Hebrews 1:2-4 AMP
” But in the last days He has spoken to us in [ the person of a ] Son, Whom He appointed Heir and lawful Owner of all things, also by and through Whom He created worlds and the reaches of space and the ages of time [ He made, produced, built, operated, and arranged them in order].
He is the sole expression of the Glory of God [the Light-being, the out-raying or radiance of the divine ], and He is the perfect imprint and very image of [God’s] nature, upholding and maintaining and guiding and propelling the universe by His mighty Word of power. When He had by offering Himself accomplished our cleansing of sins and riddance of guilt, He sat down at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high.
Taking a place and rank by which He Himself became as much superior to angels as the glorious Name (title) which He has inherited is different from and more excellent than theirs. “
Among many things that Jesus is, “He is the perfect imprint and very image of [God’s] nature” that propels the very universe by His Word! How is nature of the human kind defined ? This nature refers to personality, temperament, and character. Jesus is the exact replica, even the imprint of God. As we read scripture and see how Jesus heals, forgives, loves and speaks – we too can believe that this is exactly how God the Father would treat us and others. As a child, I mistakenly believed that God was always on a “sin hunt” waiting to find fault in all on which I placed my hands. This opened the door to constant stress and fear and was a completely false assertion. God is on a “righteousness hunt” and seeks opportunities to bless your life.
We have all heard the phrase “the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree” in reference to parents and their children. In this case God and Jesus are both the tree – the tree of life!
Prayer Point: Lord Jesus – you returned to earth to bring Glory to the Name of God your Father. Thank you for becoming a living example of Love, Truth and Grace that have left a legacy for all that trust in and rely on You. Help me to become a living letter of your love for all that I encounter today. As I focus on You I ask that my nature be changed into your loving and merciful image.
When Jesus went to the Cross – He became The Exchange for our sin debt owed to a holy God. All Sin from the beginning of time until the end of time was imputed unto Jesus as our eternal, once and for all sacrifice for mankind. There is no one else that could have become this sacrifice. Jesus, who was sinless, contained the blood of a holy, perfect Deity. The Holy Spirit formed Jesus supernaturally in the womb of his mother Mary, then a virgin thus circumventing the bloodline of Adam creating paternity with God alone. Jesus the sacrificial lamb was born for one purpose: to die – for us. Understand that you too have a purpose-filled birth. You too were born to die, allowing the opportunity to briefly use your gifts to the full for His Kingdom, then live eternally with Him. Think vapor or mist. If God had not desired you to be with Him eternally, He would never have given you life.
The Holy Spirit of Jesus knitted you to exact specifications with gifts and skills desired in the time and season in which you live. You were born on purpose – for purpose. So … Be purpose – full.
Prayer Point: Father, you formed me from the beginning of my life with a plan and purpose to succeed that is tied to Your Kingdom. Please direct my steps to align me with people and places that put me in your order. Reveal my purposes. Teach me by your Spirit how to merge secular and sacred into the vocation for which I have been called. Your Son established my example remaining on purpose while doing both Your business and maintaining His as a carpenter. Help me to live in order and on purpose while being an example of Christ’s excellence in all that I do.
Revelation 1:5-6 AMP
“And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.“
When Jesus dismissed His own Spirit from the Cross on Golgotha (John 19:30) His resurrection 3 days later served as a ratification of a new covenant made with God on our behalf. This agreement set into motion a way of life established on grace rather than based on law – be or do good and in return get good. The Jewish people lived under a suffocating 613 Hebrew laws that overshadowed every aspect of life.
One definition of grace is undeserved favor. If you have made Jesus the Lord over your life, you are co-heirs with Christ and live under grace. You have been given everything from God that has been given to Jesus. Gamechanger. Grace is not earned through works or performance, it is simply offered as a gift from a Father full of love for His children. It is our nature to feel the need to work to earn. We strive and toil and stress however this direction is not God’s best. This also does not mean we are idle – we have responsibilities and careers over which we are given stewardship for His glory – but work from rest.
Jesus has bridged the deep divide of sin then re-connected us back to every blessing that God promised to Father Abraham. Abraham was the line of the Seed (Christ) in which all things are blessed. You too are blessed if in the line of Abraham; you are blessed to be a blessing.
Prayer Point: Great God and Father of All good things, thank you for the grace that you have given me by covenant through your precious Son, my Lord Jesus. Thank you for giving me favor that I do not merit. Because of your goodness, your grace in my life makes me love you even more. As a co-heir with your Son, I have all that He has and am seated and protected in Heavenly realms with You. Today I pray for the manifestation of every blessing given to Abraham. Today I ask for blessing on my family, my finances, my health, and my relationships.
There are two attributes of Christ’s sacrifice that people focus on as the highest result of His death and resurrection: cleansing from sin, and eternal life in Heaven with God the Father. These most certainly are the ‘Big Two’. Many mysteries surround the fullness of the sacrifice of Jesus. There are less recognized and life altering benefits that He accomplished, one that is mentioned alongside the cleansing of sin which is the riddance of guilt. Guilt is condemnation. At the cross Jesus not only took your sin debt in exchange for His life, He also took the condemnation (guilt) that accompanies the sin. You no longer are required to feel guilt – Jesus has paid the price to erase it. So why do I still feel guilty you may ask? You may need to repent which requires no condemnation on your part. Repent means Metanoia (Greek) to turn and walk in another direction, simply turn and go another way. No guilt or shame involved. Just tell God you were wrong, then turn, and walk away. Jesus has paid for your sin, shame, your guilt. You are free. Condemnation brings death but the Spirit brings life!
Prayer Point: Father I know I am forgiven through the eternal blood of your Son’s sacrifice. I do understand that __________________________________ was a wrong action and I acknowledge that its not your best for me. Thank you for your immutable, unchanging love allowing me to speak to you knowing you will never leave nor forsake me, no matter what. Shame and guilt, by the power and authority that I have in the name of Jesus and by the blood of Jesus I command you to go in Jesus name. Holy Spirit I ask you to sprinkle the blood of Jesus on my mind, purifying it from every unrighteous thought including condemnation, shame and self-hatred. Shame, condemnation – You have no legal right nor no place in me.
1Peter 3:18-22 AMP
“For Christ (the Messiah Himself) died for sins once for all, the Righteous for the unrighteous (the just for the unjust, the innocent for the guilty), that He might bring us to God. In His human body He was put to death, but He was made alive in the spirit, In which He went and preached to the spirits in prison, The souls of those who long before in the days of Noah had been disobedient, when God’s patience waited during the building of the ark in which a few (people) actually eight in number were saved through water.
And baptisms, which is now a figure for deliverance, does now also save you (from inward questionings and fears), not by the removing of outward body filth (bathing), but by providing you with the answer of a good and clear conscience (inward cleanness and peace) before God [ because you are demonstrating what you believe to be yours ] through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And now He has entered into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with (all) angels and authorities and powers made subservient to Him”.
Jesus was with God from the beginning of time and the formation of the world where He lived in heavenly realms with God. John 1:1-3 “In the beginning before all time there was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God and the Word was God Himself. Jesus was present originally with God. All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him was not even one thing made that has come into being“.
His entrance onto the earth occurred as the child of Mary and Joseph. Jesus came to earth on specific assignment, to ratify the agreement He made with God to create a New Covenant with mankind. Jesus came on a rescue mission to save the people from eternal death at the hands of “the law”, a system where there could be no winners with a holy God. Jesus’ return to earth was perfectly planned from the beginning. He was born to die – for you.
Prayer Point: Father I thank you for loving me enough to send your Son to die so that I can live eternally in heaven with both of you. Jesus, You have brought infinite glory to God our Father through your great sacrifice. You are the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and end and source of all things. Although the world was made through you, the world did not recognize you but now I do. Thank you for saving me. Thank you for loving me. I am forever in Your grip.
Revelation 22:16 AMP
“I, Jesus, have sent My messenger (angel) to you to witness and to give assurance of these things for the churches (assemblies). I am the Root (the Source) and the Offspring of David, the radiant and brilliant Morning Star”.
