Yom Kippur – One Perfect Offering!

Key Passage: Hebrews 10: 1-18

Key Word: Hebrews 10:14 –  For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

 

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God made the egg and man created the scrambled egg. This simple analogy seems quite apt for how mankind seem to have the uncanny ability of making extremely complex God’s simple truths. Why do we complicate God’s simplicity. God is infinite in wisdom and He fully recognises the limitations of man, so He painfully simplifies things so we can grasp them and enjoy our simple lives, but mankind will not accept this simplicity, they would rather complicate, obfuscate and encode what God has already simply decoded. Theologians are so guilty of this.

Don’t misunderstand me. I enjoy theology, but I prefer apologists, because they tend to simplify what theologians try to make complex. In defence of theologians, my Pastor used to say that we all should be theologians, and that he is yet to see any truly serious lover of God who is not somewhat a theologian. So enough on theology; I really just wanted to talk simply on what we have been observing in the last 24 hours in Jerusalem. Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement.

All over the world nearly all Jews the world over for the past 24 hours have been celebrating the holiest day of the year. This is the Day of all Days and here in Jerusalem there is no movement of vehicles on the road, all Jews are at home and later on in a synagogue repenting of their sins and asking for forgiveness. Being in Israel during this season is such a blessing. You really get to know something of the deep connection between the people of this land and the God of the bible.

But my issue today is that with all the deep observations of all the Jews, they simply miss the most obvious point about the atonement and the High Holy Day of Yom Kippur.

As the scripture we are focussing on today reveals, God recognised man was flawed since the fall and man would need a way to have his sin and sins expiated, so he instituted an elaborate sacrificial system where the Jewish High Priest will once a year enter the Holy of holies and offer the blood of a special bull once a year for all the sins of all the people of the land and his own sins too and so the sins were ‘atoned for’ for the last year and the system is repeated every year. But the whole point was that God was pointing every Jewish family towards His own perfect Sacrifice, that not only removes the sin of mankind, but also washes away all man’s sins.

This is the message of the cross and why Jesus (Yeshua) came and died a sacrificial death on the cross. It is not complex at all. It is dead simple. Maybe it’s the simplicity of it that has flummoxed most observant Jews?

God recognising that man had a big issue with sin and sinfulness decided to deal with this once and for all by providing a perfect sacrifice that will in one full swoop deal with the Sinful man, his Sinfulness, God’s wrath towards sin and the sinner and in the same way release His mercy to His beloved humanity, and bring them back to Himself.

So all one really needs to do is believe in this sinless Man’s death as a substitute for our sin, sinfulness, punishment, cleansing and at the same time a way to receive the mercy of God and be reconciled back to God. It is perfectly perfect. Simply perfect.

No man could have thought this out. It is not like man to simplify things like this. It takes the incredible mind and expansive heart of a loving heavenly Father to conceptualise this and execute it with such precision, that it took everyone by surprise.

The first eighteen verses of Hebrews chapter 10 really clarifies this matter. If one reads it with a simple and open mind, it is dead simple and easy to grasp.

Hebrews 10:1-18 (NKJV)

Chapter 10

Animal Sacrifices Insufficient

1 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.

Christ’s Death Fulfills God’s Will

5 Therefore, when He came into the world, He said:

“Sacrifice and offering You did not desire,

But a body You have prepared for Me.

6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin

You had no pleasure.

7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come—

In the volume of the book it is written of Me—

To do Your will, O God.’ ”

8 Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), 9 then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. 10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Christ’s Death Perfects the Sanctified

11 And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. 14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

15 But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before,

16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” 17 then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” 18 Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.

The incredible genius of God is revealed in this simple statement:

14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

God wrapped a lot into this one super offering or super sacrifice. I call it the Offering of all Offerings and the Sacrifice of all Sacrifices!!!

It was God’s act. God’s doing. God’s redemptive nature wrapped up in His unsurpassable love. It was the hand of Omnipotence; the heart of Onmipresence; and the mind of Omniscience working together to create this One complex, yet profoundly simple sacrifice to end all sacrifices.

