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Posts tagged ‘Paige Hunt’

From Fear to Faith

By Paige Hunt

And Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among the scouts who had searched the land, rent their clothes, and they said to all the company of Israelites, The land through which we passed as scouts is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land flowing with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the Lord, neither fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their defense and the shadow [of protection] is removed from over them, but the Lord is with us. Fear them not.” – Numbers 14:6-9 (AMPC)

Moses sent twelve spies into the Promised Land, and all of them except Joshua and Caleb came back with bad reports, influenced by the fear and intimidation of the circumstances surrounding them. Numbers 13:28 and 13:33 reveals that the ten spies saw their opposition 635as strong and courageous. And themselves as weak grasshoppers. Their beliefs were summed up in these words, “we are not able to go up against the people [of Canaan], for they are stronger than we are” (AMPC). In the natural, this may have looked to be so, yet Scripture states that those spies brought back an “evil report” (13:32) – one influenced and shaken up by the enemy, rather than springing from faith in the truth of God’s word and promises. Romans 12:23 informs us that “Whatever does not originate and proceed from faith is sin” (AMPC). In other words, your perspective in any given circumstance will be dominated by faith or fear; from God’s perspective of truth or the enemy’s perspective of deception.

Perhaps today you are facing a situation that seems large, looming, and insurmountable. It may be a financial crisis and a mound of debt, a relationship issue, a health complication, or any other negative circumstance. Do not allow yourself to be intimidated by an “evil report”. Rather, rest in the revelations and promises of Scripture and allow faith to make itself manifest throughout your emotions, mind, and heart (Romans 10:17). Now, before I continue I want to address something about faith…

You may be worried that perhaps you do not possess the faith to remain strong and courageous in the midst of huge, demanding challenges, and your experiences may seem to back up these worries – perhaps at the first sign of opposition, you turn and run, or get filled with crippling anxieties and doubts; perhaps, at the first sign of opposition, you find yourself submitting to all kinds of stress and rebellious behaviour. Although this may have been your past experience, be encouraged that Scripture declares that God has given to each believer “the measure of faith” (Romans 12:3). As a believer in Christ, when you were raised and ascended with Jesus, the same power – including that same faith – that rose Jesus from the dead, lives within your Spirit in fullness (Ephesians 1:19; see also 1 Corinthians 6:17). This means that your Spirit contains the faith of Christ, and is able to 18live victoriously through him (Galatians 2:20), and perceive each circumstance from His position of unshakable might and authority. You can renew your mind according to God’s word, so that the faith within you transforms your outward emotions and actions (Romans 12:2). Believer, you are destined to be successful and faith-filled, and to walk in the Spirit-filled boldness of Joshua and Caleb. This is your identity in Christ!

Romans 3:27 expresses that there is such thing as “the law of faith” (KJV). In other words, there are keys which govern faith, so that without fail you are able to experience faith manifesting from your Spirit, into your mind, heart, emotions, and your circumstances. There are ways that you can manifest confidence and authority that you are “the head and not the tail” of all circumstances, “above only, and not beneath” in all situations and in the fact of all contradictions (Deuteronomy 28:13; AMPC).

As you learn the promises of God towards you in Scripture, i.e. the blessings and benefits you have been gifted with in Christ, the law of faith will go to work on your behalf. There are two key Scriptures that speak of how the law of faith functions:

  • “For [if we are] in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith activated and energized and expressed and working through love.” – Galatians 5:6 (AMPC).
  • “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” – Romans 10:17 (KJV).

Scripture declares that as you (continually) hear of the promises and blessings of God in Scripture, which are all given to you freely in Christ (the original Greek translates ‘word of God’ as ‘word of Christ’ in Romans 10:17), then you will gain an awareness of how much God loves you and how dear you are to Him. The law of faith, through the word of God and the love of God, will go to work for you, on your behalf, causing faith to manifest itself in all facets of your life, strengthening you in faith above and beyond all circumstances and 2contradictions, and transforming the way you think. You will discover yourself no longer shaken up and wavering due to circumstances, but energised with the hope (confident assurance) that faith brings. Hebrews 6:19 (AMPC) writes:

‘[Now] we have this [hope] as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whoever steps out upon it—a hope] that reaches farther and enters into [the very certainty of the Presence] within the veil,’

The word will anchor your soul upon the truths of God, so that you can walk in your God-given victory, authority, and peace above all contradictions. Then, as your faith is re-directed from circumstance and the natural realm where the enemy can shake you up with ‘evil reports’, to Jesus and your inheritance in him, you will be renewed in the attitude of your mind (Ephesians 4:23). Faith will always manifest with assurance in your soul, as you anchor your life upon God’s word and stand upon the promises of scripture.

Ephesians 1:18-19 describes this renewal as such: ‘….having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones), and [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty 6strength,’ (AMPC). Like Caleb and Joshua, you can renew your mind according to the promises in God’s word, and gain an enlightened perspective of your authority and inheritance in Christ in your circumstances, completely transforming your perspective, and releasing manifest boldness and power. When this is so, like Caleb, in the face of contradiction you will naturally declare “we are well able to conquer it!” (Numbers 13:30; AMPC). You see, Caleb and Joshua knew that every opposition is “bread” – a chance to feast upon the promises of Scripture and see the abundant harvest of faith, sure that God’s promises will manifest.

Psalm 23:5 (NIV) declares, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies…my cup overflows”. Likewise, Jesus stated in John 4:11 (AMP) that the great trial of Lazarus’ death, something standing in great opposition to God’s will and intent for mankind (see John 10:10), was an occasion to ‘honor God and to promote His glory, that the Son of God may be glorified through (by) it.’ (John 11:4, AMPC) You see, Joshua and Caleb were able to perceive that every trial was an opportunity for a fresh revelation and manifestation of God’s favor and grace.

