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!
Today we celebrate Pentecost Day, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon 120 disciples that empowered them to fulfill their divine destiny. The result was the birth of the church in power.
Just like the disciples who followed Jesus, we may be ordinary people dealing with various social, physical, emotional, or even spiritual issues. Yet, God has predestined us to be conformed (similar in form, nature or character) to the image of Christ (Rom.8:29), by which we become His instruments for changing the world. That destiny is fulfilled by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Through the working of the Holy Spirit in us, we become more like Christ in three main areas:
1. In Character: just like Christ, Christians need to live righteous and holy lives. The Holy Spirit helps us in our weaknesses by praying for us (Rom.8:26), empowering us to overcome temptation (Luke 4:1-2), renewing our minds with God’s Word (Rom.12:2) so we can see and hate sin as Christ does, working in us to change our will and actions to please God (Phil.2:13), and giving us power to put to death the deeds of the flesh (Rom.8:13). Then we can shine the light of Christ in a world darkened by sin.
2. In Power: Christ’s life was characterized by power through the anointing of the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:38). The Holy Spirit also empowered the previously fearful and weak disciples to preach the gospel for many to be saved, baptized and added to the church (Acts 2:41). By the Holy Spirit’s power, they taught God’s Word to transform believers to become like Christ (Acts 11:24-26). By the same power, they healed the sick, delivered people from demonic attacks, raised the dead, and performed unusual miracles (Acts 19:11-12). Individually and as a church, we can become like Christ in power to share the gospel, teach the Word, and do good works through the Holy Spirit.
3. In Glory: while living righteous and holy lives like Christ, preaching the gospel, teaching for transformation, and doing good works, we would sometimes go through suffering. If Jesus suffered, even though He only did good, so will we also suffer as we become more like Him (John 15:18). But the Holy Spirit gives us power to endure hardships and suffering for the sake of Christ by comforting us, strengthening us, and causing all things to work together for our good (Rom.8:28). We are thereby ushered into glory that surpasses our pain and suffering (Rom. 8:18, 30). Joseph, Daniel and his friends, and our Lord Jesus were all glorified after they suffered for doing the right things that pleased God.
May God pour out His Holy Spirit afresh on us to renew, revive, and empower us to become more like Christ in character, in power, and in glory. We will fulfill our divine destiny by His power. Shalom!
The name of Jesus is the highest, greatest, most powerful name ever. It is unmatched in its ability to change lives and fulfill God’s purposes in us.
The name Jesus means Savior and denotes His mission on earth (Mt.1:21). Through His life, sacrificial death and resurrection, Jesus came to save us from sin and death, as well as the consequences of sin, including sicknesses, curses, and satanic attacks. Because Jesus accomplished His mission with humility and obedience even to the point of death on the cross, God highly exalted Him and His name above every name in heaven, on earth, and under the earth.
We can experience the power of Jesus’ name:
1. In our salvation. By believing in Him and accepting Him as our Lord and personal Savior, because there is no other name by which we can be saved (Acts 4:12).
2. In our ministry. When we call on Jesus’ name we are saved, but we are also given the legal right to exercise His power and authority in our ministry. In Jesus’ name we preach the gospel, cast out demons, heal the sick, speak with new tongues, and are delivered from every danger (Mark 16:15-18). We can’t do ministry by our own power, but in the name of Jesus who saved and called us into His service. By His name signs and miracles follow our ministry. The story of the seven sons of Sceva in Acts 19:11-16 should caution us not to misuse the name of Jesus.
3. In prayer and spiritual warfare. When we pray for anything in Jesus’ name God does it for us (John 14:12-14, 16:23-24). When we face battles and demonic attacks, the name of Jesus is our greatest weapon, because He has already defeated the devil, and we enforce the victory He won for us (Col.2:15).
