An Everlasting Empire – Part 1 of 3

God is Still in Charge
The magnificent and gracious God of the Bible is the great Architect and Maker of this world. He has left his imprint everywhere—all around us—plain to see for anyone who isn’t blinded by doubt and unbelief.

Vanity and Rebellion
In its conceit and rebellion against the Lord, humankind, for the most part, views its role on this planet in much more lofty terms than is warranted. For example, the claim that the earth’s climate is changing significantly as a result of human activity defies certain basic scientific facts—such as, just one large volcanic eruption is able to alter the world’s temperature, weather patterns and ozone layer for years—as dramatically happened when Mt. Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines in 1991. Also, regular, natural weather phenomena, such as the El Niño cycle in the Pacific Ocean, affect weather around the world far more than any regular human activity ever could.

But, because people are basically egocentric, they are subject to all-too-frequent bouts of delusion and sophistry. Though the Bible warns us to not think of ourselves more highly than we ought (see Romans 12:3), that sober advice has fallen on deaf ears when it comes to most of humanity.

However ingenious or well-meaning, nearly every human endeavor reflects the foibles and sinful nature of the human race.

The Ebb and Flow of Human Empires
When any nation attempts to build a grandiose empire—as many have attempted—the ultimate result, usually just a few years (or generations) later, is failure and moral decadence. This has been the case with the mighty empires that have come and gone from the world scene over the millennia—from ancient Babylon and Rome to the present day. To be sure, the very soul of these conquering nations has been sacrificed as they violently and cruelly trampled on and pillaged other peoples and nations in the quest for supremacy. 

In more recent times, for example, the once “Great Britain,” whose empire stretched across the planet (said to be an empire on which “the sun never set”), is now a pathetic shadow of its former greatness, particularly in terms of morality. For the most part, “truth has fallen in the street” (see Isaiah 59:14), the moral relativity of political correctness has set in, and the British have seemingly lost their moral compass—to the point that various forms of wickedness, such as abortion and sexual perversion, are not merely tolerated, but have been elevated to a twisted, even special, status of approbation.

The American Empire which superseded that of the British is also on the wane—with its end just over the horizon. What a few years ago was called the “only remaining superpower” will soon be finding its place in the dustbin of history’s empires. The “indispensable nation” will indeed find that it does have a replacement.

The Fate of the New World Order
The Bible shows just where all of this is headed—including the fate of the “New World Order”—which is rapidly coming into being, replacing the American Empire. Its blend of an all-inclusive, pantheistic global religion, along with technological and financial control, is intended to result in a “full spectrum dominance” over humanity—with the global masters in charge, of course, “for the benefit of humanity.” It is a “Brave New World” they have in mind, one that has no place for the True and Living God of the Bible. 

This is what is planned for us—but God has already revealed what He has in mind—and what the world’s fate shall be.

Stay tuned… for the second installment of “An Everlasting Empire!” 

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Until the next time, walk in the Spirit… and be a blessing!

Dr. Peter

Joyful and Blessed!

Joyful and Blessed!

Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, who do not hang around with sinners, scoffing at the things of God. Psalm 1:1 

Being careful about what we listen to as well as “how” we hear what’s directed our way may seem like just good common sense to many—but, then again, if you have more than a few years “under your belt,” you’ve probably discovered that “common sense” isn’t all that common!

As the sage words the psalmist penned nearly three thousand years ago warn us, a person should always consider the source of what he or she hears and be careful about the company we are keeping.

Voices All Around

In this modern-day world of electronic media, there is a multitude of voices around us seeking to grab our attention and offer us advice. Though many seem to be like harmless “noise,” of little consequence, nearly all extol what amounts to be the “wisdom of the world”—which is beguilingly attractive to the average person.

While the world is busily trying to mold everyone into a particular image—those who are Christian believers are called to be conformed to Jesus Christ—looking to him, doing as He says, and abiding in his presence.

Bombarded by Propaganda

The world is basically instructing all of us about what is a proper way of thinking and being, and seemingly has our “best interests” at heart, but its “counsel,”—which amounts to little more than propaganda—is, in reality, almost always pernicious. Worldly advice appeals to the carnal nature in each one of us—what “looks good” and usually seems to be the “easy way,” that is, when considered in terms of selfish interests or short-term gain.

