I WILL NEVER FORSAKE YOU

Heb.13:5 – for He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,”

Sometimes the simplest promises are the most powerful. The Lord has promised He will always be with us. One of the last things Jesus said before His ascension was ‘I will be with you even until the end of the age”. That is a pretty powerful promise. No matter what you face or what trouble comes your way, He will be with you. In the midst of financial catastrophe, He is there. Maybe you are facing sickness or even the threat of death, He is there. When you are facing failure even in your endeavors for the Lord, He is always there. He is constant, faithful, and powerful ever present and engaged on our behalf in all things. Here are some thoughts from Dick Mills on today’s verse.

“While we who look for His appearing are going through our preparation time in anticipation of His return, we can be comforted in knowing that He has promised to be with us at all times. He has assured us that wherever two or three are gathered together in His name, there He is in their midst. Besides His presence with us in a corporate body, He has sent the Holy Spirit to indwell our individual bodies. The Holy Ghost always magnifies Jesus. Thus the spirit of prophesy… becomes the very testimony of Jesus Himself. So in the person of the Holy Spirit, Jesus resides continually in our tabernacles of stone (our churches) as well as in our tabernacles of clay (our bodies). Even though Jesus is in heaven with His Father, He has emphatically pronounced His abiding presence with us. One Greek scholar has translated Heb.13:5 with five negatives: “I will never, never, never, never, [under no circumstances, be they ever so difficult] desert you.” I believe this is a powerful assurance for all of us.”

I often think of this verse at altar calls when I look at the lives of those who have just responded and have accepted Christ into their lives. Many at the altar are coming out of horrific circumstances often times brought on by their own poor choices. Time and again I have been stunned by the gravity and majesty of that promise in that atmosphere. He has promised all of us despite what our past looks like that He will be with us in whatever circumstances we find ourselves. What an amazing God!!!

FROM A PROMISE TO A PROPHESY

What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them —Mark 11:24

 

 

This is one of those “too good to be true” scriptures. Jesus is describing the powerful combination of prayer and faith. According to Jesus, when you are praying and begin expecting the thing you are praying for to come to pass, the answer is certain. If that is true, the promises of God suddenly become prophetic through the supernatural nature of faith. It seems as if prayer puts us in a position for our faith to be energized or actually infused inside of us during prayer. That is why I say faith is supernatural. It is not the virtue or will power of man that believes God’s promises, it is the influence of God’s word and Holy Spirit upon us that produces faith. Here is how A.B. Simpson describes the prophetic nature of faith.

“Faith is not working up by willpower a sort of certainty that something is coming to pass. Rather, it is seeing as an actual fact that God has said this thing shall come to pass-and that it is true-and then rejoicing to know that it is true. It is simply resting and entering into it because God has said it. Faith turns the promise into a prophecy. While it is merely a promise it is contingent upon our cooperation. It may or may not be. But when faith claims it, it becomes a prophecy and we go forth feeling that it is something that must be done because God cannot lie. Faith is the answer from the throne saying, “It is done.” Faith is the echo of God’s voice. Let us catch it from on high. Let us repeat it and go out to triumph in its glorious power.”

Faith comes from making contact with the Lord. Actually one of the nine gifts of the Spirit is the gift of faith. Looking at the gift of faith can help us to understand the way faith works in our lives. What are you believing the Lord for today? Find scripture that promises the thing you are asking for and offer that scripture to the Lord in prayer. As you meditate on His word and press in to His presence, your faith will begin to flame up inside of you. When that happens, rejoice. Your answer is certainly on the way.

EXPECTING

My expectation is from him —Psalm 62:5

 

Are you expecting? I mean are you expecting something from the Lord? For the expectant mother, she is beyond hoping she is going to have a baby, she is pregnant and a baby is coming for sure. The only question for her is the timing, when will that baby be born? We can learn a great lesson from the expectant mom, we too are not hoping for a fulfillment of our promise, there is a certainty that it is on the way. What is the difference of believing for something and being expectant? The difference is enormous. Many of us are praying or hoping for certain things to come to pass in our lives but that is not expectancy. Expectancy happens when the answer is actually conceived in us by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. When that happens, the promise is certain, timing is the only question. Here is how A.B. Simpson describes this verse.

“When we believe for a blessing, we must take the attitude of faith and begin to act and pray as if we already had it. We must treat God as if He had given us our request. We must lean our weight upon Him for the thing that we have claimed and just take it for granted that He gives it and is going to continue to give it. This is the attitude of trust.

When a young woman is married, she at once falls into a new attitude and acts in accordance with the fact. So it is when we take Christ as our Savior, our Sanctifier, our Healer and our coming Lord. He expects us to fall into the attitude of recognizing Him in the very capacity that we have claimed. Therefore, expect Him to be to you all that you have trusted Him for.”

When you were first born again you were introduced to this world of faith. Suddenly you realized you were saved by the blood of Jesus. You don’t hope you are a Christian, faith assures you that you are His child. All of God’s promises are like that, suddenly the light turns on and we move from hoping to knowing. Are you expecting? What kind of promise has been germinated in you? Stay in His word and abide in His presence, His promises are certain and your answer is on the way.

CHRISTS FINAL PROMISE

John 14:2,3 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

You can usually tell what is important to people when death draws near. I’ll never forget the day of my dad’s death. It was Thanksgiving Day 1987. My dad wasn’t interested in his bank account or any of his possessions that day, he wanted to be with his children. We all gathered around his bed as he said his last goodbyes and took his last breath.

Today’s verse is just that for Jesus, He is gathering with His friends for His last words before He died. In chapters 14-16 in John’s gospel we see an intimate glimpse into those last moments with His friends. In this passage He talked about what really mattered. He revealed why He really came, to open up a way for us to live a new kind of life. This flows out of a new intimacy with God characterized by a profound relationship with the Holy Spirit. Here are some words from Jonathan Edwards about this passage.
“The promises of the new covenant were never so particularly expressed and so solemnly given forth by Christ, in all the time that he was upon earth, as in this discourse. Christ promises them mansions in his Father’s house. Here he promises them whatever blessings they should need and ask in his name. Here he does, more solemnly and fully than anywhere else, give forth and confirm the promise of the Holy Spirit, which is the sum of the blessings of the covenant of grace. Here he promises them his own and his Father’s gracious presence and favor. Here he promises them peace. Here he promises them his joy. Here he promises grace to bring forth holy fruit, and victory over the world. And indeed, there seems to be nowhere else so full and complete an edition of the covenant of grace in the whole Bible, as in this dying discourse of Christ with his eleven true disciples.”
Here we see that Jesus died for more than just a life that lasts forever, we already had that being created in the image of God. He came and He died to give us a different quality of life. This life is the very life that Jesus enjoyed with His Father. He purchased that for us. This new kind of life begins when we are filled with the Holy Spirit. This Spirit filled life is life indeed.

SUCCESS IN 2018

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Josh.1:8 – This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Everyone wants to have a prosperous or successful New Year. Today’s verse may contain the keys that will release the favor and blessing of the Lord in your life and relationships in 2018. If you pay close attention to what the Lord commanded and promised Joshua you will come to the conclusion that success was based on partnership. Joshua couldn’t sit back and do nothing, he had to engage. At the same time without total dependency on God he would be helpless in taking the land of promise. The nuggets of God’s prosperity are in this passage and are pointed out in these notes from the Fire Bible.

“Those who know and obey God’s Word will be prosperous and successful because they will possess the wisdom to do what is right and to achieve God’s goal for their lives. The requirements for this kind of success are: (1) to be strong and courageous; (2) to make God’s Word your guiding authority for all beliefs and actions; (3) to study and meditate daily on God’s Word; and (4) to recognize and respond to God’s presence in every area of your life. This message to Joshua gives us a set of general principles for successful living.”

Dick Mills often gave this verse of promise connected to the New Year. He points out that all of God’s commands have fulfillment inside of them. The Lord equips us as we follow His direction. Here is how Brother Mills said it.

“The Lord issued this statement as a command to Joshua. Often we think of God’s commands as being strictly prohibitive. Here the command is quite affirmative. The thing to remember is that each command given us by the Lord carries with it the enablement of its own fulfillment. That is, each command comes with an assurance that you and I are able to perform it”.

So each of us have a whole new year in front of us. Follow the Lord closely and yield to His directions. Like Augustine used to say, “Command what you will Lord, just give what you command”. God’s anointing and equipping are always connected to His directives. May you have a blessed and prosperous New Year.

BEFORE TIME

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Titus 1:1,2 – Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began…

Before time began, or as Paul said, before the ages began, the Lord God made a promise. That one statement awakens a number of questions. What does before time began even mean? We all look at time as part of everything; we can’t even separate time from our existence. That existence thing holds the key. Our existence was created in the same way time itself was created. Because we exist inside of creation it is impossible for us to grasp anything outside of that realm. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth; He also created time.

Before time there was only God. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. They have always been and have always been complete and satisfied in themselves. The second question today’s scripture opens up is who was the promise made to if there was no creatures to receive the promise? Of course the answer is this, the Father made a promise to the Son. This was God’s love revealed in His promise of redemption before man or anything else was created. Jesus agreed to become a man, knowing man would fall even before we were created. He would be the lamb slain before the foundation of the world; we would receive the intimacy enjoyed by the Trinity and God would be glorified. Here is a quote from Jonathan Edwards on today’s verse.

“The saints may be assured that God’s love to them will be everlasting, because it hath already been from eternity. That love that is but of late beginning, may soon come to an end; but that which has been from eternity, will and must be to eternity. The love of men one towards another oftentimes grows up suddenly; and when men are soon hot, they are commonly soon cold. But the love of God to his saints is no sudden, upstart thing; but it has been in the heart unchanged from all eternity. This shows the constancy and immutability of it, and may put it out of doubt with those that are the objects of it, that it never will fail. This the Apostle uses as an argument of the faithfulness of God’s promises. Titus 1:2, “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.”

So the Lord has loved us from eternity even knowing the mess we would make. He loved us then, He loves us now. Today we can be filled with the Promise of the Father; God’s love shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

HELPING HAND

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He shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you.

John 16:15

Do you remember trying to read the Bible before you were born again? I actually tried to do that. I started with Genesis 1, just like I would have done with any book. How far did I get? Not very far. Without the Interpreter of scripture, the Holy Spirit, no one can get very far. For me, the Bible was a book of good stories with life lessons. It also seemed to have a healthy dose of rules. The lessons and the rules lost me quickly, I needed help just to read and comprehend the Bible. The help came when I accepted Christ. Seeing the Bible differently was one of the sure proofs to me of my salvation. I wanted to read the Bible and I actually grasped it. It became my food for nourishment, water for refreshing, the cleansing agent to clean my mind, my moral compass, and the source of guidance and instruction in my life. But more than any of those things, I clearly saw Jesus in the Bible. I began to see Him in the types and shadows of Old Testament stories, His grace and truth in the gospels, the message of salvation by grace through faith in His work in the epistles, and His majestic heavenly glory in the book of Revelations. This book is like no other. It contains layer after layer of the unveiling of the Glory of God. Here are some thoughts from Spurgeon on the helping hand in reading the Bible.

“There are times when all the promises and doctrines of the Bible are of no avail, unless a gracious hand shall apply them to us. We are thirsty, but too faint to crawl to the water-brook. When a soldier is wounded in battle it is of little use for him to know that there are those at the hospital who can bind up his wounds, and medicines there to ease all the pains which he now suffers: what he needs is to be carried thither, and to have the remedies applied. It is thus with our souls, and to meet this need there is one, even the Spirit of truth, who takes of the things of Jesus, and applies them to us.“

This Interpreter of scripture has walked with me now for many years. I am amazed as I read the same passages that I have read many times how He opens them again for me like its the first time. Actually, every time we open the scripture it is the first time, it is the first time we have seen each verse from this new heavenly perspective.

Power of His Name

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By what power, or in what name, have ye done this?
Acts 4:7
Jesus said something just after His resurrection that used to confuse me. He said that all authority in heaven and earth had been given to Him. He was apparently saying He had authority after the resurrection that He did not have before. What bothered me was that I knew that Jesus has had authority over all things as the Son of God from eternity. What could He possibly mean? I finally understood it when it dawned on me what had changed. The Son of God had become the Son of Man. He gained authority over all things as a man by His death and resurrection. He had conquered sin, hell, death, and the grave. But here is the best part, He did that as a representative for me (and all mankind) giving us authority to act in His Name. We can now pray and act in the Name that has authority over all things. Here is how Watchman Nee explains it.

