We are the Hidden Treasure!

Have you ever thought much about the Parable of the Hidden Treasure? You might be surprised at the way I see it.

Daily Bible Reading: Matthew 11-13

SCRIPTURE

Matthew 13:44 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. KJV

OBSERVATION
What exactly is the Parable of the Hidden Treasure about? Many have said that the “Treasure” is Jesus, and that we are the ones who sell everything [spiritually speaking] in order to buy the field. Jackie Pullinger, who ministers to Hong Kong’s drug addicts and prostitutes, says that when she reads this particular Scripture to those who have just come out of the streets to Christ, she asks them a simple question: “What do you think the treasure is?” Without exception each ones says, “I’m the treasure!”
See, in reality the Holy Spirit reveals to us the WE are the treasure, and Jesus is HE who left Heaven, and sold everything in order to buy us! We are that precious to God! When a new soul feels the love of God for the first time- immediately they sense they are treasured by God.

APPLICATION
I wonder if we really understand the incredible worth that God places upon us? Have we really grasped the fact that Jesus left Heaven to come to this dirty, sinful world to purchase and redeem us? When I see this parable in this light it makes me want to worship God with all my heart, because I’m responding to the value He places on me, and I’m not trying to initiate the relationship by sacrificing everything I have for Him. I realize He sacrificed everything to have me.

PRAYER
“O what Love the King of the Universe demonstrated in coming to this world to die upon the Cross! Lord, I see afresh that you value me as treasure. Let me walk today in such a way that I reflect that value towards You – in my devotion and in loving those around me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

If you’re interested in listening to some of Jackie Pullinger’s messages: They’re here.

Advertisements

A Right-Now Message!

Our message to a dying world is to be more than a mere “History Lesson”. There must be something more for the hurting people we encounter RIGHT NOW! – where they walk and talk; and where they live and breathe. Otherwise we doing Jesus a dis-service and aren’t doing what He told us to do.

Matthew 10:7 “Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously.” MSG

I can just picture Jesus talking to the disciples – giving them a pep-talk as it were before sending them out. It’s almost like He’s saying,

“Listen guys, when you go out there, don’t give the people a mere history lesson about the Torah. Don’t just try to explain God – Give them God! Show them that God is available to them right now! Tell them it’s a whole new life. Tell them it’s a Kingdom that they live within. And if they’re a little skeptical then ask them to bring out anyone who’s sick and heal them! And if they’re still not sure then ask them to bring out somebody who just died. That’s right – you heard me right! And then raise them from the dead! Haven’t I healed you? Haven’t I raised many of you and your relatives from the dead? Did I put conditions on it? No! Then that’s the way you deal with them. Just go and preach what I’ve been telling you, and bring healing to the hurting in the same way that I’ve done for you. It’s not about earning it. You must demonstrate My grace to the people so they’ll have a true understanding of who I am.”

I think many of the times we (as Christ’s ambassadors) fail to give people a Right-Now word. We are great “explainers”, but we aren’t good “demonstrators”. It’s not that I feel compelled to be a “miracle worker” everyday, but there’s something about the Kingdom of God that is right now! I’m not talking about “Kingdom Now Theology”, I’m saying that the Gospel isn’t just about what happened (in the past), nor is it merely something that will take place in the sweet by-and-by, the Gospel is for hurting people right now! We can’t just tell people to go to the doctor and let them get a prescription for their depression. We must “kick out the demons!” and really pray for people – believing that the Holy Spirit WILL move on our behalf, and especially in the Name of Jesus! Otherwise what in the world is Jesus saying in Matthew 10:7?

“Lord, Push the Re-set Button!”

Don’t you just wish that life was as easy as pushing a Re-set button? Well, there is such a thing, and the answer is found in one little verse tucked-away in the New Testament, and Jesus shows us the way!

Daily Bible Reading: Matt. 5-7

SCRIPTURE

“And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him.” Matthew 5:1 KJV

OBSERVATION
The phrase that sticks out to me this morning is, “WHEN HE WAS SET…” Of course this just means that Jesus SAT DOWN, but is that all that it means? When runners are running the 100 yard dash, before they take off they hear the proverbial, “On your mark, GET SET……. GO!” Here Jesus was positioned and ready for His disciples to come to Him. I’m not sure if the Father would have let the disciples come to Jesus if He wasn’t ready. Someone might say, “that’s absurd?!” But Jesus was in preparation for the Father’s will for 30 years. So, there was some waiting that Jesus had to endure, but after he had been trained, prepared and SET – then it was time to touch lives and do the will of God.
I also love the fact that it all started with a vision:

“And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain.”

Jesus was a person who really SAW people; He wasn’t just concerned with His own life. And secondly that vision took Him up! It took Him up the Mountain of Prayer. How can I be “SET” and ready to minister without seeing the needs of the people, and then sacrificing myself to really pray for them? VISION, PRAYER, POSITIONING, and then FRUIT-BEARING!

APPLICATION
There is something so complete in this one verse. I feel I need to be RE-SET this morning, and to have a fresh vision of Love for people, and that it would propel me to the Mountain of Prayer to intercede. I feel if I can do these two things that the SET POSITION that I need will come, and thus the fruit will come. It’s that position of the heart that endures, loves, overcomes, and conquers that will inevitably bring about incredible fruit for the King of Kings! “Lord, push the Re-Set Button!”

PRAYER
“Lord Jesus, I pray this morning that I might have a fresh vision of Love for people, and for that Love to bring me to the Mountain of Prayer. Establish me in Your Love and Truth. Let me be positioned and set. Help me not run around like a chicken with its head cut off – accomplishing nothing. Let me sit down and listen to Your Words and receive all the strength that I need to accomplish Your holy will, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

Why ‘You So Jealous?!!

Have you ever had someone who was so jealous about you? Did it drive you nuts, or did it awaken something on the inside of you to realize your own value as a person?

Daily Bible Reading: Josh. 19-24

SCRIPTURE

“And the LORD drove out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the LORD; for he is our God. And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is a holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. Joshua 24:18-19 KJV

OBSERVATION
This isn’t necessarily the kind of message that you’d think Joshua would share with the people of God – not too encouraging. Basically the people are saying, “We’ll serve the Lord!” and Joshua is saying, “No you won’t.” Why would Joshua be so confrontational? Joshua knew that the people of God were still holding on to the gods of their past and certainly weren’t volunteering to get rid of them. Joshua wanted them to get right with God, but he knew that their hearts weren’t right, and thus they were not going to experience all the goodness that God had planned for them.

APPLICATION
I wish I could really understand that incredible revelation that God is a jealous God. Most of the time it’s easy to think that God isn’t really all that interested in my affairs, but ‘O to understand that He is a jealous Lover who wants to spend time with me and to bless me – that would change a lot of my warped preconceptions of God. Because if I understand this concept of God being a jealous God it will enable me to get rid of anything that will hinder my walk with Him. As I rid myself of these things I position myself to both, love and serve God!

PRAYER
“Lord, help me today to see just how jealous you are of my soul. Forgive me for allowing other things to get in the way of a pure 1-on-1 relationship that has to potential to revolutionize my entire life. I desire to follow you today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

Standing Beside My Savior

So many today are standing by politicians, standing by sports heroes and rock stars, but who is willing to stand beside the Savior, Who’s name is Jesus?

Daily Bible Reading: Josh. 10-18, Ps. 22, Is. 53

SCRIPTURE

And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. Matt. 27:35 KJV

OBSERVATION
Today is Good Friday. Even now I can’t get it out of my mind that 2000 years ago my Precious Lord was hanging on a filthy Roman Cross. If it wasn’t enough for them to nail him to a cross they had to strip him naked too? What kind of shame did Jesus bear for me! Still today Jesus is being mocked and stripped, but the average person is simply walking past him with a smirk on their face. But ‘O how I want the Crucifixion of Christ to have a deeper meaning for me, personally. Isaiah is bold in standing beside the Savior when he said, “Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? And who shall declare his generation? Isaiah 53:1, 8. I want to stand up and say, “I will! I believe!”

