Right Place Right Time

Whatever you need, Jesus knows where you can get it, and whom you can get it from. Jesus can position you at the right place at the right time! 

When Peter wanted to pay the temple tax, Jesus told him to get it from the first fish that he would catch in the sea (see Matt. 17:26–27). Then, when Jesus needed a donkey to ride into Jerusalem, He told two of His disciples which village to get it from (see Matt. 21:1–3). When Jesus needed a place to eat the Passover with His disciples, He gave two of His disciples specific instructions on who to meet and follow, and what to say to the master of the house, who had already furnished and prepared a large upper room (see Mark 14:13–15)! 

My friend, isn’t it wonderful to know that Jesus knows what you need and has already gone ahead into your future and made provision for your good success? As you put your trust and rest in His heart of love, His peace will lead you to do the right thing at the right time, at the right place!

Great Grace, Great Power

People in the church are looking for great power, but where is it found? The book of Acts declares that where there is great grace, there is great power (see today’s Scripture)! When the apostle Paul preached on forgiveness, healing miracles occurred as the people listened. When people hear the good news that all their sins have been forgiven because of the cross of Jesus, something supernatural happens.

Some years ago, a pastor in a church in Bergen, Norway, shared a testimony with me. One of his church members had developed the habit of viewing pornography in his hotel room during his many and frequent business trips. Consumed with shame and condemnation, he tried his best to break the habit, employing all kinds of spiritual methods, but he just could not overcome the habit. Each time he had to leave his family for another business trip, his heart would be filled with dread because he knew what he would end up doing in his hotel room when no one was looking.

Then, one of his business trips brought him to Singapore, and he visited our church and got hold of some of my sermon CDs on the grace of God. After listening to the messages for about three weeks, he found himself completely set free from the unclean habit! Hallelujah!

Today, when this precious brother travels, he does not depend on his willpower to overcome any temptation to indulge in pornography. He just completely rests in the revelation that he is as righteous as Jesus by God’s grace. And the more he is conscious that he is righteous, the more the temptation to sin secretly in his hotel room dissipates. “Awake to righteousness, and do not sin…” (1 Cor. 15:34)! It is the grace of God that gives us true victory!

My dear friend, Pastor Åge Åleskjær, shared with me about another miracle that had happened in Norway. A church member was completely healed of deafness in one ear after listening to recordings of messages that I had preached at a conference in Pastor Åge’s church. As he was listening to one of my messages, his ear just popped open and he was healed! No hands were laid on him. No one prayed for him. He was healed just by hearing the gospel of Christ preached. All glory to Jesus!

That is the power of the gospel, my friend. It is the power of God unto your wholeness (see Rom. 1:16)! You can rely on your self-efforts and willpower all you want, but they can only bring you so far. On the other hand, the more you hear the true gospel that is unadulterated by man’s efforts, the more you will experience miracles and supernatural breakthroughs in your life. It has pleased God to heal, rescue, supply, and deliver those who simply believe the gospel through the foolishness of preaching (see 1 Cor. 1:21). So keep hearing the gospel preached, and as His Word goes forth, when you believe that you are forgiven and righteous through Christ, you will be made whole! I believe that right now, even as you are reading this book that is all about Jesus, you are being healed, being provided for, and being blessed!

Live in the Shadow of His Wings

[Read Psalm 57:1]

While it’s true that we live in dangerous times, I want you to know this: We have our Abba’s promise that we can live safe, secure, and protected no matter what turmoil may be around us. Our heavenly Father does not want His children partaking of the fear that has invaded the hearts of people of the world. In fact, He wants every trace of fear to be expelled from your heart, knowing that He has set you apart, and that He who watches over you never slumbers nor sleeps! When fear comes knocking, let God’s promises of protection fill your heart, mind, and mouth, and the God of peace, our Jehovah Shalom, will come into and move in your situation!

