Matthew 5:6 – Righteousness

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.
Matthew 5:6 NKJV

What is Righteousness? The Apostle Paul made it abundantly clear that righteousness does not come from us. We can not make ourselves righteous no matter what we do. Righteousness can only be imputed to us by God Himself. Right standing with God can only be obtained through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Just as when Abraham believed the words of God and righteousness was imputed to him by God, so is righteousness imputed to us when we put our trust in God and His Eternal Word.

How hungry are we to have God pronounce us to be righteousness before Him? Do we do good work that we think will please God like the Pharisees did? Perhaps our best example would be the Publican who had nothing of himself to offer except a humble heart. Perhaps the cry of our hearts should be “God have mercy upon me, a sinner.”

Today’s prayer: Lord, I have nothing to offer you except a heart that is hungry for your righteousness. I put my trust in you today and the only cry of my heart is God have mercy upon me, a sinner. Amen

The Very Heart of God

When it occurred to me who Jesus really is, I was overwhelmed by the magnitude of His Sacrifice that He made for us. You see dear friend, Jesus Christ was much more than just a man, or even a God-man, you see, Jesus is the embodiment of the very heart of God.

The sacrifice that God made to redeem us for Himself was so great that my mind can barely comprehend the love that drove Him to such an extreme. You see, it was much more than just a body hanging on that cross, in fact, it was the very heart of God that was sacrificed for us on that day.

When we see how much the Love of God sacrificed for us, is it too much for Him to ask of us to love Him in return?

The Sign of the Storm

Father, thank you for the sign of the storm. Just as the winds blow, I ask you to pour out your Spirit upon us with a sound as of a rushing mighty wind. I ask you to pour the anointing of the Holy Spirit with such an intensity that we would be swept away in your river. Fill us with your love to share with those around us. Put healing in our hands to heal the sick, raise the dead, and bring deliverance to those who are bound. Let us free those whom the devil has taken captive and pronounce the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven to the earth. In Jesus name, amen.

Matthew 5:5 Meekness

Jesus said, “Blessed are he meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Meekness comes from the Greek word Praus, which can also be translated as humble. Praus implies a calm and quiet composure while confronting this evil world. Contrary to popular belief, this does NOT imply any kind of weakness. Probably the best interpretation of this word that I have heard is referring to meekness as strength under control.

Contemporary society likes to paint Jesus as some kind of weak peacenik but nothing could be further from the truth. When Jesus drove the money changers and sellers of sacrificial items from the temple with a whip, he was certainly not being weak or some kind of peacenik in that passage (John 2:13-16). If he had been weak, the temple guards would have been able to simply take the whip away from him and escort him out and hand him over to the soldiers. They were unable to stop him. If Jesus had been rash and harsh, then he could have called fire down from heaven and reduced those people to ashes. Jesus operated in a meek humble fashion in total subjection to his father above with a heart of love that wanted only the best for his special creation. Being subjected to a corrupt religious order was not what God had desired.

The meaning that Jesus conveyed in this passage is actually very powerful once we understand what he was thinking. Jesus wants us to be just like him in this world. We are to be strong in the Lord and very powerful through the infilling of the Holy Spirit. However, we are to be meek, humble, and in subjection to our Heavenly Father in all things. Though we are sons and daughters of the Living God, we are to have the hearts of servants living within us. Those who allow the Holy Spirit to remake them into the image of the Son of God, will in the end, inherit the earth. The proud and the wicked will be removed from the earth, no place will be found for them in God’s new creation.

We must allow the Holy Spirit of God to change us into His image, strong and mighty, but with our strength under His control!

Matthew 5:4 Mourning

Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” At first glance, this may sound a little bit strange and maybe a bit unsettling. What do I have to mourn about, my life is going fine….right? Maybe there is a little bit more to this than meets the eye. Maybe Jesus was letting us know that deep inside we need a little bit more than we think.

