The Submission and Authority of Christ (Part 4)

Jesus said, “For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.” John 12:49

Even though Jesus was God’s Son, when Jesus was on the earth, He operated as a man anointed by the Holy Spirit. He walked on the earth as an example to us, to illustrate to us how we also should operate as representatives of God (II Corinthians 5:20).

We know that Jesus had great authority when He walked the earth. In Matthew 7:29 we see that He taught with authority. In Matthew 8:28-34 we see that Jesus stood in authority over demons. In Mark 4:39 we read that Jesus took authority over nature in calming the storm. In Matthew 8:5-13 we read about the Centurion who understood Jesus’ authority over sickness. In John 11:42-43 we see that Jesus even had the authority to raise people from the dead.

There is a main point that Jesus continually made regarding His authority, and that point was that His authority only came from being in submission to God. Everything that Jesus said, everything that Jesus did, was in submission to God. He did nothing on His own. Jesus was constantly in a state of surrender, yielded to His Father and following the leading of the Holy Spirit, even to the point of sacrificing His life at the cross.

If you notice, Jesus did not perform miracles in the same manner in each case. His procedures for ministry would vary each time. Jesus came to teach us dependency upon the Lord. Jesus taught us that there is power and anointing available to the person who is in a submissive relationship to the Father (Acts 10:38). Apart from Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5). Together with God, yielded to His ways, nothing is impossible. Unlimited life and glory is found in dying to self.

Application: To know God and the glory He wants us to experience, our lives need to be completely surrendered to Him. If we are holding on to our own will or a sin or an offense, we are not fully submitted to the Lord. We will hinder ourselves from not only knowing God fully; but also hindering the work God wants to accomplish through us for His kingdom’s sake. If there is something in your life that you have not turned over to God, release it to Him now. Submission is sweet and its rewards are immeasurable.

By Melanie Stone

God’s Delegated Authority (Part 3)

“Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:28

After God created life on the earth, He charged the care of the planet to mankind. God authorized both men and women to have dominion in it. Satan knew the authority that God had delegated to His children. Satan wanted Adam to turn against God, and through sin make a way so he could rule in the world. Instead of driving Satan out of the Garden of Eden, Adam knowingly chose to disobey God, driving a wedge of separation between the human race and our Father. Through sin, Satan gained the right and the authority to reign in the earth.[1] Since Adam, every person was born into sin and positioned in opposition to God.[2] Because of the spiritual condition of our sinful nature, we all have chosen to sin against God (Romans 3:23).

The human race needed a savior – another human being who was not born into a sinful condition, who could pay the penalty of sin on our behalf. Jesus had to enter the world as a human being, having a human body that gave Him access into the earth. God chose a virgin woman, Mary, to birth Jesus apart from Adam’s bloodline. He was born sinless and had right standing with God. Jesus chose to be punished and crucified in order to remove sin and restore our relationship with our Father. [3] Making the payment for sin, God was able to raise Jesus from the dead, giving Him all authority over sin and the Devil.

As long as we are in the earth in a physical body, we have the ability to choose to turn back to the Lord. If a person does not seek after God and surrender to His lordship, they belong to Satan and will suffer his punishment of eternal separation from God in the lake of fire. However, if we surrender our lives to the lordship of Jesus Christ, we will be resurrected and spend eternity with our loving Father.

Application: Live eternally minded. Receive His salvation and share it with as many people as you can so they can make an informed decision about their eternal destiny.

By Melanie Stone


[1] II Corinthians 4:3-4; Luke 4:6

 

[2] Romans 5:12; Isaiah 59:2

[3] Philippians 2:5-11; Isaiah 53; Colossians 2:14-15; Romans 5:17

The Authority of God’s Word (Part 2)

“God…calls those things which do not exist as though they did.” Romans 4:17

God has all authority; therefore, when He speaks, His words carry authority. His authority is back by His power. We can see God operating in His authority and power when He created the world by commanding it into existence with His words. In the first chapter of Genesis, God spoke into nothing, and life was created. He said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together” and “Let the earth bring forth grass” and so on. As He spoke, the world was formed. Hebrews 11:3 says “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.”[1]

Romans 4:17 states that God, “calls those things which do not exist as though they did.” This refers to God’s word to Abraham that he would be the father of many nations. His wife, Sarah was barren; however, God’s word came to pass and she gave birth to Isaac. Through Isaac, the Jewish nation grew. Through Isaac, Jesus was born. Through Jesus, the nations of the earth can know salvation through faith. God’s word came to pass.