Then we experience the beauty of the name of when His power has been manifested in our situations. People who are delivered from sin, satanic oppression, curses and sicknesses in Jesus name see spiritual and physical beauty. A marriage or family torn apart experience beauty by the power of Jesus’ name when husbands, wives, parents, children are restored to each other in love, peace, forgiveness and understanding. Churches that are distressed and dormant which cry to God in Jesus’ name become peaceful, prayerful, united in love and purpose, and grow beautifully.
In this season of divine fulfillment, may you experience the power and beauty of Jesus’ name. In His name, every sickness will be healed, every stronghold will be pulled down, every barrier to your miracle will be destroyed, every door shut against you will be opened, demons, witches, and wicked spirits assigned against you will bow, be scattered and destroyed in the name above every name. You will not be ashamed for trusting in power of Jesus’ name. The Lord takes pleasure in you, He will beautify you with His salvation and glory. Shalom!
As we celebrate our mothers today, we want to learn some lessons from a mother who decided to put God first, resulting in God’s miraculous provision for her and her family, and restoration of her dead son back to life. God has always used mothers to fulfill His purposes in this world. Mothers conceive and bring forth children, nurture and nourish them to grow to become divine instruments who impact many lives as pastors, teachers, presidents, and business leaders.
The mother in our passage was a widow, known for their poverty in ancient times. She was not a Jew, but a Gentile from Zarephath. Yet God chose her to serve His prophet, and to receive His blessings. No matter where we come from, our social and economic status, God can bless and empower us to bless others, if we put Him first. The widow demonstrated this virtue in four ways:
1. When Elijah first asked her for water, a difficult request because of the drought, she stepped out of her suffering to serve him.
2. She received God’s Word with faith. When Elijah followed up with a more difficult request for bread, she responded that she just had a little for herself and her son to eat, after which they would die. But Elijah told her not to fear but serve him first, because God promised that they would never lack food. She believed.
3. She demonstrated her faith in God’s Word by serving Elijah first. After that she never lacked food. When we put our faith in God’s Word and show that faith through obedience, we make His command our priority, and He fulfills His promises in our lives.
4. She showed hospitality by hosting Elijah in her home. After receiving our miracles, we should make room for God, spending time with Him, caring for what He cares for, obeying, worshipping, serving Him, and putting Him first in all we do. This is important because we live in a fallen world, and our miracles do not end all our troubles. Suddenly, the widow’s son, her only hope for the future, was struck with a terminal illness and was dying. Yet because Elijah was in the house, he prayed for him. God heard his cry and raised up the dead son. When we walk in the presence of God, living for Him, and serving Him, we can commit every problem we face into His hands and He will turn things around for us.
Many times we miss God’s blessings because we do not put Him first. The devil, who does not want us to enjoy the blessed life, can make you feel like you’re making a mistake by putting God first. You could give the little time, money, energy, or resources you have to your spouse, children, or family. But when you use them to fulfill God’s responsibility to His servants and His church, God pays you back by miraculously multiplying what you gave, so you can be an even greater blessing to your family.
May all your sacrifices and investments in God’s house bring you health and healing, divine provision and protection, and restoration of life to anything that is dead in your life. May you never lack, not just because you gave to God, but because you gave to Him first. We serve the God of Elijah who is still blessing abundantly those who put Him first. Shalom!
One of the ways by which we experience divine fulfillment is through serving God. God told Pharaoh to let His people go so they could serve Him (Ex.8:1, 9:1). We are saved from the bondage of sin to serve God. Also, our Savior Jesus came into the world with a mission to serve (Matt.20:28). Christians follow His example.
In order for our service to please God, we must serve by faith in God’s Word, which sets the standards for our service, not by our personal feelings (Heb.11:6). That was how Daniel and his friends served God while in exile in Babylon.
1. We serve God in our body. Because our body is God’s temple (1Cor.6:19), we always need to present our body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God (Rom.12:1). So Daniel and his friends purposed in their hearts that they would not defile their bodies with the king’s food and wine. We also serve God by purposing in our hearts not to defile our bodies by what we eat, drink, watch, listen to, speak, touch, or engage ourselves in.
