MARK 10 COMMENTARY

This is a commentary for you and me. It isn’t complicated, because Jesus wants you to understand it, so you can be healed physically and even more importantly, in your relationship with God, which was broken by sin.

So what does the Holy Spirit want us to see in this chapter? The effects of blindness.

Verses 1-12 — Jesus is teaching. He does not only heal and deliver, but He teaches. Take heed of His words, and you will be blessed, indeed!

Of course, the blind Pharisees do not receive the truth that Jesus is teaching. The effects of blindness! They are only present because they very much want to make Him stumble in His words. So they ask about divorce. I am sure they were being convicted of their sin, as He spoke.

At that time, Jewish men with roving eyes divorced their wives for the slightest thing — maybe the food was not hot when she served it. That way, they could marry the one that caught their eye. So they used the law Moses wrote (not God) regarding divorce, for their own selfish interests. Moses wrote that law because Israel’s hearts were hardened, even then.

Jesus says that law was written because their hearts were hardened. What does it mean to have a hardened heart? It means you follow the letter of the law, but you use it for self-interest.

A person (I’ll use the pronoun “he,” just to make it easier) goes to church and does good works like feeding and clothing the poor, singing in the choir and going to the church every time the door is open. Others admire him and say, “What a great guy!”  Yet he is secretly disobedient to God, sinning against Him in private.

And if a friend comes and speaks to him about the state of his soul, the friend is rejected and rebuffed. The great guy doesn’t want anyone to make him feel bad about what he is doing. He just wants to keep doing what he’s doing. It was the same with the Jews and divorce for selfish purposes, and Jesus was the Friend they rejected and rebuffed.

After Jesus reminds the Pharisees of why Moses made a divorce law, He uses the Word of God to remind them of the heart of God. Male and female, a man leaving his father and mother, the two (male and female) becoming one flesh. Then Jesus says, “What God has joined together, let no man separate.” That is God’s heart and that is a command.

The disciples privately question Jesus about what He means. If you are a man and divorce your wife so you can marry another woman, you commit adultery, He says. If a woman divorces her husband so she can marry another man, she commits adultery, He says.

Notice the reason Jesus calls divorce adultery, in this case. Lust. You have your eye on someone else. You lust after that one. So you divorce your husband or wife. That is adultery. That is exactly what the Jews (including some of the Pharisees) were doing at the time Jesus walked the earth.

Jesus says,”Let no man separate.” Let no man or woman separate. Husband, do not lust after another woman who will separate you from your wife, and wife, do not lust after another man who will separate you from your husband.

Instead, ask God, by His Holy Spirit, to fill and thereby purify your heart so you have no desire for anyone but your own spouse. Amen!

I do not believe that a man or woman whose husband is incurably unfaithful (after counseling is attempted), or abusive, is held to this commandment of Jesus Christ. Such situations have nothing to do with roving, lustful, adulterous eyes.

I support that belief with scripture, and Jeff’s and my case —

1Corinthians 7:15 and 7:24 speak of what happens when you are married and you become a believer. Your husband or wife does not believe, and they leave you. It is not a sin to let them go and to divorce them to avoid legal issues later. You are not bound to them, in the eyes of God. And when you come to the Lord, you remain in whatever condition you were in when you believed. If you are a divorced unbeliever who married another divorced unbeliever, you don’t leave them when you come to faith in Jesus Christ. He forgives those sins.

Jeff and I were both divorcees. We did not know the Lord. We got married. Then we became believers. All of our past sins were forgiven, praise God!

Jeff did not divorce his first wife because he liked me better. He didn’t even know me. Jeff’s first wife abandoned him. I did not divorce my first husband because I liked Jeff better. I didn’t even know Jeff. I divorced my first husband because he beat me until I bled internally. I didn’t have a roving eye, but I had a black and blue body! If we were adulterers in God’s eyes, Jesus never would have healed me, and He never would have filled Jeff and me with His Spirit.

