WORDS OF LIFE | Abundant Grace Ministries

I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally.
– Philippians 3:10 (The Message)

The life of a believer starts where most people think it ends. God once showed me an image in regards with this. Imagine this dance floor with a very uneven surface. How will you dance if there is just rocks and holes everywhere? Even if you try your absolute best, you’ll really struggle to dance and you’ll probably end up with a sprained ankle. In our lives, the dance floor is the foundation of our Christian walk with Jesus and this foundation is that Jesus has freely forgiven us of all our sins and trespasses. We don’t deserve it and we do not always feel that it is true, but it is true. You are holy in the sight of God. When He looks at you He sees you through the blood Christ – perfect and spotless. So, this is our basis and the starting point for us as believers. But there is more to our lives than just knowing that we have a perfectly smooth dance floor.

The goal of our lives is to know Jesus. Paul says in Philippians 3 verse 10 that his determined purpose is to know Jesus intimately and to get more acquainted with the person of Jesus. The picture I have in my mind of our lives is one where we are caught up in this dance with Jesus and this is where the dance floor comes in. For us to really enjoy our dance with Jesus we need to have a perfect dance floor. In order to truly experience the deepest intimacies in your relationship with Jesus you need to know and believe that you are forgiven. Jesus has forgiven you of all your sin so that you can know Him intimately. Being established in our stand before God and how He sees us abolishes the wall of separation in our own minds. This further leads to us having boldness to approach God no matter what happens in our lives. Can you see that it is vital for us as believers to be established in the truth that Jesus has forgiven us completely? We cannot really have a relationship with Jesus without knowing this truth.

Stop making it your goal to be better and to try to do everything perfect. Get established in the truth of your righteous stance before God and make it your only aim and focus to know Jesus. Put all your attention on Him.

Psalm 27:4 One thing I have asked of the Lord, and that I will seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life, To gaze upon the beauty [the delightful loveliness and majestic grandeur] of the Lord And to meditate in His temple.

One of the most important messages a Christian can hear is the message of the forgiveness of sins that came through the blood of Jesus Christ. This and this alone makes a real relationship with Jesus Christ possible.

Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great and wonderful calm (a perfect
peaceableness). – Matthew 8:26

One day Jesus and his disciples were out on the sea and a violent storm arose. Jesus was asleep in the boat,
perfectly at peace, while the storm was raging. The disciples nervously woke him up saying, “Master, don’t you care
that we perish?” At once Jesus rebuked the winds and waves and there came a great calm. Jesus asked his
disciples: “why are you so afraid, where is your faith?”

I remember how I used to read this story and in my head, I had this image of Jesus being angry and disappointed with
the disciples and how he admonished them for not having enough faith to calm the storm. I thought that God sent the
storm as some kind of a test to see if they had enough faith. These are all thoughts that you might have concerning
this particular event that we read of in the Bible. Let me share the perspective that God gave me, when He helped me
to see His heart in what happened that day.

The first point is that God did not send the storm and He didn’t allow it. The storm just came. Where was God? He
was personally present in Christ (read 2 Corinthians 5:19, Amplified Bible). Where was Jesus Christ in that moment?
Jesus was in the boat. The storm came, Jesus was in the boat, He had perfect peace and He was sleeping. The
disciples on the other hand was full of fear, not knowing how they will survive the storm. In their state of fear, they
accused Jesus for not caring because they said, “don’t you care that we perish?” Jesus answered that specific
question when He responded in, “where is your faith?” Jesus did not just rebuke them for not having “enough faith” to
calm the storm. I believe the focus of Jesus in His correction was on the following: “do you really believe that I will
allow you to perish in this storm? Is your faith in a God that does not care for you? Is that what you believe about me
and my Father…?” Jesus then went on and showed them that He indeed cared for them and He calmed the storm.
Isn’t it beautiful? That was actually the safest place to be on earth at that specific moment, with Jesus on that boat. I
just cannot imagine the Saviour of humanity drowning, can you?

