Friday, December 30, 2011

Clothed With Christ

Passage Colossians 3:12-14

Prayer

Dear Father, grant that we may clothe ourselves with Christ, for he is a garment of compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness and patience, forbearance and forgiveness.
Above all, clothe us with his love, which will bind us together in perfect harmony.In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

No Distinctions

Passage Colossians 3:5-10

Prayer

Dear Father, let me live in the light of your truth about myself - that my old nature has been put off, with its baggage of practices, and that I have put on a new nature, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
Please help us to make no distinctions regarding origins, heredity, or traditions, but to see Christ in all believers.
Help us to let Christ be in us, to transform and renew every fiber of our being and of our relationships. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Overcoming Evil

Passage Colossians 3:5-17

Prayer

Dear Father, please help me put to death certain things in my life that are earthly - inward evils ranging from impurity to covetousness.
Most of all, may I be rid of covetousness, wanting the applause and possessions of this world, which is really idolatry.
May I extinguish all outward evil ranging from anger to slander and foul talk.
Keep me from everything that is false. Don't let a lie come to my mind or my lips.In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Patiently yet Expectantly

Passage Colossians 3:3-4

Prayer

Father my God, I know that I have died and that my life is hid with Christ. He holds the outcome of my life wholly in his hands; he is my life.
Grant that I may wait patiently yet expectantly, knowing that when he appears, I will also appear with him in glory.
Father, I thank you for this blessed hope. Let the joy of it fill my life every day as I sojourn here on this earth. Let me put the things of this world in perspective through the victory that Christ brings.In the name of Jesus I ask. Amen.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

TRUTH SETS US FREE FROM SIN!



So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." They answered him, "We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, 'You will become free'?" Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father." 

(John 8:31-38 ESV)


The great need for us is to be set free from sin that so easily entangles us. So we are called to lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. (Heb.12:1-2). Sin is described as a heavy weight that enslaves people, it clings so easily – it is as if it is magnetic. Because of this, the life of a Christian is that of perseverance and patience fighting and mortifying sin every. We are called upon to endure and press on in faith without getting tired. Of course if we are to rely on ourselves we will not get far (John 15:4, 5). Therefore, we are to be those who look to Jesus, the Founder and Perfecter of our faith.
The problem is that many a times we refuse to acknowledge our sins – we are like these Jews whom Jesus was speaking to in this passage. They would not accept that they are sinners in a constant need of a Saviour. They could not accept that they were enslaved to sin. Instead they claimed to be the offspring of Abraham and yet in their hearts and minds they were plotting murder (they wanted to kill Jesus, as He read their minds and told them). Jesus spoke the heavenly truth – what He had heard from the Father and it is for this reason that we are to take His instructions, admonition and correction seriously today.
Two lessons for us:
1.      Those who believe in Christ are to abide in His Word
The way to begin a relationship with God is to believe in Christ. There are two reasons that can make us to lack fellowship with the Lord Jesus – if we do not abide by Him and if we are not fruitful (see the parable of the true vine in John 15:4-7). His promise is that "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." Although this is a clear and express promise, there is a condition for being set free, He says, “If you abide in my word…” the condition is abiding in the Word of Christ. The Word of Christ is always available for us – we have the privilege of owning Bibles and so we have them with us every time. We learn from Christ both by example and instruction.
It is when we hide the Word of God in our hearts that we do not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11). Our task is to keep closer and closer to the Word of God because it is near us. May we be those who have a scheduled time for reading the Word of God and meditating on it every day? How else do you grow? There is no alternative to growing in faith. So we are to desire pure spiritual milk of the Word of God so that we may grow thereby in salvation (1Peter2:2).
2.      The truth sets us free from sin
What is the beginning to being set free from sin? The true disciples have faith – trust and confidence in Christ. They listen and learn from Him as their teacher and Master. It is learning from Christ that qualifies one to be His follower. What do we learn from Him? We are to learn lessons for this life that will make us more like Him in character, in desires and in conduct. Every day we are to be in His presence being taught from the Scriptures this is what He prayed for us in John 17:17. This is how we know His will and purpose for our lives so that He is truly our Good Shepherd, who leads us in green pastures and still waters, whose rod and staff comforts us.
How do we know that we have been set free? Jesus Christ is the truth (John 14:6) and for us to be freed from sin then we have to put our trust in Him, follow and abide in Him. We have our confidence and hope in Christ. Every day we are to ask, “how much have I relied on the Lord for the provision, wisdom, joy and all that I need for this life and godliness?” Never should we lose our focus in Christ. He is the one we are to wholly and solely depend on and wait upon. We show our dependence on Christ when we are constantly reading from what He has revealed to us in His Word. Many times we fail to see the abundance and riches of Christ because we do not know what He has said in His Word. He has given us promises on which we are to depend. When we do not know the promises then we do not know how to pray since we do not know His will. When we do not pray according to His will does He hear us? May the Lord help us to follow Him more closely and faster that we may be free from sin that so easily entangle us and keep us from being sanctified for the glory to come – Amen.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

What Sort Of Faith Do You Have?



Where is your faith?
“And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets-- who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated-- of whom the world was not worthy--wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.”  (Heb. 11:32-40)

Today we come to the end of this great chapter on faith. It is from here that we see the heroes of faith listed and the author draws to a close because there is no time and space to enumerate all the multitude of men and women of faith. He gives their names as well as their deeds of faith. The sample of names shows the stalwarts of faith without listing them chronologically because it does not matter, what matters is their faith. Some were judges, prophets , others kings and yet others were unknown. The common denominator was through faith, not in themselves but in the God of the Bible.
1.      Faith is militant
Saving faith is evidenced in the willingness of a believer to give his best effort, skill and everything in order to achieve the end of his faith – the salvation of  his soul. It is not a dead faith described by James. It is a quick and active faith produced by the Holy Spirit through the inspired Word of God. The aggressiveness here is not to build one’s own reputation but the kingdom of God. So what did this faith accomplish?
·         conquered kingdoms,
·         enforced justice,
·         obtained promises,
·         stopped the mouths of lions,
·         quenched the power of fire,
·         escaped the edge of the sword,
·         were made strong out of weakness,
·         became mighty in war,
·         put foreign armies to flight
This was the result of trusting in God; believing His Word, trusting His promises and depending on His power.
2.      Faith is persevering
This faith is also persevering – not giving up easily. And why not persevere when you are trusting in the one who is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to Him by faith? Why not wait for the Anchor of our salvation to accomplish and secure us in the power of His might? Why not depend on the one who does not lie? Whose testimony is true? Why not wait when those who waited were not disappointed? Look at their experiences:
·         Some were tortured,
·          Refusing to accept release,
·         Others suffered mocking and flogging,
·         Others suffered even chains and imprisonment
·         Yet others were stoned,
·         They were sawn in two,
·          They were killed with the sword.
·         They went about in skins of sheep and goats,
·         They were destitute,
·          They were afflicted,
·          They were mistreated
·         Others wandered about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
It is not always that we experience victory in this life – sometimes we are blessed in eternal victories which are not visible and that are not realized in this life. We are to take it all from the hands of the Lord because then that would be the genuine faith – tried by fire and found to be to the praise of His glory.
3.      Faith is ever commendable
Faith pleases God (11:6). However, it is not all faith that is pleasing to the Lord – it is the saving faith. Faith that connects a person to his God. It is the faith that acknowledges God to be God and Saviour. God who is holy and who will not overlook iniquity. It is the faith takes God’s word at its face-value without reservations. The faith that is dead has no place before the Lord. It is for this reason that these believers in the hall of faith were commended by God even though they did not enjoy the full blessings and privileges of the promises of God’s Word.
The Bible records that none of those with faith escapes the blessings of God – ‘all these…commended’ God commended them. However, they were not as blessed as were are because they did not receive what was promise’.  It is us who have enjoyed the full benefits of God’s promises. We have enjoyed the blessings brought to us by the atoning death of the Lord on the cross when they looked forward to it. We have also enjoyed the fruits of their labour – the Word for example that although they wrote, they had not seen it entirety. Therefore, cleared God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect
It is our joy to know that the blessings we have accrued from Christ are too great. If we have been blessed more than Abraham, what sort of people ought we to be? More godly than Abraham, more gracious than Isaac, better leaders and meeker than Moses. We are to live the life of faith only and not waver even under suffering – then we are to prove that our faith is a persevering faith. If there are obstacles ahead of us then let us work to overcome them because then we would show that we have a militant faith. In addition, where it to be  like so then let us be sure of receiving not only the commendation from God but the fruit of His promises.

