Where the King’s Kids Live!
Copyright © 2002 by Mike Mings
By Mike Mings
608 N. Ingles
Lawson, Mo. 64062
Introduction …………………………………….“God’s Grace Land”
Chapter 1 ………………………………………….. “What is Grace?”
Chapter 2 ………………………………………. “How do we Get It?”
Chapter 3 ……………………………. Faith Says: “I Have it NOW!”
Chapter 4 ………………………………………… “Grace and Peace”
Chapter 5 …………………. “What’s Contained in God’s Grace?”
Chapter 6 ……………………………………………….. “More Grace”
Chapter 7 ……………………………… “Noah found God’s Grace!”
Chapter 8 ……………….. “Angels sent to minister God’s Grace”
Chapter 9 ……………………………….. “What is the Holy Spirit?”
Chapter 10 ………………………. “How I received the Holy Spirit”
Chapter 11 ……….. “Children of Israel didn’t take God’s Grace”
Chapter 12 ………. “Adam and Eve stepped out of God’s Grace”
Chapter 13 …………………… “God’s Grace is sufficient for you!”
Chapter 14 …………………… “Humble yourself before the Lord”
Chapter 15 ……………………………………….. “Multiplied Grace”
Chapter 16 …………………………….. “Gifts and Callings of God”
“GOD’S GRACE LAND”
(Where the Kings kids live!)
God’s grace land is a place where the children of God can and should live every day of their lives. God’s grace land contains everything every believer in Jesus Christ needs to live a successful Christian life in overcoming sin, sickness, and poverty. In God’s grace land there is peace, hope, love, joy, patience, self control, healing, health, wisdom, understanding, wealth, boldness, righteousness, goodness, godliness, long life, faith plus a whole lot more.
In this book we are going to delve into God’s Grace. We are going to get understanding on what God’s Word says Grace is and what it is not. We are going to find out exactly what is contained in His Grace and how we can take possession of it. We are going to expose some of the misconceptions about grace and get a clear understanding of what it actually is and how we can begin, from this day forward, to walk more and more into God’s Grace Land!
Proverbs 4:7-9 “…and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.”
What is Grace?
Beginning several years ago, every time I would hear it preached or taught that God wouldn't heal Paul of his thorn in the flesh something grieved me in my spirit. Deep down inside I got a sick feeling. You see God leads us by our spirits. God’s Spirit bears witness with our spirit to lead and guide us into all truth. “Those that are led by the Spirit of God, those are the sons of God.” Every time someone said that God's grace meant that God was saying no to Paul something went off in my spirit man and said "That's not right! God is not saying no."
The Lord began to deal with me to begin studying God's Word concerning grace and to get understanding of exactly what God's grace is and how we appropriate it. The Holy Spirit is our greatest teacher. Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit to lead us and to guide us so that we can know the truth and have understanding. The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit and reveals the deep things of God to us.
One day I was driving down the interstate highway between Kansas City and St. Louis. I was praying in the Spirit (in other tongues) and meditating on the Word of God.
I had just preached a message earlier that week on God’s grace and I had a desire to get an even better understanding of it. Suddenly the Spirit of the Lord began to speak to me and teach me about God's grace. Now the Lord had already taught me some things about grace and I had learned many things about grace from the Word of God but on this particular night the Holy Spirit gave me clarity of understanding on the subject. This is what the Holy Spirit taught me.
The Lord told me that "grace is the container that contains or holds everything that God has already freely given us. Everything that has already been freely given to men by God is contained in His grace. The Holy Spirit told me to picture a box; a gift box if you will, and picture everything Christ did for us at Calvary put in this gift box. Salvation from sin. Salvation from sickness. Salvation from poverty. The Holy Spirit told me that everything He has already freely given to man is contained in that gift box of grace. He said that not only is everything that He has already freely given us contained in His grace but that everything He does freely give individuals is also contained in His grace. These gifts, that He does freely give individuals, would include ministry gifts, gifts of the Spirit, and other special gifts that God gives to individuals at His discretion. The Holy Spirit said that faith is the hand that reaches in to the box to take out and take possession of what God has already freely given us."
So you see ALL the promises in the Word of God, that He has already freely given us, are contained in His grace. The baptism in the Holy Spirit is contained in His Grace. Salvation is contained in His grace and is a door we must walk through before we are eligible to receive many other things that are contained in His grace. Christ provided physical healing for us at Calvary. It is contained in His grace. Jesus gave us authority over demonic forces. This is also contained in His grace.
We are going to journey together through God's Word and find out just exactly what God has already freely given us by His grace and what we need to do to take hold of all that God has freely given us.
We can do what God says we can do. We can be what God says we can be. We can have what God says we can have. So if God says it’s ours let’s take it.
How do we get it?
The Holy Spirit told me that faith is the hand that reaches in and takes possession of the things that have already been freely given to us through God’s grace.
You see even though God has given us many great and precious promises in His grace they don’t do us any good unless and until we take possession of them and receive them by faith.
1 John 2:1-2 says “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
Now notice that Jesus paid the price for our sins and not only our sins but for the sins of the whole world. That is to say that God’s grace for the redemption of sin has been paid for and freely given to every man, woman, and child in the whole world. Jesus paid the price with His precious blood. So does everyone have freedom from sin? Is everyone walking in righteousness? Does everyone have eternal life?
Of course the answer to all of these questions is no. You see, even though Jesus paid the price for the redemption of sin, for everyone in the whole world, only those of us who believe it and receive what Christ has done for us, through his glorious grace, will benefit from it.
John 3:16 says that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes on him would not perish but would have everlasting life.
In the first chapter of John, God tells us that to as many as receive Jesus, to them He gives the power to become the sons of God.
So you see we have to believe and receive what God has given to us by His grace. To receive something means to actively take it. Receiving is not a passive thing but takes some effort on our part.
We have to actively take possession of the things that God has freely given to us by His grace. The children of Israel had been freely given the Promised Land, but they had to go in and actively take possession of it before it did them any good. The promise of God will do us absolutely no good until we believe it and actively receive and take possession of it.
God Won’t Save Me
Several years ago my wife and I were preaching a revival in a little Assembly of God church in Kearney, Missouri. At the end of one of our services, when we called people to come forward to be saved, there was a lady that came forward. She seemed to be really struggling and having a hard time as she was led through the sinner’s prayer. As I recall this very same lady came forward another night of the meeting for salvation again and she still seemed to be struggling.
I asked her if she hadn’t already received Jesus as her Lord and Savior. She said no that God wouldn’t save her. She said she didn’t feel saved. She said that she just couldn’t believe that God would forgive her for all she had done. Even though she wanted to be saved she just couldn’t believe that God would save her so every night she went away disappointed. That same pastor later told me that she goes forward in many meetings but never receives salvation.
As far as I know that lady has never received her salvation to this day. Even though it legally belongs to her, even though Jesus paid the price for the sins of the whole world, she could end up dying and going to hell not receiving the promise because of her unbelief.
Romans 4:16 says “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all.”
Romans 5:1-2 says “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
These scriptures makes it clear that the Holy Spirit was right when He told me that the way we appropriate or receive those things, that are contained in God’s grace, is by taking them by faith.
God Confirms by His Word
You know; God is pretty smart and when He speaks to you He will always confirm to you what He says by the Holy Scriptures. Every time the Holy Spirit has taught me something it has always lined up with the Word of God. We are to judge the spirits to see if they be of God. We are to judge what we hear in the spirit by God’s Word and if it doesn’t line up with the Word of God then we should just shelve it. Second Corinthians 11:14 says that Satan himself can appear as an angel of light so we have to be careful that any revelation we receive from the spirit lines up with God’s Word.
2 Timothy 3:16 says “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
Notice that the only thing that is profitable for doctrine is scripture. This tells us that ALL SCRIPTURE is profitable for doctrine.
Some people get what they believe to be a special revelation from God and you might ask them where that is in the Bible? If they tell you that it is revelation that is beyond the Bible then you had better put on your running shoes and run away from that fellow as fast as you can because if it doesn’t line up with all scripture then it is not profitable for doctrine.
That is how doctrines of devils get started. People get some idea or revelation and they totally ignore what God’s Word says about the subject. They might have heard an audible voice come out of the rafters of their barn. They might have had an angel come to them and give them some golden tablets. They might even have had a near death experience and come back with some wild revelations, but if all of this doesn’t line up with “all scripture” then we should just throw it in the trash because that’s exactly where it belongs.
Reject Anything Not Scriptural
It’s so easy for us to get sucked in by the sensational. We love to read books by people who claim to sit around and visit with angels all the time. We love to hear stories of people who have died and come back to life. That’s natural but we must test every teaching and doctrine by the written Word of God. That’s how we must judge the things these people say. Paul tells us in Galatians 1:8, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”
This scripture tells us that even if an angel from heaven appears to us and tells us anything contrary to the Word of God he is to be accursed.
Let’s examine something the apostle Peter tells us in 2 Peter 17-21. Peter says that he was an eyewitness of Jesus Christ and his power. Peter said that he heard with his own ears the voice of God the father speak out of heaven and say “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Peter says they were with Jesus at the holy mount and saw with their own eyes these things. Yet Peter says in verse 19 “We have also a more sure word of prophecy.” Now I ask you this, How could there be something more sure than what they saw with their own eyes and heard with their own ears? God tells us in verses 20-21, “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy come not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
You see the only way for us to have a “sure word” from God is if it lines up with the Holy Scriptures.
Some people say that they have their own interpretation of what different scriptures mean but God says, in His Word, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. That means His Word says what it means and we can’t just decide to interpret it the way we want too just so we can satisfy a belief system that we have learned, or developed on our own. God’s word is truth and He says what He means. Let’s just believe what God says.
Even Peter who walked and talked with Jesus and saw the mighty miracles that He did said that if his own eyewitness testimony didn’t line up with the scriptures, about the Messiah, then it wouldn’t have been a SURE WORD.
Today it seems like everyone is going around trying to get a “prophet” to give them a word from God. If those same people would spend half as much time in prayer and meditating on God’s written word (the Bible) they would have a word from God and it would be a sure word. Men are fallible and prophets can make mistakes.
Now I’m not saying that God doesn’t speak to us through godly men or through prophets, He does, but men can get in the flesh and are not always in the Spirit when they “give you a word”. The Bible says, now we know in part and we prophecy in part but when Jesus comes back for us THEN we will have full knowledge and understanding just as God knows us. God’s word will never, ever fail us. God’s word is sure. God’s word is always true.
When someone gives you a personal prophecy, make sure it lines up with the Word of God. Also it should confirm, with your own spirit, that it is correct and from God. We are to test the spirits to see that they be of God. The way we test them is with the Word of God and by the inward witness that God gives us by His Spirit that is in us.
If someone does give you an incorrect personal prophecy, don’t get mad, just walk in love and say to yourself “well they missed that”. “That was their flesh and not God”.
Jesus said “and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” Then Jesus said, “Father your word is truth.” Praise God, His word is the truth and He has given His word to us through His Holy Scriptures.
Faith Says: “I Have It NOW!”
About 20 years ago my wife and I were preaching what we called revivals in those days. We were at a little church in Waxahachie, Texas. We were holding a meeting that lasted from Sunday to the next Sunday. I was just out of Bible College and had been in the full time evangelistic ministry for a couple of months.
We had a little travel trailer that God had miraculously provided for us. When I say little, I mean little. I think it was only 17’ long and everything was very tight quarters but we actually lived in it when we were on the road. We just parked beside the church where we were ministering, hooked up the electricity and the water hose and we were all set. The church we were ministering in that week had at one time run about 300 people or so but it had run down to only about 50 to 60 folks.
Our services were good. People were getting saved, healed and filled with the Holy Spirit. I believe the pastor had 3 sons and all 3 received the baptism in the Holy Ghost.
Each night of the revival I usually preached on a different subject and the night the pastor's sons received the Holy Spirit was the night that I preached on the baptism in the Holy Ghost.
Should We Tarry?
Now there were many in the Pentecostal movement in those days that believed, preached and taught that you had to tarry to be filled with the Holy Spirit. You see they believed that when Jesus told His disciples and followers, just before His ascension, to tarry (or wait) in Jerusalem until the promise of the Holy Spirit had been poured out, that this was actually a formula for receiving the Holy Spirit. Now if that were true then everyone, even today, would have to not only tarry to receive the Holy Spirit but they would have to travel to Jerusalem and tarry if they wanted to receive the Holy Spirit.
This is what Peter said right after the 120 received the Holy Spirit and caused such a commotion by doing all of that tongue talking on the day of Pentecost. “This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on ALL flesh.”
You see Jesus had been telling them about the Holy Spirit and how it was needful for Him to go to the Father so He could pour out the Spirit on them. He said that the same works that He did they would be able to do. He said even greater (in number) works could they do because, while He was only one man on the earth operating in the power of the Holy Spirit, through all believers filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, He would be able to do even more.
God’s word tells us on that day of Pentecost, back there in the second chapter of Acts, about two thousand years ago, God poured out His Spirit on all flesh. He has already been poured out for every believer to receive by faith. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is contained in God’s grace. Jesus said; “And you shall receive miracle working power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.”
Tarried 40 Years
I actually met a man in one of our meetings that had been tarrying for the Holy Spirit for 40 years and as soon as I ministered on the Holy Spirit in his church, he just reached out and took what God had already freely given him. You see I told him that he didn't have to tarry, that the 120 in the upper room only tarried till the Holy Spirit was poured out on all flesh and since that time all we believers have to do is receive by faith what God has already given us.
Well this older man just reached out and received the Holy Spirit so easy that it seemed hard to believe that he had actually grunted, groaned and strained for 40 years trying to receive the Holy Spirit. He thought that God would give it to him when God was ready. He was waiting on God to do something He had already done about 2000 years ago.
When he found out, through the Word of God, that God had already given him the Holy Spirit, he just reached out and took it by faith. When he did, those tongues just started flowing out of his mouth. It still, even to this day, gives me goose bumps every time I hear someone begin speaking in tongues for the first time. It is truly a miracle of God.
His pastor was amazed because he was the one who had been teaching this “tarrying” doctrine to his people. Now bless his heart, even after seeing several of his people just reach out in faith and receive the Holy Spirit, after being taught the truth, he still refused to let go of his “tarrying” doctrine.
I was recently told by a good friend of mine that’s currently in the evangelistic ministry among various denominations that there are still quite a number of Pentecostal ministers teaching this “tarrying” doctrine.
Are You Working Harder to Appreciate it More?
You see, some people think the harder you have to work to get something the more you will appreciate it, when you do get it. But when God has already freely given us the Holy Spirit, by His grace, then He has already done the work for us. He did the work so we don’t have too. We can just enter into His rest. Praise God! Let me say that again. Jesus paid the price so we don’t have to.
If you want to wait and wait and wait on God to give you something that He's already given to you by His grace, in His word, then you are going to be waiting a long, long time with no results. As for me, if God says something is mine then I just believe I'll take that. If God says I can do something, then I just believe I'll do that. If God says I am somebody, then I'll just say I am who and what God says I am, because God is not a man that he should lie. Indeed it is impossible for God to lie.
Back to the Travel Trailer
Now back to that little travel trailer. One day while we were parked beside that church in Waxahachie, Texas, I was in that little travel trailer preparing for the service we were having that evening.
When I prepare to minister I spend a lot of time praying in the Spirit (in other tongues) and meditating on the Word of God. I actually spend more time meditating on the Word than I actually do reading or studying.
When you meditate on the Word you just ponder on the things of God and let the Word of God roll over and over in your mind. For me the more time I spend meditating on the Word and praying in the Spirit (praying in tongues) the easier it is for me to hear from God.
The apostle Paul said that when we pray in tongues it edifies or builds us up spiritually. It makes us more sensitive to spiritual things. It makes it easier for us to hear from God.
That particular day as I was meditating on the Word and praying in the Spirit suddenly the Spirit of the Lord began to speak to me and this is what He said; “Faith doesn’t say I believe that I’m going to get something, faith says I HAVE IT NOW.”
Now I want you to understand. I was already a faith preacher. I was already preaching and teaching faith and I really thought I knew all there was to know about faith. After all I had read all the books.
There was something I was lacking and you don’t really understand the things of God until the Holy Spirit reveals them to your heart. “For the things of God are spiritually discerned.”
When the Holy Spirit told me that “Faith doesn’t say I believe that I’m going to get something, faith says I HAVE IT NOW,” I began to argue with the Holy Spirit. You see, sometimes we think we know more than God, besides the bible teaches us to test the spirits to see that they be of God and the way you do that is to judge everything by the written Word of God. If the Holy Spirit speaks to you, His revelations, will always be in agreement with His written Word.
So I spoke back to the Holy Spirit and quoted Mark 11:23, “For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.”
Now notice in this verse of scripture that it says when you speak to the mountain and command it to be cast into the sea that you are supposed to believe that it “shall come to pass”. Now that is future tense, not present tense.
That’s what I told the Holy Spirit. Then the Spirit of the Lord spoke back to me and said again; “Faith doesn’t say I believe that I’m going to get something, faith says I HAVE IT NOW!”
When God tells you something more than once you had better listen, so I got out my reference materials and began to study that particular scripture, which appeared to be in conflict with what the Holy Spirit was telling me about faith.
Study to show yourself approved
When I was in Southwestern Assemblies of God Bible College in Waxahachie, Texas they gave us a list of bible reference books, that would be good to have, to properly study the Bible. One of them was what’s called a Greek Interlinear. It’s the New Testament in the original Greek with the literal translation of each Greek word translated in English.
You see the New Testament was originally written in Greek. That was the universal language of the day and most people of different countries understood Greek and therefore could read and understand it.
So guess what I learned when I thoroughly studied this scripture out in the original Greek?
That’s right. The Holy Spirit was right after all. You see in the original writings of this particular scripture it doesn’t say we should believe what we say, “shall come to pass.” It says we should believe that what we say “HAPPENS” when we say it. Now that’s a big difference. We should not believe something is going to happen sometime off in the future but believe that it happens NOW, when we say it.
I’ve found that it is very important to pay particular attention to what tense something is written in when studying the scriptures. That is to say, is it in past tense? Is it in present tense? Is it in future tense? You see in this particular scripture where Jesus is teaching His disciples about faith. He tells them that if they speak to a situation and believe that what they say happens when they say it, then they will have whatever they say. The next scripture is a confirmation to this when it says; “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”
Notice that when you are speaking to a situation or desiring something in prayer, you have to believe that you receive it, at that moment, and then you will get it. You have to believe that you have it, before you get it.
Now in the natural that seems silly, but when you are dealing with spiritual powers like faith, we operate differently than we do in the natural. “While we look not at the things that are seen, but the things that are not seen, for the things seen are temporary, but the things that are not seen are eternal.” “For we walk by faith and not by sight.”
We believe something because God says it. You see “faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” So to truly be able to stand in faith and receive any or all of the promises that are contained in God’s grace, we have to know what God’s Word says concerning our situation.
This is an area where many people miss it. Many people are trying to receive something from God based on their wants, desires, or lusts and not on the promise of God. “You receive not because you ask not and then you ask and receive not because you asked amiss, that you may consume it upon your own lusts.”
When we come to the throne of grace to obtain help in time of need we need to come boldly and with complete faith and assurance that when we pray, we have what we ask for. Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Now notice that the throne of grace is the place we go to receive what we need from God. Everything we need is contained in God’s grace and has been freely given to us through all of His great and precious promises.
Let’s look at the scripture that tells us that to receive God’s grace we must receive it by faith. Eph. 2:8 says, “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.”
