The Glory – Part Two

He has bestowed His glory upon His Church.  Don’t argue with it, embrace it.

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John 17:22-23 – And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:  I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

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Today I continue to write to you about the Glory of the Lord.  It is a well-established and absolute truth that the glory Father gave Jesus, Jesus has given us.  But how can we Biblically and accurately describe that glory.  Well, let’s go to the Scriptures.  John1:14 clearly calls the glory that was given to Jesus “the glory as of the only begotten of the Father.”  Stop for a moment and read those words for yourself.  Go to the first chapter of John to assure my accuracy.  “The glory as of the only begotten of the Father.”  There is no question about it.  This is the glory that Father gave to Jesus.  When Jesus came, walked, ministered, taught, worked, and fulfilled all Father had given Him to do, He did so walking in the “glory as of the ONLY BEGOTTEN of the Father.”  Wow!  What an absolutely marvelous place in which Jesus walked.  Now people can say whatever they will, from whatever position they make take, but this truth still remains.  JESUS HAS GIVEN TO US THE SAME GLORY THAT FATHER GAVE TO HIM – THE GLORY AS OF THE ONLY BEGOTTEN OF THE FATHER.

My friend, it is long past the time when every believer, every Christian, should rise up and take on his/her role as heir of God, joint-heir with Christ, ambassador of Christ, able minister of the New Covenant, intercessor, king, priest, and soldier (officer in the kingdom) of God’s army.  Stop living beneath the responsibility of an heir of God.  Rise up to the authority of a joint-heir with Christ.  Speak as an ambassador of heaven in full authority.  Stand forth as an able, fully equipped minister of the New Covenant.  Possess the altar as an intercessor who has full and complete access to come boldly before the throne of grace where mercy is always obtained, and grace abides for the finding.  Reign in this life as a king to whom the Master has given a kingdom.  Minister to the Lord as only an anointed priest can, abiding continually in His presence.  Go forth fully armed for the battles at hand, living in constant victory by faith.  All this is possible because Jesus did more than die for you; He bought you with payment in full, arose to seat you with Him in heavenly places, and GAVE YOU THE GLORY FATHER GAVE HIM – THE GLORY OF THE ONLY BEGOTTEN OF THE FATHER.  Consider that, my friend, and abide in it. 

Manna for Today – John 17; John 1:1 & 14; Isaiah 60-61; Isaiah 42:1-9; Romans 6:4; Romans 8:11

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The Glory – Part One

If Jesus meant what He said, it’s time for us to rise higher.

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John 17:22-23 – And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:  I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

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I write to you today about the glory of the Lord, and without any attempt to play word games, what a glorious topic it is!  First, I want you to consider deeply the words of our Lord in our Text for Today.  Please note; these are the words of the Messiah Himself.  “And the glory which Thou has given Me I have given them.”  Once again, these are the words of Messiah Himself, and as such can have no deception or misdirection in them.  They are plainly set forth and mean precisely what they say.  When these words are accurately considered, many traditions that have been spoken from pulpits across our globe fall by the way side, not the least of which is the one I will address at the very beginning of this writing.

How often have we heard ministers make a statement such as, “God will not share His glory with anyone else”?  I have heard it often in my lifetime.  And when I hear such a statement, I know the speaker is speaking from the traditions of men and NOT from the authority of the Word of God.  That statement comes from Isaiah 42:8.  Here it is: “am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.”  When read as a stand-alone verse, out of context, it is easy for one to assume that God is saying He will not share His glory with anyone else.  Sadly, it is the reading of stand-alone verses, out of context, that has robbed the church of so many of the great blessings Father wants the church to possess and enjoy.  And His glory is one of them.  While I don’t have the space here to set forth the entirety of the first nine verses of Isaiah 42, go to it for yourself and see the glorious truth the Lord has set forth.  This passage is a wonderful prophetic word concerning the Lord that shall come, Jesus the Messiah.  And because it is specifically about him, Father is saying that it is ONLY with Him, the Lord Jesus, that He will share, or give His glory.  Oh, what a wonderful truth the body of Christ needs to see. 

But we cannot stop there.  For in our Text for Today we read the words of Jesus Himself.  Father gave His glory to Jesus.  Now, belonging to Jesus, Jesus gives it to whom He chooses, and He chose us, His body, the Church.  He has given His glory to you and me.  And He gave it to us for a purpose; that we might fully represent Him in this world as His royal ambassadors.  Let’s get busy, shall we? 