Dead Raised!

Passage Colossians 2:20-3:2

Prayer

Everlasting Father, please help me to realize that I have died and have been resurrected with Christ. Break the attachments of my old life and its bondage. Don't let me live as if life were a matter of keeping regulations - don't touch, don't taste, don't handle - but let me live out of a deep sense of love and loyalty to my Savior.
Don't let me grasp for that which has merely an appearance of wisdom and which might make a show of religiosity but not really do anything to separate me from the pride and lusts of my fleshly nature.
Rather, please let me seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at your right hand. Let me set my mind on the things that are above, not on things that are on the earth.In the name of Jesus I ask. Amen.

Alive in Christ

Passage Colossians 2:13-19

Prayer

Loving & gracious Father,thank you for redeeming us. You took us out of deadness and gave us life. You made us alive together with Christ. You cancelled the debts that we owed you because of our sinfulness.
You disarmed the powers that work against us, triumphing over them in Christ for our sake. How gracious and wonderful you are! To you we owe eternal praise.
Help us to withstand anyone who might seek to disqualify us, seeking to bind us to any principle of action at all except faith in Jesus Christ, for he is the head, and he determines how the body will grow.
Help us to hold fast to Christ, who is our head, in whose name I pray. Amen.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Joined and established in Christ

Passage Colossians 2:10-12

Prayer

Gracious and loving Father,thank you, Lord our God that we have been joined with Christ in his life, death, and resurrection.
How privileged and blessed are we that Christ is in us and we in Him so that we no longer live in the carnality of the flesh but have been made alive in Christ.
Please make us realize that we put off the body of flesh in his circumcision, were buried with him in his baptism, and were raised with him in his resurrection.
Please give us the faith to see your hand at work in all this and to see ourselves in what happened to him.
Grant that we may be immovable, firmly established in Christ so that we're no longer to be tossed by every wind of doctrine but are well grounded in your truth. Help us to hold fast to Christ, who is our head, in whose name I pray.
Amen.

In Christ, the Fullness of Deity

Passage Colossians 2:8-9
Prayer

Holy Father, May I never be impressed with the philosophy and empty deceit that comes out of human traditions which do not agree with Christ.
Keep me from being enticed by teachings that root their knowledge in the elemental spirits of the universe, the laws of nature, and in scientism, but not in Christ.
Help us to understand what it means that the very fullness of deity dwells in our Lord bodily and that we have come to the fullness of life in him and that he is the head of all rule and authority.
Help us to hold fast to Christ, who is our head, in whose name I pray.
Amen.

Discerning, not Deceived

Discerning, not Deceived

Passage Colossians 2:4-7

Prayer

Heavenly Father, my rock, help me to think clearly with discernment. Keep me from being taken in by the beguiling speech of deceivers. Give me great joy in manifesting good order in my conduct and being absolutely firm in my faith. As I received Christ Jesus as the Lord, grant that I may live in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith.
Grant that I may do this with great praise and thanksgiving! All praise, thanksgiving, honor, and glory to you, our Father, for what you have done for me through Jesus Christ, in whose name I pray.
Amen.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Knit our Hearts

Passage Colossians 2:1-3

Prayer
Great and Holy Father, Encourager, encourage our hearts and knit them together in love with the heart of Jesus and the hearts of every other child of yours!
Give us all the riches of knowing and understanding of what you had formerly kept secret, the Good News about Jesus Christ, for in him you have hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Now revealed to us who believe. Please give us firm assurance in him.
Whatever new dimension or unfolding of your grace that shall come, it will be, I am convinced, a disclosure of the good things originally hidden in Christ. Help us to know it when we see it.
In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Blessings of Grace

Passage Colossians 1:28-29

Prayer

Dear Father, source of our energy,We do hope in you because our Lord lives his life through us and blesses others through the genuine love which he gives.
Grant us to proclaim him, warning and teaching everyone in all wisdom, so that we can present people mature in Christ.
Grant that we may strive for this with all the energy which you mightily inspire within us.All good things are from you. There is no blessing except by your grace.
We live and rejoice because of you!In the name of Jesus I ask. Amen.