God is not sending all kinds of bad things into your life and He is also not the one that allows it. He has absolutely
nothing to do with it. God is not in partnership with evil. We experience things that are not perfect because of the fallen
world we live in. Out there in the world our faith gets tested many times, but it is not Jesus that tests us. The testing of our faith comes as a result of a fallen world that we live in, but Jesus is the one that provides us with all the answers.

He conquered the world for us. Imagine you write a test and you have the one that knows all the answers with you to
help you.

Jesus is with us and He cares about the outcome of every situation you face today! All we need to do is to depend on
Him. We can only do that when we are convinced that He is only good! Jesus is the One that calms the storm.

He is with you, He is for you!

For the kingdom of God [is] not in word, but in power. – 1 Corinthians 4:20

Believers in Christ, you have power inside of you that is far beyond what you can ever imagine. This power is stronger than anything you see and this power dwells within you! The power inside of you is even greater than the power of the greatest power station on earth. The same power that raised Christ from the dead is at work within you, according to Romans 8 verse 11.

I believe that God wants to show Himself to the world by this power as it works in us and through us. As Ephesians 3 verse 20 says: “by the action of His power that is at work within us, is able to do super-abundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]. When Jesus sent out his disciples, he gave them power and authority over sickness, weaknesses, and unclean spirits (Matthew 10:1). I believe when we as Believers begin to see and believe in God’s power that is in us, we will be able to change situations that are in a certain way because of the fall of man. We are called not only to preach about God’s goodness and grace, but also to demonstrate it.

God’s kingdom is not a matter of word, but a matter of power (1 Corinthians 4:20). When we look at Paul’s letters, we can see that he preached Christ, and that his message was accompanied with great power. Paul says, “and my language and my message were not set forth in persuasive (enticing and plausible) words of wisdom, but they were in demonstration of the [Holy] Spirit and power [a proof by the Spirit and power of God, operating on me and stirring in the minds of my hearers the most holy emotions and thus persuading them], So that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men (human philosophy), but in the power of God,” (1 Corinthians 2:4). In Acts chapter 4 we read that the apostles prayed to God to stretch forth His hand to perform signs and wonders and in chapter 5 we see the following: “now by the hands of the apostles (special messengers) numerous and startling signs and wonders were being performed among the people.” Mark chapter 16 says, “these signs will follow them that Believe…” All those signs are a demonstration of the power of God in and through Believers. We as the body of Christ, the church, are called to walk in great power. It is not just for preachers, but for every single believer.

Today I pray for you as Paul prayed for the church in Ephesians that their eyes might be enlightened, “so that you can know and understand what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength, which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead…” Ephesians 1 verse 19 and 20.

This, the first of His signs (miracles, wonderworks), Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory [by it He displayed His greatness and His power openly], and His disciples believed in Him [adhered to, trusted in, and relied on Him]. – John 2:11 (AMP)

We should never settle for a powerless “gospel” message. The true Gospel is the power of God, as we can see in the following scriptures; “Jesus of Nazareth, a Man accredited and pointed out and shown forth and commended and attested to you by God by the mighty works and [the power of performing] wonders and signs which God worked through Him [right] in your midst, as you yourselves know…” (Acts 2:22). The apostles prayed the following in Acts 4 verse 30: “…While you stretch forth your hand to cure and to perform signs and wonders through the authority and by the power of the name of Your holy Child and Servant Jesus.” When last were you in a church service where this was the prayer? Where the Pastor prayed and asked God directly to perform signs and wonders…? This should be the prayer of every minister of the Gospel.

