Monthly Archives: October 2010

88. God's Grace

I am the God of Grace. Do you truly realize what that means? If you did, you will stop trying so hard and give over to Me. Grace flows when you stop trying. Grace is what I give to you, without you deserving it, it is My unmerited favour. None of you deserve by your own merit to enter into the Kingdom of God, but through grace I made it possible for you. Your sinful nature made it impossible for you to enter into My glorious Presence, but I made it all possible for you, through the death of My Son, Jesus Christ. That is why He is the only way, the truth and the life, without Him there is no access. Your sinful nature cannot make it on its own, but Jesus came and took the punishment for your sins, so that you can live in the newness of life that comes from Him and Him alone. And in that new life, there is plenty of grace and you can enter into My Presence without spot or blemish.

I have always been full of grace towards mankind. I could have wiped out the whole human race from the face of the earth with the flood, but in My grace I saved eight people and would have saved more if the others repented in the years that I gave them before the flood. By My grace I saved Lot and his family from the fire raining down on Sodom and Gomorrah, and I would have saved more if they had listened to Lot's plea. By My grace I didn't destroy the whole Jewish nation when they rebelled against Me in the wilderness, I continued to love them and care for them. By My grace I allowed a remnant to return to Jerusalem after their exile into captivity, I helped them to rebuild the Temple and I helped them to settle in their city once again. And My biggest act of grace was when I opened up the doors to heaven for all to enter in, through the death of My Son.

Grace is what I am blessing you with. I am giving you in abundance what you do not deserve, but I give it to you because I love you. Hold on to My grace. Stop trying to earn your way into heaven. Stop trying to do good deeds simply to get into 'My good books'. Stop thinking that I am punishing you for your sins, stop feeling guilty of sins you have done in the past. When you feel this way you do not understand how grace works. Grace loves all and forgives all. Grace flows in abundance and is there to overwhelm you. Grace is free and without prescribed actions. I am filled with grace.

Grace was My master plan for the human race filled with the tendency to sin. Without grace you would have been lost forever, doomed to die. Without grace there would have been no hope. Your sinful nature could never keep My Law, you couldn't even come close. My Law showed you how desperate your situation truly is. My Law showed how far away you have ventured from My perfect nature. No human being could ever keep My Law, inside and out. However, in My grace I provided a way for the Israelites, My people, to atone for their sins through sacrifices at the altar. I provided a way for them to be forgiven. I showed them the sacrifice of My Son; I showed them the way out of this sinful world. But even that provision My people threw back in My face. They became religious and never truly repented. My perfect Law therefore signed their death sentence, as no judge can let anyone free due to their trespasses of My Law. But the Judge of all judges came and He came to sign off on the Law and to free all who believe in Him. He came to rescue all trapped in sin and He gave them a new nature, a spirit connected with Mine, free from this world, belonging to Me.

Therefore live in this grace. Get up in the mornings and praise Me that I freed you from sin's death door. No matter what is going on in your life, be full of song and praise that you are free. You are free to live in grace, free to be part of a new world, where love and grace abides.

Stop trying, and get to the end of yourself. Because when you get to the end of yourself, you can finally let go and allow Me to take over. That is the point where true life starts. That is the point where you become who you truly are. That is the point where My Spirit takes over and leads you into everlasting life. Then you start transforming your mind, from being carnal to being Spiritual. And when you start living your life being controlled by the Spirit, you will find that you please Me in every way. You will find righteousness as your robe and My works in you become complete. Surrender My child and give Me your all. I want the fullness of who I am to flow through you and to touch a world, hungry for Me.

Extract from Ilze's latest book - God Breathes. To order please email info@ilzehenderson.co.za

27. You are called

Last week we learned that we are citizens of the Kingdom of God. We are citizens of the most wonderful, upright and glorious Kingdom that has ever been and that ever will be. And we have the privilege of sharing the benefits of this wonderful Kingdom. We just need to live in the reality of what is true of us. His Kingdom is our home and therefore we should focus our attention on our home and not on a world that is not our home anymore. We should focus on Him, the centre of His Kingdom and become more and more like Him every day. We are called to be saints, we are called into the fellowship with Jesus Christ:

"To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours." 1 Corinthians 1:2

"God is faithful, by Whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord." 1 Corinthians 1:9

We are called to be saints, to fellowship with Jesus. 'Saint' in this context is the Greek word 'Hagios' and according to Thayer Lexicon, it means 'likeness of nature with the Lord' and 'to be different from the world'. This passage therefore says that we are called to have the same likeness as the Lord and that we are different from the world. It corresponds exactly with what we have been discussing. We were recreated in the likeness of God and now God calls us to act in His likeness now. We need to act as though this is true. In other words our thoughts need to realign with what is true of us according to God's Word.