Christ the Hope of Glory

Passage Colossians 1:24-27

Prayer

Heavenly Father,Help us have the attitude of Paul, who could rejoice in suffering for the sake of your body, the church, seeing his own suffering as an extension of Christ's suffering.
May the members of the body of Christ make your Word fully known, the mystery that was hidden for ages and generations but is now made visible to your holy people.How great among the nations is the wealth imparted to them by the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in us, the hope of glory.
It is in his name that I pray. Amen.

Would You Like To Be Excused From Attending God’s Party?


 (Luke 14:16-24)
Would you like to attend the President’s New Year gala? You would be greatly honored to get such an invitation, wouldn’t you?  A certain wealthy man had a great wedding banquet in his house.  Perhaps his oldest son was getting married.  We can imagine what joy that would have brought to the house and they wanted to share it with their friends.  The rich man wanted to make sure that everyone remembered that great day.  He wanted to organize the biggest banquet the town had ever known.  A great occasion was taking place in his house and he wanted to make sure that he marked that great occasion with style. 
And so he sat down and planned a great banquet.  Then, before the big event he sent his servants to all his friends in town to tell them that the banquet was coming up.  “It is going to be a big banquet, the biggest ever.  Please make sure you are free that day and will come.  The master will be very disappointed if you do not come.”  All the friends agreed that they would come.
Finally the D-day arrived. The man’s servants spent the whole night preparing the food.  Bulls and rams and goats were slaughtered. Pilau and chapatis were all prepared in large quantities.  Fresh vegetables and fruits such as bananas, oranges, pineapples and melons were carefully prepared.  Soft drinks such soda, juice etc were brought in. Lovely flowers and buffets were very nicely laid out and the outcome was very good. The food was very delicious and the place looked good to behold. Three lessons that we would be wise to learn from this parable:
The kingdom of God is like a great banquet.
A banquet is a place full of good things.  When we read this parable we are astonished that people turned down the opportunity to go to such a kingly banquet and made excuses.  In the normal way of things, this would not happen.  Everyone who was invited to a banquet would come gladly because the banquet is a place full of good things.  In the same way the kingdom of God is a place full of good things. The kingdom of God is where we find full and free forgiveness for all our sins. We read the invitation to the banquet, "Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”  (Isa 55:1)
The kingdom of God is where we find eternal fellowship with God.  Man was made to have fellowship with God.  When God made Adam and Eve and placed them in the Garden of Eden they were completely happy not because they had material possessions, but because they had fellowship with God.  Then sin invaded this happy scene and brought separation between God and man.  Thankfully, Christ came to look for the wandering sheep and to bring it back to the flock of God.  Those who by faith in Christ are in the kingdom of God have eternal fellowship with God.  They may not have any of the world’s goods and they do not pursue the pleasures of this world, but they have the satisfaction and joy that the world does not have.
People make excuses so as not to enter the kingdom of God
When the food was ready the servants went to those who had originally been invited and told them, “Come, for everything is now ready.”  This parable was originally addressed to the people of Israel, for they were the first people whom God called into His kingdom.  They, however, turned down the invitation and rejected Christ.  The invitation into the kingdom of God was then extended to non-Israelites – i.e. to you and me!  Now when we look at the excuses that were made in this parable we see two things about them.
The excuses were all to do with the things of this world.  One man says he wants to look at a field, another says he wants to make sure that the oxen he has bought are able to work his field, and another says he has just got married.  This is how it is always with those who are invited to come to Christ for salvation but do not respond.  Their excuses are always to do with the things of this world.  Would it be that this is true of you?
You have heard the gospel many times and you know that Christ offers you a full and free forgiveness of all your sins.  You also know that Christ commands you to leave your sins and come to Him in faith.  But the things of this world are a great attraction to you.  You know that Christ demands complete devotion and this you are not willing to give.  You are determined to accumulate the possessions of this world and to seek the pleasures of this world.  And so when you hear the gospel invitation you make excuses that are to do with the things of this world.  Perhaps you say, “One day, when the time is right, I will come to Christ and be saved.  Meanwhile, you want to acquire this or that and enjoy the possession and pleasures of the world.”  I urge you to remember the words of Christ, “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet loses his soul?” (Matthew 16:26).
You notice that the excuses made were foolish.  The first man says, “I have just bought a field, I must go and see it.”  Can we really believe that man would buy a field without first looking at it?  It is really possible that the man pays a large sum of money and gets a title deed and then afterwards goes and looks at what he has bought?  Of course not!  The man who is thinking of buying a field will go many times and look at the field before he hands over a single shilling.  The second man says, “I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I am on my way to try them out.”  In other words what he is saying is, “I need some oxen to work on my land and I have just paid out a large sum of money to buy some.  Now I must go and see if they are strong enough to work on my land.”  Again, we can see the foolishness of this excuse.  Is it really possible for a man to buy some animals to work on his land without first making sure that they are strong enough for the work?  Surely he would first bring the animals to his land for a few days to try them out and make sure they are strong enough to work the land.  Only then he would pay the money.  Again it is a foolish excuse. 
The third man says, “I have just got married, so I cannot come.”  This again is a very strange excuse.  If a man says, “I have a funeral in the family so I cannot come,” we can understand.  But the man who has just got married is happy, he is celebrating.  If someone comes to him and invites him to a banquet he will gladly come along with his wife because he is happy and is celebrating All the excuses that were made were foolish because they were all things that could wait for another time. They were also morally wrong excuses because they did not even bother to tell this man that they will not come. Do you think anyone will admit that he is not interested in heaven? Please brethren we live in a culture where people would rather not disappoint others by saying ‘no’ but just disappoint by keeping quiet which finally is more expensive. Please when you are invited to a function say immediately that you would or would not attend.
This is how it is with those who make excuses when they hear the gospel.  The man who says, “I will wait a few years and then I will come to Christ for salvation” is foolish.  He does not know when he will leave this world.  He may be involved in a motor accident the very next day.  He cannot tell God, to whom we must all appear, “I really intended to get saved one day.”  God will not listen to such an argument.  God only asks one thing: “Are you saved today?” not “did you intend to get saved one day?”  Whatever excuse you make for not seeking salvation in Christ today, you may be sure, is a foolish excuse in the sight of God.  You may think it is a valid excuse, but one day when you stand before God your excuse will look completely inadequate and you will even be too ashamed to say it.
Salvation is being offered to all. 
When the people who were originally invited did not come, the master of the house sent out his servants into the streets to invite all to come and enjoy the banquet.  People who we would not expect to be invited were brought in: the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.  Then even after they had come in there was still room in the banquet, and so more people from the streets came in.  This is a great reminder to us that Christ does not offer salvation to an exclusive few; He offers it to all. Perhaps you have thought that salvation is on offer only to those who are religious and go to church each week. so you are wrong, Christ invites all, even those who have never been to church and would not describe themselves as religious.  You are not exempt from this invitation, come for it.
Perhaps you think that salvation is offered to only those who live good decent lives here on earth.  It might be that you think to yourself, “I could never get saved.  Christ would never hear me if I asked Him for forgiveness of sins, my sins have been so many.  I have been so bad there is no hope for me.”  But you are wrong.  “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim. 1:15) even the very worst
Perhaps you think that salvation is only offered to those who were born in a Christian home.  You perhaps were born to parents who follow another religion.  You have heard about people getting saved but you have never thought this is something that you could do.  You have always thought that you had to be born in a Christian home before you could get saved.  This is not true at all. 
God offers free salvation in Christ to all.  He offers it to you today.  I am telling you that, “Still there is room.”  Millions and millions have already accepted the offer and have been saved.  Some have left this earth and are in heaven, many are still on earth but have a place reserved in heaven.  And still there is room.  We invite you to come today and be saved in Christ.
What must you do to get it? Perhaps this is your question.  You can see that you are a sinner and that you must be saved.  You have also seen that Christ invites you to come to Him for full and free forgiveness of all your sins.  You no longer want to make excuses; you want to take up this offer.  What must you do?  God requires two things of you.
You must repent (Acts 20:21)
“… testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.  (Act 20:21)
To repent means to turn from sin.  It is a resolution of the mind and the will of the heart.  You must be resolved in your mind to turn from sin and be willing in your heart to keep turning from sin the rest of your life.  As long as you cling to sin you are unfit to come to God.  God cannot have anyone who still has a love for sin and a desire for sin.  You must come to him with a determination to flee your sins.
You must come to faith in Christ (Acts 20:21)
You must come to Christ in the knowledge that He alone can save you from your sins.  Many people imagine that their good works and their religious works will be good enough to save them.  Such people will never be saved as long as they hold to such beliefs.  You must come to Christ knowing that nothing you can do will ever save you.  You must come to Him and ask Him to do all that is necessary to save you.  You must ask Him to cleanse you in His blood; you must ask Him to forgive you all your sins through His death on the cross of Calvary.  Once you have come to Him you must live the rest of your life in the knowledge that the only reason you are a child of God accepted and forgiven is because Christ lived and died for you.  You must never have any confidence in your own works. You must have the righteousness of Christ if you will be saved.
You must come today
“Still there is room,” is what the servants told those who were called on the streets. This is the same the preachers of the gospel like me will tell you. However, what should ask is, “for how long there will be room?”  How long will the gates of heaven remain open for sinners to enter?  We simply do not know.  As you listen to me here preaching, you might be thinking, “One day in the future I will come to Christ and be saved.” My question to you then would be, “but how do you know you have a future at all?”  One man in the Bible thought he had a long and comfortable future only to be told, “This very night your soul will be demanded from you” (Luke 12:20).  You must wait no longer.  You must come today and seek salvation in Christ.  It is foolishness to remain in your sins while Christ offers you salvation.
“Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts;
Let him turn to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him,
And to our God, for He will freely pardon” (Isaiah 55:6-7).

