“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men – robbers, evildoers, adulterers – or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get. But the tax collect stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven but beat his breast and said, ‘God have mercy on me, a sinner.’ Luke 18:10-13
We are all guilty of it. An assumed sense of INNOCENCE…even before God who in actual fact knows more than we are willing to give or acknowledge. It all started in the Garden of Eden. Adam was so over the moon when God brought him the most beautiful thing he had ever seen – Eve, his wife. For the first time in his existence, he had found someone who truly resembled and complimented him in many ways. His appreciation of her is fully seen in his words:
“This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman’ for she was taken out of man.” Genenis 2:23
But its not long after those words are declared do we see a sudden change of heart. Eve is not all she seems to be, Adam tries his best to convince God. Of course, she is quilty and he can only be GUILTY OF INNOCENCE …. “This woman you put here with me – she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Gen 3:12
Just like Adam, it is so easy to full into that trap of the guilt of innocence. We look at ourselves with a less critical eye but we are quick to judge others and pass on a deadly sentence. We are the first to pick the stone of condemnation … yet in reality we are guilt of a greater sin than the guilt one. As Jesus reminds us in the above parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, it is always safe to stand before God as the GUILTY ONE and find mercy than play safe with the GUILT OF INNOCENCE and find only condemnation.
Thank you all for your kind words of encouragement. Yes…my family arrived in the UK on the 7th July and we have been trying to settle in. Obviously, there is still alot to be done…before we can move on but God has been faithful. Walking this road is a SWEET/BITTER experience in itself…but just as a friend sent me an email last week….OUR FAITH ought and should always look away….but LOOK UP at the AUTHOR and FINISHER of our FAITH. And while our circumstances and life sitiuations are different in every sense of that word….WE SHARE THE SAME FAITH….the faith that stays FIXED ON JESUS. The faith that Peter had when he walked on water towards Jesus. The faith that Hannah had as she cried out in faith to the Lord for a baby, the faith that Paul and Silas had when locked up in the prison. I am tapping into that SAME FAITH… and I hope and pray you will take the same grace today and walk down with me…towards the END of the promise.
BY THE WAY….Sarah laughed at the beginning out of fear but in THE END, she laughed out of pleasure. Whatever your reason for laughter….GOD IS FAITHFUL.
PS NOTE: I am not yet back on the net full time. So do bear with me.
The last time I checked….and I kept wondering, “GOD, DOES IT MATTER?” All this trusting, believing, pleading and staying at one point. “DOES IT MATTER?” So here I am and the Lord put it out well. Yes, it matters. Oh…it more than matters. I am stretching your spiritual muscles. For too long…you have confined yourself to accomodate what you can handle in your present situation. But I am here…I want you TO STRETCH, I want you TO ENLARGE, I want you to MOVE OUT….yes, because I have plans for you. In case you might wonder who this word is for…It for me….and you, and him, and her, and yes….for most of us.
DARE I SAY MORE…..read ISAIAH 54 for the bigger picture.
For the last 3 days, I have been EMOTIONAL….yes, I am full of GOOD EMOTIONS. And while I do not know how to express them through this computer screen…one thing is for sure. My EMOTIONS at this point in time can only equal the emotions of these TWO VERY EMOTIONAL WOMEN in the bible. So…I will borrow their words…to express my own emotions as well as theirs!
HANNAH…THE BARREN ONE.
She was married to a wonderful husband but couldn’t bear him children. She was constantly mocked and ridiculed by her co-wife. But finally, God heard her prayer and opened her womb. She became the mother of Samuel…one of the greatest prophets in the Old Testament.
1 Samuel 2:1-10 Then Hannah prayed and said: “My heartREJOICESin the Lord; in the Lord my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance. ‘There is no-one holy like the Lord; there is no-one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. ‘Do not keep talking such arrogance, for the Lord is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed. ‘The bows of the warriors are broken, but those who stumbled are armed with strength. Those whose were full hire themselves out for food, but THOSE WHO WERE HUNGRY HUNGER NO MORE. SHE WHO WAS BARREN HAS BORNE SEVEN CHILDREN, but she who has many sons pines away. ‘The Lord brings death and makes alive; he brings to the grave and raises up. ‘The Lord sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts. HE RAISES THE POOR Continue reading →
Today, I give thanks for the Lord’s goodness and promises over my life. I remember…and lift up my voice in JOYFUL SURRENDER.He that promised is well able to bring into completion what He began in you and me. Join me as I rejoice in Him and through Him.
God will bring you and me to OUR DESIRED HAVEN:
Psalms 107:28-30 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They they were GLAD when it grew calm, and he guided them to THEIR DESIRED HAVEN.
You and I offer Him OUR THANKSGIVING:
Psalm 107:31-32 We gave THANKS to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for me. We EXALT him in the assembly of the people and praise him in the council of elders.
I don’t know at what point you are in life, but remember…He is still MIGHTY to save, heal, deliver, restore and make all things NEW! Come to His Gates with praise and to His Courts with THANKSGIVING! Say…the Lord is good and His mercies endures forever. Rejoice, rejoice and again, rejoice!