Manna for Today – John 17; John 1:1 & 14; Isaiah 60-61; Isaiah 42:1-9; Romans 6:4; Romans 8:11

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Jesus Prayed Specifically for Me

It’s time to make it personal . . . really personal.

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John 17:20-21 – Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;  That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

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Let’s make it plain from the beginning of today’s writing.  If Jesus is your Lord, He ever lives to make intercession for you.  He’s praying for you right now, and in that statement, “YOU” refers to the Church as a whole, and to YOU as an individual.  We should know that according to the Word, and we should certainly believe it with all our heart.  Jesus loves you, for as a member of the God-head, He, too, is LOVE.  He is the Word made flesh, and the love of God is to keep the Commandments (Word).

But the issue to which I speak today was a time long before you and I were even a consideration to the people who were our great (time 10) grandparents even gave consideration to being parents.  In our Text for Today, we read the words of Jesus, the Messiah.  He said, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their (My disciples’) word.”  Dear one, when our Jesus uttered these words to the heart and ear of Father, He was praying specifically for you and me.  You see, whether we realize it or not, every person who has ever come to make Jesus Lord in their life, did so because of the words, both written and/or spoken by those disciples who surrounded Him at the time of this prayer in Jerusalem, now more than 2,000 years ago.  I was born again by faith in Christ, by confessing with my mouth Jesus as Lord, and believing in my heart that God had raised Him from the dead.  That message came through the Word of God, and the Word of God we have is the message that is “their word” to which Jesus referred in our Text for Today.  Not only have I been saved in that manner, but so has anyone else who has come to Christ.  I fully understand that there may have been some variables involved, and that not everyone’s testimony is identical on this point, but the fact still remains, the Word of God is true.  And according to the Word of God, people are saved when someone who is sent speaks the Word of God into their life and they believe and act on that Word.  In short, every believer today has come to Christ through the Word that has been set forth in the earth by Jesus’ disciples.  No, I never heard Peter, James, John, or even Paul preach.  I never heard Timothy or Barnabas or John Mark.  I never heard John Wesley, Charles Finney, Savonarola, Alexander Dowie, William Seymour, or Smith Wigglesworth either.  But the message I heard came from the Scriptures that were penned by the early Apostles.  And it is for that reason that I rejoice that Jesus prayed for me….specifically me! 

Manna for Today – John 17; Hebrews 7:25

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As He Is

I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage, “Like father, like son.”  Well, with God, it is true.

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John 17:19 – And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

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From the farthest eternity, it has been in the mind of our unchanging Jehovah to make man in His image, and to give that man, His man, authority over all His handiworks.  He demonstrated that work and its intent with Adam in the garden of Eden.  He demonstrated it again when He raised His only begotten Son from the dead, making Him the First Begotten of many brethren, and set Him on His Own right hand in heavenly places.  And He further demonstrated that plan and eternal desire when, through that work which He wrought in Christ Jesus, He brought forth His Church, being made of us, individual living stones who have been born again, made heirs of God, joint-heirs with Christ, and members in particular of the body of Christ, His Church in the earth.

I am a husband, father, and grandfather.  My sons carry half of my physical DNA in their genes.  While they are not identical to me, they are enough like me that when people see them, and especially if they see them with me, they know immediately that those handsome gentlemen are my sons, obviously carrying my genes.  As the old adage says, “Like father, like son.”  But today I am not writing about physical DNA, nor am I writing about carrying half of someone’s DNA.  I am referring to the identity of spiritual sons (children of God), having been born again by the Spirit and through the Word and blood of Jesus, by faith in His Name.  Spiritually, EVERY son (and daughter) of God carries the full spiritual DNA of Jehovah God, for we are His sons, and His sons alone.  There is no other person involved in the impar-tation of that DNA and the results it is designed to produce.  If you are a Christian, you are fully the spiritual DNA of Jehovah God, re-created in His image, after His likeness, and endued with His full authority to rule and reign in this earth.

What I write to you today is in complete harmony and agreement with the Word of God, and if God said it, that settles it.  As a child of God, you have been invested with the full authority (exousia) of a child of God to use the Name of Jesus in this earth to do all the works Jesus did, and even greater.  Furthermore, as a child of God, you have available to you, Holy Spirit, a member of the triune God-head, to dwell in you and endue you with His power (dunamis; ability) to live as a king and priest in this present life, and to rule and reign in this life.  Go to His Word, study it, learn it, meditate upon it, obey it, and live it out through your life, for as His Word declares, “As He is, so are we in this world.”  And “this world” is the one in which we live NOW.  Rise up, child of God, and live as Father intends. 

