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Have you grocery shopped lately? I’m sure each of us has shopped at one time or another. We know that a good grocery store usually stocks everything needed to provide our family with the foods we eat. NOW, once inside, it really comes down to what you are looking for and the aisle that has your items. Some go up each aisle and load their cart; others may take only certain items from the shelves. But this is the typical way to grocery shop, in order to provide the meals a family likes and needs to nourish their bodies. However, I have another question for you…
Have you shopped lately for spiritual food? Maybe it would vary just a little, but didn’t Jesus come to set the world free? He provided everything for us; His store is full and no payment is needed at checkout! For a moment consider ALL that Jesus did for us. . . once you are in the store everything is free. You can have as much as you like. In Eph. 1:3 it says, “…every spiritual blessing has already been given to us in Christ;” in 1 Tim 6:9 Paul says, “He has given us all things richly to enjoy…;” and in 2 Pet. 1:3 it says “…we have been given all things that pertain to life and godliness…” Go with me to Psalm 103, where it mentions our BENEFITS in the new covenant. ALL sin is forgiven; ALL sickness is healed; Goodness and kindness is ours; ALL destruction is removed and our mouth is satisfied with good things, while our strength is renewed like the eagles. WOW!!! Sounds like the shelves are fully stocked and running o-o-over!
Like Paul, I beg you to SEE that we are living in the “dispensation of grace” and it is no time to run short of your supply. Doesn’t this sound too good to be true? Yet, it dumfounds me how many people in God’s store walk around with nothing in their carts. Rather, it saddens me when someone with a full cart is applauded because “we consider it a miracle;” for God’s desire is for everyone to have a full cart. Why are so many NOT filling their carts? The supply never runs out! Have you ever tried to replace a can of SpaghettiOs in a row with that automatic restocking device? Then you know it takes more effort to put it back than to keep it. Now see this as a spiritual example; the person who believes a healing or miracle is theirs, but they don’t take it because they feel undeserving, or they haven’t done enough for it, or it’s “special” and they don’t qualify! These are those with empty carts who applaud those with full carts, but then leave the store empty-handed. Has religion and wrong teaching robbed us of the truth about His storehouse FULL of benefits?
I encourage you to see every miracle and provision of the Lord as the most normal, natural and to-be-expected experience that can be enjoyed every day of your life. God’s supply-house is fully equipped with automatic restocking… An exceedingly abundant supply… Open 24/7… No limits!
Join us this week: Tuesday, July 10 – Thursday, July 12 at the Bridge in Bixby from 11:30-1:00.
We will not be meeting the following week but we will meet back up the week after (Tues-Thurs July 24 – 26).
If the cart’s before the horse—certainly not much is going to happen. Do you agree? I find far too many believers who have NO boldness in the face of today’s hard times or personal trials. If we are trying to GET enough faith to win our fights then in most cases we have become preoccupied with SELF. When self takes center stage—cart before the horse—you can’t help but be unsure of the outcome. To the believer, trying to get faith is the same as trying to get more spots on the leopard; our faith SIMPLY depicts how we relate to God.
Here’s what I think… Let’s take a look at the first of two perspectives. Jesus under the old covenant encouraged men and woman to have faith for something that they didn’t yet possess. For instance, the woman with the issue of blood who touched the hem of Jesus’ garment was rewarded when the Lord said, “Daughter your faith has made you well.” She used her faith to get something Jesus had.
NOW see how the apostle Paul moved unbelievers into a decision of faith to receive Jesus as Lord; but you don’t see him trying to get the believer to believe. As you know the early church was under great attack. Paul himself and sometimes through the help of others would encourage and establish the believer in the faith. This simply means that he encouraged them concerning the whole scope of Christianity to remain steadfast and not give up. He wasn’t trying to get them to keep believing for a healing or something else that comes to us through our salvation. If you remember, Paul and Peter both seemed to echo the thought that we have been given ALL spiritual blessings necessary for life and godliness. From the fullness of the Lord Jesus Christ we have received—we are abundantly supplied with all the blessings necessary to influence our lives with plenty of amazing outward experiences. (Paul would have told us if we needed to wait for something more.) This is, however, the reason why Jesus came to the earth: to solve the sin problem that hinders man from experiencing God and His goodness.
