Inspiration Message

The way to A Happy New Year

In John’s gospel, Jesus used the symbol of water to describe three levels of spiritual development possible through the Holy Spirit:

• Level 1: In John 3:5, He spoke of being “born of water and the Spirit”. This is “the cup of salvation” (Psa.116:13), with which we begin our Christian lives. With this cup of water, we are cleansed and brought into God’s kingdom as His children.

• Level 2: In John 4:14, Jesus went further and spoke of that cup becoming “a well (spring) of water”. This is a deeper experience of the Holy Spirit, where all our inner longings are met by Him, so that we live in perpetual victory and joy, lacking nothing. A man who has a well in his own compound is not dependent on the city corporation’s water supply. No outsider can turn off his water supply, for he has the source of water within his own compound. This is how it is with the Christian who has found the secret of perpetual abundance in Christ. No-one outside of him can cut off his supply of joy or peace or victory (Jn.16:22).

• Level 3: In John 7:38, Jesus went still further and said that the well would now become a river, and many rivers, flowing out of the believer. This is a picture of overflowing abundance. Such a believer is able to quench the thirst of many needy people around him. Whereas a well satisfies only our own longings, rivers of living water make us a blessing to many people, wherever we go.

The blessing with which God blessed Abraham was, “I will bless you….and in you ALL THE FAMILIES of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen.12:2-3). This is the blessing that can now be ours through the Holy Spirit (Gal.3:14). When God blesses us to the point of rivers flowing out of us, many families in many parts of the country and even in the whole world can be blessed through us.

The good news of the gospel is that we can be saved from such a miserable existence. We can now have rivers of living water flowing out through us constantly, and be a blessing to every family that we meet. We can be merciful to others just as God has been merciful to us. We can release others just as God has released us. We can bless others just as God has blessed us. We can give freely to others just as God has freely given to us. We can be large-hearted to others just as God has been to us.

A.W. Tozer in his article Five Decisions For Spiritual Power says:
“If you are really serious about your spiritual development – the gaining of new joy, new power and new life – then you should make certain decisions in your heart concerning your life, and proceed to keep them.

“One decision is: Never pass on anything about anybody else that will hurt him.

“`Love covers a multitude of sins’ (1 Pet.4:8). The talebearer has no place in God’s favour. If you know something that would hinder or hurt the reputation of one of God’s children, bury it forever. Let God take care of it. `With what judgment you judge, you will be judged’ (Matt.7:2).”

If you want God to be good to you, you must be good to His children. The rules of our Father’s table demand that you don’t tell stories about others who are sitting around that same table with you, no matter what their denomination, their nationality or their background.” (From the book THE BEAUTY OF HOLINESS).

It will be a good thing if all of us make that decision today – never to pass on anything about another that will hurt him or his reputation – and keep that decision, not just for the rest of this year but for the rest of our lives. Those who have lived by that decision in past years have found that when they discarded the worthless from their daily conversation, and spoke only what was edifying and profitable, God in turn, fulfilled His promise, and made them His spokesmen – His mouth (Jer.15:19).

This year – and every year – can be a happy year for all of us if we release everyone who owes us anything, or who has hurt or harmed us in any way. Bury those grudges permanently and be merciful to all men and thus make a new beginning with the Lord today.

Wish you a Happy New Year

– Zac Poonen


It is Dangerous to Follow the Majority

In Numbers 13 we find that the Israelites came to Kadesh Barnea at the border of Canaan – the land that God had promised them. It was now two years since they left Egypt (Deut.2:14), and God told them to go in and posses the land. The Israelites sent twelve spies to survey the land. All twelve of them came back saying that the land was indeed a wonderful land. Ten of them, however, said, “But there are huge giants there and we cannot conquer them.” But two of them – Caleb and Joshua – replied saying, “The Lord will help us to conquer those big giants.” But the 600,000 Israelites listened to the majority.

What do we learn from this? First of all, that it is dangerous to follow the majority – because the majority is invariably wrong. “The way to life is narrow and very few find it,” Jesus said. The majority still go on the broad way to destruction. So if you follow the majority you will certainly be along with them on the broad way to destruction. Don’t ever imagine that a large church is a spiritual church. Jesus’ church had only 11 members in it.

When ten leaders say one thing and two say the exact opposite, whose side will you take? God was on the side of the two here – Joshua and Caleb. Unbelief and Satan were on the side of the other ten. But the Israelites foolishly followed the majority – and that was why they had to wander in the wilderness for the next 38 years. They did not have the discernment to see whose side God was on! God and one person are always a majority – and that is where I want to stand always. We see in Exodus 32 that God was on the side of just one man, Moses, when all the Israelites were worshipping the golden calf. But of all the twelve tribes, only the tribe of Levi could see that then. And now when God was with Joshua and Caleb, even the tribe of Levi could not recognise it!