We are also called to fellowship with Jesus. Synonyms for this word 'fellowship' include companionship, camaraderie, association etc. In other words we are called to have companionship with Jesus, we are called to be His friends, His comrades. We are called to associate with Him and because we associate with Him, all that He has is ours too. He is like our Big Brother, always watching out for us. He is the One looking after us. And when we walk as saints, comrades of the Lord Jesus Christ, then we come short in no gift:

"I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that you come short in no gift." 1 Corinthians 1:4-7

We come short in no gift. This word gift is 'charisma' in Greek and according to Thayer Lexicon it means 'extraordinary powers, distinguishing certain Christians and enabling them to serve the church of Christ, the reception of which is due to the power of Divine Grace operating in their souls by the Holy Spirit." Wow. In other words, in our walk with Christ, serving His church and expanding His Kingdom, we will come short in no extraordinary power operating within us by His Spirit. Once again this confirms with what we have been studying. God is within us, in His fullness and He wants to work through us. We should just be available and allow Him to move through us. Then the gifts we need in any given situation for His Kingdom, will be available to us. All glory to Him!

You are called to be a saint and to fellowship with Christ. You are called to make a difference in His Kingdom. He will be with you with might and power.

Thank you Father that You called us. We feel so privileged and special. Thank you for Your special grace and favour towards us. We really appreciate it and want to walk in the fullness of all that You came to bless us with. Amen

26. You are a citizen of Heaven

Last week we learned more about who we truly are in the spirit. Our spirit has been born again and this new creation is holy, righteous and blameless in God's sight. We are truly His children, made in His image. He is our Father and He expects us to behave like He would. We are therefore perfect in our spirit, in who He recreated us to be, now we need to start behaving like the real person that we are. Our soul needs to realign with what the Word says is true about us.

We are His children and therefore we can approach His throne with boldness and confidence, knowing that He would accept and welcome us. We are part of His Kingdom; we are citizens of His Kingdom. Let us look at two Scriptures confirming this:

"Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God." Ephesians 2:19

"For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body." Philippians 3:20, 21

You are a citizen of heaven, a citizen of the household of God. Now what does this practically mean for you? To be a citizen means that you have legal rights such as the right of speech, the right to bear arms etc. It also means that you are part of a political community and that you can vote for your government. But even more than that, you are a representative of your country. Every country has its own cultural ideal. It has its own moral principles, values and it does things in a unique way. A lot of times when you travel overseas, you can guess from which country several tourists come from and you would mostly be right. Their mannerism, way of speaking, eating etc gives away where they are from. We truly live in a unique world.

And the same should be said about you as a citizen of Heaven. As a citizen of His Kingdom, certain mannerisms, way of speaking and acting should characterise you. If people look at you, they should immediately know that you are a Christian. They should see the characteristics of a loving God, Who is morally upright, Who is caring and just. They should see Him in you, because you are portraying His Kingdom. Are you a good representative? Just look at earthly representatives of products. Would you buy coughing medicine from someone who coughs all the time? Would you buy beauty products from someone who looks as if they haven't had a bath in ages? Would you listen to financial advice from someone who is constantly broke? Of course not! And yet we tell people about Christ, but we do not show Him to people, we don't live as He would have and that is sad. We should draw people closer to Him, not push them away.

We are citizens of His Kingdom and that also means that we live with the benefits of the Kingdom. For example if you are a US citizen, its army and police will protect you, you have access to schools, you have access to medical care, to roads and infrastructure. The same is true of His Kingdom. We have protection from His army, we have access to knowledge and wisdom, we have access to the best medical care in the universe and we have access to the roads and infrastructure that we should take. We have access to it all. Isn't it wonderful? It is really something worth celebrating!

