DIG for Monday the 5th of October…..it is not wrong to want and to live in abundance…..3 John 2

Abundance and prosperity seem to be “dirty words” in the church these days, poverty seems to be the way the church wants us to live.

This is in complete contrast to what the Bible says.

Jesus came so that we could live an abundant life (John 10 v 10).

Above all things the Lord wants us to live in prosperity (3 John 2).

Jesus became poor so that we might be made rich (2 Corinthians 8 v 9).

But all these verses are taking about spiritual richness I hear the religious people cry.

Well, if they took the time to look at the Greek they would see that these verses are actually talking about riches in terms of money and material goods.

Now, abundance and prosperity is not for us to lust after and use for our own ends, however Jesus did provide abundance as part of His finished work on the cross.

As it is part of the atonement it is “received” in the same way as salvation and healing, as a gift of grace through faith in Jesus and His finished work.

As we receive salvation through faith, we continue in this and receive abundance through faith.

As we renew our minds to the truth in God’s Word we speak out the truth that we are abundant and we will see it in our lives.

Declare that you are to live in abundance right now, believe it, and trust that you will live in abundance.

This is what God wants for your life, and this is part of what Jesus died for.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus Christ, and thank you that because of this I can live in abundance”.

3 John 2…..Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth

DIG for Sunday the 4th of October…..there are times when we just need to do something…..Acts 3 v 7

When Peter and John went to the Temple in Acts 3 they went out without money or possessions, they did not have silver or gold.

When asked for money they replied, “We have none, but we can give you what we have” (my paraphrase obviously).

They had hope, they had faith in Jesus and they had faith to heal, and this is what the man needed far more than any money.

Instead of giving him something, Peter actually did something instead.

He reached out to him and started to lift him up.

In my head I see the crippled man pushing and trying to stand at the same time, now this is not explicitly said in Scripture but it is what I see.

I see two people in agreement, reaching out together for healing and doing something; and it was at this point that healing was made manifest.

Active faith is what this passage of Scripture is all about.

Peter had active faith in reaching out to heal, while the man have active faith to reach out and receive healing.

That is a very powerful combination.

Jesus wants every one of us to live in health and abundance (3 John 2).

But we have to believe and reach out and take the healing that He is offering us, just like the man reached out to Peter.

Healing is a free gift offered up as part of the sozo package, as part of what Jesus did on the cross.

A gift is no good if we do not accept it, receive it and open it up.

Take your healing this evening; He is giving you this gift right now.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the healing that you have already provided for me, I accept that healing RIGHT NOW”.

Acts 3 v 7…..And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength

DIG for Saturday the 3rd of October…..what a good model for a sermon…..Acts 2 v 22 to 24

At the start of Acts we see one of the most anointed and powerful “sermons” ever delivered; I am talking about Peter’s speech after Pentecost (Acts 2 v 14 to 36).

After this many were saved and many were baptised, going on to take an active part in church (Acts 2 v 37 to 42).

This could, and should therefore, be taken as an excellent Biblical model on how to deliver a sermon.

Peter, from what I see, spoke about Jesus and from the Scripture, and that is the model I am thinking about.

It may sound simple and not as complicated as many would think; you can get great thick books and listen to teaching course after teaching course on how to deliver a good sermon after all.

But the Gospel is simple and so should be the way we speak of it.

Now many of you may be thinking, but I never deliver a sermon so what has this got to do with me?
Well, as a born again believer, I am sure you’ve listened to many, many sermons in the past and will do so in the future.

A sermon that is not delivered out of Scripture and does not contain anything about Jesus is not worth listening to!

It is the Word of God renewing our minds that will change us for the better (Romans 12 v 2).

It is the knowledge of Jesus that leads to all that we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1 v 3).

Next time you are about to deliver a sermon or are listening to one, “judge” it on the following criteria; was it based on the Word of God and did it talk about Jesus?

Bottom line is that if these criteria are met it should be good!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for Jesus and His finished work and thank you for your Word”.

Acts 2 v 22 to 24…..Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it

DIG for Friday the 2nd of October……you need to be in church…..James 5 v 14

I’ve enjoyed preaching from the Book of James for the last month or so and have learned some valuable lessons.

While preparing for the message this week I was looking at the verse about healing towards the end of the book.

But it was something else that really jumped out at me as I was reading about healing.

It was the fact that as a believer we need to be in church.

If a believer is sick James tells them to call for the elders of the church (James 5 v 14).

This implies that they should firstly be in church and secondly be in church that has a Biblical authority structure i.e. one that has elders.

When I say church I mean a body of believers, not a building; the body (or church) could meet in a house, hall, cinema or old warehouse. I don’t even say that you have to attend every service, or at all on a Sunday, but you should be in fellowship with other believers.

