Psalm 84:11-12 (NLT)
A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked. For the LORD God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right. O LORD of Heaven’s Armies, what joy for those who trust in you.
Did you know that Saint Patrick’s Day is considered to be a Christian holiday? The celebration of a man named Patrick who was born in Roman-Britain to a wealthy family. His father a deacon and grandfather a priest at sixteen, Patrick was kidnapped by raiders and taken as a slave to Ireland. Patrick later told others that God had spoken to him in a dream to flee from captivity to the coast where he would find a ship to Britain. When he finally made it home, he studied to become a priest who later returned to Ireland a largely polytheistic country. The shamrock was chosen to represent a Triune God which he used to explain the trinity to the Irish. Who would even consider this day’s humble beginnings considering what people have turned it into? Green beer flows down rivers dyed green for the occasion with people dancing in celebration of a day that was meant to honor a man who used his life to set captives free as the Lord had done for him. How do we get off-track so easily? A headline in the news today, “How to Overcome an Irish Hangover.” Wow, thanks for the insight. Saint Patrick, as the Catholic have deemed him, knew the oppression of captivity, but more importantly he knew the God who could set all mankind free and used his experience to tell others of God’s Grace and Glory.
God’s Grace and Glory are for you today! The price has been paid to set you free from every oppressive force that has held you captive too long. Are you willing to move through His Grace to experience His Glory in your life? The Irish Blessing many will recite today goes like this: “May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face and rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.” The Word of the Lord came to Patrick in his bondage and He believed the Lord having the faith to escape his captors. However, that was not enough for him. He chose to return to Ireland and set others free. God has given you grace galore through Jesus Christ not to get by in life living the way that He found you but so that you could overcome every oppression and oppressor in your life to assist Him in a ministry of deliverance. You have something to offer others in your story. But too often once we are gone, we forget how we got there and wander back into the darkness placing the shackles of sin firmly back in place. God invites you today to use His Grace once more to discover His Glory. The Lord is asking to be your sun and shield today. You do not need the luck of the Irish today, but the Blessing of the Lord. He promises to withhold no good thing from those who do what is right!
Luke 17:17-19 (NLT)
Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you.”
Patrick came from a wealthy family. When he returned to Britain, this man could have taken the history of his abuse and used it as a crutch to sit back in the comfort of his family estate and lived the rest of his life a victim of his circumstances. This mentality will breed a sense of entitlement clearly not the case because of sin. Bad things happen to good people just like good things happen to bad people. We must look beyond today and allow the Grace of Jesus Christ to move us past today into forever. Your past has no place there. However, the Lord will use it to reveal your destiny. He takes every detail of your life and works it out for your good. (Romans 8:28) Even those times you didn’t do what you knew to do, but instead followed your own willful, sinful desires. God has created a means of escape. His Name is Jesus. If you will follow the Lord, He will lead you safely out of your captivity, away from your circumstances and solve your situations. But you must move from constantly needing His Grace due to poor choices, bad judgment and a lack of knowledge that will lead to wisdom. His Glory is reserved for those who escape the stronghold of sin and choose to keep walking deeper and deeper into His Presence not turning back. Such a life is not for perfect people, just committed ones.
Jesus healed ten men but only one returned to give Him glory. (Pause) This is the cycle of the church today. It is like a public laundry mat. People come in get clean, go out, get dirty, come in get clean using a little bleach this time, go out, get dirty, come back in, get clean again and so on and so on and so on. The cycle of sin is not broken. People just add an extra step to the process. No one really wants to escape they just want to make sure they do not die there. Grace washes away our sin. It is complete the first time around. Glory is what we do after God’s Love overtakes us. Now in exchange for life, we give our life to glorify the Lord. Can anyone tell that you are God’s Child, washed in the Blood of the Lamb, singing the Freedom Song or are you just another face in the crowd today trying to drown your sorrows in party that has lost its meaning? The luck of the Irish was the faithfulness of one man who after escaping captivity came back to set others free. He is Saint Patrick who I believe knew my Savior Jesus Christ and followed His Example with His Life. Who will return to serve the Savior who set you free from the bondage and stronghold of sin today?
John 7:38-39 (NLT)
Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)
Jesus Christ is the Glory of God. “So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.” (John 1:14) God sent Jesus Christ as an expressing of His Unfailing Love and Faithfulness to all of mankind. Grace was demonstrated by His Offering and He became the Glory of God when Jesus did what God sent Him to do. Glory is found by expressing God’s Power in your life and fulfilling your purpose. Grace allows us to glorify God something we could not do before Jesus glorified God. We are the reward of Jesus Christ for His Faithfulness in glorifying the Father. (John 17:9-11) Do you see a cycle forming? Now as we glorify God souls will be saved perpetuating God’s Glory in Heaven! The Grace of God is not enough to manifest the Power of God in your life. Grace is the saving Power of God. Glory is the manifestation of God’s Power by honoring Him. The only thing that we have to give God that He didn’t give us first is worship. You cannot glorify without worship. Your life is worship to God. Every part of it as a believer has been committed to the fulfillment of God’s Purpose for your life. The Lord did not leave you lacking in this area either but He gave you His Word and filled you with His Spirit to secure your promises and make them available in your life. You do not need God’s Blessing or that of another, God has blessed you by grace to live right and have all the Promises of God. All you have to do is glorify the Lord!
John 15:7-8 (NLT)
But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
Many people call on the Name of Jesus and enter His Presence each day. After an encounter with the Lord, they leave with their mustard seed of faith. But only those who choose to take that Word they found in Jesus, break it, bless it, devour it, hungering and thirsting for more and more will have the strength and power to use it in their life. The Presence of the Lord reveals His Strength, but it is His Glory that empowers His People. The Glory of God is productive people. When Patrick returned home, he entered the priesthood. The Word that set him free was only the beginning because Patrick wasn’t satisfied with just returning home. He wanted to know the Lord and honor Him with His Life. Grace is impossible without repentance. Repentance means turning from your sin and walking the other way. With the Son on your face, traveling the Highway of Holiness until all you see is the Light of His Love. This is a blessed life empowered by the Spirit and the Wisdom of His Word. This will bring the blessing of God in your life. You cannot ignore your problems and make them go away but the Glory of God can remove the natural circumstances of life and create the escape you have been looking for. “Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority as apostles to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will believe and obey him, bringing glory to his name.” (Romans 1:5) Is your life bringing Glory to His Name today? Do you want to be blessed? The two coincide and are called Grace and Glory!
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (NLT)
For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
The Spirit of the Living God tore the veil in the Temple of God allowing all to come through His Grace and enter the Presence of the Living God. But today and every day until the Lord Jesus Christ comes, this destruction should lead to reflection. Grace is not just for you. It is for you to share with others the Good News of Freedom found in Jesus Christ. If you are constantly on the fringe of His Grace, toying in the world, getting clean, only to run right back to bondage, you will never glorify God with your life. Only those who allow His Spirit to move us from grace to glory will ever find the freedom that St. Patrick found that allowed him to walk back into the captors land and set others free from sin! This is Glory and it is for you! It has the power to release God’s Blessing and fulfill His Purpose in your life! Be set free today! Walk away from sin and escape the stronghold beginning in your heart! You have nothing to fear! Your enemy has no power over you anymore and you can walk right past him escorting others to freedom. All the devil can do is watch powerlessly as you rob him of his reward. Your redeemer lives! The Price has been paid for your freedom! Celebrate your freedom by robbing hell today! The Lord is your sun and shield. We are more than conquerors in the Name of Jesus Christ and for His Glory! Live like it!
Romans 8:37-39 (NLT)
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.