We are all part of an anti-corruption Government that will never disappoint us, that will never deceive us, that will never steal our money. We are part of a Government that truly have our best interest in mind, a Government that will organise the whole universe to allow things to work out for our good. We have the best Government that anyone can ever ask for! The only question is, under whose government are you living? Sit back and truly think about this. You can be a Christian, but still be under a different day to day government. Maybe the time has come to change governments, you will never be sorry.

Thank you Father for Your wonderful Kingdom that we can be a part of. Thank you that we can be a citizen and that we can enjoy all the benefits of it. You are so wonderful. We look forward to moving as part of Your Kingdom. Amen

25. You are righteous, holy and blameless

Last week we learned that we are as Jesus in this world. He lives in His fullness within us. We are His Body here on earth, His hands and feet. We are His representatives in all fullness. We need to reach out as He did and help as He did. He has given us the authority to do so and it is expected of us to use it. Last week we saw how John commanded us to walk as Jesus walked. It is not an option, or if you feel like it. If we believe in Him we must walk like He walked. We are His church and we are there to lure people in. Therefore He has recreated our spirit to be like Him, holy and righteous. Let us look at a couple of Scriptures confirming this statement:

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish." Ephesians 5:25-27

"...and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness." Ephesians 4:24

"And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, blameless, and above reproach in His sight." Colossians 1:21, 22

You are already holy, without blemish, blameless, above reproach and righteous. You already are. 'But how is that possible?' You might ask. 'I still sin, I still get angry, I still yell, I still get jealous etc. How can I be righteous and holy then?' You see it is because you are holy and righteous in your new creation, your new spirit. Your soul where all your emotions lie just need to align with what is true of you in the spirit. There we are back again to the mind renewal process that needs to take place. You need to renew your mind (your soul), to think of yourself as you are in the spirit. The more you align your thoughts towards the spirit, the more you will become who you truly are in the spirit.

Jesus took all the punishment for your sins, and imparted a new nature to you. This new nature, your new spirit, can now enter into the Father's presence, because it is without sin, righteous and holy. Without this new nature you would never have been able to pray to our Father. Do you realise that? Only holiness and righteousness can come into His presence.

So what is it to be holy and righteous exactly? Synonyms for holy are sacred and blessed. And the definition for righteousness is 'the quality of being morally right'. Therefore it would seem that we are blessed in the sacred presence of God doing the morally right thing. We have been created to be perfect, as He is perfect. The right order has been restored. We have once again been created in His image, morally upright as He is. And therefore we can come boldly to the throne room of grace. We are His dearly loved children and He rejoices in us.

Therefore make it your life's mission to change into who you really are in the spirit. Make mind renewal your top priority. Once you renew your mind to think as He does, and once you become mind, soul and body who you truly are in the spirit, the world will be your oyster. God's Spirit will flow mightily through you and use you to change this world into a better place. What a wonderful prospect. One we should all aspire to. Jesus came to open the way, we have no excuses anymore. Come on, what are you waiting for?

Thank you Father for creating such a wonderful new person on the inside of me. Thank you that I am truly holy, righteous and blameless in Your sight. Please help me to manifest this in reality, help me to grow in my mind into the fullness that I am in You. Thank you for this privilege. Thank you Jesus. Amen

24. You are as Jesus is in this world (1)

Last week we saw that we can live without fear. We don't need to walk through this life afraid that something might happen to us. That is not what God wants for us; He wants us to live without fear and to walk with Him in His ways. In His ways is protection for us from all fronts. He wants us to walk with joy through this life. His plan is not that we hide away afraid of what might come our way. No, He wants us out there, sharing His Word and sharing His Gospel.

His Spirit lives in His fullness within us. And He operates through us in this world. 1 Corinthians 6:17 tells us that we are one Spirit with Him. Jesus in His fullness lives within us and therefore we can understand 1 John 4:17 better:

"Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world."

We are like Jesus in this world. As He is so are we. He is full of wisdom, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control and so are we. We are as He is. And notice the wording, 'in this world'. Not one day, but now already. We are His body here on earth:

"And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all." Ephesians 1:22, 23

He is the head of His body. And that is us. We are the body of Christ that has the fullness of Him who fills all in all. Do you realise what this one sentence means? The fullness of Christ, the King of kings and the Lord of lords, is within you. Other synonyms for 'fullness' is richness, completeness and inclusiveness. In other words the richness of all that Jesus is, is within us. He is within us completely, no part of Him is withheld. And all His power, might, love and wisdom is all inclusive within us. He fills everything, all in all, and He lives within us. Isn't that amazing? Isn't that just the Good News? We can walk as Jesus did on this earth. Not because we are wonderful or did something great, no, because He lives within us and permeates through our beings into this world. It is still Him doing the miracles, it is still Him loving others, it is still Him caring for the broken-hearted, it is still Him, but He wants to flow through you. You simply need to be willing. You need to walk as He walked:

"He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked." 1 John 2:6

The Bible is quite clear about this. John is actually giving us a command here, we should walk as Jesus walked. And how did Jesus walk? He walked with compassion and love. He walked with dearness, but also with authority. He walked with power and the ability to change people's circumstances. He walked as a King. No one could touch Him without Him giving the permission for them to do so. He offered Himself willingly, not because He couldn't protect Himself. He offered Himself to save us.

And today we can also walk in a similar way. We are sons of the Most High God and the King of kings lives within us. We are the kings that He is King over. Start acting like one. Reach out and help where you can, drive out darkness with the authority given to you and love those around you, all the while knowing who you are in Christ. You don't have any excuses. You have the ability to help and the power of God residing within you. Be the body of Christ that this world so desperately need. Reach out and make a difference right there where you are.

Father we love and adore You. You are the Most High God. Thank you for all the privileges that You have given us. Thank you for the gift of Your Spirit. We rejoice and honour You. You are our God and King. Amen

 

23. Live without fear

Last week we spoke about the most precious gift in the whole world that we received, namely the Holy Spirit. We learned that we are sealed with Him and that He abides within us. And because He does, we can walk in Kingdom living here on earth already. His amazing love dwells within us and gives us the ability to do exactly what He wants us to do. It is only when we grieve Him by persisting in sin and sinful practices that we hinder Him to move through us. His main aim is to flow through us and influence others positively for His Kingdom, but if you do not allow Him to, Kingdom living will not manifest for you. As we have seen these couple of weeks, the ultimate decision lies with you. Jesus gave you the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, are you going to use it for His glory, or are you still going to live for this world? The choice is yours. For in His Kingdom is everything you need, every blessing to be bestowed and in His Kingdom is also protection. Let us read a couple of verses where God promises to protect those in His Kingdom:

"Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge, His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you. No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; for He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways." Psalm 91:3-7, 10, and 11

What wonderful promises of deliverance and protection! And what is the condition? Well verse one tells us that these promises are for those who dwell and abide with the Lord. In other words these promises are for those who live within the Kingdom of God, who make their house there and who abide with the Lord in everything that they do, not only on a Sunday morning or on a random basis. No these promises are for those who remain with Him and allow His Spirit to move through them.

Okay, but I have heard a lot of people ask me what about the apostles then? If this is true what I am saying, why did they suffer so much? Almost all of them died a gruesome death. Good question. Let me begin to explain. Jesus Himself said the following:

"And you will be hated by all for My Name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved." Matthew 10:22

"Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil things against you falsely for My sake." Matthew 5:11

Do you notice one theme? The only persecution that can come against you is persecution for His Name sake. The only persecution that God will allow is for the furtherance of His Kingdom. If you die a death for the glory of His Kingdom, then you are blessed. A martyr for God, receiving a special crown. So what I am saying is that God will protect you, you can live within His protection, except in certain instances where you will receive honour and glory for suffering for His Kingdom.

Now, when someone steals your cell phone, is that suffering for His Name? No. If someone attacks you due to racial tension/ xenophobia, is that suffering for His Name? No. If someone wants to kill you because you have more than them, is that suffering for His Name? No. I hope you get the point. God is in the protection business. Walk with confidence that He is with you. Do not be afraid. God is not the God of fear. He never wants you to be afraid of what might happen to you. He is your Fortress, your Deliverer, and your Knight in shining armour. He was like a wall of protection around Israel when they followed His law. No enemy could put their hands on them as long as they followed God. And the same is true of us today. No weapon formed against you can prosper, if you abide in His presence, if you make the Most High your dwelling place. Live in the freedom that that brings. It is liberating. Without fear the sky is the limit for you. Without fear you can accomplish His Will so much easier. Without fear, you will represent Him on several levels. Go out and be fearless. God is with you, the Mighty One of Israel.

