Springs Of Water

Isaiah 41:18 – I will open rivers in desolate heights and fountains in the midst of valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water and the dry land springs of water.

There is a natural fulfillment when we look at Israel because it’s a garden in the middle of a desert. Every single nation around it is a desert! Isaiah prophesied this and God did it for Israel. Israel is 60% desert and yet supplies water not only for their own but for the Palestinians and the Jordanians. Also, they export billions of dollars worth of vegetables a year that flourishes on that water supply.

However, there is also a spiritual fulfillment as well. Once we are saved, we don’t have to live in a dry wilderness anymore.

Isaiah 58:11 – “You shall be like a water garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” Jeremiah 31:12 – “their souls shall be like a well-watered garden.”

God doesn’t have any problem providing water for His people, naturally or spiritually. Moses spoke to rock in the wilderness and water came rushing out of it. The New Testament tells us that the Rock he spoke to was Christ, and it followed them.

1 Corinthians 10:4 – For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. We don’t have to live in a dry land even though we live in a fallen world. We can live in a river of living water.

Jesus Brought The Holy Spirit

He didn’t bring just a spring, He brought the river. In this next passage of Scripture, the Bible is talking about the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles. Jeremiah 14:16 – And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. (Verse 17) And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, on them there will be no rain.

On the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, they would pray for rain and for the Messiah to come. They knew what Isaiah had written and Isaiah had said that when the Messiah comes, He will turn the desert into a pool.

So the day they are praying for water, rain, and the Messiah in the New Testament, Jesus does this: John 7:37 – On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. (Jesus is at the temple where they are praying for the Messiah to come and rain to come.) (Verse 38) “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (Verse 39) But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Jesus came so that we could have a dynamic, powerful, river in us, flowing through us, and out of us, and His name is the Holy Spirit!

The Holy Spirit Is Not Weird

People think the Holy Spirit is weird because people are weird, not Him. If you’ve been going to church for a while, we all have seen weird people do some weird things and they say,” The Holy Spirit led me to do it!” No, they more than likely just wanted to draw attention to themselves, weird. My question is: If these people are not looking for attention, then why do they go to the front of the congregation to do their “weird” thing? Why not do it in the back of the church instead of the front? “Because they are weird and want everybody to see them.

John 16:12 – “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. (Verse 13) However, when He, the Spirit of truth has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”

That should settle all debate on whether the Holy Spirit speaks or not! Jesus Himself said He speaks! He will guide us into all truth because He knows all truth.

So don’t let someone tell you when you see them acting out of character of the Holy Spirit running around, jumping on chairs and acting crazy, that is the Holy Spirit guiding and leading them because it does not glorify God and that’s all them!

Think about this: We have Someone living on the inside of us who knows everything there is to know about everything! And He has committed Himself to be our teacher. Ask Him whatever you want and He will tell you and show you. If a person will not talk to the Holy Spirit, its because they don’t see Him as a person and that personal relationship with the Holy ‘Spirit then they don’t see Him as a person. The Holy Spirit should never, ever, be referred to as an It!

Let The River Flow

James 3:7 – For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. (Verse 8) But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

Our hope is, “The Holy Spirit” can tame the tongue. There is a gift that requires us to yield our tongue to the Holy Spirit.

There is a “gift” of tongues and a “grace” of tongues. Everyone that is filled with the Holy Spirit can pray in tongues. The gift of tongues is public and the grace of tongues is private. Its the prayer language.

The gift of tongues can only be done when unbelievers and uninformed people are “not” present in a gathering (1 Corinthians 14). And it has to be interpreted. Read the whole chapter. Paul explains that if an unbeliever comes into the church and the people are speaking in tongues, “will they not think they are out of their mind?”

However, a “prayer language” is for every believer. The Bible says that praying in tongues will build a person up. It strengthens us, edifies us. But praying in tongues is “voluntary.”

1 Corinthians 14:14 – For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. (Verse 15) What is the result then? I will pray with the Spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the Spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.

