It’s the time and season of preparation for what God is going to unleash into your life.
And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
46 Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. 48 So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.”49 And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” 50 But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them.51 Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
Only a fool despises a parent’s discipline;
whoever learns from correction is wise.
To learn, you must love discipline;it is stupid to hate correction.
A good man obtains favor from the Lord,But a man of wicked intentions He will condemnWhen you love discipline and embrace correction, favor is multiplied in your life
5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for“God resists the proud,But gives grace to the humble.”6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
11 Then Elkanah returned home to Ramah without Samuel. And the boy served the Lord by assisting Eli the priest.Eli’s Wicked Sons12 Now the sons of Eli were scoundrels who had no respect for the Lord 13 or for their duties as priests. Whenever anyone offered a sacrifice, Eli’s sons would send over a servant with a three-pronged fork. While the meat of the sacrificed animal was still boiling, 14 the servant would stick the fork into the pot and demand that whatever it brought up be given to Eli’s sons. All the Israelites who came to worship at Shiloh were treated this way. 15 Sometimes the servant would come even before the animal’s fat had been burned on the altar. He would demand raw meat before it had been boiled so that it could be used for roasting.16 The man offering the sacrifice might reply, “Take as much as you want, but the fat must be burned first.” Then the servant would demand, “No, give it to me now, or I’ll take it by force.” 17 So the sin of these young men was very serious in the Lord’s sight, for they treated the Lord’s offerings with contempt.18 But Samuel, though he was only a boy, served the Lord. He wore a linen garment like that of a priest. 19 Each year his mother made a small coat for him and brought it to him when she came with her husband for the sacrifice. 20 Before they returned home, Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, “May the Lord give you other children to take the place of this one she gave to the Lord.” 21 And the Lord gave Hannah three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord.22 Now Eli was very old, but he was aware of what his sons were doing to the people of Israel. He knew, for instance, that his sons were seducing the young women who assisted at the entrance of the Tabernacle. 23 Eli said to them, “I have been hearing reports from all the people about the wicked things you are doing. Why do you keep sinning? 24 You must stop, my sons! The reports I hear among the Lord’s people are not good. 25 If someone sins against another person, God can mediate for the guilty party. But if someone sins against the Lord, who can intercede?” But Eli’s sons wouldn’t listen to their father, for the Lord was already planning to put them to death.26 Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew taller and grew in favor with the Lord and with the people.
casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.- it’s easy to cast your cares to someone who cares for you
For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous;With favor You will surround him as with a shield.
21 And the Lord gave Hannah three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord.22 Now Eli was very old, but he was aware of what his sons were doing to the people of Israel. He knew, for instance, that his sons were seducing the young women who assisted at the entrance of the Tabernacle. 23 Eli said to them, “I have been hearing reports from all the people about the wicked things you are doing. Why do you keep sinning? 24 You must stop, my sons! The reports I hear among the Lord’s people are not good. 25 If someone sins against another person, God[g] can mediate for the guilty party. But if someone sins against the Lord, who can intercede?” But Eli’s sons wouldn’t listen to their father, for the Lord was already planning to put them to death.26 Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew taller and grew in favor with the Lord and with the people.
Meanwhile, the boy Samuel served the Lord by assisting Eli (2nd mention of this phrase). Now in those days messages from the Lord were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon.2 One night Eli, who was almost blind by now, had gone to bed. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was sleeping in the Tabernacle near the Ark of God.
Proverbs 8:35For whoever finds me finds life,
And obtains favor from the Lord;
When your eyes/focus are on Jesus, favor follows you.When you are with Jesus, you can’t help but have favor rub off on you.
19 So Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel had been established as a prophet of the Lord. 21 Then the Lord appeared again in Shiloh. For the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord.
