DIG for Wednesday the 25th of October…..we don’t need to shake that tree…..Ephesians 1 v 3

As I was driving down the road today I was listening to some music, and heard the following lyric –

“I’m gonna shake that tree until all the fruit comes down”.

I really love the sentiment of this song; it speaks of us having good things in life, and more than enough to live on.

The song I was listening to implied that we had to work and strive, shaking the tree, until we received all that we needed.

This for me describes what is known as an abundant life, but working and striving in our own strength is not how it works for the born again believer.

We have an abundant life because this is what Jesus wants for us (John 10 v 10).

The Lord wants us to live an abundant life of health and prosperity (3 John 2).

We already have all the blessings we need through Jesus (Ephesians 1 v 3).

We are not required to work to be blessed by God, to be provided with the abundance that Jesus died for.

Indeed, Jesus was once asked what work people had to do, and He told them simply to believe on Him (John 6 v 28 and 29).

Work is not required to be blessed, as we already are blessed through faith.

We are blessed, we just need to believe this and live as if we are blessed!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I already am blessed as a gift of grace through faith”.

Ephesians 1 v 3…..Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ

Advertisements

DIG for Tuesday the 24th of October……that is an impossible pass mark…..James 2 v 10

I’m sure most of you remember the pain of sitting, and maybe failing, examinations at school.

I’ve even had to sit exams during my working life!

How would you feel if 100% was the only acceptable result, the only way to pass?

How would you feel if even 99.84% was not good enough?

Well, that is what it is exactly like if you try or want to achieve your own righteousness in the eyes of God.

If you want to be accepted by law (or religion and legalism) you have to fulfil the whole law; you cannot even fail in one item of it.

If you ‘fail’ in only one and ‘pass’ the other 612 this is simply not good enough.

The law requires absolute perfection, and we cannot achieve this in our own strength or through our own works.

However the good news is that because of Jesus we can be made perfect, made righteous, as a gift of grace through faith (Romans 9 v 30).

Because of Jesus it is as if He was ‘sat the exam’ for us, and His score was perfect.

We now, as a gift of grace through faith, benefit from this perfection, from this 100% pass, and in the eyes of God we are holy, perfect, sinless and righteous.

Now that seems to me to be a good result!

Speak this out today….”Thank you Lord that I have been made righteous as a gift of grace through faith in Jesus”.

James 2 v 10…..For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all

DIG for Monday the 23rd of October…..is it a sin…..Colossians 1 v

I had quite a revelation about the way some of us in the church seem to think about forgiveness.

I had not planned to say this but during the message yesterday a thought came to me.

I thought and said, “Asking for forgiveness from God is a sin”.

Now you may think that is a bit harsh, but let me explain.

The Word is quite clear that forgiveness is a ‘done deal’ for the New Covenant believer (Ephesians 1 v 7 and Colossians 1 v 14).

I am convinced by scripture that we, as born again believers, have already received forgiveness and benefited from that forgiveness.

I believe there are scriptures showing us pictures that we do not need to ask for forgiveness (see DIG from Saturday 21st October).

So we do not need to ask God for forgiveness, for something He has already given us.

If we continue to ask for forgiveness from God we do not believe the scriptures, so do not believe God.

We are therefore operating in unbelief, contrary to the thoughts and will of God, which must therefore be sin.

It is not just the ‘horrible’ stuff like lying, stealing, cheating and fornicating for example that are sin, it is anything contrary to the thoughts and will of God.

So ask for something He has given us is sin, or maybe if you do not agree with that, it is extreme foolishness.

I will leave you to ponder this one, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to the scriptures if you have issues with this DIG.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I have already been forgiven for all my sin through the shed blood of Jesus”.

Colossians 1 v 14…..In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins

DIG for Sunday the 22nd of October…..you don’t ask for a sandwich, so why ask for healing…..Ephesians 1 v 3

After our church service on a Sunday we always have lunch together as a fellowship.

People take along various items of food and leave them on the table at the back of the church, and then once the service is over we help ourselves.

Nunsy and myself normally take some rye bread sandwiches as our contribution.

Now after the service I don’t get people coming up to me begging and pleading for a rye bread sandwich; they know I have provided them as a gift to be used so they just take one.

It should be like this with what the Lord has freely provided for us.

Yet how many of us are still asking for healing, asking for acceptance, asking for forgiveness and asking for abundance?

God, through the finished work of Jesus, has freely provided all these things as a gift for us to take and use.

He does not require us to ask for them.

Take healing for example; Jesus told His disciples to go heal the sick, He did not tell them to pray for the sick or ask God the Father for healing for them.