Praying in the Spirit, tongues, is not uncontrollable. You can control it. Why would Paul give instructions about how and when to pray in tongues if we couldn’t control it or when and how we do it? We have a choice whether to pray in tongues or not. A person is not going to be out in public one day and just bust out in tongues. It is controlled by you. We can have the gift of teaching, but we control when and where we teach, it is the same thing.

When we pray in the Spirit, it will cause our sensitivity to be more affluent. We will be able to see how a situation will end up. The river will start flowing. I don’t know how anyone can read 1 Corinthians Chapter 14, and not know that “Praying in the Spirit” is “Praying in tongues.” This is a gift from God and a way for all Christians to build themselves up!

 

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Strength

At different times in a Christian’s life, they will find themselves in a wilderness, starting to wander off and maybe even lose hope that things are ever going to change.

In the book of Isaiah, he tells the story of how God’s people forfeited His protection and blessings when they forgot about Him and went their own way. Yet in the midst of God’s discipline, His desire and ultimate plan to restore his people back to Him never diminished. However, if you place your hope and trust in our beloved Messiah, He will transform our wilderness into a lush garden overflowing with abundance.

Every time Jesus referred to the “Scriptures,” He was referring to the Old Testament. The book of Isaiah is a messianic book. These Scriptures we are going to study are prophecies referring to the Messiah. Isaiah, Chapter 35, is one of these messianic chapters.

When Isaiah writes Chapter 35, he is looking forward in time to the Messiah and the cross. So when we read Isaiah, it says, “He will,” so we realize, “He did.” What Isaiah says will happen, has happened.

A Way In The Wilderness

Isaiah 35:1 – The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; (Verse 2) It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the excellence of Carmel and Sharon. (This is about Israel.)

Because we Gentiles have been grafted in, what was a dry and barren wasteland, is now blossoming, abundantly with joy and singing, because the Messiah has come.

Lebanon is a country now, but it wasn’t when Isaiah wrote this. Lebanon was a very fruitful place in the northern part of Cannan, the Promise Land. If you’ve ever been to Israel, it is a “Garden” in the middle of a wilderness. In other words: God prepared a luscious garden in the middle of the wilderness for His people.

We may be living in a fallen world, but we are living in a garden if you are a believer! And there are ways that we can receive strength while in this garden because the Messiah brings strength. Labonon represents “fertile trees.”

Psalm 104:16 – The trees of the LORD are full of sap, the cedars of Lebanon which He planted, (God planted the land of Lebanon for His people. In the same way, He has already provided for us who believe, a rich and fertile garden for us to live in once we believe. 

Carmel actually means “garden land.” It means plentiful and beautiful cultivated soil.

2 Chronicles 26:10 – Also he (Uzziah) built towers in the desert. He dug many wells, for he had much livestock, both in the lowlands and in the plains; he also had farmers and vinedressers in the mountains and in Carmel, for he loved the soil.

Then Isaiah spoke about Sharon and Sharon refers to the beauty of the Bride of Christ. Song of Solomon 2:1 – I am the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valleys.

Isaiah 35:3 – Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. (Verse 4) Say to those who are fearful-hearted, “Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God;’ He will come and save you.”

The hands could represent what we do; knees could represent where we walk, and our heart could represent how we think. God strengthens our hands in what we do for Him. He also will strengthen how and where we walk as He strengthens our heart.

Hands Refer To Worship

If we want to strengthen what we do, we need to become a worshiper of God.

Nehemiah 8:6 – And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. Then all the people answered, “Amen, Amen!” while lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.

Do you remember the first time you were in a church and saw people lifting their hands in worship? I do and thought “Wow!” That’s awesome! Here are four excuses why people don’t lift their hands in church: (1) “I’ll lift my hands when I get to heaven.” But God says in Psalm 63:4 – Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. (2) “I lift my heart up.” Lamentations 3:41 – Let us lift our hearts and hands to God in heaven.  (Excuse # 3) “The Bible doesn’t tell us to lift our hands in church.” Psalm 134:2 – Lift up your hands’ in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD. (4) “Well, those are Old Testament Scriptures.” 1 Timothy 2:8 – I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands. 