Manna for Today – John 17; 1 John 4:17; Hosea 4:9; 1 Corinthians 1:30-31; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Genesis 1:26-27

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Sent for a Purpose

The day you were born and the day you discover why determine your survival, success, and significance.

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John 17:18 – As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

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My first observation today is a very sad one.  While everyone has a birth date and a date of death, I believe there are few that ever come to the day of discovery of WHY they were born.  And the reason is just as sad; it is because most people are born, live, and die in darkness.  But to come to the day of discovery of WHY you were born requires light, and that light is the light that only God can give.  I pray my words today will help someone come to that point of discovery and revelation.

For that purpose, we must go to the Scriptures.  The Word is plain in revealing the purpose of Jesus’ coming into the earth.  Luke 4:18-21 states the purpose of His anointing.  Beyond that we read that Jesus came into the world for certain purposes; to seek and save the lost; to redeem mankind from the curse of the law; to destroy the works of the devil.  These are specific purposes and functions Father designed for Jesus to carry out through the abiding presence of Holy Spirit in His life.  Of course, those works can be viewed in a broad array of images, but can be summed up in providing “life and life abundantly.”

And it is in that identity that each of us must begin our journey on the path of life our Lord intends for us.  Look at the words of Jesus in our Text for Today, and add to that He words in John 20:21 where He said, “As the Father has sent me, even so send I you.”  How could His basic intent for your life be more clearly stated?  You and I have been sent in the same manner in which Jesus was sent.  He was born of the Spirit; so have you and I been.  He was sent to fulfill Luke 4:18-21; so have you and I been.  He is King of kings, Lord of lords, and High Priest forever; and you and I are kings and priests in His kingdom.  He was Father’s representative in the earth; so you and I are His representatives in the earth now.  Once again we read, “As the Father has sent [Jesus], so [Jesus] has sent you [and me].”  From that point for-ward, our roles may be different, but the end is the same; “to bear much fruit.”  When we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and in that fellowship of obedience our fruitful-ness will be seen and our individual purpose identified.  You have been sent for a purpose.  Discover it, be schooled in it, walk in it, and glorify your Father in it. 

Manna for Today – John 17; John 14:12-14; John 15:7; John 16:23; Philippians 4:13; Isaiah 55:11; Joshua 1:6-9; Proverbs 4:20-23; John 10:10; John 20:21; John 15:5-17

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Kept for Sure

There is a way to be kept from this world for absolute certainty.

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John 17:15-17 – I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.  They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

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Abraham Lincoln once said, “In times like these, it is good to remember that there have always been times like these.”  I often hear folks say we’ve never seen times like these.  Well, we may be seeing things made by man that have never existed in any previous generation of man, but that truth still remains that there have always been times like these.  In fact, the Scriptures bear this out when we read, “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it also be in the days of the Son of man.”  And even though we are living in a time where sin abounds, we have Father’s promise in His Word that the grace of God will much more abound.

And dear friend, as the song writer penned, “I have good news to bring.”  In that place where “grace much more abounds” is found all the power of God necessary to keep you in His love, His power, His blessing, and His promises.  Again today, I ask you – do you believe Father answers the prayers of Jesus?  And once again, I am sure that you answer with a resounding “YES!”  On that response, I ask you to consider the words of our Lord in our Text for Today.  Jesus prayed  that Father should “keep them (us) from the evil” that is in this world.  And my friend, I assure you that such is indeed the plan, purpose, and promise of our Father to us.  He has assuredly made it possible.  But how?  I’m glad you asked.  He will do it by His Word.

He had given us His Word which He assures us will come to pass and never fail.  He has given us His armor with which we should clothe ourselves for each and every battle in life.  He has given us His Name that is above every name that is names, not only in this world, but in the world to come.  He has promised us that we can do all things through Christ which strengthens us.  He has promised that if we ask anything in His Name, He would do it.  He has promised that our faith would overcome the world, and that love (agape) would NEVER fail.  All that, my friend, speaks to the matter of true security; true eternal life; BEING KEPT FOR SURE 

Manna for Today – John 17; Ephesians 5:26; 1 John 5:18; Matthew 24:37; Luke 17:26; Romans 5:20; Romans 10:17; Ephesians 6:10-18; 1 Timothy 6:12; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Isaiah 55:11

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Live Past the Hate

Hate is a matter of fact in this life.  It is always as present as love.  Live past the hate.