The greek word translated to mourn is pentheo, which means to grieve, or even to wail. We have all experienced this with the death of a loved one or some other great loss that has occurred in our lives. Grieving in this context is the coming to grips with the loss that we have experienced in the natural part of our lives, but in that Jesus saw fit to include this in the beatitudes, we have to take a look and see if maybe he had some deeper meaning in mind when he spoke.

God suffered a great loss when his prized creation made in his own image rebelled against him and brought sin into the world. God could no longer have the face to face fellowship with the man; sin could not dwell in the presence of the Holy God. Death would pass upon man and the spirit of man would be held captive by the Devil in the Abode of the Dead for thousands of years before Christ would shed his blood on Calvary and open the way for man to enter into the presence of the Almighty. God’s grief is evident throughout the Old Testament writings as he dealt with fallen man to bring him to the place of redemption. I am inclined to believe that God even wailed over the tremendous loss that he suffered on the path to redemption. But God comforted himself with the knowledge that the day would come when the Christ would pay the price to redeem mankind and God would once again be able to fellowship with his creation that he made to be his special love.

So how does this apply to us? Should not the knowledge of the years of our lives lost to sin and pain we caused God by not walking with him not cause our hearts to mourn and grieve, should be not even wail at the terrible separation from God that we experienced for so much of our lives? I think this is what Jesus was getting at when he spoke these words. Consider what we have lost by not knowing Jesus, consider the loss of living in ways that not only caused God pain but took a heavy toll on our physical beings. This is where the mourning, grieving and wailing will surely begin.

Where is our comfort? Consider these words that Jesus spoke in John 14, “

 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

Jesus was looking past the problem to his divine solution, he would freely give his life for us, and then he would send us the Holy Spirit to dwell within us and give us comfort on our path to Heaven. He would heal our hurts, salve our pain and fill us with power to overcome the sin that so easily besets us. God would have us in fellowship with Him on a daily basis and his and our grief would be turned into eternal joy!

Poor in Spirit

Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

As Jesus began to teach the ways of the New Covenant that would begin with His death and resurrection, he taught with authority those who were with Him on the mount. Who are the poor in spirit that Jesus spoke of?

Being poor in spirit has nothing to do with how much wealth we do or do not have in the natural world in which we live. It is the recognition that we have nothing to offer God in the realm of the Spirit. It is the admitting that we are poor and needy people when it comes to the things of God. It is the recognition that apart from Christ, we can do nothing. To be poor in spirit is to be humbled, lowly in our own estimation of ourselves, the taking upon ourselves the role of a servant and following in the footsteps of our master who though he was God, took upon Himself the heart of a servant and washed the disciples feet as a lesson them as to how they were to view themselves. Jesus said, “but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.”

Today’s prayer: Lord help me to look upon myself as a lowly servant, to be humbled before you and walk in a way that pleases you. Help me to serve those that I come in contact with today to show them who YOU are that in someway, they will see you in me.

The Former and the Latter Rain

Joel 2: 23b-24

And He will cause the rain to come down for you—
The former rain,
And the latter rain in the first month.
24 The threshing floors shall be full of wheat,
And the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil.

As I was reading this passage I began to have a vision of it’s fulfillment in the earth during this last revival which is rapidly coming upon us. I saw God’s threshing floor, it was so full of wheat that it didn’t look like it hold any more. What is the threshing floor? That is the place where the wheat is brought as it is harvested. There, the wheat is freed from that which is holding it. The stems that are holding the precious kernels of wheat are all broken loose, the hard hulls are removed and the chaff is blown away until all that is left is the pure grain of wheat. This is the place where people are set free from all that has them bound as Jesus does a work in their lives that only He could ever possibly perform.

I began to see the vats of wine and oil, they were overflowing there was so much, the harvest was so great. We know that wine in scripture most commonly points to the joy of the Lord flowing in our lives. The oil most commonly is representative of the Holy Spirit poured out on God’s people. I began to see people so full of joy that it just poured out of them and onto the people around them. I saw the oil poured upon God’s people in such an abundance that it was flowing out to the world around them and changing everything that was around them. The anointing was so powerful and so abundant that there was literally no holding it back.

