Posts Tagged ‘Savior’

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!”

God Shaped

“…but now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our Potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.” (Isa. 64:8)

According to the experts, clay has to be in the exact center of the potter’s wheel. If not, then the clay will eventually tear apart and become marred in the potter’s hands. The desired result will not be achieved and the beauty in the potter’s imagination cannot be released.

I find it helpful to remind myself often that I, as a believer must stay centered. We are as clay, and God (the ultimate Potter) shapes us into the masterpiece best suited for His purpose. “For we are His workmanship (His masterpiece), created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10) We must be in the middle of the Master Potter’s wheel, if we want to become suited for Kingdom success. Our anointing, the touch of God upon our lives and the flow of spiritual influence; is hinged to staying focused on Christ. At the very center of the Potter’s Wheel is the most vulnerable place, and the most wonderful place; to live your life!

Needing a Savior:

The first step of being in the middle of God’s will is to recognize we need a Savior. We have fallen short of God’s original intent and we need someone to lift us up onto the “Potter’s wheel” again (Rom. 3:23-24). That position is where something significant can begin to take place. Being centered in Christ means we live a life of full surrender to what God, the Master Potter, wants to do in our lives. Surrendering to Christ allows Him to remove the most significant barrier – sin, and restore our originally designed relationship between the Potter and His clay. When we accept the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross, He becomes our Savior and everything becomes new… our hearts, our focus and our future (2 Cor. 5:17).

Trusting His Lordship:

The second step is allowing Him to become “lord” and follow Him as His disciple. In order to see the kind of spiritual transformation we need, we have to submit our lives to Him. The Greek word for “lord” is kurios, pronounced koo-rios. In Ephesians  it says, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 1:2). Note that the Apostle Paul recognizes Jesus as our Lord and God as our Father. When Christ is truly Lord in a person’s heart, He becomes supreme in authority and is allowed to govern the heart and mind by grace. Something to remind ourselves, is that grace is a favor that the Holy Spirit opens up to us (2 Cor. 3:17-18) as we learn to walk in humble obedience to the Father’s will and purpose for our lives (Jms. 4:6-10). Through the practices of prayer of reading God’s Word, (the Bible) we are awakened on the inside (our spirit) to the force of God’s shaping hands. This is the power of the Holy Spirit at work transforming and renewing our minds to follow His will for our life.

The Master Potter:

God is the ultimate craftsmen, shaping us with His hands and perfecting us for His Glory. We trust Him to mold us, to shape us into a vessel fit for Kingdom use. It requires faith to believe in something you haven’t seen, but as you process all that God does within you spiritually; there is an assurance that grows and shapes even the way you think. The Bible tells us that there is a renewal of strength (Isa. 40:29-31) and a restoration of heart (Psa. 63:3-7) that comes as we position ourselves before the Father. This is because He loves us with an everlasting and unconditional love. He sees in us something beautiful, something we cannot see, something that He alone will cause to emerge. And emerge it will… to display His pleasure, power and passion!

Remind yourself today that you are: “His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” (1 Pet. 2:9-10)

Your Assignment is Prayer

“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Tim. 2:1-4)

If we want to cooperate with God for Kingdom Advancement on earth, we need to recognize the key role prayer has for success. Not only is the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man effective to bring about great breakthrough, but there is a life sustaining flow of grace released in simple fellowship with God. Prayer matters… it changes the atmosphere and releases Kingdom power… it unlocks revelation and sets fresh hope for the future… it challenges history and influences culture… it binds and looses, aligns and divides… but best of all prayer moves those things that concern us into the hands of the One who loves best and knows the most.

In Our Lord’s model prayer, Jesus says: “In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your Name. Your Kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Mt. 6:9-10). We must assume this was meant as an assignment, not just a suggested format. Our assignment from God is to pray without ceasing!

Prayer Ignites Vision:

It is prayer that fuels the fire of God’s manifest glory in the earth. Prayer does what nothing else can, it ignites the vision inside of us. It is through prayer that we experience divine intervention into human affairs. It is by believing prayer that mountains are moved, sinners saved, the sick are healed, and revival fires are rekindled. It is also by prayer that the human heart is transformed. Prayer is a must if we want to move beyond the realm of human strength and initiative into the realm of the supernatural power and blessing of God. Jesus Christ as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, has made us Ambassadors of His Kingdom. Prayer is our assignment and our strategy!

Kingdom Rule:

Our King – Jesus desires to rule through us. He desires to grant apostolic authority to His Church. He wants to extend His scepter of righteousness through us (Ps. 110:1-2). That scepter is bestowed and utilized as we take up the ministry of prayer and intercession. Our role is to bring His enemies to their knees, so they become His footstool. Through the authority of righteousness and effectual fervent prayer, we will see an advancement of His reign in the earth. There is clearly a vision that is ”the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Eph. 1:23). Prayer puts Christ at the center of all that concerns us. Just the thought of a truly empowered Church makes demons nervous and darkness want to flee at the sound of His Name.

Roads of Awakening

I love the story of the two disciples on the Emmaus Road (Lk 24:13-35). I could read it again and again, because it’s the story of two people who are introduced to the reality of confusion and pain. They had come so close to seeing what the whole world longs for – “real hope”… only to find their expectations shattered and their hearts yearning for a place to hide. Yet the same roads that call us to believe in God’s Promise… will challenge our courage and awaken real faith.

