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!
A man was told at a counselling session to live in the spirit.
He accepted but asked, “how do I do that?”
“Just live in the spirit!” His counsellor repeated.
“Tell me how!” The argument continued.
That is a big question that even some Pastors are not able to answer. Christians have been told to live in the spirit but have not been told how to enter into the realm of the spirit. It is like asking people to enter a house to the point of getting angry at their delay when the key to the door of entry is not given to them. Many, as Children of God, want to live in the spirit but do not know how to do so.
It takes exercise to enter that realm.
“Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. 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. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” – Hebrews 5:11-14
There is so much to say about God, about Jesus and about the Kingdom of the spirit.
But how do I begin to tell you about them when you do not yet understand some elementary or basic things about God and His Word, the writer seemed to say.
Jesus said He had many things to say to us which only the Holy Spirit can make us understand, on condition that we listen to and obey Him.
“For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for He is a babe.” – Hebrew 5:13
Obeying Him means not bringing our human knowledge, thought or tradition into it. Tradition nullifies the potency of the Word of God in our individual lives, and is the major reason many have not grown in the way of the Spirit.
“But strong meat!”
“But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age…………….” – Hebrew 5:14a
Like the physical body, the spiritual body needs food.
“Meat”, “Food” here is not referring to the natural food but to secrets of the Kingdom; deeper Truths about God, the benefits of spirit-life, which belongs to, and reserved only for those who are matured; who have come of age.
The more matured you are in the Kingdom, the more the benefits you get. The benefits of the Kingdom do not come by how long you have been there but by how matured you are. Paul, a much younger believer could stand and rebuke Peter openly, a “pillar” in the Church, just because of spiritual maturity which is a matter of understanding!
Just as in a family where the first born gets more privileges than the younger who may not be so matured.
“………….even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” – Hebrew 5:14b
“Who by reason of use…..”. They have tasted, experienced, gone through the fire, and consequently have matured, having the ability to discern between good and evil. To them secrets, privileges are given.
To those not matured, those outside, it is given in parables, while secrets of the Kingdom are given to the “inner”, a select few; selected to have such information because of their maturity; because they have exercised their senses and can discern the mind of the Father.
The basic difference between maturity and immaturity is the mental faculty; their sense, not height or form. Maturity comes by training, by exercising the senses.
In the things of the spirit, living a matured Christian life comes by exercising the senses. Paul implies here that there is no other way.
The spirit life in Christ Jesus opens more and more to those who exercise their senses.
Spirit-life can be likened to a coin with two sides. It is exposed to two worlds: the spiritual and the physical. It gravitates to the direction it is trained. This is what leads to addiction. No one is born an addict. Training or exercising one’s senses in a certain direction tells it to gravitate to that direction.
When we train our senses toward God, we will retain Him in our knowledge.
“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
To exercise is to deliberately employ or engage the mental or physical organs of the body in activity, in training; it means to discipline the body or mental abilities toward an aim.
Like every good thing, exercise has benefits.
(1) It Builds Shape: Exercising your senses conforms you to the image of God.
“For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” – Romans 8:29</em>
If you desire to be like Jesus (The Word), you must train at it. Study all about Him, act as He would, talk as He would, go to places He would, think as He would (or as you think He would).
He is our standard, our role model. God wants us to be like Him! It is God’s expectation for us “…..to be conformed to the image of His Son”.
(2) Exercise Makes One Strong: A weak and wimpy person who takes to exercising becomes strong.
I remember reading many years ago, the story of Arnold Schwartzenegger. He was so skinny that he was easily bullied by even those younger in age. He was afraid of his colleagues at school and nursed dropping out.
However, things turned around when he took up exercising. Not only did he build his physique as in (1) above, he became strong and was no more bullied!
“………. but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” – Daniel 11:32b
Spiritual strength comes by the knowledge of God! Zechariah agrees in 12:8, that God will empower His Children so much so that the feeble among them shall be as David in his youth!
Are you weak spiritually? Exercise your senses to know God more!
(3) Exercise Develops Immunity Against Diseases And Contamination. A person given to exercise is one full of good health.
He burns out toxins in sweat.
Spiritually, exercising the Word of God strengthens our blood cells and helps to maintain divine health.
The Word of God is:
“………. life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.” – Proverbs 4:22
The process of finding is the process of exercise. Do you desire to enjoy divine health? Find the Word of God.
(4) Exercise Sharpens Reflexes. A person that constantly exercises is alert. Such a person is seldom caught off guard.
Exercising the senses with the Word of God makes you quick, alive and active! It heightens your spiritual sensitivity and reflexes and helps you to be vigilant!
In Acts 18, Paul was spiritually sensitive enough to know that underneath the “good” sounding words of the girl was a spirit of divination.
“And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And He came out the same hour.” – Acts 16:18
Spending time with and in the Word makes you alert!
(5) Exercise Renews Your Youthfulness. As toxins are burnt off the body and strength is increased, youthfulness is maintained and renewed.
“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31
Waiting on God is exercising our senses with His Word and this renews our youthfulness.
(6) Exercise Sharpens Your Vision.
Exercising your senses with the Word of God opens your spiritual eyes to see thing that ordinarily you would not be able to see; things that others cannot see. Your ability to discern or perceive is heightened.
In 2 Kings 6, Elisha saw something that his servant could not see. The woman of Shunem, 2 Kings 4, “perceived” that Elisha was a prophet., meanwhile her husband could not.
“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.” – Ephesians 1:18
One constant prayer of Paul was that our spiritual eyes be opened as that is the way by which the greatest benefit would come to us.
Jeremiah knew in advance what God was going to do. (Jeremiah 1:12)
So did all the prophets. Today, you and I are His prophets. We should see!
(7) Exercising Makes You Confident.
Because you know who you are and what you have in Christ, the boldness of the righteous follows you wherever you go.
The knowledge that you are the apple of God’s eye and the fact that God has given His angels charge over you, establishes peace and confidence in you that is not only visible, but puts fear in many.
“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” – Hebrew 12:11
Exercise may be gruesome and painful but the benefits of it are awesome!
Every training programme has its tools. There are tools to build the arms, some other tools for the chest, some for the neck. Every part of the body has its exercise and its tools. Some of these tools are in the gym with the trainer, others are supplied by the individual trainee.
So does exercising the senses! We would look at the tools later.
Before going to the gym however, there are things you need to posses or provide. To have that admired shape, your input is needed, for no man would “build” without first sitting to count the cost.
(1) You will need to have a rugged determination! The body loves ease and resists exercise! Determination is something no gym would supply you, no matter how well equipped.
You have to decide that you want to go ahead with it and be ready to bear the cost. Esther said “if I perish, I perish!”
You must have a violent determination to start exercising, to sustain it and not give up. A man that lays his hands on the plough and looks back is not fit for the Kingdom! Nothing good comes easy!
(2) You need a Trainer. Trainers are experienced and know what exercises to put you through to bring out what you desire and give you the much admired shape or image.
Your trainer knows you: your strength, your weakness, your limit and breaking point. He knows how to turn your fat, flabby and shapeless body to one that will turn heads in admiration!
Mordecai trained Esther and brought out the best in her!
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth.” – John 16:13
The Holy Spirit is our trainer! He knows everything about us. Our weaknesses, our strengths, where we need to work on, the duration, the needed tools, everything!
He is our Trainer! Let us cooperate with Him.
(3) You also need a “spiritual” stop-watch.
Exercises are timed! Some to the count of 12, some to 15, some to 20.
The timer is most often with the trainer. While you provide time for training, your trainer supplies the expertise to shape you. He would push you to the limits, to do things you never imagined you could do!
In exercising the senses, you do not have control of time! Your Trainer, the Holy Spirit knows and determines what to put you through, with what tools and WHEN!
Yours is to relax, be not afraid, for He would not put you through what you cannot bear. Let Him fashion you, mould you and display you. Welcome to the gym of the Spirit!
“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.
“And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. [KJV] Matthew 8:26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!” – Matthew 8:23-27
There is something awesomely good about following the Master! Receiving instructions from and following the Master can be so much fun and rewarding. However it can also stir up much pain and agony! But if one learns to faithfully follow those instructions, the heat of the pain and agony would eventually be soothed out and changed to joy.
The scripture above tells of Jesus entering a boat, followed by His disciples. He took the initiative, the lead, and His disciples followed. The idea of what to do and where to go were His. A lot of pain and anguish many go through today are the result of trying to lead the Lord; thinking up the thing to do and asking God to come along! Of Him (originating from Him) and through Him (His Way and method) and to Him (surrendered to Him and His plans) are all things.
“For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” – Romans 11:36
All things: thought, word and deed should originate from Him; that is when, and the only time when His peace that passes all understanding is shed into our hearts.
Jesus was in the boat with His disciples, yet a “great tempest” rose against them!
Walking with and obeying the Lord’s instructions does not make us immune to trials! Rather, it opens us up to trials! The Lord may be mighty in your life, your job, business, ministry, home and marriage, yet storms arise!
Translated from “seismos”, the Greek word as used in Matthew 24:7 and Matthew 27:54 which means earthquake, this was not an ordinary storm, but an EARTHQUAKE! A sudden, violent movement of the earth’s surface; this, under the sea.
Some of you maybe experiencing earthquakes in your lives: a job moving normally, a business making waves, a Ministry touching lives, a marriage full of fun and promise, a normal healthy life. Then all of a sudden, unexpectedly and without warning, a violent change comes; a severe attack, an EARTHQUAKE that comes with such great force that leaves you despairing for life and possibly asking for death!
“For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life. But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead.” – 2Corinthians 1:8-9
Even with Jesus in the boat!
These fishermen who had spent all their lives at sea became helpless. Their knowledge, experience and abilities had failed them! Their peace was gone! Indeed no man should trust in his knowledge, experience, education or connection, “for by strength shall no man prevail!”
Despite the earthquake you may experiencing now, God wants you to have peace! Even in the midst of turmoil, strife and trial, with every ground breaking up around you and falling apart, God wants you to know that He has you covered; you are secure. A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right, no harm can come on you! (Psalm 91:7)
The disciples were worried, afraid and not at peace because of the Earthquake, and Jesus rebuked them as faithless! Imagine being in a summersaulting vehicle and with no seat-belt, and for crying out in panic, God rebukes you!
What does He expect you to do?
Ignore the storm! Jesus ignored it! That was why He rebuked them.
“And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.” – Matthew 8:26
He was disappointed that they were afraid and woke Him up. Why was He disappointed?
They did not ignore the storm!
He had told them how much they mean to God and how much God cares for them. (Matthew 6:25-34.) They were not to worry! Satan cannot do anything to you except God allows him. That was why Jesus could sleep in the boat! But obviously, the disciples did not learn it; they lived in fear and worry.
Whereas the Word of God tells us not to fret because of evil doers (Proverbs 24:19)
Thankfully, they began to practice, for over ten years later Peter faced a situation that threatened his life. He had learned and exercised himself to be at peace with his everyday situations, no matter the environment.
In Acts 12:1-5, with just a few hours to be beheaded, he did not rehearse his fate, or try to figure where he went wrong. Rather he slept soundly, peacefully in the midst of a “quarternium” of soldiers (16 soldiers).
Now he knew. There was a knowing now, that we are hidden in Christ where no devil or harm can come. They can raise every kind of storm but cannot touch a child of God that knows the power of God that works in him!
“But the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” – Daniel 11:32b
Knowledge is powerful, it delivers!
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” – John 8:32
It takes knowledge of the Word of God, to be free or delivered from worry. Peter knowing the Word of God and having an understanding of same through practice, was able to put his trust in Him who gave that Word. And as trust begets peace, he was filled with peace and was able to sleep!
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” – Isaiah 26:3
Trust comes by knowledge, and knowledge does not come cheap! It does not come overnight, but with time, patience and consistency.
It took Peter over ten years of practice, over ten years of “tasting” the Lord, before knowing He is good.
“O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” – Psalm 34:8
To taste means to get involved, to experience, which sometimes, come with a high price.
Learn to leave some things alone. After you have huffed and puffed, leave everything in the hands of the Lord and go to sleep. Allow peace into your heart kknowing that God is working all things to your favour!