First he wrapped of Himself and all that heaven represents into this one Offering. He then wrapped all of humanity into this one Offering. Then He wrapped all Human History into this one Offering. He then wrapped all Human Sinfulness into this one Offering. He wrapped all the sins of all human beings into this one Offering. He wrapped all his wrath and anger against sin into this one Offering. He wrapped all His punishment and judgement for sins into this one Offering. He wrapped all His mercy into this one Offering. He wrapped all His love and compassion into this one Offering. He wrapped the fulfilment of the experience of Abraham and Isaac and the miracle of the ram caught in a thicket on Mount Moriah into this one Offering. He wrapped the Passover, the sacrificial Pesach lamb and deliverance from Egypt into this one Offering. He wrapped the brazen serpent Moses lifted up in the wilderness into this one Offering. He wrapped the entire tabernacle and the sacrificial system into this one Offering. He wrapped the temples and the Levitical order into this one Offering. He wrapped Moses and Joshua into this one Offering. He wrapped Joseph sold into slavery who became the ruler of the gentiles and eventually reconciling with his brothers and saving His people from famine into this one Offering. He wrapped David destroying Goliath in this one Offering. He wrapped the tabernacle of David into this one Offering. He wrapped Haman the enemy of the Jews being humiliated and finally executed on a gallows he erected to destroy Mordecai the Jew in this one Offering. He wrapped so much more. So much more…! One can never truly plumb the depths of the intricacies of this One Offering without breaking out in praise somewhere or a doxology like Paul said in Romans 1133 

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! 

Finally hear the words of the High Priest just before this One Offering was offered. John 11:45-52 (NKJV) 45 Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things Jesus did, believed in Him. 46 But some of them went away to the Pharisees and told them the things Jesus did. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, “What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. 48 If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.”

49 And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, 50 nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.” 51 Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad.

NEED I SAY MORE!

Consider this One Offering. It is perfectly perfect and completely complete!!!!Derek Prince.

Ecclesiastes 3:14 (NKJV)

I know that whatever God does,

It shall be forever.

Nothing can be added to it,

And nothing taken from it.

God does it, that men should fear before Him.

 

Let’s Pray: Abba Father, today is a very special day for your people the world over. They have gathered to seek your face for mercy and forgiveness for sins committed through out the last year. They will gather again next year to do the same. But Father, you have already made a perfectly perfect and completely complete sacrifice for all your people, everywhere to not only know the joy of sins forgiven, but also the miracle of sins cleansed. Also, you have decided that through this one offering all humanity will be saved and reconciled to you. I pray with all my heart today that you would open the eyes of my Jewish family worldwide to see Yeshua and recognise Him as the Lord and Saviour. The anointed Son of David. I also pray for all my Arab family that you would open their eyes too and grant them this same joy of salvation and let them know the reconciliation to the Father’s heart that can only come through Jesus Christ. Let the miracle of the new birth happen in many lives as they read today. In Jesus Name I pray. Amen

The Perfect Gift!

 

Key Passage: Esther 2:12-18 (Please read)

 Key Text: Esther 2:15 (NKJV) “she requested nothing but what Hegai the king’s eunuch, the custodian of the women, advised.”

 

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My birthday is not till early next year, but birthdays are always a great time to receive presents. I have to add Christmas too. I love presents, I am sure you too love them. But when you receive some presents you are so underwhelmed and you really have to console yourself with ‘it’s the thought that counts’ and be appreciative of the thoughts and gesture of the person.

But then there is that one gift you receive that simply tells you, this person knows you well and has taken time to study and know what you like and don’t like. They have done their research either by consulting your close family members or extracting this information from you indirectly, they just get you that dream present. I don’t know about you, but when this happens, it makes me feel so loved, appreciated and special. It also makes me really respect the giver of such presents. It makes you appreciate their heart, their consideration, thoughtfulness and care. These are perfect gifts. I pray you get one next Christmas or when next your birthday comes up.

Today, our main text covers the story of how Esther was picked by the King to be the next bride in replacement for the disgraced Queen Vashti. Vashti who had refused to honour the King with her beauty and display her elegance before the guests of the King. She was dethroned and a search was conducted for a new Queen. Many beautiful virgins were in the contest, but Esther finally won. Reading through the story one could easily miss one of the vital reasons why Queen Esther won.