Thursday, December 15, 2011

You Made Endurance Possible!

Passage Colossians 1:23

Prayer

Heavenly and Great Father,Help me to continue in the faith by holding on to what you have given and by being stable and steadfast.

Don't let anything move me away from the hope of the Good News which I heard, which was proclaimed throughout the whole creation under heaven.You make my endurance possible by filling me with your Spirit and by keeping me from stumbling and falling.

Fill me more and more! And thank you for being my Father.In the name of Jesus and by his authority I ask. Amen.

You Made Salvation Sure

Passage Colossians 1:21-22

Prayer
Holy & gracious Father,I am so thankful that in your love and wisdom you gave up your Son to reconcile us to yourself through his body of flesh offered in death on the cross.
You wanted me to be holy and blameless and without reproach, so you made it possible and sure! Thank you, Father.In the name of your holy Son. Amen.

Reconciled Through Christ

Passage Colossians 1:15-20

Prayer
Lord God our Father,We are Christ's church and he is head over us, head over his body.
He is the beginning, the first-born of creation and the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might have the pre-eminence.
How gracious you were and are in your good will toward us that your very fullness should dwell in him and that through him all things should be reconciled to you, things on heaven and things on earth.
Thank you for making peace with us and all your creation by the blood of your Son's cross.Let us always glory in it and in him!
Thank you, dear God, for the wonderful salvation you have provided. In the name of Jesus I ask. Amen.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Strengthened with Power

Passage Colossians 1:11-14

Prayer

Heavenly Father, in whom there is no darkness at all,Strengthen me with all power, according to your great might, so that I can both endure and be patient, even having great joy while enduring, always giving thanks to you, my holy Father.
Please qualify me to share in the inheritance in the light of your dedicated and holy people.
Thank you for rescuing me from the realm of darkness and putting me safely into the kingdom of Jesus, the dear Son whom you love, and whom I love, through whom I have my redemption, the forgiveness of sins.In the name of Jesus, our awesome Lord.
Amen.