Mark 16 verse 17 and 18 says: “And these attesting signs will accompany those who believe: in My name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new languages; They will pick up serpents; and [even] if they drink anything deadly, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will get well.” Do not think that this is the end and beginning of the list of signs and wonders. This is only to mention a few, the bible speaks of “signs and wonders,” which tells us that it is not limited to a certain amount or type. Think of Paul who sent out cloths to the sick and when they touched it, they got well. At that time, it was not recorded that something like this had ever happened, it was only recorded later. When Moses stretched forth his hand and the Red Sea opened, it was not recorded before that time that anything like that ever happened. With all this being said, I can boldly say that there are signs and wonders that we will experience that has not been recorded yet. The only thing that matters is the source of the signs and wonders. If the source is God, I want it and if the source is not God, I don’t want it. How would we know that the signs and wonders that takes place are from God? The first thing would be to ask yourself if it is in line with the character of God as revealed by His Son Jesus Christ. For example, if it is degrading another person or hurting, destroying, and humiliating people you can know that it is not of God. Secondly, the Bible says you will know them by their fruit (Matthew 7:16). You judge the miracle by the fruit of the person that performs it and in whose name they perform it. 1.) Does the person preach Christ, that He is the son of God? 2.) The fruit in the life of that person. He will show some of the fruit of Christ even though he/she might not be perfect.

Signs and wonders take place where Jesus is present. He said that He will be with us always. Our faith in Him causes Him to manifest and reveal His power. The same Jesus whose ministry was attested by signs and wonders, is the same Jesus that worked with and through Believers in the book of Acts and is the same Jesus that works with and through us today. The same Jesus that was with the disciples, is the same Jesus that is with us today. He has not changed. He is the same, yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

We should not be afraid of signs and wonders. We should rather live a life where we expect His signs and wonders around every corner!

12 The [uncompromisingly] righteous shall flourish like the palm tree [be long-lived, stately, upright, useful, and fruitful]; they shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon [majestic, stable, durable, and incorruptible].
13 Planted in the house of the Lord, they shall flourish in the courts of our God.
14 [Growing in grace] they shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap [of spiritual vitality] and [rich in the] verdure [of trust, love, and contentment]
15 [They are living memorials] to show that the Lord is upright and faithful to His promises; He is my Rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.[Growing in grace] they shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap [of spiritual vitality] and [rich in the] verdure [of trust, love, and contentment].
– Psalm 92:12 – 15 (AMP)
How would you enjoy a life where everything you touch prospers and blooms because of the life of God flowing through you? I just love how Psalm 92 verse 12 to 15 gives us an image of this type of life that is available for us in Christ. It says that the righteous will flourish like the palm tree. Flourish means that everything concerning your life, your family, your children, your business, your health and your spiritual life, will be a display of the goodness and faithfulness of God. You can clearly see the heart of the Father for you in verse 12 of Psalm 92 in the Amplified Bible, where it says in the brackets, “long-lived, stately, upright, useful and fruitful…” Just say this out loud with me: “I am the righteous and I will flourish.”

The Bible speaks about the fruit of the Holy Spirit in Galatians 5. Take note that it does not say it’s your fruit, but it says the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Not our fruit, but His fruit. This means that you cannot produce that type of fruit. You cannot go and make a study of it and try and copy it and think that you are bearing the fruit of the Spirit. It is the same as those FAKE, plastic fruit that you sometimes find on the kitchen table for decoration purposes. On the outside it looks very good, but the moment you take a bite, you know it is not real. It has no substance and does not give life at all.

It is vital for our lives and the people around us that we do bear the REAL fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives. If you have the fruit of the Holy Spirit in your life, people will be drawn to you and would just want to be around you because they are feasting on that fruit. It completely transforms them. Think about how it makes you feel when you are around someone that is full of the joy of God? Or someone that walks in God’s peace. Suddenly you have that same joy and/or peace and all you did was spend some time with them. You can be that person for others. In John 15 Jesus says: “I am the vine, you are the branches, and whoever lives in me bears much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Jesus encourages us to live in Him. You will effortlessly bear fruit when you simply abide in the vine – living by simple trust in Jesus.

The life that flows inside a Believer will produce the fruit on the outside.

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. – Philippians 2:8

I have heard so many people say that they were disobedient in one way or another and that God is now teaching them through a certain sickness or disease to be obedient. I want to bring some light on this subject. The God of the Old testament and the God of the New testament is the same God, but the way that He relates with people and how they are to relate to Him changed completely. First let us look at the old covenant to see the consequences of disobedience. In 1 Samuel 15 verse 22, Samuel said: “Has the Lord as great a delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord?” By reading this story we can clearly see that obedience was extremely important. God wanted the obedience of Saul rather than his sacrifices. Saul did not obey God and the end result was that he has been rejected from being king (1 Sam 15:23.)