2. We serve God through prayer. Prayer is seeking God’s help and solutions for any situation we face on earth. When Daniel and his friends faced the impossible task of telling the king his dream and its interpretation, they committed it to God in prayer, and He answered them (Dan.2:17-19). Their example, and that of Anna who served God with fastings and prayers day and night (Luke 2:37), should motivate us to serve God through the prayer of faith for ourselves, spouses and children, friends and family, our church, leaders, and any difficulties we encounter.
3. We serve God through worship. When God answered their prayer, Daniel worshipped God (Dan.2:20-23). As we focus on God, we can worship Him for who He is and what He does for us (Ps.103:1-5).
As we serve God in our bodies, in prayer, and in worship, we will be tested. These tests are not to destroy us, but to bring us testimonies when we overcome.
1. Though they were tempted to eat the king’s food, they refused at a great risk, but within 10 days, they looked better than those who did (Dan.1:15, 18-20). The God we serve will always show us the way out of every temptation to defile our bodies (1Cor.10:13), and bring us out victorious.
2. Their prayer life was attacked, but Daniel did not allow the threat stop him from praying (Dan.6:5,10). Though he was thrown into a lion’s den, God delivered him (Dan.6:20-21). The God we serve through prayer, will deliver us from every demonic and satanic attack.
3. They were commanded to worship a golden image, but they refused and rather chose to obey God’s command not to worship any idol (Ex.20:3-5). As a punishment, they were thrown into fire, but God delivered them, in fulfillment of Isaiah 43:2. The fire could not burn them. When they came out the king promoted them (Dan.3:30). The God we serve will deliver us from every fire, and what our enemies planned to use to destroy us, He will turn it into our promotion.
Though COVID-19 has disrupted our lives, we should not allow it, or any other problem, threat, or attack we face, to disrupt our service to God. As we faithfully serve God through yielding our bodies to Him, prayer and worship, the God we serve will perform a miracle of healing, deliverance, provision, protection, and promotion. The God we serve will not disappoint us, He will richly reward our dedicated service. We will celebrate our miracles!
The resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ represents His glorification at the end of His life and ministry on earth. Glory is the height of prosperity or achievement, marked by magnificience or great beauty, something we all want to achieve in all areas of our lives. However, there are two pathways to glory.
1. One leads to human glory, which is vanity. Jesus describes it as a broad way that leads to a destructive end (Matt.7:13). It’s a way that seems right but the end is death (Prov.14:12).
2. The second pathway is narrow and difficult, but leads to life and God’s glory (Matt.7:14).
All who hope in the glory of God also rejoice when going through tribulations, because they are able to persevere, build godly character and receive the fulfillment of their hope of glory (Rom.5:2-5). That was the pathway Jesus chose, persevering through betrayal, beating, crucifixion, and death, and in the end, He was crowned with glory and honor (Heb.2:9). Jesus shows us the way that leads to God’s glory.
1. First is to set our hope in the glory of God (Rom.5:2), not on human glory.
2. Then look to Jesus, who, because of the joy of God’s glory set before Him, endured the cross and was glorified (Heb.12:2).
3. In following Christ’s example,
a. We put our personal reputation aside and fulfill God’s purpose for our lives (Phil.2:7).
b. We humble ourselves before God (v.😎.
c. We are obedient to God even when it hurts (v.😎.
d. We surrender to God’s will and receive strength to persevere in our trials and difficult situations (Luke 22:41-43). In the end, we are crowned with God’s glory.
Examples who chose Christ’s pathway, and were not disappointed include
1. Joseph who endured shame and pain of prison for doing what pleased God. God remembered him and brought him out to glory in Egypt.
2. Zechariah and Elizabeth were fully righteous and served God. In the end God answered their prayer for a child.
3. Job refused to curse God and die. Rather, he endured pain, but in the end God restored to him double for everything he lost.
4. Hannah gave her only son to God’s service in fulfillment of her vow, but God gave her back five more children.
5. Noah lived a righteous life even though the whole world lived in sin. He obeyed God and built an ark. God destroyed the world with flood, but remembered Noah and his family.
You may be going through tribulations and difficulties right now, but don’t give up. Keep your eyes on God’s glory that you’ll gain in the end, and receive God’s strength to persevere, build a godly character and see your your hope fulfilled in the end. God’s glory will be greater than
all the difficulties you endured along the way (Rom. 8:18).
You will never be disappointed for putting your hope in God. He will be glorified through your testimony of His healing, deliverance, protection, success, victory, and breakthrough. You will not miss your crown of glory. Shalom!
As we continue to walk in the power of the resurrection, God’s Word reminds us to live as people who are alive and seated with Christ.
Before we were saved by Christ, we were dead in our sins. We were alive physically, but spiritually dead: separated from God. Under the control and influence of the devil and the world, we lived in disobedience to God (v.1-3).
It was in this hopeless and helpless condition that God’s love, mercy and grace located us and saved us through Christ (v.4-5). So when we receive Christ, we are restored into fellowship with God, and the life-giving Spirit of God is infused into us. When we come alive in Christ, His life-giving Spirit is also infused into every area of our lives: health, marriages, careers, businesses, dreams, potentials, and ministry. Therefore, don’t let anything in you die, place it in God’s mighty hand through prayer, and He will bring life into it.
Not only are believers alive in Christ, we are also seated with Him (v.6). Knowing this empowers us to overcome every worry, anxiety or distress. Seated with Christ means that we are seated in
1. The place of rest. Christ is seated after finishing His work on the cross. So we relax and enjoy His finished work for us.
2. The place security – far above every power, principality, might and dominion (Eph.1:20-21). We no longer live under the power of sin or the devil.
3. The place of fulfillment and honor. We are seated in the highest place, so we do not fight for acceptance, prestige or fame. Rather, we are fulfilled, content and satisfied in God.
Because we are seated with Christ, we set our minds on things in heaven where Christ is seated, not on the things of this world (Col.3:1-4).
1. We worship the Lamb who died to save us, resurrected to give us life, and seated us in heaven with Himself.
2. We put heaven’s priorities into daily practice, like sharing the gospel with others so they can also believe and be saved.
3. We look at life from God’s perspective, putting our faith in His Word and desiring to please Him always.
4. Focusing on what is eternal, such as building for ourselves treasures in heaven, instead of attachment to material things.
5. We do good works by joyfully praying for others, encouraging, supporting, and serving them with love, kindness and gentleness.
May God release His life-giving Spirit into your health, womb, marriage relationships, studies, carreer, business and ministry, and bring them back to life. May you prevail over every sickness, pain, shame, failure, demonic and satanic attacks, because you’re seated with Christ above them all. You’re more than a conqueror in Christ!
The resurrection of Christ from the dead is the very foundation of Christianity (1Cor.15:12-14). It sets Christ and all who believe in Him apart from every prophet, guru, or religion.
As we celebrate this glorious day, we need to discover the power behind the resurrection and how it can impact our lives.
In our passage, three women on their way to anoint Jesus’ body in the tomb were worried about how they were going to roll the stone away. This was because the stone was very large (v.4), sealed to the tomb, and soldiers placed there to guard it (Mt.27:66). Many times our troubles and problems look exactly like that: big, formidable, and well guarded by demons and other satanic powers, giving us fear, worry, and anxiety. But by the power of the resurrection, we can overcome them because God’s power is greater and stronger than every problem and the power behind it. I would like to share three ways by which we can discover this power:
1. *By faith in God’s Word.* Many Old Testament passages and Jesus’s own words showed that Christ would suffer and die, but will rise again (eg. Ps.16:9-10 and Mt.20:18-19). Yet the disciples didn’t remember nor believe the last part. This resulted in worrying, weeping, and mourning, even when Christ had already risen (Mk.16:10-11). Whatever God promises in His Word to do, He has the power to do it. So by faith in God’s Word, we can discover His power to heal our sicknesses, fight our battles, provide for us, protect and deliver us from evil, make a way for us, give us success, and even raise dead lives, dreams and potentials back to life. So more than ever, this is the time to feed our faith by studying and meditating on God’s Word.
2. *By the power of the Holy Spirit.* The women needed the stone removed before they could go into the tomb, but Jesus did not need that to rise from the dead and come out. The power of the Holy Spirit raised Him up and brought Him out (Rom.8:11), in spite of the large stone, the seal and the guards. He could even enter the place where the disciples were gathered without going through the door (John 20:19,26). No matter the spiritual, physical, and human barriers and limitations that have been placed in your life, womb, studies, marriage, business, or ministry, you will prevail over them through the power of the Holy Spirit, just as Jesus did. So do not grieve the Holy Spirit, but let Him fill you and release God’s power in you to overcome any power sitting on your miracle.
3. *By committing everything into God’s hands.* Just before He died, Jesus committed His spirit into God’s hands (Luke 23:46). So even though He died and was burried, His spirit was alive with God. On the third day the Holy Spirit restored life to Christ’s dead body and He resurrected. If by faith in God’s Word and the power of the Holy Spirit we commit everything that concerns us to the Lord in prayer, God will respond by releasing His power to meet that need. You will never be ashamed for entrusting your problem, need or battle into God’s hands (2Tim.1:12). The God who did not abandon Jesus in the grave will not leave nor forsake you in your problem.
As we celebrate Christ’s resurrection, be assured that the same power that raised Him from the dead is available to you as a child of God (Eph.1:18-21). Discover the resurrection power by faith in God’s promises, the Holy Spirit, and prayer, and you will prevail. Then you will also be ushered into a glorious victory and celebration. Your day is coming because Christ is risen indeed!
As we celebrate the Triumphant Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, God’s Word reminds us of the significance of Hosanna!
The word Hosanna comes from the Hebrew word _Hoshiana_ , which means “save now” found in Psalm 118:25. It was a plea or cry for help when no one else could help, like a drowning man crying for rescue.
If there is any time to cry for help, it would be in this COVID-19 crisis, when no one has the ability to stop it. In addition to the pandemic, many are going through crises in their health, marriages and families, finances and businesses, ministries and churches, that seem to defy solutions. Only a prayer, plea or cry to God can bring the needed solutions.
In Psalm 118, the people cried to God because
1. He hears and answers prayer (v.5).
2. He is on their side, so they turned fear into faith in Him (v.6-7).
3. They trusted in God and put their confidence in Him instead of man (v.8-9). God was at center of their lives as Ps.118:8 is said to be the central verse in the Bible.
4. They were in expectation of the blessed One who was coming to deliver them (v.26).
The above reasons can help us to also cry to the Lord in this pandemic, and any difficult situation in which we find ourselves.
In the fullness of time God sent the Messiah they were expecting. When we cry for healing, deliverance, peace, prosperity, success, anointing, wisdom, etc, God gives us Jesus. He is the answer to every prayer, and in Him all God’s promises are yes and Amen!
When Jesus came, the people saw all His good works, preaching the gospel, healing the sick, delivering those under demonic and satanic oppression, and raising the dead (Acts 10:38). So as they followed Jesus to Jerusalem, their Hosanna was not a cry for help, but a joyful shout of praise and gratitude to God for sending the Messiah, the Son of David, and for all the mighty works they had seen (Luke 19:37-38).
Today, God’s Word reminds us to keep crying for Him to stop the corona virus, heal the sick, protect us and our families, especially our health workers on the frontline, intervene in our marriages, turn the wayward in our families to Himself, prosper our work and businesses, give us success in our studies and projects. As we pray with faith, trust, confidence in God, He will answer. Then our prayers will turn into joyful shouts of praise, as we experience God’s mighty works, miracles, healing, deliverance, favor, open doors, peace, and prosperity.
We are also reminded that our Lord Jesus who rode on a donkey to Jerusalem, will soon return on earth as King, riding on a horse, with the angels and the shout of trumpets. He will not come to die again but to judge those who rejected Him, and to take those who received Him, loved and served Him faithfully to our heavenly home, where we’ll praise God forever.
May your cry to Almighty God for help, healing, salvation, protection, provision, deliverance and success turn to joyful praise, adoration, and thanksgiving to God. He is on your side and His ears are open to your cry. He will bring you out of your trouble, sickness, barenness, singlehood, failure, demonic attacks, and give you a new song of victory and praise. Many will hear your testimony and praise, fear God, and put their trust in Him. Your praise will impact many lives for Christ. Hosanna in the Highest!!!
We are living in hopeless times because of the effects of COVID-19. Job losses, business downturns, travel bans, school shutdowns, lack of PPE for health workers, high death rates, etc. Yet, believers can still keep their hope alive in Jesus Christ.
In our passage, we find some reasons to have hope in this or any hopeless situation.
1. We are born again into a living hope in Jesus Christ. Our salvation came as a result of God’s love, mercy, and grace toward us when we were still sinners. God’s love, mercy and grace did not end at our salvation, they continue to abound in our lives. God’s mercy is renewed every morning (Lam.3:22-23), His grace is sufficient for everything we go through (2Cor.12:9), and nothing can separate us from His love (Rom.8:38-39). This should motivate every child of God keep hoping for God’s protection and divine intervention in the current pandemic.
2. Our hope is in a living Savior, who died and rose again, not in a dead person or prophet. Our God who did not abandon Jesus in the grave will not leave nor forsake us in our distress. You will rise again from that sickness, trouble, loss, failure. Your dead business, dream, marriage, hopes, will live again.
3. We have a living hope because God has kept us by His power. Lots of sicknesses, troubles, accidents, could have killed us, but through them all, God has kept us by His power. God’s ability to keep us by His power. He neither grows weary nor faints (Is.40:28). He will continue to keep, protect, and preserve us even in this crisis, because His power is greater than any virus, bacteria, or difficulty, as we keep our faith in Him.
4. Our faith and hope in Christ will be tested by fire. So whatever you May be going through is a test to see if our faith is genuine. So in these crisis, we can demonstrate our faith and hope in Christ by drawing closer to Him through prayer, study and obedience to His Word, devotion, giving, and encouraging one another in love. We may be socially distanced from people, but not from God.
5. When we pass the test, we bring glory, honor, and praise to God. We lift up Christ so that others who do not know Him can also believe in Him. In times like this, we need to share our hope in Christ with those around us who’re going through hopeless situations. Our God saves, heals, delivers, makes a way where there’s no way, and nothing is impossible with Him. As Moses lifted up the serpent (Num.21:4-9), may we lift up Christ so He will draw all our family, friends, and neighbors to Himself (John 12:32), so they can believe in Him and live (John 3:14-15).
May your living hope in Christ be your anchor in these critical times, and may you never be disappointed in that hope. You are an overcomer!
We are at war! Our families, churches, businesses, cities, nantions, indeed the whole world is under attack from a virus. COVID-19 is causing extreme devastation, economic hardships, anxiety, depression, fear,and death. In this wartime, we need two things to help us overcome: refuge and strength. Both can only be found in God (Ps.62:5-8)!
1. A refuge is a place of protection, comfort, healing, deliverance, and restoration. God wants us to consciously and intentionally make Him our refuge (Ps.91:9-11). So in this wartime, we need to draw closer to God, and put our faith and trust in Him alone. When we make God our rock, refuge and dwelling place, He will protect and deliver us from every plague, including COVID-19, and preserve us from all evil.
2. God is also our strength. He helps us in our battles by empowering us to fight the enemy. We receive His power through the presence of the Holy Spirit in us, and we shall not be moved (v.5). So this is the time to put away everything that grieves the Holy Spirit in us. When we put away hatred, bitterness, disunity, immorality, prayerlessness, apathy, etc, the church becomes God’s instrument to stop the war, and destroy the weapon of COVID-19 that the devil is using to afflict us (v.8-9), and to demonstrate His wisdom and power to the world (Eph.3:10-11).
The Holy Spirit in us arms us with weapons that are not carnal: the Word of God, prayer, the name of Jesus, the blood of Jesus, and praise, to pull down strongholds of unbelief, sicknesses, ungodliness, idolatry etc that weaken our nations. Through prayer, our devotion to God, and sharing the gospel, we put God in charge over our people and nations, and the war in which we find ourselves. God says when we put Him in charge, He will be exalted in the earth (v.10).
We pray for our governments, researchers, medical scientists, etc, that God will help them make the right decisions and find the cure for this virus. We pray that God will protect the doctors, nurses, pharmacists, first responders, and all those on the frontlines in this battle. We pray that the church will rise up in unity and power to show forth the glory of God. May the blood of Jesus protect us, heal, deliver, and empower us to victory as we make God our refuge and strength.
In the current stormy crisis arising from COVID-19, God has a timely message from the above passage for His children.
1. It begins with Jesus asking His disciples to go to the other side with Him (v.35). For every situation we go through there is the other side of it: sickness -> health, poverty -> riches, battle -> victory, etc.
2. Only Jesus can take us to the other side, so we need to leave the multitude and take Jesus with us (v.36). The multitude can impede, discourage, intimidate, or even stop us, but Christ with us is our guarantee that we will land on the other side. He is the Word who encourages, strengthens, comforts, and protects us in the journey. He is the Great Shepherd who provides for us, leads us on the path of righteousness and beside still waters, and restores our souls (Ps.23:1-3).
3. In our life journeys, we would encounter storms on the way (v.37), caused by the prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2). His purpose is to destroy us or prevent us from getting to the other side. Like the experienced fishermen who journeyed with Jesus, we sometimes go through storms that are beyond our experience and strength, putting us in extreme fear. But we can overcome that fear because Christ is with us (Ps.23:4).
4. Instead of fear, worry and anxiety, we can cry to our Savior who walks with us, and He will arise and rebuke the storm (38-39). He alone has power over every sickness, demon, or storm. When He speaks, they obey Him.
5. But Jesus also rebuked the disciples for allowing fear to displace their faith. If we know God’s Word and have faith in it, we can speak to any mountain, demon, or storm with the same power and authority of Jesus, and they will obey us (Mark 11:23). You and I carry spiritual authority to speak God’s Word over every storm. By God’s Word in our mouths, we can uproot anything the devil has planted, pull down strongholds, bind the strongman, destroy and cast down, and then build and plant what is good and pleasing to God (Jer.1:9-10, Luke 10:19, Matt.15:13, 2 Cor.10:3-5). So speak to your storm, sickness, poverty, mountain, demons by faith in God’s Word and in the power of the Holy Spirit, and they will obey you. Not because of you, but because of the power in God’s Word!
6. God’s Word will work in your situation, so you will fear God instead of your storms (v.41). Those who see your deliverance will also fear God and put their trust in Him (Ps.40:3).
While we take the necessary precautions in this difficult season, let us engage the corona virus with God’s Word. The blood of Jesus has spoken for us, so we can boldly speak against it. May the blood cover us all and protect us. May God raise a standard against the virus to stop it. May God preserve us and our families from all evil, in our going out and our coming in, now and forevermore, Amen. Shalom!