APPLICATION
Though Atheists and Agnostics abound, and people are chanting for an Anti-Christ society – I’m still going to stand by my Savior from Nazareth. Though many may laugh at me as I carry my Bible I’m going to stand by my Savior who wrote that Book, for He was beaten ruthlessly, and died for me. There isn’t anyone else who’s done that for me. If I could be there at the Cross in Jerusalem today I would be like Mary Magdalene and I would kiss His mighty feet. I would hold His battered Body and cry till I had no tears left. For He loved me when I was hammering the nails into His hands and feet. I will never be the same.

PRAYER
“Lord Jesus, today I remember what You did for me. How can words be sufficient to convey how much Your Sacrifice means to me? I want to stand beside You till the very end. I want to declare Your generation to everyone in this world! I want to glorify and honor Your Holy Name for all eternity. Grant Your servant to stand beside you in this world. Let me be found faithful to the very end. In Your Precious Name, Amen.”

Transformations!

At what cost am I willing to see God move? Will I really see God move in my generation?

Daily Bible Reading: James 3-5, Psalm 51

SCRIPTURE

“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” James 4:8 KJV

OBSERVATION
Last nite my wife and I watched the Transformations Video again. It’s amazing to see the way God is willing to invade a community. Sometimes I can look at the world with squinted eyes, thinking, “Lord, is there any hope?” But during my daily Bible reading I came across a verse that shouts, “HOPE!” to me. During the video many from different nations were saying that God is only wanting to be invited to come. Here James is saying that we need to draw near and we need to get rid of our sin. It’s really convicting me to see what needs to be dealt with in my own heart.

APPLICATION
In the video Winkey Pratney said, “We like to talk about Jesus, but we don’t really talk to Jesus.” Is that an incitement, or what? I know I can be guilty of that sometimes. Only the heart really knows. I just desire my pursuit of God to be authentic and heart-felt. “Devotions” can turn into ritual. Bible reading can turn into a “To Do List”, but when I really draw near to God it goes beyond my “Quiet Time”, it is being aware of Jesus at all times.

PRAYER
“Jesus, it’s my prayer this morning that you would forgive me for times of distance. Forgive me for times when I think I’m close to You, but really I’m far away. I pray for a fresh grace to come down and water me. Fill me with a greater level of expectation of seeing You move in and thru my life today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

The First “Bible Implant”?

bible-implant.jpgYou’ve heard of “implants” in dogs, and special testing in humans, but have you heard the latest? Now someone is starting to do “Bible Implants”?

Daily Bible Reading: Deu. James 1-2, Psalm 50

SCRIPTURE

“Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness THE ENGRAFTED WORD, which is able to save your souls.” James 1:22 KJV

OBSERVATION
Here James defines the Word of God in a way that I haven’t quite seen before. The word, “engrafted”, literally means: implanted. James knew that if we could simply lay aside our carnal ways and receive a “Bible implant” that we would experience a Salvation so great that it would blow our minds! Advertisers know this all too well. They create commercials that get “implanted” into our brains, and we find ourselves singing their jingles even when we don’t want to. If you have a headache you simply… talk an Advil, and the Advil does the work of removing the headache. The Bible does a similar thing – when we receive an implant of the Word thru reading, hearing a sermon, listening to teaching on the radio, internet, etc. the Word works in us! Don’t ask me how it works, all I know is that it does work!

APPLICATION
I think the key word in this verse may very well be, “receive”. The hardest part of getting medicine to work in your body is to “get the shot”, and if I can do whatever it take to bring myself to Dr. Jesus to receive the “shot of His Holy Word” then I know His powerful Word will do the rest.

PRAYER
“O Lord, this morning I pray for a new implant of Your Word. Let me do whatever I can to lay everything else aside so that I can experience a change in my life. Let me forever be changed by Your holy Word, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”