“I will restore or replace for you” says the Lord, “the years that the locust has eaten… the hopping locust, the stripping locust, and the crawling locust, My great army which I sent among you. And you shall eat in plenty and be satisfied and praise the name of the Lord, your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you. And My people shall never be put to shame. And you shall know, understand, and realize that I am in the midst of Israel and that I the Lord am your God and there is none else. My people shall never be put to shame.” (Joel 2:25-27)
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
Although the past is irreversible and overwhelming at times… God is the restorer of broken dreams and shattered lives! He has declared a New Day available for all of humanity! God has laid a foundation of hope in Christ – He is saying we can be a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17)… and our old ways can be in the past! There is a new beginning waiting for us, filled with new chances, new opportunities and new expectations (Isa. 43:18-21). God will wipe away our rotten past and restore that which was lost, stolen or destroyed by sin, brokenness or the devil.
Restoration begins by Believing!
As the Savior of mankind, the Lord Jesus Christ has done all to rescue us from the things that diminish or destroy us. If we can but believe – hope opens the door! There is a restoration coming into our spirits, minds, bodies, relationships, and other aspects of our humanity. Believers can be delivered from oppression (Acts 10:38) and rest in the safety that effects spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being (Mt. 11:28-30).
Come, you weary, broken and lost and find a place of safety in His loving care for you.
Hope is a Destination!
Run into the arms of your Father in the Spirit! There you will have plenty and be complete, satisfied and whole. He wants you to know the truth and the freedom of walking in His Presence! It is His joy to reveal His heart toward you! He is a Father… like no other. He will not allow His people to be orphans or feel ashamed anymore. This is a profound truth that no one else can claim.
Let Him speak this into your heart today… “I the Lord am your God and there is no one else!”
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Pet. 4:8).
Earnest love is uncommon! It requires a commitment to sacrifice and servant-hood. Sometimes we think, “if we commit to really loving others, we might fall short or lose face”. I would suggest that you will find yourself in both situations. Love requires us to get overextended and even feel like we fail from time to time… because God’s love calls us to become vulnerable. Someone along the way will take advantage of us. But if you are like me, you are in no danger of loving too much, but loving in moderation. Moderation is hypocritical and evil in terms of keeping love real and spiritual.
“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” (Rom. 12:9-11)
Our Moderate Love:
We must avoid loving by measure or calculating the cost in our minds. The Gospel of the Kingdom is about pulling our resources from another world. We love others based upon how God loved us, “moderate love is too small to be from God” (Lk. 7:47). I like how Jesus put it, “As the Father loved Me, so have I loved you – abide in My love” (Jn. 15:9). Jesus tells us that He loved us, in the same way and with the same passion as the Father loved Him… and that we could abide in that same flow of supernatural love. Being in Christ means you have the capacity to love without limit… and without hypocrisy.
You might have been loving and kind before you were in Christ. But you were selective in your love… way too guarded. Now you know just how much and how consistently God has loved you, and you have received it. Therefore, having received His love (Rom. 5:5), you have it as a resource in your life… everyday. So living “in Christ” means you can rejoice in the love you have and release it to others with a fervent heart. According to His great mercy, God has loved and embraced us as we are, so that we could be born again (1 Pet. 1:3) and live by a fresh power flowing through us by the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). Trust Him and obey Him… and watch His love flow through you – to others.
God has a Better Way:
He will give you a love that goes beyond the old patterns. You are a New Man and you have been equipped with new purpose (2 Cor. 5:17-21)… A purpose to love others as Christ has loved you. When we merely restrain ourselves from anger or malice toward one another… it is not enough. We must show the beauty of Christ and love one another with all we have. Its our calling… to love earnestly. The Apostle Paul said some amazing things about true spirituality and becoming great in the Kingdom of God… and it is all about love!
1st) Your position in the Kingdom is not what makes you great! “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.” (1 Cor. 13:1-3)
2nd) Your gift in the Kingdom is not what makes you great! “Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.” (1 Cor. 12:27-31)
3rd) Your ability to love and serve others is what makes you great! “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up, does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” (1 Cor. 13:4-8)
And the greatest news of all is that in all things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. We can hold onto the reality of love as an anchor to our soul. The Apostle Paul said, “I am persuaded… that nothing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:37-39)
“See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” (Heb 12:15).
What comprises these “bitter roots?” They consist of traumatic experiences of pain, distress, disappointment and brokenness that encourage feelings of bitterness. These feelings may begin in a moment or extend to lengthy seasons in our life, but their impact release root systems that grow and bear fruit. Without good resolution to that trauma, these bitter memories can keep a person continually torn up with pain and emotional scaring.
Roots grow beneath the surface:
Surprising emotional outbursts and difficulty making wise decisions or keeping intimate friendships are signs that bitterness is growing inside like a poisonous root system. As it grows it becomes toxic for both the heart of the person enabling the struggle and those who are in their proximity.
Hurt people, hurt people:
Amazingly, a person can love Jesus and live as a devoted Christian and still have bitter roots of hurt and ugliness controling their emotions, attitudes and behaviors. It was for this very reason, the writer of Hebrews wrote that we “see to it” that we don’t miss out on the grace of God due to some poisoning, toxic bitter root.
The Spirit and the Word offer freedom!
These bitter roots embedded within the soulish mind, for the most part; require assistance from God and deliverance from lies. Yet, when uncovered by the Truth of God’s Word and the powerful ministry of the Holy Spirit; miracles are achieved in the life of the hurting Christian. Jesus encourages us to abide in the Truth (reality from God’s perspective) and the Truth will set us free (Jn. 8:32).
Let the Word read you.
