COMMENTARY ON JOHN 2

The Book of John is unique among the Gospel accounts. You may read it when you are yet in shallow waters near the shore, and you will find Jesus there. You may read it and find yourself totally immersed in deep truths about God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Sometimes I will go deep, and if it is too much, don’t worry! Stay in the shallow waters for a bit. He will take you deeper, as you get to know Him!

Verses 1-2 — So there was a wedding on the third day. That would be Tuesday on the Jewish calendar. Why would someone plan a mid-week wedding? We’re going a little deep here. What happened in Genesis 1 on the third day? In Genesis 1:10, on the third day, the Lord spoke and the land and water separated, so there was dry land and bodies of water. And He saw that it was good. And then, on that same third day, He  spoke and vegetation came, and He saw it was good. Two “He saw it was good” statements in one day! That’s a double blessing! So couples often married on Tuesdays, so their marriages would be doubly blessed.

Jesus’ mother was at the wedding, and both Jesus and His disciples were invited. Mary probably was related to the bride and groom in some way. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have done Verses 3-5. It would not have been proper for her to direct such things, unless she was a relative.

Verses 3-4 — They ran out of wine. In Jewish culture, to run out of wine at a party dishonored the family. So Mary, being a relative, said to Jesus, who was also a relative because she was His mother, “They have no wine.”

“Woman, what does that have to do with us?” Calling her “woman” is not derogatory. He is not insulting her, but He may be separating Himself from her motherhood over Him, since His ministry is about to begin.

He said His time had not yet come. What does that mean? Was He saying that it was not yet time for Him to begin doing miracles to show that He was the Son of God? It seems that way, if we go to Verse 11. But He did a miracle, as we will see in a few verses. None of what transpired here was a surprise to Him, as with Nathanael.

But we can go deeper, as usual. We will see, as we go, along that the Holy Spirit inspired John to write of the actual events, but also to hint at the deeper meaning of them.

Who was bringing the new wine of the new covenant (Matthew 9:17)? Whose blood was represented by the wine He shared with His disciples at the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26:28)? On the cross, He began the new covenant between God and man (John 3:16 and many other places we’ll review), when His blood was poured out onto the earth. He is the embodiment of new wine, sweet like grape juice, unfermented, and non-alcoholic, pure and clean. But it was not yet time for His crucifixion.

Verse 5 — Mary said to the servants, “Whatever He says, do it.” Great word! Whatever instruction or command Jesus Christ gives you, do it! And God will be revealed and glorified through what happens next.

Verses 6-7 — These stone waterpots contained water combined with ashes of a red heifer, used by the Jews for ritual washing and purification (see Numbers 19:2 and forward). There are a lot of hints of Christ in the ritual described there. For example, He was crucified outside the camp (Jerusalem), and His death provides us with cleansing, if we come to Him. The waterpots were large containers, 20 or 30 gallons each. Think about their size as we continue.

Jesus ordered the servants to fill them to the brim, and they did. I tell you, when He takes you — a jar of clay (2Corinthians 4:7) — and fills you to the brim with His new wine, you will be changed! Oops, I’m giving away what happens next.

Verses 8-9 — Draw some out now, and take it to the headwaiter. So the servants took a sample to him. The headwaiter brought the bridegroom. Why? It had become wine. When did it become wine? When Jesus said, “Draw some out now.”

The servants knew they had drawn wine from clay pots they had filled with water. And they knew when He said, draw some and give it to the headwaiter, it was wine! They knew Jesus had done a miracle. It is impossible to change water to wine. It defies all natural law.

That is how God operates. The Bridegroom (John 3:29) gave the bridegroom new wine. The Bridegroom gives the church (His bride) His new wine.

Verse 10 — The bridegroom came to the headwaiter, who said the good stuff is served first, and the lower quality stuff is served later, when everyone has drunk freely. But look! This wine is excellent! You’ve kept the good wine until now!

Jesus is the good wine. He is the best. It was time for Him to be sent by the Father. And so He tastes better than anything previously experienced (Psalms 34:8, 1Peter 2:3)!

Verses 11-12 — So this was the beginning of the signs Jesus did in Cana and Galilee. And by them, God attested that Jesus is God the Son, and glorified Him by proving that He is God the Son. And as a result, His disciples believed in Him.

Then He went to Capernaum, the city He chose for the center of His ministry (Matthew 9:1).

Verse 13 — It was the Passover, a feast established when death passed over the Jews in Egypt, just prior to their release. Every Jewish man was required to be in Jerusalem for this feast. The place was packed with people.

Verse 14-17 — Jesus cleans house in the Temple. There was business going on there. But His Father’s house was to be a house of prayer (Isaiah 56:7), a holy place where such things were not done.

What was the business about? The pilgrims who had come for Passover needed sacrificial animals to offer in the Temple. The Jewish religious ones in the Temple, who sold the animals, cheated those who bought them. The Pilgrims were required to buy them with Temple money. So their Roman money had to be converted to Temple money. The weights and measures were rigged in favor of the Temple. So, if you gave them a dollar, they said it was worth only 50 cents in Temple money. Thus, they robbed the people. Well, that was one way they robbed them.

But they also robbed them of the experience of entering a holy, sacred place and sensing the presence of God. The Father surely was not present as they cheated His people.

Well, Jesus was not “gentle Jesus meek and mild,” as some of us have been taught. His disciples remembered later that it was written of Him in the Old Testament, “Zeal for Your house consumes Me” (Psalm 69:9). He is a righteous judge, and will someday judge the works of those who are His, and the works of those who do evil. You will see it in John 5.

He judged the robbers in this passage. Matthew 21:13 records that He called the Temple a den of robbers. Not only did they rob the people, but they used the Temple to plan their next caper.

I wonder how much robbery takes place in today’s churches, with the sale of trinkets, books, and cool coffee shops just outside their sanctuaries.

Verse 18 — The Jews wanted to know who gave Jesus the authority to cleanse the Temple. Who gave Him authority? The same One who gave Him authority to cleanse your temple (your heart) to make it a place where His Spirit dwells and has full rule and reign. You will see that in John 14. It is God who gives Jesus Christ authority. He is God’s Son.

Verse 19-21 — So, destroy My body, Jesus says, and I will rebuild it in three days. Yes, He did. He rose from the grave three days after He was crucified and placed in a tomb! But the Jews did not understand Him. They thought He meant the Temple, the building in Jerusalem. But the Apostle John makes it clear in Verse 21. He was speaking of the temple of His body.

Verse 22 — So, when Jesus was raised from the dead on the third day, the disciples finally understood what He said in Verse 19. And they believed the Scripture (Hosea 6:2 and Isaiah 53:10) and the word Jesus spoke.

Verses 23-25 — So while Jesus was at the Passover, many believed in His name. They believed He was who He said He was. They believed because they saw the signs, the attesting miracles that proved that He is God the Son.

But Jesus did not entrust Himself to them (believe them), because He knew what was in all of mankind (in their hearts). (See Jeremiah 17:10.) He didn’t need anyone to explain man to Him. He Himself knew what was in man, way back from before Adam sinned, way back in beginning, before time was and before the earth was formed. He was the Lamb prepared before the world was founded (Revelation 13:8, King James Version). He knew man inside and out, because He made man. Through Him all things were created, at the command of the Father (Hebrews 1:2).

 

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IN-COURAGED!

[SW219] 02/05/2016 message notes by

Reverend/Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2016

“IN-Couraged”

Texts: Joshua 1:1-9

Deuteronomy 34:9

John 20:19

Acts 2:14, 22, 3

Acts 4:8ff

The Lord is asking me to encourage you to be IN-Couraged — His boldness, His strength, His courage IN you!

In Joshua 1:3, the Lord tells Joshua that every place on which the sole of his foot treads, the Lord has given to the sons of Israel, just as He spoke to Moses.

What a promise!

In Joshua 1:6, the Lord commands Joshua to be strong (fasten upon the Lord, be constant, be established, seize) and courageous (mighty, steadfastly minded). Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord (1Corinthians 15:58). Why? Because he SHALL give the people possession of the land.

The Lord commands Joshua again in Verse 7, and in Verse 9. Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go!

Joshua  will lead Israel in, and they will be an occupying army, possessing the land promised to them through Abraham.

And believer, understand that your role is to occupy Satan’s territory here on earth, and possess it until the Lord comes again. And it is to ask God to bring you fully into the Promised Land with His strength and courage IN you — IN-couraged! When the end comes, Jesus Christ will bless the one who has been doing what He commanded, and condemn the one who didn’t obey (Matthew 24:46)!

