WORDS OF LIFE | Abundant Grace Ministries

You are not what you do, you are what God says you are.  What?  Now, don’t stone me just yet.  Let me explain.  Most people I know would agree that if a child grows up in a house with an abusive father, who only scolds and breaks down the child’s identity, that it is not the ideal circumstance for the child to grow up in and become the best person he was intended to be.

Why do many preachers handle the gospel differently and suppose that they will change people for the better by telling them how sinful they are, how bad they are and how much they fall short?  In Romans 1:16 Paul says, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation.”  The Gospel is all about what Jesus came to do and the price that He paid by dying on the cross.  His blood flowed for the forgiveness of sins, and because of His blood, He doesn’t just choose to see you holy, blameless and righteous.  He made you holy, blameless and righteous.  It is your new identity in Christ.  This gospel has the power to save and bring you into the full manifestation of Christ in your life!

I started off with the words that you are not what you do.  For example, if you steal handbags, and you believe in Jesus, you are not a handbag thief.  You may be stealing handbags, but stealing handbags is not your identity!  You are the righteousness of God in Christ.  Colossians 3:3 says, “For you have died, and your (real, new) life is now hidden with Christ in God.”  All you need is to find out who you are in Christ. Galatians 2:20 also says that you have been crucified with Christ, and you no longer live, but Christ lives in you.

What you need is to look into the right mirror where you see Christ in the reflection and it will produce the nature and life of Christ in you.  You will never change by looking into the mirror that shows you yourself and your shortcomings and flaws.  Behold today as in a mirror the face of Jesus, and His life will be produced in you.

2 Cor 3:18;  And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from the Lord, [who is] the Spirit.”

Hebrews 12 states that we should look away from all that will distract us from Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith.

Christ was made human for a purpose. He gave up all His privileges and humbled Himself to the extreme of death on the cross, so that those who believe may become children of God.

Hearing and seeing what Jesus accomplished for you causes faith to spontaneously rise in your heart. Just as when you are standing next to a heater and begin to feel the heat; looking unto Jesus causes faith to arise. Faith brings that which Jesus accomplished for you, into your reality. Christ wants you to experience the things that He accomplished and wants you to know that it is His forgiveness that leads to a clear conscience. He does not just want you to read about healing, He wants you to feel it in your body.

2 Kings 6:15 is a great example: The king of Syria sent a great army to seize Elisha, and as Elisha’s servant arose he saw that they were surrounded by horses and chariots. The servant was filled with fear as he spoke to Elisha about their situation, but Elisha said: “Fear not; for those with us are more than those with them.” Elisha prayed that God would open the servant’s eyes, and the Lord opened his eyes and he saw that Elisha was surrounded with horses and chariots of fire that protected them.

Elisha saw something different than his servant. What you look at can either cause, or remove fear. Look to Jesus and find that everything you need has already been provided for.

“They will lay their hands on the sick and they will get well.” (Mark 16:18)

We held a service in Parys earlier this year and a lady came forward who was completely blind in one eye. I laid my hand on the eye and when I took it away she could see perfectly. Similarly in Ikageng last year, fifteen people who were deaf in one or both ears received healing and had their hearing restored.

Ten years ago I prayed for a man who was dying of cancer and a doctor only gave him a few days to live. I laid my hands on him and all his pain disappeared that same day. After further tests were performed on him they could not find any sign of cancer in his body. Ten years later he came to our church to testify about what God did for him.

I prayed for a man at a stadium in Ikageng who had polio. He came with crutches and walked with extreme difficulty. After I laid hands on him he did not look better. We took him to his home and the next day he woke up completely healed. That Sunday he walked from Ikageng to Potchefstroom without his crutches to show us what Jesus did for him. People who saw him earlier the week started to cry. Jesus is a miracle worker.

There are many more stories like these. If you are sick in your body and you need any kind of miracle, just read this prayer and say thank you Jesus out loud. “Father I pray in the name of Jesus, heal this person that read these testimonies of your goodness. Amen.”

Forgiveness came through the cross of Jesus Christ. It is freely given to the whole world and it is every individual’s own choice whether he or she will receive it. If you have already received this wonderful gift, I want to remind you that you are forgiven from your past, present and future sins.

Many believers gladly accept that they are forgiven the first day when they receive Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. The moment they make a mistake or continue in their old habits, they falsely think they are not forgiven and stand unholy before God.  Forgiveness does not depend on a believer’s ability to live a good life.