I encourage folks to read the Word of God carefully; not as a book of rules, but as a loving expression of God’s grace and power… revealing His heart toward us. I like to feel as though the truths of Scripture are “reading” me. Rather than trying to get information, I want transformation by the renewal of my mind and heart. The Holy Spirit trains us how to take a bitter root to Jesus, so that nothing will block our full experience in God’s grace. Freedom is achievable and transformation leads us into fruitful expressions that bring strength internally and pleasure to those who come in contact with us.
When anyone accepts Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior they are instantly enriched with every spiritual blessing in Christ. They are complete in Him (Col 2:10) and connected to the amazing riches found in Him. This idea of being “in Christ” is the key reality toward discovering the “relational path” that leads to God’s amazing riches. Freedom, fruitfulness, wisdom, peace and joy all come as precious treasures accessed through our posture in Christ. Our greatest needs can be met and our deepest thirst satisfied, but we must access the riches of Heaven through living in Christ.
Its so simple, many miss it.
Becoming a Child of God is a beautiful gift; but, because it is freely given, it is often taken for granted or misunderstood as some religious formula. Access to the relational blessings of God requires us to place our trust in the finished work of Calvary and then follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
When God raised Jesus from the grave, He was demonstrated His power over sin and death… defeating these enemies once and for all. God proved His power over the poverty that was released through sinful acts of rebellion that brought brokenness into God’s original plan for creation. Although everything was effected by sin, God has made a path that leads to restoration and recovery of all that has been lost. Sin has been defeated and in Christ, forgiveness and freedom have been made available through our walk in the Spirit. Did you catch that? Its through our walking in the Holy Spirit that we access the riches found in God’s gift of salvation. The Bible clearly says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Rom 8:1).
For the many Christians who live without victory over sin, poverty, fear and brokenness; I want to suggest they look deeply at their walk in the Spirit. Jesus makes it clear that it was better that He go away, because the Holy Spirit would offer a greater opportunity for accessing the things of God, than He was able to in His bodily form. The Holy Spirit would reveal the riches of God’s power and make them available as we move freely in faith and trust. Accessing the riches of our salvation is all about the Spirit, filling us and leading us into growing relationship with God. Our victory and satisfaction come out of this blessed relationship.
Life in the Spirit reveals Blessing:
The Apostle Paul refers to this blessing as “the unfathomable riches of Christ” (Eph 3:8). Unfathomable means “past finding out” or ”unsearchable”. The idea is that the believer’s blessing is too deep to be measured. The amazing riches in Christ are beyond our ability to wrap our minds around. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful reality to experience… more blessing than you could wrap your mind around? When we begin to live as Children of God, we become aware of the amazing riches beyond our natural imagination… riches revealed to us by the Holy Spirit and made available as we live by faith. Listen to this promise from the heart of God, your Father…
“Instead of your shame you shall have double honor, and instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double; Everlasting joy shall be theirs.” (Isa. 61:7)
- Instead of shame… receive your double honor!
- Instead of confusion… receive your double portion!
- Instead of poverty… receive double your possessions!
God’s amazing riches are your supernatural inheritance… in Christ!
What have we labeled IMPOSSIBLE? There is a name like no other… its above every name that can be named among men (Phil 2:9-11). Its the name of “Jesus” that allows access into heavenly resources, breaks through in difficult circumstances and pulls the believer into new seasons of influence. The name, “Jesus” on the lips of the believing heart is the most amazing force in the universe… for in that name is power and authority.
Access – Breakthrough – Purpose:
Jesus said, “All authority has been given unto Me in heaven and in earth“ (Mt 28:18). “In My name they shall cast out devils” (Mk 16:17). He literally gave us His own authority when He gave us His name. An authority to deal with the Devil. Every act of stealing, killing and deception is now abruptly held to a new standard of authority. The authority of the most recognized name in Heaven, the most powerful name on Earth and the most significant name in history… has been delegated to our use.
Authority is delegated power.
A person’s authority is only as great as the power that stands behind them! The police officer directing traffic in the middle of the street is wearing a badge that represents the power of the governing laws that he enforces. A large truck could easily crush him in the middle of the busy street, but because the driver understands the power of the badge, he quickly yields his will and submits the power of his large vehicle to the authority of the badge.
The Name of Jesus is like that “Badge of Authority”!
God knew that you needed a weapon of defense against all that the wiles of the Devil (Eph 6:16). What we must come to understand is how to use the name to our benefit. His name represents His person, His position, His seating, and His influence over all things. His promise to the believer is clear, ”If you ask anything in My name, I will do it” (Jn 14:14). Jesus’ name can accomplish things that might feel impossible in the natural; yet when we live in intimacy with Him, we experience a growing awareness of how the natural is dominated by the Spirit.
Faith-filled and lead by the Spirit:
The early Church recognized the incredible power they carried in the name of Jesus. Look at how Peter and John address the crippled beggar at the Gate Beautiful of the temple, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6). The beggar immediately received strength in his feet and ankle bones and as Peter grabbed his hand, he leaped to his feet with joy and praise to God. Later Peter needed to explain the miracle to some critics saying, “It was His name, through faith in His name, that made this man strong whom you see and know.” Amazingly the critics were familiar with this beggar and all of Isreal knew him, because they had passed him daily going into the temple. Yet this was a new day and demonstrated a new authority, where faith in the name of Jesus was confronting what they had seen as normal.
God was and still is, breaking in at the very gate of all that humanity has labeled impossible; simply because we have adjusted our seeing. He has handed the world an opportunity to experience the “New Normal”, where the name of Jesus offers access to all the authority of Heaven. This new normal confronts all that we see as familiar, impossible and overwhelming. But it offers hope, beyond the limitations. The new normal is living by faith in the name of Jesus.