THE ALMIGHTY

Rev.15:2,3 – And I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, holding harps of God.

And they *sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations!

As in the gospel of John, the book of Revelation gives us a glimpse into the unthinkable mystery of the incarnation. Jesus is absolutely a man and at the same time He is totally God. John brings us into the scene in the throne room, a scene that is unspeakably holy. The martyrs are worshipping victoriously before the throne and are proclaiming that Jesus Christ is the Almighty God. All power and authority are displayed in this person, the Son of God. They see Him in His power as the Almighty and His sovereignty as ruler of the nations. Even in their death the Lord reigns and the martyrs are victorious. Here are some comments from Albert Barnes on today’s verse.

“…JEHOVAH—the uncreated and eternal One; that he is God—the creator, upholder, and sovereign of all things; and that he is Almighty—having all power in all worlds. All these names and attributes are suggested when we think of redemption; for all the perfections of a glorious God are suggested in the redemption of the soul from death. It is the Lord—the Ruler of all worlds; it is God—the Maker of the race, and the Father of the race, who performs the work of redemption; and it is a work which could be accomplished only by one who is Almighty.”

He has all power in all worlds and displays that power especially in His work of redemption. What kind of mess were you in or are you still in today? The power of God displayed through His Son is more than sufficient to heal any disease, break any bondage, heal any broken heart, and provide above and beyond what you can ask or think. More than that, He is able to satisfy the deep longings of our empty souls. Join with the martyrs around His throne and sing His praise, He is Almighty and the ruler of the nations.

SMACK YOUR LIPS

Eph.1:14 – Amp. – That [Spirit] is the guarantee of our inheritance [the firstfruits, the pledge and foretaste, the down payment on our heritage], in anticipation of its full redemption and our acquiring [complete] possession of it—to the praise of His glory.

Nothing like some good home cooking. Last week there was an impromptu Mary’s Song Banquet for ladies involved with Rodan and Fields. There was several thousand women from Rodan and Fields in New Orleans for a convention. Because of a friend of a friend being in leadership with that company, a request was made for a banquet with the Mary’s Song girls to “give back” in light of all the Lord has given us. It was an awesome night of testimonies and giving but that is not why I brought this all up. The meal was cooked by the Mary’s Song girls under the direction of Tyren George.The ladies at my table were raving over the “home cooking”. They also said it was the best meal they had eaten all week; pretty good with the amazing restaurants they all went to in the French Quarter. I guess you just can’t beat home cooked meals.

Now this brings me to the whole point of all of this, today’s verse says that the Holy Spirit is the foretaste of all the Lord has prepared for us. That first taste, or sampling of the food before a meal, tastes awfully good. It actually increases our anticipation for the coming feast. In Psalm 63 David was enjoying feasting on the Lord. He was enjoying the feast of God’s presence, enjoying what he was receiving, but smacking his lips in anticipation of more. Here is how it reads in the Message Bible.

Psa.63:3-5 The Message

In your generous love I am really living at last!

My lips brim praises like fountains. I bless you every time I take a breath;

My arms wave like banners of praise to you.

I eat my fill of prime rib and gravy;

I smack my lips. It’s time to shout praises!

The good meal at our banquet for our out of town guests last week was really only the foretaste. The real meal was when Parris, Ali Spitsbergen (the lady with Rodan and Fields), and the girls from Mary’s Song began to share what the Lord had done in their lives. The testimony of Jesus was our taste of the coming heavenly banquet. So I think I’m going to join David and smack my lips, if this first taste is this good it’s hard to imagine what the whole meal will be like.

THERE IS POWER IN THE NAME OF JESUS

Acts 3:16 – And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all.

The resurrection changed just about everything. Jesus was raised from the dead for us, that’s why Paul called it firstfruits, Jesus was the prototype. One day all of us will be raised from the dead. When Jesus was raised from the dead all authority was given to Him by the Father as a man. That’s what changed everything, a human was given all authority over demons, sickness, and death. Jesus turned around and gave that authority to us. That’s what it means when we were given authority to act and pray in His name. In today’s verse Peter is used to heal a lame man in the Name of Jesus. I guess what all of us need to determine is this, have we too been given authority to minister in His Name and what would that mean. Here is how Maclaren describes it.