Our Lord Jesus desires to have an intimate relationship with us and He loves it when we acknowledge our need for Him. He loves it when we allow Him to hide us under the shadow of His wings, close to His heart of love. The prayer of protection is not some magical chant or incantation that grants us protection. Our protection in the Lord is all about us being intimate with and close to Him. As you involve Him in your day-to-day life, you will see Him lead you by His wisdom and protect you from making unwise decisions. And I pray that you will see His protection manifested more and more as you grow in your revelation of how deeply loved you are by the Lord, who protects like no other.

I am so grateful to the precious people who took the time to write to me to share the amazing stories you’ve read here. I hope these encounters with real people around the world have encouraged you to believe that whatever weapon the enemy may have fashioned against you, it will not prosper. God is no respecter of persons—as you keep establishing your heart on the word of grace, as you keep hearing testimonies of His goodness, you will also experience miracles of deliverance, protection, and healing in your life.

Today, as you put your trust in the Lord, I pray that you will experience not just His divine protection in a greater measure, but every blessing that the Lord Jesus has purchased for you on the cross of Calvary. Beloved, as we garrison our hearts with the truths and promises of Psalm 91, I pray that we will truly live confidently and fearlessly in these dangerous times.

Devotional

Know Your Fathers Heart

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
~ 1 John 4:10

Today, I want you to read the parable of the father of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11–32). As you read, keep in mind that this son utterly rejected and completely humiliated and dishonored his father, then only returned home when he remembered that even his father’s hired servants had more food than he did! It was not the son’s love for his father that made him journey home; it was his stomach. In his own self-absorbed pride, he wanted to earn his own keep as a hired servant rather than to receive his father’s provision by grace or unmerited favor.

God wants us to know that even when our motivations are wrong, even when we have a hidden (usually self-centered) agenda and our intentions are not completely pure, He still runs to us in our time of need and showers His unmerited, undeserved, and unearned favor upon us. Oh, how unsearchable are the depths of His love and grace toward us! It will never be about our love for God. It will always be about His magnificent love for us. The Bible makes this clear: “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10 KJV).

Some people think that fellowship with God can only be restored when you are perfectly contrite and have perfectly confessed all your sins. Yet we see in this parable that it was the father who was the initiator, it was the father who had missed his son, who was already looking out for him, and who had already forgiven him. Before the son could utter a single word of his rehearsed apology, the father had already run to him, embraced him, and welcomed him home. Can you see how it’s all about our Father’s heart of grace, forgiveness, and love? Our Father God swallows up all our imperfections, and true repentance comes because of His goodness.

Do I say “sorry” to God and confess my sins when I have fallen short and failed? Of course I do. But I do it not to be forgiven because I know that I am already forgiven through Jesus’ finished work. The confession is out of the overflow of my heart because I have experienced His goodness and grace and because I know that as His son, I am forever righteous through Jesus’ blood. It springs from being righteousness-conscious, not sin-conscious; from being forgiveness-conscious, not judgment-conscious. There is a massive difference.

If you understand this and begin practicing this, you will begin experiencing new dimensions in your love walk with the Father. You will realize that your Daddy God is all about relationship and not religious protocol. He just loves being with you. Under grace, He doesn’t demand perfection from you; He supplies perfection to you through the finished work of His Son, Jesus Christ. So no matter how many mistakes you have made, don’t be afraid of Him. He loves you. Your Father is running toward you to embrace you!

Devotional

If You Only Knew

John 4 tells the story of a shunned Samaritan woman who encountered Jesus when she came to draw water at a well. When she asked Jesus why He (a Jew) would ask her (a despised Samaritan) for a drink of water, this was His amazing response: that she would ask Him for living water, the only thing that would satisfy her from within and slake her deep thirst for acceptance and love forever.

What an amazing Savior! Although this woman had a past of looking for love in all the wrong places that imprisoned her in shame and self-loathing, Jesus met her at her point of greatest need with the offer of Himself, the living water. He knew all that she had ever done and yet offered her the true intimacy that fully satisfies every aching need. He invited her to discover, taste, and experience His perfect and unconditional love.

Jesus is saying the same thing to you today: If you only knew who it is who comes to you in your darkest and weakest moments. If you only knew this gift of God who will never leave you nor forsake you, who has gone before you and who comes to you in the midst of your storms. If you only knew the One who reaches out to you even when you have failed and who doesn’t hold your past mistakes or present failures against you.

