1. Life is a precious gift from God because it’s His breath in us that makes us living beings. Human life is precious, so we need to cherish, love, and honor people above money, fame, or position. And when God adds another life to our families or our church, we must receive them with joy and thanksgiving.
2. God has not only given us life, He also sustains the life in us by providing for us, protecting, healing, and delivering us from anything that can destroy our lives. He keeps us among the living and does not allow our feet to be moved (Ps.66:9). Each day that we are alive is a gift from God and we need to bless, praise and give Him thanks while we have breath (v.😎.
3. God does not only want us to live, He wants us to live forever in His presence. So He gave His Son Jesus Christ as a gift to us to pay the penalty for our sins which had separated us from God (Rom.6:23). When we accept Christ, we experience the gift of abundant life on earth (John 10:10) and eternal life in heaven (John 3:16).
4. Because we have life, we also have hope (Eccl.9:4). God’s power that keeps us among the living is also able to fulfill the hope we have in Christ. Many times we go through trials, fire, sickness, afflictions, and problems that threaten to destroy us. God allows them and even other people to walk over our heads, but when we keep our hope in Christ alive, He will bring us to the place of rich fulfillment (Ps.66:10-12). Don’t lose hope because the battle is tough, because the sickness has persisted for long, because you’re overwhelmed by your troubles. Your hope for healing, deliverance, victory and success will surely be fulfilled if you don’t give up. Though the year is about end, keep your hope in God for 2020 to the end. For the coming year, every hope for yourself, your marriage, your children, your career, studies, and ministry will be fulfilled. You’ll never be ashamed for putting your hope in God (Rom.5:5). Shalom!
God always wants to bless His children. So, when we do things that lock up the blessings, God shows us the way through His Word so that we can repent and receive the blessings.
Today, God wants us to unlock our blessings by being good stewards. A steward is someone who manages or cares for another person’s property. As God’s children, He has entrusted the care of His house to us. These include: the facilities, resources, and the atmosphere for our worship experience. He expects us to make the church a place that brings Him pleasure and glory (Hag.1:8).
But like the people in the passage, we sometimes neglect God’s house and just focus on our own (Hag.1:2, 9). That neglect locks up our blessings, and our focus on ourselves does not yield any fulfillment.
So, God warns us through His Word to repent (Hag.1:7). God’s presence is with us to empower us to develop an affection and devotion to His house (v.13). David had that concern for God’s house (2Sam.7:1-2), and gave his treasure to build God’s house, motivating the leaders and the people to do the same (1Chron.29:3-7). The result was that they were filled with joy (v.9).
We will experience that same joy when we obey the Lord, rising up to care and provide for God’s house (Hag.1:12-15). Our joy is activated when every blessing locked up is released (v.9-11):
1. Little becomes much. Our little efforts produce abundance.
2. The dew of heaven falls on us, causing us to flourish and become fruitful.
3. Rain from heaven releases an experience of physical (grain), emotional (wine), and spiritual (oil) prosperity.
4. Our families, marriages, children, businesses, projects, studies, and the work of our hands are all blessed.
May God unlock His blessings and pour them on us as we love and care for His house through giving our time, energy, money and treasures to build a place for His glory. Shalom!
We thank God for the blessing of children, and for the privilege of positively influencing them to make maximum impact in this world. The impact they make is not reserved for a distant future, because God’s plan for their lives does not have any age limits. Josiah became king of Judah at 8 years (David and Jeremiah were teenagers when God chose them as king and prophet respectively).
King Josiah made a strong impact on the nation of Judah because he had people who positively influenced him to seek the Lord when he was 16 years (v.3). These influencers included Hilkiah the high priest, Shaphan the scribe, prophets Jeremiah (son of Hilkiah) and Zephaniah, as well as his great grandfathers David and Hezekiah. Though Josiah grew up at a time Judah was ungodly and corrupt, these prophets, priests, and teachers helped him seek the Lord, know God’s Word, and commit himself to obedience to the Word.
As a result of the positive influence, he was empowered to
1. Lead the destruction of idolatry and corruption in the nation (v.3-7).
2. Rebuild the house of God as a center of worship for the nation (v.😎.
3. Lead the people to commit to God’s Word and renew their covenant relationship with God (v.29-32).
4. Pursue justice and righteous judgment for the poor and needy (Jer.22:15-16).
Indeed, Josiah stood out among all the kings of Israel in his commitment to God (2Kings 23:25).
As parents, family members, pastors and teachers, we all need to positively influence our children and youth to empower them to destroy the vices of idolatry, immorality, ignorance, poverty, racism and tribalism, repair what is broken in the church and the society, and turn people’s hearts toward God and build a covenant relationship with Him. May God bless our youth and children’s teachers and all of us as families and church members to help our children fulfill their divine destiny and make maximum impact in the church and the world. Shalom!
We thank God for our Men’s ministry. As we celebrate our men today, we can learn and apply a few lessons from David’s mighty men in our lives and ministry.
These mighty men were strong, bold, and courageous. They were strengthened through their devotion to God and His Word (v.10), just like their master David. We need to be spiritually strong in order to impact the church and our community. We develop spiritual strength by building up our faith through studying and obeying God’s Word, prayer, worship, praise, and strong fellowship with each other, all with the help of the Holy Spirit. The spiritual strength then overflows into our body and souls and releases the physical, emotional, and mental strength to do mighty exploits for the Lord (Dan.11:32).
By that strength, these mighty men were able to:
1. Take personal responsibility to fight against the enemies of Israel (v.11). Strong men engage in spiritual warfare through which God gives victories to the church.
2. Stand and face the enemy when others flee (v.12-14). Strong men boldly take up challenges or tasks that others run away from. That’s the only way God’s work gets done.
3. Risk their lives to serve and please God and their king (v.16-19). Strong men are able to put their own interests aside and even their lives on the line to achieve success and victory for the church.
4. Win a name for themselves by their exploits (v.20, 24). Strong men don’t achieve fame through selfish and deceptive means, but by genuine and courageous actions that impact the lives of others.
David’s mighty men were instrumental in his successes and victories as king. The success and growth of our church and God’s Kingdom will depend on strong and mighty men, women, youth and children who know God and are devoted to Him. May God’s power rest on you as you stand up to be counted among the mighty. You’re blessed to be a blessing. Shalom!
This week, our focus is on the Women’s Ministry. Throughout the Bible, women featured prominently in Kingdom work. Luke 8:1-3 and Mark 15:41 tell us of women who followed Christ and the apostles and supported them with their substance and other resources. However, the role of the women was not limited to providing support to the ministry. Women were also engaged in ministry because they were filled with the Holy Spirit (Joel 2:28-29; Acts 2:17-18).
Women like Miriam (Ex.15:20-21), Huldah (2Chron.34:22), Anna (Luke 2:36-38), and Philip’s four daughters (Acts 21:9) were all prophetess. Additionally, Miriam led praises, and Anna was a prayer warrior who served God day and night with fasting and prayer. In Acts 12:12 the church prayed for Peter in the house of Mary mother of John Mark. Many women like Phoebe, Priscilla, Julia, and others (Rom.16:1-15) also served with Paul in various churches. Women like Dorcas cared for the poor in the church (Acts 9:36). Women were responsible for training the younger ones to be godly wives and mothers (Titus 2:3-5).
Women thus occupy a very important place in the ministry of the church. It is necessary for our women to come together and learn from each other, pray for and encourage one another, and give of their best to the church, knowing that their labor in the Lord is never in vain.
1. Shiphrah and Puah, midwives to the Hebrew women who protected the male babies were blessed by God (Ex.1:17, 20-21).
2. When Esther led a time of fasting and prayer, God used her to deliver the Jews.
3. Because of her good deeds, Dorcas was raised back to life when she died.
4. Through the evangelistic ministry of the Samaritan woman who met Jesus at the well, the people in her town believed in Jesus (John 4).
5. When Hannah showed concern for God’s house and gave her only son, Samuel to the Lord’s work, God blessed her with five more children (1Sam.2:21).
As we devote ourselves to God’s church as co-laborers with Him, may He bless our marriages, families, children, businesses, studies, careers and ministries. May He heal, deliver, protect, and prosper us to continue to make a difference in the church. Shalom!
Worship is an act of honor, praise, and reverence with which we come before the presence of God. God created everything for His worship, because worship points to who God is and His mighty works. There are three levels of worship to God:
1. *Angels:* God created angels and the heavenly hosts who worship Him day and night (Rev.4:8-11; Ps.89:5-6).
2. *All Creation:* Everything God created: sun, moon, stars, animals, birds, etc, all worship the one who brought them into existence and sustains them (Ps.89:8-12, 148:1-10).
3. *The Redeemed:* The joyful sound is that Jesus saves (Ps.89:15). Those who are saved, worship God for His love, might, faithfulness, righteousness, and justice (v.5, 7-8, 14-18). Their lifestyle is an expression of worship to God (Ps.89:7). They worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24), as they’re filled with God’s Word (Col.3:16).
When we worship God, we receive lots of benefits:
1. The longing of our souls to worship God is satisfied (Ps.63:1-5).
2. Worship keeps our focus on God, instead of our problems (Is.26:3).
3. Worship prepares us for prayer. Worship magnifies God above our storms and releases the Holy Spirit, who helps us to pray (Rom.8:26-27).
4. Worship draws us closer to God and builds our relationship with God (James 2:23).
5. Worship brings victory (2Chron.20:15-20).
6. Worship breaks chains, opens doors, and brings deliverance (Acts 16:25-26).
7. Worship releases rain from heaven on us to revive, nourish, and make us fruitful.
May God release all these benefits into your life as you continually come before Him in worship. Blessings!
In view of the preeminence of God’s Word, we begin our emphasis on the ministries of the church with the Christian education and discipleship ministry. The preaching and teaching of God’s Word is of utmost importance because
1. God’s Word is God Himself (John 1:1).
2. God’s Word has creative power. Everything came into existence through God speaking His Word (v.3).
3. God’s Word gives life, health and sustenance (v.4; John 6:63; Prov.4:22).
4. God’s Word is the light that enables us to live in this dark world (v.4-5; Ps.119:105).
5. God’s Word is what we share with others to bring salvation (Mt.28:19).
6. God’s Word is what we teach for obedience, so that the lives of believers are transformed to become more like Christ (Mt.28:20; Luke 6:40).
In light of this, we must always prepare our hearts to study, obey and teach God’s Word (Ezra 7:10). We appreciate all our teachers as they follow Ezra’s example.
Teaching God’s Word faithfully brings many benefits and blessings:
1. We know more about God and His acts to understand Him and entrust our lives to Him (Heb.1:1-2).
2. Our faith is built up so we can please God (Rom.10:17; Heb.11:6).
3. We know the absolute truth, so we can reject all false teaching, no matter where it comes from (Rom.3:4; Acts 17:11).
4. God’s Word is seed that is planted in us to help us grow and become fruitful (Luke 8:11).
5. It brings us comfort, hope, strength, and encouragement that revive us to commit ourselves to God’s work (Ezra 5:1-2; 1Thess. 4:18).
6. It brings healing and deliverance (Ps.107:20).
7. We gain wisdom, understanding, and guidance to make good decisions and prosper (Prov.24:3-4).
8. We receive rebuke, correction, training in righteousness that equip us for effective ministry (2Tim.3:16-17).
9. It is a weapon of spiritual warfare (Mt.8:16; Eph.6:1).
10. It helps us to obey God in order to have good success and be firmly established in our lives, marriages, businesses, studies and ministries, no matter the storms we go through (Josh.1:8; Mt.7:24-27).
May we all experience the benefits of God’s Word as we commit ourselves to its teaching, learning and obedience. Blessings!
In this tenth month of our tenth year, we give thanks and praise to our God for bringing us through ten years of ministry. His grace, mercy, kindness, help, protection, and blessings have brought us this far. We can be confident that God will will continue to build His church through us, and the gates of hell cannot prevail against us (Matt.16:18).
The church is made up of people who have believed in Jesus Christ as their Lord and personal Savior. Each believer is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1Cor.3:16). But we are also living stones that God uses to build a spiritual house (1Peter 2:4-5). God builds us up individually and empowers us spiritually, physically, emotionally, and financially to build His church.
The church gathers in a place where we worship, serve God and each other, fellowship, pray, give sacrificially, teach and disciple believers to grow and mature in Christ.
We serve God through the various ministries of the church as pastors, deacons and ministers, Bible teachers, music ministers, prayer warriors engaging in spiritual warfare, inreach and outreach teams, ushers, cleaners, men, women, youth, and children’s ministries.
As we we serve God in these ministries, He fits us together to become a holy temple for the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit (Eph.2:19-22). God is concerned about both the individual believer and the place we gather to worship and serve.
When we build God’s temple, as individuals and as a church, we face opposition, trouble, frustration, demonic and satanic attacks that sometimes discourage us (Ezra 4:5-6; Neh.4:7-8). But, we need to remember that Christ did not say the gates of hell will not attack us. He said, they’ll fight us, but will not prevail against us. In spite of the attacks and opposition they faced, the Jews were able to complete the building of the temple (Ezra 6:15) and the walls (Neh.6:15-16). So, do not be discouraged by what you go through as you contribute to building God’s church. By His power you’ll overcome.
May God empower us individually and as a church to overcome every attack, frustration, confusion, trouble, and persecution, build us up through the Holy Spirit and the Word to do our part to build His church. His grace that saved us is sufficient for us to complete the building of His church for His glory. God will complete every good work He has started in us and anoint us to complete His work. May God richly bless you as you devote yourself to Him and His church. Shalom!
God’s Word assures us of His power to complete everything He starts. In our passage, Jesus and His disciples encountered a man born blind. Though the man was born with a defect, God created him fearfully and wonderfully with great skill without any defect (Ps.139:14-15).
So how come he was born blind? Jesus explained that though God plants good seed, the enemy comes to sow tares to corrupt the good seed (Matt.13:27-28). It happens in marriages, churches, relationships, businesses, and in our children. The devil makes it look like God did not complete what He created or gave us a defective blessing. The devil does it so we would distrust God and not appreciate the good things He faithfully gives us. So why does God allow it? Is it to punish us for a sin we committed?
Jesus said God sometimes allows us, our children or even the church to go through problems, sicknesses, fire, storms, attacks, etc. so that the works of God would be displayed in us. In our difficult circumstances, God displays His power to
1. Turn evil into good.
2. Heal sicknesses, diseases, minds, broken hearts and relationships.
3. Calm every storm.
4. Make a way where there’s no way.
5. Overcome demons and other wicked spirits.
6. Glorify Himself in the solution He provides.
7. Use our testimony to draw people to Himself.
In order to experience the works of God in our lives,
1. We should refuse to accept our situation as a permanent God-given feature of our lives. Rather, we should expect and trust God to turn the situation around and restore us to His original good plan and purpose.
2. Obey His plan of action without complaining or disputing (Phil.2:14-15). Jesus mixed his spittle with clay, put it on the blind man’s eyes and told him go and wash them in the pool. The man fully obeyed without any questions or complaints, and returned with his miracle of seeing eyes (John 9:6-7).
As we trust God to turn our situations around and obey His plan of action, His works of healing, deliverance, revival, renewal, and restoration will be displayed in our lives, our children, our church, businesses, studies, and relationships. The zeal of the Lord will perform it! Shalom!
God has ushered us into a season of divine completion in this tenth month of the year. But everything we desire God to complete in our lives has already been completed by Christ on the cross. What we will experience this month, is a manifestation of what Christ has already accomplished in our lives.
Jesus’s last saying before He died was “It is finished!” (John 19:30). The Greek word _tetelestai_ has 3 meanings:
1. *To end or finish* – Christ brought to an end the battles, struggles, pain, shame, and distress we experience.
2. *To fulfill or accomplish* – Christ died to fulfill God’s perfect plan for our lives.
3. *To pay in full* – Christ died to fully pay for our sins, our healing, and our deliverance from every power of the enemy.
So, whenever we take the communion, we celebrate Christ’s death (1Cor.11:23-26). We remember at least 6 things His death accomplished for us.
1. Our sins were washed away by Christ’s blood, and the power of sin over our lives was broken. Sin has no dominion over us anymore (Rom.6:14).
2. Every pain, shame and disgrace brought on us by the enemy was removed by Christ’s suffering (Is.53:5).
3. Every curse on us was broken by Christ’s death on the cross (Gal.3:13).
4. The price for our healing was fully paid by Christ with His stripes (1Peter 2:24).
5. Everything contrary to God’s plan written or pronounced against us was wiped out and nailed to the cross (Col. 2:14).
6. Every power or principality fighting against us was disarmed, their plans overthrowned, and publicly put to shame (Col.2:15).
In this season of divine completion, we are going to experience all the above and more because Christ has already accomplished them. The manifestation comes through
1. Praying by faith in Jesus’s name (John 14:13).
2. Exercising faith in the finished work of Christ for us (Acts 3:16, 4:10).
3. Declaring what Christ has done for us to ourselves and to the devil (Job 22:28).
Because of the finished work of Christ on the cross for us, we shall experience healing, deliverance, victory in every battle and over every temptation, divine prosperity and success in our marriages, relationships, businesses, studies, projects, and ministries. Miracles, breakthroughs, signs and wonders, goodness and mercy will follow us this month, the rest of the year, and the rest of our lives. Shalom!
A very important step in birthing our miracles is travailing in prayer. Just like a woman in labor, travailing prayer engages all our spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional energy. By faith we lay hold of God’s grace and power to bring forth our blessings. Today, I would like to share seven of these blessings:
1. *God’s promises are fulfilled* (1Kings 18:41-45). God had promised to send rain after three years of drought (v.1). Elijah travailed in prayer by bowing down on the ground and putting his face between his knees (v.42), the sign of a woman laboring to give birth. As he persevered in prayer, heavy rains came down just as God had promised (v.45).
2. *Obstacles and hindrances are removed and answers to prayer are released* (Daniel 10:2-13). Daniel travailed in prayer for 21 days (v.2-3). As he persevered, the answer was released on the 24th day after it had been rescued from obstruction by the prince of Persia (v.12-13).
3. *Barenness gives way to fruitfulness* (1Sam.1:10). Hannah travailed in prayer because of her barenness. God opened her womb and she conceived and gave birth to Samuel and 5 other children (1Sam.2:21).
4. *The dead comes back to life* (John 11:33-44). Jesus travailed through groaning in the spirit. Power was released to bring Lazarus from death to life.
5. *Strength to fulfill your God-given task* (Luke 22:41-44). Jesus travailed in prayer until His sweat became like drops of blood in submission to God’s will. God sent an angel to strengthen Him. He went in that strength all the way to the cross to die for us.
