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Greater Works

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The same Jesus that fed thousands, raised the dead, restored sight, healed the sick, cursed the fig tree, cast out demons, rebuked the wind and spoke to the waves is in you.

He is in you and you are in Him.

What He did is what you can do also – and even greater works because He, along with the Father and Holy Spirit, will do it through you.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believes on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father (John 14:12).

Help Us

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Father, help us not to worry about anything, but help us to trust You for everything.

I Will Lose Nothing

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Jesus said, This is the Father’s will who has sent me, that of all which he has given me, I will lose nothing (John 6:39).

If Jesus could say that, then we who are in Him can say the same thing.

I will not lose what God has given.

I will not lose my business.

I will not lose my children.

I will not lose my spouse.

I will not lose my mind.

I am not going to lose anymore.

 

(Excerpt from last night’s bible study)

 

Do You Know What You Have?

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Give me the portion of goods that fall to me (Luke 15:12). The prodigal son knew what belonged to his father and if his father had it, that meant he had it.  His father gave him what he asked for, but his problems began when he stopped obeying what he was taught by his father. He started doing things that sons shouldn’t do. The moment he disobeyed, he became a slave – to sin, debt, poverty.

But one day, his eyes were opened. He realized that he didn’t have to live the way he was living. He remembered that his father, who he had left, had hired servants who had enough bread. The prodigal son wasn’t just in a distant country, but he was in a distant relationship with his father. The moment he returned to his father, everything he lost was restored. The servants placed on him a robe, sandals and a ring. The ring signified that when he decreed a thing, it would be established and no one could change or alter what he had spoken.

The elder son was angry because he saw his brother living the way he should have been living. Although he had read the commandments and had not sinned against them, he still didn’t understand what belonged to him. All that I have is yours (Luke 15:31). Even though he took his anger out on his brother and father, he was really angry at himself because he didn’t know how to access what his father had already given him.

While the household was celebrating the return of the prodigal son, the elder son was outside when he should have been inside. He couldn’t believe his ears. Why were they celebrating? How could his brother who left his house and his country to become a citizen of another country, lose everything, return to his house and get back everything he lost? To him, that wasn’t fair, but it was fair. When the prodigal son asked for his portion, the father divided it between the elder and the younger. The elder had the same thing as his brother, but he didn’t do anything with what was given to him. (This reminds me of the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30).

It took the prodigal son becoming a slave to discover that he was a son. He discovered that the things he was under were the things that he was created to rule over. He wasn’t created to toil or to beg.

The elder and the prodigal son lived in the same house. They had the same father. Isn’t it interesting how you can go to the same church with someone and hear the same sermon and the same instructions yet you’re still at the Jordan while others have already crossed the Jordan and entered the Promised Land? What did they do that you refused to do? Perhaps the problem has been that we like to hear a good word, but we don’t do anything with the information we hear in church because sometimes it’s not easy.

Do you think that leaving a country that was afar off to return to his home was easy for the prodigal son? It was a fight, but he walked until he walked himself out of his situation.

There is an enemy who is angry because he lost. He is angry that he got kicked out of heaven and he is doing everything he can to get you kicked out of the garden like Adam. He doesn’t want you to know who you are and what you have. He doesn’t want you to get everything that belongs to you.

Don’t do what the elder son did. He told the father what he didn’t have and what his father never gave him (Luke 15:29). Some of us do the same thing.

I don’t have the money to purchase a home.

I don’t have anyone to help me.

I don’t have a college degree.

This is why God asked Moses, What is that in your hand? Elisha asked the widow, What do you have in the house? I think sometimes we are so focused on what we don’t have that we can’t see what we do have. 

May God not only reveal what He has given to us, but I pray that we use it for Him.  

Refuse to be a church that is a hearer, but not a doer of the word.

 

Don’t Worry

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worry: anxious, torment, troubled, lack of trust in God

Don’t worry about things.

Worrying doesn’t add to you. It subtracts from you.

