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Getting to the root of racism and pulling it out.

Truth is Balanced.  For us to truly prosper is not the absence of problems. True prosperity is determined by how your soul prospers in the midst of trials and persecution.  The Message of the Gospel contains many opposites and paradox.

We see the unseen. We subdue by submitting. We win by losing. We are made grand by making ourselves little. We come in first by becoming last. We are honored by being humble. We fill up with God by emptying out ourselves. We become wise by being fools. We possess all things by having nothing. We wax strong by being weak. We find life by losing ourselves in others. We live by dying. Leonard Sweet, Beautiful.

The same applies to the Race issue. God has set boundaries for Nations, yet He wants us to respect and love all mankind, showing no partiality as if there is no boundaries.  He divided the languages at Babel, yet wants us to find a Divine Love language in Christ.  We need to overcome our race issues because there is ONE heaven, ONE Father to us all in Christ.

In an interview with Neels Jackson, the infamous Beyers Naudes says the following: “Ek hóóp ek het ’n boodskap,” sê hy en praat dan met dieselfde drif wat ek oor jare leer ken het. “Dis absoluut noodsaaklik dat ons leer om saam te leef, om mekaar te verdra – ook mense van verskillende godsdienste. Ons moet leer om met liefde en toegeneentheid saam te leef met mense en godsdienste wat geweldig van ons verskil,” sê hy. “Ook verskillende kleure,” voeg tannie Ilse by. Oom Bey beaam dit. “Ek kan nie sien waarom dit nie kan gebeur nie. Die Woord van God sê julle moet mekaar liefhê en verstaan en vergewe,” en hy beklemtoon dat dit teenoor álle mense geld, nie net teenoor Christene nie. Die Here het dit ook nie só bedoel dat die rykes ryker word, terwyl die armes armer word nie. Almal moet hande vat en kyk hoe hulle ’n regverdiger bedeling kan bewerkstellig. Excerpt From: “Ek kies steeds die kerk” by Neels Jackson. Scribd.

Most people have an immediate defensive reaction when they hear the word racism, or touching the wealth issue.  The fact that some become immediately emotional and defensive is a dead give away.  The truth is: we all have certain prejudices and pre-conceived ideas. Belief systems based on a subjective one-sided perspective of the truth.  These prejudices are also mostly subconscious.

Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink provides an anecdotal account of how split-second decisions called “rapid cognition” or “thin-slicing” assist us in decision making. Gladwell distinguishes this type of rapid cognition from intuition, which he claims has a more emotional source. Rapid cognition is a distinctly rational process, a thinking process that moves a little faster than ordinary conscious and deliberate decision-making. One of the most interesting parts of the book deals with first impressions about race, particularly those that happen at a subconscious level. In the chapter entitled “The Warren Harding Error: Why We Fall for Dark, Handsome Men,” Gladwell describes the Implicit Association Test (IAT). The IAT, developed by Anthony G. Greenwald, Mahzarin Banaji and Brian Nosek, measures a person’s attitude on an unconscious level and the immediate, and automatic associations a person makes before that person has time to think. The IAT test is designed to examine automatic associations with race. A tested individual is timed to see how quickly they associate categories of good and bad adjectives with black and white faces. The test results reveal that the 80% of Americans more quickly pair words like “love, peace” and “joy” with white faces and words like “terrible, evil” and “failure” with black faces. The level of difference is a matter of microseconds, yet is still statistically significant. What the IAT most significantly reveals is that unconscious attitudes and the behaviors which those attitudes give rise to may be completely incompatible with a person’s conscious values. Even those who consider themselves very enlightened in matters of race still overwhelmingly tend to have an implicit preference for whites.  https://everydaythomist.wordpress.com/2010/01/25/what-malcolm-gladwells-blink-teaches-about-virtue/

