Don’t Fear the Shadows

When I was a young child, I used to be afraid of the dark. I would look at the walls, or outside my window and see shadows which I presumed to be monsters. I didn’t recognize the shapes, and the sizes of the things seemed to be very large. It was a troubling sight to my young mind.

Later in life, as I became more mature, I understood that those things were just shadows without substance, and they could not actually hurt me in any way. The perception of danger was a false perception, and that the fear of them was doing me more harm than anything else.

This simple realization carries with it a spiritual truth as well – more than one in-fact, as many believers today are held captive by the fear of things which also are just shadows. Spiritual shadows that cannot actually hurt them; yet just as when I was held in bondage to fear of the shadows as a young boy, these precious believers are likewise held in bondage by fear of things which are just as false and empty as the shadows on the wall.

You Are in Christ… (No, Really!)

One of the most common phrases, both in the Bible and among believers is “in Christ” along with its variations such as “in Him” and “in the Beloved”. Nearly every believer will readily admit to being in Christ – that’s really the whole point! Yet very few understand what it really means, and the full extent of the meaning of it. Once during a Bible study, I suggested that if you want to broaden your horizon to all of what being in Christ meant, you should find all of the places in the Bible that mention being in Christ and the associated phrases, and you will end-up with a very large list of things that you have in Him. It’s actually fairly easy to do with our modern technology, but almost no-one in the study actually followed through.

The sad reality is that many people today do not have a very high opinion of what it means to be in Christ. Those whom I have spoken with typically see being in Christ as little more than a spiritual safety-net that catches them whenever their performance falls-short. However, being in Christ is so very much more than a safety net… being in Christ is literally the very Kingdom of God.

Seek First the Kingdom of God

One of the more notable statements made by Jesus can be found in Matthew 6:33, in which Jesus says that we are to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all of the other things will be added to us. Now, as believers we have become fairly adept at seeking God’s righteousness, as that was made available for us by Jesus on the cross. Yet it is interesting that His righteousness was not the first thing mentioned by Jesus when telling us what to search for. Jesus said that we are to seek first the Kingdom of God.

Now in many Christian circles, the Kingdom of God is not talked about very much; most people don’t even properly know what the Kingdom of God even is, or how to define it. We haven’t really sought it first as we were told to, but we have instead been seeking His Righteousness without His Kingdom. That’s why today in this study we will be examining what His Kingdom is, and what it means to seek (and find) the Kingdom of God.

Live in the Power of the Spirit (Part 2)

In our study last week, we examined how God actually wants us to have power, and how Jesus has given us power, both through His redemptive work on the cross and through the sending of His Spirit (one act facilitating the other). These concepts are often not even touched in many Christian circles, often seen as fringe. Indeed many people are afraid to take an honest look at the topic of the Holy Spirit in connection with the power given to us because they have been jaded by past experience or the horror stories that people tell about what happened in some charismatic group previously.

Yet these things are spoken of in scripture and so they should not and can not be ignored. And so today we will continue with Part 2 of our study on living in the power of the Spirit, by taking a look at the baptism of the Spirit – specifically what Jesus said about it, because His opinion is the only one that carries any weight, and as we see the truth from scripture, we will be moved from a place of weakness, to a place of great strength in the power of the Spirit through Christ Jesus.

Live in the Power of the Spirit (Part 1)

One of the most overlooked areas in the life of a believer is the area of power. It is often not even mentioned in sermons, nor is it brought up in connection with the Holy Spirit. In some Christian circles it is considered wrong to think of ourselves as having any power at all, and others that it it is possible to operate in power, but only once-in-a-while when God feels like it – and therefore it is not reliable or consistent. All of these different ideas and opinions on the power of the Spirit have given rise to generations of believers who are quite literally living in defeat and confusion, and feeling helpless against the advances of the enemy in their life.

In this study today, we will be examining the truth of what the scripture says regarding the power of the Holy Spirit, and specifically the power that Jesus came to give us. It is important to see that it is not wrong to look at these things; in-fact they were written down for us precisely so that we would know and understand them. And by seeing the truth directly from scripture, we can start living in the power which Jesus paid for us to have.

