Not One Word Will Fail!

Joshua 21:45 “Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.”

Everyone of us knows the feeling of wanting to give up on a delayed word God has spoken over our lives and into our hearts. We don’t see the reality of it in our expected time line and we conclude its not going to come to pass. Israel must have felt like this for hundreds of years. Centuries before Israel’s conquest of the Promised Land, God spoke to Abraham about the land of Canaan being given as a possession to the nation that God would raise up from Abraham’s seed. Several generations had passed since that word, including 400 years of slavery in Egypt, and yet towards the end of the book of Joshua we read of God’s faithfulness to his promises to Israel. Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to Israel failed. They all came to pass. God is true to his word. Heaven and earth may pass away but his word remains forever. Whatever promise God has given to you and however long ago you received it, it will not fall to the ground empty but will accomplish what God has sent it to you to perform. Stand your ground, hold onto God’s promise and trust in God’s faithfulness. Every word will come to pass. Explosive Insights!

Don’t get the thief and the Lord mixed up!

John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy but I have come that you may have life and have it more abundantly.”

The thief in this passage represents the Devils agenda to steal, kill and destroy our lives. In contrast, Jesus said he has come to give us life in all of its fullness. Unfortunately, many people get the thief and the Lord mixed up. Too often we withhold from God our trust, availability and obedience because we think we are going to miss out on something. Instead we indirectly give to the enemy our best thoughts, resources and energies by believing lies about God and ourselves that ultimately rob us of the abundant life Jesus made available for us. When it comes to the issue of sin, the thief uses condemnation to destroy us but God uses conviction to promote us into our identity as sons and daughters of God. Don’t get the thief and the Lord mixed up in your life. The thief masquerades himself to be something he isn’t in order to steal, kill and destroy Gods purposes in our lives but God reveals himself as he is to bring us into the abundant life of his kingdom. Don’t get the thief and the Lord mixed up! Explosive insights!

Communication Carries Anointing!

IMG_1240Your communication carries your anointing. Every believer is anointed but not every believer can carry their anointing through their communication. (God)

This is a really important insight. John Maxwell would articulate the insight above with the words, ‘Everyone communicates, few connect’. I’ve observed many anointed people over my lifetime but what separates those who hit the bullseye of people’s hearts and those who don’t is their ability to communicate what that anointing is. Your communication carries your anointing into people’s hearts. You maybe greatly anointed but if you are unable to articulate to others in an effective way, your anointing is inhibited. The anointing is the person and power of the Holy Spirit on you and in you for the purpose to which he has called and gifted you. The anointing is linked to your calling, gifting and purpose. Develop your capacity to communicate cause it will either help or hinder the potential of your anointing to minister to people’s lives effectively.

Perseverance of the Saints!

“Why should you wake up believing in the morning?”

John Piper

On a regular basis I meet up with my dad in one of my favorite places in Melbourne, Lygon St, Carlton and discuss God, life and ministry. He reflected back to me recently, how as a pastor preaching every Sunday to a full congregation, he would ask himself, “What makes these people keep turning up? Why do they keep listening? And why do I keep turning up to preach the bible to them?”

Challenging questions that require more than surface level answers. I want to offer some brief, and hopefully biblical answers to them.  Paul said in Philippians 3:12, “Christ Jesus has made me his own.” To be saved is to be owned by Christ through his saving work on the cross. We can only make knowing Christ our own, cause Christ has first made us his own. Jesus said to his Father in John 17:12 “While I was with them (speaking of the disciples), I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction (Judas), that the Scripture might be fulfilled.”

A key question I ask of this passage is, would the Father present to his Son a gift that would not last? The disciples by covenant belonged to the Son. Jesus keeps all whom the Father gives to him. In John 11:41-42 we read of Jesus interceding and he says, “Father I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” Jesus always gets his prayers answered and Jesus intercessory ministry keeps us safe and secure.

John 16:1 “I have said all these things to you, to keep you from falling away from me.”

A Theology of Salvation.

Romans 8:29 ‘Those whom he predestined, he also called, and those whom he called, he also justified, and those whom he justified, he also glorified.” 

