Monthly Archives: January 2014
All across the world, over the centuries men and women have yearned for freedom. Freedom from evil emperors, freedom from fascists, freedom from invaders etc. There have been many successful freedom struggles while some have been short-lived.
Coming to spiritual freedom, no other person has achieved this freedom except for Jesus. Many have tried to be free by means of works, by high level meditations and philosophy but all their hopes have not resulted in true freedom.
Freedom is not a license to do as you please. Neither is it about having more choices. It’s about having liberty to do what is right no matter what.
Being in sin is the worst sort of slavery. It affects you very badly in the afterlife, if you die in your sins. Hell is the prize the devil offers you for being in sin which he delights to give to all who sin. This is a place of damnation and torture which is forever. No wonder the Lord God sent Jesus to save you from going there.
John 8:34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.
1 John 3:8 The one who commits sin is of the Devil, for the Devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God was revealed for this purpose: to destroy the Devil’s works.
When you believe in Christ you are faced with a choice. The choice is whether to love Christ or to love sin. It’s a very clear choice my friend which can’t be denied.
Jesus came on earth with a mission to reconcile human kind to God. Man lost his friendship with God due to sin. So Christ had to atone for the sins of the world so that people could be fully reconciled to the Lord God.
He came to call the sinners to their true freedom in spirit. This freedom is not for those who are proud but for those who are humble to enough to realize that they can’t live holy lives by themselves and need the help of God for this.
1 John 1:10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.
Jesus ate and drank with sinners so that he could take them out of their sinful ways by showing he cared for them but was misunderstood by others. So he made his views very clear to them.
Mark 2:16-17 When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that He was eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they said to His disciples, “Why is He eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners?” And hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
1 Timothy 1:15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners
When you have received freedom you must value it. Never take it cheaply. You know, there are people who pay tens of thousands to their lawyers to keep them out of prison.
In Christ Jesus, you get spiritual freedom without any charge. Now that doesn’t mean its cheap, alright. Jesus had to pay the greatest price for you; he had to die a brutal death on the cross for you though he had no sin in him. It’s just that God loves you so much that he knows you can’t pay this cost by yourself so he is not asking you to pay it up but only believe what his Son Jesus has done for. God’s Holy Spirit will lead you in your walk with Christ if you ask for this, for nothing is impossible with God.
2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake he(God) made him (Jesus) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
John 16: 13-15 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
Suggested prayer : I confess that Jesus is the Son of God. I believe that He came to save me from the bondage of sin and reconcile me to his Father in heaven. I turn away and repent of my sin and unbelief. From now on I make a firm and clear choice to follow Christ alone. May the angels of God bear witness to this as I confess Jesus’ saving power in my life. I thank the Spirit of God for always guiding me to Jesus and ask that the Holy Spirit continues to lead me in my walk with Christ. I do this all for the glory of God. Amen and Amen.
A very sensitive subject indeed but something one must be very much aware of. Keep trusting in Christ no matter what!
When in difficult situations people keep praying that they get the grace of God so that they overcome their situations. Some receive it easily but some struggle to receive it. Its a great help to know how to obtain the grace of God.
If the grace of God can be earned or bought then it’s not grace at all!
Just before I elaborate more on this, I’d suggest that you desire to seek the true revelation that comes from God in faith. You can also try to read through the entire article more than once to understand the points more clearly.
Firstly, one can never buy the grace of God. You may give your money to the poor and the church which is a good thing to do but that doesn’t get you the grace of God. It’s because God himself gave you the grace to earn wealth in the first place. Refer Deut 8:18 You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth
Secondly, you can never earn the grace of God. You may try to skip a few meals or sacrifice a lot to earn God’s grace. Now there could be seasons in life that need fasting or sacrifice so that you can spend more time with God in prayer. However, these in themselves do not earn you the grace of God.
Thirdly, the only way you can receive the grace of God is that by faith you seek the Lord God to favor you not because of what you can do but because he has mercy on you in Christ Jesus. Hebrews 11:6 says that; And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Now fasting, praying and charity are good things in themselves but remember one thing, none of these can give you the grace of God unless you totally have faith in him. These things are very helpful if they take your mind off yourself and the world and let you look up to Christ who actually gives the grace to you. If you can directly have faith then its very good. Not every time can one fast or do good works but you can always have faith. So what is important is that you have the faith that comes through Christ. Instead of looking at your faith alone, look at Christ who is the author and finisher of the faith.
It’s very easy to receive the grace of God when you are focused on Jesus. The problem is sometimes people really want the grace of Christ in their lives but keep getting scared of their situation which makes them lose faith easily if the situation worsens. You need to be realistic but also without fear. It doesn’t mean that you don’t take responsibility of yourself. When you ask for the grace of God, you take authority of your situation and also start being responsible to trust God to be good to you.
Let it make it real to you. You need to have confidence in what God is and what God can do for you. Here are a few helpful scriptures in this regard:
Hebrews 4:16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need
John 1:15-17 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Romans 3:20-24 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it — the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus
Romans 5:1-2 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
When you need the grace of God you need to express it to him vocally or mentally if you can’t speak it loud. Sometimes you may even get it without asking but make it a habit to ask of him. It’s because praying audibly for God’s grace, you manifest your trust in Him not just to yourself but to others near you. In this way God would be glorified by your faith in his Son Jesus. Amen.