If you embrace the son of God as Savior, you have been given ministering spirits also called ANGELS sent out to serve and protect like a heavenly military for those marked to inherit salvation. Even the devil acknowledged the service of angels. When he tempted Jesus in the desert he said, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, ‘For He will give His angels charge over you, and they will bear you up lest you dash your foot against a stone’ “. (ref: Psalm 91:12) We must assume that they were dispatched as the Word was spoken out – Psalm 103:20 “Bless the Lord, you His angels, you mighty ones who do His commandments, hearkening to the voice of His word.“
Although God is Commander of the Army of Angelic Hosts, all angels are under the feet of Jesus and they are to worship His Son (Heb 1:6). Angels are not to be worshiped by man (Rev 22: 8-9) but are used for them as servants of God to assist His people in times of need. Commander of the Lord’s Army | Reformed Bible Studies & Devotionals at Ligonier.org
Prayer Point: Father, and Commander of the Angel Armies, I thank you for the service of your mighty army on behalf of your people. Your angels insure the activation of your Word. As I speak your Word aloud in faith it shall meet your power and I will see miracles, signs and manifestations of your mighty promises in my life. To you be all honor and glory forever and ever.
Ephesians 2: 6-10 AMP
“And He raised us up together with Him [when we believed], and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, [because we are] in Christ Jesus, 7 [and He did this] so that in the ages to come He might [clearly] show the immeasurable and unsurpassed riches of His grace in [His] kindness toward us in Christ Jesus [by providing for our redemption]. 8 For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God; 9 not as a result of [your] works [nor your attempts to keep the Law], so that no one will [be able to] boast or take credit in any way [for his salvation]. 10 For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us]”.
We know that Jesus is now seated at the right hand of God, overseeing the Government of His Kingdom. As Believers in Christ, we are to aim for and seek the rich, eternal treasures that are above, where Christ is seated with God. We are not to become overly occupied with worldly behavior. We are to focus on what is above – Jesus. (Colossians 3:1-4)
In Christ, your old life has passed and with Christ Jesus you have risen to a new life. In fact, you have undergone a “spiritual circumcision”. Because you are “In Christ”, your sin nature has been stripped away, you are now embedded and hidden In Him. Through the renewing of the mind; reading the Word and spending time with Him, you can become remolded and reshaped in the image of the One Who created you. (Colossians 3:10).
Prayer Point: Father God as a representative in this city, community and field of industry, I ask you to grow Christ’s likeness in me. Make Him greater through me and help me to become lesser. As a citizen of your kingdom I desire to make an eternal impact in areas that are on your heart. As I spend more time in Your Presence reveal to me more about specific concerns that are on Your heart in my community.
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Facebook: Tracy Gatewood Sacred Ramblings
Author: Doorways of Grace: My Uncommon Journey to Healing, Wholeness and Meeting Jesus
To study the practice of New Covenant prayer, one must understand basic biblical principles which primarily surround Jesus Himself. One of these foundational principles is to understand what it means to be righteous and how righteousness is obtained.
The word “righteous” simply stated is ‘to be in right standing with God’.
To begin, we must first understand that God Himself imputes righteousness, not because we adhere to a Law or a way of living, but because we believe that God’s Son paid a sin debt that could never be paid by anyone else. Jesus is the only One that could have made this sacrifice. As a person born into the Adamic line of sin, which we all have been, an unbelieving person, without Christ’s sacrifice, would otherwise hold a punched one-way ticket to Hell. Christ Jesus has taken our sin debt and imputed His own perfected righteousness into all that believe. Imputing means a transference – Jesus imputed or transferred His righteousness while simultaneously extracting OUR sin.
Can righteousness be attained through behavior, no – righteousness is a gift imputed to us by God for believing in His Son. When one accepts Jesus and understands that His righteousness required an obedient sacrifice that we could never pay, the result should impact a person’s behavior. Good behavior does not create righteousness however the knowledge that we cannot obtain righteousness through any other way should convince us to modify our behavior. It is impossible to work or perform one’s way into right-standing with God. There are teachings that by watching words, purifying our vessels (our bodies) or being set apart can make one righteous or in right standing. This is inaccurate.
True righteousness, accepted by God, comes through the understanding that His Son’s sacrifice fully achieved everything necessary to remove the dividing wall between God and You. This places all responsibility totally on Jesus for this achievement. To assume that one can be made righteous through his own behaviors or merits, illustrates a lack of understanding of the magnitude of the Cross. This position creates ‘self-righteousness’ which is dangerous and noxious to God.
To be clear, is there anything wrong with watching what we say, staying away from unclean food and actions, and practicing a more holy (set apart) lifestyle? No – of course not, however modifying one’s behavior does not make any person more righteous in the sight of God. These behaviors should be response – response being a heart level understanding that results in transformation. Christ Himself is Our Righteousness and the only pathway.
The Book of Romans could be considered the Epistle of Righteousness –
“ But now the righteousness of God has been revealed independently and altogether apart from the Law, although actually it is attested by the Law and the Prophets, Namely, the righteousness of God which comes by believing and personal trust and confident reliance on Jesus Christ. And it is meant for all who believe for there is no distinction.
Since all have sinned and are falling short of the honor and glory which God bestows and receives. (ALL) are justified and made upright and in right standing with God, freely and gratuitously by His grace (His unmerited favor and mercy) through the redemption , which is provided in Jesus Christ, Whom God put forward as a mercy seat and propitiation by His Blood (the cleansing and life giving sacrifice of atonement and reconciliation, to be received) through faith.
This was to show God’s righteousness, because in divine forbearance He had passed over and ignored former sins without punishment. It was to demonstrate and prove at present time that He Himself is righteous and that He justifies and accepts as righteous him who has true faith in Jesus.” Romans 3:21-26
But this requires faith. Faith that you are righteous in Christ and that your sins have been atoned for – you must pray in faith.
The Amplified defines Faith as the practice of leaning your entire personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, Wisdom and goodness.
How is your faith holding up during this pandemic?
Has God told you something that still requires faith on your part because that promise has not come to pass?
Remain in faith that you will have what He said that you will have.
When one remains in faith, that faith is being accounted to them as Righteousness by God and places that person in His right standing. Remember, righteousness is a grace gift and cannot be earned. Faith in His promises does not require one to watch words, or eat clean, refrain from alcohol, or any number of actions that are associated with being a righteous person. As people of God we should engage in these practices as they make us healthier, keep us out of trouble, and most importantly, keep doors closed to the demonic, but God does not recognize anything else as righteousness other than the acknowledgement and resulting actions based on the knowledge of 1) His Son’s righteous standing, 2) maintaining faith in His Son and 3) faith in the promises based in His Word.
In the Old Testament (testament means covenant), Abraham was considered righteous by God because of His faith. Abraham of course lived many hundreds of years before Jesus. Here is what the Apostle Paul writes about the Prophet Abraham in the New Testament book of Romans –
“No unbelief or distrust made him waver concerning the promises of God, but he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God. Fully satisfied and assured that God was able and mighty to keep His word and to do what He had promised. That is why his faith was credited to him as righteousness. (boldface mine) But the words, It was credited to him, were written not for his sake alone, But (they were written) for our sakes too. [Righteousness, standing acceptable to God ] will be granted and credited to us also who believe in God, Who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, Who was betrayed and put to death because of our misdeeds and was raised to secure our justification, making our account balance and absolving us from all guilt before God.” Romans 4:20–24 AMP
Last week we looked at the word ‘Tetelestai’ which means All is Accomplished. This is what Jesus said at the end of His life and on the Cross – it is typically interpreted as ‘It is Finished’. ‘Tetelestai’ is an accounting term that denotes account reconciliation, that the debt has been paid. A person must acknowledge that Christ, through His sacrifice, has reconciled them back to God the Father, and that they, as a sinner, have no personal ability through their own works or acts to do the same. Once saved, you are in Christ, and clothed in His Righteousness. When you pray, do so knowing that you are already in right standing with the Father, and there is nothing to earn.
Jesus Our Righteousness
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Author: Doorways of Grace: My Uncommon Journey to Healing, Wholeness and Meeting Jesus
Facebook: Tracy Gatewood Sacred Ramblings