Let us all thus reverently allow the Holy Spirit and the Word to convict us of the division and alienation in us we do not see ourselves. Be our mirror Lord, show us the spots in our feasts. Study 1 Cor 11:17-34Ecclesiastes 7: 10 Don’t always be asking, “Where are the good old days?” Wise folks don’t ask questions like that. “Moenie sê: “Waarom was die ou dae beter as die huidige?” nie. Dit is nie uit wysheid dat jy daaroor vra nie. PREDIKER‬ 7:10‬ NLV‬‬ It is common for people to romanticize the old days, and consequently skip the responsibility of doing what is right in the present. Racism is relevant in every age. People will continue to offend another even without knowing it, because we do not see another in the spirit. It is in reality part of our sinful nature. See Mike Woods notes on sin = missing the mark. In other words “mistaken identity”. Mistaken identity is a ‘seeing’ problem. Eventually, you will mistake the character of everything around you. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single (whole), thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil (disease), thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness Mat 6:22-23 David’s brothers did not see him in the spirit, Joseph’s brothers tried to kill him, the Jews did not recognize Jesus as the Messiah. Prejudice is an ancient human problem. ‬‬There is not a race in this world that does not have some embedded prejudices against a particular group.
Racism is taught. Racism is a faulty false belief system. nelson-mandela-quote
Scientifically, humanity is comprised of exactly one race. Although the world has different ethnicities, geographies, citizenships, and cultures, all human beings are nearly identical genetically. The genetic differences that reflect variation in physical appearance across all humankind involve 0.01% of our genes. And all humans are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27), brought to life by His breath (Genesis 2:7), and imbued with an immaterial and immortal soul.
All men have the same struggle with Sin. Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God therefor God’s heart is for all to be saved. Yet God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:4. No Racial group in the world is free from jealousy, rage, contempt, offense, resentment and hatred. We all have a common struggle with sinfulness.
According to an article by Institute of Relations in South Africa, our tolerance of different races are actually sound. Click Here to Read Article. The Media and specific parties are painting a gloomy picture of South Africa’s rainbow nation.  The professional culture of the workplace demands tolerance and acceptance. Out quest of survival seems to surpass our need for separation.  Like the openly racist farmer who invited the black business man for supper, when the price for selling his farm was agreed.
Unfortunately, the most prominent places on earth where racism is most evident is often the most Christianized areas. The struggle I believe for most Christians is to remain holy and pure, while reaching and loving the lost, broken and dirty. Usually, we either become so holy we hardly ever see anyone get saved, or we try so hard to win the lost that we begin to compromise biblical values. Loving God and loving people!
God was clear in His rules to the Israelites regarding those from different nations. In Deuteronomy 10:17-18, Moses asserts God’s love of the foreigner and then exhorts the Israelites to love them as well (verse 19). God did make a distinction between aliens who desired to follow Him and/or blessed His people and those who didn’t. In 1 Kings 8:41-43, Solomon acknowledges that immigrants will pray to God, and God will hear them. Nations that respected God’s will were to be blessed (Genesis 12:2-3). However, nations that practiced widespread child sacrifice and temple prostitution were to be destroyed (Deuteronomy 20:17-18). The call for separation was not a racial issue. It was God protecting His people from sinful influences. We should never abandon the great commission.
He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation. Acts 17:26 God gave the boundaries, and we ARE different, WE ARE NOT INSTRUCTED TO BECOME COLORBLIND, BUT COLOR SHOULD NOT EFFECT THE WAY WE TREAT/FAVOR/LOVE PEOPLE. Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation, the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him. Acts 10:34-35
The Greek word “prosopolemptes” literally means ‘a receptor of the face or person’. It is part of a larger group of similar words which combine to form an idiom which refers to the principle of non-discrimination, one being not a respecter of persons, and the like. Jesus applied this principle very clearly in his interactions with the Samaritans and His teaching on the subject, to even love your enemies. (Luk 6:27-36) Jesus underlines God’s mercy on Heathen (Luke 4:26-27) He rebukes the disciples when they want to pray for God’s judgment on a town that would not receive them. (Luk 9:51-56) The story of the good Samaritan also deals with religious prejudices. (Luk 10:33)
Is it not an interesting fact that the gifts of the Spirit are much more evident in the mission context than ministering to those within your family or social circle? More people get healed in the outreach mission context than in the local church. “Go and make contact” (Mat 28:19) and treat every person with respect. (1 Pet 2:17)
NO PARTIALITY WITH GOD
Romans 2:11 For there is no partiality with God.  1 Timothy 5:21 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, DOING NOTHING IN A SPIRIT OF PARTIALITY.
NO DISTINCTION MADE AN ACCOUNT OF YOUR EARNINGS
Proverbs 22:2 The RICH AND THE POOR have a common bond, The LORD is the maker of them all. No partiality according to salary level: John 13:16 “Truly, truly, I say to you, A SLAVE IS NOT GREATER THAN HIS MASTER, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. From prison, Paul wrote to a friend whose slave had run away, had met Paul, and had come to faith. Paul appealed to his friend on the basis of their relationship to welcome the slave back not as a slave but as a brother. He offered to repay any loss from his own pocket. The letter survives in the New Testament as the book of “Philemon” and is a touching example of a dedicated believer seeking to motivate a slaveholder internally to change his attitudes and behavior. Philemon 1-25. The point is clear, do not treat rich people differently because they are rich, the same applies to the poor. Treat everyone the same – LOVE THEM!
At this moment Social Integration is a National Government drive.  Should it not be the church leading society towards what is right? See these drone photos taken of areas in the Western Cape showing the segregation and division made between the rich and the poor.  This is certainly a worldwide phenomenon, and not a Western Cape issue.  Click Here to View Photos  This division is justified, for economic reasons. But when God looks at it, what are we preaching to the World?
SHOW NO PERSONAL FAVORITISM
James 2:1 My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. James 2:2-4 For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?
NO NATIONAL CULTURAL FAVORITISM
Romans 10:12-13 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.” See  Colossians 3:11
NO PARTIALITY ACCORDING TO TITLE AND POSITION:
Matthew 23:8 “But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers.
NO GENDER INEQUALITY
Galatians 3:28
EQUAL RIGHT TO INCOME:
1 Samuel 30:24 “And who will listen to you in this matter? For as his share is who goes down to the battle, so shall his share be who stays by the baggage; they shall share alike.”
Ephesians 6:9 And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.
THE UNITING FACTOR IS OUR FAITH IN CHRIST.
Jesus openly showed a bias to this women. See the story of Racial Slurs of Jesus towards the Syrophoenician Woman Mark 7:24-37 Apparently she is “a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia” — a Gentile considered to be spiritually and racially inferior to a Jew. The story of Jesus’ encounter with the Syro-Phoenician woman illustrates the way that none of us can come out of a broken society unscathed by its deceptions and injustices. We had no control over the race, social class, into which we were born, but moral choice enters the picture at the moment that we are confronted by the people whose humanity we have overlooked. This story is balanced with the story In John 4, He had a long conversation with a Samaritan woman, although the Samaritans were an ethnic group the Jews despised.  It is her faith that saved these women.  I find that amongst all kind of churches and ministries, this to be the ONE uniting factor above all. Many proclaim Christ, but they show no faith through their actions.  Call it a frequency, a way of speaking and living, but you cannot hide real faith! it is in the open, and it challenges you, to either reject or get doing the Word too.
GROW IN TOLERANCE
We all need the grow in Tolerance.  Disunity is a sign of our immaturity.  Mature children or people have no problem playing with small children.  But children fighting amongst themselves are usually only because of this lack of maturity and godly character. Grow up in wisdom on how to handle each person differently (Jud 22-23) Overcome evil with good. (Rom 12:21) And look after your witness among the people. (Jam 3:13) And let your conduct be honorable among the Gentiles. (1 Pet 2:12)
NO RIGHT TO SEPARATE
As a Christian you are not alone, and cannot operate in isolation, you are part of a family. Your suffering and honor have an effect on the people around you. (1 Cor 12:26) Paul kept himself blameless not to have preached to others and he himself is disqualified. (1 Cor 9:27) There are different vessels in house, some for glory, some for dishonour. Paul instructs us to cleanse ourselves from the latter to all become vessels of honour. (2 Tim 2:20-21) Like in any family, the conduct of one member has an effect on the others. The actions of white believers have an effect on our black brothers in the squatter camp close by. What the labor force do in town, has an effect on the Farm’s productivity.
God sees us as a whole, and whether we acknowledge the diversity or not, our lives affect each other. We need each other!
UNITED ONLY UNDER HEADSHIP OF CHRIST
Equality is only possible IN CHRIST! The biggest divide in Humanity is different Values.  Pursuing Christlike values and character is the best way to live life.
In Christ we possess His nature and the fruit of the Holy Spirit. This unity is already established for us in Christ. We do not have to fight for it or seek it. We are taught to protect and maintain this Divine Unity though, (Eph 4:1-4). Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
The former Minister of defense during the Apartheid era has begun a journey of reconciliation. First his confessions before the Truth & Reconciliation Committee, then God spoke to Him to wash Frank Shikane’s feet, the President of the AFM Africa church. Later he would also wash the feet of some victims in Mamelodi. He discovered the root of Apartheid being, that he loved himself more than he loved his neighbor.

Vlok sê hy het God toegelaat om hom te lei. Hy was nie self regstreeks betrokke by die dood van dié vroue se geliefdes nie, maar hy het hom afgevra wat die grondliggende sonde van apartheid was. Hy het tot die gevolgtrekking gekom dat dit is dat hy homself baie meer liefgehad het as sy naaste. Dit het gegroei tot trots, die gedagte dat jy beter as “hulle” is.  Excerpt From: “Ek kies steeds die kerk” by Neels Jackson. Scribd.

Lastly, who helped Jesus carry his cross, in the end when he could no longer carry it?  Simon of Cyrene, most likely was a black man. What we do know about Simon called Niger is his name.  Simon is a Jewish name and Niger comes from the Latin word for “black”.  Research shows that Simon of Cyrene was from a country in ancient northern Africa (bordering Egypt) called Libya.
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Love, the way Jesus loved.

He gave His Life – Mt 20:28; Joh 10:15; Joh 15:13; 1John 3:16
He did good – Acts 10:38
He showed compassion – Mat 9:36; 14:14; 15:32; 20:34; Mark 1:41; Luk 7:13; 10:33; 15:20; 1 Pet 3:8
He did not came to Judge – Joh 3:17; Joh 8:11; Joh 12:47
Do Not judge by appearance Joh 7:24
Love will cover a multitude of sins 1Pet 4:8
Jesus looked at him, loved him… Mark 10:21
Love of the Spirit Rom 15:30
Faith working out in love Gal 5:6
Law of Christ… Bear another’s burden Gal 6:2
Keep yourself in the Love of God Jude 1:21-23

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Exposing the Spirit of individualism in the Church

Understand how the Spirit of Individualism is weakening the Body of Christ
When people want to start a new ministry, I often hear the following statement: “It should not be linked to a certain church or in the name of an existing local church, so as not to cause offense”
To me the basis of this statement is fundamentally flawed.  It is like someone is saying to their spouse: “let’s have children, but not name them, nor let them carry our surname, not to offend someone who may not like our family.” All churches are flawed, and has offended someone. Not even Jesus’ could please everyone, nor did all his disciples remain faithful.  There is no local church or denomination that is getting everything right, yet we all need to be part of this family. God has one family of which He is the father. (Eph 4:2-6) So much focus has been given in the Charismatic era on the ministry of the individual, the gifts and authority of the believer, our identity in Christ.  This emphasis is essential to get people to wake up to the fullness of their calling, inheritance and power in Christ. (Eph 1:17-21) Equally important is the truth that no man is an island, our growth is always connected with OUR growth in the body of Christ. (Eph 4:16) Essentially becoming a follower of Christ entails denying self and the taking up of our cross. (Mat 16:24) This refers to our obedience to Christ, even to the point of death.
Orange 3 parts For a person to grow spiritually, they have to eventually be part of a local intimate family. The pattern we find in Acts was either small group meetings from house to house the household of faith, or big gatherings or meetings drawing a crowd.  We need to find the balance between these two activities, and see how they actually compliment the other.  Why do we wait so long to initiate house churches? Should the outflow of big gathering not be to get the seekers into a local church, family, house church immediately? This solves the demand for follow-up activities after the meeting?
The DNA of church, God’s sanctuary is made up of three entities: The individual 1 Cor 6:19; the church in the Locality 2 Cor 6:16; the universal church 1 Cor 3:16 based on the context of these scriptures declaring that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. In the case for the individual Paul warns that man cannot have intercourse with a prostitute and not become one with her. (1 Cor 6:15-18) In the second instance Paul addresses the Corinthian Church not to be defiled with the witchcraft in the city. (2 Cor 6:11-16) Then he warns all believers in general to remain holy and sanctified, set apart for God.  In is thus very clear that like an orange, a cell, within a cell, within a cell makes the orange the church is made op three parts. You cannot remove a part; A church where individuals are not born again that church becomes a lifeless institution like a social club. Individuals that do not partner and become part of the church in a location became rogue agents that do not submit to any authority. Local churches that separates them from the greater community of faith becomes Sects.  We are all three at the same time, to become the habitation of the Holy Spirit in the Earth.
Traveling ministry is biblical and in essence apostolic. It was one of the primary roles of the apostles to visit the local church in a certain location and to align them to the truth.   The goal was apostolic alignment to Christ, not to get a nice big offering.  Surely we should not muzzle the ox where he has trotted, a minister is worthy of our honor and support.  The premise and foundation is always family and relationship.  When traveling ministries operate on their own, with out a given family, they tend to build and gather people around themselves.  They inevitably build a family, yet without the nurturing and closeness that a true local family provides.  Being a traveling minister can be glorified. You can preach your best 10 sermons from meeting to meeting, people treat you like some kind of celebrity and give you their best treatment.  This is proper and right, but again not outside the context of family.
Kingdom & family is synonymous.  Our King is our Father! The godhead is in essence a family. The purpose of traveling ministers is thus, to strengthen and build the local family.  To come alongside the local leadership and assist, correct, admonish, rebuke and chasten the family to mature in Christ.
The mass gathering is a wonderful tool to strengthen the small group, making them feel they are part of a greater cause.  Being faithful to the few is not easy.  People begin to know another, nothing is hidden, accountability and correction can cause offense.  The Large gathering does not produce this kind of inward growth.  We need both the small group, household setting and the big large crusade setting.
At his point of time many people have become disillusioned with structured church, mostly because that Church has become alienated from the head which is Christ.  But being a structured church is not wrong or intrinsically evil. It is when the structure migrate away from their original position in Christ.  When this happens we need to question our loyalty to this church. Like most of the NT believers had to do the same, regarding their Jewish Faith upbringing. They had to decide to leave, and face persecution to become part of the new Jesus family.  Today people are leaving church, but not connecting again with church.  God has no plan B. Christ gave His life for His church.  Some seek a new expression of church but they are not willing to pay the price of obedience to Christ to become and be that accurate Christ-like expression. It is easier to only criticize, point finger but not doing anything to help or better it.
God’s heart is always family. God is in essence family, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Starting a ministry on your own, not linked to any family, not being send or under supervision of any existing family is dangerous and arrogant.  You will start this family without you knowing it, and soon there will be children, and without you wanting to be a family become a family – a church.  You are going to have to deal with the mess of raising and disciplining children, or you going to abandon them like many ministers do.
We as people find it hard to follow someone else.   It is in our human individualistic nature to always seek a new path, find our own way, do our own thing.  This pioneering spirit is wonderful and God has used it to start wonderful ministries to reform another human trait, the ability to get stuck in the familiar.  Both these traits need to come under the supervision and control of the Holy Spirit.  When we submit and obey the Spirit, we will never get stuck in tradition for our tradition is obedience to the Spirit.  Obedience to pioneer comes under His control for it to be properly mandated, else it can become mere ambition.  This brings us back to family.  A Family where God is the Father, and the fathers in the house submits and point everyone to the One and only True Father there will be no ambition, selfish interests, striving, competition, suppression and bondage.
This family has matured in Christ, and will cover the world with His Glory.  The current exodus out of formal religion is understandable in context of the church loosing its life and soul – Jesus Christ.  Yet the power of an Christlike family over generations cannot be underestimated! The God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob! There is a generational power in a large family that helps the next generation, making it easier for them to move forward.  The enemy knows this and has released the spirit of divorce, betrayal, division and strive in the church trying to stop this Godly momentum.  You cannot build or plant a new church/family based on division.  You have to live and remain in honor, to also receive honor.
There is wisdom and much benefit being linked to a greater extended family. There are more resources, help and support, and a greater doctrinal accuracy.  It is evident that smaller separate groupings tend to enter into error more quickly. We need to learn to think WE and not ME. Jesus did not function on His own, he gathered friends (Disciples) around Him, he later called His family. (Mark 3:31-35) Paul always took an companion, and greets his Co-workers.  (Acts 19:29; Phil 4:3; Philemon 1:24; Gal 2:9)