This does not mean everyone should continue in sin. In 2 Peter 1:5-9, he lists a few godly attributes and says that if anyone lacks these qualities, they had simply forgotten that they have been cleansed from their sin. When our lives do not reflect the character of Jesus, the solution lies in hearing or being reminded that one has been cleansed from all sin. Hebrews 10:14 states that He has forever completely cleansed and perfected those who are consecrated and made holy. Believing that you are forgiven will lead to right living.

When God looks at you today He does not see your sins, neither remembers them. God sees you holy, spotless and blameless. “For I will be merciful and gracious toward their sins and I will remember their deeds of unrighteousness no more.” (Heb 8:12 AMP)

“Faith comes by hearing…” (Romans 10:17)

Everything we receive from God our Father we receive through faith. We cannot receive it any other way and we cannot try to believe more – we receive faith by what we hear. Just as fear comes when you hear a bad report, faith comes when you hear a good report. You hear about Ebola, and since you live in a Western African country, fear comes to you because of what you heard. You did not try to fear or repeatedly confess it. It just came to you. Faith can come just as easily.

Faith will come to you as you hear the good report of Christ, the finished work of the cross. That report we see in Isaiah 53:“Who has believed our report?” The good news of Jesus Christ tells us what He did for us and who we are because of what He did.

If I want to be healed, how can I receive healing? I receive it through faith in Him. If I want to be more holy, how can I receive holiness, or if I want to be more righteous, how can I receive it? Through faith in Him. If I hear how He became sin for me, He who knew no sin, so that in Him I might be the righteousness of God, I receive righteousness. If I hear that He made me holy through one offering and I believe it, I receive holiness. If I hear that by His wounds we are healed, I receive healing. It is that simple.

Hear the simplicity of the Gospel. Without Christ you are helpless, sick, defeated, unholy and unrighteous, but because of what He did, you are now a new creation in Christ. It is a divine exchange. You gave Him your whole life and He gave you His life at the Cross.

“You search and investigate and pore over the Scriptures diligently, because you suppose and trust that you have eternal life through them. And these [very Scriptures] testify about Me! And still you are not willing [but refuse] to come to Me, so that you might have life.” (John 5:39-40)

Christ wants you to enjoy a personal relationship with Him, where you can hear His voice clearly, know His plans for your life and where you experience His love, joy and peace. Such a wonderful, intimate relationship is not only possible, but His desire for every believer. In the scriptures we see that we are sons in the house of the Father and we are the bride of Christ.

I have one son and the love I feel for him is difficult to explain in words. It is a love that is so unconditional and great that I feel in my heart for him. Although he is a boy, I can’t help but I just have to hug him and kiss him, because I love him so much. The love that I have for my wife is a different type of love, but it is the very same in intensity.

God loves you very much. As I reflected on how much I love my wife Clarissa, and my son Christiaan, the Lord said to me “I love you more…”
“See what [an incredible] quality of love the Father has given (shown, bestowed on) us, that we should [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are! The reason that the world does not know (recognise, acknowledge) us is that it does not know (recognise, acknowledge) Him.” (1 John 3:1)

“In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)

Just let Him love you today.

You search and investigate and pore over the Scriptures diligently, because you suppose and trust that you have eternal life through them.  And these [very Scriptures] testify about Me! And still you are not willing to come to Me, so that you might have life.”  (John 5:39-40)

Jesus addressed the Pharisees, saying that the scriptures they investigated were speaking about Him. They did not realise this, even though they knew the scriptures. Christ further said to them that if they would come to Him, they will experience life.

Today many people do not experience life while reading the Bible, and instead feel condemned and experience death. There is so much life in the Bible, but some simply read it from the wrong perspective. For years people studied the Bible but didn’t experience life.

In order to experience life in the Bible, one must read to see Christ. As we see Christ, He speaks to us through the Bible, and it becomes alive. Only then does the Word become the Word of God to you. From this perspective you will also find that the Holy Spirit will reveal Christ to you. You will start to discover that you are in Him, and explore your identity in Him.

We are a new creation in Christ, yet people look to their old sinful selves when they read the Bible and only notice their failures and mistakes. The Holy Spirit was not given to reveal our failures and mistakes; It is your helper and came to reveal Christ.

