DIG for Tuesday the 29th of April…..stop looking at the shadow and meet the real deal……Colossians 2 v 16 and 17

I’m sure you have had the experience of seeing a shadow of a person before you actually see them; they could be coming round a wall or something and you may see the shadow before you see the actual body of the person.

When the person comes into full view I am sure you relate to them and speak to them rather than try and form a relationship with the shadow.

If you talked to the shadow instead of the real person you would be considered very silly.

And I think the same when I see someone insisting on trying to live under the old covenant (or law) instead of the new covenant (or grace).

Paul tells the Colossians that the law or the old covenant is a shadow of things to come, actually a shadow of Jesus heralding in the new covenant.

Paul lists a number of elements of the old covenant in Colossians 2 v 16; he talks about the Sabbath and meat and drink permitted for example.

My belief is that he is not talking about just the items listed; he is talking about the old covenant or law.

He is saying the old is not the real deal, it is just a type or shadow indicating the perfection that is to come.

The shadow points to the real body and the old covenant and the law points to Jesus and the new covenant.

The new covenant or second covenant was heralded in by Jesus to replace the old or first (Hebrews 10 v 9).

Jesus was, and is, the real deal; He is no shadow of anything to come.

Jesus is the perfect standard of God and He has ushered in the new covenant so that we do not have to fulfil the old.

Through Him we have been reconciled, forgiven and as a gift of grace through faith been made righteous.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus Christ and thank you for the new covenant”.

Colossians 2 v 16 and 17…..Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ

DIG for Monday the 28th of April…..the old (or first) is finished, we live under the new (or second)…..Hebrews 10 v 9

I was blessed this evening reading a leaflet that Nunsy wrote a wee while ago about how the old covenant has passed away and how we now live under the new covenant.

I have also been amazed at how often people come against “grace” people for teaching this, given the weight of Scripture behind this view.

We read that the old covenant was faulty (Hebrews 8 v 7).

We read that the old covenant was weak and unprofitable (Hebrews 7 v 18).

We read that the old covenant was temporary (Hebrews 9 v 10).

We read that the old covenant actually strengthened sin, instead of stopping people from sinning (1 Corinthians 15 v 56).

We read that the old covenant was the ministration of death; yes, it brings death (2 Corinthians 3 v 7).

We read that the old covenant and its practices could never take away sin (Hebrews 10 v 11).

We read that the old covenant actually never gave God any pleasure (Hebrews 10 v 6).

Praise Jesus that He came to do the will of God by taking away the first or old covenant and establish the second or new covenant (Hebrews 10 v 9).

Praise the Lord that because of the finished work of Jesus Christ we now live under the new covenant, under grace and not law (Romans 6 v 14).

It amazes me that people still believe that we are under the old covenant and want to live that way.

I thank the Lord that I live under the new covenant and my relationship with God the Father is based upon the performance of Jesus.

I would not want to live under the old covenant and have my relationship with God the Father based on my own performance.

I know that my performance would not be nearly good enough, but I know that His performance is more than enough.

Through His finished work I have been reconciled to God, forgiven and as a gift of grace through faith been made righteous.

Good luck if you still think you are under the old covenant and are trying to achieve that for yourself!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you for the finished work of Jesus Christ and thank you that I now live under grace and under the new covenant”.

Hebrews 10 v 9…..Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second

DIG for Sunday the 27th of April…..will you heal me; yes, I will…..Matthew 8 v 2 and 3

Jesus was a man (and God) of supreme compassion; He came to heal and set men free.

A wonderful example of this compassion is seen at the start of the 8th chapter of Matthew.

A leper approached Jesus and asked if the Lord was willing to make him clean, or heal him (Matthew 8 v 2).

Now, before He even spoke an answer, the Lord showed the leper the ultimate expression of love and compassion; He actually touched the man.

This man was unclean, no one should have touched him, yet Jesus put forth His hand and gave him human contact. I wonder how long it had been since anyone had touched him; this simple expression of human compassion would have meant the world to the man.

Jesus then displays his Divine and Godly compassion.

He speaks out two of my favourite words spoken by our Lord, “I will”.

The Greek word can also be translated as desire, it was the desire of Jesus to heal the man, and He did (Matthew 8 v 3).

This man who had been oppressed and in the slavery of leprosy was set free by Jesus, he asked and Jesus replied with “I will”.

Jesus Christ is the same today as He was back then (Hebrews 13 v 8).

If we ask today His answer will still be the same, it will be “I will”; actually it is even better living under the new covenant, as He will now tell you “I have”.

Jesus took our sickness and disease upon the cross and dealt with them there (Isaiah 53 v 4 and 5 and 1 Peter 2 v 24).

We were actually healed at the cross and we can appropriate that healing now.

You do not actually need to ask Jesus to heal you; you should be thanking Him for your healing and receiving it.

You do not need to wonder if Jesus will heal you, He has already completed His finished work so that you can receive healing.

This was part of His plan and purpose in coming to the earth.

He came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3 v 8) and came so that you may live in abundance and health (John 10 v 10 and 3 John v 2).

You can be assured that Jesus wants you to live in health today.

Ask Him and receive.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that by the stripes of Jesus Christ I have been healed”.

Matthew 8 v 2 and 3…..And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying , Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed

DIG for Saturday the 26th of April…..from highest to the lowest, Jesus is for everyone…..John 3 v 1 and 2, John 4 v 9

Jesus came for everyone and Jesus wants everyone now to come to Him.

In John 3 and 4 we see a marvelous picture of how inclusive the love and compassion of Jesus is, how Jesus loves every single person and is interested in every one of us on earth.

In a short space of time Jesus related with the highest and the lowest in the society of His times.

He had an encounter with Nicodemus, a man and a ruler.

He then had an encounter with a Samaritan woman who also happened to be a fornicator.

Form the heights to the depths of society; in the eyes of the people Nicodemus would have been high society and the Samaritan woman would have been from the dregs of society.

Yet, Jesus loved both, spoke to both, and had compassion for both.

This is a picture of how inclusive Jesus is; He loves and wants EVERYONE!

Jesus paid the price for the sin of every person on earth (1 John 2 v 2); no one is excluded from this payment. If you are breathing and walking on the earth you are part of the “kosmos” and had your sins dealt with by Jesus, whether you believe it or not.

Father God wants every person to come to Him through His Son Jesus Christ, he wants everyone to receive His salvation (2 Peter 3 v 9).

God is no respecter of person, in other words He has no favourites (Acts 10 v 34).

He loves us all equally the same irrespective of gender, race, and class or even if we are a believer or not. He gives everyone the opportunity to come to Him through the finished work of Jesus Christ.

Would you class yourself more like the Samaritan woman than Nicodemus?

Do you look on your past actions and think Jesus would not want to have anything to do with a person like me?

Well do not worry; Jesus had compassion and loved her so he has compassion and loves you.
Your relationship with God the Father is not dependent upon your performance, thankfully it is dependent upon the performance of Jesus.

His performance was perfect and because of that you have been reconciled and forgiven and can move into relationship with Him (2 Corinthians 5 v 17 and 18)

Jesus related to the highest in Nicodemus, Jesus related to the lowest in the Samaritan woman, Jesus wants relationship with you.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus Christ, thank you that through that I have been reconciled and forgiven”.

John 3 v 1 and 2…..There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him

John 4 v 9…..Then saith the Samarian unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? For the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans

DIG for Friday the 25th of April…..need some encouragement; head for the Psalms…..Psalm 34 v 4

I’ve often said that if you need to be encouraged you should head for the Psalms in the Word, as they are a source of many truths and comforts for the believer.

I headed there again this morning after praying for a brother, knowing I would find some encouragement for him there.

David wrote many of the Psalms, and David was a man known for sorrows and tribulations but also as a man who worshiped and loved the Lord.

Remember, David was the man who encouraged himself in the Lord after his camp had been destroyed and his family kidnapped (1 Samuel 30 v 6).

Psalm 34 v 4 gives us a “model” of encouragement, obviously used by David.

He said that he sought the Lord; that the Lord heard him and delivered him from his fears.

What a great model, if only we would follow that in times of stress and fear our lives would be a whole lot easier!

We see this model time and time again in the Word; focus on the Lord and things get better.

