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Monthly Archives: July 2012

IS YOUR FEAR OF THE LORD INTACT?

We all know about the event called ‘The Transfiguration’, during which the Lord Jesus was revealed to Peter, James and John in a higher dimension. We read in Matthew 17:1-8:

“Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; 2 and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. 4 Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us[a]make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” 6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. 7 But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” 8 When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.” (KJV)

The crucial thing to understand about this event is the reason for which it took place. And that reason is found in the very preceding chapter, Matthew 16, towards the end of which we have the story of the time when Peter dared to rebuke the Lord after the Latter had told His disciples of His upcoming suffering and death on the cross (see Matthew 16:21-23).

The fact that Peter could dare talk this way to the Master made the Latter realize something: His disciples were getting too familiar with Him, and were beginning to lack the level of respect that He deserved from them. So the Lord had to do something about restoring the appropriate level of reverence that His disciples were to have for Him, and what He decided to do was to reveal to His top three disciples who He truly is in the spiritual realm.

Witnessing the Transfiguration – seeing the Lord  in the spiritual realm wearing a garment that was whiter than white, and conversing with spiritual giants like Moses and Elijah – did the trick alright! After that kind of divine encounter with the Lord’s true image, Peter’s fear of, and respect for the Lord were solidly reestablished!

Has the wrong attitude toward the Lord been hindering you from truly worshipping Him in spirit and in truth? Has it kept you from seeing Him as your all-and-all Master and from giving your all to Him? Have religiousity and denominational doctrines blinded you from understanding His words in the proper light? Have political correctness and the fear of offending people kept you from seeing Him as a sovereign God whose sometimes unpopular laws must absolutely be kept by His true followers?

Before the Apostle Paul found Jesus, he was highly zealous in the ‘things of God’. He was as zealous as a man can be in the service of ‘the God of Israel’. Except, he was serving God under the wrong terms. But then came the day the Lord decided to reveal Himself to Paul, as narrated in acts 9. Verses 1 to 6 say:

“Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” 5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”

Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.[a] It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” 6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”” (KJV)

And verses 17  and 18 say:

17 And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus,[b] who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.”  (KJV)

When the Lord shone His light on Paul, the light blinded him; and in order for Paul to see again, scales fell off his eyes. Though this happened in the physical, there’s a more significant spiritual dimension to it, in that as the scales fell off his eyes, he began to see and understand ‘the things of God’ differently.

It took a divine encounter between Paul and the Lord for Paul’s eyes to be literally opened to see Jesus in His glory, and for him to fall in love with Jesus with a passion that led him to declare that his most earnest desire is that he “…may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:10, KJV)

So I ask you again, what is dimming your sight of the Lord??? What scales have covered your eyes and are preventing you from being in a constant state of awe and utter reverence towards Him?

I plead with you to cry out to God and beg Him to bless you with the kind of spiritual encounter with Him that will produce in you the right kind of attitude towards Him – an attitude of total awe, love and deep devotion and commitment.

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Posted by on July 25, 2012 in ATTITUDE CHECK!

 

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KEEP YOUR SALTINESS INTACT!

Here’s one cold truth: We believers are the Bible that unbelievers read!

Unbelievers obviously don’t bother to read the Bible. But they do read us as they interact with us everyday. So you and I who do read the Bible ought to be mirrors of what we read in the Bible, so that through us they may see Christ and believe in Him too. 

Here are a couple of powerful texts:

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” (Matthew 5:13, NIV)

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:17, KJV)

When a person gets saved, the salt of God is deposited in him, for the purpose of making him into salt. As the believer becomes salt, God can use him or her to ‘salten’ other people.

In the second text, Apostle Paul tells us what happens to us as a result of the salt of God being deposited in us: We begin to be transformed into the likeness of Him – meaning into His glory, so that when we look into a mirror, what we see is the glory of God!

So brethren, knowing what we carry within us, and what we are expected to look like, we must always be ready to affect the unbelievers around us for the better! Be always ready for the salt of God in you to rub off on others and transform their lives to God’s glory!

One of the ways the salt of God is deposited in us is by studying His word. As we read His word and take it in, then set out to live according to it, His salt flows from His word into us, thus transfroming us into people who now behave as He would if He were us. This ‘new us’ is what people ought to read as they interact with us, and see Him in whose likeness we are being transformed.