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John 17:14 – I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

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I have often heard that the opposite of hate is love, but that is really not the case.  Because both hate and love are active forces, the true opposite of love is apathy, which offers no force at all.  But we can say that the counter-force to hate is love.  And it is by the constant application of the force (or fruit) of love that hate, as well as fear, can be completely overcome and brought to nothing.  In essence, we must learn to “live past the hate.”

We must be aware that in this present age, hate will never be a thing of the past, that is something gone from our time.  However, we must likewise be aware that hate can, and should be, a thing of the past in regard to its position relative to our lives.  We must make hatred a thing and is always behind us, never in front of us (that is leading our way), and never with us (that is accompanying us as a companion of the present.  It must always be kept behind us.  We must learn to live PAST hate.

And once again, I declare boldly to you that we CAN accomplish that feat by walking in love.  My dear friend, love is not a feeling or an emotion.  I realize that is the way the world views it, and sadly, that is the way much of the church views it.  One believer thinking that love is a feeling or emotion is one too many to hold that philosophy.  And that is precisely what such a mind-set it – it is a deceptive philosophy, a lie of hell, and a horrible trap into which we MUST NOT fall.  And in order to prevent falling into that trap, we must rightly divide the Scriptures regarding a Biblical definition of LOVE.

According to the Scriptures, LOVE is a person, not a feeling or emotion.  GOD IS LOVE!  According to the Scriptures, LOVE is an action; a vital action, not a feeling or emotion.  THIS IS THE LOVE OF GODTHAT YOU KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS.   From the mouth of Messiah Himself we read the words, “If you love Me, keep My commandments; and I will pray the Father and He will send you another Comforter.”  Do you desire to truly walk in love?  Do you truly desire to live in that place where your faith ALWAYS works?  The answer is simple.  BE A DOER OF THE WORD, AND NOT A HEARER ONLY, DECEIVING YOURSELF.  I know it is easier said than done, but it is doable, for you have Holy Spirit to teach you and lead you into all truth.  Be Word doers, and live past hate. 

Manna for Today – John 17; 1 John 5:3; John 14:12-17; 1 John 4:8-16; 1 Corinthians 13; Galatians 5:7; James 1:22

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What Will It Take

Sadly, many Christians don’t know how greatly the Lord wants them to have joy.

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John 17:13 – And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.

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I encourage you to read our Text for Today several more times before continuing on in today’s Second Miler.  Consider the impact of our Lord’s words in this passage.  He is coming to Father in prayer, and He is addressing the words that He has spoken into the world, words that His followers have heard, words that are the Word of God, words that build faith.  Not only do these words He has spoken produce faith in the hearts of His disciples, but He also says quite plainly that His words spoken into their hearing were released so they “might have My joy fulfilled in themselves.”  When I saw that, all I could say in my spirit was “WOW!  THANK YOUJESUS!”

Oh, how my heart rejoices at the revelation of our Lord’s words in our Text for Today.  To what degree must He desire His joy to be fulfilled in us?  Do you read His Word?  Do you study His Word?  Do you meditate upon His Word?  Do you love His Word?  Do you hunger for His Word?  Do you feed your faith on His Word?  I am sure the answer to all these questions would be a resounding “YES!”  Hold firmly to this thought – FAITH COMES BY HEARING AND HEARING BY THE WORD OF GOD.  When your faith works, when your faith produces the results you desire, does it not bring joy to your heart?  Remember the words of Jesus, “Ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full.”

My focus today is not on the work of faith, but on the joy that rises from faith working in your life.  God gave His Word to save, heal, deliver, make free, and provide all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge that comes to us through His Word.  He gave His Word as a source of revelation of the life He desires us to live, and how to possess that life now in this present world.  His Word is TRUEFIXEDUNCHANGINGUNWAVERING, and UNALTERABLE.  And His highest joy and greatest pleasure comes in knowing that we walk in that Word.  He joys over you with singing when His joy is manifest in you.  As the Scriptures declare, He is mighty in you for that end, that His joy might be fulfilled in you.  Rejoice, my friend, rejoice!  This IS His will for you.  Believe it, embrace it, accept it, and enjoy it.  Let NO ONE take this from you.  His Word, building a working faith in your life, will bring you to the place where His joy is fulfilled in you.  Believe that! 

