Wednesday, 28 July 2010
To receive is to be given something. You can receive from the devil, man and God. Sorrow is attached to devil's gift. Anything received from the devil is temporary, dangerous and destructive. When devil gives you one thing he takes it back in several ways. Man sometimes gives with ulterior motives and strings are usually attached. God is the Almighty, the owner and giver of all things. He creates all things. The Bilble says that every perfect gift comes from God and He does not add sorrow to it. Always aim at receiving from God. He gives us rain, sun, water, land, vegetation and air twenty four hours daily. However, to receive special, unique and spectacular things like salvation, victory, promotion, favour, wealth, joy, peace, love and healing to mention a few, we need to do certain things. Jesus said in John 15:7, "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you". Are you in Christ? You better be.
In this sermon, I will concentrate on healing. Examples taken will be found in the Mark: Blind Baremaeus, the woman with the issue of blood, and the paralytic man.
Apart from remaining and abiding in Christ, such an individual must: be tired of the present situation, be ready for change, be ready to act, have faith and act on it and believe absolutely in Him.
In Mark 10:46-52, Blind Bartimaeus was tired of his blindness, he was ready to receive his sight at all cost, ready for change and built his faith and acted without doubt, and he got his sight restored.When Jesus was passing through Jericho with his disciples, Bartimaeus heard Jesus and he began to shout "Jesus son of David, have mercy on me". Though discouraged, he shouted the more and cried for mercy. Immediately Jesus heard, he sent for him and Bartimaeus got up, threw up his cloak aside and freed himself from every distractions and encumbrances that may prevent and retard him getting to Jesus. As soon as Jesus asked him what he wanted, he said "Rabbi, I want to see!". Jesus said, "Your faith had healed you". He received his sight promptly and followed Jesus. So be ready to exercise your faith. Cast away all besetting sins and after receiving your healing, follow Jesus and do not look back. Your case may not be blindness, whatever it is Jehovah Rapha is still healing spiritually, performing miracles and wonders. Ask in faith and you will be given.
In Mark 5:25-34, Jesus was on his way to Jairus house, a large crowd pressed on him but there was this particular woman whom the Bible described as the woman with the issue of blood. She had been subjected to bleeding for twelve years, this might be uterine fibroid or any other gynaecological ailment. She had visited many doctors, had spent all she had without improvement and was getting worse. She was determined to touch Jesus. She said, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed". Despite the crowd, she got her way through, coming from behind, exercised her faith by touching Jesus and immediately her bleeding stopped. As Jesus enquired who touched him, the woman fell at his feet, trembled with fear and told Him the truth. Jesus said to her, "daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering". Jesus put honour on her faith. She was restored with healing, joy and peace.
What are you suffering from? The One who healed the woman with the issue of blood is still healing and restoring. Seek Him out and you will surely find Him. Afterall, He is Omnipresent. Tell Him all. Has sickness taken away your joy, peace and hope? It shall be restored in Jesus name. Amen!
In Mark 2:1-5, when Jesus entered Capernaum to preach the word, the room was filled up. Four men carried a paralytic man through the stone roof and lowered him before Jesus. The men made efforts, believed the sick man would be healed could he be seen by Jesus. They led him to Jesus and Jesus honoured their faith and on seeing the man, He said "Son, your sins are forgiven". The paralytic man was healed spiritually and physically. The man's friend moved into action. When you recognise other people's need either physical or spiritual, you should move into action.
From the three cases above, one could see that the central figure here is Jesus. He has the healing power and he can forgive sins. He can restore peace, joy, hope and health. What do you want Jesus to restore? Do you have any illness that defiles medical science, the Author of knowledge, the Omniscient says come. Matthew 11:28, "Come unto me all ye that labour and heavy laden, and I will give you rest". Ask Him what ever you want Him to do and you will receive. John 14:13-17. What yoke are you carrying? The yoke carrier says you should come so that you can find rest unto your soul.
