DIG for Wednesday the 18th of October…..do I need to sell all my goods and give the money all away…..Matthew 19 v 21

I got a comment after the DIG yesterday asking if I could maybe write about some of Jesus’ other “difficult” messages and comments, so I’m planning to write about some over the next few days.

So, does Jesus want us all to sell all our goods and give the money away to the poor?

Well, most Christians will say no; they will say this is a picture for us showing that we can never be perfect through our actions.

And this is a correct understanding of this passage (Matthew 19 v 16 to 22).

The young man felt that he was following the law; he felt he was good enough through his own efforts.

But Jesus pointed out that he was not perfect, and just in case he did not believe Him, Jesus “added on” one extra work.

By telling the man to sell all his goods and give the money away Jesus was saying you could never achieve perfection yourself.

The law was always too hard to fulfil, and Jesus just made it even harder for this religious young man.

Jesus was pointing out that people needed a Saviour, that they could not achieve perfection in their own efforts.

Jesus never expected men to take this verse literally and apply it to believers.

As New Covenants believers we need to understand that we do not take literally everything that Jesus said, that is not rightly dividing the Word.

We are not under law and living under the Old Covenant, Jesus spoke most of His words in this context.

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

Matthew 19 v 21…..Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me

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DIG for Tuesday the 17th of October…..our righteousness does exceed that of the Pharisees…..Matthew 5 v 20

The Bible contains what some class as ‘difficult’ passages and verses; many of these are in what is known as the Sermon on the Mount.

Take Matthew 5 v 20 for example.

If this verse is taken out of context and not rightly divided with the rest of the Word (as many people seem to do) it can seem impossible to be good enough for God.

The trouble is that many think righteousness is about what you do, where we know that it is about who you are.

Righteousness is not about actions but position, your position in Christ.

The Pharisees and scribes were very zealous, they tried and tried to achieve righteousness through works of the law and they failed.

So how can we expect to be more righteous than them?

Well, we cannot, if we try in our own strength.

But the good news of the Gospel is that we are MADE righteous the second we become a new creature, the second we are born again (2 Corinthians 5 v 17 to 21).

So as a gift of grace through faith in Jesus our righteousness does exceed that of the Pharisees and scribes, as our righteousness is the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5 v 21).

And we have this as a gift of grace through faith, we were made as righteous as God not through our works but through the work of Jesus.

If you read this verse in context along with others it is of great encouragement and not difficult.

Because of Jesus you are righteous enough to enter into the Kingdom!

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

Matthew 5 v 20…..For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven

DIG for Monday the 16th of October…..nothing multiplied by anything is always nothing…..3 John 2

As you will probably know (if you have read my DIGs for a while) I have a degree in mathematics.

One of the axioms of mathematics is that zero multiplied by anything is always zero.

God, in His Word, promised to bless our storehouse.

Now I don’t want to get into the whole tithe debate, however the Word is clear that God will bless, or multiply, what we have in our storehouse.

In our modern day words this means our resources or our savings.

What I want to focus on today is that we need a storehouse, or we need some savings.

This God can bless, however small, but if we have nothing in our storehouse then God cannot bless that.

If we have a savings account but nothing in it, then we will receive no interest from the bank.

It is like that with the ‘economics’ of the Kingdom, so my advice to you today, if you have not done already, is to start a storehouse.

No matter how small we can all start somewhere, we can all place something in a storehouse to be blessed by God.

Zero cannot be blessed; we need to place something in our storehouse in order to ‘help’ God bless us.

My advice to you today is to develop your storehouse.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you want above all things that I live in prosperity and healing”.

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

DIG for Sunday the 15th of October…..stop asking for what we already have…..Ephesians 1 v 3

If I had my Bible in my hand you would think I was quite silly if I went around asking people for my Bible.

Of course this is daft, I would not ask you for something I already have.

Yet we seem to do this often with God.

We ask for His blessings, we ask to be healed, we ask to be prospered and we ask for Him to love us.

Yet He has already provided all of this for us through the finished work of Jesus Christ.

We need to believe and receive rather than ask for this.

We have been blessed with all we will ever need as a gift of grace through faith (Ephesians 1 v 3).

God has not taken away these blessings and He never will.

The only things that can stop His blessings flowing to us are the thoughts and words of you and me.

Unbelief on our part is the main blockage that stops the flow of the blessings that we already have.

This is good news; as if we know this truth we can remove the blockages!

And how do we remove the blockages?

Well, we read, meditate upon, feast on, understand and believe the Word of God.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you have already blessed me with all spiritual blessings as a gift of grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus”.

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 14th of October…..He does not give and take away, He has given and He has taken away…..Psalm 103 v 2

I’ve often written about our words, telling you that what we say is very important.

With this in mind there are many lyrics to worship sings that I will not sing, I try not to deliberately sing (or speak out) words of doubt and unbelief.

There is one song that has the line, “He gives and takes away, He gives and takes away” and I will not sing this.

In my view this is an inappropriate statement for a New Covenant believer to make.

God does not give and then take away, contrary to ‘popular belief’.

He will not give you health for example and then take it away, He will not do this with prosperity and abundance, and He will not do it with His other blessings.

My understanding of New Covenant scripture is that God has already given and God has already taken away.

He has given us reconciliation and forgiveness through the shed blood of Jesus and then has given us healing, prosperity, adoption, acceptance and peace (for example) as a gift of grace through faith.

Also as a gift of grace through faith He has taken away the eternal consequences of sin, poverty, sickness, pain, disease and rejection; He took away the curses that could be placed upon us (Galatians 3 v 13).

He has given and He has taken away; this was accomplished through the finished work of Jesus Christ.

Please don’t think that God will ever take your healing, your prosperity or your blessings; this is just not true, He will not take away what He has freely given you!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you have blessed me through the finished work of Jesus and you will never take this away from me”.

Psalm 103 v 2…..Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits

DIG for Friday the 13th of October…..grace or law…..Romans 6 v 14

There are some key words you need to listen for when deciding if something is law (and legalism) or grace (and truth).

They are not words of deep doctrine or theology but they are vital.

If you hear a sentence starting with, “You have to” or you hear yourself thinking or saying “I have to”, then this is law.

Now there could be very good actions at the end of these sentences like praying or giving, but if the actions come after “have to” then you are putting yourself under law.

If you hear the words “you can” or you think or say “I want to” then we are talking about grace.

Under law (or the Old Covenant) you were told or forced to do things in order for God to bless you.

Under grace (or the New Covenant) we live out of the finished work of Jesus Christ and who we are in and through Christ.

Under grace we do things as we can or we want to out of the love and blessings we have already received from God.

There is nothing you can do to make God love or bless you more, there is nothing you can do to make God love or bless you less.

If anyone is telling you this then they are trying to put you under law, and we do not live under law but under grace (Romans 6 v 14).

Our blessings in this life is dependent upon the finished work of Jesus Christ and whether we believe this truth or not.

The only way to stop the flow of blessings is unbelief on our part, not on our performance or on God’s mood.

Grace says we have all spiritual blessings already (Ephesians 1 v 3).

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus and thank you that we already have all spiritual blessings through Christ”.

Romans 6 v 14…..For sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law, but under grace

DIG of Thursday the 12th of October…..saying “please do not hide” was not a very good idea…..1 Corinthians 15 v 56

As we were travelling down to a conference yesterday we stopped at a motorway services in order to use the toilets.

 

As I went towards the men’s room Nunsy said, “I’ll meet you at that post box, and please do not hide from me”.

Now she said this as in the past I have been known to hide from her in places like this, following her out of sight as she went looking for me.

This used to make her annoyed, but for me it was great fun!

But I had not done this for years and it had not even entered my head as we walked into the service area.

However as I then went to the toilet, did what I had to do and then washed my hands I kept thinking about hiding from her!

This may sound like a very trivial example but it is a perfect example to highlights the danger of law and legalism in the church.

Sin is strengthened by law; law reminds us about sin and puts thoughts of it in our head.

Many think that preaching against certain sins and telling the people to stop sinning is good for a pastor to do, however it is dangerous and does not work as intended.

This is what the Word of God says, just read 1 Corinthians 15 v 56.

If a pastor want to stop a person sinning he should be teaching about faith righteousness, go and now read 1 Corinthians 15 v 34 where it says awake to righteousness and sin not.

Grace is the way to defeat sin, law is not.

Grace is not a licence to sin, preaching law is.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the grace of Jesus Christ and thank you that knowledge of grace is the way to a life free from sin”.

1 Corinthians 15 v 56…..The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law