The measure of your value

John 10:11: I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

The fact that Jesus died for you as a Shepherd shows you are of the highest value. People wait for parents, peers, pastors to value them. But they are not equipped to do that to full measure. They can’t give your full value because your value is more than they give. And even if they die for you, it would still fall short of your value.

You real value is shown in three ways: 1. what was given as exchange for you, 2. who is in you, 3.who guards you.

1. The value of a product is the amount of money exchanged for it. Because of your supreme value,the eternal God had to die to redeem you, buy you back. Satan‘s greatest catch was Adam (through whom he caught all) and God’s greatest sacrifice was Jesus through whom he caught back and is catching back throngs of people. What can be more valuable than the son of the Most High God?

By the death of Jesus, God certified that you are as valuable as Jesus, you are of equal worth. Is that unbelievable? If so, it only shows how humanity has degenerated since the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Before, they feel worthy enough to have a stroll with God in along the various paths in the Garden, but sin came in and not only did they become unworthy, but they also felt so. But in Christ our worthiness is restored because we now wear his righteousness (2Corinthians 5:21). The measure of love is the measure of what is given for love, and God gave his only begotten son for you. You can’t beat that; you can only embrace the fact.

2. Christ is in you and that also is a measure of you value (Colossians 1:27). Those who say Jesus is not God undervalues themselves. It is God, Jesus Christ that is in me, that means I have the greatest value that anyone can have.

An innocuous box may be the most valuable object in a mansion because of the weight of gold in it.

3. Your value is also in the security around you. In verse John 10:29, Jesus assures of your preciousness when he said it is the father himself who assures that you are not plucked away from his hand. No one is capable of touching you. The president of a nation commands arguably the best resources when it comes to security because to that country he is very valuable. To God you are very valuable and he trust no one with you security but himself. Permanently guaranteeing that you would not be lost, stolen or harmed, that you are preserved. You are so valuable nothing is allowed to shift you in your security in the love of God, which is unfailing over you.

Question: do you think the thoughts shared in this post are true?

Prayer activity: ask God to help you understand your value fully.

Tomorrow’s topic: death by proxy

 

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Embrace your birthright

Genesis 25:34: Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.

There is the right that we have as Christians by virtue of our being born again – the right to eternal life (Romans 6:23) out of which we have genuine freedom. Esau was found in that verse rejecting his birthright, seeing nothing good in it, preferring to maintain his physical existence (through food) and not focus on the future existence that the birthright represents. In part, it represented the right to be the head of the family lineage, which was a future occurrence (at the death of Isaac).

At the new birth, what we have in Christ Jesus is eternal life (John 3:16, Hebrews 9:15), this very life of God is described as our inheritance. Through that we enjoy divinity even though we are on earth. But an inheritance does not come into effect except through the death of the original possessor (Hebrews 9:16-17). Jesus had died

and the inheritance of eternal life is now ours in reality and also in a preparatory sense, for his second coming.

All humans can be classified as either Esau-like and Jacob-like: the Esau-people are those who reject the free offer of Christ for eternal life, eternal inheritance, exchanging it for the “necessities” of this world while the Jacob-people exchanged what is seen with what is not seen (John 12:25). They exchange their natural possessions of time, strength, resources, creativity using it to foster the affirmation of the eternal life in them.

To embrace your birthright, you have to reject things that would not help you blossom in it. Do things that count for the eternal life that you have received. Everything we do that reveals an emphasis on the physical existence as against the spiritual, the intangible (the father of the tangible), is following Esau.

Eternal life is your birthright, embrace that and you should do things that emphasises that aspect of you. Measure all relationships and activities by how they aid the expression of the eternal life in you, which was the opposite of what Esau did, and he was called a profane man (Hebrews 12:16), despising his birthright while focusing on the need of the moment. Live your life in consideration of your birthright, eternal life; live the rest of your life in pursuit of knowing God, which is one of the definitions of eternal life (John 17:3), because for eternity that will be our highest engagement. The more we know him, the more we become like him. Embrace that as your Calling and pursue it, everything else should be in deference to it.

Question: what is your greatest form of distraction from eternal pursuits?

Prayer activity: may I not be like Esau who downplayed his inheritance

Tomorrow’s topic: The measure of your value

A word against rigidity

1Ki 2:20,23  Then she said, “I have one small request to make of you; do not refuse me.” And the king said to her, “Make your request, my mother, for I will not refuse you.” … Then King Solomon swore by the LORD, saying, “God do so to me and more also if this word does not cost Adonijah his life!

King Solomon gave his word to his mother to do whatever she wants. But when he had more facts about it, he made a more informed decision which was opposite to what he said before.

Be focused on making a more informed decision, be willing to break away from the comfort of the familiar. If things don’t add up, be ready to juggle things up and make a change. Leaders like Solomon owe the people a duty to lead aright. And this cannot be done when there is a fixation on what things used to be and how they used to run. Break out into the new as you have the instruction from God. You should be responsive to God bringing your way better information and to the promptings of the Holy Spirit such as when he nudges you to take a route because he knows there is traffic hold up where you were set to take before, which you did not know.

There is nothing wrong in being wrong as long as you don’t continue being wrong after knowing that you were wrong. Solomon gave his word to his mother, but later he came to a better knowledge of the pertinent facts and he made a better decision. Sentiment would have moved him in the face of a superior argument to choose to do his mother’s bidding but this is to the detriment of the very throne of David which Adonijah was a threat to.

You must thrive to be better informed in all things and not assume that you are Mr Right. Invite people into your circle who can add their peculiar perspectives to things while still assume the final responsibility for your own decisions. Don’t be a rigid person or be over-flexible to the point of being gullible. You don’t want to tell God like Adam did that Eve was responsible for his eating the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:12). You cannot keep complaining that things are not changing when you do not engage with new information in the situation.

Many are rigid to their own destruction like Pharaoh, where in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary they are bent on going head first into the pit. Many with destructive habits perpetuate their own errors meaning to ruin their lives, continuing on the way their ancestors do things, not willing to break away into the new order of God. God is always moving, but are you flexible enough to move with him and enjoy the full benefit of his manifest presence?

Question: are you a rigid person?

Prayer activity: pray for God to help you strike the right balance between firmness and flexibility.

Tomorrow’s topic: Embrace your birthright.

 

Lusts of men versus will of God

1Peter 4:2  that ye no longer should live the rest of your time in flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.

The latter is the preferred disposition. Everyone is born ruled by lust, various desires that pull in the direction away from God. This verse shows the plan of God for allowing us to suffer persecution is to bring judgement to our physical life, that our spiritual life may be emphasised by and in us (3:17-18, 4:1). Our spiritual life is hidden in Christ in God and we are to live from that locus (Colossians 3: 1-3).

How would it be if we live the rest of your life in the flesh in the will of God so that our life will really count for time and eternity? But what will happen if we yield to the flesh? The consequences would be damning. You cannot claim to be a Christian- Christ like, little Christ, if you are not bent on fulfilling the will of God, since that is what the life of Christ in the flesh (for thirty something years) was all about is about (Hebrews 10:7). It would be nothing less than aimless living, a frustrated existence and a futile journey, beating about the bush and punching shadows.

Let the drum beat of the will of God beat in your heart, and let your life be a dance in consonance with the rhythm of heaven, line up your self with the eternal agenda- that is real living.

As said earlier, the will of man is corrupted from the birth. And even after we are born again, the work of bending the contours of our will to form the very shape of the will of God is a main task of the Holy Spirit in us incorporating the lessons of discipline in us. The first man created, Adam, sinned wilfully setting forth the ultimate battle of wills for all time: the will of God versus the will of man (or rather, the lusts of men), not really versus the will of the devil, because his influence is channelled towards maintaining his hold on the will of man.

The discipline that God puts us through as we submit to him sends blows against our wills to cause it to be primed to yield to God, not unlike the breaking of the will of a wild horse.

When time and time again you are confronted with the futility of your own devises, that is the grace of God, the discipline of his love, and this ensures that afterwards you are better primed to follow his will for you.

Question:  which one usually wins in your life: lusts of men or the will of God?

Prayer activity: Lord, help let my will move along with yours

Tomorrow’s topic: A word against rigidity

 

Blessedness

Psa 33:12:  Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!

This verse declares that there are inherent blessings for the believers whose God is the LORD (see 6th June 2012’s post), and the people, which is the church, which he has chosen as his inheritance (Ephesians 1:18). It is blessed to be forgiven (Romans 4:7), healed (Psalm 103:1-3), saved (Ephesians 1:1-7), to have a relationship (John 1:12), to be partners with God (2Corinthians 6:12), blessed to become rich (2Corinthians 8:9) blessed to overcome (1John 4:4), to be empowered to live right (1John3:9), and blessed to become a blessing.

A blessing is a spiritual commodity that can be converted to serve our living on this earth, it gives us spiritual personhood. Blessedness is a quality of the divine. When the psalmist says blessed be the Lord, he ascribes spiritual qualities, quantities, value to him. You are therefore blessed because you have spiritual qualities, quantities and values.

You are set apart to be indwelled by the Lord of Lords and the King of kings, how more blessed can one be? Spiritual qualities have been added to you. You are seated with Christ in the heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6). You are set apart as a divine instrument to be used by a divine God (1Peter 4:10-11). You are special, you are different, and you are a new creature (2Corinthians 5:17).

To be blessed is to have access to the provisions of heaven in divine light and largesse, to be otherwise is tantamount to living in darkness and to be in stark want, even if your bank account is overflowing.

Question: do you think you have fully realised how special you are?

Prayer activity: let your blessing flow more through me to others

Tomorrow’s topic: Lusts of men versus will of God

 

God’s help

Genesis 27:20: But Isaac said to his son, “How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?” He answered, “Because the LORD your God granted me success.”

God wants to help you and when he does, it makes all the difference. Times seem contrasted when God helps. What costs others much, God sends, through people who offer their help not because you are begging them to help. Then ultimately, it is him that is glorified as you can’t claim credit for the progress yourself but God causes willingness to rise within people and you are the better for it. God’s help stops all struggle, confounds all calculations.

Even though Jacob came to Isaac in deception claiming to be his brother Esau with the connivance of his mother, the words he used to explain to Isaac how he was able to get the needed “meat” by the father to him on time in instructive, He said he had help from God.“God granted me success,” he said. He did not say that it was his extra intelligence, neither did he lie that he had an extra-ordinary ability.

Acknowledge the need for God’s help and constantly lean on him for help, because really there are more variables on this earth than anyone’s internal processor speed  (in computer-speak) cum mental “gigabyte” can handle. Realise that the earth is less than a grain of sand in the galaxy and the odds are greatly multiplied.

You need God to grant you success and if you achieve anything it is because of the grace of God. In the first instance, he gave you the breath you breathe and your mental capacity is a gift from him.

Success is not far from the man or woman who acknowledges his dependence on God. Look at what Jacob had to contend with to bring a meal to his father. He had to contend with his lack of experience in hunting (Genesis 25:27); because of that lack of experience he does not even know how to prepare something that the father wants. The cards were definitely stacked against him, and that he was several years late having been born after Esau (Genesis 25:25-26) and was therefore legally out of reckoning for the blessing.

But it doesn’t matter the odds against you, the help of God is the ultimate leveller. Have you not read that he lifts the poor from the dunghill and make them sit with princes (1Samuel 2:8)?

Question: in what ways have you received God’s help

Prayer activity: ask God help in an area you have struggled with

Tomorrow’s topic: Blessedness

 

The Mighty One

 

 

Psalm 50:1: The Mighty One, God the LORD, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.

 

Three words used in this verse to describe The Most High are The Mighty One, God and the LORD. The mighty one talks of his ability; God, his deity; The LORD his covenant relationships.

 

The Most High is mighty. When you have that in mind you will begin to see yourself in a new light, because your God is Mighty. Then, you would embark on praying with a new gusto. The Lord our God is not limited by time or resources, the laws of nature are his play things, since he set them up in the first place. The scripture is full of records of the display of God’s might. Any attempt to downplay the various miracles of scriptures as mere fables and myths betrays an attempt to remove Mighty from the phrase, “the Mighty One,” making him The (dash) One, giving every Tom, Dick and Harry the licence to insert their own adjective to the phrase, messing up their faith in the name of human reasoning.

 

By so doing their reasoning becomes God, because it is their “be all and end all.” ‘Am I against reasoning? No. But we must we aware of its limitations and to not do so is to make it God, almighty; and that is a great deception, because The Most High, The Mighty unseen one  is the only one that is unlimited.

 

The Most High is God, deity. This describes the fact that he should be worshipped. It is written that if you would not bow the knee to him now willingly, you will by compulsion (Romans 14:11, Philippians 2:10). Worship describes recognition of pre-eminence and willing subjection of yourself, your will. Is that uncomfortable? Try being subjected to the devil and compare.

 

The Most High is The LORD (note that the letters are capitalised in an attempt for translators to render the special covenant name of the Most High.) It is all about a special relation with his people. God has a special relationship with you as one purchased by the blood of Jesus (Acts 20:28). He calls you his child (John 1:12), friend (John 15:15), building (1Corinthians 3:9), temple (1Corinthians 3:17). He is in you by his Holy Spirit having purged your conscience from dead works by his blood (Hebrews 9:14). You are his family, what stronger relationship could there be?

 

Question: Which name of God do you emphasis or de-emphasised in you life? 

 

Prayer activity: Ask God to open your eyes to who he fully is

 

Tomorrow’s topic:  God’s help