A Way of Escape

Psalm 23:5: “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.”

The table is set. The bread and wine are there, and Jesus says to you, “Come, My child, partake.” But you tell Him, “Lord, I am unworthy!” You are afraid to come to the Lord’s table perhaps because you have been taught that if you partake in your “unworthy” state, you will come under God’s fiery judgment.

My friend, Jesus has washed you whiter than snow and qualified you with His own blood, so you are as worthy as worthy can be! The most humble thing you can do now is to acknowledge His perfect sacrifice and accept His invitation with gladness.

In 1 Corinthians 11, Paul tells the church how to partake of the Lord’s Supper so that they will not drink judgment to themselves. The word “judgment” in verses 29 and 34 is krima in the original Greek text. It refers to a divine sentence. And in the context of this passage, the divine sentence refers to sickness.

But when was this divine sentence of sickness passed? It was passed when Adam sinned. (Genesis 3:19) When he sinned, death entered the world (Genesis 2:17), and man would grow old and weak, fall sick and die.

So it is not that God is passing sentences of sickness on people today. How can that be when Jesus said, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:17) God is not in the business of condemning but saving. And the Greek word for “saved”, sozo, also means to preserve, heal and make whole.

God does not want you to suffer the divine sentence of sickness that is already in the world, so He has given you a way of escape, paid for by the blood of His Son. He wants you to be healthy and whole, without the diseases of the world, and He has made this possible for you through the Holy Communion.

So don’t be robbed of this tremendous blessing any longer because of erroneous teachings that have put fear in your heart. Come boldly to the Lord’s table today and receive afresh His health, strength, wholeness and life!

Thought For The Day: “God wants you to be healthy and whole, without the diseases of the world, and He has made this possible for you through the Holy Communion.”

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Jesus Understands What You Are Going Through

Hebrews 4:15: “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

Do you sometimes wonder if God really knows what it is like to be poor, rejected by people or sick with aches and pains. Perhaps you are asking, “Does God really understand what I am going through?”

My friend, Jesus was no stranger to emotional or physical pains, poverty or hardships. He was born into a poor family. He had a smelly manger for His birthplace. (Luke 2:7) From an early age, as a carpenter, He knew all about working hard with His hands, standing on His feet all day long and returning home with aches in His body.

The religious leaders of His day made life difficult for Him. They challenged His authority (Matthew 21:23) and tested His teachings. (Matthew 19:3) They also called Him a glutton, winebibber, friend of tax collectors and sinners (Matthew 11:19), and blasphemer. (Mark 2:7)

They said that He was demon-possessed and mad (John 10:20), put Him on the spot when they brought an adulterous woman to Him (John 8:2–11), attempted to stone Him (John 8:59, 10:31–39) and accused Him of perverting the nation. (Luke 23:2)

Have you been chased out of your home because of your Christian beliefs? Jesus understands what you are going through. He was chased out of His own hometown. (Luke 4:29) Have you been rejected by someone you love? Jesus also experienced the pain of being denied by a loved one (Luke 22:54–62) and betrayed by one considered close to Him. (Luke 22:47–48) He also knows all about the sickness you are suffering because He bore your sicknesses and pains on the cross. (Isaiah 53:4)

Jesus certainly understands all that we are going through because being born fully Man, He was “in all points tempted as we are”. He endured His sufferings for our sakes, so that we can have His peace and the anointing to rise above the troubles we are facing!

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Set Your Love Upon Jesus

Psalm 91:14: “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name.”

Jesus was in a house in Bethany when a woman came to Him with an alabaster flask containing very costly fragrant oil. She poured the oil on His head. (Matthew 26:6–7) This woman loved the Lord. She had set her love upon Him.