Zechariah 7:8-10 And the word of the Lord came again to Zechariah: “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the WIDOW or the FATHERLESS, the ALIEN or the POOR. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.’
An ADVOCATE according to my Collins dictionary is defined as: to support or recommend publicly; a person who upholds or defends a cause; a person WHO INTERCEDES ON BEHALF OF ANOTHER; a person who pleads his client’s cause in the court of law etc.
Is God your advocate? Do you believe God is well able to intercede or intervene on your behalf against the injustice you are facing? You might not know this….but GOD IS A PROFESSIONAL ADVOCATE! He longs for justice more than you can ever imagine. Long before the professional advocate become a prestigious job…God had made it clear to the children of Israel that He would intercede anytime, and every time when injustice was shown to the four kinds of people in their midst: THE WIDOW, THE FATHERLESS, THE ALIEN AND THE POOR.
In the book of Deuteronomy, we see God commanding the children of Israel on how to deal with these four kinds of people. And in most cases, it was evident that how they dealt with them influenced the outcome of the future events in their lives. Continue reading →
Ruth 3:3-4 Wash and perfume yourself, and put on your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing-floor, but don’t let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and UNCOVER HIS FEET and lie down. He will tell you what to do.
I love the love story of Ruth and Boaz. Of all the Bible love stories, this one means more to me than any other. Why, because it represents my love story! I remember how God put these words in my heart a couple years before I met my husband. Right from the time I was a baby Christian, I knew I had a calling for service. And of course, my calling wasn’t obvious but I served for years within my local church all the same. Then…as time went by and a husband seemed almost out of reach, God put these words in my heart. ‘I WILL GIVE YOU A MINISTRY BUT FIRST I WILL GIVE YOU A HUSBAND FOR YOUR COVERING!
When the Lord spoke those words, they meant little or rather made no sense to me then. A covering? Never before had I heard someone being given a husband for a covering. But…when my husband came along and consequently God made my call to write so crystal clear, then I understood what He meant. In every sense of that word, I am COVERED!
Job 22:21-22 Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you. ACCEPT INSTRUCTION FROM HIS MOUTH and lay up his words in your heart.
Are you been instructed? In our modern world, we have learned not to take TIME to be instructed but instead, we want the shortcuts to our destination. But truth be told, as long as you are here on earth, there will always be some area in your life where you are less conversant with, and therefore you will need INSTRUCTIONS. So the question still goes out to you. ARE YOU BEEN INSTRUCTED?
If you are a Christian, then you ought to know this. The Bible is GOD’S BOOK OF INSTRUCTIONS. But why do we need instructions? Of what good are instructions for the believer? First of all, let’s have a look at a book in the Bible which specializes as a manual of instructions for the children of Israel. After 400 years in slavery, and 40 years in the desert, God gave the children of Israel instructions from the book of LEVITICUS on how they should live and conduct their daily life affairs.
From the book of Leviticus we have the RULES OF LIVING which range from worship, the office of priesthood, sexual relationships, food laws, feasts unto the Lord among others. It was the mandatory obligation of the head of the family, that is, the father to instruct their children about these rules of living at every turn of the corner. Continue reading →
Romans 14:1 Accept him WHOSE FAITH IS WEAK, without passing judgment on disputable matters.
I have a CONFESSION TO MAKE. So here, I come! As a person of strong faith, I find myself often dealing impatiently with a person who has weak faith. Yes, with the knowledge and wisdom God has granted me, at times, I find I want to forcefully turn it over to the one of weak faith….hoping that they will pick up the mantle to become GREAT FAITH WARRIORS. But, God has proved me wrong again and again.
God has been teaching me this:
FAITH IS PERSONAL and even when it is cooperative, it doesn’t mean it is ENOUGH. If one person has great faith and another in their midst has weaker faith, added together it does not equal average faith. In the hearing of the Word, where faith springs from, does not mean that the hearers of the word will hear the same thing at the same time to warrant the same kind of respond. Continue reading →
Psalm 131:1-2 My heart is not proud, O Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I HAVE STILLED AND QUIETEN MY SOUL; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.
Let me say here. I DO NOT HAVE A CLUE WHAT AWAITS ME TOMORROW….but that doesn’t bother me. You see, my family and I are in the process of preparing to move elsewhere. If anything, we ought to be up and tight trying to figure out how things will play out in the coming weeks and months. If anything, I ought to be pushing and shoving…and putting my agenda before God, asking that things should be as rosy and merry and yes, as smooth sailing as it would be possible. But no. The opposite has in fact, happened. Suddenly, even though I cannot tell why, I AM UNCONCERNED ABOUT THE DETAILS. I AM UNMOVED AT THE REPORT. Instead, MY HEART IS SOBER. I sleep like a baby; my day play out as if nothing is about to change in our lives; my family functions as normal as it has over the last five years.
And yes, my heart, OUR HEARTS ARE SOBER. We are steadfast because WE ARE ESTABLISHED IN HIM. Continue reading →