 

  1. Justification (past) is a free gift from God and is about our right standing with God. To be justified means to be declared righteous and no longer guilty of sin because of Christ’s death on the cross, my sin has been removed and God’s wrath appeased. Jesus has become my substitutionary atonement.
  2. Sanctification (present) is about the continuing process of salvation. It speaks of consecration to God and being set apart. Sanctification is challenging and exhausting, where the believer works out their salvation with fear and trembling (Phil 3:12-13) as a direct result of what God has already worked into the believer through justification and regeneration (new birth).
  3. Glorification (future) is effortless because God will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by his power (Phil 3:21). Glorification is the final step in receiving the gift of eternal life, whereby, we are morally and spiritually perfected and completely transformed.

A real Christian perseveres in their present sanctification, not as an exercise of their will but as a provision of God’s grace at work in them. A real Christian perseveres because they have been justified, regenerated, adopted by God and they are going to be glorified.

I believe that the bible teaches that all who are justified will win the fight of faith. Believers will persevere in faith and never surrender to the enemy of their souls because of the grace of God at work in them. This perseverance is the promise of the new covenant, obtained by the blood of Christ, and worked in us by God himself, yet not as to diminish, but only to empower and encourage, our vigilance; so that we may say in the end, “I have fought the good fight, but it was not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”

Romans 8:30 “Those whom he justified he also glorified.”

 

John 10:27-28 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.”

 

Philippians 1:6 “I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

Ron Hanko says, “Believers are not preserved from falling, but from falling away; not from temptation, but from being destroyed by temptation; not from sin, but from the sin unto death. Due entirely to their own weakness and sinfulness, believers can and do fall into temptation and sin. But Psalm 37:24 assures us, ‘Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with his hand.”

Grace!

Power of God’s Word

Luke 5:4-6 “And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.’ And Simon answered, ‘Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.’ And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking.”

God always speaks on purpose – God doesn’t do random, he only ever does intentional. When Jesus spoke to Simon, he wasn’t suggesting something to do because he thought things were getting boring, teaching the crowd. Jesus asked Simon to do something because he not only wanted to bless him but give him a deeper understanding of Simon’s call. Scripture repeatedly shows us that God never wastes a word, he always speaks with purpose and intention.

Don’t let your past experience dictate your response to God’s Word – Simon was very quick to inform Jesus that he had toiled all night and not caught anything. After all, Simon was the expert, professional fisherman and Jesus was… well… Jesus. Too often, we hear God’s Word and let our personal experience dictate our response to it. Do we really think that God isn’t aware of what our past experience has been? When you let your past experience dictate your response to God, you get caught up in becoming a professional explainer of why that won’t work and this won’t work because supposedly you know better than God. When it comes to God’s word, we need to get over our training, logic and experience and:

Just Obey God’s Word – Simon ultimately responded to Jesus with, “But at your word I will let down the nets”. Just obey what God is asking you to do. What a novel idea. Develop the habit of reading or hearing what God’s saying and just do it. A revolution will start in your life when you act upon what God’s asking you to do.

Obedience is the key to fruitfulness – Simon obeyed and the haul of fish was so great, the nets were breaking under the weight of the catch. Simon had toiled all night and caught nothing but obeying one word from God changed everything. I remember asking God long ago what the secret to great fruitfulness in ministry was and he simply responded with “Obedience.” The prophet Samuel said to Saul, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifice as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams” (1 Sam 15:22).

Watching God’s Word in action will humble you – When Simon saw the results of his obedience, he and the other fisherman were astonished and very, very humbled. They realised that compared to Jesus, their expertise, pride and best efforts were as filthy rags. When God shows up in miraculous ways, it casts light on our doubt and unbelief and humbles our expert opinions. God always knows best.

Our obedience to God’s Word opens the door to our true calling – If Simon hadn’t have obeyed Jesus’ word, he wouldn’t have received a revelation of the call of God on his life to be ‘Catching men’ from that point on. Our obedience today positions us for our calling tomorrow. God sees our faithfulness in private and rewards us accordingly. What are you procrastinating on that God has asked you to do? Don’t delay any longer, obey God’s Word and watch the blessing of God follow your life.

Insight!