Present Weakness and Resurrection Life
Jesus’ death is the means to new life for others. Similarly when believers suffer for others as Jesus did, their suffering is an avenue for God’s life to transform situations.
We share the same spirit of faith as the one who wrote the psalm, “I believed; therefore I spoke.”
We also believe, and that belief leads us to acknowledge that the same God who resurrected the Lord Jesus will raise us with Jesus and will usher us all together into His presence. All of this is happening for your good. As grace is spread to the multitudes, there is a growing sound of thanks being uttered by those relishing in the glory of God.
So we have no reason to despair. Despite the fact that our outer humanity is falling apart and decaying, our inner humanity is breathing in new life every day. You see, the short-lived pains of this life are creating for us an eternal glory that does not compare to anything we know here. So we do not set our sights on the things we can see with our eyes. All of that is fleeting; it will eventually fade away. Instead, we focus on the things we cannot see, which live on and on.
(2 Corinthians 4:13-18)
Word Of God Speak –
Untruth opens the door to disorder, disease and death as chaos and disagreement clash against the truth of God.
To be victorious, one must walk in agreement with the Word of God.
There is lasting peace for those who love Your teachings. Nothing can make those people stumble.
Word of God SPEAK. Let it pour down like rain.
If only you had paid attention to My commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea.
Let’s take this conversation to another level.
What is our posture toward God? Are you downcast or upright?
It is the Spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.
(John 1:1, 4)
It is the Spirit who creates and renews.
Jesus is the Vine, the Father the Master Gardener, life is found resting in the Vine as a fruit bearing branch.
Apart from Him you can do nothing.
Apart from the Spirit men are helpless, they die, and return to dust.
Without the Holy Spirit, we fall into sin and lose hope.
We are called to bear His light and release hope.
“But now listen, O Jacob, My servant, Israel, whom I have chosen. This is what the Lord says— He who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you:
Do not be afraid, O Jacob, my servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen. For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams. One will say, ‘I belong to the Lord’; another will call himself by the name of Jacob; still another will write on his hand, ‘The Lord’s,’ and will take the name Israel.” (Isaiah 44:1-5)
Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Thy waterspouts. Thy severe dealings with me seem to excite all creation to attack me; heaven, and earth, and hell, call to each other, stirring each other up in dreadful conspiracy against my peace.
As in a waterspout, the deeps above and below clasp hands, so it seemed to David that heaven and earth united to create a tempest around him. His woes were incessant and overwhelming. Billow followed billow, one sea echoed the roaring of another; bodily pain aroused mental fear, Satanic suggestions chimed in with mistrustful forebodings, outward tribulation thundered in awful harmony with inward anguish: his soul seemed drowned as in a universal deluge of trouble, over whose waves the providence of the Lord moved as a watery pillar, in dreadful majesty inspiring the utmost terror. As for the afflicted one he was like a lonely bark around which the fury of a storm is bursting, or a mariner floating on a mast, almost every moment submerged. All thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. David thought that every trouble in the world had met in him, but he exaggerated, for all the breaking waves of Jehovah have passed over none but the Lord Jesus; there are griefs to which he makes his children strangers for his love’s sake. Sorrow naturally states its case forcibly; the mercy is that the Lord after all hath not dealt with us according to our fears. Yet what a plight to be in! Atlantic rollers sweeping in ceaseless succession over one’s head, waterspouts coming nearer and nearer, and all the ocean in uproar around the weary swimmer; most of the heirs of heaven can realize the description, for they have experienced the like. This is a deep experience unknown to babes in grace, but common enough to such as do business on great waters of affliction: to such it is some comfort to remember that the waves and billows are the Lord’s, “Thy waves and Thy billows,” says David, they are all sent, and directed by Him, and achieve His designs, and the child of God knowing this, is the more resigned.
When we were going down and cry out, we are uplifted and upheld by God’s Holy Spirit, who is the spirit of love and power, the same Spirit that raised Christ from the grave.
