Hope

Its been a rough ride since this year began with the stock markets sliding, the price of crude oil moving south and a large number of lay offs in both the oil sector and banking. This, compounded by the state of affairs in the Middle East, the refugee crisis, the constant squabble between nations as they strive for supremacy, the North Korean issue and the depths of evil in men’s hearts leaves one with a dark foreboding of what the future has in store for the world.

Even so,  I am reminded of the passage in Isaiah 6 where, despite the events that were taking place on earth, the seraphim proclaimed that the whole earth was filled with God’s glory. I guess it is a matter of perspective and of hope.

As I was seeking God in December last year, the Lord impressed this one word in my spirit – “Hope”. I then began to read the Scriptures and compiled a study on hope, which I would like to share with you.

Hope is the earnest expectation of good; it is the confidence that good will come to pass; an optimistic view of the future. As a Christian, we have several reasons for hope; in fact, we are to be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us (1 Pet 3:15).

The Bible says in Romans 15:13 – “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Our God is the God of hope. He expects us to abound with hope even in the darkest of situations – in the midst of sickness, hope for healing and health; in the midst of a loss of job, hope for a better job; in the midst of a marital conflict, hope for healing and restoration; in the midst of a financial crisis, hope for prosperity; in the midst of an impossible situation, hope for a miracle; in the midst of barrenness, hope for children; in the midst of bondage, hope for deliverance and freedom. He will empower us by the Holy Spirit that we may not only have hope, but overflow with hope. Our hope will not disappoint us; it will come to fruition (Rom 5:5). Hope is the anchor of the soul, is both sure and steadfast (Hebrews 6:19), and brings rest (Ps 16:9). It enables us to experience the glorious presence of the Lord (Heb 6:19).

As we examine this topic, we must be cautious that all our hope is not solely set on the things of this life. The Word says in 1 Cor 15:19 – “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.” We understand from this that our hope in Christ will bear fruit both with regard to life in this world and life in the age to come. It is only when we lose sight of the life to come and solely focus on the things of this life that we become pitiable.

What then do we hope for ? Both for this life on earth and the life to come.

  1. For this life on earth – An excellent example is found in the life of Abraham in Romans 4. Verse 18 says “who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, ‘So shall your descendants be’.” Abraham placed his hope in God’s promise that he would have a child through Sarah. He had every reason to be filled with despair especially since he was about 100 years old and Sarah was 90 and barren. Yet, he chose to place his hope in God’s promise to him. The situation required a miracle; Abraham could choose to either have hope or to despair. He chose to hope, believing that God would fulfill his promise. He was rewarded with a miraculous intervention and Isaac was born through Sarah.
    What is your situation? Is it sickness, a loss of job, a crisis in your marriage, insubordinate children, financial problems, barrenness, prison, persecution, trials ? Does the future seem bleak and threaten doom? Place your hope in God. David did the same. Read Psalm 42 and 43. In the midst of oppression by the enemy and deep distress, David spoke to his own soul saying in verse 5 and 11, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.” Can you pause and speak to your soul in like manner, right now?
  2. For the life to come – Titus 3:7 speaks of the hope of eternal life. Our hope in God extends beyond this life to the life which is to come after death. The Word speaks in 2 Corinthians that when we are absent from this world, we will be present with the Lord. Paul speaks in Philippians of departing to be with Christ. There is a life for us after this life on earth – a life spent in the presence of God for eternity. Faith in Jesus Christ gives us this wonderful hope of spending eternity in God’s marvellous presence.
    In Romans 8:23-25, Paul speaks of eagerly waiting with perseverance in hope for the redemption of the body. Our bodies will one day be changed, when Jesus returns, and we will obtain glorious bodies.
    1 Peter 1:3,4 speaks of God placing within us the hope of an inheritance in heaven, with Him keeping us by his power while on earth so that we can inherit all things with Christ. In 1:13, he speaks of the grace that will be brought to us when Jesus is revealed from heaven at his coming – a grace that will transform us instantly to be like Jesus.
    We also have hope that Jesus will return for His church, that He will destroy the Anti Christ and bring in a new heavens and a new earth, that we will reign with Christ.
    Look beyond this life; your life to come is secure and assured because you are in Christ.

What is the basis for the Christian’s hope?