6. *Names are changed to reflect divine destiny* (Gen.32:22-28). Jacob wrestled all night in prayer and was blessed with a change of name, favor, and reconciliation with his brother Esau.
7. *Victory over the plots of the enemy* (Esther 4:15-16). Esther and the Jews travailed in 3 days of fasting and prayer. God granted her favor before the king, victory over Haman who had plotted to kill all Jews in Persia, and advancement for her uncle Mordecai.
As you persevere in travailing prayer, may God release power from heaven to fulfill His promises in your life, release the answers to your prayers, turn your barenness into fruitfulness, bring everything dead in you back to life, give you strength to fulfill your divine purpose, change your name to reflect God’s blessings on your life, and give you favor and victory over your enemies. May you have the testimony that as soon as you travailed, you brought forth your miracle. Shalom!
There is an appointed season or time for the fulfillment of every purpose (Eccl.3:1). The set time to birth a baby is the ninth month. Any other month can bring complications. This ninth month, God says it’s the set time for birthing your miracle. God planted this miracle seed in you in the beginning of the year.
However, the set time to bring forth also brings pain, anxiety, and distress (John 16:21). In our passage, the psalmist expressed similar pain, distress, groaning, and reproach from enemies (v.3-11). But he trusted that God’s plan and purpose would endure and not be aborted (v.12). So, he cried to the Lord (v.1-2), believing that He will arise with zeal, and by His mercy and grace, answer him because the set time for his miracle had come.
When God arises at the set time, things happen:
1. He scatters the enemies of His plan and purpose for your life (Ps.68:1).
2. God fulfills His promise as He did for Abraham and Sarah, no matter how long it took to be fulfilled (Gen.18:14, 21:2).
3. You will step into the fulfillment of your destiny. Moses was destined to deliver Israel from Egypt. When he tried doing it before the appointed time, he failed. But, at 80 years God showed up in a burning bush and sent him to fulfill that destiny (Ex.3:10).
4. Like Joseph, you will move from your small prison cell to your big palace, no matter the distress you have been through. Your shameful and painful prison clothes will be exchanged for a royal robe of glory and honor (Gen.41:41-42).
5. Your healing miracle will be birthed. A man layed at the pool of Bethesda for 38 years (Jn.5:1-9), and a woman had suffered blood flow for 12 years (Mark 5:25-34). At the appointed time Jesus showed up and healed them miraculously.
God’s plan and purpose for your dream, destiny, healing, deliverance, victory, promotion, breakthrough is set for an appointed time (Hab.2:3). As you cry to Him in expectation, may He arise and make all things beautiful for you because the set time has come (Eccl.3:11). Shalom!
The Word of God is Spirit, Life, and Power. Nine things that happen when God speaks:
1. Light appears, darkness flees (Gen.1:3).
2. That which has no ears, hears (Gen.1:6).
3. There is birth and renewal (Gen.1:11).
4. The storms are stilled (Mark 4:39).
5. Demons listen and obey (Matt.8:28-34).
6. Things that are not, come into existence (Rom.4:17).
7. Health is restored, sicknesses disappear (Mark 1:29-31).
8. The opposite of the negative happens (Joel 3:10).
9. The dead comes back to life (John 11:43).
May you experience all these 9 things this 9th month through the power of God’s Word. May God speak into every situation in your life, your marriage, your children, your health, business, finances, studies, and in the church. Shalom!
God promised us a new beginning that comes with a new song, which replaces our old song about our health, marriages, businesses, finances, studies, ministries, and church. God does not want His promises to remain mere words and dreams, He wants them to become a reality in our lives. In Rev. 15:3, they sang the song of Moses and of the Lamb. God fulfilled His promise to deliver Israel from Egypt (Gen.15:13-14) and to fight against the Egyptians (Ex. 14:13-14). As a result, they sang the song of Moses (Ex.15:1-18). God wants us to move from “they will sing a new song” to “they sang a new song,” and today we will remember some principles that will help us move into that fulfillment.
1. Remember that you are a child of God (Rev.5:9). Jesus has redeemed us by His blood and made all who believe in Him children of God (Jn.1:12). As God’s children, we inherit His great and precious promises (2Peter 1:3-4).
2. Remember God answers prayer (Rev. 5:8). The incense in the golden bowls was the prayers of the saints. In order to move to fulfillment, we need to pray for God to fulfill His promises in our lives. Just as our earthly fathers fight hard to fulfill their promises to their children, so does our heavenly Father, without any limitation, fulfill His promises to us when we ask Him (Mt.7:11). When Israel cried to God in their bondage, God heard their cry. He remembered that they were His covenant children through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and He sent Moses to deliver them (Ex.2:23-24, 3:7-10).
3. Jesus has already prevailed (Rev. 5:5). When no one in heaven, on earth, or under the earth could save us, God sent His Son Jesus to be our sacrificial Lamb. On the cross He declared “it is finished” (John 19:30). By His stripes we were healed, by hanging on the cross he took away our curse, by shedding His blood He washed away our sins, by fighting, disarming and conquering the devil He gave us victory over the powers, principalities, and demons that are behind our pain, shame, and suffering. All the promises of God for us were fulfilled in Jesus (2Cor.1:20). Through Christ, God has already given us a new song. The song of the Lamb celebrates what Christ has done for us, and guarantees that there is no promise that God cannot fulfill in our lives.
Trusting that we are God’s children, we need to cry to Him in prayer by faith in His promises, and believe that Jesus has already fulfilled our requests. Then we receive the answer to our petitions (1Jn.5:14-15). May we all receive the new song of praise and rejoicing that God in His faithfulness has given to us (Isaiah 40:3). We shall declare that indeed the Lamb who has redeemed us and fulfilled God’s promises in us is worthy to receive our praise, adoration, thanksgiving, honor and peace glory. He’s worthy of our dedication and commitment to give Him our best. Shalom!
In our passage, God shares a picture of the new heaven and the new earth with Apostle John. Their characteristics include:
1. The new Jerusalem adorned beautifully as a bride for her husband.
2. Dwelling in the presence of God.
3. Tears wiped away.
4. No more death.
5. No more sorrow or crying.
6. No more pain.
7. All former things have passed away.
Because we all have this vision of heaven, we sometimes think that we cannot experience the new life and miracles described above right here on earth.
