What is Your Level of Faith?

  1. The Passover Level.

The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. Do not eat the meat raw or boiled in water, but roast it over a fire—with the head, legs and internal organs. Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it. This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD’s Passover. “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt. (Exodus 12:5-13)

This passage tells us that the nation of Israel was delivered from slavery. Salvation is the beginning of everything. This is a stage of groaning.

  1. The Pentecostal Level.

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? (Acts 2:1-8)

At this level, everyone should speak in tongues as illustrated in the verses above. Do not worry about whether you understand what you are saying; this is one of the mysteries of the Spirit that we should accept and do in faith.

  1. The Tabernacle Level.

At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people. (Matthew 27:51-53)

When Jesus died on the cross, the Bible says that the curtain in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. This is symbolic of our direct access to the Holy of Holies. Jesus paid the price so that we now have direct access to God. And because there is no longer separation between God and man, there is no more need for continual sacrifice.

We need to have a close relationship with God. With the help of the Holy Spirit we must listen to God in the Holy of Holies which is now our hearts. Through times of intimacy with Him, we will begin to walk in divine ability, for His anointing gives us supernatural power and authority. And remember, the greater the test we receive from God, the greater our testimony will be. The higher the flood waters rose, the higher the ark floated.

God Wants an Encounter with You

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.” “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. (Luke 1:26-38)

Christmas can take on numerous meanings, but the truth is, Christmas represents the beginning of God’s personal encounter with mankind. God came to Earth in the flesh, lived victoriously among us and conquered death. We should celebrate Christmas every day because not only did Jesus choose to interact with us, He gave us the Holy Spirit who is with us all the time.

So, how can we encounter God and walk and talk with Him daily? According to Luke 1:37, we can fully rely on God’s Word, for it will never fail. As Mary said, let it be done according to His will, for with, God nothing is impossible.

God knows your address.

God sent the angel Gabriel to Mary’s home. When you live in God’s purpose, He will send His angels to you. The encounter happens where you live.

God knows how obedience to Him can impact your life.

God chose Mary to fulfill His purpose. When God chooses you, it affects your personally and the people around you. God does not bless us just for our own benefit.

God knows that you are afraid.

It is quite normal to react with uncertainty as Mary did, but do not be afraid, for you have found favor with God. Verse 35 says that the Holy Spirit came and overshadowed Mary. God is with us in all our circumstances.

We need to believe God’s word.

Jesus works every day, not only on Christmas Day. What happens when we don’t believe?

The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.” (Luke 1:19-20)

Evidence causes us to believe with our natural minds, but we need to have faith to believe in the Spirit. We must choose to believe God at His Word that with Him, nothing is impossible.

Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” (Mark 9:21-25)

Like the father of the demon-possessed boy, we need to confess our unbelief to God, and ask for His help.

The Unique Power of Christianity, There is Power in His Name

They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. “What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it. But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn them to speak no longer to anyone in this name.” Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened. For the man who was miraculously healed was over forty years old. (Acts 4:7-22)

Peter and John walked in the power of the Lord Jesus Christ, and when they were questioned about their authority, they proclaimed the name of Jesus. There is power in His name.

According to Acts 4:19-20, we cannot talk about the things we have seen and heard.

Christianity contains the power to change lives.

When the people saw the miracles, there was no argument (verse 14).

There are three evidences of the Power of God:

  1. The true message of liberty in Christ.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36)

  1. Miracles.

Do you believe in miracles? The world is impressed when they see authentic change in a person they know. The healing of one person can result in 5,000 people giving their lives to Jesus.

  1. The man behind the miracle.

Paul and Peter were regarded as uneducated, but their acts proved that they had great wisdom in Christ. Power comes when you have competence and knowledge, and God uses even the uneducated to show His power.

 

You Will Be Tested in Your Walk with God

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. (2 Corinthians 1:20)

Everything in God relates to bringing His promises into reality. Our lives all depend on promises, from marriage licenses, to job contracts, to mortgages, to student loans, and so on. We write up contracts so that both parties are bound to keep their side of the commitment. Our

world revolves around these promises, but the greater reality is based on one promise as well: Jesus was the fulfillment of God’s overarching promise to mankind. This was not an easy promise to fulfill; God gave His only Son as a sacrifice to fulfill His promise of restoration and eternal life. It is now up to mankind to abide by the terms of this agreement. We must choose to accept Christ’s death as atonement for our sin. This is a choice we each make on our own. God will be there all the way, but He will never interfere with our free will by forcing us to choose Him. Let us examine Abraham’s choice in the following scriptures.

The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:1-3)

God’s promise to Abraham is a promise to all of us. In order to share in the inheritance as His children, we must:

Walk in wholeness.

We need to accept His promises as truth in our lives and walk in confidence. Everything is in balance, and the Master is in control.

Have a sense of satisfaction.

You are not alone, unrepresented or marginalized. Do not worry about whether or not your income is sufficient. Be grateful for what you have, and as you walk with God, He will meet your needs.

Be fruitful.

It is the quality of your life that matters, not how much you have. Lead an impactful life, and be fruitful with what God has given to you.

Have a sense of divine destiny.

Know that you and your family are blessed. Believe that your life counts and can benefit others, and help those in need. Your life is not your own.

Adjust your mindset.

After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” But Abram said, “Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit[c] my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.” Then the word of the LORD came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness. (Genesis 15:1-6)

Think as God thinks.

Spirituality alone is not enough, nor should we idolize a prophetic promise above a relationship with the Lord.

According to Genesis 15:5, God changed Abraham’s perspective and thus, his mindset was never the same.

You are the manifestation of your thought process, so it is the first thing that needs to change.

We need a glimpse of the glory of God to awaken our minds to imagine what God can do for us.

Refuse a quick fix.

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Abram agreed to what Sarai said. So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. (Genesis 16:1-4)

Our culture constantly seeks quick and easy solutions. Be careful not to form expectations based on the quick fix mentality. This led to Ishmael’s conception. There are no shortcuts to our dreams. We need to be patient in our faith in God.

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. (Hebrews 6:10-12)

Only through patience can we inherit the promises of God. It is not easy to be patient when you are not in control of a situation, but we must learn to trust God and remember that things sometimes get worse before they get better.

Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.” Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?” Then the LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” (Genesis 18:10-14)

We can digress from our belief when we look at our circumstances. No wonder Sarah laughed.

Recalibrate your sense of timing with what God is doing in us and around you.

“Your slave is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her. (Genesis 16:6)

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.” Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. (Genesis 17:1-5)

But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. (Galatians 4:4-5)

Everything happens in the fullness of time, and all things have to be in order. We need to be in sync with God in order to discern His timing. Only by walking with Him can we be in the right place at the right time. Do not entertain the fear that you will be left out. Wait upon the Lord.

God visited Abraham and revealed Himself as El Shaddai, the God who nurtures. In this encounter, Abram’s name was changed to Abraham, and Sarai’s to Sarah. Abraham became the father of nations, and his life has become the demonstration of God’s faithfulness.

We need to change, for only then God can use us. Choose to obey and reach your destination.

Reject mental and emotional upheaval and persevere in challenging times.

Sometime later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”

Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.” (Genesis 22:1-2, 13-14)

You will be tested in your walk with God. Be courageous and obedient. Obedience is better than sacrifice. What God demands of us He will provide. Our God is Jehovah Jireh, the Lord who provides. Abraham trusted God’s provision so completely that he was willing to lay his son on an altar, believing that His good God could resurrect him from the dead. We must be willing to give our possessions to God when He asks. When we learn this concept and live by it, He will provide abundantly beyond all we can ask or imagine (see Ephesians 3:20).

You faith is as simple as, A, B, R; Ask, Believe and Receive.

“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” (Mark 11:22-25)

We can tell mountains to move if only we believe. However, we must also submit to God’s authority.

Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding it. (Matthew 11:11-12)

The least in the Kingdom of God is greater than John the Baptist.

We must pray with authority like John the Baptist.

Be a man or woman who walks in God’s authority based on His Word.

We need to pray for authority in this country.

We have authority even though we are the least in the Kingdom of God.

We are powerful.

We need to pray to aggressively to extend the Kingdom of God.

We need to have offensive faith.

Is your belief based on understanding, or do you understand as a result of faithful belief in God? When we submit to God’s authority our belief aligns with His greater understanding.

You Are Not Saved by Your Works but by Faith in the Lord Jesus

We are not saved by our works but by faith in the Lord Jesus. But if we believe in Him, then our lives should reflect His goodness through our works. In John 14, Jesus said that we can do greater works than He did when He walked on the Earth. Our lives are the evidence of our belief.

Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. (John 14:10-14)

What are the characteristics?

  1. We must accept our God-given greatness.

Though He remained humble before the Father, Jesus never denied His greatness. His claims to represent God ultimately led to His death. Scripture tells us that we are seated together with Christ in the heavenly realms, and a little godly confidence based on the authority we have in Christ would do us good. This kind of confidence is not determined by how many people are beneath you but by who sits above you. As God’s children, we are co-heirs with Christ. We need to accept and walk in the power of this truth if we are to see any evidence of God’s greater works in our lives.

