Believe That You Have Received

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Believe That You Have Received

Matthew 21:19 “And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.”

The Greek word for presently means “instantly; immediately; soon.” However, the disciples didn’t realize that the fig tree had died until the next day. If the tree died instantly, why didn’t they notice it until the next morning? The answer to this question is found in Mark 11:20. The tree was dead from the roots up. The tree did die instantly just as the Word declared, but what had happened to the roots wasn’t visible until the next morning.

There is a spiritual lesson here that applies to us receiving things from God. When we ask, we do receive, but it may take a period of time before we perceive it in the natural realm. God’s answer comes before we see the manifestation of what we have believed the Lord for when we prayed. Just as with this fig tree, the answer lies beneath the surface, and therefore we don’t “see” what God is doing until the answer manifests.

Not all answers to prayer are manifested instantly. Satan can hinder God’s power even after it has been released. In Daniel 10:1-13, God answered Daniel’s prayer instantly, yet it took 21 days for Daniel to see God’s answer manifest, because the prince of Persia (a demonic power) withheld the manifestation.

Prayer that meets the requirements outlined in God’s Word is always answered.

Many times we don’t perceive the answer because it always comes in the spiritual realm first then is manifested in the physical realm. If we waver from our confident faith, then we abort the manifestation of our answer to prayer. But God did answer. Everyone that asks receives.

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The Power To Live A Holy Life

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The Power To Live A Holy Life

John 12:31 “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.”

The only reason Satan ever had any right to become a prince or rule over us was because we yielded ourselves to him through sin, Romans 6:16. Since Jesus “…bore our sins in His own body on the tree,”, 1 Peter 2:24, Satan no longer has power or authority over those who accept Jesus’ gift of salvation. Satan has been “cast out” — stripped of any power he had. Now he can only deceive, and if we fall for his lies, we stop God’s blessings from flowing in our lives.

The reason why a believer must live a holy life, is to avoid Satan’s bondage. When we obey sin, we yield ourselves to Satan, the author of that sin.Yielding to sin is yielding to a person, Satan. God doesn’t impute the sin to us but the devil does. Our actions either release the power of Satan or the power of God in us.

Although God is not imputing our sins unto us, we cannot afford the luxury of sin because it allows Satan to have access to us. When a Christian does sin and gives the devil an opportunity to produce death in his life, the way to stop him is to confess the sin. God is faithful and just to take the forgiveness that is already present in our born-again spirit and release it in our flesh, thereby removing Satan and his strongholds.

A person who abandons himself to sin is actually becoming a slave to the devil while a person who obeys righteousness is yielding himself to the Lord. This is why a Christian should live a holy life.

Jesus Paid Our Debt

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Jesus Paid Our Debt

John 12:31 “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.”

There is still a future judgment of the world coming, where the wicked will be separated from the righteous and cast into the lake of fire. This verse refers to the sins of the world that were about to be placed on Jesus and that He would suffer our punishment.

Jesus suffered the punishment for our sins, so there is no reason why we should suffer for them too. The price for sin has already been paid by the only one who could fully pay it and that is Jesus. All Jesus asks of us to make His redemption ours, is faith in Him as our Lord.

Sin has a wage it must pay and no one can avoid payday without faith in Jesus. Anyone who does not receive the new birth will be held liable for all the wrong they committed as a result of their sinful nature. However, those who receive the new birth through faith in Jesus, don’t have a sin nature and therefore, will not receive the payment of death.

Physical death as well as every result of the sin nature (i.e. sickness, depression, fear, etc.) is only a by-product of the spiritual death that was already inside of us. The Lord told Adam that in the day he ate of the forbidden tree, he would surely die, Genesis 2:17. Adam didn’t die physically that day but he did die spiritually. Physical death came 930 years later for Adam, Genesis 5:5, as a by-product of his spiritual death.

Eternal life is a gift. The dictionary defines a gift as “something that is bestowed voluntarily and without compensation; a present.” We have nothing to do with earning this gift. All you have to do is receive it by faith.

God’s Voice

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God’s Voice

John 12:28 “Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.”

This is the third time recorded in the gospels that the Father spoke in an audible voice to or about Jesus (First, at Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River and second, at the transfiguration of Jesus).

This verse makes it clear that it was a voice that the Father spoke in; however, there were different reports of the same event. Some people heard a voice and thought it was an angel who spoke. Others thought it was thunder.

This illustrates “…the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”, 1 Corinthians 2:14. A carnal man with a hardened heart will always find some natural explanation for the supernatural even if he heard an audible voice from God.

A hard heart keeps us from perceiving spiritual truths and stops us from understanding. When a person doesn’t understand God’s Word, Satan finds no resistance when he comes to steal it away. A hard heart keeps us from remembering. This isn’t to say that facts or scriptures can’t be recalled, it’s the spiritual lessons learned that have been forgotten. Likewise, some people can quote scripture or remember what the sermon was about, but they can’t perceive the spiritual life in it or retain what they did perceive, because of a hardened heart.

Jesus didn’t need to hear this audible voice of God because he had a more sure word of prophecy than the audible voice of God from heaven, 2 Peter 1:18-20. Jesus knew the “voice” of the Old Testament scriptures that spoke of the Christ being glorified and He could also hear the Father’s voice in His heart as He had on so many other occasions. This audible voice didn’t come to reassure Jesus, but it came to those who had ears to hear, so that they might believe.

Jesus Paid Our Debt

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Jesus Paid Our Debt

John 12:31 “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.”

There is still a future judgment of the world coming, where the wicked will be separated from the righteous and cast into the lake of fire. This verse refers to the sins of the world that were about to be placed on Jesus and that He would suffer our punishment.

Jesus suffered the punishment for our sins, so there is no reason why we should suffer for them too. The price for sin has already been paid by the only one who could fully pay it and that is Jesus. All Jesus asks of us to make His redemption ours, is faith in Him as our Lord.

Sin has a wage it must pay and no one can avoid payday without faith in Jesus. Anyone who does not receive the new birth will be held liable for all the wrong they committed as a result of their sinful nature. However, those who receive the new birth through faith in Jesus, don’t have a sin nature and therefore, will not receive the payment of death.

Physical death as well as every result of the sin nature (i.e. sickness, depression, fear, etc.) is only a by-product of the spiritual death that was already inside of us. The Lord told Adam that in the day he ate of the forbidden tree, he would surely die, Genesis 2:17. Adam didn’t die physically that day but he did die spiritually. Physical death came 930 years later for Adam, Genesis 5:5, as a by-product of his spiritual death.

Eternal life is a gift. The dictionary defines a gift as “something that is bestowed voluntarily and without compensation; a present.” We have nothing to do with earning this gift. All you have to do is receive it by faith

Please God Not People

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Please God Not People

Mark 10:48 “And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mercy on me.”

The devil will always have someone available to tell us why we shouldn’t expect to get results when petitioning God. Most people would rather stay with the crowd and not do anything to draw attention to themselves even if that means not getting their needs met. They will try to make you conform as well. If this man would have listened to the crowd, he would not have received his healing. “Ye have not, because ye ask not”, James 4:2.

This blind man is a good example of an active kind of faith. He was not passive in his approach toward healing. He boldly cried out to Jesus for mercy. When the crowd ridiculed him and told him to be quiet, he cried out even louder for mercy.

Many people believe that God can perform the miracle they need but relatively few are willing to actively pursue it until they get results. They are afraid of what others will think of them. This man had his attention focused only on Jesus. Nothing else mattered and that is why he got healed.

An integral part of faith is seeking God only with your whole heart. If we are concerned about what people think so that we can gain their approval, we will never take a stand in faith for anything that we might be criticized for. This one thing has probably stopped as many people from receiving from God as anything else. You cannot be a “man-pleaser” and please God at the same time. Satan uses persecutions to steal away God’s Word and thereby stop our faith. To see faith work, we must say with Paul, “let God be true, but every man a liar;”, Romans 3:4.

Jesus Paid The Price

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Jesus Paid The Price

Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

Jesus told His disciples many times of His death but this is the first time He indicated the reason for His death. Now it is clear that His death would be a “ransom”, defined in the Greek as a means of loosing by paying a price.

The words “ransom” and “redeem” were used interchangeably in scripture.

Not only would Jesus pay the price for sin but also His death would be substitutionary. In 1 Timothy 2:6, the word “ransom” is taken from the Greek word “antilutron” which means “a redemption-price.” The Greek word “anti” means “in place of.” In other words, the ransom avails for all who will accept it John 3:16; Romans 10:13.

The price paid for our redemption is the life of Jesus, that is, Jesus’ blood, Colossians 1:14. This redemption, according to Hebrews 9:12, is eternal and is intended to purify us from all iniquity, Titus 2:14, and bring us to serve the living God, Hebrews 9:14.

This can be illustrated by the way we use trading stamps. First, the stamps have to be purchased, then they are redeemed for the desired product. The purchase is essential but so is the redemption. No one really wants the stamps. They want what the stamps can be redeemed for. The purchase for our total salvation has already been made with the blood of Jesus, but our bodies have not been redeemed yet. That is to say that we have not received yet, all the benefits of this transaction in our physical bodies. This will take place at the second coming of the Lord when we receive our new glorified bodies.

Our spirits are the only part of us that have experienced total redemption.

Thank God for the redemption He has provided for you today.

Receive The Gift Of Salvation

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Receive The Gift Of Salvation

Mark 10:21 “Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.”

Notice that the scripture makes special mention of Jesus loving this rich young ruler. This is stated after this young man said he had kept all of God’s commands, which was not the truth. Jesus was showing him that he had broken the very first commandment that states, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”, Exodus 20:3, and also the tenth commandment that says, “Thou shalt not covet…”Exodus 20:17. Jesus’ tough answer of “sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor” was not intended to hurt this young man. It was said from a heart of love and intended for his own good. This man’s money had become his god and it had to be dethroned before Jesus could become Lord.

The one thing this young man lacked was faith in Jesus as his Savior. This young ruler was trusting in his goodness and not in the salvation that Jesus offered as a gift. Millions of people are making the same mistake today. They trust in themselves instead of God.

Jesus only came to save sinners. Unless an individual acknowledges that he is a sinner, he cannot be saved. Because the whole world is guilty before God, He has provided one way of salvation for everyone. In the same way that everyone is guilty, everyone also has been justified freely by God’s grace.

That does not mean everyone is saved. Everyone has had the sacrificial offering of Jesus made for their sins by grace but grace alone doesn’t save.

We have to put faith in what God has provided for us by grace. Although the price has been paid for the sins of the whole world, only those who receive it by faith will benefit from the salvation that Jesus offers.