to you out there, if you ever read this, what I didn’t get to say was; taking down notes in church, serving in ministry, does not make me a better Christian than you, we’re all simply this - sinners saved by grace, it’s about Him, never about us. It’s not about the doing, it’s about Who you trust in. It’s all about His grace and His love for you. My friend, I hope you know how incredibly loved you are, simply because you are His, and that no matter how far you felt you’ve run, you can never outrun His love for you.
When you feel that your faith has run out, just rest in how God is always faithful! Count on His faithfulness, not your faithfulness. Lean hard on the fact that He remains faithful even when you’re wavering in faith (2 Timothy 2:13).
Beloved, once God gives you a promise from His Word, it’s not for you to struggle and conjure up faith to make His promise come to pass. You cannot make the miracle happen—only God can. You are to rest in Him who has promised, rest in His faithfulness, and you will experience your miracle!
Behold the fruit of grace: saved by God, raised by God, seated with God. Gifted, equipped and commissioned.
Farewell earthly condemnations: Stupid. Unproductive. Slow learner. Fast talker. Quitter. Cheapskate. No longer.
You are who He says you are. Spiritually alive. Heavenly positioned. Connected to God. A billboard of mercy. An honored child.
This is the “aggressive forgiveness we call grace” (Rom 5:20, MSG)
The Lord wants to use your life as a trophy of His grace and favor.
Your life can’t look anything but blessed!
God will make the impossible possible, you are not meant to look at yourself but at Jesus
You are the center of Jesus’ world, the One who holds the whole universe together. WOW.
Laughter is heaven’s medicine, you can laugh yourself to wholeness.
God wants to promote you.
- You’re marked by His favor! There’s no way anything can hold you down, you will always be the head and not the tail, always rise above.
- When you are marked by favor, you cannot help but be promoted.
- Promotion both on the inside and outside.
- What you find difficult to do before will now be easy, you will find that God’s power helps you do it
When favor comes upon you, you will be effortlessly transformed. It’s not about you trying or fighting. You will just be fruitful and happy.
Why are you everlastingly favored?
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
- Jesus came to serve and in serving, He gives.
- you cannot serve without giving
- In your life, Jesus comes to give to you, He takes only your sins, cares and worries
- Jesus is always giving to you. He gave what is most precious to Him - His life.
- He gave His life; He will not withhold anything from you
- Don’t look at yourself to qualify for your blessings, look at Jesus giving you Himself
- He has given you His best and with that, comes all the rest
13 Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently;
He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high.
14 Just as many were astonished at you,
So His visage was marred more than any man,
And His form more than the sons of men;
15 So shall He sprinkle many nations.
Kings shall shut their mouths at Him;
For what had not been told them they shall see,
And what they had not heard they shall consider.
- v. 13: Jesus is that servant
- He will be lifted up high
- not just referring to Jesus being exalted but also Jesus at the cross (v. 14)
- v. 15: what does He sprinkle with?
- His blood
He shall see the labor of His soul,and be satisfied.
By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
For He shall bear their iniquities.
- Jesus comes through the work of the Cross to serve you righteousness and justification by faith
- 2 Corinthians 5:21
- For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
- the righteousness of God, not of man
It’s all Jesus, none of us.
We are now the righteousness of God in Christ forever.
It’s not about how you are feeling or what you’ve done.
“Seventy weeksare determined, For your people and for your holy city,To finish the transgression,To make an end of sins,To make reconciliation for iniquity,To bring in everlasting righteousness,To seal up vision and prophecy,And to anoint the Most Holy.
- everlasting righteousness; it never ends.
- You will NEVER be unrighteous
- You were never in the equation, it wasn’t your work or your merit.
- What He did, He gave to your account, you’re just disgustingly blessed!
- Believe it even though you don’t feel it and when you believe it, you will feel it.
You are favored BECAUSE of the cross.
If you can believe and see that you are everlastingly righteous, then the favor that is on your life is everlasting favor.
Righteousness is the foundation for favor.
You don’t need to feel favored to be favored; you are forever favored.
With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment;But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,”Says the Lord, your Redeemer. 9 “For this is like the waters of Noah to Me;
For as I have sworn
That the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth,
So have I sworn
That I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you.For as I have swornThat the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth,So have I swornThat I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you.10 For the mountains shall depart
And the hills be removed,
But My kindness shall not depart from you,
Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,”
Says the Lord, who has mercy on you.And the hills be removed,But My kindness shall not depart from you,Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,”Says the Lord, who has mercy on you.
- "everlasting kindness (hesed)" = favor
- "with a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment" = Jesus at the Cross
- Why is favor everlasting? Because your righteousness is everlasting
- v. 10: “My kindness (favor) shall not depart from you”
- Favor cannot ever depart from you
- "Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed"
- can you change the covenant of Jesus? No.
- God’s covenant of peace shall never be removed, the work of Jesus shall never be removed, then the favor on your life shall never be removed
- No man can change that, no man can rob favor from you
- You are favored forevermore and it cannot leave you
“O you afflicted one,Tossed with tempest, and not comforted,Behold, I will lay your stones with colorful gems,And lay your foundations with sapphires.12 I will make your pinnacles of rubies, Your gates of crystal,And all your walls of precious stones.Your gates of crystal,And all your walls of precious stones.
- v. 11: sometimes, you feel like you’re tossed with tempest and not comforted, God says “behold…”
- Some of you need to change what you’re looking at
- God did not mean for you to look at yourself or the devil’s accusations, but to Jesus
- The secret to no longer being afflicted, tossed with tempest and uncomfortable is to behold God building the temple
- v. 11-12: God talking about how He will build the temple
- 1 Chronicles 29:2
- Now for the house of my God I have prepared with all my might: gold for things to be made of gold, silver forthings of silver, bronze for things of bronze, iron for things of iron, wood for things of wood, onyx stones, stonesto be set, glistening stones of various colors, all kinds of precious stones, and marble slabs in abundance.
- "for the house of my God I have prepared with all my might"
- refers to you, the afflicted one, tossed with tempest, no comforted
- You are the temple of God
- Behold. Jesus will build you with all His might, fill you with precious things, with gold, silver, sapphires, onyx stones as your foundation, beautify you, fortify you, bless you, give unto you
- And how does He do it? WITH ALL HIS MIGHT
- Your body is the temple of God.
- Matthew 21:12
- 12 Then Jesus went into the temple of Godand drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves.
- Jesus drove out ALL those who were selling and buying out
- Just as Jesus drove out every foreign impurity in the (physical) temple of God, the Lord will drive out every foreign impurity in your body
- The same zeal that Jesus has that cleared all that did not belong in the house of God, that is the same zeal that He looks at you today; anything that is in your emotions/body that is destroying you, Jesus is driving it out today and He loves you
- There are two times that Jesus cleanses the temple
- 1. He clears out all the bad
- 2. He healed the blind and the lame (those who can’t go anywhere)
- If you are blind, you can’t get anywhere. If you are lame, you can see it, but you can’t get there.
- Some of you can’t see the way ahead, some of you can see it, but can’t find a way to get there, but the Lord wants to heal you of that.
- The Lord wants to remove every paralysis and blindness from His people by His favor that is everlasting and His righteousness that can never change
The favor of God on you lasts a lifetime, it is from everlasting to everlasting.
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.
- - v. 46: the favor of God is always found in the house of God "found Him in the temple"
- there is an increase in the favor of God in your life when you are found in the house of God.
- listening to them and asking them questions”
- - learn to listen and ask questions, people don’t like a know-it-all, learn to ask questions and draw things out of people.
- it puts you in a position of teachability. when you are teachable, it draws the favor of God into your life
- Jesus was teachable
- - v. 51: Jesus submitted to His parents even though He wasn’t in the wrong
- submission always unleashes the wisdom and favor of God into your life
- submission is not easy, if it were, it wouldn’t be submission
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.
- when you submit to correction, it brings favor
- be quick to submit to correction even though you might not understand it then
- correction is not easy or comfortable, but when you submit, God’s favor will elevate you, there will be a new level of anointing upon your life
- when you submit, you allow God to move in your life
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.
- humility = ability to submit to your parents, leaders, boss, etc, those in authority over your life
- humility = ability to receive correction
- if God puts that person in your life, they are there for a reason and God will use that person to speak into your life, He is not limited by whether that person is a believer or not.
- favor will bring you to the right place at the right time and exalt 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.
- - v. 11: when you serve that authority in your life, God sees it as serving Him and He unleashes His favor in your life
- - there’s a contrast between Eli’s sons and Samuel. The reason why their sin was so serious is because they had no regard for the finished work.
- - v. 18: linen = righteousness
- Samuel had a high regard for the finished work
- When you have a high regard for the finished work, it’s easy for you to receive favor.
- When you operate in the area of your giftings, there’s an ease and favor
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.
- when you have the revelation that you are always the righteousness of God in Christ, you become a favor magnet
- Favor promotes and protects
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.
- practice the presence of God and His favor and wisdom will manifest in your life
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.
- v. 1: Samuel also went through a season of preparation, he didn’t get to his destiny overnight
- He served the Lord by assisting Eli. There’s a lot you can learn from assisting someone, you’d be amazed at what God will show you.
- Samuel still served Eli even after all we know about Eli, it doesn’t matter who you serve, when you serve that person, you are serving the Lord and God’s favor will be upon your life.
- v. 3: Samuel positioned himself to be in the position of the Ark - Jesus. Samuel had a hunger and heart for Jesus and he was sleeping (at rest) in the presence of Jesus. When you are at rest in the presence of Jesus, favor comes pouring into your life.
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.
- when the Lord is with you, the favor of God is in your life, nothing can stand against you, nothing can keep you down. You are victorious.
- the favor of God gives weight to your words
- the favor of God establishes 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!
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.”
- the gospel of Christ is THE (definite article) power of God
- Salvation (is a very rich word) = health, wholeness, preservation, peace, prosperity, protection
- Salvation = sozo (Gr.)
- Yeshua (Jesus) from the word Yesha (salvation)
- the power of God to release salvation is in the gospel of Christ
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.
- Antioch in Pisidia, different from Antioch in Syria
- Paul was the only one given the full gospel of grace by God. The rest of the disciples did not have the revelation Paul had. In fact, Peter stood up on the day of Pentacost and told the Jewish people that they killed the messiah, but it is God in His foreknowledge who delivered Him because Jesus wasn’t murdered, He laid down His life, no one could take His life from Him; the disciples didn’t fully understand the gift of righteousness and that He died for our sins.
- Paul was on his way to Damascus and was blinded by a light from heaven for 3 days. God sent Ananias = the grace of Yah (the grace of God) to open Paul’s eyes. The first person Paul saw was the grace of God and he was put on a street called Straight.
- He knows there is no compromise for the gospel of grace. (Galatians 1:8-9) Paul pronounced a double curse on those who preach any other gospel.
- Paul wrote 3/4 of the New Testament, if only we can hear him preach, but there are no CDs of his sermons, however, one sermon is documented.
- v. 15: If you go to a synagogue today, you will hear the haftorah read on the Sabbath.
- v. 16-35: Paul gave them the Old Testament in a nutshell.
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.
- God wants you to serve your generation.
- v. 37: there’s a verse in the OT that says the one who God raises saw no corruption and the Jews thought it was David but David saw corruption, while Jesus never did, His body never decayed.
- v. 38-39: By Jesus all who believe are JUSTIFIED from ALL things - has no conditions on man’s part. the proclamation comes in a full and unqualified manner.
- A lot of people will want to add to it and say ‘justified from all things for those who have a heart for God, etc”
- Nothing for you to do but believe. Jesus’ work on the Cross is finished, you cannot add to it.
- Many Christians think the forgiveness of sins is the beginning BUT it is the foundation and mother of ALL blessings.
- Before you can receive healing, you must have the assurance that your sins are forgiven. (eg. when they lowered the lame man from the roof top, Jesus said to him that his sins are forgiven first, and then healed him)
- Psalm 103:2-3 - Benefit 1. who forgives all your iniquities. Benefit 2. who heals all your diseases.
- Some Christians say forgiveness of sins is basic. The gospel is not basic. The bible calls the law the equivalent of childcare while the gospel is the HQ.
- The gospel is simple. Simple does not mean cheap.
- Some people are saying that grace shouldn’t be taught as the forgiveness of sins but as empowerment. How can you, if you’re not assured of your forgiveness, be empowered?
- Jesus told the lady caught in adultery “neither do I condemn you” (forgiveness of sins) then told her to go and sin no more.
- Unless you are assured that your sins are forgiven, you will go and sin somemore.
- Grace is NOT empowerment, but it empowers you to go and sin no more.
- God placed all your sins (past, present and future) on Jesus and you are completely forgiven.
- Understanding and believing you are forgiven is what produces obedience
If You, Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with You,
That You may be feared.
- all true fear of the Lord is produced from the understanding of His forgiveness, it’s where there is true worship
- I’m forgiveness conscious, therefore I’m Jesus conscious and I’m closer to Him.
- When you feel you’re not forgiven, you feel distanced from Jesus and when you’re distanced, what power is there to overcome?
- We must always be forgiveness conscious.
1 John 2:12
I write to you, little children,
Because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.
- "forgiven": perfect passive indicative - it is done to you, you don’t play any part.
- your sins are forgiven once and for all.
- there’s a lot of resentment in the church (universal, around the world) because people don’t understand this
- the reason we don’t forgive as much as we should is because we don’t understand how much we are forgiven.
- forgive as much as you’re forgiven
- if you think God only forgives you of your past sins, you will also measure it to others
- when you don’t realise you are forgiven, you won’t be forgiving
- when you don’t believe you are forgive, you withdraw from God; God does not see you the way you see yourself.
- it is possible for believers to be forgiven, yet not realise they’re forgiven and be sin-conscious.
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.”
- Those who are forgiven much love Him much
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
- v. 40-41: despisers of grace, God will do a work through Jesus so good that the despisers will not believe
- v. 42: some words are worth repeating.
- "Where there is forgiveness of sin, there is life and all blessedness. We do not obtain forgiveness by good works, but through the forgiveness of sin come good works. First remove sin from the conscience, and it will also be dethroned in the heart." - Martin Luther
- Repentance does not produce forgiveness of sins; forgiveness of sins produces repentance!
- It is the goodness of God that leads you to repentance.
- v. 43: told them to “continue in the grace of God”
- v. 44-45: it wasn’t the message, it was the multitudes that caused the Jews to envy them and then for them to be persecuted.
- Almost the whole city turned up only because of the Word of God (grace)
- v. 51: if you share the gospel of grace to someone and they’re not open, simply share with someone else. It is not your loss.
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.
- v. 5-7: Christian character
- v. 9: those who don’t manifest these traits are because they have forgotten that they are forgiven.
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
- Genesis 42:24
- Genesis 43:30
- Genesis 45:2
- Genesis 49:33-50:1
v. 33: there’s life after death
- Genesis 50:15-23
v. 17: Jesus is grieved when we don’t believe we are forgiven.
- the Holy Spirit is grieved because we don’t speak words of grace, likewise, the Holy Spirit rejoices when we speak words of grace.
God does not predestine people to be saved or to be lost, but all those who are saved are predestined by God to end up looking like Jesus. We are transformed from glory to glory by beholding Jesus.
Book of Ruth - 4 chapters only, but filled with revelation
Naomi - left the land of promise, left Israel, her two sons died.
Picture of Israel outside her land, and how for two thousand years, Israel has found nothing but death because the devil hates Israel, through Israel came the savior of the world. Israel needs to come under Jesus’ wings where they will be completely protected. (Dispensational)
One of the ways to study end times is to look at Israel.
The land of Israel is God’s natural prophetic time clock. Good things that happen to the church, before it happens, it happened to Israel first.
God’s people were delivered from natural Egypt, today, you and I are delivered from the slave market of sin (spiritual Israel). First the natural, then the spiritual.
Eg. When Israel came back as a nation in 1948, in the 1950s, God released a healing revival all over the world.
Eg. After the 6 day war, in 1966, Israel repossessed Jerusalem, in the 1970s, the great Charismatic revival. The more land Israel takes in the natural, the more land we gain in the spiritual
But natural Israel today is still under law.
Another time piece you can look at is the Jews (those not in Israel, not under law).
It seems those who are non-religious are the ones who are blessed the most.
13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
- the more we preach righteousness of faith, the more people will see the blessings of Abraham manifest in their lives
- the more unearning, unreligious a Jewish person is, the more they will see the blessings of Abraham manifest (eg. Mark Zuckerberg)
Dare to pray bold prayers because you have what Jesus has and Jesus has everything.
Ruth = beautiful friend, picture of the Church
Boaz = in Him is strength, picture of Jesus
20 Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “Blessed be he of the Lord, who has not forsaken His kindness to the living and the dead!” And Naomi said to her, “This man is a relation of ours, one of our close relatives.”
- even if it is your fault, Jesus can redeem it for you
- "one of our close relatives": Jesus has to be the only One, not “one of”
- Jesus is the only redeemer there is, there is no other
8 Now it happened at midnight that the man was startled, and turned himself; and there, a woman was lying at his feet. 9 And he said, “Who are you?”
So she answered, “I am Ruth, your maidservant. Take your maidservant under your wing, for you are a close relative.”
10 Then he said, “Blessed are you of the Lord, my daughter! For you have shown more kindness at the end than at the beginning, in that you did not go after young men, whether poor or rich. 11 And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you request, for all the people of my town know that you are a virtuous woman. 12 Now it is true that I am a close relative; however, there is a relative closer than I. 13 Stay this night, and in the morning it shall be that if he will perform the duty of a close relative for you—good; let him do it. But if he does not want to perform the duty for you, then I will perform the duty for you, as the Lord lives! Lie down until morning.”
14 So she lay at his feet until morning, and she arose before one could recognize another. Then he said, “Do not let it be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.” 15 Also he said, “Bring the shawl that is on you and hold it.” And when she held it, he measured six ephahs of barley, and laid iton her. Then she went into the city.
16 When she came to her mother-in-law, she said, “Is that you, my daughter?”
Then she told her all that the man had done for her. 17 And she said, “These six ephahs of barley he gave me; for he said to me, ‘Do not go empty-handed to your mother-in-law.’”18 Then she said, “Sit still, my daughter, until you know how the matter will turn out; for the man will not rest until he has concluded the matter this day.”
- the whole bible is nothing more than God’s picture book of His Son.
- being at Jesus feet means making Him big and you, small, act of worship
- every time someone falls at Jesus’ feet in the gospels, they receive their miracle
- worship is being at Jesus’ feet
- don’t tie your occupation with your value. Your identity is Jesus’ beloved.
- when you are at Jesus’ feet, His redeeming power manifests
- v. 9: “take me under your wing” - refers to the prayer shawl, there is no power in the prayer shawl, but what is it a picture of? As many who touch Jesus’ prayer shawl was healed. The bible says “the Son of righteousness arises with healing in His wings”. It’s a picture of His righteousness
- when you touch His faith righteousness, your miracle manifests
- Every Jewish man has a prayer shawl. When he gets married, he gives his prayer shawl to his bride, a picture of whatever it covers, it redeems.
- v. 11: Ruth is the only woman in the bible who is called virtuous.
- Boaz says he wants to redeem her, but there is a relative closer than him, he must have first right of refusal
- v. 14: Jesus wants us to rest at His feet and He will take care of us
- You cannot lie down until you’re at peace.
- v. 15: When a man asks a woman to unveil herself, it means he’s marrying her. He accepted her proposal.
- The bible says the law is like a veil, it is very hard to be intimate when you have a veil separating you.
- v. 15: 6 ephahs - 60 days supply. When she was gleaning, she had 1 ephah which was 10 days supply. There are believers who work in the field of the Lord, they only get 1 ephah of blessing, but there are those who instead of going for the ministry of the Lord, they go for the Lord, and they get six times more. Go for the Blesser, not the blessings.
- It is Jesus who occupies our hearts.
- Jesus is not satisfied with you just serving and looking at His blessings, He wants you to be His bride, to know Him intimately and everything He has is yours.
18 Then she said, “Sit still, my daughter, until you know how the matter will turn out; for the man will not rest until he has concluded the matter this day.”
- When you sit still, the Lord will not rest until He has fulfilled your needs.
- When we sit still, God works. When we work, God sits still.
- Christianity is not about doing and doing, it’s about resting and the power that energises you causes you to accomplish much more than what you can do in your own strength, because it’s not your power, but His power.
- God wants the fruits of the Spirit, not the works of the flesh.
Now Boaz went up to the gate and sat down there; and behold, the close relative of whom Boaz had spoken came by. So Boaz said, “Come aside, friend, sit down here.” So he came aside and sat down. 2 And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, “Sit down here.” So they sat down.3 Then he said to the close relative, “Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, sold the piece of land which belonged to our brother Elimelech. 4 And I thought to inform you, saying, ‘Buy itback in the presence of the inhabitants and the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it;but if you will not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know; for there is no one but you to redeem it, and I am next after you.’”
And he said, “I will redeem it.”
5 Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also buy it from Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance.”
6 And the close relative said, “I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I ruin my own inheritance. You redeem my right of redemption for yourself, for I cannot redeem it.”
7 Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging, to confirm anything: one man took off his sandal and gave it to the other, and this was a confirmation in Israel.
8 Therefore the close relative said to Boaz, “Buy it for yourself.” So he took off his sandal. 9 And Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses this day that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, from the hand of Naomi. 10 Moreover, Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, I have acquired as my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brethren and from his position at the gate. You are witnesses this day.”
11 And all the people who were at the gate, and the elders, said, “We are witnesses. The Lord make the woman who is coming to your house like Rachel and Leah, the two who built the house of Israel; and may you prosper in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. 12 May your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring which the Lord will give you from this young woman.”
- v. 1: the gate = place where the council of the city sits down together, where decisions are made, where the court is held; it’s public
- Jesus died for us publicly. Heb 13:12: Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate.
- v. 1-2: Boaz is a man of repute, one of the council members, a man of authority, the other council members listen to him
- v. 2: “he took 10 men” - picture of the law. The law is about to witness something; Jesus bringing grace into our situation. Romans 3:21-22 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.
- v. 4: Boaz giving the relative the first option of refusal
- v. 6: the moment Ruth was mentioned, he says he cannot redeem it. Who is this close relative? The law.
- Even though Jesus existed before the law, in terms of appearance to man, the law appeared first. God in His wisdom gave law first, because after man tried to keep the law for 1500 years and not a single of them succeeded, then they’re desperate enough to cry out to Jesus for grace.
- The law (close relative) cannot marry Ruth because the law states that the Jews shall not marry a moabite. By law, Ruth cannot be part of the family of God, but under grace, grace qualifies everybody
- Faith is never too bold to please the Lord. What grieves Jesus is when you are hesitant to come to Him, when you are doubting whether He will accept you. Come to Jesus for your needs. Grace gives you the good things you don’t deserve, mercy protects you from all the bad things you do deserve. Hebrews 4:16 - Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
- By law, Ruth is disqualified, but by grace, her name is included in the genealogy of Jesus.
- The law cannot bend for you, it is perfect.
- v. 6: the law cannot redeem.
- Jesus does not expect anything of you except what He has placed in you. He puts His gifts in you and then He crowns those gifts.
- v. 8: giving over of the sandal is a picture of relinquishing his hold on the land = the law cannot walk all over the believer today. Don’t let anyone bring the law back into your life, the law does not have any right to walk on your property.
- Moses = picture of the law, when he encountered God for the first time, he was asked to take off his shoes. Under law, we have no right to wear shoes in His presence. In the story of the prodigal son, the father came running and noticed that his son wasn’t wearing shoes, and asked his servant to bring shoes over. Under grace, you have the right to stand in His presence.
- We are here to glorify Jesus, no one else’s name is greater.
- v. 9: “Elimelech’s (my God is King), and all that was Chilion’s (wasting away) and Mahlon’s (sickness)" Jesus bought back the kingdom of God (because Israel forfeited it). He redeemed us from wasting away and from sickness.
- Ruth never had a child when she was with her first husband, but with Boaz…
Ruth 4:17, 21-22
17 Also the neighbor women gave him a name, saying, “There is a son born to Naomi.” And they called his name Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.
21 Salmon begot Boaz, and Boaz begot Obed; 22 Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David.
- Boaz (in Him is strength), Obed (serve), Jesse (wealth), David (beloved)
- in Him is strength to serve wealth to His beloved
- wealth not as in financial, but also wealth of His revelation, our greatest wealth is knowing Jesus