We do not have it all together, but together we have it all. (Michael Wood)

Even more so, having more than one apostolic father and the input of all the five Ascension gifts gives balance and depth. (Eph 4:11-16) Some ministers speak out against the local church, then they should also not expect support from the local church.

May God continue to reform the church, so that the church can reform the Land. (Andre Pelser)

We need to come out of old obsolete structures and systems who are keeping His body in bondage, but not at the cost of the true Church.  I believe God has already preserved a remnant of true believers all over the World, that has kept true to His Word and the Spirit of Christ.  Churches who seek to continue to obey and reform into His likeness in everything they do.  The true church is build on a divine revelation of Christ. (Mat 16:18) This revelation installs an inward operating system that continually reforms and updates us to His present revealed truth.
 
Grace & Peace
 
Apostle Jan Oosthuizen
 
 
 
 

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8 ingredients to a perfect day

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Why we need to reach all nations

 

The Church and Missions – Nations
We should never forget that the western church, black and white are by default gentiles. If the early church never crossed their borders and own cultural comfort we would never have received the gospel.
Studying the Luke-Acts perspective on missions provides us with a very important and biblical framework for missions that should be part of our objectives and value system as the church that He builds. Ultimately I do not believe that the local church should have a mission program separate or outside of its daily activities and focus as a church as a whole. Missions and being missionaries are the fundamental reason for being church. (Luk 4:16-21) For example: Reaching the youth/elderly/poor in our community is also a form of missions. Missions should not only be restricted to reaching foreign people groups afar. This is one of the primary principles taught in Luke and Acts; Moving from the core outward to the ends of the Earth.
When Jesus stood up among the people of His hometown in the synagogue and said: “today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” He was stating the course and mandate of His ministry. Luke is the only author of the gospels who is Greek, writing to a second generation church made of Jew and Gentile, shortly after the fall of Jerusalem. Matthew mainly writes his gospel for a Jewish audience; while Luke had a much broader audience in mind.
In the time of Luke the church was made up of a very large number of gentiles but also a great number of Jews. He thus had to appeal to both. Luke has an exceptional positive attitude towards the Jewish people, their religion and culture. Jesus does criticize the Pharisees but not as severely as what the Matthew’s account reveal. Luke omits words like “hypocrites and blind guides”. He omits the passage from Mark 7:1-20 which deals with the deception of the Pharisee’s focus on outward rituals without dealing with the defilement of the heart. Luke relates at least three instances where Jesus was invited by Pharisees for a meal. He does not apply the parable of the evil tenants directly to the chief priest and Pharisees as Matthew does although suggesting it. (Luk 20:9-19) In his Passion narrative he is the only gospel writer to include the words of Jesus: “Father forgive them, for they know not what they are doing”. He omits the words “his blood be on us and on our children”.
He writes his two volume work in the Hebriazed Greek of the Septuagint, also mainly used in synagogues of the Jewish diaspora. He is trying to reach both the Jewish and Gentile communities of his time. He also does not deny Israel its proper place as the womb of the Christian church, mentioning the early prophesies over Jesus the expectation of the salvation of Israel. (Luk 1:54; 68; 2:25, 30, 32, 38) The Church Luke envisages includes the restored/saved Israel and the redeemed Gentile. The Jew has to repent of rejecting and killing their Saviour, and the Gentile of serving worthless idols. There is no proof in Luke or Acts of the Christian church replacing Israel, yet both have to become converted; the one from dead religion and the other of its idols.
On the other hand he is trying very clearly to challenge the Jews to look beyond the salvation of ‘only’ Israel, to God’s desire to save the world. Luke’s account of Jesus’s reading from the Prophet Isaiah is unique in comparison with the other gospel writers who do not include the reason why the Pharisees and listeners became so suddenly offended at Jesus’s words; that after first admiring his gracious words, the next moment they try to kill Him. (Luke 4:28-30) This passage forms the bases of the whole Lukan paradigm of Mission and Salvation. He is the only writer to also include the verse from Isaiah 58:6 between Isaiah 61:1 and 2. “Let the oppressed go free” Because throughout his Gospel; he appeal to the rich to share with the poor. The rich and the poor both need salvation, the one from putting their trust in their riches (Luke 8:14) and the other of putting their trust in man. (Luke 9:59-61)
The reason why these people became so angry? Jesus started with the expectation that was in all of them; the salvation and redemption of Israel and the vengeance of God on their oppressors is to be fulfilled! But He stopped short of reading the complete passage from Isaiah. Instead of granting vengeance He rather made an appeal to notice God’s desire to save their enemies and have compassion on them by mentioning Elijah who was sent to a Gentile widow, and Elisha healing a pagan Ruler Naaman. (Luke 4:26-27) This became Jesus’s theme and number one rule of understanding and living in HIS kingdom; love your enemies! Bless those who curse you. (Luke 6:27-36)
This is why Luke makes an attempt to lay this emphasis throughout his gospel; God is seeking the salvation of the Samaritans and Gentiles too. When James and John wanted to call God’s fire of judgement on a Samaritan town who did not receive them Jesus rebuke them. “You do not know of what spirit you are of” (Luke 9:51-56) He addressed this point very clearly with telling Jesus’s story of the good Samaritan. The church of the day did not help the person in need, but the Samaritan did. He is therefore challenging their narrow idea of “who is my neighbour”. To the Jews, their neighbour was ONLY Jew, children of Abraham! Jesus taught that our neighbour is whoever comes our way, whether Jew or gentile, that needs help and assistance. This was a huge offence to the Jews who despised the way and faith of the Samaritans as false and opposite to their own. In many ways in the same way as what Christians view Moslems today. I include the following information of exactly who the Samaritans were, to proof this comparison.
The origin of the Samaritans
Strictly speaking, a Samaritan would be an inhabitant of the city of Samaria; but the term was applied to all the people of the kingdom of Israel. After the captivity of Israel, B.C. 721, and in our Lord’s time, the name was applied to a peculiar people whose origin was in this wise: At the final captivity of Israel by Shalmaneser, we may conclude that the cities of Samaria were not merely partially but wholly depopulated of their inhabitants in B.C. 721, and that they remained in this desolated state until, in the words of 2 Kings 17:24, “the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava (Ivah, 2 Kings 18:34), and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel: and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof.” Thus the new Samaritans were Assyrians by birth or subjugation. These strangers, whom we will now assume to have been placed in “the cities of Samaria” by Esar-haddon, were of course idolaters, and worshipped a strange medley of divinities. God’s displeasure was kindled, and they were annoyed by beasts of prey, which had probably increased to a great extent before their entrance upon the land. On their explaining their miserable condition to the king of Assyria, he despatched one of the captive priests to teach them “how they should fear the Lord.” The priest came accordingly, and henceforth, in the language of the sacred historian they “feared the Lord, and served their graven images, both their children and their children’s children: as did their fathers, so do they unto this day.” 2 Kings 17:41. A gap occurs in their history until Judah has returned from captivity. They then desire to be allowed to participate in the rebuilding of the temple at Jerusalem; but on being refused, the Samaritans throw off the mask, and become open enemies, frustrate the operations of the Jews through the reigns of two Persian kings, and are only effectually silenced in the reign of Darius Hystaspes, B.C. 519. The feud thus unhappily begun grew year by year more inveterate. Matters at length came to a climax. About B.C. 409, a certain Manasseh, a man of priestly lineage, on being expelled from Jerusalem by Nehemiah for an unlawful marriage, obtained permission from the Persian king of his day, Darius Nothus, to build a temple on Mount Gerizim for the Samaritans, with whom he had found refuge. The animosity of the Samaritans became more intense than ever. They are said to have done everything in their power to annoy the Jews. Their own temple on Gerizim they considered to be much superior to that at Jerusalem. There they sacrificed a passover. Toward the mountain, even after the temple on it had fallen, wherever they were they directed their worship. To their copy of the law they arrogated an antiquity and authority greater than attached to any copy in the possession of the Jews. The law (i.e., the five books of Moses) was their sole code; for they rejected every other book in the Jewish canon. The Jews, on the other hand, were not more conciliatory in their treatment of the Samaritans. Certain other Jewish renegades had from time to time taken refuge with the Samaritans; hence by degrees the Samaritans claimed to partake of Jewish blood, especially if doing so happened to suit their interest. Very far were the Jews from admitting this claim to consanguinity on the part of these people.
The parallels are obvious. The samaritans were a mixed breed and the jews looked down on them. We as a church should be aware that we do not fall in the same trap as the Pharisees did. The NT church is never exclusive, hod want to see all men be saved. (John 12:32; 1 Tim 2:4) The way to salvation is exclusively Jesus, and Jesus alone. The Spirit of God fell on all flesh, at the day of Penticost. (Acts 2:17)
Luke furthermore adds the story of the healing of the ten lepers again unique to Luke. The one who came back and thanked Jesus was off course a Samaritan. (Luke 17:11-19) In Acts Samaria is included in the list of those to receive salvation. (Acts 1:8; 8:1, 5; 9:31; 15:3) Thus making it very clear to the church of his day, and today, Jesus came for the religious outcasts too!
Salvation in Luke and Acts are thus seen to include the whole world. Jesus answered and said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Luke 5:31-32) Whether you are a heathen (Galilean) or born in Jerusalem, Everyone needs to repent and be saved. (Luke 13:1-5) Instead of announcing wrath on the perpetrators, he calls everyone to repentance.
Jesus started in Galilee (Luk 4:14-9:50), then on route to Jerusalem (Luk 9:51-19:40), and concluded with the final events in Jerusalem (Luk 19:41-24:53). The early church started in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and then to the end of the Earth. This focus describes a certain methodology and balance between missions at home and missions abroad. The efforts of the one are not at the cost of the other, but rather to support the other. There is also a certain movement and growth starting at home, expanding naturally further and further to the ends of the earth.
THE REAL PROBLEM WITH MISSIONS
We preach to them but not include them into our family. We have millions of people getting saved, but very view discipled. Crusade Evangelists lay this task before the local church’s door. The local church seems to fail miserably at this task, which can be thrown back at the Evangelist’s type of message and gospel preached. In terms of our biblical understanding thus far, it is very clear that God’s idea for making disciples is making families.
According to the most recent census in South Africa 81.7% of the people in South Africa are Christians. We are the fifth nation in the world to legalise homosexual marriages. We have legalised abortion and are in the process of legalizing prostitution. How is this possible in a country with so many Christians?
The most Christianized nations are in Africa. But often these nations are the poorest, with the highest numbers of HIV AIDS, human right abuses and corruption. Basic services like sanitation, clean water and sufficient food sources are desperately lacking. Nigeria has a population of 149 million people, of which 45.3% are Christian, 95.3% of this number of Christian visits a church at least once a month, 78.8% believes the church has the answer to their problems, 98.2% finds consolation and support in the local church. The church is thus seemingly very successful in this Nation, but Nigeria is 157th on the world ranking of most developed countries. We have been highly successful in making converts, but is failing to disciple the people in the principals and values of Kingdom living.
The fact that we go in, and out is the problems. We preach and leave, not willing to lay down our lives for a community, to become fathers and older brothers that will lead them out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Pet 2:9) The true heart of the apostolic is thus to be fathers to the churches. (Gal 4:19; 1 Cor 4:15; ). The context of the true church is also set, within the context of family. How can you take care of His church, when your own family is ruins? (1 Tim 3:5) Church history is full of stories where leaders forsake their own families, and it lead to all kinds of error and misconduct.
Jesus started His earthly ministry with these words; “repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand!” His family has come to earth, wanting us to become part. (Mat 4:17)

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Eternal Capital, the Riches we have in Christ

It is said that the greatest need in Uganda is Capital. Their is no lack of ideas and plans in Uganda. Like ants scavenging, people are constantly seeking work and means of income. People looking for ways in which they too will become the blessed, rich, wealthy, victorious kings and queens everyone is preaching about.
The truth is: God’s Capital is within you if you are a born again believer.  Godly character is an Eternal commodity we carry within us – the Bible calls it the fruit of the spirit.  When you meet someone wealthy their money carries weight and authority in this world, people seek to gain their favor, and they are reckoned as powerful and blessed.  They get things done, and have entrance into VIP restricted areas of society. In the same way a Christlike Character and Activity brings favor.

