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!
Ephesians 1:3 3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
God does not see as we see. Abraham was a childless, 100-year-old man. His wife, Sarah, at 90 years old, was doubly dead in her womb. (Genesis 17:17) Yet, God saw him and talked to him as if he were already the father of many nations.
My friend, God wants you to see the way He sees. Right now, you may see yourself going through a trial in your marriage, work, finances or health. But God sees a blessed marriage, success at work, supernatural provision and a healed body because He tells you that you are already blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.
You see, God sees you in Christ. So when you see yourself in Christ, who is outside time, you step into the timeless zone. In that timeless zone in Christ, whatever needs and trials of yours are already removed, repaired, restored or resurrected! In that timeless zone in Christ, you are already blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places!
John 14:27 27Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you… Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
The night before Jesus died, He gave His peace to His disciples — “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you…” This peace was not just for His disciples, but also for us today. We have His peace.
The moment you believe in Jesus Christ, He who is the Prince of Peace comes to live inside you. And when the Prince of Peace resides in you, every blessing that you will ever need pertaining to your soundness and wholeness is already inside you.
“Emmanuel, if this is true, then why do I still see problems in my health, Injustices in my nation, unlawful killings, financial mismanagement, family crisis and relationship deterioration?”
The answer is a troubled heart. That is why after Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you,” He said, “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
A troubled and fearful heart works like fingers that clamp down hard on a water hose. The supply of water is flowing from the tap, but little or nothing is coming out at the other end of the hose. God’s ever-present supply of blessings toward you is like the water flowing freely from the tap. But you don’t see the blessings when you allow your heart to be gripped by worry or fear.
So when fearful, anxious thoughts come, remind yourself of Jesus’ words: “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Even when things appear to get worse, say, “Lord, I refuse to worry about this. In the midst of all this, I see the finished work of Christ. He said, ‘It is finished!’ So my country is blessed with good governance, justices, peace and prosperity. My child’s healing is accomplished. My marriage is blessed. My debts are cleared. I will let not my heart be troubled by these things.”
Beloved, I cannot “let not” for you. Your family and friends cannot “let not” for you. Only you can “let not your heart be troubled”. So guard your heart from being troubled. You don’t have to guard your career, reputation, children or even health. When you guard your heart, God will guard everything else for you!
Acts 1:8 8But 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.”
Before Jesus went back to heaven, He told His disciples to “wait for the Promise of the Father”. (Acts 1:4) There are thousands of promises in the Bible, so which promise was He referring to?
The early church knew which promise Jesus was referring to because He had told His disciples, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the Promise of the Father, which you have heard Me speak about. For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:4–5) Jesus was referring to the baptism in the Holy Spirit with speaking in tongues. (Acts 2:1–4)
Jesus wants you to know the value of the Promise of the Father because He said, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me…” He did not say, “You shall do witnessing,” but “You shall be witnesses”. In other words, your very person will be a witness to Him!
This is because the power you receive when you are baptized in the Holy Spirit is the same power that so anointed Peter that the sick were laid on the streets for his shadow to fall on them and heal them. (Acts 5:15) Even handkerchiefs and aprons from Paul’s body were so saturated with the anointing of the Spirit that when they touched the sick, people witnessed diseases and evil spirits leaving the sick! (Acts 19:12)
That same power caused a Holy Spirit-baptized brother, who prayed in tongues, to experience God’s healing power when he laid hands on his mother who was in an advanced stage of cancer. And because she was healed, she became a witness of the love and power of God to her friends and unbelieving relatives.
Beloved, when you are baptized in the Holy Spirit, you will be a witness to others that no problem, trial, disease or sickness is a match for the power of the Spirit in you!
Luke 15:31 31… ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.
After running a few errands for his parents, a little boy went to his father and said,“I know why you and mummy had me.”“Why?”asked his father.
“So that you guys would have someone to run errands for you!” exclaimed the boy.
Like the little boy, do you see God as a Father who demands obedience and service from you? Have you ever felt that unless you obey Him and keep all His commandments, you don’t have a right to be blessed by Him?
Jesus shared the story of the prodigal son to show how some of us call God “Father” and yet don’t know His heart. There are two sons in this parable. We know what happened to the prodigal son, but we can also learn something about the older son. This is what he said to his father when he discovered that his father had thrown a party to celebrate the return of his irresponsible, spendthrift brother: “Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends.” (Luke 15:29)
Now, this son believed that his father had brought him into the world to serve him. He saw his father as someone issuing commandments to him all the time. And he saw himself as someone who had to obey those commandments to enjoy his inheritance. But the truth is that the father had already given him his inheritance. (Luke 15:12) The father even reminded him lovingly: “Son… all that I have is yours.” And I am sure that inheritance included more than one goat!
Have you, like the older son, failed to understand your Father’s heart? Your heavenly Father already gave you a rich inheritance in Christ when you became His son. He wants you to know that you have received the Spirit of sonship. (Romans 8:15) So call out to Him, “Abba, Father!” and know how much He loves you. Because you are His heir, all that He has is yours to enjoy today and always!
