HE SAID IT, HE MEANT IT, Do We Receive It?


John 14:1-6 – “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.  2 “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.  3 “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.  4 “And you know the way where I am going.”  5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”  NASU


Jesus had just informed His disciples of His impending crucifixion.  They had incredible difficulty with that reality for it did not fit their natural understanding of what He was doing or they though He came to do.  They also developed a sense of loneliness at the thought that He would leave them to face the hostile world alone.  Here in this passage, He gives them and us a powerful word, which if we receive will break every shackle of doubt and fear from our lives.  We will have a peace and confidence in the midst of difficulty like we have never experienced previously.

He said, DON’T WORRY or FRET.  I paraphrased that a bit but the idea is the same.  He told them about a place they had never been and provided a word of Hope to break the chains of doubt.  His instructions were rooted in Faith, which must be our beginning point in everything Spiritual for without faith it is impossible to please God.  Without faith, it is impossible to know God or trust God.  The comfort of Jesus for them and us, was “There is Room for you in heaven.”  God’s Heaven is not a small place with limited space but vast and the promise of Jesus was that He was going there to prepare a place for us.  There is a mansion, room, chamber or whatever it is with our name on it.  He has already paid the building costs and paid the rent for eternity for us.  All we have to do is complete the journey walking in obedience to Him.  He gave an additional promise of comfort saying, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself.”  He is Coming Back for us!  Hallelujah! 

When Thomas questioned, Jesus gave the clear pathway to that Promise.  He said, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”  Jesus is the Door.  Jesus is the Hope of Salvation.  Jesus is our Substitute.  Jesus paid the debt for our sin and opened the door to salvation for all who will call upon His name.  The only question is, “Do we believe it?”  If we do, then let’s call upon His name in repentance and receive His mercy.  If we do, then let’s allow the courage and comfort that promise provides to embolden us so that we dare to dream beyond our abilities and dare to venture into uncharted waters, getting out of the boat and walking on the water.

God, bless you richly is my prayer and desire!



Psalm 103:1-5 – “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name.  2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; 3 Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; 4 Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; 5 Who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.”  NASU


             Some time back I went to the doctor for a regular check-up and we identified a condition that was troubling but not life threatening.  The doctor wrote me a prescription and said, “Take these three times a day and call me in a week.”  This is a biblical prescription for life and while I never offer formulas I do believe that praying this aloud three times a day would be beneficial and might just be miraculous.  It certainly won’t hurt you and it is a short passage that you can commit to memory.  Let’s walk through it from start to finish.

  • BLESS THE LORD with You Entire Being, Focusing on Him, and His Holiness.

This is a command to the inner man, the mind, will, and emotions to begin the act of Blessing or Praising God.  The right place to begin is God, His Name, and His Holiness just as it is in the prayer of Matthew 6.  In Matthew 6 Jesus responded to the disciples request to ‘Teach us to pray’ giving them a pattern in which He began, “Our Father Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name.”  We are told that we enter the Gates of God with Thanksgiving and His Courts with Praise.  Praise conditions the heart to receive the directive as well as the mercies of God.  Praise is a prelude to Worship and when we begin praising God we should never get in a hurry.  It is not rush to the petition portion but drinking in His Presence, Person, and Power.  Let His Love permeate your being.

  • BLESS THE LORD, forgetting none of His benefits.

The Psalmist then enumerates some of those benefits.  Taking them one at a time will ignite a fire inside your being that will likely result in uplifted hands, tears of joy, and a deep sense of gratitude.

  • He Pardons ALL your iniquities.   Not some but ALL. This is not a little mercy it is total.
  • He Heals ALL your diseases.  Few expect this to be a literal reality but what did He say?
  • He Redeems Your Life from the Pit.  We all needed and need redemption.  No more Pit.
  • He Crowns You with Lovingkindness and Compassion.  God is not mad at you and His mercy endures forever.
  • He Satisfies Your Years with Good Things.  God has a plan for you and it is for good not evil and for hope, not sorrow.

All this produces an incredible condition in our lives.  Our Youth or Strength is renewed like the molting eagle.  We get a new lease on life.  We are able to mount up with fresh wings and soar above the turmoil below.  We are able to climb to the pinnacle of life’s mountain refreshed in the Lord.  We are able to enjoy God’s Pardon, Heath, Deliverance, Redemption, His Love, and Mercy in a state of continual renewal.  THAT IS ENOUGH TO SHOUT ABOUT!

May the Lord Bless you as you embark on today’s leg of life’s journey in Jesus!




Ephesians 4:9-16 – “(Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.) 11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as  evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 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. 14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”  NASU


Let’s look at vv.11-16 specifically and I believe we can glean some powerful and beneficial truths that will enhance our ability to Fight this Fight of Faith and Pull Down Strongholds in our lives and the world.

  • HE (Jesus) HIMSELF GAVE – v.11.

These Gifts are from Jesus Himself not a concoction by man.  The gifts are for the Church and we must never forget that it is His Church.  He is the Master Builder, the Architect and assuredly knows what His Church needs.  The nature of the Gifts identifies both order and function.  The Apostle is a functional gift that carries governmental authority and order.  The Prophet is a functional gift that is designed to be a voice, a guide and somewhat of a rudder for the ship of the church to keep it heading in the right direction.  The Evangelist is a functional gift that is designed to gather the harvest.  The Pastor is a functional gift that involves shepherding or caring for the sheep in a very intimate manner.  The Pastor is to be a guard over the flock of God and is incredibly people oriented.  The Teacher is a functional gift that brings grounding as it breaks truth up into bite size portions capable of being consumed and assimilated into life.

Much of the Church of Today has discarded at least two of these gifts and relegated them to history.  There will never be another 12 apostles of Jesus but the ministry, gift, and office of the apostle are still relevant and needed today.  We have lost both the voice and office of the Prophet in much of today’s church and thus lost a significant and important function and ministry.

  • THE ‘FOR’s” (Reason) FOR THE GIFTS – v. 12.

I see this as two-fold.  First, it is for the ‘equipping’ of the saints.  What are they or we being equipped for?  “The Work of Ministry.”  I had someone argue that most of the church is made up of sheep and sheep have no ministry they receive ministry.  In the natural the sheep are fed, watered, and cared for, they don’t do anything.  What a sad picture of the Church and how hopeless it is for the world if that is the true picture.  Then the second part is “For the Edifying of the Body of Christ.”  To edify means to ‘build up, place in order, or put in proper position.’  So, the Gifts have as their major purpose the “equipping” and “aligning” of God’s family into His Divine Order and enabling them to go to war and manifest Jesus to the world.  Some argue we do not need that because we have the completed Bible.  Is that correct?  Let’s continue.

  • THE ‘TILL’ (Duration) OF THE GIFTS – v.13.

TILL we all come into the unity of the faith.  Has that happened?  TILL we all come to the knowledge of the Son of God.  Has that happened?  TILL all come to Perfect Man Status (Spiritually Complete).  Has that happened?  TILL all come to the fullness of Christ.  Has that happened?  NO?  Then, the Gifts are still needed today.

  • THE ‘THAT’ (Results of the Gifts) – v. 14.

THAT we should no longer be children tossed about spiritually and doctrinally.  THAT we should be grown up in Him.  The Gifts help to bring stability, body ministry, maturity, knowledge, faith, unity, growth, and power to the Church.  Instead of being a fragmented part of the Body we can become an organized unified and powerful Army for God.


The Entire Body functions in ministry, united, allowing us to become spiritually mature and manifest Jesus to the World dynamically and powerfully.  This requires recognition of the Ascension Gifts and Ministries as well as a willingness to come into relationship with them and be led of God through them.  It means that we allow God to become our source and let the Holy Spirit be our administrator.  The True Church of Jesus Christ operates through His Gifts, not man’s job descriptions or traditional ideologies.  It is His Church and we are members together with one another.

God, bless you richly is my prayer and desire!



Ephesians 4:4-8 – “There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore it says, “WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES, AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN.”  NASU

             We will get to verses 9-16 momentarily but this lays the foundation for our consideration of the “Gifts” He gave to men.  I believe it is obvious from a study of God’s Word that the Plan of God was and is for His followers to ‘have’ spiritual gifts and to ‘operate’ in them in today’s world both inside and outside the four walls of the church meeting place.  The Plan has not changed although the participants change from generation to generation.  This Plan involves and includes the Church and by that, I mean the “Ecclesia” the Body of Called out Ones.  I mean the Body of Christ which embodies All Believers who have received Jesus. It is not Jewish nor is it Gentile it is Christ’s Body.  The Church began with Jews by natural birth and by a sovereign and supernatural act of the Holy Spirit became Universal.

The Early Church had and recognized all the “Ascension Gifts” of Jesus.  They recognized that there was ONE BODY, not multiplied thousands of small body parts scattered over the face of the globe.  Christ Jesus was the recognized head, not some human potentate or overseer, and from His headship, He gave many and varied gifts and ministries to the Church to help fulfill its mission and mission and to develop into MATURE SPIRITUAL PERSONS.

In John 17, Jesus prayed for the UNITY of the Body and here in Ephesians 4:4-6, Paul brings that same thought to the forefront of our minds.  He unequivocally affirms that there is ONE BODY.  That is a needed reminder in our divided world of Christendom where, too often, we allow ourselves to be fragmented and splinter into groups, sects, cliques, or camps.  We tend to forget that no group, sect, clique, or camp has a corner on truth and holds ALL TRUTH.  We tend to forget that we see through a darkened glass and see “in part” thus needing the other parts to complete our view and understanding.  The analogy of the Body in 1 Corinthians 12 is powerful and appropriate and something we should regularly remind ourselves of.  Each part of the Body is important, has function and purpose.

In the Church or Religious World, we seem to have gravitated toward and evolved into a structure or mode of operation the Holy Spirit has little direct control.  We have man-made rules, doctrines, by-laws, and job descriptions that are arbitrary rules rather than tools or vehicles to help us move into the fullness of God’s Purposes.  Too many have relegated to history, the ministries, gifts, and functions that Jesus gave, and have moved into democratic or papal systems that have no true foundation in scripture and often severely hinder the work of the Holy Spirit in today’s church and the world.

I believe that if we, with ‘honest and open heart’ really read and study the Book of Acts we will realize that The Church of Acts and the Church of today can only be described as remotely resembling each other.  We are not the same in structure, mode of operation, manifestation, ministry, or government to name a few differences.  This cannot be explained by arguing that they lived nearer the time of Christ’s physical presence on earth or to get the church established.  I must ask, “Does the Power of Christ grow weaker the farther we get (in time) from when He walked this earth?”  NO?  Then the lapse or passage of time cannot be the reason we do not have what they had and do not operate as they operated.  What is preventing us from being THAT CHURCH today?

I find it worthy of note that the apostle Paul was concerned enough that he felt compelled by the Holy Spirit to include a most interesting statement in v.7 which follows the discussion of unity and oneness in the preceding verses.  God has ‘graced’ us with gifts and ‘graced’ us for unity.  GRACE is not simply ‘unmerited favor’ it is ‘divine enablement.’  Through God’s Grace we receive the Gifts and through His Divine Enablement, we function in them for the Glory of God.

That leads us to the Ascension Gifts of our Lord Jesus, that He gave to the Church and is still giving to the Church today because His Purpose and Mission has not changed.  According to the Bible, the Church is to operate according to GIFTS, not by-laws or the man-made job descriptions of traditional views.  In v.10 we notice that Jesus ascended to heaven for a specific purpose, “That He might fill (complete) all things.”  A part of this is found in v.11, where we find that He gave (He is the same yesterday, today, and forever) to the Church certain Gifts.  The word GAVE means gave, is giving, and will continue to give.  The remaining verses validate this as a continuing happening.  He gave, is giving, and will continue to give GIFTS to His Church for Purpose.

That lays the foundation for a further discussion on the Gifts He Gave and Is Giving to the church.  We will examine them more closely in the next devotional.  May the Lord richly bless you as you embark on His purposes this day!



John 6:30-35 – “So they said to Him, ” What then do You do for a sign, so that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform? 31 ” Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘HE GAVE THEM BREAD OUT OF HEAVEN TO EAT.'” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven.  33 “For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.”  34 Then they said to Him, “Lord, always give us this bread.” 35 Jesus said to them, ” I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.”  NASU

Our Lord had just performed the miracle of the Loaves and Fishes feeding the multitude.  The formula, if you need one is 5+2 = 5,000.  He took 5 loaves and 2 fish and feed 5,000 people.  They had followed Him from Capernaum to seem more miracles and signs.  I am convinced that, at this point, they were curiosity seekers rather than true believers.  They were following for the loaves and fished not because the recognized Him as the Son of God.  I contend that based on v.30 where they asked, what sign He would show them that they might believe and v.31 where they referenced the manna in the wilderness.  Jesus’ response is worthy of note in v.33.  He informed them that Moses did not give them bread, it was from God and that the Father gives the True Bread from heaven which gives life.  That elicited a powerful response from the crowd in v.34, “Lord, give us this bread.”  Jesus connected the dots in v.35, “I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes in me shall never thirst.”  JESUS is the True Bread of Life.

The fact that Jesus declared Himself to be the Bread of Life probably does not mean as much to us in America as it would to those of that day and many of the Middle East and the Far East.  BREAD is the principal food of 75% of the people of the world as they live either entirely upon bread or that which is made from wheat or barley flour.  It is the chief food of the East.  In the Bible, the expression, “Eating Bread” is like us saying, “Eating a Meal.”  BREAD to them has a certain sacredness.  Many in the region of Palestine are brought up to believe that bread has mystic and sacred powers.  In some regions bread is so revered they will not rise to salute a guest if they are in the midst of breaking bread together, they wait until they are finished eating.  The attitude of many of those people toward bread is religious or spiritual.  Everything from the sowing of the seed to the baking of the loaves is done in the name of God.  The Prayer of Matthew 6 conveys a powerful image to them in the words, “Give us this day our daily bread.”  It was to these people that Jesus first said, “I am the Bread of Life.” Another interesting note is that the Bread was always broken but never cut.   These people viewed bread as a principal source of life and without bread, they could not expect to live long.

I would like to focus on three things about this Bread from Heaven and hope to inspire and encourage your heart.

  1. Jesus is the Bread of God – v.33. He meets the need or demand of God on our behalf as our substitute.
  2. Jesus is the Living Bread – v.33. He meets the need of the world dead in sin as He is the Life-Giving
  3. Jesus is the Bread of Life – v.35. He meets and sustains the needs of His people our daily bread or life.

Jesus GAVE Himself as a sacrifice for us.  Jesus GAVE His Love to sustain us.  Jesus GAVE His life to redeem us.  He is our substitute.  As we have received we are to GIVE.  Our giving is to be free without coercion.  Our giving is to be with compassion, generous, and a regular occurrence.  The Bread of Communion represents Christ’s broken body our substitute.  In and through Him we live and move and have our being.

           God, bless you richly as you enjoy this day in Him!



Joshua 1:1-9

             Back to our discussion of Canaan and the Here or Hereafter and ask that you join me in walking through some considerations regarding the typology used to determine what each of the factors represents in our Christian walk.  I believe we can all agree that Egypt represents SIN and Passover represents the Covering of the Blood of Jesus and Salvation.  But what about the Wilderness, Jordan, and Canaan?  In my mind, this is where we face a problem in our standard typology.  Again, you may find this does not resonate with you but hear me out, please.  My objective is to bring us to a place of Total Victory here on this earth so that we can be even more powerful warriors for God.

What about Canaan?  Let’s compare it to Heaven.  Canaan has walled cities, giants, hostile inhabitants and much more.  Does that sound like heaven?  If you said yes, I must ask, “Do you believe that in order for you and me to get to heaven we are going to have to dispossess the devil in that Bright City to enter in?  Are you telling me that when I die I have to then engage in war to evict hostile squatters in heaven to occupy that eternal reward?”  Canaan, as seen in Scripture, is a Place of Warfare.  It must be possessed by dispossession and it must be occupied through warfare to keep the enemies out.  IS THAT A PICTURE OF HEAVEN?

Let’s keep moving forward in this comparison.  Canaan is truly a land of milk and honey or provision and prosperity.  It is a Place of Victory where the Kingdom Rule of God is experienced and enjoyed BUT since it has ‘non-heaven elements’ it must be here, right?  I contend that it represents “The Place of the Manifest Presence and Victory of God, HERE and NOW!  It is a place to be attained by the believer walking in the fullness of Christ on this earth.  It is the place of victory and authority the believer can live in as we do the works of Jesus and the greater works He declared we would do.  I believe that Canaan is truly “Life behind the Veil” and is attainable and to be enjoyed and experienced BEFORE heaven.  We have enemies that we must evict but we encounter them and defeat them through the Full Armor of God, the Blood of the Lamb, and the Word of our Testimony.  We have been equipped, have the proper weapons, and have the Divine Promise of Victory!  Thus, I believe that the picture of Israel, in the natural, is the picture of where God wants us to be spiritually.  He wants us to experience life in the ‘manifest presence’ of God.  He wants us to live out the Lord’s Prayer where He Reigns Fully, we Possess the Land, the enemies are evicted and God is exalted.  That excites me!

But, how do we get there?  We need information so that we are not ignorant of the schemes of the devil and are fully persuaded of the Promises of God.  We need Faith.  We need Divine Order in our lives and local congregations where we are doing what God says when God says it and the way God says it.  First, there is Passover where we experience the New Birth and become members of the Family of God. Then, we experience the Wilderness where we are trained and have the roots of Egypt removed from our lives.  Next, we Cross Jordan.  A side note:  Too many are worried about their gift, their call, or their ministry.  God first removes Egypt from us THEN we Cross Jordan.  You don’t have to reform, just grow where you are planted in His place of planting and His timing.  If He has called us, He will provide and in His timing, you will reach your Jordan and enter your Canaan (Place of Promise and Victory).

Paul, identified as the apostle to the Gentiles, was first a Jewish teacher and even after he was converted it was years before he was released into his full ministry.  Abraham’s impatience produced Ishmael and Moses’s impatience killed an Egyptian and cost 40 years in the desert as a fugitive.  You are CALLED and I pray that God will instill in your heart the vision of your Canaan.  I pray that it will burn hot within your heart and that you never become religious as the Pharisees and feel you must perform but that you will walk in the quiet confidence that you only DO what He says DO!  God always makes the man then the ministry.  We each have a Call, a Promise, and if we will be faithful we will Possess the Land.  There is a Place of Powerful Victory to be enjoyed and experienced in this Life and one day we will enter that Eternal Promised Land and there will be no enemies to fight, no squatters to evict, and no weapons of war needed.

            God, bless you as you move from faith to faith and victory to victory in Jesus!



Joshua 1:1-9

Back to the question of yesterday and that of my title, Can We?  Let me ask you to walk through a few pictures in Scripture as we negotiate our way through this question. I will offer a Scriptural Picture and Truth and then ask the question, “Here or Heaven?”

John 14:12 – – The Works of Jesus and Greater Works.  Here or Heaven?

Isaiah 61 – – This is clearly incredibly anointed minister, authority, and power.  Here or Heaven?

Mark 16 – – This is addressed to Every Believer.  Here or Heaven?

2 Corinthians 10 – – Spiritual Warfare and Weapons.  Here or Heaven?

1 John 4:17 – “As He is, so are we…”  Here or Heaven?  (The passage says, IN THIS WORLD).

1 John 4:4 – – If we are IN Him, and overcome the enemy.   Here or heaven?

Those are only a few of the myriad of scripture passages that identify a tremendous truth the Church needs to grasp and walk in in today’s world.  Let me identify the Kingdom of God in very simplistic terms, “It is the Rule of God.”  Therefore, I believe that God’s Rule is present in our lives and in this world and as members of His Body we can expect to enjoy Victory now not just hope for Victory someday, someway in that eternal world of Heaven.  The question is, “Are we enjoying it now?”  How much and if not why not?

I believe there are several reasons people do not enjoy Total Victory now.  Among those is a lack of information, revelation, or knowledge.  Each of those can and will prevent a person from entering into that place of victory God desires and has designed.  A simple fact is that what people do not know they can have they will not have.  Another reason is unbelief or disbelief for the Bible tells us that ‘without faith, it is impossible to please God’ and that ‘with faith, all things are possible to those who believe.’  Another that I won’t delve into very deeply here is we are out of Divine Order.  But, the most imposing question is, “Is this for us today?”  Can we expect the Promises of Jesus, the Covenant of Abraham, and the many Promises of the Bible to be fulfilled in us personally today?  I believe the answer is YES, but only if grasp the possibility that Canaan is a Type of Victorious Life Here not simply a Picture of Future Heaven.

Let’s go to the source for understanding and begin in Book of Joshua.  This Book gives a beautiful picture and understanding in this matter and makes it clear if we can receive it.  We must move beyond tradition and preconceived ideas but if we can move past that we will see a light of hope that will liberate and empower.  If we give only a casual reading of the Book of Joshua, using only the natural mind and reason we will miss the insight that can be mined from its pages.  This is a Story of Warfare, Possession, and Occupation.  Why is that important to our discussion?  It is a Picture or a Type and Shadow pointing to a Biblical Truth.  It points to something.  Israel is in bondage in Egypt and their bondage in Egypt is a type of what?  SIN.  God, through Moses, delivered them from bondage to take them into their inheritance – Canaan, the Place of Promise. 

I believe that is where we have often veered off course, through our hymnology.  Many of our hymns identify Canaan as Heaven.  That sounds good and there is truth in it but it is not the full picture and if we make it so we miss a powerful promise and truth.  If we follow that view it can and does place us in a place of limited victory and robs us of the fullness of God’s Promises in the Here and Now.

Let’s consider some types and shadows to help us in this consideration:  Egypt is a type of the world and sin.  Passover is a type of the Blood Sacrifice and Salvation.  So far, we are secure in our interpretation.  What about The Wilderness?  Most interpret it as a type of Life on Earth after Salvation and that would make Jordan natural death and Canaan, the Promised Land must naturally be a type of Heaven.  But, what if we are wrong in that interpretation?

Please forgive me but due to space and time I am going to pause here and next time we will review the typology and ask a few pertinent questions and come to the conclusion of the whole matter and you can agree, disagree, partially agree, or totally disagree.  That will be a decision you have to make in your heart.  My purpose is not controversy but victory.

God, bless you richly on this wonderful day in Jesus!