God wants us to just put on the new man—don’t worry about taking OFF the old man. Just identify with Christ and everything about Jesus will not only lead you into relationship with the Father but it will also empower your life with His grace to experience your salvation NOW. Let’s get simple enough to take NO thought for tomorrow… Have no worries… And LET NOT your heart be troubled. There is a REST for the believer. Just put the Lord FIRST and all things that are needed will be added to you. This means your qualification is forever met in Christ alone. Nothing else is needed!
Let’s not put “the cart before the horse” and get ahead of what God the Father has ALREADY given to us.
A new year is just beginning, and I want you to know that God has exciting plans for your life! Do you know that you can experience heaven on earth every day of your life? How can that be, you may ask? Well, read on . . .
(John 1:16 NKJV) . . . “And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.” The Amp… says, “For out of His fullness (abundance) we have all received [all had a share and we were all supplied with] one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift [heaped] upon gift.” Jesus lived on the earth strengthened by grace and truth. Because of this he was empowered to experience everything that His spirit was supposed to. He used grace all day long. If it was a coat, then Jesus wore it all day every day. In fact His closest followers would all testify that Jesus was never seen without His coat on. Peter wrote that Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit and power and went around doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil.
This is Grace!
Paul told us in Ephesians that the way a man gets saved is by GRACE. He said, that by grace we are saved through faith and then made it very clear for all to understand that it had nothing to do with us. All we did was to acknowledge that we needed salvation and then accept the work of redemption that Jesus provided on the cross of Calvary. When that simple choice was made, grace went into overdrive and made everything about us brand new. This, as you know is just the beginning. In the same way that we are saved, we are to experience every facet of our salvation. To this day, God believes that His salvation is the easiest experience one could have.
Our experience you could say is like wearing the coat we described earlier. Once you put it on, don’t ever take it off. Or we could make grace likened to a pair of new jeans. It’s sad, but so-o-o many never USE their grace. They tell everyone that they have a new pair of jeans and even thank God for their new jeans. BUT they don’t wear them!! If you were to witness this you would be screaming, “Put them on!” Our scripture says that we have grace heaped upon grace… way, way more than enough. God’s calculations were never for only a day or a week, they were calculated by an UNLIMITED spiritual equation.
The grace of God (through faith) forgave you of all sin. But this is just the start! Now PUT ON your jeans or your coat and begin to experience God’s unlimited grace in every area of your life. Enjoy God’s presence every day of 2012, listen to His voice and receive His direction, walk in divine health, pray for others and the list goes on and on! From spiritual things to having all your needs met, the grace of God is yours TODAY. Keep wearing your jeans, don’t ever take them off.
The 27th chapter of the Psalms is surrounded with the possibility of violence and destruction from danger all around. Many of us will enter into this new year with anything but peaceful surroundings. The probability of doom and gloom pervade our news media and quickly become the main topic of discussion by many. AND even though we are not “OF” this world we are still “IN” it. The 23rd Psalm, which is a favorite to so many, tells us with all of God’s amazing goodness we will still walk through the valley of the shadow of death.
NOW, I would love for each of you—no matter what the conditions are—to follow the one thing that David sought with all his heart; that is to experience God. Right in the heart of all the trouble that was impossible to handle, David learned the secret to being a champion… Develop and maintain your focus on God. With all the wisdom of the world, the three greatest stress relievers of our day or any other self-help therapy, no one or thing can calm your soul like Jesus. He has peace flowing from the throne of God that will flood your soul and guide you into every victory that your covenant declares!
I am moved today to focus on the word, “soak”. Soak means: to make or allow something to become thoroughly wet by immersing it in liquid. David certainly was known for his time spent in the presence of the Lord. AND in the 5th chapter of 2 Corinthians, Paul emphasized that he groaned within to become thoroughly immersed in the sea of immortality. We were made to be inwardly at peace and outwardly saturated with heaven. Life wasn’t meant to be walked through alone. So wherever you are in life, find a few moments to look within and see the wonders of Him. Even if you should fall asleep, practice being quiet and focused on Jesus. There is a presence and an anointing that will surprise you as you do this. God wants to walk through the toughest of times with you as if you never noticed how tough they were. There is direction, confidence and security in the presence of the Lord. Let’s get soaked in the Glory of God this year… AND by the time 2013 rolls around YOU will have had the best year of your lives.