I Have The Right

470292b13eae8aaaf9e7918db32fa375

I John 1:12 (NIV), “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (emphasis mine)

There is a lot of talk in our modern world about “rights.” Who has them, what kind, who doesn’t, why not, who needs them, animal rights, illegal alien rights, constitutional rights, parents rights, children’s rights, I can go on for pages! There is merit to some of the talk. I happen to agree with some of the statements made, and totally disagree with others. We won’t hash that all out today. Today I want to talk about the most important right that we have, as Christians.

We have the right to become the children of God.

I love to look up scriptures in different translations. Sometimes they will say it just a bit different and it becomes clearer. When looking up this one, each version used the exact same word- “right.”

Let’s take a look at that word that is thrown around so much.

Right: a moral or legal entitlement to have or obtain something or to act in a certain way.

Synonyms: entitlement, prerogative, privilege, advantage, due, birthright, liberty, authority, power, license, permission, dispensation, leave, sanction, freedom

We have the prerogative, the privilege, the advantage, authority, power, and permission to become the children of God. (Son means child in this case, male and female). It’s our birthright when we become children born of heaven, by the blood of Jesus.

It’s not a done deal just because we said a prayer. We get to “become” His son. How? By accepting His love for us, by knowing who He is, who we are in His eyes and heart, and by getting as close and intimate as possible with our Father.

I John 3:1 (NIV), “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”

Lavished- that’s also a great word. It isn’t a small portion. It isn’t stingy. It is scandalous. It is a generous, extravagant amount. It is pouring an expensive, large amount of scented oil on the head of the One you love; it is cleaning His feet with your tears and drying them with your hair. It is a boat so filled with fish that it could sink. It is forgiveness in the face of an angry crowd ready to cast stones and with every right to do so. It is breaking the rules for love, healing on the Sabbath, eating with sinners, and getting intimate with lepers.

God, the Father, has lavished His love on us. Why? Because He wants sons. Yes, He had one perfect Son, who obeyed in every way, even unto death, a Son that shares everything and has perfect relationship with the Father. But, He still wants us!

Then once we acknowledge that we have the right to become His son, we step out in faith and let the transformation begin, we suddenly have all kinds of rights in the Kingdom, that no one can ever take away from us!

Consider Joseph and Daniel

 bf4c2c0d49ddc40039be85fb34affcf8

Colossians 3:22-24 (HCSB), “Slaves, obey your human masters in everything. Don’t work only while they are watching, in order to please men, but work wholeheartedly, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men, knowing that you will gain the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Thankfully, those of us in most of the world don’t have to worry about being slaves. However we can apply this passage of scripture to employees, servants, and anyone who is under another’s authority. The world would be a better place and much more productive if we did this. There wouldn’t be such a spirit of “socialism” in the world either. Everyone would do their part to the best of their ability. There are way more people who could be working at something than there are those who truly can’t work at anything.

In America we complain a lot, about a lot. We tend to complain about Mondays, why? Because we have to go back to work. We complain about having to work at all, or we complain about the hard hours, or those who don’t work as hard as we do, or that we aren’t appreciated, or recognized, or praised…need I go on? This week I was reading my Bible and came across that scripture in Colossians, which led me to these:

Ephesians 6:5-6 (NIV), “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart.”

Hebrews 13:17 (KJB), “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

Do your job even if no one is looking. Submit to those in authority over you, even if they are wrong. Now, I have to clarify that we don’t have to go against our morals here, that isn’t what I am talking about. What I am saying is we don’t have to be right. As an example, let’s consider a couple of men from the Bible.

Joseph and Daniel were both slaves. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, actually only one, the rest of them wanted to kill him, and ended up with years slavery. First in the home of Potiphar where he did such a good job the Egyptian put him over his whole household. Then when Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him, and Joseph literally ran away, she accused him or rape and Potiphar sent him straight to prison. In prison he quickly rose in authority until he pretty much ran the place. He was released from his confinement after interpreting some dreams of Pharaoh’s. He saved not only Egypt from famine, but his own family as well. His ending was that he was second only to the Pharaoh himself, who pretty much ruled the known world at the time.

Daniel was taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar and taken from his own homeland and relocated to Babylon. He too due to his obedience quickly rose in rank and authority. He ended up serving under seven different rulers and kings, none of them Jewish. Like Joseph, he stood for righteousness and continued to serve God where he was. And like Joseph he also interpreted the dreams of a king through God’s revelation. He didn’t use his captivity under a gentile foreign king as an excuse not to serve God along with serving the king. He was almost killed for continuing to obey God when the king made a law that contradicted God’s law. God however, intervened and saved Daniel’s life.