All of this has lessons for us today. Christendom in general is full of compromise and worldliness. Here and there, God raises up a few who stand for the truth of God’s word without any compromise. If you have discernment you will recognise that God is with those few, and you will stand with them against the majority. You will enter the promised land with them.

How do you identify the man with whom God is standing? He speaks the language of faith. Joshua and Caleb spoke the language of faith : “We can overcome.” We can overcome the giants of anger, sexual lust, jealousy, murmuring etc., We can overcome Satan. God will crush him under our feet. That is the language of the man with whom God stands. The man who is not with God says: “We must not take the Bible so literally. After all, we are only human. We will be defeated until the end of our lives. You have to understand human psychology.” I tell you, I couldn’t care less for all this human psychology. I believe God’s Word.

Many Christians go astray exactly like those Israelites – through human reasoning. God has hidden these things from the clever and the intelligent and revealed them to babes. If you use your human reasoning and your cleverness and your intelligence to study the Bible, I can guarantee that you will go astray. You need the revelation of the Holy Spirit. That’s why Jesus picked fishermen to be His disciples, and not professors like Gamaliel and his students. He did pick one of the students later – Paul. But the Lord had to take him into the desert for three years to bring all his pride to nothing before Paul could get revelation.

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The Lord is Quick to Appreciate and Slow to Criticise

In the letter to the messenger at Ephesus in Revelation 2:1, the Lord  describes Himself as “The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand and walks among the seven churches.” The Lord is always walking in the midst of the churches, examining everything that is said and done by everyone therein, and especially by the messengers whom He holds in His hand. And He measures everything, not by the low standards that carnal Christians have, nor even by the standard of the Ten Commandments, but by the plumb line of Divine righteousness.

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Six Psalms Of Encouragement by Zac Poonen

In Psalm16 David says that the Lord and the saints are all that he wants. In verse 3, he says that he delights in God’s people! All men will know that we are the disciples of Jesus when they see that we love one another. Verse 8, “I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will never be moved”, was quoted by Peter, as referring to the Lord Jesus (Acts.2:25) We are to follow Jesus’ example and set the Lord before our face always in everything that we say or do. Then He will be at our right hand to support us too. In God’s presence, there is “fullness of joy”, and at His right hand there are eternal pleasures (v.11). Joy and pleasure are found in their purest form only in God’s presence where they are eternal. Earthly joys and pleasures are shallow and short-lived.

Psalm 23 is the Shepherd psalm. When the Lord is our Shepherd, we will lack nothing (v.1). HE makes us to lie down. HE leads us. HE restores us. HE guides us. Very often we think about what we have to do for the Lord. But here the emphasis is on what the Lord does for us. We can be
effective for God only as we allow Him first to do a work in us. We fear no evil, because HE is with us. HE prepares a table for us and HE anoints our head with oil. Then our cups begin to run over and goodness and mercy follow us everywhere until we reach our eternal home.

In Psalm 66. David praises God for bringing him into a place of blessedness. But this was through many trials. In verses 10 to 12, we read that God took David through sickness, fire and waterandhuman oppression before bringing him to a place of spiritual prosperity. The word translated place of abundance” here is used in only one other place in Scripture – in Psalm 23:5 – where it is translated as “overflows”. So the way to have an overflowing life of blessing is through trial and suffering.

Psalms 91 proclaims the blessedness and security of the one who lives in “the secret place of the Most High”. For us, that secret place is the wounded side of Jesus. Living in “the shadow of the Almighty” implies that God is going in front of us, and we are walking in His shadow (v.1). The safest place in the whole world is the center of God’s perfect will. The Lord promises to deliver us from both our enemies – Satan (the trapper) and sin (deadly disease) (v.3). He will save us from obvious sins (daytime dangers) and from subtle, deceptive sins (night-time dangers) (v.5,6). Even if 11,000 Christians around us do not believe in a victorious life, He will keep us from falling into sin (v.7).

We may have to face many afflictions, but in them all, no evil will ever befall us (v.10). He has appointed angels to care for us, as long as we walk in His will. Satan (the lion and the serpent) will always be crushed under our feet (v.13). God will answer our prayers and set us on high and give us length of life so that we do not die until we have finished our appointed task (v.15,16).

Psalm 112 describes the blessedness of one who fears the Lord. Such a man’s children will be blessed and he will prosper. He will get light from God when he is in darkness. He is righteous and compassionate and lends to those in need. He will not be afraid of bad news because his heart trusts in the Lord steadfastly. God will honour him and the wicked will be envious of him. “God’s constant care of him will make a deep impression on all who see it” (v.6-Living). That’s how it should be in our lives. People around us should be deeply impressed when they see how God has blessed us.

Psalm 139 describes the fact that God is everywhere and knows all things. We are in God’s presence everywhere we go (v.7-12). That is what makes our life so secure. His foreknowledge has also planned every day of our earthly lives right from the day we were born and written it down in a book (v.16). God will show us that plan one page at a time. If we live in that plan, we will have no regret when we come to the end of our earthly lives.