This is an open invitation to anyone and everyone who wants to obey the clarion call of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is calling us to a life of love and sacrifice, selfless living and a profitable one of course . At the start of his ministry he went out calling men to follow him. Matthew 4:18-22, He called Peter, Andrew, James and John to follow him. They were all fishermen. In the book of Mark 2:13-15, He also called Mathew who was a tax collector. One thing they all had in common was that they yielded to His call and left all to follow Jesus.
Also, among the 12 disciples, we see people of different background and professions who followed after Christ. God is still calling us today. Our background and profession should not be a reason to ignore his call. His invitation is to everyone not minding colour, race or how unsuitable we might seem. He is beckoning us to come enjoy discipleship, He wants us to reach out to the lost, He wants to use us to restore hope to someone, and He wants us to be a blessing and the answer to someone’s prayer
It comes at a price no doubt, but it’s costlier not to yield. It’s more interesting when we follow him willingly. In that job, career, profession, He wants to use anyone who is ready to fulfill his agenda on earth to spread the love of God to this generation that is full of hatred and wickedness. Come one come all; He is still calling to whoever will hear and yield.
Even when it’s over, all you need to do is believe. In the face of fear, faith in God is what gives us assurance that with God all things are possible. In the encounter with the storm, Jesus asked his disciples” why allow fear”? (Mathew 8:26). Fear diminishes and renders faith impotent when allowed to thrive. Faith is seeing the move of God when everything is going wrong. Winning faith is one that is built on God. The kind that believes only what God says and circumstance cannot alter it because it’s rooted in the Almighty God. It can’t be moved because the foundation of the faith stands forever. Irrespective of what life throws at us, our faith in God will ultimately repel them. This is when we begin to see God rather than the situation. If only we will believe that God is more than able, that Jesus died and rose that we might be justified, that God cares for us, that His plans and purpose is superior to ours, that with Christ we are exchanging our mortality for divinity. He only wants us to understand that, rather than entertain fear, therefore let us build up our faith
We are mostly in need because we don’t know what we need. So the question is what do we as individuals really need? The first thing that readily comes to mind is money but is it what you really need?
Jeremiah 3:15-16 talks about God giving his people pastors after his heart to teach them knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 3:13-26 also describes the excellency of wisdom. These scriptures when put together clearly shows that more than we need money, wisdom knowledge and understanding are 3 key things a man ought to have. In my submission it’s what we really need next to oxygen.
When an individual is blessed with these 3 ingredients he’s able to maximize anything and make a fortune out of it. This I believe was why God fed his people with knowledge and understanding in our opening scripture. Once they have a good understanding and apply the knowledge impacted into them, it brings multiplication and increase that everyone can see in any area of life.
A principal source of these necessary ingredients of life is the word of God. It’s full of Gods kind of wisdom in print. God told Joshua when u meditate on my word, then you will make your way prosperous and have good success ( Joshua 1:8). In other words an encounter with my knowledge as obtained from my word when correctly applied will get you what you want resulting in your prosperity and success.
We are in need everyday as humans and what will get us out of our needs is to locate the knowledge wisdom and understanding from God.
I can imagine someone saying ‘ money answers all things’ the bible said so . That’s very correct but it takes wisdom to ensure the continuous flow of money😳. Take a bold step today and start searching for what is most necessary for a most fulfilling and purposed filled life. A wise man is strong: A man of knowledge increase in strength (proverbs 24:5).
Let’s reorder our priorities and see the excellency of wisdom knowledge and understanding .
Luke 5:1-3. The scripture tells us about a multitude that pressed about Jesus to hear him preach. There must be something unique about his teachings. The uniqueness of his sermon was that it carried so much authority. It was different from the scribes. A version of the bible calls it real authority (NIV Mathew 7:29). This establishes why the people could not get enough of him. Jesus was always teaching and going about his fathers business. According to the passage (Luke 5:1-3), the multitude must have been great such that he needed a conducive environment to teach. He looked around and saw two boats by the lake Genesaret.
These boats must have belonged to fishermen who had closed business for the day because they were washing their nets. They must have been tired and exhausted after the days job which was a disappointing one. This was the case because Simon said they have toiled all night and caught nothing (Luke 5:5).
The very first lesson to take home from here is that God can make use of anyone and anything no matter their level of failure or ill luck. As far as fishing was concerned that very night, the fishermen and their boats had failed.
Jesus beckoned on Simon to pull out a little from the land so that he could use his boat. Truth be told, I salute the humility and the heart of Simon. Imagine asking a frustrated man for help. He would be full of rage and anger, looking on whom to vent his frustrations . Many in Simon’s position at that instance would have shouted at Jesus and could have said “I’ve labored in vain all night and you have the guts to ask for my boat?” Instead of reacting negatively, he simply did as Instructed. His attitude at that moment I believe was if it’s of no use to me, you can as well make use of it. Another lesson from Simon’s attitude is that just because we can’t benefit from a thing does not mean it’s useless. The same boat that failed all night became the same boat the master used to teach the multitude. The salient point is who is in your boat?
Interestingly, Simon’s obedience did not only ensure Jesus did his work, it also resulted in his own miracle. He went from catching fish to catching men (Luke 5:10). However, we should remember that before he got his miracle, he was in misery. The last lesson to note here is that we need to obey God and be encouraged to do good irrespective of circumstances and happenings around us. In fact, in our most depressed state, that’s when we need to do good.
The time of sleep is a time of rest. A state where we are not conscious of our immediate environment. Research has shown that sleep is characterized by altered consciousness, relatively inhibited sensory activity, reduced functioning of almost every voluntary muscles and a reduction in our interaction with our immediate environment.
Jesus gave a parable about the good seed and tares (Matthew 13:24-29). A man sowed good seed in his field. Suddenly, the enemy struck while the men who were taking care of his field slept. In other words, they were caught unaware by the enemy the moment they let down their guard. However, it is of paramount importance to understand that the seed sown according to the parable was a good seed. This implies that God has deposited a good seed in every one of his children. The seed of God is such a good seed that it is incorruptible (1st Peter 1:23). His deposit in us are not perishable. His seed in us add value to us and thereby impact our immediate environment. We should also recognize that the good seed was sown in order to enjoy a bountiful harvest thereby increasing the net worth of the man who planted the good seed. Also, the man didn’t just plant any seed, he planted a good seed. No wonder the bible said that everything God made was very good (Genesis 1:31). We can see that everything about our God is good and I mean very good including what he has put into you and me.
However, the enemy struck. He planted tares among the good seed. The question that readily comes to mind is ‘’why would he attack what the Almighty himself planted? He could do this when the men in charge of the field were sleeping, the moment they let down their guard. When the operatives of the field where the good seed was planted were at work, the enemy had no room to operate. As children of God, we are not to be slothful in zeal but to keep our spiritual fervor or fervency serving the Lord (Romans 12:11). This is to prevent the enemy from sowing weeds that devalue the good seed God has inputted into us. Once the weed is in place, it struggles for nutrient in the ground with the good seed. This will have an adverse effect on the seed that was sown. Another striking thing about what the enemy did was he could only plant tares when the men slept but could not uproot the good seed. This points to the fact that whatever God does stands forever and cannot be taken away (Ecclesiastes 3:14). The enemy could not take away the good seed planted in us but he throws everything within his reach to ensure that the intention of the good seed in us does not see the light of the day. That is why the enemy would attack our faith, finances, health etc to ensure that the greatness of the seed in the children of God comes to nothing. The servant asked if the master wanted them to gather up the tares but he said no. He was too certain of his good seed. He knew in the midst of tares they will grow. Irrespective of the tares which manifest itself in diverse forms, the seed of God in his children will always bud to show forth the glory of God.
Clearly in life two laws operate in life (i) the law of sin and death (ii) the law of Spirit of life.
It is observed from the scripture that the law of the Spirit of life is accessible in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:2). This law is able to nullify the effect of the law of sin and death, just like upthrust can nullify the effect of gravity which helps an airplane to fly. The law of sin and death can be likened to the principle of cause and effect. In other words, the effect of sin is death. Death here does not literarily translate to physical death. Referring to the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-24), the father referred to him as being dead (Luke 15:24). In the real sense he wasn’t dead but being separated from the father means he was dead. The same could be said of Adam and Eve. They were warned not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17) as it would result in their death. Eventually, there was a separation between them and God which resulted in death. Death as described in this scripture is being separated from God.It means being cut off spiritually. You no longer have that life He initially gave you because to be born again is a rebirth, one of the Spirit and not the flesh. The law of sin and death aims to separate us from God. This law is made manifest in the works of the flesh. The only way out is to engage the law of Spirit of life.
