Friday, April 15, 2011
Few days from now, Christians all over the world would be celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is indeed the greatest experience in the universe as we see that in the resurrection God made the greatest display of His power. The resurrection of Jesus Christ means that man can now be a partaker of the divine nature. Man can now possess the zoe-life of God. Man can now stand perfect before God through Jesus Christ because he is now the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. The power of sin had been broken. Man can now live above the elements of this world. The dominion of man has been restored and man is free again! Glory to God!
In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, everything was good, beautiful, sound and in perfect order until sin made it’s way into the world. Suddenly everything became hostile, wild and aggressive. The once friendly animals suddenly became harmful; the still waters suddenly began roaring with the tendency to drown. The firmament became tensed. Everything that once supported man began fighting him. Man had fallen and darkness is everywhere. Man had lost his dominion over the earth. He had become helpless and defenceless. He had broken the hedge and the serpent had beaten. He had navigated from possessing everything to possessing nothing. The laws of the universe is now working against him and had suddenly become unruly to him. He had begun inhaling and exhaling evil and his heart had taken a dimension of progressive wickedness. Man had lost control over everything and even himself. What a blow sin had dealt to man. Now a cruel ruler has taken over man’s place of dominion. Satan had now become the god of this world – a place originally made for man. The same thing happens when sin steps into any man’s life. It’s always the same story. This is not a set up to magnify sin or its ability. It is just to let you know how the world became the mess it is today.
The effects of sin was everywhere. No wonder the first thing that was said about Jesus’ function on earth is “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21, NKJV). Thank God for Jesus Christ! The Bible also tells us in 1John 3:8 “…For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” (NKJV). Thank God Jesus came to deal with the sin problem and to restore man to his original position. When Jesus stepped in, light stepped into the world again. When Jesus stepped in, darkness disappeared – it couldn’t stand the dazzling light of the Light of the world. When Jesus stepped in, a world of darkness and confusion was suddenly illumined with the inextinguishable light (John 1:4,5). God’s remedy for the sin problem was Jesus. Jesus paid the price. He did it through the cross. He did it by shedding His precious, sinless Blood. He did it by becoming man’s perfect substitute, thereby, taking man’s place – suffering and dying on his behalf. Now 2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us something amazing, it says, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (NKJV). O what a sacrifice. What a treasure we’ve got in Christ Jesus. Now everyone who is born again have become new creatures possessing and becoming the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
Now I want you to know that the effect of righteousness is more powerful than the effect of sin. Sin can’t stand righteousness just as darkness can never stand the light! Rom. 5:17 says “For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.) Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous. Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (NKJV). Glory to God! This is staggering!
The devil fears the believer who understands righteousness! Righteousness through Christ is the greatest force in the universe. The devil will do anything to keep the believer ignorant of it and filled with dead works. The man who understands righteousness in Christ will live the zoe-life of God naturally. He becomes a threat to the kingdom of darkness. O what a day it was when Christ became the Righteousness of the Believer. A perfect righteousness gift was imparted to the believer at the new birth – not a progressive one but a perfect one – perfected by the Son of God Himself. Friend, The effect of righteousness is equally seen in Isaiah 32:17 “The work of righteousness will be peace, And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.” (NKJV). This season let’s celebrate and enjoy the effects of righteousness and let the world know about the righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ alone. Happy Resurrection!
Monday, April 4, 2011
I was studying St. Matthew’s Gospel chapter 9 the other day and when I got to verses 35 through 38, the Holy opened my eyes to something so amazing. Something I had never seen before. Something that was revolutionary. Something that got me so stunned that my only response was tears. I’ve been reading this passage for a long time but never noticed what exactly the Lord wanted me to see. O how it blessed me. Let’s read it together from the New Living Translation of the Bible:
“Jesus traveled through all the cities and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And wherever he went, he healed people of every sort of disease and illness. He felt great pity for the crowds that came, because their problems were so great and they didn’t know where to go for help. They were like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, “The harvest is so great, but the workers are so few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send out more workers for his fields.” (Matthew 9:35-38, NLT).
The Holy Spirit made it so clear to me that Jesus was particular about the kind of labourers He asked His disciples to pray the Father to send into the harvest field. What kind of labourers was Jesus asking for? What kind of labourers were fitting for the great harvest? Jesus asked His disciples to pray the Father – the Lord of the harvest – to send in labourers of His kind. Supernatural labourers who would do exactly the kind of labour He was doing in the harvest field. What kind of labour was Jesus doing in the harvest field? We see it in verse 35 “Jesus traveled through all the cities and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And wherever he went, he healed people of every sort of disease and illness.” He was not only preaching. He was not only teaching. He was not only healing the sick. He was teaching, preaching and healing – all three! The problem is that we have never connected verse 35 to 36-38. We always start from 36-38 and begin to talk about the harvest. What a limitation. No! To get the harvest into the Father’s ban, we must do it the way Jesus did it – we must do the three! Jesus was not just talking about preachers but labourers after His kind – teaching, preaching and healing! O how we need this in a world full of unbelief, sickness, darkness and distress. When we teach, we impart the knowledge of the Word. When we preach, we announce or advertise the Kingdom of God. When we heal, we display the power of the Kingdom! Doesn’t the world need all three? Imagine what the world would be like if we have many labourers after this kind. Think about having Jesus mulitiplied and sent into all the world. That’s it! We’d run the devil out of business!
Jesus linked Heaven and earth during His earthly ministry – that’s the supernatural! (John 1:51, NLT). We His co-labourers should do the same! Faith is the link between the natural and the Supernatural! It all starts from simply accepting and believing this. No wonder in John 14:12 Jesus said to His disciples and to us in extension, “"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.” (NKJV). I strongly believe there’s a reason you are reading this piece right now. There’s going to be a spark up of the Supernatural in your life – get ready! God wants to use you to accomplish great things for His Kingdom. God wants all His children to walk in the Supernatural. He desires it for us more than we could ever desire it for ourselves. He knows that we’d have multiplied impact when the Supernatural is in operation in our lives. What would bring the crowd? The Supernatural! It simplifies the task and multiplies the result and impact.
If you are not doing the three, you won’t be as effective as you should. It’s time to get hungry for it! Tell the Lord, I want to continue the ministry of Jesus here on earth. I want to be the kind of labourer Jesus wants into the harvest field. “O Lord, we want all three!”. When you read Matt. 28:19 and Mark 16:15-18, you’d see that that is what the Great Commission is all about – all three! Nothing else will do. Let the spirit of supplication rise in you now as you read this piece. Be inspired now to pray for the Church – the body of Christ to arise and take on the divine responsibility given us by the Master – to teach, preach and heal the whole world. I believe that the Holy Spirit will manifest Himself like never before as we step out in faith. We shall experience more of His outpouring in all the nations of the earth. But we must act first. We must move. We must take the initiative! Mark 16:20 says “And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.” That is how it works. Smith Wigglesworth, of blessed memory, will always say “Acts of the Apostles was written because the Apostle acted.” The Holy Spirit lives (resides) inside the Believer – you and me! The move of the Church is the move of the Holy Spirit. Let’s take Him to the nations. He will speak through us, teach through us, preach through us and heal through us, glorifying Jesus everywhere! Become a Supernatural labourer today!
PONDER ON THESE: Matthew 10:7-8 “And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.”
Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Luke 4:18,19 “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”
Matthew 24:14 “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
Acts 10:38 “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”
Zach. 4:6 “…Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' Says the LORD of hosts.”