13… the priest shall bring it all and burn it on the altar; it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord.
In Old Testament times, when a burnt offering is killed, its head is severed, the fat removed, and the entrails and legs washed. Then, everything is placed on an altar and burnt, and the sacrifice is a sweet aroma to God.
All this speaks of the death of Jesus, who has “given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma”. (Ephesians 5:2)
The head of the sacrificed animal speaks of the mind of Christ offered as a covering for our minds. This means that although our minds are often clouded with unbelief, worries, foolishness, filth and human reasoning, God treats us as if we have the mind of Christ, without wrong or displeasing thoughts, bringing pleasure to Him like a sweet aroma.
The fat of the animal speaks of the riches of Christ, His best, for God equates the fat of something with the best of that entity. (Genesis 45:18) The fat of the burnt sacrifice speaks of Jesus giving us His riches, His best, as our covering. So God does not see us in our lack, but in the riches and excellence of Jesus going up to Him as a sweet aroma.
The entrails or intestines speak of Jesus’ motivations, feelings, affections and desires. We often feel fearful, anxious, stressed out or angry (and it affects our stomach and intestines). But God sees only Jesus’ feelings and desires, which are always pure, beautiful and acceptable to Him — a sweet aroma.
The legs refer to Jesus’ perfect walk — His power to serve and obey the Father — imputed to our weak and faltering walk. And the fact they are washed shows that even our crooked walk has been cleansed.
Precious saints, God does not see your foolish mind, weak nature, inadequate feelings or faulty walk. Instead, He sees you in the perfection of His Son, who gave Himself up for you as a sweet-smelling sacrifice to God…Hallelujah!
Hebrews 8:12 12For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
I once read a comic book which showed how a man lusted after a woman, then died of a heart attack and went to heaven. In heaven, he saw a big screen showing everyone present a recording of all the sins which he had committed while on earth, including the last one. How embarrassing!
Don’t worry, that is not going to happen to you in heaven. There is no big screen with front-row and circle seats for everyone to sit and watch your past sins. There is no video recorder in heaven recording your sins right now. Because your lifetime of sins has already been punished in the body of Jesus, God declares to you, “Your sins and lawless deeds, I will by no means ever remember!”
This is true even for the Old Testament heroes of faith such as Abraham, Moses and David. If you read Hebrews 11, which was written after the cross of Jesus, you will notice that there is no record of their sins or failures. Yet, their life stories tell us that they were far from perfect.
Abraham lied twice about his wife Sarah. He told Pharaoh, and later, King Abimelech, that she was his sister to protect his own life. Moses killed an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew, and hid the body in the sand. David committed adultery with Bathsheba and later arranged for her husband to be killed in battle. Yet, their sins were not recorded in Hebrews 11, only their deeds done in faith!
God is showing you that He does not record your sins or failures today. Instead, He records your faith confessions and deeds done in response to what His Son has done for you. Every time you sin, every time you waver in your faith, God does not record it. But every time you believe Him and respond in faith, He records it! That should not make you want to sin more. It should free you to love God more!
So don’t be conscious of your failures. If God Himself does not remember them, who are you to remember them? Be conscious instead of your righteousness in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21), and you will reign in life! (Romans 5:17)
John 19:2 2And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head…
If hard work is the formula for prosperity, then everyone who works hard should be prosperous. But this is certainly not the case. Many people who work very hard are still in lack!
I am not advocating laziness. What I am saying is that working hard by the sweat of your brow is not how God’s provision comes. In fact, if you have to work overtime all the time and are stressed out, you are probably operating under the curse.
What curse is that? It is this curse: “In the sweat of your face, you shall eat bread…” (Genesis 3:19) And it refers to the stress, struggle and anxieties that come with working hard and yet producing little. Now, work itself is not a curse since God gave Adam work before the fall — Adam was to tend the garden of Eden. It was only after he sinned that the land was cursed and it brought forth thorns, and man had to toil to eat of it. (Genesis 3:17–18)
But praise God, Jesus wore the thorns on His head to show you that He has borne this curse for you and redeemed you from it. He wore the crown of thorns so that you can work stress-free and yet have the results. You don’t have to be worried and stressed out day and night like the people of the world just to get ahead in life. Your heavenly Father can get you there without the worries and stress. (Matthew 6:31–33)
Beloved, every curse that was supposed to fall on your head fell on Jesus’ head, typified by the crown of thorns. He wore the crown of thorns for you so that you can have peace of mind. He wore the crown of thorns for you and took your curse so that you can wear the crown of glory and take His righteousness, and all the benefits of that righteousness!
Today, don’t labor and toil like the people of the world. Instead, expect to see the blessings of God come into your life without blood, sweat and tears because Jesus wore the crown of thorns for you!
2 Samuel 9:7 7So David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually.”
When the people in the palace heard that King Saul and his son Jonathan had died in battle, they panicked. Fearful that David was coming to seize the throne, and kill all the sons and grandsons of Saul, they ran for their lives. A nurse took Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son, and ran. But as she fled, the five-year-old boy fell and became lame in both feet. (2 Samuel 4:4)
The poor boy would not have been crippled if they had known that David actually loved Jonathan and Saul, and would have looked after Jonathan’s son because he had made a covenant with Jonathan. (1 Samuel 18:3)
In this story, King Saul represents the human race. He is like Adam who sinned against God and forfeited all that God gave to man. He had the position, but not the power anymore because of sin. Jonathan, who came after Saul, represents Jesus, who came as a human. Jonathan was not like Saul — he was good, just as Jesus is not like Adam — Jesus is the perfect Man. David represents God. So Jonathan’s covenant with David speaks of Jesus’ covenant with God. Mephibosheth represents believers today who are “lame” in some way — sick, depressed, fearful, poor and so on.
Now, Mephibosheth became lame because of bad news that was based on a lie. Many believers today are suffering needlessly because they believe the wrong things about God. They think, “My sin has found me out! God is coming after me!”
Well, I have good news for all Mephibosheths: David is not after your life! When David looked for Mephibosheth, it was to show him kindness, to take care of him and restore to him the land that had belonged to Saul his grandfather.
Likewise, God is not out to get you. He knows all about your sins and still loves you. That is why He sent Jesus as the payment for your sins. And because of Jesus’ covenant with Him, He says to you, “Don’t be afraid, I will surely show you kindness. I will restore all to you and you shall always eat at My table!”
Psalm 127:2 2It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep.
Are you one of those who have trouble sleeping at night? Perhaps just this morning you said, “I was up the whole night — my boy was running a high fever,” or “I slept for only two hours — I was awake polishing up my presentation,” or “I couldn’t sleep at all — I was worried about the bills that are piling up.”
God “gives His beloved sleep”. Who are His beloved? You and I! Because we are in Christ, we are His beloved. (Ephesians 1:6; 2 Thessalonians 2:13)
God says, “It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows…” In other words, it is pointless to worry and lose sleep because the truth is, “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” (Psalm 127:1)
So let God be the one who builds your career and watches over your financial investments. Let Him be the one who guards your health, marriage and children. Don’t worry and stay up late as if you are the source of the increase, or the one who has the power to make things happen and save the situation. No, God is the one and He says to you, “My beloved child, throw that care to Me and go to sleep.” And while you are sleeping, He is working on your situation. He, who neither slumbers nor sleeps (Psalm 121:3–4), works the night shift for you as you sleep!
But because we are such doers and performers, it is hard for us to let go and let God take over. But when we actually do, casting all our cares, anxieties and worries once and for all into His hands, we will see how He cares for us affectionately and watchfully. (1 Peter 5:7) We will see Him taking care of our problems and working things out for good. (Romans 8:28)
Genesis 1:26 26Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
When God made man, He gave man dominion over everything on earth. To have an idea of the kind of dominion that man would have had had he not sinned, let’s look at the perfect Man, Jesus Christ.
When Jesus wanted to pay the temple tax, He only needed to command a fish to bring the money to Him. (Matthew 17:24–27) When He wanted to feed a multitude, He only needed to multiply five loaves and two fish in His hands. (Mark 6:34–44) When a storm threatened the lives of His disciples, He only had to speak to the storm and there was perfect calm. (Mark 4:35–41) And every sick person who was brought to Him went away healed. He even brought the dead back to life because He had dominion over death!
Today, you have the same dominion that Jesus exercised because Christ is in you. (Colossians 1:27)
“Emmanuel, forget about having dominion over the sea, air or earth. I want dominion over my backache which has robbed me of my time with my children. I want dominion over my financial situation.”
My friend, because God’s purpose for you is to have dominion on earth, He will keep you healthy. After all, it is hard to rule the earth when you are sick and lying on your bed. And God will prosper you because it is hard to want to do things when you are in lack.
We need to understand that since God’s greater purpose is for man to have dominion on earth, it would include the lesser blessings such as health and provision. Then, we will see ourselves as God sees us, walking in dominion, and we will walk in victory over our negative circumstances in the natural realm.
Beloved, you have been born again of the Spirit, born to rule and have dominion over everything on earth!
Romans 4:7–8 7“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; 8blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.”
Some people think that if they were more “right” with God, then He would hear their prayers. For example, they sometimes believe that if they had not quarreled with their wives or had those bad thoughts earlier in the day, then God would answer their prayers.
God is not like that. He wants you to know beyond any doubt that you can always come to His throne of grace with boldness and have every confidence that you will receive His mercy and grace. (Hebrews 4:16) You see, because of Jesus’ finished work on the cross, you are already right with God. You don’t need to do anything to make yourself more right with God.
In fact, by faith in Jesus, you have received the righteousness of God Himself ! (2 Corinthians 5:21) And no matter how many mistakes you make, you will never lose that righteousness because in the first place, God gave it to you apart from your works. (Romans 4:5–6) In other words, God did not impute righteousness to you because you were good, but because you believed in Jesus.
Because of what Jesus has done for you at the cross, all your sins — past, present and future — are forgiven. God will by no means ever remember your sins or count them against you! (Hebrews 8:12, 10:17)
My friend, because Jesus has been punished for your sins, today, God is not counting your sins against you. This means that your sins won’t stop Him from hearing and responding to your prayers. So you can always run into His presence knowing that you can boldly stand in and enjoy His presence and His love.
When you know this truth, it is going to set you free in your relationship with God. You can talk to Him without fear or any sense of condemnation. You can practice His presence and trust that He always hears you. Should something happen at home or at work, you don’t always have to call for your church leaders — you pray and God hears you!
Beloved, you are righteous in Christ and God hears your prayers — all because of Jesus!
Deuteronomy 28:12 12The Lord will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.
In the Bible, rain usually speaks of blessings. Even today, Israelis thank God when it rains because they know that when He gives them rain, their blessings will be plentiful. Their cattle will feed in large green pastures and eat cured, winnowed fodder. And when they see rivers and streams of water flowing from their mountains and hills (Isaiah 30:23–25), they know that times of refreshing have come.
Likewise, you can expect God to rain His blessings on you and bless the work of your hands. Then, you will come to a place where you will “lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow”. In fact, Jesus wants you to know that this is a blessing which He died to give you because when He died, He did not even have a tomb of His own. He was laid in a borrowed tomb, so that you can have the power to lend.
My friend, there is nothing you can do about the rain but to let it fall. So just expect God to rain His blessings on you! Let them fall! And you will be blessed with more than enough, so that with your needs and your family’s needs more than met, you can be a blessing to others too!
Ephesians 4:32 32And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
People like to say, “I can forgive, but I cannot forget.” Have you heard that before? Now, in the first place, nowhere in the Bible does God tell you to forgive and then to forget. It is not in the Bible! The devil is adding something here to make the whole thing burdensome.
God only tells us to forgive because God in Christ has forgiven us a debt we cannot pay. When we do this, we do ourselves a favor because harboring bitterness and unforgiveness can sometimes destroy our health!
So just forgive and let God take care of the rest. When you really forgive, sometimes, He makes you forget. But sometimes, you still remember the incident because it was a major thing in your life. Yet, when you look back at it, the pain is no more there. The sting is gone and you are not bitter.
Joseph had forgiven his brothers before they came and bowed before him. He remembered what they did to him, but he did not remember it with bitterness. (Genesis 50:15–21) So you may remember the incident, but the bitterness is gone because you have put the cross in the picture — “God in Christ forgave me. Daddy, I forgive you. Mama, I forgive you. My cousin, I forgive you.”
When you forgive, forgive by faith, not by your feelings. We walk by faith, not feelings. (2 Corinthians 5:7) Some people are waiting for feelings — “I am waiting, Father, for the right emotion to come on me to forgive that person.” That “right emotion” may never come!
No, forgive by faith, and do it once and for all. Spend time in prayer. Take out your diary and write it down: “Father, I bring this person before you. You know what he did to me. Father, as You forgave me through Jesus’ cross, even though I did not deserve it, by faith, I now forgive this person and I let my anger against him go in Jesus’ name. Amen!”
Once you forgive by faith, you will see the sting of bitterness removed from your heart. You will experience the peace and joy of God filling your mind, and see a greater measure of wholeness in your body!
Leviticus 27:12 12… the priest shall set a value for it, whether it is good or bad; as you, the priest, value it, so it shall be.
Your colleague says that this week is going to be a lousy one because the new boss is mean. You disagree and say that it is going to be a blessed week. Both of you will go through the same week, but with very different outcomes. While your friend’s week will indeed turn out to be a lousy one, yours will be filled with the favor of the Lord!
In the Old Testament, when someone brought what he had to the priest for a valuation, whatever the priest assessed the value of the item to be, it was so. If he assessed it to be of good value, then it was of good value. If he assessed it to be of poor value, then it was of poor value.
Today, you are also a priest because of Jesus’ blood. (Revelation 1:5–6) And “as you, the priest, value it, so it shall be”. If you assess your year to be one of financial breakthroughs, so it will be for you. If you assess your life to be filled with divine health, so it will be for you.
God is your salvation, He has already satisfied you with long life. (Psalm 91:16)
Actually, you have more authority than the Levitical priests of the Old Testament. They were of the old priesthood of mortal men. But you are of the greater and “forever” priesthood of Jesus! (Hebrews 7:8, 17) Not only that, you are a king-priest. (Revelation 1:6) In other words, you are a king as well! And as a king, your assessment is also binding because where the word of a king is, there is power! (Ecclesiastes 8:4)
My friend, this means that you have a double portion of assessment power. Therefore, boldly assess good things for your life, and it will be so for you!
Isaiah 54:2 2“Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; do not spare; lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes.
2020 The Lord is saying to you : “I your God have gone ahead of you and I have already been to your future. I have seen it. And I declare that it is good.”
This is prophetic for every member of the body of Christ. I tell you, when God declares your future good, it will be good! It will be filled with many wonderfully good days!
So what do you do when the Lord tells you that you are going to have a good future loaded with His blessings? You prepare for it! In other words, before the blessings come, before the increase comes, He wants you to enlarge the place of your tent and stretch forth the curtains of your dwellings.
For example, if you are believing God for a child, start reading books on babies and preparing the baby’s room. In fact, prepare to have more than one child. Start looking for a bigger place for your family for God says, “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; do not spare; lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes.” Get ready for expansion!
My friend, God wants you to get ready, and expect such favor and increase in the days ahead that “you shall expand to the right and to the left, and your descendants will inherit the nations, and make the desolate cities inhabited”. (Isaiah 54:3)
Because God has declared your future good, know that you stand on favor ground today. Expect good things to happen to you. Expect to see the favor of God on you and your family. Expect the blessings and increase of the Lord. Expect many good days to show up in your life!