Manna for Today – John 17; Nehemiah 8:10; Galatians 5:22-23; John 15:11; Philippians 2:2;       Romans 10:17; John 16:19-24; 3 John 2-4; Zephaniah 3:17

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Guard Your Decisions

God wants you saved, redeemed to the fullest, but your personal decisions are the determining factors.

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John 17:12 – While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

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It’s up to you.  Truly, our God wants to save you to the uttermost, spirit, soul, and body, and bless you now in this life with all things that pertain to life and godliness.  As a joint-heir with Christ, the authority and power with which Jesus has been endued has been shared jointly with you, as is the blessing, too.  Father withholds no good thing from them who walk uprightly.  But that upright walk is up to you.  Yes, Holy Spirit has been sent to help you walk that walk to the utmost, but it is your own personal choice as to whether or not you truly endeavor to walk that path.  You will not be forced to do so, and neither will you just automatically walk it because you’ve been born again.  It is a daily walk by faith, and faith is an act of willful obedience to the Word of God so that Word can be fulfilled in your life.  Once again, it’s up to you.

In our previous Second Miler, we read the prayer of Jesus as He called on Father to keep those that had been given to Him.  You can be assured that Father answered Jesus’ prayers.  Still, we see in that scenario that Judas Iscariot, one who had been chosen by Jesus, walked with Jesus, was anointed and appointed by Jesus, and who went forth fulfilling the anointed works he was sent to do, was ultimately lost.  He made his own choice.  His betrayal of Jesus was his own choice.  His refusal to repent was his own choice.  His suicide by hanging was his own choice.  It was that series of his own choices that sealed his fate to be lost from the kingdom of God, to lose his ministry (bishopric), and suffer eternal separation from the very Lord he had followed and served.  Choices!

You face choices every day.  Some may seem so minor; the clothes you wear, the food you eat, the beverage you drink.  But there are those that are likewise MAJOR to and extraordinary degree; the amount of time you invest in Scriptures, your prayer time, how you serve others, the words of your mouth, the work of your hands, the thoughts to which you cling.  And it is that second group to which I refer.  Those decisions will powerfully impact and in many ways even determine the critical choices you make in following and obeying the Word, Will, and Way of the Lord.  Surely Father stands prepared to keep you if you will only keep yourself. 

Manna for Today – John 17; Romans 10:6-17; Joel 3:14; 2 Corinthians 6:2; 2 Peter 1:2-4; 1 John 5:18

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The Power to Keep

Do you believe that Father answered the prayers of Jesus?

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John 17:11 – And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

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If God doesn’t have the power to keep, then who does?  And the truth is this; GOD DOES INDEED HAVE THE POWER TO KEEP.  He certainly has the power to answer the prayers of the Lord Jesus.  Paul said He was persuaded that God could keep that which he had committed to Him, and that He could perform that which He had promised.  We can go even further.  God and His Word are One, and He cannot lie.  One of the statements people expect from me in so many places I go to minister is this; “If God said it, that settles it.”  My dear reader friend, make no mistake about it.  If ANYONE has keeping power, it is our God.

I find only one problem that has entered into the relationship between man and God that could or would interfere with Father’s ability to keep, and that problem exists in the will of the person whom Father wants to keep.  If it were solely up to our God, none would be lost, and everyone would be saved.  But we know that there is a hell that was created for the devil and his angels, and that anyone dying in this present world who does not know Jesus as their Lord will, in fact, open their eyes in hell, a place intended for the lord of the lost, Satan.  And while we KNOW this happens, we also KNOW that this is not the will of God.  Herein lies one of the great truths of Scripture that many believers do not seem to understand.  So many Christians think that anything that is the will of God will just automatically happen.  But this is clearly not the case.  God wants everyone saved, but not everyone is. God wants everyone healed, but not everyone is.

So examining our Text for Today, we see clearly that it is the will of God for all who are saved to be kept.  Sadly, there are many, and one is too many, who CHOOSE, after becoming a Christian, to walk away from the mercy, compassion, grace, life, and power of God.  And doing so, they walk away from that place where the abundant blessing of the Lord can be manifest in their lives.  I often speak of Jacob who wrestled with an angel to GET a blessing.  Now in this covenant, Jesus has given the blessing of all things that pertain to life and godliness.  No longer do we need to fight to GET the blessing, but make no mistake, my friend; we must often fight to KEEP the blessing the Lord has given. 

Manna for Today – John 17; Romans 10:6-17; John 14:12-14; John 15:7; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Romans 4:21; 2 Timothy 1:12; John 1:1; Hebrews 6:18; 2 Peter 3:9; John 10:10

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