  1. Jeremiah 29:11 shows us that we have a God who thinks about us constantly, to do us good so that we may have hope and a future.
  2. Jeremiah 17:7 speaks blessing upon the man whose hope is the Lord. It is not just placing our hope in God, but our hope is God himself -in who He is.
  3. Hebrews 6:17-19 God’s word and promises are sufficient basis for hope.
  4. Romans 15:4 – “we through the patience and comfort of Scriptures might have hope.”
  5. Romans 4:17,18 – God’s promise to Abraham was the basis for his hope despite having every reason to despair.
  6. Colossians 1:27 – Christ in us is the hope of glory. Because Christ dwells in us, we can expect to experience and see His glory being revealed in our lives and in our situations. You can expect God Himself to show up in His glory, just as he did in the lives of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego when they were thrown into the fiery furnace.
  7. Christ’s life, death and resurrection – God the Father was with Jesus at every moment of his life on earth, He was with him in death in that He did not allow Jesus’ body to see corruption, He was with Jesus as He raised him from the dead and enabled him to ascend to heaven. Jesus’ life gives us a reason for hope. God will not abandon us but be with us every step of the way.

We find the Scriptures speaking of hope in our spirits – when the Holy Spirit fills us (Rom 15:13); hope in our souls – just as David spoke to his soul to hope in God (Psalm 42:11) and hope for our bodies – David says in Psalm 16:9,10 “Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rest in hope, For you will not leave my soul in Sheol nor will you allow your Holy one to see corruption.”

Therefore, saint of God, don’t give up.

Abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Hope changes the atmosphere around you, it fills the atmosphere with expectation so that all who come in contact with you will be impacted and will want to know the reason for the hope that you have. Your best life may well be ahead of you.

God be with you.

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Mercy and Grace

Hebrews 4:16 “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

Lets try to understand mercy and grace by what they do in our lives. I trust that this will be a revelation to you and will enable you to come boldly to the throne of grace yourself that you may also receive mercy and find grace to help you in your time of need.

  1. Mercy brings Jesus Christ from heaven to earth; Grace brings Jesus Christ into my heart. (Luke 1:78; 2Cor 13:5, Gal 2:20)
  2. Mercy brings forgiveness, Grace breaks the power of sin over me and brings victory over sin. (Matthew 18:33; Romans 6:14)
  3. Mercy brings deliverance; Grace brings authority over the kingdom of darkness. (Matthew 17:15,18; Luke 10:19)
  4. Mercy brings healing; Grace brings divine health. (Mark 10:46-52; Matthew 8:17, 3John2)
  5. Mercy brings salvation; Grace works out that salvation in my life. (Titus 3:5; Titus 2:11)

God is the Father of mercies and the God of all grace. He is rich in mercy (Eph 2:4) and rich in grace (Eph 2:7). You became a recipient of the richness of God ‘s mercy and His grace when you turned to Christ for salvation.

Lift up your head; mercy and grace will help you in your time of need.

Food in due season

Luke 12:42 – “Who then is that faithful and wise steward whom his master will make ruler over his household to give them their portion of food in due season?”

Friend, you have been given a charge from God to be a steward over God’s household. None of us lives for himself and none of us dies to himself so the Christian life is not designed to be lived in isolation. The Christian life is a life of living interaction and fellowship with other imperfect people who have trusted in Christ for salvation.  The church of Jesus is filled with people who struggle through life – the weak, the poor, the despised, those that are not esteemed and sinners. They need Christ during the whole week, not just on Sundays.

God wants you to be a faithful and wise steward over his house – one whom He can trust to take care of his people.

What then, is the food that He wants you to provide His people with in due season?

  1. God’s Word – Matthew 4:4 “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” You are expected to feed God’s people with the Word of God.
  2. Jesus – John 6:35 “And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life.” You are expected to feed God’s people with Jesus. All that you speak and do should point people to Christ. Colossians 2:17 speaks of the substance of life being Christ himself.
  3. God’s will – John 4:34 “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” You are expected to teach God’s people to seek and do the will of God. Paul prays that the Colossians be filled with the knowledge of God’s will.
  4. Deliverance and healing – Mark 7:27 “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” Jesus spoke these words to the Syro-Phoenician woman who was seeking deliverance for her demonized daughter. Acts 10:38 speaks of Jesus being anointed with the Holy Spirit and power who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil. Here, we see that sickness is an oppression of the devil. Therefore, you are expected to provide healing and deliverance to God’s people in the name of Jesus.

Luke 12:43 “Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing (giving them their portion of food in due season) when He comes.”

Conflicts in the Christian mind

It is easy to recognize the Christian who is at rest – it will be evident in his/her appearance and in the eyes. In fact, rest, joy and peace ought to be the distinguishing characteristics of a Christian. Jesus said that he would provide rest, his joy and his peace.

The Bible speaks of various sources of conflict that could move the Christian out of a place of rest in Christ. Lets look at them and why they occur.

1. Galatians 5:17 “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” The primary source of conflict is when the flesh and Spirit compete for control. After salvation, it often takes a long time for the Holy Spirit to take complete control of the individual as the flesh does not easily submit to God. I have seen in my own life and have begun to discern in others this conflict between the flesh and the Spirit.

2. 1Peter 2:11 “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul.” Indulgement of fleshly lusts creates a war/conflict in the soul – the mind, will and emotions.

3. James 4:4,5 “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells within us yearns jealously.”” Love of the world and friendship with the world creates a conflict with the Holy Spirit within the individual.

4. Ephesians 6:12 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Spiritual warfare could create a conflict in the mind. The spiritual atmosphere over cities differs and one could come under oppression in certain cities where the power of darkness has greater control. For example, the spiritual oppression in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is so much more than in Chennai, India.

Breakdown in relationships are also a major cause of conflict. Here, I have noticed an evil under the sun – the inability of many Christians to see the error of their ways and to apologise for their wrongs. Even husband and wife have not learned that elementary lesson in Marriage 101 – acknowledging their mistakes and apologising for them to each other.

Paul speaks of conflict caused by persecution, so much so that he despaired even of life. He speaks of this in his two letters to the Corinthians. It is worth noting here that the Bible does not guarantee protection from persecution. We can pray to be kept from persecution and from the great trial that will come upon the earth, thats all.

Are you at rest? If you are not at rest, may I encourage you to check and find out why?

If the unrest is due to persecution, do pray that God will provide deliverance from wicked and unreasonable men. If the unrest is due to spiritual warfare, do press in, it is only for a season, don’t give up until you have won the victory and get back into the place of rest. If the unrest is due to any other reason as we have seen above, please take the time to deal with the cause of the unrest so that we may experience the rest that Jesus died to provide.

That place in the Spirit

The further I travel in my walk with God, the more I can see my need for a greater measure of the Holy Spirit. In Christendom too, I can see that we have only received a limited unction from God; we have received the Spirit only in a measure. There is a life described in the Bible that is expected of any person who has received the baptism with the Holy Spirit, which I find to be out of reach of most Christians, the reason not being a lack of effort on our part but a lack of unction. There is a place we must yearn for and reach in the Spirit where the Spirit of God rests so fully upon us that we will be able to experience the Christian life described in the Bible. Does’nt Paul pray for the Ephesian believers to be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:19)? Had’nt they already received the Spirit? Certainly!

How does the Bible describe this life? Lets look at some verses.

1. 1John 2:6 “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” This verse speaks of living as Jesus lived.

2. 1Corinthians 2:16 “But we have the mind of Christ.” This speaks of thinking as Jesus thinks.

3. John 14:12 “Most assuredly I say to you, he who believes in me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do because I go to my Father.” This speaks of doing what Jesus did.

None of the above is remotely possible without the Holy Spirit.

I have had the privilege of leading people to Christ, baptizing people in water, leading people into the baptism of the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands, casting out demons and healing the sick in the name of Jesus. I can tell you that I do get a great sense of fulfillment while in ministry, however there is still a deep yearning within my soul for I know that there is a higher place of union and communion with Christ that alone will truly satisfy. All ministry is just the natural outcome of the union and communion we have with Christ.

The soul can only be satisfied with more of God; ministry can never take God’s place. I believe that is why Paul, despite the wonderful ministry and the miracles he performed, still yearned to know Christ in a greater measure.

May the Lord Jesus, the baptizer in the Holy Spirit, pour out His Spirit upon us in a greater measure so that we can enter into this supernatural life that he promised.

Trading the truth for a lie

The Bible tells us that the end result of people who live in adultery is “total ruin” and “death”. We can see this in Proverbs 5:14, 23. In fact, the entire chapter speaks of the perils of adultery. We must understand that sins have consequences – at a basic level, please note that all the men who left Egypt, except for two could not enter the promised land because they refused to believe God and obey him; they all died in the wilderness. They still had supernatural provision and protection for 40 years, but they died in the wilderness.

Having said this, I would like to address another sin that the Bible warns against – homosexuality. I would like to show you what the Bible says about this sin.

1. Leviticus 18:22 “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.” It is an abomination.

2. 2 Peter 2:7 “and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked.” It is called “filthy”.

3. Judges 19:22 “As they were enjoying themselves, suddenly certain men of the city, perverted men (sons of Belial), surrounded the house and beat on the door. They spoke to the master of the house, the old man, saying, “Bring out the man who came to your house, that we may know him carnally.”” The terms used here are “perverted” and “sons of Belial” or “sons of the devil”. 

4. Romans 1:24-28 NLT – “So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each others bodies. They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshipped and served the things God created instead of the creator himself who is worthy of eternal praise. That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved. Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do the things that never should be done.” From this passage, we can see that it is called “vile and degrading”, “shameful”, “unnatural”, “sin”, “deserves a penalty”, “will suffer a penalty in their bodies”, “foolish thinking” and “things that never should have been done.”

5. 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10 – “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators……..nor homosexuals, nor sodomites …… will inherit the kingdom of God.” It is called “unrighteous”. The verse also shows that such will not inherit the kingdom of God.

I would also like to list the probable causes of homosexual behaviour. Do note that this is my personal opinion. 

1. It is caused by an unclean spirit/demon of homosexuality.

2. The spirit compels the flesh to desire and indulge in this sinful activity. It is compulsive. Thats why people think that they “are made that way”. Over a period of time, it becomes ingrained as normal behaviour so much so that even after the spirit has been cast out, people still struggle with temptation because their flesh has been indulged and conditioned for such a long time.

3. This spirit comes in either through molestation, or rape or hatred of men or hatred of women or pornography or oral sex or through the generational line when ancestors (male and female; husband and wife; father and mother) have indulged in anal sex. A word of caution here – not everyone who harbours a spirit ends up with a homosexual lifestyle.

Brethren, may the God of peace sanctify us through and through and may our whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls us is faithful and He will do it.

The work of Christ

“Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am meek and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. – Matt 11:28-30”.

The text from Matthew 11:28-30 has been used frequently in calling sinners to Jesus Christ, offering them freedom from their bondages, salvation and rest.

Today, however let us look at this passage in a different light – I want you to see it as a call from Jesus to work with Him. The picture of a yoke (and oxen) speaks of ploughing a field or of drawing a cart. Oxen are placed under a yoke only for work. Jesus is calling you to work with Him, to learn from Him and to find rest in the process. You are not called to work alone, you will be working with Jesus and doing His work. Instead of labouring and being heavy laden as with any yoke, the work of Jesus will bring rest and refreshing.

I have noticed that in my past four ministry trips to the Philippines, I have gone in tired and weary (I hold a full time job and did experience much spiritual warfare prior to leaving) but have come out rested and refreshed – in fact, I returned from the Philippines in a better spiritual state than when I went in. There seems to be something about the work of Christ that, instead of wearing one out, brings rest.

Let us look, as usual, at the Word to understand more about the work that Jesus calls us to.

1. Philippians 2:30 “because for the work of Christ, he came close to death……”

2. Acts 13:2 “…now separate to me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

3. 2 Timothy 2:15 “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed,……”

4. 1 Corinthians 3:9 “For we are God’s fellow workers…..”

5. 1 Corinthians 3:13, 14 “……the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.”

6. 1 Corinthians 15:10 “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I laboured (worked) more abundantly than they all,……..”

7. 1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”

What is the work of Christ ?

I believe it is preaching the gospel, making disciples, building Jesus’ church and doing the works that Jesus did such as destroying the works of the devil, healing the sick and casting out demons. 

Paul said that the ministry he received was to testify to the gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24). Jesus commanded his disciples to go into all the world and to preach the gospel and to make disciples (Mark 16:15-18 and Matthew 28:19,20). He also said that he was building his church (Matt 16:18). Mark’s gospel ends with a lovely phrase in 16:20 – “and the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs.” Paul speaks of Christ working mighty signs and wonders through him as he went about preaching the gospel (Romans 15:18,19). In 1 Corinthians 3:9-15, we are admonished to take care how we build and also that our work will be tested with fire to see of what sort it is. We see people like Paul and Epaphroditus who dedicated their entire lives to the work of Christ, one came close to death because of that, while Paul gave up his life in the process. We see that while Jesus calls all of us to work with Him, some are called to engage in the work full time and be supported by other believers, while others like Paul, work and support themselves. In this work, while it is open to all and everyone has a specific task, there are some who are called to specific areas of service or functions such as apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher. All are equal in God’s eyes and each one will receive a reward for the work they have done.

Today, Jesus calls you to partner with Him in His work. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Will you respond?

Revelation

As a general rule, revelation precedes Christian experience. All we can know of God is when God reveals himself to us through His word or through His Spirit.

Revelation can be understood as the unveiling of God to the believer OR as the opening of the believer’s understanding to God and the things of God. Revelation is totally the work of the Holy Spirit; man can never attain this knowledge or experience on his own. It must be of God.

1. One’s sinfulness – Acts 2:37 “Now, when they heard this, they were cut to the heart….” Luke 5:8 “…..Depart from me for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”

2. Jesus as Saviour, Lord and God – John 20:28 “And Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God””. Also, Acts 9:3-5.

3. The Father – Matthew 11:27 “….Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal him”.

4. Jesus – Eph 1:17 “….give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him (Christ)”. Luke 24:31 “Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him and vanished from their sight.” Also, Revelation 1:9-18 and Philippians 3:10 and Matt 16:17.

5. The love of Christ – Eph 3:19 “to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge……”.

6. The things that God has prepared for us – 1 Cor 2:9,10 “Eye has not see, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit….”.

7. The things of the Holy Spirit – 1 Cor 2:14 “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned”. Acts contains many instances where the Holy Spirit revealed things to the apostles and Paul eg- Ananias and Sapphira lying.

8. Jesus Christ IN us – Galatians 1:16 “to reveal His Son IN me…..” In my opinion, this is the greatest revelation that you and I need in order to live the Christian life in power. Jesus Christ in us – living in us, speaking through us, doing his ministry through us, overcoming sin, Satan, sickness and the world through us. No longer I but Christ living in me.

9. Wonderful things in the Word – Psalms 119:18 “Open my eyes that I may see wondrous things from your law”.

10. God’s dealings with the wicked and the righteous – Psalms 73:16, 17 “When I thought how to understand this, it was too painful for me – until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end”.

11. Mysteries of the kingdom and Christ – Matthew 13:11 “….it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven……” Galatians 1:12 “For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Also Ephesians 3:2-6.

Once we receive revelation from God, we must press in to experience what has been revealed to us. Having a revelation of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, for instance, is not of much use unless it is followed by the experience of receiving the Holy Spirit. Having a revelation of God as healer is of not much use unless it is followed by experiencing his healing.

All through the journey of the Israelites across the desert, God was constantly revealing himself – as their provider, as miracle worker, as healer, as shepherd, as guide, as protector and more. The Israelites could not see this – all they could see was their own need.

Similarly, and in fact, in a much greater way, God is revealing himself to us. Jesus said, “he who has seen me has seen the Father.” Jesus was the perfect revelation of God the Father.

May we desire to know him by revelation and experience all that He has for us on this earth. Cry out to him to reveal himself – only knowing Christ will satisfy your soul. There is a place for us to express our deep desire to know Him through prayer and at times, fasting – God normally answers this cry. We do not have, because we do not ask.

The love of God

In Ephesians 3:19, the love of God is described as that which surpasses knowledge. In other words, it cannot be understood by the mind; it can only be known by the human spirit; it is spiritually discerned and experienced. God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son to save those who believe.

Let us look at some verses of Scripture that speak of the love of God –

1. Ephesians 3:19 “…to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge….”. The love of Christ is beyond our understanding; it must be known and experienced and apprehended by the spirit of man. No amount of study can enable us to understand the love of God. We need God to reveal his love and enable us to experience it. It is only after this experience that we can be filled with all the fullness of God (vs 19).

2. Romans 5:5 ” the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit…”. The love of God has to be received in our spirits. The love of God has been placed in our spirits by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit alone can help us to spiritually comprehend and apprehend the love of God.

3. John 15:9 “As the Father loved me, I also have loved you; abide in my love.” Jesus encourages his disciples to abide in his love – to be conscious of His love for them; to make an effort to remind ourselves that we are loved perfectly with a flawless love.

4. Jude 21 “keep yourselves in the love of God”. This is similar to abiding in the love of Jesus – to be conscious of the love of Jesus.

5. Romans 8:35-39 “…nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Paul had such a spiritual understanding and experience of the love of God that he was convinced that nothing in all creation could separate us from God’s love. It is a perfect love, for Jesus said that he loves us just as the Father loved him (John 15:9). Also that the Father loves us to the same extent that He loves Jesus (John 17:23).

Today, let us understand that we are loved by God – with a perfect love; nothing can come in the way of God’s perfect love for us. He loves us to the same extent and with the same passion that He loved Jesus. Anything that tries to come in the way of God’s love will be consumed and taken out of the way. We are held in the mighty force field of God’s love similar to the gravitational pull of the earth. Nothing can snatch us out of His hand. His steadfast love never ceases; it is new today. How great is the love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called children of God. The love that was manifested in Christ leaving the glory of Heaven, coming down to earth, taking on human flesh and going to the cross to take our place.

May God continue to open the eyes of our hearts that we may comprehend the width and the length and the depth and the height of the love of Christ and to know this love that surpasses knowledge. Words cannot express this love, they are inadequate; it must be experienced by our spirits.

Anointings

Christianity is divinely supernatural from beginning to end. Everything about Christianity is supernatural. It is about receiving, not achieving. Take out the supernatural element from Christianity and you have nothing left. Why, Jesus coming to earth itself was supernatural ! Jesus dwelling in me is supernatural ! Salvation is supernatural ! The Christian is a person with a divine supernatural experience from God through Jesus Christ throughout his life on earth.

I just returned from a short ministry trip to the Philippines this morning and among other things, I was filled with a great desire to experience more of God. Both yesterday and today I was meditating on the word “anointing” and would like to pen my thoughts on the subject for your edification.

1. Anointing with the Holy Spirit (for ministry)

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He (the Lord) has anointed me to ……..” Luke 4:!8. When Jesus spoke of the anointing, He referred to God anointing him with the Holy Spirit. God had placed His Spirit upon Jesus. Just as the prophets of old anointed with oil or poured oil upon the heads of kings or their successors, God had anointed Jesus not with oil, but with the Holy Spirit. When the anointing of the Holy Spirit was upon him, he received supernatural ability to preach, to teach, to heal, to raise the dead and to set people free from bondage to demons. The purpose of the anointing of the Holy Spirit was to grant supernatural ability for ministry.

2. Anointing with power (for ministry)

In Acts 10:38, we see that God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power. The power of God rested upon Jesus to work miracles and to heal the sick.

3. Anointing with joy (for living)

In addition to God anointing Jesus with the Holy Spirit, we also read of God anointing Jesus with joy. In Hebrews 1:9, we see, “…..God has anointed you with the oil of joy more than your companions.” A supernatural joy was placed upon Jesus.

When I see that God anointed Jesus with supernatural joy, I am inclined to consider that it is possible for God to not only anoint us with joy, but with the other fruit or characteristics of the Holy Spirit, such as love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self control, humility and the fear of God. These verses in Galatians 5 speak of the fruit of the Spirit, not the fruit of the natural man, not the product of trying and striving and changing. The fruit is of the Spirit, not out of self-effort. It is the divine supernatural – beyond the natural; that which is impossible for man to achieve or experience by his own effort. The fruit of the Spirit refers to supernatural love, supernatural joy, supernatural peace, supernatural patience, supernatural kindness, supernatural goodness, supernatural faithfulness, supernatural self control, supernatural humility and the supernatural fear of God.

I believe that we can experience the various anointings of God. The anointings for ministry refer to the anointing with the Holy Spirit and the anointing with power. These anointings empower us for ministry. The anointings for our daily life refer to the anointings that bring the supernatural characteristics of the Holy Spirit into our daily experience, the only condition being our yieldedness to Him.

I greatly desire the anointings of God in all of their variety, to rest upon my being. Some of them come upon us for a season, while others rest upon us permanently.

May the chief pursuit of our lives be intimacy with God, fellowship with Him, us containing more of Him and Him having all of us.