Archive for January 2020

Zechariah 9:11 “As for you also, Because of the blood of your covenant, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit. 12  Return to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope. Even today I declare That I will restore double to you."

Psalms 68:4, Sing to God, sing praises to His name; Extol Him who rides on the clouds, By His name Yah, And rejoice before Him. 5  A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, Is God in His holy habitation. 6 God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity; But the rebellious dwell in a dry land

We are living in a world full of sin and darkness. If you read all of Zechariah 9, you will statement after statement of God judging Israel’s enemies and His promise to protect His people.There is a certain amount of pain that comes with simply living in this world. People become distracted by the pain, noise and clutter of this world. People get caught up in carnal pursuits, which becomes their prison. There are all kinds of prisons. People who commit crimes, and some falsely accused, end up in literal prison. Some are prisoners to their own bad practices, such as lying. Some are prisoners to unforgiveness or bitterness.

Everyone is a prisoner, So you may as well be a Prisoner of Hope.

Paul and Silas understood that they were already prisoners of hope, even before they were put in jail. That’s why that began to sing praises. They were doing what they always did! Prisoners of hope never stop seeing the best. Prisoners of hope cannot be bound by prisons of this world or captive circumstances created by people.

Acts 16:24-26 (New King James Version)
24 Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. 25 But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.

Prisoners of hope are believers in Jesus who recognize the limitation in their circumstances, but refuse to be limited in their expectations and actions. We have faith in a God who can do anything.

Too many people look at their circumstances and make the decision that they can do no more, or become no more than what they see. Like Jeremiah, those persons have to learn to “See well.”

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The Leverage of Legacy

Joshua 4:1 And it came to pass, when all the people had completely crossed over the Jordan, that the Lord spoke to Joshua, saying: 2 “Take for yourselves twelve men from the people, one man from every tribe, 3 and command them, saying, ‘Take for yourselves twelve stones from here, out of the midst of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet stood firm. You shall carry them over with you and leave them in the lodging place where you lodge tonight.’ ”

Let’s think about LEGACY as something handed down from an ancestor or predecessor. We also think of legacy as something provided to work with and build on.

A legacy can be considered something obsolete (as in legacy software). A legacy can be considered something precious as an inheritance or benefits in life.

It is our responsibility to identify the value of legacy, live the lessons, and build the future on it. That creates our leverage. The alternative is starting from scratch without resources. The leverage of legacy is carried forward by learning and teaching others how to love and serve God by remembering all He and others have done.

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Galatians 4:1 Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, 2 but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. 3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. 4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

In a world where people don't know who they are or what they have, in Christ you already have an inheritance.

In the ancient world the process of growing up was much more definite than it is today.

A) In the Jewish world, on the first Sabbath after a boy had passed his twelfth birthday, his father took him to the Synagogue, where he became A Son of the Law. The father thereupon uttered a benediction, "Blessed be thou, O God, who has taken from me the responsibility for this boy." The boy prayed a prayer in which he said, "O my God and God of my fathers! On this solemn and sacred day, which marks my passage from boyhood to manhood, I humbly raise my eyes unto you, and declare with sincerity and truth, that henceforth I will keep your commandments, and undertake and bear the responsibility of my actions towards you." There was a clear dividing line in the boy's life; almost overnight he became a man.

B) Under Roman law the year at which a boy grew up, between the ages of fourteen and seventeen a family festival was held called the Liberalia. He took off a toga worn by children and put on a toga worn by adults. He was then conducted by his friends and family down to the forum and formally introduced to public life

We live in a culture that is often disconnected from concepts of inheritance, family, and the sense of Kingdom. I didn’t appreciate a lot of these principles until later in life. We’ve seen examples of it, from both bad and good examples.

As the text states, an heir, as long as he a child, does not differ AT ALL from a slave, though he is master of all. He might be the owner of vast property but he could take no legal decision; he was not in control of his own life; everything was done and directed for him.When he became a man he entered into his full inheritance.

Inheritance was not something one generation could receive after the death of the previous generation. It was inter-generational transfer during life.

 

What keeps people from knowing who they are? As “children” (immature) we were bound to the “elements of the world.”

Elements of the world to a Jew meant the Law, which was elementary knowledge. In the world, there was astrology, in which one believed his fate was determined by the stars and gods (small G). One of the reasons so called Christians justified the slave trade is that they believe Africans were people destined to serve others under forced labor.

Elements of the world represents things not under the direction of God in Christ.

What is the solution? “See Well! What God Perform!”

Ephesians 1:16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality[g] and [h]power and [i]might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come

When you look at the Bible, it's like the entire concept is about inheritance, what we have received from God, from our fathers, and what we provide to others.

Our culture in our part of the world is more concerned about getting our own without considering our larger purpose and legacy. Inheritance is actually less about money and about purpose.

Part of the blessing we have in making plans and fulfilling purpose is that we create inheritance and opportunity for others.

Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.’

 

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See Well. Watch God Perform!

Matthew 6:22 (NLT) Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light.

Welcome to the year of our Lord 2020 AD and to a new decade. Remember that Jesus changed time. 2020 is two thousand Twenty years since Christ came. “Anno Domini nostri Jesu Christi", which translates to "in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ”. Dates counted down BC, before Christ. Now we count up.

Today, the Lord wants us to be inspired, informed, and renewed in hope. On New Year’s Eve, we heard from our ministers about the significance of Jesus’ words, “Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light.” Each one shared from the same Scripture and bought a wealth of insights. This shows the depth and power of God’s Word. 

I want you to renew your commitment to the Word of God today. There is nothing else you are reading, watching on TV, or looking on your phone, that is more relevant to your life. As Jesus in Matthew 4:4, “People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (NLT)

David said in Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” There are many Bible reading plans. Biblegateway .com is a good one. If you have Alexa, you can set it to read the Bible to you everyday. 

What makes your eye healthy is paying attention to the right things. What you need is information, insight, and inspiration.

What are three things you need to pay less attention to?

Part of our vision for this year is, “See well. Watch God Perform!” We are going to learn from the life of Jeremiah, specifically from an encounter he had with the Lord as described in Chapter One. When you read Scripture, you first want to understand the context of the text, what it means in the time it was written. After that, we look for application to our lives and purpose today. 

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