The Delivery Business

Colossians 1:13 (Weymouth New Testament), “It is God who has delivered us out of the dominion of darkness, and has transferred us into the Kingdom of His dearly-loved Son,”

God is in the delivery business. I know, in the past I have said that He is in the “Family business: saving souls” but this is still a branch of the family business!

We recently started a business of our own. We specialize in expedited (you needed it there yesterday) delivery. People contact us because they have a load that the customer wants ASAP and we can get it there fast in our little sprinter van. So maybe I have had delivery on my mind. However, the month of January our church always goes on a corporate fast (and prayer time). During one of those times of praying and listening, this thought popped into my head, “God is in the delivery business” followed by this scripture in Colossians. Soon I couldn’t even stop the thoughts that bombarded me. I am going to share a few.

God has delivered me!

Out of darkness and into the light. II Corinthians 5:1 (NIV), “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

From my past. “Philippians 3:13 KJB), Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,”

From fear. I John 4:18 (NASB), “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.”

From sickness (including tumors, anxiety, and some ugly stuff you don’t want to hear about.) I Peter 2:24 (NIV), “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”

 

God has delivered to me:

Forgiveness. I John 1:19 (KJB), “ If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Blessings. Ephesians 1:3 (NASB), “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,”

Mercy. Jude 1:2 (NLT), “May God give you more and more mercy, peace, and love.”

 

Grace. I Corinthians 15:10 (NIV), “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them–yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.”

Wisdom. James 1:5 (KJB), “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

I am sure there is more to be found. I sure love to think of the Father hand delivering all of these wonderful things to me. A personal gift. Free of charge.

Now, our company, JW Expedited LLC, delivers for money, our purpose and motivation is to please the customer so that we get paid well.

God’s motive? Love.

Do Over!

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Lamentations 3:21-26 (NASB), “This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.” The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him. It is good that he waits silently for the salvation of the LORD.”

Remember the school playground? When we were kids whether we were playing foursquare, hopscotch, or kickball, at some point you would hear the words shouted, “Do over.” Usually it was by the kid who threw the rock across the blacktop instead of in the hopscotch boxes, or tripped instead of kicking that ball. I loved that phrase. It allowed us to pretend we hadn’t messed up. Our mistake didn’t count against us. We could totally miss the ball and then in a “Do over” hit it out of the park.

Have you ever, as an adult, wanted to shout “Do over!”? Or maybe you weren’t that kid, so that phrase isn’t one you are comfortable with. Instead you would say to yourself, “why did I do that?” or, “I wish I could start over,” this one is popular, “If I had it to do over again…” When we say or think these things it is always with regret. In our thinking it’s a done deal. There is no “do over’s” in real life. Right?

Psalm 103:8-18 (God’s Word Translation), “The LORD is compassionate, merciful, patient, and always ready to forgive. He will not always accuse us of wrong or be angry [with us] forever. He has not treated us as we deserve for our sins or paid us back for our wrongs. As high as the heavens are above the earth- that is how vast his mercy is toward those who fear him. As far as the east is from the west- that is how far he has removed our rebellious acts from himself. As a father has compassion for his children, so the LORD has compassion for those who fear him. He certainly knows what we are made of. He bears in mind that we are dust. Human life is as short-lived as grass. It blossoms like a flower in the field. When the wind blows over the flower, it disappears, and there is no longer any sign of it. But from everlasting to everlasting, the LORD’s mercy is on those who fear him. His righteousness belongs to their children and grandchildren, to those who are faithful to his promise, to those who remember to follow his guiding principles.”

David wrote this, before Jesus paid for our sins. Under law, he knew of the compassion and mercy of God. Our opening scripture in Lamentations, still under law, written before salvation had come to mankind. If Jeremiah and David knew that “His mercies are new every morning” and that “As far as the east is from the west” He has removed our sins from us. How much more, now that Jesus has died for our sins, should we know of His everlasting mercy and grace?
So are there still “Do over’s”? You bet there is! It’s the biggest “Do over” of all, and it won’t cost you a thing.

You just have to be like that little child again and admit you messed up. Go ahead, dare to think it, yell it, or even scream it… “DO OVER”, now accept the work He did for you and let’s move on to a better life, shall we.

Father God, Thank You for Your patience. Only You could continue to love me, care for me, and extend Your hand of mercy again and again. Your love knows no bound, Your forgiveness is complete, and your patience is monumental.

I Am Not “A Sinner Saved by Grace”

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If you’ve been around for very long in Christian circles or even if you haven’t, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “I am just a sinner saved by grace,” usually uttered in false humility, true low self-esteem, or full of pride and bravado. The problem with this saying is that if you are saved, it just isn’t true!

Yes, we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us (I John 1:8, Romans 3:23). However, once we surrender to the loving Creator of the Universe, the God of Mercy and Truth, He makes us brand new!

II Corinthians 5:17 (Holman Christian Standard Bible), “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.”

Ezekiel 26:36 (NIV), “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

We aren’t renovated, remodeled, or patched and pieced back together. We are brand new. Not made from old junk, but made of all new material. We are born of heaven now. The Kingdom of God is in us! There are no sinners in the Kingdom of God, and the Kingdom of God is not in a sinner.

Luke 17:20-21 (ASV), “And being asked by the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God cometh, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say, Lo, here! or, There! for lo, the kingdom of God is within you.”