Joshua needed power to obey the Lord’s command to be strong and courageous. Where did it come from?

In Numbers 27:18, the Lord says Joshua was a man in whom was the Spirit. And when Moses laid hands on him, he was filled with the spirit of wisdom.

Deuteronomy 34:9   Now Joshua the son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; and the sons of Israel listened to him and did as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Therefore, he had the Lord’s wisdom, strength and courage IN him, because the Spirit was IN him. He was IN-couraged. The Lord gave him the Spirit for that single assignment.

Today, God wants to fills you with the Holy Spirit permanently, rather than for a single assignment. Then you will have His strength, His courage and His boldness so you are able to occupy and possess the Enemy’s territory. You will become a member of an occupying army, freeing captives from sickness, demon possession, and sin, in the power and words of the Holy Spirit! He will give you what to say (Matthew 10:20).

Look at the difference between the disciples in John 20:19, after Christ was crucified, compared with Acts 2:14, 22, 36 and Acts 4:8 and forward!

In John 20:19, they hid behind locked doors for fear of the Jews. But in the scriptures in Acts, they were very strong, courageous, and bold! They now had God’s strength, courage and boldness IN them, and the actual love of God in their hearts compelled them to go (2Corinthians 5:14, Romans 5:5)!

Why the difference? They were filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost! They were IN-couraged!

Paul persecuted Christians with all his might, until he had a vision of Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus. Then Ananias came to him and he was filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:17). Afterward, in Christ’s strength and courage, Paul boldly proclaimed Jesus Christ and performed miraculous signs and wonders all across the known world. He was IN-couraged!

Paul joyously wrote to the church at Philippi, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13)! Amen!

Real-life testimony:

One day, we received a call from a man we had known for a couple of years. He said he was in the county jail, and needed us to come to him. We had never been behind locked doors in a jail before. But the Lord told us to go, and we went in His strength, courage and boldness.

We entered another world as we heard the thick steel door close behind us. The spiritual darkness in that place was so thick you could cut it with a knife.

We pressed on, met with the man, ministered to him with bold words from the Lord, and continued meeting with him until he was tried and sentenced to prison. He wrote us from there, and asked us to come.

I contacted the chaplain at the Maine State Prison. Come to find out, I had worked for him at the VA, before I was diagnosed with MS and had to retire on disability!

Jeff and I went through a four-hour training program. Then the chaplain asked us to come to a Bible study conducted by a man who had been doing Bible studies for the prisoners for 25 years, so we could learn how to interact with the prisoners who attended. On our way to that Bible study, we asked the Lord to give us a sign that we were to minister there. A flashing neon one, please!

When we arrived at the prison lobby, the chaplain was called to meet us. We passed through two metal detectors. Our worship gear was searched.

We were lead by the chaplain and one guard through one very thick steel door, stopping at a window to turn in our car keys and driver’s licenses and receive visitor/clergy ID badges.

Then we passed through a second very thick steel door. As we went through we saw a giant man from the Max (maximum security pod) clad in orange, shackled head-to-toe with thick chains, flanked by two large, muscular guards.

After another locked steel door, we passed the cafeteria on our right. A “man down” code was issued; that meant a fight had broken out between prisoners, and at least one prisoner was on the floor.

We continued on across the courtyard to the activities building, in the Lord’s strength and courage, completely unfazed by it all. We were on a mission — on assignment — to go in and possess this land controlled by Satan, and occupy it. And we were IN-couraged! Glory to God!

The Bible study teacher, who never missed a meeting in 25 years, missed this one. That was the first confirmation that we were to minister there. In a circle sat about twenty captives, along with the chaplain, Jeff and me.

The chaplain said he’d stay with us to guide and support us. But God stepped in, began speaking through us to the men, and soon, the chaplain said, “I’ll leave you now; you don’t need me.” That was our second confirmation from the Lord that we were to minister there.

The Lord ministered through us to these men for two years at our Monday prison worship service, as we sang and played guitar and proclaimed Jesus Christ from the Word of God.

The first time, I told them they needed to know that I wasn’t a goody two-shoes. I gave them some history of my drug addition as a teen and young adult, my drug dealing husband, and the Saturday Night Special that was at my side constantly, in case someone came into our apartment to try to steal our drugs. I told them how God came to my rescue in the middle of the night, and freed me from drug addiction in a moment of time.