Looking away (from all that will distract) to Jesus, who is the leader and the source of our faith (giving the first incentive for our belief) and is also its finisher (bringing it to maturity and perfection).” (Heb 12:2 AMP)

“But the angel said to them. Do not be afraid: for behold, I bring you good news of great joy, which will come to all the people.” Luke 2 v 10

“Then suddenly there appeared with the angel an army of the troops of heaven (a heavenly knighthood), praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is well pleased (men of goodwill, of His favour).” Luke 2 v 13 – 14.

The Gospel is EXTREME GOOD NEWS. When Christ entered the world the proclamation was, “I bring to you good news of great joy.”  After Jesus was crucified and raised from the dead, just before He was taken up into heaven He said in the book of Mark: “Go into all the world and preach and publish openly the Good News (The Gospel) to every creature.” Mark 16 v 15.

We can see in the scriptures that the angel proclaimed Good News to those shepherds AND now we have the instruction from Christ to GO INTO ALL THE WORLD AND PROCLAIM GOOD NEWS.  Just think how wonderful the message must have been to those shepherds.

Is the message that you hear in your church or through your preacher GOOD NEWS?  Because if it is not GOOD NEWS, it is NOT THE GOSPEL. When you heard it, did it make you want to jump out of your seat for joy..? If not, my friend you have not heard the Gospel. Preacher the message you preach to people is it as good to them as the message that was given to the Shepherds by the Angel…? Let us all answer these questions for ourselves.

Rom 10 v 15: “…How beautiful are the feet of those who bring GLAD TIDINGS! (How welcome is the coming of those who preach the good news of His good things)”

 

In John 11 Jesus said to Martha, ‘did I not tell you that if you would believe in Me, you would see the Glory of God?’ The glory of God in this case was the raising of a dead man. As believers we simply want and need more of His glory in our lives.

“For our light, momentary affliction is ever more abundantly producing for us an everlasting weight of glory. Since we consider and look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal, but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting.” (2 Cor 4:17,18)

This everlasting weight of glory is ever increasing. The scripture says that the suffering or the affliction is producing a weight of glory. This may cause confusion, since it does not imply that suffering produces ‘glory.’ The next verse is the key: As you look to the unseen (Jesus Christ) you are changed from glory to glory. If you look to Jesus, more of the glory of God will be manifesting in, and through your life. Verse 18 must be read with verse 17.

“And all of us with unveiled face, because we continued to behold (in the word of God) as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image, in ever increasing splendour and from one degree of glory to another.” (2 Cor 3:18)

It is not suffering or persecution that produces glory. It is as you look to Jesus and know Him for who He is, and see yourself in Him in the mirror (the Word). The Bible says that the suffering you see is temporal, but God is the eternal, invisible, deathless and everlasting God. God’s glory is deathless and everlasting and can never suffer affliction. May you experience more of His glory.

“Christ purchased our freedom (redeeming us) from the curse of the law by Himself becoming a curse for us, for it is written, cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.” (Gal 3:13)

Jesus Christ died for us and became a curse for us. He purchased our freedom from the curse of the law. Romans 10:4 says that Christ is the end of the law as a means to righteousness.

“Now before the faith came, we were guarded under the law, kept in custody in preparation for the faith that was destined to be revealed, so that the law served as our trainer (our guardian or schoolmaster) until Christ came, that we might be justified by and through faith.” (Gal 3:23-24)

Do you realise that the law was just for a given time until Christ came? The law had a definite function, but Christ is the end to that function. Scripture says that the law was a schoolmaster, a guardian until the seed, Christ should come.

When Jesus died He said, “It is finished.” I believe He said that the time of law is now over, because He took the punishment for all disobedience to the law. The real father of the house, God the Father, is now in charge. The school master’s time is over. Father God now lives with His people. For example: The children go to school during the day. The school master is their guardian for the time they are at school. When the children go home, their father is the one who is in charge. The law is likened to a schoolmaster, or a guardian. For a time it guarded the children of Israel, but only until the real guardian, the

Father came. Now we who were gentiles, with the believing Jews (in Christ) belong to the same household. See Ephesians 2:15-19 for further reading.