In John 11, when Jesus told Martha her brother would live again, her response was: sure, he will rise again, but at the final resurrection when Christ returns (v.24). However, Jesus told her that all who believe in Him can live again on earth even if they die, and her brother was going rise from death that very day.
So when God promises us a new beginning with all its blessings, it is not only set for the last day or a distant future. We can experience a new miraculous beginning here on earth, even today, if we believe in His power to make all things new!
1. He will bring beauty out of our ashes make everything beautiful in its appointed time (Is.61:3; Eccl.3:11).
2. We can live in God’s presence here if we repent of our sins and receive Jesus as Lord and Savior. He forgives us, cleanses us, and comes to live in us through His Holy Spirit (Jn.1:12, 14:23).
3. Though He weeps with us, by His power He will wipe away all our tears as He did for Mary and Martha and the widow of Nain by raising their dead to life (Jn.11:43-44; Lk.6:25, 7:14; Is.30:19).
4. God will deliver us from spiritual and physical death, especially untimely death, by His power (2 Cor.1:10; Ps.23:4, 118:17).
5. God will take away our sorrows and restore us to joy and gladness (Is.51:11; Jn.16:22).
6. Jesus took away our pain and sicknesses and gave us healing and new health. By His wounds we were healed (Mt.8:17; 1Peter 2:24).
7. He takes away our old stories and gives us a new song (Ps.40:3; Job 35:10).
Yes, we do not have to wait until Christ returns or the last day before experiencing our new miracles. If only we believe, and take away every stone of doubt, fear, anxiety or unbelief, we will see the glory of God. We can experience a new beginning in our spiritual lives through salvation, in our health, marriages, businesses, studies, careers emotions, and critical situations by God’s power. He will cause the old in our lives to pass away and make all things new in us, right here on earth. Our miraculous new beginning will draw people to Christ (Jn.12:9-11). Nothing can destroy the miracle. You will also sing a new song! Blessings!
In this season of new beginnings, God says the new thing He’s doing is different from what we’re used to, and has a different character from what is known in this world. Simply put, it’s not natural, it’s supernatural. The gospel revolutionizes our lives in a supernatural way. In the same way one cannot put new wine into old wineskins, we cannot receive the new things God is doing if we continue to hold on to our old mindset, ways, or attitudes. It’s time to put away the old wineskins and receive the new wine of God’s miracles.
1. *Become a New Creation* . The process begins with becoming a new creation in Christ (2Cor.5:17). When we believe in our hearts and confess that Jesus died and rose again for our sins (Rom.10:9-10), then our past dies and is buried with Christ, and we resurrect into a new life (Rom.6:4). We are born again (John 3:3).
2. *Be filled with the Holy Spirit.* As new creation, God fills us with His Holy Spirit; His power to fulfill the new things He wants to do in us. The Holy Spirit teaches us God’s Word (John 16:13-14), empowers us to obey (Phil.2:12-13), gives us visions and dreams (Joel 2:28), and performs miracles in us (Mark 16:16-18).
3. *Put the old behind you and trust God for the new.* Though God had delivered Israel from Egypt and was taking them to the Promised Land, the Israelites still had Egypt in them and wanted to go back to Egypt anytime they encountered a problem on the way. They became rebellious, disobedient, and fearful. The result was that none of them was able to make it to the new place God had promised them. If we don’t put the old behind us, we will be hindered from experiencing new miracles.
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, faith, trust, obedience to God’s Word, prayer, worship, thanksgiving and praise, God will answer you by fire, make a way for you where there’s no way, open doors for you that no man can shut, fight all your battles and subdue your enemies under you. God will bless you with your healing miracle, the fruit of the womb, and new opportunities to prosper financially. He will reward you for your sacrifices, giving, and faithful service in the church.
Like Paul, may God empower you to put the old life, old mindset, old attitudes, old ways, old hurts and old wounds behind you, and reach forward for the new thing God is working out for you (Phil. 3:13-14). It is higher, better, bigger, and supernatural. God will never disappoint you! Blessings!!
Long before the corona virus pandemic, many people had endured years of sickness, pain, anxiety, losses, and sorrow. The pandemic, however, has made things worse for many people, and there seems to be no end in sight. You need supernatural intervention in your life, but when you consider your present circumstances, your expectation looks so impossible. God’s Word to you is that “take heart, trust me, I will do something new in your life.”
1. *Do not remember the former things* (v.18).God says He’s planning something bigger and better for you. So do not be discouraged, nor allow past sins, failures, and pain to weigh you down. Do not let your memories and experiences of the past, even past victories, to stand in your way of a fresh encounter with God.
2. *Trust God to make a road in the wilderness for you* (v.19). The wilderness is a place where you’re confused and disoriented because you can’t find a clear-cut way forward. God will create a new path for you, give you a new direction, and a new purpose for your life that will lead you to success and victory.
3. *Trust God to make rivers in the desert for you* (v.19). The desert is a place of barenness, heat, fatigue, despair, a spiritual wasteland that makes you feel hopeless, powerless, and joyless. God will release rivers of living water into the dry and lifeless areas in your life and transform them into fields of abundance and blessings. You will be like a tree planted by the river, bearing fruit always, without any fear of drought (Jer.17:7-8).
God then gives us reasons to trust Him to fulfill His Word in us.
1. *He’s a God of new beginnings. He does what He says and nothing is impossible to Him.* What He has done before He will do it again. *a.* He made a way in the Red Sea and the River Jordan for the children of Israel to pass through on dry ground (v.16). God will make a new way for you.
*b* . When Pharaoh decided to pursue Israel to take them back into bondage, God destroyed his army with their horses and chariots right in the sea (v.17). God will fight anyone or anything that pulls you back, and destroy them.
*c* . He gave them water from rocks and food from heaven to feed and nourish them. God will provide for you.
*d* . He led His people through the wilderness into the Promised Land. God will lead you on a new path into your miracle or breakthrough.
2. *God has already set your new beginning in motion.* Even though we can’t see it, like the water flowing under the earth, God is working on something new for you that is about to spring up, and you will experience it personally (v.19).
3. *God’s ultimate goal for your miracle is that you’ll declare His praise* (v.21). With your new beginning, God will give you a new song of praise to glorify Him. Your new song will spread all over the world, even the beast of the field (v.20) and people everywhere will honor and glorify God because of what He has done for you, your family, and the church (Is.42:9-13).