Jesus Is Your Answer

It’s considered cliché these days to say Jesus is the answer. People upon hearing the phrase will typically react with an eye-roll, or say “Yeah, I know, but…” – as if to admit that they do not really believe that He is the answer at all. Believers continue to search for new truths, new ideas, new philosophies and theologies every day because they are still searching for answers. They are searching for something more, as if Jesus was not enough, and in the eyes of many, He secretly isn’t enough.

Now it’s okay to admit feeling that way. It’s okay to admit thinking that… because the honest admission that sometimes we feel or think that Jesus isn’t enough is a starting-point upon which to build the true Gospel foundation of Jesus Christ. I’ve watched many professing believers over the years, who were too afraid to make that admission, live their entire lives searching for answers, going from this thing to that thing, attending every conference they come across, reading every book, laboring in all kinds of works – so busy, yet still not finding their answer, because in all of their busy-ness, they have missed Jesus… never even truly realizing that He is the One and Only Answer that they need. Today, we will be taking a look at how Jesus is our true answer, and saying that will no longer be an empty cliché.

Don’t Settle For Mediocrity

Take a moment right now and assess your life. Evaluate your needs. Go ahead… I’ll wait…

Now whatever your current needs are, whatever seems to be lacking, I want to tell you that the supply is already there. Whether it is a physical need in your body, such as healing, or whether it is a financial need, a mental need such as peace of mind, or even a spiritual need; the supply is there. The supply was paid for and done long before you ever had the need; long before you have even existed on the earth, your need has been covered.

Many times, we settle for mediocrity. We may receive one or two things from God, but then we think it is enough, we think that we have imposed upon Him too much already, or we simply accept things into our lives that are not needed… we tolerate things that need not be tolerated. There are many things that Jesus has paid to free us from that we have accepted as facts of life in our modern culture. I want to encourage you today that you don’t have to put up with these things any longer – there is a better way, made possible by Jesus Christ.

You Are the Manifestation of Jesus Today

In our continuing study of who we are in Christ, one thing that tends to receive a lot of push-back from the traditionalists in the world today, is the truth that in Christ Jesus today, we are the manifestation of Him on the earth. We are the manifestation of Jesus to all of the people of the world today. This idea irritates those who believe that it is insolence to in any way liken ourselves to Jesus They believe that because He is so much greater than us, that it is an insult to even make any kind of comparison which connects Him with us. It may seem right to our human thinking, however, God Himself has a different idea than this traditionalist view.

That’s why as we study today, we are going to be taking a look at precisely what Jesus has to say about Himself and us, and what our relationship to Him actually is. And by seeing this truth, we will no longer have this perceived distance between us and God any longer. We will be able to embrace our true nature in Him; and live in the truth that He wants us to live in.

Let God’s Word Determine Your Future, Not Your Experiences

Many times when trying to determine the outcome of a situation, we look to our past experiences. I find that this is true in many places, but especially in Christian circles, and often in prayer as well. I have been in prayer groups, where we would pray for someone who had a debilitating condition, and we would pray, but then someone would say, “you know, there was a great Christian who had this condition, and they died”… and the moment that was said, it was as if it sucked all of the belief out of the room. People’s thoughts were moved from, “Yes God is a great Healer”, to, “Well if that great Christian died, I guess God doesn’t heal”.

We tend to allow our experiences to determine our future, even without being consciously aware that we are doing it. And we also are influenced by all of the negativity floating around from all of the other people who do the same. So today we will be looking at what God Himself says about your future, about His outlook and forecast for your life… unlike the weather, His forecast is always one-hundred percent reliable and trustworthy.

The LORD Destroys Your Pursuers

As we grow more and more in the truth of Grace and the reality of the finished work of Jesus Christ and what He has done, one of the things that happens is that we see more clearly what He has freed us from. We begin to see that many of the things which we have blindly accepted all of our lives without question and a lot of the things we put up with, simply need not be upon us. We have grown accustomed to many afflictions, hurts, pains, diseases and infirmities – we regard them simply as “facts of life” without giving them a second thought.

In this study today, we will be looking at the truth of what the scripture says regarding these things. As we see what Jesus has done for us, we will also realize that we need not suffer the things which we have accepted as natural, and how we are actually more free than we have even imagined.