“Our eyes must be opened to see the mighty change wrought by the ascension. The name of Jesus certainly establishes the identity of the One in the throne with the Carpenter of Nazareth, but it goes further than that. It represents the power and dominion before which every knee in heaven and earth and beneath the earth must bow. Even the Jewish leaders recognized that there could be this kind of significance in a mere name, when they asked this question of the disciples concerning the lame man’s healing. Today the name tells us that God has committed all authority to His Son, so that in the very name itself there is power. But further, not only is it His, but it is “given among men.” He has placed that authority in our hands for us to use. In three passages in His last discourse, the Lord Jesus repeats the words “ask in my name.” What confidence He must place in us to say “Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do”!”
This is one of those too good to be true promises from the Lord. I can preach in His Name, heal the sick in His Name, cast out devils in His Name, and pray and receive whatever I ask in His Name. Do you belong to Jesus? Have your sins been washed away in His precious blood? If so, you too can pray and live in the power of the Name of Jesus.

Splendor of God’s glory bright

MERRY THURSDAY BY PARRIS-

Father, it’s time. Display the bright splendor of your Son

So the Son in turn may show your bright splendor.

You put him in charge of everything human

So he might give real and eternal life to all in his charge.

John 17:1 Message

Jesus prayed in the gospel of John the night before his cruxifixction that the Father would be glorified. His earthly ministry was finished and the most important thing to him was to shine at the hour of his death. He recognized that his time had come and he knew the purpose of why he had come.

Have you ever retraced the path of your life? Have you seen the hand of God upon you and realized your purpose? The splendor of God’s glory will reveal more and more his plan of redemption. Sometimes our lives seems so small and insignificant that we feel so worthless. Christ has a design plan for us all.

Ambrose prayed this prayer;
“O Splendor of God’s glory bright,

from Light eternal bringing light,

O Light of light, light’s living Spring,

true Day, all days illumining.

Come, very Sun of heaven’s love,

in lasting radiance from above,

and pour the Holy Spirit’s ray

on all we think or do today.

And now to Thee or pray’r ascend,

O Father, glorious without end;

we plead with sovereign grace for pow’r

to conquer in temptation’s hour.

Confirm or will to do the right,

and keep our hearts from envy’s blight;

let faith her eager fires renew,

and hate the false, and love the true”
Christ will keep us along the way. His promise is to us and to all that call upon His name. The act of divine love was that Christ desired us to be with him throughout all eternity. He paved the way and now we follow his lead and become a light bearer. This is life eternal and the way of truth.

Ambrose closing prayer was;

“Dawn’s glory gilds the earth and skies,

let Him, our perfect Morn, arise,

the Word in God the Father one,

the Father imaged in the Son.”

CHRIST’S FINAL PROMISE

John 14:2,3 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

You can usually tell what is important to people when death draws near. I’ll never forget the day of my dad’s death. It was Thanksgiving Day 1987. My dad wasn’t interested in his bank account or any of his possessions that day, he wanted to be with his children. We all gathered around his bed as he said his last goodbyes and took his last breath.

Today’s verse is just that for Jesus, He is gathering with His friends for His last words before He died. In chapters 14-16 in John’s gospel we see an intimate glimpse into those last moments with His friends. In this passage He talked about what really mattered. He revealed why He really came, to open up a way for us to live a new kind of life. This flows out of a new intimacy with God characterized by a profound relationship with the Holy Spirit. Here are some words from Jonathan Edwards about this passage.
“The promises of the new covenant were never so particularly expressed and so solemnly given forth by Christ, in all the time that he was upon earth, as in this discourse. Christ promises them mansions in his Father’s house. Here he promises them whatever blessings they should need and ask in his name. Here he does, more solemnly and fully than anywhere else, give forth and confirm the promise of the Holy Spirit, which is the sum of the blessings of the covenant of grace. Here he promises them his own and his Father’s gracious presence and favor. Here he promises them peace. Here he promises them his joy. Here he promises grace to bring forth holy fruit, and victory over the world. And indeed, there seems to be nowhere else so full and complete an edition of the covenant of grace in the whole Bible, as in this dying discourse of Christ with his eleven true disciples.”
Here we see that Jesus died for more than just a life that lasts forever, we already had that being created in the image of God. He came and He died to give us a different quality of life. This life is the very life that Jesus enjoyed with His Father. He purchased that for us. This new kind of life begins when we are filled with the Holy Spirit. This Spirit filled life is life indeed.