Mother Theresa had no money when she started to look after the orphans, destitute, and Lepers in Kolkata, yet she addressed the united Nations in 1984.  This is the prayer she prayed:

 

Make us worthy Lord to serve our fellow men throughout the world, who live and die in poverty and hunger.

Give them through our hands, this day, their daily bread

and by our understanding love give peace and joy

Lord, make me a channel of thy peace.

That where there is hatred I may bring love,

That where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness,

That where there is discord, I may bring harmony

That where there is error I may bring truth,

That where there is doubt I may bring faith,

That where there is despair I may bring hope,

That where there are shadows I may bring light,

That where there is sadness I may bring joy.

Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort that to be comforted,

To understand than to be understood,

To love than to be loved.

For it is by forgetting self that one finds.

It is by forgiving that one is forgiven,

it is by dying that one awakens to eternal life.

Amen.

She was granted a state funeral by the Indian government in gratitude for her services to the poor of all religions in India.[63] Her death was mourned in both secular and religious communities.
IRENE GLEESON, 1944-2013

Mission accomplished: Irene Gleeson surrounded by some of the children she spent decades helping. Photo: Supplied —

Irene Gleeson fought and overcame many battles in her time as a missionary: late-night attacks by rebels, recurring bouts of malaria, depression, extreme isolation and the challenge of being a single white woman in one of the most volatile regions of the world.
For 22 years, her home was Kitgum – a small, isolated community 30 kilometres from the Sudan border and seven hours’ drive from the capital of Uganda, Kampala. ”Mama Irene” or ”The General”, as she was otherwise known, began her work on 7.3 hectares of dry, scrubby land donated by the local government. It was a ministry that would leave an indelible imprint on the hearts and lives of more than 20,000 war-affected Ugandans. (http://www.charismanews.com/world/40359-missionary-to-uganda-irene-gleeson-dies-at-68)
PATIENCE NAMANYA
When Patience Namanya was 12, she came home from school with a bad report card. She was failing literature, history, civics and math. Her teacher had scrawled a note at the bottom. “Patience can do better than this. Should please put in more effort.” Patience sat alone, ashamed. She ached for her parents. She was afraid of her abusive aunt. Who would she show this wrinkled piece of paper to? She knew one person who would understand. One woman who would both challenge and comfort her. Patience picked up her pencil and began to write. “The good Lord solves our problems even though they are big. This year was not wonderful for me because of the problems I had. I lost my grandma and my mummy in the same year and month, but I surrendered them to Jesus Christ.”
Patience has surrendered a lot to Jesus in her young life. She grew up in Kyebando, a slum in Kampala, Uganda, mired in unemployment, alcoholism and malnutrition. In Patience’s own home, tragedy was relentless. Her father died of AIDS, the disease that would gradually take the lives of her mother and two of her younger siblings. While AIDS still ravaged her body, Patience’s mother enrolled her at Compassion’s Gayaza Road Child Development Center.
Patience was eventually promoted to the Anti-Corruption National Strategic Planning Team for Uganda. A job at the national level affords her both freedom and safety. Her team has appeared on radio and television in their efforts to protect fellow Ugandans from government corruption. Earlier this year, Patience helped reinstate 6,000 teachers who had been illegally removed from their jobs. She says she hopes to one day be appointed to parliament, where she can fight corruption from within. (http://www.communityglobal.org/-blog/patience-namanya)
 
 
WAYS IN WHICH GOD PROVIDES FOR US:
Christ within the hope of glory:
Col 1:27 Speaks of this great mystery that now has been revealed, namely Christ in and among us! Paul knew of this riches and said that although he has nothing, he is making many rich. 2 Cor 6:10. He was content within, no matter the state of the conditions on the outside. Phil 4:11-12 in verse 13 he victoriously  declares “I can do all things, through Christ that strengthens me!” God made an huge capital investment within us, His own Son!
Living the life of Jesus, is true riches indeed.  As you begin to follow Him, laying down your own life, dreams and ambitions, He begins to teach you His way of riches.  The greatest statesman Mr Nelson Mandela was not known for his politics and accomplishments But for his humility, compassion, forgiveness, and unity he brought about.
The Holy Spirit is our guide, but once we decided to surrender self, He is also the one that raise Christ up in us. Christ resurrected in us, and through us. In Him we live and move and have our being.  We are crucified with Him, but we will also live and reign with Him.
He will lead each one of us, into the rich tapestry of Christlike destiny He has purposed for all of us.   Like Him we learn obedience through the things we suffer. Heb 5:8 and being perfected by Him, we become the author of an aspect of Christ’s riches He has chosen to reveal through us to the world.
We cannot choose this destiny for ourselves, we discover it as we continue to obey Him in the small things, here a little, there a little, step upon step, line upon line.  In total trust we blindly follow Him, until He choose to open our eyes, now seeing like He sees.  Paul had to first be blinded naturally, and see in the spirit, before God could give him back his sight.

  1. Christlike character is a commodity! It gives you heavenly currency to trade and do business and gain favor and success in everything you do.  The president [Yoweri Museveni] turned to the church when it became evident that the army was getting nowhere with the war. The president went so far as to ask Christians to volunteer for public service. “The president says that only the principled can make a difference,” Senyonga told Charisma Magazine. “He would say, ‘If [born-again Christians] don’t have skills I will give them the skills. But I want the heart.” (http://www.charismamag.com/site-archives/146-covers/cover-story/1965-ugandas-miracle) More and more christians are coming in demand in the job sector, business that core character is essential to business success. For born again believers, the character of Christ becomes the fruit of your new nature in Christ.
  2. Inherent provision in creation: Every created thing has an inherent provision. (Mat 6:22-35) The way that God blesses us is, through blessing the land. Ps 65:9-13 God provides by blessing the Land.  The most natural way of God’s provision to us lies in nature, farming, sowing and reaping.  Hos 10:12 The prophet asked the widow: “What do you have?” Often God’s provision is in what we already have. “silver and gold I have not, but what I have I give you” Jesus also taught His disciples “You give them something to eat”. Like Paul I like to pray that our spiritual eyes be opened to the calling, inheritance and power we have within us. (Ephe 1:19-21)
  3. Money is only a means: Poverty lack access to a means. We do not need money, we need a means, to make, or earn money. Many people who have won a lot of money do not know what to do with it. They lack a means. We cannot trust in the means, because it can change, we can loose it, either by our own doing, or someone else doing. Mat 6:26 God cares for the birds, who do not sow or reap, nor gather into barns.  Do not trust in your sowing, trust God! We on a constant journey to discover different means of income, to provide not only for ourselves but others also. Each person ought to develop their vocation in obedience to Christ. Nic ” ” do not have any legs or arms, yet he minister all over the world. He became perfected through obedience and now have a power story to tell, thus becoming n author of hope to millions.
  4. See the Lord’s Provision: Jehovah Jireh: H3070. יִרְאֶה יְהוָֹה y hōwāh yir’eh:A proper noun designating Jehovah Jireh, a name given to designate the Lord by Abraham for providing a sacrifice in place of Isaac (Gen. 22:14). It means “the Lord will see to it” literally but also means “the Lord will provide.” You need to see your provision to be able to obtain it. Often in survival circumstances people die, because they could not see the provision in what they had around them.  Abraham had to see God’s provision in the ram.  Look at what is obvious, close proximity to you. You will not become good in anything, if it is not already within you. I was told this week by Ellen Odendaal, MD of Bokomo Uganda. If you have to do a course at something so that you will be able to do it, your were not meant to do it.  Doing course in public speaking, wont make you a good speaker, you should ready have it in. The course is only for improvement. See the gifts what God has already put in you.
  5. Faithfulness in the small things.  Being faithful is so important for success.  You will never go forward if you never learn to first be faithful in the small things.  Luk 16:19. The way I move people forward, is to first give them simple commands, then once they complete them accurately, we can ahead to greater things. No plant in God’s garden begins as a full-grown tree. We want to skip the steps, and create plastic human made plants, that looks nice, but they’re dead. 
  6. Shrewdness and prudence: 5430. φρονίμως phronímōs; adv. from phrónimos (G5429), prudent. Prudently. It denotes the wise, prudent and sensible manner in which one conducts himself and his affairs. In Luke 16:8 the word means with advantage, shrewdly. “Now here’s a surprise: The master praised the crooked manager! And why? Because he knew how to look after himself. Streetwise people are smarter in this regard than law-abiding citizens. They are on constant alert, looking for angles, surviving by their wits. I want you to be smart in the same way—but for what is right—using every adversity to stimulate you to creative survival, to concentrate your attention on the bare essentials, so you’ll live, really live, and not complacently just get by on good behavior.” Message
  7. Principle of sowing and reaping: Everything in God’s Kingdom/creation works on this principle/law. Gen 8:22 The more one sows, the more one can reap. 1 Cor 9:6 The measure of your sowing determines the measure of your harvest.  Like a farmer, he cannot eat the seed. He will have nothing to eat in the future! Most people eat all their seed, they do not know how to make money, only how to spend it. The way of the Kingdom is: the more you need, the more you need to give.  The people in our church, who are most blessed and prosperous are the ones that give.
  8. Get going do something: Deut 8:18 Give you power to attain wealth – God has made provision for every man, it is what you make of the opportunities you did receive that will bring you greater opportunities. Charismatic and Pentecostal people can fall in the trap of trying to fix everything with prayer, laying of hands, and having more church meetings. Although these things are important for spiritual growth, it does not sustain us. Paul says: “working with my own hands” he provided for those who was in his company. Pastors who forsake work and labour, become professional beggars and shrewd in taking up offerings to sustain themselves. Much error has crept into the church because of this.  Apostles work hard. 2 Cor 6:5 – labors, 2 Cor 10:15 – measure of our labour – We do not boast beyond limit in the labors of others. 2 Cor 11:23 – with far greater labors 1 Cor 15:10; 1 Cor 4:12 Working with our own hands; 2 Thes 3:8 with toil and labor
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Children are the future of our world

At time when the focus many in Nation’s Capital is on youth gangs and violence, historic Metropolitan AME Church in down town will spot light youth who are achieving academically and will display their creativity in music and dance  at Youth Day 2014.

The community is invited to share the joy of this event on Sunday, June 8 at 11 am at the church, located at 1518 M St. NW.
The church will hold its usual 7:45 am worship service; however,  the congregation and community will gather at 11 a.m.  in a  special service tp spotlight their youth.
Rev. Rodney Barnes, pastor of Gethsemane AME Church, Landover, Md. will be guest preacher. With the theme of “God’s Gift Looks Good on You,” the worship service will feature the youth choir, small youth orchestra and Liturgical Dancers.  Metropolitan’s 2014 graduates will also be recognized.

A new future vision for youth was stated by the Rev. William H. Lamar IV, who was named  Metropolitan’s new pastor  on April 11.  When asked in an interview if he had any specific plans for Metropolitan’s youth, he responded with his philosophy.

“(I plan) first of all to listen to the youth and not tell them who they are; give them permission and support to do the kinds of ministry that speaks to their generation.  We have to be a permission-giving culture for the young.  …We have to speak to who (they) are or aspire to be.    The best and healthiest churches are multigenerational.
Our biggest mission is to build a stronger Metropolitan for today, bringing generations together– doing things together.  One of Metropolitan’s greatest assets is that we have people over 100 and we have babies too.