No prolonged infancies among us, please. We’ll not tolerate babes in the woods, small children who are an easy mark for impostors. God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love—like Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love.
(Ephesians 4:14-16 )
Although this young and thriving church has no political influence, property, fame, or wealth, it is powerful. Its power is centered in living the gospel. The people value one another more than any possessions. They come together as a large, passionate, healthy family where it is natural to pray and share all of life together. The kingdom of God is blossoming on earth as these lovers of God embrace the teachings of Jesus. In the days ahead, the church will lose much of this initial beauty and appeal; it will become consumed with a desire for material possessions, cultural influence, and power.
You can not serve God and money. He who is aligns himself with the corrupt ways of this fallen world’s system is making himself an enemy against God.
You can not walk with God and hold hands with the devil.
A CALL TO PRAYER AND PRAISE
One day at three o’clock in the afternoon, a customary time for daily prayer, Peter and John walked to the temple. Some people were carrying in a man who had been paralyzed since birth. Every day they brought him to a place near the beautiful gate (one of the temple entrances) so he could beg for money from people entering to worship. He saw Peter and John coming and asked them for a contribution. Peter gazed intensely at him—so did John.
Peter: Look at us.
The man looked up at them, assuming they were about to give him some money.
Peter: I want to give you something, but I don’t have any silver or gold. Here’s what I can offer you: stand up and walk in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, the Anointed One.
Then Peter took the man’s right hand and lifted him to his feet. Instantly the man’s feet and ankles grew strong. He jumped and walked, accompanying Peter and John into the temple where he walked, jumped for joy, and shouted praises to God. A crowd ran to the commotion, and they gathered around this man in an open area called Solomon’s Porch. There he was, standing on his own two feet, holding on to Peter and John. They knew exactly who he was—the beggar they passed at the beautiful gate every day. Everyone was absolutely amazed at this wonderful miracle; they were speechless, stunned.
Just as Jesus promised, the Spirit comes on believers in power, enabling them to do miracles like this. Now they can participate in the truth of the good news.
Peter (to the crowd): Why are you so amazed, my fellow Israelites? Why are you staring at my friend and me as though we did this miracle through our own power or made this fellow walk by our own holiness? We didn’t do this—God did! The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob—the God of our ancestors has glorified Jesus, God’s servant—the same Jesus whom you betrayed and rejected in front of Pilate, even though Pilate was going to release Him. He is the Holy and Righteous One, but you rejected Him and asked for a murderer to be released to you instead. You not only rejected Him, but you killed Him—the very Author of life! But God raised Jesus from the dead, whom my friend John and I have seen with our own eyes. So that’s how this miracle happened: we have faith in the name of Jesus, and He is the power that made this man strong—this man who is known to all of you. It is faith in Jesus that has given this man his complete health here today, in front of all of you.
Listen, friends, I know you didn’t fully realize what you were doing when you rejected and betrayed Jesus. I know that you, and your rulers as well, were acting in ignorance. God was at work in all this, fulfilling what He had predicted through all the prophets—that the Anointed One would suffer. So now you need to rethink everything and turn to God so your sins will be forgiven and a new day can dawn, days of refreshing times flowing from the Lord. Then God may send Jesus the Anointed, whom God has chosen for you. He is in heaven now and must remain there until the day of universal restoration comes—the restoration which in ancient times God announced through the holy prophets.
Moses, for example, said, “The Eternal One your God will raise up from among your people a prophet who will be like me. You must listen to Him. And whoever does not listen to His words will be completely uprooted from among the people.”
Every prophet, from Samuel through all of his successors, agreed.
You are the descendants of these prophets, and you are the people of God’s covenant to your ancestors. God’s Word to Abraham includes you: “Because of your descendants, all the families of the earth will be blessed.” So when God raised up His Servant, God sent Him first to you, to begin blessing you by calling you to change your path from evil ways to God’s ways.
