My thinking has a lot to do with where I go in life. God is a lot more concerned with where I am going than where I came from. God is in the spiritual realm. He has the best thoughts for me. If I do not begin to think there, I cannot go there in the natural. But if I begin to think in a different realm, that is, the spiritual, my thoughts will help me go there and bring back to the natural every spiritual blessing and prove the perfect will of God in my natural life.
To the man who came with a son who had a spirit that convulsed him, Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” (Mark 9:23). The man had come to Jesus and said, “From childhood. And often he (the evil spirit)has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” (Mark 9:22).
Reading Jesus’ response in Mark 9:23, Jesus in fact said to him, in so many words, “It’s not so much a matter of what I can do as it is of what you can believe. All things are possible to him that believes.”
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24) Jesus commanded the unclean spirit to leave the boy and healed the boy instantly.
Prayer for those similarly oppressed: Lord, I believe. In Jesus’ name I submit myself to you and resist the devil.
James 4:7 AMP So submit to [the authority of] God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him] and he will flee from you.
Healing is spiritual. What you confess is important as it impacts the spiritual realm.
“First John 4:2 says, “Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God.” When I talk about the Lord Jesus Christ, I’m not talking about some idea; I’m talking about the Son of God!
Jesus Christ of Nazareth came in the flesh and walked the shores of Galilee. When I talk about God, I’m not talking about my mind or your mind or someone else’s mind! I’m talking about a divine Personality – the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Confession: “Jesus Christ came in the flesh. He is the Son of God. And He died for me to redeem me from sin, sickness, and disease. I am free because Jesus came to this earth and died on the Cross for me. Thank You, Jesus!”
Above excerpts quoted from: Kenneth E. Hagin
I asked the Lord fresh words for this blog and perceived a verse: 1 Timothy 3:16 which talks about Godliness (Christlikeness) of/from Jesus. Both the apostles Paul and Peter told us to be godly. I quote below some related verses (red letters added by me). Note that godliness is associated with other characteristics: perfection (maturity in mind and character), virtue, integrity, righteousness, reverence, seriousness, faith, love, patience, gentleness of heart, contentment (inward sufficiency), knowledge, self-control, brotherly affection and Christian love.
Paul reminded Timothy that godliness requires training like he did physical exercises! It is not difficult, based on the assurance given by apostle Peter (2 Peter 1:1-4). Godliness promises great and abundant gain for this present life and the life to come! This is certainly good news!
Summary: Godliness is of divine nature. By the faith that God has given us in Jesus, through the divine power of the Holy Spirit, we get to know God and Jesus, and partake this godly nature.
1 Timothy 3:16 And great and important and weighty, we confess, is the hidden truth (the mystic secret) of godliness. He [God] was made visible in human flesh, justified and vindicated in the [Holy] Spirit, was seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, [and] taken up in glory.
The same passage 1 Timothy 3:16 from The Message Bible:
…This Christian life is a great mystery, far exceeding our understanding, but some things are clear enough: He appeared in a human body, was proved right by the invisible Spirit, was seen by angels. He was proclaimed among all kinds of peoples, believed in all over the world, taken up into heavenly glory.
Some passages on godliness from the New Testament:
Matthew 5:48 You, therefore, must be perfect [growing into complete maturity of godliness in mind and character, having reached the proper height of virtue and integrity], as your heavenly Father is perfect.
1 Timothy 2:2 For kings and all who are in positions of authority or high responsibility, that [outwardly] we may pass a quiet and undisturbed life [and inwardly] a peaceable one in all godliness and reverence and seriousness in every way.
1 Timothy 4:7-8 But refuse and avoid irreverent legends (profane and impure and godless fictions, mere grandmothers’ tales) and silly myths, and express your disapproval of them. Train yourself toward godliness (piety), [keeping yourself spiritually fit]. For physical training is of some value (useful for a little), but godliness (spiritual training) is useful and of value in everything and in every way, for it holds promise for the present life and also for the life which is to come.
1 Timothy 6:6 [And it is, indeed, a source of immense profit, for] godliness accompanied with contentment (that contentment which is a sense of inward sufficiency) is great and abundant gain.
1 Timothy 6:11 But as for you, O man of God, flee from all these things; aim at and pursue righteousness (right standing with God and true goodness), godliness (which is the loving fear of God and being Christlike), faith, love, steadfastness (patience), and gentleness of heart.
2 Peter 1:6-7 And in [exercising] knowledge [develop] self-control, and in [exercising] self-control [develop] steadfastness (patience, endurance), and in [exercising] steadfastness [develop] godliness (piety), And in [exercising] godliness [develop] brotherly affection, and in [exercising] brotherly affection [develop] Christian love.
2 Peter 1:1-4 New King James Version (NKJV)
Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
The Race of Faith
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
The Discipline of God
3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. 4 You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. 5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:
“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.”[a]
7 If[b] you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Renew Your Spiritual Vitality
12 Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.
14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; 16 lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. 17 For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.
The Glorious Company
18 For you have not come to the mountain that[c] may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness[d] and tempest, 19 and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. 20 (For they could not endure what was commanded: “And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned[e] or shot with an arrow.”[f] 21 And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.”[g])
22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.
Hear the Heavenly Voice
25 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, 26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake[h] not only the earth, but also heaven.”[i] 27 Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.
28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may[j] serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.
Hebrews 12:6 Proverbs 3:11, 12
Hebrews 12:7 NU-Text and M-Text read It is for discipline that you endure; God . . . .
Hebrews 12:18 NU-Text reads to that which.
Hebrews 12:18 NU-Text reads gloom.
Hebrews 12:20 NU-Text and M-Text omit the rest of this verse.
Hebrews 12:20 Exodus 19:12, 13
Hebrews 12:21 Deuteronomy 9:19
Hebrews 12:26 NU-Text reads will shake.
Hebrews 12:26 Haggai 2:6
Hebrews 12:28 M-Text omits may.
(The Holy Scripture is quoted from the Holy Bible: Hebrews 12 New King James Version (NKJV))
When Jesus is around, people are astonished. Why? Because of the ease He catches things that we value for our livelihood even at the hardest external physical circumstances and environment. We know and have tested. The situation is like ground zero. Nothing can be done. No production. No income. No more resources. We are not in control. The elements are against us. The list goes on. But with Jesus is just the opposite. Everything favors Him. The wind, the sea, the fishes. All obey Him. He merely speaks and they come.
THE KEY TO NOT IN LACK: Be astonished at the catch of fish. Be around Jesus. Be in Christ.
[Luk 5:4-6 NKJV] 4 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” 6 And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking.8 When Simon Peter saw [it], he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” 9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken;
[Jhn 21:3-11 NKJV] 3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We are going with you also.” They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing. 4 But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Then Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any food?” They answered Him, “No.” 6 And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find [some].” So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish. 7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on [his] outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea. 8 But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from land, but about two hundred cubits), dragging the net with fish. 9 Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have just caught.” 11 Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken.
I do some ritualistic actions like taking the Holy Communion daily without fail. I do it because I am convicted to do it. I take the time to remember what the Lord Jesus has done. I take the time to read and proclaim the words of God. I take the time to listen to the Lord, pray and intercede as the Spirit of the Lord leads me. It is always a person time between my Lord and me. My intercession during the Holy Communion time is always for a small group of close ones: my family and loved ones, my former house group (a few families). Why do I limit my prayer to this tiny group? I have no answer or explanation. I just know this is a private personal time and I hold up to my Lord those who are dearest to my heart at this time. I believe the Lord’s Spirit has led me. This private time with my Lord is always a very precious experience. I rise early, usually well before others rise. I prepare the cup and the bread. I identify a spot at the living room where I can kneel down and pray. I kneel down. I take the Holy Communion. I intercede and petition. When traveling I confine myself to my room. It works for me just the same. I always have a spot where I can commune with my Lord in privacy. Taking the bread and the cup is a private matter for me when living among people who do not do this practice. Have my prayers been answered and granted? My answer is yes. I have no doubt that the Lord has answered and granted my requests. Have I ever grown tired of this ‘ritual’? My answer is no. I have done this for a long time and I have always encountered my Lord afresh in this morning hour. Never tired. If someone does not do this will their prayers ad petitions be answered and granted? I have no answer. That someone has to answer himself. I enjoy my time this way as I kneel before the Lord and pour out my heart to prepare myself and my loved ones for another day. I cannot remember how long have I been doing this. It’s not important. The fact that I am doing it today matters. Today is the day that really matters. Today I stay close to my Lord. This matters. Is this the only way to stay close to Him? I have no answer for you. I have only my own experience to stand on. One thing I can testify is that taking the bread and the cup has a beneficial spiritual significance for those who believe. For that matters, Christianity is spiritual. I am speaking out of my own personal experience. So there is no condemnation for anyone who does not believe in the spirituality of Christianity. Two things are fundamental truth in Christianity: God is Spirit. We live by faith. Taking the Holy Communion is my faith in the unseen God in action. Here are my favorite Bible verses from Jesus in John 6: 35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” 51 “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in Me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent Me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on Me will live because of Me.
