Can a Christian be against Christ?

The answer to the title of this article may seem obvious, however, it is not always so! Not all Christians are actually living a life that pleases Christ.

While having christian parents is enough to be called ‘christian’, it takes more than just being born in a Christian family to be on the side of Christ. The lines are way thinner than we imagine.

Once Jesus’ mother and brothers were waiting to meet Him standing outside a house and this news was brought to Jesus. He immediately looked at the crowd in front of Him, who filled that house, and said ‘who is my mother, and who are my brother’s?’ (Matthew 12:48)

I believe, it would have left the audience of Jesus completely baffled. If we were to make the same statement to our parents and siblings today, we would be calling for deep trouble! Yet Jesus did it, because his standards were different and His teachings were tough.

Jesus went against traditions, culture and expectations of His people and time. He gave the place of a mother, brother and sister to those who did the ‘will of God’, over his own blood related family. So if Jesus questioned His own family, would he spare you and me if we don’t believe in Him and do His will, just because our parents are christians?

“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” Matthew 12:30

Being spiritually passive is a state where one chooses to be inactive in the affairs of the kingdom of God, often accompanied by reasoning such as ‘there is already too much on my plate’, ‘let me work hard now and when I retire I will serve Christ’, ‘am busy trying to hold everything together’, ‘if I don’t work, how will I feed my family’, ‘it’s a clergy job’. This is a very dangerous state to be in.

Jesus gave the place of a mother, brother and sister to those who did the ‘will of God’, over his own blood related family.

When God made us a new creation, He made us for a purpose with a heavenly mandate to be His ambassadors on earth. Not fulfilling or, for that matter, neglecting such a calling not only makes us disobedient to God but destroys the very work of Christ. And Jesus said, these are the people who are against Him!

In a world where everyone likes to play safe, Christ made the lines quite clear and expects us to choose the kind of life that abides by the law of Christ.

If this post touched your heart and changed your life, share it with friends and family

RECOGNISING AND CONQUERING THE SPIRIT OF FEELING ORPHANED

“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” – Jesus

Quite often, you find yourself feeling fearful of an unknown future, or a broken past, or a shameful present. Today, keep your heart open – as God, who is your FATHER and who loves like a MOTHER, wants you to dive into His arms and receive His unconditional love that will wash away all your pain, rejection, shame, fear and burden. There is no place except the arms of your heavenly Father where you will be made whole.

The love that human beings have to offer is tainted by sin. An earthly mother or father can love you sacrificially and beautifully, but never completely. This is simply because sin entered mankind and only Jesus could pay the ultimate price for it because He had no sin in Him. God, who is sinless, is the only one whose love is completely selfless and totally unconditional.

To receive God’s gracious love, you and I need to do nothing. Only believe who He is and what He is saying is true.

Jesus literally came on earth to empathise with the scars and wounds that you have faced – caused by sin in others and yourself

Beloved, sin in others and sin in you has wounded and scarred your life from when you were a child. Yes, scarred physically but also spiritually. The inability to trust human beings because they harmed you, automatically, makes it hard for you to trust God. Inability to see good in yourself, automatically, makes it hard to see good in God. Every scar of your life leaves a mark that causes fear, anxiety and bitterness to flood your life.

And Jesus literally came on earth to empathise with these scars and wounds that you have faced – caused by sin in others and yourself. That is why, when He was talking about His ascension to heaven and about sending the Holy Spirit, He told his disciples – “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” John 14 : 18 (NIV)

The disciples weren’t orphans, but with Jesus leaving them to go to heaven – they were going to be ‘orphaned’ spiritually. This is why Jesus had to tell them that though he was going to heaven, he was sending another advocate who would live in them and speak God’s word to them.

Today, a lot of us continue living orphaned spiritually. Sometimes we get a hint of it, but a lot of times we don’t even recognise that the mistakes we make or say is because we’re deeply scarred internally.

Now, how does a king know when to send his army to fight a battle? It is when he recognises that the enemy is scheming to attack him or has already launched an attack.

The same way, a lot of us end up living with a spirit of feeling orphaned, which ties us down and limits us, because we don’t even know that there is such an attack upon us.

A lot of times we don’t even recognise that the mistakes we make or things we say are because we’re deeply scarred internally

So how does one recognise this spirit of feeling orphaned?

  1. Sensing loneliness and feeling helpless
  2. Feeling anxious and worried
  3. Finding it hard to trust anyone completely, including God
  4. Feeling jealous or upset when others are blessed
  5. Being unforgiving and unmerciful to God and others
  6. Pitying yourself

But you are not meant to be living a life feeling orphaned in your spirit.

In fact, the Holy Spirit who lives in you, is always reminding you that you are a CHILD of GOD!

Let me tell you, one of the most important truth you need to live by for a victorious life is that YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD – which only comes by believing in Jesus (John 1:12).

You are not meant to be living a life feeling orphaned in your spirit, but to live as a child of God

Paul understood this very well, and that is why he says in Romans 8 : 15 – 16, “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

If you recognise any of these characteristics in yourself, or observe a pattern of any of these or all of it in your life, you know that you got to fight this out. The Spirit of feeling orphaned holds you back from the plans God has laid out for you. Even if you read the bible or attend church, these scars stop you from fulfilling the call of God in your life and living to the fullest capacity that God has fashioned you for.

Recognising and knowing your enemy helps you form a strategy and plan your battle. Every king sends his troops to battle based on the size, ability and schemes of the enemy. It would be foolish to send all the army for a battle against only a few or to take less army to fight a large enemy.

The Spirit of feeling orphaned holds you back from the plans God has laid out for you.

How do you strategise and position yourself to fight this battle and conquer the spirit of feeling orphaned?

1. Know your identity in Christ

Everything you do and everything expected from you is rooted in identity. You are a girl or a boy, a student or a professional, a doctor or an artist, an Indian or German, a daughter or a son and so much more. Do you see how everything in this world functions on identity?

The truth is all these worldly identities like gender, race, profession, and creed are limited and temporary. They either end once your life ends or they keep changing in your lifetime.

There is only one identity that lasts for eternity which is true and firm, and that is your identity in Christ.

When you believe in Jesus, you receive this identity in Christ – You are God’s child, You are God’s cherished possession. You are chosen, holy, a priest (1 Peter 2:9). You are the apple of God’s eye (Zechariah 2:8). You are His ambassador (2 Corinthians 5:20). You are fearfully and wonderfully created (Psalms 139:14). You are His signet ring (Haggai 2:23). You are God’s chosen instrument and vessel (Acts 9:15).

As you read and meditate on the word of God, the Bible, to know who God is – you will begin to understand your true identity in Him.

There is only one identity that lasts for eternity which is true and firm, and that is your identity in Christ.

Every time you see yourself questioning your worth, or someone else questioning it – remind yourself of your identity in Christ. Feel jealous or upset when others are blessed? Remind yourself of who you are and how valued you are in God’s sight, as much as the other person is valued in God’s sight. Finding it hard to forgive someone who has wronged you or God himself? Remind yourself of what God has done for you through Jesus and who you are because of Jesus’ unconditional love for you.

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. If you focus on your weakness or trials, you will end up pitying yourself which pulls your spirit down. Instead, in those moments of weakness and trials, focus on your strengths and the gifts God has given you. If you do this, you will see how, no matter which area you do well or don’t do well, you will remain confident of who you are – simply because your identity is now in Christ.

2. Trust your heavenly Father completely

When you feel lonely, left out and helpless, you tend to go further into a hole and hide yourself. This destroys all the amazing purposes that God has planned for your life. Instead, when you feel lonely and helpless, you’ve got to call out to God and seek Him.

Job was feeling extremely lonely when he lost everything he had, and even his wife told him to curse God and die. But Job says in Job 23:8 that God was near Him.

How did Job overcome loneliness? By trusting God.

God is a father to the fatherless. We are all His children and He will never let us feel orphaned.

Why should you trust God? Because He is never changing, holy, righteous, loving, compassionate, slow to anger, forgiving and He is the author and perfecter of your life. He holds the whole world in His hands. He is always good. He is keeper of His word, a giver, a helper and your all in all. God says in 1 Peter 2:6 that no one who trusts in Him will ever be put to shame.

God is a father to the fatherless. We are all His children and He will never let us feel orphaned. Because when you trust Him, He ensures He fulfills His word.

When you’re feeling anxious and worried, this trust upon God will be your shield and rampart. Someone who doesn’t have the spirit of feeling orphaned will never worry about life on earth – their job, marriage, family. It is simply because they trust God who says, ‘if I feed the birds in the air, will I not also feed you?’ So every time you feel anxious when a tough circumstance comes your way, proclaim your trust in this true and living God who is in charge of everything and who is faithful to His word. He will never ever fail those why trust in Him.

When you trust God, you also trust people around you because the God whom you depend on trusts those people. Is it making sense? God trusts those around you with gifts and talents and so much more. So if you say you trust God, you got to trust those people too.

People fail, because sin entered mankind and has made everyone sinful. But the God who is over those people and you will never fail. That is why, in Romans 8:28, God says that He works all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

Beloved, you and I are not called to be trampled by the spirit of feeling orphaned. You and I are called to conquer it – and it is only possible through the help of the Holy Spirit and understanding God’s word. We need to rest in our identity in Christ and trust God completely, even when it looks irrational.

You and I are not called to be trampled by the spirit of feeling orphaned. You and I are called to conquer it.

God is your everything. He promised that He won’t leave you as orphans.

If this post touched your heart and changed your life, share it with friends and family

IS TRUE UNITY BEYOND PHONE CALLS, HUGS AND GATHERINGS?

Complete Unity
I in them and you in me so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.  
John 17:23 

More than often, in today’s time, I hear people saying they don’t ‘like’ a particular leader in church and so stopped going to church OR that someone in the church ‘hurt’ them OR someone did something ‘wrong’. While all these may be true and genuine reasons – it is not only unfruitful but also against God’s desire that anyone separates from the body of Christ and sails this earthly life all by themselves.

On the other hand, when Jesus prayed and asked God to bring us all in complete unity with Himself and God – He prayed it because it is possible.

Well, it is unity that comes from God that binds us, His people, together as one family – the church – despite our differences, hurts, misunderstandings and wrongdoing.

Although the word ‘unity’ is often understood as an absence of hurt, misunderstandings, offence and negative emotions, it is not the true biblical expression of the word ‘unity’. In fact, ‘unity’ in the bible is far deeper than physical hugs, calls, gatherings and unions.

Have you seen how most families live and journey life together despite their differences, day-to-day disagreements, hurt, and misunderstandings? Why and how? Well, it is unity that comes from God that binds us, His people, together as one family – the church – despite our differences, hurts, misunderstandings and wrongdoing.

According to what Jesus prayed and the word of God – there are two crucial principles that we need to align ourselves to, that brings us to this unity –

• UNITY IN THE SPIRIT

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Philippians 2 : 1 – 2

We, believers in Christ, must be united with the Spirit of God. Paul exhorts the church in Philippi to be one in spirit and of one mind. That is only possible by being united with Christ – as Jesus prays in John, ‘I in them and You in Me’. When you are connected to Christ, who is the head of the church, you will undoubtedly be connected to every other part of the body. This is because the Head, Jesus, himself has the best interests of all parts of His body in mind.

It will be about sympathising with others’ weakness rather than judging them. It will be about correcting and building up a fellow believer, instead of gossiping about them. This will be true unity.

If you are connected to Christ and share in the Spirit, you will begin to view, perceive and understand others through the Spirit of God. It will no longer be about your priorities that needs to be heard, but about God’s priorities being heard and taken into account. It will no longer be about what someone said or did, but about why that person said or did that very thing. It will be about sympathising with others’ weakness rather than judging them. It will be about correcting and building up a fellow believer, instead of gossiping about them. This will be true unity.

Jesus, himself, empathises with our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15), that is why He even came to the point where He was willing to die for our sins. No one who is against you for your mistakes will die in your place for those very sins. He had the interests of the Father in mind, and so all He desired was to lavish the Father’s love on us, who sin against Him over and over again.

Friend, you have to walk in the Spirit and be in constant communion with Christ to be able to be truly united to the body of Christ. It is not about being united with one or two people who suit your interests, but every single person in the body of Christ.

John says in 1 John 3:15 that anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer. Why? Simply because God is love. Loving is the very nature of God. That is why, God loved us to an extent of sacrificing His only begotten son as a ransom for our sins. This means that if I truly love God, I have to accept this nature of His which is to love unconditionally.

God’s love is AGAPE. It is unconditional. You can stop talking to God, turn your back on Him, speak ill of Him – and He will still not stop loving you.

You have to walk in the Spirit and be in constant communion with Christ to be able to be truly united to the body of Christ.

And so, if you really love God, the truth is – you wouldn’t hate, or in simpler words, hold anything against anyone in your heart. You will instead lavish your love upon the person who has hurt you, harmed you or even done the worst to you. Simply because you love God, who loves that person enough to pay a penalty for that person’s sins.

Unite with Christ, through the Spirit of God, and you will begin to exhibit and live in what Jesus said is ‘complete unity’ within the body of Christ. Beyond the physical, it will be unity in the Spirit.

• UNITY COMES THROUGH MATURITY

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4 : 1-6

Unity comes with being able to live a life worthy of the call that God has over you. As you walk in communion with Christ, you will grow in maturity, in understanding and in reflecting Christ. Unity through the bond of peace that Paul talks about here in Ephesians is not an inherit nature in all of us. In fact, we all are sinners and fall short of the glory of God. The sinful nature is us is constantly battling with the Spirit of God who is at work in us. However, Jesus won the victory for us and so now we don’t need to submit to our sinful nature; rather we submit to the Spirit of God.

The Holy Spirit will only lead us to be at peace with one another, to forgive one another, to bear with one another. As Paul says, there is ONE body, ONE spirit, ONE hope, ONE Lord, ONE faith, ONE baptism, ONE God and Father of all.

The triune God in the Bible best describes unity. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit always work in tandem, in oneness and unity.

The Holy Spirit will only lead us to be at peace with one another, to forgive one another, to bear with one another.

Where the flesh rules, there will be jealousy, offences, misunderstandings, hurt, fights, quarrels and differences. But where Christ rules, there will be understanding, forgiveness, acceptance, love, peace, joy and unity.

In the church of Corinth, people were jealous of one another and they had fights and quarrelling. Paul tells them in 1 Corinthian 3 : 1-3 – Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?

Paul told them that their jealousy and quarrelling stemmed from their immaturity and lack of growth in Christ. Beloved, step up to know Christ more, grow in His likeness. Only when you grow to become more like Jesus, maturing in Him, will true unity reign in you.

Unity is more than feeling ‘comfortable’ around someone, it is making others feel comfortable around you. It is more than ‘not talking to someone because of their behaviour’, it is being there for everyone when they need you. It is more than mere hugs and kisses, it is loving each other at one’s worst.

We must stop taking offence, being hurt and leaving the body of Christ – rather, make efforts to keep the unity of the Spirit, be quick to forgive and love one another unconditionally.

Jesus said that if we, believers in Christ, come together in complete unity as Jesus resides in us and God resides in Him – then the world will know that Jesus has loved all of us the way that God has loved Him.

There’s a dire need today, for us to stop taking offence, being hurt and leaving the body of Christ – rather, to make efforts to keep the unity of the Spirit, be quick to forgive and love one another unconditionally. Then the world will see us and believe that Jesus is Lord.

If this post touched your heart and changed your life, share it with friends and family

DON’T DESPISE SMALL THINGS

‘Go big!’, ‘do something great’, ‘it’s insignificant, ‘reach out for the stars’, ‘he’s not capable’, ‘she’s too young’, ‘he is too weak in this’– don’t these phrases sound so familiar? We hear them all the time. But, God – the creator of heaven and earth, says something that is very different from all of this. This is what He says in Zechariah 4 : 10 – ‘Who dares despise the day of small things….?’.

Yes, if you’ve said or thought any of those statements for yourself or others – God is asking you, ‘Who dares despise the day of small things…?’

Through the length and breadth of the bible, from when God created man from ‘dust’ and when God used Jesus as a ‘young’ man to die for our sins – He was making one point clear. Small things are to be honoured and valued. It is these small things, the day of small things that brings out the glory in the finish.

