Jesus My Valentine

Morning Dew

 

Key Passage: 1 Corinthians 13

 

Key Text: 1 John 4:19 – “We love because he first loved us.”

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Love! A most misunderstood word. Today the world over, people are celebrating Valentine’s day and as it happens, this day is the most profitable one day in the year, especially for retailers. I am always amused at what people have done with this day and I really sometimes feel like screaming for someone to please understand. Understand what love really is or if I can say that differently, who love is?

It is shocking but true that love is not an emotion. Though a lot of people attribute some emotional feeling to love. Some people talk of falling in love, alluding to the fact that they were overcome with a real deep feeling of wanting and desiring someone. Again, a major misconception. Probably this misconception is responsible for many broken relationships. They fell in love and fell out of love. I wish people will truly understand this word love.

Even more absurd is the concept of making love to describe sexual intercourse. Many young unsuspecting girls have been deflowered by the blackmailing statements of some hormonal boy, saying if you love me then you would let me make love with you. If they love you they would wait for the right time. When you are married.

Let me start by stating that LOVE is not an emotion it is an action, that can produce a feeling. It is a deliberate act of a person’s will. You can’t fall in love. You decide to love someone. According to the bible, (by the way this is God’s view), Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant  or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;  it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends.

Looking at all these attributes, it is obvious that this is not a whimsical, head dizzying, knee weakening feeling that we have mostly attributed to love. Love is deliberate, clear minded, not at all selfish. It is not about what we feel, it about who we decide to love.

Love is outer directed. Love anticipates the need of others and meets it. Love never looks for a reward. Love is totally sacrificial. Love costs. Love is a choice. Love does not consider if the recipient is deserving. Love gives.

The scriptures tells us  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” This is what love looks like. It looks at someone in their state of need and decides to help the person out of their predicament, at great personal cost that the person being loved can never repay. This is Love.

1 John 4:19 tells us “We love because he first loved us.” This means only when we have truly received this type of love can we ever even dare to love God.

Finally the bible tells us “God is love”. So love is a Person. Love is God and God is love. So in essence the very core of God is love and everything in His creation was conceived in love and kept in love and responds to love.

Quite honestly, I can’t fully treat this great subject in one small blog. I would come back to it. Suffice to say, If you are celebrating St Valentine’s day, Please spare a thought for the truth and remember the Lord Jesus Christ, who left His throne in Heaven, who became a human being, who came to seek and to save us who were lost. Who took upon Himself the sins of men and paid the penalty for our sins on the cross, by dying our death. If there is a lover worthy of celebration, then let’s celebrate the greatest show of love ever. Let’s celebrate the lover of our souls. Jesus our (my) Valentine!

Let’s PrayJesus I thank you for loving me so much. I remind myself today that You gave up everything for me. That love compelled you to die for me. I am grateful and I am indebted to your love. I love you my King. My Lord. My Valentine.

Awesome God

Morning Dew

 

Key Passage: Psalm 139 (please read this entire Psalm before reading this blog)

 

Key Text: Psalm 139: 14 – I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvellous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.”

 

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As I think about God, I get this impression of as an extremely wise person, who knows absolutely everything and has everything perfectly under His control. He is not worried, confused or agitated. He is not rushing about trying to hold His universe together. He is not looking out to see if the starts are still in place, the galaxies moving in the right synchronisation, the sun and the moon providing light and illumination at the appointed times. He is not worried about the seasons, whether they would continue. I also need to add that he is not worried about Satan and his antics. He doesn’t even as notice him. He knows the end of the matter and He knows that His will must eventually prevail. He is completely at peace.

Now when He looks at us His children, He is excited. Almost like a person looking at his sons and daughters playing in a garden, completely secure and free from all harm. He knows who we are. He knows how we are wired. He knows what He has destined us to become and He is excited at the future we are going to share with Him. He also knows how far we are in His plan. Do you know that He wrote a book about you? Yes, there is a book on you and I His Children. In His book, there is a happy ending. There is truly a “living happily ever after’ end to the story of your life. But He also knows the next pages. Somehow, He has kept the best part of our lives in our future. This is how He works.

