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  • THE DANGER OF INSECURITY

    THE DANGER OF INSECURITY

    “For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” (2 Corinthians 10:12 NKJV)

     

    Before Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, died, he shared his possessions among his children. He gave the kingdom to Jehoram because he was the firstborn. But he gave all the brothers of Jehoram great gifts of silver, gold, and precious things with some fortified cities in Judah.

    After the death of Jehoshaphat, Jehoram became the king. Although his younger brothers posed no threat to him, Jehoram was insecure. Consequently, Jehoram killed all his brothers and other princes of Israel.

    2 Chronicles 21:1-4 – NKJV

     1 And Jehoshaphat rested with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the City of David. Then Jehoram his son reigned in his place.

     2 He had brothers, the sons of Jehoshaphat: Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azaryahu, Michael, and Shephatiah; all these were the sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel.

     3 Their father gave them great gifts of silver and gold and precious things, with fortified cities in Judah; but he gave the kingdom to Jehoram, because he was the firstborn.

     4 Now when Jehoram was established over the kingdom of his father, he strengthened himself and killed all his brothers with the sword, and also others of the princes of Israel.

    Although Jehoram had killed all his brothers and other princes of Israel, he had no rest. God stirred up many adversaries against him, who invaded Judah and carried away all his possessions, including his sons and wives. Afterward, Jehoram was struck with an incurable disease.

    2 Chronicles 21:16-20 – NKJV

     16 Moreover the LORD stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines and the Arabians who were near the Ethiopians.

     17 And they came up into Judah and invaded it, and carried away all the possessions that were found in the king’s house, and also his sons and his wives, so that there was not a son left to him except Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons.

     18 After all this the LORD struck him in his intestines with an incurable disease.

     19 Then it happened in the course of time, after the end of two years, that his intestines came out because of his sickness; so he died in severe pain. And his people made no burning for him, like the burning for his fathers.

     20 He was thirty-two years old when he became king. He reigned in Jerusalem eight years and, to no one’s sorrow, departed. However they buried him in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.

    What a lesson for us to beware of insecurity!

    The fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden happened as a result of insecurity. They were not secure in God’s love, plan, and purpose for them. Though they were made in God’s image, according to God’s likeness, and given dominion over all other creations, they were not secure.

    The devil exploited the insecurity and lust of Adam and Eve to be something or somebody else other than what or whom God had made them be.

    Genesis 3:4-6 – NKJV

     4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.

     5 “For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

     6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

    The bait the devil dangled before Adam and Eve was a promise to be like God, who they were already. Being insecure about who they were, they went after it and swallowed it. Like Jehoram, they eventually lost all that God had given them.

    What a lesson for us today!

    Every member of the human body is special and unique, specifically designed, thoroughly equipped, and strategically placed in the body to perform a unique function.

    Likewise, in the body of Christ, every believer as a member of the body of Christ is special and unique in Christ. Each believer has a special place and unique gifting and calling in Christ.

    Apostle Paul aptly explains this truth in his epistle to the Romans.

    Romans 12:4-8 – NKJV

     4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function,

     5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.

     6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;

     7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching;

     8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

    Paul also writes to the Corinthians, “For I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that.” (1 Cor. 7:7 NKJV).

    Insecurity is one of the significant causes of strife, envy, jealousy, competition, division, or disunity we see today in our churches. Many believers today are not secure in their divine placement, calling, and gifting in the body of Christ. Consequently, they constantly compare their calling, ministry, and gifting with that of others and envy others.

    Paul admonishes, “Let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called.” (1 Cor. 7:20 NKJV).

    Insecure people always strive to be like others, have what others have, or do what others do. But when this is impossible, they will resort to hatred, bitterness, envy, jealousy, criticism, slandering, or backbiting.

    An insecure leader is always afraid or threatened by his followers’ success, gifting, or charisma.

    A Christian leader who is insecure in his calling and position in Christ will go to any length to manipulate and dominate God’s people under his authority. He will employ every gimmick and threat to subdue God’s people under his authority.

    Friend, it is unwise to compare yourself with anyone or to strive to do what others are doing when God has not called and gifted you to do the same.

    Your goal is to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ in your mind, speech, emotions, actions, or character. God called you to be like His Son, Jesus Christ, and not like any spiritual leader, living or dead (Rom. 8:29, Eph. 4:11-13).

    Paul writes, “For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” (2 Cor. 10:12 NKJV).

    Do you feel threatened or uncomfortable with other people’s successes, exploits, achievements, progress, promotion, gifting, dreams, or visions?

    If you do, you are insecure about whom God has made you in Christ and what God has called you to do!

    As seen in the lives of Jehoram, Adam, and Eve, insecurity will ultimately result in pain, sorrow, loss, shame, or death.

    Insecurity expresses the fallen, depraved, and sinful human nature. It always breeds hatred, envy, strife, competition, and evil.

    Are you an insecure person?

    The first step to victory over the feelings of insecurity is to put off the old man (the depraved nature) and put on the new man (the divine nature) (Col. 3:9-10).

    Insecurity is one of the manifestations or expressions of the old man. Insecurity is rooted in the old sinful nature you inherited from Adam through physical birth. Therefore, until you become a new creation in Christ, you cannot successfully deal with or overcome insecurity.

    How do you achieve this?

    Through the New Birth Experience!

    You become a new creation by putting your faith in the person and finished work of Jesus, confessing Him as your Saviour and surrendering to Him as your Lord (Rom. 10:8-10).

    Paul states, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17 NKJV).

    Second, having become a new creation and thus a partaker of God’s holy and loving nature, you must seek to discover who you are and what you have in Christ.

    Your new creation or born-again spirit is identical to Jesus Christ, for “he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” (1 Cor. 6:17 NKJV).

    Therefore, as you grow in the grace and revelation knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, you will begin to discover your true identity in Christ, thereby becoming secure or confident in God’s unfailing love for you, in the person God has made you in Christ, and in your gifting, calling and placement in the body of Christ.

    You will grow in the grace and revelation knowledge of Jesus Christ as you constantly behold His love, glory, power, kindness, patience, faithfulness, and wisdom in the mirror of God’s Word through the help of the Holy Spirit.

    Beloved, the more you see Christ for who He is, the more you will see yourself for who you are in Christ, and the more you will rejoice and be secure in who you are in Christ and what you have in Christ (2 Cor. 3:18, 2 Pet. 3:18).

     

    Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, I am sorry for being insecure in my unique calling and gifting in Christ. My Dear Holy Spirit, teach and help me grow daily in the grace and revelation of Jesus Christ so that I may become more secure in my identity and calling in Christ, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

  • DON’T CAST AWAY YOUR CONFIDENCE

    DON’T CAST AWAY YOUR CONFIDENCE

    “Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.” (Hebrews 10:35-36 NKJV)

     

    John the Baptist was one of the few people in the Bible whose purposes, missions, or callings in life were revealed and declared before they were born. John was born to be the forerunner of Jesus Christ.

    Being filled with the Holy Spirit, Zechariah (the father of John) prophesied concerning him, saying:

    Luke 1:76-79 – NKJV

     76 “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways,

     77 To give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins,

     78 Through the tender mercy of our God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us;

     79 To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

    As John grew up, he devoted himself entirely to his purpose and calling in life. He lived in the wilderness, feeding on locusts and wild honey until the day of his manifestation to Israel.

    John was rightly referred to as “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight.’” (Mark 1:3 NKJV).

    John went into the entire region around Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins to all the people. Multitudes came out to be baptized by John, and he boldly and bluntly charged them to bear fruits worthy of repentance.

    Luke 3:7-8 – NKJV

     7 Then he said to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

     8 “Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.

    According to his purpose in life, John baptized Jesus in Jordan, and he unmistakably identified, pointed out, and proclaimed Jesus as the Messiah, the Saviour, and the Lamb of God who came to take away the sin of the world.

    Besides, John also clearly and publicly testified that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, the One who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.

    John 1:29-34 – NKJV

     29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

     30 “This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’

     31 “I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.”

     32 And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him.

     33 “I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’

     34 “And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.”

    The Lord Jesus rightly described John the Baptist as “the burning and shining lamp” of his generation. The Lord also testified that John was the greatest of all the prophets under the Old Covenant (Luke 7:28).

    But strangely, towards the end of John’s life and ministry, he began to doubt whether Jesus was indeed the true Messiah that the nation of Israel had been waiting for.

    While John was in prison awaiting his execution because he had boldly reproved Herod Antipas for unlawfully taking Herodias, his brother’s wife, John sent two of his disciples to Jesus, asking, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?” (Luke 7:20 NKJV).

    What a strange question!

    What an expression of doubt and unbelief!

    John’s question proceeded from a doubtful or wavering heart. John’s question suggested that he was no longer very sure or confident that Jesus was indeed the true and the promised Messiah, the Son of God.

    This was the same John who had earlier loudly, clearly, and publicly pointed out Jesus among the crowd and proclaimed that Jesus was the Lamb of God, the Messiah, and the Son of God.

    It is wisdom for us today to find out why John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, who was filled with the Holy Spirit from the womb and was said to be the greatest among the prophets of old, could begin to doubt the identity, divinity, or ministry of Jesus whom he had earlier proclaimed as the Son of God, baptized in Jordan and saw the Holy Spirit descending and remaining upon Him.

    The conviction or confidence of John the Baptist about Jesus Christ as the Messiah, the Son of God, began to wane and waver when Jesus didn’t use His supernatural power as John had expected.

    The lifestyle and ministry of Jesus were entirely different from the popular Jewish expectation of the Messiah. John, like other Jews, expected Jesus as the Christ to proclaim Himself as the King of the Jews and lead them to revolt against Roman authority, eventually declaring Israel as an independent state.

    But after spending about a year in prison, John began to reason that if Jesus was indeed the Christ, how come He had not overthrown Herod and released him from the prison?

    John’s greatest shock and disappointment came when Jesus publicly declared that His Kingdom was not of this world and even encouraged paying taxes to Caesar (John 18:36, Matt. 22:21).

    Rather than encouraging or leading the Jews in a military or political revolt against the Roman government, the Lord Jesus encouraged submission to the Roman authority.

    Hearing and seeing that Jesus was not living up to their selfish expectations of the promised Messiah, John began to doubt his earlier God-given convictions and confirmations about Jesus being the true and promised Messiah.

    Like John the Baptist, when it appears that God is not meeting or fulfilling our expectations at our set time and manner, or it seems that God is not using His power to do what we expect Him to do in the way we expect Him to do it, and at the time we expect Him to do it; there is a tendency for us to begin to cast away our confidence in the Person, Nature or Character of God.

    The Jewish nation refused to accept Jesus as their Messiah and King at His first coming because He didn’t use His supernatural power to gratify their selfish desires and meet their wrong expectations.

    Similarly, many people today reject Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord because the Lord would not use His power to satisfy or gratify their selfish desires or lusts.

    God does not exist for our pleasures, attend to our whims and caprices, or gratify our lusts or selfish desires. Rather, God created us for His pleasure. Therefore, we are expected to yield or present ourselves to God as a living sacrifice for His pleasure (Rev. 4:11, Rom. 12:1).

    Paul clearly states, “For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.” (Rom. 11:36 NKJV).

    Friend, like John the Baptist, have you begun to doubt God’s love, faithfulness, and promises because it seems God is not coming through for you or showing forth His power in your situation according to your timing, desire, or expectation?

    The Scripture encourages you not to cast away your confidence in God’s love, faithfulness, and promises.

    Hebrews 10:35-37 – NKJV

     35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.

     36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:

     37 “For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry.

    Although at His first coming into the world, the Lord Jesus did not overthrow Roman’s kingdom and establish His physical Kingdom on earth according to the timing and expectation of John the Baptist and the Jewish nation, yet at His second return, the Lord Jesus will put an end to all rule, all authority, and all power and set up His physical everlasting Kingdom on earth (1 Cor. 15:24).

    Then, it will be declared that “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” (Rev. 11:15 NKJV).

    Beloved, don’t ever cast away your trust or confidence in God’s love for you and faithfulness to keep every promise He has given you.

    Regardless of any crisis or trial you may face in life, hold firmly to your confession of hope and trust in God’s love, faithfulness, and promises to the very end.

    The Scripture assures, “For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry.” (Heb. 10:37 NKJV). 

    Therefore, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” (Heb. 10:23 NKJV).

     

    Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, I believe and confess today that You are ever loving to me and ever faithful to all Your promises. My Dear Holy Spirit, teach and help me hold fast the confession of my faith without wavering until the very end, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

  • CORNERSTONE OR ROCK OF OFFENCE

    CORNERSTONE OR ROCK OF OFFENCE

    “Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against.” (Luke 2:34 NKJV)

     

    When Jesus was brought into the temple as a baby to be dedicated to God according to the Law of Moses, the Holy Spirit came upon Simeon, a just and devout man who had been waiting for the Consolation of Israel and whom God had promised that he would not see death until he had seen the Messiah.

    Then, Simeon took Jesus up in his arms and blessed God, and prophesied thus:

    Luke 2:29-35 – NKJV

     29 “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word;

     30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation

     31 Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,

     32 A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel.”

     33 And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him.

     34 Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against

     35 “(yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

    Simeon’s prophecy wholly conformed to other prophecies in the Scripture about Jesus Christ not just being a chief cornerstone but also a rock of offense or a stumbling stone.

    Isaiah 8:14-16 – NKJV

     14 He will be as a sanctuary, But a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense To both the houses of Israel, As a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

     15 And many among them shall stumble; They shall fall and be broken, Be snared and taken.”

     16 Bind up the testimony, Seal the law among my disciples.

    Isaiah 28:16 – NKJV

     16 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; Whoever believes will not act hastily.

    Like a coin with two sides, the Scripture presents Jesus Christ as a sure and solid foundation for having and enjoying a loving and intimate relationship with God to all those who believe in Him and surrender to His Lordship. This relationship will culminate in an eternity of perfect peace and joy with God in heaven.

    On the other hand, the Scripture also clearly presents Jesus Christ as a rock of offense or stumbling stone to all who reject His Lordship, which will cause their stumbling or fall into an eternity of sorrows, pains, and regrets in hell fire.

    Apostle Peter testifies to this truth.