Verses 13-16 — The Pharisees were so blind they couldn’t receive the truth Jesus was teaching.  Now the blindness continues, this time with the disciples. They do not see the kingdom of God that Jesus had told them about previously. They do not understand that little children are as welcome as any others. Everyone is welcome! They see the children as a bother, and rebuke those who bring their children so Jesus can touch them. Do you know what “touch” means? To put a light in them, to set them on fire (with His presence)! The disciples rebuke people for bringing their children so Jesus can put a light in them! Now that’s blindness, a blindness Jesus heals when He fills us with His Spirit. Then we understand, then we see.

So Jesus tells them they have it all wrong. Do not hinder them, let them come! The kingdom of God belongs to those who are like little children before Me! As a matter of fact, if you don’t receive My kingdom like a child, you won’t enter it at all.

What does it mean to receive the kingdom of God as a child? Complete trust in God. If a family functions as God designed it, a child trusts his father and mother completely. That requires a humble heart. The child knows he can’t fix what’s wrong, but if he brings it to his father or mother, it will be fixed. And the child seeks an innocent intimacy with his parents — appropriate hugs and kisses.

Jesus is saying you cannot be a child of God unless you trust God the Father, even to the point where you tell Him your greatest perplexities and problems, trusting that He will take care of them, and you, knowing that He is a perfect Father. That requires a humble heart. You know you can’t fix what’s wrong, but you know He can. A child of God seeks holy intimacy with God, a holy embrace between Him and His child.

The disciples can’t see that yet, because they are not filled with the Holy Spirit. The kingdom of God hasn’t come to them with power, yet. But it will.

Verse 17-27 — Now we see another kind of blindness. A rich young man comes up to Jesus, calling Him “Good Teacher.” Jesus immediately says only God is good. His implicit question is this — do you call me good because you know I am God the Son?

Jesus speaks the last six commandments. So do you do good things, rich young man? And the young man proudly says, I keep all six of them. I do good things. But notice that Jesus doesn’t ask him if he does the first four commandments, which relate to love for God.

Jesus feels love for ones who are physically blind, and He feels love for ones who are spiritually blind and don’t know it. This young man doesn’t see that God must be in you, working through you, in order for you to do the kind of good that God does.

Jesus knows what issue God has with the young man. He is rich. That is his idol. That is his god. So sell everything and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then you can come and follow Me! Jesus knows what the response will be — sadness and retreat, because the young man knows he can’t let go of all of his property. The young man’s riches are his god, but he is blind and can’t see it. The effect of his blindness is that he cannot enter the kingdom.

So he does not follow Jesus, and Jesus does not go after him, either. Instead, Jesus exclaims that it is hard to enter the kingdom of God. Even harder than a camel going through the eye of a needle. He means this literally. It looks impossible.

The entrance to the kingdom of God is not large and grandiose, with a wide path. It has just a small gate, and the way is narrow, and few find it (Matthew 7:14). Few! It is hard to enter. You must be humble.

The disciples are not humble, so they do not understand. Then no one can be saved, they imply, when they say, “Then who can be saved?”

Then Jesus tells us that what looks impossible to man is possible for God. All things are possible with God!

IMPORTANT POINT:  Jesus means this in every way — All things are possible with God. With God, it is possible for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God, for the proud to be made humble, for the spiritually blind to see, for the incurably sick to be healed and for the demon-possessed to be delivered. With God, it is even possible for a human heart to be filled with God’s actual love!

Verses 28-31 — As usual, Peter (and the rest of the disciples) try to figure out what Jesus means, and Peter takes a stab at it. We’ve left everything! That’s not what Jesus is talking about. The requirement for a humble heart, in order to enter the kingdom of God, is the point He’s making. It isn’t about giving up things. It’s about giving up YOURSELF!

But He tells them (and you) that if, for His sake and the gospel’s sake, you leave your house and your family (He doesn’t mean permanent separation from family) and your work, you will receive 100 times as much now — houses, family, houses, and jobs. All of the coming church will share what they have, every church member will be your brother or sister or mother, every child of a child of God will be like your own, everyone’s home will be your home! That was true of the early church, but as you may have noticed, that is not true in today’s church, because there are proud and spiritually blind ones among us.

And you will also endure persecution, but ultimately, eternal life! It’s a narrow way. Unless you love the world system, it will not love you and it will come against you, even violently (John 15:18-20). They can kill your body, dear one, but you’ll simply go on to be in heaven forever.