Father thank you that we can be safe with You. Thank you that You are a wall of protection all around us. We praise Your Name and honour You as our God, the Almighty One. Amen

22. You are sealed with His Spirit

Last week we learned that we have the keys to Heaven. And the determining factor whether we can release the goodness of Heaven on earth lies with us. If we are spiritually minded life and peace will flow, if we are carnally minded, we lock up all of Heaven's goodness. It is as simple as that. We hold the keys and we need to decide on a daily basis how we are going to use these keys. Are we going to open up God's Word and walk in what He declares is true for us? Or are we going to read the newspaper, tablets, articles, magazines and then decide what is true for us? What you believe, you become (Proverbs 23:7). You decide, it is really within your hands. God has done His part, He really has. That is why Jesus cried, "It is finished!" Everything was done. He accomplished all for us on the cross and once the Holy Spirit had been poured out on us at Pentecost, all was done. We have received  the ultimate gift, Himself in all His fullness. We have been sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise:

"Now He Who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, Who has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee." 2 Corinthians 1:21, 22

"...you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise," Ephesians 1:13

"And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by Whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." Ephesians 4:30

We have been sealed with the Holy Spirit. We are intertwined with Him. We have the most precious gift that this world has ever seen. What are you doing with this gift? Are you grieving Him with your actions? Are you grieving Him with the words that come out of your mouth? Are you hindering His work, because you choose to believe the newspaper above what He says about your life? Are you stifling Him by the type of entertainment you watch? Or are you growing in your knowledge of Him? Are you studying His Word and allowing your mind to believe His Word above all else? If you do, you are bringing Heaven to earth.

His Kingdom is real, more real than the device you are reading this devotion on. His Kingdom will last forever even when this earth is only a distant memory! His promises are real and there for the taking.

"For all the promises of God in Him are yes, and in Him amen, to the glory of God through us." 2 Corinthians 1:20

Study God's promises and claim them for yourself. Claim them for a lost world. All the promises have been accomplished by Jesus and His Spirit lives within us, therefore it is ours. Next week we will look at God's promises concerning protection. But all His promises are for you today. His Kingdom is where His glory manifests. Walk in His Kingdom. Walk in it. Our feet so easily go astray. Do not allow that. That is why Jesus washed the feet of the disciples. He washed their feet to free them from the filth of this world and to prepare them to rather walk on Kingdom pathways. And today we need to wash one another' s feet too, in order to remind ourselves of the fact that we should not be walking on the dirt of this life, but rather on streets of gold. In the Spirit we can do that and as we have learned, if our soul agrees with our Spirit, Kingdom living will be the result. We will unlock the benefits of His Kingdom and live in the freedom that comes with living in the Spirit. True freedom is being free from this world, walking as He would have walked.

Thank you Father for all Your wonderful promises. Thank you that we can claim it all for ourselves. Thank you for the wonderful gift of Your Spirit. We rejoice in the privilege. We welcome You in our lives. You must become more and more. That is ultimate living! Amen

 

21. Open the keys to Heaven

Last week we learned about the abundance of blessings available to us due to His Spirit working His wonderful ways in us. His Spirit is brimming with goodness and grace, ready to be unleashed within us; all we need to do is to be open to His Spirit and His leading. We need to grow in the fullness of all that we are in Him. We are one Spirit with Him already, but our soul needs to align with everything that is true of us in the Spirit. Once our soul believes what is true of us in the Spirit, then everything God has to offer us will flow into the physical world. Our soul is like the door between the spiritual and the physical. What your soul believes manifests in the physical. I would like to once again quote Romans 8:6:

"For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace."

What your soul believes manifests in the physical. If you believe the carnal, what you can see, feel, hear and taste, the physical world, then you will reap death. And we have seen in previous devotions that death here is all the effects of sin, for example death in relationships, death of your dreams and ideals, death of certain parts of your body etcetera. But when your soul decides to rather believe what the Spirit and the Word says about certain situations, then there is life and peace. The choice is yours. What are you going to choose? God came to give you everything. You have literally everything at your disposal. What are you going to do with it? And if you choose to be carnal, that is fine, but do not blame God when things go wrong. Do not lash out at Him because things are turning south. Remember the decision you made. Of course it is never too late to choose to be spiritually minded. God's Spirit is always eager and ready to flow mightily through you, always. Walk in the fullness of it.

