Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

Morning Dew

 

Key Passage: Psalm 122

 

Key Word: Psalm 122:6 –Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, May they prosper who love you.”

 Image

Wisdom is the application of knowledge and those who are blessed with it always bear the fruits of wisdom. If you have wisdom, it actually shows in your life by the way you conduct yourself and what you do with your life. The bible says, wisdom is known by its children. As you know one of my personal favourite things to do is travelling. I love visiting other countries and meeting people from other countries. But my number one city in the world is Jerusalem and my number one country in this whole world is Israel. I had read a lot about the Jews and their land, Eretz Israel, long before I finally went there in 1999. I have returned there almost every year since then.

I love the land, the sheer ruggedness of it. I love the food. Absolutely yummy. very fresh and clean. The fruits are so sweet; you feel they are dipped in honey. The meat, so tender and the chicken, really does not taste like chicken from other places. You get the sense that you are eating real chicken.  I recommend the St Peter’s fish at the Galilee, any day, and if you have time, take the boat trip to the other side of the Galilee. I love visiting the sites. I love the people and their sheer determination to succeed and exist. I like hearing the stories of their military exploits. The divine interventions in the defence of Israel. Amazing people. God’s people.

I love Jerusalem. The city of Gold. The city of God. I like the stones. The whitish limestone’s you see everywhere. I like the old city, the Temple Mount, the Wailing Wall, the garden of Gethsemane, the Mount of Olives. The tower of David, Mount Zion, etc. I love visiting the Knesset. Jerusalem took my breath away. I actually cried a lot the first time I went to Israel and I prayed that God would give me a home in Jerusalem one day. Jerusalem is the City of the Great King!

But the best part of Israel for me is what it does to my knowledge of the bible. It opens my mind up in ways that no other bible teacher can do it for me. As I travel through the land, I see promises fulfilled and I find myself literarily walking through the bible.  This is the bible in 3D.

The Jews have knowledge of the word of God, which really is not found anywhere else in this world. I love God’s word and when I am in Israel, I am in a continuous feast of God’s word. Now I know, why the Lord called people to come each year for the feasts. I feed so voraciously on God’s word, that I am filled for at least another year.

There are many things Western trained people and we Westerners really can never grasp, outside the exposure to Israel and the teachings of some of the Messianic Jewish Rabbis we have met. They break the word of God down so clearly that you are left with no ambiguity as to the truth.  The bible is the culture of Israel. It is their language at least half of it. It is their customs. So when we interpret the bible we are looking at it through stained glasses. We see rather dimly, but to a Jewish person, they see so clearly.  Try going to Israel at least once in your lifetime as a believer in Christ and I guarantee, you will never be the same again.

God gave us a promise in the bible and I really want to encourage you tap into it. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, May they prosper who love you.

God has set Israel in the earth to be a blessing to the whole world and those who are wise, will befriend Israel and pray to God for the prosperity of Israel. God will also prosper you as you bless Israel. This is simple wisdom.

I would write more on Israel in the coming days, but just start today with a short prayer.

 

Let’s Pray: Father God, I bless Your name and thank you for blessing us with the nation of Israel. Father I pray for the Safety, Sanctity and Salvation of Israel. I pray that you would preserve Jerusalem and Israel and bless the people of the land. Father, I ask you to make a way for me to visit Israel and see this wonderful land. I ask this in Jesus name. Amen

 

The Rich, The Camel and The eye of a needle

Morning Dew

 

Key Passage: Matthew 19:16-26

 

Key Text: Matthew 19:23 “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven.”

 Image

An interesting story to start us off today. When I was a child, my mother worked for the American Peace Corps and some how she brought so many books home and I read most of them. They were mostly about other countries and their peoples. I remember once reading about Greenland and Iceland and the land of the Eskimos. I saw that they lived in houses made of ice called igloos. These igloos were so fascinating, but they had one very interesting feature. They had very small low doors that you have to get down on your knees and crawl to get into the igloos. I always felt that if you were invited to enter an Eskimo’s house, you would first have to humble yourself before you can enter the house.

Today’s passage tells us the story of a young rich man came to ask Jesus what he needed to do to obtain eternal life. Jesus said he should obey the Ten Commandments, and the young man boasted that he had been faithful in keeping the law. Then Jesus gave Him the caveat. “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”  When the young man heard this, he went away sorrowful, because he had great possessions. He was a rich young man. Clearly his money owned his heart. He could not let go of that to gain the Kingdom of God.

Jesus then made this great comment we all have heard many times “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” Whatever your interpretation of this statement, it clearly shows the impossibility of those who trust in wealth and riches to enter the kingdom of God. I once heard an interpretation of this statement Jesus made and though I can’t say if it is true or not, I think it nevertheless helps us understand this analogy a bit better.

The analogy says that the ‘eye of a needle’ is a little inlet on the walls of Jerusalem that travellers arriving late after the gates have been shut can pass through to enter Jerusalem. Now when they arrived with their camels, laden with their personal possessions, the camel could not just walk through this small inlet. So what they did, was they stripped the camel of all its heavy baggage, then they forced it to kneel on its four legs and then people pulled it and another set push it and the camel screamed and struggled as they pushed it through this small inlet. From what I heard it took quite an effort and time to complete the operation.

This is how it is with those who are rich and put their hope and trust in their riches. If they were to make it into the Kingdom of God, they would have to be stripped, humbled and literarily dragged and pushed into the kingdom of God. Like I said, I don’t know if this illustration is true, but I do know that the disciples of Jesus felt it was impossible for such people to be saved. But the good news is that Jesus said, what is impossible with man is possible with God. Only God can help such people to be saved.

To be saved, you have to put your trust in Jesus and Jesus alone. No one or nothing else. The rich often feel they don’t need God. That whatever they need they can afford, so why do they need God? But the truth is unless you are graciously led by the Lord to see your wretchedness, your hopelessness and your lost state, you would not truly appreciate that you need a saviour. Lord, help us.

The simple law here is God must be number one or else we can’t really have him living in our hearts and we cannot possess his kingdom.

 

Let’s Pray: Father God, please help us understand the truth that we cannot serve God and mammon at the same time. Help us to put our trust in you and you alone. Lord help us we pray in Jesus name. Amen. 

The Corresponding Actions of Faith.

Morning Dew

 

Key Passage: James 2: 14-26

 

Key Word: James 2:20 –Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?”

 

Image

 

People say ignorance is bliss. That what you don’t know can’t hurt you. If you’ve been around for more than a few years, you would certainly know the error of such thought. God Himself lamented that His people are destroyed because of lack of knowledge. So what you don’t know has even greater power to hurt you. Have you ever been into an ultra-modern hotel room with the latest gadgets, and after getting into your room, you look for the switch to turn on the lights and can’t find any? What should be the switch just looks like a flat panel. So you give up and call the front desk to come and sort you out. The bellboy comes back in and gives you that look of “ignoramus”, and goes and waves his hand over the place the switch is supposed to be and the light comes on, voila! You look impressed, but actually you feel stupid and thank the bellboy, who leaves the room shaking his head at your ignorance.

That is exactly what God is saying today in His word to us. You cannot claim to have faith and not show it by the corresponding actions. Faith has corresponding actions and without these corresponding actions, there is no living faith, actually the bible calls it dead faith. It will not produce anything. Faith without works is dead. Take the example of your room, with the conventional switch to put on the lights. If you sit in you chair and don’t go and press the switch, the lights will never come on. Or consider an even more absurd situation. You travel many miles to see a friend, then you get to his house and just stand outside the door, without pressing the bell or knocking on the door, then after waiting for some minutes you walk away, concluding that your friend is not at home. I know these examples may sound so stupid, but this is how it looks in the faith realm, when the corresponding actions are not done.

Abram believed God and left his homeland to go to the land of promise, even though he did not know where. The point is he left and went. The woman with the issue of blood believed that if she could touch the hem of Jesus’ garment she would be made whole. She got up and pushed her way through a hostile crowd and touched the hem of Jesus’ garment and was healed instantly. She moved. Blind Bartimaeus cried out to Jesus the son of David to have mercy on him. When Jesus asked him to come, he threw away his beggars cloak and went and received his sight. He threw away his beggars cloak and that was the corresponding action of his faith.

Whatever you believe God for, once faith has entered your heart, you would find yourself doing something that proves you have that faith and that action, will cause your miracle to manifest.

Today you can turn your dead faith to living faith, by just carrying out the corresponding action your faith demands. If you want to prosper, work and sow seeds and increase will come. If you want to be healed, you must confess the scripture and then once faith enters in, you would start doing something you could not do before.

Do the corresponding actions of faith today and watch you miracles pop up like popcorns.

 

Let’s pray: Father God, I thank you for opening my eyes today to this simple truth of the actions that accompany faith. I ask you to help me to recognise what actions I need to take to make my faith come alive. I ask this in Jesus name. Amen.

 

 

 

 

This is the time of God’s Favour!

Morning Dew

 

Key Word: “You will arise and have pity on Zion; it is the time to favour her; the appointed time has come.”

 

 Image

God is in control of our lives! He holds the keys to our destinies and our futures, especially as His children. He also sees our struggles and understands our pains and frustrations. He feels our pains and would not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can endure, that is why He sometimes takes a very direct action to move us forward. As a child, we used to make little boats with paper and then float them down our open drains. The drains were quite clean and ran quite smoothly. Sometimes the boats got stuck and we would wait to see if the current will dislodge the boat from the obstruction, but if it doesn’t move, we would stoop down and pick up the boat and put it in the place where it is not obstructed. Then the boat just moves on freely. This made us so happy, to see our paper boats continue the journey.

This is what today’s passage is all about! “You will arise and have pity on Zion; it is the time to favour her; the appointed time has come.” It is the divine intervention of a loving and kind God in the affairs of His people, to give them a boost and helping hand so they can reach their goals and succeed in life; just at the right time. God is going to arise and help you. He will show you His grace and favour. He will do it in time and He will not be late.

Today, I have a sense that this is the set time of God’s favour and grace for somebody. That this is the Kairos moment for God’s favour in your life. That what has been held up for so long will be released and that what has been stalled will commence and move forward. That God will have pity on us and help us along the way.

There are times when we feel so helpless and bewildered. We feel unable to do anything about our predicament. But I have good news for you. There is a God who cares and is more than able to fix our difficult situation. Just like my small paper boats, I could stoop down and help it, so our God is so much bigger than all we are struggling with and He will help us.

In the early days of the revival in Nigeria, we used to sing a simple but powerful song. ‘I anticipate, the inevitable, supernatural, intervention of God. I expect a miracle, I expect a miracle!

Whatever you are going through, whatever you may be feeling, please make this proclamation with me.

Father God, thank you that you will arise and have compassion on me, that you will show me your favour, mercy and grace. That this is the set, appointed time for you to show me your mercy. I believe this is Jesus name. Amen