I wanted to encouragement us as a team that we begin and finish 2021 with a resolution to stay strong in the Word and in the Spirit!
STAY STRONG IN THE WORD
The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that are planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be filled with vitality and foliage.–Psalm 92:12-15 MEV
God’s will for us is to…
- flourish (break forth, blossom) like the palm tree
- grow (increase, become great) like the cedar
Both trees have a unique design at the trunk (DNA):
- Cedar trunks have a ring design enabling it to grow up to 100 feet high, up to 6 feet in diameter, with huge 50 ft branches that stretch forth and can grow at high altitudes
- Palm trees have a bundle wood fiber type design enabling it to bend 40 to 50 degrees with out snapping.
Both have a unique root system that create a huge root ball to keep the tree in place.
The cedar tree speaks of strength, stability, and longevity (some of the oldest cedars in Lebanon are said to be some 3000 years old.)
The palm tree speaks of resilience, the ability to bounce bace, and endure high, Hurricanes force winds.
Both these are qualities that should describe us the righteous. What makes us strong, stable, resilient, enduring? Its our root system, being a person of the Word.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;  but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night.  He will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season; its leaf will not wither, and whatever he does will prosper.–Psalm 1:1-3 MEV
The daily discipline of meditation in the Word is absolutely essential if we are to provide biblical encouragement and support to our church family.
STAY STRONG IN THE SPIRIT
Jesus began His ministry in the power of the Spirit. He was in the river praying, was baptized in the Spirit, and was led by the Spirit and he came out in the power of the spirit.
Thats where we find His declaration.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed;  to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” (The year of the jubilee)–Luke 4:18-19 MEV
Jesus quoted Isaiah 61:1,2 which is based upon His plan for the restoration of His people–Israel. We find the law of the Jubilee in Leviticus.
And you shall hallow the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his ancestral possession [which through poverty he was compelled to sell], and each of you shall return to his family [from whom he was separated in bond service].–Leviticus 25:10 AMPC
The return of original property and restoration of family relationships lost through slavery was required every 50 years. That is the law of the jubilee.
And that’s what we are praying for this year—return to original state or condition, revival and renewal in all relationships. That is what Jubilee is all about. Restoration in the lives of God’s people began with the day of atonement sacrifice, then the sound of a trumpet on the 50th year–a declaration of restoration for God’s people.
Jesus is our Jubilee! Jesus paid the price and we blow the trumpet-the declaration of the Gospel. But it is important for us to acknowledge our dependance on the Holy Spirit. Jesus needed something to bring restoration to people–it was the Spirit of God upon Him!
We need something, to see restoration come about, we need the spirit of God upon us and that is where praying in the spirit comes in. Praying in the spirit is like activating a gyroscope.
A Gyroscope can be understood as a device that is used to maintain a reference direction or provide stability in navigation.
- In aircraft instruments, gyros are used in attitude, compass and turn coordinators.
- In Ships stabilizing gyroscopes are used to stabilize roll motions in ocean-going ships.
- In smartphones a gyroscope or a Gyro sensor is used to sense angular rotational velocity and acceleration.
Let me encourage all of us to pray in the spirit more than ever before! It will enable you to stay the course this year and stay on target with this year’s mandate Pastor Jonathan will be declaring on Vision Sunday.