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Mar30ThuMarch 30, 2017Yesterday we talked about principles and how they fall short. In the example of Celebrate Recovery we saw how men come up with their own ideas and call them biblical and then expects God to bless them. Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” When we stand on the promises of God and only then can we see the blessings as described in scripture. When we don’t adhere to the word of God, this happens. Deuteronomy 28:15 “if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you.” Deuteronomy 28:28 “The Lord will afflict you with madness, blindness and confusion of mind. If you do not carefully follow all the words of this law, which are written in this book, and do not revere this glorious and awesome name—the Lord your God— 59 the Lord will send fearful plagues on you and your descendants, harsh and prolonged disasters, and severe and lingering illnesses. 60 He will bring on you all the diseases of Egypt that you dreaded, and they will cling to you. 61 The Lord will also bring on you every kind of sickness and disaster not recorded in this Book of the Law, until you are destroyed.” Then add to this, Romans 1:27 “and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.” Think about all the diseases we are plagued with in the church and outside the church. We have mental health and all that encompasses it. This one in itself is massive but look at Deuteronomy 28:28 “madness and confusion of mind.” We have suicide, we have all kinds of cancer, we have diabetes, heart issues, strokes, sexually transmitted diseases, accidents in general and all that the demonic encompasses, just to name a few. We also have financial woes, culture falling apart, lifestyle choices and the church accepting it.I for one believe that the power that is available to all who believe is a better way to go than following some man made plan. I for one will wait to be clothed with power as commanded. When we stand on the promises everything is different. Those who had leprosy were healed instantly, those who were dead rose, those who were sick were well and those who were demon possessed were freed. This was instantaneous and it creates a stir. Matthew 4:3 “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them.” He is our example then we go out and do the same. This is why we must hold on to the promises of God because man will tell you something different but man’s power cannot do this. After Pentecost Acts 3:1 “One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. 6 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. 11 While the man held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade. 12 When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. 14 You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. 15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. 16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.”This is the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is what is available to all who believe. I heard someone preach on this and he used it as analogy for salvation. Sure we are freed when saved but then we will go out and free others who have been held captive by some disease or demon. The gospel just isn’t salvation as there is healing and casting out demons involved. We will have the power not to just talk about it but to do the same. Luke 7:18 “John’s disciples told him about all these things. Calling two of them, 19 he sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” 20 When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’” 21 At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. 22 So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 23 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”What are you expecting? Do you expect to see this or you have been deceived by what you have not seen. Are you expecting the power of God to burst forth among us or is your god the same god AA believes in. As they said, “We understand now that once a person has crossed the invisible borderline from heavy drinking to compulsive alcoholic drinking, that person will always remain an alcoholic.” They have no idea who God is or the power that is available to all who believe. If they did you would not need AA or Celebrate Recovery. Sadly most of the church thinks this way. Yes they will say if God so chooses to heal, then it is all right but a man saying rise and walk and they are healed instantly, they say no, that power is not available to us today. The one thing I was asked was have you ever seen this? The answer for me personally is no but that is with my eyes. What I read in scripture is something all together different and that is what I choose to believe. I don’t really care what the naysayers are saying; I only care what God’s word states. Nowhere does it say power is not available. What it does say is 2 Timothy 3:5 “having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” Do not accept man’s teaching. Man over time has decided this power is not available so they have continued in the flesh and call it the gospel of Jesus Christ but it is not.The promises of God tell me something totally different. Joshua was told Joshua 1:2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.” Deuteronomy 1:8 “See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land the Lord swore he would give to your fathers—to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—and to their descendants after them.” This promise applies to us because of Jesus as we talked about yesterday, albeit the land is everywhere now. Then David prayed, 1 Samuel 7:27 “Lord Almighty, God of Israel, you have revealed this to your servant, saying, ‘I will build a house for you.’ So your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to you. 28 Sovereign Lord, you are God! Your covenant is trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant. 29 Now be pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever in your sight; for you, Sovereign Lord, have spoken, and with your blessing the house of your servant will be blessed forever.” Jeremiah 33:14 “The days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will fulfill the good promise I made to the people of Israel and Judah. 15 “ ‘In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land. 16 In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: The LORD Our Righteous Savior.’ 17 For this is what the LORD says: ‘David will never fail to have a man to sit on the throne of Israel, 18 nor will the Levitical priests ever fail to have a man to stand before me continually to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings and to present sacrifices.” 19 The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah 20 “This is what the LORD says: ‘If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night no longer come at their appointed time, 21 then my covenant with David my servant—and my covenant with the Levites who are priests ministering before me—can be broken and David will no longer have a descendant to reign on his throne. 22 I will make the descendants of David my servant and the Levites who minister before me as countless as the stars in the sky and as measureless as the sand on the seashore.”These promises are to continue forever. God is still the God of the promises. 2 Chronicles 1:7 “That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” 8 Solomon answered God, “You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. 9 Now, LORD God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. We are asking God to do the same. Please Lord let your promise to my father David be confirmed. David had prayed 2 Samuel 7:25 “And now, Lord God, keep forever the promise you have made concerning your servant and his house. Do as you promised, 26 so that your name will be great forever. Then people will say, ‘The Lord Almighty is God over Israel!’ And the house of your servant David will be established in your sight.”As we read the gospels and read about the early church, there is great power available to all who believed. We are to go and do the same but we know even in the early church they did not adhere to the word of God and went their own way. We were to be like the Thessalonians who did what Paul taught them to do. 1 Thessalonians 1:4 “For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7 And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere.” We are supposed to continue and have power to do the same but in our disobedience we have lost this power and we now are defeated. The church has been deceived into thinking having no power is how it is supposed to be. satan is clever, is he not? He knows his time is short and he also knows the power we could have against him. Sadly we have settled for the light given from a match and while in our hand we hold a stick of dynamite. We have been convinced to set the dynamite aside and gather around the light of the match instead of lighting the dynamite and destroying the enemy. (not condoning playing with dynamite just a picture) 1 John 3:7 “Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8 The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. 9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.”Conitnue to hold fast to the promises and do not give up. Our Hebrews 11:1 “faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” So we stand on God’s word and hold 2 Thessalonians 2:15 “So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. 16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope.” 2 Corinthians 7:1 “Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”When Mary visited Elizabeth, Elizabeth said to Mary, Luke 1:45 “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” The question is do we believe God will fulfill his promises to us. Mary then said, “My soul glorifies the Lord 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name. 50 His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. 51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful 55 to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.” Psalm 34:1 “I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. 2 I will glory in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. 3 Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together. 4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. 5 Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. 6 This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. 7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. 8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. 9 Fear the LORD, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing. 10 The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. 11 Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. 12 Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, 13 keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. 14 Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. 15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry; 16 but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth. 17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. 18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. 19 The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all; 20 he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. 21 Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned. 22 The LORD will rescue his servants; no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.”There is so much more for us than what we are seeing. We are asking that God would open our eyes to see what the church really should be. I guarantee that what we are seeing now is not how it is supposed to be. Ephesians 1:18 “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” Joshua 1:6 “Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."