Yet, many of us (myself included) need to be reminded about this often as we continue to struggle with issues trying to solve them ourselves instead of relying upon the Lord.

We use our own understanding instead of trusting Him (Proverbs 3 v 3).

We do not go His way and then wonder why we have ended up in the wrong direction (Proverbs 3 v 4).

The Biblical guidance is very easy; trust Him, listen to Him and follow Him.

If we do that I think life would be a whole lot more peaceful.

I am going to try and take my own advice, are you?

Stop for a moment and think about a fearful situation that is in your life right now. Take time out with the Lord, and tell Him that you are listening, that you trust Him and want to hear His advice and guidance for this situation.

He will hear you as you have sought Him and He will deliver you from that fear (Psalm 34 v 4).

The Word is the truth of the Lord and this verse promises you that if you seek Him He will hear you and He will provide the solution; our part is to hear, trust and obey.

Go on, give it a try!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that is I seek you, you will hear me and will answer me; thank you for your love, care and compassion towards me”.

Psalm 34 v 4…..I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears

DIG for Thursday the 24th of April…..be of good cheer, even with all the tribulation that will come…..John 16 v 33

Jesus gave His disciples some great advice and words of wisdom the night before He died (John 14 to 17).

Some of the best advice can be found in John 16 v 33.

He says that they can have peace in Him, and even though times of tribulation will come they can be of good cheer (John 16 v 33).

What an encouragement this verse should be to the born again believer, as He is speaking to us too.

Yes, Jesus says that we shall have tribulation, this is guaranteed.

However He says in the midst of this that we can be of good cheer: or rather we have the choice to be of good cheer, because of His finished work in overcoming the world.

The literal translation of this phrase means to have boldness, to have daring, or to have courage.

This verse does not mean we are to be cheerful in times of tribulation (although we can be that as well), it means to be daring and bold and courageous in these situations.

Jesus also says that we can have peace in these times; peace that comes through His Word and because we are in Him.

What wonderful words of encouragement these are for us.

I don’t know about you, but there seems to be a lot of tribulation in the world today; life is sometimes not very easy.

But we can be bold, courageous and daring because we know that through His finished work we are partakers of His amazing victory.

And we can have peace because we know we are in Him and He is in us, and through our understanding of His Word.

Do you want to be bold and have peace in the current and future times of tribulation?

Yes, well get into His Word and meditate on how He has overcome the world and is now seated with the Father, with His perfect work now finished.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I can be bold and can have peace through faith and trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ”.

John 16 v 33…..These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye will have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world

DIG for Wednesday the 23rd of April…..He does not remember our sins and iniquities so why should we…..Hebrews 10 v 17

I attended a prophetic workshop this evening and was blessed to hear very clearly from the Lord about an issue that I had to deal with.

I want to share this tonight, as my experience as a leader has shown me that many people suffer from the same issue.

The issue is to do with forgiveness; I heard that there were people that I had to forgive, but I also heard that I had to forgive myself.

I meet believer after believer who are living in condemnation and grief over events and sins from their past, and this is what the Lord pointed out to me.

Every since my Dad died recently I have had doubts about myself as a son, thinking that I had not loved and esteemed my Dad enough; I was telling myself that I was not a good son (and this in my eyes was sin).

I had the enormous privilege to talk about this with my Dad just before he died and he said “you are a great son” and through ministry the Lord Himself has assured me that I was a good son.

Now even if I was a bad son, and had been living in sin concerning my attitude and behavior towards my Dad, I know that the Lord would have forgiven me for that as He has forgiven me for EVERYTHING through the shed blood and finished work of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1 v 7 and Colossians 1 v 14)

The Lord tells us in His Word that our sins and iniquities He remembers no more (Hebrews 10 v 17).

So, even if I was a bad son, I have been forgiven for that.

Is there something that you are beating yourself up for that God has already forgiven you for?

Is there something that you need to forgive yourself for?

Let me tell you that forgiving yourself is a wonderful feeling!

This will set you free!

The Lord does not want you living in guilt and condemnation, He wants you to live free from guilt and free from condemnation, and you can help in this by forgiving yourself.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you have forgiven me for EVERYTHING through the shed blood of Jesus Christ”.

Hebrews 10 v 17…..And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more