Over the years in my Christian walk, I’ve been “put off” by a superficial form of Christianity that never has a cost to it and really amounts to a free membership in a grand “bless me” club. Yes, God does bless his people on a continual basis. There are many benefits to serving him, and we shouldn’t discount or neglect them, by any means.

Stay on Course

But, considering that there is also an enemy of our soul who seeks to destroy those of us who are following after Jesus Christ, blessings are just part of the story. The “accuser of the brethren,” the one who Jesus called “the Father of Lies,” tries to bring difficulty and persecution our way at any opportunity he can get. That’s a part of spiritual reality—and we should accept it as such. Beloved, our blessings come with persecution (see Mark 10:30 and 2 Timothy 3:12)—it’s to be expected!

And the “counsel of the ungodly” serves one main purpose—to divert us from the destiny to which the Lord has called us.

True Contentment and Blessing

Rather, be vigilant and be strengthened by God’s Holy Spirit.

Reject the counsel of the unbelievers who scoff at God’s holy and precious Word and who take obedience to the Lord and service in his kingdom lightly. By doing so, you will find yourself in a place of true contentment and blessing!

The blessing of the LORD makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it. Proverbs 10:12

 

 

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Until the next time, walk in the Spirit… and be a blessing!

Dr. Peter

  

 

He Took Our Pain

As you’re probably aware, drug use— both legal and illegal—has spread far-and-wide across the globe over the last two generations. The use of pharmaceutical drugs to relieve physical pain and psychological afflictions such as anxiety, depression, phobias, and even psychoses has increased to mind-boggling proportions. And of course, illegal drug use has become a deadly serious problem in much of the world. 

One of the reasons for the spiraling increase in drug use is that, as some observers of the human condition have commented, we’ve been living in an “Age of Anxiety.” Indeed; but it’s increasingly apparent that in recent decades matters have taken a turn for the worse. For much of humanity, it has become as if we are now living in something more like an “Age of Pain and Suffering.” That this is true is attested to by skyrocketing sales of pills and potions across the planet to deal with the pain and suffering of all manner of physical and mental disorders and, at the same time, increasing pressure on society to mainstream what some have called “recreational” drug use.  

For many of the world’s inhabitants the “Age of Anxiety” has been morphing into the “Age of Pain and Suffering.”   

And what about you? Have you yourself been suffering? Are you in pain? If so, you should be aware that there is a remedy for your condition that doesn’t involve “Big Pharma” or drugs.

Someone has made a cure with you in mind. In fact, He has made himself available to alleviate your condition. As the prophet Isaiah wrote more than 2700 years ago, a unique person sent by God would one day take our suffering upon himself and bear our pains (see Isaiah 53:4). That person indeed did come along—and his name is Jesus Christ (Yeshua HaMashiach)!

Jesus, our pain medication and our remedy for suffering!

Friend, pharmaceutical remedies have side effects that sometimes can be worse than the original condition. But Jesus Christ can bring healing and wholeness to your life—providing not only what you need to overcome misery and pain—but also with added blessings and benefits.

You don’t have to “go it alone”—Jesus is willing to be there right with you.

All He asks is that you trust in him.

Why not do that right now?

Believing in your heart, say these words: Jesus, I believe you have borne pain and suffering for me so that I myself can experience restoration and wholeness. I place my total being in your hands. Save me. Bring me out of this condition I’m in. My hope and trust is in you. Thank you for hearing my plea and being my Healer and Savior! I ask this in your name. Amen!

Be assured—there is power in heartfelt, faith-filled words. God will see to it that heaven’s power enters into your personal situation of pain and suffering! Believe it…expect it… and you will see!!

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Until the next time, walk in the Spirit… and be a blessing!

Dr. Peter

  

A Worthy Legacy

Legacy—it’s what’s left behind after a person is gone from the scene—passed on to eternity.  