But many who are first will be last. The first to have the offer was the Jews. The Pharisees are blind. The young man is blind. The effect of their blindness is that they will not be the first to enter. But the humble ones are able to see, so they will be the first to enter.  And the last to see will be the last to enter.

Verses 32-45 — Now Jesus walks ahead of His disciples, not with them. He is on a mission to get to Jerusalem. They follow, astonished at His behavior and His words. And they are both alarmed and in awe. And with greater detail than ever, Jesus once again tells them that He will be killed and rise three days later.

The blindness of the disciples is once again obvious. James and John want preferential treatment, when Jesus reigns on the earthly throne they are expecting. He will come into Jerusalem on a white horse, and the Romans will be defeated. Their behavior is not humble. They think they deserve to have their request honored by Jesus. Their self interest is clearly in view. It will be to their advantage to have the King’s ear.

He tells them they don’t know what they’re asking. Can they take His cup — a baptism of death? Blindly they say, “We are able.” They don’t know what He’s talking about.

But He tells them they will experience a baptism of death. It will happen at Pentecost, when they die to all of their pride and self-interest. That’s the baptism they will undergo. That’s the cup they will drink. For James, his physical body will die when he is martyred for his faith, with a sword. John will live on, to receive the Revelation before his physical body dies a natural death.

Again, He admonishes them that none is better than any other of them. They must be humble, serving one another, not trying to “best” one another, not trying to jockey for position.

Do you want to be first, He says? Then be a slave to everyone, just as I am!

I did not come for you to serve Me, but to serve you by dying for you, in your place, taking your punishment upon Me; rising again, that you may have eternal life; and pouring out the Holy Spirit, so your spiritual blindness may be healed!

Verses 46-52 — Bartimaeus (whose name means “son of one who is highly prized”) is blind, but he can see before he sees! He knows that Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ. How do I know that? The crowd says, “It’s Jesus the Nazarene,” but he calls Him by a Messianic title: Jesus, Son of David. Have mercy on me!

Everyone wanted him to be quiet, to leave the Master alone. They spoke sternly and harshly to Bartimaeus. But he kept shouting!

Keep shouting! Pay no attention to persecution from those who are yet blind.

He will have mercy on you, when you see Him for who He really is, and cry out for mercy and refuse to stop crying out!

Jesus heard him calling, and said to the crowd, “Call him here.” And the crowd said, “Take courage (comfort, be of good cheer), stand up! He is calling for you!”

When you refuse to stop calling out to Him, He will call for you and you will be of good cheer. Bartimaeus’ continuous calling out was an indication of his faith. He knew he was coming to his Healer!

He threw aside his cloak, which was probably everything he owned. He was a blind beggar. The alms he received were likely stored there. But he didn’t care! He jumped up! He didn’t just slowly rise. He jumped! And he came to Jesus, feeling his way through the crowd. Can you see it! He was desperate!

Jesus asks a seemingly foolish question. The man is obviously blind, yet Jesus asks him what he wants Jesus to do for him!

What do you want Jesus to do for you? He wants you to tell Him, just like when I had MS and I had to tell Him what was wrong in my brain and spinal cord, what needed to be healed and recreated. It was an act of faith to tell Him. And so it was for Bartimaeus, the blind man who could see, even before he was healed!

And the man said, “Rabboni (Teacher, a title of respect), I want to regain my sight!”

And Jesus says, “Go! Your faith has made you well.” Does that mean the faith Bartimaeus exhibited had some kind of healing power? No! It means that his faith brought him to the One who heals. So, in that sense, his faith made him well. When?

Immediately! Immediately! No waiting! When you have faith, when you know Who you are coming to, the Christ, the Son of God, when you know He is able to heal you and you are so desperate that you’ll throw away everything when He calls your name —

immediately! At that moment, not when he had faith, but when he stood before Jesus and healing power went forth from Jesus. Immediately!
I challenge you, because I love you with God’s own love — if you say, “I can’t wait until Jesus heals me,” you are not yet desperate, and I will tell you that He is waiting for you to come to Him.

Immediately he regains his sight. His response? Does he just walk away? Does he just say, “Thanks, Jesus, now I have my life back.” No! He immediately began following Jesus on the road. Will you?

 

I STAND IN AWE

[SW213] 12/24/2015 message notes by

Reverend/Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“I Stand In Awe”

I have a song in my heart, a song of the gospel of Jesus Christ! It goes far beyond the manger . . .

Silent night, with velvet sky . . . a baby born to die —

John 10:17 “For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again.”

John 12:27   “Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.”

His life was given . . . a debt to pay —

Colossians 2:13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,  14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

You were sent to save, Jesus, You were sent to save — 

Matthew 1:21 “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Acts 2:21  ‘And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

Gift of God to all the earth

John 3:16   “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

John 4:10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

To redeem mankind

1Peter 1:18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,  19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

The angels speak, the humble hear

Luke 2:10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;  11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.

And You draw them near, so near, and You draw them near

John 12:32 “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.”

Unthinkable, Your sacrifice, on the cross it was done —

Hebrews 9:26 Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

Philippians 2:5  Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant,

being made in human likeness. 8  And being found in appearance as a man,

he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!

You rose and sent Your Spirit Lord, to fill each willing heart, You will, fill each willing heart — 

John 20:16 Jesus  said to her, “Mary!” She turned and  said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means, Teacher).  17 Jesus  said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene  came, announcing to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and that He had said these things to her.

Romans 1:4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.

Acts 1:5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” . . . 8  but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

Acts 5:32 “And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.”

For all You did, and all You are, O glorious, brilliant Morningstar —

Revelation 22:16   “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

I stand in awe, what can I do, but bow and praise and worship You!

John 4:23 “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.”

You, too, will stand in awe, if you have eyes to see and ears to hear. And you, too, will bow and praise and worship Him!

WHERE ARE YOU SITTING?

[SW207] 11/06/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Where Are You Sitting?”

Location is everything! Where are you sitting?

Ephesians 2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,  5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),  6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

God hit the pause button here . . . I can’t go on until I fully move in what God says is true, in this passage, until I believe and practice every part of it.

I am raised up with Christ, and seated with God and Christ in the heavenly places. It’s an enormous thought, an enormous truth, if I can grasp it!

What does it mean to me, to be seated with God and Christ in the heavenly places?

Access to God (2:18)

Boldness and reliable access (3:12)

Far above  . . . every name which can be named now and in the world to come (1:21).

Every spiritual blessing (1:3)

Intimacy/intimate knowledge (3:18-19). I experience Him.

His power (1:19), the same as what He used to resurrect Jesus Christ

His inheritance (1:11), I am a co-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17)

God’s ear (John 16:26-27), so He hears and answers me

But . . . much more . . .

Hearing and seeing what HE is saying and doing (John 12:49, 14:10). Then I know what needs to be done, and what needs to be said, to set captives free!

How can I do such a thing? I am a mere human being. But because I am seated with God, I have access to the resources of Almighty God.

What else does it mean to be seated with Him? It implies that I have His fullness, that I am baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit. Why do I say that?

The CONDITION for these promises is obedience (2:1-3). That only happens when I am baptized in and filled with the Holy Spirit.

Obedience:

— I no longer follow the prince of the power of the air

— I am no longer a son of disobedience

— I no longer live in the lusts of my flesh

— I no longer have the nature of a child of wrath, but His divine nature

I am holy and blameless before Him (1:4), because the Holy Spirit has come in and purified my heart and filled me with God’s love (Acts 15:9, Romans 5:5).

Why does God want us to be seated with Him in the heavenly places?  So He is praised and glorified (1:6, 12, 14), because He will do in us and through us things that we can’t even think or imagine, and others will see His fingerprints on us and His power working in and through us!

His grace provides salvation (2:8). You believe that.

His grace provides spiritual resurrection (2:5). You believe that.

His grace provides a pure heart. Do you believe that? If you believe, He will show you that He will do it.

Where are you sitting? What is the alternative to being seated with God and Christ in the heavenly places? Go to Psalm 1 and read the whole Psalm. Sitting in the seat of scoffers? Walking in the way of the wicked? Standing in the path of sinners? The second half of the Psalm is where you are headed. Turn around!