Deep Knowledge

Passage Colossians 1:9-10

Prayer

Dear Father,Help me and all of your people everywhere to be filled with complete knowledge of what you want, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. Keep stirring up my spirit to make me want to lead a life worthy of the Lord Jesus Christ, a full life because it is fully pleasing to him.
May I bear fruit in every good work. May I daily increase in my knowledge of you.In the name of Jesus, our awesome Lord. Amen.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Jesus came from God for you!


Jesus came from God for you!

We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing." They answered him, "You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?" And they cast him out. Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" He answered, "And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?" Jesus said to him, "You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you." He said, "Lord, I believe," and he worshiped him. Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind." Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, "Are we also blind?" Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, 'We see,' your guilt remains. (John 9:31-41)

Introduction

Man lives in various needs. There are problems to do with his body – the strength or what to eat to nourish it. Many people believe that people have disabilities because of their sins or the sins of their parents or they were cursed. This thought is not a new idea that is what people of the first century thought! The disciples asked Jesus if this man was blind because of his sins or that of his parents. As you well know this is how people stigmatize the disabled. But Jesus comes along to say along with us that NIKO FITI by providing a permanent remedy both for the infirmity and sin in order to display the glory and the power of God.
Today we are here to say NIKO FITI because the Lord Jesus has so clearly said it. Jesus came on earth to make sure that all say NIKO FITI having had their sins and infirmities dealt with for once and for all.

1.    Jesus came from God for the welfare of men

From this passage we see that man is in utter helplessness because of his condition precipitated by sin. This passage is set on the backdrop of a man born blind and lived as a beggar – the most degrading life because one is ever at the mercy of others. According to the society he has nothing to offer and so they stigmatize him and make his life unbearable.
Very few men are willing to do anything to help others this is why those who come forward to help others are called Philanthropists. There is only one reason that God sent Christ to come on earth – so that He can bring the best of help that he can ever dream of.
Men wanted to stone him to death him in chapter 8 for He said that he was there before Abraham (v.58). Then while passing by from the temple he healed this man born blind. His own disciples were inflicting some stigma that he was in the condition of blindness because of either his sins or those of his parents. Jesus’ answer show that it was not as a result of sins that he was like that – it was so that God might display His works (9:3). We always need to ask ourselves why is it that there are those who are underprivileged in the society? What is God teaching about Himself through these children? How can display the goodness and grace of God to them? This is why the Olgumi Baptist Church has come forward to be counted and show the grace of God to these children. This is what you and I have been called here today to that we may showcase the love of God to them. When you see them unable to do this or the other do you perceive yourself to be better as these disciples showed a holier than thou attitude? We are all like that and it shows the sin in you because Jesus did not just come from the Father to heal but also to save people from their sins.
Jesus came for your welfare – that you may not remain in the condition of sin in which you and I were born. He came to display the works of God the Father. He came to the dark world to bring the light of salvation – to proclaim good news to the poor, liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." (Luke 4:18-19)
Would you say you believe in Him today? Would be honest with yourself and say that His light has shone in your heart? Have you benefited from the coming of Christ on earth? Would you say that your welfare has been well taken care of by the only advocate of the people to the Father or you will stand before God the judge without a lawyer to represent you? There is only One Mediator (lawyer) between God and people – the Man Christ Jesus (1Tim. 2:5). May I recommend Him to you because I have enjoyed His free services already (Rom. 8:1). Call to Him now and he will be the happy to represent you. No fee is needed all you need to do is to trust Him with your life by asking that He show you mercy and forgiveness and He is both able and willing!