And the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
So there the earth lay, formless, void, chaotic, and inhospitable for life. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. Literally, in Hebrew the verse reads,
“… and the breath of God was hovering over the waters.” (Genesis 1:1-2)
By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of His mouth. (Psalm 33:6)
By God’s breath the skies became fair. By His Spirit He adorned the heavens.
The breath of God, the Spirit of the Living God is the adorner, the nurturer, and the perfector of all creation, making all things beautiful according to God’s sovereign plan. (Job 26:13)
Trust IN the Lord will ALL your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in ALL your ways, acKNOWledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
Lord, help me to wear the world like a loose garment. Help me to stay serene with You as the center. May I live my inner life with Your Spirit. I know that nothing can separate me from the love of God which is IN Christ Jesus and what You join together no man can tear asunder. A three-fold cord is not easily broken. I pray that nothing shall invade or destroy that secret place of peace where we live together as One in the Spirit. Amen.
SPIRIT BREAK OUT
The Holy Spirit is the completer of creation, bringing it to its final form.
Abraham Kuyper, in his book The Work of the Holy Spirit, describes how in creation the Father demonstrates power to bring forth life, the Son demonstrates power to arrange and order God’s creation under his Lordship, and the Spirit demonstrates the power to perfect creation.
“The Father is the Supreme planner, author, and designer. The Son is the worker, the faithful Son who carries out the directives of the Father. The Holy Spirit is the Completer or consummator, bringing to final form that which was brought into existence by the Son at the Father’s command.”
Just as Esther, the bride of Christ Jesus is making herself ready, drawing near to God in submission to His will. She is not like Vashti who was stubborn and refused to submit, and was banished from the king’s courts for her disobedience willful way.
Esther places no value on herself except how she can be used in the hand of Almighty God for the saving of multitudes.
“If I perish, I perish” was the heart of trust knowing that—
Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them.
Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king’s house, over against the king’s house: and the king sat on his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house. And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favor in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the scepter. Then said the king to her, What will you, queen Esther? and what is your request? it shall be even given you to the half of the kingdom.
“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Jesus)
It’s all about a wedding….
The Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, is preparing a feast,
a feast for everyone on this mystical mountain
With aged wine and good food, the finest wine and choicest meat.
And God will swallow up the oppression that weighs us down.
He will take away the heavy shroud that is draped over all peoples of the world.
God will swallow up death forever.
The Lord, the Eternal, will wipe away the tears from each and every face
And deflect the scorn and shame His people endure from the whole world,
for the Eternal determined that it should be so.
And in that moment, at that glorious time, people will say,
People: This is our God! We put our hope in Him.
We knew that He would save us!
This is our God, the Eternal for whom we waited.
Let us rejoice and celebrate in His liberation.
Jesus: The kingdom of heaven is like a king whose son was getting married. The king organized a great feast, a huge wedding banquet. He invited everyone he knew. The day of the wedding arrived, and the king sent his servants into town to track down his guests—but when the servants approached them with the king’s message, they refused to come. So the king sent out another batch of servants.
King: Tell those people I’ve invited to come to the wedding banquet! Tell them I have prepared a great feast! Everything is ready! The oxen and fattened cattle have all been butchered, the wine is decanted, and the table is laid out just so.
And off the servants went, and they carried the king’s message to the errant guests—who still paid not a whit of attention. One guest headed into his field to work; another sat at his desk to attend to his accounts. The rest of the guests actually turned on the servants, brutalizing them and killing them. When he learned of this, the king was furious. He sent his army to kill the murderers and burn their towns. But there was, of course, still a wedding to celebrate.
King (to his remaining servants): The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited didn’t rise to the occasion. So go into the streets and invite anyone you see; invite everyone you meet.
And the servants did just that—they went into the streets and invited everyone they met, rich and poor, good and bad, high and low, sick and well. Everyone who was invited came, and the wedding hall practically burst with guests.
The king looked around the wedding party with glee, but he spotted one man who was not dressed appropriately. In fact, he was dressed rather plainly, in clothes not at all fitting for a fine nuptial feast.
King: Kind sir, how did you get in here without a proper suit of wedding clothes?
The man was speechless. He had been invited in off the street, after all!
Getting no response, the king told his servants,
King: Tie him up, and throw him out into the outer darkness, where there is weeping and grinding of teeth.
For many are invited, but few are chosen.
But Jesus replied, “Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign; but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah.”
For the worship leader. A song of David, the Eternal One’s servant, who addressed these words to the Eternal after He had rescued him from Saul and his other enemies.
This Davidic psalm is also found in 2 Samuel 22. It expresses gratitude to God for saving him.
I love You, Eternal One, source of my power.
The Eternal is my rock, my fortress, and my salvation;
He is my True God, the stronghold in which I hide,
my strong shield, the horn that calls forth help, and my tall-walled tower.
I call out to the Eternal, who is worthy to be praised—that’s how I will be rescued from my enemies.
The bonds of death encircled me; the currents of destruction tugged at me;
The sorrows of the grave wrap around me; the traps of death lay in wait for me.
In my time of need, I called to the Eternal; I begged my True God for help.
He heard my voice echo up to His temple, and my cry came to His ears.
Because of His great anger, the earth shook and staggered; the roots of the mountains shifted.
Smoke poured out from His nose, and devouring fire burst from His mouth.
Coals glowed from Him.
He bent the heavens and descended; inky darkness was beneath His feet.
He rode upon a heavenly creature, flying; He was carried quickly on the wings of the wind.
He took darkness as His hiding place—both the dark waters of the seas and the dark clouds of the sky.
Out from His brilliance hailstones and burning coals roke through the clouds.
The Eternal thundered in the heavens;
the Highest spoke; His voice rumbled in the midst of hail and lightning.
He shot forth His arrows and scattered the wicked;
He flung forth His lightning and struck them.
Then the deepest channels of the seas were visible, and the very foundations of the world were uncovered At Your rebuke, O Eternal One, at the blast of wind from Your nostrils.
He reached down His hand from above me; He held me.
He lifted me from the raging waters.
He rescued me from my strongest enemy, from all those who sought my death,
for they were too strong.
They came for me in the day of my destruction,
but the Eternal was the support of my life.
He set me down in a safe place;
He saved me to His delight; He took joy in me.
The Eternal One responded to me according to my goodness;
I kept my hands clean, and He blessed me.
I kept the ways of the Eternal and have not walked away from my True God in wickedness.
All His laws were there before me, and I did not push His statutes away.
I was blameless before Him; I kept myself from guilt and shame.
That’s why the Eternal has rewarded me for my right living;
He’s rewarded me because He saw my hands were clean.
You are loyal to those who are loyal; with the innocent, You prove to be innocent;
With the clean, You prove to be clean;
and with the twisted, You make Yourself contrary.
For You rescue humble people, but You bring the proud back in line.
You are the lamp who lights my way; the Eternal, my God, lights up my darkness.
With Your help, I can conquer an army;
I can leap over walls with a helping hand from You.
Everything God does is perfect; the promise of the Eternal rings true;
He stands as a shield for all who hide in Him.
Who is the True God except the Eternal? Who stands like a rock except our God?
The True God who encircled me with strength and made my pathway straight.
He made me sure-footed as a deer and placed me high up where I am safe.
He teaches me to fight so that my arms can bend a bronze bow.
You have shielded me with Your salvation, supporting me with Your strong right hand,
and it makes me strong.
You taught me how to walk with care so my feet will not slip.
I chased my enemies and caught them and did not stop until they were destroyed.
I broke them and threw them down beneath my feet, and they could not rise up again.
For You equipped me for battle, and You made my enemies fall beneath me.
You made my enemies turn tail and run, and all who wanted my destruction, I destroyed.