“In a little burst of wrath I hid My face from you for a moment, but with age-enduring love and kindness I will have compassion and mercy on you, says the Lord, your Redeemer. For this is like the days of Noah to Me; as I swore that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so have I sworn that I will not be angry with you or rebuke you. For though the mountains should depart and the hills be shaken or removed, yet My love and kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace and completeness be removed, says the Lord, Who has compassion on you.” (Is 54:7-10)

God uses the example of Noah to explain how definite it is that He will not be angry with, or rebuke us. He says “As I swore that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so have I sworn that I will not be angry with you or rebuke you.” Today when we see a rainbow, it is a testimony of God’s promise, grace and mercy. We know that God will never again destroy this earth with a flood.

Jesus Christ died on the cross and was forsaken on our behalf. The wrath of God was poured out on Him. When Christ died, He said it is finished. He was raised from the dead. When we accept and receive Christ into our lives, every person that believes becomes part of the body of Christ. Jesus Christ said that He will never leave you, nor forsake you. “But with age-enduring love and kindness I will have compassion and mercy on you, says the Lord, your Redeemer.” (Is 54:8) This is God’s word for you today. With age enduring love and kindness, He will have compassion and mercy on you, for He is your redeemer.

See what we have to say on different topics, find out what’s news and read some testimonies of what God has been doing in the lives of people through this ministry.

John 3:16 is a verse in the bible that is widely known by people, but do we realize the powerful truth of what it says when we read or quote it?  Today I want to emphasize the following and I pray that you will experience God’s saving grace in such a powerful way as you read this post.

God in His GREAT LOVE sent His Son to die for our sins.  Let’s stand still at this point.  Do you realize how great the love of the Father had to be in order to send His Son to become the sin sacrifice?  I used this example the other day while preaching;  There are many things that I would like to SPARE my son in life.  Things like pain, suffering, heartache, troubles etc, yet in Romans 8:31 it says that God did not SPARE His Son, but gave Him up for us all… What a tremendous love the Father must have for us.

Now, when you believe in Jesus Christ you are saved.  Being saved includes many things.  You are given a new nature (2 Cor 5:17), you are forgiven, and made righteous as you receive Jesus and the work that He had done for you.  You are brought into right-standing with God.  You are now part of the household of God, you are healed and given eternal life, and so we can carry on as we meditate on God’s saving grace.

God’s love for you will never change.  The same love that moved Him to send His Son for you is the same love He has for you today.  May you experience God’s love and His saving grace in your life today.

 

“Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Cor 5:17, KJ)

“I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Gal 2:20, AMP)

When you became a Christian you died with Christ and you were born again. That means that now you have a complete new identity in Christ. Your main focus in your Christian life must therefore be knowing Jesus Christ and discovering who you are in Him.

A lot of what we hear in Christian circles today is focused on what we must become, rather than on who we are. This problem can be seen as early as when the first people walked the earth. Adam and Eve were tempted with the lie: “If you eat of this fruit you will become like God.” They were already like God. When God made man He said: “Let Us make man in Our image and after Our likeness.” They thought that by doing something they can become something. Like them, most

Christians today are trying to become who and what they already are.

Christianity is not about becoming, but about being. It is about being who you already are in Christ. You will discover this by living in a relationship with Him. Get to know Jesus and He will always speak to you about who you are.

2 Peter 3:18: “But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”

The message of the Gospel is good news. If it is not good news it is not the Gospel. When you hear the Gospel it must be so good that you want to share it with someone else; that you just cannot keep it to yourself. We used to think of Christianity as growing in your own effort and in the knowledge of your own mistakes and failures, but consider that the scripture does not say you must grow in your effort in changing yourself, nor grow in the knowledge of your weaknesses. Rather, it instructs us to “grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ,” and continues with “to Him be glory both now and forever.”

Grace is not merely important, it is everything. We are not our own saviours; we need the grace of Jesus Christ. Without His grace there is no hope for us. Grace is not just a word or expression, but it is the power of the Holy Spirit and the influence of God that changes us. 2 Cor 6:1 (AMP) gives a good explanation of what grace is: “That merciful kindness by which God exerts His holy influence on souls and turns them to Christ, keeping and strengthening them.”

The Gospel speaks of the finished work of Jesus and what He came to do for us; it does not speak of what you must do for God. When you hear the gospel it releases grace into your life, and that grace changes you. The very power that changed me from the man I was before I received Christ into the person I am today, and also the power that is changing me today, is called grace. It is the influence of God in our lives that changes us into the image of Christ. It transforms you to be just like Jesus in every way, thought, word and deed.

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