Believer, God has already supplied you with the faith to overcome the challenges you face with boldness and authority. The nature of God is supply!

Limitless Life Devotional

An Abundant Harvest

Mark 4:14, 18-19 (AMPC)

‘The sower sows the Word…And the ones sown among the thorns are others who hear the Word; Then the cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age, and the pleasure and delight and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless.’

God desires for you to live a victorious life, accessing the blessings of your inheritance, the riches of His manifest favor! In Christ, as we hear the good news message, God sows the word of faith (our inheritance in Christ, the riches of His finished work), into our hearts. This word is destined to supernaturally produce a harvest of blessing throughout our natural bodies and natural world, as faith always manifests itself and brings a positive harvest whenever the word of Christ is sown (Romans 10:17). It is important for you to know that as a believer, you already possess Christ’s faith in your spirit. You are not trying to conjure up faith, it is a free gift of yours in Christ (Romans 12:3; Galatians 2:20). This is why as you hear God’s word, you can be sure that the faith of Christ will manifest itself through you, renewing your mind and ushering in all of God’s blessings! (2 Corinthians 3:18). You are holy and righteous in Christ and are not a hindrance to the flow of faith, in fact, your natural design is the good soil in which the word of God flourishes and manifests itself in a variety of ways such as abundant prosperity, health, joy, and peace! In other words, as you remain in the word, you are naturally designed to have the word produce a bountiful harvest! Matthew 13 proclaims that the seed which falls onto good ground “brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.” (KJV)

You may be wondering why your life does not always manifest this brilliant and beautiful harvest. The answer is the flesh. The flesh is a mechanism you use in order to get your deepest needs, such as acceptance and security, met outside of Christ – Mark 4:28-19 describes what this looks like (engaging with ‘the cares and anxieties of this world’, ‘the distractions of this age’, ‘the false glamour and deceitfulness of riches’, ‘the craving and desire for other things’ – in other words, choosing to actively live, embrace, stand upon, and believe that which is contrary to the truth of God’s word and your vast inheritance in Christ). As a believer in Christ, you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit (Romans 8:9). However, you still have the ability to think according to the flesh, and this happens as you do not know what is available to you as a believer. Remember, the flesh is not your true nature or identity, so it is much easier and more natural for you to walk according to the Spirit, something that effortlessly happens as you discover the truths of your inheritance and blessings in Christ, and His all-sufficiency for you (allowing the seed to be sown into your heart). Romans 8:5 says: “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.” (KJV)  – it’s all about what you fix your mind on. What your fix your mind on and engage with and enjoy, you will naturally walk after.

As I previously stated, God’s word (the gospel of grace) is destined to produce an abundant harvest in your life as you rest and abide in it (see Romans 5:17). Your heart has been made good soil in Christ! (Romans 12:2; Hebrews 8:10). The key to victory therefore is to renew your mind according to the word of God (His promises to you, your inheritance in Christ), so that when a concern or worry presents itself before you, you will effortlessly be able to stand upon the message of faith and the realities of your inheritance, and not allow those worries to enter into your heart. It’s all about what you know of your inheritance! You have the ability to not be rocked about or chocked by any thorny messages, through the assurance that the faith of Christ will always work the works of Christ throughout your world as you rest in his grace. As Philippians 4:19 declares, “And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (AMPC). Romans 14:23 articulates that every action has one of two sources – faith or fear. Yet Scripture also encourages us that as we engage with and hear God’s word, and discover the promises that are ours in Christ, faith will effortlessly rise up within us, fighting our battles and producing a vast, super-abundant harvest!

Spiritual Authority: The Basics

By Paige Hunt

Many Christians today are struggling with sin, sickness, poverty, and many other negatives in their lives. However, Jesus has provided us with a holistic salvation that has redeemed us from every curse, and given us authority to always be above, and not beneath every circumstance, the head and not the tail of every situation that we face. Deuteronomy 28:13 (AMPC) declares:

“And the Lord shall make you the head, and not the tail; and you shall be above only, and you shall not be beneath,”

Through Christ you have freely inherited this blessing and every other blessing of Scripture (See 2 Corinthians 1:20). God desires that you rule and reign in life by his grace – that you take what his grace has provided you through faith, and exercise spiritual 16dominion and authority on this earth! (Romans 5:17). With that being said, let’s begin our topic of ‘Spiritual Authority’…

You were created to have dominion!

To understand how the world got in such a mess, and why so many are struggling, we have to go back to Genesis. In the same way, to understand our authority, we have to return to Genesis, to the Garden of Eden, for it was here that God made his intentions for man clear – God placed man in the midst of Eden, and gave him dominion, fortifying him with blessing. The word Eden means ‘pleasure’, and truly the garden was a haven of pleasure; a scene of harmony, beauty, peace, and abundant blessing. This was the sphere that man was designed, empowered, and created to live, think, and dwell within and from. I love the way that Kenneth Copeland writes about Genesis:

“Everything [in the garden] had been made ready for God’s crowning creation. ‘So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth’ (verses 27-28). – With those words, God imparted to Adam and Eve and to all mankind The Blessing. He told them who they were: the lords of the earth created by God in His image as rulers and royalty. He told them what they were supposed to do: replenish (or fill up) the earth, subdue it and bring it into line with the perfect will of God. He also gave them the power to carry out that assignment. To bless actually means “to empower.” …Adam’s job was to exercise his God-given authority and expand that Garden until it encompassed the entire earth. That’s what The Blessing was for! It provided Adam with the power to carry on the work God began in creation. The Blessing empowered Adam to be a blessing wherever he went.” – Kenneth Copeland ‘The Garden of Eden in You’ (Believer’s Voice of Victory magazine, January 2007) [Insert mine]