May God visit you this month, do something new in your life, and give you a brand new song. Shalom!
We end our series on the season of perfection, turnaround, and restoration with a lesson on how God perfects all that concerns us (Ps.138:8).
To perfect something is to bring it to its final form or to complete/finish it. Perfection also means making something flawless, faultless, or without blemish. Whether you’re stuck in any area of your life or have flaws that are causing you pain, shame, or humiliation, God has the power to perfect them. Our passage tells us that obedience to God’s Word will activate the perfection.
1. *Invite Jesus* (v.2). Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. When God’s presence is with us, we can be assured of the solution to any problem we may encounter (Ps.23:4).
2. *Share your concern with Him in prayer* (v.3-4). When they ran out of wine, Mary shared her concern with Jesus. You may have ran out of strength, joy, peace, love, help, ideas, opportunities, money or resources causing you shame, pain, or embarrassment. Jesus is the only one who can help you. Even if it seems impossible, He still works miracles.
3. *Whatever He says to you, do it* (v.5). Mary’s advice to the servants is the best one for all of us. Our obedience to God’s instructions is an act of faith, worship, trust, and humility. Sometimes the instructions may be demanding, time consuming, defy common sense or natural laws. But if we put away pride, fear, and doubt, and by faith obey Christ, He rewards our obedience.
4. *Complete obedience to divine authority and commands connects us to the supernatural* (v.7-10). The servants filled the six waterpots (120 to 180 gallons) to the brim and served it, as Jesus commanded them. The miracle wine tasted much better. A few more examples: the ten lepers were healed on their way to the priest (Luke 17:14), the walls of Jericho fell down when the Israelites marched around it and shouted (Josh.6:20), Naaman was healed of his leprosy when he dipped himself seven times in the Jordan (2Kgs.5:14), Job received double restoration when he prayed for his friends (Job 42:10). They all received their miracles through obedience.
Maybe all you have are empty pots, but if you obey Christ and fill them with water, He will turn it into wine. By His miracle-working power, He will turn your lack into abundance, your sickness into health and healing, your bitter situation into a sweet one, your shame into honor, your failure into success, your sadness into joy, and your defeat into victory. Just do whatever He tells you to do, and He will perfect your concerns. Shalom!
To be restored means to be reinstated to the original condition, made new, or repaired. I would like to share three things about our restoration by God.
1. *Our need for restoration.* God created us in His image and blessed us to be fruitful, multiply, subdue the earth, have dominion over all living things (Gen.1:27-28), have fellowship with Him (Gen.2:7, 3:8), and obey His commands (Gen.2:16-17). However, man disobeyed God and became separated from Him (Gen.3:24). Our sin and spiritual death resulted in wars, sicknesses and diseases, curses, poverty, broken homes and relationships, making us miserable, wretched, and unfruitful, far from God’s original intent for creating us. Thus, we were badly in need of restoration to our original condition, and repair of our broken lives.
2. *God’s promise of restoration.* God had a plan to restore man to Himself through Christ. He chose Abraham and his descendants as the people through whom Christ would come, and the process of that restoration. Israel sinned by disobeying God’s commands (Ex.20:1-17), despite persistent warnings through God’s prophets. As a result, God allowed nations like Assyria and Babylon to conquer them and take them into exile. The Israelites suffered pain, devastation, and misery. But, God promised restoration through prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Joel. The restoration was
A. *Spiritual* : as they repented and returned to the Lord, He promised to forgive and cleanse them from their sin (Jer.33:8), and to give them a new heart and a new spirit to obey Him (Ezek.36:26-27).
B. *Physical and emotional* : healing, good health, abundant peace and truth (Jer.33:6).
C. *Economic* : goodness and prosperity (Jer.33:9b; Joel 2:19, 24-26).
D. *Social* : marriages, joyous praise and fellowship in God’s house (Jer.33:11), restoration of parents and children to one another (Mal.4:6).
3. *God’s fulfillment of the promise of restoration* . God told Jeremiah that the fulfillment of His promise would bring Him joy, praise, and honor (Jer 33:9a). It was God’s pleasure to restore the nation of Israel and the whole world to Himself. That pleasure was fulfilled in Christ. It pleased God to bruise Jesus, put Him to grief, and make Him an offering for our sin (Isa.53:10-11). Through Christ’s sacrifice, all who believe in Him are restored into fellowship with God. Our sins are forgiven and washed in His blood. He gives us a new heart and a new Spirit to overcome the flesh and obey His commands. By His stripes we are healed and restored to good health. His body was broken for us, so that everything that is broken in our lives is made whole. We are restored to our original condition of blessedness, fruitfulness, flourishing marriages, children, ministries, businesses, peace, joy, and abundant life.
May you experience restoration and repair of everything that is broken in your life: your health, marriage, finances, relationships, projects or ministry. May Christ restore everything the devil has stolen, killed or destroyed in your life, deliver you from every power of the devil, and give you victory and good success. God’s pleasure will be fulfilled in you as you put your faith in Christ. Shalom!
In this second half of the year, God is ushering us into a season of perfection, turnaround, and restoration. Whatever troubles, failures, pain, and anguish that plagued us in the first half or our past lives, God by His power will turn things around for us.
God’s ability to do that can be seen in the life of Ruth. God turned her life of tragedy into a happy ending.
1. Her background: Ruth was a Moabitess, a descendant of Moab, Lot’s grandchild from an incestuous pregnancy (Gen.19:30-37). The Moabites were permanently excluded from the assembly of Israel (Deut.23:2-4, 6) because they were not kind to the Israelites and their king Balak had hired Balaam to curse Israel (Num.22:4-6).
2. She was childless after ten years of marriage, and then her husband died (Ruth 1:4-5)
3. As a widow she was considered a poor person in those days.
However, Ruth’s downhill life began to turn around when she made the God of Israel her God (1:16). Ruth was drawn to God because Naomi was still devoted to God despite the loss of her husband and two children. God rewarded Ruth for putting her faith in Him (Heb.11:6), and demonstrating her faith through works (James 2:17-23):
1. Ruth had compassion on Naomi and showed her kindness by refusing to let anything but death separate them (1:16-17).
2. She was diligent and hardworking (2:2,7,17). Faith in God should not lead to laziness or idleness.
3. She was respectful and humble (2:2,10).
4. She was obedient to instructions (2:8,23).
5. She was generous, sharing what she worked hard to get with Naomi (2:18).
God rewarded her faith and works by ordering her steps (Ps.37:3) into the right place/field (2:3), at the right time, to meet the right person, Boaz (2:4-5), who eventually married her (4:13).