And excuse is just an excuse to be stubborn and rebellious. I’ve stood beside people who just refused to lift their hands to God. It always made me wonder what else they were refusing to do. Look, if you can throw your hands up at a ball game, you can certainly raise your hands in praise to the One true God for all He’s done. If you want to strengthen your relationship with God, learn to worship Him!

1 Kings 8:54 – And so it was when Solomon had finished praying all this prayer and supplication to the Lord, that he arose from before the altar of the Lord, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven.

Philippians 4:6 – Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God.

The more we think about things and dwell on something, the more worried and anxious we become. But the Bible tells us to pray about it and give it to the One that cares for us!

Proverbs 16:3 – Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established. Prayers are “rolling off” the “burden!” But here’s what most of us do: We pray for the Lord to lift the burden, get up, walk away, and as soon as we talk to someone, we start telling them about how big this burden is. Sheep were never designed to carry burdens. We are designed to carry our burdens only to the feet of Jesus!

When a heart is not given over to God, fear comes in. In Deuteronomy 31:6, Moses told Joshua: Deuteronomy 31:7 – The Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of Israel, “Be strong and of good courage.” Moses was putting a Word in Joshua’s heart, don’t fear, you are going to win.

2 Timothy 2:1 – You, therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

So how do we literally become strong in Jesus? We get the “Word” in our heart! When we have a word from God, it doesn’t matter what comes against us. If we don’t have His word, then we become fearful.

Psalm 119:11 – Your word I have hidden in my heart. 

The person who meditates on God’s word, everything they do will prosper. However, you have to be familiar with God’s Word in order to meditate on it.

To be strong, worship, pray, and read God’s word! and the Messiah will strengthen you!!

The Power Of Prayer

Matthew 6:13 – …”For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

Prayer is personal, it’s not a formality. People’s prayers can become formal. Right before Jesus tells His disciples the Lord’s prayer, He talks about not using vain repetitions. The Lord’s prayer is a pattern that Jesus gave us to use. Prayer is personal.

If you’ve noticed, this prayer includes all three of the Godhead: “Our Father”; Thy kingdom come”; a kingdom has a King and has dominion over that kingdom who is Jesus. “And the power”; the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “You will receive “power” when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.”

In order for us to pray to the Father about the Son, we must pray through the Holy Spirit.

It’s About The Kingdom

Acts 1:1 – The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, (Luke, who wrote the book of Acts, is referring to the book of Luke, which he also wrote.) (Verse 2) until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, (Verse 3) to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.

For forty days, Jesus taught His disciples things pertaining to the kingdom of God. Jesus said over and over, “The kingdom of heaven is like…” So for three and one-half years, that’s what He taught. Then after His resurrection, He taught for forty more days about the kingdom. So, should that be our focus when we pray? I think so. And it should also be what preachers and pastors preach.

Up until this time, the disciples still didn’t get that it was all about the kingdom. And how do we know this? Because of what they say in verse 6 in Luke: Luke 1:6 – Therefore, when they had come in together, they asked Him, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” Jesus’ disciples wanted an earthly kingdom and that’s where their focus was. Jesus had just spent, after three and a half years, and now after His resurrection, another 40 days telling them about the kingdom of God, but they still didn’t understand. None of what He was telling them was about them or us, it’s all about the Kingdom of God!

It’s Through His Power

Luke 1:7, 8 – And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. (Verse 8) “But you shall receive when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judah and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

When the disciples received this power, they immediately changed. They became men of boldness. They had been afraid up until this time. They were afraid of the Jews and were hiding behind locked doors when Jesus found them after His resurrection.

Mark 14:50 – Then they all forsook Him and fled. (Verse 51) Now a certain young man followed Him, having a linen cloth thrown around his naked body. And the young men laid hold of him, (Verse 52) and he left the linen cloth and fled from them naked.

But look what happened when the Holy Spirit fell on the disciples in the upper room: Acts 4:31 – And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.

This happened in Acts Chapter 4, but in Acts Chapter 2 they were baptized with the Holy Spirit. The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is a one-time event, but being filled with the Holy Spirit is a continual event! So how do we continually stay filled with the Holy Spirit? It’s right there in Acts 4:31, “when they had prayed!” When we pray, boldness and power will come but be careful to use wisdom and be in God’s will.