But those who were present considered what she did a great waste because the oil could have been sold for an amount equal to one year’s wages, and the money given to the poor instead. Even Jesus’ disciples were indignant and asked her, “Why this waste?” (Matthew 26:8)

But Jesus defended her, saying, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me.” (Matthew 26:10) Not only that, He accorded her the highest honor when He added, “Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.” (Matthew 26:13)

Two thousand years have passed since this woman anointed Jesus with the expensive oil. She never expected in her wildest dreams that her act of love would be told down through the ages. Many kings and rulers have come and gone. Their great acts have faded from the memories of men. But what this woman did for Jesus is still told today around the world as a memorial to her!

When you get a revelation of how much Jesus loves you, you will set your love upon Him. And when you act out of love for Him, though others may see it as a waste of time, energy or money, He will defend you and deliver you from your critics. He will also set you on high. Your ministry will become powerful and life-changing. Your work will be highly esteemed among your peers. Your company will be prominent and highly successful. And it will not just be a job that you have, but a position of influence to impact many lives.

So set your love upon Jesus. Make Him the love of your life today, and He will defend, deliver and set you on high!

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See Your Enemies Flee Because Of Jesus

Deuteronomy 28:7: “The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.”

Some people think that Jesus and the devil are always confronting and fighting each other. But when I read my Bible, I don’t see fights between the two. What I see is the devil having to flee whenever he encounters Jesus!

Consider the demoniac from the country of the Gadarenes in Luke 8:26–39. The demons in the man begged Jesus not to torment them or send them into the abyss, but to permit them to enter a herd of swine nearby.

You see, neither the devil nor his demons can stand before Jesus. They may be able to torment people for a while, but when Jesus comes on the scene, they know that that is the end of their stay. They will have to flee! All it took was just one word from Jesus, and the entire legion of demons had to come out of the man and flee into the swine.

As a child of God, you exude a spiritual fragrance which evil spirits can detect and which causes them to tremble. It is the life of Jesus inside you. And He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4) That is why no curse, spell, accusation, scandal or destruction planned against you can succeed. Your enemies may come against you one way, but the Lord will confuse them and cause them to flee before you seven ways!

Jesus paid with His life to give you this victory over your enemies. After His arrest in the garden of Gethsemane, the Jews and Gentiles were united for the first time with one common objective: Torture Jesus and have Him killed. King Herod of the Jews and Pontius Pilate of the Romans were long-time enemies, but because of Jesus, they became friends. (Luke 23:12)

My friend, Jesus’ enemies were united and had “victory” over Him. But because He triumphed over them through the cross and rose again, today, your enemies will be scattered and you will have victory over them!

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There Is No Spot in You

Jesus tells us His bride, “You are all fair, My love, and there is no spot in you.” But our reply to Him tends to be, “Me? All fair and no spot? You don’t know me, Lord!”

Do you really think that God doesn’t know you?

God sees reality like no one else sees it. He sees the perfection of His Son’s finished work in your life. By one offering of Himself at the cross, Jesus has perfected you forever! (Hebrews 10:14) You have been made the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21) And you will never find any spot in this righteousness that Jesus died to give you.

So God wants you to see yourself righteous—all fair and spotless in Christ. Every day, be conscious of your righteousness in Christ. Say, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ. There is no spot in me whom He has perfected with His blood.” When you do that, you are honoring Jesus and His finished work.

If you are conscious of your sins, then you are not honoring the work of Christ. You may think that you are being humble or holy by being sin-conscious. But do you know that the Bible calls sin-consciousness an “evil conscience”?

Hebrews 10:21–22 tells us that since we have Jesus as our High Priest, “let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience”. What does the writer of Hebrews mean by “an evil conscience”? If you read the beginning of the same chapter, you will find that he is talking about a “consciousness of sins”. (Hebrews 10:2) Paul calls it a “conscience seared with a hot iron”. (1 Timothy 4:2) The Greek word for “seared” here is kauteriazo, and it means to carry about with you a perpetual consciousness of sin.

So don’t carry with you an evil or seared conscience. Your lifetime of sins has already been punished fully in the body of Jesus at the cross. Be conscious, instead, of your perfection and righteousness in Christ. Because of what Jesus has done for you, you can boldly declare, “I am all fair. There is no spot in me!”