Jesus came to do the will of God and it was His will to do away with the old and bring in the new. Look at what Hebrews 10 verse 9 says: “He went on to say, Behold here I am, coming to do your will. Thus He does away with and annuls the first order so that He might inaugurate and establish the second.” Verse 10: “and in accordance with this will of God, we have been made holy, through the offering made once for all of the body of Jesus Christ.”

In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed: “Lord, if it be Your will, let this cup pass from me. But yet not My will be done, bur Your will be done.” Jesus knew what He was going to go through, but stayed obedient even unto death! Jesus Christ died on a cross, and He obeyed God till the end. He was beaten, the nails were put in His hands and His feet, and He was ripped apart on the cross. I look at that and in my heart, I know that I can never put my trust in my own obedience. I choose to obey Him as my response to His amazing love for me, BUT my trust is in His obedience and what it accomplished for me. Today you can rest in the obedience of Christ. “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” – Rom 5:19.

God is not teaching you obedience through sickness and disease. You can believe and trust in Him and His obedience and receive your healing today. Stand on His work and not on your own works.

I will never boast in my “obedience” to Him. I will boast in His obedience. You do not get from Him what you deserve. You already got what He deserved and you receive it by faith.

Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” – Luke 24:36

After Jesus was raised from the dead, before His ascension, he appeared to His disciples a few times and also to others. The fact that we live after He ascended to the Father does not mean that He cannot and will not appear today. Just as He was with them, so He is with us. I remember praying late one night a few years ago, continually saying “Lord, I want to see you.” As I was busy praying, not out loud, but in a whispered voice, the doorbell rang. I opened the door and a homeless man that was clearly drunk, stood in the door. He pointed his finger at me and said: “you will see the Lord.” He turned around and walked away. I stood there totally shocked by what just happened. A few years after this incident Jesus appeared to me in my room one night and the word came to pass, I saw Him.

Jesus appeared to His disciples a few times where Thomas was not present with them, but one time He was with them and Jesus said to Thomas, “Put your hands in my side.” Many people speak about unbelieving Thomas and make his unbelief the focus of that meeting, but even though Thomas had unbelief in his heart, the main point is the goodness of Jesus. Jesus did not leave Thomas in his unbelief but invited him to put his hand in his side and to feel that it is really Him. Beloved friend, Jesus will also meet you where you are. You need to know that He will do anything to reveal Himself to you. He is not withholding anything of Himself from you. The supernatural appearances of angels, visions, and dreams that we read of in the book of Acts was not only for that generation many years ago. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

I am not implying today that you must wait for that moment when Jesus appears to you physically and now think that that is the only way in which you can see Him, no. Those encounters are amazing, but we can also see Jesus continually with our spiritual eyes. Jesus said: “the world will not see me, but you will see me” (John 14:19). I believe there are many times in our lives where Jesus shows Himself to us, but we just do not see or realize it. You can ask Jesus to open your spiritual eyes. Do not wait for supernatural visions, dreams, or appearances, but always expect that it can happen to you. Like with anything in the Christian life, it starts with a desire. I call that desire a hunger. May your hunger increase as you hear today that it can happen to you. Keep on looking to Him in your everyday life. He said, “the world will not see me, but you will see me…” He is constantly revealing Himself to people who have a hunger to know Him. The greatest truth is that Jesus is always with us and even in us as Believers. You can be aware of it or not, but HE IS RIGHT THERE BY YOUR SIDE.