The question is: What kind of legacy will each one of us be leaving? One of having lived a life solely for “I, me, my and mine”grabbing all you can, chasing after money and personal pleasure your whole life? Or perhaps some kind of troublesome legacy like a life filled with resentment and bitterness, having been bound by the chains of a grudge you’ve held against those who’ve wronged you. Or maybe another type of toxic legacysuch as, a life of addiction or immorality, having lived a sin-soaked life which has consumed your very being?  

Hopefully, however, you’re a person who has purposed to leave behind a more worthy, inspirational example for others—one that’s rooted and grounded in the love of God. If so, your legacy will be a blessing to those who’ve known you during your earthly sojourn, as you’ve passed on enduring values and generosity of spirit which can then be transmitted from one generation to the next.

Without a doubt, anyone concerned about their legacy should do their best to leave a material blessing behind, an inheritance, commensurate to the prosperity with which God has graced them during their life. But material “things” shouldn’t be the main focus of a person’s legacy. For even if someone is able to bequeath great wealth to others, their largesse may be squandered in short order if the recipients lack wisdom, character, or godly values.

The baby-boomer generation, of which I’m a part, is fading fast from the scene. As our influence wanes, it behooves us to pass the torch to others. And for each succeeding generation to do likewise.

But are you even carrying a torch? Has your life up to this point even been an example worthy of emulating?

  • Have you stood for truth, God’s truth—or have you lived a life of expediency and compromise?
  • Are you even seeking after God and his ways? Or are you preoccupied with “doing your own thing?”
  • Have you even considered what type of legacy you are leaving behind when you are gone?

Jesus Christ said that God’s children must pick up their cross daily and follow his lead. The Master also told us that loving him means obeying him. 

Living a godly life is a worthy legacy—one that is self-sacrificing and in service to God and his kingdom here on earth, one that hasn’t bent it’s knee to the “god of this world”—the corrupter, the deceiver, who is Satan, the devil. At the very center of such a legacy needs to be “Christ in you, the hope of glory,” (Col 1:27), manifested by your dependence on True and Living God and his presence in your life. If such is the case, your relationship with him will be reflected by living a life of honesty, integrity, faithfulness, and operating in the God-kind of love. Your godly character and actions will then serve as a model, and even a legacy, for those around you.

Are you occupied with bringing “heaven to earth?” If you are a child of the Most High God then God’s light, truth, spirit and power should exude from you no matter what your circumstance. By its very presence within you, the love of God dwelling in your heart will overflow to others and transform the spiritual atmosphere wherever you are and wherever you go.

Now, THAT is a spiritual legacy worth emulating!

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Until the next time, walk in the Spirit… and be a blessing!

Dr. Peter

Grace – Above What We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine – Part 8 of 8

Reigning in Life

Those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:17)

Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! (1Corinthians 15:57) 

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We’ve already seen that God’s grace is bestowed on us by a person—the Lord Jesus Christ. In his earthly ministry He showed a matchless ability to operate in grace without limits—for it was by grace He was able to conquer even death and hell.

Some may say, “Well, that’s fine for him, because, after all, He’s the Son of God. But it doesn’t mean much for me, an ‘ordinary’ Christian believer.” But that, my friend, is far from the truth.

The “resurrection power” on Jesus Christ defeated the power of the grave, for all-time. That makes all the difference for us who are in God’s family. Because of what He’s already done, we’re able to obtain eternal life. And yet, there is even more.

Scripture tells us that by his resurrection, Jesus became the “firstborn of many brethren.”[1] So, He is our “elder brother,” in that we who are born-again are also the spiritual offspring of our heavenly Father. As such, the same Bible passage also reveals that we’ve been chosen by God to be like Jesus and partake of his glory. Indeed, the grace of resurrection power is on us as well!

Not only will we be resurrected to everlasting glory at a future time, but we’ve also been given the power to perform mighty spiritual exploits, such as raising the dead, here in this life, just as Jesus did! It’s by faith we obtain the promises of God, and by God’s grace we rule and reign here over the power of spiritual darkness.

Jesus’ authority is now our authority. As He declared to his disciples, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me…[2] When He said “all authority,” Jesus meant that nothing has been left out or remains outside his dominion. That’s part of what it means to operate in “grace without limits.” And, as we’re reminded in several passages in the New Testament, God’s desire is for the grace of Jesus Christ to be with us all! Indeed, our heavenly Father intends for us to reign in life by means of the overflowing, abundant grace of Jesus Christ upon us and operating through us.

The Scriptures also reveal that we who are in God’s family have been “raised up” with our Savior and are now “seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus.”[3] Being “seated” with him in the heavenlies refers to our spiritual authority in him—here and now, at this time, for “…as He is, so are we in this world.”[4] Though it may be difficult for us to fathom, according to the Word of God, we’ve been given the same spiritual authority that Jesus wielded when He walked here on earth as well as the authority He now exercises as He is seated in heaven—the “capital” of all creation! Let the truth of that spiritual reality sink in. And when you start to understand the mind-boggling implications of our being able to operate in his authority, you will be astounded!

By the power of God’s grace, we are able to transform the spiritual darkness of the world surrounding us, just as, by lighting a candle, we can dispel darkness in the physical realm. By its very nature, light overcomes darkness. Indeed, darkness is incapable of withstanding the power of light. And so it is with us who are called to be “the light of the world.”[5] The light which we bear rules over the force of spiritual gloom, overcoming it by God’s grace. Yes, as the Scripture says, the greater One lives in us![6] This spiritual truth is one of the key aspects of what it means to reign in life through Jesus Christ.

On the other hand, there are many non-believers, who are either unfamiliar with the Scriptures or have rejected the truth of God’s Word, who are blind to the spiritual reality of the need for God’s grace. More than a few of these folks are preoccupied, even obsessed, with selfish ambition and pursuing affluence. They busy themselves greedily seeking after riches, believing that if they could obtain “more” than what they already have they would become masters of their own fate, and thereby reign in life. One phrase that typifies their avaricious bent is their perverse rendering of “Golden Rule” from the Bible namely, to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”     replacing it with their supposedly clever, worldly adage, “He who has the gold, rules.” Even though wealth may be the answer to a few of life’s problems, riches don’t guarantee, for example, that a person will live in health or even be able to tame an unruly household, showing that even with riches a person isn’t reigning over much of anything. Added to their conundrum, is that wealth, including gold, oftentimes proves to be fleeting.[7] Thus, for a person to live according to a value system based on such a flawed precept like “He (or she) who has the gold, rules,” is as foolish as a person who builds a sand castle on a beach close to the waves of an incoming tide.

No, as the Word of God has revealed: ruling and reigning in life is by God’s grace. As we walk in grace his favor is upon us. His grace is sufficient for our every need.[8] Our victory over spiritual darkness is guaranteed for “no weapon formed against us will prosper.”[9] As the Scripture declares, “Let God be true and every man a liar.[10]

My friend, God’s grace is as necessary as the air we breathe. It sustains us and enables us to fulfill our purpose and destiny in life. By God’s grace we’ve been made to be “more than conquerors through him who loved us.”[11] Therein lies our victory. And by his grace we are able to reign in life!

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This eighth installment concludes our series which has unveiled several key Biblical truths concerning grace. And so, until the next time, walk in the Spirit… and be a blessing!

Dr. Peter

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[1] See Romans 8:29,30

[2] Matthew 28:18

[3] See Ephesians 2:6

[4] 1 John 4:17

[5] See Matthew 5:14

[6] See 1 John 4:4

[7] See Proverbs 23:5

[8] 2 Corinthians 12:9

[9] Isaiah 54:17

[10] Romans 3:4

[11] Romans 8:37

Grace – Above What We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine – Part 7 of 8

Overflowing Grace             

 And God is able to make every grace overflow to you,                                                  so that in every way, always having everything you need, you may excel in every good work.  (2 Corinthians 9:8)

But He gives greater grace. That is why Scripture  says: “God sets Himself against the proud and  haughty, but gives grace to those who are humble enough to receive it.”  (James 4:6)

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Though there is nothing you can do to “earn” God’s favor, a person is quite capable of limiting the Lord’s grace in his or her life. When it comes to grace, the insightful adage, “your attitude determines your altitude,” rings true in many ways.