As New Covenant believers healing has already been provided for us, we are required to believe and take that healing for ourselves.

The same is true for acceptance, wholeness and prosperity, among other things.

We have ALL spiritual blessings already, our task is to believe this and use them.

We should be thanking God for His bountiful provision instead of asking for what we already have!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for all that you have already provided through the finished work of Jesus Christ”.

Ephesians 1 v 3…..Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ

DIG for Saturday the 21st of October…..did they ask for forgiveness…..John 8 v 11

Carrying on with my theme from yesterday I want you to look at a couple of encounters Jesus has with people in the Word.

Take the woman taken in adultery for instance (John 8 v 3 to 11).

We see Jesus accepting this woman and not condemning her (John 8 v 11).

Yes, we see Jesus telling her to sin no more, however this was after He accepted her.

Do we see the woman asking for forgiveness before His acceptance?

Now think about the thief on the cross (Luke 23 v 39 to 43).

The thief called Jesus Lord and asked for help (Luke 23 v 42), and Jesus said he would be with Him today i.e. after death (Luke 23 v 43).

Where in this account does the thief ask for forgiveness?

If there were any people who needed to ask for forgiveness surely it was an adulteress and fornicator and a convicted thief on a cross!

These are pictures for us today, showing us that we do not need to ask the Lord for forgiveness.

Forgiveness is a ‘done deal’, and not just for those of us in the church but for all men (1 John 2 v 2).

Forgiveness flowed for all and to all as His blood flowed down the cross (Ephesians 1 v 7 and Colossians 1 v 14).

You are not required to ask the Lord for something He has already given you, simply thank Him for it.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I have already been forgiven for all my sin, past, present and future, and that this forgiveness came solely through the shed blood of Jesus”.

John 8 v 11…..She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more

DIG for Friday the 20th of October…..why ask for forgiveness yet keep your eye and hand…..Ephesians 1 v 7

In the previous two DIGs we have looked at sections of the Word where we, as New Covenant born again believers, do not take the words of Jesus literally.

The second one about plucking out our eye and cutting our hand off is from the Sermon on the Mount, and our next ‘difficult’ passage also comes from there.

The strange thing however is that most of the church seems to want to take this passage literally.

I am talking about Matthew 6 v 14 and 15, where Jesus talks about forgiveness.

This is spoken to Jews living under the Law, and Jesus is ‘raising the bar’ (once again) showing that it is impossible to get yourself right with God in your own strength.

This is exactly the same as He did with regards to telling people to cut off their hand or pluck out their eye.

Yet we have believers happily asking for forgiveness in order to be forgiven, yet not plucking out eyes or cutting off hands!

This is just silly, especially when we read other New Covenant scriptures about forgiveness.

We have already been forgiven through the shed blood of Jesus (Ephesians 1 v 7 and Colossians 1 v 14).

We can only forgive others as we have been forgiven first by God (Ephesians 4 v 32).

If these New Covenant scriptures are true is Jesus just confused asking for us to forgive others first?

No He is not, He is using this as a picture of our inability to be made righteous through works, and how we can only be made righteous through faith in Him.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I have already been forgiven for all my sin through the shed blood of Jesus”.

Ephesians 1 v 7…..In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace

DIG for Thursday the 19th of October…..have you plucked out your eye or cut off your hand yet…..Matthew 5 v 29

There are a few difficult passages in the Sermon on the Mount, especially if you are of the persuasion that we have to take everything that Jesus said literally.

Take some time to read Matthew 5 v 27 to 30 just now.

Now answer me this question, “Have you seen many one eyed and one handed people in church recently?”

No, then we are not taking this passage literally!

But of course we are not meant to take it literally I can hear you say, that would be silly.

Of course it would be silly, Jesus is not telling us to mutilate ourselves, He is “raising the bar” of the Law thus showing us that we can never save ourselves.

We could never fulfil the works of the law in our own strength and just in case we did think it possible, Jesus made it even more difficult.

So instead of actually doing things to break the law Jesus was now saying we just need to think them.

He then says that instead of failing we should pluck out our eye and cut off our hand.

This is of course a picture of the requirement for a Saviour due to the fact that we cannot achieve righteousness in our own strength and works.

We do not take these verses literally, we use them as a picture to highlight the awesome truth that we are saved and made righteous through faith in the works of a Saviour, through Jesus.

The good news is that we live under grace and not law and are no longer tied to performance as a means to righteousness, we are in bondage to righteousness by faith.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I live under grace and not under law”.

Matthew 5 v 29…..And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell