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Posts Tagged ‘Grace’

I’ve wanted to blog about this topic for a while now and just when I got ready to sit down and write the post things changed and I felt that I cannot write about it, because what do I know after all? Well, things have changed again, for the worse, and then I got some awesome messages to confirm what I wanted to write about originally, so maybe, maybe it is the right time and circumstances to write about this.

In January I was at my wits end. The festive season had just ended and G-force was totally out of his routine. It was so hard to try to stick to any kind of routine when one is constantly either busy entertaining or invited to visit someone else. When we have visitors or when we visit other people G-force generally does not want to nap in the afternoon, and try as we might, he will fight and fight until we eventually give up. Often he also does not want to go to sleep when it’s his regular bed time.  Being out of routine also resulted in him not sleeping well during the night and many nights he would wake me up 2-4 times, often starting as early as 22h00 or 23h00.

By the middle of January I was completely exhausted and felt like I was going to have a breakdown. Well one night when he was once again struggling to sleep and it was 21h30 or so already I just started crying and said to the Lord: “Lord, I just cannot do this anymore! I am soooo tired! I need sleep, and I need to sleep right through the night! Lord, I give up. I have tried everything and nothing works! I don’t know what else to do. I just cannot do this anymore; I now give this over to you Lord, because I have no idea what to do…”

Eventually G-force went to sleep and I stumbled to bed and fell asleep immediately. Much to my surprise DH woke me up the next morning at 6h30 to get G-force ready for school. For the first time in what felt like forever I had slept straight from about 22h00 to 6h30. Immediately I thanked and praised the Lord because I knew it was only due to His grace. This was not a once off occurrence either. From that night G-force’s sleeping habits changed from waking many times a night most nights and only occasionally sleeping through the night to sleeping through most of the time and only waking up once and then only occasionally.

That was until the somewhere in the beginning of April. Slowly but surely he would start to wake around 4 or 5 in the morning and then often he would wake up anytime from about midnight to 2 also. Once again the nights where he slept through were few and far in between. I was at a loss. What to do, because last time we really did not do anything! How to fix this problem? I asked the Lord to help again, because let’s face it, it was thanks to His doing that things got better.

There was absolutely no explanation why G-force was waking up in the night again. We thought that he might be cold, because it was getting colder, but warming his room did not help. Eventually a week ago I finally figured it out.

G-force told me that there is something in his mouth that is hurting it. Sometimes when he has something stuck between his teeth he will come to me and ask me to remove it by flossing his teeth. He wanted me to do that again, but he was pointing to the back of his mouth where his one molar is. So I washed my hand and stuck my finger in there to pinpoint where the problem is as I couldn’t see anything and what do you know? I felt a new molar peeking through. Poor little guy, I barely touched it but he howled in pain. So now we know what is the most probable cause for the poor sleeping. But you know what? We’ve been giving him teething meds on and off already since that was one of the suspects already. We then started to give it to him regularly and even adding another kind, and it still did not work. In desperation I bought a Baltic amber teething necklace last week and he’s been wearing it since Thursday. So far no improvement yet…

Last night he woke up at 22h00, 1h30, 4h00 and about 5h30. Lately I’m also having trouble getting back to sleep once G-force wakes me, fortunately this morning it was at 5h30 and not one of the other times in the middle of the night… I cannot explain to anyone how tired I am. I’ve been feeling like a zombie for about a month already. DH tries to help, but G-force wants nothing to do with him in the middle of the night. He only wants me and he wants to nurse. He refuses everything else.

In January already, after the incident I described, the Holy Spirit reminded me of the following scriptures:

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (AMP):
“7 And to keep me from being puffed up and too much elated by the exceeding greatness (pre-eminence) of these revelations, there was given me a thorn (a splinter) in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to rack and buffet and harass me, to keep me from being excessively exalted. 8 Three times I called upon the Lord and besought [Him] about this and begged that it might depart from me; 9 But He said to me, My grace (My favour and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me! 10 So for the sake of Christ, I am well pleased and take pleasure in infirmities, insults, hardships, persecutions, perplexities and distresses; for when I am weak [in human strength], then am I [truly] strong (able, powerful in divine strength).”

For the first time I really realized what Paul meant when he said; “for when I’m weak, then I am strong…” When we are weak and know it and rely on Jesus, not on our own efforts – that is when we are strong, not with our own strength, but the strength that we receive through God’s grace.

I knew all this yet it once again took quite some time to admit that I am weak, and that I need God’s grace to make me strong again…Last week I came to that point again, and I’m still there. Thankfully Abba, Father God is so merciful, and one morning I switched on the TV to watch a program on TBN, and God gave me three awesome programs to watch, the one straight after the other. The first one I watched was Cref.lo Dol.lar, the second one Joy.ce Mey.er and then the best one, Jo.seph Prin.ce.

I specifically want to mention the program of Jo.seph Prin.ce; it’s called: “Great Grace for your greatest weakness – Sermon # 352”. I can highly recommend that every single person reading this gets hold of this sermon and listen to it as many times as possible. He mentions Abraham and Sarah, Manoah and his wife and Zachariah and Elizabeth, and them being barren for so many years, and how in their weakest moments they were able to have a child, but not any child, these children had supernatural favour upon them. He also speaks specifically to people who have lost a child/baby or who have been barren and prophesies how we will birth champions, just like these people in the Bible did.

I was so grateful for this message – I’m sure God was speaking directly to me – as if he inspired Jo.seph Prin.ce to preach this message for me, but I know it’s not only for me, all of you who are reading this blog will also probably feel the same 😉 !

It’s not just the fact that I’m so tired that makes me feel so weak. I’ve felt weak too about conceiving our second child, and I’ve actually also gave that matter all over to the Lord a few weeks ago, as well as other areas in our lives, like our finances, my business and even raising G-force…

I cannot wait to see manifestation of God’s super abounding Grace in these areas!

(I thought I’ve blogged about Paul’s thorn in the flesh before, but it seems that I haven’t. Many people think that Paul’s thorn in the flesh is some kind of sickness caused by God to make him weak – that is not the case. Paul’s thorn was not God’s doing, and if you want to learn more about what it is then please read this message of An.drew Wom.mack)

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Gosh, it has been a while since I’ve blogged! I’m concentrating more on the Bible studies lately, and I must say it’s taking a lot more time to do each Bible study than I thought, but it has blessed me incredibly! Who would have thought that just refreshing your mind with truths you already know will bless one so much! It’s good to spend time in God’s Word and it is really good for one’s soul!

Studying God’s word has also helped me to see a couple of things differently. While I’ve been studying the Covenants, how graceful the Lord is and that our sins are not imputed on to us anymore, it’s helped me to realize that none of God’s blessings is dependent on me or my performance. All the blessings are pure grace (undeserved, unearned, unmerited favour) and it all depends only on Jesus’ performance at Calvary, and since His performance was perfect and it is finished, whatever I do or don’t do will not affect God’s grace towards me.

How freeing is that! All the pressure I had put on myself is suddenly all gone! I am free now to worship God and thank Jesus for His wonderful sacrifice and relax about all the things that bother or worry me. It feels like I am walking on clouds, I feel like singing and dancing and rejoicing all day, because God is sooooooo good! For some reason I keep thinking, “Our future is so bright, we’ve got to wear shades!” 😉

Then 2 days ago I got this daily devotional from Jo.seph Prin.ce in my inbox and it just confirmed all that the Holy Spirit has been showing me lately:

Song of Solomon 4:7:  You are all fair, my love, and there is no spot in you.

“Sometimes, when we don’t receive our healing, breakthrough, restoration or miracle child, we can’t help but think that something is wrong with us. We tell ourselves, “Nothing’s wrong with God, nothing’s wrong with the Word, so something must be wrong with me!” My friend, if you think that your miracle depends on you, then you are on shaky ground.

In the old covenant, we see this “it’s all up to me” demand put on man. God’s part was to bless His people, but only if they played their part by obeying all of His laws. If they didn’t do their part, not only would they not be blessed, but the curse would also come on them.

Most of the time, they ended up under the curse because they just could not keep all of God’s laws. So God found fault with that covenant because though He wanted to bless man, man’s sins made it difficult for Him to do so. Man himself was the weak link.

In the new covenant, man has no part to play except to believe and receive. The new covenant of grace was cut between God the Father and God the Son—both infallible and more than able to keep the covenant.

God the Son is man’s representative. Jesus represents you and me. So in this covenant, how much we can receive from God depends on how good our representative is, how perfect His obedience is. Of course, Jesus is the perfect Man with perfect obedience. So in Him, we are qualified to receive all the blessings of God! We only need to believe and receive.

Jesus’ blood has been shed for the remission of all your sins. You are now the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21) By His one perfect sacrifice, He has perfected you forever. (Hebrews 10:14, KJV) There is no spot in you!

Today, the devil has no right to tell you that you cannot be blessed because there is something wrong with you. So as you are waiting for your miracle, say, “Nothing’s wrong with God, nothing’s wrong with the Word and nothing’s wrong with me! I am going to receive my miracle!”

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This is from Jo.seph Prin.ce’s book Destined to Reign:

“I want to show you two Bible stories that effectively contrast law and grace.  These stories are found in Luke chapters 18 and 19.  In Luke 18:18-23, we have the story of the rich young ruler who came to Jesus and asked, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”  Now, think about this question for a moment.  What should the right evangelical answer be?

The right evangelical answer should be, “Believe on Me and you will inherit eternal life.” But that was not what Jesus said to him.  Instead, Jesus gave him the Law of Moses, saying, “You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not bear false witness, honour your father and your mother.’” Jesus gave him the Ten Commandments.  Why?  Because the young ruler came with pride, believing that he could do something to earn and deserve eternal life.  Whenever you come boasting in your efforts, Jesus will give you the Law of Moses.

Now, listen to what the young man said in response to Jesus, “All these things I have kept from my youth.”  Amazing!  This man actually claimed that he had kept all the Ten Commandments from his youth!  Like the Pharisees, some people really think that they are able to keep all the laws of Moses, not knowing that they have lowered God’s law to a place where they think they can keep it.  Jesus came to bring the law back to its pristine standard – not only must there be an outward adherence to the law, there must also be an inward adherence.  Jesus showed that God’s law is beyond man’s own efforts.  The young man was probably expecting Jesus to compliment him on his law-keeping, and was feeling really confident of himself.  But notice what Jesus said to him.  Instead of complimenting him, He said, “One thing you still lack.”

You see every time you still boast in your law-keeping, Jesus will find something that you lack.  In this case, He told the young man to sell all that he had, give it to the poor and follow Him.  The young man had boasted that he had kept all the commandments, but now, Jesus was giving him the very first commandment:  “You shall have no other gods before Me,” (not even money) (Exodus 20:3) and look at what happened.  The young ruler walked away, sorrowful.  He was not even able to give one dollar to the Lord!

Think about the amazing privilege to follow Jesus, Jesus gave the man an opportunity to follow Him, but the man could not because he could not bear to part with his wealth.  In all his boasting, he could not even keep the very first commandment.

My friend, if you come to the Lord full of self-righteousness, boasting in your ability to keep the law, He will show you that, according to the law, there is “one thing you still lack”.

Grace opens your heart

Now, let’s go over to Luke 19:1-10.  Jesus walked into Jericho and a crowd gathered to see Him.  Then, as He passed by a sycamore tree, He looked up and saw Zacchaeus, short, little Zacchaeus who had climbed the tree hoping to catch a glimpse of Jesus as He walked by.

Zacchaeus was a corrupt tax collector, a sinner.  But instead of giving him the Ten Commandments, Jesus showed him grace (undeserved favour) and invited Himself to Zacchaeus’ house.  Of course, the people in the crowd were displeased and they said, “He had gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.”

Now, observe hat happened at Zacchaeus’ house.  Before the dinner was over, Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”  Jesus smiled and said, “Today, salvation has come to this house.”

I believe it was the Holy Spirit who put these two stories side by side.  I don’t believe they happened chronologically.  I believe that the Holy Spirit placed them in this divine order to show us the contrasting effects of being under the covenant of the law and being under the covenant of grace.

When the rich young ruler came boasting in his own law-keeping, Jesus answered with the law.  And the young man could hardly give a dollar to Jesus and walked away sorrowful.  But in the very next chapter, when Jesus gave no law but showed His grace, it not only opened Zacchaeus’ heart, it also opened up his wallet!  Can you imagine this?  It opened up the wallet of a corrupt tax collector.  That’s truly the power of grace!  It leads one to true repentance.  When you experience His grace, you can’t help but be generous.

After Jesus lavished His unconditional love and grace on Zacchaeus, Zacchaeus’ heart overflowed with the undeserved, unmerited and unearned favour of God.  He knew deep in his heart that as a sinner and corrupt tax collector, he did not deserve to have Jesus come to his house.  All He had hoped for was to catch a glimpse of Jesus from the sycamore tree, but God’s goodness far exceeded his expectations.  And just as Peter was brought to his knees when he saw Jesus’ goodness, Zacchaeus was led to repentance when he experienced Jesus’ goodness.  You see, the law condemns the self-righteous, but grace will transform the sinner.

Unlike the young ruler Zacchaeus did not come to Jesus boasting in his law-keeping.  He knew that he was undeserving and that is why Jesus was able to shower grace on him.  In the same way, many believers today won’t allow themselves to receive grace from the Lord because like the young ruler, their trust is in their own righteousness and law-keeping.  When you depend on the law, the law will be given back to you to expose the areas that you are lacking in.  Once you think that you have perfectly kept the law, there will always be “one thing you still lack”.

The role of the law is to bring you to the end of yourself, to bring you to a place where you know in no uncertain terms that you cannot do anything to deserve God’s salvation, blessings and favour.  Our heavenly Father is waiting for us to give up on our own efforts.  The moment you begin to repent from all the dead works that you have been doing to try and qualify for and deserve God’s acceptance and blessings, God will lavish on you His abundant grace – His undeserved, unearned and unmerited favour.

(The word “repent” is the Greek word metanoeo, which according to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, simply means to “change one’s mind”.  Because we have been influenced by our denominational background as well as our own religious upbringing, many of us have the impression that repentance is something that involves mourning and sorrow.)

God is after inward heart transformation

“But Pastor Prince, if I give up on keeping the Law of Moses, what is going to govern my behaviour and ensure that it is acceptable to God?”

You don’t have to worry about how your behaviour will be governed without a consciousness of the law.  The Word of God says that grace will teach you – “For the grace of God… has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts…” (Titus 2:11-12)

Grace is a teacher and it taught Zacchaeus.  Do you remember his response after he experienced the abundance of grace?  He said, “I give half my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”  It is grace that leads people to true repentance.  Grace does not result in superficial behaviour modification, but inward heart transformation.

It is not fiery preaching on God’s judgement that leads us to repentance.  It is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance.

Get hold of anointed teachings, and hear more and more about the grace of God, His finished work and His goodness.  Start “changing your mind” – from putting yourself under the old covenant of law to seeing yourself enjoying the undeserved favour of God under the new covenant of grace!”

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I want to share this message out of Jo.seph Prin.ce’s book Des.tined to Rei.gn:

“Pure Grace from Egypt to Sinai

When God liberated the children of Israel from the bondage of slavery in Egypt; He did not do so because they had kept the 10 Commandments.  The 10 Commandments had not even been given yet.  The children of Israel came out of Egypt by the blood of the Lamb.

The Lord showed me something a number of years ago that ushered me into the Gospel Revolution.  I was sitting in my living room, just spending time in the Word, when He spoke to me and said, “Son, study the journey of the children of Israel from Egypt to Mount Sinai for this is a picture of pure grace.  Not a single Israelite died during this period although they murmured and complained.

I had never heard anyone preach that before and neither had I read it in any book  So, feverishly, I turned to that portion of the Scriptures, trying to find someone who had died, so that I could prove God wrong!  Have you been there before, trying to prove God wrong?  Well, you can never succeed, and indeed, I could not find any Israelite who died even though the people murmured and complained.

Even though God had rescued the children of Israel from their Egyptian slave masters by performing great signs and wonders, the children of Israel failed to honour God, and murmured and complained over and over again.  When the Egyptian army came thundering toward them from behind and the Red Sea was before them, the children of Israel cried out to Moses saying, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness?” (Exodus 14:11)

That was a complaint against God, and murmuring and complaining are sins.  But what was God’s response?  He opened up the Red Sea and they crossed over to dry land on the other side, safe from their enemies.  Even after God had brought them safely to the other side of the sea, the murmuring continued.  At Marah, they complained about the bitter waters.  What was God’s response?  He made the bitter waters sweet (Exodus 15:23-25).  In the wilderness, they cried out against Moses, when they were hungry.  What was God’s response?  He rained bread from heaven (Exodus 16:2-4).  But still the children of Israel complained.  When there was no water again, they cried out against Moses saying, “Why is it you have brought us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” (Exodus 17:3)  What was God’s response?  He brought water out of the flinty rock.

Study the Bible yourself.  You’ll find that every time the children of Israel murmured and complained, it only brought forth fresh demonstrations of God’s favour, supply and goodness.  Why?  Because during that period, the blessings and provisions they received were not dependent on their obedience or goodness.  They were dependent on God’s goodness and faithfulness to the Abrahamic covenant, which was a covenant of grace.

The Exchange Of Covenants at Mount Sinai

Then something tragic happened right at the foot of Mount Sinai.  In Exodus 19:8, your English Bible says that the people cried out to Moses, saying, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.”  In the original Hebrew text, this is actually a statement of pride.  They were saying, “All that God requires and demands of us, we are well able to perform.”  In other words, they were saying, “God, stop assessing or blessing us based on Your goodness.  Start assessing, judging and blessing us based on our obedience.”  So they effectively exchanged covenants, from the Abrahamic covenant which is based on grace, to the Sinaitic covenant which is based on the law.

All this while, God was with them and had fought for them.  He opened up the Red Sea, rained manna from heaven and brought water out of the flinty rock, even though they kept murmuring and complaining.  But the moment they said those prideful words, God had to change His tone.  He told Moses to instruct the people not to go near the mountain, for “whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death.”  (Exodus 19:12)

Why do you think God changed His demeanour here?  It was because man presumed on his own strength and entered into a covenant based on his obedience.  This is what we call self-righteousness.  Since the people wanted to be judged based on their performance, in the very next chapter, God gave them the 10 Commandments.  From then on, since they boasted that they could do all that God commanded, God had to asses them based on His laws.  He would bless them if they kept His commandments, but they would be cursed if they failed to do so.  What the people did not understand was that they had to obey all of the 10 Commandments perfectly because if they failed in one, they would be guilty of all (James 2:10).  You see the law is a composite whole and God does not grade on a curve.

Now, let’s see what happened when the children of Israel placed themselves under the law.  After they boasted that they could fulfil all that God commanded of them, the works of the flesh were immediately manifested. They broke the very first commandment – “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3) – by fashioning a golden calf and worshipping it as their god! (Exodus 32:1-8)  Isn’t that sad?  So be careful when you boast of keeping of defending the law because the works of the flesh will follow soon after.

From that point onwards, every time the children of Israel murmured and complained, many of them would die.  Observe this:  Before Sinai, none died.  After Sinai, the moment the murmured they died.  Before Sinai, every failure brought forth a fresh manifestation of God’s favour.  But now that the Israelites were under the covenant of law, sin had to be punished.  Their blessings and provisions depended on their perfect obedience, and every failure and sin would result in judgement and punishment.

That is why the law of Moses is called the ministry of death and condemnation.  It is an inflexible standard that had to minister death and condemnation to the Israelites whenever they sinned.  You would think that after 2000 years people would learn, but there are believers today who are still using the same refrain as the children of Israel at the foot of Mount Sinai.  They are bragging, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.”

We Are No Longer Under The Old Covenant

Can you see what the Lord was showing me?  The Israelites’ journey from Egypt to Sinai was a picture of pure grace.  It was not dependent on their goodness but His goodness, not on their faithfulness but His faithfulness.  Before the law was given they were under grace and nobody was punished even when they failed.  But immediately after the law was given, nobody was spared when they failed.  The good news is that we are no longer under the old covenant of law.  We have been delivered from the law through Jesus’ death on the cross.   Because of Jesus Christ, we are now under the new covenant of grace, which means that today, God does not assess us based on our performance, but on His goodness and faithfulness.

Why are there believers today living as though the cross made no difference?  Instead of enjoying the new covenant of grace, they are still fighting to be under the old covenant of law and the 10 commandments.  I declare to you that the cross of Jesus did make a difference.  If you are still trying to live under the law, trying to be justified by your obedience to the law, you are effectively negating what Jesus has already done for you on the cross!

Under the old covenant, God said, “I will by no means clear the guilty.”  (Exodus 34:7)  However, in the new covenant, God says, “I will remember your sins no more.”  (Hebrews 8:12; 10:17)  Can you see the contrast?  It is the same God speaking, so what happened?  The cross happened, my friend.  The cross made the difference.  Today, God does not remember your sins or hold them against you because He has already judged them in the body of His Son.   Believers get confused when they do not realize that the cross has made a difference.  Consider this:  If we are still supposed to be under the 10 Commandments as many argue, then what did the cross of Jesus accomplish?

Grace Has Done What The Law Could Not Do

“Pastor Prince, are you insinuating that there is something wrong with the law?”

No, off course not!  There is nothing intrinsically wrong with the law.  As Apostle Paul said, “What shall we say then?  Is the law sin?  Certainly not!  On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law…”  (Romans 7:7)  I am saying exactly the same thing that Paul said.  It is through the law that we have the knowledge of sin, but that is all that the law can do.  It exposes your sins.  It cannot cover, cleanse or remove your sins.  The law was designed to show forth our sins to bring us to despair and lead us to the realization that by our own efforts, we can never save ourselves.  It was designed to show us that we all need a Saviour who can cleanse and remove our sins.  That is the purpose of the law.

While the law is holy, just and good, it has no power to make us holy, just or good.  Only Jesus’ magnificent grace and the splendour of His love can make you holy, just and good.  And His blood has already made you holy, just and good!  God has already done what the law could not do.  How?  By sending His own Son to be condemned on your behalf, so that you could be made the righteousness of God.  That is your position today – you are made righteous in Christ.

With the advent of the new covenant, the Bible says that God has made the old covenant obsolete.  (Hebrews 8:13)  Stop fighting to hold on to something which the Bible has declared to be obsolete!  The law condemns the best of us.  Even David was condemned under the law and I personally esteem him to be the best of those under the old covenant.  The law condemns the best of us, but grace saves the worst of us.  Under law, if you break one law, you will be guilty of all.  By the same token, under grace, if you do one thing right, and that is to believe on the Lord Jesus, then you will be justified from all!  (Acts 13:39)”

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I heard this message from Dr Cref.lo Dol.lar the other day and I know it’s important from my own experience and I knew I just needed to share it with all of you who read this blog.

“1 of 3 simple things God told Dr Cref.lo Dol.lar:

Jesus came full of grace but full of truth.  You’ve got to start living your life with grace but not ignoring the truth.  I thank God for the grace of God that give me non-imputation of sins and I thank God for the grace of God that made me the righteousness of God, I thank God for the grace of God that gave me Jesus and Jesus is my peace and my sanctification and I thank God for the grace of God that did everything for me without any of my works and any of my efforts and by pure fact that I believe Him and trust Him and I’m a beneficiary of a covenant that He swore to Himself to do for me and I sit and I get all the benefits because of what Jesus did for me.

And I know you think it hard to believe but it doesn’t require any effort on my own to try to get anything that He promised to give me.  My job is to trust in all of the finished works of Jesus Christ and my job, if I’m going to get it in this life, is to learn how to rest in what He’s already done instead of learning how to work and trying how to get that.  That’s the grace of God I’ve been given.  That’s the grace of God that I have. That is what I receive, but I also understand the place of truth: Truth is necessary so that I can get victory.

In other words:  Instead of spending all my time worrying about whether I’m going to heaven or not, that’s already settled in grace.  I can, no matter what happens to me, no matter what I do, no matter what I don’t do, I can still hop in my Father’s lap and He still accepts me, love me and receive me.  But if I want to get healed I’m going to have to know truth, if I want to prosper financially I’m going to have to know truth, if I want my marriage to work I’m going to have to know truth.  See Jesus came with grace and truth.

But what Christian people don’t understand, is you know you want to hop in the Father’s lap and that’s great – He will let you sit there but He says; “You know what?  I want you to walk in some of this glory so I gave you some truth, and I want you to know these spiritual principles and I want you to know these truths and I want you to rest in these truths that I have given you in the Word because I can’t bless you without these truths!  I can’t manifest certain things without these truths!

So if you ever wonder, you know, I’m under the grace of God, you know, “Hit me!”  No, no! God says; “No!” You are under the grace of God and I’ve already prepared everything you ever wanted but now if you want something to happen in your life – You have truth.

Do you know these truths?  I’m not talking about really doing anything – but what do I do with the truth that I know?  The Bible says “attend to my Word.” (Proverbs 4:20)  Do you know the greatest thing you can do to see manifestation in your life?  Is to study the Word of God, and study the Word of God, and speak the Word of God, and study the Word of God, and speak the Word of God and while people are working to try and get something to happen, you are studying the Word of God and speaking the Word of God and attending to His Word and that Word is doing it, but you have to know the truth!  You have to know what truth to study and to get in, if you want some of those blessings to come because aside from the truth God can’t bless you.

You’re graced and you’re going to heaven, but what happens here is going to be based on truth and it’s still going to require you to put a faith to man on truth.  So Jesus came with grace and He came with truth.  The grace that says your spiritual destiny will never ever be put in jeopardy, but “O, how I wanted to heal you, but you didn’t take the truth.  O how I wanted to deliver you, but you didn’t take the truth.  O, how I wanted to make you richer than you ever thought you could but you didn’t take the truth.”

Let me give you a perfect example:  A guy that doesn’t believe in increase – that is a truth – if he doesn’t believe in increase – you know what?  He can give in every offering and still never experience an increase!  Why?  Because God can’t bless you aside from the truth that you know.  Faith can’t work where the will of God is not known, and Jesus demonstrated that over and over again until the will of God is not known faith won’t work!  And yes, God still loves you, and yes you’re still on your way to heaven and yes, you are the righteousness of God and yes, you are forgiven and yes, you are all of those things, but ladies and gentlemen – I don’t know about you – it is just not enough for me right now to just talk about going to heaven…

I want to glorify God!  I don’t just want to go to heaven – I’ve got that wrapped up!  How did I get that wrapped up?  I received Jesus and He got it all wrapped up and there is nothing else I need to do!  I’m saved!  The Blood has cleansed me.  There is nothing I can do to mess that up!  That covenant does not depend on what I do in order for God to bring it to pass. That covenant depends on what God has sworn to Himself! Its foolproof – a fool can’t even mess it up!  That’s already wrapped up!

But me manifesting His glory – manifested work in this life can’t be done without truth.  That’s why Jesus came with grace and truth.

The Bible says He was full of glory, full of grace and full of truth (John 1:14) and you know they go hand in hand because it’s hard for you to receive truth if you are condemned, it’s hard for you to receive truth if you don’t believe you are loved, if you don’t believe you are forgiven, if you don’t believe you are going to heaven.  Once you get that out of the way and you recognize these are the truths that I can be walking in, in my life – you’re going to see manifestations in your life.

But too many people just sit back and don’t understand – you know – “attend to My Word, attend to My Word, attend to My Word.”  Those are the instructions; “attend to My Word, attend to My Word…”

Now there it talks specifically about God’s medicine and how His Word will be health, or medicine to your body, but what do you have to do to take that medicine?  (Proverbs 4:22) “Attend to My Word, attend to My Word” – well you do exactly the same with every other promise in the Word – you attend to it.  Do you want increase in your life?  You have to attend to the truths concerning increase in your life.  You think about it – the area that you studied in your life was most of the time the area of your manifestation.  When you stop studying that area – so did the manifestations.

Someone says, “well, brother Dol.lar, that is self effort!”  No!  Self effort is based on you depending on your own abilities as a source.  I’m, depending on God – I’m trusting God’s Word.  I mean what else can I do except study it and speak it, the rest of it is being led by the Spirit of God. “

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For the last couple of months I’ve watched Jo.seph Prin.ce’s programs on TV and it has blessed me so much.  Some of his messages have helped me to look at certain things from a different perspective and I got a lot of new revelations.  I hope that this post will give a lot of people a new revelation too.  I bought his book “Des.tined to Rei.gn”, and I want to share an excerpt with you and it is again about the old and new covenants.  Since I learnt about the covenants and what they mean, and the importance of the new covenant, my relationship with God has changed, my outlook on a lot of things has changed and it was one of the most important revelations I had that led to our breakthrough and me getting pregnant, so I cannot blog about it enough.             

“When new believers read the Old Testament for the first time, they might wonder what all the slaughtering of the animals, sacrifices and sprinkling of blood is all about.  Well, when you understand that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins, you will begin to appreciate the value if the blood especially the blood that Jesus shed for our sins.

The Bible says that after Adam and Eve sinned by partaking of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, God “made tunics of skin and clothed them” (Gen 3:21) The first time an animal was sacrificed to cover man’s sins happened right there in the garden of Eden.  All the animal sacrifices in the Old Testament are shadows of Jesus Christ, who is the substance. The blood of bulls and goats under the old covenant all pointed to the substance of Christ, whose blood was shed on the cross of Calvary. As John the Baptist said, Jesus is the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)  In the book of Revelation, John heard a voice saying, “behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah,” but when he turned to look at the Lion, he saw instead a “Lamb as though it had been slain.” (Rev 5:5-6)  Everything in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation points to Jesus’ death on the cross.  It is because of His sacrifice that we are under the new covenant of grace today.

The old covenant will always cause you to turn and look at yourself, whereas the new covenant will always cause you to turn and look at Christ crucified.  Old Testament prophets call your sins to remembrance, while New Testament preachers call your righteousness to remembrance.  Old Testament preachers tell you what is wrong with you, while New Testament preachers tell you what is right with you because of what Jesus has done, in spite of what is wrong with you.  The first miracle of Moses, who represents the law, was to turn water into blood, resulting in death.  (Exodus 7:14-18)  The first miracle of grace was Jesus turning water into wine, resulting into celebration and life. (John 2:1-11)  The law kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Pure grace from Egypt to Sinai

When God liberated the children of Israel from the bondage of slavery in Egypt, He did not do so because they had kept the Ten Commandments.  The Ten Commandments had not even been given yet.  The children of Israel came out of Egypt by the blood of the Lamb.

The Lord showed me something a number of years ago that ushered me into the Gospel Revolution.  I was sitting in my living room, just spending time in the word, when He spoke to me and said, “Son, study the journey of the children of Israel from Egypt to Mount Sinai for this is a picture of pure grace.  Not a single Israelite died during this period although they murmured and complained.”

I had never heard anyone preach that before and neither had I read it in any book.  So, feverishly, I turned to that portion of the Scriptures, trying to find someone who had died, so that I could prove God wrong!  Have you ever been there before, trying to prove God wrong?  Well you can never succeed, and indeed, I could not find any Israelite who died even though the people murmured and complained.

Even though God had rescued the children of Israel from their Egyptian slave masters by performing great signs and wonders, the children of Israel failed to honour God, and murmured and complained over and over again.  When the Egyptian army came thundering toward them from behind and the Red Sea was before them, the children of Israel cried out to Moses saying, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness?” (Exodus 14:11)

That was a complaint against God, and murmuring and complaining are sins.  But what was God’s response?  He opened up the Red Sea and they crossed over to dry land on the other side, safe from their enemies.  Even after God had brought them safely to the other side of the sea, the murmuring continued.  At Marah, they complained about the bitter waters.  What was God’s response?  He made the bitter waters sweet.  (Exodus 15:23-25)  In the wilderness, they cried out against Moses when they were hungry.  What was God’s response?  He rained bread from heaven.  (Exodus 16:2-4)  But still the children of Israel complained.  When there was no water again, they cried out against Moses, saying, “Why is it you have brought us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” (Exodus 17:3)  What was God’s response?  He brought water out of the flinty rock.

Study the Bible yourself.  You’ll find that every time the children of Israel murmured and complained, it only brought forth fresh demonstrations of God’s favour, supply and goodness.  Why?  Because during that period, the blessings and provisions they received were not dependent on their obedience or goodness.  They were dependent on God’s goodness and faithfulness to the Abrahamic covenant, which was a covenant of grace.

The exchange of Covenants at Mount Sinai

Then, something tragic happened right at the foot of Mount Sinai.  In Exodus 19:8, your English Bible says that the people cried out to Moses, saying, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.”  In the original Hebrew text, this is actually a statement of pride.  They were saying, “All that God requires and demands of us, we are well able to perform.”  In other words, they were saying, “God, stop assessing or blessing us based on Your goodness.  Start assessing, judging and blessing us based on our obedience.”  So they effectively exchanged covenants, from the Abrahamic covenant which is based on grace, to the Sinaitic covenant which is based on the law.

All this while, God was with them and had fought for them.  He opened up the Red sea, rained manna from heaven and brought water out of flinty rock, even though they kept murmuring and complaining.  But the moment they said those prideful words, God had to change his tone.  He told Moses to instruct the people not to go near the mountain, for “whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death.” (Exodus 19:12)

Why do you think God changed His demeanour here?   It was because man presumed on his own strength and entered into a covenant based on his obedience.  This is what we call self-righteousness.   Since the people wanted to be judged based on their performance, in the very next chapter, God gave them the Ten Commandments.  From then on, since they boasted that they could do all that God commanded, God had to assess them based on His laws.  He would bless them if they kept His commandments, but they would be cursed if they failed to do so.  What the people did not understand was that they had to obey all of the Ten Commandments perfectly because if they failed in one, they would be guilty of all.  (James 2:10)  You see the law is a composite whole and God does not grade on the curve.

Now let’s see what happened when the children of Israel placed themselves under the law.  After they boasted that they could fulfil all that God commanded of them, the works of the flesh were immediately manifested.  They broke the very first commandment – “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3) – by fashioning a golden calf and worshipping it as their god! (Exodus 32:1-8)  Isn’t that sad?  So be careful when you boast of keeping or defending the law because the works of the flesh will follow soon after.

From that point onwards, every time the children of Israel murmured or complained, many of them would die.   Observe this:  Before Sinai, none died.  After Sinai, the moment they murmured, they died.  Before Sinai, every failure brought forth a fresh manifestation of God’s favour.  But now that the Israelites were under the covenant of law, sin had to be punished.  Their blessings and provisions no longer depended on God’s goodness, faithfulness and grace.  Under the covenant of law, their blessings depended on their perfect obedience, and every failure and sin would result in judgement and punishment.

That is why the Law of Moses is called the ministry of death and condemnation.  It is an inflexible standard that had to minister death and condemnation to the Israelites whenever they sinned.  You would think that after 2000 years, people would learn, but there are believers today who are still using the same refrain as the children of Israel at the foot of Mount Sinai.  They are bragging, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.”

We are no longer under the Old Covenant

Can you see what the Lord was showing me?  The Israelites’ journey from Egypt to Sinai was a picture of pure grace.  It was not dependent on their goodness but His Goodness, not on their faithfulness but His faithfulness.  Before the law was given, they were under grace and nobody was punished even when they failed.  But immediately after the law was given, nobody was spared when they failed.  The good news is that we are no longer under the old covenant of law.  We have been delivered from the law through Jesus’ death on the cross.  Because of Jesus Christ, we are now under the new covenant of grace, which means that today; God does not assess us based on our performance, but on His goodness and faithfulness.

Why are there believers today living as though the cross did not make a difference?  Instead of enjoying the new covenant of grace, they are still fighting to be under the old covenant of law and the Ten Commandments.  I declare to you that the cross of Jesus did make a difference.  If you are still trying to live under the law, you are effectively negating what Jesus has already done for you on the cross!

Under the old covenant, God said, “I will by no means clear the guilty.” (Exodus 34:7)  However, in the new covenant, God says “I will remember your sins no more.” (Hebrews 8:12; 10:17)  Can you see the contrast?  It is the same God speaking, so what happened?  The cross happened, my friend.  The cross made the difference.  Today God does not remember your sins or hold them against you because He has already judged them in the body of His Son.  Believers get confused when they do not realize that the cross has made a difference.   Consider this: If we are still supposed to be under the Ten Commandments as many argue, then what did the cross of Jesus accomplish?”

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I heard this message from And.rew Wom.mack and I want to share it because I think a lot of people really don’t know how grace and faith impact their life.  I get the idea that a lot of people think that to have faith means that you just say you believe and then you sit back patiently and wait that God will move in your life.  Or others believe they must do things for God, to prove that they are good people so that God would reward them.  I certainly thought that was how it worked for many years, and was guilty of both, first with passivity and later works of the flesh.

When I still did not get pregnant, I made excuses, like “maybe it’s not God’s will for us to have children,” or “maybe God has a different plan for us,” or “God is probably teaching me something…”  I did not have any idea how wrong I actually was, and I am so grateful the Holy Spirit gave me revelation on this not long ago.

And.rew Wommack says: “Faith does not move God.  All Faith does is appropriate what God has already provided by grace.  If grace hasn’t provided it Faith can’t get it.   Faith doesn’t move God – God moves totally by His grace, and that means unmerited, unearned, undeserved favour.  God provided things for us completely independent of our performance, but does that mean our performance has nothing to do with our receiving?  No, you performance does because your performance is how you release faith. But faith just reaches out and appropriates what God has already provided by grace.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV):  8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith— and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—9 not by works, so that no-one can boast.”

This verse says that you are saved by grace through faith – you aren’t saved by grace alone, and you aren’t saved by faith alone.  You are saved by a combination of the two – grace through faith.

1 Corinthians 15:10 (NIV):  10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them— yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.”

Paul, here, was talking about how he was not even worthy to be called an apostle, because at one time he had actually persecuted Christians and put them to death and he says, “I don’t deserve anything, but by the grace of God I am what I am, and his Grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain.”  He is implying that just because God extends grace towards you does not mean that you are necessarily going to prosper, because you have to mix faith with that grace, and so therefore he said, “I laboured more abundantly than they all.”  In other words it was just totally the grace of God that called Paul to be a Christian and then enter into the ministry instead of killing Christians.

Justice would have demanded that God kill him, but God by grace extended mercy to him, but God’s grace had a greater impact in Paul’s life and through Paul, than many people, because he laboured, he also added to the grace of God his faith, and this is what it’s talking about in Ephesians 2: 8.  It is God’s grace that saves us, but your faith is how that grace impacts your life.

Here is another way of saying it:  Over in Titus 2: 11 (NIV):  11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.”  It says that, “the grace of God has appeared to all men,” now if God’s grace alone saved you than every single person would be saved because God’s grace that brings salvation has appeared to all men.  Now this right here ought to prove to you that it’s not just up to the grace of God, whether you receive or not.  God by grace provides things, but then faith reaches out and takes hold of what God has provided by grace and faith brings what is real by grace into physical manifestation.

God by grace has already accomplished everything He is going to ever do, but it doesn’t automatically come to pass in your life, you have to access God’s grace by faith.   Romans 5:2 (NIV):  2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”  So you aren’t saved by grace alone, you aren’t saved by faith alone, you are saved by a combination of the two.  God, before you ever had a need has already provided everything by grace, but that grace won’t release its power in your life until you appropriate this grace by faith.  See, if it’s a true step of faith in God’s grace that it’s already done, then you will see a supernatural supply.

So this scripture I was using of Ephesians 2:8 that says, “you’re saved by grace through faith,” not one or the other but a combination of the two, now if you go back and apply this to Titus 2:11, it says, “the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,” if grace alone saved, if it wasn’t necessary for us to have a positive response of faith on our part, if it was just the grace of God that whoever got saved, then you know what, every single person on the face of the earth would have been saved, because the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared onto all men. But we know through Jesus’ own teaching that He said that there would be more entering in by the broad gate of destruction than onto the narrow gate of everlasting life…  Jesus said that the majority of people are not going to receive salvation.  Why, because God hadn’t provided it?  No, the grace that brings salvation has already appeared onto all men.

The atonement has been made for every single person.  In 1 John 2:2(NIV) it says, 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”  Jesus has paid for the sins of the whole world, the grace of God has already paid the debt, the grace of God has purchased salvation for every single person, not only those that God foreknew would accept Him, but every person has had their sins paid for.  The grace of God has bought that salvation and appeared onto every person, but not every person receives, as a matter of fact the majority of the people don’t receive, not because God’s grace isn’t there, but because they didn’t put faith in God’s grace.  Man that is one powerful truth!  This teaching has changed my life.

