Friday, April 16, 2010
What a great time we had at ‘ALIVE! 2010’. ALIVE! Is an annual event for Believers organised by Zoe World Evangelism Ministry (The Evangelistic Ministry of David C. Okoye) and held on every Good Friday of the year to celebrate the risen and living Jesus, spark up a holy flame for world evangelisation among the saints and make heartfelt intercession for the salvation of souls all over the world! Last year (2009)we held the first one in Jos, Plateau State of Nigeria. It was an awesome start up of this annual event. And this year it was held in Abuja, Nigeria. Indeed it was simply a divine set up by the Holy Spirit. The atmosphere was that of true worship to the risen Christ. The Lord unveiled the Word to us in an immeasurable way which led to a renewed commitment to the Great Commission and a deluge of intercession for the salvation of souls all over the world. It was indeed an extraordinary meeting with the Holy Ghost!
I believer Good Fridays should not only be remembered with Communion services, but it should also be a time to reflect on how faithful we have been to the Heavenly vision. Jesus said if you love me, keep my commandment (John 14:15). Our obedience is THE PROOF of our love for The Master. The Great Commission must be taken more seriously especially in this historic moment when we see Bible prophecy unfold before our very eyes. This, indeed, is a prophetic age and we must not fail our Lord Jesus. This should be our most treasured moment. Now is the time to act. If we delay, we lose! Reflecting on and evaluating our level of obedience to the Supreme mandate – The Great Commission – should be a major highlight of our Easter celebrations. Isaiah 6:8 says “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.” This is still the heart cry of the Lord, will you respond today? Please do!
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
“As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.” (Col. 2:6,7 NKJV).
The terms ‘rooted’ and ‘built up’ say something about ‘planting’ and ‘construction’ which give us a good picture of what it really means to abide in Christ. In these last days it would really be impossible for any Christian to thrive in the faith without being rooted and built up in Christ. Many distractions, many storms, many shakings are just all over the place – everywhere! This generation is standing in a very dangerous place. It will be very impossible for this generation to get away with what the previous generations could get away with because the Lord has shown this generation so much for us to play the fool. We are a learned generation full of God’s revelation. A close look at the opening Scripture, you’d notice that the focus is Christ. It says for us to be rooted and built up IN CHRIST JESUS THE LORD. This is awesome.
When we find our roots and foundations in Christ and He becomes our all, then we have it made. But it is equally important for us not to ignore the phrase “The Lord”. That phrase alters our idea of these two verses. It brings to light the fact that being rooted and built up in Christ is founded on the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The acceptance of the Lordship of Jesus Christ is the bases for anyone to be rooted and built up in Christ. The Lordship of Jesus Christ is what follows after the New Birth. It means Jesus Christ becoming your Master, guiding you daily through His Words and Spirit. Many Christians have not submitted to the Lordship of Jesus in their lives in reality even though they confessed it when they received salvation. It is not automatic or a quick fix, it has to do with yielding willing to the Mastery of Christ through His Words and Spirit. There are so many troubles and insecurities in the world today just because men do not know the Person and the Place called Christ.
In Matthew 13, we read about the very familiar parable Jesus gave – The Parable of the Sower. In verses 20 and 21, Jesus describes one of the four categories thus: “But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.” (NKJV). We cannot run away from tribulations or persecutions as long as we are still in this world. Nevertheless, what we do during these tribulations or persecutions tell us much about how rooted we are in Christ. Remember that Jesus is the Word made flesh (John1:14). So being rooted in the Word equally means being rooted in Christ. Persecutions and tribulations would always arise from time to time to test our level of ‘rootedness’ So it is really not about professing that we are rooted in Christ just with our lips but what our responses or reactions state during these times. Being rooted in Christ simply means taking in the Word so much that all you do is on the basis of the Word and nothing else. Living in a world that opposes anything that has to do with Jesus Christ, being rooted in Christ is the only way we can make it as true Pilgrims on earth. We just need that support that comes from Christ alone that strengthens and supports us. A tree firmly rooted would outlast the wild wind.
The Lord Jesus tells us in Luke 6:46-49, “But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do the things which I say? Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.” (NKJV). Observe that the emphasis of Jesus was on the doing of the Word. This is what separates the boys from the men. These two builders both came to Jesus, they both heard the Words of Jesus but what actually made the difference was their response to the Words they heard – one acted on the Words he heard, the other didn’t! The results were different too! James tells us that we deceive ourselves when we only hear the Words and do not do what it says (James 1:22). Paul tells us that it is the doers that are justified and not the hearers alone (Romans 2:13). Jesus says why do you call me Lord, Lord without doing what I say? (Luke 6:46). You can practically build your life in Christ by just being a doer of the Word – as simple as that. Let your acting on the Word not be based on how you feel or what you think about it. But let it be on the basis of pure faith knowing whose Words they are.
We can see that Jesus connected both being rooted and built up to the Word. To be rooted and built up in Christ means to be rooted and built up in the Word. The Word is not an element but a Person but we connect with the Person of The Word – Jesus – through the written Word. The more time we spend in the written Word (the Bible) the more of the Living Word we know (John 1:1-4,14).