Matthew 3:13-17 (NLT)
Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. But John tried to talk him out of it. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you,” he said, “so why are you coming to me?” But Jesus said, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.” So John agreed to baptize him. After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”
There were many people standing around the Jordan River the day that John baptized Jesus Christ. When the heavens opened and the Spirit of God descended on the Son of God like a dove and a voice said, “This is my dearly beloved Son, who brings me great joy.” Yet no one flocked to the Lord or fell face down in His Presence. No one seemed to understand the significance in the moment except the prophet as he pulled him from the water. A living example for all the world to see and so many missed it in that moment along the muddy banks of the Jordan. The Jordan River was significant in many ways. It was the way of freedom for the Israelites as the moved from wandering in the wilderness to the Promised Land. They witnessed many miracles in its flow. It was the pathway from captivity to freedom laid by the Hand of God. Herdsmen watered their cattle there. Woman washed their laundry in it. Children splashed and played on its banks. Few remembered the freedom that it represented choosing to remain in complacency than be compelled to follow the Messiah. God had pointed from Heaven and said, “He is the One. People this is my Son. I love this Kid!” The people watched and whispered from the banks afraid to step in over their head. We do the very same thing today. God’s Spirit is poised over men and women on the brink of indecision. He rests quietly locked inside undecided hearts. People are saved by grace but have no idea what do with it. They do not understand its power for their life. They will never know until they step in the water. Move in a little deeper. By faith, allowing the Grace of God to work in them and through them until they are free indeed. Is that you? Do you have one foot in the overflow of God uncertain if you are ready to cross over? The Lord invites you today to come. It is time to cross the Jordan. He has ended your captivity to sin so why not leave it behind? Where the Spirit of the Lord is – there is freedom. All you have to do is get to the other side…
Ephesians 2:8-10 (NLT)
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
God knew that you would need His Grace to walk in freedom. He saved you by His Grace when you chose to believe by faith. It is His Gift to you. However, like any other gift you may receive in this life unless you use it – the gift is pointless. Grace is far from pointless. It is the very thing that allows us to be become the Masterpiece that the Lord planned for each individual to be as part of a divine work greater than anyone has ever known. You have no idea the potential locked away inside of you and this world does not want you to discover it. Salvation is an opportunity to realize our God-given potential and grace is the access point to discover and become all that the Father created us to be. You will not experience such a life remaining captive to your sin and running back to the captor. By crossing over grace into God’s Presence, we live in the freedom designated for us by God and provided by the Blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross. But you cannot experience the provisions of grace until you move from death to life.
Ephesians 3:6-8 (NLT)
And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus. By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News. Though I am the least deserving of all God’s people, he graciously gave me the privilege of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ.
Grace is not just another form of captivity as we move from slavery to servitude. Grace is the opportunity to prosper in the provision of God and privilege of inheritance as a Child of God. We have misapplied God’s Grace and used it for things it was never intended as an excuse to sin and rob God of His Riches. Grace is a pathway from death to life. It moves us from blessing to cursing if we are willing to transition our life from this world into the Presence of God and live there. ”God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 5:20-21) True grace is discovered by choosing not to sin and walk in the Freedom offered by Jesus Christ as a gift. Have you moved from death to life? Do you live like it will be forever? Have you crossed over the Jordan into the Promised Land?
I John 4:4 (NLT)
But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.
If people really believed that they belonged to a God who always wins and that His Spirit inside of them was greater than any other power in this world, lives would be changed. Revival would break out. If just one more person believed with their life and moved from darkness into the Light, things would change. You have won the victory! It is a done deal. God went before His Children into the Promised Land. He won every battle and encounter they would face and all they had to was step in and take it. (Deuteronomy 9:1-3) The same goes for you precious child of the Living God, so what is keeping you from walking by faith and not by sight? (2 Corinthians 5:7) Take your eyes off the giant and focus on your sling. No weapon formed against you will prosper not by my words, but according to the Word of God. (Isaiah 54:17) You just don’t believe it so you have chosen to remain comfortable in a controlled environment rather stepping in to the unknown depths of His Mercy, Love and Grace.