So brethrem, undersdtand who you are in Christ, and let this knowledge always be at the forefront of your mind as you interact with people, so that you may be mindful to always be a faithful representative of Him who has called you.

Be mindful of your saltiness! Guard it ferociously, and be always striving to grow its potency!

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2012 in READINESS CHECK!

 

BE ALL OUT FOR GOD!

When the Lord set out to wash the feet of His disciples, Peter objected to the idea of having his Master wash his feet. But when the Lord Jesus said to him  “if i do not wash you, you have no part with me…”  (see John 13:5-11 for the entire story), Peter then said “Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.”

Let this attitude that Peter had be in us! Once we’ve discovered what a great thing it is to know and serve the Lord, our utmost desire ought to be to be all out for Him! It ought to be as that of Apostle Paul, who declared “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death…” (Philipians3:10, KJV)

Let our attitude towards our walk with our Great God be as fiery as that of these great men of old! Therein lies the secret of their great success in Him!

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2012 in ATTITUDE CHECK!

 

COME TO YOUR SENSES AND BEGIN TO LIVE!

We’re all very familiar with the story of the prodigal son. Here it is, as our Lord Himself told it in Luke 15:11-32:

“11 Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. 13 And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. 14 But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. 15 Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.

17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’

20 “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring[b] out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; 24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.

25 “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’

28 “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. 29 So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. 30 But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’

31 “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. 32 It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’”

This story is about you and I who are believers in – therefore, children of – God. And as His children, we all relate to Him differently. The prodigal son knew that he had a rich father, and set out to enjoy the riches of his father. In his particular case, he actually ‘cashed’ out early on his inheritance, then went far from home and spent it all away. At that point he became a miserable poor son of a rich man.

But as werse 17 says, “when he came to himself…” meaning, when he came to his senses, he realised that he could actually go back to his father’s house, even if to serve as a servant.

A man who has never known Jesus-Christ is a prodigal son to God the Father. Like all men, he became lost thru the sin of Adam, and must come to his senses and seek to be reconciled back to God. A simple confession of belief in Christ is all he needs to make to be reconciled to the Father.

A believer who has backslidden is a prodigal child to God the Father. He needs to come to his senses and realize that he is on a dangerous path to eternal damnation. Like the prodigal son in the story, he needs to run to the Father and ask for forgiveness.

Now on to the other son, who became very angry when he heard that his brother was back, and that their father was so overjoyed by this that he threw a party. But really, why was he angry? BECAUSE HE HAD HIS OWN SONSHIP ISSUES TOO! He too was the poor son of a rich man, even though he lived in his rich father’s mansion, AMID ALL OF HIS FATHER’S RICHES.

As he confessed to his father in verse 29, he had been ‘serving’ his father all these years, BUT HE WAS WAITING FOR HIS FATHER TO TELL HIM TO GO AND TAKE A GOAT TO KILL AND ENJOY. He knew not who he was in his own father’s house! He made himself no different than the other servants by not enjoying his father’s possessions.

Brethren we must come to our senses and realise who we are in Christ: Co-heirs of God’s vast possessions!

Don’t be like the prodigal son in the stroy by being the type of Christian who just sees Christianity as a way to get rich off of God the Father. Don’t be the type that do not serve in His kingdom any way at all. We were saved to be used by Him to accomplish the great things that He wishes to accomplish in this world. Who did you think He would use to do this? The unbelievers? He saved you and put His Holy Spirit, therefore, His anointing, on you that you might work with that anointing to do great things in His name!

PLEASE NOTE that the prodigal son SPECIFICALLY DECIDED that he would go and be a servant to his father. That’s because he now had an understanding that he couldn’t just be his father’s child and not serve his father by helping to manage his vast estate.

THIS IS CRUCIAL: It was the lack of servant-son attitude in him that made him to take his father for granted in the first place. And it was the new-found servant-son attitude that would ground him firmly in his father’s estate, and help him be the type of productive son that his father would be proud of.

This was the attitude the Lord Jesus had when He was here on earth, and that He still has in Heaven right now. His food was to do the will of The Father! LIKEWISE, SERVING GOD MUST BE THE SINGLE GREATEST DESIRE OF EVERY PERSON WHO CALLS HIMSELF A CHILD OF GOD!

Now back to the other son, who was so consumed by the servant-son attitude that he failed to enjoy his son-ship in his father. He was so busy being productive and making his father proud that he forgot to live.