Then I asked them for a show of hands. How many of you really like it here? No hands were raised. Just as I thought. How many want to come back again real soon? Again, no hands were raised.

I asked, “Do you wand to know how you can get out of this cycle of in and out, in and out, like a revolving door? Jesus Christ will change your heart, fill you with His Spirit and His love, and you won’t want to plan your next crime from here. You’ll just follow and obey Him forever.”

I told them I knew many outside of the prison walls who were in invisible chains, behind invisible bars. They needed the same thing!

What compelled us to go behind prison doors? The love of God, because the Holy Spirit had filled our hearts. And He gave us His strength, courage, and boldness! Our boast is in the Lord, not ourselves! We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us!

We are not special, beloved. Some say the missionaries who go into countries so hostile that their names can’t be released, are special. Some think missionaries through the ages have been special. They had a calling, they have a calling, we have a calling, AND you do, too. Have you answered Christ’s call?

Now I’m truthin’. I’m being bold (frank and blunt). The truth is, most of the church is complacent. People go to church and leave unchanged. They live like the devil for six days and pretend to be holy and righteous on Sunday. They want the Lord to bless them, but they don’t care about blessing Him or anyone else. They are the ones I spoke of earlier, the ones with invisible chains and invisible bars.

How about you? Are you strong and courageous? Are you bold? Are you possessing and occupying Satan’s territory?

Or are you complacent, going to church and leaving unchanged? If so, repent here and now, and ask the Lord to fill you with His Spirit.

You can’t help but be changed when He comes in and fills you! And you will say with Paul and us, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” You will be IN-couraged!

Jesus Christ calls you today to be IN-couraged. He calls you to ask Him to fill you with His Spirit so you can go in and possess the land and occupy it, as you should! Will you obey His call?

FREELY GIVE

[SW217] 01/22/2016 message notes by

Reverend/Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2016

“Freely Give”

Text: Matthew 10:1, 8 and Matthew 28:19-20

You may freely receive so much — more than you can think or imagine — at no cost to you! What happens next? You freely give!

Matthew 10:1 is a “go out” command. Matthew 28:19 is a “going out” command. Jesus Christ always gives “go out” commands to His followers, never “stay in.”
Why? Because if you are His follower, you surely have received MUCH, at no cost to you. He doesn’t give freely to you so you can hold it for yourself. He gives so you can freely give, at no cost to anyone!

What may you receive from Jesus Christ? I made a list:

Salvation

His grace

Healing

Deliverance

Sonship

His inheritance

His authority, as in this passage

Himself in you

His Father in you

His Spirit in His fullness, in you

His presence in you

His power in you

His love in you

His zeal in you

His boldness

His eyes, so you see as He sees

His wisdom

His understanding

His enlightening of the Word of God

And when you receive these things from Him, you are no longer focused on yourself, your needs, your wants, your security, your plans.

You are outwardly focused, and God-focused. You hear from Him and do what you see Him doing and say what you hear Him saying.

He says, freely give! Go pour out what I have poured into you! Well, when He does, I can tell you that you cannot help but pour it out!

The lost, the lame, the blind, the weak, the straying sheep, the troubled, the oppressed, the depressed, the disheartened — all of these, you see as He sees.

And you are overwhelmed with His compassion, and compelled by His boldness to GO!

Please know that I am still being matured by the Lord, but He has freely given me all that I’ve listed above, praise His holy name! I can’t help but pour it out! Why would I want to stay in?

Just a couple of things He has done through me, because of what He has done IN me:

— A woman deeply hurt from the time she was three years old, who thought her sin was too great for God to forgive her, who thought she was nothing and less than nothing, whose mind was confused. The Lord told me to go and stand beside her, and be the Bible for her. She stood up, her mind cleared, she was saved, she and I prayed for reconciliation with her children. Even the daughter who was hurt the most, came back to her and lived right next door to her, until this woman went to be with the Lord!

— A woman whose lips had turned blue, because she was in status asthmaticus. Jesus directed me to lay hands on her upper chest, and within one minute, she breathed freely. The next day, she said, “I still feel your hand on my chest!” I said, “That’s the hand of Jesus that you are feeling.” We rejoiced together!