Another verse I would like to share with you today, may make a bit more sense to you now:

"Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." Matthew 18:18

"And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." Matthew 16:19

This correlates with what we have been discussing just now. Heaven is filled to the brim with all goodness and now it is at your disposal. You have the 'key' as Jesus put it. Now you can decide what you want to do with this key. Whatever you lock on earth, will be locked in heaven. Whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. In other words, if you are spiritually minded, heaven will be opened for you. If you are not, all the goodness will be bound in heaven. You have the choice now. Jesus came to give you the key. It is literally your choice whether you want God's blessings to be unleashed in certain situations or not. If you believe the slowdown of the economy, the doctor's report, the crime statistics, the high divorce rates, the abduction rates more than you believe God's promises concerning all these matters then you are locking in all of God's goodness. But if you decide to look away from what the world is telling you and if you decide to believe what God's Word says is true, then you are letting all the blessings in heaven loose. What do you believe?

Sit still somewhere during this week and decide for yourself what is true. You see the more you grow to be like Christ, the more you find your identity in Him, the more you will start to see things like He does. And once you do, you will find yourself unlocking all the secrets that heaven has to offer you. All of creation is groaning and waiting for the sons of God to manifest and unlock all that is good from heaven. Stand up and be the son God wants you to be. Stop being a complainer, a whiner and someone that wallows in self-pity. That is not what God expects of a son. He expects His sons to walk with dignity and with all the resources available to them from heaven. He expects His sons to represent Him fully. He expects His son to be able to conduct His matters on earth, as if He was physically doing it Himself. In effect He is the One doing it through you as a son, but He wants to work through you and use you for the glory of His Kingdom. What an honour and privilege. You are destined for great things. You simply need to show up and allow Him full access to work through you. You need to die in yourself and allow Him to take over. You will stand amazed, I promise you that. The time has come.

Father, we want to make You proud as Your beloved sons. You have given us the keys to Heaven. We will use it in the best way we possibly can. We declare that we will renew our minds, to think like You. We have the mind of Christ, Your Word declares it and we take it. We take Your life and peace. Thank you dear Father. Amen

 

20. God's abundance of blessings

Last week we've seen that God's Spirit lives in His fullness within us. He gives us life and life in abundance. And our 'job' is not to stifle His workings. Our main aim in life is not to grieve the Holy Spirit, but to allow Him to move mightily within us by being spiritually minded. We should focus all our thoughts on Him and His Kingdom, we should read His Word and become who His Word says we are. We should grow into the fullness of Christ, then we have true Kingdom living. Then all the blessings of Heaven are ours. In the light of this the following text verses makes a lot more sense:

"Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways." Psalm 128:1

"Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; they will still be praising You. Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage." Psalm 84:4, 5

"Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." John 20:29

"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." Ephesians 1:3

If we dwell with God and believe in God, we are surely blessed. There is no other way to interpret these Scriptures. We are blessed indeed. The word 'blessed' in Ephesians 1:3 is the Greek word 'Eulogeo' which means 'to cause to prosper, to make happy, to bestow blessings on, favoured by God'. Isn't it wonderful to know that we are favoured by God? What a promise!

God wants the best for us, just like a loving earthly father wants the best for his children. I don't know why it is so difficult for Christians to accept this fact. I have met Christians who thinks that God is punishing them and angry with them. My friend, God is not angry with you. All His anger against sin came against His Son, so that it will never come against you. God wants you close to Him, He wants to nurture you and care for you. Don't be like a rebellious teenager resisting the advice and embrace of his father. Do not be like that. Rather run to Him and experience His love and everything that He wants to bless you with.

Ephesians 1:3 also says that He wants to bless us with 'spiritual' blessings. And I discovered an exciting thing when I looked up the meaning of this word. In Greek it is 'pneumatikos', which means 'emanating from the Divine Spirit'. In other words all of His blessings emanates from His Divine Spirit into our lives. This agrees with everything we have learned thus far. His Spirit lives within us in all His fullness. His Spirit gives us life and if we do not stifle Him or grieve Him, He will flow in all glory through us and all His blessings will manifest. The key therefore is not that God doesn't want to bless us; the key is if you allow His blessings to flow through or not. You will notice that Ephesians 1:3 is written in past tense. He has blessed you, it is a done deal. The question is whether you flow with His Spirit, whether you will allow Him to work mightily in your life.

You see a lot of Christians never really change when they are born again. They have everything at their fingertips and yet they choose to rather stay as they are. They continue on their sinful path, they don't read the Word, they don't make an effort to grow, they don't spend time with God and they don't renew their minds to think as God would prefer them to think. And then they cry out to God and ask Him to bless them. My friend, it doesn't work that way. God has blessed you; you now need to grow in the spirit and in the fullness of all that you are in Him. You need to imitate Christ and follow Him with your whole heart. Your spirit needs to be so intertwined with His that no one can tell where you stop and where He starts. You are one with Him and therefore everything He has, you have too. Do you believe that? That is the starting point. And the more you believe it, the more it will become true for you. The more you will grow and the more His abundance of blessings will manifest in your life. Come, He is waiting for you. Grow towards Him in love, fellowship with Him. Your life will never be the same.

Thank you Father for the opportunity to grow close to You. Thank you for all the wonderful blessings that You have bestowed upon us. We love You dearly and want to walk in Your blessings and love. Amen

19. God's Spirit gives us life

Last week we learned that we should not quench the workings of the Spirit. We should not hinder Him to move mightily in our lives. We should grow in our knowledge of God and allow Him to move mightily through us. He wants to. He is full of life, in fact He gives life as we see in 2 Corinthians 3:6. Without Him we are as good as dead, with no hope and no future. We need Him, more than we realise. He is full of life and miraculous power; let us have a look at a couple of Scriptures:

"He, Who supplies the Spirit to you, works miracles among you." Galatians 3:5

"It is the Spirit Who gives life; the flesh profits nothing." John 6:63

"But if the Spirit of Him Who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He Who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit Who dwells in you." Romans 8:11

The life-giving, miracle working Spirit lives within us. Isn't that just wonderful to know? And notice in Romans 8:11, His Spirit gives life to our mortal bodies, not our bodies one day, but the bodies that we have here and now. He gives life to us. His life flows in torrents in our veins and makes us truly alive! Then why do we feel so tired and run down? Why do we feel as if the opposite is true? The Bible tells us the reason for that as well:

"For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." Romans 8:6

Now to be 'carnally minded' is to be more persuaded by what this world tells you than what God's Spirit tells you. You believe what your five senses tell you instead of believing what His Spirit tells you. And the Bible clearly tells us that this results in death. Death here is the Greek Word 'Thanatos', which can be translated as 'death comprises all the miseries resulting from sin'. Notice, all the miseries resulting from sin. Therefore it is not only physical death, but also the misery of a broken marriage, the misery of stress, the misery of alcoholism, the misery of losing friends due to gossiping, the misery of rushing and achieving little, the misery of illness due to stress etcetera. If you are carnally minded you will feel run down, tired, lacking joy and fulfilment and be stressed out. And yes, a Christian can be carnally minded. Unfortunately most are...

But on the other hand, if you are spiritually minded, if you believe what the Word tells you, then you have life and peace. 'Life' in Greek means 'Zoe', 'a happy life active and vigorous, devoted to God, with every kind of blessing, the portion even in this world of those who put their trust in Christ, but after the resurrection to be consummated by new accessions (among them a more perfect body), and to last forever'. Isn't that good news? If we are spiritually minded we will have life here on earth, and not only life, a happy life with every kind of blessing. And we will have peace. That is good news; that is news worth sharing with unbelievers.

And therefore we are back again to what goes on in our thought life. It is vitally important that our thought life be focused on Him and on His Word and that we give His Spirit free reign within us to move as He pleases. True success is found in thinking like He thinks. And it is possible; the Word tells us that in several places, amongst others 1 Corinthians 2:16 that tell us that we have the mind of Christ.

Change your thoughts and allow His Spirit to give you life. You will be so glad that you did. Life, peace and joy will be your constant companions. Rejoice, the Kingdom of God has come and the King lives within you. He is your compass, your GPS. Follow Him and you will never get lost.

Thank you Father for the life that You came to give us. Help us to focus our minds rather on You than on the carnal. Being carnally minded brings only death to us and we know that is not what You want for us. We want to focus on You and You alone. You are our God and King. Amen