Make Him your Messiah, Lord and Saviour. He is more than sufficient. Abide in Him and go to Him in faith and you will surely have an outstanding testimony. Amen
Father, in the name of Jesus, help me build up my faith so that I may realise all your promises of special gifts. Amen
Tuesday, 20 July 2010
Texts: Judges 4:4-9; 6:11-16, Isaiah 45:1-6, Jonah: 1 – 4
A vessel is a container but in this case a vessel is a person regarded as a vehicle for some purpose or task. Someone that can transport good message or that can carry good messages and deliver. A vessel can be unto honour that is useful or good or unto dishonour that is useless or bad. My prayer is that you will be a good vessel. To be a good vessel the requirements are very simple: Availability, Readiness and Willingess, Obedience.
Your family background, position in the family, your past, race or tribe, nation, position, wealth, education and gender are not even relevant. If you are obedient to God's calling and you are ready for kingdom work and available, you are the vessel God is looking for. There are many examples of people in the Holy Bible who were vessels God had used such as: Apostle Paul, Gideon, Prophetess Deborah, Jonah and many others. Till today, God is still using people in our generation all over the universe. We have Apostles, Evangelists, Pastors, Prophets, Teachers and Missionaries in the various mission fields. Ephesians 4:11.
God has created you for a purpose and has given different talents or gifts to everybody. 1st Corinthians 12:8-10. There are gifts of word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, gift of healing, working of miracles, gift of prophecy, discerning of spirits, diverse kinds of tongues and interpretation of tongues. It is your duty to know the purpose of your creation and also to discover your talent or ministry with the help of the Holy Spirit so that you can be fulfilled. Have you ever thought or wondered if there is work for you in the kingdom, or asked yourself if God can use you? Yes, He can.
Let us see how some of the people mentioned above responded to God's call. When God wanted to make use of Gideon as a vessel to deliver the Israelites from the Midianites who had oppressed them for seven years, God sent an angel to Gideon and the angel told him Judges 6:12, "The Lord is with you, mighty warrior". Judges 6:14. " Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian's hand. Am I not sending you? The Lord promised to be with him even though Gideon considered his clan as the weakest in Manasseh and his position being the least in his family because God wanted to use him, He supported him and assured him of victory. Evidence of God support was demonstrated by reducing thirty two thousand men prepared by Gideon for war to three hundred men by God despite the great number of the Midianites. Gideon was instructed to destroy Baal's altar and to build another altar for God and he did. All these were possible because God supported him as a vessel. Afterwards the scripture says in Luke 1:37, "For nothing is impossible with God".
Prophetess Deborah, a Judge was used (Judges 4:4-9) by God despite the fact that women were not recognised in Israel. She was chosen to lead the Isrealites against King Jabin of Canaan and his army commander Sisera. Deborah with her army leader Barak, won the battle. Under her Israel was victorious and there was peace in Isreal during Deborah's period. Deborah encouraged her people to obey God.
God anointed King Cyrus through a gentile rule. Isaiah 45:1-6 because God had special tasks for him to perform for Israel: to allow Jerusalem that is God's city to be rebuilt, and to set the exiles free without expecting anything in return.
God did seven spectacular things for King Cyrus to empower him: God held his right hand to subdue nations, He opened doors before him so that the gate will not be shut, He levelled all mountains before him, Broke down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron, Gave him treasures of darkness and riches stored in secret places, Bestowed on him a title of honour, Promised to strengthen him and the king became a useful vessel and carried out God's instructions successfully.
The word of the Lord came to Jonah in Jonah:1-4 and despite the fact that Jonah was running away from God when he was asked to go and preach the message of salvation to them in Nineveh, God stopped him and turned him around. God allowed him to be swallowed by a great fish that eventually vomitted him on dry land. Eventually, he went to preach the message of salvation to them in Nineveh. God being a merciful God had mercy on Jonah and gave him another chance. Through him the people were delivered. Brethen, what are you waiting for? God supports His own programme. Be assured that if He calls you He will support you, give you the grace and the power to perform the task. Has God been calling you?