It’s For HIs Glory

When Jesus was water baptized, the Holy Spirit came on Him. 2 Peter 1:17 – for He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” When the Holy Spirit came on Him, He received honor and glory from the Father.

When the Holy Spirit comes on us, He gifts us, and we have different gifts to be used for the honor and the glory of God. Now, when people use those gifts people will try to give us the honor, but that honor belongs to God only. Always keep in mind when the people told Jesus that they loved the miracles, Jesus told them, “I do nothing unless I see My Father do them first.” Jesus gave the glory and honor to His Father and so should we.

When Moses said, “Show me your glory.” God said, “I’ll show you My goodness.” God’s really, really good at being good to people. We all have the ability to give God glory. 2 Peter 4:11 – If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

It’s through His power for His glory. Romans 11:36 – For of Him, and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

Of Him, that’s His kingdom; through Him, that’s His power; to Him, and that’s His glory! If we will pray according to His kingdom and for His glory, then His power will operate.

When we pray to the Father about the Son, through the Spirit, our prayers are answered!!!!!

 

The Protection Of Prayer

Matthew 6:13 – “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:

Part of the Lord’s prayer is praying for protection. Why would we pray for God not to lead us into temptation? The Bible says, “God does not tempt anyone.” We have to look at what these words mean and take into consideration the meaning of other Scripture as well.

Point number (1) God can’t tempt us. It is totally impossible, outside of God’s nature to tempt us. God does not go outside of His character. God can’t change, because if He could change, that would mean He could get better, but He can’t, He’s perfect in every way already.

James 1:12 – Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been proved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 

When we endure temptation and don’t sub come to it, we are blessed and rewarded. This word endures, means to continue to trust in resistance and opposition. We continue to trust God even though we’re being opposed and resisted. That’s how we endure.

James 1:13 – Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. (Verse 14) But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.

We are drawn away by a desire we have and then the enemy jumps on it and tempts us to follow through with that desire. The enemy is the tempter, Satan watches us, and the minute we take our focus off of God, he jumps in and tempts us with what we’ve relocated our focus on.

Matthew 4:3 – Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”

1 Thessalonians 3:5 – Lest by some means the tempter had tempted you.

Sometimes Satan will take a good or harmless desire and will tempt us into turning it to evil. For instance: If we don’t take time to relax and enjoy what God has given us, Satan will start to put thoughts in our head that don’t belong there. He will attack when we are tired from working all the time without resting.

Do you know that sin is the counterfeit of actual joy? When we think that we are not receiving the things from the Lord we should, we look for a counterfeit to fill that void.

God Won’t Mislead Us.

The word temptation has many different meanings. For instance: James 1:2 – My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, (Verse 3) knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

Trials in this verse are the exact translation in Matthew 6:13, as the word “translation” is. It has a broader meaning than some understand. It means temptation or a trial or a test. So ask yourself: Would God ever lead us into a trial or a test? Yes, He would and yes He does. Because the trying of our faith causes us to grow and develop the character for us to be able to fulfill the destiny God has for us! But, He will only do it for our good. The leading us into a trial, keep in mind, the tempter is already there waiting and God knows that. But God tells us in the Lord’s prayer, “Pray for protection!”

Matthew 4:1 – Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

Who led Jesus? The Spirit did. Where did He lead Him? Into the wilderness. Why did He lead Him? To be tempted by the devil. God led His own Son into a time of trials and testing and Satan was sitting there waiting for Him.

God did this for the good of His Son. Luke 4:14 – Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit. Jesus came out stronger after He went through that time of testing. However, here’s the main reason God did it, He did it for our good! God knew Jesus would succeed, and because Jesus succeeded, it would be a benefit to us.

Hebrews 4:15 – For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are yet without sin. He did that for us!

Hebrews 2:18 – For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.

When we pray for help in our temptations, we’re not praying to someone that doesn’t understand. Jesus was tempted in all points of temptation.

Notice where He was tempted. He was tempted in the wilderness, in a dry place. Just like the children of Israel being led into the wilderness, it was a time of testing. However, God didn’t expect them to stay there for 40 years. The journey to the Promised land was only an eleven-day trip. So, neither does God expect us to stay 40 years in that one temptation, time of testing. Ask Him to help!

Why were the Israelites lead into the wilderness in the first place? Deuteronomy 8:16 – “who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do good in the end -“

If God ever leads you into a trial, it’s to do us good! For us to understand Matthew 6:13, we have to understand it with other Scripture. Any time you read something in the Bible that you don’t understand, it’s because you don’t understand it. I’m not being funny. There’s nothing wrong with the Bible, there is only something wrong with our understanding. That’s why we have to “renew” our minds and not be conformed to this world.

When we begin to look at other Scriptures, the meaning of the one we are stuck on will come to light. We have to take the Bible as a whole.

God Will Deliver Us

1 Corinthians 10:13 – No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

Is that not an amazing statement? God makes us two promises: God will never allow us to be tempted in a trial or a test above that which we are able to handle. Second, with every temptation, He will make a way for us to escape! God will deliver us if we let Him. Paul said this: 2 Timothy 4:17 – I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. (Verse 18) And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!

2 Peter 2:9 – …the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations. One of the things we are to pray is protection from the evil one. It is God’s will for us to escape temptation. If we are in any kind of trial or testing, pray for a way of escape and He promises to deliver! 

If We Will Pray

This is our part because we need God to do His part. That’s what Jesus is trying to tell the disciples because they asked Him to teach them how to pray. We have an enemy that will come after us in times of trial. Psalm 119:133 – Direct my steps by Your word, and let no iniquity have dominion over me.

Matthew 26:41 – “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The Spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Look what Jesus prayed: John 17:15 – “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.”

He didn’t pray to keep them out of the trials and testing, but to deliver them from them. So when going through trials and times of testing, know that the evil one will be there to tempt you, but the Lord Himself promises to deliver you out of them all!

 

 

The Pardon Of Prayer

Matthew 6:12 – And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Look what Jesus says after He says the Lord’s prayer: Matthew 6:14 – “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. (Verse 15) “But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

The word forgive means “release.” If we don’t release others from their debts, God won’t release us from our debts.

Confess Our Debts

The Greek word used for debt in the New Testament is used twice. However, there is another word used in place of the word debt many times in the New Testament. It is still the word debt, but has a different meaning – to repay a loan. But that is not the meaning for debt in the Lord’s prayer. This is not a loan that anyone can repay.

This word debt that is used in the Lord’s prayer means a debt that is justly due. It is what we would call “bankruptcy.” It’s so large, it’s something we have to be forgiven of. We confess our debts that we can never repay. If a person has a problem forgiving others, they just might have a problem receiving forgiveness. Do you forgive yourself? And if a person has a problem forgiving himself and receiving forgiveness, then they don’t truly believe God has truly forgiven them.

We don’t and can’t earn God’s forgiveness. Matthew 10:8 – “Freely you have received, freely give.” People can’t give freely if they haven’t received freely! If a person thinks in any way that they are earning God’s forgiveness, then they will make others earn their forgiveness. However, this is a debt that must be “Pardoned,” because it’s a debt that we can’t pay.

Romans 4:3 – For what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

When we believe God, He takes the sin out of our account: 2 Corinthians 5:19 – that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them,… God is not counting our sins against us because we are forgiven. God did this for the whole world, but the whole world has not received. This verse didn’t say, “reconciling believers only,” it says, “Reconciling the world to Himself.” God has already taken care of everyone’s sin! Jesus died “once” for all!

So everyone’s sin has already been paid for, but not everybody is saved. People have a choice whether they will receive Jesus or not. Abraham believed God and it was accounted unto him for righteousness. But what if Abraham after believing had not acted on that belief? James tells us it would have been dead, no change.