His mouth is most sweet, yes, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem!Song of Solomon 5:16Jesus, Your God And Best Friend
Jesus is someone you can be completely real with. You can hang out with Him and be yourself, with no pretense and no play-acting. Jesus is ever-loving toward you and you can talk to Him about anything. He enjoys conversing with you about your dreams, aspirations and hopes. He wants to heal you of things in your past that you may be struggling with. He is interested in your present challenges. He wants to weep with you when you are down and rejoice with you in all your victories.
Jesus is love and tenderness personified. He is tenderness and strength wrapped up in one. He is meekness and majesty, manhood and deity, velvet and steel. He is 100 percent Man and at the same time 100 percent God. As Man, He understands and identifies with all that you have gone through, are going through and will ever go through in this life. But as a loving God, all His power, authority and resources are on your side.
Beloved, whatever you are facing today, let your heart rest easy in the power of His perfect love for you.
12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
We are no longer under the old covenant. We are now under the new covenant. And in this new covenant, God says that He will do three things for us:
Lead us — “I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts.” (Hebrews 8:10) These are the laws of faith, love and liberty to guide you in everything you do. It is a spontaneous, dynamic, active and intimate way to be led by God.
Work miracles for us — “I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” (Hebrews 8:10) The phrase “I will be their God” denotes a miracle-working God. So if you are sick and God says, “I will be your God,” get ready for healing! If you are poor and God says, “I will be your God,” get ready for prosperity!
Cause us to know Him effortlessly — “… all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.” (Hebrews 8:11) The Greek word for “know” here is eido. It means to know intuitively without effort. This means that you will know God easily.
Do you want to experience all these blessings in your life today?
“Of course, Pastor Prince, I want to be led by God. I want Him to work miracles in my life. I want to know Him intimately without straining or striving.”
Then, you need to know the clause that makes it all happen: “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” The words “no more” in the Greek carry a strong double-negative sense. So God is saying, “I will never, by no means, remember your sins!”
Beloved, the more you believe this in your heart, the more you will see those blessings fulfilled in your life. When you realize how much God has forgiven you and remembers your sins no more, you will know Him, His ways and His will for you intimately and intuitively without effort.
So believe in your heart today the clause on which all these blessings hinge, and get ready for miracles and hopes fulfilled in the days ahead!
Extracted from 27 Jan 2012 Arrow Service by Pastor Benjamin Lim
Every branch that bears fruit, He prunes
Today I want to share with you a key that will release fruitfulness in your life. It was a key that prepared me as I was growing up for what God had in store for me.
In John 15, Jesus tells us that He is the Vine and we are the branches. The vine is like a crawler and together with its branches is a whole plant by itself, so what Jesus meant is that He and we are one, inseparable and always connected. And that is why He goes on to say that, “for apart from Me you can do nothing” (v5). Just as the branches are connected to the main vine from where they receive their sap, we are connected to Jesus, our Source of life and every good thing, and there is nothing that we can possibly try to do apart from Him. In fact, we would cease to exist without Him!
In the second part of verse 2, it says that “every branch that bears fruit, He prunes”! Unlike what many believers think, notice that it is those who are already bearing fruit whom God cuts, corrects and chastens. Correction comes, not because you are doing badly but because you are doing well! The heart of our Father is that we bear more and more fruit, so don’t be afraid of correction.
For the believer, the best is always yet to come. Think that you’ve experienced one level of God’s blessing, miracle power and anointing? You ain’t seen nothing yet. God says to you today, He wants you to step up to the next level. He wants you to bear more fruit in your life because this year is the year of unceasing fruitfulness. And correction is one of God’s ways to help us bear much fruit.
In verse 3, it goes on to say that, “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.” The word “cleaned” and “pruned” are the same word in the Greek and so we are pruned because of the word that He has spoken to us. The primary way that God corrects us is via the Word of God. It could be through meditating on the Word – as you meditate on the Word, the Lord begins to correct your thinking – or it could be through the preaching and teaching. Sometimes, it’s when your leaders correct some aspects of your behaviour in a scripturally founded way. Indeed, the Scripture is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete! (2 Tim 3:16, 17)
We bear much fruit when we abide in Jesus, and He in us. What does this mean? In verse 7 of the same chapter, it says, “if you abide in Me and My words in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” To abide in Him is to know that your life and being are enveloped by Him, that you cannot exist apart from Him. But how does Jesus abide in us? It is by having His Word abide in us. To ‘abide’ is ‘to make a habitation of’ and so Jesus abides in us when His Word makes a habitation in us. His words become a perpetual part of our lives, and they have a continuing place in our thoughts. In other words, the Word becomes of continual importance to us. And the promise is that “you will ask what you desire and it shall be done for you”!
You see, what happens here is that as we saturate ourselves with the Word, we saturate ourselves with the will of God because the Word expresses the will of God. And where the will of God is known, faith is; and with faith, we receive. Many of us know that God can, but what we need to know is that God will. So when you know that God is extremely willing to do something for you, faith comes effortlessly. When you let the Word of God saturate you, you saturate yourself with the anointing, success and breakthroughs of God.
Then Pastor, what about that part in verse 2 where it says that “he who does not bear fruit, He takes away?” If I don’t bear fruit in my life, will God remove me? Absolutely not! In fact, the word there is not “takes away” but “lifts up” in the original text. The moment you are born again, God will not cast you out because Jesus said that no man can snatch you out of our Father’s hands (John 10:28). You are forever saved! He will never take you out of His family. Every time you’re not bearing fruit, your Father lifts you up and places you back on the trellis so that you are exposed again to the sunlight – the light of His Son. And did you notice that the trellises in the vineyard are in the shape of a cross? As God lifts you up when you are down, He brings you back to what Jesus has done for you at Calvary. For when you come back to that revelation of the price that He has paid for you and step right back into His righteousness, taking your eyes off yourself, it is only a matter of time that you start bearing good fruit.
Correction in the New Covenant is not about disease, accidents and calamities. Our loving Father corrects us because His heart is for us to bear more and more fruit. His correction is always with a smile; it is affirming and edifying, not condemning and condescending. So rejoice in correction, beloved, for your Heavenly Father is pruning you to produce so much more good fruit!
The gospel is nothing more than good news.
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
14 But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and sat down. 15 And after the reading of the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent to them, saying, “Men and brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.”
16 Then Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said, “Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen: 17 The God of this people Israelchose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm He brought them out of it.
36 “For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption; 37 but He (Jesus) whom God raised up saw no corruption. 38 Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; 39 and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.
If You, Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with You,
That You may be feared.
1 John 2:12
I write to you, little children,
Because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.
36 Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. 37 And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, 38 and stood at His feet behind Himweeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.”
40 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.”
So he said, “Teacher, say it.”
41 “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.”
And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.” 44 Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped themwith the hair of her head. 45 You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. 47 Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”
40 Beware therefore, lest what has been spoken in the prophets come upon you:
41 ‘Behold, you despisers,
Marvel and perish!
For I work a work in your days,
A work which you will by no means believe,
Though one were to declare it to you.’”
Blessing and Conflict at Antioch
42 So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. 43 Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.
44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God. 45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul. 46 Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles. 47 For so the Lord has commanded us:
‘I have set you as a light to the Gentiles,
That you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.’”
48 Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.
49 And the word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region. 50 But the Jews stirred up the devout and prominent women and the chief men of the city, raised up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. 51 But they shook off the dust from their feet against them, and came to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit
Always have the sense that all your sins are forgiven.
2 Peter 1:5-9
5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
Focusing on forgiveness of sins is the key to victory over your sins.
Joseph is the character in the bible who speaks to us most of Jesus. Joseph was rejected by his brothers, so was Jesus (rejected by the Jews), Joseph was the beloved of his father, so was Jesus, etc
The Five Times Joseph Wept