A Successful Slave

39:1-2 Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. And Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him down there. The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.

An amazing paradox. An incredible contradiction. A biblical irony.

Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt and was a servant in the house of Potiphar, yet the bible described him as a successful man because the God was with him. This is a deliberate, intentional plan by the Holy Spirit to provoke a cognitive dissonance in us, that will draw us into a deeper revelation and confront is with a profound truth.

How can a slave be a prosperous man?

A slave is a prosperous man because God is with him and a prosperous man is a slave because God is not with him. Simple. Which would you rather have, given the choice?

Joseph had something permanent that made his physical condition irrelevant and very temporary, whilst the Rich Man in Luke 16:19-31, had something temporary that could not keep him or be kept eternally.

There is a deep deception that has swept over the world and had taken deep root in the church. It is the belief that material possessions are a mark of success. It is even more insidious in that people believe that without material prosperity a person is not successful. What a deception.

Jesus said:

Luke 12:15 New King James Version (NKJV)

15 And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of [a]covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”

The message bible states it this way:

15 Speaking to the people, he went on, “Take care! Protect yourself against the least bit of greed. Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot.”



Success is a function of Purpose not Possessions. Our creator sent us into this world to fulfil a specific assignment and the degree to which we carry these assignments out are the measure of our successes. Don’t be deceived. I repeat again, DON’T BE DECIEVED!

Psalm 1 also helps us understand this even more

Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the 
[a]ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he 
[b]meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the 
[c]rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.

The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.



Men may see you as successful, but God may judge you a complete failure. Ultimately God’s assessment of your life will be all that matters and all that remains.

Therefore, I believe that the pursuit of the presence of God is the chief pursuit of every wise person. If you pursue and find the presence of God, you will invariably find the following:
1. Peace 2. Purpose 3. Power 4. Protection 5. Provision 6. Prosperity
7. Pleasures

And these will be permanent in your life.

Why waste time chasing something you cannot keep, prosperity, and forfeit the one thing that once you get it, guarantees all the other things you may ever require or desire, the presence of God?

It was Jim Elliot, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Elliot the intrepid missionary to the Auca Indians who said “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

Psalm 16:11 You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Joseph was a slave and he was a successful man. His slavery was temporary, because the God of all freedom and liberty was with him. His condition changed and he became a ruler rather than a slave.

Please pursue God’s presence, it is the most valuable possession you can ever have. It is the possession that guarantees all other possessions.

Shalom.

Let us Pray: Dear Lord, please deliver us from the deception of worldliness and materialism. Help us to recognise that having your presence is the greatest possession any man can have and with Your presence comes everything that You are, and You are the giver of all good things. Please grant the grace to prioritise Your presence and follow hard after you. This we ask by faith in the name of Your Son and Our saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

A difficult night and a glorious morning.

Genesis 32:31 New King James Version (NKJV)

31 Just as he crossed over [a]Penuel the sun rose on him, and he limped on his hip.

A difficult night and a glorious morning.

Life certainly has its rhythms. It has its ebbs and highs. But we must be conscious that some of our deepest struggles are just before our greatest triumphs. Like I have often heard it said, the darkest night is just before the break of dawn.

Jacob just left his uncle turn father-in law’s home, after a twenty-year sojourn that was marked with hardship, cheating and difficulties. Imagine him having to negotiate his wages 10 times in those years, working 14 years to purchase his wives and six years to earn a living. No wonder he chose to leave. Then he came to Peniel and came face to face with God. Peniel means Face of God.

At Penuel, he had to face the brutal truth about himself, because he was going to meet his elder brother Esau, who he cheated out of the birth right and stole his blessing; Esau had vowed to kill Jacob after Isaac passed. Hence his flight to Padan Aram to the house of Laban. He had to face God and God faced him. The God who knows him better than he even knows himself. He had to look into the face of God.

Just before he met Esau, he spent a night alone at Peniel. He was met there by God and they wrestled till all night. Now this is a most interesting situation. How can a mere man wrestle with God? But what really happened here was Jacob held on to God and will not let Him go until…

Until he received the assurance that Esau will not kill him. Until he received the blessing of the Lord. Until he got a character transformation. Until he was free of his old nature. Until his name was changed and he got a new identity. Until he obtained mercy and received grace from the face of God.

Just read the exchange and get a glimpse of this epic struggle.

Genesis 32:24-31 New King James Version (NKJV)

24 Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the [a]breaking of day. 25 Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He [b]touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him. 26 And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.”

But he said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!”

2So He said to him, “What is your name?”

He said, “Jacob.”

28 And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but [c]Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.”

2Then Jacob asked, saying, “Tell me Your name, I pray.”

And He said, “Why is it that you ask about My name?” And He blessed him there.

3So Jacob called the name of the place [d]Peniel: “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” 

Have you got a major adversary who has promised to deal with you? Are you troubled by a situation that defies all natural remedies? Have you arrived at a place where you know unless your character is changed you will be a big failure in life? Or are you perhaps in the battle of your life at your own Peniel. Do not let God go. Do not let Him rest until He meets you at the point of your need. Remember this may be a dark night, but the morning will break soon. Just don’t let go of God.

New Living Translation
For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. Psalm 30:5

As the day was breaking, God granted Jacob all he needed. He was left with a limp, but he was also a transformed man. He was broken, but he had been fixed right in God’s  way.

Now to this incredible phenomenon the bible captures on Jacob as he crossed Penuel.

31 Just as he crossed over [e]Penuel the sun rose on him, and he limped on his hip.

The sun rose on him. This was God showing that this is a transformed man and now all of creation will work in concert with Jacob now turned Israel to fulfil his destiny. It signaled that Jacob had become a Prince with God and this Prince will always prevail. It signaled a new beginning. It signaled an everlasting favour of God. It revealed that God had just joined himself to this man.

Jacob had a very rough and dark night, but his morning was glorious. He started the night as Jacob, but by day break he was already Israel.

Your dark and troubled night will also pass and day break will come and you will be transformed.

Let’s Pray: Father thank you for your dealings in our life. Help us to learn to surrender in time, so our struggle does not get prolonged. We recognise that coming face to face with you will change us forever positively. So we ask for this encounter with You. We desire Your transformation in our lives. We ask this in Jesus name. Amen.

Love, Time and Eternity

20 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her. Genesis 29:20

Love, Time and Eternity

Recently my wife and I celebrated 30 years of marriage. We are so grateful to God for His gift of life and love. God has really been our strength and help. We have had an incredible journey and we can honestly say we are blessed to be together. Marriage is truly a blessed institution and we are so grateful to God that He has given us one that is so joyful. Even when we have been sorely tested, we have found strength in Him to keep loving and caring for each other.

As I reminisced and reflected on our last thirty years and look joyfully to an even more glorious future of love and companionship, I realised the time has flown. I realised thirty years passed like just 30 days. I began to ask myself why time seems to have gone so fast. I then gained a simple understanding. I saw that when you are in love and are with your loved one, time becomes quite irrelevant.

I have often wondered why Jacob was able to work for seven years and wait to be married to Rachael. The bible states this so clearly.

20 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her. Genesis 29:20

I know for sure and by experience that love makes time of no consequence. Time just does not matter when love is in play. Think about the many hours you spend on the phone talking to your loved one, especially in the early days when you just met. Think about the endless hours you walk and stroll through parks talking and listening and yes, you are very attentive and you somehow feel the time was very well spent. Think about how many pages of letters we wrote and read and reread. Think about the days you simply sat and just cradled each other for hours and you really don’t say much. Time really stops being important when love kicks in.

So, I began to understand something a bit deeper. I have often wondered what we will be doing in eternity and how we will remain occupied for ever. I now know at least something; because we are going to be with the One who loves us the most and we love the most, Jesus The Christ, because we are going to be in the place where love is perfected, Heaven, time becomes totally irrelevant. Time stops. Eternity is a state of being where we lose our consciousness of time, because we are in the deepest embrace of love ever imagined.

Love is so powerful. God is love. Whenever we do things in love, time and cost is not important. Love always gives, even recklessley.

Today, I just want to encourage someone to give love a chance. Allow your heart to love and you will discover that time stops for you too.

Lastly do you have the ultimate love in your heart? Has Jesus Christ become a permanent resident in your heart? Allow Him in and you will start to enjoy eternity from this very moment.

John 14:23 New King James Version (NKJV)

23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

I like how the book of Ecclesiastes states this.

11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11

God is the ultimate love gift. We can never fully explore Him. We can never fully apprehend Him. We can never get bored of Him. He will amaze us continually, moment by moment, age to age, for all eternity!

Thank God for love, time and eternity!

Let us pray: God You are LOVE. Please shed your love abroad into our hearts again today. Help us to love You with all our hearts and help us to love our neighbours as ourselves. Lord help renew our love for our spouses and let love prevail in all our relationships. Refresh us in Your love we pray and help us to see that love demands time and time becomes irrelevant when love is in play. Thank you for loving us so much in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Reaching Your Goal

Reading Genesis 12-15

So, they came to the land of Canaan.” Genesis 12:5

Today a line of scripture caught my eye and I decided to meditate on it a bit longer. It can be found in Genesis 12:5 – “Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So, they came to the land of Canaan.”

So, they came to the land of Canaan.

This is the line that struck me. Knowing the context of this scripture made me pause and think about this a bit more and as a result I feel there is something worth exploring here. If you read the prior chapter, chapter 11 of Genesis, you would notice in verses 31 and 32, that Abram’s father set out to go to Canaan too, but got to a place called Haran and dwelt there and died there. “And Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram’s wife, and they went out with them from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan; and they came to Haran and dwelt there. So, the days of Terah were two hundred and five years, and Terah died in Haran.

So, the thought of the bible recording that Abram came to Canaan is no coincidence.

There are many who decide and start on a journey, a project, a mission, a plan, a course and never quite get to the destination. In the case of Terah, he came to a place called Haran on his way to Canaan and dwelt in Haran and eventually died in Haran.

Haran is an interesting place. Haran means ‘their mountain’. A mountain is an obstacle. A mountain can also be a task. Most people who achieve anything in life will at some point meet with obstacles and it is how the deal with these obstacles that will determine if they progress to success. We must learn how to climb over, go around or cut through the mountains and reach our destinations.

In the case of Terah, there might be something even bigger at work here. Terah had a son called Haran. Haran was the father of Lot and he died in Ur of Chaldeans. So Terah getting to Haran could have triggered the memory of his loss and maybe could not just get over that and lost his desire to continue to Canaan.

No one knows for sure what happened, but it is clear that he had set out to go to Canaan and when he got to Haran, he dwelt there and died there.

Sometimes our pain, our past, our disappointments, our failures could become obstacles and hinderances to our future and could become snares and traps to keep us rooted and fixed in one place and we can’t get over them. That’s why it is good to learn how to forgive our past and let go of them, so we can embrace our futures.

Like Paul we should try to let go of our past to lay hold of our futures.

13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have [d]apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

But Abram left Haran and journeyed till he got to Canaan. He must have learnt the lesson of his father. He got to Canaan. He overcame the mountains and obstacles and reached his goal. This year be determined no to let obstacles deter you. Not to let mountains stop you and certainly deal with your past hurts and failures and press on to your greater tomorrow.

Psalm 18:28-29

For You will light my lamp;
The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.
29 For by You I can [g]run against a troop,
By my God I can leap over a wall.

Abram reached Canaan. You will also reach your destination in Jesus Mighty Name. Amen.

Let us pray: Father God, You are the God of all comforts and You are the God who gives strength to the weary and the weak. Please strengthen us today, so we are able to scale all walls of oppostion and obstacles to our destinies and goals this year. Help us to lean on Your mighty hand and be lifted to new heights above the mountains of opposition in Jesus name. We agree with each other today that we will reach our God-appointed destinations in Jesus name. Amen.

God Hears!

Gen 16:11 – You shall call his name Ishmael

God gave Hagar the name of her son. Ishmael is the son Abraham had with Hagar at the instance of Sarah, when she decided she could not bear children and she asked Abraham to go into her maid and produce children by her. It was an act of the flesh and not according to God’s intention for Abraham, never the less, God acknowledged and blessed Ishmael as a child of Abraham, but He reserved the covenant blessing for Isaac whom Sarah bore to Abraham later.

But my focus today is on Ishmael and the meaning of his name and how it applies to us today. Ishmael means ‘God hears’ or ‘God will hear’. If you read Genesis 16:11, you will see that God named him Ishmael and immediately explained the meaning of that name. He said “Because the LORD has heard your affliction.”

Psalm 10:17-18

Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble;
You will prepare their heart;
You will cause Your ear to hear,
18 To [h]do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
That the man of the earth may 
[i]oppress no more.

Few things we can glean from this name. God hears and will hear the cry of all the afflicted, the repressed, the down trodden, the infirmed, the poor, the disenfranchised and the outcast. God hears their cry and He responds to them. Are you afflicted? Are you in a difficult place? Are you experiencing injustice? Are you in pain? God hears your sighs and groans and God will visit to deliver you shortly.

Secondly, I feel very impressed to declare to all the sons of Ishmael languishing in hopelessness, under bondage of tyranny and repression, lost and confused, that God will hear, and God will respond to their cries. I am convinced that God will visit them in this generation and show them His salvation through His appointed Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Lastly, I also declare that the people of this great nation Nigeria, who are repressed, oppressed and being subjugated; the people who daily groan and sigh under the burden of injustice and pain. The Lord hears your cry and He will rise to deliver us as a nation.

God hears and He will hear!

Let us pray: Father God, You are the God who gave Ishmael his name. In this You revealed another side of Your character as the God who hears. Lord we cry out today on behalf of all the oppressed, repressed, afflicted and rejected people of this world, that You would hear their cry. We ask you to hear the cries of the seeds of Ishmael and deliver them and show them Your salvation and Saviour. Lastly hear the cry of every Nigerian and deliver Nigeria from oppression and tyranny in every facet of our society. In Jesus name we pray! Amen.

Noah Found Grace

Bible in one year. Today we are reading Genesis 4-7. I found a line in Genesis 6 verse 8 that really caught my attention again.

‘But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.’ Genesis 6:8

First let us understand the context. The world was corrupt. Mankind had lost its way. There was wickedness everywhere and God was fed up. He had decided to rid the earth of all living things because they were corrupt and were not behaving according to His set plan.

But there was a man called Noah, who found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Noah name means Rest or Comfort!

First understanding is that amid turmoil, uncertainties and upheavals, we can find rest and comfort in the Lord. The Psalmist, David said in Psalm 55:22, Cast your burden on the LORD, and He shall sustain you. He shall never permit the righteous to be moved or shaken. Jesus also said in Matthew 11:28 ‘Come to me all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.’ So, take that burden to the Lord and obtain His rest.

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. This profound line shows us something very deep. In a world that was lost, confused and wicked a man stood out. He found grace or favour is another word.

Where? In the eyes of the LORD.

Can you see what I see? He must have been looking at God and communing with Him in an upside-down world. He saw grace and favour and received grace and favour as he sought the Lord.

The lesson for us is that we must always keep our focus on God and in His eyes, we will find love, compassion, favour grace, provision, kindness and all good things we desire for life.

Seek His face today!

Let’s Pray: Father we recognise that we are strangers in this world and there are many confusing things in these last days. Help us to always keep our eyes on you and help us to see in your eyes what we need to see. Help us to obtain grace to thrive and flourish in this season. Thank you for answered prayers in Jesus name. Amen.

God Remebered Noah

Genesis 8:1 – Then God Remembered Noah

accuracy alarm clock analogue business
Photo by Mat Brown on Pexels.com

This statement can easily be misinterpreted that God somehow forgot Noah and then later on remembered him. God never forgets anyone, and God is always aware and in tune with every minute detail of every one of His creatures and creation. But this statement means something deeper than just human remembering. It meant that the appointed time or Kairos had come for God to fulfil and bring to pass what He had planned regarding a person or an event. In Acts 10, we read the story of Cornelius and God sent an angel to his house to inform him that his alms and prayers have come up as a memorial before God. This means that his sowing had reached harvest point and the reward was now due.  In Genesis 30:22, we read that God remembered Rachael, He listened to her and opened her womb. It was a question of God’s appointed time, when our activities come in perfect alignment with God’s intention, then there is a release and it is termed ‘remembered’.

Same thing happened in 1 Samuel 1:19, that God remembered Hannah, and the consequence was that her bareness was removed, and she conceived and had a son, Samuel. Also, in Genesis 21:1, we see that God visited Sarah, it is the same concept of remember. Sarah then was able to conceive, and she bore Isaac. Elizabeth the wife of Zechariah was also barren, and God remembered her. Interestingly, her husband’s name Zechariah means “Remembered of God or Jehovah has remembered”.

God remembered Joseph in prison and brought him out and made him the second highest ruler in Egypt. God remembered Hezekiah and healed him and delivered him from an early death.

The word remember in Hebrew is the word Zakar, which conveys the impression of recognising someone, marking the person and hastening the plan for that person or thing. It also means to be brought forward or presented promptly.

This year we are believing God for His performance in our lives. So, may the Lord remember us. May the Lord remember you and perform in your life what He has always intended and what only He can do for you. Like Nehemiah, we pray, Lord remember us for good.

God will remember us and visit us and perform in our lives what no man can do for us in Jesus name.

Declare with your mouth today that God remembered you!

 

Gleanings from the Word of God

This year we are reading the bible from cover to cover in one year. Hallelujah. Today’s reading is Genesis 1-3. I am committing to writing just a short snippet on what I have gleaned from the readings each day. So here we go. Gen 1:1 says “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Notice that heavens is plural. So there are at least 3 heavens, but we will explore this much later on. But today we see that it is God who created the heavens and the earth. Not man, not the devil, only God. He is the creator and He alone understands how it is meant to operate and He alone controls and orders it. So as we spend time in His word we will develop a deeper understanding of how this world should function and how we should operate in the world. Like David said in Psalm 119:19 _I am a stranger in the earth;
Do not hide Your commandments from me.”_ As we read God’s word, we gain understanding of how we can rule and reign in life. 2019 is already blessed by God and we will enjoy these blessings in Jesus name.

Let’s Pray: Father we dedicate this year to the Glory of your name. May Jesus be exalted in all we say and do. May our lives reflect more closely who You are. May Your word be a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. May we hide Your words in our heart that we may not sin against You. May nothing cause us to stumble because we love Your word. Thank You for a blessed 2019.

Queen Ecclesia

 

 Keyword:

 Song of Solomon 7 New Living Translation (NLT)

Your neck is as beautiful as an ivory tower.
Your eyes are like the sparkling pools in Heshbon
    by the gate of Bath-rabbim.
Your nose is as fine as the tower of Lebanon
    overlooking Damascus.
Your head is as majestic as Mount Carmel,
    and the sheen of your hair radiates royalty.
    The king is held captive by its tresses.
Oh, how beautiful you are!
    How pleasing, my love, how full of delights!

crown and sceptre

 As Queen’s go, I would think that Queen Elizabeth II is probably the greatest living monarch of our times. This woman has been a constant, stable and unflinching epitome of British dignity and comportment. One can only wonder the weight of responsibility she has had to carry all these years. I am a confessed monarchist and I love the Queen deeply, but I really think she models the very best. Another Queen that stands out for me is Queen Rania of Jordan. Her stunning beauty aside, she has distinguished herself in the way she has taken on causes across Education, Health, Youth, Finance and even technology. She is simply one of the most articulate people in that stratosphere. Her elegance, fashion sense and poise only add to the effortless royalty of Queen Rania.

These two royal women are great not just because of birth circumstances or what marriage to a monarch bestows, but more because of the substance of their person. What they do in a sense only justifies who they are and when history is written, I have no doubt these two queens will feature in no small way. But great as they may be, they pale into insignificance when you consider Queen Ecclesia. Her husband paid her dowry 2000 years ago and left to go and prepare a befitting palace for her and then come back and fetch her for the wedding that would be the greatest spectacle in all creation. What a night that would be! Selah.

But Queen Ecclesia has not been idle. She has not just been twiddling her thumbs and counting the days. Yes she looks over the horizon once in a while and sometimes wonders when The KING will return, yet she has dedicated herself to upholding the values of the Kingdom and spreading the influence of the age to come in a world that seems to have lost its direction.

Over the years, Queen Ecclesia has been growing in influence and stature. She is present in nearly all nations of the earth in one form or the other, even beyond the planet earth. She is involved in the slums and pits of human degradation as a source of light and hope, as a helping hand, as a binder of wounds and mender of broken lives. She has built schools to spread light and improve the lives of many. Hospitals, orphanages, farms, media houses, the list is endless. She is present in every facet of society. She is always willing and ready, never sleeping, never refusing anyone, but simply stretching herself to make sure everyone gets to experience Her Husband’s love. She has stood against tyrants and with her prayers she has brought despots down and caused great reformation across whole continents. She cares for people from the day they are born till they die and beyond. She helps families start, keeps marriages together, teaches people to love each other and has always been a constant example of selflessness and sacrifice. She is extravagantly generous, but in all these she remains humble and dignified.

Queen Ecclesia is sublimely beautiful. Delicate, yet quite rugged. She is a heart stopper. Looking at her people stand with mouths agape. Is it possible to be so beautiful and yet so hardworking and humble? Well, read these words from her husband.

Songs of Solomon 9

Shapely and graceful your sandaled feet,
    and queenly your movement—
Your limbs are lithe and elegant,
    the work of a master artist.
Your body is a chalice,
    wine-filled.
Your skin is silken and tawny
    like a field of wheat touched by the breeze.
Your breasts are like fawns,
    twins of a gazelle.
Your neck is carved ivory, curved and slender.
    Your eyes are wells of light, deep with mystery.
    Quintessentially feminine!
Your profile turns all heads,
    commanding attention.

But Queen Ecclesia is being misrepresented in some quarters and her once impeccable reputation is being sullied by some of her subjects. They have decided that the King’s mandate is not for them, yet they really want to be referred to as part of Ecclesia’s family. They are not lovers of God or people, they love themselves. They are not servants, they expect to be served. They are not selfless, they are selfish. They are not obedient, they are extremely disobedient. The King left a commission in Matthew 28:18-20. He asked Ecclesia to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations. Yes, Ecclesia’s mandate is to disciple all nations. This means she must go and influence the nations and teach them the ways of the King and His Kingdom, such that all nations will be living and operating under the principles, tenets, laws and statutes of the King’s Kingdom.

Will Ecclesia regain her position and recover her reputation? Will Queen Ecclesia find her poise and step again? Will she walk in majesty? Will her powerful, yet gentle voice turn nations over again? Will her subjects conform? Will she liberate this world from imminent doom? Will she regain her beauty? My informed answer is a resounding Yes. If the Word of the King cannot return void. If the word of the King cannot be broken. If the declaration of the King cannot be reversed, then I know Queen Ecclesia is about to rise again and shake herself from the dust and put on her finest most delicate robes and take her scepter in hand, don her crown and rule with equity, righteousness and love again. Actually her best days are just ahead. Just ahead.

The world is about to witness Queen Ecclesia in full bloom. In full manifestation. In full flight. Yes, She will fly…but only after she has fully accomplished her commission. She will fly! 2000 years of waiting! She will fly to her eternal throne and live with Her King and Husband in eternal love and bliss. Are you ready for the flight?

Let’s Pray: Lord help us to get a fresh glimpse of the Church. Help us to make the adjustments so we can fully play our role as members of the Church. Amen.

An Exceptionally Beautiful Woman!

 

 

Psalm 45 : 13-15

“The royal daughter is all glorious within the palace;
Her clothing is woven with gold.
14 She shall be brought to the King in robes of many colors;
The virgins, her companions who follow her, shall be brought to You.
15 With gladness and rejoicing they shall be brought;
They shall enter the King’s palace.”

 

oakley-bride-of-christ

Abuse. This word evokes many feelings, mostly unsavory and unhappy. But ponder a moment with me and let us dissect this word together. The word abuse comes from two simple words. Ab and Use. Ab simply means away from, or wrong or miss, whilst use means apply. So abuse is actually the wrong use of something. Wrongful application. Now most times abuse comes from pure ignorance. Simply stated, when the use for something is not known, it can so easily be abused. Let’s go deeper. Men who abuse women are mostly ignorant of God’s design for women. They have a warped definition of the woman and that informs the abuse we see. Clearly understanding the beauty and excellence of God’s creation in women and the unique role they are ordained to play will fill you with awe and respect and as such the last thing on your heart will be to abuse them.

As deep and evocative as this subject is, it is not the object of this piece. I may however visit it in future as God leads. I am gripped today by the abuse of one unique lady. A most important woman. An exceptionally beautiful Woman. The betrothed wife of the most Noble of Men. Actually the wife of the perfect man and perfect God. Permit me to introduce you to the Church. The Bride of Christ. I see her abused in no small measure and I am no longer able to stand aside and watch. I consider myself as one of the many groom’s men, a friend of the Bride Groom, tasked with the role of watching over and keep His bride and preparing her for the imminent wedding. But she is today being raped, ravaged, pillaged and abused by so many, most of all other groom’s men.

In my attempt at mitigating or correcting  this I am simply going to try to help inform on who the Church is and what her function is, and why we need to reappraise our relationship with her, if we are to allow her reach her full potential. Perhaps by the grace of God, repentance may ensue.

The church or the bride of Christ is not the product of any man’s imagination. The conception of the Church is not from this earth or of this world. The Church was born in the heart of God and brought forth in a most mystical way, that it requires deep immersion in the heart of her creator to even begin to grasp the beauty, splendor and intricateness of this grand betrothed holy lady.

To understand this, let’s go back to the book of Genesis. God declared it is not good for man to be alone. He said He would make man a helper comparable to him. Then God did something strange. He put Adam to sleep and opened his side and took out one of his ribs and out of this He formed the woman. Let’s get this straight. The woman is not the rib of a man, but she has at her core the rib of a man. God built the woman around the rib. To understand this process, we need to look into the original text, the Hebrew to see something quite interesting. In Genesis 2:7, we read that God formed man from the dust of the earth. This word is the Hebrew word Yasar, which means squeeze or compact together, or like a potter, mould. This was the word used for the creation of man, but in Genesis 2:22, we read that out of the rib God took from man He ‘made’ a woman. This word made is not the same as form or squeeze. The Hebrew word here is bana, which actually means to build, to repair, to set in order or established. From this word we also get the sense of continuing and building a dynasty or legacy. So man was formed, but woman was built. She was built with intricacies that are not in man, because she has a unique role to play in God’s eternal plan for His Kingdom. Now how does this relate to the church? Jesus the last Adam, was put to sleep (died) by His Father (GOD) and out of His side He brought forth the church, the bride of Christ. Notice in Matthew 16, Jesus also stated “I will build My Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. This Greek word Oikodomeo, means to buid up, construct. So the Church is being built by God himself and no man fully understands what the dimensions, the layers, the materials, the finished product looks like, so we need to be quite cautious on how we handle this awesome lady.

One more illustration. In Proverbs 31 verse 14, the bible describes the virtuous woman as a merchant ship. This simple sounding description is actually quite profound. First Ships have to be built. Two, they have more inside them than what appears outside them. Thirdly they keep a lot in their belly. Lastly, merchant ships are rugged and can survive the rough seas. If ships are that complex, how utterly befuddling is a woman then, not to now begin to approach the Church. By the way Noah’s ARK was a type of the Church.

Today, I just want you to ponder anew the mystery of the church. The sheer profundity of this wonderful creation of God that we have been graciously called into. Ponder the depth of love her Husband has for her. Stop and think about the price He paid for her. Consider the complexities of her creation and purpose. Understand the trust bestowed on us who are called to look after this lady, preparing her for her wedding day. Think, are you respectful of her? Are you one of her abusers? Her husband would soon return for her, please don’t let Him find you abusing His bride. Selah!!!

 

Let’s Pray: Father God rekindle our love, respect and appreciation for your wonderful creation the Church. Lord forgive us for abusing her. Forgive us for misusing her. Help us to humble ourselves before you and allow you to guide our hearts aright, so we can join you in establishing your eternal building. Help us groom’s men prepare the bride for her Bride Groom. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.