Archive | March 2012

How you can receive and use the power of God

Holy Spirit painting

Holy Spirit painting (Photo credit: hickory hardscrabble)

You can receive and use the power of God if you want to. This may sound over simplistic judging from the exclusiveness to which this subject has been subjected to. Jesus came to save all mankind and whosoever believes in his name is saved; this is about the most important thing that God has made available to mankind and if anyone who believes can get it, other things come second, including power. Jesus told his follower “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (NIV)

Many Christians suffer self-confidence problems and as a result never rise to their full potentials all through life. People have been made to be over dependent on “the big brothers and sisters”; a rare group who monopolise God as it were. This is not what God wants. The scripture made this clear in Mark 16:17-18 “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”(NIV)

There is nowhere in the New Testament that the power of God is said to be for the privileged few. Ignorance, lack of courage and timidity has been the bane that has limited many people in this area of their lives. That can change today if you want it to. The Bible says,

…ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (NIV)

What you need to receive the power of God is the Holy Spirit. Jesus told his follows that it is after they have received the Holy Spirit that the power will come upon them to do the work assigned to them and to live the lives expected of them. Jesus himself was subjected to this same condition and no person is expected to do otherwise. Acts 10:38 says “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.” (NIV)

Jesus underscored the importance of this matter before his public ministry; in the gospel according to Luke, Chapter4:18-21, he said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, Because he anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor: He hath sent me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovering of sight to the blind, To set at liberty them that are bruised, To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down: and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, To-day hath this scripture been fulfilled in your ears.” (ASV)  Jesus quoted Prophet Isaiah’s prophecy about this (see Isaiah 61:1- 4).

Apostle Peter told his audience how to receive the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:37-39; the scripture reads:

“Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brethren, what shall we do?

And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

For to you is the promise, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call unto him.” (ASV)

It is important that anyone who desires the power of God acknowledges the Lordship of Jesus Christ, by repenting of his or her sin and accepting Jesus as their saviour. This is the first step into any meaningful relationship with God. The Holy Spirit according to Peter is a gift to all who believes and the above scripture makes it clear that the experience did not end with those people and that generation. You can receive the Holy Spirit today.

The Holy Spirit is given to help us in every area of our lives, in our walk with God, family, academics, jobs, vocation and so on. Recently, there was a Christian youth leader who was very engrossed with planning a young people’s event; I met her expressing her concern that she had an examination coming up; I told her that the Holy Spirit is able to help her with it; I told her it happened to me before and then left her. Few weeks later, I saw her literally elated and she told me how the Lord helped her in that examination. I have had several personal experiences which demonstrated the fact that God is at work in every area of our lives.

When Jesus talked about being witnesses, he was talking about evidence of his person; he was not just talking about preaching. The evidence of Jesus can come in demonstration of the power of God. That is what Mark 11:17-18 is talking about. It reads “And these signs shall accompany them that believe: in my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall in no wise hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

You can only receive the power of God when you are willing to use it for his glory. The power of God is not for “show”; God is not a magician.

Using the power of God for trading is ridiculous and people who do it are in danger. They run the risk of falling into trouble sometime, both here on earth and later when Christ appears.

The power of God is available at the name of Jesus Christ. You will experience this when you pray in his name and act by faith in time of difficulties.

The power of God comes when you are committed to prayers. You must pray at all times and in accordance with the will of God. Selfish tendencies rob people of the power of God.

There is power in the blood of Jesus. Learn to plead the blood of Jesus.

You must work on living right. Living right might be a constant battle but you must never give up.

How to walk in the miraculous

John the Baptist baptizing Christ

John the Baptist baptizing Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is not a new thing for people to argue about God’s existence.  It is actually time wasting engaging people in such debates. There was a time when John the Baptist asked Jesus such a question and it is good to look at that scripture.

“And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?

When the men were come unto him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?

And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight.

Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.

And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.” Luke 7:19-23 (KJV).

Jesus responded by letting them see the power of God in action, after which he sent them back to John. He instructed them to tell John the Baptist what they saw. Jesus was sure that John the Baptist doesn’t need a lot of words. The miracles will speak for God.

The ungodliness all around us will not respond to arguments. The miraculous will do the work.

The miraculous is more than mental assent to God’s promises. That is the real problem that many people face today, they subject the work of God to human thoughts. There is no miracle in the Bible that men had the capability to understand except by revelation. Zechariah, a high priest in Israel, had the need to resolve such a puzzle.

“Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.

Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” Luke 1:8-18. (NIV)

In the natural realm, the message that the angel delivered to him was very difficult to accept but God was not asking him to subject it to mental reasoning. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was confronted with such a condition when the conception of Jesus was announced. This is what the scriptures said.

“In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month.  For no word from God will ever fail.” Luke 1:26-35. (NIV)

The question has always been “How can this be?”

Luke 1:35, explains it. Miracles happen by the power of the Holy Spirit; and the word of God will never fail.

Jesus told us of our part in the miraculous in Mark11:22-24, “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered.  “TrulyI tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (NIV)

The secret to the miraculous is:

  1. Faith in God. This is absolute. This kind of faith could make you look foolish to people. How easy is it for you to believe that an 80 years old lady will become pregnant? The issue is that it is tasking mentally to think of such a thing. Faith in God is simply not to question his ability to do anything, like the adviser of Ahab, a former King of Israel, did, when Elisha uttered a word of prophesy at a time when there was lack of food in the country. In his prophesy, Elisha said, “Hear the word of the LORD. This is what the LORD says: About this time tomorrow, a seahof the finest flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.” The officer on whose arm the king was leaning said to the man of God, “Look, even if the LORD should open the floodgates of the heavens, could this happen?” 2 Kings 7:1-2 (NIV).

The man brought reproach to God by his unbelief and sarcastic comment. He was quick to limit God’s abilities to the mundane world. His loud mouth cost him his life.

  1. You must believe in your heart: A heart belief is not a mental assent. We can see this in Mary’s reply to the angel, she said,  “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her” Luke1:38. (NIV).  She simply acknowledged that she knew God can do anything even if it was beyond her comprehension.
  2. To walk in the miraculous you must become very compassionate. You must radiate the love of God to people in very genuine ways all the time. The power of God operates in an atmosphere of love and compassion.
  3. You must never have the tendencies to abuse the power of God. God does not permit the use of his power to do evil and wickedness. Jesus rebuked his disciples who desired to abuse the power of God. This was stated in this scripture; “As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.  And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them But Jesus turned and rebuked them.” Luke 9:51-55 (NIV).
  4. You must not take the glory due to God. You can see the attitude of the early Apostles to the miraculous in the Acts of the Apostles. They always used such occurrences to talk about Jesus and the love of God.
  5. You must seek the will of God and obey Him in everything. You do this by studying the word of God.  Joshua 1:8 says, “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” (NIV) You must be prayerful.
  6. You must watch what you say. Careless talk may become very dangerous.

“For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” 1 Cor. 4:20 (KJV)

God bless you.

Dead Man Escapes from Jail!

Jesus appears to the disciples (watercolour)

Jesus appears to the disciples (watercolour) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some years ago, I was very fond of a Newspaper called “The Headlines”. This Paper publishes News that made the headline several years ago; I am taking a leaf from them to publish a story that probably featured as a headline several years ago and with a probable title like this: “Dead Man Escapes from jail. The story is true and the News is truth but the Headline is mine.

The News had it that a man who was killed by his adversaries because of envy and whose tomb was sealed with a big stone placed by several men and a dreadful security guard posted to protect the place, to forestall the claim by the dead man that he will rise the third after his death, has escaped from his tomb cell.

According to a reporter called Matthew, “there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.” (1)

The News was very disturbing because another reporter, Luke, said “Very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb. They were carrying the spices that they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb. When they went in, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were puzzled about this, two men in clothes that were as bright as lightning suddenly stood beside them. The women were terrified and bowed to the ground. The men asked the women, “Why are you looking among the dead for the living one? He’s not here. He has been brought back to life! Remember what he told you while he was still in Galilee. He said, ‘The Son of Man must be handed over to sinful people, be crucified, and come back to life on the third day.’” (2).

According to this reporter, the man, who was certified dead, indeed lives.

When the security guards told the man’s adversaries want happened, the News had it that they were bribed to say that his followers came to steal him while they slept. “While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city. They told the chief priests everything that had happened. The chief priests gathered together with the leaders and agreed on a plan. They gave the soldiers a large amount of money and told them to say that Jesus’ disciples had come at night and had stolen his body while they were sleeping. They added, “If the governor hears about it, we’ll take care of it, and you’ll have nothing to worry about.” The soldiers took the money and did as they were told. Their story has been spread among the Jewish people to this day. ” (3)

The report also said that the man appeared to his followers alive “Mary from Magdala went to the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord.” She also told them what he had said to her. That Sunday evening, the disciples were together behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jews. Jesus stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you!” When he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were glad to see the Lord.