Roads like the Emmaus Road are where Jesus meets our human frailty with resurrection power and surprises us by the joy it releases.

From Broken Hearts to Burning Hearts:

At the start of the story they are two men defeated and discouraged. They thought they had something precious, but it was gone as quickly as it started. All they experienced with Jesus changed how they perceived their world. Now, taken away by the brutal forces of religion and government, their friend was branded a blasphemer and an enemy of the state. They could feel their hopes displayed upon that cross and placed into that tomb.

Yet, by the end of this story we find these same men joyfully testifying of the “stranger” they had shared their troubles with along the way. The guest at their table was Jesus Himself… raised from the dead and alive forevermore! They recognized Him in the breaking of the bread. As the crumbs fell to the table, they could hardly believe their eyes… He was risen from the dead, actively sharing with them and causing their hearts to burn with delight.

Roads Like Emmaus:

These roads are not unfamiliar journeys for the average believer. I would guess, we all have traveled the path away from pain, away from shattered dreams, away from our destiny. We have done this for many reasons, but perhaps the most compelling is defeat. When we feel defeated, emotions surprise us, confuse us and even lead us in the opposite direction to where we could find Truth emerging.

When defeated…  emotions surprise, confuse and even lead in the opposite direction to where Truth emerges!

The Good News:

Roads like Emmaus are diversions not disaster… because Jesus is Alive!!! He comes alongside of these two men, much like He comes alongside of us, to reveal Himself as the Victor over all that can defeat us. When we feel these realities we might find ourselves going the wrong direction, but God is not blind to our limited perception. He meets us in the hour of deepest despair and calls us back to “Jerusalem”!

What’s The Key? – The Breaking of Bread!

He was known to them in the breaking of bread (Lk 24:35). There, in a moment of surprise, a moment at a common table… comes a powerful realization. This “stranger” is the Savior! They saw it in the blessing. They saw it as He sat at the table with them and remembered how they had received from Him. It awakened their heart… this breaking of the bread. They saw it in the giving, in the sharing together and in the moment of abiding grace… their eyes were opened.

So they arose that very hour, like a person does when they come to their senses… and they returned to Jerusalem – The City of Peace. Roads like Emmaus are round trip journeys back into faith. They test the nature of our hope and reveal the power of resurrected love. They are roads of awakening!

“Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. They said to each other, did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” (Lk 24:31-32)

Encountering Love

“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isa. 1:18)

We have all watched loving adults bend low or kneel down, making themselves small so they can be face-to-face with a child. Parents do this instinctively out of a desire to connect and be present with the child. Out of loving desire to relate to small ones, big people make themselves temporarily small. This is how God reasons with us…

Face-to-Face: (Exod. 33:11) “…as a man speaks to his friend”

Our God loves us – and likes us! He desires to be face-to-face with us, longing to express love directly… seeking close relationship with us. God became small, taking the form of a man and becoming a servant (Phil. 2:6-8)… offering us forgiveness for all of our sin. This is the Christian story. God, coming to us as a baby, a child, a humble man. God coming to us in Jesus. The astonishing claim Jesus made was that if we have encountered Him… we have seen the Father. To encounter Jesus is to discover the Father’s heart… the One who made us, and loves us more than we could wrap our mind around. Jesus was our face-to-face encounter… and it begins with compassion, mercy and forgiveness!

Encountering Love that Forgives:

Jesus came to show us the love of the Father. But Jesus was not well received. People did not expect to see such love. Instead, they expected to see what we often expect to see in God… rigidity, harshness and stern enforcement of the rules… judgement, distance, rejection and exclusion. Instead, in Jesus, they encountered radical love… love that revealed the answer to a sin problem – forgiveness!

…in Jesus, we encounter radical love…

Jesus embodied God’s incredible love… love that included the outcast, that honored women, that respected and blessed children, that embraced enemies, that touched the contagious and healed the diseased, that extended hope to the rejected and confronted abusive religious hypocrisy. He revealed a love that valued relationship over rigid rule keeping and lived among the sinner, rather than a castle or mansion. Jesus told stories of God “the-waiting-Father” who runs like a servant to welcome us home and who sweeps like a woman to unearth her lost treasure. What was He searching for? Gold? No – someone to receive His love!

The Encounter:

Jesus had encounters with people in all sorts of odd places… like beaches or rivers, hill sides or gardens, in grave yards or vineyards, at wells or pools of Bethesda. Meeting was for encountering something bigger than belief systems… it was for transforming the heart. Imagine the impact of Jesus, time and time again… His love reflected the heart of the Father in ways that deeply moved the poor, weak and broken. Forgiving Love is revolutionary, it heals the heart, delivers the soul and changes the way a person thinks about themselves and others. Its uniquely God’s heart, because it is so… counter-culture, other worldly… and supernatural.

The Apostle John said it best in this statement: “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on (or given to) us, that we should be called the Children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him” (1 Jn. 3:1). Incredibly… in the encounter of beholding love… we come to know Him! We come to see His mercy and unyielding passion toward us. We experience love, by feeling the lifting of a burden we could never have been free of on our own. This is forgiveness… and it is truly the encounter of a lifetime.

  • Forgiveness is an encounter of love… by the only One worthy to be called – “Savior”!

…Can I introduce you to My Savior?
“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (Jn. 3:17)

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