People can say all day long they believe in Jesus, but if they are still living their life for themselves, they are bound for hell. Why would you say, “Lord, Lord, and not do what I say?” If we really and truly believe Him, we will obey Him. If we believe in Jesus, we live for Jesus. When people say they believe in Jesus and don’t live for Him, they don’t believe in Him. 

Here is what people have a hard time believing: God has already taken sin out of their account. Jesus paid for the sins of the whole world. God made Jesus become sin who knew no sin.

People don’t go to hell for sin, they go to hell for “UNBELIEF!” He that doesn’t believe doesn’t have life. He that believes has life and that life can only come through Jesus Christ! God has taken sin out of my account, and put righteousness in my account. Then people will ask, “If righteousness is in my account, then why do I still need to confess my sin or trespasses?”

Hebrews 9:14 – how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Hebrews 10:22 – let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience.

As believers, when we sin, our conscience convicts us. It tells us, “That’s not right!” However, once forgiven, Satan has a way of bringing that thing back up to condemn us with it. If we don’t get that cleared in our conscience, the Bible says we will have an evil conscience if the blood is not sprinkled on it. Then we will begin to serve God out of dead works. In other words: We try to make it up to God because of that guilt. If we think that we have to pay for that sin, we won’t confess that sin.

We confess our sins to cleanse our conscience. Then the blood of Christ is sprinkled on our conscience. Then we can not bring it up again because we have received forgiveness.

People find it so hard to let go of their past and we know this because they keep bringing it up. They will say, “But I can’t forget it.” The Bible doesn’t say God forgets our sin, it says, “He chooses to remember them no more!” The word remember means “to bring it up again.” So yes, we can be like God and not bring it up again in our conversations.

Release Our Debtors

Matthew 18:21 – Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” (Verse 22) Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. (Verse 23) “Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. (Verse 24) “And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents.

(Verse 25) “But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. (Verse 26) “The servant, therefore, fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ (Verse 27) “Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. (Verse 28) “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!” (Verse 29) “So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’

(Verse 30) “And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. (Verse 31) “So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved and came and told their master all that had been done. (Verse 32) “Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you that debt because you begged me. (Verse 33) ‘Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant just as I had pity on you?’

(Verse 34) “And his master was angry and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due him. (Verse 35) “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”

People who hold grudges against someone are literally tormented by that grudge. It never leaves them. It is always knawing at them. If we do not forgive, this Scripture says, we will be turned over to torturers. That means we will be tormented by that grudge and unforgiveness.

Hebrews 12:15 – Lest any root of bitterness spring up to cause trouble, and by this many have become defiled. Bitterness and unforgiveness might just be the number one reason for Christian bondage. We need to be reminded every day what all God has forgiven us for, so we are quick to forgive others. There was a debt that we could never repay and our heavenly Father has pardoned us therefore, we will have the grace to pardon others. 

When we release someone for what they have done to us, we do it by extending God’s grace to them.

 

 

 

The Provision Of Prayer

God wants us to daily ask for natural and spiritual provision. Matthew 6:11 – “Give us this day our daily bread.”

God Wants Us To Pray For Natural Provision

It’s not wrong to pray for a home in a safe neighborhood. It’s not wrong to pray for a good job that provides for you and your family. It’s not wrong to pray for a reliable vehicle. These prayers are not selfish. We know this is not wrong to pray this way, because this is part of the Lord’s prayer and Jesus taught us to pray in this manner.

Exodus 16:4 – Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them whether they will walk in My law or not. (Verse 5) And it shall be on the sixth day that they shall prepare what they bring in and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.

Why doesn’t the Lord’s prayer say, “Give us our daily bread?” Is not, “give us this day” and “daily” redundant? God wanted the children of Israel to depend on His provision every day. He wants us to depend on Him every day for everything.

If we don’t look to God for our daily provision, we will begin to look for provision from some other source. And when a person begins to look for provisions from some other source, whether its another person or the government, they are going to be disappointed!

God designed us to eat daily. Why didn’t He design us to eat only once a month? He did it to remind us that we are to depend on Him daily. He also did it because He wants to talk to us daily, not once a month. Don’t you talk to someone you have a relationship with daily? So, daily bread represents, “God, I’m going to trust you for my provision.”

