SEEKING HIS HAND

[SW175] 02/27/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Seeking His Hand”

When someone is in chains, they are totally bound — legs, arms, neck.

But there’s one chain that has a lock on it, and when it’s unlocked, the prisoner is set free from those chains.

I tell you, Jesus wants to set some prisoners free today, and there’s a particular chain the Lord wants to break so all the rest fall to the ground!

Text: Psalm 78:12-33, 40-43

Israel longed for the things of Egypt (Numbers 11:1-6).

They forgot the oppression and the hard master they served there.

They forgot what the Lord had done for them:
— The plagues He set upon Egypt that resulted in their freedom, and
especially, the night the firstborn of Egypt were killed, but Israel’s
firstborn did not die. Death passed over them.
— Deliverance at the Red Sea
— The manna, bread from heaven
— Water from a rock, enough for a million of them
— The pillar cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night, to lead and protect them
— The promise of the Promised Land

How could they forget? Or more importantly, why did they forget?

Numbers 11:33-34

Greediness!

They sought His hand and not His face (His presence).

Hey, Lord, I’m hungry. Feed me. But it has to be the kind I desire.

What is this? Manna? You expect me to eat this stuff?

I want meat, like I had in Egypt. I never should have left.

As Richard “Stonefingers” Johnson wrote in a song, “I Want To Go Back:”

I want to go back to Egypt.

That pillar of fire’s light keeps me awake all night.

I want to go back the slavery I once knew, something I can hold on to.

This desert is hot, a picnic it is not, I miss the cool Nile breezes and the shade.

This promised land’s a dream, that I have never seen.

Who does God think He is, to make me live like this, out here with all these scorpions and snakes?

If I was in charge, I’d stop this forward march, and hustle my way straight back to Egypt.

Israel didn’t trust God. They demanded from Him, saying “Fulfill our own desires (Psalm 78:18, Numbers 11:8-20).

Even today, there are pastors who encourage people to complain to God, demand what they want from Him, to seek His hand, to ask for material blessings continually.

But these pastors do not tell them that their hearts are selfish and that, by demanding that God fulfill their desires, they are rejecting what He has already supplied, and rejecting God Himself!

These false teachers feed on greed — the greed of the people who want their ear-tickling message. It even works in underdeveloped countries, which amazed me.

But fallen human hearts are the same everywhere — greedy, selfish, and desperately in need of transformation by God’s Holy Spirit!

May the Lord bring upon them something that will make the ears of all who hear tingle (vibrate, quiver with fear) not tickle (see 1Samuel 3:11, 2Kings 21:12, Jeremiah 19:3).

What is the cure for greed?

2Peter 1:4  For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent  promises, so that by them you may become  partakers of the divine nature, having  escaped the  corruption that is in  the world by lust.

Hallelujah! By what has He granted that we become partakers of His nature and escape the corruption and lust of this world?

2Peter 1:2  Grace and peace be multiplied to you in  the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;

Knowledge — full knowledge, the knower having an experiential relationship with the One whom he knows. He knows God because he has experienced God, by being filled with the Holy Spirit!

Matthew 6:19   “ Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 “But store up for yourselves  treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal . . .”

Matthew 6:33 “But  seek first  His kingdom and His righteousness, and  all these things will be  added to you.”

Nowhere in the gospels does Jesus say, “Demand what you want from God. He’s here to meet your lusts and desires.”

Romans 5:5 and hope  does not disappoint, because the love of God has been  poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

The Holy Spirit! Father God gives you a new heart when you are filled with the Holy Spirit! He is the One who makes you a partaker of the divine nature. It must be done in you in the same way it was done in Peter in the upper room in Acts 2!

— Father God’s love, the very same love with which He loves His Son! In you, filling your heart!

— Knowing Father God deeply and experientially and intimately because He is in you!

There is no other way to know Him but through Jesus Christ, His Son (John 14:6).

And there is no way to receive unless you are willing to offer yourself as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing, for that is your spiritual act of worship (see Romans 12:1). The sacrifice in view here is a whole burnt offering. But you get to live after sin has been burned out of you, after the Refiner has come and purified!

Then you will no longer have greed in your heart, even greed toward God, wanting Him to give, give, give you what you lust for. You will always approach God with your needs, humbly and contritely, but with confidence.

No greed — once that chain is broken, the rest fall to the ground!

As Charles Wesley wrote:

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray-
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
Is that chains that I hear falling, in the name of Jesus?

There is power in the name of Jesus, to break every chain!

GREATER THINGS

[SW174] 02/20/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Greater Things”

What did Jesus mean when He said those who believe in Him would do greater things? You’ll be amazed to find out!

John 14:12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and  greater works than these he will do; because  I go to the Father.”

The keys here are “GREATER works he will DO” and  “BECAUSE I go to the Father.”

What possible greater thing (the word “works”  isn’t in the original Greek) could you do that Jesus did not do while He was on the earth?

What possible greater thing could be done by you BECAUSE He went to the Father?

What hadn’t Jesus Himself done while He was on the earth, but was something you as a believer would be empowered to do when He went to the Father?

We know that when Jesus went to the Father, He was glorified and poured out the Holy Spirit. The Spirit had not yet been given. (John 7:37-39). It was a new way of having the Spirit — He was to be you permanently, not just with you or upon you or “in” you for a specific task until it was done, like Bezalel (Exodus 31:2-3).

In that upper room in Acts 2, the 120 experienced a personal Pentecost. They were filled with God the Holy Spirit.

In order to  understand the greater they would do, you must understand what GOD worked in those who experienced a personal Pentecost that day. It is what empowered them to do the greater thing promised by Jesus.

The Holy Spirit purified their hearts (Acts 15:9), so those who were filled no longer had divided affections. God no longer had any rivals in their hearts.

Jesus prayed for the Father to put His love in them AND Him in them (John 17:26), so they would be filled Jesus Himself and with God’s actual love and love with God’s love — the same love the Father has for the Son. And that happened to those 120 in that upper room, when they experienced a personal Pentecost.

Jesus promised that because they were truly His disciples, they would continue in His word and know the truth by experiencing it, and the truth would set them free from slavery to sin (John 8:31-36). And that happened to those 120 in that upper room, when they experienced a personal Pentecost.

He promised that they would become partakers of His divine nature (2Peter 1:4), having His character literally residing in them. And that happened to those 120 in that upper room, when they experienced a personal Pentecost.

The Holy Spirit worked such a change in those who were filled, that they became Jesus Christ’s witnesses here, even to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8)!

So, with all of that in mind, what is it that the disciples were empowered to do, and what is it that you and I are empowered to do, when we experience a personal Pentecost?

John 14:12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and  greater works than these he will do; because  I go to the Father.”

He said it would be a greater thing that we would DO, a “God thing” that we would do, one that God in the flesh did not do while He walked the earth. And it was BECAUSE He went to the Father that we would be empowered to do this greater thing.

There is only one thing that Jesus did not do while He walked the earth that we are now able to do BECAUSE He went to the Father.

It is a greater thing than healing the sick, raising the dead, cleansing the lepers, casting out demons, making the blind see and the deaf hear and the lame walk, which He and His disciples did when Jesus walked the earth.

The only thing Jesus did not do while He walked the earth, but we are now able to do, is described in Acts 8:17, 9:17 and Acts 19:1-7 —

Acts 8:17 Then they  began laying their hands on them, and they were  receiving the Holy Spirit.

Acts 9:17 So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after  laying his hands on him said, “ Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be  filled with the Holy Spirit.”

Acts 19:1   It happened that while  Apollos was at  Corinth, Paul passed through the  upper country and came to  Ephesus, and found some disciples.  2 He said to them, “ Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “No,  we have not even heard whether  there is a Holy Spirit.”  3 And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” And they said, “ Into John’s baptism.”  4 Paul said, “ John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people  to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.”  5 When they heard this, they were  baptized  in the name of the Lord Jesus.  6 And when Paul had  laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began  speaking with tongues and  prophesying.  7 There were in all about twelve men.

Beloved, when you experience a personal Pentecost and your heart is purified, God’s actual love fills your heart, and you are no longer a slave to sin, and you are a partaker of the divine nature, the greater thing you are empowered to do, the one thing Jesus did not do while He was on the earth, is to baptize others in the Holy Spirit.