Now because He is all-powerful and He lives outside time, He can sometimes interfere with time just to help His children. Let me tell you what I mean. God sees time as one continuum. He does not see past, present and future like we do. Remember He is outside time. So he can go to your past and fix your past so it does not affect your future. He can also go to your future and remove anything bad or detrimental to your progress and put it in your past, so you never encounter it. WOW! What a mighty God we serve.

The big question is why would He do this for us? I almost feel like shouting the answer. It is because He loves you and I. He loves us with an everlasting love. He loves us despite who we are. He loves us warts and all. He LOVES YOU!

Today’s passage tells us that God has perfect knowledge of us. That he has our lives under control. You may feel like you are on a rollercoaster ride through life at the moment, But God has got you covered and Has a perfect ending to your story.

Today, why don’t you just kick off your shoes, rest your head in His bosom and know that IT IS WELL with you! Whatever you are going through, know for sure SOMEONE so powerful, so loving, so caring has got you covered.

Did I hear you say, Thank you Jesus? Let every child of God, shout Hallelujah!

 

Let’s pray: My dear heavenly Father. Like David said “You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.” You are so amazing and all I can say today is thank you Daddy. Thank you for Your eternal love. Thank for you for caring for me. Thank you for the great future you have for me. Thank you for Jesus and what He accomplished for me on the cross and what He does for me today in Heaven. Thank you Daddy. I love you.

 

 

One Thing

Morning Dew

Key Passage: Luke 10:38-42

Key Text: Luke 10:42 – “but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

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One of the greatest lessons of life is the lesson of priority. We are daily confronted with many noble and laudable duties that make a demand on our time, so we invariably have to make choices as to what we can honour and attend to. In this we practice the art of prioritizing. Some of us do this quite deliberately, whilst others just get on with it without giving it much thought. What we decide to give our time for is what we have considered to be the more important things in our lives. If you fail to prioritize correctly something’s will suffer and we may pay dearly for those things we compromised.

There is no doubt at all that God expects us to place Him at the top of our priorities. This is not in question. But do you know why? Before I supply the answers, let us examine our story today. Jesus goes visiting Mary and Martha and their brother Lazarus. These were Jesus’ friends. He loved to hang out in their home. On this particular occasion, once he came in, Martha jumped straight to the kitchen to get food and drinks ready to entertain this important friend and guest. On the other hand, Mary just sat at Jesus feet and looked at Him, listened to Him and just took in His presence. Martha was quite cross with Mary and demanded that the Lord send her to the kitchen to help her in preparing the food. Jesus answer was quite revealing. He said “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

In order words, Martha, there is only one priority. First get to know Me and get to receive what I have for you, before you start assuming you know what I need. Besides your sister Mary has chosen to know me and what she has received, no one can take away from her. Only one thing is really needed, My presence!

Many people try to serve God, but refuse to spend time with Him. Quite honestly, this is not the right order. Get to know God and then you can serve Him. Devotion before duty.

Whatever the demands on our time, we must always find time to spend with God. He is the Alpha and Omega (The beginning and the end). He is before all things and in Him all things consist or exist. If we spend time with Him, He would order our day. If we spend time with Him, He would take care of all our other conflicting issues. God must be FIRST!

David said in Psalm 27:4 One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.

David made the pursuit of God his singular motivation in life. No wonder God said David was a man after His own heart. Just think about that for a moment. David lived to know the heart of God and to reflect that heart in His life. You can’t know someone you don’t spend time with.

Deuteronomy 6:4-5 – Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

Martin Luther King Junior, the great civil rights leader said something like this, ‘each day I look at my itinerary and how many things I need to accomplish, I decide to go and spend an extra hour with the Lord, so I can achieve all I need to do in the day’.

Lastly, one of the greatest reasons for spending time in God’s presence and prioritizing God in our lives can be found in Psalm 16:11 – You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Three things, 1. We get directions for life 2. We get joy which is fuel for the journey 3. We receive delightful things that last forever.

He is number one and He alone really truly matters!!!!

 

Let’s pray: Father God, I chose this day to make you my number one. No one and nothing is more important in my life. You are my priority. Please Father, help me to remember this and never to make excuses that I am too busy or even overwhelmed by the demands on my time. Father, thank you for reminding me today to put You right on top where You belong in my life. I pray in Jesus name. Amen.

The Trap 2

Morning Dew

 

Key Passage: Matthew 24:1-14

 

Key Text: Matthew 24;10 – 10 And then many will be offended and repelled and will [a]begin to distrust and desert [Him Whom they ought to trust and obey] and will stumble and fall away and betray one another and pursue one another with hatred.

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Getting free from the trap of offense is much easier than it may appear, seeing it is so deadly and powerful. I want to state here, that most traps of the enemy can be side stepped and avoided if one will allow the Holy Spirit to guide us and lead us. Most of what the enemy does to trip us up are to do with our flesh, our egos and most times we take ourselves too seriously.

Let me tell you a true story to help us all today. In one African village, they eat monkeys (I know this does not sound nice) and they have an extremely simple way of catching monkeys. The set a really basic trap and every time the monkey falls for it. They put a corn cob in a gourd with a very small opening. The Gourd is tied to a tree and they wait for the monkeys to come. The monkey sees the corn cob in the gourd and thinks he has found some easy meal. HE PUTS HIS HAND IN THE GOURD AND THEN HOLDS ON TO THE CORN AND TRIES TO PULL IT OUT OF THE GOURD. THE MONKEY’S CLENCHED FIST PREVENTS HIM GETTING THE CORN COB OUT, BUT IN HIS GREED, HE REFUSES TO LET GO AND SO THE VILLAGERS COME AND SIMPLY KILL THE MONKEY, WITH HIS HAND STILL INSIDE THE GOURD.

The moral of this story is simple, if the monkey had let go of the corn cob, his hand would have come out of the gourd and he would be free to escape the villagers.

So if you are to be free, you must realise that you are trapped. That the trap is deep inside your heart. That you can only be free if you let go of the offense and the offender, then and only then can you be free. The bible calls this forgiveness. You have to forgive the offense and the offender, not for their sake, but for your sake.  If you keep on justifying your right to be offended and the reason why you are offended, the trap just squeezes a bit more. The only way to be free is to let go. Just like the monkey. It so simple.

I hear you say, you don’t know what they did to me. True I don’t know, but one thing I know is that, it is your duty to forgive and God will take care of any injustice and offence. But you must forgive to be free.

Forgiveness is not a feeling it is a decision. You may not feel better immediately, but you would immediately open your heart and God will start to work inside of you. Then go back to Church and fellowship, and let your heart be full of grace, knowing that none of us in the body of Christ is perfect, but we are nevertheless God’s people and God’s children. Forgiveness lifts a weight off your chest. It sets you free!

Hebrew 10:24-25 – And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Once you forgive, you have escaped the trap and your walk with Christ can then begin in earnest again.

Our soul has gone free like a bird out of the net of those who would take her: the net is broken, and we are free.

Let’s pray: Father God, today I chose to forgive all who have wronged me. I set them free from my heart. I decide no longer to be offended and to allow your grace to flow from my heart to all those who offended me. I pray that you would bless them and prosper them. Father grant me the grace to return to church and fellowship with all my brothers and sisters. Help me to recognise that we are all still being perfected and help me from now on never to be hurt or offended again in Jesus name. Amen.