There are a few things I’d like to look at in this scripture. First notice that salvation is contained in God’s grace. Now the Greek word translated saved in this scripture is the Greek word SOZO and it means to deliver, to protect, to heal, to preserve, and to make whole. So you see when God is telling us in this scripture that by grace you are saved, He is saying that contained in His grace is deliverance. Contained in His grace is protection. Contained in His grace is healing. Contained in His grace is preservation. And finally contained in His grace is complete and absolute wholeness in every area of our lives. Praise God.
What did Jesus deliver us from? He delivered us from sin, sickness, and poverty. These were all taken care of for us at Calvary. 1 Peter 2:24 says, “Who his own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree; that we being dead to sin should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes you were healed.”
2 Corinthians 8:9 says, “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.”
Now notice the past tense used in this portion of scripture. Jesus bare our sins. That’s past tense. By whose stripes you were healed. That’s past tense too. That means Jesus has already done the work.
Jesus has already paid the price for the sins of the whole world. Jesus has already paid the price for the sickness and disease of us all. Jesus took on our poverty 2000 years ago at Cavalry so we don’t have to. Every person that has ever lived, who ever does live, and every person who ever will live in the world has already had the price paid for their sins, sickness and poverty. Plus a whole lot more. God is sooo good!
Why do we still sin?
So then why isn’t everyone delivered from sin? Because redemption from sin is contained in God’s grace and the only way anyone can receive it, is to receive it by faith. “Now faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” So you see a person has to learn from God’s word that Jesus bare their sins for them before they are able to believe and receive that redemption from sin.
People have the choice. We can either believe God and receive what God has already freely given us by His grace or we can reject God’s word and believe the lie of the Devil and go without receiving the promise of God.
Now when Jesus paid the price for our sins He totally and completely forgave us of our sins and made us white as snow. Micah 7:19 says, “God will subdue our iniquities; and will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.”
Isaiah 23:45 says “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.”
When we receive salvation, God forgives our sins bug not only does He forgive us of our sins, He doesn’t even remember we ever were a sinner. When God looks at you and me He sees the righteousness of Jesus Himself. Praise the Lord. Now since God has blotted out our sins we need to forgive ourselves and believe that we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
Eph. 5:1 says, “Be ye therefore imitators of God as dear children.” That means that in the same way little children imitate their daddy we are supposed to imitate God.
So if God remembers our sins no more then we are supposed to forgive ourselves and put it in the past and realize that we are no longer the person that we used to be but that we are now new creations in Christ Jesus. Old things in our sinful nature are passed away, behold all things are become new. Praise God!
Now not only is forgiveness from sin contained in salvation and God’s grace but also preservation from sin. That is to say not only has God forgiven our sins but also He has totally and completely delivered us from the sin nature.
Sin no longer has power over us. God has restored us and made us whole again. We’ve been redeemed, set free, delivered. We’ve been made overcomers. We’ve been made more than conquers through Jesus. The law of the spirit of life has made us free from the law of sin and death. Our sin nature has been buried in the grave with Jesus and we have been raised up together with Him in to His righteousness.
Now this seems like a hard concept for many people to grasp but we don’t have to keep living in sin. Jesus has delivered us from sin. We don’t have to sin every day. That is a lie of the Devil. We don’t have to sin every week. We don’t have to sin every month. We don’t have to sin every year. I’m free at last, free at last, thank God almighty. I’m free at last!
1 Peter 2:24 says, “Who his own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree; that we being dead to sin should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes you were healed.” You see since we are dead to sin, we can live a righteous and holy life. Thank you Jesus. Thank you Lord.
Now I know what you are going to say. You are saying to yourself, that’s a high standard and what happens if I do sin? Well this is the confidence that we have in Him. “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness.”
So if and when you do sin and you catch yourself you need to immediately, or as soon as possible, confess that sin and turn away from it. That way you stay in good standing with God and yourself.
Notice that He’s faithful and just to not only forgive you of your sin but to totally and completely cleanse you of ALL unrighteousness. God makes you holy. God makes us pure. God makes us righteous. God does the work. We just need to believe and receive all these good things He has provided for us by His grace.
Grace and Peace
One of the ways we will know that we have taken possession of God’s grace is that peace will always accompany it. When we have truly received the promise of God we will have peace in that thing.
2 Peter 1:2 says “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God…” There are several other places in the scriptures where grace and peace are linked together.
Hebrews chapter 4 talks to us about entering into God’s rest. Verse 1 says, “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.”
When God freely gives us His great and precious promises, He expects us to receive them and enter into His rest. When we have received the promise of God for our circumstance we don’t have to worry about the situation any more and we are at peace about it. Even though things don’t look any different in the natural, since we have taken hold of the promise of God, we know that we have what we need because God says so.
When we really believe what God says in His promise to us, then we will begin to continually give Him praise and glory for what He has done for us.
Hebrews 4:2-3 says, “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest.
The children of Israel refused to believe the promise of God concerning the promised land belonging to them so they were not able to enter into God’s rest and they did without the peace that they could have had. But we which have believed do enter into rest. Praise God. When we believe and receive by faith the promise of God then we have peace. Then we have rest. Then we can boldly say “The Lord is God and is able and willing to meet all our needs. Praise be to the name of the Lord.”
Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Any time we have a need God wants us to come boldly to His throne of grace. Why? Because contained in His grace is everything that we need. God wants us to boldly obtain His mercy and He wants us to find His grace that will take care of what ever in life we are having problems with.
Get God’s Word in your Heart
I just encourage you to get these promises of God in your heart. For with the heart man believeth. Think about God’s promises day and night. Continually keep them in front of your eyes. Get God’s word and His promises so engrained in your mind that whatever happens to you in life the first thing that will come to your mind is, what does God’s word say about that?
Proverbs 4:20-22 says, “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.”
Over 20 years ago I was attending Bible College in Waxahachie, Texas. As I was attending classes I met a young man that befriended me. One day I stopped by his apartment after class. When I walked in the door of his place I was taken back. As I looked around his walls it appeared they were totally covered with sheets of paper containing God’s word and His promises. All the time he was home instead of wasting his time watching TV he was reading those promises of God. Getting them down in his heart.
He walked in the power of God then and he continues to walk in the power of God to this day. He is a full time evangelist and God uses him in a mighty way. “You have been a great inspiration to me Don and I thank you from my heart for all you have done to lead me into the truth of God’s word which has set me free from sin, sickness, and poverty.”
Let’s look at another scripture that talks about us getting God’s peace when we appropriate His grace. Philippians 4:4,6-7 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Here in this portion of scripture God tells us that we should just always be rejoicing in the Lord. God says rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice. God says ALWAYS rejoice in the Lord and then to add emphasis He says and again I say rejoice. Now when God tells us two times in a row to do something then it must be important. What do you think? This is a hard saying because sometimes we just don’t feel like praising and glorifying the Lord.
Sometimes circumstances in our lives just stink and we feel more like cussing than praising God. But God says we should just praise Him anyhow. “We walk by faith and not by sight.” “While we look not at the things that are seen but the things not seen for the things seen are temporary but the things not seen are eternal.”
So many times we are so short sighted we can only see the circumstances right in front of us. We should be seeing the promise of God, that can and will deliver us out of our bad circumstances, if we will only trust God and give Him praise and glory for what He has already given to us by His grace.
Now after God tells us to always rejoice, then he has the nerve to tell us not to worry about anything but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, let our request be made known unto God.
This sounds kind of like going boldly to the throne of grace to obtain help in the time of need, doesn’t it?
Now I know I’m stepping on a lot of toes by telling you that God says not to worry. I know that a lot of people don’t know what they would do if they couldn’t have their little pet worries and fears to gripe and complain about all the time. But worry is fear and is totally opposite of faith in God.
If we are worrying about a circumstance then we are saying, “God I just don’t believe you are big enough to meet my need” or “God I believe you could meet my need if you wanted to but I just don’t know if you want to.” Well here’s good news, God IS big enough to meet all your needs and He wants to. Jesus said “Only believe, all things are possible to him that believes.”
Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
Philippians 4:6, “…with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
This is one of the most important scriptures in teaching us how to receive the promises and peace of God. God says, “with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
In respect to anything we need, we are supposed to take the promise of God to Him, with thanksgiving. Several years ago the Lord started directing me to pray in this way and I began to always receive what I was giving thanks for.
Then recently the Lord showed me that this is what this scripture is talking about. I’ll give you an example of how I pray and receive in this way.
This is how I pray if I need healing in my body. “Father God I just thank you that you took my infirmities and bare my sickness. I give you praise and glory Lord that by the stripes of Jesus I’m healed. I just thank you Father that you’re healing virtue is flowing through my body right now. I thank you Lord. I praise you Lord.”
I just continue to pray like this until the peace of God just overtakes me. With thanksgiving I’m letting my requests be made known unto God and I just keep doing it until His peace overtakes me and wipes away all worry, care, and fear.
When I get the peace, I have the victory. When that peace of God that passeth all understanding fills my heart and calms my mind then I know that I have taken possession of God’s grace in that specific circumstance.
How do we know when we are walking in God’s grace in a particular situation? When we are walking in His peace. If we don’t have peace yet in that area we are believing God for, then we know we haven’t yet received the promise of God by faith that covers that particular circumstance. When we take possession of God’s grace in anything, His peace will ALWAYS accompany it. We will be at rest in Him. Thank you Lord.
What’s contained in God’s Grace?
Now we are going to look at some of the different things that are contained in God’s grace. Get ready to get excited because we serve a good God that has given us many great and precious promises that we might grow up into maturity and become more and more like our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:2-4 says, “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord. According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
God tells us here that contained in His grace is everything that we need for this physical life and for godliness, that is our spiritual walk with God. He says that as we get knowledge of His exceeding great and precious promises that we have the ability to be partakers of the divine nature and that we can escape the corruption of worldly lusts.
As we take hold of the promises of God and apply them to our lives we can begin to walk as Jesus walked. We can begin to talk as Jesus talked and we can begin to do the works that Jesus did. Do you believe?
These are the words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. “Only believe. All things are possible to him that believeth.” “The same works that I do you shall do also and even more works than these shall you do because I go to my Father.” If we can only believe then we can do the same works that Jesus did.
Say this out loud with your mouth. Lord I believe. Lord I believe. God if you say it belongs to me in your Word then I believe it, and I say it’s mine. Thank you Lord, I HAVE IT NOW!
Great and Precious Promises!
It’s God’s will that we take possession of everything that he has already freely given to us by his grace but until we know what belongs to us we are unable to possess it. “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” As soon as we understand in our hearts what God has freely given us, then the faith to receive it comes alive inside of us and we can begin to say with our mouth that we have what God says we have.
We can begin to say with our mouths that we are who God says that we are. We can begin to say with our mouth that we can do the things God says we can do. Whatever we believe in our hearts we will say with our mouth.
“Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” “I believed and therefore have I spoken, we believe and therefore speak.” “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (deliverance).”
We need to begin to pay close attention to what we are saying out of our mouths because “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh”.
Are we speaking good and edifying things out of our mouths? Are we speaking words of faith and hope and love out of our mouths? Or are words of doubt and unbelief spewing forth from those lips? Are we griping and complaining like the children of Israel and refusing to go in and take possession of the promise of God?
God’s word tells us that we are to judge ourselves so that we will not be judged. We should examine ourselves and guard our lips for by our words we will be justified and by our words we will be condemned. Jesus said that it is not what goes into a man’s mouth that defiles him but rather what comes out of his mouth that defiles him.
Let’s look at some of these great and precious promises that are contained in God’s grace. Now everything we are about to talk about, has already been freely given to us by God. All we have to do to possess them is to actively take them by faith.
Protection is contained in God’s grace. “He gives his angel charge over us lest we dash our foot against a stone.” “The angel of the Lord is encamped round about them that fear Him.” “If God be for us who can be against us?” “Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.”
God has provided supernatural protection for us. It has been freely given to us through His great and precious promises and is contained in His grace.
Psalm 23:4-6 says, “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
God says that even though we walk through the valley of death, we don’t have to be afraid. Why? Because God is with us. God is on our side. God is fighting for us. God is giving us supernatural protection through and by these great and precious promises. Even as things look disastrous we can boldly say, “I will fear no evil for God is with me and His rod and staff protects and comforts me, for if God is for me what circumstance can destroy me. Blessed be the name of the Lord!”
Freedom from sin.
Freedom from sin is contained in God’s grace. Now most of us realize that Christ has paid the price for the forgiveness of our sins. However contained in God’s grace is much, much more than just FORGIVENESS of sins.
Under the Old Covenant men had to continually offer up sacrifices for their sins. Even though they wanted to live righteous they were unable to. They still had that old sinful nature. They still had that sin guilt that haunted them day and night. Their spirit man was still in darkness. So even though they wanted to live righteous and holy they ended up doing the things of the flesh and of the mind that were contrary to the ways of God.
We even see great men like king David who God said was a man after His own heart, committing adultery and murder.
Under the New Covenant of God’s grace everything has changed. Through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as a substitutionary act for us, we become new creations in Christ Jesus. Our old sinful nature is buried with Christ and we have been raised up together with Him in newness of life.
We no longer have to have that old sin consciousness. We no longer have to live under the condemnation of the Devil. We no longer have to be a slave to sin. Jesus has set us free from sin and the consequences of sin and who the Son has set free, is free indeed. Let’s look at God’s promises.
Let’s begin at Romans 6:4 “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.” V. 11 “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”
So we see that when we make Jesus Lord of our lives and enter into His death, burial and resurrection that our old sinful nature is nailed to the cross with Jesus. Our sin nature is dead and buried with Him and we have been raised up together with Him in newness of life. Another scripture tells us that old things have been passed away and all things are become new. We become new creations in Christ Jesus.
Many of us just haven’t received God’s grace in the area of death to sin and the sin consciousness.
Romans 8:1-4 says; “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
Let’s begin to receive this grace that God has provided for us. Please pray this with me. “Father God I just thank you right now that Jesus bare my sins in His own body on the tree. I just thank you right now that since I’m dead to sin that I can live a righteous and holy life in Christ Jesus. I just thank you Lord that sin no longer rules and reigns in by body. I thank you Lord that I am now the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Old things are passed away and all things have become new. I thank you that I have forgotten those things that are behind me for there is no more condemnation since I am in Christ Jesus. I just give you glory Lord! I just praise your holy name Lord Jesus!”
Sickness, Disease, and Infirmities
Deliverance from sickness and disease and infirmities are all contained in God’s grace. That means that Christ has already paid the price so that we could be free from sickness, disease and infirmities. God’s word says in the book of James, who by the way was the brother of Jesus; “Is there any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith SHALL heal the sick and the Lord shall raise him up.”
Now notice that this scripture says that the prayer of faith shall heal the sick and the Lord shall raise him up. It doesn’t say that the prayer of faith might heal the sick. It doesn’t say that the prayer of faith may heal the sick, if it’s God’s will. It says that the prayer of faith shall heal the sick.
1 Peter 2:24 says; “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”
Matthew 8:17 says; “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.”
Isaiah 53:4-5 says; “Surely he hath borne our sickness and carried our pains: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
Your Faith Has Made You Whole
One day Jesus was on His way to heal a sick little girl. There was a woman who had a disease that the Bible calls an issue of blood. This woman went to all the best doctors and spent all the money she had and didn’t get any better but just kept getting worse.
Then one day something happened to her. She heard about Jesus. She heard that everyone who came to Jesus in faith, believing, received their healing. She heard that the lame walked. She heard that the deaf heard. She heard that the blind received their sight.
Now the bible tells us that faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. So when she heard about Jesus, the living word of God, faith rose up in her and she said with her mouth “If I can just touch the hem of His garment I shall be made whole.”
She believed in her heart that Jesus was able to heal her. She said with her mouth that she knew she would be healed if she just touched Jesus.
But if she would have stopped there she might have lived out her entire life not receiving the promise. However she didn’t stop there. She put works or actions to her faith. (The Bible says faith without works is dead.) She fought her way through the press of people around Jesus and caught hold of his clothes and immediately healing virtue flowed out of Jesus and healed her.
Jesus asked who touched Him. He didn’t even know who touched Him. He said that He felt healing power flow out of His body and when He turned around and saw the woman she told Him the whole story. His only reply to her was this; “Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.”
The word of God tells us that God is no respecter of persons. That means that what He does for one person, He will do for all people under the same circumstances.
So if you are sick in your body what do you need to do?
Get the promise of God in your heart. When you get the word of God down in you then faith will rise up in you, for faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.
Begin to say with your mouth what the word of God says. “Father God I just thank you that you took my infirmities and bare my sickness and with Jesus stripes I am healed. I give you praise and glory Lord that sickness and disease no longer has place in my body and right now I’m healed, I’m healed, thank you Jesus, I’m healed.”
Now that I’ve truly believed with my heart that I’m healed and continually proclaimed with my mouth that I’m healed, I’ll just put corresponding actions to my faith and begin to do the thing I couldn’t do before. This is when we actually see the manifestation.
You see you have to believe that you are healed before you will see that you are healed. That is how faith works. Jesus said in Mark 11:24, “All things that you ask for in prayer, believe that you have already received them when you pray and then you will have them.” (literal translation)
Now notice that when we receive something by faith we have to believe that we have it before we get it. In the natural that doesn’t make sense, I know. But when we are dealing with the things of God we are not operating in the natural realm under natural laws. We are operating in the Spirit realm and operating under spiritual laws. Now spiritual laws are higher laws than the natural laws of this world.
When we apply spiritual laws to the natural circumstances that we live under in this physical world then our circumstances must change to come in line with the higher spiritual laws that we are applying to our circumstances. “While we look not at the things that are seen but the things not seen for the things seen are temporary but the things unseen are eternal.”
Freedom From Poverty
Jesus has provided deliverance from poverty in His grace and we can access this through His great and precious promises.
2 Corinthians 8:9 says; “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.”
The word rich in this scripture means “more than enough”. Because of what Jesus did for us at Cavalry we don’t have to live in poverty any more but we can take possession of the promise of God and boldly say, “I have more than enough.” “According to Philippians 4:19 God supplies all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. One of God’s Old Testament names was El Shaddai, which means the God that’s “more than enough”.
Matthew 6:26-33 says; “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? Or, What shall we drink? Or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
God is more than enough to meet all our needs. God loves His children. God wants good things for us and doesn’t want us to be without. Jesus took our poverty on Himself, at the cross, so that we could have an abundant supply. So we could have “more than enough”.
3 John v. 2 says; It’s God’s will that “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” It is God’s will that we prosper and be blessed. It’s God’s will that we be in health. God is telling us to take possession of His promises and make them ours. Only then can we be who God says we can be. Only then can we do what God says we can do. Only then can we have what God says we can have. God is so good I can hardly stand it!
In this chapter we are going to talk about some more things that are contained in God’s grace.
Long life is contained in God’s grace. Psalms 91:15-16 says, “He shall call upon me and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him. With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.”
Proverbs 3:1-2 says, “My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.”
Ephesians 6:2-3 says, “Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”
God doesn’t want His children to die prematurely. He wants us to live a long and good life. But we have to actively receive this grace that has been provided for us. We have to take it. We have to say what God says, “with long life will You satisfy me Lord. I’ll live and not die.”
Jesus came to bring us life in abundance. I say with my mouth; “The life of God is living in me and through me, thank you Lord.”
Fruits of the Spirit
The fruits of the spirit are contained in God’s grace. Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”
Romans 8:9 says, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”
If we are born again, the Spirit of Christ is in us. Now what’s contained in that Spirit of Christ that is inside us? The fruits of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
I want you, right now to begin to look at each and every one of these fruits of the Spirit of God that is in you. Examine them. Are you walking in love with those who treat you bad? Is the Joy of the Lord controlling your heart and mind when everything seems to be falling apart in your life?