Those three scriptures show you that baptism in the Holy Spirit happens when you lay hands on a fellow believer. BUT It may also happen while you are speaking the gospel of Jesus Christ —

Acts 10:44   While Peter was still speaking these words,  the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the  message.

When you experience a personal Pentecost and are filled with and baptized in the Holy Spirit, you are empowered to lay hands on others or even to speak the gospel with such power that they, too, are baptized in the Holy Spirit and filled to overflowing!

Why? So their hearts are purified just like yours, no longer having divided affections.

Why? So His love is in them, just like it is in yours, just like Jesus prayed to the Father.

Why? So they, too, are no longer slaves to sin, just as He promised in John 8:31-36.

Why? So they, too, become partakers of the divine nature

Why? So they, too can be Jesus Christ’s witnesses, even to the ends of the earth.

Why? So they, too, can lay hands on others so they are filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit!

Jesus did not baptize people in the Holy Spirit while He was on the earth because it was not yet time.

AFTER He went to the Father and was glorified, it was time! Pentecost happened! And it is still happening today, in individual believers, beloved.

It’s what Paul was praying in Ephesians 3:14-19.

It’s the point to which apostles and prophets and evangelists and pastors and teachers seek to bring every Christian. It is God’s plan for building the church —

Ephesians 4:13 . . . until we all attain to  the unity of the faith, and of the   knowledge of the Son of God, to a  mature man, to the measure of the stature  which belongs to the  fullness of Christ.

Beloved, as Jeff once prophesied, God does not want a full church; He wants a filled church. God does not want a full church building. He wants believers who are filled!

Have you experienced a personal Pentecost? Is your heart pure? Are you filled with the same love God has for His Son? Are you no longer a slave to sin?

You must love and obey Jesus before the Holy Spirit will come and fill you to the full (Acts 5:32).

Are you still struggling with sin, Christian, pastor, church leader?

Then confess your sin, ask Jesus to forgive you! Repent!

Then ask, seek, knock, and He will purify your heart, fill it with His love, free you from slavery to sin, and give you His divine nature!

And you will be able to do something greater than what Jesus did when He walked the earth! It will be for His purpose. And you will become one of His ambassadors here, just as the Apostles and all of the church from that Acts 2 Pentecost, and for all time until Jesus returns!

Beloved, Jesus didn’t die and rise again so you could receive whatever blessings you demand from the Father’s hand.

He died and rose again so you would have a pure heart, one that obeys because it is filled with the very same love that the Father has for the Son, and so that you would be a vessel through which He would baptize many in the Spirit, to be His witnesses everywhere!

THE GIFT OF GOD’S LOVE

[SW173] 02/14/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“The Gift of God’s Love”

It’s not human love. It’s God’s love. It’s a gift from Him to you, and He’ll fill you up with it when you give your heart fully to Him!

This love was so very different than human love that when the disciples were filled with it in Acts 2, they searched for a Greek word to describe it. There were no words! Then they dusted off an unused Greek word for love, and defined it — agape, the same love that the Father has for the Son! In humans! Given to them by  God Himself, when they waited until they were clothed with power from on high, the power of that love!

John 21:15-17, defining the Greek words, for the English word, “love” —

John 21:15   So when they had  finished breakfast, Jesus  said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me with the same love that My Father has for Me, more than these?” He  said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I  have great affection for You and love you as a brother.” He  said to him, “Tend  My lambs.”

16 He  said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me with the same love that My Father has for Me?” He  said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I   have great affection for You and love you as a brother.” He  said to him, “ Shepherd My sheep.”

17 He  said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you have great affection for Me and love Me as a brother?” Peter was grieved because He said to him  the third time, “Do you have great affection for Me and love Me as a brother?” And he said to Him, “Lord,  You know all things; You know that I  love You.” Jesus  said to him, “ Tend My sheep.”

Peter loves Jesus in the only way that he can love Jesus at this point in his life.
Something has to happen to him before he can love Jesus with the same love the Father has for the Son.

But if he waits expectantly and believes the promise Jesus promised, then —

Romans 5:5 and hope  does not disappoint, because the love of God has been  poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Now I have given away the whole thrust of what God wants to say to you today!

They were not disappointed when they waited (Luke 24:49). They received the gift of God’s love when they were filled with His Spirit in that upper room.

