New Wine for New Wineskins March 2017

By , March 1, 2017 5:41 am

iBelieveLogoSilver01iBelieve (Part 1)

John 3: 16

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

The Message

16 This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.

Everlasting life is not just a quantity but a quality. Jesus said that he had come so that we could have and enjoy life in all of its fullness – superabundant, excessive, overflowing, surplus, over and above, more than enough, profuse, extraordinary, and more than sufficient life.

Everlasting life doesn’t begin when you die – it begins the moment you believe that Jesus is Lord and that he died and rose again, and that you died and rose again with him.

Romans 10: 8 – 10

8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (healed, delivered, prospered). 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Jesus said that the words that we speak originate in our hearts and so when we believe that Jesus is Lord and that he is risen from the dead the words that we speak will reflect that. Our words will proclaim that Jesus is our Saviour, that Jesus is our healer, that Jesus is our deliverer, and that Jesus is our provider. Our words will testify that Jesus is everything that we need him to be whenever and wherever we need him to be.

 The world that God loves so much is crying out for a saviour, a healer, a deliverer, a provider. How can they believe if they haven’t heard, and how can they hear if nobody tells them? Jesus said he that rivers of living water will flow from the hearts of those who believe in him. That is who we are born again to be – channels of the river that originates from the throne of God and that brings healing to every part of the sea of humanity that it reaches.

We are messengers, carriers of a message – a saving message, a healing message, a liberating message, an equipping, enabling, and empowering message. Out of the message the ministry comes, the opportunities to see and experience the Holy Spirit confirm our message in the lives of those who receive it.

I want to share with you something that I believe will liberate you from a huge amount of the stress and pressure that you are never supposed to experience as a follower of Jesus, who invited us to come to him and learn how to do everything from a position of rest.

Matthew 11: 28 – 30 (The Message)

28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

One of the biggest stressors created by religion is its emphasis on what you believe over who you believe. Jesus came to turn that around. He said to a man who had just heard that his daughter was dead to not be afraid but to only believe. Jesus was encouraging this man not to go by what he believed regarding death being the end, but to continue to believe in him as the one he had come to seeking help. He was telling this man to focus on who instead of what. We are too often fixated on what we need to do in order to do the same things that Jesus did. What did Jesus have to say about that?

John 6: 28 – 29

28 They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?” 29 Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”

Only believe. Down through history believers have seen God do what only God can do when they have done all they can do which is only believe.

Hebrews 12: 1 – 2

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…..

NLT

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith….

Looking unto Jesus, keeping our eyes on Jesus, who is the author and the finisher, the initiator and perfecter of our faith.

We know that although Jesus was the eternal Son of God everything that he did during his earthly ministry he did as a man anointed by the Holy Spirit. The truth is that Jesus was a man like none of us can ever be. He was a sinless man, and so he had perfect faith, because whatever is not of faith is sin and he had no sin so he had perfect faith. That’s why we look to Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.

Jesus does the same for us as he did for the father of the demonised boy who asked Jesus to help his unbelief.  Jesus completes and perfects our incomplete and imperfect faith.

Jesus retained his sinlessness as he resisted and overcame  every onslaught of temptation that assaulted him. And then he laid it all down for us, when in his sinless perfection he submitted himself to death on a cross as he took our place and punishment as the perfect and once and for all acceptable sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. He is our Saviour, our Healer, and our Deliverer.

One of the fundamental mistakes we make is when we think that we are responsible to do what Jesus did and emulate or copycat his works in a show of supernatural power that points people to us more than to him.
The good news is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the good news of what he has done and of what he will still do when we look to him.

In the first recorded healing miracle of the newly birthed church, Peter said to the lame man at the gate of the temple, “Look at us…” and then he went on to say, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk….

Later, he said to the people who were amazed at the man’s miraculous healing, “Why are you looking so intently at us….?” Peter went on to explain that the man’s healing had nothing to do with any power or godliness that he or John possessed. He was quick to tell the crowd that it was Jesus’ name and faith in his name that had brought healing to the man.

The good news of the kingdom is not, “Look at us….” The good news of the kingdom is, “Look to Jesus….” The good news of the kingdom is not, “Look what we can do….” The good news of the kingdom is, “Look to Jesus for what he can do….

