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“Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” Romans 2:4

So what is your perspective of God? How do you see Him? The way you see Him can be a key factor for your relationship with God! Let’s read on and see what Paul, one of the foremost apostles and one who understood the heart of God has to say. It is difficult to analyze this verse fully by itself (without the context) but the essence of the truth that Paul is trying to convey is very well captured in that one phrase: ‘…the goodness of God leads you to repentance’.

Paul outlines three characteristics of God in this scripture: His Goodness, His Forbearance and His Longsuffering. These three characteristics sets the foundation and basis for repentance and acceptance with God!  Let’s look at each of these characteristics a little closely:

  • Goodness “chrestotes” means gentleness, kindness, integrity, moral excellence.
  • The forbearance “anoche” means tolerant and self-restraint. It is a quality of someone to be patient and to be able to deal with a difficult person or situation without becoming angry.
  • Longsuffering “makrothumia” means patience, endurance, slowness in avenging wrongs, a disposition to bear injuries patiently. Ability to refrain from the enforcement of something (debt or obligation) that is due.

The attitude and frame of mind in which God deals with people is in the richness of his goodness, forbearance and longsuffering. His goodness, forbearance and longsuffering towards us is in abundance, in fullness and in plentitude. It is not something that is there today and gone tomorrow but his goodness towards us is forever more.

The only place we can see this kind of richness in goodness, forbearance and longsuffering to some extent is in parenting. A father or a mother deal with their young children with tender love and in the abundance of goodness, forbearance and longsuffering. Parenting was God’s way of showing mankind how much he loves us and cares for us!

Do you feel good, when you are good and forbearing with someone? Yes, you do. God has put that nature in you. He has put the want to be good, forbearing and longsuffering in you! When you judge someone, you don’t see God as their father.

The goodness of God leads you to repentance. The whole purpose and plan around His goodness is to lead you back to Him! An underlying principle is that when you are good to a person – that will turn that person around – it may take some time but in due time it will happen!

The Miracle of Jesus

“1When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him.And, behold, there came a leper and worshiped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”  Matthew 8: 1-3

Jesus Heals a Man with Leprosy

Jesus was coming down from the mountainside, after teaching to a large crowd. On his way, a leper approached him with an expectant heart. Jesus was not expecting a visitor, but this man knew how to get Jesus’s attention. He came to Jesus and knelt before him and worshiped him. The word worshiped in this text, is “proskyneo”, which means fall on knees and touch the ground with your forehead as an expression of profound reverence. And he said, “Lord if you are willing, you can make me clean.” The root word for “you can” is “dynamai” which means you are capable of, to be able, strong and powerful! It is clear that leper expressed faith in Jesus that he was more than able.

It is very important to note that not only the man approached Jesus expecting something from him (in this case his healing) but he worshiped Jesus openly with utmost reverence and declared publicly that he is more than capable to perform a miracle in his life. The key elements for receiving a miracle in your life are your worship for Him and your faith in Him!

And it is a fact that anytime anyone approaches Jesus with a heart of worship in faith, His answer to your request is “I AM Willing!”. Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him and said, I am willing, be clean! In His willingness to heal the man, Jesus declared be clean and released it by his touch. Jesus spoke the end result “Be thou clean”. He touched him and declared what he wanted to happen. Immediately that touch and word resulted in his healing supernaturally!

Do you need a miracle in your life? Are you waiting for an answer for your prayer? The truth is He is willing and He is able! The question is are you ready to approach him and worship him today? Do you believe that He is able and willing to perform the miracle? If you are then you have the answer! Believe And Receive in Jesus name!

 

Luke 22:3 Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.

Luke 22:4 And he went his way,…

What happens when Satan enters a person or a person accepts Satan’s ideas?

The first thing that happened to Judas when he allowed Satan into him was, to choose his way. Like records that he went his way. 

Meaning, he departed from the way that the Lord had laid for him and he went his own way. There is a lot of truth here. A person, who allows or entertains Satan’s ideas, will not enter into sin directly. They will start off with their own ways.

They will depart from “the way”.

What is “the way”?

Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life”.

The way is Jesus. The path we need to follow as disciples is the way he shows us.

Departing from ‘the way’ blinds you.

Luke 22:6 And he (Judas) promised, and sought opportunity to betray him (Jesus) unto them in the absence of the multitude.

 

This was obviously treason. Anybody would have recognized that this was absolutely the wrong thing to do. Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, was planning to betray Jesus into the hands of the priests and scribes, and Judas knew they sought to kill Jesus. Yet we see that Judas is undeterred and determined and he sought a way to betray the Lord.

What happened here? Judas was blinded. Deception blinds you. When Satan enters a person, the first thing he does is to deceive the person, so that he or she does not see the truth. Their perception is skewed and they are no longer able to see things in the right way. It may be obvious to everyone else, but they will not ‘see’ it.

Condemned!

Judas realized his mistake (his betrayal) only after the Lord was crucified.

Mat 27:3  Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,

Mat 27:4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood

Judas did not realize the implications of his actions till he saw what the result of his actions was: The chief priests took counsel against Jesus to put Him to death. That is when Judas realized what he had done. A deceived person will not realize his mistakes till he sees the impact of his decisions on others or himself. But unfortunately by that time it is too late. He realized that he was condemned for what he had done. He could have repented and the Lord would have forgiven him, but that is a different story.

What I want to highlight is the path of deception: You do not realize what you are doing till the adverse effects or fruits of it start appearing, and by then it is too late…

What is the solution?

1.    Take heed unto yourself… be accountable to yourself and to God

Luk_21:34, Luk_17:3,

1Ti 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine

You constantly need to take heed to yourself. Call it a self assessment. I recommend at least two times a year, ever six months, go before the Lord and account yourself unto HIM for your progress and growth. This is an exercise every Christian should follow.

A minister needs to be accountable not only for himself, but for his doctrine also. He needs to examine his teaching constantly to make sure that he is continuing in the doctrine that was once delivered to the apostles and that he is rooted and founded in Christ.

Another thing is that every Christian should live with the knowledge that he or she has to give an account to God for everything he or she does. This is a sobering thought, but true. We are accountable to God for EVERYTHING we do and say. Let’s look at what the scriptures have to say about this:

Mat 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

Mat 12:37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

 

2.    Be accountable to one another

Pro 19:20 Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.

          The second level of accountability is to be accountable to your brethren and your leaders or mentors, those who oversee your soul. Why?

A person who is deceived will not be able to see it. But if he or she has counselors (mentors) over his life, to whom he/she is accountable to, they will be able to see what is happening to that person. Why?

Heb 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

          They that oversee your should have to give account of you to the Lord!

So they will be directed by the Lord concerning you, if you are willing to listen!!!

Grace Over Law

Grace Over Law

 

 

Act 15: 1- 29

This is one of the key scriptures in the New Testament. Why? All that Christ had done on the cross could have been defeated if the ‘men from Judea’ had their way! I believe it was the grace and the providence of God that raised men like Paul who stood for the truth of the Gospel, despite being a staunch Jew, before conversion.

Acts 15:1 says ‘Certain men which came down from Judea’ taught the bretheren….

These men and their group were called Judaizers by the early church. They added to the doctrine taught by the original disciples and Paul.

What was their doctrine?

Luke here says that they taught that Act 15:1 … Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved”

Now this was a broad deviation from the Gospel that Paul and Barnabas taught. The Judaizers taught that to be truly saved, you needed to be circumcised. What was the significance of circumcision (at that time)? Well circumcision was very symbolic to the Jews. It was a gateway into the Law of Moses. To be circumcised meant that they would be getting into a covenant that would cause them to keep the Law of Moses.

What was different about the Law of Moses?

Everything! Everything was different!

John the beloved wrote in his Gospel:

      John 1:16 – 17   And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

 

The word ‘law’ is translated from the Greek word nomos.

Nomos means: law, regulation.