2.    Jesus came from God to help those who see their need of him

For a person to obtain help, he has to see the need in which he is in. For example, if you know that you are not sick with cancer would you take personally as good news that a doctor has discovered the cure for cancer? No! it is until you go to the doctor sick and after multiple tests he announces to you that you are in the worst stage of cancer that you would be very troubled. Then when the news comes that you do not have to worry because the best cure has been discovered. Take another example, animals are stolen and yours are left – is such a good news that they were recovered? But if your 500 animals were among those that were taken then you would be the happiest man to hear that all the animals were found intact.
One has to be blind first for him to appreciate the cure. This is what happened to the man here. When he was instructed by the Lord that going to wash at Siloam pool will bring the sight he was more than willing to go. It was good news to him he said, “One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see." (9:25). Knowing that He had been healed, when Jesus asked him, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" he answered, "And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?" (9:35,36). He did not hesitate to show his belief in Christ because immediately He knew that Jesus was the Son of Man, the Bible records that he said, "Lord, I believe," and he worshiped him. (9:38). Now this is saving faith that is needed of you today. To believe in Christ and you will indeed have the immediate benefit of forgiven sins.
There is no one who will seek knowledge who does not see that he is ignorant. No one will seek after treatment who is not sick. The greatest need for anyone to be saved is that he has to see his need brought about by the condition of sin.  There will be no one saved who has no need for a Saviour. Jesus is willing to save everyone who comes to Him because he has categorically stated that there is no one who will come to him that He will cast away. Please run to Him if you are convinced now about your sins. And you ought to be because God Himself has said in His word that all without exception have sinned and fallen and come short of His glory in Romans 3:23. Please believe God for He is better placed to examine your condition that yourself. You realize that even after healing this man born blind there was still the need for Him to deal with his sins. Do not be deceived the right diagnosis will always come from the doctor not the patient.
The greatest problem that befell men is the sin. One may the best of the best or the worst of the worst in the society but the greatest issue to always contend with is whether one’s sins have been dealt with. There is no one who can say that he has never sinned. Everyone is born a sinner and all are under the wrath of God until such a time as their sins are paid for. For there is no one who is able to pay for his own sins because the payment for sins is death – this is what God has said in His Word in Romans 6:23. Sadly no one has the ability because sin has affected every part of the human beings:
Rom. 3:10ff. The understanding, desires, throat, tongues, lips, mouth, feet, eyes, the heart etc. Sin has to be dealt with from the heart and so it is not a small operation but a total overhaul of the whole being of person. An operation that cannot be done by a man but only by God.

3.    Jesus came from God to cure the worst disease – Sin!

But thank God that there is the GOOD NEWS of the cure. The Great Physician is the Creator of the universe Himself – Jesus through whom all things were created both in heaven and on earth. And the good news is that He is willing to be your personal doctor to deal with your disease. And He is the best doctor there is because He has had no failure – no patient has died or will ever die in hands. Trust Him and will definitely provide the best remedy to cure your disease.
The Bible records of His competency to deal with sins in terms of the successful operations of sickness that He dealt with while on earth - And great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute, and many others, and they put them at his feet, and he healed them, so that the crowd wondered, when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled healthy, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they glorified the God of Israel." (Mat 15:30-31)
Then He raised the dead like Lazarus (John 11) then Jairus daughter and the son of the widow of Nain all successful. Just as dealt with diseases so does He deal with sin today. All who go to Him will not taste death but have everlasting life.
Looking at this passage, here we see that the man, though he was born blind, was cured so completely and thoroughly that the Pharisees, did not believe that he had been blind. Those who are ever happy for you to live as you are they will be disappointed when they see the way the Lord has blessed you many a times in spite of your disability. Do not allow them to deceive you and employ all sorts of tricks to make you remain in your condition.
May I address you children, the Lord has given you some innate ability to provide for your own needs.  It is only the Lord who spoke very clearly about what He wanted for the man – to be healed both of his infirmities and his sins.  
May I address you who think that you are well this is exactly what the Pharisees thought, for they said, "Are we also blind?" (9:40). They did not see the need for a Saviour and this is the condition many people see themselves… would you be like that?
This is what Jesus the Lord of lords and the King of kings, "If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, 'We see,' your guilt remains.” (9:41). If only you would admit your need you would be saved. You may scoff at me now but a time will come when we will all be asked by God what have done with your sins? If you will not have added them to Jesus Christ it will be unbearable for you to pay for it and so you will spend all your destiny in eternity under the wrath of God because God will not stay with anyone unrighteous. His righteousness is only obtained from His Son Jesus Christ. Please take all your sins to Him today and He will exchange it for you with HIS righteousness.
This is the assurance, Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. (Heb 7:25-26)
Such a Saviour is for you all if you would believe in him. Please believe and have life because he is the only solution for you. Go home calling upon His Name and tell Him to be merciful to you. He has told you to come to Him and He will give you rest… May plead with you Come to Him and heed Him.