— My husband, Jeff, who had a massive heart attack in May of 2011. The doctors called it a widow-maker. The whole front of his heart was completely deprived of blood. The cardiologist on duty put a stent in his heart, but there was a lot of damage. It didn’t look good.

But the Lord gave me a word, and I gave it to Jeff. “I will give life to Jeff’s heart muscle by the Holy Spirit who indwells Jeff.” And then, on the third day (I love it!), the Lord woke me up in the morning and said, “Take your guitar, go to Jeff’s room in the step-down unit, and worship with him.” I called to be sure it was OK with the nurses. They said yes. I unpacked my guitar, began to play “Invitacion Fountain,” and Jesus entered the room! Jeff’s arms went up, even though he was tethered to some machines, his face lit up and he knew he had been healed!

He never had a pain or a complication from all that damage. The fact that his heart was healed was confirmed 41 days later, when his regular cardiologist tested his heart’s efficiency. It was normal!

Jeff said, “Jesus healed me,” and the cardiologist exclaimed “It sure wasn’t us that healed you!” The cardiologist became a true believer!

Jesus Christ doesn’t just work through me. He will work through you, too, IF you have freely received. Beloved, listen closely now. You cannot give what you have not received.

I have seen too many “stay ins” who sit in church pews all of their lives, never going out, even though Christ has commanded them to go out. Neighbors and friends do not even know they are Christians except perhaps by watching them enter and exit a church. They do not mention His blessed name, do not speak, do not go.

The Word of God says they are like the man who was given a talent and buried it (Matthew 25:18ff). He was judged as a wicked, lazy slave by his Master, for what he was freely given, he did not give. His inaction made him useless to his Master. And he was sent to the outer darkness, where there was weeping and gnashing of teeth (agony).

Matthew 25:29 says it all — to everyone who has freely received from Jesus, more SHALL be given, and they will have an abundance. But for those who does not have the humility to ask the Lord for what they need in order to go out, or who receive and yet do not give, eternal life with Him will be taken from them.

If you have sat in a pew, not daring to go out, not feeling adequate to go out, I have a “GO” command from the Lord for you. GO TO HIM!

Tell Him you know you are not adequate (NONE of us are, until we ask Him for His authority and the infilling of His Holy Spirit). Tell Him that is why you have not obeyed Him. Confess it to Him, and ask Him to forgive you and that you want to receive what He freely gives. He will do it!

If you have not obeyed Him because you saw no benefit to yourself in going out, confess it to Him and ask Him to forgive you. Then tell Him you want to receive what He freely gives. He will do it!

TIME TO FLY!

[SW214] 01/01/2016 message notes by

Reverend/Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2016

“Time to Fly!”

Today I have a word of encouragement, release and confirmation for all who have waited for the Lord.

Isaiah 40:29  He gives strength to the weary,

And to him who lacks might He increases power.

30  Though youths grow weary and tired,

And vigorous young men stumble badly,

31  Yet those who wait for the Lord

Will gain new strength;

They will mount up with wings like eagles,

They will run and not get tired,

They will walk and not become weary.

This word will be confirmation to you:

You have been waiting, wrapping yourself around the Lord.

You have been careful not to run ahead of Him.

But you have become comfortable waiting.

Now the Lord says, “Fly! Sprout wings like the eagle!”

You are no longer young in Him.

He has matured you.

He has brought you through many things,

He has uses them to teach you His ways.

He has tested you,

And you have passed the test!

It has been a long road that has wearied you at times,

But you are reaching your destination.

He is changing your strength to His strength!

He is increasing His miracle-working power in you!

You will run and not get tired,

You will walk and not become weary!

All who are still young in the Lord

Have stepped out before He said, “Go!”

They have worked in their own strength

And have become weary and tired,

And they have “utterly fallen” (KJV).

But you have waited.

Time to fly! Sprout wings like the eagle.

Do you see? He has given wings to you.

Fly now! It is time.

It is the inauguration of your new season. He will give you further confirmation. But know and believe this — you will go forth in His strength!

I received four confirmations that Jeff and I are to go forth with a healing ministry: one from a leader, at my ordination in the Church of God in Christ; one from a fellow disciple of Jesus Christ; and one from a prophet. And upon hearing that one, Jeff rejoiced. That was my fourth confirmation.

Jesus Christ miraculously healed me of the incurable disease MS in 2001, in the middle of the night. Jesus Christ miraculously healed Jeff of damage from a massive heart attack in 2011, on the third day, in the hospital.

The Lord has used us to heal many, one-on-one, even to raise a woman from a coma! He has taught us much, along the way — things we needed to know before going forth. But now it is time for us to go forth with the healing anointing the Lord has given us, into a ministry of healing in every way.

Your time has come, too! You have had confirmation; this is just one more. It’s time to fly!

Now praise Him with me!  Psalm 103:1-5

O Lord, I bless You! Jeff and I do not forget how You have treated us and rewarded us!

You pardoned all our sins, and you healed us! Now Your Spirit is upon us, to heal others.

Lord, You redeemed our lives from the pit — from captivity, from great darkness, from hell itself!

You have placed your lovingkindness and compassion on our heads like a crown. You have filled our hearts!

You have satisfied our years with the goodness of You!

We are not young in years, but You have renewed our youth like the eagle!

Now we freely give what we have freely received in this new season!

For you who are young in the Lord, who have utterly fallen because you did not wait for the Lord, but tried to minister in your own strength —

The Lord knows you are tired and weary.

Come humbly to Him.

Ask Him to forgive you.

Wrap yourselves around Him,

And He will give you His strength.

He will do it!

Return to Him,

And you will receive from His hand all that you need.

ENLARGED!

[SW158] 10/24/2014 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2014
“Enlarged!”

Oh, God wants to enlarge us, so our hearts are made big enough to contain Him!

Enlarged (7337) — broadened, widened, made into a wide space!

Text: Isaiah 54:1-3

The Lord spoke this to Israel, while they were in captivity, unable to bear, desolate.
And He told them to shout for joy!!! Why? Because He was going to restore them.

He said, “Enlarge!” Make room for Me! Widen your view of Me! Enlarge your understanding of what I can do in the midst of your desolation and barrenness.

His promise? Your desolation will end!

More promises:

Verse 11-12 You are now afflicted and storm-tossed, you are not comforted (returned to Me). But I will garnish you with precious jewels, as a bride is adorned for her Bridegroom!

Verse 13 You will have sons, and they will be taught by Me, and they will have great shalom, peace, wellness, health, spiritual prosperity!

Verse 14-15 I will establish you in My righteousness, and you will no longer be oppressed by fear and terror. No one will assail you — if they try, they will fall.

Verse 16 The Lord created Nebuchadnezzar as His servant to punish Israel for her waywardness. He created all human beings, and uses some for such purposes, to cause ruin that His people would cry out and return to Him.

Verse 17 But once you have returned, no weapon formed against you will prosper, and you will condemn all who accuse you! It is your heritage, your inheritance, when you become a servant of the Lord — one who obeys out of love.

This is reason to shout for joy! God says, prepare yourself, and I will enlarge your heart so I may dwell in you, just as My Son declared in John 14:23!

Enlargement! David, a man after God’s own heart, declared it:

Psalm 119:32  I shall run the way of Your commandments,
    For You will enlarge my heart.

Psalm 119:45  And I will walk at liberty (literally, in a wide space),
    For I  seek Your precepts.

Psalms 118:5    From my distress I called upon  the LORD;
     The LORD answered me and  set me in a large place.

Psalms 18:19  He brought me forth also into a  broad place;
    He rescued me, because  He delighted in me.

He delights in those whose hearts are His! He delights in those who run in the way of His commandments because He has enlarged their hearts so they can contain Him! He rescues them and sets them in broad places!

Do you see the common thread? It is a promise for those who return.

Isaiah 55:6-7

Seek (1875) — enter into relationship with — God!

It is a limited time offer — it is while He is found, while He is near.

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts!

Let him turn to the Lord — He will have mercy on him, and FREELY pardon him!

You may say, “Well, that is the Old Testament. It doesn’t apply to the church.” But listen to what Paul spoke to the church at Corinth, for some of them were acting wickedly and unrighteously:

2Corinthians 6:17  “ Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord.
    “AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN;
    And I will welcome you.
18      “ And I will be a father to you,
    And you shall be  sons and daughters to Me,”
    Says the Lord Almighty.

It is a quote from Isaiah 52:11. The condition for the promises of God is to separate yourself from wickedness and unrighteousness, in yourself and in the world.

