Jesus

Christ’s Perfect Example of Love

Jesus Love on the Cross

(Photo Credit: CNN)

Christ is the highest expression and embodiment of love.

Suffering the most barbarous and mortifying sacrificial death one can ever witness or imagine—all to proffer an invitation for eternal union and fellowship with Him—Christ loved everyone even before anyone ever loved Him.

Giving those willing to believe in Him and His redemptive work on Calvary’s Cross as the final atonement for all sins, Jesus offers an everlasting love, a love that never leaves, never forsakes, never separates.  

Faithful to us when we’re unfaithful to Him, Jesus loves unconditionally because He is love.

To know love, therefore, is to know Him.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Union with Christ: The Way to Know and Enjoy God: A Brief Review

Union With Christ

(Photo Credit: PR Log)

In Union with Christ: The Way to Know and Enjoy God, Rankin Wilbourne explains that believers have true union with Jesus Christ, and this union provides the believer with significant power to face anything Satan presents him or her with in this present world. Wilbourne desires for Christians to appreciate, understand, and enjoy their union with Christ. Unbelievers, however, are encouraged to experience the wholeness that comes from such satisfying fellowship with Jesus. For the author, receiving the Gospel of grace into one’s heart produces a oneness with the Lord, our Savior, our Messiah, Jesus Christ. The text explains that people will struggle with their identity and experiences when they fail to comprehend their union with Jesus that emerges when salvation is received.

American churches are suffering from too much religion and not even Jesus. Wilbourne’s book is an important intervention for the spiritual deficit and crisis of a largely absent Jesus in many churches. While numerous churches claim to offer and experience Jesus, too often they are more interested in offering rules, regulations, condemnation, guilt, shame, all stemming from teaching and preaching centered on the Mosaic Law, especially in pentecostal and apostolic churches. When one reads this book, he or she will learn to concentrate more on a relationship with Christ and stray from religion.

If you are exhausted with religion and want to experience a deeper relationship with Jesus, then I highly recommend that you purchase this book. Also, I recommend that this book be used in your church’s Bible Study sessions. This book is an excellent read.

In exchange for my honest review, a copy of this book was given to me by Litfuse.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

President Jimmy Carter is Cancer-Free: Never Lose Faith

President Carter

(Photo Credit: Life News)

Former President Jimmy Carter announced he’s cancer-free, demonstrating the power of faith to conquer what many suggest is impossible. President Carter’s healing is a testimony of the power of God’s grace. When you put your faith in the power of the Finished Work of the Cross, Jesus will heal you. In Zechariah 4:6-7, God informs us that whatever our mountain may be, including a mountain of sickness and disease, shout “Grace, Grace” to that mountain and it will become a “plain.” Because of Christ’s love for President Carter and his faith in grace, the mountain of cancer that once afflicted him has become a plain.

President Carter had people across the world praying for him. Look at what God will do when Believers across the globe join in unity for intercessory prayer.

When we pray, we should speak to our mountain (cancer, poverty, pain, etc.) and tell it to be cast into Hell (Mark 11:23). Believers have been given the authority to use their mouths to command the healing they and others need. The key to seeing healing manifest in your and others’ bodies is to believe that you have already received what you desire when you pray (Mark 11:24).

An unwanted report from your doctor indicating you have cancer doesn’t mean you’re going to die. Starve your fear and feed your faith with the Word of God. Allow President Carter’s example to inspire the hope of Christ in you. While I understand the argument that President Carter was able to benefit from the best medical care on the planet, numerous other famous and wealthy people have died with cancer. One shouldn’t, therefore, falsely believe his cancer being cured is simply a product of his economic and social privilege; cancer doesn’t care about privilege. Cancer kills regardless of privilege. Grace has healed President Carter!

President Carter, millions of people across America and globe rejoice with you and for you. What God has done in your life proves He’s still performing miracles.

May God continue to bless you, President Carter, and may God continue to bless America.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

J.D. Greear’s Jesus Continued…: Why the Spirit Inside You is Better Than Jesus Beside You: A Brief Summary and Thoughtful Reflection

J.D. Greear

Pastor J.D. Greear and family
(Photo Credit: The Summit Church)

In Jesus Continued…: Why the Spirit Inside You Is Better Than Jesus Beside You, J.D. Greear explores how the permanent presence of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, living on the inside of Believers enables them to experience a relationship with God that is more empowering and fulfilling than the relationship Believers enjoyed when the Incarnate Christ dwelled on earth. Greear emphasized that one cannot fulfill the will of the Lord without the active presence of the Holy Spirit in his or her life. This work calls for individuals to submit to the leadership of the Holy Spirit, resulting in the individual experiencing a personal and spiritual renaissance.

