LIVING IN THE KINGDOM -DAY 11

LIVING IN THE KINGDOM

LIVING IN THE KINGDOM

WE ARE RECEIVING A KINGDOM

Hebrews 12:28
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,

In it we live by Faith

Romans 1:17
For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Hebrews 10:38-39
Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

1    WE ARE JUSTIFIED BY FAITH

Romans 5:1-2
Peace and Hope
1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.

2   BY FAITH WE PLEASE GOD

Hebrews 11:6
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

3     BY FAITH WE ARE SHIELDED BY GODS POWER

1 Peter 1:5
who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

Ephesians 6:16
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

SO FAITH IS EVIDENTLY IS KEY TO KINGDOM LIVING

1     LET’S DEFINE IT

Hebrews 11:1
Faith in Action
1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

2 Corinthians 5:7
For we live by faith, not by sight.

So, in the definition, it is clear sight is not faith – we being human, we get easily susceptible to sensory knowledge

2    LET’S GET TO KNOW HOW WE CAN SECURE IT

Romans 10:17
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

3    HOW WE MAY PROTECT IT – TO KEEP IT TO THE END

1 Timothy 1:19
holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith.

1 Timothy 1:18-19
The Charge to Timothy Renewed
18 Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well, 19 holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith.

IT IS THE ONE EXHIBIT YOU MUST PRODUCE IN TACT WHEN YOU GET TO THE FINISH LINE

AFFIRMATIONS – DAY15

AFFIRMATIONSAFFIRMATIONS

1    OURS IS THE GREATEST GOD

Exodus 15:11
Who among the gods
is like you, Lord?
Who is like you—
majestic in holiness,
awesome in glory,
working wonders?

10 plaques – the destruction of the Egyptian deities

2   OURS THE GREATEST WORK. –

John 21:15-17
Jesus Reinstates Peter
15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.

If you love me feed my sheep

3    OURS THE GREATEST COMMISSION

Matthew 28:18-20
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Christ is out to reconcile all things to The Father by His Body

4   OURS THE GREATEST TRUST

1 Corinthians 4:1-2
The Nature of True Apostleship
1 This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. 2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.

5     OURS IS THE GREATEST HELP

John 14:16
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—

Hebrews 1:14
Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?

HOLY SPIRIT

ANGELIC HOST

OURS THE GREATEST REWARD. ETERNAL. …..looking unto Jesus

1 Timothy 3:13
Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.

1 Peter 5:2-4
Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.

4 DAYS TO GO

SEVEN RESOLVES satan and all hell CANNOT WITHSTAND

SEVEN RESOLVES satan and all hell CANNOT WITHSTAND

DEF:  Decide firmly on a course of action;  Firm determination to do something.

1.   A RESOLVE TO SEEK THE LORD

2 Chronicles 20:2-4

Some people came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the Dead Sea. It is already in Hazezon Tamar” (that is, En Gedi). Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.

THE PEOPLE OF JUDAH WERE SO DETERMINED THEY CAME WITH THEIR CHILDREN

2 Chronicles 20:13

All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the Lord.

DECLARE:  I RESOLVE TO SEEK THE LORD WITH ALL MY HEART.

2.    A RESOLVE TO WORSHIP WITH OUR CHILDREN

Exodus 10:8-9

Then Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. “Go, worship the Lord your God,” he said. “But tell me who will be going.” Moses answered, “We will go with our young and our old, with our sons and our daughters, and with our flocks and herds, because we are to celebrate a festival to the Lord.”

DON’T LEAVE YOUR CHILDREN OUT OF THE EQUATION

DECLARE:   AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD

3.    A RESOLVE TO LIVE A SANCTIFIED LIFE

Daniel 1:8-9

But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel,

THERE WILL BE FAVOR FROM THE LORD FOR THOSE WHO STAND RESOLUTE,  DETERMINED IN THEIR HEARTS TO HONOR THE LORD BY LIVING RIGHT!

DECLARE:  MY LIFE WILL BE HOLY, ACCEPTABLE AND PLEASING IN GOD’S SIGHT

4.     A RESOLVE TO FIGHT FOR WHAT IS RIGHT

Nehemiah 4:7-9

But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the people of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry. They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it. But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.

ARABS, AMMONITES AND ASHDOD

ASHDOD means RAVAGER, DESTROYER!!!!

. . . . GENETICALLY CODED TO BE DESTRUCTIVE . . . .

4.1.     IN LIFE UNFORTUNATELY THERE WILL BE UNREASONABLE PEOPLE

2 Chronicles 20:10-11

“But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them. See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance.

FIGHT!   WITH GOD ON OUR SIDE,   VICTORY IS INEVITABLE

2 Chronicles 20:22-23

As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another.

ALL satanic INVASIONS  ON YOUR HEALTH

YOUR GOD GIVEN RELATIONSHIPS

YOUR PEACE OF MIND

YOUR DESTINY RESOURCES

ARE BEING TURNED BACK IN JESUS NAME

ALL ENEMY’S CLAIMS OVER YOUR WELLBEING ARE SILENCED!

his ARGUMENTS AGAINST  YOUR PROGRESS, NULLIFIED!

John 14:30

I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me,

ALL ENEMY “HANDLES” ON YOU, TO DELAY, PREVENT OR UNDERMINE YOUR RIGHTFUL INHERITANCE ARE SHUTTERED AND SCATTERED

IN JESUS NAME!

BREAKTHROUGH BEACONS

HELP CANNOT BE WITHHELD FROM YOU

IN JESUS NAME!

4.2.    DON’T GIVE UP ON THOSE AROUND YOU

FAMILY

FRIENDS

COLLEAGUES

Nehemiah 4:13-15

Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at THE EXPOSED PLACES, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows. After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and FIGHT FOR YOUR FAMILIES,  your SONS and your DAUGHTERS your WIVES and your HOMES.” When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to our own work.

WHAT ARE THE “EXPOSED PLACES” YOUR LIFE?

Wrong associations

Ungodly business dealings

Inconsistent living

Anger driven actions. . .

Bitterness

Evil speaking – vulgar, coarse / crude  jokes

DETERMINE TO CLOSE THE EXPOSED PLACES AND FIGHT FOR THE PRECIOUS ONES AROUND YOU!

DECLARE:    I WILL FIGHT TO DEFEND TRUTH AND WHATEVER THE LORD

5.    A RESOLVE TO PURSUE DIVINE DESTINY

5.1.    YOUR FINAL OUTCOME SHALL BE VICTORIOUS.

Jeremiah 29:11. AMP

For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your FINAL OUTCOME.

NO MATTER WHAT YOU SEE RIGHT NOW OR

WHAT YOUR EXPERIENCES HAVE BEEN THUS FAR

YOUR FINAL OUTCOME IS POISED TO BE VICTORIOUS.

5.2.    LOCK UP YOUR THOUGHTS IN GOD – THERE’S DOUBLE FOR YOUR TROUBLE

Zechariah 9:12.  AMP

Return to the stronghold [of security and prosperity], you prisoners of hope; even today do I declare that I will restore double your former prosperity to you.

Zechariah 9:12.  MSG

Come home, hope-filled prisoners! This very day I’m declaring a double bonus— everything you lost returned twice-over!

Isaiah 40:1-2. NIV

Comfort for God’s People Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.

HARD LABOR IS OVER!   THERE’S DOUBLE FOR YOUR TROUBLE!

5.3.    DON’T LET THE ENEMY TRICK YOU INTO SLUMBER CONCERNING THE GOOD PLAN OF GOD FOR YOUR LIFE

Psalms 106:13. NIV

But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his plan to unfold.

Psalms 106:13.  AMP

But they hastily forgot His works; they did not [earnestly] wait for His plans [to develop] regarding them,

GOD IS DETERMINED TO DO YOU GOOD

5.4.    DETERMINE TO PERSUADE YOUR RELATIVES TO COME ALONG IN THE GOOD PLANS OF GOD – MOSES DID!

Numbers 10:29-32

Now Moses said to Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law, “We are setting out for the place about which the Lord said, ‘I will give it to you.’ Come with us and we will treat you well, for THE LORD HAS PROMISED GOOD THINGS to Israel.” He answered, “No, I will not go; I am going back to my own land and my own people.” But Moses said, “Please do not leave us. You know where we should camp in the wilderness, and you can be our eyes. If you come with us, WE WILL SHARE with you WHATEVER GOOD THINGS the LORD gives us.”

ENCOURAGE THEM

PLEAD WITH THEM

BEG THEM IF YOU MUST!

JUST DON’T LET THEM REMAIN OUTSIDE OF THE THE GOOD PLANS AND PROMISES OF OUR GOD!

NB.    Often it is hard for human nature to follow what is not seen yet – Moses father-in-law knew “Moss” pretty well.    Moses had been his employee for a good forty years.    Moses could hardly manage his schedule and priorities concerning self, family or  people management!   He worked from sunrise to sunset doing what should have been delegated to others in the first place.  He was at a danger of neglecting the very relationship with GOD that had brought him and the people thus far out of Egypt.

Jethro had been the one who rescued this “young and inexperienced” leader by giving him firm advice on how to manage and prioritize.   How could he now expect himself to follow Moss to ” who-knows-where?”

Often the people GOD expects us to “win” into HIS WAY know us so well, some, we grew up before them, our developmental stages with all their faults were before them – at first they may be tempted to say No! like Jethro did but thank GOD Moses persisted!

Be Persistent, they’ll “hear you” soon!

6.    A RESOLVE TO LIFT JESUS HIGH

1 Corinthians 2:2-5

For I resolved to know nothing (to be acquainted with nothing, to make a display of the knowledge of nothing, and to be conscious of nothing) among you except Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and Him crucified. And I was in (passed into a state of) weakness and fear (dread) and great trembling [after I had come] among you. And my language and my message were not set forth in persuasive (enticing and plausible) words of wisdom, but they were in demonstration of the [Holy] Spirit and power [a proof by the Spirit and power of God, operating on me and stirring in the minds of my hearers the most holy emotions and thus persuading them], So that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men (human philosophy), but in the power of God.

WHEN CHRIST IS CENTRAL AND SUPREME IN OUR PREACHING – MIRACLES WILL NOT BE SCARCE!

Acts 10:42-44

He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.

7.    A RESOLVE TO LIVE IN PEACE WITH GOD

Job 22:21, 27-28

“Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you.. . . .

. . . .

You will pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will fulfill your vows. What YOU DECIDE on will be done, and light will shine on your ways.

Proverbs 16:7

When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

Amen!

18 DAYS TO GO

THE PRESENCE THAT PRESERVES

Genesis 39:1-2
“Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. And Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him down there. The LORD WAS WITH JOSEPH, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.”

Three calamities, one after the other had befallen Joseph. He had been thrown into a pit by his own brothers – the very sons of his father, while they sat down to indulge in the home delicacies he had brought them from their father. They discussed what should be done to him. They had initially muttered the idea of killing him but two among them i.e Reuben and Judah at varying times were struck by a fear and in their own ways tried to save the lad and that’s how he ended up being sold to the Ishmaelites.

This is no group you want to land on to at any given time. They are descendants of Ismael. Their group temperament was articulated when the angel met their pregnant maternal ancestor Hagar who had been sent off from Abraham and was about to give birth to this child who would be called Ismael. This is what the angel said he’d be like:

Genesis 16:12
“He will be a wild donkey of a man;
his hand will be against everyone
and everyone’s hand against him,
and he will live in hostility
toward all his brothers.”

So, little is left to our imagination as to how that trip must have been for Joseph in the hands of this kind of people. After that tumultuous journey to who-knows-where, Joseph ends up in a slave market where he is bought by some high ranking official in Egypt and enters Portiphar’s labor camp.  Inside he feels ‘stolen’ by an evil force

Genesis 40:15a NKJV
“For indeed I was stolen away from the land of the Hebrews;”

Genesis 40:15a AMP
“For truly I was carried away from the land of the Hebrews by unlawful force,”

We can only imagine what he was going through in his mind, from a loving, comfortable home to this seemingly ever deteriorating set of circumstances.

but how reassuring the appearance of that affirmation….

THE LORD WAS WITH JOSEPH, and he was a successful man.

PRAYER FOCUS:

1. Pray that no matter how deteriorating the surrounding circumstances may be, an awareness of GOD’S ever abiding presence would elevate you above despondency

2. Pray that the enabling Presence of GOD would carry you in your work. So that your performance is never dictated to by prevailing negativity

3. Pray that you will he strengthened as you ward off ‘unlawful forces’ in all areas of concern. From family to future to finances and anything in between

PRECIOUS PROMISES – DAY 19

PRECIOUS PROMISES

PRECIOUS PROMISES THAT GUARD, GUIDE AND GOVERN OUR FUTURE.

Deuteronomy 32:46-47
he said to them, “Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law.
47 They are not just idle words for you—they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”

2 Peter 1:3-4AMP
For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the [full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and excellence (virtue).
By means of these He has bestowed on us His precious and exceedingly great promises, so that through them you may escape [by flight] from the moral decay (rottenness and corruption) that is in the world because of covetousness (lust and greed), and become sharers (partakers) of the divine nature.

Psalms 42:7
Deep calls to deep …..

John 6:63
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

1.         MY CONCERNS ARE BEING TAKEN CARE OF

 Psalms 138:8
The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me:
thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever:
forsake not the works of thine own hands.

NB.  One of the strategies of the enemy is to keep you preoccupied with cares.    
No rest even in your sleep
Creativity is disturbed by worry
Health fails where worry abounds

1 Peter 5:7
casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Psalms 55:22
Cast your burden on the Lord,
And He shall SUSTAIN  you;
He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

2. MY COMFORT IN EVERY TRIAL IS GOD GUARANTEED

Psalms 71:21
Thou shalt increase my greatness,
and comfort me on every side.

Psalms 71:21 NIV
You will increase my honor
and comfort me once more.

Psalms 71:21 AMP
Increase my greatness (my honor) and turn and comfort me.

Psalms 71:21 NLT
You will restore me to even greater honor
and comfort me once again.

3.         MY PLACE IN HIS LOVE IS SECURE

Romans 8:38-39
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

4   MY SPIRIT, SOUL AND BODY SHALL BE PRESERVED.

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

Jude 1:24-25
Now unto him that is ABLE TO KEEP YOU FROM FALLING, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

Psalms 46:5
God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved;
God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.

5.  THE SCRIPT OF MY LIFE IS UNFOLDING TO MY ADVANTAGE AND FULFILLMENT.

 Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

6.  GOD’S ABIDING AND SETTLING PRESENCE IS WITH ME EVERYWHERE

Psalms 91:14-16
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

Psalms 23:4
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

Psalms 23:6
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.

7.   MY SEED, MY GIVING SHALL PRODUCE ABOVE EXPECTATION.

Psalms 126:6 – 127:1
He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed,
shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

Philippians 4:19
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Deuteronomy 28:12
The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.

Amen

FROM GOOD TO GREAT

FROM GOOD TO GREAT

FROM GOOD TO GREAT

I’m eternally grateful for missions and missionary work.   I continually stand in awe at the love, the selflessness, the sacrifices, the commitment demonstrated by the fruit that remains.

Many times as we start  in the rural areas I cannot escape the feeling literally that we were standing on the shoulders of giants.  I’ve wept as I hear people I’ve never met singing tunes that connect us so deeply.

In Africa we haven’t gone too far from the hymn book experience.  Even our most celebrated Gospel artists have just been re-mixing the old.
The impact is huge.

From churches planted, schools established.  Bibles and hymnals translated.
To denominations and movements taking territories and regions.  Their labor continues to bear testimony to a driving force larger that mammon considerations.

Monday night slides and history were a great Blessing to me:

That bicycle journey by Bro Austin Chaunner had an enduring impact on an orphaned young teenager  who became a disciple a life time minister of the Gospel,   and that’s my Grandfather Joseph Khoza.

I grew up with the privilege of the likes of Vovo Mulungu speaking into our lives passionately.
So excited to be in the company of the likes of Vovo Inguana and the Mozambique delegation.

Intro:   One of the greatest challenges of the church is we get inspired

HELPING  THE NEXT GENERATION CONNECT TO ENABLING GRACE

THE CALL
THE EQUIPPING
THE GRACE …..Don’t go without it!!!

THE RIGHT COMBINATION IS KEY:    THE POWER OF THE KEY

ILLUSTRATIONS:

1.         Where everything is available – but nothing is accessible!  THE ROOM

2.         The executive case with passport and tickets – but one number in the combination forgotten.

3.          In gadgetry: Your bank code is a Key.  You miss it once, it gives you another chance,  twice  three times…. It locks you out – the

inconvenience of having to go into your branch….. When you are oversees

Many people with a genuine call of GOD, have benefited from equipping efforts but couldn’t quite crack it in fulfilling their GOD given Mandate.

They fast
They pray
They give
They evangelize
They do follow ups
They do small groups

But no growth!!!!!

We are told  95% of our seminary graduates don’t do much worth writing home about!

Why?
Is GOD rejecting their efforts
Is there a curse over their lives
Is it their style of ministry …. Maybe they should try Aussie music and stop tucking in their shirts

There is a GRACE that releases an effectiveness that goes beyond works – necessary as they always are!

It’s not something you do while in ministry – but rather before you start!

Not even evangelism as we’ve put it …

EVANGELISM

It is way much more than a tool for church growth.  To be true your evangelism efforts are hardly ever any where close to congruent with the harvest that remains in the local church
Only between 3 – 7% of the converts from crusades and outreaches end up in the church pews and church life.

Fact:    We win more people to Christ than the ministers who teach us how to win souls
The high end churches that have new converts at the altar each week struggle to get 10% of them assimilated into local church life …. And yet they are still growing

Truth is:    The LORD ADDED to their number daily such as should be saved.

If GOD’S not adding, your efforts are frustration!

Some plant, some water but GOD gives the increase!

Question is:   HOW DOES ONE GET GOD TO GIVE THE INCREASE!

SO WHY SHOULD WE EVANGELIZE?:

We evangelize for much higher reasons:

1.       Because the LORD said so:  That’s reason enough!
Whatever he tells you to do, that you do! – Mary sermon!
Go ye into all the world and Preach the Gospel to all creation ….
Not only people – GOD did not loose only people
Christ did not come for people only..

2.       Because it deals with all that was lost
He came to seek and to save that … Only those…..
Kingdoms …..

3.       Because it dethrones the power of witchcraft
At least three times in the book of acts Evangelism and witchcraft are in direct competition
Simon the sorcerer vs Phillip the Evangelist
The girl with the fortune telling spirit vs Paul and Barnabas
The witchcraft literature worth 50 000 drachmas

…And in all cases, once the witchcraft is broken the Gospel progresses

…in this way the Word grew in power and prevailed.
Up to this point they were preaching but not prevailing

DON’T IGNORE WITCHCRAFT!!!

IMPORTANT REMINDER:

Balaam failed on the first attempt to bewitch Isreal

BUT HIS PLAN B IS LAMENTED THROUGHOUT SCRIPTURE RIGHT UP TILL THE BOOK OF REVELATION !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PROCLAMATION IS KEY:

That’s why you have the likes of Evangelist Rheinhard Bonnke staging mass crusades and months and few years later, the region has mega churches of thousands and tens of thousands rising.

Evangelism lifts up the overall blanket over an area

CONNECTING POINTS

1.  CONNECTING THROUGH THE HOSPITALITY CULTURE.

Hospitality is more than houses / accommodation,  food and drink.
It is a spirit an attitude a culture
An ability to not only be others conscious
But more importantly the art and skill of making others comfortable  in your presence.

SOME THINGS ARE TAUGHT, SOME ARE CAUGHT!

Hospitality is a backbone of every move of GOD that ever impacted the world.  GOD chose so!  It is His Model.

1.1.  Abraham got confirmation of the birth of Isaac through a hospitality experience

Genesis 18:1-
The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.
He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by. Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.”
“Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.”
So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahs of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.”
Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.
“Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him.
“There, in the tent,” he said.

1.2   GOD confirmed Abrahams future greatness after a hospitality experience

Genesis 18:16-19
When the men got up to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way. Then the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.”

In simple terms GOD was saying I like the set up and culture of this home.   Greatness is surely coming their way.

1.3.  LOT CONNECTED TO THE ABRAHAMIC COVERING THROUGH HOSPITALITY.

He was saved from the wrath incurred by Sodom, Gomorrah  and the surrounding cities

Genesis 19:1-3
Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground. And he said, “Here now, my lords, please turn in to your servant’s house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.”
And they said, “No, but we will spend the night in the open square.”
But HE INSISTED STRONGLY;   so they turned in to him and entered his house. Then he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

1.4. JESUS SPEAKS OF THE WOMAN  FROM ZERAPHETH  WHO CONNECTED TO THE ANOINTING UPON ELIJAH.

HOW? THROUGH HOSPITALITY

Her lack was broken
Her son was raised from the dead

Luke 4:25-26
But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; but to none of them was Elijah SENT except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.

1.5.   INFACT THE WOMAN IN SHUNEM CONNECTED TO A DOUBLE PORTION OF THAT ANOINTING THROUGH HOSPITALITY.

2 Kings 4:8-1
Now it happened one day that Elisha went to Shunem, where there was a notable woman, and she persuaded him to eat some food. So it was, as often as he passed by, he would turn in there to eat some food. And she said to her husband, “Look now, I know that this is a holy man of God, who passes by us regularly. Please, let us make a small upper room on the wall; and let us put a bed for him there, and a table and a chair and a lampstand; so it will be, whenever he comes to us, he can turn in there.”

AND THE REST IS HISTORY…

Her barrenness was broken
Her son was brought back to life
She was warned in time of the impending drought
Her land was restored after some squatters had invaded it
Her lost income of seven years was restored as well!!!

1.6.   MARY MARTHA LAZARUS.

Not everyone who died in Jesus days got raised. Lazarus had a glorious one JESUS was connected to that family through hospitality

 1.7.  HOW DID ZACCHEUS  FAMILY CONNECT TO JESUS….?

Luke 19:1-6
Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully.

Luke 19:7-10
But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.”
Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”
And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

1.8.  The Last supper was hosted by a man who was ready and mentally capacitated for it.

Such a momentous occasion, you would have thought the LORD would have said, let’s go to the temple and there brake bread together

1.9.   Simon Peter the backslider, was brought back to fellowship and ministry through a hospitality moment.

And we know Peter was on his way to hell having denied Jesus three times.  His opportunity to confess Jesus three times and cancel

1.10.  HOW DID JESUS PROVE HIS RESURRECTION TO HIS DISCIPLES.

… Do you have something to eat?

1.11.   EMAUS DISCIPLES AFTER OVER 10km TEACHING AND REVISION…

Luke 24:32-35
They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and HOW JESUS WAS RECOGNIZED BY THEM WHEN HE BROKE BREAD. 

1.12. HOW DID THE FIRST CENTURY CHURCH SUSTAIN THE REVIVAL THAT BEGAN WITH THAT INITIAL OUTPOURING?

Acts 2:46-47
Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread IN THEIR HOMES AND ATE TOGETHER with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

HA-HA-HA!

NB:  Some of you have good houses but GOD wouldn’t dare send you Angels and visitors that would stay past dinner time –

And yet Biblical MODEL OF DISCIPLESHIP doesn’t even begin until someone’s ready to learn and catch your way of life’

Discipleship’s not a course on academics

Mark 3:14
He appointed twelve THAT THEY MIGHT BE WITH HIM and that he might send them out to preach.

The crowning moment for that MODEL was when the opposition to the Gospel said:

Acts 4:13
When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they TOOK NOTE THAT THESE MEN HAD BEEN WITH JESUS.

NB:   When the first disciples came to Jesus, the first question was not about doctrinal matters:

John 1:35-39
The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”
When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”
They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”
“Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”
So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon.

No appointment
No worries about logistics

HELP OUR GENERATION CONNECT TO THE HIGH ANOINTING THROUGH THE HOSPITALITY CULTURE!

2.  CONNECTING TO GRACE THROUGH SERVING IN THE PLACE OF GRACE UNDER THOSE WHO HAVE IT.

THE 95% CHALLENGE:

5%.   ELIJAH.        MOSES.        PAUL

95%.      ELISHA.      JOSHUA.       TIMOTHY,    TITUS

THE ANTIOCH MODEL:

Acts 11:19-26
Now those who were scattered after the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but the Jews only.
But some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.
Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch. When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord. For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.
Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul. And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.

IMPORTANT OBSERVATIONS:

1.   Many went out to preach but  Not everyone went had THE HAND OF THE LORD with them – and numbers followed the HAND OF GOD

2.   The church in Jerusalem sent Barnabas (the Son of Consolation)

3.   Saul of Tarsus was Called, Equipped – He new his Ministry Mandate from Day One… But when he went to preach… Not much happens until the ACTS 13

THEY WERE SENT OUT FROM A PLACE OF GRACE
CHURCHES WERE PLANTED

4.  PLACE OF GRACE AGAIN

Acts 15:38-41
But Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work. Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. And so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus; but Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of God. And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.

4.1. Barnabas was right, Paul was wrong! Mark did not have to go with them all the way – the call was clear.  Separate me Barnabas and Paul.  Volunteers go as far as they can. The Mandated must go all the way.

By order of mention, and that’s important,  the call was to Barnabas first and Paul second. Paul was a Jew and understood this principle.

Barnabas took Mark and left. You don’t hear about them again on the canon of scripture.

Paul, the wrong one took Silas. BEING COMMENDED BY THE BRETHREN TO THE GRACE OF GOD…and the rest is a multi-generational impact second only to the resurrected LORD this side of history.

BEST MODEL:

SONS VS SLAVES

Galatians 4:1-2
What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father.

John 8:35
Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.

RAISE SONS RELEASE SLAVES!

DELIVER US FROM UNINTENDED SOUL TIES – 24 DAYS TO GO

DELIVER US FROM UNINTENDED SOUL TIESShechem got drawn to Dinah after the unfortunate sexual experience 
Sex attaches deeply – what was meant to be a one day stint became a deeply embedded soul tie.

 

1.   DELIVER US FROM UNINTENDED SOUL TIES

 

Soul ties in themselves aren’t bad.  Human beings were created with the ability to bond.   Mothers bond with their babies.   Husbands and wives have special bonds that grow to be so strong, they easily last a life time and go way beyond the physical intimacy drill.   Siblings can be so closely knit, they could even kill to protect each other, as in the case of Dinah and her brothers.

 

However, the good that came standard with creation was defiled and subverted by the enemy at the fall.  satan gleefully uses this to tie down people and enslave, delay, derail and even deny them from the Destiny GOD intended for man.

 

Many have wondered away into good-for-nothing relationships that have wasted their most precious resources such as time, youthful energy,  beauty,  opportunities to study and so much more.     Countless dreams have been squandered – and hopes vanished all because they “hooked up” with the wrong guy and felt so drawn to this situation while the snake squeezed the life out of them sucked dry all the juicy talent in them.

 

Shechem had no intentions initially to bond with Dinah, it was just youthful lust – just at a go, he was hooked.   And the rest is a sad story.   An entire community was duped into double pain.   Circumcision and a mass murder of men.   Annihilating all fathers, living behind a generation of widows and children with no identity.

 

Genesis 34:2-7
When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, the ruler of that area, saw her, he took her and raped her. His heart was drawn to Dinah daughter of Jacob; he loved the young woman and spoke tenderly to her. And Shechem said to his father Hamor, “Get me this girl as my wife.”

 

When Jacob heard that his daughter Dinah had been defiled, his sons were in the fields with his livestock; so he did nothing about it until they came home.

 

Then Shechem’s father Hamor went out to talk with Jacob. Meanwhile, Jacob’s sons had come in from the fields as soon as they heard what had happened. They were shocked and furious, because Shechem had done an outrageous thing in Israel by sleeping with Jacob’s daughter—a thing that should not be done.

 

Although after the rape, it sounded like love kicked in, the damage was too great and the consequences proved to be dire.  The words that describe the reaction of the family to the event are very telling
Shocked
Furious
Outrageous thing
A thing that should not be done.

 

Everyone in that community paid the ultimate price for the one stint of an undisciplined youth – it’s not worth it!

 

2.    SIN ATTRACTS AND PAVES THE WAY FOR MORE

 

Shechem raped,  Dinah’s brothers responded by deceiving and killing.  In the story of David,  Once adultery had happened,  Murder followed.

 

3.   GOOD NEWS –  DELIVERANCE IS POSSIBLE 

 

Luke 4:18
“God’s Spirit is on me;
he’s chosen me to preach the Message of good news to the poor,
Sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and
recovery of sight to the blind,
To set the BURDENED and BATTERED FREE”

 

3.1.    GOD INTERVENES  –  demons  interfere

 

It starts with a willingness to change.   Human beings have a will!  GOD made them that way.   GOD may guide but HE NEVER forces himself on anyone’s will. HE gently knocks,  the individual must answer.

 

Revelation 3:20
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”

 

While on the other hand demons manipulate the human will to the point where an individual feels like should they choose to change they will live to regret for the rest of their lives. Most people don’t change even thought they see their lives being wasted only because of a fear that change might not bring any better.  From drug addicts to cohabiting – there are many who dread the pounding  fear of loss.  It is a diabolic lie intended to keep the captives captive.  Choose change.  Joy is possible.  A great life awaits outside the shackles of limiting emotional ties. It was for freedom that  Christ came.

 

PRAYER FOCUS:
1.   PRAY THAT THE LORD DELIVER US FROM YOUTHFUL LUST  –  AND THAT WE MAY EMBRACE THE ALL ABUNDANT GRACE TO FLEE.

 

2 Timothy 2:22
“Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”

 

Titus 2:11-14
“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “NO” TO UNGODLINESS AND WORLDY PASSIONS and to LIVE SELF-CONTROLLED, UPRIGHT, AND GODLY LIVES IN THIS PRESENT AGE,   while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”

 

2.  PRAY FOR THOSE ALREADY HOOKED TO ESCAPE THE FEAR OF CHANGE.   

 

1 John 4:18 NLT
“Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.”

 

3.  PRAY FOR A WILLINGNESS AND FRESH RESOLVE TO CHANGE

 

Isaiah 1:18-19V
“Come now, let’s settle this,”
says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
I will make them as white as snow.
Though they are red like crimson,
I will make them as white as wool.
If you will only obey me,
you will have plenty to eat

 

27 DAYS TO GO

JACOBJACOB. WHEN LOSERS BECOME WINNERS

By birth order, Jacob is no starter. The one born first would have a double portion in the inheritance and that is Esau his twin brother. Of the two, Jacob is the younger. His name does not do him any favors either. Having been seen to be holding on to his brothers heel at birth, they called him Jacob, meaning supplanter, or trip up from below.

The boys are growing and now while Esau is busy with the more masculine acts such as hunting and loving the outdoors Jacob is staying home and cooking stews. Esau has his life cut out, Dad is pleased with him. One day he comes home hungry. Jacob sells him a bowl of soup for a birth right. Who needs a birth right when you can make a living and are good at it?  Maybe Esau wasn’t as stupid as some have made him up to be.

Years have gone by, Esau has testosterone. He’s gotten himself a good looking girl, but as you will well agree, girls love a man of action – another girl couldn’t resist this hairy guy. Esau has two wives and Jacob is still in Mom’s kitchen. No sign of wedding bells, not even remotely.

Then the twilight comes for Isaac. He is counting days before his exit from the life scene. His eyes are dim – not much to look forward to but his taste buds wish for a memorable venison treat and he wants to hand over the baton. Esau is the obvious choice. He is called in by his father and the instruction pretty simple, one that befits an ardent and skillful hunter.

Genesis 27:1-4
Then he said, “Behold now, I am old. I do not know the day of my death. Now therefore, please take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me. And make me savory food, such as I love, and bring it to me that I may eat, that my soul may bless you before I die.”

Look at Jacob. Mom overhead the Father and son conversation and now she’s going to get Jacob bringing in the meat first from the domestic animals. Jacob will have the meat cooked by his Mom. He will be dressed up for the occasion by his Mom

Genesis 27:15-16
Then Rebekah took the choice CLOTHES of her elder son Esau, which were with her in the house, and PUT THEM ON JACOB her younger son. And she put the skins of the kids of the goats on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck.

Talk of a mamas boy. I can’t stop imagining him looking like a rehearsal for kindergarten end of year play character.
And even after all this costuming, the guy couldn’t even fake his brother’s voice.

Genesis 27:21-22
Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come near, that I may feel you, my son, whether you are really my son Esau or not.” So Jacob went near to Isaac his father, and he felt him and said, “The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.”

Talk of a looser. Mom has orchestrated the whole thing and now the blessing has fallen on Jacob. Esau is angry and the only way to save him lif is by sending him away to a distant land where he can be kept by relatives. The guy can’t even make up a living on his own.

Arriving in Padan Jacob was under instructions to get a wife. Now when Mom has to send you to get a wife…… We call you a looser, ha ha ha. A real guy initiates his own search when the “feeling” hits.
The first girl he meets happens to be a relative, Rachel. And if first impressions count, I don’t think Jacob managed the date very well. It was tears at first sight.

Genesis 29:11
Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice and wept.

Who wants to marry a teary groom?

Jacob gets into the employ of his uncle as a shepherd and a month later he has a golden opportunity to discuss the contents of his employment contract, remuneration and benefits. The lad is naive! Love has finally set in and all he asks for is a wife in exchange of seven solid years of labor under the hostile dessert-like conditions of the Middle East.

Genesis 29:15, 18
Then Laban said to Jacob, “Because you are my relative, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what should your wages be?”
Now Jacob loved Rachel; so he said, “I will serve you seven years for Rachel your younger daughter.”

No, salary, no benefits, how was he going to sustain and support the family – all of that was not known to Jacob. Talk of a looser.

Seven long years have past and Jacob hands in a reminder to his boss to deliver the seven year long dream

Genesis 29:21
Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in to her.”

A party was organized, and a wife delivered that night. In that first night of passion Jacob did not notice anything of concern. To his shock and disbelief when he woke up from the most awaited day of his life up to this point, he was lying next to a wrong wife, Leah.

Genesis 29:23
Now it came to pass in the evening, that Laban took Leah his daughter and brought her to Jacob; and Jacob went in to her.

……. I suspect someone must have spiked Jacob’s drink at the party. You know they say when guys are tipsy anything goes as ‘ hello my darling’

Genesis 29:22
And Laban gathered together all the men of the place and made a feast.

When Jacob tried to sheepishly protest, he was hit by a new contract, seven more years for the bride of his choice. With no one to defend him, I’m sure this was one of the lowest points in Jacob’s life! He was going to live with Rachel for the next seven years on credit.

Genesis 29:27
Fulfill her week, and we will give you this one also for the service which you will serve with me still another seven years.”

So altogether Jacob works fourteen years to get the woman of his choice, and the complications that ensued as these women in his life competed for his attention and using some low blows to get at each other, such as giving their slaves to Jacob for him to make babies through them. Where is that purity and honor he once personified by working for seven years without touching a woman when he now gets to be tossed to the highest bidder even bought for mandrakes.

Genesis 30:14-16
Now Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”
But she said to her, “Is it a small matter that you have taken away my husband? Would you take away my son’s mandrakes also?”
And Rachel said, “Therefore he will lie with you tonight for your son’s mandrakes.”
When Jacob came out of the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must come in to me, for I HAVE SURELY HIRED YOU WITH MY SON’S MANDRAKES.” And he lay with her that night.

I’m sure Esau on the other side never had to work so hard to get a wife and never with so many complications.

What took Isaac, Jacobs father one day to get, a wife and settlement in the home – it took twenty years for Jacob!

BUT JACOB IS COUNTED AMONG WINNERS

1. ALTHOUGH THE BIRTHRIGHT WAS BOUGHT FOR A BOWL OF SOUP FROM ESAU – IT WAS SUSTAINED.

No matter how insignificant spiritual matters maybe to the tough and seemingly progressive – fight to be well positioned. Be prayed up. Prioritize church attendance. Honor GOD with your first things – it’s the stuff that makes winners

Genesis 28:20-22
Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God. And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”

2. ALTHOUGH HIS PILLOW ON THAT FIRST NIGHT OUT OF HOME WAS A STONE – JACOB HAD ANGELIC COMPANY

Genesis 28:11-13

So Jacob came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: “I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants.

Beyond the inconveniences and complications of daily existence, GOD’S Presence and Prophetic assurances are what sets a man apart.

3. THOUGH A LATE STARTER HE CONTRIBUTED IMMENSELY TO THE PROMISE

When we count people who have been instrumental in the coming of the Messiah, Jacob is never left out

It was through his son Joseph that the family posterity was spared in the time of a severe global recession.

It was through his son Levi that a descendant called Moses would bring the Law that would touch the whole world.

It was through his son Judah that the Messiah would come.

When our work on earth is done, the only things that will count are our contributions to the eternal purposes of GOD such as the Salvation of souls and building of strong churches to support and sustain the great commission.
GOD loves people, He paid the ultimate price for their redemption. And since the process of bringing them into the fold includes efforts of those who willingly yield themselves to the call and commission, we would do better to prioritize those!

No mater how slow, or late your life may seem, take stork of the acts and moments that translate to eternal significance and take solace in knowing they are never in vain

1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

4. ALTHOUGH HIS NAME WAS UNFORTUNATE – A CHANGE HAPPENED ALONG THE WAY

Jacob did not choose his name, but it followed him. It defined him. It became his character. A supplanter, a deceiver. But GOD who is rich in Mercy Blessed Him with a moment of eternal significance – the night he wrestled with a figure who was undoubtedly stronger and Jacob knew it.
If only by a touch he could change Jacob’s “walk” forever, surely this was a supernatural encounter

Jacob saw it! He asked for the thing he knew had brought him through thick and thin, the Blessing. This figure did not refuse him, only this time the price of the Blessing would include a question asked Twenty years earlier ….. What is your name? His answer ushered in redeeming love

Genesis 32:27-28
So He said to him, “What is your name?”
He said, “Jacob.”
And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.”

When asked the same question twenty years earlier he answered Esau. And seemingly got away with it. twenty years on he is living in fear, not knowing what will happen when he meets the man he swindled out of the Blessing.
But GOD who is rich in Mercy, changed his name and Blessed him forever

Blessing is essential But beyond Blessing we need our lives changed. Jacob did. He was a picture of things to come through Christ.
The Blessing of the LORD that makes rich and adds no sorrow should be the desire of every living human being. Yet beyond that and of even incomparable importance is a changed life. Look at how the LORD JESUS describes it

Luke 9:25
For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?

Jacob was changed from Jacob to Israel. A Prince with GOD.
Prince is first! May you be first in GOD as you put HIM first in your life!

5. ALTHOUGH JACOB HAD LIFE THREATENING MOMENTS
ENCOUNTERS WITH GOD WERE TIMELY AND REASSURING.

5.1. When Laban heard that Jacob had unceremoniously left without – he had in mind to harm Jacob – GOD came through for Jacob and muzzled Laban with a strong warning:

Genesis 31:22-24
And Laban was told on the third day that Jacob had fled. Then he took his brethren with him and pursued him for seven days’ journey, and he overtook him in the mountains of Gilead. But GOD HAD COME TO LABAN the Syrian in a dream by night, and said to him, “BE CAREFUL that you speak to Jacob neither good nor bad.”

5.2. When the negotiations for a salary finally reopened after many years- an angel showed Jacob a strategy to succeed quickly

Genesis 30:27-28
And Laban said to him, “Please stay, if I have found favor in your eyes, for I have learned by experience that the Lord has blessed me for your sake.” Then he said, “NAME ME YOUR WAGES, AND I WILL GIVE IT.”

Genesis 30:30
For what you had before I came was little, and it has increased to a great amount; the Lord has blessed you since my coming. And NOW, WHEN SHALL I ALSO PROVIDE FOR MY OWN HOUSE?”

Genesis 30:32-33
Let me pass through all your flock today, removing from there all the speckled and spotted sheep, and all the brown ones among the lambs, and the spotted and speckled among the goats; and these shall be my wages. So my righteousness will answer for me in time to come, when the subject of my wages comes before you: every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and brown among the lambs, will be considered stolen, if it is with me.”

5.3. When he was about to meet his twenty year old fear – Esau GOD appeared and gave him a new name

Genesis 32:30
So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”

5.4. When he first ran away from home angels met him ascending and descending and an assurance was given by GOD that he would come back safely

Genesis 28:15
Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”

JESUS OUR DOOR INTO A GLORIOUS INHERITANCE – DAY 31

JESUS OUR DOOR INTO A GLORIOUS INHERITANCE

JESUS OUR DOOR INTO A GLORIOUS INHERITANCE

Isaac mirrors the life of our Savior in a number of ways
He is the only begotten of the Old Testament
He has a bride according to the Father’s specification
And miraculously, after the birth of Isaac, Abraham’s body that was once said to be as good as dead, continued to function at such a vigorous pace, the old man could not help but marry Ketura after the death of Sarah and six more sons were born.   Although they were his, the promise would come through Isaac in order to fulfill the Word of the LORD.  So, he released them with gifts, I guess so they would not worry Isaac the heir of all things!

Genesis 25:5-6
“Abraham left EVERYTHING HE OWNED TO ISAAC.   But while he was still living, he gave gifts to the sons of his concubines and sent them away from his son Isaac to the land of the east.”

John 13:3
“Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;”

The wonder of it all is that everyone who acknowledges Jesus becomes a joint heir with the heir of all things.

Romans 8:16-17
“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and CO-HEIRS WITH CHRIST, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”

Jesus paid the price so that we may be included in an amazing deal.

1 Corinthians 2:9-10
“However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
the things God has prepared for those who love him—
these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.”

AND WHAT IS THE INHERITANCE OF OUR SAVIOR?

JESUS, HEIR OF ALL THINGS.

Hebrews 1:2
“but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.”

THROUGH HIM OUR INHERITANCE IS SECURE.

1 Peter 1:3-4
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,”

PRAYER FOCUS.

1.    Celebrate Jesus in HIS place as heir of All things.

2.    Give thanks that he remembered us in our low estate and made us co-heirs by HIS Blood.

3.    Appreciate the inner witness of the Spirit who testifies deep within that you are an heir

4.    Pray that none of your loved ones is ever found to have fallen short of this honor

Hebrews 4:1
“Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.”

ISAAC AND REBEKAH – A PORTRAIT OF CHRIST AND THE CHURCH – DAY 32

ISAAC AND REBECCA -

ISAAC AND REBEKAH – A PORTRAIT OF CHRIST AND THE CHURCH

1.    THE WOMAN WAS TO BE STRICTLY FROM ABRAHAM’S FAMILY

Genesis 24:2-4
So Abraham said to the oldest servant of his house, who ruled over all that he had, “Please, put your hand under my thigh, and I will make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell; but you shall GO TO MY COUNTRY AND MY FAMILY, and take a wife for my son Isaac.”

The Father has a bride in preparation for Jesus. This bride consists of all who are blood washed born again children of GOD.

Ephesians 5:31-32
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—BUT I AM TALKING ABOUT CHRIST AND THE CHURCH.

MAKE SURE, YOU BELONG TO THIS FAMILY

Ephesians 3:14-15
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.

2.   WE ARE NEVER SUPPOSED TO GO BACK TO THE LIFE THAT  GOD TOOK US OUT OF

Genesis 24:5-6
The servant asked him, “What if the woman is unwilling to come back with me to this land? Shall I then take your son back to the country you came from?”
“MAKE SURE YOU DO NOT TAKE MY SON BACK THERE,”. Abraham said.

Abraham was called out of the Ur of the Chaldeans, a place of idolatry. That’s where moon worship originated from. In fact up till today, the religions of that area usually have the moon or a portion of it as their symbol of identity.

In Christ we have been called out of the darkness into HIS marvelous light. Determine not to go back to old ways of unbelief and dissipation.

Hebrews 3:12Amp
[Therefore beware] brethren, take care, lest there be in any one of you a wicked, unbelieving heart [which refuses to cleave to, trust in, and rely on Him], leading you to turn away and desert or stand aloof from the living God.

Hebrews 3:12NIV
See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.

3.   ANGELIC HELP WAS EXPECTED

Genesis 24:7
“The Lord, the God of heaven, who brought me out of my father’s household and my native land and who spoke to me and promised me on oath, saying, ‘To your offspring I will give this land’—HE WILL SEND HIS ANGEL BEFORE YOU so that you can get a wife for my son from there.

Your life is not haphazard!  GOD planed your existence and seasons before you came. And because of this, in the everyday acquisitions and transactions of life, angelic help can be solicited and expected. With angelic help on your side, every assignment will not fail to enjoy invisible invigorating assistance.  You will go further, faster and forcefully.
EXPECT GLORIOUS HELP.

Psalms 46:5
God is within her, she will not fall
God will help her at break of day.

Your life is so well planed even your birth place, your continent and time in history, were carefully and lovingly chosen.  You neither came  too early nor late. You are the right person, at the right time in the right space for the right reason.  All that is known by GOD.

Acts 17:26-27
From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.

So, why would your supplies fail?  Why should you doubt the originator of the plan?    Angels are on stand by – say the right things and aid will be set in motion

Hebrews 1:14
Are not the angels all ministering spirits (servants) sent out in the service [of God for the assistance] of those who are to inherit salvation?

4.   THE HUMAN WILL WAS TAKEN INTO SERIOUS CONSIDERATION

Man is a spirit, has a soul and lives in a body.   Even though GOD knows what’s best for man, in this case, the woman in question would be the mother through whom the promised seed would be natured.  She would have a prominent place in the history of the human race in many ways.
Unbeknown to her as yet, nations would proceed through her that would impact the landscape of the world as we know it.   The nation of Israel would come through her and many of the other major role players that would be born.

Wealth would be at her disposal, her decisions and interventions would sway the direction of the Blessing, as it did with Jacob and Esau.

All this unknown to her yet, she would be inspired by GOD to act well and be positioned for that decisive moment when the camels would need a drink.  And although she ticked all the right boxes, there was still the BIG QUESTION;   would she be willing?   Willing to go with people she did not know that well.   To marry a man she had not met yet!   All she had were good words and good gifts.

Abraham had made provision for this, just in case the woman was unwilling:

Genesis 24:8a
If the woman is unwilling to come back with you, then you will be released from this oath of mine.

Rebekha’s family did not fail to pop this question either!

Genesis 24:57-58
Then they said, “Let’s call the young woman and ask her about it.” So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Will you go with this man?”
“I will go,” she said.

Great seasons of Blessing await every believer in Christ.  But it will take a willingness.   No one is kidnapped to heaven. None cajoled to Peace.

Isaiah 1:19
If you are willing and obedient,
you will eat the good things of the land;

While people have been broken many times through all sorts of rough rides over their will, willingness is a decision of the free will and it is dear to GOD.
how the power of righteousness vs the forces of wickedness operate around human beings is more evident here.
Heaven intervenes while darkness interferes. GOD knocks and waits for a willing response from within. satan rides rough shod over people’s lives whenever he can.
The Spirit of GOD leads, the evil spirits drive and push people do evil.

The key to being led than pushed is to surrender wholly to GOD and HIS Will.  GOOD WILL NOT FAIL TO COME YOUR WAY.

Psalms 84:11
For the Lord God is a Sun and Shield; the Lord bestows [present] grace and favor and [future] glory (honor, splendor, and heavenly bliss)! NO GOOD THING WILL HE WITHHOLD from those who walk uprightly.