You see in verse 32, their father said “…for your brother was dead and is alive again…” The NASB version of the Bible says “for your brother was dead and has begun to live…”

Like the prodigal son, those outside of Christ aren’t really alive. They haven’t begun to live.

Like the prodigal son, those who once knew Christ but left Him, aren’t alive. They once begun to live when they came into Christ, but die again when they went back to their former lives of sin.

Like the prodigal son, those who do know Christ, and are living for Him, but aren’t serving Him in any way, are alive in Him quite alright, and will make heaven if they die in Him. But what kind of life are they living if their lives are all about them and not about serving Christ? There’s a joy of living that comes with serving the Lord that they will never know!

SO COME TO YOUR SENSES AND BEGIN TO LIVE FOR GOD AND NOT FOR YOURSELF! Then you’ll feel the true joy of living! The joy of living FOR THAT ONE PURPOSE FOR WHICH THE FATHER CREATED YOU AND PUT YOU IN THIS WORLD!

And on the other side of the coin, like the older son, those who serve God but do not taste of His riches, and are in constant lack, either financially or in so many other ways, aren’t fully alive either. WHERE’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM AND UNBELIEVERS WHO DON’T HAVE ACCESS TO GOD’S RICHES AND BLESSINGS???

God told Abraham that He was going to use him as an example of the way it ought to be between Him and men. Therefore the goal of every believer ought to be to live the way Abraham lived. He serve God with all of his heart and might, AND ENJOYED THE BLESSINGS OF GOD IN RETURN! He was not a poor servant of a rich God! He was not a poor son of a rich father!

GET THIS: If the older son had known who he was in their father’s house, and had been satisfied in life, he wouldn’t have been angry that his brother was back, nor that his father was happy about it. He himself would have been overjoyed as well. His problem was insecurity. Because he didn’t know his place in his own father’s house, he felt threatened when his brother came back, and resent him. And because he was only service-oriented, he had a holier-than-thou complex.

Those of us who slave in God’s kingdom but have nothing to show for it resent those who seem to have it all but don’t serve much, and try to compensate this by having a holier-than-thou attitude towards them. AN ACCOMPLISHED BELIEVER is one who has discovered God’s purpose for him on this earth, and spends his life pursuing the fulfillment of that purpose. Such a believer has learned who he is as God’s child, and has learned how to tap from the wealth that God has made available for His children. He does not resent anyone for having much, but rather seeks to help everyone else become fruitful children of God as well!

SO COME TO YOUR SENSES, REALISE WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST, AND BEGIN TO LIVE AND ENJOY CHRISTIANITY!

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2012 in SHORT MESSAGES

 

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NEVER TAKE OFF YOUR ARMOR!

When Nehemiah gathered some of his Jewish brethren and set out to rebuild the walls of the city of Jerusalem, they had enemies, led by two men known as Sanballat and Tobias, who fought hard against the rebuilding of the walls.

In the face of such a threat, Nehemiah said “…so we laboured in the work: and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning till the stars appeared. 22 Likewise at the same time said I unto the people, Let every one with his servant lodge within that in the night they may be a guard to us, and labour on the day. 23 So neither I, nor my brethren, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard which followed me, none of us put off our clothes, saving that every one put them off for washing.” (Nehemiah 4:21-23, KJV)

So in order to be ready for any imminent attack, Nehemiah intructed his people to be at the ready at all times, to the point of not even taking off their clothes.

Now on to Ephesians 6:10-18, which says:  “10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[c] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints…” (KJV)

Apostle Paul teaches us in this passage the types of enemies we are dealing with in our Christian race to heaven, and what we MUST DO to fight and defeat them. As believers in Christ, we are in a fight that is even fiercer and far more important than rebuilding a city’s walls. We are in a fight for our very souls; a fight whose outcome WILL DETERMINE where we end up FOR ETERNITY: Either in heaven to enjoy eternity with God, or in hell to suffer eternal punishment with the devil. Therefore, let us put on the full armor of God, AND NEVER, EVER TAKE IT OFF, not even for an instant!

I urge us to:
1. Learn and understand what the ‘full armor of God’ is all about, and how to use it.
2. PUT IT ON!
3. Use it at all times.
4. Never, ever take it off!

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2012 in READINESS CHECK!

 
 
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