Jesus talked about the net cast into the sea and open to every kind of fish.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.” – Matthew 13:47-48
He likens the net to the Kingdom of heaven which is open to every body on earth, irrespective of their nationality, tribe, tongue, sex or race. A Kingdom to which many are called but few are chosen.
The rejected fishes were good and edible but not to specification.
He likens the chosen fish to the believer who meets a certain standard.
This believer has a rich store of knowledge, is able to seat down and by maturity and use of his senses, separates the old teachings from the new.
These are teachers.
A teacher is a matured person in the Kingdom, not a neophite.
Paul said matured believers ought to be teachers through word and character.
“For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for He is a babe.”- Hebrew 5:12-13
“…… a babe”, not matured!
It takes maturity which comes by experiencing or tasting the Word of God to discern between good and evil.
Our heart is like a net that grabs all forms of teachings; good and bad, edifying teachings and destructive teachings.
Our heart is like that tree of knowledge capable of good and evil which God asked man to stay away from.
The heart indeed is not so smart!
Experience, maturity, calls for us to sit down and sort out the old teachings that served in their time from the new and better teachings which came by divine revelation: a message of the hour, of now, of Faith.
For example, Jesus said He chose us to bear fruit and if our fruit remain we shall ask anything of the Father in His Name and He may give it to us. We have been told concerning this that fruit bearing refers to the souls we win! No!
This is a distraction from the real fruit! And it is a major contribution to the moral decay in church! No single one of us has the power to keep a soul! God will not hold us responsible for souls that did not remain! Every soul must answer, and be responsible for itself. True, we should encourage one another to keeping faith in God, yet salvation is a personal race! God holds us responsible when we fail to warn them of the consequences of indulging in sin, and of ultimate judgement!
Paul could not retain all the souls he won to Christianity. Even Demas, an evangelist under Paul, could not be retained! Non of us can retain a soul.
What then is the fruit we are expected to bear?
This can be developed only through exercising the senses with the Word of God.
In Matthew 3, Jesus likens man to a tree. Isaiah agrees. ( Isaiah 61:3)
“Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance. And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” – Matthew 3:8-10
You are a tree!
The kind of tree you are determines the fruit you bear! We are known by our fruit, not our seed!
In Christ, God empowers us to bear fruit. But we have to initiate the process. God will not force us against our will. This is implied in Romans chapter one; if we fail to meet our initial part: “retain Him”, He would leave us to ourselves and not help us.
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient. – Romans 1:28
He rather “prunes” us to bring forth much fruit when our zeal, determination and trust are in Him.
“Every branch in me that beareth not fruit He taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” – John 15:2
We need to have the hunger ( Matthew 5:6), not a wish, but the burning desire that would drive us to exercising our senses with the Word of God and put our body under subjection to the Word.
Jesus chose you to make a difference, to make an impact in your home, your job, your business, your neighbourhood. Do the right thing whether your employer is there or not.
Be “filled with the fruits of righteousness” – Philippians 1:11
“…..abounding in fruit in every good work” – Colossians 1:10
Make an impact through your character!
In Christ, when we begin to work on our character, exercising our senses with the Word of God, He steps in to help us. There has to be a genuine interest. Not a wish, but a sincere desire. The desire that can stand the purging fire, the strain and rigours of exercise.
There is no good in man. Without God’s help we cannot bear good fruit.
Spiritual exercise is not only good for our spiritual health, it helps keep us raptureable; in shape.
If we stop exercising we go out of shape.
Moses was trained by God in the wilderness for forty years. A mighty man in word, an orator ( Acts 7:22). He became a stammerer because of training. Deposits of Egypt: pride, self, arrogance, and all, were burnt out of him. He bore the fruit of being the meekest man on earth.
But he lost it when he stopped exercising. When you start don’t stop!
The process of purging is a very painful process. Even trees cry out when cut!
Jesus learnt obedience through the things He suffered (Hebrews 5:7-8). He was hundred percent God and hundred percent man, meaning He felt pain like you and I. What He went through in training helped form His character. Though God’s son, He had to go through it Himself.
So let’s go to the gym of the Spirit and exercise; “work out” our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12).
Work out and keep working out your salvation!
I went through an article recently written by a friend. In it he said that the choices we make in life affect us whether good or bad.
Indeed it is true! The choices we make affect our lives.
However there is an angle to it that we most often overlook.
This may come hard and pungent (forgive me Edmond, if it doesn’t come soft). Sometimes Truth comes out hard.
Our choices are based on our human desires which ought not to be!
Our desires are driven by our emotions.
James says “drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” – James 1:14
Human emotion does not work with the Word of God!
In the book of Genesis Eve was driven by desire which made her stretch her hand to the fruit.
How did this desire come about?
She felt inferior! She felt she was not making progress in life; that her “divine destiny” was being delayed, and perhaps truncated. She felt she was not getting the “good things of life”, and so needed a change!
She was made to feel inferior by the serpent who planted a word of insecurity in her head. Eve’s desire was driven by insecurity; an emotional feeling that “others” were better than she was: a feeling that suggested to her that she was empty and could “improve” on God’s work in her life.
Consequently she reached for the fruit, and acting in a manner “to help herself become wiser”, she plunged Mankind into spiritual death.
Her choice was based on her desire, driven by emotion! A thing she called “wisdom”! She wanted to change her situation, which she had come to hate, since coming into contact with an alternative.
“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and He did eat.” – Genesis 3:6
Today, many remain spiritually dead. Many more are dying from the presence of God because of choices made that were not based on His Word.
In wanting to be “wise”, they “engage EVERY PLATFORMS available (including Godless platforms), EVERY AGENCIES necessary (including agents of darkness), and follow EVERY PRINCIPLES required (even demonic principles), to ensure making the right choice in life.”
This was the same desperate emotion that drove Man from the presence of God!
Things may look beautiful, “good for food”,
but if emotion is its foundation, spiritual death takes effect.
Every platforms, every agencies, every principles may be convenient, yet NOT ALL are edifying and accepted by God!
That is why God asked us to choose life!
Life is not just having everything YOU want; so you might have the accolades of men, a large acceptance by the world and recognition; James would say to “consume it upon your lust”, your human desire!
That is not the life that God sees as successful!
And that is the reason Jesus asked what it shall profit a man after he has gained the entire world, the backing and support of people, only to lose the salvation of his soul.
Yes, indeed our choices affect our lives!
But what factors “drive” our choices?
Moreover, as Christians we should not make choices based on emotion; on the desires of the flesh; we should like Jesus, not judge after the sighting of our eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of our ears. (Isaiah 11:3)
We should rather make choices based on God’s Word; judge righteously: with the fear of the Lord!
If a man because of fame, wealth and affluence, acts contrary to the Word of God, by marrying another woman, when the Word of God says if you get separated from your wife, remain single and don’t remarry. And if you have to remarry, go back to that same woman! Such a man who marries another lives in adultery! In sin! Minister or Laity!
That is the word of God!
No human reasoning or philosophy can alter or change the Word! It remains immutable!
If for fame and affluence we throw away the Word of God, our action no matter how successful and appealing in the sight of men, becomes a lie!
The desire of man is evil! God testified to this, that the thought and imagination of man’s heart is continually evil, even from his youth!
Who are we deceiving, God?
The same Word we seek to philosophize and bend to justify our actions, will also be our judge! The standard of God’s Word does not change no matter how we try to change it!
Let us learn, no matter what it takes, no matter how hurtful or painful our situation may be, not to put our desires ahead of God’s Word! The moment you do, you put God in second place.
But, He must have the preeminence!
When you go His way, He knows your frailty, your weakness and your pain; and in His faithfulness, He will supply you the grace to carry on.
Even if it was a mistake that brought the unpleasant situation, He will help you!
Only, let it be on His terms.
“And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep: and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:2).
After we are told that God made the Heaven and the Earth (verse 1), the bible begins to give the details by telling about the Spirit of God moving upon the face of the waters.