Jude 1:3-4 (NLT)
Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people. I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
The Grace of God allows us to walk in His Freedom by faithfulness. You must remain faithful once you cross through His Grace. It is a commitment to work out one’s salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12) This all but says that there will times of uncertainty when we must trust solely in the Lord. We cannot produce grace. We can only accept it and move through it to live in the Presence of God. Faith produces confident hope that allows us to remain faithful to the Grace and Mercy of God trusting Him when all hell breaks loose in our life. The River Jordan was often raging when God told mere men to cross it, but when they put their foot in and immediately rescinded at the simple act of obedient faith which is required to live in the Promises of God. (Joshua 3:9-16) Living in the Presence and Power of God by Grace will always require one’s faith. It is what makes it possible to cross from death to life and end the captivity of sin in our life. God warned the people when you cross over the Jordan – you must remain faithful. (Deuteronomy 11:31-32) “Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32)
John 4:23-24 (NLT)
But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
We worship God in Spirit (living inside of us) and in Truth (by the Word of God). The two make a soulful connection that changes the way that we worship. We used to worship God out of a spirit of obligation but by grace we now do it out of love. The truth mandated it as law. We were to honor God to abide by the Law. But through amazing grace that has exempted us from the penalty of disobedience, all obedience is subject to great reward and priceless promises. We honor God because we love Him not because we have to. The Israelites were told that their worship would change when they crossed the very same waters that Jesus Christ – the Messiah – would be baptized in. (Deuteronomy 12:8-11)
Psalm119:45(NLT) I will walk in freedom for I have devoted myself to your commandments.
God’s Word leads on the pathway of freedom. Isaiah said that there was the road that ran between Jordan and the sea. (Isaiah 9:1-7) I wonder if that is the Highway of Holiness that he goes on to describe. (Isaiah 35:8-9) It is described as a true revelation of the Love of God demonstrated by His Grace and Mercy for mankind. But it is the road less traveled as believers choose the common area of life closely adhering to the gray area of compromise and middle-of-the-road mentality that is not based on God’s Word, Will and Way but watered down grace. Those who choose to live according to the Word of God making obedience a lifestyle will inherit the blessings and benefits found on the Highway of Holiness. It must be the way that we live. (Deuteronomy 31:12-13) “May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord. By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.” (2 Peter 1:2-3)
James 4:5-7 (NLT)
What do you think the Scriptures mean when they say that the spirit God has placed within us is filled with envy? But he gives us even more grace to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but favors the humble.” So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Do not let human pride steal God’s Greatest Blessings from your life. Your miracle may wait just on the other side of Jordan but pride caused by fear of failure keeps you planted in the bondage of sin, shame and all of its counterparts. Namaan was offended that the prophet would not come lay hands on him and heal his leprosy. He did not listen to the Word of God at first because he was too caught up in pride. (2 Kings 5:9-14) This is a giant red stop sign for every man and woman of God today. What are you not doing because pride has stopped you from serving God? This may be the breakthrough you have been waiting for withheld because of your inability to humble your life before God and remain in fear of failure. Namaan finally submitted to the Word of the Lord and was instantly healed – God’s Way. There is not telling what miracle awaits those who choose to go to the Jordan in obedience to God. (2 Kings 6:1-6) What is keeping you from submitting to the Lord? Pride? Fear of failure? Doubt? Whatever it is – is it worth never entering your promise or obtaining the blessing you so desperately need?
2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (NLT)
Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Hard times do not indicate that the Lord has left you or that He is not in complete control. When Jesus came up out of the Jordan, the Spirit led Him straight into the wilderness. (Luke 4:1-2) The Spirit of the Lord is always leading you to freedom. (2 Corinthians 3:16-18) Grace requires total dependency on God to have real freedom. You are going to go through some things just as the Children of Israel had to cross over the Jordan River. We are moving from death to life. Do not be afraid. The Lord is working out every detail for good (Romans 8:28) before you get there, but you must keep walking in His Grace, Mercy and Love to discover it. (Isaiah 43:1-2) He is filling you with Living Water so you will not need anything but overflow in the Goodness, Grace and Love of God. (John 4:10-14) You cannot be filled until you are emptied. Trust the Lord. He is doing a good thing in your life. He is creating a Masterpiece out of the hidden potential coupled with growing faith inside of you. Be patient. Endure until you understand and persevere when you don’t really get it. You are crossing from captivity to freedom and into your Promises. It will be worth it all and remember – “His Grace is ALWAYS enough! In your weakness, you will obtain His Power and Strength to go farther, deeper, higher and wider in His Amazing Love. Freedom is far reaching and God will stretch you far enough to have it all.
Luke 4:17-19 (NLT)
The scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where this was written: “The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the LORD’s favor has come.”
Jesus has done everything that He promised to do. The rest is now up to you. Will you walk in His Way? Will you live according to His Word? Will you step into the overflow of Grace to come boldly to His Throne? (Hebrews 4:15-16) You have nothing to lose and everything to gain as you step into the freedom offered by His Grace. There is more than enough to keep you busy for the rest of your life discovering the Goodness of God that is your inheritance by His Grace. His Grace is a gift offered in His Great Love for you! (Ephesians 2:4-6) Have you accepted it today? Cross over Jordan by way of His Grace and walk in the Goodness of God reserved just for you. It will be worth everything you left behind to discover the vast potential of His Great Love.
Ephesians 3:17-19 (NLT)
Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.