Acts 2 verse 17 – 19:” And it shall come to pass in the last days, God declares, that I will pour out of My Spirit upon all mankind, your sons and your daughters shall prophesy and your young men shall see visions (divinely granted appearances), and your old men shall dream dreams…”

IN [this] freedom Christ has made us free [and completely liberated us]; stand fast then, and do not be hampered and held ensnared and submit again to a yoke of slavery [which you have once put off].
– Galatians 5:1 (AMP)

A lot of believers are in the struggle of trying to change themselves. We look at our lives and we become aware of undesirable fruits. We do not see the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives and it leads us to a place of wanting to do something about it. So, we go into self-effort in order to change ourselves. When we do this, I can compare it to you taking off the figs of a fig tree and by doing so, you expect it to yield apples. But all of us know that this will only lead to more figs being produced. Many believers are caught up in this tiresome cycle of dependence on themselves and they never experience true freedom in Christ. You will not experience freedom through your understanding of how bad your bad deeds are. You will also not experience freedom by thinking your bad deeds are not so bad or by trying to justify your bad deeds. But you will experience true freedom by turning away from yourself unto Jesus and allowing Him to change you. God has not called us to change ourselves. He called us to yield to the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit transforms us from the inside out.

God has completely liberated us through the death of Jesus on the cross by taking our sinful nature and nailing it to the cross. When we are born again, it means that we have been crucified with Jesus Christ and our old nature no longer exists. Galatians 2 verse 20 says, “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.” We now possess the nature of God and it is therefore no longer a fight to overcome sin, but rather that we give ourselves over to the Holy Spirit and allow him to live His life through us. Only Christ can live like Christ and bring forth the fruit of Christ.

There are only two options. You either depend on yourself or you depend on Jesus. But how is it possible to put your trust in Jesus if you never hear a message about Him? That is why Paul says the following in Galatians 3 verse 5…“Then does He Who supplies you with His marvellous [Holy] Spirit and works powerfully and miraculously among you do so on [the grounds of your doing] what the Law demands, or because of your believing in and adhering to and trusting in and relying on the message that you heard?”

True freedom in Christ is where God lives His life through you and where sin, together with all the effects of sin, loses its grip on your life. This means freedom from sickness, freedom from death, freedom from addictions, freedom from fear etc. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom! (2 Corinthians 3:17)

[What, what would have become of me] had I not believed that I would see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living!
– Psalm 27:13 (AMP)

In Psalm 27 David asks a profound question and today I want to ask you the same question, just in a different way, but it comes down to the same thing. What will become of you if you do not believe that you will see God’s goodness here on earth? As a Believer you should believe and expect that you will see God’s goodness in your life while you are living on this earth. A believer should not just accept everything that happens in his/her life, thinking that it is God’s will for him or her. No! There is something greater and it is the life of faith – having full confidence that God is only good and an expectation that you will see His goodness manifest all around you. The idea that we are called to suffer on earth and that only in Heaven we will receive our inheritance is a terrible lie. Yes, we know everything is perfect in Heaven, but we pray, “let your Kingdom come, let your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.” Your inheritance is already given, and it is up to you to receive it by faith here and now!

Verse 14 says “wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.” Isn’t this beautiful? Do you realise that you can expect the Lord in every moment, every second of every day of your life? Not a moment has to pass you by. You do not have to wait until some day in the future before you see the manifestation of the goodness of God in your life. You should allow an expectation to grow in your heart that says “Lord, right now in this moment, I expect you.” When you drive your kids to school, right there in the car, tell God that you are expecting him. While you are doing your grocery shopping, expect Him.

Here is how I see it. You can either live this life seeing only what you see in the natural, waiting to see Him one day in the distant future OR you can live this life seeing Him everywhere you go and having a supernatural expectation for TODAY. It is like the words of that song by Michael W Smith that says, “everywhere I go I see You…” I have seen so many times how a simple trip to town can turn into a healing revival, when I expect to see Jesus. For example, someone that I have never met would just randomly start telling me about a pain they get or a sickness they have. I will pray for the person right there and when they get healed other people that witnessed the miracle also ask for prayer…
My message today is so simple; expect Him to reveal Himself and show up (manifest) today! NOW!

Say this out loud, “Lord, I expect to see you today”

For a brief moment I forsook you, but with great compassion and mercy I will gather you [to Me] again.
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. – Isaiah 54:7-8 [AMP]

I remember about 15 years ago we made posters where we advertised meetings that we held with a preacher from the USA in our town that said, “God is not angry.” People were so angry with that statement, that we said that God is not angry! Many people, including Christians believe in an angry God… Allow me to share this wonderful truth with you today and help you to see that God is not angry with you! He loves you!