This is a valid and pressing message to the Church even in this era that we live in. Racism has been that nasty thing that very few want to talk about let alone tackle in the Church nor in society. Also oppressing people on basis of their gender is overlooked a lot. Though in the past 200 years I must say that there has been a lot of change in society with regards to racism and sexism which is a positive step.
This message is not there for name calling nor starting a blame game. This is to empower in light of the Holy scriptures that you experience freedom and also let others also live in the freedom you desire for yourself.
Now to the message; No racism nor sexism is allowed in Christ, not one bit. It doesn’t matter what cultural or historical background you come from. It doesn’t matter what you were taught in school or college. Jesus came to save you just as you are and not because of your race nor gender or financial status.
We read in Galatians Chapter 3 : verses 26-28
26 You are all God’s children through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor free; nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
This verse is very clear on the point that in Christ there is no stereotyping of any sort, be it gender, ethnicity, wealth etc. All are to be considered one in Christ Jesus.
Lets now read Colossians Chapter 3 : verses 9-11
9 Don’t lie to each other. Take off the old human nature with its practices 10 and put on the new nature, which is renewed in knowledge by conforming to the image of the one who created it. 11 In this image there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all things and in all people.
Here again, those in Christ are not given an option on this. This is a truth to be accepted and to be lived. Which is that we take on the new nature that comes from Christ and leave all old human nature along with all its vices. Racism and Sexism are great sins.
Now just to be clear on what racism and sexism are, I shall mention their definitions.
- Racism – the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.
- Sexism – prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex
If you notice both these sins have jealousy, pride and envy in their functioning. Racism was at work when over a million Jews were murdered by the Nazis due to race alone. Sexism happens where women are denied their human rights on account of being women alone.
If you read Matthew 15:21-28 in your Bible, in these verses for a while it seemed that Jesus didn’t seem to answer the Canaanite woman plea for mercy for her demon oppressed daughter. She was a Gentile and not a Jew. Jesus mentioned that he was sent for Israel, namely the Jews. Some felt that the Lord God existed only for the welfare and salvation of the Jews.
Jesus himself was a Jew! Jesus was and is also the Son of God. Now Jesus won’t do something apart from the will of his Father in heaven.
To remind you, in the Old Testament, the Lord God healed Naaman the Syrian through the intervention of the Jewish prophet Elisha even though Naaman was from the enemy nation of Syria. The faith of Naaman was honored by the Father due to which he got healed. Jesus simply did the same as his Father in heaven. He had compassion on the Canaanite woman and gave deliverance from oppression to her daughter for he was impressed by her faith in Him. The woman even called him the son of David and Lord though Canaanites were in mutual hatred of the Jews.
In those days if you were a man there would no need for you talk to woman especially of another race, let alone help them. Jesus didn’t get by worldly norms on women but simply had mercy on both the mother and daughter.
Both racism and sexism are bad. Jesus however didn’t give way to any of these. For Jesus came for the salvation of all, even those who are not Jews. He came to free us all from the grasp of sin so that we could be reconciled to his Father in Heaven. So now that we are in Christ, we must practice equality and love all in the grace and hope that comes from Christ.
Jesus said in John 10:16 “And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd”
The Bible is very clear on this. The below verses don’t give any scope for excuses to love sin:-
- Love must be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good. (Romans 12:9)
- Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts. (Amos 5:15)
- Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. (Psalm 34:14)
- I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. (Psalm 101:3)
You need to get yourself to thinking right. You can meditate on the following verses:-
So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming. (Colossians 3:5-6)
Now there is one person who can save you from sin. Jesus the Son of the Living God saves all those who seek salvation through him. There is no other option to be saved from sin.
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)
But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57)
You could have accepted the Lord Jesus as your Savior but you must remember to love God but hate sin. You must hate sin because its evil to your soul but love God because he is good. The world tends to do it in the opposite order. But you O lover of God must get this right. If you ever sin then make it a point to confess it to God and repent. This a principle you can very well make use of. Here are a few verses to think on :-
But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. (1 John 1:7-9)
Christ paid the price on the cross to cleanse you of your sins. Have regard for his precious blood shed for you on the cross and start hating sin. Love God for he is good!
Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God. (Psalm 31:5)
Please do take the time to read the whole of Psalm 31 or simply hear from the video link just above.
As a person who believes in the Lord Jesus one must cultivate the habit of commending ones spirit to HIM.
If you look up the dictionary there are different meanings to the word ‘commend’. The meaning which is used in regards to Psalm 31 is “To commit to the care of another; entrust”
Jesus in his earthly ministry preached the Gospel and when he came to his death on the cross he had a few words to say. In his last words from the cross he prayed unto the God saying “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. (Luke 23:46)
The first Christian matryr, Saint Stephen was condemned by the Jews to die because he believed in Jesus (refer Acts 6:8-7:2,51-60). When he was just about to die he prayed saying, “Lord Jesus, accept my life!” and after this he died only to be received in heaven by Christ himself.
When you ask Jesus to accept your life you are commending your spirit to Jesus. It’s a common expression nowadays for people to say that they accept Jesus into their lives. However I find a much less number of people asking the Lord Jesus to accept their lives.
Mostly, asking Jesus to accept ones life is usually done at the verge of death or fear of dying. Though its perfectly fine to do so then, its equally valid to ask Jesus to accept your spirit at any time of your life.
Committing your spirit to Christ is an act of faith. It means you give your spirit to the care of Jesus himself, who is the creator of your spirit, in union with God the father and the Holy Spirit. This is not something to be taken casually but with genuine fervor and hope. By doing so you give glory to God.