It must be so important to God for this to be the first thing mentioned after the introduction.
Equally important and worth noting is that God ended His writing with water! “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth, say, Come. And let him that is thirsty, come: And whoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Revelation 22:17).
The Water was introduced at the beginning and offered at the end!
All through the bible the Water has been flowing but man has not been drinking! Whereas this is an integral part of God’s will and plan!
The Water is free! This is the Holy Spirit. Let’s hook-up and start drinking!
“But whoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him, shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:14).
“Against all odds.”
The Christian race is full of obstacles.
Hurdles that present themselves as problems. Things designed to slow us, even stop us.
If there are no hurdles in your race, you are either not running or you are compromising.
Hurdles help shappen or form your character to fit into the purpose of God to make you useful.
God expects us to make it, against all odds.
“He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places.” – Psalm 18:33
My feet, representing my human ability cannot stand or overcome the trials and hurdles in my path. This means the impossible situations I cannot handle, sicknesses that refuse to go, debts I could not pay.
They are stumbling blocks in the path of the believer, and weapons in the hand of the enemy used to reproach the believer.
The more we struggle the further we get from our God-given vision! Sorrow and distress encompass or overwhelm me. Yes, I may be troubled on every side, yet not distressed; perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed! (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)
Oh, but the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong, nor yet bread to men of wisdom! Abilities come from God. So in my distress I called upon the Lord (Psalm 18:6-9) He heard my cry and suddenly mountains of problems shake at the very foundations. Because God was angry with the problems and the people that stood against me accomplishing His will for my life, fire poured from his mouth and fell on me! I became a Stone; a coal of fire! I became alive!
In his anger, He bowed the heavens and came down!
No one saw him but I felt His presence inside of me, for greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world! He set me on high. Without being drunk with alcohol and no drugs I became high, fearless and full of faith, knowing I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! Rather than complain and murmur, I began to give Him praise! Suddenly obstacles begin to turn to miracles!
As a soldier in God’s end time army, God turned my thin, dry, draggy and powerless feet into hinds feet to leap over hurdles, over obstacles. Things that people thought impossible became possible with me. Things I couldn’t do before I began to do! God is my strength, my power and my ability!
“For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.” – Psalm 18:29
Who or what shall I be afraid of?
There is no mountain I cannot climb, there is no river I cannot swim, there is no wall I can not jump!
The secret to every victory is in:
(1) Knowing that your strength is in God.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” – Ephesians 6:10
(2) You activate that power with the instrument of faith.
“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” – Ephesians 6:16
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” – Hebrews 11:6
As faith comes only by hearing and hearing (having an understanding) of the Word of God, ask God to make you of quick understanding. (Isaiah 11 verse 3)
God bless you you.
Lets make riches.
By the grace of God the world is a marketplace, we are sent in here to trade having been equipped with the resource of heaven. We have all been given different quantities of the same thing; depending on our ability, what we have to do. In other words what we have to do is responsible for the quantity of time that is given to us. It is said that to whom much is given, much is expected.
Some are given at birth 50 years, some 70 years, some 100 years and more. God gives everybody according to their abilities; according to the work they have to do for Him here on earth just as in the parables where the servants were given different quantities of the same thing. One was given five talents, the other two and the last, one according to their abilities, what they are capable of doing individually.
At birth we all received Time. Time is something that we all received when were coming to earth. Everyone of us big or small received the same thing in different measures.
If we have to check the average lifespan of a human being which is 70 years.
“The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” -Psalms 90:10
Multiply 70 years by 365 days and you have 25,550 days. In other words every man came in with 25,550 days. Only? Multiplied further by 24 hours, we have 613,200 days. Only! However some received, just like in the parable, more and others less, according to the work we have to do for the Lord here on earth; according to the various responsibilities that God has sent us with here on earth.
No individual person, no one person came into the world with money or with cars or houses or clothes or gold or silver. No! We all came in naked with nothing at all whatsoever.