For every believer who wants to walk and live in the Kingdom of God, in the power and authority of Jesus, here is the List (1). A good list to start the year with. Yes, it has to do with our continuing to pursue and take full possession of every spiritual blessing in Christ in the heavenly realms the Lord has given through His words. (Ephesians 1:3) Since we already have the motivation, we want to know ‘how’ to receive them. The ‘HOW’ list starts TODAY, the watchman was told. (Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version. Boldness added.)
FIRST THINGS FIRST –SEE OUR SAVIOR, JESUS
The Gospel according to Matthew —
John the Baptist and messenger from God spoke:
3:1 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
3:11 “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
3:17 “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (NKJV)
4:4 “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
4:7 “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
4:10 “Away from Me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’”
God spoke again:
17:5 “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him.”
The Gospel according to John (NKJV)
Jesus spoke again:
11:41-42 “Father, I thank you that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.”
14:10-11 “…The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me,”
17:28 “I came forth from the Father and have come into the world…”
Many people at this time want to see what Christians see and to hear what we hear. What do we really see and hear? What message shall we say to those who hunger and thirst to know the truth and reality of our belief and why we are doing what we do and saying what we say persisting and insisting on the faith that has withstood time and history over two thousand years old? When Jesus sent out His disciples He reminded them several important things:
- They are to go to those cities He Himself was about to go.
- They are to know that the harvest is plentiful. The shortage is in the workers and not the harvest.
- They need to know that the harvest field is full of wolves.
- They need to remember that these three things are together: The Kingdom of God, healing the sick, the Peace of God.
- They are to know that He has given them (those whose names are recorded in heaven in the Book of Life) His authority and power (of the Holy Spirit) to overcome the enemy and do mighty work.
- They are to stay in the Peace given by Jesus regardless of the response of the people who hear their good news message and see their supernatural mighty good work which testify for Jesus.
- They are to always remember and witness that Jesus is the only way to God. No one can come to the Father (God) except through Jesus.
John 14:5-6 New King James Version (NKJV)
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
The Seventy Sent Out
10 After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also,[a] and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go.
2 Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. 3 Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves.5 But whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 9 And heal the sick there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But whatever city you enter, and they do not receive you, …Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near you.’ 12 But[c] I say to you that it will be more tolerable in that Day for Sodom than for that city.
Woe to the Impenitent Cities
13 “Woe to you, .! Woe to you, ..! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in .., they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. .. 15 And you, ..will be brought down to Hades.[d] 16 He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.”
The Seventy Return with Joy
17 Then the seventy[e] returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”
18 And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather[f] rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
Jesus Rejoices in the Spirit
21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. 22 All[g] things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”
23 Then He turned to His disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see; 24 for I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see, and have not seen it, and to hear what you hear, and have not heard it.”
- Luke 10:1 NU-Text reads seventy-two others.
- Luke 10:11 NU-Text reads our feet.
- Luke 10:12 NU-Text and M-Text omit But.
- Luke 10:15 NU-Text reads will you be exalted to heaven? You will be thrust down to Hades!
- Luke 10:17 NU-Text reads seventy-two.
- Luke 10:20 NU-Text and M-Text omit rather.
- Luke 10:22 M-Text reads And turning to the disciples He said, “All . . .
Jesus gave His life in order to rescue us from this evil world. He did it because it is God’s will. No one can earn his own salvation from sins and the evil of this world. God’s grace is unmerited favour. People who do not want Jesus are not pleased with free unmerited gift from God. But Jesus says, enter through the narrow gate or perish.
3 May God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ[b] give you grace and peace. 4 Jesus gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live. 5 All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.
10 Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.
12 I received my message from no human source, and no one taught me. Instead, I received it by direct revelation from Jesus Christ.[d]
15 But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace. Then it pleased him 16 to reveal his Son to me[e] so that I would proclaim the Good News about Jesus to the Gentiles.
4 Even that question came up only because of some so-called believers there—false ones, really[b]—who were secretly brought in. ..They wanted to enslave us and force us to follow their Jewish regulations. 5 But we refused to give in to them for a single moment. We wanted to preserve the truth of the gospel message for you.
15 “You and I are Jews by birth, not ‘sinners’ like the Gentiles. 16 Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.”[d]
19 For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God. 20 My old self has been crucified with Christ.[e] It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.