Scripture declares God’s original intent for mankind to rule and reign as king’s on earth, prospering in a world of pleasure. There were no qualifications on this dominion either – man was created to live in freedom, joy, and peace. Genesis 1:26 writes this simply: “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion…” (KJV)

Throughout Scripture, the original intent of God for mankind is clearly displayed:

  • “The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s: but the earth hath he given to the children of men…” – Psalm 115:16 (AMPC)
  • “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.” – Psalm 82:6 (KJV)

When God created mankind, he did so because he is a maternal, benevolent figure of pure 17light (1 John 1:5; Deuteronomy 32:18; Hosea 11:3-4; Isaiah 49:15). God’s greatest desire was to birth humanity as the recipients of all of his blessings, wonder, and pleasure, and to give them the earth as a birthday present, a present fitting for ‘Children of the most High’.

The Trouble Begins

Although man was given such an astounding birthday present – to reign on paradise earth – mankind lost this to Satan, being deceived into giving him their God-given authority (see Genesis 3). This is why Luke 4:6 declares that Satan showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and said…

“And he said to Him, To You I will give all this power and authority and their glory (all their magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, and grace), for it has been turned over to me, and I give it to whomever I will.”  – Luke 4:6 (AMPC)

Mankind unwittingly turned their kingly reign over to Satan, and forfeited the life of a king for the life of a slave. However, all was not lost…

Abraham’s Blessing

God, in his passionate love, truly wanted humanity to enjoy their birthday gift of reigning on this earth, so he designed a redemption plan. This began with the blessing that God gave to Abraham in Genesis 12:

“And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you [with abundant increase of favors] and make your name famous and distinguished, and you will be a blessing [dispensing good to others]. And I will bless those who bless you [who confer prosperity or happiness upon you] and curse him who curses or uses insolent language toward you; in you will all the families and kindred of the earth be blessed [and by you they will bless themselves].” – Genesis 12:2-3 (AMPC)

Abraham received this blessing through faith, and as a result, he began to reign in life as a king. Scripture records many promises that Abraham walked in, which I’ve detailed in our previous article, click here to be directed. One of the blessings that Abraham walked in was vast prosperity that continually increased (Genesis 13:2; 24:35), and expansive influence. 18Abraham was well-known for the blessings that marked his life (12:2). Indeed, he was so blessed by the blessing of God that he had divine renewal of youth, and him and his wife Sarah were able to have a child when he was 100 years old! (Genesis 17:16-17). Indeed, God truly is a hilariously generous giver!

The promise was not only to Abraham, but also to his offspring (Genesis 17:7). Therefore, throughout Scripture we see people regaining insight into their God-given authority, and accomplishing many mighty things. Hence Daniel 11:32 states, ‘the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits’ (KJV).

“but that is not all!

oh, no.

that is not all…”

 – Dr Seuss. ‘The Cat in the Hat’

 

 The Seed – Christ

God’s plan of redemption was to completely, fully, and truly redeem mankind back to their full authority and design in him. The blessing given to Abraham travelled down the ages through Abraham’s descendants in varying degrees, right to Jesus Christ. In Scripture, Christ is referred to as the ‘last Adam, a life-giving spirit’ (1 Corinthians 15:45, NIV). In Christ, God fully restored the blessing and authority given to Adam back to the whole human race.

Galatians 3 details this beautifully: in verse 16 we learn that God’s plan was always to redeem the blessing of our authority back to humanity through the finished work of Christ: ‘Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.’(KJV). Verses 13 and 14 tell us in no uncertain terms that through grace, we have inherited the fullness of our authority in the here and now, and can walk in the authority and blessing bestowed upon mankind in the garden:

“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” (KJV)

So, we can conclude that ‘they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.’ (v 9), and ‘And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.’ (v 29). Believers have fully re-gained their authority as heirs through Jesus Christ!

Heirs of the World

“For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” – Romans 4:13 (KJV)

Scripture actually declares that through our righteousness in Christ, which comes through faith and not our own performance, abilities, talents, striving, or efforts, we have received the status of heirs of the world.  The ‘world’ here means every material blessing, every earthly good, and all riches. Just like Adam we are called to prosper and have dominion on this earth. We are called to be above and not beneath, to live in abundant provision and 20never in lack, always in health and never in sickness or illness, and always in divine protection and unspeakable, glorious joy. To be an heir of the world means to be blessed materially, physically, relationally, mentally, and spiritually, and to enjoy life to the full and overflowing (John 10:10). God was speaking of us when he declared to Abraham that kings would be among his descendants! (Genesis 17:6).

More than meets the eye…

In fact, as New Covenant believers, we have it even better than Adam and Abraham – we are in union with the Trinity, and as such….

“And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One).” – Ephesians 2:6 (AMPC)

The Good News Bible writes ‘heavenly sphere’ as ‘the heavenly world’. In Christ we live, move, and have our being in a perfect, eternal union with the Trinity who conquered death, the devil, and are above every name that could be named. We are in Christ, seated ‘far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named [above every title that can be conferred], not only in this age and in this world, but also in the age and the world which are to come.” (Ephesians 1:21; AMPC).

“God has given us a huge authority. As born-again believers, Jesus has given us more authority than even Adam and Eve had. They had authority over this earth. However, after Christ rose from the dead, He had authority in heaven, authority on earth, and authority under the earth – meaning the demonic realm and hell (Phil. 2:10)….The authority we have as believers in Christ today is superior to the authority Adam had. We have everything he lost, and much more. We now have authority over the demonic realm (Matthew 10:1, 7-8)” – Andrew Wommack, ‘The Believer’s Authority’ p. 75-76.

