DIG for Sunday the 3rd of December…..we ‘win’ because of Jesus…..Ephesians 1 v 3

In church today I had a picture telling us that we are to rest in the finished work of Jesus, instead of striving through our own works and effort.

I saw a podium with my granddaughter on the gold medal position, after having won more medals at a recent swimming gala.

Lydia is a great swimmer and has trained very hard in order to swim so well; in this area she has used her own effort and hard work.

Behind her podium was a larger one, with Jesus in the gold medal position.

This podium was slightly out of focus, and I think was indicating the spiritual where the original podium was a picture of the physical.

In the spiritual we ‘win’ through the finished work of Jesus; we do not have to use our own works and efforts.

We ‘win’, that is, we are prosperous, healed, accepted and adopted through the finished work of Jesus.

Works are not required by the Lord in order for us to be blessed.

We are blessed as a gift of grace through faith in Jesus.

We have all the spiritual blessings we will ever need because of what Jesus has already done; God does not need or want our works in order to bless us.

We have already been blessed; we are already ‘winners’ and ‘gold medallists’ because of our faith in Jesus.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I already have all spiritual blessings as a gift of grace through faith in Jesus and his finished work”.

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 Monday the 31st of July…..stop making excuses and do something…..John 5 v 8

Once again I have been drawn to the account of Jesus with the man at the pool of Bethesda.

This is a vital account, giving us a picture of the responsibility we have when receiving of the good things provided by Jesus.

This man had been making excuses for his lack of healing and had been relying on others (John 5 v 6 and 7).

Jesus asked him to do something and then He was healed; he rose and took up his bed.

Now, I am not saying that works are required for us to be healed, however we have to play our part.

We have to act as if we are healed, we should be speaking out that we are healed.

We need to stop making excuses and behaving in a negative manner.

You see it is our mind-set, our thoughts and our words that impact directly on our lives.

If we act sick we will stay sick, however if we believe we are healed and act that we are healed we are for a more likely to see our healing made manifest.

The man in this account stopped making excuses and took actions that helped ‘promote’ his healing.

For us it is not that Jesus will heal us, it is that Jesus has already provided healing and we need to act in a manner to receive it.

Jesus has provided but we have to receive!

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

John 5 v 8…..Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk

DIG for Saturday the 29th of July…..sitting not standing…..Hebrews 10 v 11 and 12

I don’t know about you but there is something great about getting home after you’ve done some work and sitting down on the settee with a coffee and a good book!

I’m sure you are the same; you sit down when you’ve done some work.

Under the law (the Old Covenant) priests had to work continually to deal with the sins of the people.

They could cover the sin but not deal with it completely (Hebrews 10 v 9).

So in Hebrews 10 v 11 we see that the priests are standing.

Yet in Hebrews 10 v 12 we see that after dealing with sin (once and once only) Jesus sat down.

This is a picture showing that Jesus’ work was finished, but the work of the priests was never finished.

The law could never completely deal with sin, but Jesus did!

Under the New Covenant (under grace) sin is not an issue for God any more; it has been dealt with once and for all (Hebrews 10 v 12).

Under grace (the New Covenant) sin has already been dealt with, so there are no more offerings required.

Jesus does not need to get off His seat to sort out sin ever again; He did it once and once only on the cross.

Law was always about what men had to do, grace is all about what Jesus has done.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus and thank you that I live under grace and not under law”.

Hebrews 10 v 11 and 12…..And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God

DIG for Sunday the 5th of March…..grace set me free…..Romans 12 v 2

“I was lost, I was in chains, the world had a hold on me”.

This is the first line of the worship song called Jesus He Loves Me.

As we sang this song in church yesterday I thought, “this was my life before I found grace”.

My life was focussed on my career, working hard to get up the ladder and before that it was focussed on study, trying to get onto that ladder in the first place.

I was really in bondage to the world system.

Even though I was born again the “real” truth about Jesus had not been revealed to me and I was what I would call a token Christian, bound up in the world system and not really that interested in religion.

Grace, and the truth about forgiveness and righteousness, about the finished work of Jesus set me free and changed my life.

The more I understood about righteousness and forgiveness the more I changed.

As I renewed my mind to the truth I was transformed, or changed for the better (Romans 12 v 2).

My career became less important when compared to my relationship with the Lord, to the extent that I resigned from my job to focus on ministry.

That was almost three years ago now and I have never regretted that decision.

What I have found is that as you focus on the Lord, as you seek first the things of the Kingdom, what you need is provided for you.

Blessings chase you and crash over you as you seek first His righteousness.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I can be transformed by the renewing of my mind, and thank you for your Word”.

Romans 12 v 2…..And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God

Click here to watch this song on Youtube

DIG for Saturday the 4th of March…..there are a lot more homeless then we actually realise…..Ephesians 1 v 5

In the Sunday service a number of people spoke out about the homeless.

This is of course a sad state with regards to how our society has developed, but I was led ton read Ephesians 1 v 5 at this time.

The thought came to me that those people who are not saved could also be called the “homeless”.

When we are born again we are instantly adopted into the family of God and we are made welcome into a new home with a new family.

You may be saying but we do not get this new home until we die and move to Heaven.

I would say we have a new home on the earth and that home is called church.

Now I am not talking about the building or institution, I am talking about the body of Christ, the people.

Once we believe and join the family of God we are also joined into the family of the church.

We in a sense have a new home amongst God’s people, His church.

People who are not born again are outside of this family and in this sense are homeless.

So in this context there are many more people who are homeless than we realise.

These people need to be told about this new home waiting for them and we are the people to tell them!

People need to hear the Gospel and be brought home!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I have been adopted into your family and been given a new home in your church”.

Ephesians 1 v 5…..Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will

DIG for Thursday the 23rd of February…..there is only one way in which forgiveness flows…..Ephesians 1 v 7

I have been studying the topic of forgiveness in order to preach on Ephesians 1 v 7 this weekend.

Along with righteousness, forgiveness is one of my favourite truths in the Bible.

I love the fact that the forgiveness for sin has nothing to do with my performance.

I continually give thanks to God for my forgiveness and that it is received through the work of Jesus.

Scripture is very clear as to how forgiveness for sin is received.

Forgiveness is not given unless blood is shed (Hebrews 9 v 22).

Forgiveness for the sin of men is given through the shed blood of Jesus (Ephesians 1 v 7 and Colossians 1 v 14).

There is no other way that a man can be forgiven; forgiveness only comes through the blood of Jesus.

This is the only way in the “apostle’s doctrine” that I can see man forgiven.

We were forgiven at the cross almost two thousand years ago.

Forgiveness could not be dependant upon our performance as forgiveness flowed long before we were even born.

Yes, we may not have receive the benefits of forgiveness until we came to faith, but we were all reconciled and forgiven at the cross; that is a Biblical fact.

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 Tuesday the 21st of February…..want to know how to sin less…..1 Corinthians 15 v 34

My Bible quite often seems to have a mind of its own, opening up at my favourite passages!

This happened today; when I opened the Word it was in 1 Corinthians 15 and my eye was drawn straight to 1 Corinthians 15 v 34.

You may be thinking that I’ve written about this verse before; I would say that is true, but I would suggest that you go and read yesterday’s DIG!

This is a wonderfully clear verse, giving us a model to follow if we want to see less sin in our life.

We do not need to try and stop sinning.

We do not need to stop this and stop that; we do not need to strive for change.

We simply need to understand that we are righteous, or as the Word says awake to righteousness.

As we understand that we are righteous (made righteous as a gift of grace through faith in Jesus) we are more likely to behave in a righteous manner.

As we understand that we are holy and a saint, we are more likely to behave like a saint and do holy actions.

We are not defined by our actions; our actions are defined by our identity.

So as we understand more about our identity (that we have been made righteous) we will see positive change in our life.

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

1 Corinthians 15 v 34…..Awake to righteousness and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame

DIG for Saturday the 18th of February…..quite a concept this type of adoption…..Ephesians 1 v 5

The picture of adoption that Paul uses a number of times is a very powerful picture.

When a boy was adopted as a son under Roman law they left behind their old identify and obligations and was given a new one.

They left behind all the old debts and were given a new inheritance, coming into part ownership with his father.

They were given new clothes.

They were taken into the family and were given the rights of sonship i.e. they were highly favoured and given all that they needed.

This is a picture of our adoption by God through Jesus once we come into faith.

The second we are born again we are adopted into the family of God the Father (Ephesians 1 v 5).

We receive a new identity and are clothed in His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5 v 21 and Ephesians 4 v 24).

We are made sons of the Living God (Galatians 4 v 5).

We receive the inheritance of sons and are given all we need for life and godliness, all we need for life in abundance; we are given all spiritual blessings in other words (2 Peter 1 v 3, John 10 v 10, Ephesians 1 v 3).

And God planned all this before the creation of time.

He would put in place, through the finished work of Jesus, all that we would need in order to be adopted as son.

This was provided by His grace, and we receive it all by faith (Ephesian 2 v 8).

What a wonderful adoption we have entered into!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I have been adopted into your faith as a gift of grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus”.

Ephesians 1 v 5…..Having predestinated us unto the adoption of Children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will

DIG for Thursday the 17th of November…..don’t look back…..Hebrews 11 v 15

Many people go over and over, remembering again and again the mistakes they have made in their lives.

Sometimes this is through guilt; sometimes it is in a process of asking for forgiveness.

Whatever reason we have, going back over our mistakes and our sin is not a good idea.

By bringing them up we are giving ourselves the opportunity to return to them.

If we do not think about them, do not even consider them, we will never return to them.

This is the picture that we are given through Abraham in Hebrews 11.

We are told that if Abraham had though about the country he had come from he would have had the possibility of going back (Hebrews 11 v 15).

So, we can deduce, that if he did not think about it he would never return.

God does not want us to return to our old mistakes and old sin.

He has already forgiven us for them through the blood of Jesus and He has chosen not to remember them (Hebrews 10 v 17).

Do not give them another thought.

And if another man tries to remind you of them do not accept that either.

You have been forgiven for all your sin and mistakes; you should not give them the time of day in your mind.

This is in no way minimising sin, but it is maximising the finished work of Jesus.

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

Hebrews 1 v 15…..And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned