Of junk and fake grace (13)

Grace brings you all the time to the foot of the cross. There is sufficiency in grace. Jesus called it his grace, adding in his conversation with Paul that “My grace is sufficient for you.” His grace is enough. He also told Paul, my strength is made perfect in weaknesses. His grace is His strength, not your joke.

You don’t need to add anything to what is sufficient, not you misunderstanding, not legalism, not your reductionist view of it. It’s enough. And what freedom that brings, what hope, what life. Christ emptied himself to fill us, not with an idea but with the substance of his grace.

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The thief, the joy of the Lord and the door (part two)

After the two revelations I wrote about, there have been certain developments relating to it and further understanding I seem to be coming into from it.
Remember that I said that I know the Christian woman in the dream, who was complaining about serving God but without the joy of the Lord, in real life?
What I did not say because I was trying to hide her identity from those who know me and might try to guess if I give more information, was that she was pregnant.
But unknown to me, few hours after that revelation she will be delivered of a baby boy. And I got to know because my wife called our pastor who told her of the news later that morning. I wrote about the revelation about 3am, while the woman delivered a baby shortly after that time. This was a woman that I do not know her EDD. We are not that close.
If she was the picture of the church who is complaining and she was pregnant, before she can deliver, she needed her joy restored. She needed to close the door to the enemy who was stealing her joy. It was interesting that in that revelation, I did not stand up to help her close the door, she had to close it herself.
What the church will birth is a new move of God.
Remember I noted that the joy of the Lord is our strength? And strength in the bible is associated with delivery. When the children of Israel were being persecuted and Pharoah said all the baby boys must be killed. The Hebrew midwives spared them and told Pharoah that the women of Israel were stronger than the Egyptian women.
A joyless Christian will not be able to deliver the will of God on the earth. What we labour to bring forth is the move of God, the explosion of the Spirit, the abundance of heaven after a season of drought, like Elijah laboured. We labour in prayer. The prayer warriors must be the most joyful people on earth because they touch the presence of God and in the presence of God there is fullness of joy. If as a Christian, you are task oriented and no presence of God oriented, your joy is about to fly away.
Seth was the replacement of Abelas far as the mother Eve was concerned. She said that God has given me a child instead of the one that Cain killed.

The bible says in Isaiah 66:7-8:

“Before she travailed, she brought forth;

before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child.

Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things?

Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day?

or shall a nation be born at once?

for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.”

It is interesting that the child that woman in that revelation gave birth to in real life was a boy.
You cannot travail without strength. Angels came to Strengthen Jesus before his thunderous ministry and before his going to the cross.
Going back to the story of the prodigal son and the brother, we see that the the brother was joyless, it was the complaint we hear from him when his brother was being celebrated, that his father never gave him a kid to kill with his friends, that we know he was not happy in the service of his father.
He did the task as a matter of routine but without a joy in it. He thought the more he served the more his father should provide for him, but he lost sight of the fact that he already had everything he was working so hard for. He seem to fair worse than slaves. How can you work so hard to be blessed? If you are not resting that you are blessed then get ready to be frustrated like that old son.
This is a call to desist from all joyless activities in the kingdom. It will not birth anything. If it is not borne out of relationship, it will not be born at all.
The bible says with joy we draw from the well of Salvation. Joy is the rope, without the rope, getting water from the well is wishful thinking. Joy is the connection, if the connection is cut there is no flow.
I believe this writeup and the one before it are me talking to that woman, to the complaining church, the joyless church, as I wanted to start doing to that woman in the revelation.
So church, I am asking you to close the door through which the devil steals your joy. Awake oh Zion, put on Strength oh arm of God.
The task at hand is the birthing task, we will birth a new move of God in the earth. The former move was killed, like Cain killed Abell, but there is Seth on the horizon. The past was good but the future is better.
Practical ways to close the door against the joy stealer
1. Don’t take everything you hear about yourself to heart.

2 refuse to be a man pleaser, refuse to yield to the fear of man, take charge of your destiny, nobody can push you to do what you don’t want to do, the society, your loved ones should not. You do not need anybody o validate you. You are complete in him who is the head of all principalities and powers. Nothing should make you feel inferior. Judge yourself in the light of God’s valuation of you, to give his son for you.

3. Ensure that your private time with God in prayer fasting and word, is not eroded by anything and it continues to grow

4. Depend absolutely on the rightousness of Jesus, the cross is the solution to self-will, self-consciousness, self-consideration,and self-righteousness which moves us away from the will of God and saps our strength

5. Don’t join every department, trying to do everything, going to all Programmes people invite you to as if that is the basis of your approval before God.

6. Service must be God-initiated. Period. Can you say that everything you are doing in kingdom service is because God wants you to?

7. Recognise your area of gifting and function there more than you do other things in the kingdom. That brings you joy and you can easily see result, rather than be frustrated in a task because someone said you should do it. You cannot fit in everywhere, the earlier you know that the better. Certain things do not fit into the future God has for you.

8. Don’t think once you join a group, because of what people will say, you cannot stop being part of the group.

9. Say to yourself: I do not have to do anything for God, but I do it because I love him, because I chose to.

10. Allow yourself to enjoy life, I am not talking about sin, which is bondage, but learn to relax, interact with people across different interests, explore some interests. Jesus was like that.

11. Set your gaze on Jesus, people may disappoint you, not him.

12. Rejoice because your name is in the book of life, not because you served God.

13. Confess your sin quickly and receive cleansing. If you continue feeling guilty after you have confessed to God, then know that your self-righteousness is Speaking, do not listen to it.

14. Do not engage in being critical of others, unduly.

15. Trust the God is in control, no matter what, he is trustworthy, his word the scriptures in the bible is true

16. Don’t depend on human praise, do not be boastful yourself.

17. Be full of Thanksgiving, even when you have many requests from God, that is the key to peace.

18. Do not throw away the confession of your faith.

19. The eye of your heart, the eye of your imagination must be fixed on Jesus all the time, always admiring him, loving him, looking unto him, reflecting on him, on the healing provision, material provision, direction provision, relationship provision, we have in him, the spiritual provision we have in him, the protection in him, and fear nothing. We are loved by God in him.

20. Stand against fear in all forms.

21. Be quick to reject what is contrary to scriptures, don’t allow yourself to be unsettled by anyone who brings a revelation which shows that God is focused on appearance and not heart, that God is not love. The man with one talent fell into the latter trap.

22. Be humble, willing to learn, willing to change, to admit wrong, listen to others, admit you do not know all things.

23. Getting a job is a good idea, it prevents idleness, and focuses you on a productive engagement, giving you opportunity to interact with those different form you, as you learn to respect them, relate to them, show them love, be in conflict with them and resolve it, you are becoming more like God.

24. No one should be bigger than God in your life.

25. Hope in the Lord, recognise the limitation in humans including yourself.
God bless you.

I too am a man

hawaiian-hula-dancers-377653_640Acts 10:26: But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am a man.”

Peter was a man like Cornelius just as Elijah was a man like anyone of us (James 5:15-18).

Peter is like Cornelius and is not like Cornelius. Elijah is like us and is not like us.

Peter is different from Cornelius, in what he knows, in who he knows. He knows Jesus and knows his grace. He was a candidate of heaven while Cornelius was not. They may be similar in their physical attributes being men, but they were different in their spirits, in the core of their being. They are different in the relationship with God, not much as in religious practice. Cornelius gave alms, prayed and fasted but he was as lost as lost can be and needed Peter to preach to him the word of God (Acts 10).

What about Elijah? He was different in two ways: his passion for prayer and righteous stance. He stood for God in the most in auspicious times. He was attached to the cause of God both privately and publicly. He was so given over to him and cooperated with God to bring change.

Appointment

Acts 6:3: Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. (ESV)

The qualification for this leadership was threefold. They must be known by the people for being highly regarded, which speaks of social standing, and long-term proof of probity, and respected.

To be of good repute is not a day job. It follows a consistent pattern of uprightness.

Then there was the issue of the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Many people may be dependable, but not many people are full of the Holy Spirit. The latter live an empowered life. The power of God is manifest through their lives, in spiritual giftedness in expression. That is the meaning of infilling from the book of Acts.

Then thirdly, they should be full of wisdom. That means they are not just all talk, but have practical result as evidence of their wisdom. I define wisdom as what to do to get result, the divine how-to. Jesus said that wisdom is justified by its children, it’s results (Matthew 11:19).

The apostles wanted those who are approved by men (of good repute), approved by God (full of the Spirit) and approved by the results they have been getting in their practical lives (full of wisdom).

The reasons correspond to the three qualities the Apostles wanted:

They needed those who will move among the people, therefore, must be approved by men.

Since it is about the church, and not a social club, not a political party, not a natural entity but spiritual, those who will lead must be full of the Spirit, must be intentional followers of God, on his own terms, submitted to his will.

Then thirdly, since the matter at hand is a practical matter of the “serving of tables” (Acts 6:1-7) they need people who will be effective, so that the apostles would not border about such things again. They needed people who can deliver results on a practical level, exhibiting high intelligence, ability to coordinate, intuitive enough to marry what is on ground with what the people need.

Sharing

Acts 4:32: Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. (ESV)

The reality described above of the first-century church was about the generosity of hearts.

When it comes to giving, there are three things we can give relating to the three parts of man: body, soul and spirit (1Thessalonians 5:23).

For the body, there is the need to share physical things, like shelter, food, water, clothing. John addressed this issue when he said that we should not see someone in need and say that they should go, without meeting their need, when we can do so, saying that shows the love of God is not in us (1John 3:16-18)

There are the needs of the soul, which Jesus party addressed when he said that he favours those who visit the imprisoned (Matthew 25:32-46).

James said that pure religion is to visit orphans and widows (James 1:27). The bible says: rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep, which is about identifying with people in their different situations (Romans 12:15).

Then there is a giving from the spirit, which is about the release of the spiritual gifts in all forms to minister, to serve another person.

Paul said that as we have received different gifts, we should minister the same (Romans 12:3-7). Peter said that those who speak should do so as the oracle of God while those who serve, should do so with the ability that God gives (1Peter 4:10-11).

Healing Jesus

butterfly-752456_640John 5:11: But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.'” (ESV)

Healing takes a pride of place in the narrative of the life of Jesus. He is the one who carried away our sicknesses and our diseases (Matthew 8:16-17). He gives the mandate of healing to the church saying if we lay our hands on the sick they will recover (Mark 16:15-17).

Jesus healed in many ways: By casting out devils, laying on of hands, spoken words, touching. There is nothing too difficult for him to do on the healing dimension.

But in a place, he was unable to heal many because of the unbelief of the people. That means unbelief can block the flow of the healing anointing from Jesus. The opposite is also true.

For a woman suffering for twelve years in an issue of blood, touching the hem of the garment of Jesus even without his knowledge brought her instant relief (Luke 8:43-48). Jesus healed without even knowing about it. He is the sun of righteousness with healing in his wings, according to Malachi (Malachi 4:2).

Healing is no magic, it is about the presence of Jesus. While he was in a house, teaching the bible says that the power of God was present to heal (Luke 5:17-26). Let his healing presence touch you today. Amen.

To see Jesus

white-bengal-tiger-406994_640Luke 19:3: And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. (ESV)

To see Jesus, Zacchaeus needed something extra (Luke 19:1-10). But there was nothing that was strong enough to stop him in his quest. He did the extraordinary, climbing a tree. He had a social standing, but he yielded to the hunger in him and ran, climbed, to see Jesus.

He was short, so he had a physical restriction to seeing Jesus. What would hinder you from seeing Jesus to the fullest? Is it the pursuit of worldly things? The point is you cannot love God and Mammon (Matthew 16:13).

You cannot be focused on the world and on God at the same time. Jesus said that we should love God with all our strength (Luke 10:27). It takes the exertion of power, strength, time, effort, and aloneness. The top of the tree is a lonely place.

The choice Zacchaeus needed to make to see Jesus cannot be made by consensus, it has to be made alone, he could not discuss with anybody about it. Nobody can understand his hunger to see Jesus, no one can identify with his drive.

There are barriers to seeing Jesus all around us. We must be brave, we must be resolute, we must be undeterred, unbending in our resolve to see Jesus, gain more of his knowledge, wisdom and power, to see his glory manifest in our lives and through it.