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This study came unusually to me. I was interceding for the team of friends in India January of this year, and I found myself praying the contents of this study over them. I was to preach in a friend's church the next Sunday and I thought my message was settled. When I prayed this I knew I had a new sermon to preach…
Imagine Christmas morning…
My Christmas morning as a bachelor is pretty bleak. No decorations, I didn't give any cards, the gifts I gave consisted of 3 gift bags (all my choice). Imagine my shock if I should wheel out of my bedroom only to find an 4' x 4' x 4' box in the middle of my living room floor, beautifully wrapped and addressed to me. Upon ripping it open, I discover not one expensive gift (I was thinking new, large TV or computer!) but a box of boxes, all individually wrapped. Each gift inside was comparable in value as what the original might have been. One was a laptop, another the latest and greatest cell phone, there was a PDA, a 20 GB mp3 player, a brick of CD's I'd been wanting, etc. Everything a techno-geek like me would have wanted
The Grand Gift of Salvation - What it contains
This is a picture of our salvation, although a weak one, because salvation is far more valuable. It was given with much more love and caring. I was saved, by the way, at an early age, 8 years old. My brother and I went to a Child Evangelism Fellowship 5-day club which simply presented the plan of salvation using a 5 color wordless book. Day one was yellow for heaven - a great place to go while hell was to be avoided. Black represented the darkness of sin, red, the blood of Christ, white, a clean heart and green for Christian growth. This was my understanding of salvation for years. It's not far from what most Christians believe and it is wonderful as far as it goes. But only a few of the dozens of the packages of salvation are opened, the vast majority are ignored.
Here is the definition of the Hebrew & Greek - of course it means saved from every aspect of sin, but it also means: help, deliverance, health, welfare; prosperity, victory, preserved, avenging, defend, rescue, safe, to be liberated
Is. 53.3 He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. 4 Surely He has borne our griefs (in addition to grief, means sickness and disease, see Mt. 8.17) and carried our sorrows (includes grief, mental and physical pain); yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions (everything to do with sin, including our rebellion), He was bruised (pierced through) for our iniquities (doing our own thing); the chastisement for our peace (well, peaceably, welfare, prosperity, safe, health, completeness, soundness, safety, soundness (in body, quiet, tranquility, contentment, friendship of human relationships, with God especially in covenant relationship) was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.
Rom. 8.32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? A dear sister in the Lord says at the end of her prayers, Jesus Christ paid for this prayer, amen.
2 Pet. 1.3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
The next time you read salvation in a verse, think about it differently. For example: Rom. 10.9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. - We receive all salvation has by confession… Eph. 2.8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. - We receive all salvation has by grace through faith…
What would happen if the person who gave me that box came back and asked me about one of he presents and I said, "I never saw that." Then they told me it was on the fourth layer of gifts and I said, "I never got around to opening all the gifts." How would they feel? How would I feel? When we get to heaven, how will we feel when God asks us the same about His salvation? Illustration: Israel only took 10% of what God offered. Gen. 15. 17 And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces. 18 On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying: “To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates— 19 the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites, 20 the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21 the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”
What is that one thing?
As I ministered this I asked the congregation to think what was that one need that they were asking God for, the main thing.
God is and doesn't just have…
Then I shared with them that God doesn't just have those things, He IS what we need.
Jehovah Jireh - The Lord my Provider - Gen. 22.14 - Abraham was willing to sacrifice that which was promised to him by God for 25 years. God, in turn, was willing to provide for Abraham.
Jehovah Rophe - The Lord my Healer - Ex. 15.26 - God healed the waters at Meribah so that Israel wouldn't perish in the wilderness, what do you need Him to heal in your life?
Jehovah Nissi - The Lord my Banner - Ex. 17.15 - The Amalekites were a treacherous enemy to Israel. God caused Joshua to win the battle while Moses interceded on the mount, sitting on the rock (Christ) while Aaron and Hur held up his arms for victory. What is your battle? God will raise up a standard (He already did in Jesus) when the enemy comes in like a flood!
Jehovah Sabaoth - The Lord of Hosts (Armies) - 1 Sam. 17.45 - David faced Israel's Goliath, who had challenged the nation to a fight. He won the battle in the name of the Lord of Hosts, Jehovah Sabaoth. We can do the same, whether the battle is ours, our church's, our community's, nation's or whatever.
Jehovah Shalom - The Lord my Peace - Jug. 6.24 - Midian was keeping Israel from bearing arms and harvesting their crops. In short, they could not fulfill their calling. God revealed Himself to Gideon in the midst of this situation as the Lord of Peace and then lead him to lead Israel into battle to win their peace. He will do the same for us!
Jehovah Rohi - The Lord my Shepherd - Ps. 23 & John 10 - Think about what a shepherd does for his sheep. He leads and guides, feeds and provides, He shelters and protects, heals and watches over. These two scriptures will help with other ideas. That's what Jesus does for us!
Jehovah Shammah - The Lord Who is There - Eze. 48.35 - The New Testament reveals Jesus as Emmanuel, the God who never leaves nor forsakes us. He offers us relationship that no one else can, no matter how good the intentions.
Jehovah Tsidkenu - The Lord my Righteousness - Jer. 23.6, 33.16 and Jehovah M’kaddesh - The Lord my Sanctifier - Ex. 31.13 - Even in the Old Testament, God's message was, "You can't be right or holy enough on your own, you need Me." God is Himself our righteousness and our sanctification. Yes, we must cooperate, but without God, it is impossible to live rightly. All God requires of us, He has provided in Himself.
Jehovah Elohim - The Lord our Creator - Gen. 1 & 2 and Jehovah Asah - The Lord our Maker - Ps. 95.4-5, 100.3, Is. 51.13, 16 - Have a need not listed yet? Have a need not created yet? No matter, our God creates out of nothing or out of what He's already made to meet each and every need we have.
Hebrew is Yeshua, literally Jehovah Saves - also translated as Joshua in Old
Testament. After studying the facets of salvation, it gives a much broader depth
to His name, no? Mt. 1.21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His
name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
I AM Statements of Jesus
John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes on me shall never thirst. 41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. 48 I am that bread of life. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. What nourishment, what sustenance are we in need of? It's all in Jesus!
John 8:12 Then spoke Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. John 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. Do we need understanding, discernment, revelation? Again, it's all in Him.
John 10:7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. 9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: Jesus' revelation to Mary and Martha is the same to us, He is what we need, what we are looking for, not some future event, something He can give us apart from Himself.
John 14:6 Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me.
John 15:1. I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing. What does the branch need that it doesn't get from the vine or from God (sunshine & pruning)?
Hopefully it is quite clear that everything we need is in the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit. The fulfillment of our needs is not apart from them. This final part is where it gets exciting…
In us, Upon us, All Around us
Lastly I shared that God is in us, upon us, and all around us. Jn. 14.23 Jesus answered and said to him, If a man loves me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our abode with him.
1 Cor. 3:16 Know not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power, after the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses to me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth.
Acts 17:27 That they should seek the Lord, if perhaps they might grope after him, and find him, though he is not far from every one of us: 28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Therefore, whatever we need is in us, upon us, and all around us as well. Eph. 3.20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. Wherever we are, wherever we go, God is, and our need is. We are literally bumping into it all day long.
& Through us
From the beginning God has wanted to not just meet our needs, but the needs of those around us as well. He wants to flow through us to everyone within our reach and around the world.
2 Cor. 4.7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. What's a vessel good for - filling up & pouring out, filling up & pouring out, filling up & pouring out?
Zec. 4.3 Two olive trees are by it, one at the right of the bowl and the other at its left.” 4 So I answered and spoke to the angel who talked with me, saying, “What are these, my lord?” 5 Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, “Do you not know what these are?” And I said, “No, my lord.” 6 So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.
So to conclude the service, I had everyone come together, lay a hand on the person to the right and left and we prayed for each other, for that one need. I then encouraged each one to wait on the Lord for a moment to see if God had anything else to share with each one they were praying for. It might be a picture, a few sentences, a word, or scripture or a combination. This is something we can do daily, on the street, in the store, at work or school, everywhere we go. One question that is usually the least offensive is, "What can I pray for you about?” Then just grab a hand, pray right then and there and wait for God to speak. Even if the person is not a Christian, they will soon want to be once they have experienced God in a real way!