Throughout the Bible God has spoken to the human race. We call them promises, but they are actually authoritative commands from the mouth of our Lord and Father. When God spoke His word, He also revealed who He is and what He wants for us. When we read the Bible, we can choose whether or not we will believe and depend upon our God and receive His declarations over our lives.

In Jeremiah 1:12 we read that God is watching over His word to perform it. God would not give a promise and then not fulfill it. Dig into the Word of God and find out what He has to say; then say it over your own life. God will be pleased by your faith and your respect for His authority.

Application:  If there is something that you know God has promised you, and you are waiting for the fulfillment of that promise, find scriptures in the Bible that pertain to your situation. Meditate on them; write them down, placing them where you can see them and speak them out loud over your life.

By Melanie Stone


[1] Psalm 33:6-9; Psalm 148:1-6

 

God’s Ultimate Authority (Part 1)

“Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day.”  Psalm 25:4,5 (NKJV)

God is the source of all life; therefore God has the position and the right to establish His ways for ruling His creation. Because God is the originator and the sustainer of all life, He is the supreme authority of the universe that He created. Our life comes from God; therefore we need Him. How great it is to know that our God is a good father and that He cares for us. The God that we are dependent upon for life loves us and wants the best for us. Hallelujah!

God’s authority is also the highest authority because of the tremendous power that God has to back it up. In Psalm 62:11 we read that all power belongs to God. Jeremiah 32:17 says, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.” How comforting to know that when we are in need, not only is God able to meet our needs, but He also takes pleasure in showing us mercy in meeting our needs!

God has all power backing up His authority, and He also has all knowledge and understanding to administer His authority effectively. He knows what is best for us. He knows what is best for the world. Unfortunately, not everyone chooses to go with God’s way. God’s ways are life; turning away from His ways will put us in opposition to God.

Because God is the ultimate authority, there should be a healthy fear, or respect, for God and a grateful heart for His love and compassion. As we pursue to line our lives up with the Lord, we find that there is a fulfilling relationship with Him that makes us whole. In addition, we also find that there is tremendous power and authority that God wants us to know.

Application: God wants you to trust His authority in your life. Trust requires a yielded heart, a heart that will receive and follow God’s instructions. To really know God and have His power and wisdom operating in our lives, we need to continually search our hearts to surrender our control to His loving Lordship. Today spend some time rededicating every area of your heart to your Father with awe and respect for His ultimate authority.

By Melanie Stone

All For One

“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”

Ephesians 4:4-6 (NKJV)

Unity is a bond that occurs between people who are sharing God’s love. Unity causes us to embrace one another, accepting and strengthening one another. Unity causes us to accomplish great things by opening up and willingly offering our talents and resources with one another. The one who brings us together in unity is God, when we trust and yield ourselves to His love.

Unity occurs when we’re each in a mature and intimate relationship with God. Love causes us to be confidently humble, surrendered to God and to one another.  If a person has not been perfected in love, they continue to strive in themselves, searching for significance, struggling to find acceptance.  Their dissatisfaction causes them to pull on others to fill their need; but it is never enough, because God is the only One who can complete them. They long to know their worth, sometimes causing them to rub against others, trying to become more valuable than someone else.

In the book of Ephesians, Apostle Paul wrote to encourage believers to work together in unity to accomplish amazing things for God. He directed them to the great love of God. He told them to endeavor to have unity and peace with one another. He told them to guard against harmful attitudes and words that would cause division and strife.  The advancement of God’s kingdom is at stake. Endeavor to keep peace with one another. Avoid those who threaten unity.

When we are in unity, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish together (see Genesis 11:6). There is a world to be won. We need to keep our focus and pursue unity, not only for ourselves, but also for the cause of Christ.

Application: Wherever God has placed you, be determined to walk in love and unity. Focus on developing your relationship with God, with maturity overcoming feelings of doubt, mistrust, selfishness, and pride. As much as it is possible, live in peace with the people around you (Romans 12:18).

Angelic Protection

“For He will order His angels to protect you wherever you go.”

Psalm 91:11 (NLT)

This verse about angelic protection is for the believer who chooses to surrender their life to God and spend time in His presence. It goes on to say about angels in verse 12, “they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.”

It is interesting to note that Satan himself knows the Word of God well enough to quote it. He used this verse to tempt Jesus to sin against God through attempting suicide in Luke 4:9-12. Jesus responded with another scripture, “do not tempt (or test) the Lord your God.” God’s promises for protection cover us when we are living in dependency upon the Lord. His promises are void for those who chose to live outside of the parameters of His will for their life. Jesus lived a life that was yielded to God.

When we daily surrender our life to the Lord, He will protect us. If we are in danger, angels are in place for our protection. Angels are supernatural beings that have the ability to tangibly operate in this natural realm (see Acts 12:7, I Kings 19:5, Daniel 6:22). Hebrews 1:14 says of angels, “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?” When there is a need, God may send an angel to satisfy that need. Sometimes we see the angels at work; sometimes we don’t.

I can recall several times in my life when there has been unusual and unexplained help come my way. I remember one incident when I was a young child in Fort Wayne, Indiana, when I was riding my bike alongside a road with a large drop off on either side. I had lost control of the bike and saw myself headed for a dangerous crash. Suddenly, the handlebars of the bike were jerked, as if someone had grabbed them from me, and the bike turned back onto the road. I believe that God saved my life that day, perhaps with the help of an angel (Matthew 18:10). Another time, as a teenager, a friend and I were traveling at night and got lost. It was getting late, and we didn’t know where to turn. A stranger approached our car, pointed to a road, and told us that this was the direction we needed to go.  We went down that road and soon found our way back home.

Application: God doesn’t tell us to look for angels or to pray to angels, but He does let us know that He has them and can use them for our care.

Living in the Shadow

“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1 (NLT)

Psalm 91 is one of the more familiar passages of scriptures on the protection of God. Verse one speaks of the shelter that we have in God. A shelter is a covering that protects you by taking the impact of an element or strike against you. A shelter is a place that you go underneath or inside to find protection.

Our shelter is God. God promises to cover us when we yield ourselves to His care and authority. We find a covering that shields us from harm when we allow God to position us inside Christ. What do we need a covering to shield us from? We can find peace and rest from stress and demanding pressures. We find shelter from arrogant criticisms from controlling people who want to tear us down. We find safety from the effects of sin: such as, addictions, emotional anguish, mental fatigue, physical illness, financial distress, and the like. We can find a refuge from spiritual onslaughts planned against us from our enemy, the devil. Our God is referred to as “the Most High” and “the Almighty.” There is nothing and no one that is a higher authority or operates with power than the God who created and sustains life. Our God offers us to come underneath or inside His covering.

We find our rest and our safety when we are walking in the shadow of God. A shadow is an image cast when a body intercepts light. If you are in God’s shadow, you must be close to Him. God is a spirit, so the way to approach God is spiritual. From your heart, or spirit, you can experience a relationship with the Most High, the Almighty. God’s shadow provides you with shade, another expression of His loving protection that He wants to offer you when you come near to Him.

Application: If you were at a park with a pavilion and it began to rain and hail, you could run underneath the pavilion and rest until the storm passed. When you need to rest or find peace from something or someone that has come against you, run to God and spend some time with Him in the spirit. Not only will you find a place of safety, you will also find that God will provide you with all you need to overcome any challenge tries to come against you.

Protection From Sickness

“If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home.” Psalm 91:9-10 (NLT)

Its undeniable that much of Psalm 91 is about God’s promise to keep illness from even coming close to those who make Him their shelter – those who are yielded to His Lordship and spend time in His presence.  Look at corroborating verses throughout the ninety-first Psalm:

Verses 2-3: “This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust Him. For He will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease.”

Verses 6-7 “Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, thought ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you.

Does this mean that if a Christian gets sick that they have not made God their shelter?  I believe the answer to this question is found in John 9:2-3. There was a man that had been born blind. His disciples asked Jesus whose sin allowed the blindness in – was it the man’s sin or was it the parents’ sin? Their question was not unusual. The old covenant taught that obedience to the law brought blessing and disobedience brought cursing. Jesus answered, “It was not because of his sins or his parent’s sins…this happened so the power of God could be seen in him.” Then Jesus healed the man. So we see that if a believer is sick, it isn’t always because they have done something to bring it upon themselves. However, the Bible tell us in John 3:23 that all of us have sinned and fallen short of knowing the full glory of God. None of us have a lived a perfect life that is deserving of God’s blessings. Our hope for protection from disease under the new covenant is found in Jesus Christ. He took the penalty for sin so that our position with God is based on grace. If we choose to, we can yield our life to Him and come underneath the shelter of the Most High. He will protect us from disease as we spend time in His presence. He has also offered to heal us of any disease that we may encounter while living on the earth.

Application:  Thank God for the protection He has given you from disease. If you have an illness in your body, bring yourself into God’s presence and find the healing you need.