That brief moment that Isaiah 54 verse 7 speaks of was that moment on the cross where God forsook Jesus. Jesus represented humanity, so that was the only moment where God forsook “us”. Jesus cried on the Cross, “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me!” The same Jesus said that he will never leave us nor forsake us. He was forsaken and took the wrath that we deserved upon Himself. WE ARE NOW FOREVER ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED. We are completely loved and accepted and all we need to do is to believe in Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 54:9 says; “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.” Read it again and again, until you see and believe it. It says that God swore that He will NEVER BE ANGRY WITH YOU.

In Isaiah 63 (please go and read it, verse 1 to 7), we see a beautiful prophetic picture of Jesus on the cross. Isaiah the prophet spoke about the fact that His wrath upheld Him, His own arm brought Him the victory. He mentions the day of vengeance and the year of redemption in the same sentence. Can you see that it was A DAY of vengeance and then A YEAR of redemption? It was only for that moment on the cross that God hid His face from Jesus and His wrath was poured out on Jesus on the Cross and now we have eternal redemption through His blood. Let us read this part together. “Why is your apparel splashed with red, and Your garments like the one who treads the winepress? I have trodden the winepress alone…” Isaiah 63 verse 2 and 3. Now look at Revelation chapter 15 verse 19 and 20: “ So the angel swung his scythe on the earth and stripped the grapes and gathered the vintage from the vines of the earth and cast it into huge winepress of God’s INDIGNATION AND WRATH. And (the grapes in) the winepress were trodden outside the city.”

The implication is as follows: if you say there are some things that you can do that brings God’s wrath or judgement upon you, then you do not believe and understand that it was poured out on Christ. God’s wrath was directed towards the sin that He took upon Himself in Christ when He died on the cross. So, in a certain sense I can say that God poured His wrath out on sin after He took all the sin of all time of all people upon Himself. Every single sin (past, present and future) of all people, for all time, were punished in the body of Jesus Christ. He cried out: “It is finished!”

He will rest [in silent satisfaction] and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them]; He will exult over you with singing. – Zephaniah 3:17 (AMP)

Selfishness is something that forms a great part of the lives of human beings on earth today. It is so natural for people to be selfish, and almost strange when you find people that are not selfish. I believe it is like this because of the fall of humanity in sin. The Christ life is a totally unselfish life. You need to realize that for Jesus, it really is all about you. His aim is that you get to know Him for your sake, not for His sake. He wants you to know how much He loves you and then that same love will start flowing from you out to others around you. Knowing Him, and more specifically knowing how much He loves you, sets you free to start living this higher life. For Him it is all about you and for you it should be all about HIM.

Philippians 4 verse 4 says “Rejoice in the Lord always.” And then it says “Let all men know and perceive and recognize your unselfishness.” Do you realize that these verses go together? When you rejoice in Him, you are revealing your unselfishness to everyone around you. A person that walks in the joy of the Lord is the most unselfish person you will meet. They have the ability to lift the whole atmosphere in a room when they walk in, and instead of sucking life out of others, they give life to them. Even though we all feel sad from time to time, we would all rather want to be that person that is full of joy and that lift others up. Sometimes, circumstances want to dictate to us how we should feel, but we can choose to always receive the help (grace) of God in difficult times. He restores our JOY. Have you noticed that when a person that is feeling depressed speak, they mostly speak about themselves…? Their minds are overly occupied with their own failures or what they perceive as failures and with themselves in general and they have no joy. In the Amplified Bible, in brackets it also says in Philippians 4 that we should delight and gladden ourselves in Him.

As we live to know Jesus and live for others, our focus is no longer on ourselves and we will experience His joy and His peace as a direct result of it. Even when we focus on ourselves to try and improve ourselves, it robs us of the life that Christ intended for us and it takes away our joy and peace. When we try and make ourselves “better,” we still have our minds on ourselves and as a result selfishness will keep on producing its ugly fruit in our lives. When we focus on knowing Jesus and on helping and caring for others, the fruit of JOY will become our lifelong companion.

Everyone in this world that had a great impact on the lives of others were people who did not think of themselves all the time. Selfishness is weakness. But loving and caring for others is a position of power beyond anything we can possibly imagine!

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

Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees and He told them that they studied the scriptures, but were missing the whole point of the scriptures. The scriptures testified about the Saviour that was to come and now He stood right there before them and they failed to recognize Him.

I want to encourage you that when you read your Bible, you should look for Jesus on every page. When you do that, you will find that the Word will become alive to you and you will receive life from it. The Bible can become a dead letter to you and bring condemnation and death if you read it without Jesus in mind. Think about it, the very same book (the Bible) that brings life to some people, brings death to others and it all depends on where the focus is placed by the one who reads it. When we place the emphasis on ourselves rather than on Jesus Christ as the Saviour, we will find no life in the scriptures. We should read the Bible to see Jesus Christ and then we need to understand that what we see is really who we are. The identity of the New creation man/woman is found in Christ.

Let’s look at John 5:45: Put out of your minds the thought and do not suppose [as some of you are supposing] that I will accuse you before the Father. There is one who accuses you – it is Moses, the very one on whom you have built your hopes [in whom you trust].

These words of Jesus are so powerful! Jesus was still speaking to the Pharisees, who had the Law of Moses in their minds and Jesus said that the very thing that they put their trust in, is the very thing that accuses them. When we read the Bible with Jesus (who He is and what He did for us on the Cross) in mind it becomes almost impossible to think that He accuses us before the Father. The law accuses, but Jesus did not come to accuse anyone; through Jesus Christ forgiveness came to the whole world. The law will always point out your flaws and what is wrong with you, but the work that Jesus did was perfect and made us perfect in Him. In Songs of Solomon 4:7 it says, “O my love, how beautiful you are! There is no flaw in you!” This is the way Jesus sees us today!

The problem with the law is that it is UNABLE to change our hearts, our desires and motives. The GRACE OF JESUS CHRIST alone has the ABILITY to change us from the inside out.

“But grow in grace (undeserved favour, spiritual strength) and recognition and knowledge and
understanding of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (the Messiah). To Him [be] glory (honour, majesty, and splendour) both now and to the day of eternity. Amen (so be it)!”
– 2 Peter 3:18 (AMPC)

It is important to realize that this scripture does not say that we should grow in our own efforts. It says that we should grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ.

In life, most of us have been trained that we should be stronger and stronger and work harder and harder to achieve something in life! It does not work like that in the Kingdom of God. His Kingdom operates by and through Grace. For example, Romans 5 verse 17 says that if we receive the gift of grace and righteousness we will reign in life, with Christ. So instead of trying to reign, we should simply focus on receiving the free gift of grace and it will cause us to reign. The more you are able to receive the grace of Christ, the more you will be walking in the authority and the power of the Kingdom of God. It is not in trying. The Kingdom of God is not for achievers, but it is for BELIEVERS!

Remember that when I speak of Grace, I am speaking about God’s Holy influence in your life, His empowerment. Grace is something that you can receive more and more of day by day. His grace is so wonderful and so real. Grace is God’s help that saves us and that accomplishes in us and for us what our own self-efforts will never be able to do.

There is a big difference between motivational messages and the Gospel. Motivational speaking puts you at the centre, causing you to rely on yourself. The Gospel puts Jesus (what He accomplished on the Cross) at the centre. The one message leads to more self-effort and the other produce greater trust and faith in Jesus. When you hear the Gospel, it helps you to receive His grace.

Grace is not just important, but grace is everything when it comes to living the Christian life. It is not the cherry on the cake, it is the whole cake!

It is by GRACE…

“For I resolved to know nothing (to be acquainted with nothing, to make a display of the knowledge of nothing, and to be conscious of nothing) among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”
– 1 Corinthians 2:2 (AMP)

I am not sure how long Paul stayed there in Corinth when he ministered there, but just think of this. Whenever Paul opened His mouth he preached about Jesus Christ and Him Crucified. He must have had a great understanding of the value of preaching the Cross.