As a believer in Christ you have unconditional, irrevocable authority over the demonic realm, as well as kingly authority to reign in this earth, walking in divine prosperity, abundance, peace, joy, health – every blessing that can be named – because you are in Christ, the name above all names, and share in all that he is and all that he has.

  • “…All authority (all power of rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” – Matthew 28:18-19 (AMPC)
  • “Then Jesus called together the Twelve [apostles] and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases” – Luke 9:1 (AMPC)
  • “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” – Luke 10:19 (KJV)
  • “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” – Mark 16:17-18 (KJV) “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen” – Revelation 1:6 (KJV)
  • As a believer in Christ, you have ultimate power and authority over all sicknesses, diseases, and demons. As you have all authority, the devil has none! You have power over all the enemy and nothing shall by any means hurt you. The devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but you have authority and power over harm, destruction and even death, because the dead-raising power of Christ lives on the inside of you and is a natural expression of your true identity and authority (John 10:10; Ephesians 1:19-23). You have authority over natural laws, authority to live in the fullness of God’s blessings, including Psalm 91 protection!

“And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen” – Revelation 1:6 (KJV)

Extra Reading:

http://www.kcm.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/jan-mag-2007.pdf

How Does Obedience Fit Into the New Covenant – Part Two

By Paige Hunt

In our last article we spoke about how obedience fits into the New Covenant – it is the effortless result of receiving the love of God, and abiding in the revelation of the finished work of Jesus Christ. It is natural to conclude, then, that just as obedience is the fruit of right believing, disobedience is caused by unbelief.

Sin and disobedience are not the problem, and God is not an angry judge waiting to punish and harm people who are living in sin and disobedience. 1Rather, God looks upon those in messy lifestyles of sin and disobedience with love and compassion, understanding that the root of these issues is unbelief, and people’s behaviour is merely a result of that. The deepest issue is not sin and disobedience, but unbelief in Christ, His love, and His finished work.

Did you hear that? Sin and disobedience are not the issue. God has already dealt with those things through the obedience of Christ (see Romans 5:19), and has ‘sworn not to be angry with you, never to rebuke you again.’ (Isaiah 54:9, NIV). Christ has already dealt with our sins on the cross, and he desires for all men to come to the knowledge of this through a full revelation of the New Covenant. Scripture declares that God “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4. ESV). Interesting to note is that the word for ‘desires’ used in this verse denotes not only a resolve to save, but a love and fondness for restoring, healing, and saving people. It is an emotional-filled word that speaks of the Father’s unconditional compassion and limitless grace.

This is our God, who Jesus revealed as ‘Father’. This is an intimate picture of life-transforming security, cherished relationship, and dependence. 562It is the relational Fatherhood of God that saves us from our disobedience, and not our own works and efforts, which in fact have the opposite effect and stir up more sin in our lives (see 1 Corinthians 15:56; Romans 3:20; Romans 7:8).

“The pattern of Jesus’ life on earth gives insight into God’s method of transformation. He knows that you, like Zacchaeus (see Luke 19), will not be changed by performance, but by His Presence. The power of His love, the joy of His Presence, and the peace coming from His acceptance are far more capable of changing the human heart than rebuke, censure, condemnation, and rejection…” – John Sheasby, ‘The Birthright’: ‘Out of the Servant’s Quarters into the Father’s House’, p.93, bracket insert mine.

With this image of God as the Father of love and grace in our mind, let’s take deeper look at how God deals with disobedience in the New Covenant:

“And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me;” – John 16:8-9 (NKJV)

What matters (as in the primary focus) is not your lifestyle, but your belief system, because what you believe will directly influence your behaviour. This is why Jesus in John 16:9 states that the Holy Spirit convicts non-Christians of unbelief. Another thing to note is that the word for convict used in this Scripture is the Greek word ‘elegcho’, which means ‘to convince’. God desires to convince non-Christians of their unbelief, so that they can come to believe and rest in the all-sufficiency of Jesus more and more, and find the successful, abundant life that God desires for them to have! (See Romans 2:4).

The solution to any and all areas of wrong behaviour, of toxic emotions, and of failure is the finished work of Jesus, and hearing of the beauty and love of God as displayed in Christ. Hearing the good news will always inspire faith in our hearts, transforming our beliefs and giving us the abundant life freely (Romans 10:17; John 10:10). 563Even as believers, we can sometimes believe, act, and live as if we were still in the domain of sin, but through the Good News message the Holy Spirit continually convinces us that in Christ, we have been rescued from the mess and mire of sinful, disobedient living (Colossians 1:12-13). Jesus has qualified us to live without sin and disobedience, to walk in step with His Spirit within us!

Another way that Jesus explained how God deals with those who are not producing healthy fruits (which many would view as disobedience) is in his metaphor of the vine and the branches in John 15:

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” – John 15:1-5 (NIV)

Pruning and being cut off sounds pretty painful, and legalists love to use this verse to say that unless we are obedient, we will find ourselves under the punishment of God. However, Scripture says no such thing. In fact, the Greek term for cutting off these unfruitful branches is actually the word ‘airō’, which is better translated here as ‘lifts up’. This makes much more sense in the world of agriculture from which this imagery came. Paul Ellis explains this eloquently in his online article:

Unfruitful branches are lifted out of the dirt and re-dressed so they can be nourished by the sun. Sticking with that metaphor, the reason why some Christians are barren is that they’re facedown in the dirt and not looking at the Son. They’re busy, distracted, stressed, and have wandered from their protos agape, their primary love.” – Paul Ellis, ‘What Happens to Unfruitful Branches?’ [escapetoreality.org]

For believers and non-believers alike, sinful living is simply the result of not knowing how much God loves us, or how good this Good News message really is. Furthermore, pruning in our English terminology means ‘to remove unwanted parts’. However, God is our Creator and our Father, and he loves all that he has made! (See Psalm 145:9). No matter how disobedient you are, you will never be an unwanted or undesired part. In Greek, the word for pruning used in John 15 is ‘kathairō’, more accurately translated in this verse as ‘cleansed’. This is why Jesus declares to his disciples, who have been regularly hearing his words, ‘you are already clean (katharos) because of the word I have spoken to you’.

