New Covenant

Hebrews 8: 10

“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”

First things first, recognize that because of Jesus, you are now the house of Israel, so God is talking about you. There are many other passages, in both the Old and the New Testament, which speak to this new contract. In fact, one can see God’s plan unfold through the whole Bible. I could easily spend an entire week on just this aspect of God’s master plan but I will restrain myself. Just know that He has been putting the pieces in place for thousands of years.

The key here, as I see it, is that God is moving into our hearts. We are stepping into a relationship with God. I really like how this same thought is articulated in the book of Revelations, “Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children (Revelation 21: 7). God’s plan from the beginning and now was to raise a family. It ultimate goal is to have us in intimate, close relationship with Him. In the Old Testament, God was with the Israelites. He led them through the desert in the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. He had an improvement plan on the drawing board though. In Joel 2: 28 He said, “I will pour out my Spirit upon all of you!” This was the foretelling of the New Covenant and the new way people would walk with God. No more is God in the cloud. With this pouring out, He has come to live in us. “Don’t you know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” (1 Corinthians 3: 16).

God’s word is alive in us. He has come to earth and made a home in our hearts and spirits. No longer do we need to look outward to clouds or to an ark to behold our God. God has come to make His abode with us. We are the new Ark of the Covenant. Jesus has made all of this possible and we should seek God in our hearts and get to know Him as an intimate. He is our God and we are His people but as He has said, we are His children. The New Covenant is the indwelling presence of Almighty God and the intertwining of His spirit and yours. Get wrapped up in Him today.

God Success

Proverb 10: 22

It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich, and He adds no sorrow to it.

This is the last day of our sojourn through the proverbs and I can think of no better proverb to end on than this one. I have been wanting to write on this for months anyway.

Do you know that you can do a lot more good in the world with riches than without? God knows it and so He intends you to be rich? Does that bother your sensibilities? I hope not because God has a plan and that plan involves making you rich. Hey, He said it! Besides, the verse tells us that you should not feel chagrin or shame. It is the blessing of the Lord which makes us rich and God adds no sorrow, misery, worry, shame, chagrin, or regret to it.

But wait . . . there’s more, much more. My good friend, Dr. Chuck Goldberg shared the real truth of this scripture with me and it brings great joy and perhaps even a little relief. Dr. Goldberg was on the Rabbinical path until he chose the study of medicine. That is a blessing to you and I because he was able to reveal to me what the original Hebrew of this text is and it is earth shaking. The Hebraic rendition of this verse is, “The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, and your toil adds nothing to it.” Wow! When we get back to the original language the truth and revelation leap out at us. For those of you are have been learning about and leaning into the integration, the intertwining of you and Jesus, this is at the heart of that critical lesson.

Our success is not about our gifts, talents, brilliance or even hard work. Success and riches are the by-product of a life intertwined with the Lord. As you have heard me say before, He does the heavy lifting. Our job is to pray and to listen to Him. That is also why Psalm 46: 10 is so important. It reads, “Cease striving and know that I am God.” Do you see the parallel with Proverb 10: 22? Success is not in our striving but in our “knowing” and experiencing Him as God.

I have been blessed to work with a number of business people lately and I have seen time and again that God keeps imparting this message in numerous ways. I have watched as He continues to lead you into business integration with Him as a partner. I celebrate you and hope that this “Word” from the Lord encourages you. It turns out that our “workaholic” patterns and mindsets are not of the Lord. In fact, in light of these scriptures they are not only unscriptural but might you argue they are sinful? They fly full in the face of these two scriptures. He has said, “Cease striving.”

God is the author of success and riches. I do not deny that we can attain some level of riches in our own strength but I am increasingly aware of the high cost of doing it ourselves. First, we never succeed to the level we would if we let God be the author of our success. Second, the cost usually is in sorrow.

Success with God and in God brings no downside, no sorrow. Success in the world is often marred by broken health, broken relationships and devastation in many areas of life. One’s spiritual life is guaranteed to suffer. This is the sorrow and suffering that God intends us to bypass. He has only good plans for us and everything with Him is good. There is no downside. Come on! That’s exciting. Can’t someone shout?! Let’s get a full revelation of this. God wants to bless you financially and in the offing is goodness and blessing in every single area of your life. That is God success. He wants you to have enough money to meet your needs, yes, but we’ve got to get past that. He wants you supporting ministries and sending ministers into all the world. He wants your star to shine so brightly and so high in the sky that it will draw people to it and thus, to Him. And, He wants to do the hard work. He does not want you to strive to achieve any of this but rather to lean on Him. He wants you to learn how to trust Him and work with Him as you never have before.

