with a challenge or crisis, our tendency is to get all anxious about it. But God does not want us to react this way. He does not want us to be anxious about anything. Instead, whatever the problem is, He wants us to go to Him in prayer and supplication, telling Him what we need and thanking Him for the answer. When we do that, His peace, which surpasses all understanding, will guard our hearts and minds from all worries, anxieties and fears.

“Pastor Prince, it is easy for you to say, ‘Be anxious for nothing.’ Try living with my husband for one day. Try disciplining that wayward teenager of mine. Look at the balance in my bank account! How can I not be anxious?”

Hold it! I am not the one who said, “Be anxious for nothing.” The apostle Paul said it. Yet, it was not him — he was prompted by the Holy Spirit. And when Paul wrote that, he was a prisoner under house arrest in Rome. He had been sent to Rome because he had appealed to Caesar regarding his death sentence. The Jews in Jerusalem wanted him to be put to death. (Acts 28:16–20)

Yet, under those trying conditions, he wrote these words: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”

My friend, if you are anxious or worried about something, remember those words. Let’s say that you are anxious about a huge debt. Go to the Lord and pray, “Lord Jesus, I no longer want to be anxious about this problem. I hand it over to You and ask for supernatural cancellation of this debt. It is in Your care now. You are in charge. I thank You for taking care of it.”

God is true to His Word. As you pray this prayer and cast your care to Him, you will find His peace setting your heart and mind at rest. So be anxious for nothing — let the One with whom nothing is impossible take care of it for you!

My Life With Jesus...