How do I know?

They no longer considered each other rivals.

They no longer contended for a place of honor, to sit at Christ’s right hand or his left when He was in His kingdom (Matthew 20:21)

They no longer argued about who was the greatest (Mark 9:34, Luke 9:46).

They were no longer selfish.

They were no longer self-centered.

They were no longer seeking what they wanted, at the cost of others.

They no longer wanted to call fire down upon their enemies (Luke 9:54).

Jesus said:

John 13:34 “A  new commandment I give to you,  that you love one another,  even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

Jesus tells the disciples, and you today, that they must love one another with the same love He has for them, which is . . .

John 15:9 “Just as  the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. . .  12   “This is  My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.”

The same love the Father has for the Son.

But Lord, I am not born with Your love in my heart!

But if you wait expectantly and believe the promise Jesus promised, then —

Romans 5:5 and hope  does not disappoint, because the love of God has been  poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

And when your heart is filled with the same love the Father has for the Son —

John 14:15   “ If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. 16 “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another   Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is  the Spirit of truth,  whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.
If you love Jesus Christ with the same love the Father has for Him, you most assuredly will keep His commandments — you will obey Him. It won’t be in your own power that you will obey, but it will be because of the power that is in God’s actual love, by the Holy Spirit who will fill you and remain in you.

When Jesus Christ was walking the earth, they sensed the Holy Spirit in Jesus. The Spirit was WITH them. But in the future, these believers would have the Holy Spirit IN them, and they would be full of the Holy Spirit. Then their hearts would be filled with the same love God has for His Son.

Again, if you love Jesus Christ with the same love the Father has for Him, you most assuredly will keep His commandments — you will obey Him.

The Spirit-inspired John says it well; definitions are included here —

1John 2:5 but whoever  keeps His word, in him the  love of God has truly been perfected, made complete, consummated in character, finished.  By this we know that we are in Him:

1John 4:7    Beloved, let us  love one another with the same love the Father has for the Son, for [this] love is from God; and  everyone who loves with the same love God has for His Son is born of God and  knows God absolutely and intimately, the knower having a holy, intimate relationship with God.

Why does God want to give you His love, the same love the Father has for the Son?

So that you will be one in nature with the Father, having partaken of His divine nature, just as Jesus asked the Father in John 17:21, 23 and 26. God is love — to be one in nature with Him is to received the gift of His love, the same love He has for His Son.

And by that amazing transformation that only God could possibly do, the world will believe that God sent His Son, and loved you with the same love He has for His Son.

Jesus says:

John 17:26 “and  I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that  the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

Romans 5:5 and hope  does not disappoint, because the love of God has been  poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Prayer/altar call: Ephesians 3:14-19

THE LESSER LIGHT

DSCN1259

[SW172] 02/07/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015
[NOTE: Much more on the video message; just click on the link to the right of this post.]

“The Lesser Light”

Christ is the great Light who was with the Father before anything was created. And  you were created to be a lesser light who reflects Him.

Text:  Genesis 1:16

Genesis 1:16 God made the two  great lights, the  greater  light  to govern the day, and the lesser  light  to govern the night; He made  the stars also.

As I began to read through the Bible again this week, the Holy Spirit used this verse to stir my spirit. Someone needs to hear this message today. It will free them, it will encourage them, it will challenge them, and God will empower them through it.

The greater light is the sun; the lesser light is the moon. Does the moon have any light of its own? Does it produce light by itself?

No, the moon simply reflects the light of the sun shining on it. It is not a great light in and of itself. But it reflects to such a degree that it sheds light on a dark night when that moon is full.

Well, there’s a lot there! But here’s the difference between Genesis 1:16 versus Jesus Christ and  you. Jesus is the greater Light, but He was not created — He was with the Father before anything was created (John 1:1-2), and the Father assigned Him to create (Hebrews 1:2). And you, beloved, are created to be the lesser light.

When the moon is fully lit outwardly by the sun, it shines brightly. So do you, when you’re full. Your purpose is to shine in the darkness of today’s world, but unlike the moon, you were created to shine 24/7.

When the sun is no longer seen physically, the moon still reflects it. That lets everyone in the world know that the sun is still shining. Otherwise, the moon would not be lit.

