Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Life Shape Prayer & Discipleship Module 2 – New Creation Realities Block 9 – Pro-Vision


Wherever God points, He always provides.

In the Old Testament God made Himself known to mankind in various ways. As God revealed Himself, people began to know Him and soon learned God’s nature and grew to depend on certain attributes of His character. Often either God or the person with whom God was interacting added a second name to the name of God to describe Him.

For example, when the Angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, Gideon was afraid he would die. The Lord said to Gideon, “Peace be to you … you shall not die.” As a result of that encounter Gideon built an altar to God and named the altar, Jehovah-Shalom, which means, The Lord is our Peace.

There are several occurrences like this in the Bible. Some of the more recognized names of God which reveal certain facets of His nature include:
·        Jehovah-Rapha          The Lord our Healer             Exodus 15:26
·        Jehovah-Nissi             The Lord our Banner/Victory Exodus 17:15
·        Jehovah-Tsidqenuw    The Lord our Righteousness  Jeremiah 23:6
·        Jehovan-Raah            The Lord is my Shepherd      Psalms 23:1
·        Jehovah-Shalom         The Lord is our Peace           Judges 6:24

Perhaps one of the most used compound names of God comes from Genesis 22. In this account God spoke to Abraham to walk northwards to a place God would show him and there sacrifice his son Isaac. Abraham obeyed and after three days arrived at the foot of Mount Moriah, where now sits Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. The place is important …

Abraham took the wood off of the donkey and put it on Isaac’s shoulders and they began to ascend Mount Moriah together. Isaac asked his father, “where is the sacrificial lamb?” Abraham replied, “God will supply.” Satisfied with the answer they both continued up the hill where Abraham prepared the altar and laid the wood in place.

Next Abraham began to bind Isaac for the sacrifice. It is important to note a few key things:
·        This is the same mount upon which Jesus would later be crucified
·        Jesus also carried the wood of His cross on this same hill
·        Also, Isaac was about 33 to 35 years old at this time, the approximate age of Jesus at the time of His crucifixion
·        Both of these sons trusted their fathers and were obedient to them

Just as Abraham lifted the knife to sacrifice Isaac the Lord spoke out of heaven and stopped him and blessed him for his willingness to obey. There below, just a little ways down the hill, a ram was caught by his horns in a thicket. Abraham retrieved the ram and made the sacrifice. Afterwards Abraham called the name of that place, “Jehovah-Jireh”, which means “The Lord will provide”. (Genesis 22:14) – Remember, the place is important …

The literal translation of Jehovah Jireh is: “In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.” What shall be seen? Provision … When we are where God wants us to be we shall see what He has provided for us. If Abraham would have stopped one day short, there would have been no provision in that place.

Provision is waiting on us to get where God is taking us. Provision is “Pro-Vision” = for the vision. Provision from God is given to accomplish the vision of God. Provision from God is always waiting in a place with purpose.

God supplies what we need to accomplish His will. It may not always be what we want or what we imagine we should have had but it will always be enough to do what He wants done. Our challenge is to accept each blessing from heaven, thank Him for it and then be good stewards over whatever we are given. The Lord will supply all of our needs … (Php 4:19)

It’s like the manna which came from heaven to feed the Children of Israel everyday for over 40 years as they journey in the Arabian wilderness. It was not always what their flesh desired but it was what God knew was best for them under the circumstances they faced. The Bible says that their feet never swelled and neither was there a sick or feeble one among them (Nehemiah 9:21 & Psalms 105:37) … it was God’s provision from heaven! Where God points, He provides. And …

No one is richer than a child of God. Don’t envy others or be covetous.

1 Timothy 6:8  And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.

1 Timothy 6:6 “Now godliness with contentment is great gain.”

Key Scripture: Luke 12:15  Jesus said to them, "Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses."

Our life is so much more than our bank account or our house can measure.

When it comes to provision, it is good to remember that God has a work ethic. One of the first things God teaches us about Himself is that His will and His world demands work. God worked six days and rested on the seventh. He took one day off; He did not take the rest of eternity off. God requires we work and provision is most often the results of His blessings on our labor. However, if we will not work it can be difficult for God to bless us. 
2 Thessalonians 3:10 says, If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.

1 Timothy 5:8  If anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Even God’s provision almost always comes from heaven through someone’s labor. God will bless the work of your hands to provide increase. He supplies both bread to eat and seed to sow. There is a purpose for both …

What we do with what we have reveals who we are and what we believe.

Important Points:
1.   A sound biblical definition of provision is the resources God gives us to accomplish the work to which He has called us.
2.   God works with us and through us to provide for us and others.
3.   Be thankful and content with a modest life.

4.   No one is richer than a child of God.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Life Shape Prayer and Discipleship Module 2 – New Creation Realities Block 8 – Power


In the northeastern part of Israel, right along the border of Syria, lies the largest fresh water lake in the Holy Land. This lake sits in a valley that is 650 to 700 feet below sea level and is fed by the Jordan River. The lake is named, Lake Gennesaret and is also referred to in the scriptures as the Sea of Galilee. Many of the signs, wonders and miracles, as well as the teachings of Jesus recorded in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, took place along the northern shore of this lake.

Two of my favorite Bible stories occurred in the very same little town next to this lake. The town is named Capernaum and you can still visit there today. The first story comes from Mark 5. It seems Jesus had just arrived by boat on shore at Capernaum when He was met by a man whose daughter was sick. Upon request Jesus began a short walk accompanying this man on his way to the man’s house to heal his daughter. Before they made it to the man’s house a sick woman interrupted them when she pushed her way through the crowd surrounding Jesus and secretly reached out in faith and touched Jesus’ clothes.

Mark 5
28  For she said, "If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well."
29  Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction.
30  And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, "Who touched My clothes?"

God’s Word teaches truth. It intrigues me when I read this account and I’m further encouraged me to study and find what the Word teaches here. Jesus immediately knew power had gone out of Him … What is this power and how did Jesus know a withdrawal had been made?

The Greek word translated “Power” in this verse is the word: “Dunamis”. It commonly means: Strength; Might; Force; Ability – basically: the ability to make things happen. In this occasion, it was the power to heal and cure.

The second story which demonstrates the power of God is also found in the Gospel of Mark and it happened earlier in the very same little town of Capernaum. Everywhere Jesus went multitudes gathered to hear Him teach and receive their healing. One day Jesus entered the town of Capernaum and people heard that He was in a certain house in town, perhaps it was Peter’s house which was near the Synagogue. The Synagogue which sits there today was built in the year 396AD on the very same foundation of the Synagogue in Jesus’ day. It is a marvelous place to visit.

That day people began to gather in and around the house to see and hear Jesus. Four men had a friend who was paralyzed. These men wanted their friend to meet Jesus and be healed by Him. They carried their friend on a his bed to the house where Jesus was but with so many people had already gathered they could not even get close to a window and forget getting inside by any conventional means.

Undaunted by the obstacles presented, these four friends climbed up on the roof of that house, all the while carrying their friend. They tore off a large portion of the roof above Jesus and let their friend down on his bed through the hole in the roof and lowered him right in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw the faith of these four men and the lengths they would go to in order to see their friend meet Him, Jesus said:

Mark 2
5  When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven you."
10  "But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins"  — He said to the paralytic,
11  "I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house."

So that you may know that Jesus has “power” on earth to forgive sins …

This Greek word translated “power” here in Mark 2:10 is a different Greek word than the earlier word we encountered. Instead of this word meaning strength, might, force or ability like “dunamis”, it is rather the Greek word:

Exousia = Authority; Right; Privilege; Jurisdiction

Jesus had both the authority of God and the ability of God to forgive sins and perform miracles on earth.

Just to clarify doctrine: We are not meant to only identify with the sick woman or the lame man in these two stories. Thank God for healing and forgiveness when we need them however, Jesus wants us to also identify with Him in these accounts as well. We are His hands, His feet; we minister with His authority and His ability to a world in crisis every day.

Matthew 10:8  "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

As the disciples of Christ we are those sent out into the world with a command to heal the sick, cleanse the leper, raise the dead and cast out devils. Born again Believers have received the power of God to minister.

When a person is born again they become a New Creation in Christ with New Creation Realities. One New Creation Reality is the Reality of Power! We have been given both “Exousia” and “Dunamis” of God in Christ.

Key Scripture: Luke 10:19  Behold, I give unto you to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. (KJV)

Luke 10:19  Behold, I give unto you power (exousia – authority) to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power (dunamis – ability) of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Important Points:
1.  We have been given authority in Christ.
John 1: 12  But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
2.  We have been given ability in Christ.
Acts 1:8 "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
3.  We have been sent to minister in the power of Christ.

Sunday, May 19, 2013



In a moment we will be reading from Acts 2.

I dare say that most of you easily remember your birth date. And most of us who are married, with a little thought, can even remember our anniversary. How about Independence Day; Christmas; New Year’s Day; Valentine’s Day? Oh, here’s an easy one: Income Tax Day … (May 26)

We remember dates and anniversaries because they are important to us. God does the same thing. Jesus told His disciples and the Apostle Paul repeated to us how that when we partake of Holy Communion we ought to eat and drink the sacraments in remembrance of the way Christ gave His life for us. God marks many important events in history with feasts so that we, His children, will remember and celebrate. For example:

Seven weeks ago we celebrated the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus during the historical Feast of Passover. Last Sunday marked the anniversary of Christ’s ascension into heaven and today is Pentecost Sunday. For the past 3500 years the Jews have called this feast Shavout = The Feast of Weeks = Pentecost. The feasts vitally connect the Old Testament Jewish Messiah to the New Testament Christian Jesus.

It is reasonable that we remember and continue to celebrate what God did on that faithful Sunday morning near 2000 years ago in Jerusalem when He sent His Holy Spirit to live in and empower every Believer to be a witness to the world. That was not the first Holy Ghost revival. 1500 years earlier God showed up in fire and power during this same week.

God gave Torah to His Children at Mount Sinai on the Sinai Peninsula
·        Torah refers to the First 5 Books of the Bible
o   Genesis; Exodus; Leviticus; Numbers; & Deuteronomy
o   History of Creation
o   Journey of the Patriarchs
o   Mosaic Law
·        The Feast of Weeks Commemorates God Giving Torah
·        The O.T. Feast of Weeks, (Shavout), = N.T. Day of Pentecost

The historical “Shavout”, Feast of Weeks, observed by the Jews each year remembers and celebrates God giving the “Torah” to the congregation through Moses on Mount Sinai 50 days after the first Passover and the Exodus from Egypt. In a narrow sense Torah refers to the first 5 books of the Bible and contains the history of creation, the journey of the Patriarchs and the Law of God given through Moses. The original account of the first Shavout can be found in Exodus 19. Suffice it to say that it was a memorable event … there were fireworks and everything!

Exodus 19
17  And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.
18  Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly.
19  And when the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice.

Exodus 20 records God giving the Children of Israel His Ten Commandments. This dramatic event in history was a prophetic picture and ought to be remembered and celebrated. Thus God instituted the Feast of Weeks or Shavout all so that this event would be remembered.

The first Shavout was a time when God empowered Moses to publish the Word and make it known among the people. The Acts 2 Pentecost account did a similar thing in that it empowered followers united under the Apostle Peter’s leadership and they together published the Good News in the city streets resulting in 3000 Jews becoming believers in Jesus as Messiah.

On the day of Pentecost God descended once again with fire and fulfilled the prophecies of both Joel and John the Baptist. Believers in Jesus were baptized with the Holy Spirit and began declaring the wonderful works of Almighty God. Today is Pentecost Sunday and it is reasonable that we remember and further publish the Gospel message throughout the world.

Although it is important that we commemorate and celebrate these events God intends more. Our heavenly Father did not orchestrate such an event as the giving of the Ten Commandments or the outpouring of His Spirit at Pentecost only so that we might have something to remember. God has a greater continuing purpose in mind. We begin to discover God’s purpose as we survey the immediate impact this outpouring of the Holy Spirit had on those Believers in Jerusalem that first Pentecost Sunday morning.

What is the purpose of Pentecost … Pentecost is not a denomination, it is a feast to be remembered and celebrated by every Believer. Remembrance is not as much about what God did as it is about what He continues to do.

Acts 2
1  When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

You will notice there is a thread of unity among the Believers which weighs heavily throughout this chapter and continuing. This element of a committed togetherness is the earmark of a congregation ready to be filled with power from on high, ready for another move of the Spirit. I believe:

Anything is possible when God’s people come together in unity.

Be it a family crisis, financial need, business decision, Church affairs or matters of community or national concern – God’s people pulling together always find a way and always win … why … because God is with them.

Psalms 133  Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell in unity … for there the Lord commanded His blessings, even life forever more.

Matthew 18 If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are together in Jesus’ name, He is present.

We know the account of Acts 2 and Pentecost. Those few believers who were praying that morning with one heart, one mind, in one accord, were suddenly and dramatically filled with the Spirit of God and immediately began witnessing with a dynamic power to a world of people who were lost, hurting and in need of help. Jesus was right there with them.

Although some onlookers didn’t understand what was happening, many did. And many responded and their lives were changed forever. The immediate impact was felt in personal lives, families, the Church, their communities and eventually the whole world. That which changed their lives was destined to change the world. Upon reflection we too should:

Refuse to be changed by something which can never change the world.

Pentecost changed the world and Pentecost continues changing lives today. The immediate impact of a Pentecostal experience produced a commonality among Believers. The later portion of Acts 2 gives account of the immediate impact of that Pentecostal Holy Ghost revival.

One of the results of Pentecost was that 3000 people were born again and this prayer group which had been meeting in a home suddenly became a Church with the largest congregation of Believers in the world. The Church in Jerusalem was birthed as a pattern example for every Church to follow. Let’s see how that Spirit filled revival changed lives forever.

42  And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
43  Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.
44  Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common,
45  and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.
46  So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,
47  praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

So many Believers, scholars and even denominations debate the validity of revivals and the evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit. Allow me to share the Biblical evidence of a life dynamically changed by God. You see Pentecost has the power to change lives – and – A changed life changes lives.

The Acts 2 account of Pentecost and the immediate results show lives changed. That first Holy Ghost led revival filled Believers with:

1.   A desire to be instructed in the doctrines and duties of the Word of God accompanied by a hunger to attend the preaching of the gospel.
2.   A draw to congregate with other Believers in open exchange without prejudice, bigotry, or social confines.
3.   A sharing in common life experiences outside of structured time in Church.
4.   A love for and a personal commitment to prayer.

“Then”, verse 43 says, “As a result of” these changes in the lives of individuals, the Church began to grow and function as one body – The Body of Christ, praising God and having favor with all people. And the Lord added to the Church daily those who were being saved

5.   A daily witness that produced a daily harvest.

A true move of God is not a great Church service. A true move of God is a great life. We need not only be once filled, we need be continually filled. Many people can live a great and powerful witness for an hour in Church each week but it’s the other 167 hours God intends Pentecost to change.

We know we are full of the Holy Spirit when we long to be instructed in the doctrines and duties of the Word; hunger to attend the preaching of the gospel; have a draw to congregate with Believers from all nations, tribes, tongues, and social classes; share common life experiences with other Believers outside the 4 walls of the Church; demonstrate a personal commitment to prayer; and reap a daily harvest of souls by our continual witness of the Gospel. Now that’s the results of a move of God!

If we find we are coming up short, We must remember what Pentecost means … perhaps we need revival. Only a changed life can change lives … what are we waiting for … let’s bind ourselves together in unity and start praying for a revival of the Holy Spirit. Happy Pentecost!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother’s Day - Poor Choices


Turn with me to the book of Exodus this morning. I ask that you allow me license to use a little play on words this morning to stress, not stretch a truth. It has to do with the subtitle for Mother’s Day – “Poor Choices”.

The bible is filled with stories of people who made poor choices in life. Today, in recognition of Mother’s Day, we are going to attempt to discover why moms in particular seem to make more poor choices than do others. But before we focus on mothers and their poor choices, I want to take a look at some men in the Bible who also made poor choices. To help us remember these men we will call them 3 Old Joes

We will take these 3 Joes chronologically:

The first old Joe made a poor choice concerning his opportunity to secure his career. All he had to do was to appease his boss's wife and lay with her.

Then Joseph's master took him and put him into prison ... But the LORD was with Joseph ...  (Genesis 39:20&21a)

When Joseph refused her advances and instead ran away, she lied about the incident and in turn accused him of attempting to molest her.

This poor choice Joe made cost him everything he had thus far achieve in life … that is everything except his relationship with God.

Joseph number 2 made a poor choice when he chose to marry a woman who was already pregnant with someone else's child. Things got so bad for them after they were married that when it came time for the baby to be born the best Joe could provide for his wife was a stable cave in a distant city far away from family and friends.

And she brought forth her firstborn and laid Him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:7)

If only Joe had have listened to his friends and put her away. He could have done it privately.  But he made his costly decision and lived with it.

For a long time afterwards Joseph was acutely aware that one of the greatest and most powerful kings in history was fully committed to hunting his family down and killing their son. Joseph had to completely leave the country to protect his family’s life. Because of his poor decision this old Joe lost everything … well everything except his relationships with Mary and Jesus.

Joseph number three was a very wealthy man in Jerusalem. So rich in fact that he owned a business which occupied prime real estate right on the corner of the two main intersecting highways just outside the city gates. You might say he had cornered the market. On his property he had a garden and in this garden Joseph spent quite a sum of money building an exceptional burial tomb for himself and his wife. It was a tomb unlike others one would find around Jerusalem.

This tomb he had carved into the rock of Mount Moriah adjacent Golgotha. It was a very spacious tomb with two connected chambers facing each other. One chamber held two parallel loculi so smoothly finished in stone that they appear like twin beds in a 5 Star Petra hotel room. The other side contains a large visiting chamber where mourners could come and weep in private. Outside this ornate tomb there was a huge rock which was set on a slight incline in a channel so as to easily roll across the door and firmly seal the entrance. This was no ordinary tomb but rather a new tomb fit for a king.

When Joseph had taken the body he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb ... (Matthew 27:59&60)

Joseph of Arimathaea made a poor choice when he decided to disregard his state and station in life, forget his reputation, throw all caution to the wind and to publically identify himself with a convicted man who had been executed by the joint personal appeal of the High Priest of the Jews and Pontius Pilate himself. Joseph compounded his poor choice by begging Pilate for the dead body of this executed convict and then, as if that was not enough, Joseph buried that dead body in his own special newly finished tomb. Ultimately this act could have cost rich old Joe everything he had ... All he could hope to have after such a poor choice as this would be a relationship with the Body of Christ.

There are plenty of other men who made poor choices … like:

Zacchaeus: He made a poor choice to convert his assets to cash and to give away all of his wealth to people in need. It cost him everything he had … well, everything except his relationship with Jesus.

And even Jesus Himself made poor choices. Well you know …

2 Corinthians 8:9  For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.

Jesus made a choice to become poor for your sake …

There are plenty of examples of men making poor choices such as these in the Bible. However some of the poorest choices in the Bible were made by women and it seems many of them were made by mothers.

Mothers are often faced with some of the most costly decisions known to man. And I believe mothers make more poor choices and costly personal decisions than anyone else.

By now you have discovered what I am referring to this morning when I say "Poor Choices". Poor choices are choices made by individuals to do with less or to do without so others don't have to. Again, when I say poor choice I mean a conscious decision to do something for someone else which could end up costing you … a choice that could end up making you poor in the eyes of the world. In other words:

A choice to do with less or to do completely without so others won’t have to.

In this respect a poor choice is a choice we make to give our riches, our comfort or our very lives in order to insure others who have no choice benefit from ours. Mothers are masters of poor choices. There is no love like the love of a mother ... No one else so motivates to such selfless acts.

Motherhood is not a life of giving up but rather a life of giving to.

One mother who epitomizes poor choices is a woman named Jochebed. It seems Jochebed found herself pregnant again only this time things were different. The Egyptian Government had decided to disallow any new births of male children among their captive Jewish population. Every newborn baby boy was to be killed at birth by the attending Egyptian midwife in accordance with the orders of Pharaoh under penalty of death if not obeyed.

Have you found the book of Exodus yet? Let’s look at the last verse in Exodus chapter 1. Exodus 1:22

So Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, “Every son who is born you shall cast into the river, and every daughter you shall save alive.” (Exodus 1:22 NKJV)

Chapter 2 continues the story with verse 1:

And a man of the house of Levi went and took as wife a daughter of Levi. So the woman conceived and bore a son. And when she saw that he was a beautiful child, she hid him three months. But when she could no longer hide him, she took an ark of bulrushes for him, daubed it with asphalt and pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river’s bank. (Exodus 2:1-3 NKJV)

The poor choice in this case was simply a choice to do with less or do without to do what's best.

Why do moms make so many poor choices - out of love. There is no greater expression of love than laying down one’s life for others. (John 15:13)

Moms, like Jochebed, make poor choices every day in order to care for and meet the needs of their children and others they don’t even know. Such is the heart of a mother. (Testimony of Mother’s Day lunch 15 years ago.)

Mother's thank you for all the poor choices you have made in our lives. Thank you for often doing with less and for even doing without so that we might have what you think we need. You inspire us with your selfless acts. May God bless you for giving so much, so often, to so many.

Now let me ask the rest of us … Why should mothers get to make all the poor choices?

In honor of mothers today I ask you to join me in prayerfully committing to fill our lives with more poor choices in Jesus' name.

I believe this shall be one of my Mother’s best Mother’s Day gifts ever.

Happy Mother’s Day!!!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Life Shape Prayer and Discipleship Module 2 – New Creation Realities Block 7 – “Sozo”



Matthew the 14th chapter records the miracle of the fishes and loaves where Jesus fed 5000 men plus the women and children by multiplying the small amount of food one young lad brought for his lunch that day. Following that miracle Jesus instructed His disciples to get into their boat and go ahead of Him to the other side of the lake.

Jesus sent the multitudes away and when evening came He found a solitary place in which to pray. Meanwhile a storm arose on the lake which caused winds to blow and the waves to roll contrary to the disciples’ path. They rowed hard but after midnight towards morning they were still far from shore and in the midst of the storm.

Tired from their long and wearing struggles, they suddenly looked up and saw someone walking on the water. They imagined it was a ghost and were frightened. Then Jesus spoke to them saying, “Cheer up, it is I, do not be afraid.”

Peter immediately said, “Jesus, if it is really You, bid me to come to You walking on the water.” Jesus simply said, “Come!” With this invitation, Peter got out of the boat and began walking on the water towards Jesus. Then, Peter looked around and saw the fierceness of the winds and became afraid. Losing his focus, fear creeping in, Peter began to sink. Peter cried out, “Lord, save me!” And, of course, Jesus immediately stretched out His hand and caught him.

“Lord save me!” … what greater cry could ever come from the mouth of one in need. Whether we need to be saved from fear, death, or fear of death, Jesus is our Savior and He is mighty to save when we cry out unto Him.

Key Scripture: Matthew 18:11 For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.

Save = Greek: Sozo – (Sode’-zo)
·        Greek Grammar: Tense - Aorist; Voice - Active; Mood - Infinitive
·        To save; to keep safe and sound; to rescue from danger or destruction; to make well or whole; to heal or restore to health.

Whom did Jesus come to rescue from danger and destruction; whom did He come to save and keep safe? The lost. Lost = those who are perishing, being destroyed, in ruin, deemed useless, destined for death.

This was the plight of the widow who was plagued for 12 years, spent all she had on physicians and was none better, but rather grew worse. When she heard of Jesus, she came …

Mark 5
28  For she said, "If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well (sozo)."
34  And He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well (sozo). Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction."

Her faith accessed the grace of salvation. According to our key scripture, Jesus came to rescue the perishing and she, therefore, was a perfect candidate. Her faith in Christ saved her … sozo!

This account reminds me of a hymn I sang in Church as a young boy:

  Rescue the perishing,
  Care for the dying,
Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;
  Weep o’er the erring one,
  Lift up the fallen,
Tell them of Jesus the mighty to save.

Rescue the perishing,
  Care for the dying;
Jesus is merciful,
    Jesus will save.

Our Lord Jesus has come to rescue the perishing … He seeks for those who are lost, hurting and dying in their sins. Jesus is merciful; Jesus will save!

One of the simplest and best understandings of salvation is repeated with both hope and conviction by saints in many parts of the world outside of America. I believe it best represents the greater understanding and the ongoing work of salvation. They say it this way:

1.   I have been saved.
2.   I am being saved.
3.   I will be saved.

This truth speaks of the past, present, and future works of grace.

1.    My Spirit has been rescued from the darkness of death and separation from God.
2.   My Soul is being transformed continually by the renewing power of God’s Word now in this life on a daily basis.
3.   My Body will one day be changed to reflect the image of God’s eternal glory and I shall be whole before Him.

1 Thessalonians 5:23  Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Important Points
1.   Jesus gave His life on the Cross of Calvary to save us from an eternity in hell and from the hell of this life.
2.   The relationship we have with God through Jesus provides access to God’s grace for our past, our present, and our future needs.
3.   Cry out to Jesus in your need – He is mighty to sozo your spirit, soul and body.

Support Scriptures  

Luke 19:10, 1 Thessalonians 5:23, Matthew 14:30, Matthew 27:42, Mark 5:28 & 34