What is also important is that the “church” has recognised elders, in other words leaders.

It is a Biblical principle to have leaders (or elders) in church; Paul always set in place leaders when he planted a church.

People meeting with no appointed or recognised leaders and calling themselves a church is not Biblical; how can you call upon the elders if there are no elders?

Now, I’m not saying this out of a need for control, I am saying it as I believe it is Biblical.

Christianity is not a solo occupation, it never has been, and if you are “doing church” on your own you cannot live out James 5 v 14 if required.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you have set in place a Biblical structure for church, and thank you that this include elders and leaders”.

James 5 v 14…..Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord

DIG for Thursday the 1st of October…..never give up, never give in, never stop…..Mark 16 v 18

I’m sure you’ve heard the story of the little boy throwing washed up starfish back into the sea; there were so many of them that someone said, “What is the point, you cannot help all of them”.

The little boy held out his hands before he threw another one back into the sea saying, “Maybe not, but I can help this one”.

There are times in our lives when we can think what is the point, we may think we are not making a difference; we may even think we are failing in some areas.

We pray for and over people and we do not see them healed.

We talk to people about Jesus yet we seem to not make a difference to their eternal destination.

I say carry on! I say do not stop!

Don’t look at what we think of as failure. Look to Jesus and look to what He told you to do.

If we do not lay hands on the sick they will definitely not be healed; they have a much better chance of being healed if we do what the Word says.

I don’t know why people are not always healed when we lay hands on them; I’ve given up agonising over this. I do think about this time-to-time; as if we can remove blockages to healing we will see more “success” in this area.

But we must never stop laying hands on the sick and praying for healing, even if we think nothing is happening.

Keep on praying, keep on hoping, keep on believing.

You may not have been able to help the last person you prayed for, but you may help, indeed you may even save the next.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I can indeed lay hands on the sick and see them healed, I believe that and I trust your Word”.

Mark 16 v 18…..they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover

DIG for Wednesday the 30th of September…..standing or sitting, only one has finished their work….Hebrews 10 v 11 and 12

Picture, types and shadows are great ways of expressing an idea or point, and this is used heavily in the Word of God.

Take for example the picture of the priests and Jesus given in Hebrews 10 v 11 and 12.

We are told that the priests (every priest) had to remain standing, to do the same sacrifices over and over again (Hebrews 10 v 11).

Yet after His sacrifice (or offering) Jesus sat down with God (Hebrews 10 v 12).

This is a picture telling us that Jesus’ work is finished.

Man cannot deal with sin on their own, even priests cannot deal with sin.

There was only one man who could do anything about the sin issues and that was the man Jesus, and He could only do this work because He was also God.

As a man gave away so much (Adam) only another man could take it back, yet only God had the power to do it, so a man and God was required.

Jesus was man and God.

He came to earth as a man, perfect and holy and righteous, and offered Himself ONCE as a sacrifice for ALL sin (Hebrews 10 v 12).

He paid, or was the propitiation, for all sin for all men forever (1 John 2 v 2).

Sin has been dealt with, so Jesus can sit down.

If other men were dealing with sin they would still be standing, like the priests, doing the same thing again and again, never getting to the root of the issues.

Jesus got to the root, and pulled it out!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that Jesus has dealt with the sin issues and that I have been forgiven for ALL my sin”.

Hebrews 1 v 11 and 12…..And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sin: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice, for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God

DIG for Tuesday the 29th of September…..He healed them there…..Matthew 19 v 1 and 2

One of the things we learn about Jesus is that on many occasions He healed ALL the people that came to Him.

In this account we do not read that He healed them all but we see that He healed them THERE.

The Lord really spoke to me this morning about this word THERE.

Jesus did not ask the people to go elsewhere, in terms of location but also in terms of their life situation or actions.

There were no pre-conditions to receiving healing from Jesus in other words.

Jesus healed them THERE, in whatever situation they were living in at the time.

We never see Jesus saying, “Well, if you stop sinning I will heal you”.

He never said, “Well, if you stop living with that man that is not your husband I will give you living water”.

We do see Him telling the lady taken in adultery not to sin, but that was after He accepted her and had forgiven her (John 8 v 11).

Healing, deliverance and freedom comes with no conditions and no prerequisites.

Jesus healed the people where they were at; He healed them THERE.

The same is true today.

You can see yourself healed and set free no matter what circumstances you are in; all you need to do is come to Jesus and let Him heal you THERE.

This of course is not an excuse to sin, but it is a comfort to know that we do not have to perform in order to see healing in our lives.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you want me healed and made whole, and you have provided for this in the finished work of Jesus Christ”.

Matthew 19 v 1 and 2…..And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coats of Judea beyond Jordan: And great multitudes followed him: and he healed them there