Exodus 16:15 – So when the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “This is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat. (The word “manna” means “What is it?”, in Hebrew. This seed had to be gathered and prepared. God provided the bread, but they still had to work to prepare it.)

This is still true today: We still have to work hard on our part, and God blesses our work. Exodus16:16 – “This is the thing which the LORD has commanded: ‘Let every man gather it according to each one’s need, one omer for each person, according to the number of persons; let every man take for those who are in his tent.’ “ (omer is a measurement)

(Verse 17) And the children of Israel did so and gathered, some more, some less. (Verse 18) So when they measured it by omers, he who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack. Every man had gathered according to each one’s need.

God provided what each person needed. We are to pray for our daily need. If you have a family of five, then pray for the needs of all five. We don’t just pray for something to eat. Whatever the need is, we pray for that. It could be medical needs, clothing, housing, and so on. Provision comes from God in all areas.

Proverbs 30:8 – Remove falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches – feed me with the food You prescribe for me.

So depending on a person’s needs, that will be given. Agur, which wrote this proverb, says, “give me neither poverty nor riches,” because if he has too much he might grow stingy and if he doesn’t have enough he might steal.

Do you know that in the body of Christ, these two extremes are being preached today? Some preach a “Prosperity gospel,” and some preach a “Poverty” gospel. I’ve heard both. However, Jesus preached a “Provision gospel.” When we ask God to provide for us and we do it daily, it keeps us dependant upon Him.

God Wants Us To Pray For Spiritual Provision

In the Lord’s prayer, the word bread is used, not the word food. Why? Because our needs are not just physical. Bread also has a spiritual meaning in Scripture.

John 6:33 – “For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

Jesus was talking about not only the actual bread that Moses prayed for but then tells them “The bread came from the Father,” meaning Himself, to the world. Right after that passage, they said, “Give us this bread.” Sometimes they just didn’t get it. Jesus had to be very plain and said, “I am the bread!”

Jesus clarifies this when He is being tempted in Matthew 4:4 – But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ “

Jesus had quoted from Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy 8:3 – “So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.

How about we also pray for our daily needs, but pray for the word that proceeds from His mouth to cover us. Is there a situation in your life today that it would be good if you got a word from God? Some might think, “I don’t know how to hear from God.” However, you have your Bible, so why not read it every day. Our answers to everything we need is in there.

The Lord has told us to “Ask!” Praise at the beginning and praise at the end, but the in between is asking. God wants to provide for us physically and spiritually.

Do you remember Jesus saying, “You have not because you ask not?”, well just ask. Do some of you have difficulty sleeping at night because you can’t turn your brain off? The primary reason that a lot of people have a hard time sleeping is that they are worried there won’t be any manna on the ground when they get up in the morning. Whether it’s a financial need, a family need, they just can’t seem to figure it out.

Does God’s word not tell us that His mercies are new every morning? Our manna will be on the ground for that day. We get stressed because we try to go beyond today with the “What if’s? What if this happens, what if that doesn’t happen?” We have to learn that our God is going to take care of us each day with provision.

Trusting God every day is a test for us. Tithing is a test also. Do you believe if you give ten percent that the ninety percent left is enough to pay what needs to be paid? It’s a test.

When the Israelites gathered too much manna in one day, it was rotten when they woke up the next day. They didn’t trust God for more to be there the next day. Some of them failed the test.

We do the same thing by not being as generous as we should be holding on and hoarding, thinking God may not provide tomorrow. If we hold on to more than we should, it will rot. It’s a good thing to save, but don’t hold onto more than we ought. We are to help others when we can.

Here’s the other thing: If you think you can make more money by working seven days a week and don’t rest a day, you will burn out. That’s not trusting God for your provision on the day you need to rest. Living by faith is not putting your family in jeopardy by taking any of this to one extreme or another. Let God’s word be your guide.

Isaiah 65:24 – “It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer.

God has already worked your answer out before you even ask: “And while they are still speaking, I will hear.” 

All we have to do is ask!