Be still, cease striving and let Yahweh show who is God. His action will bring rest and wealth and your toil, well, it adds nothing. It is all about Him and the power of His might. Yahoo! Find your way into that deep relationship with Him which issues from within your spirit. Look into your heart and find the creator of the universe. Then wrap your tendrils around Him and succeed.

God . . . never fails

1 Corinthians 13: 4 – 8

Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

Today ends this series. I hope you have enjoyed it. We know better than ever the very nature and character of God. Today’s final entry is a good conclusion. If we cannot remember all sixteen attributes of love, this one certainly seems to say it all, Love never fails. Yahoo! Translate that – it means God will never, ever fail us. We may fall short of the prize but God never has, never will. He does not fail.

You are born of this great love, you know. So, you have all the power of love living inside you. You need not fail, ever. “Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4: 4). The great one is He who has taken up residence within you. His power is yours, even His love is yours. We can express all that God is but not through our own strength and willpower. As we intertwine with Him we learn to express that integration. God brings out the best in us. He infuses everything that we are with everything He is. It’s like having a constant blood infusion of God’s blood, or should we say, of Jesus’ blood. There is so much revelation buried in that statement that we could camp out for months on its truth. This is who you are though, the born of love, born of the greater one you. You are God’s greatest miracle. You may see flaws but they are only skin deep, truly.

Love truly is power and you are heir to this unfailing power. I think you are justified in shouting right here. Love never fails, so God never fails and He, God, is enmeshed, intermingled, intertwined, intermixed and co-mingled in your DNA. You have God’s life blood flowing through your veins. When we all get a big revelation of all of this we will walk on water, heal the sick, raise the dead and do even more than Jesus as he said we would (John 14: 12). If we knew what a great miracle God had wrought in us, truly nothing would be impossible to us . (Matthew 17: 20).

Whatever you aspire to, whatever dreams and ambitions you hold in your heart the love which is God longs to fulfill them all. Regardless of past failures, despite the naysayers, the most powerful force on earth believes with you and in you. Don’t give up and don’t give in because love never does and . . . love never fails.

Intertwined with Jesus

Isaiah 40: 31

Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.

When you go to our webpage (www.iveyministries.org) you will see this verse on the leading banner. One might question why we have chosen this verse when there are others which seemingly fit the logo better. Of course, one thinks of John 15: 5, “ I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.” Yes, I love that verse. It is rich, but so is today’s verse.

To really appreciated today’s verse one needs to look a bit deeper. If you stopped reading this and looked at our website, you undoubtedly noticed a difference. Above reads, “those you wait for the Lord.” The website verse reads, “those who hope in the Lord.” That is the NIV reading whereas for the Word of the Day I used the New American Standard Bible. Which is right? Well, they both are. The God’s Word version deals with this verse well. It says, Yet, the strength of those who wait with hope in the Lord will be renewed.” Certainly that adds clarity between the various readings but still, I have not answered why this verse in any version would be appropriate for Ivey Ministries other than it is just a great verse and inspiration from the Lord. In order to reveal the very essence of this verse we must look in the concordance.

When you look up the word “wait” in Strong’s Concordance (Strong’s no. 6960) you find it is the Hebrew word “qavah”. It is a root word which means to bind together perhaps specifically or particularly by twisting. So let’s look at today’s verse in this light, “Those who are ‘twisted together with the Lord’ will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” Now, that makes sense, doesn’t it? Let me restate it, “Those whose lives are twisted together, intertwined, with the Lord, shall have great strength.”  One would expect nothing less. The word qavah also implies a sense of expectation. Truly, if we each had a revelation of being inextricably intertwined with Jesus wouldn’t we have enormous expectations of goodness, power, strength and blessing flowing in and through our lives?

That is what I want for you, a life so full of the indwelling presence of the Lord that when you breath, he breathes; when you speak, he speaks. I want the blessing of the Lord to fill you to overflowing. The overflowing grace of the Lord will bless all people you come in contact with. You have the right to walk in the power of the Lord, yes, but also in his majesty. I want you so full that you have the answers, authority, words and power for every situation. I envision each one of you so full of Jesus that he literally overflows from you. All victory, all glory is yours in Christ and that is what you are entitled to. Do you want to talk about entitlement? This is your inheritance in Christ, full victory and glory of the Father. Everything that Jesus is belongs to you through him. He so desired to give you full access to all the glory of God that he chose to go to the cross. Let us not stop short of everything. Let us not settle for anything less than Jesus’ absolute best. This is the Kingdom of God, that we should be intertwined with the Beloved and behold His face. Glory to God and to His children.

Stoned?

John 10: 30 – 33

“I and the Father are one.” The Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good words from the Father’ for which of them are you stoning Me?” The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.”