If we look at these two men we see a pattern. They didn’t just obey God. Had they snubbed their noses at their captors, they would have at best, not risen in authority, and at worst, been killed. Yet, when it came to sinning against God they both refused. Daniel calmly continued to pray three times a day as was his custom, and Joseph refused to allow temptation to commit adultery with another man’s wife. They didn’t fight their captors, they didn’t refuse to work, they didn’t try and sabotage their new governments, but they did obey in every way that didn’t go against their faith in God.

How much more should we obey our bosses, teachers, parents, government officials, Church leaders, and God himself? We who are free from the law and are not obligated to follow it, but have the grace of God and His love inside of us; shouldn’t we be even more obedient? We are representing Heaven and our Heavenly Father let’s represent Him well. When we do that our bosses, leaders, etc. can do their jobs with joy. God will get the glory and people will be blessed.

It’s always right to do the right thing. It’s always best to do our best.

I am not sure who coined this phrase, but the school I taught at for years had this as our motto: “Good, better, best, I’ll never rest, until my good is better and my better is best.”

I Corinthians 15:58 (NIV), “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

 

Discerning His Blood

7885[1]

I Corinthians 11:23-30 (NIV), “For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.”

Paul is teaching the Church at Corinth about the Communion. He points out that they needed to “discern” the body of Christ. When we fail to do that we eat and drink judgment on ourselves. What does that mean?

Jesus called it eating His body and drinking His blood. So many people found that offensive that they left and didn’t continue on with Jesus. Once again they didn’t understand. He wasn’t asking them to become cannibals. Peter may not have understood, but he knew Jesus, so he answered, “Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68, KJB).

Over my years of walking with the Lord, and it has been about 44 years now (several of those in a backslidden state, and several as a “carnal Christian.”) I have heard this preached in several different ways. None of them bad and all had good points, but recently the senior Pastor at our Church explained it in a way that finally clicked in. When we think of Salvation, we know that Jesus purchased us with His blood. We who were slaves to sin were totally set free by the sacrificial blood of the only One who could legally do it. All we have to do is confess that sin, and turn our hearts and lives over to Him. When we do that we are His. We know that when we die we will go to Heaven to be with Him and that He isn’t holding our sins against us. We are welcomed in the family of God.

What most of us have trouble with is all the other stuff that comes with Salvation. Salvation means much more than going to Heaven one day. It means accepting all the good things God has in store for us here. It includes healing and deliverance. It gives us the authority over everything. We have the same authority Jesus did, the same power available to us, (the Holy Spirit), and we are made just as righteous as God. Now, that is a little harder to wrap our minds around. I finally had to bypass the head and just get it into my heart. That’s the best way to think and meditate on spiritual things anyway. Still having some trouble with that? Let’s take a look at just a few scriptures.

Hebrews10:19-24 (NIV), “Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”

Ephesians 1:7 (KJB), “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:”

Romans 3:25-26 (NIV), “God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood–to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished–he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”
Mark 14:24 (Weymouth New Testament), “This is my blood,” He said, “which is to be poured out on behalf of many–the blood which makes the Covenant sure.”

1 John 1:7 (NIV), “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.”

So what did Paul mean when he said that we need to discern His body and His blood?

As Dr. Hohman taught us, it means that we need to understand and apply what His shed blood accomplished for us! If we don’t understand that we are right with God, that we are accepted in the Beloved, we won’t even try to enter the throne room let alone do it boldly. If we don’t use our authority, the enemy and our own flesh, ride rough shod over our lives. A covenant, which is so much stronger than a promise, had to include the shedding of blood. Jesus shed His so that we no longer have to live under the law, but we now live under grace, the Law of Love. His plan for us isn’t just to get by, or to tread water. We are supposed to take ground! We aren’t waiting to one day get to Heaven, we are His ambassadors and we are bringing Heaven to earth!

It is so important that we understand who He is, who we are, and what His shed blood has purchased for us, when we don’t we still live in bondage. The prison doors are opened but we sit shivering in the corner and refuse to leave.

Do a word search in your bible concordance and if you have access to the internet, use it for good and do a scripture search on the blood of Christ. There are some good blogs and commentaries out there (like mine), but first and foremost, see what God has to say about it. All of our other writings should line up with and encourage understanding with what is written in His word. We can never substitute good writing, good teaching, and good preaching with God’s word. The work of men can never do the job that His word can, after all His word is alive, and sharper than any double edged sword. Mine are not.

When we try and do it without remembering and discerning His blood, we make a mess of our lives. I did. However, when we do it His way, it is so much better. Notice I didn’t say easier, just better. He himself told us we would have trouble, but not to worry because He had already overcome.

Live for Him! He already did all the hard stuff. We just need to stand on His word, keep our part of the covenant, and walk in our authority.

Jesus, thank You for Your shed blood. Holy Spirit help me to understand with my spirit and to apply the blood rightly to my life. I choose to accept all that it purchased for me. I will not allow Your sacrifice to be in vain in my life.

Why Make Them Wait?

romans8_19-creation-space[1]

Do you ever get that feeling like there is some great thing about to take place, kind of like that quiet moment right before the storm? You expect the flash of lighting and the sound of thunder. You expect the show of raw power. We are expectantly waiting for nature to let loose her authority. If you have ever lived somewhere hot, or humid, and you just feel like one nice cooling rain could alleviate the suffering, you know what it means to moan for nature to do her job.

Yet, God say that all of nature is waiting on us…

Romans 8:18-25 (NAS), “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.”

Verse 22, (NLT), “ the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.”

What exactly is nature waiting for? For us to take out rightful place as sons of God, for us to walk in our authority.

Matthew 28:19-20 (NAS), “ And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,”

Luke 10:19 (NLT), “Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you.”

The Father gave Jesus all authority. Then, through His death and resurrection, He passed that authority on to us. Why? To grow the family of God, to make disciples.

Mark 13:34, (KJB), “For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.” (emphasis mine)

We need to stop letting the enemy distract us, stop being too busy to be about our duties. We need to be busy with the great commission while we are waiting for the bridegroom.

Luke 12:36 (KJB), “like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him.”

We use our authority to cast out demons, heal the sick, change circumstances, call money in, stand in the gap for our loved ones, and the list goes on. Authority doesn’t ask, authority commands. We thank God, but we speak to the situation. Is your child sick? Command his or her body to line up with the word of God, that says by His stripes they are already healed. Command their body to submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Is your bank account low, and your bills high? Pay your tithing, thank God for His provision, and then command the debt to leave and money to come. Find scriptures to stand on and speak them out, and over each need. It’s not some “abracadabra” magic words. It may take some time, don’t give up. God says that we will have what we say. His word is true, and He is not a man that He should lie. If He said it, then we can believe it. We just have to start believing what we say!

The world would be a different place if true followers of Christ walked in their God-given authority!

All of nature is groaning in expectation.

Why make them wait?

Living Beyond the Cross: Part Two

The_Throne_Of_Grace-1348608167t[1]

We need to reverence the cross, its work, Christ’s sacrifice of love. But accept your place in the Kingdom, accept his Grace, walk in your God given authority. If you have accepted the atoning work of the cross, then walk through that door into the Throne room. Walk as a Saint, a Disciple of Christ, an ambassador of Heaven, a Son of the Most High, and a joint heir with Christ. Tell sickness to leave, command bodies to be whole, command minds to be sound. Declare your blessings. Are you in a hard place? What do God and his word have to say about it? Speak God’s word over it. Then don’t stop with you and yours do it for others, saved and unsaved alike. No one has to earn it, it’s theirs. The goodness of God turns hearts to repentance.
God just wants to love and bless people. He wants every area of our lives to be blessed, physically, spiritually, mentally, financially and any other area you can think of. He loves to bless his children and he wants his family to grow. Our job is to bring the Kingdom of light, of love to the lost world. We have to accept it ourselves first, “freely you have received, freely give.” The Kingdom is a King, a Kingdom and a Royal Family. It’s about a Father and the love he has for his children. He’s a good Father, wanting to give good gifts to his children. The Kingdom is the all compassing; never ending love of the Father poured out through Jesus and now shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Why? So we can do what Jesus did. Enlarge; add to the Kingdom/family of God. If they don’t become part of our family, then they remain with their father the devil. You are in one kingdom or the other, there is no neutral territory.
So in practical terms, if someone needs healing, we don’t need to explain the whole process of the cross, the stripes, the blood, they can learn the how and the why later. We just need to lay hands on them and pronounce them healed. Tell sickness to leave, tell health to come. Tell bodies to be whole, minds to be sound, debt to leave, money to come, bless people. What’s allowed in heaven? Allow it here. What’s not allowed in heaven? Don’t allow it here on earth. Is God poor, sick, sad, depressed, oppressed, tired…don’t allow that in our lives or the lives of the one’s he loves, (and he loves everyone). What is allowed in heaven? Peace, joy, strength, love, discernment, wisdom, riches, health, the list is too huge to include it all here. We don’t have to wait for heaven to have it. God already brought heaven into our hearts, now our job is to bring heaven here, to earth. The governments of this world can’t do it, the media, Hollywood, economics, education, those things can’t bring us heaven. God’s children, knowing who he is and who we are, we can!
All of creation groans, waiting for us to come into our authority.
“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God and if children, then heirs-heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time fare not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of god. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the hold creation groans and labors with birth pains together until now.” Romans 8:16-22
I am changing what I say, how I think and how I pray. That’s what true repentance is, changing our minds, turning away from the world and the kingdom of darkness to the love of God and the Kingdom of Light. Turning from out past to our glorious future in Christ. Jesus’ work on the cross provided the way for us to do that, his beautiful, horrible sacrifice…
I don’t want him to remain forever nailed there. Jesus moved past the cross, won’t you do the same?