1. SINS MUST BE FORGIVEN, BECAUSE….
Blessed is the one
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one
whose sin the Lord does not count against them
and in whose spirit is no deceit.
Sin is a problem! It is an enemy of progress.
1.1. ….. IT IS ALWAYS LOOKING FOR OPPORTUNE MOMENTS TO EMBARRASS, DISPOSSESS, DOMINATE AND ALTER ONE’S DESTINY
Cain was meant to have a good life! Even after the cataclysmic and eternally unfortunate acts of his parents, GOD had made a way of escape, the Blood! And in the moments of his testing, the Angel of the LORD introduces us to a personality who was actively stoking Cain towards wrong doing and has been doing so ever since to all alive on earth. Cain suddenly found himself under a spell
Genesis 4:7 NLT
You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then WATCH OUT! Sin is CROUCHING AT THE DOOR, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”
Proverbs 14:34 NKJV
Righteousness exalts a nation,
But sin is a reproach to any people.
That DOOR mentioned in Genesis, we meet it again in revelations
…. Behold I stand at the door and knock….
There’s competition for this Door
The enemy encroaches – the intention being to interfere
The LORD Jesus knocks – the purpose being to come in and hm
But if you do not do so, then take note, you have sinned against the Lord; and be sure your sin will find you out.
ITS TRACKER IS RELENTLESS
“But if you don’t do what you say, you will be sinning against God; you can be sure that your sin will track you down.
1.2. ….. IT COMPROMISES YOUR CHANCES OF VICTORY AND UNDERMINES BATTLE READINESS WHEN FACED WITH LIFE THREATENING SITUATIONS
The children of Ephraim, being armed and carrying bows,
Turned back in the day of battle.
They did not keep the covenant of God;
They refused to walk in His law,
And forgot His works
And His wonders that He had shown them.
1.3. ….. IT SLAMES DOORS OF OPPORTUNITY GRANTED BY GOD FOR GOOD SUCCESS
He who covers his sins will not prosper,
But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.
1.4. ….. IT SLOWS DOWN FIRST GRADE HEAVENLY SUPPLIES
“If my people would only listen to me,
if Israel would only follow my ways,
how quickly I would subdue their enemies
and turn my hand against their foes!
Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him,
and their punishment would last forever.
But you would be fed with the finest of wheat;
with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”
1.4.1. AND YET YOU WERE NOT MADE FOR SCARCITY AND LOW GRADE
For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where BREAD WILL NOT BE SCARCE and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.
1.5. YOU WERE NEVER MEANT TO SUFFER JUDGEMENT WITH THE DEVIL – HELL IS NOT FOR YOU
1 Thessalonians 5:9
For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1.6. SO THAT SHOULD HE APPEAR AROUND THIS SEASON, YOU ARE READY
so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
2. DESTINY RELATIONSHIPS MUST BE SERVICED:
FOCUS MUST BE DELIBERATE ON THESE
2.1. THAT’S WHERE THE BLESSING OF GOD RESTS
How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity!
It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
down on the collar of his robe.
It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
FOR THERE THE LORD BESTOWS HIS BLESSING,
EVEN LIFE FOREVERMORE.
Service the relationships that carry life and Blessing. Treasure them. Seek them out,
Parents – your children are to be parented. Don’t live them to their own ways!
The worst thing to be done to a child is to give them bread and leave them to their own ways.
The rod and rebuke give wisdom,
But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
Children your parents are to be honored. Many of our parents are single parents. They may have had you when they were young and vulnerable, The need to go back to school, the need to assert themselves and get what they could call theirs, job, life, spouse etc. … And you were already growing, there’s been a lot of sacrifices. No parent is perfect! We learn as we go, sometimes we make errors in judgement. Bear with us, pray for us, respect us, GOD will reward you.
NB. Never wait for anyone to “earn your respect”. Respect them for where GOD placed them in life!
1 Peter 2:17
Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God, and respect the king.
2.2. WHATEVER GOD TREASURES, THE ENEMY TARGETS THE HARDEST
The fights in your family are proof that GOD’S eyes are on those relationships.
Salvation often goes by families! When you gather together, you reinforce one another. The devil is afraid of family oneness and harmony, lest you club against him and his kingdoms suffer loss. So when families gather, demons unleash spirits of senseless feuds, grudges, evil words, destructive competition, inexplainable rivalry and sometimes plain apathy
GOD TREASURES FAMILY COHESION – WE KNOW HIS HEART IS THERE
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
2.2.1. EVEN PRAYERS ARE WEIGHED AT THE SCALE OF RELATIONSHIPS
1 Peter 3:7. NLT
In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.
1 Peter 3:7 NIV
Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
1 Peter 3:7 AMP
In the same way you married men should live considerately with [your wives], with an intelligent recognition [of the marriage relation], honoring the woman as [physically] the weaker, but [realizing that you] are joint heirs of the grace (God’s unmerited favor) of life, in order that your prayers may not be hindered and cut off. [Otherwise you cannot pray effectively.]
1 Peter 3:7 MSG
The same goes for you husbands: Be good husbands to your wives. Honor them, delight in them. As women they lack some of your advantages. But in the new life of God’s grace, you’re equals. Treat your wives, then, as equals so your prayers don’t run aground.
2.2.2. PARENT CHILDREN RELATIONSHIPS:
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
2.2.3. SPIRITUAL FAMILY MEMBERS:
1 John 3:14-15 NLT
If we love our brothers and sisters who are believers, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead. Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them.
3. SOW SEEDS OF KINDNESS
Do to others as you would have them do to you.
3.1. GOD WILL SEE TO IT THAT YOU DO NOT LOOSE YOUR REWARD
And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.
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. SHARE YOUR FAITH GLADLY – THAT’S GROWTH
[And I pray] that the participation in and sharing of your faith may produce and promote full recognition and appreciation and understanding and precise knowledge of every good [thing] that is ours in [our identification with] Christ Jesus [and unto His glory].
NB. What better time to share with others the real reason for the season.
5. REFLECT DEEPLY ON THE PURPOSE OF JESUS BIRTH
Where purpose is not known, abuse is inevitable
The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing
5.1. HE CAME TO SAVE SINNERS
1 Timothy 1:15
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.
5.2. HE CAME AS HIGH PRIEST OF THE GOOD THINGS!!!
But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.
5.3. HE CAME THAT THOSE WHO BELIEVE MAY HAVE HAVE ABUNDANT LIFE
I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
5.4. HE CAME TO BRING WITH GOD PEACE AND ACCESS TO THE FATHER
He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
5.5. HE CAME TO SET THE CAPTIVES FREE
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
NB. When church people forget that, they get satisfied with just a little service and get impatient when the Spirit must move to set the captives free!
6. REJOICE INTENTIONALLY
Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.
Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, gladden yourselves in Him]; again I say, Rejoice!
6.1. WHEN YOU SEE NOTHING IN THE NATURAL TO MAKE YOU SMILE
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.
For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.
7. VERBALIZE YOUR GRATITUDE PASSIONATELY
That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving,
And tell of all Your wondrous works.
Lord, I have loved the habitation of Your house,
And the place where Your glory dwells.
7.1. NO SMELLY FISH BELLY WILL BE ABLE TO CONTAIN YOU WHEN YOU ARE OVERFLOWING WITH THANKFULNESS
But I will sacrifice to You
With the voice of thanksgiving;
I will pay what I have vowed.
Salvation is of the Lord.”
SO THE LORD SPOKE TO THE FISH, AND IT VOMITED JONAH ONTO DRY LAND.
The slippery, slimy, smelly, sticky circumstances of life will not be able to hold you down when you overflow with thankfulness!
7.2. YOUR ENEMIES WILL HAVE A “HEAVENLY VISITATION”
Then out of them shall proceed thanksgiving
And the voice of those who make merry;
I will multiply them, and they shall not diminish;
I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small.
Their children also shall be as before,
And their congregation shall be established before Me;
And I WILL PUNISH ALL WHO OPPRESS THEM.
Every stroke the Lord lays on them
with his punishing club
will be to the MUSIC of timbrels and harps,
as he fights them in battle with the blows of his arm.