The lit moon is evidence of the sun’s existence.

It’s the same with you. The world can’t see Jesus Christ, even though He lives. But He’s still here, and we who reflect Him are evidence of the fact that He is.

The moon has no ability to light itself. It must be lit by the sun.

You have no ability to light yourself up with the Son of God. But the Son lights you up so you reflect Him.

The comparison changes a bit now. Even when it is fully lit by the sun, the moon can only OUTWARDLY reflect the sun’s light. It has no light inside of it.

But when you are full of Jesus Christ, full of the Holy Spirit, you shine brightly FROM WITHIN.

The Lord showed me something that will touch someone today.

In Florida, I was called upon to give my testimony of healing at a church. I prepared, I prayed, but after I gave it, I felt like I had failed.

You see, I was not used to giving my testimony. So I was awkward about giving it.

I felt I missed what the Lord had wanted to say through my testimony. And I was very sad the next morning, as I sat on the couch in my morning prayers and meditations with Jesus.

From my couch, I could see the sun rising and the moon setting. As the moon faded in the light of the sun, I said to the Lord, “Make me disappear like the moon, so all people see is You.” I wept, I prayed, and then I went to Jeff. I told him how I felt, and he said this:

“I did not see failure last night. That is not what I saw. What I saw was the lesser light proclaiming the greater light.”

I felt a great release, and my sadness left me. I am a lesser light. Christ is the great Light. I reflect His light, from the inside of me, because I am full of His light. But I am yet a lesser light.

So I don’t have to be perfect in my presentation of the gospel, or in sharing my testimony.

The greater Light will shine from this lesser light, and by His shining from me, I am His witness. Even though the world can’t see Him, they can see Him in me.

It is so that they will not be able to deny that He is alive, though they can’t see Him.

Jesus is the great Light, the never-before-seen light that came into the world —

John 14:19 “  After a little while  the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me;  because I live, you will live also.

Isaiah 9:2  The people who walk in darkness
Will see a great light;
Those who live in a dark land,
The light will shine on them.

He is the Light of the world —

John 8:12   Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “ I am the Light of the world;  he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

But He says we are, too —

Matthew 5:13   “You are the salt of the earth; but  if the salt has become tasteless, how  can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.

Matthew 5:14   “You are  the light of the world. A city set on a  hill cannot be hidden; 15  nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a  basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may  see your good works, and  glorify your Father who is in heaven.

But the disciples didn’t reflect Jesus Christ when He walked with them on the earth. They argued about who was the greatest, they were confused by what Jesus spoke to them.

But after Pentecost, they were full of His light. They became His witnesses. Even the Sanhedrin had to admit that it was obvious they had been with Jesus. But Jesus was no longer on the earth.

How could they be with Jesus when He was no longer physically with them? He was in them. He said:

John 16:7 “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the   Helper will not come to you; but if I go,  I will send Him to you.

He was speaking of the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit would come, if they would wait in the city until they were clothed with power from on high (Luke 24:49).

Even then —

2Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face,  beholding as in a mirror the  glory of the Lord, are being  transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from  the Lord, the Spirit.

The reflection of His light in us will grow brighter and brighter!

Philippians 2:14   Do all things without  grumbling or disputing;  15 so that you will  prove yourselves to be  blameless and innocent,  children of God above reproach in the midst of a  crooked and perverse generation, among whom you   appear as  lights in the world,  16 holding  fast [forth] the word of life, so that in  the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not  run in vain nor  toil in vain.

Before Pentecost, before the disciples were baptized in the Holy Spirit, the disciples grumbled and complained.

After Pentecost, they proved themselves to be just as Paul said — children of God above reproach, lights in the world, holding forth the word of life to a world in desperate need of His light, the light that will reconcile them to God, remove God’s wrath, and give them eternal life with God.

Before, and after. What a change!

Altar call:

If you are lit up with Christ, don’t expect to do everything perfectly. It is necessary for the greater Light to be reflected in a lesser light, so that we are the evidence that He IS, living here and now in you.

I boldly rejoice in my weaknesses —

2Corinthians 12:9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for  power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather  boast  about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.  10 Therefore  I am well content with weaknesses, with  insults, with  distresses, with  persecutions, with  difficulties,  for Christ’s sake; for  when I am weak, then I am strong.