Turn, and all of His promises in Isaiah 54 that I have spoken of will be yours!

Do what is required by God — turn —  and the promise will be fulfilled in you, and you will be filled full of God!

TRAINING WHEELS

Jeff and I have entered into a new season of our walk with our Lord Jesus Christ. I will blog as I go, because the Lord asked me to do it. Maybe it will be a blessing to you.

Remember when you were a kid and just graduating from tricycle to bicycle?

My mom and dad bought me my first bike, complete with training wheels to help me keep my balance. As soon as I was comfortable, it was time to take off my training wheels. Yikes!

In my mind’s eye, I see the glorious day of graduation, just like it was yesterday: I was in the driveway with Dad, making turns and tipping over. I skinned my knees more than once.

I remember how when I fell, he hugged me, picked me up, put me back in the bicycle seat, and said, “Don’t give up! You can do it!” Suddenly, I got my sense of balance, and off I went!

I needed some bandaids on my knees that night, lovingly applied by Mom. But I was off and running! Wooo-hoo!

Its kind of like that for me right now. For the first time ever, I’m in a Pentecostal church (the Church of God in Christ), learning how to get my balance with the spiritual gifts God gave me 13 years ago this November.

I have my training wheels on right now. My previous church did not move in a Pentecostal way, so I didn’t get much practice there.

But now I have an anointed, godly pastor that’s watching me like my Dad did, with great love. I’m in a church that preaches holiness of heart as a work only God can do, in our hearts. I’m in a church that works in the gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12-14). And the whole church picks me up and hugs me and encourages me to continue, if I lose my balance a bit.

It will be no time at all before the Holy Spirit makes me able to free-wheel it. Jesus Christ said He’d make me able to do what He did, and greater (John 14:12), and I know He is faithful and will do it. The result? I’ll be able to more effectively give what I have received (Matthew 10:8).

All of the preachers I’ve met and heard so far in the Church of God in Christ are heavily anointed, speaking in and moving in the power and gifts and love of the Holy Spirit. If I were to compare myself with these anointed men and women, I would be intimidated and feel entirely out of my league. I’m in the minors, and they are in the majors!

But when those thoughts creep in, I take them captive to the obedience of Christ. We each have a unique anointing, and I have learned that we are all growing — even these giants in the faith.

So I’m respectfully and reverently — but freely —  tooling around the Church of God in Christ. And my arms are open wide to hug and encourage my brothers and sisters as we all learn, in the Lord! Glory to God!

 

LEAPING BELIEVERS!

What is the purpose of being a leaping believer? That everyone may see our joyous celebration of the freedom only Jesus Christ can give!

[SW150] 08/15/2014 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2014
“Leaping Believers!”

Text: Psalm 30, Acts 3:1-10

Psalm 30

Verse 1 – I will extol You, O, Lord, raising Your name high, like a banner! You have drawn me up out of the water, lifted me up, like a bucket is lifted up from a well. You pulled me up out of the Enemy’s plans and schemes!

Verse 2 – O Lord, MY GOD, You are MY God, and I am Yours! I cried to You, and You healed me!

Verse 3 – I was ready for Sheol, the place of the unrighteous dead! You kept me alive! You keep me, so I don’t go down into that pit!

Verse 4 – A characteristic of those who are His, and obey Him, and are therefore godly: They sing! They give thanks!

Verse 5 – You anger was for a very short space of time, when I did not commune with You because of my sin. I broke the holy intimacy You deserved.
[For myself, I had no relationship with you, no holy intimacy with you at all; I willfully rebelled against you.]

And You had every right to be angry, because You created me for that purpose.

But I have returned to You! Your anger is gone, and Your favor is forever!

I wept during the time I was away from You [for myself, during the time I did not know you]. It was like a dark night, but morning came, Your light shone upon me once again, and now, I cannot help but SHOUT with joy!

Verse 6 – Now I declare I will not be moved, because I have returned to You. Lord, You have made me secure! I will never be moved!

Verse 7 – Your favor, Lord, makes my mountain stand strong. I could not do it in my own strength. I was afflicted and weak.

But through my weakness, Your power dwells in me (2 Corinthians 12:9). If I said I was strong in my own strength, You would not make Your power dwell in me.