So God’s cure for disobedience is heaping upon us grace after grace! (John 1:14; John 1:16). 564God’s cure for disobedience is to speak the Good News over our lives, elevating us with the message of Christ’s obedience on our behalf! As we soak up this message, we begin to understand how much God loves us, and we effortlessly manifest the fruits of God’s Spirit and walk in His obedience. (See also Romans 1:16; Romans 10:17).

“Think about the relationship between a vine and a branch. Can a branch produce fruit? No. If you need proof, just cut a branch off a vine or fruit tree, and watch awhile to see how much fruit is produced. However, if a branch is attached to the source with a flow of life, it can bear fruit. The branch is incapable of producing fruit on its own….” – Steve McVey, ’52 Lies Heard in Church Every Sunday’

The Gospel message reveals to us the righteousness that we have obtained in Christ, and effortlessly produces God’s faith in our lives.

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” – Romans 1:17 (KJV)

Jesus does not want us to be self-focused – to live by faith in ourselves, where we are constantly under the mentality of ‘right vs. wrong’, or ‘disobedience vs. obedience’. 565Instead, as we remain in an atmosphere of grace, where we can hear and believe the Good News, that Good News continually convinces us to rest in Christ’s all-sufficiency, eradicating unbelief from our lives. Scripture calls this ‘the obedience of faith’ (Romans 1:5).

Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all the Gentiles might come to the obedience that comes from faith” – Romans 16:25-26 (NIV), emphasis mine.

Limitless Life Devotional

Not of this World

John 18:36

‘Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.’ (KJV)

When you became a believer, a whole new dimension of living opened up to you, and you inherited the Kingdom of heaven. This Kingdom has for centuries inspired fairytale and fantasy with its ‘happily ever afters’, and ‘dreams come true’. It is a kingdom full of wonderstruck royalty and bliss-filled happiness. A kingdom where magic exists! This Kingdom is heaven on earth in the here and now, and the gateway to experiencing its tangible realities is Christ’s finished work. Christ functions as a secret doorway – as you lean, depend, and rely on his love, revealed in the Gospel message, you will discover yourself stumbling through this Christ-door, and into the Disneyland park of heaven, the heart-realm of inspiration, having ears that hear and eyes that see this invisible reality!  As what is unseen becomes seen and known in your understanding through the revelation of Christ, the power of this new dimension dances into your physical world like a babbling brook, and influences the natural world with its living inspiration, exotic glory-vitality, and flourishing life! Your senses will begin to engage in and resonate with this divine heavenly vacation-park, which is open all hours, and completely free to enjoy!

Jesus transforms an ordinary world into a parade of heaven’s patterns. Colossians articulates that Jesus has completely de-coded the mystery of the human race, revealing to us the life of our design, the quality of life the Godhead always dreamt we would experience, through revealing to us this new kingdom and its culture:  ‘Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son’ (Col. 1:13 KJV). At one time, you were a tree of the knowledge of good and evil, plugged into man’s best efforts and ideals, grounded in natural circumstance, and only able to perceive anything through the darkened understanding of the world’s basic principles and rules. But now, you are a flourishing tree of life, planted into this new, deeper-magic dimension of God’s heart through the finished work of Jesus Christ, and blossoming in resurrection-revelations. You were plugged into the body of Christ in his death, and vitally joined in a Siamese union with his heart, so that the rhythm of your life now beats to his trillion-volt bliss! You were translated into heaven’s dimension so that you can live by heaven’s principles, and manifest heaven’s wonders, no longer dictated by the natural rules and regulations of the world.

As a result, you have the Godhead’s quality of life, which throughout the Gospel of John is named ‘eternal life’. Life without beginning or end. Life unhindered and overflowing with vitality and limitless goodness. You no longer have to be afraid of the ‘rules’ of this world, because you are not simply a natural creature anymore. You are plugged into the supernatural, heavenly Source of Christ’s heart and imagination, and he is articulating his all-sufficient life throughout your natural world. This life is care-free in God’s tender care, and does not need to defend itself – the Gospel is the defender, and it produces wonder-working, grave-breaking, resurrection-ready power.

What is God’s Discipline?

By Paige Hunt

Jesus wants his blood to mean something and to do something once more; for us to be a people wonderstruck by his wonder-working power and manifesting Kingdom culture. Unfortunately, believers everywhere have lost what it means to have a personal, caring Father who loves us, whose blood flows in our veins and whose creative passion causes our hearts to beat with his energy.  Some believers, through immaturity, regard Christianity as a mere ‘get out of jail free card’, rather than a declaration of heaven on earth in the here10 and now. These people reject the discipline of the Lord, and ‘conform to the pattern of the world’ (Romans 12:12), because they have not understood that the Spirit of Christ flows within them, so they are no longer ‘of the flesh’, and no longer ‘of the world’ (John 17:16; 1 John 2:15-17; Romans 8:9)

Paul addresses this issue in 1 Corinthians 4, stating that because believers no longer allow the Lord’s judgement in their lives, they have ‘gone beyond what is written’, and see themselves as wise, strong, and honoured in the courts of the world (see also Revelation 3:17). These people judge and discern and discipline themselves via the flesh and the culture around them, rather than through the Spirit of Jesus Christ and his finished work on their behalf. They are unbelieving believers, in the sense that the finished work of Jesus has become of no effect in their lives, and has been drowned out through the noise of this world. These people have forgotten who their father is, reflected in their unruly and pretentious behaviour (Matthew 5:16). 1 John 2:15-17 articulates this by stating that ‘If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in them. For everything in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – comes not from the Father but from the world’. (NIV)

This is why Paul concludes 1 Corinthians 4 by saying:

“I am not writing this to shame you, but to warn you as my beloved children. Even if you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I urge you to imitate me. That is why I have sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which is exactly what I teach everywhere in every church. Some of you have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you. But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only what these arrogant people are saying, but what power they have. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. Which do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love and with a gentle spirit?” (1 Corinthians 4:14-21 NIV, emphasis mine)

Paul expresses to the believers here that to change their lifestyle, they first need to be put back into the correct mind, which is the mind-set of a ‘beloved child’. One who does not simply have ‘ten thousand guardians/instructors’, but through the Gospel, a Father. This is relevant because a tutor in those days was a dependable slave that supervised morality and lifestyle until a child was mature. This is the same word used in Scripture to refer to 11the law (Galatians 3:24-25), and Paul states clearly in Galatians 3:25 we ‘are no longer under a law’. These people do not need to shape their lives after the mosaic law or fashion their lives after the laws and ideals of the culture around them, because they recognise that their very breath is the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:2). They are under a different system of discipline, which is the revelation of the finished work of Jesus Christ (Galatians 5:16).

Paul outlines that a disciplined lifestyle does not come through cultural patterns and ideals, belonging to an earthly kingdom, but it is given to us through having a relationship with the Father; it is the effortless result of enjoying grace. Not through rules, but through relationship. Paul speaks of being a father through use of the Greek word ‘pater’ which refers to one who is the originator, who has ‘infused his own spirit into others, governing their minds’. Thus, Paul desires that these people quit their immature ways and enter into a lifestyle of walking in the Holy Spirit, recognising that they are filled to the brim with grace and truth, and composed of its wisdom, able to flow with the pattern of God’s design. Paul asks the question ‘shall I come to you with a rod, or in love and with a gentle spirit?’ – For the discipline of the law (whether the principles of this world or of religious systems within it) is as a painful rod, but the discipline of the Spirit is ‘in love and with gentleness’.

So it is time to speak about a simultaneously much abused, and much neglected topic: God’s discipline…

Please note, when I refer to discipline I am referring to one of two things: 1) the realm of discipline; this is the realm of effortless holiness that we get to enjoy by grace through faith. 2) God’s active discipline in our lives, which as we will talk about (in the remainder of this article and part two), is not his confrontation of sin, nor his reminder that we ‘can 12do better’, but is him lovingly pointing to the provision in us, to our identity. His discipline is him showering us with love and pointing us to our inheritance! It is him teaching us about grace, about this New Covenant in which we stand!

So, as already clearly noted by Paul, God’s discipline does not enter our lives through rules and regulations – these are not, and never will be, the path to perfection. Secondly, God’s discipline is not to be feared, because it is not a harsh rod, but it is always ‘in love with gentleness’, because we are ‘beloved children’. In other words, if a good parent would not discipline a child with illness, natural disasters, difficult circumstances, then neither will God, who is not simply a good parent, but a really great one – the best, in fact! Therefore, how much more will God’s discipline be good, kind, perfect, and wise! God’s goodness can be understood in human terms, as it is very real and practical. It is impossible to over-exaggerate the kindness of his wisdom or the beauty of his goodness and grace. His discipline can be seen in exactly the same way, as it is an expression of his goodness. Jesus expresses this clearly in Luke 11:

‘What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? So if you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit (i.e. the spirit of holiness) to those who ask Him!’ (Luke 11:11-13 NIV)

Jesus desires for us to know that he is good, kind, and generous in everything he does, and that in giving us the spirit of holiness so that we can live disciplined lives, he is also a good father, and will not harm or hurt us.

As we begin to recognise God as a good Father, we understand that His Spirit, his very nature, has been imprinted upon our hearts. This has transformed us into grace-filled, holy, spiritual people. People whose hearts beat to the passionate, inspirational rhythm of God’s drum. We no longer need to conform ourselves externally to rules, expectations, or demands. As Romans 8:15 clearly highlights:

“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father’.”

As children, we have received the spirit of grace and holiness, our precious Holy Spirit, and this effortlessly enables us to live in ways fitting to the children of the Divine. Titus emphasises this, stating that grace appears to ‘teach us’, both to say no to sin, and to live self-controlled, upright, and Godly lives (Titus 2:12). Many think that grace must teach us 13through the framework of external rules, demands and pressures (the law), but grace appears in our hearts, through the Gospel message (Matthew 13:1-23). This is an internal resonance, in the same way that genetics naturally shape a person’s appearance after that of their family.

John 14:26 states that the beloved children of heaven receive the Holy Spirit as a gift, one which makes walking in the Spirit and living disciplined, holy lives easy and accessible for us all.

“But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor – Counsellor, Strengthener), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name (to represent Me and act on My behalf), He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you” (AMP)

Jesus refers to his wisdom, our discipline to live a Holy life, as comforting Presence of love. Paul Ellis (www.escapetoreality.org) has explained that:

‘The Holy Spirit isn’t your personal sin manager but your Helper, your Comforter, your Counselor. And in that role he will guide you (Joh 16:13), correct you (2 Tim 3:16), and, if necessary, rebuke or admonish you (Heb 12:5). He does none of this in reaction to your sin, per se. He does it because he loves you, he cares for you, and he doesn’t want you to wreck your life on some harebrained death-dealing decision.’

