Scriptures: Ruth 1:15-22
It's time. It's time right now to create a fresh new vision for your life. Now more than ever is the time to be a believer. It's time to begin a process of forgiveness so that you can be free. When we don't forgive its easy to become what we hate.
In Psalms 24:9 we read: "Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in."
Although the book is called Ruth, we are going to look at the life of Naomi, her mother in law. Naomi's life was going through seasons of change: first was a time of calamity. She was in a season of mourning having lost her two sons and husband. She wanted to change her name and be called Mara, which literally meant "sorrow." She wanted to turn her season of trouble into a life of trouble being constantly reminded of her pain and misery.
Then Naomi entered into a time of courage. In the midst of all her pain and suffering Naomi made a courageous decision. She decided to go back to her homeland. This decision led her into the time of criticism. She would now have to face the criticism of her people and then comes the time when we begin to criticize God for our troubles. Are you blaming God for the hard things in your life?
Then something happened which changed Naomi and Ruth's lives: the time of commitment. Naomi decided to shift her focus. Naomi became more concerned with Ruth's future than her own future: and great change came to both their lives. It was a time of celebration! Ruth is married and gives Naomi a grandson! Naomi's lineage would continue and this union between Ruth and Boaz continued the earthly lineage of Jesus.
Our God is a God of new beginnings. We all go through disappointments and setbacks. But: we need to muster our courage and make good decisions. Push through the criticism. Recommit to God. Lift up your head. Get ready because God is about to do something new: you do not have to be Mara anymore. It's time for a new beginning.
Scriptures: Isaiah 61:1-4
Do you want to see major improvements in your life? All you have to do is make some minor adjustments. With these adjustments you will: have a better attitude, be more productive, have new doors opened to you and gain more friends! Who doesn't want all of these things?
In Colossians 3:3 the Bible tells us: "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." See life around you as God sees it and become less attached to the temporary! Arrange your mind in the right direction. Let God know that you believe He is bigger than your problems. Remember: you do not have to be controlled by your emotions. Life's difficulties do not come to defeat you, but to increase you.
Put on the garment of praise! Take off the garment of heaviness, self-pity and discouraging. Offer up the sacrifice of praise: offering praise even when you do not feel like doing it! Make a thoughtful choice to offer God thanks. Do the right thing even when the wrong thing is happening. Take your limitations off God: He has no limitations!
The Lord has made promises to those who will exchange the spirit of heaviness for the garment of praise. They'll rebuild the old ruins. They will raise a new city out of the wreckage. They'll start over on the ruined ground. They will take the rubble left behind and make it new.
Make a minor adjustment right now: tell your mind "I am going to praise God."
Scriptures: Acts 5:12-16
The early church was identified as a place of miracles: it was a place of relevancy. It was relevant because it made a difference in people's lives! People's lives were being changed: the sick were being healed and sins were being remitted.
The Apostles did not decide who was being healed: the people did! Yes it was by the hands of the Apostles that many signs and wonders were taking place, but it was the people who brought the sick and those vexed with unclean spirits. They brought them from the cities to Solomon's porch and even laid them in the street. They told them that even Peter's shadow had the power to heal: the people created an atmosphere of faith!
The early church was a place of relevancy for the people of their day. It was relevant because even though they faced persecution they still displayed the power found in the name of Jesus. It was relevant because there were no false pretenses. It was relevant because the leaders and the saints had strong faith.
We are a church of relevancy, because we are a place of miracles, signs and wonders. We are making a difference in people's lives: the sick are being healed and deliverance is happening! It takes all of us to accomplish what the Lord wants to do with His church. We are all facing persecutions: but we must keep declaring the mighty name of Jesus! We must have strong faith to create an atmosphere of faith! We must live in unity working together for the glory of God. We must bring the sick, the hurting and the doubters and let Jesus touch their lives. Anyone who is in pain and needs answers: Jesus is here and ready to heal you.