When I had made You angry by sinning and thus breaking my relationship with You, I was dismayed, because You did not let me see You.

Verse 8 & 9 – I called to You, I cried out to You, I made supplication to You, asking for mercy, asking for favor . . .

I cried, “How can I praise You and declare Your faithfulness if I am dead?”

Verse 10 – In my distress, I said, “Hear, O Lord! Heed my cry! Be gracious to me! Help me!”

Verse 11 – And You turned my mourning into DANCING!
I no longer wear mourning clothing, because You have clothed me with gladness! (Isaiah 61 — the oil of gladness, a type or symbol of the Holy Spirit!)

Verse 12 – Why have You rescued me?

So that I would sing Your praise from the depths of my being, and not be SILENT. And O Lord, MY GOD, I will give thanks to You forever!
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Beloved, that was King David, in the Old Testament. A dusty old book? I don’t think so! Look what the Spirit of God did through Peter and John:

Acts 3

Verse 2 – Lame from birth, the man had never walked, just like everyone who doesn’t yet know Jesus Christ. We’ve never walked with the Lord. We are lame from birth.

And this man lame from birth was more than 40 (Acts 5:22)! I myself was 45! Beloved, it’s never too late!

We came to the Beautiful Gate, not even asking for healing, but crying for help, begging for natural provision, from anyone who would hear. We were spiritually impoverished and didn’t even know it.

Verse 3 – When we first saw Your servants, we begged them for natural provision, just like the others who passed by. We did not look up. We did not know Jesus Christ’s provision which He made on the cross.

Verse 4 – But they commanded us to look at them.

Verse 5 –  We looked at them.

Verse 6 – They said they were not rich in natural wealth, but in the name of Jesus Christ, walk!

Verse 7 – They helped us to arise, and immediately, our atrophied feet and ankles were made strong! Our atrophied spirits were made alive and whole, as they were originally meant to be!

Verse 8 – We didn’t just stand — WE LEAPED UP! The power of God coursed through us, because Your servants were filled with Your Holy Spirit!

We stood for the first time in our lives. WE LEAPED UP, physically and spiritually, and entered into life in Jesus Christ!

And for the very first time ever, we entered the presence of God, and we could not help but continue to LEAP and walk and PRAISE GOD!

Verse 9 – Everyone saw us walking and praising!

THIS IS THE PURPOSE OF OUR LEAPING AND WALKING AND PRAISING GOD: THAT EVERYONE SEE THE JOYOUS CELEBRATION OF FREEDOM THAT ONLY JESUS CHRIST CAN GIVE!

Verse 10 – And they knew we were the lame ones who used to beg for natural provision, who had never walked with Jesus! And everyone was filled with wonder and amazement. It is for Your glory, Lord!

And we continue to LEAP and walk and PRAISE GOD!

O Lord, You have turned our mourning into DANCING, loosed our garments of mourning and clothed us with GLADNESS!

And we cannot help but SING and PRAISE YOU and we cannot be SILENT! We give thanks to our Lord FOREVER!

To the church:

Do you leap? Do you shout? Do you sing? Do you praise? Do you give thanks publicly? Are you unable to keep silent?

This is the testimony of the true church of Jesus Christ.

If you do not leap, if you are silent, if you are mourning, if you are begging for natural provision, O Christian, you must humble yourself and cry out and ask the Lord God to help you!

You must establish communion with Him. You must have holy intimacy with Him. You must confess the sin that separates you from Him.

He is angry with you because He has provided Jesus Christ to die for your sin from you and be raised from the dead on the third day to send the Holy Spirit to set you free from slavery to sin!

He will draw you up out of the sin you’re drowning in, lifting you up like a bucket is lifted up from a well. He will pull you up out of the Enemy’s plans and schemes!

He will be your God, and you will be His child!

When you cry to Him, He will heal you!

He will immediately make you able walk with Him. He will also heal you physically, as he did the man at the Beautiful Gate.

You will come into His presence, LEAPING and walking and praising God, just as we do.

Do not judge leaping, dancing, shouting, singing, praising believers, calling us fanatics! Let Jesus Christ show you why we leap, so you may leap, too! ASK HIM TO MAKE YOU A LEAPER, SO EVERYONE CAN SEE YOUR JOYOUS CELEBRATION OF FREEDOM THAT ONLY JESUS CHRIST CAN GIVE!