Saturday, July 16, 2016
Greetings and manifold blessings from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory and power and honor forever.
But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore He said, When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that He ascended, what is it but that He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth. He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that He might fill all things.) And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplies, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, makes increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ. If so be that you have heard Him, and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place to the devil.
Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needs. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
Renewed in the Spirit of Our Minds
If it had not been for the Lord on our side, where would we be? What would have become of us? How could we go on?
Faithful and merciful High Priest who watches over our souls and constantly makes intercession for us to the Father – we are grateful for Your love and Your compassion. Father, thank You for the Holy Spirit who is even now groaning on our behalf; groanings which cannot be uttered – they are too strong, too deep, too heavy with sadness; and Father, instead of allowing us to carry the weight of the burden around us, You assign our Comforter the task of bearing our heart to You with deep groanings.
Father, You made provision for it all. Father, Your love is not a myth, it is not just empty talk. Your love is living proof of the sincere heart of a dedicated father; and that’s why we trust You.
…In Your love, which is lavished on us daily, are all the answers to life and godliness.
…In Your love, which is renewed every morning are the truths we need as daily bread.
Holy One, You demonstrated that love so clearly when our Lord descended into the lower parts of the earth, into hell itself, to strip the enemy of the rights and privileges and dominion that was stolen from us, Your children.
What was it like to walk through the doors of death, and the corridors of hell? What was it like to face the master of defeat and destroy the power of hell forever? Father, what did Your Son face as He entered the fiery caverns of darkness, being subject to death.
He died, we know He died. The flesh was tortured beyond compare. He died and was buried, and today we view His death as the ultimate torture. But Father, was there torture when He entered through the gates of death? Was there torture when He entered into hell? Was there a battle with forces of evil?
It was three days. Spiritually speaking, it does not take three days to pick up the keys. What did our Savior face during the three days in the belly of hell?
In the garden of Gethsemane, our Redeemer asked You to allow the cup to pass. Father, it never entered my mind that it may not have been the cruelty of the crucifixion that made His sweat become as drops of blood. Did Christ see beyond the crucifixion into the battle which would be waged in the depths of hell?
Oh God, my God, did You truly forsake Your Son as He carried our sins in His body? Did He feel alone and forsaken? Where did He find strength to finish His assignment? How did He carry on in the depth of pain while feeling rejected? How could He have finished His task when His world turned black?
Paul wrote to the Ephesians and told them that Christ led captivity captive and gave gifts to men.
…That which strangled mankind was bound.
…That which crippled us was crippled.
…That which defeated us was defeated.
…That which tormented us was wasted.
…That which we face today is already destroyed, plus we have been adorned with heavenly gifts that we may show the glory that was obtained for us.
Jamaica, lift up your head. People, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you life. Hear ye, hear ye all: It is finished. Man’s redemption has been paid. After three days in the belly of the whale, a voice is crying – come ye to the waters of life and drink freely. Do not wait, do not falter.
…throw off the grave clothing:
…cast off the suffocating blindness:
…trample the spirit of failure:
…burn out the spirit of deception:
Stand upon the mountain of holiness and declare the day of the Lord. This is the day I freely and consciously take the keys of the kingdom of heaven.
…I bind up the pollution of darkness that has entered and blinded our eyes.
…I bind up sin and disease that has stolen from our lives.
…I bind up lies and deceit that has kept us in a state of stumbling, that has kept our minds dumb and unprofitable.
…I bind up every spirit of hell that has strangled the truth and wealth of God from us.
Satan, the Lord rebuke you. Today we walk out of every trap you have kept us in, and we clothe ourselves in the robe of righteousness as we honor the work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Everlasting Father, open the eyes of our understanding to the mysteries that have been hid before the foundation of the world, that we may guide our affairs in the wisdom and knowledge of our Father God.
…No more being tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine.
…No more giving in to the flesh and its sensual desires – they cannot please God. No more of hell.
Sanctify us now Lord with this word of truth.
…Jesus Christ went to hell, we don’t have to go there.
…Jesus Christ destroyed the bondages of evil, we can enjoy life more abundantly.
…Jesus Christ is our Lord, we no longer submit to darkness.
…Jesus Christ paid our redemption, we owe hell nothing.
We are forgiven: renewed in the spirit of our minds: sealed unto the day of redemption by the Holy Spirit of God: ready to come into the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man: now walking and living in the full measurement of the beauty and holiness of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.