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Receive The Word God Has Sent To Heal You

Psalm 107:20: He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.

Your Bible will do you no good if you leave it on your bedside table, gathering dust. It will do you no good if you hold it like a teddy bear when you are facing your “giants”. But God’s Word will do you a lot of good when you receive it as truth and speak it as truth! Then, you will see your healing and deliverance from every evil condition that has been sent to destroy you!

The Bible says that “He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions”. Now, when God wants to heal you, what does He do? He sends His Word. Before God delivers you from your destruction, He sends His Word.

Are you still waiting to experience the blessing of healing that Jesus died on the cross to give you? Don’t feel condemned. Your Father in heaven loves you and wants you well. But how does your healing come? By you receiving His Word on healing that He has already sent you. His promises of healing are all there in your Bible. But have you received them?

During one of our church services, a lady took out her cell phone and started sending text messages of every scripture and almost every key point that I was preaching that day to her friend who was at home dying of cancer. I was telling the congregation to keep confessing the healing scriptures over their bodies, no matter how bad their conditions were. I pointed them to Isaiah 53:5, which says, “By His stripes we are healed.” The lady got so excited that she told her friend to keep believing and confessing it every day!

Her friend, on reading the text messages, simply received the Word of God and confessed it by faith. That very same week, when she went back to the doctor, the doctor could not find a single trace of cancer in her body!

Never underestimate the power of God’s Word. The lady’s friend was healed because she received God’s Word by faith. She gladly read the messages that her friend had sent her, was encouraged by the Word, confessed it and received her miracle. God sent His Word and healed her, and saved her from her destruction!

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‘I Will Be Your God’

Hebrews 8:10: “…and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”

When God says, “I will be your God,” that is a declaration that He will work miracles in your life. So if it is a miracle you need, it is a miracle you will get!

If there is a huge sea blocking the way to your blessing and God says, “I will be your God,” it means that He will open the sea for you so that you can receive your blessing.

If you are poor and God says, “I will be your God,” it means that you will be well-provided for. Since God fed nearly three million Israelites in the wilderness every single day for 40 years, you can be sure that God will provide for you too.

If you are sick and God says, “I will be your God,” it means that He is going to be “the Lord who heals you” (Exodus 15:26), and you will be healthy.

If you have incurred a huge debt and God says, “I will be your God,” it means that He will bring about a supernatural cancellation of your debt.

But not only did God say, “I will be their God,” He also said, “they shall be My people”.

To be God’s people means to be the protected ones. Not all on earth are God’s people—only we who are redeemed by the blood of Christ. During times of uncertainties, God says to you, “You shall be My people.” This means that you are protected from all pestilences, plagues, attacks and destruction.

Even when you hear people say that the economic crisis is coming, God says to you, “You shall be My people.” This means that you don’t have to worry or be anxious. The crisis will not affect you. Regardless of the situation in the world, you are protected and you will walk in the blessings of God.

God’s power comes into every challenge you face when He says to you, “I will be your God and you shall be My people.” You will experience the supernatural life. Your part is to believe what He declares and act like it is so!

Thought For The Day
God’s power comes into every challenge you face because He says that He is your God and you are His people.

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Right Believing Produces Right Living

Luke 19:8: Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”

Zacchaeus was a tax collector. He was despised because he was a deceitful man, cheating people of their money and resorting to false accusations to get what he wanted.

One day, Jesus visited him. The Bible makes no mention of Jesus rebuking him for his dishonest lifestyle the whole time they were together. Instead, Jesus showed him grace and honor by spending time with him. Before long, Zacchaeus stood up and declared to Jesus that he would restore fourfold to anyone he had taken from illegally, and would even give half of his goods to the poor.

A moment with Jesus completely changed Zacchaeus’ heart. A moment with grace in person—without accusations, condemnation or judgment—caused such an inward transformation that in a short time, Zacchaeus was doing outwardly what was right and in a measure no man would have expected of him!

Many people want to live right. Their concern with right living makes them focus on themselves and the things they struggle with. But it is right believing that produces right living. If you are trying to break free from an addiction that has bound you for many years, believe that Jesus loves you so much that at the cross, He paid the price for you to be completely free from any addiction. Believe that by His stripes you are healed and delivered.

One member in our church had a smoking addiction. But each time he lit up a cigarette, he would believe that God was not judging or condemning him, and that he was still the righteousness of God in Christ. One day, he woke up impressed by the Spirit that that day would mark the start of a smoke-free life. Expecting to be assaulted by the usual cravings to smoke, he prayed this throughout the day: “Thank You, Jesus, for by Your stripes I am healed.” Before he knew it, the day passed without him lighting up or suffering any withdrawal pangs! And since then, he has been totally free of this addiction.

Today, if you want to experience right living, find out what Christ has done for you and what you have in Him—and believe it!

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By Jesus’ Stripes You Are Healed

Isaiah 53:5: “…The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”

You know, one of the biggest outcries against Mel Gibson’s movie, The Passion Of The Christ, was that it was too violent, especially the part where Jesus was scourged.

Let me tell you this: It was not violent enough! The Bible says that at the cross, Jesus’ visage was marred beyond that of any man. (Isaiah 52:14) In the movie, even after all the beatings, the actor James Caviezel, who played Jesus, still looked quite handsome.

But the reality is that when Jesus hung on the cross, He had “no form or comeliness…there is no beauty that we should desire Him”. (Isaiah 53:2) He was beaten to a pulp until His face looked like jelly hanging out!

In the movie, when they scourged Him, only a small portion of His bones was exposed, so it was still quite tidy. But the messianic psalms say, “The plowers plowed on my back; they made their furrows long” (Psalm 129:3), and “I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me”. (Psalm 22:17) All His bones were exposed!

My friend, He was thinking of you when the soldiers tied Him to the scourging post. As they raised their whips, He said, “Let it all come on Me!”

But what came on Him was not just the whip stripping the flesh off His bare back, but your sicknesses and diseases. Each time He was whipped, every form of sickness and disease, including arthritis, cancer, diabetes, bird flu and dengue fever, came upon Him. “The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”

Today, healing is your right because Jesus has paid the price for your healing. So if the devil says, “You cannot be healed,” just declare, “Jesus has paid for my healing. Disease has no right to be in my body. I am healed in Jesus’ name!”

Every curse of sickness that was supposed to fall on you fell on Jesus instead. He bore every one of those stripes, so that you can walk in divine health all the days of your life. The price has been paid so that you can rise up and get out of your bed of affliction!

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Jesus Understands Your Struggles

Hebrews 4:15: “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

Imagine meeting the new politician who is to represent your district or neighborhood only to discover that he is not familiar with your neighborhood’s needs and problems. You will wonder, “Can this guy really represent us? Does he know anything about our living conditions? Is he familiar with the various challenges that families here are facing? Can he help me get my child into one of the schools here?” I am sure that you would prefer someone who truly understands your challenges to represent you!

In the same way, I am so glad that right now at the Father’s right hand, we have someone who came as a Man to redeem us, and who fully understands what man goes through. When Jesus walked on earth, He went through every human emotion so that He could identify with us in all points. Jesus is God, but He is in the Father’s presence as a Man, representing us.

My friend, you may feel that no one understands your struggles. Listen, while this may be true of man, it is not true of Jesus. He knows exactly what you are going through and He can sympathize with your weaknesses because He was “in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin”.

None of us have been tempted in all points. But God allowed Jesus to be tempted in all points so that He can understand and identify with the struggles of every single person on this earth. He can be touched by our humanity—our weaknesses, tears, disappointments, griefs…all points!

There is no trial, difficulty, challenge or temptation that you face that Jesus cannot identify with. My friend, the moment you go through it, right there and then, He feels it too. That is the kind of representative you have in Jesus! That is the love of God so that you will draw near to His throne of grace (not judgment) to find mercy and grace in time of need! (Hebrews 4:15–16)

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