If you do not believe, then Ephesians 5:5 applies to you. Do not be deceived.

You cannot sit with Him in heavenly places unless you are obedient, and your heart, like mine, does not naturally obey. A supernatural work — His work — must be done in our hearts, to make you and me obedient out of love! Repent! Ask Him to fill you!

Then you will have these promises —

Access to God

Confident access and boldness

Far above  . . . all powers of this world and the one to come

Every spiritual blessing

Intimacy

His power

His inheritance

God’s ear

Hearing and seeing what He is saying and doing so you can be used to set captives free!

It is so He is praised and given the glory He deserves, because no one will be able to deny that what has been done in you and what you are doing are evidence of His power and the reality of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, the sacrifice given so we might have life as He has it!

Freely it has been given to you  . . .  freely you must give!

GO, AND I WILL SHOW YOU

[SW204] 10/16/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Go, And I Will Show You”

Text: Genesis 12:1-2

When I went to my assignment in San Diego, I had no plans of my own. I was totally inadequate for the job, but my adequacy comes from the Lord.

He said, “Go, and I will show you.” When I spoke to Dean and his parents prior to visiting them, I said, “I don’t know what God is going to do, but it will be wonderful!”

What did You show me, Lord?

9/28/15    —    YOU establish the connection (You in me is the key).
Servanthood comes naturally, because You have given me
Your nature.
YOU showed me that my joy and transparency were unexpected,
and that they break down walls and disarm those to whom I am
ministering. Dean said, “I am pleasantly surprised. I thought you
would be a Bible-thumper.” Score one for Jesus! I am assured
that I do not need to change my personality — you will use me
just as I am.

9/29/15    —     YOU reveal the truth, and salvation results!
— Why did Jesus come? To do good things.
— Yes, but Isaiah 53, He took the punishment you
deserved. Dean repents, asks forgiveness, receives Jesus.
YOU reveal the truth and expose Satan’s lies re: pressure to
perform.
— John 5, the power of Jesus’ words
— Not my work or Dean’s, but the power of God.
— Relief, relaxing now, compassion, laughter, and
truth

9/30/15    —    YOU stir Dean’s heart, just as You did me. He confesses openly.
We know we are on Satan’s Most Wanted List, and we are glad!

10/1/15    —     YOU show me Psalm 37:5-6, 34. I will see it!

10/2/15    —     YOU provide a sister in Christ for fellowship and encouragement,                 and show me that transparency is essential for encouragement!
YOU give me Psalm 64:4, 7, 10!
YOU instruct on spiritual warfare from John 10.
YOU shoot at Satan with Your arrows, shooting at him who
shoots at us.

10/3/15    —     YOUR word is powerful.
— Isaiah 61, then YOU cause me to spontaneously speak Matthew 11:28-30.
— Immediately, Dean spontaneously asks You to give him Your yoke, and explains to You what his is (MS). He “gives” his MS to You, out loud. Faith!

10/4/15    —     YOUR words unexpectedly come to free others.
YOU have Jeff and I minister together, even a continent apart.

10/5/15    —     YOU remind me to stay focused. No distractions. The Enemy is
trying to distract. YOU direct me to fast, to break the yoke.

10/6/15    —     YOU are the yoke-breaker. It will come. “Dean, what would God                 say now, if you asked Him if you are right with Him?” With no hesitation, Dean smiled broadly and said, “He would say, ‘You are right with me!’”

10/7/15    —      YOU fill Dean with the Holy Spirit, by the laying on of my hands
upon his head, and he speaks with other tongues.

10/8/15    —     YOU give us all a promise — Psalm 27:13-14, despite a bump in the
road with Dean’s natural condition.

10/9/15    —     Changes in scenery and players, even unknowing statements of                 unbelief,  do not affect Your work. Your compassion and love trump unbelief.

10/10/15    —     We change our strength for yours (Isaiah 40:31). YOU prompt me
to say, “Get up, pick up your mat and walk.” Dean begins to get up, then sits back down. “I’m afraid to stand up. Jesus, take my fear!” Faith!

10/11/15    —       YOU ask through me, “Why is My church glorious?” Dean says, “Because the Father and Jesus are inside of her!”
YOU will do the final stage of healing when Dean and You are alone together. You always do great things when you get women and men alone with You (Jacob’s name change, Abraham and the covenant-cutting, Paul and the three days fasting, and time in Arabia,
and many more)!

10/12/15    —     All YOU directed me to do has been done. I go in peace, and leave                 my peace with Bob and Inger’s home, and with Dean. I have had a                  front-row seat to watch You work! You continue that on the plane and in the taxi from the airport to our home! Hallelujah!

STRENGTH FOR YOUR ASSIGNMENT

[SW201] 09/11/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Strength For Your Assignment”

You and I need His power for this hour!

He has an assignment for you and me. What is it?

— To walk as Jesus walked in this world (entirely obedient) (1Jn 2:6)

— To baptize and make disciples, teaching them to obey all He commanded us (Matthew 28:19-20)

— To be His witness (Acts 1:8)

— To love even our enemies with His love (Matthew 5:44)

— To set captives free (Isaiah 61:1ff, Matthew 10:8)

That assignment is absolutely impossible in our own strength. We need His!

Texts: Psalm 84:5-7, 11-12, Isaiah 40:29-31

Psalm 84

How blessed is the one whose strength is in God — literally, to him, strength is in the Lord.

God is the source of strength for him. He knows that apart from Christ, he can do nothing (John 15:5)!

Strength — boldness and power and might! HIS!

Psalm 84:5 Blessed (literally, straight/upright, happy) are you, because this is a revelation from God, just as Simon/Peter received when God the Father gave him the revelation that Jesus is the Christ (Matthew 16:17)!

In your heart is the highway to His presence!

Blessed are you! A way was prepared in your heart when you repented and confessed your sin, just as with those baptized by John in advance of Jesus’ ministry on earth. It is the highway of holiness (Isaiah 35:8)! You are filled with the Holy Spirit!

Psalm 84:6 And what happens because His presence is in you? As you walk about in the valley of weeping, you make it a spring, a place of fountains of living water. And that valley, now flowing with an endless supply of living water, also sees showers of blessing (Ezekiel 34:26).

Psalm 84:7 Everyone who seeks and receives God’s strength appears before God (NASB “in Zion”). That is, they stand before Him, in His presence!

Blessed are you if you seek His strength, for surely you will receive it!

Psalm 84:11 He is a sun and a shield — light and protection — He gives such ones grace and His presence within them, and He does not withhold any good thing from you, because they walk with integrity (without blemish, complete, full and perfect before Him)!

Psalm 84:12 O Lord of hosts, how blessed is the man who trusts in You, who is confident, sure and bold because it is Your strength that is in him!

How blessed will YOU be if you seek His strength, His power, His might! Then you have the strength to do your assignment!

Isaiah 40:29-31

To the one who understands that he LACKS the might to do God’s works, the Lord increases power —  and that Hebrew word is only used of God’s power, with just a couple of exceptions.

His power comes to those who wait on Him, who entwine themselves with Him. They gain new strength, which literally means they CHANGE ABILITY.

So they exchange their strength for His, and in His power, they fly high, they run and walk without tiredness or weariness!

Those whose strength is the Lord also exchange their faith to His faith (Romans 1:17), their sin nature for His divine nature, their glory for His glory, ever-increasing, from one degree of glory to the next (2Corinthians 3:18)!

When you confess your weakness, your inability to do your assignment and ask Him for His power) —  the world will see Christ’s strength, His power, in you. (2Corinthians 12:9). And I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13)!

As you go about on your assignment from Him, rivers of living water will flow from your belly (John 7:37-39), and the valley of weeping will become like a valley of fountains, showers of blessing (Ezekiel 34:26)!

And  you will not hesitate to go, but will go forth immediately and joyfully because you know you are going in His strength, not yours.

But I have some admonitions for the church. Many of you are not going, and thus, not doing your assignment. You are silent. You are afraid. You know you don’t have power nor boldness to testify of Christ. Ask your Father in heaven to fill you with His Holy Spirit, and He will gladly do it!