“The name of Christ, then, is the representation or embodiment of that which Christ is declared to be for us men, and it is that Name, the totality of what He is manifested to be, in which lies all power for healing and for strengthening. The Name, that is, the whole Christ, in His nature, His offices, His work, His Incarnation, His Life, His Death, Resurrection, Sitting at the right hand of God—it is this Christ whose Name made that man strong, and will make us strong. Brethren, let us remember that, while fragments of the Name will have fragmentary power, as the curative virtue that resides in any substance belongs to the smallest grain of it, if detached from the mass….yet in order to realize all that He can be and do, a man must take the whole Christ as He is revealed.”

So Peter made it very clear that day, that lame man was healed by the authority given to him to act in the Name of Jesus. In other words we have been given the power of attorney to act in behalf of Jesus. If that is true, it is not our resources that are important but the resources invested in the Name of Jesus.

THE SPIRIT WHO HEALS

Lk.6:19 – And all the people were trying to touch Him, for power was coming from Him and healing them all.

The healing power of Jesus reminds me of one of the last Old Testament prophecies, Mal.4:2 – “But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings;”

The healing rays of His anointing are like the rays of the sun, they are everywhere and effect everyone. During His earthly ministry His anointing flowed out from Him and healed all who came to Him. Today His power hasn’t diminished, if anything it is increasing. This anointing shines out from Him like the beams of the sun touching and healing all who come in faith. Here is a powerful statement from a Catholic charismatic, Raniero Cantalamessa, on the healing power of His anointing.

“This power, which is the Holy Spirit, still now comes out of Jesus. Now that He is resurrected and is “declared to be the Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness”, that power comes forth from Him even more truly and more powerfully, if we can say that, than when He walked the earth. This power heals everybody. This is the decisive point we need to understand and to believe right now. We should say, as Jesus did in the synagogue at Nazareth, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled!”. The Holy Spirit does not have problems with numbers. A human doctor in front of a crowd of people with many and varied ailments would throw up his arms and say he was unable to heal everybody. But not the Holy Spirit. Just as the sun can bring light to one person or to a billion people, so too the Holy Spirit can do the same in the spiritual realm.”

Do you believe this is true? The healing power of the Holy Spirit is unlimited. He is everywhere and moving in the power of healing to all who come to Him in faith. He is literally being poured out on all mankind in these last days. Are you in need of a healing miracle? Step into His anointing. If you are having trouble receiving get into an atmosphere where His Spirit is welcomed and moving. Allow believers to pray for you. You too can experience the healing power of His anointing.

JESUS HEALS

Matt.8:3 – And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

 

The healing power of Jesus is just as real today as it was the day the leper reached out to the Lord. Leprosy had taken away this man’s money, his family, and his hope. If something didn’t happen soon it would take his life. Maybe he had heard about the miracles of Jesus. He concluded Jesus had the power to heal, the only nagging question; would he heal him? Any fear of rejection gave way to his desperation. Sometimes desperation comes really close to faith. He bowed down in worship before the Lord, “I know you can, I’m just not sure you will heal me”. That was it, Jesus reached out his hand and his skin was cleansed. The leprosy was gone. Maybe you have questions today, “He did it for others, would He do it for me?” Why don’t you ask Him for yourself, He may just give you an answer. Here is how Spurgeon describes this scene.

 

 

“Anyone else would have been defiled by touching a leper; but the healing power in Jesus repelled pollution. He touches us by the finger of his humanity, but he is not thereby defiled. His touch proves his condescension, his sympathy, his fellowship. It was no accidental touch: “Jesus put forth his hand. ” Our Lord has come to us by his own act and effort: he was determined to come to us in all our loathsomeness and pollution. After the touch came the word: “I will. ” One has well observed that Jesus never says, “I will not.” He wills, whether ether we will or not. “Be thou clean ” was the royal word of one conscious of abundant power.

What a work, to cleanse a leper! Yet it is easy enough to our King, seeing he is divine: else unbelief would be most reasonable.

With what pleasure Jesus spake! With what joy the leper heard! With what curiosity the bystanders looked on! They had not to wait: the miracle followed the word without a moment’s delay. The cure was instantaneous.”

 

 

It’s one thing to believe miracles happened somewhere else and in some other place. The shocking good news, He is here now and His miracle power hasn’t diminished. Today He just might be reaching out His hand to you.

MIRACLE WORKER

Matt.15:30,31 – And large crowds came to Him, bringing with them those who were lame, crippled, blind, mute, and many others, and they laid them down at His feet; and He healed them. So the crowd marveled as they saw the mute speaking, the crippled restored, and the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel.