Today, if you feel small or something you are doing seems small and insignificant, God is reminding you – He holds you and those small things done, according to His will, in high regard. The end result of you and all that God is doing through you will gain its very glory from their small beginnings, hopes and capabilities.

Small beginnings

Beloved, today, about 2000 years after Jesus died, there are millions of people who believe that He is the promised Messiah. How many believed and followed Him when He was here on earth? 12? Even among them one betrayed him.

Small beginning, right? Just 11 men who believed that He indeed was and is the saviour of this world.

Don’t be discouraged with small and humble beginnings. When the assignment is from God, small beginnings are like the root of a tree; If not for these roots (small beginnings), the tree would never grow and bear fruit.

When Jesus’ disciples lacked faith to drive out demons from a boy, Jesus told them in Matthew 17:20, “…Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

That is it, Jesus wants us to begin by having faith, even as small as a mustard seed, to move a mountain. Assignments, plans and strategies that begin as small as a mustard seed is exactly what God uses to display His glory and power.

Don’t underestimate the small beginning that you have ventured into or even something that God is doing through someone else. In time to come, these will be the testimonies declared from the mountain top.

Small hopes

Nothing is impossible for God. If you’ve read the bible, you’d know by now that God has always turned ‘small hopes’ into big breakthroughs.

The little boy had only five loaves and two fishes. The disciples had no hope in it, yet the boy did. With his small hope, he gave it to Jesus. The same five loaves and two fishes fed five thousand men and even more women and children – with 12 baskets leftover.

During the reign of judges, God asked Gideon to fight Israel’s enemies who numbered in lakhs with just 300 men. Grim, small hope, right? But what happened? Who won the battle? Gideon and his 300 men!

No small hope placed on Jesus will ever fail. Even with the smallest hope, He is a God who can turn impossible situations into massive victories.

In Malachi 3 : 10, God says, ‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” The principle that God is laying down here is that ‘you bring whatever you have to me, even if it is very small, and see what I can do with it’.

No wonder, the woman, who fed Prophet Elijah with her little and last bit of oil and flour, had a jar of oil that never ran dry and flour that never got over.

Small abilities

When the little shepherd boy, David, came forward to fight the huge philistine giant, and that too with a sling and a stone, people laughed. ‘He’s too small, what can he do’, they thought. What happened there? Well, the ‘little’ boy defeated the giant with one stone, in the name of the Lord.

God doesn’t need your abilities to accomplish the plans and purposes he has for you, but he does need your availability. He wants you to go to him with the ‘small abilities’ that you have to fulfil great things planned for you and His Kingdom.

Moses was an old man who stutters. Who would have thought God would call him from among many other well-built, well-spoken Israelite men to deliver Israel from Egypt? But God did. Moses had very less ability to speak and lead over 6 lakh men, and more women and children. But when He made himself available to God, God enabled him to lead the Israelites powerfully out of Egypt and through the wilderness.

Bring your small abilities to the God, His strength that works powerfully in you will turn the same weakness into your strength – and this will result in glory and honour to God!

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 1 Corinthians 1 : 27

Don’t despise small things, they bring glory and honour to God!

If this post touched your heart and changed your life, share it with friends and family

THANK GOD NOW AND ALWAYS!

Give thanks, my friend, now when the road uphill is hard to climb
Give thanks, my friend, now when the valley below is threatening and a fright
Give thanks, my friend, now when a loved one is drawing away
Give thanks, my friend, now when failures seem to stay

Also, give thanks, my friend, now when the road ahead looks bright and clear
Give thanks, my friend, now when the valley below is plush flowers
Give thanks, my friend, now when that loved one is yours to hold
Give thanks, my friend, when success meets you at every door

Because this, my friend, is God's will for you - TO GIVE THANKS TO HIM IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES !
He knows your end from the beginning. He cares for you more than you care. Can He who holds heaven and earth, not take control of your life? Does He not love you unconditionally? 

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 
1 Thessalonians 5:18

A CONQUEROR IN CHRIST

It is really hard, really really hard. Probably no one can understand what you’re going through. The devil sows lies in our minds about the hardships, uncertainty and tests in our lives to pull us down, bring in fear and discouragement to a point where he makes us think that we are no longer loved by God or that we can never love God. Both of those are big lies, because Satan is the prince of lies.

This is God’s word for you, if you’re in this place. God wants to remind you now that – in all the hardships, trials and tests, the love of Jesus Christ in you and for you will never be separated from you.

This is what God says in Romans 8:35-37 –

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Beloved, YOU ARE MORE THAN A CONQUEROR THROUGH THE LOVE OF JESUS that is poured out in your hearts through what He did for you on the cross and what He will do for you by giving you eternal life. These trials and tough times are temporary and Jesus overcame them by death on the cross and through His resurrection. No deadly peril or negativity can separate you from the love of Christ in you.

Don’t spend time pondering on the trials, spend your time living as a conqueror through Christ. Believe in Jesus’ resurrection power to overcome any uncertain and tough situation you face.

Be encouraged today, Jesus conquered for you and as you keep believing in Him, you are more than a CONQUEROR ✨

WHY SHOULD I PRAY?

Sometimes we just don’t ‘feel like’ praying or sometimes we ‘don’t have the time’ to pray, yet, prayer is the most important part of anyone’s life. Prayer builds our identity, our knowledge of our creator and leads us into the purposes and plans God has for us.

So, here are five reasons why you should persevere in prayer and pray –

• Converse with God

Praying is literally talking to God, just as you would with a parent / guardian, a sibling or a friend. What do you do with them? Pour out your heart, share yourself with them, listen to them and know them more.

He is always there, not only to hear you, to converse with you.

If you’re wondering or are struggling to pray to the true God, begin now by going to Him and talking to Him. You can converse with him wherever you are, because he is everywhere, at all times. He is the parent, friend or sibling who will never go far from you, no matter what. He is always there, not only to hear you, to converse with you. And He always speaks, in alignment with His word, the Bible.

“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord .. Isaiah 1:18

The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them. Psalms 25:14

• Let ‘go’ and let ‘GOD’

Oftentimes, we tend to keep our problems or circumstances right in front of our eyes, up close. Our human mind pushes us to think of all the probabilities and possibilities of something going right or wrong. But with all our limitations, there is honestly no problem/circumstance that assures us of a permanent solution. This makes us anxious, burdened and hopeless.

That is why we need our creator, who is ruler over all things, to lead us into the plan He has for us. Only He can bring joy and peace in our hearts in the midst of uncertainty, because only He knows how to lead us through.

When you pray, you begin to focus on how God can lead you. So now, the problem or circumstance you are in starts diminishing in comparison to God’s greatness and power. When you pray, you give God the charge and you let go.

Praying constantly and consistently in the midst of uncertainty is very important, if you want to be peaceful and joyful.

When you pray, you give God the charge and you let go.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6,7

• Stand in the gap

Have you seen someone hurting and wondered what you can do to help? Or Seen someone’s bad behaviour and wondered how it could change? Or Seen a community, city or nation reel under threat and wondered how things would be back to normal?

When you pray for a person’s bad behaviour, God changes their heart and mind. When you pray for a nation, God brings about a revival.

The truth is, God is sovereign over all things and He alone can take control of hearts, minds and even nations. God, in the Bible, says that He just needs someone to stand in the gap and intercede for others.

When you pray for a broken heart, God does the mending. When you pray for a person’s bad behaviour, God changes their heart and mind. When you pray for a nation, God brings about a revival.

“I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.” Ezekiel 22:30

• Fight the real enemy

A lot of times we get caught up fighting against people. Sometimes we win the fight, sometimes we lose the fight.. but, either ways, end up distancing from the person. That is not what God has called us to. In fact, God tells us that anyone who loves God must love their sisters and brothers (1 John 4:21).

Your family and friends are not your enemies, the devil is.

But.. this is not easy. Our emotions and our heart are deceitful, making it hard for us to let go and not fight people. That is why we need to pray. When you pray, you war against the real enemy – the devil. Your family and friends are not your enemies, the devil is. When you pray, God’s angel armies fight the devil and that’s when you remain at peace with your family or friend.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6 : 12

• Unveil the supernatural

When God created man and woman, the Bible says He created us in His likeness. God wants us to be like Him in every way – His character, His glory and His power. He wants us to display His glory here on earth, as it is in heaven.

When you live your life outside of prayer, you live on human capacity. But when you live your life in prayer, which is dependence on God in everything, you live in God’s capacity

That’s why Jesus taught the disciples to pray like this – “..your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” Matthew 6:10

When you live your life outside of prayer, you live on human capacity. But when you live your life in prayer, which is dependence on God in everything, you live in God’s capacity – which is beyond natural. Praying leads you to witness God’s miracles in your life and lives of people around you. You, then, begin to live a supernatural life, the Kingdom (of heaven) life – which is what Jesus asked us to pray for.

If you want to start praying again, begin by just simply conversing with God. He is there. He is lisening. Right now and always..

If this post touched your heart and changed your life, share it with friends and family

MIRRORING OUR HEAVENLY FATHER | God of Justice : Part 3

Principles of a Just God

Have you ever come across a child, observed their behavior – both good and bad, and immediately thought about who their parents are? It comes naturally. Not because parents are solely responsible for the child’s character, but because every child, in some way or the other, mirrors their caretaker’s behavior.

Over the past two blogs, we talked about our heavenly father being a Just God and then how He wants us to be Just in every way and every time. Today, I want to share with you some basic underlying principles from the Word of God on how we can become daughters and sons who mirror our Just Father in an unjust world. Simply because when we become His children, we become aliens and strangers to the world which lives on its own principles. Children live by the principles of their parents or guardian, not strangers.

Are you and I claiming to be sons and daughters of God, but not displaying Jesus in our talk, actions and living? Then I’m afraid, if we do this, we may not enter the kingdom of heaven, as Jesus said in Matthew 7 : 21 – “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”

The truth is that we are called to mirror Him here on earth as it will be in heaven. Today, let us choose to make that commitment. Let us not misrepresent Him, half represent Him or not represent Him, let’s mirror Him as He is – a Just God. We can mirror our heavenly father only when we live, think and talk based on His principles that are all about love, justice and mercy.

So how do we do it? The commonly known ‘Golden rule’ is the foundational principle to every other principle in the word of God when it comes to living for God.

Let us not misrepresent Him, half represent Him or not represent Him, let’s mirror Him as He is – a Just God.

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7 : 12

If we can begin to apply this in every facet of life, we will be living testimonies of Jesus across this world. All we got to do is treat others the way we would want ourselves to be treated. Would you want to be helped? Then help. Would you want to be given second chances? Then give. Would you like to grow? Then allow others to grow, better still, help them grow.

There are principles based on the basic principle of doing to others what you would have them do to you –

  • FREELY RECEIVED TO FREELY GIVE

When Jesus began His ministry here on earth, the word of God records His first miracle as turning water to wine for a wedding, where the family ran out of the drink for guests (John 2). We see that He gave so freely the grace, the power and anointing that He already received. Not to say, the greatest thing that Jesus gave freely for us was His life. He died on the cross for our sins, iniquities, shortcomings, weaknesses and insecurity, when he had no err in Himself.