God promised the former and the latter rain would come upon us. The former rain was fulfilled in Acts 2 when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the 120 in the upper room. The result was a harvest that went around the world. The latter rain is about to fall and when it does, it is going to change the world in our time. God’s threshing floor will be full to overflowing of the precious souls that will come to Jesus. The lives saved, healed, delivered, and set free by Jesus Christ will be innumerable!

About the New Believers Series – Getting Started

Congratulations on your decision to follow Jesus Christ. As a new disciple of Jesus, there are some things that we need to explore in order to properly understand what just happened as well as answer some common questions that new believers have. In this series we will start by discussing Salvation, what just happened to me? A whole lot just happened to you and is very important to understand your new found relationship with Jesus Christ. Next will answer the all important question, what do I need to do next? The two most important daily habits a believer can develop, prayer and bible reading. Many other topics will be presented to help you develop your walk in Christ. It is our sincere prayer and wish for you that you will learn much from this series and get off to a great start in your new life!

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) vs Christianity

AOC has said some things that leave one scratching their head and wondering how anyone could possibly believe that things that come out of her mouth. Surely she can’t really believe the crazy sounding things that she is saying; it must be a ploy to get attention from the media. The disturbing news is this, not only does she believe it, but so do millions of other young people across our nation. We as Christians have failed generations of young people and God has raised up a warning sign to point out to us that we need to repent as a church for our part in that failure.

God has placed, AOC where she is for a time, she may not be there for very long, but she serves as a dire warning to the church. If your first inclination is to point out how very silly she sounds or to criticize her for her positions, then you have completely missed what God is expecting from us. We should first have sorrow in our hearts that someone could so deceived as to believe the things that she speaks. Secondly, we should be in deep repentance that we have allowed the devil to deceive entire generations into believing his horrible lies. They don’t know the trap that is set for them; they don’t know that in the end, they will be destroyed by these deceptions. Christ warned us that strong delusions would come, and take warning; they are here.

Isn’t it time that we stop looking at these kids with disdain and start praying for their salvation? In Joel’s prophecy, God promised the former and the latter rain. Isn’t it time for the latter rain? God said that He would pour out of His Spirit upon all flesh, our sons and our daughters would prophecy and our old men would dream dreams. It’s time…we need to be in prayer for God to pour out His Spirit. Look at Acts 2, what were they doing before the Holy Spirit fell on the Day of Pentecost? They were praying with one accord, or in other words, with the same goal…the promise of the Father poured out upon them and their Children.

Look, I’m not really trying to wake anybody up or anything, but we are standing at a crossroads, we can pray until we see that latter rain poured out or we can sit on our posteriors and let hell come to the face of the earth. The choice is ours to make…God didn’t say anywhere that He was going to just take care of everything apart from us…but He did say “If my people who are called by name will humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked ways THEN will I hear and from Heaven and heal their land.”

Having Faith in the Midst of Fire

Without faith it is impossible to please God, when the fire is raging as it is now, we are confronted with choices, give in or stand with our shield of faith up! Right now it is really easy to give in to fear, depression, or anger at the circumstances that are robbing us of our ability to live a normal life like we did just a few weeks ago. For a child of God, this is merely a training time and time of proving. What is the most important thing we can do in the midst of this? Pleasing God of course.

We know that God has given us the full armor of God as described by Paul, this includes the shield of faith; where does faith come from? Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Every day when we arise, we need to pick up our shield of faith and use it to quench those fiery darts that the devil loves to send our way. We need to resolve that every day no matter what circumstances we may encounter, our goal is to please God every minute of every day. To do that, we must be walking by faith and not by what we see or hear going on around us.

Let’s tune into the heavenly voice and listen to what He has to say to us. Ignore the media, all they are peddling is doubt and fear anyway, let’s make it our goal to believe God’s word and let everything else run off. If we are to please God, then faith has to be our watch word every day. Faith is not just words, faith is action, faith is living above the fear, above the anger, above the doubt and depression. We have the peace that passes all understanding, let’s live like it!

Scripture reading:

Hebrews 6, Ephesians 6, Romans 10