PUTTING ON CHRIST
For several days I have talked about putting on Christ. There is another practical way to put on Christ. Paul says in 1 Cor. 12:13, “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, Jews or Greeks, slaves or free, and all were make to drink of one Spirit.”
Paul taught us to drink the Holy Spirit. This was also a common theme in the teaching of Jesus. “If anyone is thirsty let him come to me and drink,” Jesus said.
What does it mean to drink the Holy Spirit? Drinking is a means of receiving something. The Holy Spirit is tangible, portrayed as the liquid love of God. As we open our hearts in humility, we can receive His presence. His presence satisfies our thirsty souls and equips us for the journey that we are on.
I will never forget those meetings in Dallas with Rodney Howard Browne in 1994. In one of the meetings he was crying out “Drink”. I had no idea what he was saying. After several days in those meetings, I finally got it. Drinking was receiving. The Lord was teaching me to open my heart and drink in His Spirit. This was life changing for me. From that day forward, I have determined to drink of His Presence every day.
I know the struggles of daily life, the challenges of family life, the financial challenges we all face daily, the health problems that we are all confronted with. Not to forget the challenges of ministry, of temptation, of human interaction. The challenges are overwhelming without the help of God. I must drink of His presence.
Personally, I have learned to drink several ways. Praying extended amounts of time in my prayer language, keeping the atmosphere filled with God while listening to worship music, drawing near to God in corporate worship settings, and reading the historic books from seasons of awakening. I have to drink in His presence everyday. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ today, drinking in His precious presence.
Today, let your spiritual appetite increase. Draw near to God. Call upon His name and thank Him for His blood. Feast on the word of God, food for your soul. Drink in the Holy Spirit – put on the Lord Jesus Christ.
PUTTING ON CHRIST- HIS WORD
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
One of the titles the Bible uses for Christ is ” THE WORD OF GOD”. Jesus is the manifestation of the Word of the Heavenly Father. Everything about the Father can be seen in the person of Christ, we come to know Him through His written Word. As we spend time searching His Word we begin to take on His nature. We actually soak ourselves in Him as we search the scriptures. Our mind is affected, our attitude is effected, our heart is encouraged, frankly we are drastically changed by the Word of God. This is one of the ways we ” put on the Lord Jesus Christ”. Maybe you are experiencing some horrible circumstances in your life. You may be sick, alone, wounded, forsaken, or experiencing some traumatic difficulty. It really does not matter. God is present in His Word and able to meet you and sustain you, and bring you out of your troubles. God’s word is actually alive.
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Last summer, I enjoyed watching several legs of the Tour de France on television. I was amazed at the endurance of these athletes. This bike race lasts for 20 days with most days going from 120-140 miles. What a race! One of the facts that amazed me was the caloric intake of the cyclists. They average between 6000-8000 calories a day. What a diet! This amount of fuel is necessary just to maintain their bodies. They needed strength for the journey.
We see this in the bible when the Word of the Lord came to John the Baptist in the wilderness, when Jesus said “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God”, in Ephesus when God’s Word began to “prevail”. God’s Word is life itself and transforms everything it touches. Today you can put on Christ as you spend time with Him in His Word. This can be your favorite time of the day. I will never forget how I learned the importance of daily times in the Word. The first day Parris and I arrived at Bible School, we stayed as guests in one of the student couples home. That next morning, that couple joined together with us to read our Bibles and to pray. That devotional time changed my life. I saw the value of a daily time in God’s Word. That has been one of my favorite times all of these years, meeting with the Lord in daily devotional time. Why? Because we are meeting with God Himself, after all, He is called THE WORD OF GOD.
PUTTING ON CHRIST
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts
You may wonder, “How do you put on the Lord Jesus Christ? How does this work in my everyday life?” Let me share with you over the next few days, several ways I have learned to put on Christ in my daily life.
First, I can be clothed with Christ by faith in the precious blood of my Savior. All of us are born in a state of alienation from God. Our sinfulness blocks us from the intimacy our hearts long for and from the blessings that are found in a relationship with God. The bible talks about heaven as an incredible wedding reception celebration. Only those who have been clothed with Christ, having put on His wedding garments, can come to this celebration, Rev. 7:14.