Are you walking in peace, patience, kindness, goodness? Are you faithful to do those things you have committed yourself too such as family, church, job, and God? Are you living a life of self-control? Put down that extra cookie!
I’ve got good news for you. All of these character traits are in us through Christ. They are all in our spirit man. God has put them there. I know you are saying but I don’t feel like they are there. Praise the Lord, we walk by faith and not by sight. I don’t have to feel, see, smell, taste, or hear something to know it’s mine. All I have to do is believe what God says and take it by faith.
There used to be a song that went “All we need is love” but God says, “All we need is faith in God.” Jesus said, “Only believe, ALL things are possible to him that believes.”
Freedom from fear and worry is contained in God’s Grace. Good news, “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind.” 1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”
Romans 5:5 says that the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts. “…because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”
Now if perfect love casteth out fear, and the love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit then what place has fear in me? Fear has no place in me. Of what shall I fear? Why should I be afraid? For if God is for me and His Spirit is in me, who or what can stand against me? Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world, praise the Lord.
Everything that has been freely given to us by God is contained in His grace, but there are some conditions we must meet to receive any of the promises of God.
All of the promises contained in God’s grace are conditional in that we must receive them by faith. Let me give you some other examples of conditions of receiving things contained in God’s grace. Let’s say we are going to receive the Holy Spirit, which is of course contained in God’s grace. One condition is that we must first have received Salvation. For us to have received Salvation we had to hear God’s word concerning Salvation. “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God”. For us to hear God’s word someone had to preach or teach it to us.
So you see for us to receive God’s grace there are conditional things that have to happen even though these promises have already been freely given to us.
Let’s say someone dies and leaves you 10 million dollars. Now legally that 10 million dollars belongs to you. You are a millionaire, “congratulations”! Now let’s say that person that died and left you the money lives in central Africa. Nobody in Africa knows you and they really don’t care, so you go years, perhaps living in poverty, not receiving any benefit from your inheritance.
Suddenly one day you get a letter in the mail saying you have an inheritance coming to you.
Even though you were a millionaire for years, you didn’t know it and you lived in poverty. Now you get this letter in your hand. It says you’re rich. It says that through this person’s death, everything has been freely provided for you for the rest of your life.
You don’t have to worry any more because every need that you could possibly imagine has been freely provided for you and given to you through the will and testament of this person who has died. All you have to do is go get the money.
There’s one problem. You don’t believe the letter. Someone is pulling your leg. Someone is trying to make a fool out of you. You are just a worthless, wretched, no good, nobody and you couldn’t imagine that anybody in the world would die and through his death, leave you all those riches.
You ignore the letter. You say; “I don’t believe that. It’s nonsense”. So you go on through your life, living in poverty, and die not taking possession of the inheritance that belongs to you.
This example is a perfect example of what Jesus did for us. He died on the cross so He could freely give us all these riches that are contained in His grace.
He left us His Will and Testament (the Bible), that contains all His great and precious promises that were bought and paid for with His precious blood.
If we don’t know what’s in the Will, or if we just ignore it, or don’t believe God would freely give us all these good things, we could end up like this person. Living our entire lives without taking possession of the inheritance that legally belongs to us.
What a waste, we could end up dying and going to a Devil’s hell just because we didn’t believe and receive that eternal life Jesus left us in His will. Or if we are saved but don’t receive all these other things God has freely given us, we could live our lives way below what God would have us to be and do. After all we are the King’s Kids!
“I give you glory Lord. I just praise your holy name! Father God I just pray right now, that we will not be lazy or slack in receiving your precious promises. I ask you right now Lord, to put a fire in the belly of every person reading this book. I say Lord God don’t let us live our lives not receiving ALL that Christ has provided for us through His sacrifice at the cross. Lord God, send your Spirit, right now, in the name of Jesus, to convict our hearts of our complacence. Put an urgency in us Lord, to get off the sidelines and get in the game, running this race with all the strength and power You have provided us. I pray this in Jesus name. Thank you Jesus. Thank you Lord!”
Noah found God’s Grace!
Genesis 6:5-8 says “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”
About 1500 years after the fall of Adam and Eve the hearts of men in the whole earth became totally evil and wicked. God searched men’s hearts and saw that their thoughts were only evil continually. When Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit evil entered their hearts. Before that they only knew good. Evil totally took over in the earth and God had patience with mankind to the point that there was only one man left on the face of the Earth that was walking in God’s grace.
God repented that he made man. Repentance is something that is misunderstood by most people. Many believe that repentance is saying you are sorry for something you have done.
Well it is much more than that. We see from God’s example of repentance just exactly what true repentance is. God said, “it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth…And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth.”
When God repented He didn’t just say I’m sorry. He turned around and did just the opposite. When he repented that He made man, He destroyed him.
True repentance is turning away from what you were doing and doing the opposite. If we are repenting from our sins we are not just saying we are sorry. We will stop sinning and begin to do the things that are righteous.
True repentance is necessary for our salvation. God’s word is clear on this point. We must turn away from our sin and put on and walk in the righteousness of Christ that resides in our hearts, when we make Jesus Lord of our lives.
Noah was the only man left on the earth that was walking in God’s grace and once Noah died the whole story of man would have been over. All of mankind would have been lost forever. God had to start all over again with Noah and his family.
When Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord, God spoke to Noah and told him that destruction was coming upon the whole world.
God told him to build the ark and gave him specific instructions for his deliverance from the destruction that was coming on the whole world. Noah obeyed God. Even though it took him 100 years to build the ark and follow the instructions God gave him, he was obedient to the Lord and did what God said to do and he was delivered from the destruction that came on the whole world.
God never changes and He is not a respecter of persons. What He’s done for others He will do for you.
When Noah found God’s grace he was delivered. When we find God’s grace we will be delivered. God’s grace worked deliverance for Noah, and not destruction. When we find God’s grace we won’t be destroyed. When God’s grace is at work in our lives it always brings deliverance.
What does God’s grace deliver us from? God’s grace delivers us from sin. God’s grace delivers us from sickness and His grace delivers us from poverty. That is, if we’ll just believe it and receive it by faith. God never keeps us in our bondage. (My grace is sufficient for thee.) Jesus came to set the captives free. Jesus came to loose us from the chains of bondage. Jesus came to deliver us from our destruction. “Many are the afflictions of the righteous but my God shall deliver you from them ALL.”
Angels sent to minister God’s grace
Angels are ministering spirits sent to accomplish God’s grace in those who receive it. Let me say that again. Angels are ministering spirits sent to accomplish God’s grace in those who receive it.
Heb. 1:13-14 says; “But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not ALL ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
Notice here that God has sent His angels forth to take care of the needs of those of us who will inherit eternal life. We see this happening in the life of Jesus when He went into the wilderness to fast and be tempted of the devil for 40 days. The angels came and ministered to His needs. Now that doesn’t mean that they preached to Him. He was hungry and thirsty. He needed food and water and that is exactly how they ministered to Him. They met his needs by providing food and water. Matt. 4:11 says; “Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto Him.”
Psalms 34 says, “I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked upon him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
v. 17 “The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.”
v. 19 “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them ALL.”
Now we see that the Word of God tells us that angels are ministering spirits sent to meet the needs of believers. That the angel of the Lord encampeth round about those of us who fear the Lord and they deliver them.
Now if this is true, and we know it must be true because God says it in His Word and we know that it is impossible for God to lie, so why aren’t some of our needs met and why aren’t we delivered some times? “I’m glad you asked”. I just believe I’ll tell you.
Notice that in the first verse of Psalm 34 we are to be continually praising and glorifying the Lord. We are to be blessing the Lord at all times. Our mouths are to be filled with good and edifying words and blessings. Keep this in mind as we go to another scripture. Psalms 103: v. 20 says; “Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the VOICE of his word.”
God wants to meet all our needs. God wants to deliver us out of all our troubles. God wants to deliver us out of all our afflictions. God has sent his angel to encamp round about us to deliver us and meet all our needs BUT they only hearken to the voice of God’s word that is coming out of our mouths. “For with the heart man believeth and with the mouth confession is made unto deliverance.”
Guess what? The angel of the Lord is just standing there beside us waiting to see what is coming out of our mouth. Remember that they excell in strength so they are able to do great things for us, but they are only sent forth to accomplish God’s word and then only when we put VOICE to His word. So what do we need to be saying out of our mouths if we want to be delivered from our troubles?
His praises need to be continually on our lips. “Father God I just thank you that you supply all my needs according to your riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” “Father God I just thank you that Jesus took my infirmities and bare my sickness and with His stripes I am healed.” “Father God I just thank you that your healing virtue is flowing through my body right now and since that same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead is dwelling in me, You are making alive my mortal body, right now, in Christ Jesus.”
God’s words need to be continually in our mouth if we expect to be delivered from our destructions. When our circumstances look bad we need be saying what God says and not what the world would be saying under the same situation.
If your nose begins to run don’t say “I believe I’m catching a cold” say “I’m healed by the stripes of Jesus so nose you just quit that running in the name of Jesus.” I like a saying I heard one time; it goes like this, “If we keep saying what we have, we’ll keep having what we say.”
When we speak God’s word out of our mouths the angels of the Lord hearken to accomplish His word in our lives. When we speak words of doubt and unbelief we just open the door for the devil and give him legal right to continue to pile it on.
With what we say out of our mouths we either loose the powerful angels of the Lord to work deliverance in our situations or we bind their hands and give place to the devil.
I know that sounds hard but God has set up spiritual laws in the spirit realm and if we are to be successful in receiving all the things that God has already freely given to us by His grace then we are going to have to obey those laws.
God loves us, His children, and wants only the best for us so let’s act like the King’s Kids that we are. Let’s say with our mouths that in our Father’s house are blessings that are beyond compare. If my daddy says I’m blessed then I’ll say I’m blessed. If my daddy says I’m healed then I’ll say I’m healed. If my daddy says I’m righteous and holy then I’ll say I’m righteous. If God’s word says I’m free, then praise the Lord, I’m free indeed! “Who the son has set free is free indeed”!
What is the Holy Spirit?
In the first chapter of the book of Acts Jesus told His disciples that they would receive miracle working power after that the Holy Spirit come upon them. Then in chapter 2 of Acts we are told that the Holy Spirit was poured out on ALL flesh just as the prophet Joel had prophesied.
Peter began to preach to those who had gathered around to see this thing. You see when they were filled with the Holy Spirit they ALL began to speak in other tongues or languages that they didn’t even know or understand. Peter said that this gift is for all believers, all down through the ages. That includes us, if we know Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
The initial physical evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit is that you will ALWAYS speak in other tongues as the Holy spirit gives you the words to say. Every instance in the book of Acts, in the New Testament church, where it describes what happened to those receiving the Holy Spirit, the only consistent thing was that they ALL spoke in other tongues. We are still in the New Testament church today and it is the same now as in the book of Acts.
Every time someone receives the Holy Spirit, they will always speak in other tongues.
This prayer language that we receive when we are filled with the Holy Spirit is very profitable for us to use in building our spiritual lives. The Bible says that we build up ourselves in our most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost (in tongues). Paul says in First Corinthians that when we pray in tongues it edifies us or builds us up spiritually.
Along with the prayer language of tongues we are endued with the miracle working power of Jesus and can operate in the gifts of the Spirit under the direction of the Holy Spirit within us, as He sees fit.
If you are a Christian and know Jesus as your Lord and Savior but haven’t received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, I encourage you to receive Him. The Holy Spirit is a free gift and is contained in His grace for all believers. Remember He has already poured out His Spirit on ALL flesh.
How I received the Holy Spirit
Here’s how I received the Holy Spirit. Everyone’s story is different but the one thing that is always in common is that you must receive it by faith.
When I was a youth at the age of twelve I was attending the Assemblies of God boys and girls camp at Lake Maurer in Excelsior Springs, Missouri.
I had already received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior about four years earlier when I was only eight years old and I was desiring to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues.
Every evening at boys and girls camp we had an evangelistic service and one night the evangelist made an altar call for those wanting to receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit to come forward. Well I really wanted to receive the Holy Spirit so I came forward. I really can’t tell you a word that fellow preached that night but from the time I came forward I can remember distinctly what transpired.
I knelt down at that old wooden altar and began to beg God to fill me with the Holy Spirit. After I had been there for a while someone knelt down beside me and began to pray with me to help me to receive the Spirit. Before I knew it there were three or four folks giving me instructions on how to receive the Holy Spirit. That would have been all right, I guess, if it had been in order and if they had been sharing the Word of God on the subject, however this is basically what happened.
I had one person on one side of me telling me to hold on, I had another person on the other side of me telling me to let go. Someone in front of me was telling me to say “praise the Lord” over and over as fast as I could (I think she was trying to trick me into speaking in other tongues).
All of that just distracted and brought confusion to me and I just kept on praying and begging to God to fill me. I really did desire to be filled with the Holy Spirit but I had been asking God for it for about an hour now and I had worn out most of those folks giving me instructions and was pretty much to myself at that point.
I decided I would give God fifteen more minutes and if he didn’t fill me by then I would just quit begging for the Holy Spirit and leave. Well those fifteen minutes went by and nothing happened. So I decided to give God another chance, “fifteen more minutes”, I said to God.
Still nothing. Well I did this very same thing two more times and by that time I had been begging the Lord to fill me for about two hours total and there were just a few people left in the tabernacle.
At that moment something happened inside me, deep down inside my heart, it was faith rising up in me. I began to praise God. I told the Lord that I was going to stay right where I was no matter how long it took, I was determined in my heart that I was never leaving till I received the Holy Spirit. INSTANTLY the power of God came all over me and these unusual words, that I didn’t understand, rose up from inside of me and I spoke them out with my mouth.
I had received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. I continued praying in the Spirit for about another hour. I was totally and completely in the Spirit however, by this time it was about midnight and the people running things decided to usher me outside. I’m sure I would have stayed there a lot longer had they not run me out of that place.
That was one of the most important days of my life. The day the miracle working power of God came into my life.
Children of Israel didn’t take God’s Grace
In the Old Testament God used Moses to deliver the children of Israel out of Egypt. God gave them a land that He said was good, filled with milk and honey. God told them that the land was theirs forever all they had to do was go in and get it.
So when they got to the Promised Land they sent spies into the land. Ten of the spies came back and said surely it is a good land filled with milk and honey just as God had promised BUT that there were giants in the land that made them look like grasshoppers. They also reported that there were great walled cities that looked impossible to overcome. They said they should have stayed in Egypt as slaves. Then they would have at least not died in the desert.
God called this report an evil report, even though what they said was accurate as far as things looked. Their report was filled with unbelief and to God that’s what made the report evil.
On the other hand Joshua and Caleb, the other two spies that were sent in to spy out the land, also came back with a similar report about how good the land was and how strong the people and cities were.
However they ended their report by saying that God had given them the land. God was with them. So they should go in and possess the land. God was pleased with this report because even though it was factually the same as the evil report, the difference was that their report was full of faith in God.
They believed that the same God who had miraculously delivered them out of the hands of the Egyptians and parted the Red Sea was certainly able to deliver their enemies into their hands. After all, He had promised, and God never lies. This report pleased God, but the people believed the evil report.
Because the people failed to believe God and chose to believe the evil report, God’s anger was kindled against them and He was ready to destroy all the unbelievers and start all over again, but Moses interceded for the people. Yet because of their unbelief they were not able to enter into the Promised Land and wandered around in the wilderness for 40 years until all of the unbelievers over the age of 20 had died off.
Those people died not receiving the promise, even though it belonged to them, they died not possessing the promise of God.
Just like the children of Israel, Christians today have many great and precious promises from God and all of these promises that are freely given to us from God are contained in His grace.
We have a choice, just like those who came before us. Do we believe God? Do we take hold of and possess the promise of God? Or do we look at all the circumstances around us that look contrary to the promise of God and believe the lie of the Devil?
You will have what you believe and receive. The children of Israel believed that they couldn’t possess the land even though God said it was theirs and even though it legally belonged to them, they believed a lie and wandered around in the wilderness griping and complaining until they died not receiving what they actually owned.
Jesus said in the 11th chapter of Mark that whatever you say with your mouth and believe in your heart, that you will get it. Now that not only applies to good things like the promises of God but it also applies to other things we speak such as doubt, unbelief, lack, sickness, lies, profanity, and many other unclean things that are contrary to the ways and promises of God.
Jesus said that He only said what He heard the Father say and He only did what He saw the Father do. Jesus went forth only doing and saying what the Holy Spirit told Him to do and say. Is it any wonder He did many mighty miracles?
Jesus just did what God told him to do and God did the works.
Jesus said “It’s not me that doeth the works but the Father that doeth the works.” Ephesians 5:1 says “Be ye therefore imitators of God, as dear children.”
God wants us to imitate him and Jesus in the same way little children imitate their parents. When we see that Jesus did something a certain way, we should imitate him. In every circumstance in life we should say to ourselves, what would Jesus do in this situation? Is this what God would do?
When we say something out of our mouth we should think, Is this in line with God’s word? When a circumstance in our life seems contrary to God’s word or His promise are we going to believe and receive and say words out of our mouth that are contrary to God’s word and His promises? Or are we going to imitate God like little children and say what our Daddy says?
The choice is ours. God has made us free. We can believe God and serve Him or we can believe and receive the lie of the devil and bow down to him. You cannot serve two masters. Whoever you choose by your own will to believe, to follow, to imitate will be your master and lord. I know that sounds hard but that is what God says in His word and God’s word is truth. “And you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” “God’s Word is truth.”
Adam and Eve stepped out of God’s Grace
God made Adam and Eve in His likeness. They were pure. They were perfect. They were holy. God gave them dominion over the whole earth and the fullness thereof. Over the fish of the sea. Over the foul of the air. Over everything that moved upon the face of the Earth. Adam and Eve only knew good.
God placed one tree in the Garden of Eden that they were not permitted to eat of. It was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God told them that the day that they ate of it they would surely die.
Satan was jealous of man. God had created man in His likeness after His image. God had set man above the angels in authority. God fellowshipped with man as his friend. Satan hated man. So Satan came to Eve and told her that God didn’t want her to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because then she would be like God knowing good and evil. Up to this point she had only known good. Eve told the devil that God had said that if they ate of the forbidden fruit that they would surely die. Satan said, “thou shall not surely die.”
That was a crucial moment for mankind because at that moment man had a choice to make. Do I believe God? Do I believe the devil? Eve chose to believe the devil instead of God.
The moment that Eve ate of the fruit and gave to Adam to eat they died spiritually and now instead of only knowing good, evil entered into their hearts and not only theirs but evil was passed down through their descendents.
Initially Adam and Eve were walking in the grace of God. Everything in the Earth belonged to them and had been freely given to them by God.
The whole Earth and the fullness thereof was contained in the grace of God that He had bestowed upon them. However when they chose to believe the lie of the devil instead of the truth of God’s Word they stepped out of God’s grace and into spiritual death.
Anyone who likewise chooses to believe and obey the devil instead of believing and obeying God also, even today, steps out of God’s grace and back into spiritual death.
God still loved man and didn’t want mankind to be eternally lost so He made covenants with man and made promises with man so man could once again enter into God’s grace.
The Bible says that Jesus was the second Adam. God devised a plan so that when the time was right He would be able to send His Son into the Earth and restore man, spiritually, back to the place he was before the fall.
In the same way that through the one man Adam, sin came in to all men. God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful man, yet He Himself was without sin, Jesus became sin for us and redeemed us from sin so that sin no longer has to rule and reign in our bodies.
By the first man Adam spiritual darkness came into the world and reigned. By the second man Adam (Jesus) light came into the world to dispel the darkness of sin and restore mankind back into God’s Grace Land.