It steals your peace and your joy.

Only people who don’t know God and the way He works worry.

Take one day at a time.

Don’t worry about what may or may not happen tomorrow or next week.

Give your attention to what God is doing now.

The enemy wants to distract you from what is really important.

It is more important that you seek God rather than the things He can give you.

You have tried it your way. Now, do things His way.

Find out what He wants you to do and do it.

Live as He wants you to live.

Be more concerned about giving than getting.

Your heavenly Father already knows what you need.

If He takes care of the birds, will He not take care of you?

If He gives them what they need, He will give you what you need.

Don’t worry.

 

[Scripture reference: Matthew 6:25-34]

Recover the Lost

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recover: to bring back from bondage; to set free from the snare of the devil; to recapture

When the younger son asked his father for the portion of goods, the father didn’t just share his estate with the one who asked, but he shared with the elder son as well (Luke 15:12). The difference between the two sons was one took his share and left while the other took his share and stayed.

The son didn’t have to work hard for it. He didn’t have to do anything to earn what was given to him. All he had to be was a son.  Some say that the younger son didn’t plan for what he was asking for, but I disagree. He did make plans. He just failed to plan for what lied ahead. He didn’t know that a famine was coming. He planned to spend, but he didn’t plan to save.

Now he had to find a job. He had to work for what he wanted. When he lived with his father, his father freely gave to him. Now, no man would give to him (Luke 15:16). But what he didn’t learn at home, he learned while working in the fields. What he lost was preparing him for what he was about to gain.

I don’t know how long it was before he humbled himself, but one day he decided to return to what he left. He made a lot of mistakes and because of the things he had done, he no longer felt worthy to be called a son, but when he returned home, his father still called him son (vs 24). The father knew that his son didn’t fully understand his calling, but he kept calling him ‘son’ until he became what he called him.  Yes, the son went into a far country (vs 13), but he wasn’t too far that the word of God or the word of prayer couldn’t reach him.

When the son returned home, the father didn’t give him a chance to speak. He immediately showed compassion, hugging and kissing him. Before the son admitted he sinned, the father had already forgiven him. Before he got home, the best robe, the ring and the shoes were already laid out for him. He was just waiting for his son to put it on.

Not once did the father ever mention his sins. Love doesn’t keep a record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5). The reason why we knew what the son did was because his older brother mentioned it. He brought up his past. As soon as your son comes home, who devoured your living with harlots, you kill a fatted calf for him (vs 30).

The elder son was angry. Why would his father give something good to someone who did bad? The younger son wasted his father’s living. He didn’t deserve what the father was doing for him. He didn’t deserve forgiveness. He didn’t deserve another chance.  He didn’t deserve a party.

I have served you for many years. I have never disobeyed you. I kept your commandment, but you never gave me a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends (vs 29). The elder son was very proud of himself for keeping the commandments, but he kept every commandment except for the most important one.

And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, The Lord our God is one Lord. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is none other commandment greater than these (Mark 12:29-31).

Before Jesus tells the parable of the lost son (or the prodigal son), He talks about recovering the lost sheep and the lost coin. Some of us have either been worrying or praying about possessions and money. God, give me this. God, give me that. God can recover those things you’ve lost, but He wants you to make yourself available to recover the souls that are lost. This is what is most important to God. He wants to use us to recapture those who were taken captive by the devil to do his will, but you can’t recover the lost if you don’t love the lost or have compassion for the lost.

We are the sons/daughters of God, but it is time to exchange the garments you wore in the far country for the garments that your Father has prepared for you. It is time for us to put on our best robe, ring and shoes and walk into what He has called us to be. The world is expecting and waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God.

We’ve been praying so much about our problems that we have failed to see the problems of others. Someone has given up. Someone thinks that God has forgotten them. Someone thinks that God doesn’t love them. Someone needs to forgive themselves. Someone thinks that they have gone too far that it is almost impossible to return to God. I’m not saying that our requests aren’t important to God, but their souls are more important than the ‘things’ we have been asking God for.