They looked everywhere, but no one came to rescue them;
they asked the Eternal, but He did not answer them.
I beat them to sand, to dust that blows in the wind; I flung them away like trash in the gutters.
You rescued me from conflict with the peoples; You raised me up to rule over nations.
People who did not know me have come to serve me.
Strangers come to me, afraid.
As soon as they hear about me, they serve me;
Strangers who have lost heart come fearfully to me from behind their high walls.
The Eternal is alive! My Rock is blessed, and exalted is the True God of my deliverance—
The God who avenged me and placed the peoples under me,
Who rescued me from all my foes.
Truly, You raised me up above my enemies and saved me from the violent ones.
For this I will praise You among the nations, O Eternal, and sing praises to Your name.
He is a tower of salvation for His king and shows His enduring love to His anointed,
to David and his descendants forever.
These words of Jesus are especially relevant to our generation.
Lust not love is the dysfunction of lives styled chasing after every vice as the fallen human nature is catered to.
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24).
When You take away their breath, they die and return to the dust.
When You send your Spirit, they are created, and You renew the face of the earth.
Will You not bring us back to life once more
so that we, Your people, will find joy and pleasure in You?
O Eternal One, show us Your unfailing love;
give us what we truly need: Your salvation.
I will hear what the True God—the Eternal—will say,
for He will speak peace over His people,
peace over those who faithfully follow Him, but do not let them abuse His gift and return to foolish ways. (Psalm 85:6-8)
O God, by Your Spirit living in us, give us faith and strength to put to death all that is sinful in us, and fill our lives with what is healthy and wholesome, in keeping with Your will. In Jesus’ name we ask this. Amen.
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and Renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to Sustain me. (Psalm 51:10-12)
To those who turn to Him in their hearts.
Lord here I am, there is no friction between my will and Yours. Whatever You have for me, I know that You will give me enough strength, enough grace. I know You will give me all that I need. I am ready to do Your will. Amen.
I have LEARNED to be content whatever the circumstances.
Breathe on us, Breath of God, fill us to overflowing. Nourish, sustain and protect from evil. Renew and create us to walk with You in spirit and in truth Increase our capacity to love and be loved today. Envelop, Consume and Enlarge our hearts and cause us to Soar as on wings of eagles that we may Run and not be weary and Walk and not faint. Amen.
Christ in you the hope of God’s glory.
We bear His light to release hope—
Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’ So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet— a vast army.”
“Then he said to me: ‘Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off. Therefore prophesy and say to them: This is what the Sovereign Lord says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, My people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put My Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.‘ ” (Ezekiel 37)
”You will be so intimate with Me that you will be one with Me.” –Jesus
What God has joined together let no man tear asunder.
Who the Son sets free is free indeed. You will know the Truth and the Truth will make you free!
The Father’s love is evidence that our union with Jesus is complete and absolute. Our Lord does not mean that our lives will be free from external difficulties and uncertainties, but that just as He knew the Father’s heart and mind, we too can be lifted by Him into heavenly places through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, so that He can reveal the teachings of God to us. (Oswald Chambers)
Remember the kingdom of heaven is preparing for the wedding of the Son and the Spirit and Bride are speaking, praying in His name! Through the same Holy Spirit that not only raised Jesus from the grave but ascended and placed Him at the right hand of Almighty God the Father, we can be lifted and seated into such a relationship. Once in that wonderful position, having been placed there by Jesus Christ, we can pray to God in Jesus’ name—in His nature. This is a gift granted to us through the Holy Spirit, and Jesus said, “. . . whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.” The sovereign character of Jesus Christ is tested and proved by His own statements. He will come to be seen in His children manifest in power, love and a disciplined sound mind.
For even as His suffering continues to flood over us,
The more God will shower us with His comfort through Christ.
All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.
Submit Yourselves to God
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
Or do you think Scripture says without reason that He jealously longs for the Spirit He has caused to dwell in us? But He gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.
Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?
Boasting About Tomorrow
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.