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Monthly Archives: June 2014

JOY: YOUR SOURCE OF POWER!

The man hated his job so much that one day he just couldn’t take it anymore and quit. What was missing from the man’s job? Joy. He didn’t have any joy in doing that job at all. Now remember the job you loved doing so much that you actually looked forward to going to work every morning? You liked what you did and was proud of your achievements on the job. You loved what the job was about, and felt like it was worth doing, and for that reason you applied yourself to doing it excellently. What gave you the drive to do that job well? Joy. The joy that you had in doing that job gave you the motivation, pleasure, dedication and challenge to not just show up for the job, but to want to excel at it.

Jesus too was able to do His work on earth by no other power than JOY! This joy is what is known as joy in the Holy Spirit. We read in Hebrews 1:9 “You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.” (NIV)

The entire chapter of Hebrews 1 is about how Jesus was made God’s Son, was placed above all else, founded the universe, walked in obedience and righteousness, redeemed sinful mankind from death, and went back to His throne to reign forever. And we learn from this verse 9 that JOY is the source of the power by which He was able to accomplish all this. God enabled Jesus to accomplish all these great acts that set Him above His companions by anointing – empowering – Him with joy!

If joy was the source of the Lord’s strength that enabled Him to do the incredibly hard work that He did in the universe and on earth, you’d better believe that you and I could never succeed in living for Him and in serving Him without the strength that comes from joy.

Isaiah 12:3 says “Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.”

This passage says it all. It likens salvation to a set of wells, each of which contains at its bottom one of the blessings of God that believers are to enjoy for being saved. We became saved from the various bad and evil things of this world, therefore, salvation brings the saved person into the good things that God intends for His people to have.

But the characterization of salvation as a set of wells reveals something powerful, which is that salvation doesn’t automatically bring the good things of God into the life of the saved person. Rather salvation only brings a person into the place where the good things of the Kingdom of God are available for him to have. What remains now is for him to do what must be done in order for those good things to come to him. In order words, salvation is like being brought into a room where there are several wells, and you can now draw from the wells. What you draw out is what you get! What you don’t draw out, you don’t get.

So for example, in salvation we have a well of good physical health, a well of healthy and blissful marriage, one of prosperity, another one that contains favor from God, and so forth. Therefore it goes without saying that if you do not actively and consciously work at drawing any of these blessings from the well that carries it, you will not experience that blessing in your life, though you may be a genuine child of God in good standing.

There are principles that govern the release and the working of each and every blessing from God in a believer’s life. ‘Drawing’ The blessings from the wells simply means observing the principles that release and put to work the blessings of God in our lives. It is by following the commands that God has given us in His word (the Bible) concerning any of His blessings that we get to ‘draw’ those blessings out the wells that contain them.

Thus, a married couple WILL enjoy the love, joy and peace of God in their marriage if each spouse observes the commands that God has given husbands and wives on how to treat one another. A believer will know and enjoy financial success if he or she observes the commands and principles put forth in the word of God concerning wealth acquisition and sustenance, and the ability to enjoy wealth. The same goes for every single other promise of blessing made by God unto His children.

So there’s work to do in order to get the blessings of God to work in our lives. And it is no easy work, hence the analogy to the strenuous act of drawing water from a well, and hence the need for the same kind of power that Jesus Himself had to rely on to successfully do His own work: Joy in the Holy Ghost!

Joy is the source of this indispensable power and strength because Joy in The Lord is that which keeps us sane in the midst of the most wicked of challenges. Joy is the opposite of unhappiness, sorrow, grief, bitterness. While sadness, bitterness and depression could knock the wind of life out of a person and not only try to keep him from getting out of bed, but also try to get him to end his own life, joy is that source of strength and positive feeling that helps a person get out of bed no matter what, and keeps him hoping for a better day ahead! JOY IT IS THAT HELPS TO KEEP OUR HOPE AND FAITH ALIVE IN THE LORD!  As long as we are able to maintain our joy, we WILL be able to keep our heads above the swamps of sorrow, grief and bitterness that life and the enemy of our souls sometimes throw us into, and we WILL, thereby, be able to forge ahead in our walk with our gracious Father!

Never lose your joy in the Lord! If you’ve done everything you believe the word of God says to do and you have not seen the expected result, do not despair! With joy keep observing the word of God. Though the desired results may tarry, they will come! With joy keep drawing them out till they’re yours! Wells are deep, and sometimes it may seem like it’s taking forever to draw out the water. So don’t let discouragement, sorrow and bitterness that come with hardship cause you to throw in the towel on your marriage. With joy in the Lord keep doing your part as a husband or as a wife. With joy keep drawing that marital bliss that you seek from its well! It will be yours in the end! Never tire of sowing! Keep drawing divine prosperity from its well by keeping up with the principles of sowing and reaping. You will reap indeed! Do you desire the peace of God in your life? Draw divine peace from its well by observing God’s commands and teaching concerning peace. This is why it is the truth that THERE IS A SOLUTION FOR EVERY PROBLEM IN THIS LIFE IN THE WORD OF GOD! Whatever you’re dealing with, find the ‘well’ that contains its solution in the word of God, and draw out that solution! Find out what the word of God teaches on that issue and what solution it has offered on the issue, and with joy don’t cease to apply that word to the issue until you have gotten the solution you seek!

May our gracious Lord release more of His powerful joy upon you in Jesus’ great name, AMEN!

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Posted by on June 8, 2014 in ATTITUDE CHECK!

 

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THE POWER OF COVENANTS

The child’s mother cried and wailed unto God for His salvation and God did nothing. But once the child of covenant wept, God jumped into action.

That’s the summary of the powerful thing that happened in the wilderness when Hagar, the mother of Ishmael, ran out of water and left Ishmael to die. Sarah, Abraham’s wife, had told Abraham to kick Hagar and her son out of their house, so Abraham sent them away with some water supply, which eventually ran out as they journeyed through the wilderness. We read in Genesis 21:15-20:

” And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs. 16 And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bow shot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept. 17 And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. 18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation. 19 And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink. 20 And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer.” (KJV)

Hagar knew that they had run out of water, so she told her child to wait in one place, and went far away from him because she did not want to watch him die of thirst. So from the time she left the boy, she started to weep and wail. BUT GOD IGNORED ALL OF HER CRYING AND WAILING, and it wasn’t until Ishmael himself started to cry that God intervened! Why? Because that’s who God had a covenant with! God had made a covenant of blessing with Abraham, that He would bless Isaac and Ishmael and make great nations out of them both. For this reason, God’s watchful eye was upon Ishmael, so that whenever Ishmael was in need of help, God provided that help!

Here’s the powerful thing to understand here: There was a considerable time gap between the time when Hagar started to weep and wail, and the time when Ishmael began to weep as well. When Hagar left the boy, she must have told him to wait for her for a little bit, and that she was going to be right back. So the child believed her like all children do, and started to wait patiently. So it would be after some time that Ishmael would begin to worry that his mom was taking too long to get back to him, and it probably wasn’t until the sun started going down that the lad would become scared and start weeping. So there we had Hagar who had been wailing since the time when she left the boy, and God ignored all that wailing, but the minute the boy began to weep for his mother – after many hours during which the mother had been wailing – God heard him and had one of His angels intervene.

Brethren, if this doesn’t convince you that you need to be in a covenant with God, I wonder what could! God is a God of covenants! That’s how He operates! He wants us to surrender ourselves – everything about us – unto His care, like Abraham did. WHEN YOU DO THAT, GOD ESTABLISHES A COVENANT WITH YOU WHEREBY YOU BECOME GOD’S RESPONSIBILITY! If you submit yourself to Him, you submit yourself to His care, protection, provision, support, help, blessings, empowerment, favor, grace (unmerited favor), joy, peace, etc.! Everyone around you might be crying for something, but it’s your cry that God will hear because You have submitted yourself to his care! Famines and pestilence may kill people around you, but God will see that you live thru them all! A thousand may fall at your right side, and ten thousand at your left, but you will live to declare the goodness of God! 

Best of all, like Abraham, you will be a true representative of God-Most-High in this world! Because of the ways in which God intervened on Abraham’s behalf, the people around Abraham saw the might of his God and declared it (see Genesis 21:22-23)! The world awaits your manifestation as a covenant child of God-Most-High! So get into a covenant with God, that He might be able to do His mighty works in your life, to His glory!

 
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Posted by on June 7, 2014 in SHORT MESSAGES

 

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YOU NEED THE PRESENCE OF GOD IN YOUR LIFE!

One of the greatest tragedies in Christianity is the fact that most believers absolutely lack any understanding of what it means that the presence of God is with them. One of the Lord Jesus’ names is Emmanuel, which means God-with-us. Therefore, by receiving Jesus-Christ into one’s life, one receives ‘God-with-us’, which means that one receives the in-dwelling presence of God into one’s life, commonly known as the presence of the Holy Spirit.

There’s an event that took place in the days of King David that gives us a powerful revelation of the significance of the presence of God in an individual’s life. It’s the story of the time when King David attempted to bring the ark of God back to Jerusalem from the land of the Philistines where it had been held in captivity for years. David and his people set the ark on a cart and headed back to Jerusalem. We read in 2Samuel 6:6-12:

  And when they came to Nachon’s threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God. And David was displeased, because the Lord had made a breach upon Uzzah: and he called the name of the place Perezuzzah to this day. And David was afraid of the Lord that day, and said, How shall the ark of the Lord come to me? 10 So David would not remove the ark of the Lord unto him into the city of David: but David carried it aside into the house of Obededom the Gittite. 11 And the ark of the Lord continued in the house of Obededom the Gittite three months: and the Lord blessed Obededom, and all his household. 12 And it was told king David, saying, The Lord hath blessed the house of Obededom, and all that pertaineth unto him, because of the ark of God. So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obededom into the city of David with gladness.” (KJV)

The major points of this story are:

  • David became afraid to bring the ark into Jerusalem, lest it kills more people.
  • He decided to leave the ark in the field of a man named Obed-Edom.
  • God blessed Obed-Edom within the space of 3 months.
  • The blessing was such that even King David heard of it!

