Posts Tagged ‘salvation’

Becoming Flesh

“The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (Jn 1:14)

This verse is arguably the most profound and exciting statement in the Bible. We know Jesus came to seek and save the lost, but the good news goes much farther than that. Salvation is not merely the removal of our sins, it is access to life as a new creation. Jesus became flesh and dwelt among us to offer a radical transformation of what it means to be human.

Christmas is not only about Jesus; it’s about you and me!

True Humanity:

When John wrote that Jesus became flesh and dwelt among us, he used an ancient image the Jews were familiar with. The word he used that is translated “dwelt” literally means “to pitch one’s tent”. It was a reference to God’s dwelling among the Israelites in the tabernacle, a special tent that was the precursor to the temple of Solomon (Exod. 40:34-38). The difference is that the Word, “Jesus” didn’t just dwell among humanity, He became human. He actually put on flesh and became like us… in our frailty and our vulnerability.

As the perfect human, Jesus comes to define everything it means to be human. Whatever Jesus is, that is what He has made humanity to be in Him. To be fully human is to know God (Jn. 17:3)! To be fully human is to live in the knowledge that He loves us, wants us, and will never let us go. Jesus heals and restores our full humanity, becoming for us the Glorious Revelation of how God feels about humanity.

“For God so loved…” (Jn. 3:16).

Jesus shows us what life is all about. It’s about walking in communion with God, being in relationship with the One who created us, loves us, dwells among us, and adopts us as His own precious children. In becoming flesh, Jesus showed us the Father’s love and compassion toward us. He “pitched His tent” among us, because He wants to be with us… to identify with us. God didn’t turn His back on sinners, He came to live among them, to love them and to heal them.

Restoration

“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 into your heart today… “I the Lord am your God and there is no one else!”

Clothed in Glory

It’s interesting to me that all of the creatures God made had coverings… except man. Animals had fur, birds had feathers and fish had scales or shells. But man did not have any outer covering, as he didn’t need it before the fall. Why? Because God clothed man in His Glory.

“You made him (man) a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him (or clothed him) with glory and honor.” (Ps 8:5)

God’s Original Intent:

The atmosphere of the Garden of Eden was permeated with the same splendor as heaven. There was no sin in the beginning and man walked with God everyday in a peace filled relationship in the “cool of the day”. This means they walked together in a spiritual dimension where they shared a oneness that was maintained by God’s Glory (a covering) and God’s Honor (atmosphere).

The Garden of Eden was Heaven on Earth:

The original Hebrew word for “crowned” means “to encircle”, “to surround’. In other words, Adam and his wife were surrounded by God’s Glory and Honor. They had been clothed with the Glory of God and didn’t need natural clothing and they were living in an atmosphere of perfect relationship and did not need natural knowledge. God was giving man a wonderful environment to rule, where God would truly be their provision and protection if this stewardship could be maintained.

Losing the Glory:

However, once they had been deceived by the serpent and sinned, they were no longer able to focus on spiritual reality as the Glory that once clothed them, seemed to lift. They found themselves naked. Notice that they immediately respond to their new condition by becoming afraid. They made coverings for themselves and hid from God. This is an interesting response since Adam and his wife felt no shame of being naked before they sinned (Gen 2:25).

“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” (Gen 3:7)

Why would they even consider making coverings for themselves? Weren’t they the only human beings in the Garden of Eden? Weren’t they surrounded by only animals, birds and fish?

Hearing God’s Voice:

The reason is given when Adam is answering God’s call “He answered, I heard You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid” (Gen 3:10). Adam and Eve were afraid, because they were naked before God. I understand being ashamed, but why would they be afraid? They were afraid, because they were naked and had lost their original God given Glory. Now they found themselves controlled by a deception, a satanic lie that they needed natural covering and natural knowledge to sustain their lives. This came as a fulfillment to what God said to them earlier, “…you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die” (Gen 2:17). The moment they were no longer in God’s Glory, they died spiritually and inner peace was replaced with fear.

Spiritual Death:

We are able to see a powerful expression of God’s Fathering love in the moments following the broken relationship. God, seemingly unaware of man’s location, calls out to man and asks him of his connection to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God says, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree I commanded you that you should not eat?” (Gen 3:11)

Spiritual Life:

Then God makes the first sacrifice, in order to clothe them properly.  ”The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them” (Gen 3:21). God would spill the blood of a lamb; one of His created beings, to provide a garment suitable to cover human shame. This would serve as humanity’s first revelation that spiritual life is in the Blood.

The Apostle Paul said it this way, “for all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God” (Rom 3:23)

Our spiritual death has its connection to sin by the loss of our covering (God’s Glory) and our relationship (God’s Honor) based on His Presence (Holy Spirit atmosphere). Yet the Apostle Paul goes on to tell us of the reality of God’s grace… God’s favorable actions toward us who trust in Christ Jesus. He  tells us that God has restored access to His Glory and Honor in the free gift of salvation. Access to all that was lost could be restored through the Blood of Jesus. 

“We have been freely justified through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom 3:24).

The Gospel of Restored Glory:

This good news cannot be overstated, because it is not accomplished by anything man can do (Rom 3:20)(2 Cor 5:21). God proved His love by sending Jesus to die for us, in our place and for the spiritual relationship to be restored that once was established in the Garden of Eden. The Bible says that when anyone turns to God in faith, a veil is lifted from their hearts and they are enabled to behold the Glory of God in the very face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor 3:16-4:6). As believers who continue to look into that Glory a transformation takes place, whereby we are being changed into the same image (God’s original intent) from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Cor 3:18).

Jesus Said – Be Clothed In Glory: Power from On High!

“And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city (Jerusalem) until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Lk 24:49)

God’s Pleasure

“Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.” (Eph. 5:17-18)

“For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation.” (Ps. 149:4)

“…That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height - to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Eph. 3:17-19)

It is important to realize that your pleasure is God’s pleasure, because you are God’s delight. His goal is your heart… to dwell there and to allow His love to find its deepest root system there! He loves you with an unconditional love and all of His thoughts toward you are good (Jer. 29:11). You can’t live beyond God’s knowledge and you can’t hide from His Presence… He will never leave you and He will always be found waiting for you (Isa. 30:18).

7 Things That Bring Pleasure to God:

1. The Prosperity of His People:

  • (Psalm 35:27) Let those who favor my righteous cause and have pleasure in my uprightness shout for joy and be glad and say continually, Let the Lord be magnified, Who takes pleasure in the prosperity of His servant. (Amplified Version)

2. Ministers Doing His Will:

  • (Psalm 103:21) Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, all you His hosts, you His ministers who do His pleasure. (Amplified Version)

3. Men and Women that Fear Him:

  • (Psalm 147:11) The Lord takes pleasure in those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy and loving-kindness. (Amplified Version)

4. His People Walking by Faith:

  • (Hebrews 11:1-2) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.

5. Giving His Kingdom To His Children:

  • (Luke 12:32) Do not be seized with alarm and struck with fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom! (Amplified Version)

6. Saints Enjoying God’s Fullness:

  • (Ephesians 1:5) For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [ because it pleased Him and was His kind intent (Amplified Version)
  • (Ephesians 1:9) Making known to us the mystery (secret) of His will (of His plan, of His purpose). [And it is this:] In accordance with His good pleasure (His merciful intention) which He had previously purposed and set forth in Him, (Amplified Version)

7. Giving People The Desires of Their Heart:

  • (Philippians 2:13) [Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight. (Amplified Version)
  • (2 Thessalonians 1:11) With this in view we constantly pray for you, that our God may deem and count you worthy of [your] calling and [His] every gracious purpose of goodness, and with power may complete in [your] every particular work of faith (faith which is that leaning of the whole human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness). (Amplified Version)

Rending Heaven

“Oh, that You would rend the heavens! That You would come down! That the mountains might shake at Your Presence. To make Your Name known to Your adversaries, that the nations may tremble at Your Presence.” (Isa. 64:1-2)

Like many of you, I have felt the despair of this season. We are in a very narrow place and even as the nations rage, there is a sense within my heart that all is not well. Everything that can be shaken is being shaken. If we are not careful, each of us might be tempted to believe that we are alone in this season. The Tempter would love for us to believe that God is not with us, that He doesn’t care about our challenges and that no one, not even our closest friends, are concerned about us. Yet, we must not allow the devil to cause us to surrender one step or one inch of our Kingdom posture. We must stand on His Word and tell the devil, “It is written!”

Releasing His Word:

When God says He will rend the heavens, He means that He will tear open a portion of heaven for His entry. He intends to come down by releasing His Word to us. The word “rend” is connected to the same word in Greek which means to “call out”. God is calling out! He has violently ripped a hole in the spiritual atmosphere and come into our world… His Word has become flesh and dwelt among us. As unsettling and unnatural as it was for a virgin to conceive and as foolish and unacceptable as it was for the world to embrace; God was rending the heavens and making Himself known to the nations. Why? Because His very Name is life, peace and salvation!

Let me repeat: His Name is Life, Peace and Salvation!

This “calling out” means several things. First, it implies that God will call out to us. He will make His name known to us, to call us to accountability. He knows us by name and He desires that we know Him… that we know His voice and His Presence. That we recognize love when it is demonstrated by a cross. It also implies a calling out to our enemy… His adversary! That’s right, can you picture this? Not only is God rending the heavens and calling out to us with words of life, He is also calling out to our enemy; the accuser, who accuses us day and night. What’s He saying… “It is Finished!” The day of vengence has now come…

  • I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Acts 2:19-21)

God is once more rending the heavens and coming down to us, by releasing His Word. Will we hear Him? He is speaking concerning our breakthroughs, as well as exposing the strongholds that are blocking His advancement in the Earth. He is speaking new strategies and equipping His people with power to transform the culture one person at a time. Shaking is not a new thing, its a God thing… God is revealing His purposes in the Earth and exposing the enemy at the same time. Our responsibility is to walk in God’s Promises and trust in His Fathering Heart.

Understand His Intentions:

Position yourself to hear the Voice of Your Redeemer! Remove the old garments for the Bride Groom stands ready. Cast aside the influence of Babylon (the world system) and Mammon. Shake yourself free from discouragement that latches onto your mind. Renewal and refreshment are awaiting the Bride as she sees with the eyes of faith and love. This Bride Groom comes with fire in His eyes, declaring His intentions. The Lord is extending peace like a river and the wealth of the nations like flowing streams (Isa 66:12). He comes anouncing His intent… “I have come for My Bride!”

The Good News:

There is a good word in these times of shaking. “Though sorrow may last for the night, joy comes in the morning” (Ps 30:5). God is not finished and He has no intention of holding back… for in rending the heavens He is making His Name known among the nations. The mountains will shake, but those who have their hearts set on their Beloved… they will welcome the sound of His footsteps.

“And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Acts 2:21)

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