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4-6)

The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. (Romans 8:16-17)

  1. You must serve unreservedly.

Jesus came to serve, not to be served. He gave up His crown and became a servant. Following in His footsteps, we need to serve unreservedly, helping one another with the love of our Lord. Serving God is synonymous with serving others. We are called to serve one another in love, a love that is unconditional. This is no easy task, and the only way to achieve it by dying to our flesh, as Jesus did on the cross. We can only do this if we constantly submit to the Spirit of God.

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. (Galatians 5:13)

Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 5:8-10)

  1. We must be full of the Holy Spirit.

It is in your advantage to be full of the Holy Spirit. Spirit-filled believers speak inspirationally and do everything according to His guidance rather than their fleshly desires. When filled with the Spirit, your life will become glorious evidence of the reality of God.

But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. (John 16:7)

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. (Galatians 5:16-17)

Believe in the supremacy of the Holy Spirit. Believe in the sufficiency of the Lord Jesus Christ. Believe in the sovereignty of the Father.

Jesus Paid the Price and You Are the Reason

 

Religions of the world seek to do good for mankind in various ways, but Christianity has one distinct difference: Jesus paid the price to atone for the sin of man and make a way to God through His death on the cross. Not only that, He rose from the dead, overcoming sin and is alive today and forever. It is for this reason alone that you and I can live in victory.

  1. The truth about Christianity:

Just as there were many who were appalled at him—his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness. (Isaiah 52:14)

He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:3-5)

He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. (Hebrews 9:12)

The scriptures above clearly demonstrates our status in Christ. By His stripes, we are healed and therefore have peace. The price of freedom from sin was paid once and for all, giving us resurrection power to live in the abundance of Christ.

And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. (Colossians 1:18)

  1. We need to Act on the truth by believing and accepting that Jesus died for our sin.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. (Matthew 13:45-46)

Jesus was the pearl of great value, and we need to sell everything so that we can have Him.

  1. Why should we embrace the truth?

What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. (Philippians 3:8-9)

Everything in this world is considered worthless compared to the knowledge of our Lord Jesus, the salvation we have in Him and the victorious life that comes with it.

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. (Hebrews 11:24-26)

Moses considered the treasures of Egypt worthless compared to his God.

While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep. (Acts 7:58-60)

Stephen was willing to lay down his life for Christ, even while being stoned to death.

  1. How can we embrace the truth?

The common factor among these biblical figures is that they were each supernaturally visited by the Holy Spirit or angels and so received revelation.

“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth.” (John 14:15-17)

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth Who enables us to understand the things of God.

”All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” (John 16:15)

For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:16-17)

Everything that we are and everything we can ever be comes from Him, and we are nothing without Him. Jesus is God’s precious gift to us.

The Jubilee of God, the Great Reset

  1. The Mosaic Jubilee.

Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land. Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each of you is to return to your family property and to your own clan. The fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; do not sow and do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the untended vines. For it is a jubilee and is to be holy for you; eat only what is taken directly from the fields. “‘In this Year of Jubilee everyone is to return to their own property.’” (Leviticus 25:9-13)

The above passage describes a time when everything had to come to a stop, and the people returned to their families. Slaves were released by law, and the nation entered into a time of rest, restoration and joy. During this time, God instructed the people to eat only food that had been intentionally sown in their fields.

  1. The Prophetic Jubilee.

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. (Isaiah 61:1-4)

The jubilee described in this passage is all about spiritual restoration. This can happen to anyone, anywhere.

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:18-21)

  1. The Messianic Jubilee.

Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:35-36)

John’s disciples told him about all these things. Calling two of them, he sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’” At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” (Luke 7:18-23)

In Christ, we are liberated; it is only a question of our belief. The blind will see; the deaf will hear. We must deal with our doubt, or it may lead us astray. In Luke 7, we see that John the Baptist had questions about Jesus, and he was the one who called Jesus the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world. During the time of questioning, John the Baptist was in prison, about to be beheaded. When you see God through your circumstances and not through His will, doubt can cloud your belief.

The power of jubilee is dependent on your faith in God.

Grace Empowered by Prayer or Prayer Empowered by Grace

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. (James 5:16-18)

When we do not pray, we become faint-hearted, discouraged and will ultimately quit. Confess your sins to each other, for, as James wrote, the prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.

  1. Grace releases divine, persistent stamina for prayer.

Effective means with energy. Energy implies action with efficiency. Energy beyond yourself comes from the grace of God.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. (Romans 8:26)

  1. Move from successful to significant; leave a legacy.

During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. (Hebrews 5:7)

Jesus prayed a prayer of submission because of the supernatural grace given to Him. Grace gives us patience to endure trials. Do not be intimidated as Elijah was intimidated by Jezebel even though he walked in the grace of God. Never doubt God. In worship, we are to give due recognition to our God. Pray with renewed persistence, pray beyond your faults and failures, and pray continuously.