He can get to you through dreams, visions, reading the scriptures, through somebody's testimony, by listening to a sermon, through quickening of the Spirit, voice of the Holy Spirit, through the word of wisdom and knowledge, through an angel or directly from God. God can call you through any of the ways listed. Has He been calling you and you are saying the voice is not loud enough? Or are you running away like Jonah or are you saying you are not ready yet? Are you delaying until you accumulate all the worldly things? Luke 14:16-24 says you can be replaced. I pray you will never be replaced in Jesus name. Tomorrow may be too late. You may be another Esther who saved her tribe. You may be that person the Lord is waiting for to deliver his/her tribe, nation or to preach the message of salvation and deliver them from destruction.
Be like Apostle Paul who surrended as soon as he was called. His name was changed from Saul to Paul. He received his sight and was filled with the Holy Spirit immediately, he started the kingdom work. You can also be like Isaiah (Isaiah 6:8) who said when he was called "Here am I, send me". Be ready to be used. Matthew 9:37-38, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of harvest to send you into his harvest field.
Prayer: Lord, in the name of Jesus, make me a vessel. Grant me the grace to be available and the willingness to obey whenever you call me unto your harvest field. AMEN.
Saturday, 10 July 2010
The Bible is the kingdom book. It is called the Holy book. It contains the spoken word of God and was written by motivated and inspired men of God. It is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction and for instruction in righteousness so that man may be perfect, and thoroughly furnished unto all good works. It is reference for all Christians and a guide. The word is lamp unto our feet and light unto our path. Psalm 119 v 105. The Bible is faultless and written over a period of one thousand and four hundred years by about forty authors.
The central theme of the Bible is Jesus Christ. Through the word, we can know God's will for our life, know him and be Christlike and become a good ambassador. A christian is a follower of Jesus Christ. He is the one who believes in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus died for you and I; cleansed us from sin, reconcile us to God His father; brought us salvation which is a gracious gift and empowered us with the Holy Spirit.
To whom much is given, much is expected. We can not but be good ambassadors. You are chosen, you are God's elect, a peculiar people and you have to show forth the praises of Him who hath called you from darkness into His marvellous light (1st Peter 2:9).
Jesus calls us the light of the world and the salt of the earth - Mark 5: 13-14. We have to function as such wherever we are, we must be the light, and darkness has nothing to do with light. Do not associate with darkness. Darkness is of the devil. Salt is for seasoning and is to make things better, sweeter and tastier. The word of your mouth must be seasoned with salt to bring succor, joy, peace to people and to soothen them. Make effort to affect the world around you positively.
You belong to God's family; convince the gentiles and the unbelievers that Jesus is good; he is all sufficient. God has created you in His image and given you dominion over all other things created. He wants you to be fruitful, multiply, replenish the earth and subdue it. Genesis 1:28. As Peter wrote to offer encouragement to suffering Christians and to all believers, we need to encourage ourselves too. Peter encouraged us to get rid of malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander.
That we should behave like newborn babies who desire the breast milk and grow, so also we should desire the word of God so that we can grow spiritually. To desire to grow and be like Christ and in tune with God's words. We should do good works so that the unbelievers can testify that our character is good. By this, we can lead them to Christ. Paul in Col 13: 15-17 wrote about what is expected from Christians: that we should forbear one another; forgive one another; put on charity, allow the peace of God to rule in our hearts that the word of Christ dwell in us richly. Whatever we do in word or deed or action must be unto the Lord Jesus. Our sole objective is to be Christlike - "I want to be Christlike and to lead many to Christ through my behaviour".
Jesus wants you to be a beacon of truth; not ignoring the need of others; spreading the good news and doing good. He has chosen you, ordained you that you should do and bring forth fruits and your fruit should remain and whatever you ask the Father, you shall receive. When you do all things stated above, you shall never be put to shame and you will never stumble.
People should read you as the Bible; whatever you do should depict the Bible. As far as people are concerned especially if you are a Christian so let your behaviour, deed and actions depict Jesus.
PRAYER: Father, make me a good ambassador of Christ. Let my ways be pleasing to you and grant me the grace to lead others to Christ. AMEN.