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When Love is not enough

Please read (Mat 7:15-23)
We so often say we love You Lord, but do they really? It is so easy to sing along songs in church about how much we love Him, but do we obey Him? Jesus’ love for the Father was tested, when He endured the most difficult burden of our sins and death saying: “Not My will be done, but thine!”
There are so many things in my life, that I know God wants me to do, but I never get around doing it. My spouse asked me to do something in the house ages ago, and I simply never do it. The Church made and appeal, and I felt that God wants me to respond, but I never did it.
Are we not singing too many love-songs in church, and doing too little? When we are asked to labor and come and work in church, like attending the prayer meetings, visiting the poor, praying for people at work. We just never get around to do it, with a long list of excuses.
God is not looking for obedience grounded in a slave mentality. He wants us to want to obey. Obedience should come naturally. There is nothing so offending when my spouse makes it clear that they did something out of obedience and I should take note that it was not easy, and that actually they did not want to do it. Love says: you should have wanted to do it for me, because you love me!
When people commit sin, adultery, deceit, selfish ambition, selfishness I cannot but question their love for God. Even more, I question their experiential knowledge of the Love of God.
No one filled with the love of God, can continue in sin.
We should focus more on trying to understand and come to see for ourselves the width, depth, and height of His love. (Eph 3:16-19) His love is what heals us. His love quench the hunger of your deepest desires. His love completes every yearning and longing you have in your heart. His love restores all the heartbreak. It is in seeing His love that we understand that all our desires were actually seeking Him. No husband or wife, no children, no perfect job, no conquest of any kind, can permanently fill and satisfy your desires like God. He is the author of Love. He is love! There is no true love without Him.
Let us study this passage closely in Matthew 7.
In vers 15 we are warned of false teachers. Ravenous wolves! How will you be able to discern them? By their fruits. Meaning the stuff they do! How they live, their attitude, values, habits and actions will prove whether they are true or not. In vers 17-19 Jesus explains that fruit bearing is a natural process. No matter how hard a citrus tree will strive to bear bananas, it cannot. You bear naturally according to your DNA. This is why our natures needs to be transformed by God. We need to be born again. (Joh 3:3-5; 1 Pet 1:21; 2 Cor 5:17) When we are changed from the inside we will naturally bear His fruit. (Gal 5:21-22) The opposite list mentioned in Galatians 5, is called “works” of the flesh. You cannot work godliness from the flesh. These people have a show of godliness but lacking the power. (2 Tim 3:5) When God transforms us from within, He becomes the means and power towards Godliness. He works His grace in us to do according to His will. (Phil 2:13)
Someone who is still struggling with sin, has not yet received this power. This is how you know that you walk in His grace. You overcome sin naturally. (Rom 5:17) Through God’s mercy we have gained access, but through His grace we have received power to overcome. (Heb 4:14-16) Obedience is thus not a work like that of a slave. Godly obedience is a grace that He works in us, because of our faith in Him. We have come to the place of desperation because we find no good in ourselves, we simply cannot perform His will. (Rom 7:19-25) But thank God through Jesus Christ, I find a power in Him that enables me to overcome sin. (Rom 8:2)
Back to Matthew 7:
In vers 21 Jesus continue with His line of thought saying that not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord shall enter the Kingdom. He is not interested in what we have done for Him, even performing miracles. Did we obey Him? This is what He is looking for. Vers 21 exclaimed: “You who practice lawlessness!”
Let us all come to realize this truth – The law cannot save you and make you right with God. But you cannot disobey the law and say you love Him. Whoever therefor breaks one of these commandments and teaches men so, will be called least in the Kingdom. (Mat 5:19) You are my friends if you do what I command them. (Joh 15:15) My food is to do the will of God. (Joh 4:34) As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are sons of God. (Rom 8:14) Obedience is important to God.
You cannot divorce your spouse, and say I love God. You are breaking His law! He hates divorce! (Mal 2:16) Read (Mal 2:12-17) It also speaks of people bringing their sacrifices of worship to God, they come with weeping and crying. But you deal treacherously with the wife of your youth? You have wearied the Lord with your words v17.
You cannot be guilty of the following practices and fruit and be named among the elect. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner — not even to eat with such a person. (1 Cor 5:11)
When one turns from these and repent there is mercy and grace. (Heb 4:14) But when one identifies with sin, and line yourself up with it, you will be judged with the sin by the church. “put away from yourself this evil person” (1 Cor 5:13) Paul’s plea to the church in this whole chapter is: Why are you as the church not judging this person? Do you not know that little leaven leavens the whole lump? (v6) He exclaims: as absent from the body but present in the spirit, I have already judged this person! (v3)
God will cut away the branch that does not bear fruit. (John 15:2) If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. (v6)
We cannot escape God’s law. We cannot disobey Him, and think we can correct our rebellion with nice words and emotional worship songs! May we be totally raptured in His love! May we be so filled with His presence and love that shines on our darkness and draws us unto Himself, so that He can heal us. “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” (Joh 3:18)
We all like to know God. We even presume we know Him. What a shock it will be one day to hear: “I never knew you; depart from Me!” (Mat 7:23) When we read further in Mathew 7:24-29 Jesus continues to explain why this is so important for us to not just hear His words but to obey Him. When we only hear, but do not obey we are like someone who builds his house on sand. This is why so many Christian leaders and people are losing their testimony and fall into sin. They did not obey! Whether you are a Christian for many years or only a few months the same standard is set for everyone –obedience! You need to mix your hearing with actions of faith. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. (Heb 4:2)
Why do some Christian believers marriage’s fail, are their business not producing good success, and their relationship with people always in troublesome waters? I am over simplifying. But hear the truth: Obedience is good fruit! Obedience is building your house on the rock! Obedience is what gives us authority. (2 Cor 10:6)
though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. 9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, (Heb 5:8) Even Jesus had to learn obedience! We do not learn obedience when everything is going well. It is when we struggling through difficulties and hardship, that we need to hear from God what to do. Do not pray to God for the problem to go away. Rather ask Him for a ‘Jesus’ strategy on how to overcome it. We are not victims of people’s wrongdoing. We cannot blame others for our sin. In God, in the scriptures, in the life and way of Christ there is solutions to be found on how to handle every difficulty! Instead of searching for the problem in someone else, rather seek the answer in the Word of God. Let the Holy Spirit guide and teach you His ways. Learn from other believers who have already discovered truths and ways on how to overcome. I have found that with obedience, comes the grace to obey. Before obedience the task may seem daunting, but the moment you agree to do it, you will feel the energy of God’s Spirit working in you to do it. The more you obey, the more you will want to obey. Just do it!
We all know the feeling when your spouse, declares that “they love you” yet when you ask them to do something for you, they forget, or went and did something else for you. This is really frustrating. May God wash our hearts and work His grace of reverence and the fear of the Lord in our hearts, dealing with all rebellion, hardness of heart, unwillingness to yield, resentment, excuses, procrastination, and everything that hinders us to walk an obedient life to His Glory! God is most glorified in us, when Christ is most evident in us!
We receive His obedience by faith.
Grace and Peace
Apostle Jan and Prophet Chantál, called by the grace of God to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.