Rom. 5:14-21, “Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”
1 Cor. 15:21-23, “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.”
GOD’S GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR YOU!
There’s been much misunderstanding in the body of Christ concerning God’s grace. Many people believe that grace is our ability, through God’s help, to be able to bear certain troubles. They get this impression from something the apostle Paul said that God told him. Let’s just look at what God did tell Paul, what God meant, and look at other places in God’s word where we are taught about His grace so we can better understand and appropriate His grace to meet all our needs in every circumstance.
PAUL’S THORN IN THE FLESH
The most common explanation of Paul’s thorn in the flesh goes as follows. “God gave Paul a sickness or disease to keep him humble because of Paul’s great revelation of God’s word and when Paul asked God three times to heal him, God said no.
Supposedly God wanted Paul to stay sick so Paul wouldn’t think to high of himself and God could exalt Himself. However God would give Paul the ability through God’s grace to withstand the torment of the sickness or disease.”
Now let’s examine God’s word and see what God has to say about the matter. 2 Cor. 12:7-11, “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
The first issue we are going to deal with is where did Paul’s thorn come from. Paul said that because of his abundance of revelation there was given to him a thorn in the flesh.
Paul truly did have great revelation from God. He wrote a large portion of the New Testament. The bible says that all scripture is given by God and that holy men of God wrote down the scriptures even as God breathed the words in to them. Paul truly had an abundance of revelation.
So where did his thorn in the flesh come from? Paul tells us himself. “There was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan…” So we can see from God’s word that Paul’s thorn did not come from God but was rather a messenger of Satan. Now an angel is a messenger, only this angel was not a messenger of God but rather a demonic imp sent by Satan to buffet Paul because he knew too much and was doing way too much damage to Satan’s kingdom.
You see; too many people were getting saved. Too many people were getting healed. Too many demons were getting cast out. Too many people were getting filled with the Holy Spirit. And because of Paul’s great revelation and understanding of the things of God he was helping too many other believers get understanding also. This domino effect the Devil just couldn’t stand.
So you see Paul’s thorn in the flesh was not given to him by God but rather by the devil.
Now the devil comes but to steal, kill and destroy but Jesus came that we might have life and not only life but life more abundantly. The devil was trying to steal from Paul. The devil was trying to kill Paul. The devil was trying to destroy Paul.
Then Paul went to God in prayer and asked Him to take away this messenger of Satan that was sent to buffet him. Guess what? Nothing happened. Then Paul went to God in prayer a second time and asked God the same thing. Please God, do something; I need you to take this away from me. And once again, nothing happened. Then Paul went to God the third time with the same request only this time he waited upon the Lord for an answer and this is what God told him. “My grace is sufficient for thee.”
What did God mean when He told Paul that His grace was sufficient for him? Was God saying no? Was God saying that he wouldn’t meet his need? No, no, a thousand times no!
God was not saying no. God was saying; “Paul you are asking me over and over again to do something that I have already done.” God was telling Paul that everything that He had already freely given to Paul through His great and precious promises was sufficient to meet his needs. He was saying to Paul; “you are asking me to give you something that I have already freely given to you through My grace.
You are asking Me to do something for you that I have already done.” God was telling Paul; “all you need to do to get your need met is to RECEIVE what I have already freely given you.”
Now the bible doesn’t specify in what exact way Paul’s thorn in the flesh manifested itself so let’s just examine some of the most common theories and see how God’s grace would be sufficient to meet Paul’s needs.
One theory and probably the most common is that Paul had a physical infirmity or sickness or disease. Many people believe that Paul had a real problem with his eyes and there is scripture to back this up. However we don’t know if this is the infirmity of the flesh Paul was referring to.
Gal. 4:13-15 Paul says to the churches of Galatia. “Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first. And my temptation which was in my flesh ye dispised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? For I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me.”
Notice in this passage of scripture that the implication is that Paul had an infirmity of the flesh that concerned his eyes.
Notice that he said, “…if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me.” So let’s just say, for the sake of argument, that this was Paul’s thorn in the flesh that was given to him because of his great revelation.
When God tells Paul; “My grace is sufficient for thee”, what is it that’s contained in God’s grace that was sufficient to meet Paul’s need concerning his eye disease or infirmity?
Now remember, everything God has already freely given us is contained in His grace. Let’s look at God’s promises. 1 Peter 2:24 “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”
Matthew 8:17 says “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.”
So you see from God’s Word that divine healing is contained in God’s grace and God has already freely provided healing for us through the stripes that Jesus bore for us at Calvary.
If Paul’s infirmity of the flesh was indeed an eye disease then God’s grace was indeed sufficient to meet Paul’s need. Notice in Galatians when Paul was talking to the church there that he had mentioned that when he had ministered to them at the first he had an infirmity of the flesh.
Now since Paul says that at the first he had an infirmity, the implication is that he no longer has it. Obviously Paul had listened to God when He had told him that His grace was sufficient for him and had received the healing for his eyes that God had already provided for him in His grace.
Now let’s say again, just for arguments sake, that Paul’s thorn in the flesh was not sickness or disease but was indeed just as Paul had said “there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me”.
Now in this case Satan had sent a messenger or a demonic imp, if you will, to hinder Paul in his work for God. This demon was causing Paul all kinds of problems and he needed relief so he went to God three times and on the third time God told him that the answer to his need was contained in His grace.
You see Jesus said, “I give unto you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the devil and they shall by no means hurt you.” Jesus said; “In My name you shall cast out devils.” Jesus said; “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
These are all promises contained in God’s grace. These promises belong to you. These promises belong to me. These promises belonged to Paul. When God said; “My grace is sufficient for you.”
He was saying to Paul “You have authority over the devil. You have the authority to cast out devils. You have the authority to resist the devil and he has to flee from you. You have the authority to bind the devil up and I even I, God will back you up from My throne in heaven.”
Isn’t it so good that God’s grace is sufficient to meet our needs? If God says it’s mine then I just believe I’ll take that. If God says I can do something then I just believe I’ll do that. If God says I am somebody then I just believe I’ll be who and what God says I can be. Praise be to the name of the Lord!
Humble yourself before the Lord
Paul said “When I am weak then am I strong.” We must humble ourselves before the mighty hand of God if we want to be used of God. He resisteth the proud but giveth grace to the humble.
The more we humble ourselves before the Lord the more grace God can give us. The bible tells us that Jesus was meek and lowly. Now I ask you, why would the King of Kings and Lord of Lords be meek and lowly?
Well, you see, Jesus became a man and operated in the Earth as a man full of the Holy Spirit so He could become the sacrificial Lamb of God and redeem all of mankind from sin. Jesus had to become a man and live a pure, holy, and sinless life. If Jesus had sinned then all of mankind would have been eternally lost.
Now some folks think that it wasn’t possible for Jesus to have sinned because he was God in the flesh but it is precisely because He was in the flesh that it was possible for Him to have sinned, if He chose to do so.
Indeed it was necessary for Him to have had the possibility of sin for His redemptive sacrifice to be legitimate. “He was tempted in all ways even as us, Yet without sin.”
Now notice that this scripture tells us that Jesus was tempted in all ways. If it were not possible for Him to have sinned then there would have been no temptation. You can’t be tempted to do something if it’s not possible for you to do it, now can you?
So the Son of God who created the world and everything in it became a man and humbled Himself to the point where He only said and did what God told Him to say and do. That’s why God could use Him to do many mighty works.
Then Jesus tells us “The same works that I do you shall do also.” Well brother and sister in the Lord, if we want to do the same works that Jesus did then, in the same way He did, we must deny our flesh and humble ourselves before the mighty hand and will of God.
In everything that we say and do we must strive to be led by the Holy Spirit. The more we humble and submit ourselves to the will of God in our lives the more of His grace He will be able to pour into our lives. It’s really all up to us. How much are you willing to give up your own will and desires to come in line with God’s will and desires for your life?
God said that Moses was the meekest man on the face of the earth. Now because Moses humbled himself to the will of the Lord, God was able to mightily use him to deliver the children of Israel out of the hands of the Egyptians, part the Red Sea, receive the Ten Commandments, and write the first five books of the Bible.
Some people think that to be humble and meek is weakness but meekness is not weakness. Indeed when we become less and God becomes more in our lives, then are we truly strong. We are not strong as man counts strength but rather strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. He is ALMIGHTY GOD!
God’s grace can be added and multiplied to us. We can receive more and more of God’s grace. Let’s talk about some of the ways we can receive multiplied grace.
2 Peter 1:2-4 says, “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord. According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
Notice that in this portion of scripture God tells us that grace and peace can be multiplied to us. One way you can tell for sure that you have actually received God’s grace by faith is that peace always accompanies God’s grace. When we take hold of the promise of God and make it ours, when we receive it by faith, and believe that we have what God says we have, then we are at rest.
Then the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
We have ceased from our own labors, struggles, and worries and entered in to God’s rest. Hebrews chapter 4 talks to us about entering into God’s rest. It says that the children of Israel didn’t enter into God’s rest because of their unbelief.
They didn’t believe the promise of God but instead bickered and complained not receiving the promise. Hebrews 4:9-10 says, “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his”
So you see God wants us to believe His promise and receive what He has done for us and quit trying to do everything ourselves. Then we can be at peace and rest in Him. Jesus said; “Cast your cares on me because I care about you.” God loves you. God cares about you. Jesus gave his life, even for you.
Now how does God say that His grace is multiplied to us? “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.” So you see the more we know about God and what He has freely given to us through his great and precious promises, the more His grace is multiplied to us.
The more time you spend reading God’s word, the more time you spend meditating on God’s word, the more time you spend pondering on the promises of God, the more of God’s grace you will be able to receive. God’s grace will be multiplied to you.
You cannot receive a promise of God if you don’t know what the promise is. “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature.” Where do we get this knowledge of God? Where do we find these great and precious promises? In the Bible. In God’s word.