Are you a lesser light so the greater Light can be seen? Examine yourself. Ask God if you are.

And if you don’t get a response, ask Him what He needs to do to make you His lesser light. He’ll not only show you, but reveal to you that He is ready and waiting to change you. All you have to do is agree with Him.

Do you believe that you are something? Do you boast in your ministry, in what you have done?

Galatians 6:3 For  if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

Become nothing. Decrease YOUR ministry, and He will increase HIS (John 3:30). And you will see a marked change. You will see His light shine from you, and from the ministry that HE, the greater Light, does through you, the lesser light.

We must get right, to be that lesser light.

We must get right, to be filled with His great Light.

Amen.

THE SEED OF FAITH

[SW171] 01/31/2015 message notes by
Licensed Leader Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“The Seed of Faith”

The Lord wants to plant a seed in you today, He wants to rain on you today, He wants to show you the divine simplicity of faith.

Text to begin with — Ephesians 2:8

In Israel, the deserts are dry and desolate-looking. But once in a while, the great rains come, and the desert blooms. Seeds dropped during the last great rain, seeds that have laid dormant for years, suddenly produce a sea of flowers and grasses.

Faith is like that. It’s a seed. God plants it in you. It’s a gift from Him (Ephesians 2:8).

You want to understand faith, you want God to do what He says He will do. But the more voices you listen to, the more complicated it seems to be. I pray you will see its divine simplicity today.

It is by grace you are saved, through faith.

It is by grace you are healed, through faith.

It is by grace you are delivered, through faith.

Beloved, Jesus Christ has come to set the captives free (Isaiah 61, Luke 4:18-19). And He’s the same yesterday and today and forever. It all begins with the seed of faith deposited in you by God.

I am praying that God will plant a seed of faith in you, and that the great rains come to water it, as I tell you what He did in me.

#1 The seed

I had a hard time pinpointing when I received the seed of faith, but just this morning, the Lord showed me it was when I was a little child, maybe five years old. I remember my parents taking me to church. But then I strayed far away, and there was no rain, so the seed laid dormant for 40 years.

#2 The rain

My pastor gave our church board Tommy Tenney’s The God Chasers. I was sick with progressive MS. But the rain came, and the seed stirred. I got face-down on the floor and prayed, “God, I want to know you like that!”

Then there was the vision from Pastor Doc. He obeyed God and from the pulpit, spoke the vision God had given him (Romans 10:14-17). In that vision, I was healed. More rain! My face lit up, I couldn’t help but smile, the seed stirred more!

#3 The conviction and confession

Conviction of sin came next. When I saw it, I came to God humbly and contritely (Psalm 51:16-17).

— The Holy Spirit convicted me of sin, through the instructions God gave Pastor Doc (praying to God to see if I was right with Him, and receiving no answer).

— Pastor Doc obeyed and asked if I had any unforgiveness in my heart. Yes, toward first husband. I confessed my sin (Matthew 6:15), and asked God to take unforgiveness from my heart. I felt it lift off my shoulders as I prayed.
I was not right with God until I asked Him to take it from me. That’s why there was no answer to my first prayer.

— Pastor Doc obeyed again and showed me Hebrews 13:8 (more rain!), making me speak it out loud. The Holy Spirit convicted me that I was limiting God by saying healing is not for today, and I repented.

#4 The growing

Still more rain! I needed it in order to break ground and come into flower and sway in the breeze of the Holy Spirit!

Word — The scripture prescriptions assigned by Pastor Doc, at God’s direction.

Worship — Continuous, worship music from when I arose to when I went to bed.

Prayer — Lord, show me, teach me, put this Word in me so I know You, and so I believe You will heal me.

#5 The believing — acting on the seed of faith God gave to me

Here’s all it was (but it is much, when I think about it!) — I reached up in the night and asked Jesus to rescue me from drowning in a sea of doubt (Matthew 14:30, John 11:4 and 40, Isaiah 53:1).

#6 The seeing

Healed, then baptized in the Spirit, and growing, faith to faith, image to image, glory to glory (2Corinthians 3:18)!

#7 The purpose

That I would be a witness to the world, living proof that God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, and that He loves me just as He loves His Son (John 17:21, 23)

Altar call:

Seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). Seek Him, not what He can do.

Approach God humbly and contritely. Crouch down as low as you can go. Ask Him for a seed of faith.

Ask Him to show you if there is sin in your heart, and when He does, don’t shrink back. Just ask Him to remove it so you’re no longer separated from Him (Isaiah 59:1-2).

Be careful of preachers of faith. Some of them teach only part of the picture.

Ask God to put someone in your path who will show you the whole picture.  He is faithful, and He will do it.

Obey what that one says to do. Submit. Pray, read, worship.

When Satan tries to strip everything away by sending a wave of doubt over you, that little plant of faith in you, grown from the seed that was a gift from God, will remain.

And He will answer and save you and heal you and fill you.

Amen.

NO PLANS OF YOUR OWN

[SW170] 01/23/2015 message notes by
Licensed Leader Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“No Plans of Your Own”

God the Father wants to take you beyond yourself and into Him, out of your works and into His. It’s a battle of wills — yours and God’s — until you do as Jesus Christ says you must do.

No Plans of His Own
By Richard “Stonefingers” Johnson
Used by Permission

The man on the cross has no plans of his own,
The man on the cross has no plans of his own,
The man on the cross has no plans of his own.
He is . . . an obedient son.

I just want to do what I see the Father do,
I just want to do what I see the Father do,
I just want to do what I see the Father do,
I wanna be . . . an obedient son.

Well, it’s not my will, but Thine be done
It’s not my will, but Thine be done
It’s not . . . my . . . will, but Thine be done
I wanna be . . . an obedient son

Someday . . . someday . . . when I see You,
when I see You  . . . face to face
When I see You . . . face to face
Gonna throw down my cross . . . and fall on my face,
I wanna hear you say, “Well done, my obedient son.”

Psalm 40:6     I have come to do Your will, O God

John 4:34    God’s will is My food

John 6:38    God’s will is why I came

John 5:19-20   I do what I see Him doing

John 12:49    I say what I hear Him saying (also John 14:10)

John 10:17-18   I lay down My life

Philippians 2:8ff   I empty Myself, humble myself, even to death on a cross — every bit of dignity stripped, extreme torture, scandalous way to die

Philippians 2:5  Have the same mind in you which was in Christ Jesus, even to the point of being humbled on a cross, dying to self.

Matthew 16:24-25

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must disown and utterly reject (533) himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.

“For whoever wishes to save his life will utterly destroy (620) it. but whoever utterly destroys (620) his life for My sake will find it.”

Take up your cross, as the Apostle Paul did (Galatians 2:20).

The old, rebellious sin nature will be utterly destroyed, in a moment of time.

You will become a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust (2Peter 1:4).

The Holy Spirit will fill your heart.

Your will, your plans, your rebellion against God will blow away like a wisp of smoke.

You will be in the condition described by King David in Psalm 51:16.

And His plan, His perfect plan, His glorious plan, His redemptive plan will come into view.

And your heart will say: “I delight to do Your will, O God! Your Law is written in my heart!” Even on a tablet of flesh (2Corinthians 3:3)!

Then you just go with His flow, and many will be saved, many will be filled, many will be set free, Jesus Christ working through you.

You stop working your plan, and He begins to work His! (Hebrews 4:9-10).

And His plan never fails!!!

GOD’S COMPASSION

[SW168] 01/17/2015 message notes by
Licensed Leader Susan J. Wynn ©2015

Give thanks to the Lord, for His compassion — His chesed, His mercy, His lovingkindness, His steadfast love — endures forever (26 times in Psalm 136)! And He insists that He must put that same chesed inside you, so you forgive exactly like He forgives.

Look at what God did with Judah, after they were overrun by Babylon and exiled because of their sin against Him:

Jeremiah 31:17-20 —

He tells him there is hope for their future and that their children will return to the promised land!

Why?

He has heard them grieving over their sin. They have said, “We were like untrained calves, going against You continually, and you have punished us. But now, bring us back! Restore us! For we have turned back to You, we have repented. You showed us our sin, and we were ashamed and humiliated. We bore the reproach we deserved, for we were like young and foolish ones.”