Queen Esther had found favour with the King’s eunuch, Hegai, and Hegai had secretly been giving Esther more portions for beautification. But that was probably not what clinched it for her.

Now, every young lady was given an opportunity to go before the King with a present, something she decided will be worthy of the King’s attention. They would then take whatever it was to the King, but when it came to Esther’s turn, she did not ask for anything, she simply asked Hegai what the King would like and whatever Hegai gave her, she took to the King. This simple but profound act says it all.

Most times we set out our journey to serve God assuming we know what He requires of us. We spend our prayer times discussing our issues and asking for His intervention. Nothing wrong with these, but have you considered that there is something specific He may want from you? Have you tried asking the Lord how you can serve Him better? Have you considered asking Him how you can bring gladness to His heart?

Queen Esther’s story opens up to us another realm. A realm of asking, not for what you want but what He wants. Hegai knew the King well. He had always been with Him and that is why he had the honour of preparing the virgins.

We also have a Hegai in our lives who knows our Lord very well. We have the Holy Spirit. He knows Jesus so well and He can direct your heart to love what He loves and do what He wants. He can help us to present the most appropriate gift to the Lord. The prefect gift.

Why don’t you stop today and ask the Lord what He wants. What He would like. What will make His heart glad? Ask and see what comes back. You may discover that you will be lifted into prominence, just like Esther and become so much closer to our Lord and King Jesus.

 

Let us Pray: Dear Jesus, today, I just want to talk to You about You? I have many needs and desires, but today I set them aside to ask You, what would You like? How can I love you more? How can I serve you better? What would you like most from me? I am waiting for Your answer. Thank you.

Judah First – Reposted

Morning Dew

Key Passage: Judges 20

Key Text: Judges 20:18 – The Lord said, “Judah first!”

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God is a Master strategist and a Master planner. Everything He does has significance even sometimes beyond the obvious. The Jewish rabbis always tell us that the word of God has many layers and we should try to understand the scriptures on as many layers as we can understand. Like most African names, there are deep meanings behind biblical names and somehow, God superintends the names of biblical characters, so their names reflect something of God’s destiny over them. God changed the name of Abram to Abraham; from exalted father to father of a multitude.

Today’s passage reveals something quite profound and I feel is a strong direction on how we conduct warfare and gain victory over the enemy every time. God is a Man of war and He has never lost a battle, so if we follow Him into battle, we can never be defeated. In arranging the tribes of Israel, he told Moses that the tribes are to be arranged in a specific order. In this order, Judah, under the banner of a Lion with Nashon as leader. Judah is not the firstborn of Jacob, but God placed him first. Why?

Judah is a combination of two words, the first part speaks of God and the second part is about praise. So in essence, Judah simply means God is to be praised. So God told Israel that in marching out or going into a battle, Judah must go up first. Praise to God must go up first. If you are going to be victorious, you must learn the act of praising God first.

In 2 Chronicles 20 we read the story of how the people of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir came against Jehoshaphat the king of Judah. Judah was outnumbered and there was fear in the camp, but God told them that He would give them victory. He gave them a simple instruction to let the singers and the musicians go ahead of the army. Once Isreal set the praise team loose and they began to worship God, God took up the battle and set ambushes against the enemies of Judah and they destroyed themselves, without Israel firing one arrow from their bows. They enemy completely obliterated themselves and Israel went in to the valley to collect the spoils. It took three whole days to collect the spoils. The valley was called the valley of Berachah, which means blessing. WOW!!!

Praise is a most powerful weapon in the hands of a believer to upstage and defeat the enemies of God in our lives. The bible says in Psalm 22:3 – ‘Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.’ God inhabits or dwells in the praises of His people. So whenever we start praising God, He comes down and when He comes down, well you know the devil is in big trouble.

In the book of Joshua, we see that God repeated this order again, when He instructed Joshua the general, to arrange the army in a specific order, with seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams horns or shofars leading the charge. They were to blow continually. It was when they blew these horns and the people shouted that the walls of Jericho fell down. Praise is powerful.