When I was a young Christian, I never felt good enough to come to the Lord. I was looking at my faults, and I was condemned by those unclean thoughts. Understanding that Jesus was before the Father as my representative changed everything. The Father was not looking at me for righteousness, He was looking at Christ. I have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous One. Today, I can come to the Lord with boldness because Christ is my Heavenly High Priest.
This revelation of the blood came to me one day in Coos Bay, Oregon. I came across a little book by Andrew Murray entitled “Let Us Draw Nigh”. This little book deeply effected my life. I saw it in a moment, because of Christ’s righteous life and the shedding of His blood, the way into God’s Presence had been opened for me. I could now put on the garment of Christ.
Each of us face temptation and will commit sin. If we sin we have an advocate with the Father. If we confess our sin, His blood cleanses us from sin and makes us holy in His sight (1 John 1:9). Today you can put on the Lord Jesus Christ by faith in His precious blood. You can draw near to Him and experience His love and friendship by faith in the blood of the cross. Today put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Look to Him by faith in His blood and experience His amazing love for yourself. Maybe you feel unworthy to approach our Blessed Lord. Do not be afraid, all of us come to Him the same way. No mortal man can approach God out of his own merits. The only way into His Presence, is to throw ourselves on the mercy of God. There is no other way. So today let’s go to the throne of grace. The way has been opened, the blood has been shed, the way in is open for us all.
PUTTING ON CHRIST
14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
Many times in our daily routine my wife, Parris will say, “Just put on the Lord”. This will often times come about after I make a rude comment having just been cut off by an inconsiderate driver on our wonderful streets in New Orleans. “Just put on the Lord,” easy to say, but quite challenging to do in our everyday practice.
All of us face challenging opportunities every day which present an opportunity for us to put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Every day opportunities to compromise or fall into temptation present themselves to us. We can make excuses for our failures, try to overcome by our own will power, put into practice the latest “Christian cliché” or technique or we can put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the Lust of the flesh.
Sometimes these challenges come to us in our daily interaction with humans. Lets face it, people can be quite miserable and self centered. Dealing with self centered people can cause frustration which can end up in outbursts of anger or bottled up hostility in our hearts. The solution to dealing with carnal people is supernatural. Only Christ in us can forgive and love unlovely people and help us to stay out of strife. Paul said, “Above all these put on Love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful” (Colossians 3:14, 15). This supernatural response of love, acceptance and forgiveness can become our response when we put on Christ. None of us know the challenges we will face today. We have no idea what kind of trial we may face, but the Lord knows exactly what your day will look like. So today, let’s put on Christ, and make no provision for that old life. As we put on Christ, we are being equipped supernaturally for every situation we will face today. Don’t even think about starting this day without your clothes , be dressed in readiness and keep your lamps burning, this may be the greatest day of your life.
THE LITTLE KING
Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. 13 And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. 14 All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.*
Important people don’t seem to need miracles. They normally have a safer version of spirituality. They believe in God, they just want a toned down expression of their spiritual life, after all, they have done pretty good on their own. The man in this story is called a nobleman, in the Vulgate he is called regulus, which means little king. He was actually an official in Herod’s court, not the kind of person who was following around this itinerant preacher. This man had more important matters to attend to, he was too busy for these religious meetings. After all, Jesus’ meetings could last for hours, with preaching and singing and praying for the poor miserable people, this man was far too busy for all of that.
Then one day, all of that changed. The nobleman’s son was sick. He was beyond the help of the doctors. He was beyond the little king’s ability to handle his problem, he was like all of the other poor miserable people. He needed the help of God.
Maybe you have some problems beyond your ability to fix. It may be debt, sickness, a child in trouble, or maybe a broken heart. All of us have been there before, or will be there someday. The place of desperation can suddenly become the place of faith.
The nobleman heard that Jesus was in Cana, that was about twenty miles from Capernaum where the little king was. Twenty miles in those days was quite a trip. Twenty miles is nothing when your son is on his death bed. The nobleman headed for Cana where he found Jesus, and was begging Him to come heal his son.” Go your way, your son lives”. The nobleman believed His words and headed home to find his son well.
Things could never be the same for ” the little king from Capernaum”.
That day, he had met the King of Kings who answered his cry of desperation. Maybe you are like that little king. Self importance can rob us of any awareness of God. All of us find ourselves, from time to time, with problems way beyond us. If that is your story, twenty miles is not too far to go. You may have to go out of your way for a miracle, but you won’t be disappointed.
TOUCH HIM OR DIE
Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.”
This woman was beyond desperation. She needed a miracle. The life she lived now was not really a life. She had lost everything; her health, her money, her relationships, and without a miracle, she was losing her life.
When you have lost everything, your perspective of life changes. You become desperate and dangerous. With nothing to lose, risk is no longer a factor. You will do things and go places the “normal person” would never consider.
Several years ago I felt like I was in a place with nothing to lose. Our church had gone through several years of very difficult times. National ministry and political scandals, financial troubles, and political persecution, had weakened our ministry considerably. Our church was disillusioned, and to be honest, so was I.
During that time, I heard stories of revival. Outpourings of His Spirit were happening in various locations. At first, I was skeptical, I had heard so many bogus claims before. But there was a difference now. I had nothing to lose. Soon I found myself, pressing into God. I needed His touch. I felt like my ministry life was over. I needed a touch from God. Soon, I found myself in a prayer line in Dallas, Texas. How strange, preachers don’t get in prayer lines, unless they have nothing to lose. Next, I found myself, stuck to the floor. I had never experienced love and power like this before. Laying on the floor of that church in Dallas, Texas, I received the impartation that I desperately needed. I was back from the dead. Jesus had touched me, and everything had changed.
That day in Capernaum, the lady with no name got her miracle. She pushed through the crowd and touched the fringe of His garment. Life flowed into her, she was back from the dead.
Maybe, today, you feel like you have lost your life. I know a place where dead things come back to life. “Where?” in the Presence of Jesus. You have to come to the place this woman came to, the place where you must touch Him or die. When you do, you won’t be far from Jesus. He is never far away from the cry of desperation.
THE HEALING POWER OF THE ANOINTING
“But as He went, the multitudes thronged Him. Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any,came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.
And Jesus said, “Who touched Me?”
When all denied it, Peter and those with him* said, “Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ “*
But Jesus said, “Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.” Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately.”
“Who touched me? ” what a strange thing for Jesus to say. The crowds were pushing and shoving, hundreds of people touched Him that day, but there was something different about this touch. This touch made real contact. Jesus felt the anointing go out of Him. He knew someone had received their miracle.
Have you ever touched God? You say you are not sure? Impossible! When you touch Him, I mean really touch Him, you will know for sure. Things change at the touch of God. This touch is actually making contact with the Holy Spirit. This is what our need is, to have a real, intimate relationship with the Living God. This woman needed a physical healing for sure, but she also needed much more than a healing. Her soul was sick, she was tormented by her problems. Just like today, medical issues spill over into the other parts of our lives. This woman’s sickness and the resulting bills were effecting everything; she needed a miracle, nothing less would do for her.
The lady with the issue of blood experienced life change that day. Not only was her body healed, but her soul was restored. She could never forget the life she experienced every time she remembered His words, “Daughter, your faith has made you well, go in peace.”
How is it with your soul? Have you made peace with God? Why not make your peace with God today. How can you start? Get hungry for the touch of God. Soak yourself in His Word and an atmosphere of worship. Begin to reach out to Him in faith. Before long , you may experience the life changing power of His Presence. You may hear His words, “Daughter(son), your faith has made you whole. Go in peace”.
LISTENING TO RUMORS
“When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction.”
This woman had been listening to rumors. Not the kind of rumors you might be thinking of. These were different kinds of rumors, rumors about miracles. She had heard stories about blind people who could see, lepers who were clean, paralytics that could walk, and even prostitutes that were forgiven. These were the stories of fairy tales and children’s bedtime stories, not the kind of stories anyone takes seriously. But when you have nothing to lose, you just might listen to anything. This woman was listening, and now she was ready to take action. Jesus had come to her town that day and she was going to seize this opportunity. She had decided to touch Him, no matter what it took. If the rumors were true, she would have a new life; if not, she had nothing to lose.