His response to their repentance is to remember them, His heart yearns for them, and He has mercy — checed — on them!

Here is why the Lord insists that we must have His chesed . . .

Matthew 18:21-35

v.v. 21-22  Peter thinks a little forgiveness is enough, but Jesus corrects him. Peter must forgive endlessly!

v.v. 23-24 It is time to settle accounts with our King. He finds that you owe Him more than you can fathom.

If a person made $10.00 per hour, working 8 hours a day, the 21st century equivalent of 10,000 talents would be $4.3 BILLION.

You surely cannot pay the debt you owe, and you fully understand how great is that debt!

v.v. 25-26 By all rights, you should be sold into slavery until you can repay, and you know you can never repay Him. Your situation is hopeless!

So you plead with the King — have patience, I will repay! And you fall down before Him.

But this is not just falling to the ground, as my Bible translation says. It is proskuneo, which means, “to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand; to fawn or crouch down, to prostrate oneself in homage, to revere and adore, to worship.”

You think the King might give you time to repay the impossible debt if you humble yourself in His sight, bow and worship Him, for He is God the Son.

v. 27 And God the Son has compassion on you, His chesed is poured out to you, His innermost parts are literally moved on your behalf.

And He sets you free and completely forgives your impossibly huge debt!

Remember that the key to His forgiveness is His compassion.
But what do you do with those who owe you? How do you respond to them?

v.v. 28-30 Someone owes you a small debt compared to what you owed your King.

The 21st century equivalent of a hundred denarii is $8,000, compared with the 4.3 BILLION you owed your King.

But you go to the one who owes you this small amount, and you choke him. You’re going to get what he owes you.

The King did not choke you, but your heart is not like the King’s.

Your debtor pleads with you just like you pleaded with the King.

But you are unwilling — literally, you will not. And you punish him by locking him up until he has paid what he owes you.

v. 31 Your fellow slaves report you to your King. And your King summons you.

v. 32 The King rebukes you, calling you wicked — evil, hurtful, derelict, vicious, malicious!

v. 33 The King says you should have shown the same mercy that He showed you.

v. 34 Moved with anger, even enraged by your behavior, He turns you over to the torturers until the impossibly huge debt you owed Him is paid off. Luke 16:28 tells us the place of torture is hell, beloved.

v. 35 Then Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, says His heavenly Father will do the same to you, unless you forgive FROM THE HEART. That’s from your innermost being.

I used to say that the reason we don’t forgive one another is that we don’t fully understand the extent to which God has forgiven us, and that when we do, we will forgive. But this slave knew how much he had been forgiven. And so do you, beloved.

Jesus says:

Matthew 6:14 “ For if you forgive  others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 “But  if you do not forgive  others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

The key is compassion — you are born lacking God’s compassion, His chesed.

You will say, “I lack it, so my situation is hopeless. I can try to forgive like God forgives, but I can’t do it.

“I will not take back my angry words that I have spoken, I will hold my grudges and bitterness, and they will be like a cancer in me (Hebrews 12:15). My bitterness and grudge-holding will devour me and defile, contaminate and taint my fellow Christians, and God will not forgive me because I cannot forgive. I am doomed to hell.”

God would NEVER leave you in that condition! It is not His will for any to perish, but all to come to repentance (2Peter 3:9)!

The New Testament equivalent of chesed is found in Thessalonians 5:23-24 —

1Thessalonians 5:23   Now  may the God of peace  Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your  spirit and soul and body be preserved complete,  without blame at  the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  24  Faithful is He who  calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.

Sanctified entirely, completely, absolutely, perfectly — not just on the outside, not just partly on the inside, but through and through! He will do it if you ask Him:

Luke 11:13 “ If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your  heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”

He will fill you with His Spirit! You will be given God’s actual compassion in your heart, His love in your heart, His divine nature in your heart!

Then you will be able to forgive in the exact same way He has forgiven you, regardless of what anyone does against you, regardless of how you are wrongly attacked, regardless of how your character may be falsely maligned.

If you do not forgive, Father God will not forgive you.

Beloved, this is not humanly possible, but with God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26)!

All you have to do is humble yourself, proskuneo toward Him, confess that your heart is not right. He is faithful! He will do it!