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Worthy of Provision Pt 2

Military Medals.

The soldier above has fought for his country in a time of war. His fellow countryman have rightly honoured him with many medals for his courage and bravery.

In my last Blog I looked at how many Christians feel unworthy. Today, I want to show you how Christ has made us worthy and given us special honour.

If we look at ourselves, we will always see weakness, failure, inadequacy and unworthiness because looking inward always makes us sin conscious. The answer is not to look inward, but look outward to the cross and to see ourselves in Christ.

Christ is our representative man before God, and God found Him to be perfect, holy, righteous and complete. He therefore raised Him up, crowned Him as King and set Him at His own right hand.

The right hand in Hebrew culture is the place of blessing, honour and favour. When invited to a Hebrew home for a meal, the host would always seat the people in order of importance. Everybody knew that the person seated at the right hand of the host, was the special guest seated in the place of honour. (Lk 14:8-10)

This is why the mother of James and John lobbied Jesus on their behalf, that they might but sit at His left and right hand in the Kingdom. (Mt 20:20,21)

As Christians, you and I are new creations (2 Cor 5:17), we have been made righteous (2 Cor 5:21), holy (Eph 1:4), perfect & complete (Col 4:12), Kings and priests (1 Pet 2:9) and have been raised up and seated together in Christ at the Father’s right hand. (Eph 2:5,6)

This is why Paul says in Eph 1:6 To the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. (NKJV).

The word, ‘accepted’ in the Greek , means ‘to grace someone’ and is expressed in 3 ways:

1) ACCEPTED: Because Christ is accepted, we too are totally accepted of the Father.

2) SPECIAL HONOUR: Because Christ is honoured we too have been given special honour.

3) HIGHLY FAVOURED: Because Christ is favoured, we too are highly favoured.

We have been graced by acceptance, special honour and are highly favoured in the sight of the Father; And because we have been graced, non of these things are dependant on what we have or have not done, they are dependant on who we are in Christ.

Therefore, if we fail, struggle with weaknesses and besetting sins etc – we never stop being accepted, honoured and highly favoured in the eyes of the Father. We should confess these words many times until they become revelation and change the way we see ourselves.

Now, speak this out loud to yourself: I am totally accepted at all times by my Father, He has given me special honour and seated me at His own right hand. He has highly favoured me, therefore, I expect good things to happen to me, not because I am worthy, but because He has made me worthy.

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Worthy of Provision Pt 1

Take a long hard look at the words above. Read them very slowly, Meditate on them, let them sink in, ponder them, speak them out loud to yourself a dozen times. Why do I say this?  It’s because many of God’s people do not, I repeat, do not feel worthy of God’s provision.

The teaching they’ve received has made them feel unworthy. So let’s look at 3 keys, that if we change them, will make us feel worthy of God’s provision.

These keys will unlock the doors that have kept us in a prison of unworthiness and slavery, and we will walk out into freedom and the abundance of God’s provision.

Key No 1 – Made Worthy: Living under a law mentality of the O.C. (Old Covenant) will naturally produce in us a mind set of unworthiness. Why is this? Because the role of the law is to point out our sins, weaknesses and failures.

Rom 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.  (NKJV)

Rom 7:7-8 No, the law is not sinful, but it was the law that showed me my sin. I would never have known the sin in my heart-the evil desires that are hidden there-if the law had not said, “You must not have evil desires in your heart.”   (TLB)

Under law, whenever we sin or fail, the law points to it immediately. This triggers guilt and condemnation. satan (small s) uses the law against us to accuse us of sin. The name, ‘satan’ means, ‘the accuser’. The breaking of the law is the only thing he can accuse us of.

Rev 12:10 Then I heard a  voice saying in heaven, ” The kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. (NKJV)

We break the law numerous times every day. The law is perfect, a representation of God’s perfect character. There’s only one problem. We can’t keep it. We can’t live up to it’s standards.

Over time, this repeated breaking of law develops a mindset of unworthiness,  hopelessness and defeat. It is furthered strengthened by the teaching we receive. Such things as: We must lead a holy life. if Jesus isn’t Lord of all, He isn’t Lord at all. Unconfessed sin breaks our fellowship with God. Problems, besetting sins and weaknesses disqualify us from God’s provision.

These and other such sayings, proclaim loudly to us, ‘You are unworthy’. Our prayers reflect this. ‘Lord, we are not worthyof you. We are but sinners. We are worms, grasshoppers in your sight. We are weak,  not able to lift our heads in your presence, etc, etc.

In my next Blog we’ll see how Jesus Christ has made us totally worthy. Not because of what we have or have not done, but because of what He did on the cross.

Meditation Point: Do I struggle repeatedly with any of these symptoms:  guilt, condemnation, shame, rejection, failure, hopelessness etc. All these symptoms will make me feel unworthy.

Rom 7:24-25  I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?  The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. (THE MESSAGE)

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Phil 3:9 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 and is by faith.

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Ps 5:11 Let them ever sing and shout for joy. (AMP)

We’ve been looking at Rom 14:17 The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. We saw that righteousness triggers peace and peace triggers joy. Today we will look at joy in our lives.

Righteousness, peace and joy are the birthright of every Christian. Therefore, the natural state of our being on a daily basis should reflect righteousness, peace and joy. Our righteousness comes from Christ (2 Cor 5:21). As we stand in this righteousness, it triggers peace, and when we are at peace, it triggers joy.

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22). It means to be cheerful, be glad, a calm delight. Joy expresses itself when we have an awareness of who we are in Christ. We have a calm delight, a sense of security, victory and trust in the Lord. This calm delight turns to shouts of joy when we praise the Lord. We rejoice (joy) in Him for all He has done for us and continues to do.

Joy has been given us to counterract the negative feelings of fear, worry and stress. Neh 8:10 Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”  (NKJV). On this day, the people of Israel were experiencing worry, hurt and remorse because they had an awareness of their sin. Nehemiah said to them, “Don’t be sorry, rejoice in the Lord and it will lift your spirits and make you strong”. Immediately the people’s countenance changed and they began to rejoice and experience the joy of the Lord.

For us Christians, when we have a revelation that all our sins are forgiven, that our God loves us with an unconditional love, that we are always accepted in His presence, that there is no more guilt and condemnation but only peace – this sense of FREEDOM will always cause us to rejoice in the Lord and will release the strength of God into our lives on a daily basis.

This strength becomes a shield of protection against the stress of modern living.

We must remember that God has given us everything we need to live in the midst of such pressure. If we are not doing so, we should stop and ask the Holy Spirit what we need to change in order to experience righteousness, peace and joy as a daily experience of Christ.

Meditation Point: Am I able to rejoice (joy) in God in the midst of pressure, stress and difficulty (Jam 2:2-4).

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Prov 27:19 Just as water mirrors your face, so your face mirrors your heart. (TM)

In the last Blog I looked at how right standing with God leads to peace. Let’s now look at how that peace is released into our lives.

In the photo above, the country side is reflected by the surface of the water. It’s surface, so still, it has become like a mirror. It’s the same with our heart. When our heart is at peace, it is reflected in our face. When people die, it is often remarked that their face shows great peace. Their worry lines and frowns disappear. Why is this?  Because their spirit (character) which carries worry and stress, is no longer there (Jam 2:26).

Now we are in Christ, we don’t have to wait until we die to reflect His peace in our countenance. It was Christ in the boat on Galilee (MK 4:35-41) that spoke to the storm, “Peace, be still”. That same Christ lives in our hearts today and will do the same for us as we exercise our faith and trust in Him (v40).

All we need to do is cover the bases of who we are in Christ.

Example 1: The newspaper headline screams out, “Country on verge of bankruptcy”. Worry and fear grip our heart, until we remember what Jesus said, “Do not worry about tomorrow” (Mt 6:34). As we put our trust in Him, the waves of worry and fear subside and we know peace in the midst of the storm.

Example 2: We suddenly realise the mistakes we made in raising our children. We were lax in discipline, ploughed them with things instead of time, picked on their mistakes and failures and never told them we loved them.

We are now consumed with guilt, regret, remorse and self recrimination. Rom 8:1 comes flooding into our heart. There is therefore NOW (present continuous tense)NO (not one thing) condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.We take hold of this promise and resist all guilt and condemnation until peace is restored to our hearts.

We also take hold of Rom 5:20 Where sin abounds, grace did much more abound, and we say, “Father, I now give my mistakes to You and ask Your grace to come in and swallow them up. I also ask You to bring healing and restoration between myself and my children and I rest in You”. Again, peace is restored to our heart.

It is the peace of Jesus Christ which is the true healing power for our mind, will, emotions and body. It is this peace which is reflected on our face and which speaks to others of God.

Meditation Point: Jesus, help me by Your grace to always stand on Your promise, not  be worried about tomorrow, that my heart, face and life will speak peace to a world in turmoil.

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