 

 

The trap – Part 1

Morning Dew

 

Key Passage: Matthew 24: 1-14

 

Key Text: Matthew 24: 10  “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another”

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I am observing so many Christians today not going to church again. They have stopped attending fellowships and are mostly isolated. They claim to be having church at home and do everything to avoid other Christians. This phenomenon is not exclusive to the church, but it is very evident among Christians. In majority of these cases, the root cause is what the bible calls offense.

Understanding this word is most important in dealing with it. Let me first say that it is Satan’s most deadly weapon to destroy the faith of a Christian and stop their progression as believers, especially in these last days. It is a very carefully devised, sinister scheme that simply catches many by surprise and then keeps them in a vice like grip, because they really are not aware they are caught in this trap.

Offense is the Greek word skandalon, which means a trapstick, a bait. It gives us a good way to understand why offenses have such power. Firstly, you only place a trap where you expect to catch something. Secondly, you hide it or disguise it so the quarry does not know it is there. Lastly you put something enticing on the trap to lure the quarry in and then the trap is set.

Let’s examine this a bit closer. The Church is made up of people. Where there are people, there will be relationships. We all expect that the relationships in the church will be perfect, because we are all so perfect???. That is the first trap. We are redeemed and saved and saints, but we are not perfect and we are still being sanctified. So most people become so offended because they say ‘can you believe this is happening in church?’ (don’t misunderstand me, I am not making excuses for bad behaviour or abuse in the church, but I just want us to be realistic about our expectations.)

Offenses are so dangerous, because it goes straight to the heart. Though we rationalise our offenses with our minds, the real place we feel offenses is in our hearts. What happens next is we close our hearts, because we are hurt and are no longer in a position to receive from God. Proverbs 4:23 warn us to Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Once this happens, the offended Christian starts to backslide, then they isolate themselves from other Christians, not wanting to be further offended, then they simply turn away from the church and invariably turn away from God. It is quite deadly and I have seen so many strong Christians fall away just because they are offended.

The first step to recovery is to recognise that you are offended. Once you know you are offended and you can accept it, you can start the process of making the decision to either letting go of the offense or stay offended. The good news is you can get out of this trap.

Tomorrow, I would share my simple understanding of how to be free from this trap and get your Christian life back on track.

Let us pray: Father God, please help me to recognise that I am offended and I have been trapped by the enemy of our souls. Father, I want to be free and I want my fellowship with you fully restored. Please help me in Jesus name I pray. Amen.

God Appoints ….Differently

Morning Dew

 

Key Passage: 1 Samuel 16:1-13

 

Key Text: 1Samuel 16: 12 – And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him, for this is he’.

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Appointments are mostly political and sometimes even the most qualified can be disqualified, because they do not have the right connections or pedigree according to human standards. That is why some people seem to get certain jobs or positions and others seemingly qualified or better don’t get these jobs.

Left to David’s father, Jesse, when Samuel approached him to anoint one of his sons as king over Israel David did not make it to the first round. David was the last born of eight brothers, not known as a great warrior, just a shepherd of sheep. His father did not rate him that highly, so he never presented him before Samuel.

Many of us do not qualify for some of the high positions God has ordained for us according to human standards. But God applies very different rules to appointment of leaders. He looks at other things fleshly humans never consider in appointing leaders. In the case of Jesse, he looked at the physical appearance of his sons. He looked at their ranks in the army. He looked at their birth positions. But all these criteria did not impress God. He is the creator of all human beings and he knows all of us so well.

So in picking a King for Israel, God looked at something most important. He looked at the heart of the person. He looked at the person’s dedication to little chores. He looked at the passion of the person. No one knew that David had already put his life in harms way for his father’s sheep. Nobody saw him go after a lion and snatch a young lamb from its jaws. No one saw him kill a lion. No one saw him confront a bear and fight it off when it attacked his father’s sheep. No one saw him spend endless hours worshipping God and declaring how great God is. No one saw him dedicate and consecrate himself to God. No one saw him declare that God was his father. But God saw him. He saw his heart. He saw his dedication.

God told Samuel,  “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

How is your heart before God? Ultimately, God will appoint you over His things, not based on your earthly qualifications, but more on the content and quality of your heart. Most things we do for God that men do not notice; let me assure you that God sees them and when the time is right God will appoint you and man cannot stop His appointment.

Honestly, I want to encourage you to be faithful to God and to serve Him whether man acknowledges you or not. Do all things diligently for Him and one day, your day will come.

David was overlooked by men; passed over by men; but God had destined him for greatness. At the appointed time, God brought him forth. Is this you?

 

Let’s Pray:  Father God, thank you that you do not look at what men look at. Thank you that you look much deeper and you see the heart of every man. Father God may you find in my heart a heart full of grace and love for you. May you remember me on the day of your appointment. May I never give up on serving you and may I never lose my commitment to you. Lord I ask these things in Jesus name. Amen.

 

The Father’s Heart of Grace

 Morning Dew

 

Key Passage : Luke 15: 11-32

 

Key Text: Luke 15:20 – “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.”

 

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The word ‘Father’ to many sends great fear and trepidation into their hearts. They have only known a father who is a strict disciplinarian, grumpy, and mostly harsh. In some cases the father has even been abusive and condemning. That’s not to say there are no good fathers. Some people have had excellent fathers and if you fall into that category, then consider yourself, very blessed.

Jesus told a parable popularly known as the ‘parable of the prodigal son’. But this title is a wrong title, because Jesus did not narrate this story to tell people about the sins of the son, but more of the love of the father for the son.

If you have never read the story, I encourage you to please read it. It is one of the most heart wrenching, love stories Jesus ever told. To summarise, a certain father had two sons and the younger one decided to go away with his inheritance early. He went to a far country and spent all his money on wild living. He became broke, and a recession hit the place he ran to. He decided he would go and get a job, but the only job left in town was to look after pigs. He was so hungry that he would have eaten the food of pigs. (Now for a Jewish boy, that had to be the very limit). But at that time he came to his senses and decided to run back home, saying that his father’s servants has more than enough to eat.

But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and ran and embraced him. The son tried to say he was sorry, but the father was just too happy to see his son back. He immediately asked for the best robes in the house and clothed his wretched son. Gave him new shoes and put the signet ring on his finger. Then he asked his servants to go and kill the fatted bull and throw a really lavish party for all the neighbours.

This is exactly how our heavenly Father is. He does not try and force us to be good children, He allows us to make up our minds we want what he prescribes. Secondly, His heart yearns and longs for us, and when we are far from Him there is nothing he desires more than that we return to Him. Thirdly when we come back to Him, He is not waiting with a big stick to beat us and reprimand us for being naughty. He comes and embraces us. Like the father in our story, He clothes us with His robes of righteousness and dignity. He puts shoes on our feet, so we can have our dominion back and then gives us the signet ring, symbolic of the Holy Spirit. That is the sign that we are His children.

Lastly, He throws a party. I think this statement says a lot “Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” I believe this joy is the Father’s joy. He is the one rejoicing before the angels and all of heaven joins Him in this joy. This is our Father in heaven. This is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This is the God of Grace. No condemnation. No rebukes. Just grace. Just an embrace. Just love. Do you know Him?

 

Let’s Pray: My dear Father in heaven. Please help me to always remember that I am safe with you and your arms are always open to welcome me back even when I stray far from you. Help me to always bear in mind that you are full of grace, kind and forgiving. Help me to know that you love me and that your love for me is everlasting. Help me to learn to always live in the reality of your heart, not what others have tried to make you to me. In Jesus name I pray. Amen

Graceful Eagle

Morning Dew

 

Key Passage: Isaiah 40: 28-31

 

Key Text: -Isaiah 40:31 they shall mount up with wings like eagles;”

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In life it is always an advantage whenever you are going into a difficult situation to have a joker in your pack. I mean something that gives you an unfair advantage and is not obvious to people. Most sports men always look for a ‘game-changer’ that can turn a game in their favour. Today I want to share a BIG one with you.

As a Spirit filled believer in Jesus Christ, we have a certain unfair advantage. We can be like the eagle. The eagle is the king of birds and it has certain attributes that make it special. Let me run though a few of them.

An eagle never eats dead meat, like vultures. It always hunts and kills its food fresh. A Christian needs fresh spiritual food everyday. No dead food. So everyday we must feed on God’s word.

An eagle does not fly or flap, they soar. The eagle waits for the wind and just simply spreads his wings and allows the wind to carry it. Christians have the Holy Spirit to carry us, all we need to do is depend on Him. We wait for His move and just step out on his leading and we make great speed and cover much ground. This way we do not get tired or weary.

An eagle has incredible vision. If you swapped your eyes for an eagle’s, you could see an ant crawling on the ground from the roof of a 10-story building. You could make out the expressions on basketball players’ faces from the worst seats in the arena. Objects directly in your line of sight would appear magnified, and everything would be brilliantly colored, rendered in an inconceivable array of shades. As a Christian, we have sight by the Holy Spirit. We can see the future. We can look into people’s hearts. We can discern people’s motivation and much more! So we are able to do the right things.

Lastly eagles are the only birds that can look directly at the sun. This comes into great advantage when the eagle in danger, being chased by other big birds. (In America, there is a bird called the condor that sometimes threatens the eagle). What an eagle does when it is threatened by the condor, is that the eagle starts soring quite high, then changes into vertical flight mode and flies directly in the direction of the sun, the closer the eagle gets towards the sun, the more intense the light of the sun, that it begins to blind the adversary and at some point, the adversary has to turn back because it cannot continue to follow the eagle towards the sun. Amazingly, this is exactly what a Christian should do. Once we are under threat, we should run straight to the Lord and His glory, strength and power will overpower our enemy and he has to back off!

The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and they are safe. Proverbs 18:10.

Are you and eagle or a chicken? Could not resist that. (laughter)

 

Let’s pray: Father God thank you for the many advantages we have as Christians. Thank you for the way of the eagle, the sight of the eagle and the wisdom of the eagle. Thank you for the unfair advantage we have in the Holy Spirit. Help me to always remember that there is someone who is more powerful than my situation and all I need to do I depend on Him.

 

 

 

 

 

The Offence of Grace

Morning Dew

 

Key Passage – Galatians 5:1-15

 

Key Text – Galatians 5:11 – But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed.

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It is true that we often reject what we can’t understand. We simply put into a classification in our minds and dismiss it. The challenge with the message of grace is that it is completely against human nature and pride, that we just simply reject it. But let me state right upfront that you reject the message of grace at your own peril. Ignorance is no excuse to reject it. We must just acquiesce and progress.

The message of grace is inextricably linked to the full provisions of the cross of Christ. So it has both the capacity to offend and cause people to stumble. People are offended on many fronts. They are offended that the cross is not at all in keeping with human wisdom. How can eternal salvation come from a man with badly lacerated body, stripped of all human dignity, nailed to a cross and executed as a common criminal? Surely the savour of mankind will come with heavenly chariots and incredible army and obliterate all enemies of God in one second. Jesus on the cross does not fit the human idea of a hero.

The cross is offensive also, because, it totally removes any responsibility from man for saving himself. Man has no role in salvation. We are simply to receive the accomplished work. Human beings want to do something to earn something. It is just in our nature somehow. But the cross offends, as it is the work of God from start to finish. We have no role to play in it.