The way you take hold of and receive a promise of God is by faith. “Now faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” So you have to get the word in you. You have to know what the promise of God is, for you to be able to receive it and make it yours. Faith to receive comes when you get the promise of God down in your heart. “For with the heart man believeth and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation or deliverance.”
For you to be able to believe the promise of God with your heart you have to get it down there into your heart. You have to get understanding. You have to know that you know that what God says belongs to you, is actually yours. You have to know that you know that what God says you can have, you can actually have. You have to know that you actually are who and what God says you are.
When you truly believe in your heart that the promise of God is true, you will begin to speak his promise out of your mouth. “For with the heart man believeth and with the mouth confession is made unto deliverance.” “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” 2 Cor. 4:13 says, “We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak.”
Whatever you truly believe in your heart will begin to pour out of your mouth. If you say you have faith but doubt and unbelief is continually coming out of your mouth, then your faith is dead.
If you say that you are believing God, and you are continually griping and complaining about your circumstances, then you are deceiving yourself and your faith is dead.
If you say you trust God and you are continually worrying about every situation in your life that doesn’t seem to be going right, then you certainly haven’t entered in to God’s rest or appropriated His grace in that situation.
I just encourage you right now to make a commitment to God that from this time forward you will trust Him and His word. You will say within yourself; “There’s nothing to big for God.” “God is faithful.” “God will meet my needs because He loves me.”
Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
When we come to God we must believe that He is able to meet our needs but we must also believe that He is willing to meet our needs.
When we come to God to take possession of the promises that are contained in His grace, we have to know that what God has promised us belongs to us and that it is ours.
I’ve heard it said, and sometimes it was actually men in the pulpit that said it, that God always hears our prayers but sometimes God says yes and sometimes God says no. Well, brother and sister in the Lord, when we come to God in prayer to receive something that God has already freely given to us in His word, through His promises, God always says yes and never says no.
2 Corinthians 1:19-20 says, “For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yes and no, but in him was yes. For ALL the promises of God in him are yes, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God..."
So you see God tells us clearly in His word that ALL the promises of God in Christ Jesus are yes. God doesn’t say yes sometimes and no sometimes but in Him ALL the promises of God are yes, yes, yes.
God wants us to have everything that he has promised us in His word. God wants us to take everything that He has freely given to us. God doesn’t want everything Christ went through to go for naught in your life. He wants you to benefit to the fullest from everything Jesus did for you and everything He has provided to us by His grace.
Now we can see that one way God’s grace is multiplied to us is as we get knowledge and understanding of what God has freely given to us through all his great and precious promises in his Word.
Gifts and Callings of God
Another way that God’s grace is multiplied to us is through individual gifts and callings that God does freely give to each of us individually.
Let’s consider the five fold ministry gifts. These don’t just automatically belong to all believers, so you can’t just claim them by faith and take possession of them on your own but they are given to individuals by God, as He wills.
However once God has called and gifted and anointed you to operate in one of these gifts you still have to step out and operate in them by faith. And God has given to every man the measure of faith that he needs to step out and function in the gifts and callings that He has placed on our lives.
Remember our faith is always involved in receiving anything that’s contained in God’s grace. “For without faith it is impossible to please God, for he that cometh to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”
In the 4th chapter of Ephesians the Bible says that God gave gifts unto men. Ephesians 4:11-15 says, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints to do the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.”
The gifts and callings of God are contained in His grace. The gifts and callings of God are without repentance. That means that God doesn’t take back a gift or calling after He has given it to us by His grace.
More grace can be multiplied to us. That means more and more gifts can be given to us by God and once He has given them, He doesn’t take them back. So the more we get the more grace is multiplied to us. With God there are no take backs. That’s what God’s word means when it says that the gifts and callings of God are without repentance.
Let’s look at an example. The bible says that God gives gifts unto men, (these gifts that are freely given to men by God are contained in His grace) He gave some to be Apostles, some Prophets, Evangelist, Pastors, and Teachers.
These are the five fold ministry gifts. God freely gives these gifts to people for the purpose of leading, guiding, and teaching the body of Christ to grow up spiritually so that the members of the body of Christ themselves are equipped to do the work of the ministry.
That is to witness and lead people to Christ, to walk in and be led by the Holy Spirit, and to grow up into the fullness of the stature of Christ Himself.
Now to our example. Let’s say that God calls and gifts someone to be an evangelist and for a while this person operates in this gift and calling.
As time goes by this same person is called and gifted to be a teacher also. Now this person doesn’t lose his gifting and calling as an evangelist but is now an evangelist and teacher.
Now later this same person receives a call and gifting to operate in the ministry of a pastor. This person doesn’t lose his callings and gifting of the evangelist and teacher but just adds the gift of pastor to his other gifts from God.
Remember; “The gifts and callings of God are without repentance.” Now this same person who is already operating in the gifts of the evangelist, pastor, and teacher is, later in life, called and anointed and gifted as a prophet. As you can see from our example this person is now a prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher.
You might find it difficult to believe or understand this but God does add more and more grace to His people in this way.
The above example is actually a true example of what God has done in my own personal life. You might say; “Why would God do such a thing?” Glad you asked. I just believe I’ll tell you. You see many times God has a hard time finding people who will do the things that He wants done and if you are willing and obedient, He is able to use you in ways you never thought possible.
He might need you to pastor some folks and if you are open to that gifting He can use you in that way. He will use us in many ways if we are faithful to be obedient in the small and few things that He wants us to do.
If God calls and gifts you in a particular thing and you are unfaithful or slothful in that thing then God knows He can not trust you in a bigger thing.
Let me say that again just in case you didn’t hear me the first time; “If God calls and gifts you in a particular thing and you are unfaithful or slothful in that thing then God knows He can’t trust you in a bigger thing.”
Some of us never grow beyond a certain point because we never get willing and obedient in the area God has called and gifted us in.
We are waiting on God to use us and gift us in great things and at the same time God is waiting on us to get in that place of servitude. God wants us to willingly serve Him with all our heart in the small things that He asks us to do.
God is patient and He knows when you are ready to be a teacher or an evangelist or a pastor or a prophet or an apostle.
Submit yourself wholly and completely to the will of God. Let Him mold you and make you into the vessel that seems fitting to Him and you will find out what a wonderful Creator He is.
God can take a pile of dirt and make the most beautiful sculpture out of you. You will look at yourself and say, “Who is that? I used to be a useless pile of dirt but God has truly molded and made me into a work of art.”
Yes you will be amazed at what God can and will do with you, if you will only humble yourself before Him and totally submit yourself to His will in your life. You are not your own. You are bought with a price. The precious blood of Jesus was shed that you might have eternal life. Salvation from eternal damnation is contained in God’s grace but you must receive it and give your life totally and completely to God for His precious blood to cleanse you and make you whole.
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are contained in God’s grace and are freely given to us to operate in as the Holy Spirit wills. These are gifts that can be multiplied to us as God wills and are to benefit and uplift the Body of Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:4-7 says, “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God that worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another special faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally AS HE WILL.”
These gifts from God are what we commonly call the gifts of the Spirit.
These gifts are indeed part of God’s grace since He does freely give them to us, however they do differ in a couple of ways. One way they differ from some of the other gifts that are contained in God’s grace is that they are not available to every Christian.
Before God can use us in these gifts we must first receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit or be filled with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. Being filled with the Holy Spirit qualifies us to be recipients of the gifts of the Spirit.
To receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit you must first receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. That’s what Jesus called being born again and that is the initial part of God’s grace that we must receive before we are eligible to receive the other gifts that are contained in His grace.
Another way these gifts differ from other gifts contained in God’s grace is that they are only given to individuals as the Holy Spirit wills. God uses those people He chooses to operate in these gifts and He desires to use us but He wants us to be desirous of spiritual gifts. 1 Corinthians 14:1 says we should “desire spiritual gifts”
When I was about fifteen years old I was in a revival service and a powerful speaker was talking about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. He began telling us about the gift of discerning of spirits and I really had a desire inside me to have this gift, so I began to pray for the gift of discerning of spirits and God gave it to me. It manifests itself quite often and in many unusual ways as the Holy Spirit wills.
The Lord would not have been able to give me this gift had I not already received the baptism in the Holy Spirit a few years earlier. Some people will be offended to hear me say that God is not able to do something but God’s word is clear that there are times and circumstances that prevent God from doing things He would like to do.
In Mark 6:5 God’s word says that Jesus couldn’t do any mighty works in his own hometown because of the peoples unbelief. Notice the bible doesn’t say that Jesus wouldn’t do any mighty works but that He couldn’t do any mighty works because of their unbelief.
In Ezekiel 22:30 God is wanting and desiring to deliver His people and not pour out His wrath on them for their sins but He could find no intercessor for them so He was unable to deliver them. “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD.”
God didn’t want to destroy them. He wanted to deliver them but He had bound Himself by His word and He needed a man to stand in the gap and intercede on behalf of the people so He could deliver them.
While I’m on the subject of what God can’t do I’ll just throw in a couple of other things for good measure. God cannot lie! Hebrews 6:18 says; “That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.” Numbers 23:19 says; “God is not a man that he should lie…” You see because we know that it is impossible for God to lie, we can have mighty confidence and assurance that what God says in His word is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I thank you God.
Another thing that God cannot do is change. Hebrews 13:8 says; “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” Malachi 3:6 says; “For I am the Lord, I change not.” And James 1:17 says; “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
Another thing God cannot do is to show favoritism. If God did it for someone else under the same circumstances He will do it for you and me. Romans 2:11 says “For there is no respect of persons with God.”
Isn’t it good to know that the Almighty God we serve can be counted on to do what He says He will do? Isn’t it good to know that we serve a God who isn’t tossed like the waves of the sea but is stable and dependable?
“I just thank you Lord that your Word is true. I give you praise and glory Lord that you never change. I thank you Lord that you are no respecter of persons and if you did a thing for others you’ll do it for me. God never changes. What he’s done for others he’ll do for you and me. Praise be to the name of the Lord!”
by Mike Mings
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May the blessings of the Lord always be upon you!