    1 Peter 2:6-8 – NKJV

     6 Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, “Behold, I lay in Zion A chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”

     7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,”

     8 and “A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.

    While many believers today are enjoying an intimate, loving, and eternal relationship with God through faith in Christ Jesus, many people in the world today are upset or offended by the message of the cross, the gospel of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    A man’s response to the gospel of the grace of Jesus Christ determines whether Jesus will be a cornerstone or a rock of offense to him.

    When a man receives, believes, and embraces the gospel of the grace of Jesus Christ, he will have Jesus Christ as a cornerstone and will not be put to shame in this life and eternity (1 Pet. 2:6).

    However, anyone who continually rejects the gospel of the grace of Jesus Christ and refuses to trust entirely in the finished work of Jesus but seeks to have a close and loving relationship with God on his self-righteousness, good works, or performance will have Jesus as a stumbling stone and a rock of offense, and eventually, fall and perish (1 Pet. 2:8).

    The Lord Jesus became a stumbling stone and a rock of offense to the Jewish nation because they rejected Him as their Messiah and King.

    1 Corinthians 1:21-24 – NKJV

     21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

     22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom;

     23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness,

     24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

    At His first coming into the world, the Lord Jesus manifested as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29 NKJV).

    As the Lamb of God, the Scripture bears witness that “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth.” (Isa. 53:7 NKJV).

    But at His second coming, the Lord Jesus will manifest as the King of kings and the Lord of Lords. In righteousness, He will judge and make war. His eyes will be like a flame of fire, and out of His mouth will go a sharp sword that will strike all the nations which rejected Him, and they will bow before Him, and He will rule them with a rod of iron (Rev. 19:11-16).

    Beloved, if you despise and reject the Lord Jesus today as the Lamb of God – God’s perfect atoning sacrifice for your sins–you will face and receive His fierce wrath and judgment at His second return as the Lion of the tribe of Judah.

    Rejecting Jesus Christ today as your Saviour is meeting Him at the end of the dispensation of grace as your Judge (John 5:22). If you continue to reject Jesus Christ as a sure and precious foundation unto eternal life, you will later have Jesus Christ as a stumbling stone unto eternal damnation.

    Rejecting Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord imply rejecting life and embracing death. It is rejecting God’s mercy and embracing God’s judgment. It is rejecting eternal salvation and embracing eternal destruction (Luke 20:18).

    John sternly warns:

    John 3:18, 36 – NKJV

    18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

    36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.

    Friend, it is only in this life that you have the opportunity to choose who Jesus Christ would be to you. After this life, you don’t have such an opportunity again. All that is left for you is to face, receive and embrace the consequences of your choice.

    Choose wisely today by choosing to receive and believe the gospel of the grace of Jesus Christ. If you accept, believe in, and confess Jesus Christ today as your Saviour and surrender to Him as your Lord, you will reign with Him in this life and eternity (Rom. 5:17).

     

    Prayer: My Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I choose You today as my Saviour and surrender to You as my Lord. I embrace and proclaim You as my precious stone and a sure foundation unto eternal life, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

  • A WICKED AND FAITHLESS GENERATION

    A WICKED AND FAITHLESS GENERATION

    “A wicked and faithless generation are eager for a sign; but none shall be given to them except the sign of Jonah.” and He left them and went away.” (Matthew 16:4 WNT)

     

    After the Lord Jesus Christ had miraculously fed four thousand hungry men besides women and children with seven loaves and the fish, the Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus. They requested a sign from heaven from Him to prove to them that He was indeed the Messiah they had been waiting for.

    How did Jesus respond to their request for a supernatural sign before they would believe and receive Him as their Messiah?

    Did Jesus jump at, seize, or grab the opportunity and perform supernatural signs and wonders to prove to them that He was indeed the Messiah, the Anointed One? Not at all!

    Rather than granting the request of these religious men or gratifying their desire for a supernatural sign, the Lord Jesus rebuked them bluntly, saying, “A wicked and faithless generation are eager for a sign; but none shall be given to them except the sign of Jonah.” and He left them and went away.” (Matt. 16:4 WNT).

    The Lord Jesus undoubtedly had and still has the power to perform great signs and wonders as He wills. The Scripture is replete with miracles, healings, signs, and wonders performed by Jesus.

    Not all the mighty works done by Jesus were recorded in the Bible.

    John 20:30 – NKJV

    30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book.

    John 21:22 – NKJV

    21 And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.

    The miraculous works of Jesus recorded in the Bible confirm and testify to the truth that Jesus is indeed the Christ, the Son of God. They are undoubtedly sufficient evidence for anyone to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and, through believing, receive everlasting life in His name (John 20:31).

    Many Old Testament prophets had to perform great signs and wonders before the people authenticated their calling, ministry, or message. They had to prove or demonstrate to the unbelieving Jews that God sent them.

    Moses and Aaron had to perform many signs before the children of Israel to believe and receive them as God’s servants sent for their deliverance.

    Exodus 4:29-31 – NKJV

     29 Then Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel.

     30 And Aaron spoke all the words which the LORD had spoken to Moses. Then he did the signs in the sight of the people.

     31 So the people believed; and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel and that He had looked on their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshiped.

    Elijah had to call down fire from heaven to consume the water-soaked sacrifice on Mount Carmel to demonstrate to the backsliding nation of Israel that he was indeed God’s servant and was acting on God’s instructions.

    1 Kings 18:36 – NKJV

     36 And it came to pass, at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said, “LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word.

    Samuel also had to call down rain and thunder during the wheat harvest for the children of Israel to know that they had sinned against God by asking for a king.

    1 Samuel 12:16-18 – NKJV

     16 “Now therefore, stand and see this great thing which the LORD will do before your eyes:

     17 “Is today not the wheat harvest? I will call to the LORD, and He will send thunder and rain, that you may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which you have done in the sight of the LORD, in asking a king for yourselves.”

     18 So Samuel called to the LORD, and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day; and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel.

    Why would the Lord Jesus not perform any sign or wonder to authenticate or validate His person and ministry when the religious leaders requested a sign from Him so that they may believe in Him?

    It is wisdom for us to find out!

    First, the Lord Jesus refused to perform any new sign for His skeptics to believe and receive Him as their Messiah because they already had ample signs that He was indeed the Messiah, the Son of God.

    Before the birth of Jesus, God had sent many prophets or messengers to the Jews who gave many prophecies about Jesus Christ and performed ample signs and wonders before the people to authenticate their messages and ministries (Isa. 7:10-14, Heb. 2:1-4).

    The last prophet God sent to the nation of Israel was John the Baptist. He unmistakably bore witness to the person and purpose of Jesus. Before the entire country, He pointed Jesus out as “the Lamb of God,” sent to carry away the whole world’s sin.

    John 1:29-32 – NKJV

     29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

     30 “This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’

     31 “I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.”

     32 And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him.

    Besides the prophecies and miraculous signs given by the prophets of old to prove to the Jews that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, God the Father also spoke clearly from heaven to confirm that Jesus was indeed His Beloved Son.

    Matthew 3:16-17 – NKJV

     16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.

     17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

    Nevertheless, the Jewish religious leaders would not believe and receive Jesus Christ as the Son of God and their Messiah.

    The Lord Jesus bluntly refused to perform any supernatural sign to convince the Jewish religious leaders that He was indeed the Messiah because the Lord knew that no new sign or wonder would cure their unbelief or melt the hardness of their hearts.

    Second, the Lord Jesus did not grant the request of the Jewish religious leaders, whom He referred to as a wicked and faithless generation, for a supernatural sign from Him before they would believe in Him because He would not have their faith be based on any miraculous signs, but on God’s Word alone.

    The Word of God is the only tried, tested, firm and sure foundation for a victorious Christian life!

    Psalms 12:6-7 – NKJV

    6 The words of the LORD are pure words, like silver tried in a furnace of earth, Purified seven times. You shall keep them, O LORD,

    7 You shall preserve them from this generation forever.

    Signs and wonders offer no solid foundation to build your Christian life upon, for they don’t endure forever, “but the word of the LORD endures forever.” (1 Pet. 1:25 NKJV).

    Therefore, if you base your Christian life upon some spiritual experiences, miraculous signs, or wonders, you will become unstable and eventually fall into errors.

    Lastly, the Lord Jesus would not encourage seeking signs and wonders because they could be misleading, for the devil and his agents can also perform great signs and wonders.

    The Scripture sternly warns that many false “christs” and false prophets will arise in the last days and perform great signs and wonders to deceive many people.

    Matthew 24:23-25 – NKJV

     23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it.

     24 “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

     25 “See, I have told you beforehand.

    Beloved, it is unwise and unsafe to seek some supernatural signs and wonders before you believe, receive and obey God’s Word.

    Seeking supernatural signs and wonders to validate God’s Word will make you vulnerable to deception, exploitation, and manipulation of false prophets and apostles parading themselves as God’s servants today.

    It is unsafe to conclude that God is present wherever and whenever you see miracles, signs, and wonders. Many false prophets and apostles today perform signs and wonders but not by God’s Spirit (Rev. 16:13-14).

    We are now in days of subtle deceptions!

    Therefore, if you seek miracles, signs, and wonders, you may be deceived, defiled, defrauded, and dominated by false prophets and apostles, transforming themselves into prophets and apostles of Christ to deceive and defraud the gullible and the undiscerning.

    2 Corinthians 11:13-15 – NKJV

     13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.

     14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.

     15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

    So, don’t be deceived!

    Stop seeking after signs and wonders!

     

    Prayer: My Dear Holy Spirit, teach and help me to discern and escape the subtle deceptions, manipulations, and exploitations of false prophets and apostles parading themselves as prophets and apostles of Christ in these last days, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

  • OCCUPY TILL I COME

    OCCUPY TILL I COME

    “And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.” (Luke 19:13 KJV)

     

    The expectation of the early disciples of Jesus who accepted and regarded Him as the Messiah was that He would immediately exert His supernatural power and authority to deliver the Jewish nation from the dominion of the Romans, overthrow the Roman kingdom, and set up His own physical Kingdom in Jerusalem, thereby fulfilling the prophecy about the Messiah establishing His physical Kingdom on earth with His headquarters in Jerusalem.

    However, on His way to Jerusalem, the Lord Jesus corrected this wrong notion about the Messiah establishing His physical Kingdom on earth at His first coming by giving a parable about a certain nobleman who went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then returns (Luke 19:11-27).

    But before the nobleman left, he called his ten servants, delivered them ten pounds, and said to them, “Occupy till I come.” But his citizens hated him and sent a message after him, saying, “We will not have this man to reign over us.”

    When this nobleman returned, having received the kingdom, he commanded His servants to whom he had given the money to be called so that he might know what they had gained by trading. Sadly, one of the servants did nothing with the money he had received but kept it away in a napkin.

    Having rebuked this lazy servant, the nobleman ordered what he had to be taken away from him and given to the faithful servant. Afterward, the nobleman commanded, “But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them and slay them before me.’” (Luke 19:27 NKJV).

    What are the spiritual implications and lessons in this parable?

    They are worth finding out!

    First, the nobleman in the parable who went into a far country to receive a kingdom for himself and then returned to reward his faithful servants and punish all those who hated him and rejected his rule represents the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Although the Lord Jesus had received all authority in heaven and on earth at His first coming, He will not fully exert this authority to punish all those who hate Him and reject His rule or to forcefully put them into subjection under His feet until the end of the dispensation of the grace when He returns to establish His physical Kingdom on earth (Matt. 28:18, Eph. 1:10, Heb. 2:8-9).

    Second, the nobleman’s citizens who hated him and rejected his rule represent the Jewish nation and the unsaved world in general. The Jewish nation vehemently hated and rejected the Lord Jesus at His first coming as their Messiah and King.

    During the trial of Jesus, Pilate said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” But they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!” Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus and led Him away.” (John 19:14-16 NKJV).

    John also testifies, “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” (John 1:11-12 NKJV).

    At His second return, the Lord Jesus will fully exert His authority as the LORD of ALL to forcefully bring into subjection under His feet all His enemies and to punish with everlasting punishment all those who hated and rejected Him as their Lord and Saviour. The end of the haters and rejecters of Jesus Christ will be very terrible (Luke 19:27, Matt. 25:46).

    Third, when the nobleman in the parable returned, he began the judgment at his house with his servants to whom he had entrusted his resources. He commanded all his servants to be brought before him so they might give him an account of their works. He rewarded the faithful but punished the unfaithful and lazy servants (Luke 19:15-26).

    Similarly, at the second return of the Lord Jesus, the judgment will begin at the household of God, with the believers to whom God had entrusted His resources or gifts.

    1 Peter 4:17-18 – NKJV

     17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?

     18 Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?”

    The purpose of the believers appearing before the judgment seat of Christ is not to determine their eternal destination but their rewards for their works or labors towards the growth and expansion of God’s Kingdom on earth.

    The faithful believers will be fully rewarded, but the unfaithful and slothful believers will suffer a significant loss.

    2 Corinthians 5:10 – NKJV

    10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

    1 Corinthians 3:13-15 – NKJV

    13 Each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.

    14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.

    15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

    Beloved, while waiting for the second return of the Lord Jesus Christ to subjugate or quash every rebellion against His authority and establish His everlasting physical Kingdom on earth, the Lord expects you to occupy till He comes, proclaiming and demonstrating His preeminence or Lordship.

    Wherever the Lord has placed or positioned you, the Lord expects you to continue His ministry there, proclaiming and demonstrating the Lordship or preeminence of Jesus Christ (John 17:18, 20:21).

    As a born-again believer, you are not supposed to be waiting passively for the return of the Lord Jesus, making no profit or bearing no fruit from the grace of God you have received from the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Paul admonishes, “We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain.” (2 Cor. 6:1 NKJV).

    Every believer is a partaker or recipient of the grace of God!

    Paul affirms, “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” (Eph. 4:7 NKJV).

    Friend, if you are not actively involved in mission, evangelism, or soul-winning, in maturing the believers, edifying the Church, and proclaiming or demonstrating the preeminence of Christ on earth, you have received the grace of God in vain, and you will miss a great reward at the Lord’s return.

    Therefore, arise today to begin to labor diligently or faithfully in God’s Kingdom according to the grace of God you have received.

    Paul admonishes us to serve God with the unique divine abilities that He has given us.

    Romans 12:6-8 – NKJV

     6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;

     7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching;

     8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. (NKJV).

    Beloved, the Lord Jesus Christ is calling you today to arise and occupy till He comes!

     

    Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the unique gift You have given me. My Dear Holy Spirit, teach and help me discover, develop and deploy this gift for God’s glory and the growth and edification of the body of Christ on earth, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

  • GOD’S ULTIMATE PLAN

    GOD’S ULTIMATE PLAN

    “And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ – everything in heaven and on earth.” (Eph. 1:10 NLT)

     

    All things in heaven and on earth, visible or invisible, were created by the Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God.

    John 1:1-3 – NKJV

     1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

     2 He was in the beginning with God.

     3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

    Not only were all things created by the Lord Jesus, all things were created for Him, and all things are also being held together by Him.

    Paul attests to this truth.

    Colossians 1:15-17 – NLT

    15 Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,

    16 for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see – such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him.

    17 He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.

    When God created Adam in His image, He gave him dominion over all the works of His hand. But when Adam yielded himself to obey the voice of Satan, he relinquished man’s right to rule on earth to Satan, thereby making all men and all things under man’s authority submissive and subservient to Satan.

    Hence, Satan’s boasting to Jesus.

    Luke 4:5-7 – NKJV

     5 Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.

     6 And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.

     7 “Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.”

    Yielding to sin is yielding to Satan, the author of sin. So, by yielding to sin, Adam submitted himself to Satan and thus led all creations into slavery under Satan.

    Romans 6:16 – RSV

    16 Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to any one as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?

    Just as all things were separated from God through the disobedience of the first Adam, all things have now been reconciled or restored to God through the obedience and sacrifice of the last Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Paul aptly explains this truth in his epistles.

    2 Corinthians 5:18-19 – NKJV

     18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,

     19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

    Colossians 1:19-22 – NKJV

     19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell,

     20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

     21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled

     22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight–

    Having defeated and spoiled Satan and his cohorts through His death on the cross, the Lord Jesus Christ has received all authority in heaven and on earth.

    Just before His Ascension, Jesus boldly said to His disciples, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” (Matt. 28:18 NKJV).

    Satan and his demons have no more legal right, power, or authority to rule on earth. Jesus has disarmed them and taken all authority from them through the cross.

    Paul testifies, “He rid himself of all the Powers of Evil, and held them up to open contempt, when he celebrated his triumph over them on the cross!” (Col. 2:15 TCNT).

    All things in heaven and on earth are now under the dominion and authority of the victorious Lord Jesus Christ. The Scripture teaches and emphasizes the preeminence of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    The Lord Jesus undoubtedly has received all authority in heaven and on earth. God, the Father, has highly exalted Jesus and gave Him the name above every name.

    Philippians 2:8-11 – NKJV

     8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

     9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,

     10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,

     11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

    The Lord Jesus is presently seated at God’s right hand in the heavenly places, “far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church.” (Eph. 1:20-22 NKJV).

    While it is true that all things have been put in subjection under the feet of the Lord Jesus; however, we do not yet see all things in subjection to Him.

    Hebrews 2:8 – NKJV

    8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet.” For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him.

    Many peoples, nations, rulers, authorities, or governments still don’t recognize or surrender to the Lordship of Jesus.

    Many people in the world still disbelieve, disdain, or discard the incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, or divinity of Jesus. In history, many people have even claimed to be Jesus the Messiah.

    Although Christ has received all authority over all things, not all things are now seen under His feet. That is because Christ has not exerted His authority to forcefully bring all things in subjection under His feet.

    However, God’s ultimate plan is to bring everything together in heaven and on earth under the headship, Lordship, or authority of the Lord Jesus Christ so “that in all things He may have the preeminence.” (Col. 1:18 NKJV).

    Paul states, “And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ – everything in heaven and on earth.” (Eph. 1:10 NLT).

    That is God’s final, supreme, or greatest plan and purpose for all things. All other things are secondary to this plan. This is the ultimate end of all things that God has created. God is working all things together towards achieving His ultimate end or plan.

    Whether you know it or not, whether you believe it or not, whether you want it or not, God will forcefully bring everything together under the authority of Christ at the end of this dispensation of grace.

    For it is written, “As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” (Rom. 14:11 NKJV).

    The ultimate end of all rule and all authority, dominion, and power is very near!

    Revelation 11:15 – NKJV

    15 Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!

    1 Corinthians 15:24 – NKJV

    24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.

    Beloved, what is your role in this ultimate plan of God?

    God expects you to embrace, proclaim, and demonstrate the preeminence of Jesus Christ in all things! How?

    First, by you willingly, deliberately, joyfully, unreservedly, and continuously submitting or surrendering your life and all that you have under the Lordship of Jesus Christ!

    Second, by teaching, preaching, and proclaiming the preeminence or Lordship of Jesus Christ over all things!

    Lastly, by demonstrating and manifesting the preeminence or Lordship of Jesus Christ through healing the sick, cleansing the lepers, raising the dead, and casting out demons in the name of Jesus.

    Jesus said, “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” (Matt. 10:7-8 NKJV).  

    Friend, arise today to embrace, proclaim, and demonstrate the preeminence or Lordship of Christ over all things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible.

    This is your role in God’s ultimate plan and purpose!

     

    Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for revealing your ultimate plan for all things to me today. My Dear Holy Spirit, teach and help me play and fulfill my active role in God’s supreme plan and purpose, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

  • NO, LORD!

    NO, LORD!

    “And there came a voice to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” But Peter said, “No, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” (Acts 10:13-14 RSV)

     

    Peter was undoubtedly one of the closest disciples of Jesus Christ. He was undoubtedly the most zealous and outspoken one among the chosen twelve disciples who followed Jesus Christ everywhere during His earthly ministry.

    When the Lord Jesus called Peter to follow Him, he promptly left all his fishing boats and nets to follow Jesus.

    Matthew 4:18-20 – NKJV

     18 And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.

     19 Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

     20 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.

    Moreover, when the band of soldiers and the officers of the Jews came to arrest Jesus, it was Peter who rose to defend the Lord Jesus by drawing out his sword to strike and cut off the right ear of the high priest’s servant.

    John 18:10-11 – NKJV

     10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.

     11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?”

    Peter’s love for Jesus was genuine and earnest. He was indeed willing to risk his life for Jesus’ sake.

    On the day of Pentecost, having been filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter boldly testified to the multitude who had gathered at the instance of the miraculous descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples in the upper room, saying, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” (Acts 2:36 NKJV).

    As a result of Peter’s sermon on Pentecost, three thousand souls were saved, baptized, and added to the Church.

    After the miraculous healing of the lame man at the temple gate called Beautiful by Peter, he was arrested alongside John. When the rulers and elders of the Jews queried Peter, asking, “By what power or by what name have you done this?”

    Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, boldly replied, “Let it be known to you all, and all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole.” (Acts 4:10 NKJV).

    Even when Peter and John were sternly threatened, warned, and commanded by the rulers and elders of Israel that they should never again speak nor teach in the name of Jesus, Peter with John sharply responded, saying, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. “For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:19-20 NKJV).

    Surprisingly, there came a time when Peter refused to obey a clear command and instruction of the Lord Jesus, whom he loved dearly and had boldly declared and preached to the multitude as the Lord and Christ.

    What could have come upon Peter?

    What could have hardened Peter’s mind against his Lord?

    It is indeed wisdom for us today to find out why Peter would not gladly want to obey the Lord Jesus for whose sake he had endured much persecution.

    After raising Tabitha from the dead, Peter stayed in Joppa for many days with Simon, a tanner. One day while Peter was praying on the housetop, he fell into a trance.

    Acts 10:9-16 – RSV

     9 The next day, as they were on their journey and coming near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour.

     10 And he became hungry and desired something to eat; but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance

     11 and saw the heaven opened, and something descending, like a great sheet, let down by four corners upon the earth.

     12 In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air.

     13 And there came a voice to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.”

     14 But Peter said, “No, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.”

     15 And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has cleansed, you must not call common.”

     16 This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven.

    Peter certainly knew that the Lord Jesus was saying to him in a trance, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” Nevertheless, he refused to obey the Lord’s clear command and instruction.

    Even though Peter was given the opportunity three times to repent and obey the Lord’s voice, his constant response to the Lord’s voice was, “No, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.”

    What a shocking surprise!

    Peter’s blunt refusal to obey the Lord’s voice in a trance resulted from his allegiance or adherence to the Mosaic law, which forbids the Jews from eating any common or unclean animal (Lev. 11:4, 20:25).

    Although Peter was rebuked in a trance for calling common or unclean what God has cleansed, he chose to cling to his former religious beliefs, rules, and rites.

    Peter’s unwillingness to stand fast in the liberty by which Christ has made him free from the bondage of the law was the cause of his disobedience to the Lord three times on the same issue.

    Even though the Lord Jesus had taught Peter that it is not what goes into a man’s mouth that defiles him but the things that proceed out of a man’s mouth, Peter chose to remain under the yoke of the law (Matt. 15:17-20, Gal. 5:1).

    When it was the appointed time for God’s Kingdom to advance to the Gentiles, the Lord offered Peter a prominent role in His new plan, but his allegiance to the Mosaic laws caused him to reject the Lord’s offer.

    Similarly, many believers today are not walking in God’s purposes for their lives because of their allegiance or adherence to some religious laws, rules, rites, traditions, or culture.

    As seen in the life of Peter, it is impossible to fully embrace the gospel of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ without renouncing your allegiance or adherence to vain religion, human philosophy, culture, or tradition that are contrary to the doctrine or teaching of Jesus Christ in the New Testament.

    The Mosaic Law teaches that eating an unclean or common animal defiles a man. On the contrary, the Lord Jesus teaches, “Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.” (Matt. 15:11 NKJV).

    Sadly, Peter chose to submit to the law rather than walk in the liberty of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Like Peter, many born-again believers today still ignorantly yield their necks under the yokes of religious rules, rituals, and human traditions rather than walking in the liberty by which Jesus Christ has set them free from the Old Testament rules, rituals, or sacrifices.

    Paul warns the Galatian Christians of the danger of yielding themselves again under the yoke of the Mosaic Law.

    Galatians 5:1-4 – NKJV

     1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

     2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing.

     3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.

     4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

    All the Old Testament rules, offerings, rituals, or ceremonies are a copy or shadow of the good things to come. They are not the real things God intended for the New Testament believers.

    Jesus Christ is the substance or the reality!

    Hebrews 10:1 – NKJV

     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.

    Colossians 2:17 – NLT

    17 For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ Himself is that reality.

    Therefore, your adherence or allegiance to them is baseless, useless, or profitless. It is like someone chasing after a shadow; it is simply a waste of time and effort.

    Faith in the grace of the Lord Jesus (the finished work of Jesus) alone brings God’s salvation and blessings.

    Romans 10:4 – NKJV

    4 Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

    Jesus Christ is the ultimate fulfillment of all the Old Testament rules, rituals, or sacrifices. Therefore, the born-again believers are not expected to subject themselves to the Old Testament rites.

    Colossians 2:20-23 – NKJV

     20 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations–

     21 “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,”

     22 which all concern things which perish with the using–according to the commandments and doctrines of men?

     23 These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.

    Beloved, you have become dead to the law of sin and death through the body of Christ. Therefore, don’t put your neck under the yoke of the Mosaic law or any religious rule, human tradition, or culture that is contrary to the teaching of Christ (Rom. 7:1-5, 8:1-4).

    Romans 7:4-6 – NKJV

     4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another–to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.

     5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death.

     6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.

    Therefore, arise today to walk in the complete liberty of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, serving the Lord in the newness of the Spirit.

    Colossians 2:16-17 – NKJV

     16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths,

     17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.

     

    Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for setting me free from the law of sin and death through the body of Jesus. Today, I renounce my allegiance to every religious rule, ritual, or tradition that will hinder me from walking in the complete liberty of the gospel of the grace of my Lord Jesus Christ, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

  • THE MOMENT OF TRANSFORMATION

    THE MOMENT OF TRANSFORMATION

    “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV)

     

    Prayer is not intended to be a means of changing God’s mind or attitude towards you. When you pray with the sole aim of seeking to coax, persuade, impress, or compel God to change His mind or attitude towards you, you are simply praying amiss.

    Seeking to impress or compel God to do anything for you through prayer is a complete departure or deviation from grace to works; it is simply a shift of faith from the finished work of Jesus to your imperfect religious works.

    The Lord Jesus has abolished once and for all the enmity between God and sinful men by His sacrificial death on the cross for our sins.

    Ephesians 2:13-16 – NKJV

     13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

     14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,

     15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace,

     16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.

    On the cross, the Lord Jesus bore our sins in His own body, and through His shed blood, the Lord Jesus had wiped out “the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” (Col. 2:14 NKJV).

    As a result of the perfect and finished work of reconciliation of Jesus, God’s mind and attitude are forever changed toward us. God is no longer mad or angry with any sinner, for God’s anger against sinners has been appeased by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

    Your prayers or any other religious works you do cannot win or earn God’s love, acceptance, approval, favor, or blessings for you.

    Nothing pleases God as faith in the person and finished work of Jesus alone. When you trust the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work, you are wholly pleasing or acceptable to God (Eph. 1:6).

    God loves the born-again believers in Christ just as He loves His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ (John 17:23).

    God sees the born-again believers in Christ (as holy, righteous, blameless, and above reproach) just as He sees Jesus Christ; “because as He is, so are we in this world.” (1 John 4:17 NKJV).

    Therefore, it is simply a sheer ignorance or unbelief for any born-again believer to employ prayer to seek to change God’s mind in his favor.

    As a believer in Christ, you have found great favor in God’s sight by trusting in the Saviour He sent into the world, the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:1-2).

    Prayer is not intended as “an almighty formula” for solving all life’s problems. Neither is it intended to be a means of getting quick fixes when in a dire emergency.

    Instead, prayer is supposed to be a loving and intimate fellowship or communion with our loving heavenly Father.

    Therefore, above anything else, when we pray, our focus should primarily be on enjoying an intimate and loving fellowship or communion with our loving Heavenly Father.