The same Apostle Paul also explained in 1 Corinthians 1 that the preaching of the Cross is the power of God, for us who are being saved. I always wondered how the mighty Apostle Paul could refer to himself as someone that is “being saved.” He was saved when He wrote it…? The answer came to me when I finally understood that our Spirit man is saved, because we received Christ in our lives, but our souls and our bodies are being saved. Man is not just a Spirit or a soul or a body, but man is a Spirit, soul and body person. The plan of God is that we experience His salvation in all three “parts” of our beings.

Here is how it works. When we hear the message of the Cross preached, it brings faith to our hearts. Faith comes by hearing (Romans 10:17). It brings us to a place where we start to depend on Him. We become like that branch that depends on the Vine and bears the fruit of the Vine (John 15:5). The same life that flows through the Vine flows through the branch and produce its fruit. That is how salvation comes to your soul (mind, will and emotions) and your body.

The opposite is true when you hear modern day motivational messages. You start to depend on yourself more and more… It always puts you and your performance in the centre of the message and it forces you to try and “bear fruit” independently from the Vine. No preaching of the Cross = No salvation in the souls and bodies of Believers. It is as simple as that.

The message of the Cross:
1.) Who Christ is.
2.) The sufferings of Christ.
3.) What He accomplished for us through His death, resurrection and ascension.

My encouragement for you today is that you make hearing the message of the Cross priority in your life.
“For I am not ashamed of the Gospel (good news) of Christ, for it is God’s power working unto salvation…” Romans 1:16.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my [brimming] cup runs over. – Psalm 23:5 (AMP)

What God says about you remains true, no matter what situation you might be facing. Maybe you feel today that you know that Jesus died for you on the cross to be healed, but you still have the symptoms in your body OR you know that Jesus died for you to have more than enough, but you still experience lack in so many areas of your life. In Psalm 23, God is saying to us through David, that in the midst of all our “enemies,” He prepares a table for us.

Remember that when God created the earth in the beginning, He said that it was good. He did not create the world with sickness, death, poverty and destruction in it. It came in later as a result of the fall of man. The cross of Christ was the complete victory over all these things. He, Jesus Christ, defeated all our enemies and the work is finished. We already have the victory in Christ! However, we do not always experience the fullness of this victory.

So if you are surrounded with “enemies” today, in the midst of all of it, Jesus is saying to you that He placed a table before you and He invites you to come and sit at this table and enjoy the feast that He prepared for you. Song of Solomon 2 verse 3 and 4 says the following: “my beloved shepherd is like an apple tree among the trees of the wood, under his shadow I delighted to sit, His fruit was sweet to my taste, He brought me to His banqueting house and his banner over me was love. This is a beautiful picture of Christ and His Church. You can also eat from the fruit of this tree. Jesus is your Beloved Shepherd. The banqueting house is a place of feasting and Jesus is inviting you to sit with Him and delight yourself in the food that he prepared for you.

What is the food that He placed on the table that He prepared for you? The food is the Words of Jesus. In John 6 verse 27 Jesus said: “stop toiling and doing and producing for the food that perishes and decomposes, but strive and work and produce rather for the food which endures unto life eternal; the Son of Man will give you that…” and then He continued later on in the chapter in verse 51: “I am this living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will never die.” When Jesus was tempted in the dessert, He said that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.

In the presence of your enemies you should “eat” the words of Jesus and you will see the victory! The outcome of hearing and hearing the words of Jesus (feasting at the table) would be nothing less than this, Psalms 23 verse 6: “Only goodness, mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life…” I believe Christ is the answer and I believe that His words contain the power that will bring you to a place where you experience His victory. His words contain the power to take away your sickness, to take you out of poverty, to give you peace, give you joy and to give you abundant life.

Jesus is the bread of life, sit at His table today!

I pray for you for a greater hunger in your life. A hunger for Jesus and His words!
A hungry person will do anything to get food.

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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