Scriptures: John 5:1-9
After reading these verses some questions might arise like: "Why didn't Jesus heal everybody at the pool of Bethesda?" " Why did he heal just one man?" "I've read many times in the Bible when he healed the multitudes, why not this time?"
Let's try to answer those questions today. Everywhere else that Jesus healed people the people came to Him. No one knew who Jesus was the Pool of Bethesda: he was just another person in the crowd to them. After this man was healed everyone at the pool now had a chance to follow Jesus to receive their healing. Jesus preached and healed for another two years and now the crowd could leave an unreliable pool and follow the One who was able to heal them.
Why did Jesus pick this specific man to heal? When this man got up and walked (after his healing) there was no denying He had experienced the supernatural! There was no denying that Jesus had healed him! This man had been crippled for 38 years and everyone down at the pool knew who He was. There is something else about this man: he had no chance on his own of getting in the pool. If you weren't quick enough, strong enough or fast enough- you weren't going to get healed. Bethesda was called the House of Mercy, but the effort because the factor not the mercy.
What's beautiful about this story is that the Lord of Mercy came to the House of Mercy. One of the weakest and the one with the littlest hope got Jesus' attention. You can have your own Pool of Bethesda: a place that becomes about our own merit, instead of about mercy. We believe that if we are just strong enough, or just fast enough or just smart enough we can fix whatever is wrong in our lives: but we must remember that Jesus chose the weakest and the hopeless to be healed. We must remember that in our weakness, He is strong!
Are you tired of trying to fix everything yourself? You have the
Scriptures: Isaiah 54:16-17
“Behold, I have created the blacksmith, Who blows the coals in the fire, Who brings forth an instrument for his work; And I have created the spoiler to destroy. No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their righteousness is from Me,”Says the Lord."
Ask yourself the question: am I walking in God's plan for my life? These verses tell us: "I have created the waster to destroy."
What does it mean to waste? "To waste is use wrongly." For example: pouring diesel into a kerosene lantern! Wasting is: "rendering a useful thing idle, to damage something completely."
How can we overcome the waster, or the devastator as the Amplified Bible states?
1) Get a true picture of our God given opportunities- Pray for the ability to recognize opportunities. Get a spiritual picture while the opportunity is still shapeless.
2) Remember to become a champion you will have to face your test- an untested product is an unreliable product. David became a champion because there was a Goliath. Without his faith in God: David would have just been a shepherd boy, but instead he became the young man you defeated the giant!
3) Get a grip of God's promises- Verse 16 speaks of the smith: the maker of the weapons. The .Waster or the destroyer is the user of the weapons. It does not matter how well the weapon was made or how talented the user of the weapon is, the Bible clearly tells us" "no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper." Your destiny in the Lord is for you to be successful.
Pray for vision so that you have a spiritual picture of God ordained opportunities. To become a champion you must be willing to fight. "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds." Our weapons will prosper!
Scriptures: Luke 8:1-3
It is commonly believed that hurt people hurt other people. Let's look at another statement: healed people heal other people! If you have been hurt, Christ can heal you. Once you are healed: you can help Christ heal others.
In these scriptures in Luke we read about three women that Jesus had healed. They were healed of evil spirits and unnamed infirmities. Once they where healed by Jesus they began to play a vital role in the healing process of others. Women being vitally involved during this time period was virtually unheard of.
We read of Mary called Magdalene. Jesus cast seven devils out of her life. In the Bible the number seven signifies completeness: so we can understand that the devil had complete control of Mary. Because of her healing Mary became completely devoted to Jesus: Mary had been set free! She knew what slavery to sin was like and now she knew what being set free was like.
So how do we help Jesus heal people? Healed people have a special connection to Jesus: they have a personal testimony of His mercy and power. Healed people are not out for personal recognition: they do not have an image to protect. Healed people use their personal means to be involved in the healing process of others.