One last thing, praise is not just singing, though a lot of it is singing. Praise is confessions, proclamations, thanksgiving and declaring the truth about God and His attributes.

Praise is the breaker. It breaks open and releases God into the situation. That is why God said Judah First! Praise First!

Before you panic, Praise First. Before you Pray, Praise First. Before complain of grumble, Praise First. Before you accept the bad news, Praise First. Before you give up, Praise First. Before the test, interview etc, Praise First. Put Praise First and you would see God come through the door of Praise.

Judah First; Praise First or First Praise God. Have you tried Prayze?

 

Let us PrayzeFather God, You are awesome, all powerful, and incredible, You are so amazing. You are faithful, You are good and You are Kind. You are Holy, You are Just and You are Merciful. Father, You do all things well and You perfect all things that concern me. You are the Alpha and the Omega, The First and the Last. There is no one beside You. You are worthy of all honour, glory, power and praise. You alone are God and You alone deserve the glory. You are the God who never fails. You are the God of signs and wonders. You are the God who acts and no one can reverse it. You are too much. Father You make everything beautiful in its own time. Thank you for everything. In Jesus name I pray. Amen

Rediscovering the Kingdom 1

Key Passage: John 3:3

 

Key Text: John 3:3 – “…he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

 

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Have you ever travelled to a foreign country and having settled into your accommodation, you then decided to take a sight seeing stroll around the area. Then after the walk around, you suddenly discover you did not take the address and you are now very lost. You start to ask people for directions, but most of the people can’t speak your language, so you just wander  around looking for landmarks and places you can identify, so as to get back to base.

Suddenly, you spot a couple walking on the other side of the road, you suspect they speak your language and you definitely spotted them at your apartment lobby earlier on. You quickly go across to them and introduce your self and ask them for the directions back to your residence. They are courteous and agree to take you back. Whilst you are walking back, you discover that they normally visit this location and they are quite familiar with the terrain, but they also had gotten lost the first time they came there.

Finally, you are back at your residence. Can you really capture the feeling once you get into your apartment and back on familiar territory? Getting lost can be quite scary.

John 3:3 (NKJV) Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Today, I want to state quite unequivocally that most of the people in the Church and the world are somehow like this fictional lost person I described above. I know this sounds extreme. Well, give me a few moments to explain my thoughts. Jesus never came to begin a religious movement on earth. He birthed the Church as an extension of Himself to continue His work, not to morph into a religious organisation. Jesus came to re-establish the Kingdom of God on earth and to invite all who would believe in Him to be Kingdom citizens, enjoy Kingdom privileges and live Kingdom lives. He established the constitution of the Kingdom and expects the Church, His body to propagate and share the gospel or good news of the Kingdom.

In actual fact, Jesus said in Matthew 24:14 (NKJV) And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

So the end will not come until we the Church have fully embraced the message of the Kingdom and propagated it in all the nations of the world.

What has happened is that we do not focus on being Kingdom citizens, we do not appreciate the potency, dominion and limitlessness of our Kingdom, because we have all become church centric and denominated. We are more interested in preserving our denominational values than projecting the Kingdom ways. Somehow we end up with a shadow of what we really have been promised.

The first message Jesus preached and all He really ever taught was on the Kingdom. Mark 1:14-15 (NKJV) Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”.

Repent means change your mind, your manner of thinking. I think this message needs to ring out to the entire body of Christ again. Repent and rediscover the Kingdom.

We have been born-again into a Kingdom. We are citizens of another Kingdom. We are empowered by the King to be His emissaries and ambassadors here on earth, manifesting and teaching the nations about His Kingdom.

As a Christian, I challenge you to open your New Testament and read the words of Jesus and see how much He taught on the Kingdom of God. If you are not a christian, I invite you to come and discover the realities and joys of the Kingdom of God.

There is an unusual joy and excitement when we rediscover and embrace the Kingdom message and mandate. There is an unusual feeling of liberty. There is a sense of purpose and destiny. You just know you are home. This is what you were born for; created for; and will gladly live for.

There is much more to say about this Kingdom, please look out for more posts on this.

Let’s Pray: King Jesus, please open our eyes and hearts so we can rediscover the message of your Kingdom and start to live truly as Kingdom citizens, not just as Christians who are part of a religious movement. Please help us to make all the adjustments that we need to make, so we can fully enjoy the privileges of citizenship and be a witness to others, so they can also come and become fellow citizens with us. Amen.

My Soul Thirsts For You

Key Passage: Psalm 63:1-7

Key Verse: Ps 63:1 – My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water.

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Have you ever been away from someone you love for such a long time that you miss him or her so deeply? You want to hear from them. You want even more to see them and talk to them face to face. It’s amazing how people’s faces seem to grow dim when you are so far from them. You even start losing that unique sense of their presence, the smells, the looks, and the touch. Nothing will satisfy until you get them in your arms again and hug them, then everything comes flooding right back.

Throughout the scriptures, there seems to be a recurring theme of the God of love seeking His people wooing them back to His embrace and presence. Also on the other hand lovers of God getting love-sick and feeling lost without Him and abandoning everything just to go and seek Him.

Looking at this portion of scripture this morning, one can only wonder what led to these words being penned. Let’s look at Psalm 63(NKJV)

Joy in the Fellowship of God

A Psalm of David when he was in the wilderness of Judah.

1 O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You;

My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water.

2 So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory.

3 Because Your loving kindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You.

4 Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.

5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.

6 When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches.

7 Because You have been my help, Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.

These words are self-explanatory. David pinned for God. David yearned almost agonised for God’s presence, that he hardly slept and before dawn he got up to seek His face.

This morning I woke up with this feeling. I just want to see Jesus. Spend time with Him. Love on Him. Hold Him, Worship Him. Adore Him. Gaze into His face. Feel His touch. Sing to Him. Talk with Him. Rest on His chest. Pour out my heart to Him. Hear His voice. See His beautiful face. In short be with Him.

I have been with Him this morning. And Oh!! What exhilaration! What joy! What Peace! What splendour! What beauty! His presence lingers… Have you? I want to be with Him again and again and again. Nothing really compares. Nothing really makes that much sense without Him. His presence is everything.

I wonder if He is not extending an invitation to you this morning to step aside from your busyness and spend some time with Him. I wonder if he wants to show you His face all over again.

Seek His Face. Go on do it now!

I found this song captures my heart this morning. Enjoy!

 

Apply the Salt to the Source – 1

 

Key Passage – 2 Kings 2 : 19-22

Key Text“Thus says the Lord: ‘I have healed this water; from it there shall be no more death or barrenness.’” 2 Kings 2:21

 

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The Source. The Fountain-Head. The Origin. The Foundation. The Beginning. The Genesis. These are all words a strategic thinker employs when trying to resolve a problem. But you would be surprised how many people attempt to solve problems and enigmas by dealing with the fruit or symptoms.

So, take the case of this lady called Grace. Grace was grossly overweight and no matter what she tried, she always ended up adding more weight. She is a very nice person, loves people and the Lord, but simply hated herself. She had severe low self-esteem and she often attributed her mood swings to her lack of control over her diet and her excessive weight gains.

Fast forward many years and Grace meets Ed. Ed loved Grace and accepted her the way she was. Never judged her and never once complained about her weight. Grace started feeling better about herself and for the first time, took a deep breath and considered her state without feeling bad. She then had an ‘aha’ moment. She realised she had always felt bad about herself and she traced it to the fact that her dad always told he she was not pretty.

Ed on the other hand said the exact opposite. Ed married her when she was a size 20. Ed just loved Grace. Grace now somehow felt better about herself, could ask God for help, forgive her dad and began a diet that made her lose all the excess weight and she became a slim size 10 dress in less than two years. Grace has never regained the weight and today she is a very happy mother of three beautiful children and totally adores her Ed. The fact is she discovered the root of her problem and the rest is history like they say.

The passage today shows us how God does not deal with symptoms primarily, but He goes to the root of the matter and deals with it. In this powerful story, the men of a certain city came to Elisha, explaining that the location of the city was quite nice, but the water was bad and it caused death and barrenness on the land. Elisha’s response is quite instructive. He asked for salt to be put in a clean bowl, then he took the salt and emptied it at the source of the river that flowed through the city and blessed the source and told the men, the river had been cleansed and it would no longer produce death or barrenness, and the bible says it remains so to this day!

God has the solution to every human problem. God understood that the genesis of man’s problems is sin. God therefore sent Jesus Christ His son, as a sinless man, to redeem sinful man and as a result, whoever believes in Jesus will be miraculously transformed from sinner to saint. This is the mystery of the gospel or the good news of the Kingdom. All you need to have a transformed life is to get fixed at the source. If your nature is sinful, you would always produce sin, despite your most valiant efforts to do right. It is an effort in futility.

What is your problem today? Have you considered the perfect provision of Calvary? The Cross of Jesus Christ, where God supernaturally absorbed and dealt with all man’s problems and provided the permanent antidote and release for mankind. Please hear me. Whatever you may be going through today. Whatever the problem. Jesus fully paid for you to have a solution, but you need to discover the source or foundations of your problem and then apply the power of the cross to that source and watch God perform His healing and restorative work in your life.

Is it that simple? Yes. Absolutely. Just some salt at the source and the water is purified. God’s salt is His Son Jesus. He is the simple solution God provided for man to be free. Without Him, there is no hope of transformation.

What are you waiting for?

Let’s Pray: Father God, today I ask for your help in resolving the problems of my life. I recognise I have been trying to solve my problems by dealing with all the symptoms and I have done a bad job. Father today, I acknowledge your perfect provision for my predicament. I accept Jesus Christ you son into my life and I ask that you deal with my problem at its very roots and foundation. By faith I apply the Salt of God, Jesus to the source of my life’s challenges and by faith I declare I am healed and restored. Thank you for your grace and mercy. Amen.

God’s sense makes Nonsense of Man’s sense – Part 2

 

Key Passage: 2 Kings 6:1-7

Key Text: Malachi 3:6 – “For I am the Lord, I do not change;

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Is the earth still rotating around the sun? Did night give way to day this morning? Did birds sing and cocks crow? Is time still working? Then we can be sure that God is still on His throne and whatever He says will come to pass!!

One thing about the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is that He never changes. This He said unequivocally in the book of Malachi Chapter 3 and verse 6, (NKJV) “For I am the Lord, I do not change; and the book of Hebrews 13:8 tells us Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. So this should make us ask some questions on the practice of our faith today and the dearth of miracles and earth shattering signs and wonders, we see in the bible. There are those who believe in the cessation of these aspects of our faith, but I am not even going to entertain such thoughts. God is still doing miracles today and we just need to adjust our theology to be very expectant of His miraculous intervention in our seemingly impossible situations.

Going back to the miracle of the floating axe-head, God clearly demonstrated that what man says is impossible is not impossible for Him. He showed clearly that the laws of nature will be suspended if He so chooses to express His sovereignty and power. It is good to sometimes, stop and ponder these miracles and imagine what it would have felt like to have stood by the banks of the Jordan River and experienced the sunk axe-head float back to the surface, simply because a stick was thrown into the river. All I can say is WOW!

God parted the Red sea for Moses and Israel to pass through on dry ground; God caused the Jordan to roll back so Joshua and Israel could cross over into the Promised Land. Jesus walked on water, calmed the storm, and turned water into wine at the wedding of Cana in Galilee. God can do anything and He is still doing the extra-ordinary, mind blowing, earth shattering miracles today. I mean right now!

Have you got an impossible situation on your hands? Is there a raging sea of trouble ahead of you? Is there a problem so befuddling that you are forced to cry out in despair? Let me ask you to take your eyes off your situation for a moment today and look up to the God of the bible. The God of Abraham. The Lord of Hosts. The God of the Armies of Heaven. The Lord Jesus Christ, who has conquered death, hell and the grave. Just look at Him and hear what he said in His word. He said ‘I am the God of all flesh, Is anything too hard for me?’ He said ‘with God nothing shall be impossible.’ The prophet Jeremiah cried out “Ah Lord God, you have created the heavens and the earth by your great power, nothing is too difficult for you.”

Your situation is no too hard for God to change around. He is ready to help and transform your difficult situation. Just ask Him. The God of miracles is ready and willing and more than able!!!

Enjoy this song!

Let’s pray: Dear Father, creator of the heavens and the earth, please show your power to my generation and let your children see Your great miracles in their lives. There are those who are faced with impossible situations as far as man is concerned, but Lord, You are not and cannot be limited and You know no impossibilities. Please intervene and confound the sceptics. Lord thank you for what You are doing in the earth today. Thank you for Your faithfulness. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

 

God’s sense makes Nonsense of Man’s sense -1

 

 

Key Word – 2 Kings 6:1-7

 

Key Text – 2 Kings 6:6 – (NKJV) “So he cut off a stick, and threw it in there; and he made the iron float.”

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Recently, it has become obvious to me that humanity is getting carried away with our ability to solve our problems and deal with the many challenges that face us. This is not bad in a sense, because it means we are accepting responsibility for our actions and making adjustments to make our world a better place. Well that’s the theory of it. It is called Humanism. This would have been excellent, except that man is clueless as to how the earth was made and how it ought to function, without reference to God who created the earth and made man the overseer. Somehow in this arrangement, God never intended for man to become totally independent of Him. Actually God expects man to carry out his responsibilities of tending and keeping the earth, by depending on Him for the knowledge, power and grace to administrate the earth. As it stands now all man’s best efforts are failing and our world seems to be hurtling towards conflagration and bleakness. I really don’t want to be pessimistic, so I would refrain from recounting our many failures.

But today I come as a bearer of good news, not a harbinger of doom. Man can redirect his efforts and reclaim the world in the proper order, if we collectively acknowledge that without the divine, we are really going to be ineffective. Man needs God. Period. Without God’s help, man is doomed to fail. Man will fail without God.

So today’s passage shows us a very incredible story. The sons of the prophet decided to expand their dwelling place. They set about the work by cutting down some trees to make the new homes etc. Suddenly the iron axe-head came loose from the wood and fell into the water. It sank to the bottom immediately. There was no way to retrieve it, it was lost. So the building project will have to be stalled or abandoned, as there is no axe to hew down wood. But they cried out to the man of God, Elisha, and he asked where they feel the axe-head fell into the water. He cut off a piece of wood and threw it into the water and the iron axe-head floated to the surface. Elisha asked the man to pick it up and continue his work. Such a simple solution to a difficult problem???

There are many dimensions to this story to corroborate my position above. But I will deal with a couple today and continue, as I feel led.

  1. The wooden part of the Axe is symbolic of man and the Iron is symbolic of God. So in effect the wood alone cannot cut down trees, it needs the iron head, so without God man is useless. But it also important to note, that God has chosen to use man to do His work; so without man, God will not work. This is the mystery of God’s love for mankind.
  2. Whatever man needs to do to make this life better requires the help and intervention of God. Man cannot function effectively without the assistance and support of God. Hence the Axe-head. The moment the Axe-head fell off, the building had to be stopped. Once God is out of the equation, our best efforts become futile.
  3. God has ways to solve our intractable problems that is beyond the comprehension and capacity of the human logic to explain away. How does a piece of stick thrown into the river make the axe-head float? How? This is totally illogical and no scientific law backs this up. So this is purely a miracle and it in the realms of faith and the supernatural. It is in God’s logic. God’s sense. So all we can do here is simply submit to His superior wisdom and ways.

Today, you may be confronted with a big problem that defies human logic and all your best efforts seem futile. Please remember that there is a God in heaven who created you and who is so powerful there is nothing He cannot do. Please try asking for His help and you will be surprised what His solution maybe. I pray you get a great testimony to share with us.

Finally, I just want to leave you with a thought. How does Jesus hanging on a tree on the Mount of Calvary redeem mankind? And how does one believing in this event save one eternally? Well the floating Axe-head has a clue to this conundrum.

Only believe!!!

 

Let’s Pray: Father God, your ways are not our ways and your thoughts are so much higher than our thoughts. We have sought to solve our problems without your help and we have ended up making a bigger mess. Forgive us. Today, we ask you to intervene in our affairs (Please ask Him specifically for what you need His help with), and help us to have the solutions only you can provide for us. Father, thank you for answering us in your love. In Jesus mighty name we have prayed. Amen.