If we realise that everything that we have is freely given to us by God – spiritual bondages of pride, insecurity and double mindedness will begin to break away from our lives.

If we understand and practice this principle of our Just Father to give freely because we have freely received, it will be the first step to a completely transformed mind and character. Yes! If we realise that everything that we have is given to us freely by God – spiritual bondages of pride, insecurity and double mindedness will begin to break away from our lives.

When Jesus was sending out the disciples to preach the good news of the Kingdom of God, He told them this one principle to be servant leaders – which is a root characteristic to being ‘Just’. He said in Matthew 10 : 8, “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you received; freely give.” As believers in Christ, we have received God’s unending love, mercy, forgiveness, kindness, healing, provision and so much more. What Jesus was saying is that if you received it freely, you give it to others too freely. Not at a cost. Don’t only give because they will return it, give because God asked you to. Don’t only show mercy because they deserve it, show mercy to the one who didn’t do anything to deserve it. Freely you have received it all, freely give it all.

  • MERCY AND FORGIVENESS BEFORE JUDGEMENT

When Peter asked Jesus how many times to forgive someone, you can imagine that he was coming from a place of despair of forgiving the person over and over again to the point where he felt ‘really when should I stop forgiving this person and judge them for what they did to me?’. So Jesus then shares a beautiful parable to explain how someone who has been shown mercy should show more mercy to anyone who wrongs them (Matthew 18 : 21 – 35).

Being Just begins with being merciful and forgiving. Yes, this is a paradox. But it is the truth.

God who is holy, blameless, blemishless and spotless, so willfully sacrificed His only son to bring forgiveness to us, who sinned against him. Then who are we, full of our own faults, weaknesses, and imperfections, not to forgive a brother or sister who wronged us?

Being Just begins with being merciful and forgiving. Yes this is a paradox. But it’s the truth. You may ask how. You see, first of all, when we ourselves are being forgiven and shown mercy by a perfect God , it is only just for us to forgive and show mercy to our fellow imperfect beings. Secondly, when we are merciful and forgiving to someone, we are being just by giving them another chance at being the true, holy, pure creation that God created them to be.

  • BETRAYING COMPARISON

If we want to be just to those around us, we first need to understand and value everyone around us the way God understands and values them.

Jesus put this so well in a parable He shared with his disciples. He talked about how a master paid the same wages (that he had vowed to) to the worker who worked the whole day and also to the worker who just worked towards the end of the day.

When the workers who worked the whole day told the master that he was being unfair. The master simply reminded them that they were paid what they were told in the beginning.

Look how simply because they compared themselves to the other workers, the wages that they would usually be happy and content with seemed less.

Isn’t this so applicable to us?

We don’t appreciate, help, support and encourage and sometimes become unjust to people whom we compare ourselves with. In that process, we end up carrying out injustice to the person, who God so dearly loves.

When our friends are getting married one after the other, we tell God that He is being unfair to us by not letting it happen as yet. When someone else gets a job so easily, we question God for not making it happen to us. But what we don’t realise is that God never told us or gave us a word that He will get us married or get us that job that early. He would do it, but at the right time. In fact, at this time, God probably wants you to be doing something else to help you grow and fulfill the purpose He has for you.

Comparison causes us to be unjust to those around us. We don’t appreciate, help, support and encourage, sometimes become unjust, to people whom we compare ourselves with. In that process, we end up carrying out injustice to the person, who God so dearly loves.

We need to betray comparison and become just to one another, loving one another the way Christ loves us.

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. – John 15 : 12

  • GENEROUS LIVING AND GIVING

This is what Jesus told the disciples in Luke 6 : 30-36, “…Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back…”

A person who is generous from their heart will be just in all their actions.

Being generous has been something that Jesus talked about and the disciples reiterated over and over again in their letters. It is not only about finances, it is about being generous in giving and living in everything, from your love to your belongings. A person who is generous from their heart will be just in all their actions.

You see, generosity causes us to think beyond ourselves and step into the other person’s shoe. It automatically makes us treat them the way we would like be to treated. Yet, generosity begins from acknowledging that all we have belongs to God.

So are your homes open to the lonely and brokenhearted? Do you generously show love to the old person who just needs someone to talk to? Are you staying up to look after the sick?

In fact, generosity is a channel to justice. Let’s learn to be generous to all those around us, setting an example of Christ’s love.

Paul said in 2 Corinthians 9 : 11,12 – “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God”

God wants us to not only put our faith in Him, but also be like Him – JUST in all we do. It begins with living out the principles that He laid out for us in His word.

If this post touched your heart and changed your life, share it with friends and family

A GOD WHO DELIGHTS OVER THE JUST | God of Justice : Part 2

But let justice roll on like a river,

righteousness like a never-failing stream!

AMOS 5 : 24

What was your response when you saw a distressed and needy person? Or an aged person struggling to cross the road? Or a foreigner, a woman, a child being mistreated? Or an innocent person being falsely accused? Did your heart break? Did you feel an anguish in your heart? Did you do anything about it?

These are not questions I’m asking you. But, these may be the questions that God will ask you, as a believer, on the day of the judgement of the living and the dead.

You see, a just God desires His people to be like Him – full of justice and love.

Jesus said this when He was talking about how, on the day of judgement, God is going to separate the sheep from the goats. Wonder why He used the example of sheep and goats, because both of them have a shepherd or goatherd, right? Well, I read this somewhere and I’m requoting it – “The sheep follow their shepherd, the goatherd follows the goats”. The quote pretty much sums up what Jesus was trying to say. God’s sheep will follow God, yield to His voice and obey Him, but the goats rather go their own way and the goatherd goes behind them. Earlier, in many parts of the world, sheep and goats looked identical and it was hard to distinguish between them. Yet, the shepherd always knew his sheep.

Now, when Jesus spoke about separating his sheep from the goats, he talked about one measure through which he was distinguishing them. Jesus says in Matthew 25 : 40 – “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Remember, both the sheep and goat are part of the flock – Yet, on the day of judgement, there will be a filtering of the sheep from the goat. The sheep will be those having God’s heart and doing what He would do – being just.

You see, a just God desires His people to be like Him – full of justice and love.

Yes! Your worship, your devotion to God, your bold proclamation of your faith is important, but along with it, what is more important to God is that you show justice and the love of God in everything you say or do.

In the same passage Jesus describes it like this – He says to the sheep in verses 25 – 26 – “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

In my previous blog, I talked about God being a ‘Just God’ (do read it, if you have not as yet) and today I’m taking you through how His heart is for you and me to be his arms and feet of that justice. He wants us to carry His heart of justice to the weak, the downtrodden, the helpless, the orphan, the widow, the broken, and the lonely.

If you call yourself a believer in Christ, preach His word, worship Him, talk about your faith in Him but don’t carry out his heart of justice in your daily living – you will be put onto the left side, separated as a goat and not His sheep.

Do you look down on your colleague who may be isn’t as culturally adaptive as you? Or mock a classmate who is always reserved and shy? Do you shift loyalties from one person to another just to please someone? Beloved, no one who does these things can please God in any way, even if they are serving in church or leading a flock or even saying they are believers in Christ. This is exactly what Jesus held against the Pharisees. In Luke 11 : 42, Jesus says “”Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.”

Yes! Your worship, your devotion to God, your bold proclamation of your faith is important, but along with it, what is more important to God is that you show justice and the love of God in everything you say or do.

In Micah 6:8, the prophet says,He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

When we don’t act justly to defend the cause of someone victimised by injustice, no matter what the consequences, we are going against the will of God. And, God takes it very seriously. We have read about what happened to Sodom – God destroyed the city because of their wickedness. However, when God spelt out the sins of Sodom that He held against them through prophet Ezekiel, He says that they were arrogant, overfed, unconcerned and did not help the poor and needy (Ezekiel 16 : 49).

God not only detests us carrying out injustice, but He also dislikes us being ignorant and unconcerned about injustice. In fact, those who withheld justice to the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow were cursed according to God’s law (Deuteronomy 27:19).

Now, the question is how do we exercise justice in all we do and for every single person around us?

Jesus lays down a foundational principle for us to be ‘just’ in everything we do. He says in Matthew 7 : 14, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

Although this is difficult to practice, it is as simple as that. If you can constantly look at those around you and respond, converse and act with them by treating them the way you would like to be treated, you will be ‘just’ in all you do.

There are enough scriptures that point out to us to ‘seek justice’, ‘administer justice’, ‘continue to remember those in prison and those being mistreated’.

God not only detests us carrying out injustice, but He also dislikes us being ignorant and unconcerned about injustice.

The prophet says in Isaiah 1 : 17 – “Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.”

Go out there beloved, there are many hurting, lots of them hungry and needy, hundreds homeless, thousands helpless. Become God’s hands and feet that reach out to the broken.

Truly, God has prepared His kingdom for those of you who seek justice for the weak, poor and needy.

If this post touched your heart and changed your life, share it with friends and family

A JUST GOD | God of Justice : Part 1

The LORD loves righteousness and justice…

Psalms 33 : 5

SERIES : Part 1

The woman left desolate, the little child deserted by parents, the hungry, the broken, the afflicted, the poor, the oppressed, the foreigner, the lost – God’s heart beats and breaks for them. He longs to save them, help them and build them up again. And, He does. He always does. He is a God of Justice. He is the Savior of the weak and the poor. He came for the lost.

When we read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, one of the constant understanding of God that comes through is His love for justice. He cannot overlook an unjust act, whether it is meted out to His creation or by His creation. He will act swiftly to bring justice to the one suffering.

In fact, this God, who is a just God, brought us the greatest gift of redemption by going through utmost injustice of laying down His only true and holy Son, Jesus, for our iniquities and mistakes. His justice made Him sacrifice His son for us and justify us for every sin and unrighteous act of ours, and the same justice will cause Him to judge the living and the dead in the ultimate judgement of humankind.

You may be going through injustice in some way or the other. May be you are being mistreated in a foreign land, you are dealt with unjustly at your work place or college, you’re oppressed by people around you or even spiritually and mentally, you are needy and can’t find help, you are cast out from everyone, everywhere. Today, this word is a word of encouragement, understanding and reminder to you that the God of Justice is near you and He will not forsake you.

This is the heart of the one true God –

  • HE LOOKS OUT FOR THE OUTCAST

Have you ever thought that no one looks at the oppression you are facing? No one sees and no one cares? Well, let me take you through the story of a slave woman who was mistreated by her mistress and was not even part of the nation that God wanted to bless through Abraham’s descendants – Yet, when she ran away from her mistress and was in a hopeless place – God SAW her. God rescued Hagar.

In Genesis 16 : 13, it says, “She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.””