Ruth’s life was turned around when:
1. The poor widow got married to a man of great wealth (2:1). A testimony of moving from being single to married, and from poverty to riches.
2. By marriage, she became a co-owner of a field where she was not even a worker but collected leftovers.
3. The childless woman became pregnant and gave birth to a son (4:13).
4. The foreigner, who was separated from Israel and despised because of her ancestry, became an ancestor of king David and our Lord Jesus. Her son Obed gave birth to Jesse, the father of David.
As you put your faith in God and demonstrate your faith through good works and complete devotion, even in the crises of life, may He turn your life around by His power. May God turn your sickness into health and healing, your barenness into fruitfulness, your poverty into riches, failure into success, and every bad news into good news. May your testimony and new song inspire many people to make the God you serve their God. Blessings!
As we celebrate Freedom Day in the United States, God wants to remind us of the true freedom we have in our Lord Jesus Christ.
The dictionary gives three definitions for freedom:
1. The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
2. The absence of subjection to foreign domination.
3. The state of not being imprisoned or enslaved.
Even though physically we claimed to be free in line with the above definitions, spiritually we were in bondage.
1. We were hindered or restrained by our sinful flesh from acting, speaking or thinking in ways that are good and pleasing to God our Creator, even when we desired to do what pleases God (Rom. 7:18).
2. We were taken captive by the devil and were controlled by the spirit of disobedience (Eph.2:2; 2Tim.2:26).
3. We were slaves of sin (John 8:34; Rom.6:16).
We could not free ourselves from this bondage, but because God loves us, He sent Christ to redeem us. A slave is redeemed by someone who pays money for his freedom. In our case, Jesus paid to free us from the bondage of sin and its penalty of death with His blood.
The passage reveals the power in the blood of Jesus to set us free (1Peter 1:18-19):
A. It is imperishable. Unlike silver or gold that perishes, the blood of Jesus never loses its power. It’s power to save, heal, protect, and deliver never diminishes.
B. It is precious. It’s purity flows from its source – Jesus Christ, the Lamb without any blemish. As such, it has the power to cleanse and purify us from sin and our past, and is able to break the power of sin over our lives.
Because Christians have been freed from sin and evil, every captivity, and oppression (Luke 4:18), we are encouraged to stand fast in that freedom, so that we would not go back into bondage again (Gal.5:1).
Accordingly, we should make up our minds to live and act as people who have been set free from every bondage by the blood of Jesus (vs.13). By this mindset,
1. We keep our hope in Christ alive (v.13). If He paid for our freedom with His blood, then our hope in Him will also be fulfilled.
2. We should not be conformed to the passions of the past because they have been wiped away by the blood of Jesus. We have been set free to live holy lives (v.14-16). We have the freedom, not to do what we want, but to do what is right and pleasing to God.
3. We are free from generational sin, so we should not follow the bad conduct of our fathers or ancestors (v.18.b).
4. We have been delivered from the paralyzing fear of men, demons, and witches, into the fear of God. Fearing God is having a healthy respect and reverence for Him as grateful children who have delivered by the blood of Christ. When we fear God, we will not fear anyone or anything.
May the blood of Jesus that has set us free continue to purify us, protect us, heal us, deliver us from every power of the enemy, and strengthen us to live for God and bring Him glory. Blessings!
We all started this year with high hopes for ourselves, families, careers, ministries, and our church. Then came COVID-19. We stopped in-person gatherings, many lost their jobs and some good opportunities, some had setbacks in their health, marriages, children, businesses, studies, etc. To many people, the first half of 2020 did not end well, but that’s not the end of the year, or our lives. That’s why the writer of Hebrews encourages us not to allow our faith to be slowed down by what we see or are going through, but to be diligent in our hope to the end (Heb.6:11-12).
This is because if our hope and faith is in God and His promises, we can be assured that God will perform His Word, because it is impossible for God to lie! He is not a man to lie or go back on His Word (Num.23:12).
For example, God promised Abraham descendants. Although for 24 years, the promise of a child had not been fulfilled, Abraham kept his faith and hope in God because he believed God was able to perform His promise (Rom.4:18-21). When Isaac was born, God tested Abraham’s faith, asking him to sacrifice Isaac as a burnt offering to Him (Gen.22:1-2). Abraham obeyed, but before he could kill Isaac, God provided a ram for the sacrifice (v.13). Not only that, God swore by Himself that He would bless him, multiply His descendants, cause them to overcome their enemies, and be a blessing to the whole world – fulfilled in Christ (v.17-18). When God swears, it ends all dispute (Heb.6:16).
So both God’s Word and His confirmation by an oath, assure us that God will never lie to us (v.17-18).
No matter what we see or go through, God’s promises will be fulfilled in the end. Because of this fact, we can:
1. Hold fast our faith and hope in God’s Word as an anchor to keep us from drifting away from God as we go through life’s storms (v.19).
2. Consider how our High Priest, Christ, suffered for us so that God’s Word could be fulfilled in us. Christ’s finished work should strengthen us to stand firm (v.20).
3. Remove every stone of doubt, fear, anxiety, worry or sin. Then Christ will speak to your dead situation and bring it back to life. You’ll see the glory of God (John 11:39-40).
Instead of your shame you’ll have double honor (Isa.61:7). God will never lie to you. He’s faithful and has the power to perform what He has spoken concerning you, your spouse, your children, the church, and everything you care for. Blessings!
Every father makes the best efforts to leave an inheritance or legacy for his children. On his 85th birthday, Caleb received the land of Hebron as an inheritance for himself and his descendants (Josh.14:13-14). However, Caleb’s life testifies that he left more than land for his children. He left a legacy of having the spirit of God in him and wholly following God with all his heart (Num.14:24; Josh.14:8, 14).
We may leave houses, lands, money, and businesses for our children. But, without God in their lives, these things will not profit them. Our children can gain the whole world and lose their souls (Mat.16:26), if we don’t lead them by example to follow God fully.
From Caleb’s life, we can learn the following virtues he left as a legacy for his descendants:
1. Faith in God’s Word and promises. As one of the 12 leaders who went to spy out the Promised Land, Caleb walked by faith in God’s promise, and not by the sight of fortified cities and giants (Num.13:27-30). His faith guaranteed him an inheritance in the Promised Land. Faith casts out fear.
2. Encouraged the people to trust in God because He is able to fulfill His promise (Num.14:8).
3. Discouraged the people from rebelling against God (v.9). God equates the sin of rebellion with witchcraft (1Sam.15:23).
4. Loyalty to God’s servants. Caleb was loyal to both Moses and Joshua and submitted himself to their leadership as unto God (Josh.14:8,12).
5. Aimed for the highest, even though it was difficult to attain. Caleb asked for the mountain where the giants lived. By God’s power, he drove them out and took the land according to God’s promise (Josh 14:12, 15:13-14). Do not take the easy path.
6. Caleb enjoyed benefits for following God fully. According to Psalm 103:2-5, these include forgiveness, healing, deliverance, long life and renewed strength. At 85 years old, Caleb was as strong as he was at 40 (Josh. 14:10-11).
7. Caleb was generous. Believing that he was blessed to be a blessing, Caleb generously gave his daughter and her husband springs of water, a very important resource in those days, which he could have kept for himself (Josh.15:9).
May the Holy Spirit empower us to follow God fully, and leave a lasting legacy for future generations. May you continue to enjoy the benefits of walking by faith in God’s promises, and may He bring you into your promised land by His power, in spite of the giants you face. Blessings!
We continue to celebrate the Person and Ministry of the Holy Spirit, God’s gift to help us live the victorious Christian life. Today, our focus is on the gifts the Holy Spirit gives us to impact many lives for Christ.
Samuel anointed Saul as king, setting him apart as the commander of God’s people (v.1). Samuel told Saul that when he comes to the hill of God, the Spirit of God would come upon him and he would prophesy (v.5-6). When we’re filled with the Holy Spirit, He gives us supernatural abilities or spiritual gifts to confirm His presence in us. These gifts include apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (Eph.4:11), word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, healing, working of miracles, prophesy, discernment, tongues, and interpretation of tongues (1 Cor 12:8-10). Other gifts are indicated in Rom.12:6-8 and 1 Peter 4:10-11. We shall study these gifts in detail at our Friday evening teaching service.
I would like to share three things that happen to us when the Holy Spirit gives us spiritual gifts.
1. *Another man* : Though Saul was not a prophet, Samuel told Saul that when he starts prophesying, he would be turned into another man (v.6). No matter our profession or line of work such as businessmen, doctors, nurses, engineers, teachers, etc., the gifts of the Holy Spirit would turn us into people with new abilities as pastors, teachers, prophets, evangelists, miracle workers, etc.
2. *Another heart:* Along with the spiritual gifts, God gives us a new heart with which we can successfully operate the gifts. It’s a new heart of humility for receiving a supernatural gift freely from God, a heart of serving others with our gifts with dedication and commitment, and a heart that seeks to glorify God in all things (1Pet.4:11).
3. *Empowered to fulfill God’s purposes* : God’s purpose for giving us spiritual gifts is to profit the body of Christ and impact the world (1Cor 12:7) by:
a. Equipping the saints to do ministry (Eph.4:12),
b. Building up the church in faith and unity (Eph.4:12-13),
c. Helping people grow in spiritual maturity and becoming more like Christ (Eph.4:13-14), and
d. Bringing growth into the church as we all use our gifts to strengthen, encourage, comfort, and love each other (Eph.4:15-16).
As we demonstrate these gifts, those who knew us formerly will now see us as God’s children who have been completely transformed by His power, as He did for Saul (1Sam.10:11). Such a transformation is God’s way of revealing Himself to unbelievers.
May the Holy Spirit anoint and empower us to discover the spiritual gifts He has deposited in us, develop these gifts, and deploy or use them for maximum impact in the church and the world. God has richly blessed you to be a blessing to many. Shalom!
In the Great Commission, Jesus gave us two important foundations for our success:
1. His authority – v.18
We are to make disciples by the authority of the gospel, the finished work of Christ on the cross. Baptize believers in the authority of the Trinity, since all three Persons were involved in fulfilling God’s salvation plan. By His authority teach believers to obey His commands.
2. His presence – v.20
His presence would provide the power to fulfill the tasks above, just as God assured Moses in Exodus 33:14.
Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He promised that God would baptize them with the Holy Spirit as the guarantee of His presence (Acts 1:4-5). He will be WITH them and IN them (John 14:16-17), and give them power to be His witnesses all over the world (Acts 1:8).
I would like to share 5 things the Holy Spirit’s presence in us empowers us to do.
1. Power to receive dreams and visions from God (Acts 2:17). Without a vision we perish (Prov.29:18), so God baptizes us with His Spirit to release His visions and dreams, and the power to fulfill them.
2. Leadership and Guidance. The Holy Spirit leads and guides us as God’s children (Rom.8:14), with the truth of God’s Word (John 16:13), and the voice of God (Isaiah 30:21), and on the path that leads to a successful end (Psalm 23:1-3).
3. Power to overcome fear. Serving God comes with persecutions, threats, intimidations, and satanic attacks. But God’s presence through the Holy Spirit empowers us to overcome fear (Ps.23:4, Ps.27:1). The Holy Spirit assures us that He in us is greater than anything that comes against us (1John 4:4).
4. The joy of the Lord. Our joy in the Lord gives us the strength to persevere in ministry (Neh.8:10). We can only find that joy in God’s presence (Ps.16:11), not in the things happening around us.
5. A new name. When God’s presence is in us, we have a new name: the Lord is there (Jehovah Shammah – Ezekiel 48:35). When we are saturated by God’s presence, He is there in our lives, our families, and our church to help us, anoint us, protect us, defend us, comfort us, counsel us, encourage us, and provide for us, no matter what we may be going through or what our needs are. He is with us today, and will be with us tomorrow because He’s already there.
The devil and his demons also take notice that God is there with us (Job 1:10) and they tremble at His presence (Matt.8:29). They cannot touch us, break us, nor harm us, because the One who conquered their master (Col.2:15) and destroyed his works (1John 3:8) is with us and in us.
May God pour out His Holy Spirit afresh on us, and saturate us with His presence. May God’s presence release His healing, protection, favor, provision, guidance, joy, and strength to overcome and make maximum impact. We are more than conquerors through the Holy Spirit who lives in us. Blessings!