 

The Petition Of Prayer

The Lord’s prayer begins and ends with praise. Everything in between is a petition. When we are submitted to God’s will and dominion in our lives, He wants us to ask for everything we need. The last study was on the first line of the Lord’s prayer: “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. This study is on: “Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” This phrase begins the “petitions” in the Lord’s prayer.

God Wants Us To Ask

The disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray and this is what He said so it’s not selfish to ask.

John 14:13 – “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. (Verse 14) “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”

John 15:7 – “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

John 16:23, 24 – “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. (Verse 24) “Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

Matthew 6:8 – “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask HIim.

Matthew 7:7 – “Ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (Verse 8) “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. (Verse 9) “Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? (Verse 10) “Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? (Verse 11) “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”

I don’t know where the myth that when we ask, that we are being selfish came from, but that’s exactly what a lot of people think. Maybe it came from some pastors telling us that we can only ask for our necessities, but don’t ask for what we want. However, we just read in John 15:7 that if we abide in Him and His words abide in us, then ask what we desire and it shall be done for us.

But there is a “filter” to the things we ask for in Matthew 6:10 – “Your will be done.” We are asking for His kingdom to come, not ours. We are asking for His will to be done, not ours.

1 John 5:15 – And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

Psalm 20:5 – We will rejoice in Your salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners! May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.

The Lord’s prayer is divided into two sections: The Lord’s prayer is focused on God and then us. It starts with God and ends with God, but the middle is us. However, verse 10 is still about God. “Thy kingdom come.”

Here’s how we know that we can have the petitions we ask for; If we focus on God, He will actually change our desires. And then all of a sudden, we begin to desire what He desires! “Thy” comes before “us.” We establish that’s it’s about You, God, before us.

His Kingdom Is Here

“Thy kingdom come” can be confusing, because it seems like we are praying for a future kingdom. That is not what this means, as many have thought.

Matthew 4:17 – From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” 

Mark 1:14 – Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, (Verse 15) and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe the gospel.”

Matthew 12:28 – “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.

Matthew 10:7 – “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

So, how could He tell the disciples to preach the kingdom is here if the kingdom wasn’t there? And how could Jesus say, “The time is fulfilled, the kingdom is at hand,” if it was not there, here?

Jesus said the kingdom was at hand because the King was among them. The King had come. Kingdom – King and dominion, the Kings Dominion. The Kings Dominion is where the King rules.

Back to the Lord’s prayer: If the kingdom has come, why did Jesu tell us to pray, “Thy kingdom come?” The kingdom is here but is it in you or me? That’s the same as Salvation is available to all, but have you received? The kingdom is available, but is it in you? Have you received?

Luke 17:20 – Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; (Verse 21) “nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed the kingdom of God is within you.”

The word “come” in the Lord’s prayer means “continue,” continue to come within us. It’s progressive! “Thy kingdom come means “past” and continuing. The kingdom of God has come, but it’s continuing to come.

When we got saved, we gave the king dominion in our lives, but is He still King today in our life? Does the King have dominion in your life? Us, we, are the King’s dominion, within us. If I’m totally submitted to the King, He has dominion in me! By the word “come” meaning progressive, it means the kingdom is continuing to grow in my life.

The longer we walk with the Lord, the more we become concerned about the “Kingdom of God.”

His Will Is Best

Acts 13:36 – For David after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption; 

David served for his generation the will of God. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 – in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

We know that we are supposed to do the will of God, but how do we do it? Here’s the key: John 7:17 – “If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.”

If I will to do His will, I will understand the things Jesus said and I’m going to understand the doctrine. But it has to be my will to do His will. That’s why we pray, “Thy will be done.” Our knowledge does not compare to His knowledge in any situation. And we submit our will to His.

Luke 22:42 – saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours be done.”

If Jesus prayed for the Father’s will to be done, shouldn’t we? Then we pray, “In earth as it is in heaven.” And here is how it is in heaven: Revelation 21:4 – “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

In heaven, there is no more death, but even now, here on earth, the “sting” of death is gone for the believer. Even though we go through suffering while on this earth, the King still has dominion!

God’s Will Is Always Best

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven!