You Are Worthy (Pt 1)

God wants you successful, healthy, full of life and prosperous. Jesus died for you so that you might have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10). To appropriate the blessings that are yours in Christ, it is very important that you believe you’re worthy. When you know you’re worthy, it stirs up faith and confidence. And confidence will release you to take what’s yours. If you want to be successful and prosperous, you can’t afford to label yourself unworthy.

Many people, often unconsciously, have disqualified themselves from the good things of life because they deem themselves unfit. You need to understand this: If you entertain thoughts and feelings of unworthiness, it’ll hinder you and deprive you of blessings God wants you to enjoy. No matter what your shortcomings are, keep feelings and thoughts of unworthiness far from you. When you see yourself as worthy, you’ll maintain a high sense of self-worth. That’ll empower you and propel you forward. Sooner or later, you’ll begin to experience success beyond your imagination.

Negative social and religious conditioning can make you feel inferior and unworthy. But let me encourage you: As far as Daddy God is concerned, your self-worth has nothing to do with social labels. Your self-worth is based on what Jesus did for you on the Cross. You are bigger, more precious and more capable than you’ve been made to believe.

Let me show you something.

God went to great lengths to make you worthy. One day, John had a vision of heaven (Revelation 5). God was seated in majesty, surrounded by heavenly hosts. In His right hand He had a scroll which had seven seals. An angel proclaimed, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?” (v. 2). No creature was found worthy to approach God and take the scroll from Him. This caused John to weep. Apparently, there was something very important in the scroll that would benefit all people. The only problem was that the scroll was in God’s hand. Who dared approach God and take it from Him?

When all hope seemed lost, John saw a Lamb that was slain. It was Jesus, the Lion of the tribe of Judah. He went straight to God and took the scroll from His hand. Jesus didn’t beg God to let him take the scroll. He approached boldly and took it from Him. Do you know why? Jesus knew he was worthy. God, therefore, had no choice but to give him the scroll. When Jesus took the scroll, heaven sang a new song, saying to Jesus, “You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals . . .” (v. 8-10) Again the hosts of heaven said with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!” (v. 12). 

Do you know what the best part is? Jesus did all of this for you. He died and paid for all your sins forever. Then He showed up in heaven with proof (His shed Blood) that the job was done. Jesus stood before God on your behalf. From eternity, God planned to give His entire estate to all His children, Jesus being the firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:29). But Jesus had to first die for the will (testament) to come into effect. That will was what God held in His right hand. Jesus was found worthy to take the will and execute it for all God’s children, including you.

Watch out for the concluding part tomorrow.

Until then, stay encouraged.

Ogoe

Why Jesus Did Not Fall for Luke 4:7

Daily Devotion | Day 289

“All things that the Father has are mine. Therefore I said that He [the Holy Spirit] will take of Mine and declare it to you” (John 16:15, NKJV).

Jesus had many things to teach us when He came into the world. Of the things on His agenda, one was central to His ministry: to give us an accurate knowledge of our heavenly Father and how our relationship with Him should look like. Consequently, in the four Gospels you will notice that He spent a lot of time teaching us about the Father. John’s Gospel is a perfect example of this.

In John the word “Father” (referring to God) occurs about 124 times (a simple word search based on the King James Version). Compare that to the remaining accounts of the Gospel. In Luke the word “Father” occurs about 23 times, 5 times in Mark and 44 times in Matthew. There are more occurrences in John of the word “Father” than the other three Gospels combined. It would be no exaggeration to rename John’s Gospel as the Gospel of the Father.

Why the long introduction?

 In the Gospels, you see Jesus’ relationship with the Father on full display. He was showing us how we also ought to relate to the Father, because Jesus and we have one and the same Father and God: “I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God” (John 20:17). Look at today’s opening Scripture. Jesus says the Holy Spirit will take what belongs to Him (Jesus) and declare it to the Apostles. But our focus today is on Jesus’ first statement: “All things that the Father has are mine.” Now compare this with what satan promised Jesus when he tempted Him: “Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours” (Luke 4:7).

By making this offer, satan was suggesting that Jesus didn’t have everything He needed, i.e. Jesus was in lack. When you’re offered all the kingdoms and glory of the world, that is tempting. But Jesus didn’t fall for it. Why? Because of what He said in John 16:15. He was fully aware that all things the Father had belonged to Him as well. As a result, Jesus was confident and secure in Himself. He had no sense of lack. He had no sense of an unmet need. Satan’s temptation was intended to trigger in Christ a sense of lack. He failed.

Jesus wants us to have the same sense of security He had. He wants us to know that all that the Father has are for His children as well. It is the sense of lack that drives people to anxiety, fear, depression and other harmful emotions. When you know that all that the Father has is yours, you will not envy others. Envy is the fruit of insecurity. When you know that all that the Father has is yours, you will not worry. Worry is a child of insecurity. When you are confident that all that the Father has is yours, you will not use dishonest means to get ahead in life. When you are confident that all that the Father has is yours, you will not fall for satan’s lies.

It’s important to remember that you are not your circumstances. In Christ, you are greater than the sum of your circumstances.

Confess with me, “By the grace of God, I am not my circumstances. I am joint-heir with Christ. All that the Father has is mine. Abundance is my inheritance. I do not worry and I am not moved. My heart is glad and my spirit rejoices. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.”

BlessingMay the Lord open your eyes to see that all that He has is yours. And as you become aware of this truth, may blessing after blessing manifest abundantly in your life. Amen.

For further study1 Corinthians 3:21-23 and Luke 15:22-32

Expecting Abundance: The Table, the Oil and the Cup

Daily Devotional: Day 232

“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over” (Psalm 23:5, KJV).

About three years ago, there was a TV commercial about pizza. A customer came to pick up his order with a small car. The attendant (a young woman) packed the delivery in the trunk. And just before the customer rode off, she had a word of advice for him: “You’re going to need a bigger car,” implying that the customer’s car was too small for the big pizzas they made.

God is great. When you walk with Him, expect great things. Expect big favors. God’s does not entertain small-mindedness. It is not in His nature to be stingy. He is infinitely kind and utterly generous. His plans for you are big, not small. As you walk closely with Him, you will realize this. God our Father “has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3, NKJV). Oftentimes, it is we who make ourselves small. We think small. We imagine small. We expect small. And we live small. When you have a limited vision of God, it limits your own blessings. But with an accurate vision of God, you will realize that God is El-Shaddai (i.e. All-powerful), and with Him all things are possible (Luke 1:37). Take off all limits and think in terms of abundance.

Today’s opening Scripture is a well known passage. In it, David is declaring the great things the Lord has done (and does) for Him. He mentions three things. Let’s take it one by one.

First, he says, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” The key word in this statement is “You.” According to David, it is God who prepares the table. Now this is very important. God is a ‘Chef,’ if you will. He prepares the best meals. And we know He is a God of abundance, too. When JEHOVAH prepares a table for you, prepare to be filled beyond your imagination. God’s plan is to make you fat, not skinny (like someone I know). As a bonus, He will make sure your enemies are watching as He blesses you. As you are reading this, I pray that faith will rise in your spirit to expect great things from God. Enough about the table. Let’s move to the oil.

David said, “You anoint my head with oil.” When God anoints you, He sets you apart, makes you special, and He empowers you. God’s oil is oil of joy; it is oil of approval; it is oil of favor; it is oil of wellness. Your head is the place of thinking and intelligence. When God anoints your head, there is a supernatural influence over your thinking. Your mind is sound (see 2 Timothy 1:7). Wisdom, insights, vision, clarity, originality, and groundbreaking ideas will flow in your thinking.  See 1 Corinthians 2:6-16. Ask God to lay His hand over your head even as you are reading this.

Next, David said, “My cup runs over.” “Cup” refers to the measure of what belongs to you. It refers to your portion. Your cup will run over. God will not bless you any other way. When you come to God, you’re going to need a bigger cup. Peter needed a bigger boat (see Luke 5:1-11). With God you are going to need a bigger expectation than you currently have.

Remember these three things: the tablethe oil and the cup. Expect big.

May the Lord overwhelm you with blessing upon blessing, and with favor upon favor! If you receive this, say a big “AMEN.”

For further studyIsaiah 55:1-13

Reap the Benefits of a Joyful Heart

Daily Devotional: Day 223 |By Stephen Bilson-Ogoe

A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones” (Proverbs 17:22, NKJV).

A healthy heart makes for a healthy life. Taking care of the heart is, therefore, a necessary duty.  The Bible has much to say about that. Naturally, you know a lot of things about yourself. However, there’s still more you don’t know. No one knows us better than our Maker. He who created us knows everything about us and the things which are good for us. God is speaking to us today about the blessings of a joyful heart.

 Before we continue, let’s note that when the Bible talks about “the heart,” it often means something deeper than just the physical organ (heart) located in our chest. It often refers to our inner, invisible self. However, what occurs in our inner self has implications for our physical body. Consequently, wellness begins with a sound inner self.

Joy is precious. It is a catalyst of wellness. Joy supports and sustains well-being.  Therefore, everyone needs, not a little, but abundance of it. A joyful heart does good like medicine, says the Bible. This means a joyful heart is therapeutic; it promotes a healthy life. Joy creates a spiritual environment for your whole being to thrive. However, a broken spirit (a sad heart) is detrimental to our well-being. If, for any reason, you experience sorrow, it is important that you don’t let it linger and take control of your life.

A healthy life shouldn’t always mean swallowing toxic-laden pills with all their adverse side effects. When God’s Word says that a merry heart does good like medicine, let’s believe it. God created us. He knows every detail of every fiber of our being. When He says something is good for us, He means it.

The good news is, you don’t need a trip to the pharmacy to get a dose of joy. Why? The joy of the Lord is inside you. Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11). Jesus’ own joy has been given to you. You can, as a result, choose to live joyfully in the Lord for the rest of your life.

Let not your joy be based on fleeting pleasures. You don’t want your joy to fluctuate. You want it stable, grounded on the Word of God and the everlasting love of your Father. No one can stop the joy of the Lord from flowing in you. Rejoice in the Lord, your God, and keep the devil confused.

I want to leave you with the following blessing:

 “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 2). Amen.

For further study: Proverbs 15:13 and 1 Peter 1:1-9

Shalom Aleikhem: Peace Be Unto You

Shalom Aleikhem: Peace Be Upon You |Devotion Day 208

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” (Isaiah 26:3, KJV).

Shalom Aleikhem! Your peace of mind is tied to your place of mind. That is, whatever you place your mind on, affects your state of mind. And, whatever affects your state of mind, affects your state of peace as well. At any given moment, consciously or not, your mind is set on something. Where you focus your mind is entirely up to you. Peace doesn’t begin on the outside. It begins on the inside of you.

Furthermore, peace doesn’t come automatically. It is God’s gift to you, but He needs you to position yourself to receive it and keep it. The kind of peace today’s Bible passage talks about comes to those who walk in the ways of the Lord. God is not promising a perfect set of circumstances; He is promising perfect peace. You can have the perfect peace of God regardless of the storms raging in your life. Why? Because God’s peace is divine; as such, it is “weather-proof.” All God requires is that your heart and mind are fixed upon Him.

God says He will keep you in perfect peace if your mind is stayed on Him. The expression “perfect peace” does not occur in the original Hebrew of this passage. In the Hebrew, the expression used is “shalomshalom.” Therefore, if it had been translated literally, it would mean, God will keep you in peacepeace. It is probable that the KJV translators chose “perfect peace” instead of “peace, peace” to avoid awkwardness in the English language. Still, “perfect peace” is acceptable.

Shalom-shalom means double peace, i.e. peace times (x) peace equals perfect peace. The word shalom itself is very rich in meaning. It means any combination of the following: peace of mind, welfare, well-being, safety, health and prosperity. Interestingly, when Jesus rose from the dead, He gave His Apostles a double blessing of peace (cf. John 20:19-21). God says He will bless you with a double portion of peace if your mind is stayed on Him.

God is showing you the secret to long-lasting peace. From today, make an effort to rest your mind upon Him always. Make Him the number one desire of your soul. Delight yourself in His Word and meditate on it day and night (cf. Psalm 1:1-2).                                                                               

Shalom Aleikhem! Peace be upon you!

For further study: Philippians 4:4-9