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” After he had said this, he breathed on the disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whenever you forgive sins, they are forgiven. Whenever you don’t forgive them, they are not forgiven.” Thomas, one of the twelve apostles, who was called Didymus, wasn’t with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, “We’ve seen the Lord.” Thomas told them, “I refuse to believe this unless I see the nail marks in his hands, put my fingers into them, and put my hand into his side.” A week later Jesus’ disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Even though the doors were locked, Jesus stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then Jesus said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Take your hand, and put it into my side. Stop doubting, and believe.” Thomas responded to Jesus, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to Thomas, “You believe because you’ve seen me. Blessed are those who haven’t seen me but believe.” (4)

It was a Headline story that will never be forgotten in all history. The information about Jesus’ death and resurrection was well publicised when it happened and the story about him is still spreading.

It was News, alright, When Jesus met two of his disciple who were on the way to Emmaus, (they did not know it was him) and when he asked them what they were discussing this was their answer “Cleopas answered, “Are you the only visitor in Jerusalem who does not know what just happened there”? Luke 24:17-18. (NCV)

People have tried over the years to stop this story without success; Bibles had been burnt and preachers had been killed for the gospel sake but the story will not stop. It was not a story that was made up because even some of the disciples only believed the resurrection after they saw Jesus and touched him.

It is important that you believe the gospel and give your life to Jesus.

Quotes:

  1. Matt. 28:2-4.
  2. Luke 24: 1-7 (GW)
  3. Matt. 28:11-15 (GW)
  4. John 20: 18-29) (GW)

Ref:  www.biblegateway.com (all Bible quotes)

Which Gospel Did You Believe in?

Cover for a NIV Bible

Image via Wikipedia

“You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.  I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?Have you experiencedso much in vain—if it really was in vain?  So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?  So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Gal.3:1-6 (NIV).

I seriously believe that Christians should return to the study of the Bible in a more serious way. Believers should stop being naive and susceptible to the awkward teaching that has pervaded the preaching of the gospel. It is not new, Apostle Paul warned the Galatians about it when their Church was invaded by people who had “something serious to teach;” they taught that the obedience to the Law of Moses is a must for those believers. Paul equally warned in  1 Tim. 4:1-2, “ The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.” That deception and “things taught by demons “still creeps into gospel preaching and is leading many people astray. Which gospel did you believer in?

There are people who take advantage of people’s poverty, greed, fear and ignorance to propagate their “trade”. They induce people with fear of demons, the fear of death, fear of sickness and the wrath of God, to force them into obedience. It goes like this, if you are not a member of their church, demons, witches and wizards will hunt you down and diseases will plague you all through life. It is when you attend their service that God will prosper you; other Christian gathers are wasting their time. Ridiculous! Do you know that some church don’t recognise other ministers in the real sense of it except those ordained in their church? I know of Church where ministers were re-ordained, not because they were sinners but just because they joined their church. For example, Reverend Ministers was re-ordained an assistant pastors). I had an experience where it was suggested that I be ordained an assistant pastor after many years of ministry – simply because I moved. The truth is that I had never coveted ordination and God had been gracious to me and let me manifest such grace in manifestation of his power. I know a church that except you are a member of their church, your salvation means nothing. Absurd, isn’t it? My point is that salvation and ministry is by the Holy Spirit; it is not a local church stuff.

Simplicity has led many of us into accepting ungodly burdens into our lives because we want to be approved of men. Many of us love God and are doing what we were told in our sincere desire to please God but some people “whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron” have no sympathy for such. Their motives are never clear. “Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion. These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.” Jude 11-13. (NIV) They are ready to drill you to any length to achieve their purpose.

If these things don’t matter why was it written in the scriptures? The truth is that for as long as you allow darkness, you will never get light. Do you have anyone to blame? Not for as long as you know the truth but refuse to acknowledge it. Which gospel did you believe in? God did not save you to be bound again by religion.  Be led by the Holy Spirit.

You Can Have A Breakthrough – Stay Positive

Local businesses

Image via Wikipedia

Negative postulations and forecasts can never restore the economy of any nation. It is not the statistics of the unemployed, closing businesses or bankrupt nations that will lift the nations out of economic woes. It is not political wrangling which is usually tailored towards winning elections than anything else, that will change the tides.

It is growth engineered by the resolute determination of men and women who are committed to building their businesses irrespective of damning predictions from the stock market and the wrong attitudes of the banks towards small and medium businesses. You can have a breakthrough despite the prevailing circumstances.

You must not leave yourself to be driven by the gloomy pictures painted in the News daily or you will be doomed forever. As far as the News miners are concerned, nothing good happens in the community. Get your acts right shut yourself out of all things and thoughts that suggest you will fail and drive your destiny to success.

You must keep working, researching and experimenting until you get the things that work. Don’t forget “in every labour there is profit.” You can have a breakthrough.

Your faith in God,  positive attitude to life, the thoughts of your heart and the confessions of your mouth are very vital ingredients that you need to see you through the odds of this time. Problems don’t last for ever. Every problem has an end. Always remember to ask God for help.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:7-11. (NIV)

 

“Salvation” is by Grace – Not Works!

Portrait of Martin Luther as an Augustinian Monk

Image via Wikipedia

“But God’s mercy is so abundant, and his love for us is so great, that while we were spiritually dead in our disobedience he brought us to life with Christ. It is by God’s grace that you have been saved. In our union with Christ Jesus he raised us up with him to rule with him in the heavenly world. He did this to demonstrate for all time to come the extraordinary greatness of his grace in the love he showed us in Christ Jesus.For it is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not the result of your own efforts, but God’s gift, so that no one can boast about it. God has made us what we are, and in our union with Christ Jesus he has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do”. Eph.2:4-10 (GNT)

I feel strongly led to share the scripture quoted above with you. I have had a confirmation already about this. Please take your time to enjoy the grace of God.

There are many people who are bound to works trying to please God and seeking a nod from men. Some do it to buy favour from God. They have been told that the more they give the more they will get from God; the more they work, the more they are approved by God and a lot of that goes today.

Please I don’t a misgiving about giving and about serving God. God approves of that and blesses those who do but it must be done with the right motives and with the right perspective. They must not be done as a way to put God on the spot, which is, buying favour.

We are saved by grace not by works. These were the issues Martin Luther and others fought against when they discovered the truth but they have found their way back to the “holy places” and nobody dares speak out against those practises because they don’t want to be thrown out of “church”.

“You can never buy yourself back”. Salvation is by faith and the blessing of are freely given and received by faith.

I believe in the scriptures above service to God, giving, sowing seed and tithing. However, the fact that people have taken “advantage” of God and people in this matter is as clear as daylight.

I believer in serving God and I have devoted my life doing it; but it must be done with reverence. I equally know that there are people who despise people who work for God, according to them “why should they pay someone to preach the Bible”, after all, we all went to school. Meanwhile they are desperate to collect tithes which are actually means that God put in place to cater for those working for him on full time. (Check it up).

Love, grace and faith are the ways to relate to him in our walk with him and in our work for him. You will find peace with God when you do this and expect fight with men who want to continue the “Adam’s way” – leaves for cover (Genesis 3:7) “As soon as they had eaten it, they were given understanding and realized that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and covered themselves.”

Your trust in the Lord shall be rewarded

The world economic situation is getting dreadful every day and the untouchables are getting the smack; the security of lives and properties is constantly in danger. There is no person that has solution or answers to all the problems or the questions. Every institution has been challenged and found wanting. The confidence of man in himself has become jiltry.

However they that know the Lord shall not be moved. It is time to seek the Lord. sometimes trusting the Lord requires a constant assurance from his word. Those who trust the Lord shall be strong and shall do exploits according to the word of God.

God did say that those who trust him will have their faith tried. The devil is working endlessly to challenge people’s faith. You must have noticed this in your experience; don’t forget that Jesus had the same experience after fasting for 40 days. He prevailed over the enemy through faith in the promises of God. He rejected devil’s alternatives.

A lot of pressures come to us as we trust God and walk in his revealed will. Don’t give up. Victory is very near. The promises of God cannot fail; keep holding on. Sometime we get over stretched while waiting for our breakthrough, Elizabeth and Zecchariah had the same experience; Daniel had the same experience and the 3 Hebrew children too but they came out on top. You will come out on top.

Don’t forget;”they that trust in the Lord shall be like mount Zion which shall not be removed but abides forever” – Psalm125:1