October 15, 2016

John 14:20 At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 

This was one of the first passages I was asked to memorize in my Bible School days. It is one of those simple, yet profound teachings of Jesus. He was able to say things in a few words that contained an entire theological system buried inside of them. This is one of those sayings. 

First, He speaks of He Himself being in the Father. This is another glimpse of the profound mystery of the trinity. If we have seen Him, we have seen the Father. He is the radiance of the Father’s Glory. He is the very image of God Almighty. He is the very imprint of His nature. Jesus is absolutely God. 

Secondly, He said that we would be in Him. We have been immersed into Him by the baptism in the Holy Sprit, that is the whole context of this teaching. We are in Christ. In Christ we find our identity, in Christ we are redeemed by His blood, in Christ we bear much fruit, in Christ we find our refuge and rest, by us being in Christ, God is glorified. This is David’s hiding place and the place Jesus was speaking about when He went to prepare a place for us. He is our dwelling place. 

Finally, Christ said He would be inside of us. This is the very heart of why Jesus came. He said unless a man is born again He will never see the kingdom of God. When Christ comes into our lives we experience regeneration. Our whole life changes. We are no longer slaves of sin, Christ is inside of us now, living this brand new life in us that we can never live ourselves. The old life is over, a new life has begun. 

Jesus said we would begin to see the depth of this powerful revelation in “that day”. What day was He speaking of? Of course He was talking about the day of the Holy Spirit that began on the day of Pentecost and continues up to now. It is His Spirit that gives us understanding of this profound divine revelation. So that’s it, Jesus is in the Father, I am in Him, and He is in me. That changes everything. 


October 14, 2016

Rom. 16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. 

One of the sure evidences of my conversion was a new sense of peace that immediately took over my life. It was really quite comical, I had been a worrier all of my life. For whatever reason I was stuck on a negative, you might say pessimistic, bent very early in my life. I was sort of of the belief that if anything could go wrong it probably would. I would then find myself worrying about the different things that might go wrong. The Lord fixed that. Now don’t get me wrong, if I don’t keep my spiritual batteries charged I can still go negative really quickly. The point is this, there was an immediate, dramatic change in my life. Jesus became the God of peace in my life. Here are some thoughts on the God of peace from Matthew Henry. 
“The titles he gives to God: The God of peace, the author and giver of all good. When we come to God for spiritual victories, we must not only eye him as the Lord of hosts, whose all power is, but as the God of peace, a God at peace with us, speaking peace to us, working peace in us, creating peace for us. Victory comes from God more as the God of peace than as the God of war; for, in all our conflicts, peace is the thing we must contend for. God, as the God of peace, will restrain and vanquish all those that cause divisions and offenses, and so break and disturb the peace of the church.”
Matthew Henry has a great understanding of this supernatural peace that God gives. He says first that He is at peace with us. How did this happen? He removed the barrier to our peace with God which was our sin. Since we are justified by faith in His sacrificial blood, we have peace with God. He also speaks peace to us, the word of God is filled with promises that quiet the storms in our lives. Bask in His word and peace will comfort your soul. He works peace in us, Christ is the Prince of Peace and His Spirit inhabits us filling our whole being with a supernatural peace that cannot be described. Finally, He creates peace for us. He goes before us and defeats our enemies. No weapon formed against us will prosper. Wow, the God of Peace is crushing Satan under our feet.  


October 13, 2016

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.
One of the most amazing things we find in the scriptures is seen in this verse, Christ bore the curse of sin that rightfully fell on me. I saw this very clearly several years ago while watching the movie THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST. In the violent scene where Christ was being beaten and whipped by the Roman soldiers I can remember the anger against His oppressors welling up in my heart. They cursed and laughed and spit and mocked and I was enraged. I can remember holding on to my seat to keep from rising up during that horrible beating. That’s when it hit me, I was the one who was beating Christ. “He was wounded for my transgressions,” it was clearly my sins that caused the beating and torture of my Lord. That is the power of the gospel. Here are some thoughts from Luther on the curse of Christ. 
“The gospel—the most loved and comforting doctrine of all— doesn’t focus on our works or the works of the law. Rather, it shows us the incomprehensible, inexpressible mercy and love of God toward us, who are unworthy and lost people. The merciful Father saw that we were oppressed by the curse of the law and held under it. On our own and through our own efforts, we never could have freed ourselves. He sent his only Son into the world. He put all the sin of all the people on his Son and said, “You will be Peter, who denied me; Paul, who persecuted, blasphemed, and acted violently; David, who committed adultery; the sinner who ate the apple in Paradise; the thief on the cross. In summary, you will be the one who committed all the sins of all the people. Make sure you pay for these sins and make atonement for them.” Since this happened, the entire world has been cleansed and atoned of all sin and freed from death and all evil. If everyone in the whole world believed, God would see only purity and righteousness. This is because Christ would have taken away all sin and death.”
That is the power of the gospel, it was my actions that brought the suffering to Jesus. It was His actions that brought peace to me. “He wounded for my transgressions,” but it was also “the chastisement that brought us peace”. 


October 12, 2016

Psa. 110:4 The LORD has sworn
  and will not change his mind,

  “You are a priest forever

  after the order of Melchizedek.” 
The supernatural nature of the heavenly ministry is critical for us to experience the power of a true Pentecostal Christian faith. Many Christians never think about the heavenly ministry of Jesus, they only think of what He did for us in His sacrificial death on the cross. It was the work of the cross that enabled Him to obtain His heavenly ministry. It is in His work today in heaven that brings us into the power of His presence. If you think back to the first day of the birth of the church, Peter is seen preaching to explain the source of the Pentecostal power that was filling those early believers. In that sermon he described the source of that pentecostal outpouring, “Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing”. That pretty much tells the story, our power to live supernatural Christianity is connected to Christ’s work in heaven today. Here is how Andrew Murray describes this eternal priesthood. 
“Eternity is an attribute of Deity and of the divine life, and has its true existence only in the fellowship of that life. In God there is no change, or aging, or fading; He is all that He is in an ever-fresh, never-changing, youth. As some one has said: “He is the Ancient of Days, and yet the youngest of all, for He lives ever in the freshness of the eternal strength that knows no past.” The eternal life is that which always remains the same, because it is always in God. And when God speaks to His Son, Thou art Priest for ever, it not only means that the priesthood will never cease, but it points to what is the root and cause of this; it roots in the life and strength of God. Christ is become a Priest after the power of an endless life. Unceasingly, without one moment’s cessation, in unbroken continuity, He lives and works in the power of the divine life.”
So maybe your Christianity seems a little void of power and you seem to get stuck in apathy or even worse, falling into compromising lifestyles. If that’s the case take a look at Jesus, seated at the right of the throne of God. As you look to Him you may find yourselves caught up in the power of His presence. 


October 11, 2016

Psa. 110:4 The LORD has sworn
  and will not change his mind,

  “You are a priest forever

  after the order of Melchizedek.” 

Powerless Christianity; the scary thing is that it is not just tolerated today, it is what everyone has come to expect because it is the experience of the vast majority of the Christian population. Because of no power to resist sin many make up lame theological excuses for our compromising lifestyles. Sex outside of marriage, homosexual behavior, drunkenness, are all covered over with some glom called the new “grace message”. If I am not mistaken it was grace that opened my blind eyes to my sinful lifestyle, grace that washed my sins away, and grace that freed me from the chains of sinful behavior that had controlled my life. What is the basis of this power? It is the fact that I have a priest seated at the right hand of God praying for me that is able to save me to the uttermost. That means forgiven and changed forever. It is the present day, heavenly ministry of Jesus that is the source of power for my Christian faith. His heavenly ministry is the source of the supernatural nature of the Christian faith. Here is how Andrew Murray describes it. 
“They do indeed believe that He (Jesus) is ascended to heaven, and sits upon the throne of God; but they have not seen the direct connection of this with their daily spiritual life. They do not count upon Jesus working in them in the power of the heavenly life, and imparting it to them. They do not know their heavenly calling, with the all-sufficient provision for its fulfillment in them secured in the heavenly life of their Priest-King. And, as a consequence of this, they do not see the need for giving up the world, to have their life and walk in heaven.”
So go ahead and connect the dots for yourself. Look to Jesus today; crucified, resurrected, and

 glorified at the right hand of the Father. His ministry for you to the Father and to you from the Father is a game changer. He not only cleanses your sins, He brings you into the fulness of His presence and power. As you recognize Him and glorify Him you can begin to experience God’s power in your daily life. This will be the beginning of a whole different kind of life. 


October 10, 2016


And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.” Gen. 32:25
God has a way of getting our attention. All through the Bible we could read accounts of men and women being stopped dead in their tracks. Jacob is one of them. Jacob was just about to “fall right into it” when he was met with an angel in the dark of night. Jacob always managed to get himself out of some sticky circumstances. Jacob always had it all figured out, until he is met with his own weapons. Jacob had a “where were you moment”. It was God who came and laid hold of Jacob to prevent him from entering the land in the mindset he was in. He was to be taught through the night as he wrestled with God himself who was the gatekeeper of his life. Self must be beaten out, along with all of our confidence in the flesh. Because your Esau is coming. And will it be the “face of God” or the “devil” that you see? 

 Kurtz Commentary says, “All along Jacob’s life had been the struggle of a clever and strong, a pertinacious and enduring, a self-confident and self-sufficient person, who was sure of the result only when he helped himself-a contest with God, who wished to break his strength and wisdom, in order to bestow upon him real strength in divine weakness, and real Wisdom in divine folly.” All this self-confidence culminates now, and in one final and sensible struggle, his Jacob-nature, his natural propensity to wrest what he desires and win what he aims at, from the most unwilling opponent, does its very utmost and does it in vain.”

Today in service, as I worshipped I saw Christ among us. But instead Christ the person, I saw my brothers and sisters and they were Christ. I wept because it has taken me so long to see “the face of God around me”. It’s easy to envision gentle Jesus all around us but try seeing him in your family or co-worker that you work with everyday? I pray the angel that dislocates will visit you and when the battle comes in the night, yield to the face of God. Let him spiritually dislocate you in your place of strength. When He walks into the room everything changes and you even realize every face you see in your tomorrows will be His face. 


October 9, 2016

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. 

There is a river of cascading light flowing down from the Father above. He is the fountainhead and giver of all life. This river of light effects us powerfully once our eyes have been opened. Before Christ opened our eyes we were blind; blind to His goodness and to all His gracious work all around us. We were blind to the glory of the Lord; our lives were flooded with the darkness of this generation. This darkness effected the way we talked, the way we thought, the way we viewed the world, and was the source of all of our actions. When Christ came the darkness disappeared suddenly from our lives. First, we saw the beauty of Christ from this light. We began to be overwhelmed with the beauty of His nature; His kindness, His holiness, His wisdom and His love. Next, we begin to see our lives from this light. We saw our sinfulness and His offer of salvation. Then, as we embraced this light, our whole being was flooded with light. We are different people now, the glory of God has changed us into different people. Here are some thoughts from Matthew Henry on today’s verse. 

“What the sun is in nature, God is in grace, providence, and glory; aye, and infinitely more. For every good gift is from him. As the Father of lights, he gives the light of reason. The inspiration of the Almighty giveth understanding. He gives also the light of learning: Solomon’s wisdom in the knowledge of nature, in the arts of government, and in all his improvements, is ascribed to God. The light of divine revelation is more immediately from above. The light of faith, purity, and all manner of consolation is from him. So that we receive from God, as there is no evil or sin in us, or done by us, but what is owing to ourselves.”
Now, we see everything differently, the Lord appears beautiful to us, we also see ourselves in a different manner, and we see our purpose in life very differently. We are awakened by Him, transformed by Him, inspired by this light, empowered by it, and consoled and strengthened as we embrace His light. The world lies in darkness, unable to see the goodness of God. We are no longer part of this darkness, we have become children of light.


October 8, 2016

Rom. 15:13 ¶ Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

I can remember the moment my second conversion experience began and I stepped into the joy of heaven. ‘My second conversion’, you may wonder? That’s what I like to call what happened to me in August of 1994, twenty-one years after I had been born again. By that time I had pastored Victory Fellowship in New Orleans for sixteen years and I was experiencing the backlash of the pressure of ministry. What was that special moment? It was in those Rodney Howard Browne meetings in Rockwall, Texas; in a moment of time it was as if a switch of faith turned on inside of me. I can’t really explain it, but suddenly faith was awakened, and I was introduced to God’s world of joy. It was strangely similar to what happened to me when I was first born again, everything in my life was suddenly alive again. I was bubbling over with unspeakable, supernatural joy. That was how it started in me, but it didn’t stop there. It spread like a fire in our congregation in NOLA. That has been twenty two years ago, that joy is still bubbling up in my soul. Here is how Matthew Henry described this joy in his commentary released in 1729. 

“It is vain, and flashy, and transient joy, that is the product of fancy; true substantial joy is the fruit of faith. Believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable, 1 Pet. 1:8. It is owing to the weakness of our faith that we are so much wanting in joy and peace. Only believe; believe the goodness of Christ, the love of Christ, the promises of the covenant, and the joys and glories of heaven; let faith be the substance and evidence of these things, and the result must needs be joy and peace. Observe, It is all joy and peace—all sorts of true joy and peace. When we come to God by prayer we must enlarge our desires; we are not straitened in him, why should we be straitened in ourselves? Ask for all joy; open thy mouth wide, and he will fill it.”
Henry described the difference between earthly joy and heavenly joy; there is really no comparison. If you feel a little depressed or even overwhelmed there is a solution, look to the Lord, I mean really get hold of Him. Just one touch and you too can be swept into the joy of the Lord. 


October 7, 2016

Rom. 15:13 ¶ Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

I love this verse, Paul connects joy and peace to the God of Hope. If you really think about it, joy is the fountain from which all of our actions spring. We go on vacations in pursuit of joy, we look forward to the football game in pursuit of joy, we look to the end of the work day for the joy of rest after a hard day’s work. We even do the unlovely things, like cleaning up our house after a flood, in hope of the joy of having your home back again. 

Real joy, the joy of the Lord, is supernatural. This joy is the very substance and nature of heaven. This is the joy that our hearts were created for and the only joy that will ultimately satisfy. This joy that comes from the Lord replaces the hopelessness that fills our hearts. Today’s verse says that the God of hope fills us with joy and peace as we believe in the Lord. How does He do this? The verse also says He does it through the power of the Holy Spirit. Here are some thoughts from Matthew Henry on this joy and peace from the Lord. 
“Joy and peace are two of those things in which the kingdom of God consists, Rom.15:17. Joy in God, peace of conscience, both arising from a sense of our justification. Joy and peace in our own bosoms would promote a cheerful unity and unanimity with our brethren. Observe, how desirable this joy and peace are: they are filling. Carnal joy puffs up the soul, but cannot fill it; therefore in laughter the heart is sad. True, heavenly, spiritual joy is filling to the soul; it has a satisfaction in it, answerable to the soul’s vast and just desires. Thus does God satiate and replenish the weary soul. Nothing more than this joy, only more of it, even the perfection of it in glory, is the desire of the soul that hath it.”
Once you have experienced forgiveness that comes from the blood of the cross, peace and joy become part of our lives. As we taste this new kind of joy the result is; we want more. As Henry says, “Thus does God satiate and replenish the weary soul.” Satiate is a good word, it means ​to completely satisfy yourself or a need, especially with food or pleasure, so that you could not have any more. So go ahead, get satiated; then you will know the joy and peace of God. 


October 6, 2016

Rom. 15:13 ¶ Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

If you focus on the stuff happening all around us, hopelessness is the result. All of human promises and expectations ultimately fall miserably short. Humans have a tendency to put their hope in something. For example, some put their future hope of happiness in the spouse that will make all their dreams come true. Others may put their hope in a political party or candidate to bring hope and security into their future. Still others set their hope in their career or their own talents to be able to steer the course of their life into that harbor of hope. Regrettably these hopes are all doomed to failure. Humans and human institutions do not have the power or authority to secure your future, that falls into the hands of God. Our God is the God of hope, Jesus is the anchor of hope that has entered into heaven for us, the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Hope that fills our heart with assurance and confidence that our life lies in His hands. He not only fills our hearts with hope, He Himself is our hope. Here are some words from Matthew Henry on our God of hope. 
“Observe how he addresses himself to God, as the God of hope. It is good in prayer to fasten upon those names, titles, and attributes of God, which are most suitable to the errand we come upon, and will best serve to encourage our faith concerning it. Every word in the prayer should be a plea. Thus should the cause be skillfully ordered, and the mouth filled with arguments. God is the God of hope. He is the foundation on which our hope is built, and he is the builder that doth himself raise it: he is both the object of our hope, and the author of it. That hope is but fancy, and will deceive us, which is not fastened upon God (as the goodness hoped for, and the truth hoped in), and which is not of his working in us. We have both together. Thy word—there is God the object; on which thou hast caused me to hope—there is God the author of our hope,”
So, as Henry suggested, fasten upon this name of our God, the God of Hope. When you pray and look to Jesus, our anchor within the veil, He will fill our hearts with His hope.