Rhema Grace July 2014

Have you ever misplaced an item only to realize that it was right in front of you the whole time you were searching for it? Maybe a car key that was already in the ignition? Or a pair of sunglasses that was on top of your head? That is somewhat how I feel about the subject of this devotional. There are many in the body of Christ today asking where the healings, miracles, signs and wonders are? Where is the power of God? First let me say that the power of God is all around us. If His power were released from the earth, this planet would cease to exist. I love living in rural Ohio where I can see His power in creation. I am constantly amazed at the “natural instincts” of animals that live around me. I see hummingbirds outside my front door that somehow travel many miles south every year and know where to return northward to the feeder we place in our yard. It is amazing. It is the power of God that created such instinct in a little birds brain the size of a pea. Don’t miss the power of God that is around you daily. And don’t miss the fact that His power is also within you.

Yet I also believe that we , the church, should be experiencing more of the power of God through healings and miracles. This past few months (or longer) has seemingly been a season of trials and tribulations possibly beyond what we have seen for quite a long time. So is there something we are missing or have misplaced ? As I contemplated these thoughts recently I was reminded of a scripture that has been in my spirit for quite some time. Paul was speaking instruction to the church at Corinth found in 2nd Corinthians 11:3 (AMP), “I am fearful lest that even as the serpent beguiled Eve by his cunning , so your minds may be corrupted and seduced from wholehearted and sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” The KJV translation says they may be tempted to be taken away from the “simplicity that is in Christ.” The message of the gospel is very simple. The continuing message of the enabling grace empowering believers to remain in the faith is simple. All instruction given to us as we walk this walk of life must begin with one Person, one Name, Jesus.

Look with me at the book of Acts. Holy Spirit came in the fullness to mankind in Acts Chapter 2. Then there was great power and great grace. (Acts 4:33) The church was increasing and miracles were taking place in abundance. It would be logical and biblically true to say that this power was due to Holy Spirit’s divine manifestation upon man. In fact , Jesus said exactly that in Acts 1:8. But let us look at another truth that empowered the church in this day. After the upper room experience Peter was preaching to those who were curious about what was taking place. As he explained the Holy Spirit’s outpouring he also added this necessary revelation. “It shall come to pass that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Acts 2:21) Later , while speaking to the religious council of that day he said,      ” Neither is there salvation in any other , for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) Though this seems to be an obvious truth , we must be reminded to never forget that Jesus saves. He is the only One that can release us of our sins. We can pray to any other name to be free from sin and it will accomplish nothing. We can try other religious methods and doctrines to cleanse us from sin and not one sin will be erased from our record. Peter confirms it once again in Acts 2:38, “Repent in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin.” Remission means “forgiveness and release.” This very truth alone is the foundation of all healings and miracles because salvation is a healing and a miracle. It is a fact that the church was built upon this truth and must continue to build on this truth.

Now read Acts 3:1-16. Go ahead. I will wait. ……………… What a marvelous account of a miracle that took place in the life of a 40 year old man who had not walked his entire life. As we read verse 6 we can see that Peter and John compared the value of silver and gold to the value of the name of Jesus. They did not offer the lame man money, but instead gave him what ,or Who ,he needed most. They spoke in confidence the name of Jesus to him and he received the most precious and valuable gift he had ever received. Yes, the lame man received the gift of a healing, but the Gift was the name of Jesus that provided his healing. The name of Jesus is priceless and of more value in our lives than anything else we could have.

In Acts 3:16 Peter once again is giving an explanation of the power of God , but rather than it being on the Holy Spirit coming to man in Acts Chapter 2, now he is explaining the power coming upon the lame man in Acts Chapter 3. Let me make a point here that Peter was not trying to justify the reality of the power or trying to talk anyone into believing in the power, but was merely speaking truth. After all, the people saw the evidence so why try to justify what was taking place? Peter told them it is by the “name of Jesus and through faith in that name” that the lame man was healed. (Acts 3:16) Our faith must always remain in the name of Jesus no matter how long we have been His follower. Sandy Rayner shared with the congregation recently that our faith in Christ is the anchor to our Christian walk. If our faith is in anything or anyone else but Christ, the anchor will not hold and we will drift. Many people are drifting today and blaming others for their inability to remain stable when the issue is they are dragging anchor because their faith is not anchored in Jesus. Paul’s instructions to those dragging anchor is to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Phil. 2:12 )

Once again in Acts 3:16 Peter states that it was faith in the name of Jesus that “made this man strong.” Many are weak in body, soul and spirit. Their strength has wavered and waned due to all sorts of issues in their life. Some have even come close to losing their faith entirely. Remember this lame man had no strength in his lower extremities for all his life. He never walked. He had to depend on others to move him from a baby and through adulthood. His body was weak , as well as his soul and spirit. He may have even accepted this weakened condition to be his calling in life. But what faith he did have he placed in agreement with two other men of faith in the name of Jesus. It was the name of Jesus that turned his feebleness into strength and immediate movement. To those who may feel weak, speak the name of Jesus over your life. Speak His name over your body, soul and spirit and you will be made strong ,just like this lame man was made strong . The name of Jesus has not changed or weakened.

And once again in Acts 3:16 we see that faith in the name of Jesus gave this man “perfect soundness.” Each of those two words are actually defined as the same word, wholeness. In essence Peter was saying that this lame man was made whole, completely whole, due to faith in the name of Jesus. Wholeness not only came to his body, but to his soul and spirit as well. Wholeness is completeness. Without Christ our life will never be complete. Some think they have it all together on their own,yet they are empty , weak and incomplete without Christ.

In Acts 4:30 Peter and John and other believers were being opposed in preaching the name of Jesus, so they prayed and included in this prayer they requested Jesus to “stretch forth Thine hand to heal and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of the Holy Child Jesus.” They had the understanding that as they proclaimed His name it was actually His hand that was performing the divine works of power. Though they preached the Word and laid hands as the Holy Spirit led them, they knew the work accomplished was of God and not of them. Their focus was Jesus name and obedience to Holy Spirit. It is the name of Jesus that places extraordinary power upon ordinary men and women.

It is common sense ,yet worthy of mention ,to also understand that we must have a relationship with Christ to be used of Him. Acts 19:13-17 illustrates this truth through the account of godless men attempting to enact miracles by using the name of Jesus. Their own cohorts of evil had recognized that they were not of God and the consequences were tragic for them. If the godless attempt to cause miracles to take place by speaking the name of Jesus in our world today, you can rest assured that they will face consequences. No flesh will receive the glory that God deserves. His name is not a magical word we use to get our way, but His name is holy and to be reverenced at all times. I am disheartened when I hear the name of Jesus as a swear word, but I am also aware that if a person disrespects His name in any way , it grieves the Father , Son and Holy Spirit and that person is living a fearful ,dangerous life. Yes God is a God of grace, love and compassion, yet when the Name Above All Names is demeaned in any way , it will not bring any good into the life of the one demeaning Him. At the very least, God will lift His covering over that person which is the most fearful thing that could happen in anyone’s life. The fear of the Lord is missing in the life of so many in our day. Let us not allow that to happen in our life, but be sure to establish a reverential fear in our relationship with Christ.

So whatever the condition of your life at this moment, proclaim over yourself the name of Jesus. Proclaim His name over your family and friends. Speak His name over the church, the work place, the school, your finances and everything that has anything to do with your life. Proclaim the name of Jesus over our nation. As we celebrate this month almost 240 years of the existence of this nation, know that it is Jesus that caused this nation to come into existence and it is Jesus that will keep and protect this nation. What does the popular scripture found in 2nd Chronicles 7:14 say? What instructions did God give to Solomon then and is still giving the church today? “If My people which are called by My name……” The healing of our nation begins in the church. Before we can fulfill the rest of that scripture we must be a people called by His name. Before we humble ourselves, pray, seek His face and turn from our wicked ways, we must first be a people called by His name and calling out His name. The healing does not begin with the church whining and complaining, but it begins with His name. Then He will hear us speaking His name and He will forgive our sins and He will heal our land.

The founders of the new testament church went through tremendous persecution, yet they continued to boldly speak the name of Jesus. In fact, the more persecution they faced, the more the church experienced increase. How can that be? Because the name they were speaking was the name “above all principalities ,powers and might and dominion and above every name that is named , not only in this world , but in that which is to come.” (Ephesians 1:21) “God has highly exalted Him, Jesus, and given Him a name above every other name. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow of things in Heaven and in earth and things under the earth and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil. 2:9-11)

So where are the healings and miracles? Where is the power we long to see and experience in the church today? The answer is the name of Jesus. I am thankful for every salvation , healing and miracle I see today. It is absolutely necessary to be thankful and recognize His power that is upon us. Continue to be thankful that we have His name and continue to speak His name over every part of your life. Take what time you have now and allow Holy Spirit to lead you in speaking the name of Jesus. His name has not been misplaced. It is right here within us. Speak His name with me and expect great things.

Pastor Wes

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