Look to the lifted Christ

Numbers 21:8-9 (NLT)

Then the Lord told him, “Make a replica of a poisonous snake and attach it to a pole. All who are bitten will live if they simply look at it!” So Moses made a snake out of bronze and attached it to a pole. Then anyone who was bitten by a snake could look at the bronze snake and be healed!

John 3:14-15 (NLT)
And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.

Have you been bitten, stung or hurt in some way? Hurt, resentment, disappointment and worry are very poisonous things to carry. These things weigh us down and when we are bitten, there is only one antidote. Christ.

Moses was told by the Lord to attach a bronze snake to a pole in order to physically represent the lifting up of Jesus Christ.
How wonderful to gaze upon the bronze snake to see your sin hanging on the cross, giving you full redemption and freedom. Jesus took it upon Himself, nailing it to the cross for good.

It was not the fact that the snake was tied there that caused those that were bitten to be healed, but the fact that they looked up toward it. It was not a quick glance but a prolonged focus: a means of worshiping Him.

It is by the act of looking toward Him, casting your eyes upon Him and trusting Him that you will be forgiven and cleansed. God has provided an antidote for sin and it is simple, just look toward Him today!

Do not be troubled

John 14:27 (NLT)

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

What a powerful message Jesus gives us before He leaves the people. He has just finished explaining and teaching lessons in preparation for His death.

But in one bold statement He says “Do not be troubled or afraid”. He knew in advance every situation we would encounter, every problem and every sorrow, just as He knew His disciples would face.

The world offers so many strategies for dealing with stress: meditation, massage, counsellors, shopping, coffee, television, ‘keep yourself busy’ or on the contrary ‘have some alone time’. But quickly we find no lasting satisfaction in all these things as Jesus was well aware of.

He makes a point of stating how the world will give us a counterfeit peace only.

One thing we can have as Christians that the world cannot offer, is the peace of the Holy Spirit. He left it for us when He left this earth so that no matter what we face we can be assured that it will all be ok, even if we cannot see a way out.

There might be a massive mountain in front of you but as you allow God into the situation, a feeling of relief, knowing that everything is going to be alright will envelop you.

Peace is such a precious gift, a glorious release of bottled up emotion and it is available to all who have the Holy Spirit inside them and to all those who are willing to call upon the name of Jesus Christ!

Honour the Father whilst serving the master

Malachi 1:6a (NLT)

The Lord of Heaven’s Armies says to the priests: “A son honours his father, and a servant respects his master. If I am your father and master, where are the honour and respect I deserve?

On the one hand here we are charged to see God as our Father. The One who protects us, provides for us and pours His love out upon us.

When we view Him like a father we can trust Him to know what is best for us and look after us. We can also experience His discipline as only a Father knows how. We are to respect and honour Him by letting Him lead us and highly valuing His Word.

This however, as the scripture states, is to be balanced out with the ability to see God as our Master.

A master is to be immediately obeyed by following every order and direction that is given. We need to see ourselves as serving and committing our whole lives to Him in whatever way He has assigned to us.

It’s time to see ourselves not only as a child of God but a servant of the most high God working always as if unto the Lord.

Keep building: let nothing stop you

Nehemiah 6:1-4 (NLT)

Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies found out that I had finished rebuilding the wall and that no gaps remained—though we had not yet set up the doors in the gates.
So Sanballat and Geshem sent a message asking me to meet them at one of the villages in the plain of Ono.
But I realized they were plotting to harm me, so I replied by sending this message to them: “I am engaged in a great work, so I can’t come. Why should I stop working to come and meet with you?” Four times they sent the same message, and each time I gave the same reply.

The enemy will try and use every trick in his book to distract us from the work that God wants us to accomplish.

Here Nehemiah finds himself with diversion and distraction not once or twice but four times! And read on and you will discover that they kept persisting and trying different methods to draw him away from building the wall. It happens over and over again.

What is it that God has called you to build? What is your assignment, your calling?

Like Nehemiah there will be many distractions coming from different angles. People, even people close to you may invite you to participate in all sorts of things that are diversions from God’s path for your life. These activities might look enticing or you might even be threatened or manipulated into it. They are just empty threats that will not harm you.

Like Nehemiah, we need to be switched on and aware of how the enemy can try and distract us. But if you know God has called you to build something, put your hand to the plough and don’t deviate until it comes to pass.

Wake up and see His glory!

Luke 9:29-32 NIV

As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him.

So Jesus is there! Dazzling, radiant and bright as a bolt of lightening! Yet Peter, John and James were sleepy, tired and exhausted from the things of life even with Jesus in their midst.

Moses and Elijah are with Him talking about the most amazing things that were to take place. But all this went unnoticed to Peter and his companions because of their state of human weakness.

Their physical and spiritual tiredness and exhaustion blocked them from seeing this glorious sight. BUT the moment they become fully awake they were instantly exposed to the supernatural vision before them. The whole time Jesus wanted them to take part in this by revealing to them how He would rise from the dead.

When it finally dawned on them and they opened their eyes to what was in front of them, they were awestruck.

What a moment in the presence of their Saviour as they enveloped His tender love and experienced first hand His radiance. It could have all been missed if they didn’t wake up and snap out of their lethargy.

God wants to reveal Himself, His plans and His purposes to us but we will fail to see what is right in front of us if we don’t overcome our tiredness and enter into His glory.

He has visions and secrets to reveal only to His special ones, so don’t become too busy, overburdened and unresponsive to Him. Wake up and see His glory!

Get ready, get ready, get ready…for the miraculous!

Luke 5:3-6 NIV

He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”

Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.

Jesus will take you out from the shore away from all the worries of life and minister to you. When you allow Him to guide and direct your life, supernatural miracles will follow you.

Jesus is showing us a lesson for our life: when we get taught by the Master, when we receive His word on our situation, He then has the ability to bring forth breakthroughs and supply all our needs.

Whatever Jesus was teaching them from the boat prepared them for what He was about to do.

God is teaching you and preparing you for the next miracle in your life. So don’t tune out and start worrying about what you lack. Open your ears up to the teachings of Jesus, the Word of God and you will haul in a massive harvest.

The treasures of His heart

Isaiah 39:3-6 NLT

Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah and asked him, “What did those men want? Where were they from?”
Hezekiah replied, “They came from the distant land of Babylon.”
“What did they see in your palace?” asked Isaiah.
“They saw everything,” Hezekiah replied. “I showed them everything I own—all my royal treasuries.”
Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Listen to this message from the Lord of Heaven’s Armies: ‘The time is coming when everything in your palace—all the treasures stored up by your ancestors until now—will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left,’ says the Lord.

There will be times when God shows you the secrets of His heart. He will share with you revelation and mysteries that are only for you.

It can be very tempting in all the excitement to go and blurt things out and show off the new found treasures.

Hezekiah couldn’t help himself. He showed off every treasure he owned, silver, gold, spices and oils to a foreigner! He actually directly opened up his house (his heart) to the enemy.

What was the result? He lost all that God had entrusted him with. What a disastrous mistake! While some things are to share, others must remain between us and God.

Let the rooster crow

Luke 22:60-62 (NLT)

But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed.
At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Suddenly, the Lord’s words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly.
Read full story here

We think we have finally made it, we are finally something or someone. We have been hanging out with the Master and have climbed to the top.

We have received great prophesies, seen visions, walked on water, witnessed the power of Jesus and life can’t get much better.

This is when God brings us back to our senses by allowing a crowing rooster moment. And in this moment we realise that we, just like Peter…stuff up!

No matter how much we think that we will not fall, God will bring about circumstances to highlight our humanity. He will find any area in our heart that is not pure and bring it to the surface.

But when we look to the Messiah and see His divinity and our humanity, when we lock eyes with our Saviour and glance for one second at His radiance and splendour, we become aware of who we are.

In this moment, like Peter, we weep before Him in humility and surrender and get back up knowing He is the great I AM and the source of all our power and strength. Allow your ‘crowing rooster moment’ to do it’s work.

After a flood…plant!

Genesis 9:20 NLT

‘After the flood, Noah began to cultivate the ground, and he planted a vineyard.’

Noah had just come through the most amazing trial of his life. You would think he might just recover for a while but no, Noah does an amazing thing. He gets right into it and begins cultivating and planting.

This is exactly what we need to be doing. It is the perfect time to be planting seeds through prayer, forgiveness, generosity and kindness.

Plant them everywhere you go. God is looking for those who have experienced a flood to be extravagant planters into other peoples’ lives.

Crop specialist, Gene Johnson says “After a flood, the best thing you can do for the soil is get something growing in it again. Get some roots growing.” Read more here.

Just keep planting good seeds wherever you can and you will reap a great harvest. During this time your roots will grow down deep and help the flood situation in your life dry up quickly.

Keep planting and don’t give up. The flood that you’ve been through tried to steal your fruitfulness, but as you plant in fertile soils you will produce above and beyond what you thought possible.

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