“The Jews took up stones AGAIN to stone Him.” This was not the first time they had attempted to stone Jesus. His reaction is classic. Rather than running, pulling a sword or calling down fire from heaven, Jesus stood there and argued with them. He questioned them about their reactions. What a testimony that is all by itself. Still, this word “again” begs for attention. Why were they never successful at stoning him? You understand, of course, that stoning is a death sentence. They were not trying to bruise him. Their intention was to kill him. Whatsmore, this was not the first time they had attempted to kill him by stoning him. So, clearly, they failed to kill him in at least one previous attempt. Why were they unable to kill Jesus?

It seems the answer is in verse 30. Jesus had a revelation of “I and the Father are one.” There must be power in that revelation. He knew it was not time to lay down his life so he did not give it up to them. It was this very statement, though, that so incensed the Jews. How dare he compare himself with God or even insinuate relationship with the Father?

Jesus’ life was threatened because of his confession about his position with God. We fairly well take this for granted now. For Jesus to declare that he and the Father are one is completely acceptable to us. Let us go the next step though. Are we ready to admit, accept and even confess that we and the Father are one? Would you say that about yourself. I hope so. It is true. The redemptive plan of God in all its brilliance can be boiled down to this simple statement. We have been joined with the Father. Jesus has restored us to union with God. As Jesus was in the earth, so are we. When you peel back the cover, that really is pretty amazing. Also amazing is that you will not be stoned for making this declaration.

So, I want you to start talking to the Father as if you and He are one. I want you to wake up in the morning as a walking, talking co-tenant with God. Wherever you go, He goes. Whatever He thinks, you think too. You hear His thoughts and share His ambitions.

(See also John 17: 21)

No Weariness Here

Isaiah 40: 28     (paraphrase)                               Index Card 7

I do not faint or grow weary, or tired.

This is a good word that most of us need to hear weekly if not daily. Our strength really isn’t in our bones and muscle. It is in our interconnectedness with the Lord. When I am in Him, I am strong. When I rely on my own strength I get run down and bone tired. That makes me think that if I am complaining about being tired, it is probably a good indication that I am relying on my strength rather than the Lord’s.

The slogan for Ivey Ministries is “Intertwined with Jesus”. The image in my mind is of an Ivy vine being inexorably intertwined with Jesus so that you cannot separate the two. The Lord, our God, showed me this while pondering Isaiah 40: 31 which reads, “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” The word “wait” in that passage means to become intertwined with. The fruit of becoming intertwined with Jesus is much more expansive than in this context alone but here is our promise of physical strength and vitality. You know, when Moses was one hundred and twenty years old the scripture says of him, “his eye was not dim, nor his vigor abated” (Deuteronomy 34: 7).

There is one other thing I would like to point out about this passage. If you look it up you will find that I have paraphrased it rather than quoting it. Remember, I am taking these from my index cards. So, what I have done here is make this personal. This is a personal promise from God to me. Father never grows weary, tired or faints and since we are inextricably intertwined, I don’t either. No weariness here!

Abiding Life

Joel 2:28

And it will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind.

This pouring out is called The Pentecost. The record of this wonderful event is in the second chapter of Acts. God poured out His Spirit for all people. Jesus said of the Spirit, “That is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you” (John 14: 17). This is the purpose of the Pentecost, that divinity would come and make a home with humanity. This abiding presence is not limited to the Spirit of God though. It extends to the Father and the Son. In  John 14: 23 Jesus said, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make Our abode with him.” God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit all want to make a home with us.

Jesus talked a good bit about “abiding”. His ministry, sacrifice and victory have made it possible for us to be united with the Father, Son and Spirit as never before in history. We are now to become one with the divine trinity. Our DNA is being replicated in the image of Jesus (Romans 8: 29). For those who will submit themselves to Jesus’ words and teaching Jesus moves in and takes up residence. We are becoming enmeshed, intertwined with the Father, Son and Spirit so that there is now no separation between us and the divine. We are becoming so integrated that nothing can tear us apart. “I am convinced,” Paul said, “that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love” (Romans 8: 38 God’s Word Translation). And since God is love that means that nothing can separate us from Him. 

This abiding in and with the triune presence of God is the key to our Christian testimony, outreach and life. Abiding in Him means that we shuck off the old self and adorn our new selves with the life of Christ which has now taken up residence within us. No longer do we have to will ourselves to act like a Christian should, no longer do we have to contemplate what Jesus would do in our situation. Now we let the life of Christ which is within us flow out of us and into the world. We put on Jesus and let his life, light and love reach out to other people. 

If you want to know if you are abiding in Him and He in you check your love walk. To the degree that you are others centered, that is the degree to which you are allowing Jesus to express himself. Put on Christ and let him abide forever with you.