God sees you, beloved. Your suffering, your loneliness, the oppression you go through, the rejection you face, the helpless state you are in, your poverty and your hunger.

He is the real superhero that we all long for and hope for. He is watching over us and He will come to save us at the right time.

Here’s what the Word of God says in Psalms 68 : 5-6,9-10, “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; You gave abundant showers, O God; you refreshed your weary inheritance. Your people settled in it, and from your bounty, God, you provided for the poor.”

God is always on the side of those in need, those crushed in spirit. He sees them and he comes to their rescue. He is the real superhero that we all long for and hope for. He is watching over us and He will come to save us at the right time. As the Psalmist says in Psalms 103:6 – “The Lord works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.”

He is just a call away, a cry away, a shout out away. Call unto Him and He will surely hear you.

“He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free, the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.” – Psalms 146 : 7-9

  • HE LEVELS UNEVEN GROUNDS

One thing that the Lord intends to do and is repeated over and over across the Word of God is – Leveling uneven grounds. Additionally, in their contexts, what God is trying to convey is to set things right where they are not. More so, in the context of the oppressed and the poor.

A lot of times, we are trying to fight our oppression, our poverty or our loneliness on our own strength and in worldly ways. But, the heart of God is to level uneven grounds and to lift up the weak and the poor. Only, only if we rely and trust God and His justice rather than worldly temporal solutions, we would receive such an abundance of blessing and deliverance.

Isaiah prophesised several times of God saying that He will ‘not forsake the blind, poor and weak’, that He will ‘go before them and make the crooked places straight’.

In Isaiah 42 : 16, He says, “And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.”

The heart of God is to level uneven grounds and to lift up the weak and the poor. Only, only if we rely and trust God and His justice rather than worldly temporal solutions, we would receive such an abundance of blessing and deliverance.

In fact, God’s word as a promise says that He will make the poor inherit the throne of glory, lift the weak up and seat them among princes, and make the childless woman a mother of many children (Isaiah 45:2, 40:4 and Psalms 113:7-8).

Beloved, God intends to set everything right that is not right. He won’t leave you where you are, He promises to lift you out and place you where He has created you to be – a glorious place.  If you are in a place of injustice, remind yourself today that the God of justice will lift you up from the ashes and place you in the highest of places. He will make all the crooked paths straight.

  • IT IS GOD’S TO AVENGE

So often, we long to ‘pay back’ for the injustice that we face. We want to fight back for justice. In today’s world, everyone wants to fight for justice; except without any weighs or balance to it.

Yet, do you know what God says we must do when someone we love or we ourselves face injustice? We must trust and commit it to the Lord and He will avenge for us.

In Deuteronomy 32 : 35, God says, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them.”

Do not fret because if we trust God and commit every injustice meted out to us into His loving hands, the word of God says that ‘He will make our righteousness shine forth as the dawn’.

In fact, in Isaiah 35, we see how God is blessing those who face injustice and are facing troubles for no wrong. In verse 4, this is what God says to them – “Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”

What did the Israelites, who were mistreated by the Egyptians, do? In Deuteronomy 26:7, it says, “Then we cried to the Lord, the God of our fathers, and the Lord heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression.”

Do not fret because if we trust God and commit every injustice meted out to us into His loving hands, the word of God says that ‘He will make our righteousness shine forth as the dawn’. He will avenge on our behalf. He is a God who avenges, a God of Justice. All we need to do is cry out to Him and He will save us.

Nevertheless, also remember, God is a forgiving, compassionate and merciful God. So, if someone who has been unjust towards anyone else repents for their mistake, God will surely forgive them. And, He expects us to forgive too – as Jesus prayed in Matthew 6:14 – “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

  • HE TAKES EVIL AND TURNS IT FOR GOOD

While He is just, we also need to constantly remind ourselves that He is God – Sovereign over all. The Bible says that He never sleeps nor slumbers, even the hair on every person’s head is numbered, He knows our thoughts and the deepest secrets of our heart.

It may be the most unbearable and unpleasant thing to face at the time, but hold on because you know that the God of Justice can turn it around and work it for the best of you.

Can this Sovereign yet Just God not work all things for our good? The good news is – He has always worked it out for the good, is working it out for the good and will continue working it out for the good.

Look at Joseph’s life, which is narrated in Genesis. He was insulted and rejected by His own brothers, sold as a slave, falsely accused and thrown into prison, forgotten by those whom he saved and yet in the end, God used all of it to make him Prime Minister of Egypt and not only that, God also blessed Israel (Jacob) through him. That is why in Genesis 50 : 20, Joseph declares – “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

I have always come across God using all injustice and suffering that His people go through for their own good. He works it out for the good. It may be the most unbearable and unpleasant thing to face at the time, but hold on because you know that the God of Justice can turn it around and work it for the best of you.

With bold assurance in this fact, Paul declares in Romans 8 : 28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

He cannot overlook an unjust act, whether it is meted out to His creation or by His creation. He will act swiftly to bring justice to the one suffering.

Beloved, like Hagar and Joseph and thousand others who received justice in the face of injustice by calling out to the one who is JUST, come to this Just God who went through injustice to give you life eternal. Trust Him with your life and watch how He makes your righteousness shine forth like the dawn.

A prayer: Lord, I pray for any person reading this blog, who has faced or is facing any kind of injustice – small or big, that you come and heal their broken hearts and give them the strength to trust you. Lord, you are their avenger. I pray that you may work all things out for their good and level every uneven ground in their lives. Bless them, Lord. In Jesus’ matchless name we pray, Amen.

If this post touched your heart and changed your life, share it with friends and family