Proverbs 17:8 8A present is a precious stone in the eyes of its possessor; wherever he turns, he prospers.
When we see something moldy, we throw it away. But when Alexander Fleming saw his culture dishes contaminated with mold, he discovered penicillin. You see, he had a gift which prospered him.
Joseph, a Hebrew slave in Egypt, had nothing except his gift of interpreting dreams. But look at what that gift did for him. It prospered him. He interpreted Pharaoh’s dream and became the most powerful man in Egypt after Pharaoh. (Genesis 41)
“But Emmanuel Stephen, what if I don’t have any gift?”
My friend, don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t have any gift. God has given each person a gift which can open doors of opportunities and bring in great blessings.
Maybe you are just not aware of that gift you have inside you, or perhaps it has profited you nothing thus far as you have not found out how best to use it. You need to take your gift and ask God for wisdom to cultivate it until it becomes such a powerful tool or “precious stone” that wherever you turn, you prosper.
This was the case with a church brother who was tremendously gifted in the creative arts. For a long time, he lacked the confidence and boldness to leave the security of his police job and step out on his own. But when he began to seek God’s wisdom for his situation, God gave him boldness to leave his job and go back to school to pursue the creative arts. In school, he prospered, becoming one of its top students and impressing the principal so much with his creative gift that he was offered a teaching position in the school even before he graduated.
Now, please don’t go and quit your job after reading this. What you should do is ask God for wisdom regarding your gift. For when the wisdom of God is added to your gift, that gift becomes “a precious stone in the eyes of its possessor; wherever he turns, he prospers”.
Psalm 65:11 11You crown the year with Your goodness, and Your paths drip with abundance.
The economic experts may have painted a gloomy picture for the year, but as far as God is concerned, He has crowned the year with His goodness and abundance! God’s supply and provision are never affected by world events, so good times or bad times, expect every month, every week and every day of this year to be surrounded by His goodness. Expect His abundance to meet your every need!
“But Emmanuel, I’ve not done much good in the past year, so how can I be confident that God will provide for me this year?”
My friend, God doesn’t bless you because of what you have done. He blesses you because of what Jesus has done. At the cross, Jesus bore all your sins and was punished to the full for every one of them, so that you can have His righteousness as a gift and be blessed with every one of God’s blessings (Ephesians 1:3).
Now, look at the word “abundance” in Psalm 65:11. It is the Hebrew word deshen, which means “fatness”. The idea here is abundant provision, blessings and even fertility. (So if you have been believing God for a child for many years, believe that this is the year you will conceive!) Now, the word deshen has another meaning—“ashes”. Ash is the final form of something that has been burnt. For example, the animal sacrifices to God in the Old Testament were burnt on the altar until they became ashes (Leviticus 4:12). So ashes here speak of the finished work of Jesus at the cross that has put away your sins.
My friend, because of Jesus’ finished work you can confidently believe and declare that the year is crowned with goodness and that God’s paths drip with God’s provision, blessings and good success for you every step of the way. If the devil tells you that God won’t bless you because of your sins, just tell him, “ASHES!” and point him to the cross of Jesus!
Beloved, you are blessed not because of your good works, good looks, qualifications or industry experience, but because of Jesus’ finished work. He alone has qualified you to receive God’s goodness and abundance every day for the rest of your life!
Romans 8:16–17 16The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ…
As long as you are born again, you are no longer a “slave”, but a son of the Most High God. And God does not just call you His son. He also calls you “an heir” through Christ. (Galatians 4:7) In fact, Romans 8:17 says that you are “joint heirs” with Christ.
As a joint heir with Christ Jesus, you inherit everything that He is. How precious Jesus is to the Father, is how precious you are to the Father. The way the Father loves Jesus, is the way the Father loves you!
How accepted are you by God today? Look at Jesus. That is how accepted you are! Christ is the measure of your acceptance. How favored are you by God? Look at Jesus, who is seated at the Father’s right hand. You enjoy that same favor today because whatever Christ enjoys, you enjoy!
As a joint heir with Christ Jesus, you also inherit all that He has obtained from the Father. How much Jesus has, is how much you have. How prosperous is the one who made all things, and who put the gold, silver and diamonds in the earth? So are you in this world! (1 John 4:17)
I used to read the Bible to find out how to be a successful and victorious Christian. But now, I read it to find out more about Jesus because I know that when I find Him, I find my every blessing in Him. (Ephesians 1:3, 2 Peter 1:3)
My friend, all that Jesus is in heaven today, you are in this world. All that belongs to Him belongs to you. That is why it is in your interest to know Him more, to see Him in all His glory and beauty. And because Jesus is so glorious, it will take you a lifetime to discover everything that He has done for you and has for you.
Beloved, you are an heir of the Most High God. You are a joint heir with Christ Jesus. So find out all the blessings that your rich inheritance includes and start walking in them today!
Hebrews 8:10 10… I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts…
What laws was God referring to when He said, “I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts”? He was certainly not referring to the Ten Commandments, known as the laws of the old covenant, since He said that He found fault with that covenant and declared it obsolete. (Hebrews 8:7–9, 13)
The laws that God puts in our minds and writes on our hearts refer to the royal law of love (Matthew 22:37–40), the perfect law of liberty (James 1:25) and the law of faith. (Romans 3:27) These are the laws of the new covenant.
You live according to the laws of the new covenant when you are conscious of how much God loves you. And the more you are conscious of His love for you, the more your heart is filled with love. When that happens, you will love God and the people around you supernaturally and effortlessly. That is God writing on your heart the royal law of love — that we love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
Secondly, when you know that you are perfectly accepted by God because of Jesus’ sacrifice, you can have the courage and liberty as a child of God to come boldly into the presence of your heavenly Father. And in His presence, He is able to write on your heart new desires. You will find yourself wanting to do the right thing at the right time. You will live life victoriously from the inside out. This is the perfect law of liberty operating in your life.
Thirdly, when you sense what God is writing on your heart and putting in your mind, and as your faith is activated causing you to trust Him and His love for you, He calls it obeying the law of faith. When that happens, whatever you believe, you receive!
My friend, God has made it easy — and you will find that it is exciting — to live life under the new covenant!
The “inner man,” “inner self,” or “inner being” in passages such as Romans 7:22, 2 Corinthians 4:16, and Ephesians 3:16, and common parlance, is a reference to the spiritual or personal aspect of a person. We think of the “outer man” as our body or outward appearance or behavior, whereas the inner man is associated with things like our mind, heart, soul, and spirit.
Our bodies are the physical vessels through which we experience life. Our inner person is often expressed through our bodies, and the things we experience through our physical senses impact our inner man. Those who believe in Jesus Christ have the indwelling Holy Spirit, for whom our bodies function as a temple (1 Corinthians 6:19–20). Christians are called to offer our bodies to God as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1–2). However, it is largely in the inner man that we commune with God and from which we relate with others. It is in our inner person that we experience things like love, peace, hope, and joy.
Though we might be able to hide our inner person from the world, we cannot hide it from God. He knows all and sees all, even into our hearts (1 Samuel 16:7). This is a comfort to us because we know God sees and cares about our deepest hurts. He knows our personality quirks, our deepest longings, our greatest joys, our musings, our fears, and the like. If we are in Jesus Christ, then God is our Father and we know He views us with kindness and compassion. We can trust Him with the secret things of our inner person.
We also know that God sees the sin that is so often present in our inner man. The Bible clearly states that God is not only concerned with the person we show to the world (our behavior), but that His judgment extends even to the hidden motives of our hearts (Romans 2:16). This is demonstrated in Jesus’ rebuke of the leading Jewish religious people of His day, the Pharisees. The Pharisees had an external or outward righteousness. They followed the law of God to the letter. They tithed even down to their spices (Matthew 23:23–24). However, inwardly they were proud, self-righteous, and spiritually dead (Matthew 23:27–28). Jesus’ standard of righteousness extended beyond outward conformity to God’s law to the inner attitudes of the heart (Matthew 5:21–48). God commands holiness and perfection not only in our outward acts and performance; He demands holy and pure motives from our inner persons, our hearts (1 Peter 1:16).
This creates a bit of a conundrum since no one, not one of us, is holy as God is holy (Romans 3:10–11). None of us have perfectly pure motives to please God in all we think, feel, and do. Our hearts are sinful by nature and by practice. We need spiritual heart transplants. Thankfully, this is exactly what God had in mind and exactly what He does for His children (Ezekiel 11:19–20). The theological term for this spiritual heart transplant is regeneration. It is pictured also in Nicodemus’ interaction with Jesus Christ. Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be born again (John 3). This assumes the spiritual deadness of mankind and the need for a new spiritual nature and heart (Ephesians 2:1–10). Men and women need nothing short of a spiritual birth (John 3:3), and this is what the Spirit of God provides through Jesus Christ (John 3:7–8).
When we receive God’s forgiveness, which is offered to everyone freely who will believe through putting faith in the life and death of Jesus Christ and receiving Him as our Lord and Savior (John 3:16–18), the Holy Spirit comes in to live within us giving us a new heart and new nature (Ephesians 1:13–14). We become children of God (John 1:12) and are declared to be righteous in a judicial sense (this is referred to as “justification“). However, we still retain the sinful tendencies of our inner man. The actual process of transformation (referred to as “sanctification“) is progressive. It is in our inner person that God’s transforming work of sanctification occurs (Philippians 2:12–13).
The Spirit of God is responsible for us as Christians being referred to as new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17). These new natures do battle against our old sinful natures or “old man” (or “flesh”) that remains in us (Galatians 5:17–24; Ephesians 4:17–32). This new inner nature desires to live for and please God not only through outward behavior but by keeping in step with the Spirit in all ways. The Holy Spirit within us gives us the will and strength to resist sin and grow in righteousness. He inclines our hearts toward the things of God and helps us better understand God’s love and grow in obedience to God. The ultimate goal of our new natures is to be conformed completely to the image of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29). One day, when we are with Christ, our inner man will be completely transformed. Sin will no longer be an issue and we will experience unhindered fellowship with Him.