The only thing you brought into this world is TIME! And God expects you to exchange time for your basic need. Time is the money that followed you into this world, time is your greatest investment. When companies or institutions engage you what they take from you is part of your time. No company or individual is rich enough to engage ALL your time; they can only have part of your time and in exchange they give you some money: termed salary or payment.
How rich you are depends, not on how hard you work or how long you work, but on what you do with your time.
“I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.” – Ecclesiastes 9:11
For a lack of understanding many are wasting this resource, they are burying it! Just like the last man in the parable dug the ground and buried his talent, so many because of ignorance are literally digging the ground and burying the time that God gave to them to invest!
This is the basic difference between the rich and the poor. The ability to turn or translate Time to riches. Many are burying their Time.
But we are expected to manage our time.
“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” – Ephesians 5:16
To redeem means to buy back, to exchange or put value on something that you need back earnestly. With various distractions, the enemy has stolen our money -Time! Today, we have the phones, internet, social media and all, eating up our time! We need to redeem it!
Like the servants in the parable who gave account of the talents received , we would give account of Time because this is Heaven’s resource given to us before we came to this world. Does what was done justify the time used? How relevant is that thing in relation to the time spent on it? Idle words eat up time! You will give account of idle words because you have wasted heaven’s resource!
What makes a word idle if not the non- justification of the Time spent on it!
There are only three ways to spend time. No matter who you are or what you do your time is spent on these three things.
(1) Thought. Watch your thought and its direction.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” – Philippians 4:8
(2) Word. Watch what you say. Would it build or edify others?
“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” – Matthew 12:36
(3) Deed. Watch what you do and be careful not to walk in the counsel of the ungodly, or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of the scornful!
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” – Psalms 1:1
And it shall be well with you in the Mighty Name of Jesus. Amen.
Religiously, Medically, Traditionally or otherwise, circumcision has come to stay!
Circumcision, the removing of the foreskin of the male reproductive organ, has been barbarically extended to the female folk in some traditions. Medically, this could be of advantage to the men but extremely very barbaric for women!
However our focus is not on the physical.
When Abram started his journey with God there was no covenant of circumcision. He only had faith and obedience. God for this, pronounced him righteous. But when he chose his wife’s advice over God’s leading, he walked out of faith. Though his business being born of God continued to blossom, God did not visit him for twelve years.
In the thirteenth year when God did it was with a rebuke!
“And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.” – Genesis 17:1
God’s standard does not change. His Word is the same, eternal. His standard from which His Word comes says “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), and “the soul that sinneth shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:20).
These words are from the immutable standard of God. He is His standard, and His standard is Him. This standard cannot be lowered even for Abram. And so for what he did, he had to die!
Abram had broken God’s command, he had to die; and what better place to put the knife than on the tool that did the havoc!
How did Abram die?
The life of the creature is in the blood. (Gen. 9:4; Lev. 17:14) Abram’s blood (his life) had to be shed (run off). That half-believing old man that played with Haggar must die! Abram, put a knife on the “neck” of that creature that made you imperfect! If ABRAHAM must live and walk with me cut that old man of sin and let the poisnous blood (the life of ABRAM) run out. God’s Word cannot be broken! For Abraham, a new creature, to come to life, old things (Abram) must pass away; the old life must go, blood has to be shed!
And so, the circumcision of the flesh came into Man’s walk with God. It was not so at the beginning!
“This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.” – Genesis 17:10
God demonstrated both His judgement and His mercy by giving Abram a second chance as Abraham. A second chance at life, a new life. (2 Cor. 5:17) God gave Abraham the gift of a renewed life, of being born-again; a divine youthfulness.
“…………but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” – Romans 6:23b
When a man dies he ceases to answer his name physically. Abraham, now you are a new creature. Abram is passed away, dead; with his old habit and nature. You are different both in habit and nature. When called Abram, you must not answer because the bearer of the former name is dead! Henceforth, you are Abraham! Behold I set before you a new beginning, new strength, new vigour and a new future. Walk before me in this new nature: blameless!
This new creature called Abraham cannot be married to the old woman called Sarai. So in you, I renew her youth! From today I remove that old barren woman full of sorrow and sadness. I replace her with the productive young woman who shall know no more sorrow or sadness. Her life shall be full of laughter! Her name shall be SARAH! For behold I do a new thing! I am Jehovah Elshaddai!
The same woman called barren, laughed at, rejected, despised, written off and regarded dead by reason of age was renewed in her youth. It had stopped to be with her after the manner of women but God, with Whom nothing shall be impossible, renewed her youth. The Almighty God made her the mother of Laughter at the YOUNG (?) age of 91! Hallellujah
Know Abraham, that walk with me is not what you can do for or by yourself but what I will do for you! I will be your exceeding great reward! My ageless strength will renew your strength like that of a young man. Stop looking at your age, look at what I am doing in your life! I am the Omnipotent God, with Me nothing shall be impossible!
What God did for Abraham, He did for everyone of us that believe in Him but we need to change the way we think.
That is the true circumcision. Circumcision is the proof of a new person, a renewed person who promises to be faithful. The higher dimension of circumcision is the proof that one is married to Jesus.
In our walk with God, physical circumcision is profitable IF we keep the Law.
“For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.” – Romans 2:25
Nadab and Abihu did not profit from circumcision because they did not climb to the higher circumcision. Korah, Dathan and Abiram though circumcised died without inheriting God’s blessings. Eli a Priest, was rejected because he could not operate in the higher circumcision. The Pharisees and Sadducees were circumcised but Jesus called them “white-washed sepulcre”. The “devout” men in Acts 2, were circumcised but could not receive any inheritance in God.
It does not matter what work one does for God or what title one carries, inheritance in the Kingdom of God can only be attained through the higher dimension of circumcision. It does not matter today whether you are physically circumcised or not, if you attain this higher circumcision you will receive from the Lord.
What is this circumcision?
That of the heart!
Man looks at the outward circumcision. But God looks at the inner circumcision. Man looks at age, at height, facial beauty, at covering of HAIR, at clothing; the natural. God looks at the unseen, at the supernatural.
Saul was circumcised but God rejected him. If you like be circumcised in the flesh, if you are not circumcised in your heart you will not have an inheritance in the Lord.
“A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.” – Romans 2:28-29 (NIV)
Every message you hear is God’s knife peeling off your spiritual foreskin.
“You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” – 2 Corinthians 3:2-3 (NIV)
His Word is the razor, sharper than any two edged sword, your heart is the foreskin. So in your heart think of yourself according to God’s thought for you. Any other thought should be pulled down; rejected. Take away from your heart whatever is not of God. That is the true circumcision.
Your heart should be a reflection of Christ: humble and contrite in spirit and sticks to the word of God. (Isaiah 66:2b)
Let’s renew our minds and think more on the things of God, His Kingdom and His Word, even above our comfort and His peace that passes understanding shall be ours. IJN. Amen.
“For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.” – Romans 11:36 (NIV)
The Christian life is not an easy one especially with the enemy, the devil, telling us God has abandoned us. And that we cannot achieve whatsoever we have planned.
We need to realize that God has not abandoned us, and that yes, we cannot of our own do anything. He keeps His promises forever. One of which is that He would never leave us nor forsake us. (Hebrew 13:5)
By His presence, He gives us the power to do what He wants to do. The ability to do a good thing or achieve anything does not reside in us but in Him! He manifests this power in and through us. He gives strength to the weak; empowering us by His Spirit to do all things. We are His instruments, His weapons of war.
“Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms.” – Jeremiah 51:20
He is the one doing the work, we are only instruments! The plan of what to do, the power to do the work and the wisdom of how best to do the work are His! We should like weapons in our hands, respond to His leading and do all things HIS WAY! We should follow His leading, His method.
True, Adam named and defined all of creation, but God was there, interested and perhaps communicating!
Moses was asked to build to specification. Crazy, old King Saul did not and was rejected. Ezekiel made dry bones come to life! He followed God’s method. Barnabas and Paul went on missionary work. They followed God’s Way.
Success, in every endeavour, is doing things God’s way.