Jesus prayed three times for the cup to pass. Daniel prayed for 21 days. Paul prayed three times for his healing. And Elijah prayed seven times for the rain to come.

  1. All things come by grace. Grace is enough.

So Ahab went off to eat and drink, but Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees. (1 Kings 18:42)

Elijah’s posture in prayer depicts his attitude of submission. God’s intervention is dependent on our faith in and submission to Him.

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. (1 John 5:14-15)

  1. How can we pray in the will of God?

Pray in the Spirit.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:16-21)

Pray like Paul, giving thanks in all circumstances.

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honourable… (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4)

… give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

(1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Do good.

For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. (1 Peter 2:15)

Our God always keeps His promises.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

Learn to pray in the will of God.

Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. (Matthew 9:38)

God will send His angels to fight for you.

So he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come; but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince.) (Daniel 10:20-21)

God gives us assurance in times of trial.

But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. (Acts 27:22)

Prayer empowered by divine grace brings divine intervention.

The Supremacy and Power of Love

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need. (Acts 4:32-35)

The Early Church demonstrated true, supreme love by gathering together in one accord. There was no lack; they connected one to another with one heart and purpose. We can all have that same heart.

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)

Our spiritual gifts mean nothing if we do not have love.

When you speak you can influence people, but without love, words are meaningless.

Love is superior to speech.

Love is superior to sacrifice.

Jesus died only once, but His love endures forever.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. (1 John 4:7-8, 12, 20)

The Apostle John mentioned the word love 46 times in 1 John alone.

We must be careful not to glorify knowledge above the love of God for one another.

There are four types of love:

  1. Forgiving Love.

Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, “Have everyone leave my presence!” So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household heard about it. Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still living?” But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence. Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no ploughing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. (Genesis 45:1-8)

What a great example of forgiveness. Joseph knew God and understood the purpose of his calling. It was not easy to forgive his brothers, but he did so by the grace of God.

  1. Redeeming Love.

The LORD said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.” So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley. Then I told her, “You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will behave the same way toward you.” (Hosea 3:1-3)

Like the prostitute who was redeemed, God has redeemed us forever. Though we sinned, God loved us.

  1. Compassionate Love.

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32)

Peter betrayed Jesus three times and backslid, but the Lord chose him and gave him revelation and knowledge.

  1. Healing Love.

Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psalm 103:1-5)

The love of God heals our minds, souls and bodies.

Call for Intimacy: Impacting the Marketplace

We are passing through turbulent times, and we need to make a profound, godly impact on the nations and in our marketplaces. How do we become like Christ in this world?

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. (Romans 8:29-30)

God predestined us to be conformed to the likeness of Christ. We are also predestined to be justified and glorified with Him. In other words, God created us to reflect His image to the world. The goal of this life is to look like Jesus. Sin distorts the image. What can we do to conform to the image of Christ?

  1. Living out our intended purpose requires a process that His Spirit works in us.

To look like God to the world, we must be full of Him in ever-increasing measure. Predestination means that God ordained a future reality for our lives. Jesus has already prepared the way, we need only to surrender to His restoration process, which began when we accepted Christ as Savior. We need to build on that foundation; it is a maturing process with God. We need to stay on-board the train until we reach our destination.

  1. Sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit.

We are each a work in progress, as the Holy Spirit works in us to set us apart. But we must learn to be sensitive to His voice and allow Him to lead us into holiness before God.

But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15)

All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. (1 John 3:3)

We are all the children of God who are called to be holy like our Heavenly Father whose name and image we bear. Sanctification is built on the foundation of our faith in God. Let us build on a strong foundation so that when the enemy attempts to shake our faith, we are able to stand confidently on solid ground. How big is God in your mind? Determine that nothing is impossible for your God, and frame your thoughts around that truth. Then, be a marathon runner, believing that with Him, you can finish the race.

  1. Your commitment is essential.

Never lose sight of your goal. Your outcome will be determined by your commitment to God.

  1. Build your foundation on the Rock, not the sand.

Our lives must be unified with God. He is the Rock of our salvation and our Refuge.

You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. (1 Thessalonians 1:6)

We are called to be imitators of Christ, following Him. Thus, the transformation process begins.

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

The Holy Spirit works in us daily, slowly transforming us into His image. We need to evaluate our lives by looking into the mirror of His Word. Do we reflect His image? Let us continually submit ourselves to change until we see the glory of God shining on our faces. Sanctification is a process from the inside out.