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Call it the way God calls it

Call it the way God calls it

…God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;
Romans 4:17

CALL IT THE WAY GOD CALLS IT!

Many a time, when we look at ourselves, we don’t see what we can become. But when God looks at us, He sees what we can become by His grace.

When Jesus first saw Simon, whose name in Greek means “reed,” He changed his name to “Peter,” which means “rock.” But did Peter instantly become someone with the characteristics of a rock—solid, stable and unshakable? No, for a long time, he continued to act like a reed that bends every which way the wind blows.

Once, when Peter saw Jesus walking on water, he took a bold step of faith and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” Then, as he was walking on the water, he saw the boisterous wind, got scared and when he began to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” (Matthew 14:28–30). Another time, he said, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death” (Luke 22:33). Then, a few hours later, he denied knowing Jesus not once, but three times (see Luke 22:54–62).

Yet, throughout his reed-like behavior, Jesus kept calling him “rock” until one day, how Jesus saw him began to take root in him. That day, on the Day of Pentecost, Peter stood up to preach and 3,000 people were saved (see Acts 2:41)! Peter had indeed become a rock, a pillar in the early church.

That was how Jesus transformed Peter. And that is how God wants us to change the people and situations in our lives.

“Pastor Prince, are you telling me to call my wife ‘a fruitful vine’ as in Psalm 128:3? You should see my wife. She looks more like a dried-up sour prune!”

My friend, God did not tell us to call those things which exist as they exist. What is the point of stating the obvious? It is not going to change anything. No, God tells us to call those things which do not exist as though they did, and they will!

– Joseph Prince

A Way of Escape

A way of Escape

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.
Psalm 23:5

A WAY OF ESCAPE

The table is set. The bread and wine are there, and Jesus says to you, “Come, My child, partake.” But you tell Him, “Lord, I am unworthy!” You are afraid to come to the Lord’s table perhaps because you have been taught that if you partake in your “unworthy” state, you will come under God’s fiery judgment.

My friend, Jesus has washed you whiter than snow and qualified you with His own blood, so you are as worthy as worthy can be! The most humble thing you can do now is to acknowledge His perfect sacrifice and accept His invitation with gladness.

In 1 Corinthians 11, Paul tells the church how to partake of the Lord’s Supper so that they will not drink judgment to themselves. The word “judgment” in verses 29 and 34 is krima in the original Greek text. It refers to a divine sentence. And in the context of this passage, the divine sentence refers to sickness.

But when was this divine sentence of sickness passed? It was passed when Adam sinned (see Genesis 3:19). When he sinned, death entered the world (see Genesis 2:17), and man would grow old and weak, fall sick and die.

So it is not that God is passing sentences of sickness on people today. How can that be when Jesus said, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17). God is not in the business of condemning but saving. And the Greek word for “saved,” sozo, also means to preserve, heal and make whole.

God does not want you to suffer the divine sentence of sickness that is already in the world, so He has given you a way of escape, paid for by the blood of His Son. He wants you to be healthy and whole, without the diseases of the world, and He has made this possible for you through the Holy Communion.

So don’t be robbed of this tremendous blessing any longer because of erroneous teachings that have put fear in your heart. Come boldly to the Lord’s table today and receive afresh His health, strength, wholeness and life!

Merry Christmas 2018

Merry-christmas-2018

Today is the first month of Christmas. Have you done your shopping yet? Stay tuned for another Bible Giveaway! This time it is 30 Days to Understanding the Bible! There will be just one giveaway coming soon in January. I will post a blog about it and announce the winner soon from the comments. The last giveaway was a blast! Unfortunately, my apologies I could not give to all of you due to the limited copy of just one per comment for residents of the USA only.

For this month, dad will undergo a heart bypass on 5th and admitted on 2nd in a semi-private hospital. We will stay in a nearby condo and visit him for 16 days, as it takes about 10 days to recover after the surgery without complications. Since dad is now 81 years old, he is considered high-risk. 75% will survive the heart bypass at this age where they will take a vein from his leg and replace his clogged arteries. Thank you for your prayers in advance.

And Merry Christmas in 2018, the season’s greetings, the time of giving and receiving is here!

Jesus is Your Restorer and Nourisher

And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age…
Ruth 4:15

JESUS IS YOUR RESTORER AND NOURISHER

Famine impoverished the life of Naomi, an Israelite. But it was the deaths of her husband and two sons that left her completely destitute (see Ruth 1:1–5). Or so she thought, until Boaz, who was a wealthy and close relative, entered her life.

As her kinsman-redeemer, Boaz married Ruth, Naomi’s widowed daughter-in-law. And through that union, Naomi had a grandson. The birth of her grandson gave her a new lease of life, causing the womenfolk in her village to declare that the restorer of life and the nourisher of her old age had come into her life (see Ruth 4:14–16).

Boaz is a picture of Jesus, our kinsman-redeemer. Jesus became our kinsman when He was born into this world as one like us. And He became our Redeemer when He paid with His life and blood at the cross to redeem us.

Jesus gave Himself to us as our restorer of life and nourisher of our old age. When the restorer of life is in our lives, what we have lost can be restored (see Joel 2:25−26). And with the nourisher of our old age in us, our bodies can be gloriously renewed even though we advance in our years.

That is why when Moses died at the age of 120, his eyes were not dim and his natural vigor was not diminished (see Deuteronomy 34:7). Caleb, at 85 years old, could still drive out the giants from the land. God had literally nourished his body and made it strong for war (see Joshua 14:11). Sarah was certainly rejuvenated in her old age by God for she was still desirable to a king at the age of 90 (see Genesis 20:1–2). God even renewed her womb. She received strength to conceive seed (see Hebrews 11:11), giving birth to Isaac in her old age.

Beloved, God is outside of time and your faith in Him brings you into this timeless zone. There, what the years have stolen will be restored. And even as your years increase, you will not grow weak and weary because the restorer of life and nourisher of your old age is in you!

– Joseph Prince

Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl

fruits

“Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.”
Deuteronomy 28:5

BLESSED ARE YOUR BASKETS, KNEADING BOWLS AND NETS!

In Bible times, reapers carried baskets on their backs to collect the harvest from the fields. They had to ensure that their baskets were strong and sturdy so that what they gathered would not fall out. The women of that day used kneading bowls to knead dough for making bread. If they used poor-quality pots which broke easily, they would not be able to make bread.

So baskets and kneading bowls in those days represented the means by which one got his material blessings. Beloved, your Father in heaven does not want you to worry about the methods by which you get your blessings. Because of the sacrifice of Christ, He says to you, “Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.”

This means that if you are a cab driver, your cab will not break down on your rounds because God says to you, “Blessed shall be your cab.” If you are a businessman, your capital investment will not fail you because God says to you, “Blessed shall be your capital investment.” And if you are a salesman, your products will be looked upon favourably because God says to you, “Blessed shall be your products.”

These blessings are yours because Jesus paid for them with His death and He enforced them with His resurrection.

On one occasion, Jesus told Peter to throw his nets into the water. When Peter threw one net down, he caught so much fish that the net “was breaking.” To save the bumper haul, the other disciples quickly filled their boats with the fish, lest the net gave way completely (see Luke 5:4–7).

After Jesus rose from the dead, a similar incident took place. Once again, Jesus asked His disciples to cast their net out. They caught a multitude of fish. But “although there were so many, the net was not broken” (John 21:11). Notice that in the first case, the net was breaking. In the second case, it was not! Something supernatural happened to their nets after Jesus rose from the dead!

Beloved, because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, not only are you blessed (see Ephesians 1:3), but your nets, baskets and kneading bowls—the means by which you obtain your blessings—are also blessed!

The God of More-than-Enough

The God of more than enough

For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken;
Luke 5:9

THE GOD OF MORE-THAN-ENOUGH

As a young Christian, I grew up hearing preachers say that God only supplies our needs, not our wants. Yet, in the Bible, God clearly shows us that He wants to meet not just our needs, but also our wants.

For example, the famous “shepherd psalm” begins with “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1). Another psalm says, “Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him. The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing” (Psalm 34:9–10).

One of the names of our God is Jehovah Jireh, which means “the all-providing One.” He provides more than enough. The God of more-than-enough came in the flesh and walked among His people. And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He did not give His disciples small blessings. That is why He said to Peter, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets [plural] for a catch” (Luke 5:4), and not “let down your net [singular].” And what a catch it turned out to be—a boat-sinking, net-breaking catch! It was such a big and unexpected blessing that Peter and all who were with him were “astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken.”

Beloved, see God’s heart for you today. He wants to prosper you. Don’t settle for anything less, thinking that He only supplies your needs and not your wants. If you need a job, know that He wants you to pray not just for a job, but for a position. When you have a position, you have influence and you are able to impact lives. Maybe what you need is a pay increment. Then, pray not just for that, but also to be in a position to give increments!

You may start out poor when you follow God. But you cannot remain in lack when you follow the God of more-than-enough. In fact, like Peter, you too will be astonished that God supplies more than what you need and beyond what you have asked!

– Joseph Prince

Forgiveness is for the Undeserving

Forgiveness is for the undeserving

Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
Matthew 18:21

FORGIVENESS IS FOR THE UNDESERVING

Peter asked the Lord how often he should forgive his brother. The Lord’s answer to him was simple: Up to 70 times seven times (see Matthew 18:22). In other words, all the time!

“Well, Pastor Prince, he does not deserve my forgiveness.”

Neither did you deserve God’s forgiveness.

There is not a single person alive or dead who did not break all 10 of God’s commandments. There is no such thing as a “partial sinner” or “great sinner.” All of us were great sinners when Jesus saved us. And when we realize that we are forgiven much, we will love much (see Luke 7:47).

“Pastor Prince, how can you say that I have broken all of God’s commandments? I have never committed adultery.”

My friend, Jesus said, “If you lust after a woman in your heart, you have already committed adultery with her” (see Matthew 5:28). That is God’s standard. The man looks outward, but God looks inward at the heart. Moreover, if you break one law, you are guilty of all (see James 2:10). So everyone has broken all of God’s commandments. Everyone is a great sinner.

Now, you are no longer a sinner if you have received Christ as your Savior. You are a new creation. But you were a great sinner and God forgave you your huge debt through the death of His Son.

So if someone has wronged you, tell yourself this: “I did not deserve God’s forgiveness, but He forgave me through Christ. So I forgive this person also.” If you say something like, “He does not deserve it,” it makes no sense. Forgiveness is not for people who deserve it. If they deserve anything, it is punishment. But forgiveness means that you extend grace—undeserved favor—like how God extends the undeserved favor to you.

Beloved, if you choose to hold on to bitterness, no one suffers but you. You lose your peace, then possibly your health. It is just not worth it. God says to you, “Let go. Forgive them their debts, just as I have forgiven you yours.”

– Joseph Prince

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