As the crowd got closer, she began to make her move. Pushing through the throng, she made her way to Jesus. Just as He passed by, she was able to touch His robe, in that instant everything changed. Not only was her body well for the first time in years, she felt a love she had not expected. He called for her, and she was looking into His eyes of compassion. She had never felt anything like this before. Then she heard the greatest words of her life, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction”.
The rumors were true. She had been healed, but more than just healed, she had been made whole. Forgiveness and healing, she had received more than she could imagine that day.
Have you heard any good rumors lately? You never know, one of them may change your life. Why not take action today? It has been rumored that Jesus is in the area. Some people have even been said to have received a miracle. Go ahead, run to Jesus. You have nothing to lose. Touch Jesus today. You can find Him in the Bible, in your prayer time, or even wherever people gather in His Name. Reach out and touch Him, you never know, maybe people will be spreading rumors about you.
NOTHING TO LOSE
Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well”.
How would you like this to be your identity, the woman with the issue of blood? She had lost everything. She was considered unclean; could not mingle with people publicly, no synagogue, no shopping, no visiting your friends, limited contact with family. This woman had even lost her name. She had become the woman with “the problem”, the one with the issue of blood.
She had nothing to lose, after all, she had already lost everything. A person like this can become quite dangerous. With nothing to lose, she had everything to gain. Maybe this is your story. Maybe you have had quite a life. Many of us have. Maybe you lost a marriage, a family, a house or a job. Maybe you feel like the biggest loser alive. Be encouraged. Like the woman with “the problem” you also have nothing to lose.
After hearing about Jesus, and the many people He had helped, this woman made her decision. she thought, “I don’t care about protocol or offending the religious, I just need Jesus to help me”. She was going to touch Him regardless of the consequences, after all, she had nothing to lose. After pushing through the crowd, she was able to touch the fringe of His robe, but that was all it took. She felt the anointing go right into her, she was instantly healed.
What about you? What have you got to lose? All you need is to touch Him. Other people might frown on your choice to follow Christ, but who cares, you have nothing to lose anyway.
I heard that Jesus is passing your way. I also heard many people’s lives are being changed by His touch. Go ahead, reach out to Jesus. Touch the edge of His garment, this could be the beginning of your brand new life. Like the woman with “the problem” it doesn’t take much, just touch the edge of His garment, this may be all you need.
THE MASTER’S TOUCH
And behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue came, Jairus by name. And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet and begged Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.” So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him.
Jairus had heard about the Master’s touch. Many people had been healed all around Galilee. Before now, the healings had been quite troubling to Jairus, after all he was the ruler of the synagogue in Capernaum. He had warned people about fanatics like John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth. He had told the members of his congregation to stay away from these religious extremists, he had taught against what he considered to be false prophets and frauds. That was before today, before his little daughter had become sick. She was really sick, death was knocking on her door. Now Jairus began to reconsider. What if those stories were all true? What if the people were really being healed? He had to find out for himself. Jairus realized that without a miracle, his daughter would be gone. He could not imagine that. He decided to humble himself, eat his own words, and join the crowds trying to reach Jesus. As Jairus made his way to the Lord, something strange began to happen. He felt his hope changing to expectant faith. He knew in his heart something life changing was about to happen. As he found himself looking into the Master’s face, he heard himself say,” My little girl is at the point of death, but if you will come to my house and touch her, she will live”. By the time they had come to Jairus’s house, she had already died, Jesus grabbed the little girl by the hand and told her to get up. Instantly, Jairus’s daughter got up and began to walk around the room. Jairus received his little girl back from the dead.
Maybe you feel like something or someone has just died in your life. All you need is one touch of the Lord’s hand. How will it happen? It may happen as you read the Bible and hear the voice of the Lord saying “Rise and be healed”. Or maybe it will be in a time of worship, or maybe, like Jairus, you will bow down before Him with your prayer. He comes in so many ways, He is just looking for someone who “needs” His touch. Today, swallow your pride and call out for His help. I heard He has been in the area, you never know, maybe today He is coming to your house.