Every Promise is Yes

The answer is YES!  No matter how many promises God has made, the answer is yes.  ”For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ.  And so through him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God.”  (2 Corinthians 1:20).  The answer is yes to every promise of God, NOT because of our success at being good enough to make it come to pass, but because of His faithfulness and what Christ accomplished at the cross.

However, we do have a responsibility in that process to see His promises activated.  It is through Christ that we are to proclaim the “Amen”.  Amen is the spoken affirmation meaning “so be it” or “let it be so”.  The Message translation says it in this way, “God’s yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident.”  The “Amen” spoken by us is a true act of faith.  Hebrews 11:6 states, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards tose who earnestly seek him.”

It is also our responsibility to know just what it is that He has promised so that we can confidently proclaim Amen to each and every promise.  In the first chapter of Ephesians, Paul prays for all believers that the eyes of their heart be enlightened, that they will know the extent of their incredible inheritance.  We learn the fullness of His promises by knowing His Word!

When we do, in all confidence and faith proclaim the Amen to His promises, we take part in the ultimate win-win-win scenario.  First, 2 Cor. 1:20 states that God is glorified when we proclaim the Amen.  We are calling for His Kingdom to come, His will be to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

The second “win” comes as we are mightily blessed beyond what we could ask or imagine as His promises come to fruition in our lives.

The third “win” takes place as those around us are affected by His Spirit pouring His will through our lives.  In the book of Acts, even Peter’s shadow falling over someone as he walked by, ministered and brought healing because of the power of the Spirit pouring God’s promises through Peter.

I encourage you to first discover all that Christ has made available to you through His death and resurrection and then to boldly proclaim the “Amen”!

Blessings to you,                                                                                                                                       Linda

Which “Socket” Are You Plugged Into?

My husband worked in the lighting industry for nearly 30 years.  As a result he became very accustomed to handling (literally) electricity.  Don’t try this trick at home!  He would take a cord with wires exposed at one end, plug it into the wall; hold the live wires between the fingers of one hand and in the other hand hold the base of a light bulb.  The bulb would light up with seemingly no ill effects on my husband.  Now, obviously his ability to keep the bulb burning for any length of time, or his ability to run enough power through his body to run appliances or to supply a house – not going to happen!  It’s impossible.   I chose that example because so often what we try to do as Christians is to be our own power source to put ourselves in right standing, to be considered righteous enough by God to receive blessings from Him.  It is as impossible for us to make ourselves righteous enough to receive anything from God as it is for a human being to be the source of electricity to run a household.   We readily receive the concept of the free gift of salvation, but struggle to equally accept the concept of the free gift of righteousness (Romans 5:17).  We struggle to learn to pray just right so that we can hopefully get God to decide to move in our favor.  We make a valiant attempt to regularly attend our religious activities to prove how serious and worthy we are.  We make New Year’s resolutions to become a better person.  We promise God that we will clean up our language, or quit yelling at the kids (or spouse), or . . . . .   The list is endless.  Then inevitably we, in our humanness, fail.  Then we fall on our knees begging God for His forgiveness, hoping that we are being humble enough to prove to God that we mean it so that He will forgive us and hopefully bless us again.  Sound familiar?  Who needs 6 Flags?  That is a gruesome roller coaster ride!  It’s not that any of those things are bad things to do.  In fact they are all good things.  But if you are doing them to get into God’s good graces, they are totally worthless – dead works.

In that struggle, whether you realize it or not, your constant focus is your failure and your sin, and hoping that you have done enough to get yourself on the right track.  Often we hear teaching from all kinds of sources that say whatever you are focusing on, that’s what you are going to get.  Or, something along the lines of, whatever you continually say to a child, be it positive or negative, that’s what they will believe about themselves; that’s what they will become.  Apply that process to your righteousness.  If you are constantly looking at your failure, at your sin, at your ability to overcome; at your ability to get God to bless you, then that is all you will ever have - your sin and your ability.  Thinking that you can qualify to get God to  bless you in any way by your actions, no matter how noble, is like thinking that you could be the power source to light up the city of New York should they have another black-out!

Then how do we receive His blessings?   By focusing our attention on the right thing – His righteousness.  Remember, what you look at, focus on, is what you become.  When we are born again our spirit becomes a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).  That new creation is clothed in the free gift of His righteousness (Romans 5:17).  Our physical, emotional being is being transformed to match what our spirit already is.  When you know and confess (agree with) your new position of righteousness in Christ, His ability, power, and strength are released in your life to make real and lasting transformations way beyond your ability.  In that moment of failure, don’t dwell on the failure.  Why dwell on it, you’ll only make it bigger!  Confess it, agreeing that it is something that needs to be dealt with.  Then look at His righteousness covering you as the new creation.  That is true humility, knowing and confessing that it is His work and only His work that has already put you in right standing with God.  And in so doing has placed you in a position to be “blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).  Which “socket” are you plugged into?

Know that you are blessed,        Linda

 

 

 

Not What You Might Think

Sin does not separate us from God’s grace.  In fact, where sin increases, grace increases all the more (Romans 5:20).  Does that mean it’s OK to sin?  Absolutely not!  Sin is always destructive.  Christ died to release us from its grip.         But if sin does not separate form God’s grace, is there anything that can?      The answer is a resounding yes!     The Greek word for grace is charis, and is defined as “the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance).  Separating ourselves from His grace does not negate our transfer to heaven at the end of this life, but it can separate us from His power being free to move in and through our lives in this life.     So what is it, if not sin, that can cause us to fall away from grace?  Galatians 5:4 gives us the answer.  ”If you seek to be justified and declared righteous and to be given a right standing with God through the Law, you are brought to nothing and so separated (severed) from Christ.  You have fallen away from grace (from God’s gracious favor and unmerited blessing)” (Amplified Version).   The Law is not limited to just the Ten Commandments, or the 613 additional laws that the jewish leaders instituted.  The law can be any act, ritual, or ceremony that you deem necessary to stay in  right standing (righteousness) with the Lord.  We ARE completely righteous in Christ when we are born again by Christ’s work at the cross, not by any of our own actions (See www.lindacooze.com/justified-by-believing/ ).  Let’s just consider the Ten Commandments.  If you are struggling to keep one or more of the Commandments perfectly, and as a result assume that you will be punished for your failure or not be blessed because of your lack of perfection, then you are relying on your ability to keep the law in order to be in right standing with the Lord instead of relying on His gift of righteousness to you, completely apart from your works.                 ”For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.” (NIV).     You are empowered to renew your mind, to be transformed, to be fully blessed because you ARE righteous in Christ.  He has set you free from the need to try to renew your mind, to transform your life by your own efforts to prove your righteousness so that you can be blessed.                 Please join me again on Friday as we reveal the essence of knowing His righteousness in your place.    Until then, know that you ARE blessed.        Linda

YOU Speak to the Mountain

“If ANYONE says to the mountain, ‘Go throw yourself into the sea’ . . . ”  In Mark chapter 11 Jesus says for US to speak to the mountain.  He does not say, “Ask God to move the mountain for you” and then wait around for something to happen.  Then He goes on  in verse 24, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”    In the Garden He gave Adam authority over the earth.  We have all been placed in a position of spiritual authority just by the simple fact that God has placed man in that position.  That is an interesting position to be in.  There are people that when placed in a position of authority, crumble and can’t/won’t make a decision.  If they do make a decision it’s not a very wise one.  There are those that given the chance to be in that position abuse the power – for example, the Pharisees.   Because we all have been placed in that position, spiritually speaking, what are our guidelines for using that authority effectively and correctly?   It’s not complicated.  In verse 23 Jesus says, “Have faith in God.”  That’s number one.  Whatever He has said or promised, know that it is true, believe it to be so.  1 Corinthians 1:20 says that every promise of God is “yes” and it is up to us to add the Amen – the “let it be so”.  In 2 Peter 1:3-4  we read that everything we need for life and godliness has already been given to us.  If there is a mountain of illness in your path we have the promise that “by His stripes we were healed”, and in Psalm 103 – “He heals all our diseases”.  If the mountain if financial, read Matthew 6.  There are many, many, many promises and they are all ”yes” in Christ.  Galatians 5:6 gives us the correct motivation for using the authority He has given us, “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”  Step out in faith, know that you have the authority to speak to those mountains.

 

 

Justified by Believing

“That if you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  It is with your heart that you believe and are justified.”  (Romans 10:9-10)    It is believing what JESUS did that brings us to salvation.  It is NOT what we do.  It is not in making sure that our confession is up to date.  It is not in our church attendence.  It is not in being faithful attendees of the right classes in the right order.  It is not in anything we do or don’t do.  Our justification/righteousness is HIS righteousness covering us.  That’s it.  Nothing else.  You can’t add to it or subtract from it.  One of the criminals crucified next to Jesus got it. (Luke 23:39-43) One of the worst, receiving society’s punishment understood who Jesus was.  Hanging on the cross he reprimanded the other criminal for mocking Jesus  and then made this statement, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”  There was no time for acts of contrition or following man-prescribed ceremonies.  He believed that Jesus was who He said He was and confessed his belief by acknowledging Jesus’ kingdom.   Jesus’ simple reply, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”   Does that mean we can live life as a free-for-all?  Absolutely not.  But more on that later.   Just know that receiving salvation is as simple as believing and confessing.       Amen and Amen!

Release the Power

So how is that incredible, inDSC00570comparable power that Paul talks about in Ephesians 1 released in our lives? The same way all of His amazing promises are released in our lives.  Romans 10:9-10 says, “That if you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”  So often we wait for God to do something to make things better for us.  He has already done it ALL.  Remember, “It is finished”.  His part of the new covenant relationship through Jesus Christ is finished.   Meditate on Ephesians 1:19-21.  Picture yourself in Christ, seated above all the powers that could try to come against you.  Close your eyes, see it, sense it, know it, believe it.  Confess means to agree with what has been stated.  Confess with your mouth, out loud, that your position as a new creation in Christ has opened the door for His mighty power to flow through you.                                                       Tomorrow, an important note about believing in your heart that you are justified.

The Power Within

So often we face life so defeated, discouraged, stressed.  Believers, WAKE UP!!  In his letter to the Ephesians, chapter one, again in his prayer for all believers, Paul prays for us all to be aware of the “incomparably great power for us who believe”.  He continues, “That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and SEATED HIM AT HIS RIGHT HAND, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given.”  As a believer, guess where you are seated.  Ephesians 2:6 tells us that God raised (past tense – it’s DONE) us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms IN Christ Jesus.  Because Christ is above every evil power and authority and we are IN Christ, we are also, right now, above every evil power and authority.  That should give you tremendous joy and hope knowing that there is no power that can overtake you.  How is that power released in us?   Come back tomorrow  and we’ll continue.  Know that you are amazingly blessed today.

Linda

Open the Eyes of My Heart

Linda in chair

 

In the book of Ephesians, Paul describes in two places his prayers for the Christian believers; in chapter 1: 15-19 and in chapter 3:14-21.  These two prayers really encompass all that we need to pray for one another.  In chapter one, Paul is praying that the eyes of their hearts would be open to fully know all the wonderful gifts that the Lord has prepared for His children.  In chapter 3 he prays that believers would know to the very core of their being, the immensity of God’s love for them.  It is in knowing HIS love for us, not us proving our love for Him, that the fullness of all that He is and has is made effective in our lives.   This is my prayer for all that read this page and for all those who listen to the music.  ”Lord, open the eyes of their hearts”.    Know that today you are mightily blessed.               Linda