Many of you are working in your own strength. Some of you have been quite successful in building large churches, in you own strength. But if you are not working in His strength, they will worship you and look to you, and not Him.

Also, you and I have seen that many who work in their own strength have burned out, and many who work in their own strength have had their secret sins uncovered publicly, giving the world more fodder to make a mockery of Christ.

Repent and turn, and He will yet receive you and give you His strength. When you ask Him for His strength, by being filled with the Holy Spirit, He will oblige, and you will begin to work for the glory of the Father and the Son, in the power of the Holy Spirit.

BECOMING THE PROOF

[SW200] 09/04/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Becoming the Proof”

I could tell you the truth about humanity’s condition and their need for a Savior, and with great passion, I could show you why it is true, but it will have no power to change hearts if I myself am not the living proof of it.

I could reason with you, I could show that there is archeological evidence that the Bible is true, I could argue with you endlessly about such things.

But I become living proof when God so changes me inwardly that it is impossible to deny the truth. That’s when the church becomes the church, beloved. When Christians claim the Bible is true but do not live out what it says, the world laughs.

If I am not like Jesus, I can tell you about Him all day long, and you will look at how I live, and scoff at me.

That’s why Jesus told His disciples to wait in the city to be clothed with power from on high. They already had authority to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, and cast out demons, and they had done so.

But this is a different kind of power. It is the power to live as Christ lived when He was on the earth. It is the power of the Holy Spirit, no longer beside them but IN them. He makes us new on the inside, giving us a new heart, a new nature, and the fruit of Him — His love, His joy, His peace, His patience, His kindness, His goodness, His faithfulness, His gentleness, and His Spirit controlling us.

It is the power to be His witnesses here, to be people who actually have Jesus inside of them, living through them, showing Himself to the world here and now.

When you are His witness (the original Greek word is the source of our word, “martyr”) because you have died and He lives in you, people will sense Him in you.

It isn’t that you do the Law, dotting i’s and crossing t’s to be sure you act right, but it’s being made right by God dwelling in you.

Then you don’t have to prove anything. He is obviously in you. So when you speak, your hearers  know it is God and they either receive or reject Him and His Christ.

You see, Ephesians 5:8-10 means much more than trying and failing and trying and failing to do what pleases God. When you are filled with God’s Spirit, you BECOME that which pleases God — obedient, and filled with His power and love.

It is great news, but millions in the church have not heard of it. We are happy to be saved, and rightly believe it is instantly done when we repent and believe. But we have a hard time believing that God can change our hearts permanently and totally, in an instant.
There’s plenty of evidence against it — all you have to do is look at how many of us live.
Our actions belie our claim that we are full of God. We act no different than we did before. We still sin, we still willfully disobey God, we still lust, we still covet, we are yet hypocrites.

And so we conclude that it is impossible to do what Christ clearly teaches. We see no evidence of it. There are no witnesses, we say, so it must not be true.

But there are witnesses! Some have offered the Lord their hearts in flames of holy love!

Some have testified, “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!” That was John and Charles Wesley’s testimony, and they were His witnesses.

And even today, some of us have totally abandoned ourselves to God, have received the fullness of His wonderful Spirit, and we are no longer slaves to sin! The chains have fallen off! And we rise and are able to follow, to obey, to live like Christ in this world. Our faces shine with His presence, and we leap and shout and praise His holy name!
We were beggars at Gate Beautiful who had never walked as God walks. We were born lame. And now we can walk!

Now, He works His wonders among us and through us, just as He did when He was on the earth. And just like He promises, we do greater, because now that His Spirit is poured out, those who are filled with Him can be used to fill others!

Will you believe it? If you know you are not living like Jesus, then I am here to tell you that even today, God is still ready and waiting to fill you with His Spirit and change you so profoundly that people will know God is real and He is in you!

Jesus says that he who rejects Him, rejects the One who sent Him. Jesus was rejected by many who wanted to retain their traditions and political power. He came against all of it, simply by speaking the truth and being the Truth.