Jesus who was sinless, through the finished work on the cross has made me righteous. I have been brought out of darkness into His light. I have been adopted into his family and am now a son/daughter of God. He was the firstborn of many brethren. I am one of those brethren. Not because I am something special, or because I deserved it, or earned it, just because He loves me. I could have never fixed my life, or made my heart brand new. Only He could, and He did. He said, “It is finished.”

II Corinthians 5:21 (KJB), “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIV),” For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”

When I was born, I was born into sin, into this world and under the ruler of this world. By no choice of my own, Satan was my “father.” Thankfully, I gave my life willingly to a new and better Father. He rules with Love and Peace, not fear and hate. Once I was born again, or born from Heaven, I received as a gift, the nature of my new adopted Father. I have the nature of God, not the nature of my old father (Satan). I don’t have two natures. Just like a cat can’t have a nature of a dog. There is no place for false humility, and if you are saved you should find an abundant amount of confidence in Him. There is no place for pride, we can’t boast. Pride is sin, plain and simple. When we have the attitude that we are “sinners saved by grace” we want to boast about our sin, how horrible we were. We also want to justify any sin that we still commit. “Of course I sin, I’m just a sinner saved by grace.”

Romans 8:17 (ASB), “Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”

I am still alive, in a fallen world, and Satan is still alive and active in this world. My spirit is willing, but my flesh is still weak. So yes, I will sin until I die. However, it doesn’t happen as often, and I don’t let it keep me back. It doesn’t make me a “sinner.” (Using a butter knife to remove a screw does not make it a screw driver.) If there was nothing I could do before I was saved to make me a saint, why would anything I do after I am saved make me a sinner? Now when I mess up I repent and move on. Each day I am getting more and more like Jesus. God forgives and then doesn’t remember the sin ever again. When He looks at me, He doesn’t see my past sins, He sees his son/daughter. He sees a joint heir with Christ, a co-laborer with Him.

David questioned God about being so focused on us, just human beings. Before Jesus died for the sins of the world, before redemption and restoration, God was “mindful” of us. We were in a class just a little beneath the angels. Angels and humans alike are created beings.

Psalm 8:5 (NIV), “You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.”

Now that I am accepted in the beloved, adopted into His family, and am the body of Christ and His bride, I am in a different class. Now I am in the same class of Jesus. I am not deity, never will be, but I am still seated in Heaven with Him. Now those same angels are here to serve me. They aid and protect me, and they minister in my life according to the perfect will of God.

Hebrews 1:13-14 (NIV), “To which of the angels did God ever say, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”? Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” (Emphasis mine)

Now I am a SAINT. You don’t, or can’t earn sainthood. It’s not something that you become once you perform certain tasks and then die, hopefully to have the church recognize you later and label you “saint.” When I accepted Jesus as my personal savior I became a saint. The veil was torn, I now have free access to the Father and He calls me a saint.

Philippians 4:21 (NASB), “Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you.” (Again emphasis mine)

Greet every saint, every believer, every follower of Christ, every Son of God, every member of the body of Christ, that’s who Paul was talking about. Other versions say, “God’s people”, “God’s holy people”, and “Every one who believes in Christ.”

We need to be sure of who we are! We waste time and energy if we don’t. How can we walk in the power and authority given to us by God if we want to identify ourselves with who we were before we met Him? Does a butterfly fly around saying, “I am just a caterpillar with a fancy set of wings?”

Yes, I was a sinner, but now through the finished work of Jesus on the cross, by His grace, I am now a saint.

Who are you?

Discerning His Blood

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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.

Thank You For Your Grace

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Dear Father God,
I thank You that You have given us mercy and grace. That you are extravagant with both. You always give us so much more than we can ask or think, and most definitely more than we could ever deserve. No matter what we do, how we fail, You are slow to anger and quick to forgive! I thank You for the shed blood of Jesus. That no more do we need to shed the blood of cattle and sheep. That Jesus’ shed blood cleansed us of all sin. I am so grateful that the life and blood of Jesus fulfilled all the law. I no longer have to follow a lengthy list of “do’s and don’ts.” I am no longer bound to the law, but set free by Your grace. Thank You, Father, that I can now come boldly into Your presence. It is so wonderful, Lord, to know You in a personal way, to be in fellowship with you. Thank You, Father, that you speak to me, as I speak to my own child. Thank You for Your love. Thank You for Your forgiveness. Help me to be more like you.
Amen

Lyrics for “Free”

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Free
From your Holy Temple
From your Heavenly Throne
You are watching over me.

Your death on the cross
Purchased back your own
Though once was bound now I’m free

Chorus:
I am free to love, Free to live
Free to serve, free to give
All for you-all for you
The King

You have seated me there
In Heaven with you
Given me authority

You have called me out
I have work to do
Setting those in bondage free!

They are free to love, free to live
Free to serve, free to give
All for you- all for you
Our King

Bridge:
I will go to the camp of the enemy
I will shout from my heart-screaming LIBERTY!
No more bondage-no more shame-no more sickness-no more pain-no more lack-no more fear-no more wait-the time is here!

We are free to love, free to live
Free to serve, free to give
All for you-all for you
The King

Copyright © by Jodi Woody
August 9, 2013

Living Beyond the Cross: Part Two

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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?