When we get things confused we are then more liable to enter into competition mode and begin promoting our own ministry as having the necessary goods and criticising others that don’t appear to be as successful.
The only way to have true success in the kingdom is to keep pointing people to Jesus as the one who really does have what is needed in an endless and abundant supply.

There are no records in scripture of long drawn out prayers for healing as though healing was dependent on the ability of those praying to somehow break through and hit the magic button that released the healing.
All prayer was in the name of Jesus and in no way dependent upon the perfection of the person praying or the level of anointing that they had managed to attain to through intense spiritual discipline.

Rather than having a “Look at us….we’ve got it….” mentality we should be continually diligent to remove both our own and others focus away from us and onto Jesus.

When Peter said to the lame man, “Look at us….” he was inviting the man to give them his attention because there was something he needed to hear. He needed to hear that Peter and John had nothing for him but that in the name of Jesus he could be healed.

In the same way we can invite people to give us their attention so that they can hear about Jesus and look to him and be saved, healed, and delivered. Our success will always be determined by looking away from ourselves and all other distractions and looking only to Jesus.

There is only room for one celebrity in the kingdom and his name is Jesus.

I may struggle to attain the perfect faith required to receive everything I need, but that’s okay because I know a man who has perfect faith. His name is Jesus, and he is the perfecter of my faith. And so I’m looking to him to provide for every shortfall because he has forgiven all of my sins, all of the places where I have fallen short of God’s glory.

His amazing grace saved a wretch like me, and his amazing grace is still saving me. He is my Saviour, He is my Healer, He is my Deliverer, and He is my Provider.

I am going to keep looking to him, and I am going to keep pointing others to him, because that is the good news of the kingdom, the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The good news is not, “Look at us….we’ve got everything you need in our church brand….in our super-ministry…..” The good news is, “Hear us….we’ve got nothing for you but a message…. in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk….

Every believer from every church, movement, or stream has been given a measure of faith and has access to every word that our Father God has spoken.That places us all on a level playing field and so our ability to receive all that our Father God has promised and provided is dependent only on our willingness to believe that he has already made it available.

Jesus said all authority in heaven and earth has been given to him, and so when he told us that he has given us authority to trample on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy so that nothing shall by any means harm or hurt us, he is inviting us to look to him in his place of ultimate authority and trust in his name and his role as the author and finisher, the perfecter and completer of our faith.

When Peter said look the Greek word blepo can be translated “take heed” or “pay attention”. Later when Peter asks the people why are you looking at us the Greek word is atenizo which can be translated as “gaze intently.”

In Hebrews 12 when it speaks about looking to Jesus the Greek word is apharao which means “undivided attention” and is made up of two words apo meaning “away from” and horao meaning “to see”.  The word signifies undivided attention, looking away from all distractions in order to fix one’s gaze on one object.

This is the message that moves us from trying to “haul people in” to our boat to inviting them to enjoy breakfast on the shore with Jesus where he recommissions us all to feed the sheep.

Look to Jesus. That releases all of the pressure that is on us to perform.

Let people hear your testimony of all that looking to Jesus has accomplished in your life. Tell them….

I believe I am not a sinner trying to get righteous. I believe I am the righteousness of God with power and authority in Jesus’ name to resist sin by simply looking away from myself and all other distractions and looking, giving my undivided attention, to Jesus who is my righteousness.

I believe I am not the sick trying to get healed. I believe I am the healed with power and authority in Jesus’ name to resist sickness by simply looking away from myself and all other distractions and looking, giving my undivided attention, to Jesus who is my healer.

I believe I am not the oppressed trying to get delivered. I believe I am the delivered with power and authority in Jesus’ name to resist oppression by simply looking away from myself and all other distractions and looking, giving my undivided attention, to Jesus who is my deliverer.

I believe I am not the poor trying to prosper. I believe I am the prosperous with power and authority in Jesus’ name to resist poverty by simply looking away from myself and all other distractions and looking, giving my undivided attention, to Jesus who is my provider.

There is no room for spiritual pride or elitism because it’s got nothing to do with our power or godliness, it’s all down to Jesus. This is the simple and uncomplicated message that invites people to remove their focus from all of the whats of religion and restore their focus on the who of relationship.

Matthew 11: 28 – 30 (The Message)

28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Only believe.

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