Greear’s book evinces that one of the greatest benefits of receiving the grace of God is having the Holy Spirit live inside of the individual. In a time when too many people and churches are deemphasizing and neglecting the Holy Spirit, this work provides a valuable contribution to the Christian community by revealing it is the free operation of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Believer that enables him or her to experience a satisfying life in this present world. The practical biblical truths this book extends to readers allows them to gain a deeper appreciation for the Holy Spirit, and it challenges readers to become more connected to the power of the Holy Spirit.

I highly recommend that Believers read Greear’s work to learn how to unleash the full power of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

BookLook Bloggers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book to pen an authentic review.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

A New Past, Present and Future in Jesus

Black women in church

(Photo Credit: Black Youth Project)

Under the New Covenant of Grace, you receive a new past, present and future when you receive Salvation. When Jesus died upon the Cross, He died for you to have a new past, present and future. The most vivid evidence of this new past, present and future we receive through Salvation is found in II Corinthians 7:2: “Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man.” If you understand the Apostle Paul’s history, dating back to his unconverted days as Saul, you recognize that Paul persecuted and killed more Christians than any person in history. The question becomes, therefore, is Paul lying when he says he has not “wronged no man,” “corrupted no man,” and “defrauded no man”? Not at all. The reason why Paul says this is he has fully received his new life in Jesus Christ. Through the Finished Work of Jesus Christ, Jesus has bought for us all—through His precious shed blood—the right to have a completely new past, present and future.

We enter into this blood-bought Grace Covenant with Jesus when we receive the Salvation He has made available to everyone. After you receive Salvation, Jesus says that not only are your sins forgiven but He will also never remember them again: “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more” (Hebrews 8:12). Receiving the Salvation that Grace has made available allows you to no longer live in the condemnation of your past, present and future sin: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1). As a Believer, Jesus no longer remembers your sins. Why would you choose to remember them? Why would you continue to hold on to the condemnation attached to your past sins when Jesus knows nothing about them?

When your sins are forgiven, Jesus expects for you to no longer live a life where you’re sin-conscious: “For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins” (Hebrews 10:2). When you’re constantly worried about sin threatening your position of righteousness in Christ Jesus, this sin-consciousness causes you to receive bondage and fear—this bondage and fear is not a part of your reborn spirit in Christ Jesus, but it is bondage and fear you receive from Satan when you fail to Rest in the fact that your righteousness is eternally secure when you continue to place your Faith completely in what Grace has made available to you. Romans 8:15 states, “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” When we receive Salvation, we become a part of God’s family; He becomes our Daddy—all because of what Jesus did at the Cross and our receiving of His Finished Work. Receiving Salvation means we receive God as our Father. A Believer can never be separated from his or her Father—you’re eternally connected to the Father, even sin cannot separate you from the Father because when God sees us He sees Jesus—not our sins.

Ephesians 1:4-7 state, “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” Because of Jesus and what He did at the Cross, our righteousness in Him is eternally secure. Again, not even sin can ruin our position of righteousness in Christ Jesus. If our sin could ruin our position of righteousness in Christ Jesus, then John 3:16 would have to be a lie, and we know God is not man who has ever lied and will not ever lie (Numbers 23:19).

After receiving Salvation, your eternal life is secure and all that Grace has made available to you is secure. The more you sin in this life, however, can unravel your life in this present world—sin cannot unravel what has already been laid up for you in your eternal life in Heaven.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Biblical Fasting Isn’t about How Long You Fast: It’s about Intimacy and Fellowship

Praying Black Man

(Photo Credit: Thy Black Man)

Biblical fasting is about intimacy and fellowship with Jesus. Too many Christians become too focused on how long they should fast and not on the two primary purposes of fasting: intimacy and fellowship with Jesus. When you’re having genuine intimate relations and fellowship with Jesus, you’re not concerned about how long you’re fasting and clock-watching; your undivided attention is given to spending quality time with the Lord. If you’re truly spending quality time with the Lord, you don’t have time to stop and share with others via social media about how great of a time you’re having with Him or how hungry you are. Matthew 6:16 states, “Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you. They have their reward.” Fasting is a deeply personal and sacred experience with God—not a vehicle for veiled boasting. Matthew 6:17-18 say, “But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.”

Fasting Isn’t about Suffering

True biblical fasting is not about suffering. If you feel like you’re going to get sick due to hunger, then go ahead and eat. You don’t win brownie points with the Lord for getting sick because you ignorantly allowed yourself to attempt to reach some artificial time goal. When you fast, you do set aside a time that you plan to fast. You don’t, however, concentrate on ending the fast at the exact time you planned. Let this spiritual experience flow naturally. As you become more acclimatized to fasting, which comes from fasting regularly (not just a few weeks at the beginning of the year and a few days here and there), you become better able to fast the entire time you plan to fast, and hunger does not become a significant factor. When you have authentic fellowship with Jesus, He will take your mind off of natural food and give you spiritual food—food that lasts eternally. Revelation 6:16-17 proclaim, “They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”

Just remember that it’s never about the length of time you fast.

