He said, “In Judges He’s the judge and law giver. In Ruth He’s our kinsman Redeemer, I and II Samuel He’s the trusted prophet.” You don’t have a trusted prophet like the Fourth Man. In Kings and Chronicles He’s the reigning king. In Ezra He’s the faithful scribe, Nehemiah?-Oh, baby, you ought to listen to this one-?He is the Rebuilder of the broken-down walls of human life.” We’ve been broken down an awful lot, and it’s time we got rebuilt.
In Esther He’s Mordecai. In Job He’s the ever-living Redeemer, for my Redeemer liveth.” Boy, this is getting good. In Psalms He’s our shepherd, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes He’s our wisdom. In Song of Solomon He’s our lover and our bridegroom, Isaiah the Prince of Peace, Jeremiah the righteous branch, Lamentation He’s weeping prophet.
In Ezekiel He’s the wonderful four-faced man. And in Daniel He’s the Fourth Man in life’s fiery furnace. In Hosea He’s the faithful husband, forever married to the backslider. In Joel He’s the baptizer with Holy Ghost and fire.” Oh, if that doesn’t get you, honey, you’re in trouble. ”In Amos He’s our burden-bearer.” What are you carrying that you don’t need to? Amos says He already took it. Why have you got it? It’s not your property. But yet we sit there. In Obadiah He’s mighty to save.”
Are you lost? He’s mighty to save. “In Jonah He’s the foreign missionary. In Micah He’s the messenger with beautiful feet. In Nahum He’s the avenger of God’s elect. In Habakkuk He’s God’s evangelist. In Zephaniah He’s our Savior, Haggai He’s the restorer of God’s lost heritage. In Zechariah He’s the fountain opened with the house of David for sins and uncleanness. In Malachi He’s the Sun of righteousness, rising with healing in His wings.”
But then here comes the really whopper. In Matthew He’s the Messiah. In Mark He’s the wonder-wonder, Luke He’s the Son of man, John He’s the Son of God, Acts, He’s the Holy Ghost.” Now are we getting good here? Isn’t that better than Puma and Timba? If it’s not, quit. ”In Romans He’s the justifier, I and II Corinthians He’s the sanctifier. Galatians He’s the Redeemer from the curse of the law.” Hello! You don’t need more than that. “In Ephesians He’s the Christ of unsearchable riches. In Philippians He’s the God who supplies all of our needs. In Colossians He’s the fullness of the Godhead bodily.
Of all the necessities I have in my kitchen, my roll of plastic wrap is probably one of the least harmful. It’s clear…you can see through it. It’s thin and pliable…easy to work with. Pretty harmless stuff, right?
But if you take that clear, thin plastic wrap and wrap it around someone, covering them from head to toe, it doesn’t take long to realize that what appeared to be harmless in small amounts can be binding and crippling when it’s allowed to take over your life.
Something similar can happen when we begin to rely on the world instead of relying on God’s Word. When faced with a crisis, many of us go to the phone instead of God’s throne to get advice from people who can do absolutely nothing about our problem. Or we sit in front of the TV, soaking up bad news, “reality” shows, and all the “my-baby-done-me-wrong” programs that are out there…not to mention video games and internet sites that are not edifying, to say the least.
What starts out small, simple, and innocent can quickly entrap us. And pretty soon we’re bound up in stinking garbage—layer upon seemingly innocent layer—and we didn’t even smell it coming!
The sad fact is, too often we give a lot of time and attention to stuff that doesn’t even matter. And when God comes along with a miracle meant for us, we’re so bound up with junk that we can’t receive it.
Let Go of the Junk
The junk in our lives has got to go. If we’re not free to receive God’s miracles, they can pass us by. We can’t go forward into His blessing when we’re filled with bitterness and resentment. And God holds us accountable to let go of the garbage that’s binding us and holding us back.
I believe that God wants us to have the blessing of Abraham, but it’s up to us to receive it. The blessing—which was given to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3 and passed down through the generations—means absolutely nothing missing, nothing broken, the most blessed and most prosperous. It means increase in every dimension.
Wouldn’t you like to live with no sickness, no disease, no sorrow, no grief, no problems, no lack?
The Bible says in Deuteronomy 28:2-6 that when we keep all of God’s commandments, we will be blessed in every dimension as Abraham was. Abraham lived in abundance in every area of his life…in fact, the most abundance of anyone who had existed up to that time. Abraham knew that the secret to receiving God’s blessing was to obey Him (Hebrews 11:8). When Abraham heard God’s voice telling him what He wanted him to do, he obeyed. That’s a man of faith.
And faith is what God wants from us. Without even realizing it, many of us put our faith in our wallet, in our employer, in our friends. We forget that our faith should be in the One who hung on the Cross so that we could receive the blessing of Abraham.
Today the blessing of Abraham is ours. Galatians 3:9 NLT says, All who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith.
Receive God’s Blessing
What is binding you today? What in your life started out as harmless, and now has become like layers upon layers of plastic wrapped around your soul? It’s time to let it go! Begin to peel off those layers with the Word of God and and with prayer. And when you’re free, begin getting into position to receive the wonderful blessings that I believe God has waiting for you!
Have you ever heard the expression, “you’ve got your nose out of joint”? When you’ve got your nose out of joint, it means that you’ve been offended by someone.
When offense takes root, it can easily turn into bitterness, which can turn into hurt, resentment, anger, and vengeance—all sins that can literally stop God’s miracles from coming to us.
A Toxic Poison
Acts 8:14-24 NLT tells of Simon, a sorcerer in Samaria, who had witnessed believers receiving the Holy Spirit when John and Peter laid their hands on them. Simon wanted to have that same healing power—not to heal the sick, but because the power would bring him fame and put him in high standing with other religious leaders. He even offered money to “buy” the power.
Peter replied, “May your money perish with you for thinking God’s gift can be bought! You can have no part in this, for your heart is not right before God. Turn from your wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive your evil thoughts, for I can see that you are full of bitterness and held captive by sin” (vv. 20-23 NLT).
Bitterness is one of the most poisonous, toxic attitudes you can ever experience. Harboring bitterness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person–the one you’re upset with–to die! It is a devastating “attitude sin” that can trigger a wide range of other sins, including hatred, cruelty, self-pity, revenge, prideful ambitions, and critical attitudes.
Something happened to me 20 years ago that showed me that you can’t hold bitterness in your heart without it not only hurting you, but spilling over into the lives of others.
On January 17, 1984, I gave birth to our firstborn—a son, Richard Oral. He lived only 36 hours.
Needless to say, I was devastated. I’d been told for years that I would never have children, and I’d had several miscarriages. But finally I’d had a successful pregnancy and had given birth to a healthy son…only to see him die.
Although I was in no physical condition to do so, I attended the memorial service we held at Oral Roberts University for our baby. After the service, a woman came to me and said, “I prayed for God to kill that baby, and God answered my prayers.”
I was shocked and deeply hurt by her words. But the Lord said to me, “Hug her neck.” As a Christian, I knew how I should react. But my first instinct was to wring that woman’s neck!
But the Lord said, “You hug her neck and ask her what hurt in her heart caused to let such a statement come out of her mouth at a time like this.” I obeyed Him, and the woman began to weep and tell me all the abuse, trouble, and turmoil that had happened in her life. I forgot about my own pain and began to pray for her and minister to her.
You see, I, too, had some unresolved hurts. And I believe God used that incident not only to release her, but so I wouldn’t drink the poison of bitterness and die. It forced me to make a choice: get bitter or get better.
The Fiery Dart of Offense
When someone offends you, you have three options: You can shoot that fiery dart right back at them with offending words of your own; you can receive their remark and harbor it in your soul, allowing it to fester and develop into bitterness; or you can pray. You can say Father, in the name of Jesus, I ask You to take the poison tip of this offense out of my flesh so nothing has a chance to take root in me.
It’s easy to wallow in bitterness, blaming others’ actions for our attitude. But I believe God expects more of us. You may never be able to change the person who has offended you, but you can change. You can remove the sin of bitterness from your heart so the blessing of God can continue flowing into your life.
The Greatest Example
The Cross of Jesus Christ is the greatest example of denying bitterness the chance to take root. Jesus had every reason to be bitter and full of hatred as His life on earth came to an end.
A crowd of followers had turned against Him, soldiers beat and mocked Him, and even His closest friends had denied Him. But His words as He hung on the Cross were, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34 NKJV).
By turning to His Father rather than holding on to pain and bitterness, Jesus was able to remain full of love even as He was dying. When one of the criminals crucified next to Him said, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom,” Jesus proclaimed, “Today you will be with Me in Paradise.” And the man was assured of eternal life (Luke 23:42-43 NKJV).
Father, forgive them. It’s not the most eloquent prayer in the world, but it may be one of the most effective prayers you can ever pray to release you of your bitterness. That simple prayer can put you in a position to minister peace and healing to the one who has hurt you, in the same way Jesus has done for you, and open the way for God to pour His healing and blessing into your life.
Around this time of year we celebrate Valentine’s Day and people’s thoughts often turn to love.
But I want to talk to you about one kind of love that doesn’t come up very often, and that is loving yourself.
I don’t mean that you should have an inflated ego. But most of the time I don’t see people with overly inflated egos, loving themselves too much. Instead I see people, even Christians, who are struggling with their self-worth, not believing that they are valuable and precious to God.
Don’t Believe the Lie
Matthew 22:39 NIV says, Love your neighbor as yourself. But how can you love your neighbor until you have completed the process of loving yourself?
Too many of us are suffering from a low self-esteem when we don’t have to. If satan is trying to put low self-esteem on you, don’t accept the package! The Bible says, If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (II Corinthians 5:17 NKJV).
You canbegin to love yourself when you realize that God has made you a brand new creation, and He has created you in His own image. You are a reflection of Him!
Not only that, but you are worth the price that Jesus paid for you on the Cross. God sent His only Son as a ransom for you, and that makes you very valuable. You are God’s prize, His treasure. He paid no higher price for anything than He paid for you.
If you’ve struggled with self-esteem, it’s time to stop believing the lie that you’re inferior or worthless. As the body of Christ, we’ve learned to refute the lie that we have to be sick or that we have to be poor. So let’s refute the lie that we are worthless. You are so valuable to God that He sent His Son to buy you back from the hands of the enemy!
Sometimes there’s unforgiveness blocking you from realizing your value and loving yourself. Often it’s easier to forgive someone who has done you wrong than it is to forgive yourself.
But I pray for God to release you today and for forgiveness to begin with you. Whatever you’ve done, or whatever has happened, ask God for forgiveness and release yourself from it.
First John 1:9 NKJV says, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Receive God’s forgiveness and then say, “God, I forgive me. I plead the blood of Jesus and I release myself.” Let yourself go free and let the cleansing blood of Jesus work in you and wash away your sin.
You Are a Child of God
The Bible says that we are to believe the report of the Lord (Isaiah 53:1). Don’t listen to the report of the devil (or someone who’s acting like the devil!) that says you aren’t worth anything, you’ve done everything wrong, or you’ll never amount to much. That’s a lie, because it’s not what the Bible says about you.
The Bible says you’re the head and not the tail (Deuteronomy 28:13). It says you have the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16). You are a highly esteemed child of God! Put your head up, square your shoulders, and start seeing yourself through His eyes!
Now join your faith with mine and let the love of God come into your heart as I pray for you :
In the name of Jesus, I strip off the words and piercing arrows that have wounded your self-image. I pull those hurts out of your soul and your spirit, and I command satan to release you. I ask God to infuse you with His presence and cause you to see yourself the way He sees you, as His valuable and precious child! Amen.
RR: Miracles. Praise God for it. And I’ve got good news, if you’re in the Dallas area, you who are in the Dallas area, pay attention to what I’m going to say because I have been invited by Larry and Melva This coming Friday night–well, let’s see, Lindsay’s going to be speaking at a womens banquet on Saturday.
ML: Saturday morning at 9:30.
RR: Saturday morning.
ML: Yes, ladies conference.
RR: And then on Sunday I’m going to be preaching in one of your Sunday morning services.
LL: 10 a.m.
LL: 5:30 in the afternoon.
RR: Church on the Rock, get ready for a traffic jam. (Amen) In Rockwall, Texas.
LL: And signs and wonders. to go, there are miracles. Not because of me but because of Jesus. Lindsay, share a testimony.
LR: I have two good testimonies. This is from a lady in El Paso, said, “About three weeks ago you had a word of knowledge that someone was being healed of a growth on their back.” And they said, “You described where it was and you made me turn around and show the location where the growth was.” She said, “Yesterday her sister They believed for three weeks and it was manifested. Thank God she didn’t give up during those three weeks because it wasn’t instant.
RR: Praise the Lord.
LR: You know, that’s something. If you don’t see the manifestation of your healing right on the spot, for heaven’s sake don’t give up. important thing. period of time.
LR: That’s right. They’re a process sometimes. This lady called, and this is really precious because do you remember the other day we
RR: Yes, that was from the Word Explosion.
LR: That’s right. She said she had been taken away from her parents as a child, apparently kidnapped, and she has been in bondage that that same kidnapping might happen to her children. And she said we talked about the fear on that clip. And she said at that moment she gave that fear to God and said she wanted to be set free. She said, “I have the peace of God today and I am not going to worry about my children. I’ve given them to God.” (Applause) Praise God.