The cross is offensive because it is not a good sight and it is utterly ghastly from human perspective. It is bloody and brutal. It is not appealing at all, so it tends to turn people off. There is an old testament story in the books of 2Kings 5, that illustrates the offense of the cross vividly. A Syrian General was plagued with leprosy. There was no earthly cure known for his condition, but a young Jewish girl told him that there was a prophet in the land of Israel who could cure the general of his malady. So he went to see the prophet Elisha. But on getting to Elisha, the prophet refused to see him, just sent him to the Jordan to dip himself seven times in the Jordan and he would be healed. The general was so offended at this suggestion that he was going to go back to Syria. He despised the waters of the Jordan, he rejected the method and could not see any form of power display in this prescription. It sounded completely absurd and simplistic to him. But thank God he had some wise Lieutenants, who prevailed on him to obey the Prophet. So when he dipped seven times in the Jordan, his skin was restored like that of a newborn baby!

This is the offence of the cross and the message of grace linked up in one. God’s perfect provision to remove the incurable condition of man, our sinfulness, is in a very unlikely package called the cross of Jesus Christ. And we are not called to do anything but just believe and we are saved. Only believe.

So in connecting with the grace of God, we have to overcome the offense of our self-righteousness and our so-called ability to help our selves out of our predicament. You simply surrender and receive God’s provision. Period.

 

Let us Pray: Heavenly Father, please help me to deal with my offence of the cross. Help me to accept your grace and not feel that I have to earn it somehow. I simply want you to help me to surrender completely and enjoy the freedom and fullness of your grace in my life. In Jesus name. Amen.

 

Becoming Like Jesus – Part 2

Morning Dew

 

Key Passage: Matthew 16:13-20

 

Key Text: Matthew 16:17-18 – Blessed are you, Simon Bar- Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter

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The power of a role model in a person’s life can never be underestimated. We invariably try to emulate people we respect or admire and subconsciously begin to measure ourselves against the standards we feel they have set. We also tend to reflect the personalities of people we hang out with and what they like or don’t like influences us. This is called “herd mentality”. This is not a bad thing, provided the people we are trying to copy are the right people for us, and they would not influence us for evil.

But truthfully, the best role models in this world are still fallible humans, full of weaknesses and flaws. Sometimes, if you get the opportunity to get close up with that admired role model, you may be shocked at what you would discover. It can be painfully devastating when you see your ‘role model’ warts and all.

This is why God never clones people. We are all made unique. There is no one else like you and no one can be you. So you cannot be someone else. God made you fearfully and wonderfully and He threw away the mould, so He would never make another person like you. Even identical twins have some differences that make them unique.

So I hear you ask me, how do I become the best me, God made me to be? This is where today’s passage comes in. Jesus asked His disciples, who men said He is. They gave various answers, all wrong. Then He asked His disciples, who they say He is. Peter in a moment of divine inspiration, declared you are the Christ, (the Messiah) the Son of the Living God. Jesus said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar- Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter’.

Jesus first affirmed that His true identity could only be revealed by God in heaven. Secondly, that though Simon had an earthly identity, the true identity is that which is revealed in Heaven, in this case Peter. (By the way Simon means a reed, that is one that can be blown around by the wind. Peter means a stone, solid and compact and stable.) Finally, that because He has received the revelation of who Jesus is, Simon would be transformed into Peter.

Consequently, our true identities can only be revealed from Heaven, by our Father. He created us, so he alone truly knows us.  So we need to seek His face to know who we really are. Secondly, as we get a closer and more accurate knowledge of Jesus, we also begin to get a more accurate knowledge of who we are. Lastly, the more of Jesus we see, the more we are empowered to be the real us. This is so amazing. This is the grace of God.

How liberating it is to know that you do not have to be like anyone else. Today, please be released from the bondage of trying to be a clone of someone or match someone’s achievements or personality. Get your identity from Jesus and guess what? He is the only role model that is perfect and has no warts!!!! The closer you get, the more amazed you become.

Let’s pray: Father God, today I ask you to help me to be released from the weight of trying to be someone else, other than who you have made me. Father, please reveal to me who you have made me to be. Give me a much clearer view of Jesus, so I can see who I am supposed to be. Finally Father, give me the grace to be transformed into the image of Christ that I am supposed to reflect. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.