It’s easy to read passages like this and dismiss it to irrelevant things that happened a long time ago in a place far, far away. It’s important to take a few moments and imagine the great scene Matthew was describing in this short passage. How many lame were healed in this one meeting? What was their response to being able to walk, some for the first time in their lives? How did the blind respond to the light and the colors that suddenly flooded their dark lives? They were surely looking at everything, from ladybugs to butterflies, it was all spectacular and glorious to them. And then there were the crippled. These could have been amputees and paraplegics. What was the response when there was a foot where there had never been a foot? What about twisted and deformed limbs that were suddenly strong and healthy? This was a shock for the patients, family and friends, as well as all of the observers. The healing power of God flowing through Jesus was stunning and demanded our worship. Here are Spurgeon’s thoughts on todays passage.

“What a list of patients ! What a gathering of miseries in one spot! The expectation of the people remains at flood-tide; they have the sick with them, and they cast them down at Jesus feet: leaving them with him in full confidence. The healing power continues to flow in full force: that one sentence is a grand summary of his marvelous cures: “He healed them”. This time is a greater degree of wonder among the crowd, attended by a gracious savor of praise to Israel’s God: “They glorified the God of Israel”. It was evident to them that Jehovah had remembered and visited his people, and was healing their sicknesses, and so for the moment they gave him glory. What must it have been to be an eyewitness of such a great scene of healing and of worship! What an education for the apostles! What stay for their faith in trying days after their Master was taken from them!”

So maybe you just kind of pass over the miracles in the Bible; if so, maybe its time to stop and ponder. Look again at the miracles of Jesus and hold fast to this promise. “Jesus Christ is the same; yesterday, today, and forever

HIDDEN POWER

Hab.3:4 – His radiance is like the sunlight; He has rays flashing from His hand, And there is the hiding of His power.

The power of God is all around us, it is just not apparent to most. It is hidden by the blindness that effects every person born in this fallen world that we live in. When grace begins to pull back the blinders from our eyes we begin to glimpse the radiance of His beams that engulf everything. In today’s verse Habakkuk describes the rays flashing from His hands. Could it be these hands hold the secret to the greatest display of His hidden power? I would have to say yes. It was these precious hands that bare the marks of the nails of crucifixion that pierced Him. It is in these very wounds that His greatest glory is hidden and is also placed on display. It is the wounds that purchased redemption for us, it is in this hidden place of power that our eyes are opened and we stand in the blazing light of His glorious day. Here is how Albert Barnes describes this verse.

“Augustine: ‘The horns in His hands, what are they but the trophy of the cross?’

‘I, if I be lifted up from the earth’, will draw all men unto Me. His Might was lodged there, although hidden. It was ‘the hiding-place of His power.’ The cross was, ‘to the Jews a stumbling-block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ crucified was the Power of God and the Wisdom of God….’ From Him shall go forth all power in earth; by His hands shall be given the vacant thrones in Heaven, as He says in, ‘To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My Throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with My Father in His Throne.’ There too was the hiding of His Power, in that there, in His Cross, is our shelter, and in His pierced Side our hiding place, where we may take refuge from Satan and our sins; for therein is power.”

Redemption carries the great irony of the gospel, in it who He is is hidden, also in redemption who He is is revealed. When the amazing grace of God falls on us we suddenly become aware of the blazing glory all around us. As we press in to our God, we become amazed at His glory shining like the sun at noon day. No wonder this light blinded Paul, the hidden radiance is the brightest of all lights.

HIS UNDERSTANDING IS INFINITE – INNUMERABLE

Psa.147:5 – Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite.

This is one of those verses that can slip by you if you are not paying close attention. A second look and you can fall into the bottomless ocean of the attributes of our God. This verse addresses the greatness, the power, and the wisdom of our matchless God. Any one of these topics can take you on an endless adventure that will mesmerize you all of your days. Who can compare to the greatness of our God? Steven, in his famous sermon, said that the heavens could not contain our great God, the universe itself is too small for our Lord. As for power, if creation is any reflection of the nature of the Creator, take a look at the power released when we split the atoms in uranium, nuclear power is the result. Nuclear power has the ability to power or destroy our entire planet, the Creator of atoms is surging with infinite power. And of course the Lord’s understanding is infinite. He knows all the thoughts and questions of every living being. He is the creator of all things and the mysteries of His creation are kept hidden with Him. Here is how Thomas Larkham explained this verse in 1656.

“His understanding is infinite. Hebrew: “Of his understanding there is no number.” God is incomprehensible. In place; in time; in understanding; in love. First, in place; because no place, no space, can be imagined so great, but God exceeds it, and may be found beyond it. Secondly, in time; because he exceeds all time: for be was before all time that can be conceived, and shall be after all lime. Time is a created thing, to attend upon the creation and continuance of all things created and continued by God. Thirdly, in understanding; because no created understanding can comprehend him so that nothing of God may be hid from it. Fourthly, in love because God doth exceed all love: no creature can love God according to his worth. All these ways of incomprehensibleness follow upon his infiniteness.”—

So our God is passed finding out with only our natural intellect. He is the Creator of time and space and sits outside both as an observer as He rules all things by His mighty word. He is the originator of love, He displayed it at the cross and showers us with it by His Spirit. Until we come to Christ we are groping through the darkness of this life reaching for love and wisdom in all the wrong places. When His love breaks into our world, we see Him and everything else from a different perspective.

“Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite.”

THE UNPOPULAR WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

John 16:8-11 – And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

Look at what Jesus said the Holy Spirit would do when He comes. These verses are some of the most important in the Bible. The Holy Spirit would come to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgement.

First we will look at this unpopular word called sin. The Holy Spirit is the One who comes to us and reveals to us our own sinfulness. Only He can reveal to us that we are sinners in need of a Savior. For me it was as if someone had removed the covers off of my life, suddenly I realized how messed up I was. I was a sinner and I needed to change.

Next, let’s think about what Jesus meant by saying the Holy Spirit would convict us of righteousness. First of all, the Holy Spirit presents Jesus to us as the only righteous man that has ever lived. His life was perfect and seeing our sinfulness in light of His holiness can be quite devastating.The Holy Spirit brings us to the end of ourselves preparing to change our lives.

Finally He shows us about judgement. As Paul said, the wages of sin is death. All of us deserve judgement, all of us have violated the justice of God. We see our lives deserving God’s righteous judgement against sin. Now here comes the best part, Christ bore the wrath of God for us on the cross. He took all of our judgement on Himself at Calvary. God’s justice was satisfied, man’s sin was judged in Christ.

The Holy Spirit helps us to sort all of this out; first, I am a sinner in need of a Savior. Secondly, Christ was and is completely holy and righteous. Third, all sin requires judgement by a holy and just God. Finally, we begin to see the light breaking in on us, the righteous One took my sin, He actually became sin on my behalf at the cross. All of those who see this and believe it become justified, declared righteous by faith. We actually take on the very righteousness of Christ as a gift received by grace through faith. Until the Spirit opens our eyes the gospel seems like foolishness for weak minds. Once the Holy Spirit opens our eyes we truly see, the gospel is the wisdom of God and the power of God.

STRUGGLING WITH THE GOD

Col.1:29 – For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.

Paul was all about the anointing. He knew better than anyone the calling on his life could not begin to be accomplished by human effort alone. Paul knew that in order to really touch the world it could only be done by the power of the Holy Spirit. His words were totally saturated with the power of God. How did that happen? Why were Paul’s words different than others? It comes down to the word ‘striving’ in today’s verse. Now this is not talking about striving in the flesh or trying really hard to accomplish something. This is something other than that, something totally different. Paul was describing his agonizing with the Holy Spirit. The picture being painted is like Jacob wrestling with the Angel of the Lord. Paul was engaged in the agony of struggling with God the Holy Ghost. Here is a description of Paul’s struggle from the Life in the Spirit Commentary.

“Paul’s commitment to ministry entailed labor, struggle, and suffering….The noun dynamis is a: “I labor,” says Paul, “struggling according to his energy [or ‘power’] that is at work in me in power [or ‘powerfully’]. Undoubtedly it was this “energy” of Christ powerfully at work in him that gave Paul the strength to carry on in the face of many hardships. In giving testimony to his dependence on this divine enabling, he was merely putting into practice what he had earlier prayed for on behalf of the Colossians. In 1:11 he prayed that they would be “strengthened with all power according to his glorious might” in order to display “great endurance and patience.” It was a dynamis that Paul many times had had to depend on (he refers to it again in Eph. 3:7). And as it was available to him, so it was available to the Colossians and to all other believers and Christian workers who would follow.”

To the natural man this struggle doesn’t make sense. Only the renewed mind can grasp this struggle. Paul knew he needed divine power to accomplish anything. He had discovered the secret to the Christian life, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens (empowers) me”. So no matter what you are facing, look to the struggle for divine power. The striving with God will produce supernatural power in your life.