    Everything else is secondary!

    Sadly, many believers today are completely ignorant of the primary purpose of prayer. In our days, prayers have been reduced to petitioning God or wrestling with the devil. How sad!

    The purpose of prayer is infinitely greater than these – petitioning God and binding demons.

    God created us to have a loving and intimate relationship, fellowship, or communion with Him in His image. Prayer is a means of accomplishing this purpose.

    When you mainly regard prayer as a time to ask and receive things from God or just as a time to fight with the devil, your prayer will bring no transformation into your life.

    This is why many believers are not being changed progressively into Christlikeness despite much praying.

    But when you rightly regard the time of prayer as principally a time of enjoying intimacy with your loving Heavenly Father, your primary focus will be on God and not just on the things you want to ask or receive from God, and not on the devil you want to fight or bind.

    Being preoccupied with God’s love, glory, beauty, splendor, wisdom, power, goodness, and faithfulness in your time of prayer will undoubtedly transform you into the image of Christ, from glory to glory (2 Cor. 3:18).

    Jesus’s moment of transfiguration happened not while He was preaching but while enjoying intimacy with His Father.

    Luke 9:28-35 – NKJV

     28 Now it came to pass, about eight days after these sayings, that He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray.

     29 As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening.

     30 And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah,

     31 who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.

     32 But Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep; and when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men who stood with Him.

     33 Then it happened, as they were parting from Him, that Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah” –not knowing what he said.

     34 While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were fearful as they entered the cloud.

     35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!”  

    The place of prayer is, therefore, the place of transformation. The time of prayer is a moment of change. The Spirit of God will transform you increasingly into the image of Christ in your mind, thoughts, emotions, and actions as you focus and meditate increasingly on the glory of Christ while praying.

    Beloved, the Lord Jesus is calling you today to begin to see your time of prayer not principally as a time to change God’s mind toward you or your situation but rather as a time to enjoy intimacy with your heavenly Father and thus be transformed more into Christlikeness.

    Therefore, while praying, stop focusing primarily on your needs, challenges, or battles, but focus on God’s love, glory, faithfulness, and goodness.

    Focusing primarily on yourself (your needs, challenges, or situations) in your prayer time will not transform or change you. It is focusing, contemplating, musing, or meditating on God’s love, glory, power, wisdom, nature, or character that will transform your life.

    2 Corinthians 3:18 – NIV

    18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

    Therefore, don’t reduce your time of prayer to only a time of petitioning God for some things or to a time of wrestling with the devil. Instead, begin to spend most of your time in prayer to relish and contemplate God’s love, glory, power, goodness, and faithfulness.

    You will be amazed at the transformation into Christlikeness you will experience in your life.

     

    Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for revealing to me today the primary purpose of prayer. My Dear Holy Spirit, teach and help me daily to spend most of my time in prayer to relish and meditate on God’s love, glory, power, goodness, and faithfulness, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

  • YOU ARE BLAMELESS IN GOD’S SIGHT

    YOU ARE BLAMELESS IN GOD’S SIGHT

    “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight.” (Colossians 1:21-22 NKJV)

     

    Your perception is your reality in life. How you see yourself will ultimately affect your relationship with others. More importantly, how you perceive God will affect how you relate with God and how you receive from God.

    Your perception influences your prayers. How you see yourself or think God sees you go a long way to affect how you approach God and your confidence towards God. Therefore, you need to see yourself as God sees you in Christ Jesus.

    The Scripture amply states that believers in Christ have been sanctified, made holy, or set apart from sin unto God through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ on the cross.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11 – NKJV

     9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,

     10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

     11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

    Colossians 1:21-23 – NKJV

     21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled

     22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight–

     23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.

    Hebrews 10:10-14 – KJV

     10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

     11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:

     12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

     13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.

     14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

    Sadly, many believers today are still totally ignorant of the gospel truth that they are holy, blameless, above reproach, and pleasing or acceptable to God in Christ. Consequently, they are constantly striving and struggling in vain to be holy, pleasing, or acceptable to God.

    Without you knowing, believing, and accepting the truth of God’s Word that you have been washed, justified, sanctified, or made holy by the finished work of Jesus Christ, you will continue to struggle in vain to attain or obtain holiness.

    Paul reveals in his epistles that no one can attain or obtain righteousness or holiness by his efforts or the works of the law.

    Galatians 2:16-17 – NKJV

     16 “knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

     17 “But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not!

    Romans 9:30-32 – NKJV

     30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith;

     31 but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness.

     32 Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone.

    As a born-again believer in Christ, you are not yet perfect or fully conformed to Christ in your body, will, mind, thoughts, emotions, actions, or character. However, you are presently perfect or fully conformed to Christ in your born-again spirit, for “he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” (1 Cor. 6:17 NKJV).

    While your body and soul are still awaiting perfection or full redemption at the second coming of Christ, your recreated spirit has been perfected – fully redeemed and transformed into the image of Christ (Rom. 8:23, Phil. 3:20-21, 1 Pet. 1:9, 1 John 3:2).

    While your vile or lowly body will be transformed so that it may be conformed to the glorious and resurrected body of Jesus Christ and your soul will be perfected at the second return of Christ; however, you will not receive a new spirit. Why?

    Because your born-again spirit is already in a state of perfection!

    You are already one spirit with Christ!

    You presently have the spirit you will have throughout eternity. Your born-again spirit is identical to the Spirit of Christ (1 Cor. 15:47-49).

    Your born-again spirit is presently pure, perfect, blameless, and above reproach in God’s sight. Your recreated spirit is without sin and can never be defiled by sin, for it has been sealed with the Holy Spirit.

    Ephesians 1:13-14 – NKJV

     13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,

     14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

    1 John 3:9 – RSV

    9 No one born of God commits sin; for God’s nature abides in him, and he cannot sin because he is born of God.

    It is your born-again spirit that has God’s nature!

    While people only see you for who you are in the flesh and therefore only judge, treat, or deal with you based on the person you are in the flesh, God does not. Why?

    Because God does not see as men see!

    1 Samuel 16:7 – NKJV

    7 For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.  

    God is Spirit. God sees and focuses primarily on who you are in the spirit – holy, righteous, perfect, blameless, and above reproach in Christ. God deals with you as such.

    Colossians 1:21-22 – NKJV

     21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled

     22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight–

    Understanding that God does not see you or seek to deal with you based on who you are in the flesh but on who you are in the spirit (holy, righteous, perfect, blameless, and above reproach in Christ) will radically change your disposition or attitude towards God.

    It will also wholly eradicate or eliminate fear, shame, guilt, or condemnation from your heart when you stand in God’s presence.

    The devil primarily applies, employs, or uses fear, shame, guilt, or condemnation to hold you back from standing boldly in God’s presence and from receiving and appropriating the benefits or blessings of the finished work of Jesus Christ.

    When you choose to focus on who you are in the flesh, you are carnally minded or walking after the flesh, and the devil will find many things he can use to condemn you because you are not without sin in your flesh.

    But when you choose to focus on who you are in the spirit (holy, righteous, perfect, blameless, and above reproach in Christ), you are spiritually minded or walking according to the Spirit, and the devil cannot find anything he can accuse you of because you are without sin in your spirit.