Fasting Gives Birth to Desired Manifestations

When you have true intimacy and fellowship with Jesus, you become pregnant with the things He desires to see manifested in your life. You don’t, therefore, fast to get something; you fast purely for the intimacy and fellowship. You receive the things you need and desire from Jesus as a natural byproduct of the authentic intimacy and fellowship you have with Him. Concentrate on the intimacy and fellowship and let Him handle the things you need and desire to see manifest in your life. Matthew 6:33 declares, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” When you’re intimate with Jesus, you’re able to give birth to the phenomena you need and desires of your heart.

What You Need is Already on the Inside of You

For those who have received Salvation proper, Jesus has already placed on the inside of you everything you need for this life. II Peter 1:2-4 state, “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According to his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world.” While fasting, you pray, read and study God’s Word and meditate on what His Word says. Fasting is about focusing on Jesus. As you devote your attention completely to Jesus, you grow in “the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,” which results in “Grace and peace” being “multiplied unto you.” The Apostle Peter informs us that Jesus’ “divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” Jesus has, therefore, given us everything that we need for this life. Think about everything you need in this life, and then think about the reality that Jesus has already made all those things available and placed them on the inside of you.

Conclusion

When Jesus is not the focus of your fasting, you’re simply going hungry or dieting—not fasting.  Jesus-centered fasting empowers you to become a more effective disciple and to operate consistently in Christ’s love, peace, protection and power. Make a greater commitment today to spend more quality time with Jesus through solemn fasting.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

There’s Healing Power Already in You

Prayer

(Photo Credit: Samaritan’s Purse)

When you ask the Lord to forgive you for all your sins, and to come into your life and be your Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9-10; John 3:16), Jesus gives you power to conquer anything Satan brings against you. Luke 10:19 states, “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”  When Satan sends all forms of sickness and diseases your way, use the power that Christ has given you to defeat sickness and diseases. To activate the healing power within you, you will need to pray and ask Jesus to remove sickness and disease from your body, and after you have prayed, believe that you’re already healed. Mark 11:24 says, “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”  Use your mouth to ask Jesus for what you desire and believe that you have already received what you’ve asked Him. Now, thank Him for answering your prayer.

As Believers, we never have to accept a negative report given by a doctor. When a doctor gives us a negative report, we have to understand that Jesus has given us the Grace, His power, love and peace working on the inside of us, to destroy all chaos. Sickness and disease are chaotic phenomena—they are forces that attempt to stop you from beholding and trusting the Promises of God. Whenever one totally turns his or her mind away from the Promises of God, chaos takes over his or her life. As a Believer, Jesus has declared you the Righteousness of God (II Corinthians 5:21; Romans 3:22), and, as the Righteousness of God, you need to declare that you’re already healed because God has already told you that you’re healed (Isaiah 53:5)—you must believe it to receive the physical manifestation of your healing (Mark 11:24).

At the core of why most people do not receive healing is a failure to sincerely ask Christ to heal them. When a request is made to Christ to grant healing, the person making the petition must already believe that he or she has been healed. Therefore, an earnest asking of Christ to do anything for you must be coupled with true belief that He has already performed what you’ve requested because of the genuine faith that accompanies your request. Also, if the person has any unrepented sin, then he or she must ask God to forgive this sin before the healing can take place.  The bible says, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). As a Believer, you’re righteous because Jesus declared you to be righteous—not as a result of any righteousness or righteous works of your own. The aforementioned verse informs Believers that they have to ask for forgiveness from one another and pray for one another before God will heal them. You cannot, therefore, expect God to heal you when you’ve not forgiven someone for something he or she did to you.

The only work you need to do to receive your healing is trust that the Finished Work of Jesus Christ (accomplished at the Cross) has already healed you. Many teachers and preachers will have you to focus on doing works in your own strength, which evinces their ignorance of the Word of God (Galatians 5:16). We are, however, to cast all of our cares on Jesus Christ (I Peter 5:7), and this will allow Christ’s Grace to become activated in our lives to heal us. When we’re working, we cancel out the ability of Jesus to work for us because we’re communicating to Him that we can take care of the problems on our own; your handling of your problems without following the leadership of the Holy Spirit quenches Him (I Thessalonians 5:19).

Trust Jesus to heal your body right now.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison