Bounce Back Up-3 – Preface

As an observer of times and life, it has become apparent to me that men are not prepared to survive failures. Don’t misunderstand me; men are endowed with great strength and resilience and can recover from just about anything, but not many are prepared for this almost inevitability. Our very extensive education system is programmed on the assumption that everyone will progress through it without failure. Our careers are programmed on the same assumption. Our business schools spend so many hours examining case studies and reviewing businesses, teaching principles for success, but I doubt there is a course designed to equip these budding business leaders with tools to cope with the stress of failure. Yet less than five percent of start-up businesses make it past the first five years. People get married with the assumption that they will live happily ever after; then there is a financial stress, infidelity, barrenness, and whatever else the world throws at them; some survive, some fail, but most find it hard to come back. History is replete with failures. Abandoned dreams. Abandoned lives. Abandoned people and people who abandon themselves. Yet, there is one truth worthy of consideration: if you don’t give up, you will eventually succeed.

“For a righteous man may fall seven times

And rise again” – Proverbs 24:16

This is not a book on negativity, but it offers a dose of reality that may prevent you from being a casualty of the eventuality of failure. As you would glean later on, you are not a failure until you fail to keep trying.

As I have observed people fall to pieces after a disaster, and being a person of compassion, I always feel that these people are victims of an inadequate and unrealistic developmental system, which totally ignores the reality of life and makes people live in a triumphalist utopia that does not exist in reality. Bad things happen. Sad things happen. They happen to the best of people. People fail. Systems collapse. It is just a consequence of the fallen state of humanity and we should be better equipped to deal with it and survive them.

This is why I decided to write this book, to equip people to recover and help those who are going through failure to get through and come back up.

Now a lesson from Ziklag. Biblical names are always meaningful. There is no name, number or object in the bible that does not have significant deeper meaning than what is the obvious. The Western mind thinks of names as something to call or identify things by. Bible names are a lot deeper. They carry in them both a physical and a spiritual meaning. They also have embedded in them the prophetic destiny or significance of the named person, thing or place. Just one example will suffice.

Jerusalem is a combination of two words ‘Jeru’ and ‘Salem’ or Shalom. Jeru is Teaching and Salem is Peace. The first meaning is that this is the city that teaches peace or where peace will be taught. Interesting isn’t it? Today, Jerusalem is the city most contested in the entire world. The Jews claim it, the Moslems want it, the Christians love it and God owns it. However it is the city where God has established peace and shown the way of peace. It is the city that has produced the Prince of Peace and where the middle wall of separation has been removed. If you open your eyes properly in Jerusalem, you will find peace, because this is the city of the Prince of peace. It is also quite uncanny that despite all the turmoil of the Middle East, I have never experienced peace in another city comparable to the peace in Jerusalem, especially on the night of Yom Kippur. The peace is palpable. It is truly the city of peace. But that is just what is obvious. Let’s go slightly deeper. Jeru is a derivative of the word Yara which is the Hebrew word for teach. It means to flow like water, to throw, to point with a finger, to shoot an arrow or even to draw a line. If you expand this idea of yara to the concept of Salem or Shalom, you will begin to discover that God has destined this city to be the place where peace will be taught. Where people will find the directions for peace. Where peace will be consummated and ultimately where every human being will find peace with God and where peace will flow from. That is why the Messiah had to die in Jerusalem to reconcile man to God. Lastly, it is the line of peace or the place where the peace line is drawn. No one can ever truly find real peace or prosperity outside the King of Salem. Without Messiah there is no Shalom. Without Yeshua HaMashiach, there is no Shalom. You are either with Jesus the Messiah or you are against Him.

How about the name David? David simply means the beloved. God loved David and David loved God. Simple. But God loved David with a covenantal love. That is in an unbroken manner. He would never stop or withdraw his love from David. But on a deeper level God has chosen to reveal and manifest His greatest act of love through the seed of David. The Messiah again! So David carried in His name the love of God for every one of us, and the promise that God will love us forever and ultimately, He would express His love to us through the Son of David. Need I say more?

So back to Ziklag. What does Ziklag mean? Before we examine the name, let’s look at the location of Ziklag. It will reveal some truths we can reflect on. Ziklag is in the territory allotted to Judah, but was in the hands of the King of the Philistines called Achish. He gave David this place to live in when he fled from Saul who was trying to kill him. It is on the southern border of Judah and located in the Negev desert. It is a very dry place and quite close to the Dead Sea. This is no coincidence. David was in a territory that belonged to his tribe, but was living there as a fugitive. There are times in our lives when we find ourselves running and hiding in nations allotted to us by God as our land. We are not safe in the place God has destined us to be safe in. Secondly it was on the edge of the land of Judah and the Philistines actually controlled it. We all have allotted territories that we are yet to conquer. We have dreams and plans that God has given us and we are yet to possess them. David was already anointed and destined to be King, but he lived outside that promise, because someone else held the throne and crown. He was living on the edge of greatness as it were. Thirdly it was close to the Dead Sea — a symbol of death and desolation. David almost died in Ziklag. He almost lost it all, yet when he was going through the worst time in his life, the best was just about to break forth. He came close to losing all and ended up gaining all. Is this a coincidence? I think not.

Now the name Ziklag. It simply means “winding”. In other words, complicated, confusing, bewildering or treacherous. So David in Ziklag was a symbol of his winding path to glory. Proverbs 15:24 says “The way of life winds upward for the wise, That he may turn away from hell below” He had complicated relationship with the King of the Philistines, yet he was the anointed King of Israel in waiting. David’s treacherous experience with the Amalekites and lastly his bewilderment and the loss of his wives and children.

But there is an even more poignant meaning to the name Ziklag. It means also “covered in grief”, and it is this meaning that most aptly defines the ethos of this book. David and his men came to Ziklag to find grief. They were struck with deep grief, yet through this they learnt how to come out of grief and become men of glory again. They literarily turned the ashes of Ziklag into flames of glory. They rose and went from Ziklag all the way to Zion; and David from this one experience marched forward to become the greatest King of Israel. Are you struck with grief? Have you suffered a loss? Did you just fail at something? Is there a setback in your life? Like David, we can understand that Ziklag is not going to be your burial place. The story does not stop here. There is hope in your future and if David’s life is anything to learn from, then the best is not just yet to come, it is just round the corner. David was attacked in Ziklag, but God elected that Ziklag was David’s launching pad to greatness. Life’s worst moments carry embedded in them the greatest breakthroughs one can ever imagine. Just like God has designed every dark cloud to have a silver lining and every heavy rain to have a rainbow, whatever the dark cloud, believe me there is hope. Are you at Ziklag?

Bounce Back Up -2 – Don’t Forget to breathe

Don’t forget to breathe

In this new age of positive thinking, personal empowerment and “Yes You Can” gospel mantras, Pastor Charles Abraham presents a message that is at once eternal in its source and timeless in its application. Beware, because this book so un-dramatically titled “BOUNCE BACK UP” offers from its get-go a decidedly unsexy premise — that failure is a fact of life and that all of us will encounter failure at something, sometime. An uncomfortable truth but a truth nonetheless. It’s borne out by scripture in a manifest expression in the life and times of almost all the major characters of the Bible. Adam failed. Moses failed. Samson failed. Peter failed. Paul failed. The only figure that never failed in his goal or mission was Jesus Christ.  It seems a no-brainer to accept that perhaps failure is an inevitable, or necessary consequence of man’s imperfect humanity. While man in the essence of his creation was made in the image of God signifying his possibilities and the unlimited power of the spirit of God in him, a yawning gap presents itself between man’s possibilities, his dreams and purpose, and man’s humanity which is the quicksand combination of his fears, discouragements and disconnections from the path of righteousness outlined by his maker. That gap between his purpose and possibilities, and his humanity and discouragement, is a conundrum that has confronted the greatest men of history and the best achievers of our time. Each and everyone of us has to build a mental AND spiritual bridge over that gap to connect ourselves and our ambitions and establish a reality and a testimony of the triumph of action over inertia, of faith over fear, of performance over mere precepts, of attainment over failure. 

That bridge stands in memory and in time as a monument to the grit and inner fortitude of history’s greatest achievers. It is held high by the iron rods of faith. The wooden planks of determination and doggedness. The concrete mix of courage and purpose. But above all it is made possible by some wisdom keys of spiritual understanding that separates the hopeful from the hopeless. It is beyond the positive spin of modern day life coaches who tend to affirm an unrealistic concept of the ‘always-winning-never-failing’ human journey that have no reality or parallel in biblical characters or figures of modern history. Those wisdom keys build from within each and everyone of us a spiritual understanding of the design of man, the possibilities of man, the fall of man and the redemptive intervention of Jesus Christ to make the rise of man possible again. Go figure then that the only figure that never failed in the history of the world was Jesus. That, in summary, is the subtext of this wonderful narrative of BOUNCE BACK UP. 

Pastor Charles Abraham in an affecting and inimitable ‘voice’ offers a message that is positive in tone, enthusiastic in affirmations, persuasive in narrative structure and reader-friendly and memorable in language. This book, however, succeeds most importantly by its definitive scriptural highlight of the key pillars of its premise using the story of David’s experience at Ziklag as a template of a step-by-step process of turning failure around from a fall to a ‘bounce’ up to a higher dimension. It is simply the most important message for anyone hurting or reeling from the pain and disappointment of unattained goals and unfulfilled dreams. BOUNCE BACK UP makes clear that failure can happen but it does not define you. It is an event not an identity. Where you are and what has happened to you is not your story. It is merely a chapter in your story and as we say in the business of filmmaking, it is only a twist in the dramatic arch of your story. It is suspenseful and will sometimes accelerate the beat of your heart because it unbalances your world and scrambles your carefully laid-out plans and expectations but it is what it is, a blip or bump in the road.

BOUNCE BACK UP is an exploration of the inner space and psychological cross-road of David at Ziklag to mirror the challenges we all face at that defining cross-road of our life when we face a choice whether to give in or go on. BOUNCE BACK UP says, just as David did, our wise choice is to LOOK UP! It is simply the heart of God speaking to man in his most vulnerable human moment that the strength to achieve and to create and to transport from one dimension to another flows vertically from a God who is the only one equipped to add the ‘super’ to our natural so that we can operate in the supernatural. 

The message is made real as well because BOUNCE BACK UP offers several real-life case-studies and statistics in a gripping systemic blend to keep you riveted from page one to its end in an easy accessible flow. It is as if you have sat through a counselling session that speaks God’s mind directly to what you are going through with a specific mandate to help you recover; to affirm the hand of God in your affairs and to reassure you that heaven is accessible to walk AND work you through the unavoidable pain and blood and gore of birthing you from one dimension into another with a higher, greater remit than your humanity can ever achieve in its own strength. 

Failure happens. Disappointment is a fact of life. Accept its reality. Refocus your priorities. Look upwards for strength. And don’t forget to breathe! 

So whoever you are, and wherever you may be in your journey BOUNCE BACK UP is simply the most important book you will read today because, if you are reading this, your journey to healing, recovery, rebirth and uncommon enlargement has already begun! 

God bless you.

Femi Odugbemi

Bounce Back Up – Intro

Acknowledgements:

This book has been long coming and for many years various people have encouraged me to write down my thoughts, especially my teachings from the bible. Finally after much goading, it is here. I therefore want to thank the following people, who along the way God used to support and encourage me.

My profound appreciation goes to my family at Kensington Temple and IBIOL International Bible Institute of London, how can I ever be anything without what you have all sown into my life? Pastor Colin Dye, Senior Minister at KT, God has used you tremendously to shape and develop my calling and ministry. I am forever grateful for you and for my years at KT. I learnt so much about leadership being on those numerous short-term missions. Special acknowledgements to Pastors Phil Whitehead and Alistair Taylor, the two missions directors before me. And yes, all the members of the mission teams to all those nations, you know yourselves; you are an indelible part of my story. I deeply miss you all.

Femi Odugbemi who was the ‘holy goader’ for many years, especially in the last few years. His constant nagging and positive affirmation and not so subtle push has made this possible. Femi also helped read the first draft and his advice on how to ‘layer’ the book is invaluable. I am indebted to you my brother.

Jahman Anikulapo, my indefatigable editor and friend. Your space will never be edited out of history. Thanks so much.

I am grateful to Billy Lawson, who spoke to me once at the ad agency, LTC-JWT Lagos, inquiring what I will do with my retirement from the ad-agency. His encouragement for me to write and his affirmation that he believes I would do well as a writer, gave me the much-needed shot in the arm. Thanks Billy. In the same vein, I thank all my colleagues at LTC-JWT Lagos. You guys are creative and dynamic. I learnt a lot from you all. Thanks for pushing the frontiers every time. Kolade, thanks for the cover design. I know the best is yet to come concerning you. Love you son.

Rev. Greg Marlam of Ashford Baptist Church, I still remember our talk at your home many years ago. You were so convinced I had to write. I thank God for your year-long teachings on David. I definitely gleaned a lot from those talks. Thank you for being so faithful.

Just the thought of the blessing of being the Pastor of GAP ministries/Church fills my heart with so much joy and gratitude. You guys are simply the best. The leadership team who have stood through thick and thin and the members who have faithfully followed the Lord and His commission. Many of you are in your “Bounce Back” season and I know the best is yet to come. I love you all so dearly.

My daughter Erin, for her relentless pursuit and pressure on her daddy. Always saying ‘dad you really need to write’. Thanks my princess and thanks for editing this book for me.

Don’t Park

Joshua 14:12

Growing up we had a popular saying about those who are tired and just can’t go on, that they have ‘parked’, like you park a car after a long journey. I hear so many people saying they are tired and all they want to do is retire and just coast through the rest of life. I hear people saying they have fought and laboured for so long and are now disillusioned and tired. I can’t pretend that I don’t understand this position, but I do not look at men to find my cue in life, but I look to the one who gave me life and who ordained life and Who alone has a right to retire me or you to retire. Some people want to retire at 40, 50, 60, 70, but I really cannot see any biblical evidence for such retirement ages.

Today, I want to focus on a man called Caleb. We can find his story in the bible. He was 45 years old when Moses chose him along with 11 other men to go and spy out the land of Canaan and bring back a report on this reconnaissance mission. The issue got complicated when the 12 spies returned. Caleb from the tribe of Judah and his friend, Joshua, from the tribe of Ephraim, gave a very good report of the land and believed they could go and possess it. But, the 10 other spies, leaders of their family groups, gave a bad report. They saw that the land was good and the produce of the land was as God had said, flowing with milk and honey, but they discountenanced these and focused instead on the inhabitants of the land. They focused on the giants, the sons of Anakin they saw and got terrified. The basically discouraged everyone and said they were like grasshoppers in their eyes and so they were in the sight of the giants. Look at the scriptures:

Numbers 13:31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” 32 And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. 33 There we saw the [h]giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like[i] grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”

Caleb the Dog

This led to God forbidding Israel to go forward and possess the land, and God waited another 40 years, till all the generation that came out of Egypt with the wrong mindset died off, except for Caleb and his friend. Just for emphasis, Caleb mean a dog. In Hebrew context naming a person after an animal is not derogatory, rather it is a complement and speaks of their prophetic destiny. A dog is loyal and a dog is stubborn or dogged and will not let go of a prey in its mouth once her gets it between his teeth. Caleb was loyal to the Lord and was dogged in trusting and believing in the Lord for His promises.

Then the children of Judah came to Joshua in Gilgal. And Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him: “You know the word which the Lord said to Moses the man of God concerning you and me in Kadesh Barnea. was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to spy out the land, and I brought back word to him as it was in my heart. Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the [a]heart of the people melt, but I wholly followed the Lord my God. So Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land where your foot has trodden shall be your inheritance and your children’s forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God.’ 10 And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel [b]wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old. 11 As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in. 12 Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said.”

Give me this mountain

13 And Joshua blessed him, and gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh as an inheritance. 14 Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite to this day, because he wholly followed the Lord God of Israel. 15 And the name of Hebron formerly was Kirjath Arba (Arba was the greatest man among the Anakim).

So, at age 85, Caleb, spoke to Joshua and said “Give Me This Mountain”.

Then the land had rest from war.

Caleb declared “12 Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day;

He went forward and took the land at the age of 85, drove out the giants and took possession.

Don’t Park Here!

Today, I want to counsel you that your age is only a number. You are a spirit being and your spirit in not old. You can basically do all that God has ordained for your life, even if you are in what they call the twilight years of your life. Ronald Regan became president of America in his 70s, Colonel Sanders started Kentucky fried chicken in his 60s, and how about Noah, he got a commission form the Lord at age 500 and spent another 100 years building the ark. He went on to live for over 900 years. What’s your excuse?

Don’t Park. Keep moving and get new set of wheels. The best is just ahead, not behind you.

Shalom.

The Leadership Conundrum

First Thoughts.

I have just written a book titled 18 Laws of Leadership. It is a synthesis of my life gleanings and what I have seen as fundamentals based on the word of God.

I fully believe leadership is an art and a science and it can be taught and learnt!

Learning the art of leadership by adopting time tested, divinely crafted principles for enduring and impact leadership.

History seems to have an unusual, if not uncanny tilt towards individuals who rise and make a distinction in their time and season. All history is somewhat linked to His story. As my brother and friend, Femi Odugbemi, stated so eloquently, “It is important to make the case for how the arc of human history has bent always to the strength of an individual’s leadership qualities or lack of it.” Adam failed to lead, and humanity lost the garden of Eden. Jesus rose to the call of leadership and humanity was restored to God and His Kingdom. Maxwell popularly stated everything rises and falls on leadership. It can be argued that leaders are born and not made, but evidence suggests the opposite. There is a leader in every one of us and leadership or the act of leading can be acquired and learnt. It is not so much a gift as a craft. It appears that the elements that make great leaders are quite consistent, and most are not charisma driven, but character laden. So, leadership is character on public and private display.

If you were to track the history of the world and the ages, you will find that the dots are all connected to individuals who rose up to make a distinction in their time – whether it was in the sciences, the arts, culture, sports, statesmanship, business, technology, sociology or even politics. History’s epochs are punctuated by human beings that did something noteworthy.

Perhaps the greatest evidence to this is the way we trace time. The Gregorian calendar is captured in BC and AD. BC simply means before Christ and AD simply means after His death and resurrection. Time and history have thus been traced and determined ultimately by the greatest leader there ever was and will ever be – Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

The world is waiting for you! Creation yearns for you! Someone needs you!

Rise up and lead.

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The Leadership Conundrum – How to make an Impact in Life!

I just wrote another book. This time, my subject is leadership. I am convinced leadership is a set of skills, attitudes and character. All I am convinced can be learned and thus acquired. In this book I have captured 18 Laws of Leadership! They are my summary of what I think makes great leaders, based on my study of the book of Joshua.

This is a special invitation to you. Please join the great conversation on the Leadership Conundrum – Is leadership a natural ability, reserved for a chosen few or can leadership be learnt? What is leadership? What qualities mark great leaders? Do you want to learn how to make an impact in life? Then join this great conversation and learn from accomplished leaders in their fields. Also, join me as I launch my book, 18 Laws of Leadership .Zoom Attendance is free but Registration is compulsory!!

This special seminar featuring some of authentic and accomplished leaders, selected from very diverse fields, will help us understand more deeply the Leadership conundrum and evolve in our leadership better prepared.

CLICK to Register. https://www.blessingbyble.com/leadership-webinar/

This special seminar featuring some of authentic and accomplished leaders, selected from very diverse fields, will help us understand more deeply the Leadership conundrum and evolve in our leadership better prepared.

Date & Time:

Thursday, 11 February 2021 @ 11am

Join the conversation on the Leadership Conundrum

CLICK to Register. https://www.blessingbyble.com/leadership-webinar/

Stand Up: Speak Up: Step Out: Stand Out

Consecration – The Road to Growth – Part 2

Key Passage: Matthew 19: 16-30

Key Text: Matthew 19: 22 – “When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions”

God does not always have to tell you what He has in mind when He instructs you to do something. God expects you to know that He is good and He has only good plans, even if His request seems a little odd or difficult.

Just think about this simple analogy. A father was in the garden with two of his sons, suddenly he tells one of his sons to remain still or just stay where you are, and to the other he says “run into the room and get me the big cane”. The brother arrives with the cane and the father says to the other son keep still and lifts up his cane and brings it down heavily just a few inches away from the boy’s head. The boy looks surprised, then looking behind him he sees that his father has just killed a big snake hanging from the tree above the boy’s head. In this little story (all made up of course), you can just see how we need to trust God, even when we don’t seem to know why or what He is doing. Babie Mason said, “if you can’t trace His hand, trust His Heart!”

In our passage today we read of the rich young ruler who wanted to be perfect. Jesus simply told him to go and obey the commandments. The young man said he has been doing all these since he was a child. Jesus then threw him the consecration challenge. “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” The bible tells us the young man went away sorrowful because he had great possessions. Honestly, the request the Lord made on the surface looks really severe and extreme and I don’t know many people today who would gladly do that. But if you are walking with a knowledge of God and His goodness; If you know that God will never owe you anything; If you understand that what you give up can never compare to what He has in store for you, then it becomes easier to consecrate and obey.

Bible expositors have told us that it is possible that Jesus was looking to use this young man to replace Judas Iscariot. Judas was the treasurer. So it makes sense. But let’s stretch this a bit further. If he became one of the Apostles of the Lamb; One of the twelve. He would have an eternal throne in heaven with the other eleven. Here he is a temporal ruler, there he would have a ruler-ship that will never end. I really don’t know of any greater position any human being can ever attain, that can be higher that those 24 thrones before the Lord. What an honour. What a reward!

Let me reiterate, consecration is the pathway to growth in the Kingdom of God. In the amplified bible version the case is stated so clearly by the Lord Jesus Himself. ‘Jesus answered him, “If you would be perfect [that is, have that spiritual maturity which accompanies self- sacrificing character], go and sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven; and come, be My disciple [side with My party and follow Me’”

What is your consecration test? Will you pass it? Will you go higher with the Lord? Will you consider the eternal significance of your temporal decision?

Let us pray – Father God, you word says it is you that works in us both to will and do your good pleasure. Father give us a willing heart. Give me a broken and contrite heart so I can really do your will and grow in my walk with you. Lord have mercy on me and help me. In Jesus name I pray. Amen

Consecration before Coronation

Morning Dew

Key Passage: Romans 12:1-2

Key TextRomans 12:1 – “…present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”

I first wrote this eight year ago and I am being impressed upon to republish the series.

Before kings and queens are crowned, they go through a time of preparation and consecration. The process is quite elaborate and intense, so the king is really prepared to carry the responsibilities of royalty. So also, it is obvious that before the priests in the Old Testament were installed and commissioned, God gave specific instructions on how they are to be prepared and consecrated. If you read the book Exodus and Leviticus you would find many references to the consecration of Aaron and his sons into the priestly ministry. It involves washing, purifying, purging and anointing. So also are the vessels to be used in the temple or tabernacle, the pans, pots, shovels etc all need to be consecrated and prepared. These acts are not to be ignored or trivialised in these days, because we are New Testament believers. Consecration is still a prerequisite for power and service. If God is to anoint one for His purpose, there will be a time of consecration and preparation.

The act of consecration is being lost today. Most people don’t recognise the need to be set apart for God’s holy purpose and will. But let us understand, that God uses consecrated people and if your desire is for God to use you then please understand that you must consecrate yourself to Him.

Let us look at another biblical story to let you know the power of consecration. Esther and the virgins had to go through a whole year of consecration before they were brought before the king for just one night. They were purged with myrrh for six months and beautified for another six months with perfumes. This elaborate process for just one night with the king! So imagine what it means to appear before God.

In the New Testament, we see that when Jesus called Peter, James and John, he challenged them to come and follow him and he would make them fishers of men. They left their boats and nets and followed him. This is a type of consecration, in that they set themselves apart for the service of God.

Today, Jesus has shed his blood for our cleansing. He has paid the price for us to appear before the King. He has made it possible for us to be separate and serve Him. But we still have to respond to the call and separate ourselves to him. We are washed by His word and cleansed by His blood, so whenever we hear the word of God and it convicts us, we are expected to react and amend our ways. The blood is applied by faith to cleanse us from our sins.

Jesus said in Luke 14: 26-27 – “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” And verse 33 says “So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.”

Following Jesus requires a clear understanding that our lives are no longer ours and He has the right to use the way He chooses. So only a consecrated person can be truly anointed by Him for his service.

The consecration of a person is one of the ways to receive the anointing and power of God for service. Many people have a calling from God, but are yet to be endued with the power to fulfil the commission, because they have not yet understood the need to be separate and consecrate themselves so God can anoint them and empower them. Remember Jesus asked His disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they are endued with power from on high.

But perhaps most importantly is that before we get to our coronation and wedding in heaven as the bride of Christ, we would first consecrate ourselves here on earth. Let the following verses of scripture minister to you. “

Revelations 19:6-9 – “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, small and great. 6 Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. 7 Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; 8 it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. 9 And the angel said to me, Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.”

Today’s key text is a simple injunction and admonition to consecrate your life to His service.

Is God calling you for a holy purpose? Consecrate your life to Him.

Let’s pray: Father God, today I rededicate my heart and life to you and to your heavenly purpose. Father God, please forgive me for not giving my heart fully to you and for allowing other things to come and take my attention away from you. Father in the name of Jesus I ask for the grace to be consecrated to you and to always recognise that you have the pre-eminence in my life. Use me now for your glory, in Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Thy Kingdom Come – Part 3

In this third instalment, it gets a bit radical and pointed. Why is the world in chaos? Why are our nations boiling over? What can we do about it? The Church is God’s transformation agent. Is there any hope for the worst in our societies? What have we failed to do? There are some answers in this short but pointed session.

Please find link to the third part of this 5 part series on the Kingdom of God. Remember to like and share on youtube!

Shalom,

PCA