The Holy Spirit enables us to live ‘in Christ’, within the power and glory of this Kingdom of grace and love (Colossians 1:13). He provides us with such loving care that opposition and contradictions to heaven on earth are silenced, as we resonate with the reality that we rule and reign as Father’s children.

‘You dear children, are from God, and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world’ (1 John 4:4 NIV)

This is a personal walk of faith, walking in the discipline and holiness of God. The realm of discipline is the realm of holiness, and it doesn’t necessarily look like the world’s 14definition, no it’s better – much better! And, the discipline of God is him lovingly pointing us to his Spirit in us! This is a grace gift, a personal grace-gift that we get to walk in and enjoy! Discipline floods and fills us with power and wisdom. As Jesus said in Luke 21:15, ‘I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict’. (NIV)

The Exact Representation of God (Part 2)

By Paige Hunt

The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.”

–  Hebrews 1:3 (NLT)

This week we are continuing our previous discussion on Jesus being the exact representation of God. A true perspective of God, gifted to us through Christ, leads to a complete cleansing of our perspective. This enables us to enjoy the lavish majesty and joy-filled personality of God, colouring in our world with so much amazement and creative inspiration that we can enjoy life to the full as wonderstruck children, exploring endless prophetic realms of encouragement and imaginative whimsy in his love, through the correct representation of God ‘the Father’, given freely to us in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). As the beloved disciple John expressed, the revelation of Jesus Christ provides such abundance that ‘[if every work of Jesus was written down] I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.’ (John 21:25 NLT)

Jesus being the exact representation of God is therefore very important, as it teaches us all about our spiritual freedom in his Presence, especially concerning how to live within his patterns on earth so that we can relish in abundant life.9 God’s desire was for mankind to know (experientially) the truth of himself in Christ, so that we could be made free (John 8:32) – free to enjoy and experience heaven on earth in all things, through Christ (Colossians 3:11). This is why we must allow Jesus as the exact representation of God, to become the lens through which we understand and read our Bibles. A true understanding of God in Christ is designed to transform our Bible reading times, and influence every facet of our existence.

In the revelation that Christ is the exact image of God, reluctance and passivity in Bible study will be swallowed up by the passion and desire to experience and understand, to meditate on and enjoy, the one who is truly the ‘desire of all nations’. (Haggai 2:7). This is why the Bible records Jesus revealing himself to a couple of his disciples throughout all the Scriptures, with the result that the disciples commented amongst themselves, utterly amazed, ‘were not our hearts burning within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?’ (Luke 24:32 NIV)

A true understanding of God, as revealed through Christ, enables Bible study to become productive, life-giving, revelatory, and power-releasing, as we focus on the authentic truths of heaven on earth. In Hosea 4:6, The Lord laments that ‘my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge’ (NIV). As Colossians states, this knowledge of God has been given to everyone through Jesus Christ, in whom are hidden ALL the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3). 10Notice that this Scripture clearly says that it is in Christ, the authentic word of God, that God’s knowledge and wisdom is made known to humanity, in styles and patterns that we could perceive and understand. It is not through Scripture that the knowledge of God is primarily made known, but through the living, active revelation of Jesus Christ, and his finished work on our behalf. Jesus makes the imagination of the Godhead known to us. He brings to us the understanding of their tender, personalised mercies, as well as their creative, practical understanding of heaven on earth and what this truly looks like. In John 5:39-40, Jesus expresses this exact concern to the religious leaders of the day:

“You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me!  Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life.” (NLT)

It is so easy for us to look at this Scripture from a distance, as if we could not fall prey to the same pitfalls. Yet today, many people are confused about the authentic nature of God, and read the Old Testament through a veil which prevents them from experiencing God’s life, as they attribute the atrocities committed and the rampant sexism, racism, and abuse, to our good and perfect God. When asked about why Jesus is so different from the image of God revealed in the Old Testament, these people would imply that there is more to God than Jesus, more to life than grace. Almost as if God the Father and Christ were playing ‘good cop, bad cop’. Jesus becomes eclipsed by a distorted image of holiness as the Bible is elevated above Christ, and as Jesus is the exact representation of God, and God’s authentic revelation, this results in a life of confusion and defeat, where the power, life, and personality of God remains a ‘holy mystery’, and we walk around in the dark, grasping at prophetic straws. Let us not be those kind of people who have ‘zeal without knowledge’, as Scripture is clear that Jesus is the full-fat revelation of the Father, who expresses the fullness of the Godhead and leaves no aspect of him a mystery. He is the correct lens through which we can perceive and understand the Bible.

“No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.” – (John 1:18 NLT)

Many people had written ‘in God’s name’ for many centuries previous to this, and yet Jesus came on the scene and revealed this shocking, almost offensive truth, that none of these people ever really revealed God. (He made a holy fool of our religious pride, and we have thanked him ever since!). Jesus made it evident that God is a heart-God, a God of love (1 John 4:8), not a God to be grasped and expressed with intellectual pride, or through a long list of rules, regulations, and demands. At the fall, when man ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, rather than the tree of life, humanity substituted the life of God within their hearts, for a stoic understanding of God within their intellects. 11Ideas of right and wrong replaced an intimate heart-relationship with the Inspired One. Our hearts were created to be flourishing gardens of Spirit-filled inspiration, beauty, and delight, flowing through us and nourishing our entire world. A spontaneous, organic, compassion-flooded way of living, hand in hand with Father God, knowing him as we have been known by him, through authentic relationship resonating from the core of our being. Yet when we severed this intimate communion with God by partaking of the wrong tree, we created him in the image of our own intellectual ideas of what seemed right, and thus he became a cold idol of stoic intellectualism.

This limited ‘human’ understanding of God was the reason why our hearts became as hard as stone. Isaiah 6:9-10 expresses what happened at the fall, and woos us to understand with our hearts, rather than our prejudices, once more. This is why it is so important that Jesus came as the exact representation of God. The correct understanding of Father God through Jesus Christ practically transforms our heart of stone into a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). We were created to be a dynamic expression of God’s heart, flowing as one with His Spirit, as a freestyling poem of creative exploration, divine satisfaction, and glory-filled joy (Ephesians 2:10). This is why, as we began to understand God incorrectly at the fall, the living waters of our existence dried up, and we became as hard and inflexible as stone. When we understood God wrong, we misinterpreted the pattern of our design, as what we believe about God is reflected and revealed in the way we live our lives. So thankfully, Jesus came to show the message back into our hearts, wooing us to see ourselves, and our God correctly again, through the enchanted looking-glass of his Person and his finished work, so that the new wine of his practical wisdom about God could break our old wineskins (Matthew 9:17), enabling us to enter into the abundant life of the Father, as we were always intended to. This is why it is so important that we know, see, and understand Jesus as the ONLY exact representation of the Father. The Bible is not the exact representation of the Father, only the Christ is. 2 Corinthians 3:18 articulates this beautifully:

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (KJV)

As we see and understand within our hearts that Christ is the exact representation of God, glory is released into our lives, and we begin to flow in harmony with our design once more, because in Christ is revealed the authentic blueprint of humanity, and the superior pleasures of union with the Godhead, through his gleaming revelation of Father God. Through Christ, we can see the beauty of God with clarity, and it fills our hearts and transforms our perspective. This is why, when (and only when) people begin to read the Bible through the living, active imagination of Christ in their hearts (Ephesians 1:18), will we truly see the Great Commission fulfilled, and sexism and racism banished from our one, holy, apostolic Church. 12This will happen when we see and understand Jesus as the exact representation of God. We will truly discover ourselves in him then again. Where we have put conditions, regulations, and full stops, God has placed the wisdom of his love, his compassion, and his unconditional acceptance. Listen to these words that Jesus spoke from the Father’s heart:

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” – Luke 13:34 (NIV)

Jesus was speaking to a bunch of ungrateful, angry murderers, and yet he revealed that the Father, far from destroying these types of people, actually longed to embrace them. He had compassion on the oppressor as well as the oppressed – this is a truth that blows our paradigms! Jesus revealed that God was never our enemy, we were HIS enemies in our minds (Colossians 1:21). Jesus as the exact representation of God reveals to us a new perspective – the enlightened understanding that God’s truth is saturated in grace and not legalism! (John 1:17).

It is through Jesus that we can finally perceive the Old Testament correctly, through the lens of Jesus, in the rhythms of Holy Spirit, so that we can function in, and engage with, God’s life and freedom. It was never God who committed monstrosities in The Old Testament, it was always the devil, and because people had not perceived God correctly until Jesus came, they did not rightly perceive what was occurring around them. For example, the Father never wipes out cities or brings natural disasters. God is not the author of evil! Rather, he gives his children GOOD gifts, and desires that all come to repentance through his mercy and grace (Matthew 7:11; 2 Peter 3:9; Romans 2:4).

“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].” – John 10:10 (AMP)

Jesus reveals that any, and all, sickness, destruction, death, and dis-ease does not come from our beautiful God, but from the enemy. He also reveals that God is a God of life and not judgement. This is why Jesus clearly stated ‘the Father judges no one’ (John 5:22 NIV), and ‘I pass judgement on no one’ (John 8:15 NIV). This is how we can know that the Father’s discipline is not punitive, but restorative – it lovingly works with us, and is for us and not against us. This is why hell is not a place for men but for the devil and his angels, i.e. for death, destruction, and chaos! 13These things were designed to be swallowed up by the life and goodness of the Father! (Matthew 25:41). Jesus reveals that God is SO good, in fact, that the disciples declared that the only logical conclusion about God they could come to, after spending time with Jesus, was:

“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5 NIV)

God’s goodness is real, practical, wonderful, and God-sized! We had got our language and image of God so wrong, which was why Jesus came to us and revealed to us what God is truly like. This is why he came to give us the authority we lost through wrong beliefs, through allowing the enemy to take our authority. Jesus comes to give back to us every piece of heaven, every aspect of his blessing that we had lost. He came to conform us to the design of heaven, our original blueprint, so that we could live in heaven’s beauty, bliss, and tranquillity. This is the heart of the Father:

‘Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.’ (Matthew 10:8 NIV)

Jesus not only refused to present God as a ‘judge’ or one who condemns or hurts others, he actively, humbly went about REDEEMING people from these evil works! Acts 10:38 records Jesus healing ALL who were under the devil’s power.

… how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.”  (Acts 10:38 NIV)

God is not in the business of disaster, punishment, or catastrophe. He lovingly binds our wounds. As Isaiah 42:3 comments, Jesus was a God of gentleness and compassion: ‘A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out’ (NIV). And just in case you missed it, Jesus does not do anything that is not in accordance with the Father, because he is in perfect oneness with him (John 5:19). Jesus came to truly make God the Holy Father again, as he revealed what holiness really is – perfect wholeness and harmony with the beauty of heaven (Matthew 6:9). This is why Jesus is the pioneer of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). His beauty inspires faith within us, as he reveals that the holiness of God is irresistibly beautiful and undeniably attractive. It gives us confidence to come before God’s throne of grace and freely receive the riches of heaven on earth (Hebrews 4:16).

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