    Beloved, you will not enjoy God’s best for your life if you choose to be preoccupied with who you are in the flesh and not who you are in the spirit – in Christ Jesus.

    When you are preoccupied or obsessed with your sins, shortcomings, failures, imperfections, or weaknesses in the flesh, you are self-conscious and self-centered, and not Christ-conscious and Christ-centered.

    When you are preoccupied with who you are in the flesh, you will only regard your time of prayer as a time of wrestling with an unwilling God for blessing or petitioning a callous Judge for divine intervention.

    However, when you are preoccupied with who you are in the spirit (your identity in Christ), you will look forward to a time of prayer as a time of enjoying a loving and intimate fellowship or communion with your loving and gracious Heavenly Father.

    Friend, God would have you begin to see yourself as He sees you in Christ—holy, righteous, perfect, blameless, and above reproach in His sight. God loves and accepts you entirely in Christ despite your shortcomings, failures, imperfections, or weaknesses in the flesh.

    While you are progressively transformed into the image of Christ in your will, mind, emotions, and actions, and waiting for the transformation of your body at the second return of Christ, don’t neglect or despise the truth that you are now fully conformed to Christ in your spirit. So you are holy, righteous, perfect, blameless, and above reproach in God’s sight.

    God is certainly not ignorant of your sins, struggles, shortcomings, failures, imperfections, or weaknesses in the flesh; however, He has chosen not to deal with you based on whom you are in the flesh but based on who you are in Christ – holy, righteous, perfect, blameless and above reproach (Heb. 8:12).

    Therefore, embrace your true identity in Christ today and begin to see yourself as God sees you in Christ—holy, righteous, perfect, blameless, and above reproach (Col. 1:21-22).

     

    Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for choosing not to deal with me based on who I am in the flesh but on who I am in Christ Jesus. My Dear Holy Spirit, teach and help me begin to think, speak and act in conformity with my true identity in Christ, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

  • THE RACE IS NOT TO THE SWIFT

    THE RACE IS NOT TO THE SWIFT

    “I returned and saw under the sun that – The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favour to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.” (Ecclesiastes 9:11 NKJV)

     

    When Ben-Hadad, king of Syria, gathered all his army and went up and besieged Samaria, it resulted in a great famine in the city. The famine was so severe that women started to boil and eat their children.

    2 Kings 6:24-30 – NKJV

     24 And it happened after this that Ben-Hadad king of Syria gathered all his army, and went up and besieged Samaria.

     25 And there was a great famine in Samaria; and indeed they besieged it until a donkey’s head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and one-fourth of a kab of dove droppings for five shekels of silver.

     26 Then, as the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried out to him, saying, “Help, my lord, O king!”

     27 And he said, “If the LORD does not help you, where can I find help for you? From the threshing floor or from the winepress?”

     28 Then the king said to her, “What is troubling you?” And she answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow.’

     29 “So we boiled my son, and ate him. And I said to her on the next day, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him’; but she has hidden her son.”

     30 Now it happened, when the king heard the words of the woman, that he tore his clothes; and as he passed by on the wall, the people looked, and there underneath he had sackcloth on his body.

    But when God had mercy upon His people, He caused the Syrian army to hear behind them the noise of chariots and the noise of horses (the noise of a great army), and so fled for their lives.

    On hearing the noise of a great army coming behind them, the Syrians said to one another, “Look, the King of Israel had hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians to attack us!” Therefore they arose and fled at twilight, and left the camp intact – their tents, their horses, and their donkeys – and they fled for their lives.” (2 Kings 7:6-7 NKJV).

    Though the LORD had put the army of the Syrians to flight and thus brought the severe famine to an abrupt end, nobody in the city of Samaria knew about the miracle the LORD had wrought for them. The four lepers at the entrance of the gate of Samaria were the first to find out and enjoy the blessing of God.

    2 Kings 7:3-5 – NKJV

     3 Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate; and they said to one another, “Why are we sitting here until we die?

     4 “If we say, ‘We will enter the city,’ the famine is in the city, and we shall die there. And if we sit here, we die also. Now therefore, come, let us surrender to the army of the Syrians. If they keep us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall only die.”

     5 And they rose at twilight to go to the camp of the Syrians; and when they had come to the outskirts of the Syrian camp, to their surprise no one was there.

    Therefore, these four lepers entered one tent after another to eat and drink. They also carried away from the tents silver and gold and clothing.

    Afterward, they said, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, and we remain silent. If we wait until morning light, some punishment will come upon us. Now therefore, come, let us go and tell the king’s household.” (2 Kings 7:8-9 NKJV).

    Though there were mighty men of valor in Samaria’s city, lepers (men without strength) who first enjoyed the spoils of war.

    Though there were able men in the city, God chose lepers who were the scum or the outcast of the society to spread the good news about His miraculous work to the people in Samaria. Why?

    So that no flesh will glory in God’s presence!

    1 Corinthians 1:27-29 – NKJV

     27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;

     28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are,

     29 that no flesh should glory in His presence.

    Like Solomon, it is indeed wisdom to realize early in life that “The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favour to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.” (Eccl. 9:11 NKJV).

    While we must diligently employ or harness the gifts, talents, skills, or resources that God has given us to fulfill our God-given dreams, visions, callings, or purposes in life; however, we must ultimately rely upon or trust in God for success and not in our skills, abilities, or efforts (Prov. 16:33, 21:31).

    The Scripture amply warns against trusting in ourselves.

    Psalms 33:16-17 – NKJV

     16 No king is saved by the multitude of an army; A mighty man is not delivered by great strength.

     17 A horse is a vain hope for safety; Neither shall it deliver any by its great strength.

    Jeremiah 17:5-6 – NKJV

     5 Thus says the LORD: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the LORD.

     6 For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, And shall not see when good comes, But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, In a salt land which is not inhabited.

    Simon Peter was undoubtedly a highly skilled, experienced, and diligent fisherman. Yet, he caught nothing despite toiling diligently all night until he put his trust in Jesus’ Word that he should launch out into the deep and let down his nets for a catch.

    Luke 5:1-7 – NKJV

     1 So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret,

     2 and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets.

     3 Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat.

     4 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”

     5 But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.”

     6 And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking.

     7 So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.

    Beloved, it is foolishness and pride to trust wholly in your skills, expertise, education, qualifications, experiences, talents, gifting, family background, relationship, strength, or prowess to fulfill your God-given dream, vision, or purpose in life. You must learn to trust wholly in God’s love and faithfulness.

    Jeremiah 17:7-8 – NKJV

    7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD.

     8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit.

    Friend, as you set out to fulfill your God-given dream, vision, calling, or purpose in life, don’t fall into the “pride trap” of trusting in yourself.

    Proverbs 3:5-7 – NKJV

     5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;

     6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

     7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil.

    Psalms 37:5-7 – NKJV

     5 Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.

     6 He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday.

     7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.

    It is wisdom to heed these wise admonitions!

     

    Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for revealing today that the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong in life. From this moment, I choose not to lean on my strength, skills, talents, or efforts, but on You alone in life, in Jesus’ name. Amen.