Now, when studying the Scriptures, whenever we discover a phrase or an idea repeated twice or more, we should regard it like a flashing light trying to get our attention. And so, it would behoove a person to pay special attention to the truth which God has repeated. In the case of grace, both the apostle James and the apostle Peter wrote of the same spiritual reality: The Lord resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (see James 4:6, 12 and 1 Peter 5:5).

Self-will, which is rooted in pride, causes God to step back and refrain from pouring out his grace upon an individual. When a person isn’t seeking after the Lord or refuses to submit to his will when it’s been revealed, why would we ever think that He’d empower that person in their waywardness? Newsflash: He will not!

Unfortunately, more than a few Christians intentionally steer clear from delving into the subject of grace because they have the mistaken idea that grace gives a person “a license to sin.” However, nothing could be further from the truth! God’s grace upon us gives us the wherewithal to overcome temptation and sin. It is only by his grace—and not our own self-will or perseverance—that we are able to come out on the victory side against sin.

Both apostles who wrote that humility is the key to receiving greater grace in our lives were referring to a “submitted life”—one in which a person’s deepest desire is to know God and his ways. Another aspect of humility is that a person is “teachable.” Being a “know-it-all” results in a person being “on their own”—because the flow of God’s grace will be thwarted.

On Jesus’ last night with his disciples, in the Upper Room, just prior to being taken away to be crucified, He told them, “”I am the true vine… you are the branches…  you can do nothing without Me. If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you” (John 15:1,5,7). God’s enabling power comes from the True Vine, Jesus Christ. God’s grace flows from him to and through his followers, those who abide in him and his Word.

In short, grace comes from a person—the person of Jesus Christ. And as we humble ourselves before the Master, we receive an overflow from his throne room of grace—power from on high!

Be encouraged! No matter what circumstances you may face, if you will seek the Lord with all your heart, He will pour out his grace upon you. And it will meet your every need.

For this reason, many of the letters in the New Testament, as well as the Book of Revelation, conclude with the phrase, “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you all.” Let it be so in your life! Amen.

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Until the next time, which will be our final installment in this series on grace, walk in the Spirit… and be a blessing!

Dr. Peter

Grace – Above What We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine – Part 6 of 8

God’s Grace Will Make a Way!

Indeed, we have all received grace upon grace from His fullness(John 1:16)

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Led by the Spirit of the Living God, Jesus Christ blazed a trail for every believer to follow. In him we see grace without measure—grace… upon grace… upon grace.

Amazingly, for those who He’s redeemed, and have been adopted into his family, the Lord has provided a generous endowment of grace. Not only do we receive his unmerited favor, but also grace by which we can live an overcoming life.

For each and every one who’s been “saved by grace through faith,” the Lord has made provision to continually “walk in grace”—and even to do the “greater works” which Jesus said his followers would be able to do (see John 14:12). Yes, God’s desire is for all who abide in him to walk in “grace upon grace!

But, it’s clear that many of God’s spiritual offspring are ignorant and misinformed as to God’s true desire for them. As a result, far too many of God’s children operate on a spiritual level far below what He has in mind, not even knowing that He has something much better for them. Instead of being the overcomers in life that the Lord has enabled each one of us to be, they behave like “sheep to the slaughter,” passively accepting the afflictions of their enemy, Satan, who beats them down with adversity and defeat. As a result, instead of walking in the power of God’s grace, they are like captives, adapting to the circumstances which oppress them because they view themselves as victims rather than victors—all because of their ignorance of God’s precious and holy Word! As the prophet Hosea wrote, God’s people “…are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6).

God’s grace will make a way where there is no way. It will not only transform us but will change our circumstances as well. But there is one thing we need to do: extend our faith toward our heavenly Father. When we do this, we activate his grace which is available to meet our every need. Indeed, trusting in God, and in his goodness and power, is capable of moving mountains!

On the other hand, ignorance of the magnitude of God’s grace, and his willingness to make it available on our behalf, inevitably means that the “world” will have its way with us. And, as the Scripture tells us, “Satan is the god of this world” (see 2 Corinthians 4:4), which means that we will have succumbed to being under Satan’s “thumb.”

A believer who is ignorant of God’s grace is like a person who is living from paycheck to paycheck because he doesn’t know that a rich relative has made a huge deposit into his account. Even though the fellow could draw untold riches from his account at any time, because he doesn’t know what’s in his account, he struggles to survive as best he can, living on “barely get along” street. All because he hasn’t bothered to check what’s in his account.

One thing is for sure: all of us need to renew our minds with the Word of God! We also have to get with God’s program—which us far above anything we could have imagined ourselves!

Meditate on the Word. Spend time in God’s presence. Put the Word in your mouth. Be inspired and motivated by the fire of the Holy Spirit.

Do these things and you live in greater grace and inexorably move toward God’s best in your life!

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Until the next time, walk in the Spirit… and be a blessing!

Dr. Peter

Grace – Above What We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine – Part 5 of 8

 

Jesus Christ: Grace Multiplied

Indeed, we have all received grace after grace from His fullness… (John 1:16)

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In Jesus Christ the fullness of grace is revealed as it rested upon and flowed through him throughout his time of ministry. The awesome miracles performed by Jesus, his keen ability to read the hearts of those around him, the simple yet profound truths He taught, the power of the words He spoke, the impenetrable, supernatural protection which surrounded him, and the closeness of the relationship He had with our heavenly Father, all reflected the manifold grace that was upon him and operated through him.

We can see the compassionate side of grace in Jesus when a leper kneeled before him, asking to be healed. The Scripture tells us that he, “…reached out and touched him… and instantly the leprosy disappeared” (see Matthew 8:2,3). Considering that lepers were outcasts from society, deemed “unclean” by Levitical Law, and “untouchable,” the man undoubtedly experienced scorn and was shunned from the day he was declared leprous. But Jesus, full of grace mixed with compassion for this lonely and bereft being, reached out and touched him!

It was by the power of grace-filled words that Jesus raised a boy, the only son of a widow, from the dead. It happened one day when He and his disciples were walking toward a small village. As they approached the village gate, a funeral procession was coming out. Seeing the distraught mother alongside the body of her son being carried on a stretcher, Jesus went over to touch the stretcher. As the pallbearers came to a stop, the Master commanded, “Young man, I tell you: Get up!” And at that instant, the boy’s body came back to life and the lad sat up and he began to speak. And so, Jesus gave him back to his mother—raised from the dead!

The grace for healing was present in Jesus Christ in an abundant overflow. For example, as Jesus was walking through a crowd one day, a woman came up from behind him and touched the fringe of his robe. She had been suffering for twelve years from a condition that had caused her to bleed constantly. But, at the moment she touched his garment the bleeding stopped. The grace for healing was a well-spring within Jesus and she had drawn from the reservoir of that power with her faith.

The Gospels also record many occasions that the powerful grace upon Jesus set captives free, delivering them from demonic possession. One time, after crossing the Sea of Galilee in a boat, Jesus was immediately confronted by a demon-possessed man (see Luke 8:26-39). The crazed person had worn no clothes for a long time and did not live in a house, staying instead in the tombs outside of town. He terrorized anyone who came near him his wild behavior. But Jesus challenged the foul spirits inside the man, commanding them to come out of him—and they did! As soon as the news of this dramatic event reached town, many townspeople went out to see what had happened. They came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had departed, sitting at Jesus’ feet, clothed and in his right mind. Not only had he been set free from the demons but shortly thereafter he went all through the town proclaiming the great things Jesus had done.

Indeed, in these incidents, as well as in myriad others recorded in the Gospels, Jesus demonstrated that the mighty power of God’s grace can overcome any force and heal any condition—including demon spirits, incurable diseases, and even the power of death.

Clearly, God’s manifold grace was dislayed in the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ in awesome ways. Indeed, He showed us that by God’s grace all things are possible!

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Of course, there are also many other things that Jesus did, which, if every one of them were written down, the world couldn’t contain the books that would be written. (John 21:25)

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Until the next time, walk in the Spirit… and be a blessing!

Dr. Peter

Grace – Above What We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine – Part 4 of 8

Jesus Christ: The Personification of Grace

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14) 

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Having already delved into the truth that God’s grace is prodigiously manifested throughout the Old Testament—starting with the Creation of all that is as well as in the Garden of Edenlet’s now turn to the subject of grace in the New Testament.

There we find that grace is embodied in the person of Jesus Christ. Indeed, God’s love and grace are at the very core of his being. And so, the supernatural essence of grace, and its centrality to the Gospel message, becomes overwhelmingly apparent in and through God’s dear Son.

The awesome power of God’s grace was abundantly displayed throughout Jesus’ ministry. After being baptized in the Jordan River, when the Holy Spirit descended upon him like a dove (see Matthew 3:16), Jesus started to manifest the supernatural endowment of God’s anointing for all to see.

 

Being led by the Spirit, one of his first public preaching “assignments” was at the synagogue in his boyhood hometown, Nazareth. There, He read from one of the messianic prophecies of Isaiah (that the “The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor…” [see Luke 4:18]). When He finished preaching, He rolled up the scroll and said, “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!”

Since the congregation was blind to Jesus’ true identity, considering him as nothing more than the son of a local carpenter named Joseph, such words struck them as an outrageous blasphemy against the Lord. They became so furious that they mobbed Jesus and forced him to the edge of the hill on which the village was built, intending to push him over the cliff.

But, as the Scripture (Luke 4:20) informs us, “…he passed right through the crowd and went on his way.” Indeed, God’s grace was upon him—and protected him like a “guard-all” shield! They had tried to kill the “upstart” preacher from among their midst, but they could not!

And, as we shall see, that was just the beginning of the exploits of Jesus Christ in the spirit realm. The wisdom with which He taught and the miracles He performed throughout his three and a half years of ministry were all manifestations of the grace of God that was upon him.

Truly, God’s grace upon the Lord Jesus Christ was greater than most believers can even imagine!

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Until the next time, walk in the Spirit… and be a blessing!

Dr. Peter

Grace – Above What We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine – Part 3 of 8

Grace in the Old Testament

God’s great grace is displayed throughout the Scriptures—from his marvelous act of Creation of everything that is, as described in the first chapter of the Book of Genesis, to the closing verses of the Book of Revelation, which tell of his grace upon us and the soon return of Jesus Christ for his people.

Many fail to see or realize that God’s grace is abundantly displayedeven throughout the Old Testament.

For example, after Eve committed high treason against God by disobediently eating the forbidden fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the Lord still chose to use her as an instrument of judgement over her wily tempter, the serpent (i.e., Satan). As the Lord prophesied, one of Eve’s descendants would one day “crush the head” of the serpent, delivering humanity from the power of Satan’s grasp. In other words, God’s grace was upon Eve, and her descendants, despite her terrible deed of rebellion.

God displayed his grace time and again when He chose men like Abraham, Noah, Moses, and others, to serve him and his purposes. Clearly, these were imperfect men and none of them were worthy in and of themselves.

It was only by God’s grace that Noah and his family were saved from a worldwide deluge. God’s judgement enveloped the entire earth, but the grace of God rested upon Noah and his family.

God entered into an everlasting covenant with Abraham by which all the families of the earth would be blessed. Indeed, that unbreakable promise is a powerful display of God’s grace.

The heavenly manna which wafted down from the sky like dew and fed the children of Israel in the wilderness for forty years was a tangible, daily display of God’s mercy and grace, especially in light of the Hebrew’s constant complaints as they wandered.

Joshua, when leading an entourage of Levitical priests, musicians, and warriors as they circled around the walls of Jericho, experienced a tremendous manifestation of God’s grace when, upon the Lord’s instruction, they blew their trumpets and shouted all at once, and  Jericho’s walls came tumbling down. At that instant God’s grace came in the form of supernatural, miraculous power displayed on behalf of his people.

We need to expand our thinking, and when we do, we’ll find that God’s great grace is manifested everywhere, in both the Old and New Testaments—and in our lives, especially as we cooperate with God’s purposes.

God’s grace truly is greater than we imagine!

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Until the next time, walk in the Spirit… and be a blessing!

Dr. Peter