Possessing Our Possessions

Deuteronomy 2:14 New International Version (NIV)
Thirty-eight years passed from the time we left Kadesh Barnea until we crossed the Zered Valley. By then, that entire generation of fighting men had perished from the camp, as the LORD had sworn to them.

What happened at Kadesh Barnea?

Numbers 13:26-33 New International Version (NIV)

Report on the Exploration
They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites,Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.” Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

Israelites thought that they were like grasshoppers to the people of the land, but how did the people of the land view them?

Joshua 2:8-10 New International Version (NIV)
Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof and said to them, “I know that the LORD has given you this land and that a great fearof you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. We have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea[a] for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed.[b]

The Red Sea happened 40 years prior!

Points:

  • Isralites spent two years walking with God and 38 years wandering. Are we walking with God or wandering? What is the difference?
  • John 5:5 – picture of Israel wandering – Jesus healed him
  • The ones against going in spoke of the difficulties everywhere
  • Joshua and Caleb acknowledged the difficulties but had faith that they could be overcome with God. They saw God and his vast resources not their limitations and circumstances.
  • Faith looks at how big our God is, his resources and that nothing is impossible with God, unbelief looks at self and circumstances.
  • God had prepared a land for them and wanted them to take possession of it but they wouldn’t, due to their fear.
  • Today God wants us to enter His rest – Hebrews 4:1. This is the only place God tells us to fear in the whole bible. Otherwise He tells us to fear not. We should fear that we do not rest, that we become fearful over life’s circumstances, we should fear that we do not trust in God!
  • We enter the rest and through entering the rest of God, He will provide.
  • There will be troubles and difficulties that the devil wants us to focus on, but we need to rest and focus on God and Jesus and their resources.
  • We need to take possession of the future that God has in front of us!
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Because of Jesus

Isaiah 54 is such a beautiful chapter of the bible. It displays God’s heart for us once we enter the new covenant made possible by our Lord Jesus. Because of Jesus we are loved, we have peace and our Father promises never to be angry with us. Consider Isaiah 54:9-10.

Isaiah 54:9-10 Amplified Bible (AMP)

“For this is like the waters of Noah to Me,
As I swore [an oath] that the waters of Noah
Would not flood the earth again;
In the same way I have sworn that I will not be angry with you
Nor will I rebuke you.

“For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake,
But My loving-kindness will not be removed from you,
Nor will My covenant of peace be shaken,”
Says the Lord who has compassion on you.

God is saying that because of what Jesus did for us, He will never be angry with us, never rebuke us, that His loving kindness will never be removed from us. His peace will also never be shaken from us.
When trials and difficulties come, when we have doubts or fears, what a beautiful word to rest in. We are loved, we have peace and do not have to fear for God is with us! Rest in Jesus finished work for you at the cross, rest in the great love of the Father and the Son, all because of Jesus!
I pray that this understanding may create in you renewed peace and rest.

 

Ephesians 3:17-18Amplified Bible (AMP)

so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through your faith. And may you, having been [deeply] rooted and [securely] grounded in love, be fully capable of comprehending with all the saints (God’s people) the width and length and height and depth of His love [fully experiencing that amazing, endless love];

We are Christ’s Treasure – Parable of Jesus

Matthew 13:44Amplified Bible (AMP)

Hidden Treasure

44 “The kingdom of heaven is like a [very precious] treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid again; then in his joy he goes and sells all he has and buys that field [securing the treasure for himself].

1) Jesus is the merchant
2) We are the treasure
3) Jesus gave everything to save us because we are precious in His and the Fathers sight. If God gave his beloved son and Jesus freely gave His life, how will He not give us all things?

Romans 8:32 He who did not spare [even] His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?

Bring your praise to God, not your problems!

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Praise

Our Mighty Glorious Savior!

Our Jesus, He is so wonderful and powerful!  Can we even begin to understand the great love that He has for us?  Because of Him, our high priest, we can approach God’s throne with confidence!  It says in Hebrews 4:14-16,

Christ Is Our High Priest

14 So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. 15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

Many believe that the tearing of the curtain in the sanctuary was the sign of this.  We can find this in Matthew 27:51.  Another  sign of this was when Jesus was taken before the high priest Caiaphas.  This account is in Matthew:

Matthew 26:57-67New Living Translation (NLT)

Jesus before the Council

57 Then the people who had arrested Jesus led him to the home of Caiaphas, the high priest, where the teachers of religious law and the elders had gathered. 58 Meanwhile, Peter followed him at a distance and came to the high priest’s courtyard. He went in and sat with the guards and waited to see how it would all end.

59 Inside, the leading priests and the entire high council[a] were trying to find witnesses who would lie about Jesus, so they could put him to death. 60 But even though they found many who agreed to give false witness, they could not use anyone’s testimony. Finally, two men came forward 61 who declared, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the Temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’”

62 Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Well, aren’t you going to answer these charges? What do you have to say for yourself?” 63 But Jesus remained silent. Then the high priest said to him, “I demand in the name of the living God—tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”

64 Jesus replied, “You have said it. And in the future you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand[b] and coming on the clouds of heaven.”[c]

65 Then the high priest tore his clothing to show his horror and said, “Blasphemy! Why do we need other witnesses? You have all heard his blasphemy. 66 What is your verdict?”

“Guilty!” they shouted. “He deserves to die!”

67 Then they began to spit in Jesus’ face and beat him with their fists. And some slapped him,

According to Leviticus 21:10 the high priest was never to tear his robes.  I found an interesting blog post on this topic if you would like to study more on this.

http://mathaytes.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-robes-of-caiaphas-matthew-2665.html

Our High Priest, Jesus, endured suffering, shame, our sins, He bore it all so that we can live today without condemnation!  When you receive this High Priest, you are forgiven once and for all (Hebrews 10).  We are not saved by what we do, but by what He did.  Do not rehash the old sins that you committed, rather believe that through Christ your sins are all forgiven.  When the Father looks at you He sees Christ in His perfection.  Christ bore it all for this reason.  Furthermore all the promises of God for us are yes and amen [2 Corinthians 1:20New Living Translation (NLT)].  Because of Jesus we live free of condemnation and in peace.  Important is that we believe this and have faith in the perfect sacrifice!  If your faith is weak and it is difficult to believe, renew your mind in God’s word, and ask for faith through Christ Jesus.

Do not doubt the power of Jesus in your life and know that you are deeply loved by the triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit)!  Believe in the efficacy of this wonderful act over your life and never loose heart!

Why Worry?

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Thought and Meditation:I declare that we will experience God’s faithfulness over our life.  We will not worry or doubt, only trust.  God will not fail us.”

  • Worry is a negative/satanic force in our lives.
    • Other words for worry are: anxious, troubled, fear.
    • Fear is the root. Jesus said that to worry is a waste of time (Matthew 6:25-31).
    • Anxiety, and fear will cause us to loose our focus on Jesus, in times like this our decisions and thinking can become clouded and we can make the wrong choices. The Israelite People made the wrong choice when Moses was on Mount Sinai receiving instructions from God and the Ten Commandments. In the 32 Chapter of Exodus we can read how they built the Golden Calf and made plans to return to Egypt.  Rather than wait and trust they devised their own plan.
  • The cause of worry and fear is a failure on our part to trust in God.
    • We fail to understand and focus on how much God and Jesus loves us (1 John 4:18)!
    • A reliance on our works (works of the flesh) and not Gods work.
    • Trusting God allows us to enter a place of perfect rest and peace. This is a place where we can enjoy our life in all circumstances, guided by him and waiting upon him (Hebrews 4:9-11).
      • This does not mean we are passive in our life.
  • How do we learn to trust in God?
    • We focus on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2). Focus on His love for us! Focus on the power and might and greatness of his sacrifice and how it makes us whole in all areas of our life!
    • Jesus invites us to follow Him and to leave a life of worry!  Matthew 11:28-30 (Message Version) says, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
    • Meditate on his word/focus on His promises.  Meditate on the 23rd Psalm or other scripture.  Declare the promises of God over your life.
    • Be comfortable not knowing the answer or outcome.  What we know is that we are in God’s hands and that God knows the answer and is guiding our course.
    • Focus on the good in our life.
      • We can come to a place of disappointment when all we focus on is the problem or situation. It becomes even bigger than it is in this way. We no longer see the grace and blessing in our life which often far outweighs the difficulty.
    • Prayer- we need to ask God. James 4:2 (NLT).
      • We also shouldn’t underestimate the power of prayer (James 5:4).
    • Will we worry?
      • Are we going to worry or praise and worship God? Worship and praise leads us into God’s presence. Worry allows the enemy to torment us.
      • Are we going to worry or have faith and trust in God?
      • Are we going to worry of obey God’s word and trust in his promises?
      • Are we going to worry or be a blessing in someone’s life? When we help others we sow a seed into the kingdom, which brings us joy, peace and refreshment.

 

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As we cross into the new year to 2014, “…God—so rich is He in His mercy!”

Ephesians 2:4-7

Amplified Bible (AMP)

But God—so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us, Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation).  And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One).  He did this that He might clearly demonstrate through the ages to come the immeasurable (limitless, surpassing) riches of His free grace (His unmerited favor) in [His] kindness and goodness of heart toward us in Christ Jesus.

Points:
  • God has a “great and wonderful and intense love” for us.  Let us dwell on His love for us, let’s keep His love in front of us as we continue on our walk!  This love will cast out every concern and fear (1 John 4:18)!
  • We are alive through and with Christ!  In fact it says “[He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him…”  So the same life that is in Christ, that allowed him to overcome the world is in us.  Let us focus on Christ our King!  Let us cast every care to Him, not worry or hold onto it, but simply give it to Him with trust and hope (have an anticipation of good) (1 Peter 5:7)!  Let us also know that we receive what we need each and every day (Matthew 6:25-34).
  • “…And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere…”  It does not say we will sit with Him, it says we are sitting with Him “…in the heavenly sphere…”
    • If there is a hope we have for the new year, a trouble trouble or difficulty remember we are sitting with Him “…in the heavenly sphere…”!  Also remember “all things are under His feet!  So let us simply cast it to Jesus and trust! (Ephesians 2:19-22) “And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength,Which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places],Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named [above every title that can be conferred], not only in this age and in this world, but also in the age and the world which are to come.22 And He has put all things under His feet and has appointed Him the universal and supreme Head of the church [a headship exercised throughout the church]”