God has placed in us what they need. They need the compassion of God. They need the love of God. They need the forgiveness of God. And YOU are the person that God wants to display Himself through.

They’ve already met the elder son.

Now it’s time for them to meet the Father (in us).

Show Them the Father

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show: to allow something to be seen; make known; to prove; demonstrate

When Samuel was old, he made his sons judges.  According to scripture, Joel and Abiah were nothing like their father.  They were dishonest, unfair and they took bribes.  They loved money more than they loved the people.  One day, the elders of Israel went to Samuel and asked for a king.

God wanted the other nations to know  that He was the only true God and that there was no one else like Him.  He wanted His children to show the other nations their Father.  The only way the nations would believe in Israel’s God is if Israel were different, a holy nation and obedient to God.  Some will not believe until they see, but Israel wanted to be like the other nations.  Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations  (1 Samuel 8:5).

Samuel took their request personal.  It bothered him so much that he talked to the Lord about it.  He thought they were rejecting him, but they were really rejecting God.  You see, Samuel was only doing what God told him to do.  He was only saying what God told him to say so it was actually God who they didn’t want to rule over them.  They have rejected Me that I should not reign over them  (vs 7).  But their rejection of Him didn’t change His love for them.  He loved them so much that he told Samuel to warn them. They may have not liked Joel and Abiah’s ways, but the ways of this king were going to be worse.

He will take… (vs 11).

He will take… (vs 13).

He will take… (vs 14).

He will take… (vs 15).

He will take… (vs 16).

He will take… (vs 17).

God loved the world so much that He gave (John 3:16).  He didn’t take.  Israel thought they were getting an answer, but what they were getting was a problem that would bring along other problems.  They really didn’t know what they were asking for.  They already had a King and I don’t care how hard you try, you can’t replace God.  What they were seeking was going to fail them.  This king was going to make them do things they didn’t want to do.  They would become his slave and in the end, he was going to make them cry.  They had cried in the past and God delivered them (Exodus 2:23-25), but if they refused to heed His warning, they were going to cry again – and this time God wasn’t going to answer them.  You will cry out in that day because of YOUR king which YOU have chosen and the Lord will not hear you in that day  (vs 18).

When the Israelites rejected (refused to believe) God, they asked Samuel to make them a king.  When Moses took too long on the mountain, they asked Aaron to make them gods.  One time, they sought help from Assyria.  When Assyria let them down, they ran to Egypt for help, but God didn’t allow Israel to get help from them because He wanted to teach them to put their trust in Him.

I’m reminded of a man named Joseph.  There was a distinction between him and his brothers. He wore a coat that no one else wore.  When you read the life of Joseph, it didn’t seem like ‘living right’ was working out for him.  His brothers sold him into slavery and even though he turned down the advances of Potiphar’s wife, he was still falsely accused.  He was betrayed, lied on and forgotten by people he trusted, but he learned how to trust God.  He was hated and misunderstood because he was different, but when the magicians and the wise men could not interpret Pharaoh’s dream, who did they send for?  That’s right.  Joseph.  When there was a famine over all the face of the earth, all countries came to Joseph to buy corn (Genesis 41:57).

When God made you, He made you different.  He made you for Him.  Don’t compare yourself to others.  Don’t covet what others have.  Be grateful for what God gives you.  Don’t get discouraged because the gate is narrow and the way is hard.  Avoid following the crowd.  Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad and easy to travel is the path that leads the way to destruction and eternal loss, and there are many who enter through it  (Matthew 7:13, AMP).  Let God prepare you (through the things you must go through) for those who will need what you have.

There are people who are hurting, disappointed, angry and seeking answers and God has blessed you to be a blessing to them. God wants to display His power, might, love and grace through us – to them.  You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood and a holy nation.  You are a people for HIS possession to show others how God called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9).

Just don’t tell them about the Father.  Show them the Father.