The Success Trap!

 

Key Scripture: Genesis 39:1-2

 

Key Text: and he was a successful man – Genesis 39:2

 

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Success! What an interesting word. It literarily stops you in your tracks. It makes you light up and become curious. Who? What? Where? These are some of the words that pop into your mind. We all love success stories and we all want to be successes and most of all we like to be associated with success and the successful! Nothing wrong with this! I would even say its quite legitimate. Who wants to be a failure or be associated with failures? But…

As children of God, we have to be extremely careful what we call success and how we define success. The people of the world have sold us a dummy. Honestly, they have made riches, wealth, the acquisition of material things, houses, cars, clothes, jewellery, fame, popularity, human adulation all trappings and marks of success. The world bows to these things and we are also caught up in the same dimension. But whilst there is nothing inherently wrong with these things, if these are the pursuit and object of one’s life, how sad and sorry that life is and would be?

If you have ever had some experience with wealth and riches and the acquisition of material things, you would know that the ‘high and buzz’ you get from these things is very ephemeral. It is like froth that just bubbles away. It is like vapour. You are left with the same empty feeling you had before you acquired that latest car or house. Truthfully, we are never quite fulfilled or content. Solomon called it VANITY of VANITIES! What ever is vanity vansihes!

And that is precisely the point. God did not design human beings to live for things. We are created to live for a purpose and only in living that purpose will we ever find real fulfilment and success. I am amazed at what we celebrate as successes. I am sometimes confused when so called intelligent people fall for the same trap. Lord have mercy!

Today our key text focuses on a man called Joseph. He was the son of Jacob, a very, very wealthy man. The bible tells us in Genesis 30:43 that Jacob became exceedingly prosperous! Now his favourite son, Joseph was hated by his brothers and they ganged up against him, sold him into slavery and faked his death. He was stripped of all his earthly goods and identity and he became a slave in the house of an Egyptian named Portiphar. You have to admit that Joseph’s condition at this stage was quite dire according to our human worldly standards. But God said Joseph was a successful man. Read the lines again. Genesis 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.

Would you call a slave a successful man? Be honest! But God said Joseph was a successful man. Why? Let me help you. I really was confused by this myself, but the Lord helped me to understand. First, the bible says “the Lord was with Joseph”. Is the Lord with that successful person you envy? Is the Lord with you? If God is with you, it does not matter what your outward condition is, you really have everything and you lack nothing. Simply because the owner of everything is with you. But there is something even deeper I want you to consider today.

This is my understanding. Joseph was in Egypt, though as a slave, he was in the place of his divine assignment and purpose. He was exactly where God had placed him, because God was outworking a great plan to save a people through him in a very strange land. He had no money, no status, no houses, he had nothing, yet he was successful. My brother, my sister, Jesus said in Luke 12:15 The Message (MSG)

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 must never be defined by material possessions. Success is a function of purpose and destiny. What is your assignment on the earth? If God wants you to clothe the naked and feed the hungry, and you are busy buying houses and cars and generally making more money, then you are simply a ‘rich failure’. God forbid that you would be called a successful person by men and God will call you an abysmal failure!

Success is a very sensitive word. No one can really determine who is successful or not, only God can give that verdict, because He is the creator of every life and he knows what purposes He created each of us for. Consequently, no one can say you are a failure of a success in life, unless they have the privilege of knowing your purpose. Without the knowledge of your purpose, there is no basis for the qualification or verdict.

Finally, let me say that I am not against the acquisition material wealth and possessions. But I totally abhor and am against a life that is spent in pursuit of these things. It is a wasted life. Life must be about something greater that yourself. Your God-ordained purpose.

Find your purpose; give yourself resolutely to fulfilling it and I can tell you, you will be happy, blessed and most of all, successful.

The world awaits you, don’t fall for the lie of the enemy.

Let’s Pray: Father God, please help me to understand the truth. Let me recognise that the things we look at as successes may actually not be successful at all. Lord please help me find my purpose and grant me the grace to work it out, so I can be a success according to your standards and not the worlds standards. Please deliver me from the expectations of men and let me live to bring delight to your heart in Jesus name. Amen.