Here’s what powerful about all this: The name Obed-Edom means ‘Obed of Edom’, or ‘Obed the Edomite’. Therefore, Obed was a descendent of Edom, that is, Esau, Jacob’s brother. This means that there was a serious curse that operated in Obed-Edom’s life: The curse of Esau. This curse put every descendent of Esau under every descendent of Jacob. For this reason, the Edomites who dwelled among the Jews were treated as second-class folks. So much so that when King David became afraid of the ark, he decided to leave it on the property of Obed-Edom, with the reasoning that if the ark must kill people, let it kill those in Obed-Edom’s house. That’s how insignificant the lives of Obed-Edom and his household were to David because of the curse at work.

So when the Presence of God came into the house of Obed-Edom, it broke this curse and turned the situation around between Obed-Edom and David in such a way that if not for the eternal covenant that God had with David, God might have let Obed surpass David! God had planned before the creation of this world that David’s throne would be eternal since Jesus would come into this world through David’s lineage and reign forever. For this reason, God granted David mercy and grace and arranged for him to hear about what was happening in Obed-Edom’s house. This is why David ran to get the ark out of there! And it is also why he danced so hard when he finally brought the ark into Jerusalem. He had seen how powerfully the ark could bless people, and rejoiced because he was bringing this great Presence of God into his own city!

Kings don’t usually hear about every little thing that’s happening in the kingdom. Court officers only share important information with their kings. So what God began to do in the life of Obed-Edom was so powerful that King David’s officers felt the need to tell him about it! In fact Obed-Edom’s case is a classic example of the saying ‘the stone the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone!’ Here’s how this saying apply to this case: In the days of the kings, a person’s wealth determined his status in the society, and the very wealthy one were treated like kings. The common people flocked to the wealthy people for help with all kinds of matters, including passing judgment between them, just as they would go to the king. This is why, when Absalom wanted to dethrone his father King David, he went and sat at the King’s gate and directed the people to him for all their needs and issues. He helped them with their needs, and judged between them. Thus, he usurped his father’s office and position before the people. Instead of fighting his own son over the power of the kingdom, David chose to abdicate and leave the palace for Absalom. If Obed-Edom had been left alone with the ark in his house, he too could have grown in power and influence over King David.

In order for you to grasp the enormity of what happened in Obed-Edom’s life, consider this: It is the work and power of the curse of Esau that we are still witnessing today in the Middle-East between the Israelis and the Palestinians. No United Nations intervention and no deals brokered between the Israelis and Palestinians by anybody will ever break the hold that the Israelis have on the Palestinians. Isaac said to Esau that if he succeeded in breaking off the yoke that the curse has placed on his neck, then he would become free from it (see Genesis 27:40). The uprisings that the Palestinians engage in today is called ‘Intifadah’, which means ‘break off’.  As we know, they keep trying to break off the Israelis’ hold on them, and never succeed!

This is why it is such a powerful thing that God was willing to break this curse in the life of Obed-Edom. Here are some powerful lessons from this:

  • Whom God curses, no one can bless!
  • Whom God curses, He can turn around and bless!

Think about this: Could God bless someone while keeping his curse on the person? He had to first of all cancel the curse of Esau in order for His blessing to work in Obed-Edom’s life. THIS IS THE AWESOME BENEFIT THAT BELIEVERS GET TO ENJOY FOR HAVING THE PRESENCE OF GOD IN THEIR LIVES! He comes into our lives ready to destroy every curse that may have been operating in our lives, and to replace it all with His awesome blessings! This is why if God is with you, who can be against you??? If God’s presence is with you, how can any curse work against you? How could He stand idly by while some curses are waging war against you?!? Rather He moves in and looks around your life, and sets out to destroy everything in your life that has been causing you trouble! In Obed-Edom’s case, verse 12 says “The Lord hath blessed the house of Obededom, and all that pertaineth unto him, because of the ark of God.”

The keyword in that passage is ‘pertaineth’. It means that God went to work to bless Obed-Edom everything that even remotely pertained to the man. If a matter concerned Obed-Edom in any way at all, God dealt with it on his behalf to give him victory in the matter! This is what God wants to be able to do in the life of every single child of His in this world, and it pains Him so much to see His children suffering at the hands of various curses, all because we fail to live lives that would be conducive to His divine and Holy Presence!

Brethren, I pray that as you read these words, you develop a deep hunger for the presence of God in your life, and that you determine yourself to walk in holiness and righteousness, that the Lord might be willing to dwell in your life. You simply cannot make it as a Christian without his holy presence in your life because, as we know, the kingdom of God – Christianity – is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17).  It is only His presence in you that can place His righteousness on you, and enable you to have His supernatural peace and joy flowing in you.

Make your life conducive to God’s divine presence, and begin to see His awesome power at work in your life, to His glory!

 

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2014 in SHORT MESSAGES

 

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