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.
A Sculptor went to the wood market to buy a log of wood. There, he saw different sizes and colours of wood, yet he stayed long wondering from wood to wood, stall to stall. The log dealers conducted him round the market as he scrutinized each log to the amazement of the dealers. Still, he would not make up his mind which to buy. One by one they left him, disappointed to have wasted so much time on him. They concluded that he was not a serious customer and was not worth paying attention to.
However the Sculptor had something in mind; he knew what he was looking for and of all the log in the market, he could see only one with the pattern.
The dealers noticed he kept returning to a particular log. They could not see what he saw in the wood because as far as they were concerned, the logs were the same.
Presently, the Sculptor returned to the log. He stared hard and long at it; going round it in deep study. The years of experience had trained his eyes toward recognizing at a glance, the pattern on wood that matches the design in his mind. He could actually see the image in his mind on the wood!
Uninterested, the owner of the log turned his face away, looking for a potential customer. Certainly, this man is not serious, he thought, until the Sculptor beckoned on him.
Back at his studio, he went to work chiselling over the contours of the wood, his trained eyes seeing the design on the wood come to life, depicting the picture in his mind. At last the work was completed. It was a breath-taking master-piece.
We are the Wood, the Holy Spirit is the Sculptor. He knows God’s mind for us individually: His gifts and callings; God’s plan and design put in us before the foundation of the world.
“But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” -1 Cor. 2:10-12
He alone knows where to chisel us. And He does, here and there, in the path we should go so that the beauty and aroma of God in us may be revealed.
“……but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.” – John 21:18b
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” – Rom. 8:14
He connects us to God.
“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, He is none of his.” – Rom. 8:9
He makes us know our heavenly inheritance.
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” -1 Cor. 2:12
He teaches us and comforts us.
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” – John 14:26
He prays in us according to the will of God.
“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” – Rom. 8:26-27
It takes the Holy Spirit to bring out or manifest the god in us as the Sculptor reveals the unseen beauty in the log.
Like the Wood, let’s learn to give Him the preeminence.
Often times in life we pray for open doors. Especially as Christians we want breakthroughs; we want doors to open up for us so that we can venture into new things; new jobs, new businesses, a new house, new relationships.
However in Revelations chapter 3, we see that the Lord Jesus Christ has set an open door for us. It is for those who have encountered the word and holding strongly to it.
He spoke to a particular group of believers, the group found to be on the right path or track.
In other words there is a depth of Christ that we get to and we don’t need to pray for open doors, because he has already set before us the open door. The door that the enemy shut against us.
He asked them to “behold”.
What Jesus is saying to everyone of us especially his children as Christians is that we should “behold”, “see”, “Look”, “stare at”. Behold means to look properly.
Jesus was pointing to something that he wants his believers to see. He was pointing to something that he wants his disciples to see, something that ordinarily they overlook; something that is there but not easily seen. He spoke to them in comparison to the synagogue of Satan, the congregation of the dead, who go by the name Christians. They go to Church, have the form but deny the power, by not holding onto the Word.
“The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.” – Prov. 21:16
Jesus began to draw a distinction, a line between Christians and TRUE Christians.
There are people who go to church, believed to be Christians, they carry the Bible and even preach the Bible but they’re not disciples of Christ!
Jesus sets the distinction by saying, “look the door is open!”
Open door is only for those who are true disciples. They hold on to the Word of God, act like Jesus, talk like Jesus, think like Jesus. As a matter of fact it is Christ that is living in them.
But the other, the congregation of the dead? They do not hold to the word of God, they don’t act like Jesus or talk like Jesus, having wondered out of the way of understanding.
God has set an open door before those who hold firmly to His word, those who bought His Word and refused to sell it. But they couldn’t see the door because of the cares of this world, as Satan magnifies their want, making their God-given vision or dream look small and consequently, they despise the little beginning throwing the vision away. Instead of searching out divine judgement, they give up. It was so at the beginning when man bought the lie from the serpent throwing away what he thought was of no value: God’s vision and plan for him.
But, God hide treasures in trash!
They see themselves as failures, not capable of carrying the vision. They think they are the ones to carry the vision not God, so they write themselves off.
Whereas the door has been opened, it remains shut for these, making it impossible for them to enter through because of these two negative thoughts -fear and unbelief.
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 10:5
We are told here that nothing should be allowed above the Word of God. We should not, like the ten spies, allow the devil steal the vision from us, consequently the crown of glory. We defeat ourselves whenever we write ourselves off.
As it is said and written that as a man thinketh in his heart so is he.
Stop crying, complaining and murmuring! God is saying “move on!” Don’t allow fear to paralyze you!
The key of David (praise) opens the door. You can only enter the door with the “heart-tittude” of David.
“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”- Psalm100:4
It has to come from your heart. Remember Steven who was being stoned, from his heart he looked up, saw heaven open and from the abundance of his heart, did what was right before God.
Praise is not only in singing but in our obedience to Him no matter what we go through.
Until you learn to give all the glory to God even in the deepest agony, you are not a candidate for growth and supplies: open door.
Most often however, people abandon a praiseful life to equate themselves with others.
Learn to praise God even in the toughest of times, only then will you “behold” the open door.
We are on a journey.
Passing towns and villages, hills and valleys. In the same way we move, constantly moving from days to weeks, to months and years; moving from age to age, changing even facially as we journey in life.
We carry luggage on our journey; some light, some heavy. Most of these slow us down spiritually.
Even oceanliners and aircrafts have weight limits, and are dutifully monitored for peak performance.
For a faster and secure ride in 2016, we need to shed some load; everything that constitute sin in our lives: lying, hatred, envy, jealousy, unforgiveness, stealing, formication and adultery, etc. These are great loads of hindrance in that slowed and impeded our progress in 2015.
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28
Jesus calls us to give Him our load, and in turn He will give us much better days.
“The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts. – Haggai 2:9
2016 shall be by far a much better year than 2015. It is a year of exploits for as many that will be totally committed to Him.
(1 ) Uproot fear – “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” -2 Timothy 1:7
You need to uproot, reject and cast out fear. Fear gives birth to failure.
(2) Learn to trust Him.
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because He trusteth in thee.” – Isaiah 26:3
Whoever must travel with God in 2016 must, through thick and thin, believe that what He has promised, He is more than able to deliver.
This does not come easy! Trust is built, and this, by time and patience. The enemy, as in the garden of Eden, will come planting doubt and unbelief. He may create delay as with the angel sent to Daniel.
You just have to hold on to His word, for faithful is He that promised. He said through Habakkuk that no matter the delay it shall surely come!
“For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” – Habakkuk 2:3
Believe, and not waver between two opinions. And the peace of God that passes all understanding shall guard your heart in Jesus mighty Name. Amen.
Welcome to 2016!
“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.