Beloved, if you only knew this gift of God who offers the living water of His unconditional, endless love to you and you drink of that love, you will never thirst again. You won’t need to look for love or acceptance in all the wrong places, have your heart broken and fearful about the future, and have your life derailed. You can wake up with a fresh expectation of good every day.

Jesus was essentially inviting the woman to ask Him for the living water of His love. Will you do that today? Your life will never be the same again when you personally experience His love!

Devotional

Be Forgiveness-Conscious

Not too long ago, I was driving out for lunch with my wife, Wendy, and for some reason, every time she made a passing comment, I found myself snapping irritably at her or making an unnecessarily provocative remark. Have you had one of those days?

When I reflected on why I was so irritable, I realized it was because I was actually feeling guilty about a couple of matters from earlier in the day. I hadn’t necessarily done anything wrong, but I’d just allowed a little bit of guilt to creep into my heart and unconsciously allowed condemnation to come in.

My friend, when you are walking under a cloud of judgment, you can become a really unpleasant person to be around. Trust me, I know what I am talking about. Even if you are an author of books about God’s grace and forgiveness, there can be moments where condemnation creeps into your heart and you are completely oblivious to it.

I thank God that when Wendy asked me if there was a reason for my irritability, He gave me that moment of clarity where I could see the condition of my heart. And praise Jesus for a discerning and perceptive wife who didn’t take my remarks personally and knew something was not right with me. I remember telling her to let me know the next time she noticed such behavior from me, because it’s so easy to slip into condemnation and guilt.

When you’re under guilt and condemnation, all day long you can feel lousy, and all your answers have a sting in them. That’s not the abundant life, and you know what it all comes back to? It comes back to having a constant sense of God’s forgiveness over your life. Instead of taking in and harboring all the guilt, condemnation, and judgment, we need to stand secure in our perfect forgiveness in Jesus.

There is a redeeming quality to being forgiveness-conscious, as opposed to being conscious of your failings, sins, and mistakes. When you are forgiveness-conscious and see your failings on the cross of Jesus, you receive power to break out of your irritability, impatience, and short-temperedness with others. You receive power to break out of your eating disorders, addictions, and anxieties! When you realize that we don’t deserve God’s forgiveness and grace yet He gives it to us anyway, this revelation of His unmerited favor changes us from within. It dissolves the knots of anger and impatience in us that have built up over the years and frees us to enjoy God’s love and to show it to others!

Devotional

Bold as a Lion

Today, we are beneficiaries of God’s favor, because His wrath against our sins has already been completely satisfied at Calvary. In Hebrew, the word used for “favor” is ratsown, which means His pleasure, delight, goodwill, and acceptance.

Our place of protection was purchased with the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. In Him, we have been made righteous, and all the blessings of the righteous, including protection, provision, and length of days, are our inheritance. That’s the place we are in today. Isn’t that beautiful? No wonder the Scriptures tell us, “The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion” (Prov. 28:1). It also tells us, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16). A righteous man (or woman) is who you are in Christ, and when you pray the prayer of protection in Psalm 91, your prayers avail much, for God answers your prayers!

I received a testimony of God’s divine protection from Sally, who lives in South Africa. Be encouraged as you read how she prayed for protection knowing that she is righteous in Christ:

“I was driving a rented car when I heard a loud bang. With­in moments, the car was on fire. I immediately switched off the engine to get out. But to my horror, I could not remove the seat belt or open the door! I was stuck.”

“Finally, I managed to get the door opened. By then, the flames were threatening to come inside the car and I had to close the door again because I was trapped by the seat belt. I called out to Abba Father and just declared, “I am Your righteousness. You are the only One who can save me!” As those words were echoing in my ears and heart, I heard a click as the seat belt was released. I dashed out of the car.”

“When the fire department arrived, they were able to stop the blaze. I praise the Lord for delivering me safely out of this dangerous situation! I realized that the devil has long been defeated and we don’t have to fear anything anymore.”

Praise the Lord for His deliverance and protection. I rejoice that we are shielded from danger because of the righteousness we have in Christ!