So that scripture can be re-written as: For the regulation was given by Moses …

Regulation was given by Moses, but acceptance came through Jesus Christ!!! That means, you would have to keep the whole law to be accepted under the law. But under Christ, you are accepted just because you believe in Christ (John 3:16).

Paul’s stand against Law

The scripture records that Paul and Barnabas had great disputation and dissention about the Law. It was so great that the church there at Antioch decided that they needed to go to Jerusalem and decide to determine if the Law was still necessary to be kept. And that they did!

Why was this revelation so dear to Paul?

Paul was a Pharisee. All his life, he had strived to ‘earn’ righteousness by following the law and the code of the Pharisees, even going to the extend of persecuting the followers of Christ. Now he had a personal encounter with this Jesus, and with that came the revelation that he couldn’t earn righteousness with God based on works. Which was contrary to what he had learned and practiced all his life. On the face of this revelation, why would he go back to his old ways!

It didn’t stop there! All his life he had struggled with sin. In Romans chapter 7 he records his struggle with sin. He had suffered condemnation and helplessness against sin. He says:

 

Rom 7:14  For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead….

 

Paul records here that he was not able to overcome the sin that dwelled in him. The Law had no power because it was spiritual and it did not empower him to live a righteous life.

 

Then came Jesus Christ !

Rom 8:1  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit

 

All of a sudden, Paul records, everything changed! He is no longer under condemnation! A new law, the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus set him (and all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ) free from sin and its consequence ‘death’!

If you are in Jesus Christ, you are not condemned. Nobody dare condemn you! Yes, there is a law that condemns. Paul suffered under it all his life, till he became a follower of Christ. But the day that be believed in the Christ, he was set free from that condemnation! In Christ, just as Paul was set free from that condemnation, you are set free from the law of death.

You have been set free from that law of death to a new law, that puts life into you, the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus!

 

It just keeps getting better!

It does not end there! Christ even went forward and put the Spirit of Sonship in you! So that you can now call God almighty ”Abba Father” , and you are called ‘Sons of God’ , because you believe in Him and you are led by His Spirit!

Why would Paul or anyone want to go back into the law ? Why would Paul or anyone want to live like a slave again ?

Live in HIM, Live FREE!

 

Like this post? Feel free to leave your comments! 🙂

 

 

 

 


Act 9:4  And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

One word from God can change your life!

One of the things that amazes me of this account of the visitation of Jesus with Saul is the revelation of the Grace of the Lord Jesus. In this account we see a persecutor of the church, who was responsible for the death of many saints, especially Stephen, one of the greatest early saints.  Yet, when the Lord visits Saul on the road to Damascus, all that He says is :

            “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?”

That one word, from the Lord, completely breaks this man.  Saul the Persecutor becomes Paul the apostle!

If you notice, there is no condemnation, no judgment, no anger, and no sting of revenge in his voice. Just a soft question that pierces a heart of stone!

This is a true revelation of the heart of God and  His son Jesus, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4). Religion has depicted God as an angry God ready to bring condemnation and judgment on the unrighteous, but the scripture shows a God who is passionate about people getting saved and walking right with HIM.

That is God’s heart for you, that you should come to the knowledge of saving grace of Jesus Christ. He is the answer to all your questions! He is the one that can change your life – even today. Your past does not matter. He can and He will change everything in your life, if you will just let Him into your heart today as Saul did on that road to Damascus two thousand years ago!

Like this post? Feel free to leave your comments! 🙂

Divine Leadership

Psalms 27:11 “Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of my enemies.”

One of the foundational truths about godliness and Christianity as seen in the early church and the patriarchs is their yieldedness to divine leadership. In my opinion it is the single factor that determines success (for a godly man) in the sight of God. Divine leadership unfortunately is placed lowest in priority sometimes way below ones emotional and social needs, etc.

Do you choose HIS leadership only in some areas or difficult decisions OR do you want to make it your lifestyle?

What does the bible teach us about divine leadership? Let’s learn!

The Leadership of the Spirit

1.       Jesus depended totally upon the Holy Spirit’s leading:

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.” Luke 4:1-2

Right after receiving the fullness of the Spirit, Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit. And for forty days he was tempted by the devil. During this time he had to depend on the leadership of the Spirit to overcome every temptation.

2.      Baptism of the Holy Spirit:

So why is the baptism of the Holy Spirit given? So that we can yield to the leadership of the Spirit and with that yeildedness comes power. When you say, “I want to be filled with the Holy Spirit, you are essentially saying, “I want to establish the Spirit’s leading in my life”.

3.      Being led requires knowing His ways:

 

Teach me Your way, O LORD, And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.” Ps. 27:11

David was constantly asking the Lord for His leadership. Twelve years of running away from Saul and living in the wilderness, David learned the importance of God’s leading. He also learned to know and understand the Lord’s ways. Not only to be led but know His ways. To know HIS way is to know what the Spirit will require you to do in a particular situation. God wants us to be not only led but KNOW HIS WAYS so that we do it proactively.

4.      Sonship is given to only those who are led:

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” Rom 8:14

“But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” Gal. 5:18

Only those yield themselves to the leading of the Holy Spirit can be called as the sons of God. Those who obey the guidance of the Spirit are no more under the law or bondage.

5.      Learn the ways of the Spirit:

“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8

Jesus was teaching that you can learn the ways of the Spirit and as a born-again person – you are supposed to!

6.      The Spirit should remain upon your life:

“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.” John 1:33

This is another key to walking with God. There are many today who become anointed at some point in their life, but for whatever reason, that anointing does not remain upon them. They do not know how to ‘KEEP’ the anointing. The key to walking with God is , as the scripture points here is to have the Spirit descend and ‘remain’ on you. This calls for a daily, accountable intimate walk, in fact a lifestyle of walking in communion with God.

 

Keynotes on Divine Leadership:

  •  One of the first things He does – He sets up His leadership
  • Everything depends upon your yielding to that leadership
  • Where does the leadership take you? To be like Him in character and power.
  •  Two key aspects to His leadership are learning His ways (Ps. 27:11) and yielding to His guidance and direction (Lu. 4:1-2).
  • Know that you are not called a son till you are walking in His leadership
  • God’s plans for you can only be known if you walk in His leading.
  • Not only should you be baptized by the Spirit but also the Spirit should remain upon your life.

The Feats of Wisdom….

TUESDAY, AUGUST 23, 2011

The Feats of Wisdom….

Wisdom, the most precious of all treasures, desired and sought after by all men in all ages, has its remarkable exploits. In the bible, the book of proverbs, chapter 9 talks about the feats wisdom have accomplished. Wisdom cries out constantly, “Forsake the foolish ways and live and go in the ways of understanding” Pr. 9:6.

The word “foolish” means silly, simple, helpless, weak, exhibiting lack of common sense or sound judgment, being stunned or dazed. The word simple can further be explained as humble, innocent, ignorant, not culturally sophisticated. On the other hand “understanding” means knowledge, meaning, and wisdom.

The bible tells us to forsake the simple way (humble way, weak way, innocent way, unsophisticated way) and go into the way of the knowledge, meaning and wisdom. Take any matter, do not remain simple & ignorant about it but be sophisticated (gain understanding, gain knowledge about it). Wisdom’s way is to gain understanding. Once you gain understanding wisdom will come in that matter.  “A foolish woman (any foolish person) is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.” Pr. 9:13.  If you want to operate in wisdom (operate in knowledge) forsake foolishness or ignorance.

The first few scriptures of Proverbs 9 show us that wisdom is established and wisdom offers a call to gain it. The only way you begin to gain wisdom and walk in understanding is to get to know the Lord and fear (revere) the Lord.

Key Notes on Wisdom:

  1. Forsake folly (simplicity, weakness, being unsophisticated). Become detail oriented, sophisticated, gain understanding, proceed in the way of understanding)
  2. Do not correct a scoffer (Do not reprove a wicked man)
  3. Give instruction and offer correction to a wise man
  4. Fear (Revere) the Lord
  5. Get to know Him (Knowledge of the Holy one)