I don’t know if you are getting this because the things that I’m saying it’s so easy to say but it seems that it’s harder to comprehend because we don’t have a real example of grace and faith in our world.  Really the only person who treats us with grace on a consistent basis is God. There is nobody else that does this and so because there is not a role model, a physical person that we can see, most people just can’t grab this.

You have to meditate in these truths, take the word of God and allow the Holy Spirit to just show you these things by faith and you have to grab hold of this but most people struggle with this because it’s just so contrary to their normal existence, but God has already done everything by grace, before you were ever born, Jesus died for your sins, before you ever got sick, Jesus bore the chastisement for your healing in His physical body.  You were healed 2000 years ago, before you ever existed, before there was ever a sickness to be healed of.  Before you ever have a financial need, God has already made Jesus poor so that we through His poverty might be made rich (2 Corinthians 8:9 (NIV):  9For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.”)

God has moved through Jesus, through Jesus by His own free choice and volition, He chose to provide healing, prosperity, salvation, deliverance, all of these things.  He’s already done it; He’s already released His power, that’s grace – independent of you.  It didn’t have anything to do with your goodness or worth because you didn’t even exist when Jesus came and provided all of these things.  So does that mean that by grace God has already provided it, that everybody is going to be prosperous or everybody is going to be healthy or everybody is going to be saved, everybody is going to be delivered?   No, because you have to appropriate God’s grace by faith.

Now if you can understand this, this is tremendous, because I used to think that, “well I’ve got to speak the word of God, I’ve got to pray, I’ve got to study the word, I’ve got to do these things and when I do enough good things then God sees that and my faith moves God and God will respond and grant me my finances, my prosperity, my healing, deliverance, whatever…”  But no, that’s not true – God has already done it and what I have to do is study the word not in order to affect God’s grace or His heart, I study the word to affect me, to make me more sensitive to God.

If you don’t understand what I’m saying right here, if this doesn’t make sense to you, this is one of the reasons that you aren’t seeing the power of God manifest much more.  If this is like speaking a different language, it’s not communicating to you, then that means that you haven’t really got a working revelation of the grace of God and you’re still under this mentality that you do one, two and three and then God responds and does this.  I’m telling you God does not respond to your faith – here’s another way of saying it – that true faith is not something you do to gain a response from God, but true faith is your positive response to what you believe God has already done by grace.

Now, if you ever get that confused and if you ever start feeling like, man, I’ve got to start confessing the word and I’ve got to pray, I’ve got to go to church, I’ve got to pay my tithes and if I’ll do these things then maybe God will do this… See that’s not true faith, what you call that scripturally is legalism, works mentality and that will not release the power of God, as a matter of fact that’s really about the only sin that will stop the power of God.

Your sin of not paying your tithes and not reading the Bible and lying and stealing and any of these kind of things – that doesn’t affect God’s grace – grace means it’s independent of your performance – but the one sin that will stop the power of God is the sin of self righteousness, the sin of trusting in your works and instead of trusting in the Saviour and looking at what He’s done for you.  You are going to try to make it happen, because “I paid my tithes!  Now God’s got to give it to me!”  That’s not faith – that’s works!  That’s legalism and I guarantee you that will stop the flow of God quicker than adultery will.

Now those are some strong statements – I know that I just bumped into some religious traditions, that there are probably people very upset, but that is the absolute Gospel truth… That is the truth!   That God loves you and He’s already provided all of these things by grace, but they don’t just automatically come to pass, you need to study the Word, you need to pray, you need to live holy and do all of those things so that you can be in faith, instead of fear and unbelief and then that faith will appropriate what God has already provided by grace.

But don’t ever make the mistake, don’t get this confused and think that, “my actions caused God to do this,” because that is no longer faith, if you think that.  God does what He does by grace, your actions have zero to do with what God has provided.  By grace God has already provided your need before you ever had one, but faith is just a positive response, it’s things you do in order to receive what God has already done, not in order to get God to do something.

If you ever get confused on that issue, and if you start thinking, “well if I pay my tithes, now God’s got to bless me, because I paid my tithes.”  You know what, in a sense you are trying to manipulate, to control God, you’re using faith like a pry bar, a lever on God that will force God to do something and that will stop the power of God in your life in a heartbeat.

You know I get people coming up to me in the thousands saying things like, “well, how come God hasn’t healed me, I prayed, I studied the Word, I pay my tithes I’ve done this and this…  How come God hasn’t healed me? ”  Well, you told me why God hadn’t healed you, because you didn’t point to what Jesus did for you by grace, but you’ve pointed to what you’ve done and you have the mentality that this is going to make God heal you…  “If I do enough right things…”

See you think faith is something you do to move God, I’m telling you that is absolutely wrong.  God has already moved by grace, He’s already provided everything and your faith just reaches out and appropriates what God has already provided by grace.  This concept is something that I find missing in most people’s life, they just haven’t figured this out, and I’m not trying to criticize anybody else, it took me a long, long time – decades before I got this figured out.”

I can testify that shortly after I got the revelation that Jesus already paid the price, that He already finished it and that I am healed, even though it didn’t feel like that or look like that, and once I started praising Him for healing me and making me pregnant, I actually got pregnant.  When I prayed, I didn’t beg or ask for anything anymore, I just thanked Him and praised Him for already making me pregnant, even though I wasn’t yet.  Every time I said things aloud I spoke about how it’s all been done, how Jesus work is finished!  I totally assumed that I would get pregnant, and that it would happen soon.

The month we found out I was pregnant – that whole cycle – I just knew in my heart that it would work, because it was so much more than a belief by then…  It was reality – I knew Jesus paid the full price for me, by grace.   I wasn’t bothered much by what I had to do, and I was totally waiting in anticipation for the proof of what I believed, that I would get a positive pregnancy test.  I was almost like a child before his birthday, counting the days before I could test and to get proof of God’s mighty works.

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