And it is the same today. We expect the world to reject Him. But it grieves God that much of the church of today rejects His Spirit and His truth. It is not unexpected, for Paul spoke of it in 2Timothy 3, writing that in the last days, all the lawlessness we see today would come, and that many would have a form of religion while denying its power. That means its power to change human hearts.

God and God alone profoundly changes human hearts. He is still at work. Jesus has not changed. God’s promises are still offered to you. Believe and receive.

ENTWINED

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[SW199] 08/28/2015 message notes by
Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2015

“Entwined”

Texts: Psalm 37:3-6, 23-31 and Psalm 40:2, 6

The fulfillment of your heart’s desires comes when you entwine yourself with the Lord.

There is a moment in time when you repent, confess your sin, and believe, and then the Holy Spirit begins to speak to your heart.

But there is also another moment in time when you yield your SELF completely to God!

I will speak what the Lord has shown me in the text, and then speak the rest of what He wants to say. You will need to watch the video of my message for the interpretation of the text. The link is in the right column of my blog.

Now I go on to what He wants to say, beyond the interpretation of His Word.

Jeff and I have been married nearly 38 years. It was a happy marriage, to the point that my brother gave this copyrighted photo, “Entwined,” to us as an anniversary card. But we were still selfish, in it to have our own needs and wants met.

Then, 14 years ago this November, we became entwined with the Lord.

Now we live for Him, walk together with Him, serve Him together, and love each other with God’s actual love. Like Jeff, I’m no longer selfish, centered on I, me, and my. And I am no longer a rebel toward God. I am entwined. Jeff is entwined. We are entwined together with the Lord. It is literally a marriage made in heaven!

In Psalm 37:4, what did I say “delight” means? It means being soft, pliable, and twisted together or entwined.

A steel girder does not bend.

A plank of wood does not bend.

A piece of marble does not bend.

By nature, they are inflexible, but we can bend or shape them into a bend, using fire to bend the steel, heat and water to bend the wood, and a hammer and chisel to make the marble yield to our vision, as a sculpture.

Humans do not bend. By nature we are inflexible. In the Bible, the Lord describes us as having stiff necks, hard hearts, and foreheads like stone or bronze. It is a description of the sin nature that we’re all born with.

How, then, can we be made soft and pliable so we can be entwined with the Lord?
By the same means as with steel, wood, or marble, except God does it!

If you ask Him (Matthew 7:7-8, Luke 11:13, Matthew 6:33), He will do it in you, using:

His heat (Matthew 3:11)

His living water (John 4:10)

The hammer of His Word (Jeremiah 23:29)

Just as He instantly saved you, He will also instantly fill you with His Holy Spirit, changing your nature so you are soft and pliable, so you become entwined with the Lord, and He takes from you your hardness, your stiffness, your sin nature. He must, for if you continue to sin, you will die.

When He instantly fills you with His Holy Spirit, your heart’s desires will be transformed.

Then, He will give you the desires of your heart.

Because  your desires have been transformed, the only desire of your heart will be to do His will, for His law will be written on the tablet of your heart (Psalm 40:6, 2Corinthians 3:3).

He will fulfill your desire to do His will.

And His promises, in Psalm 37:5-6 and 23-31 will be fulfilled in you.

It is that simple, and perhaps that is the problem. Maybe you think you have to work really hard and study the Word continually in order to prepare yourself to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

It is wonderful to study God’s Word, but I know many who can recite it and yet do not have an intimate relationship with the Lord — even seminary professors and pastors!

For Jeff and me, I can only say that we knew very little of the Word of God. But we were hungry for all of God, and we sought Him with all that was in us.

He is a rewarder of them who diligently seek Him, beloved. You receive by asking, seeking, and knocking. You cannot make yourself soft and pliable. You cannot make yourself entwined with Him. You cannot make yourself stop sinning.

Good works won’t work. Look at the Pharisees!

Much study is good for you, but you must ask the Holy Spirit to show you the truth that you must be filled. Otherwise, you have knowledge of the Word of God in your brain, but still lack the intimate knowledge of God, and still be a prisoner of sin.

Ask God the Father now! He will make you soft and pliable, entwine you with Himself, His desires will be your desires, and you will no longer be a slave to sin.