God sent his son in the likeness of sinful flesh. He was like every other man (you and I) but he had the Spirit of God (Holy Spirit) at work in him therefore he stood the test of time. By the operation of the Holy Spirit, he was able to condemn sin (Romans 8:3). This implies he lived above sin and was blameless and righteous. He wasn’t in any way weak like we sometimes claim we are because he was operating under the law of the Spirit of life as empowered by the Holy Spirit. This validates his righteousness. That is why our righteousness is in Christ Jesus. He was like us yet righteous. He could not sin because he was walking in accordance to the Spirit at work in him. His mind was focused on the things of the spirit. This made no room for the things of the flesh to take any root in him. The ministry of the Holy Spirit is the only way of escape from the works of the flesh. The Holy Spirit makes our mind spiritual thereby eliminating all forms of carnality in thoughts and actions.The Bible says, to be carnally minded is death(spiritual), but to be spiritually minded in life and peace. His ultimate purpose is to give us life which means we are in constant fellowship with God (Romans 8:6). To operate under the law of the Spirit of life entails us fully engaging and cooperating with the ministry of the Holy Ghost to help eliminate the deeds and acts which separate us from God. This is when you can say like Christ “It is finished” or like Apostle Paul “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race and I have kept the faith”. All you will be waiting for would be your reward in heaven.
Jesus on his departure promised his disciples many things. Included in his promises were the gift of the Holy Spirit and His continual abidance with them till the end of the world. However, in one of his many parables, a certain noble man gave his servants ten (10) pounds with a clear instruction to occupy till he comes (Luke 19:11-13).
Christians have been tasked with the same duty. To occupy till Christ returns. One remarkable thing about God is that when he sends us on an errand, he makes provisions to accomplish such tasks. In the parable above, the master made available ten pounds to enable the servants to carry out their assignments effectively. He didn’t leave them stranded. This implies that our task to occupy till he comes can be carried out stress-free because what we need is already made available. You will agree with me that to occupy, requires some measure of power or authority. We have seen one nation occupying another nation through the use of its military might. The bible says ‘we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers………..’(Ephesians 6:12). To occupy in the midst of principalities requires power that is greater than that of the principalities of this world. We should not expect them to give up easily, they will contend with us with everything they have in them.
The good news is, God has made provision for the power required to occupy. According to Luke 24:49, Jesus asked his disciples to wait until they were endued with power. The power came upon them in the form of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ undoubtedly the most anointed man to grace the earth was given the Holy Spirit and power without measure (Acts 10:38). This power was demonstrated in his actions wherever he went. Demons trembled at his presence, death was rendered powerless and all manner of signs was wrought through him because he had what it took to rule in the midst of his enemies, thereby occupying or establishing his authority. We need to understand that it takes God’s strength and power in us to occupy as he as commanded (Psalms 110:2). As ambassadors of Christ who represent Christ on earth, we are carrying out what He would have done if He was here physically. God is making His appeal through us and if He expects us to occupy till He comes, then He believes we can handle what He has entrusted to us. No wonder He created us in His image and after His likeness and gave us dominion over all things. It means we can equally do what God can do because we are gods and sons of the most high, manifesting his nature through the Holy Spirit at work in us. Therefore, to fulfill this command, we need to be empowered by God because we only do valiantly through God.
God satisfies every longing soul (Psalm 107:6-7). Anyone who cares to know about him will be filled. The hunger and desire for God, qualifies us for his infilling. According to Psalm 63:1, the psalmists desire was to find God not minding the repercussions of his decision. How much we long for God for anything determines how much of him we will see. Firstly, we need to acknowledge our helplessness in the race of life, for without him we amount to nothing. The bible said ” and you shall seek me and find me, when you search for me with ALL of your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). God is much closer to us as we can ever imagine. He has made himself available to whosoever wants to be satisfied. The conditions to finding him are to make a conscious effort searching and searching with all of our hearts holding nothing back. God alone can satisfy all of our desires when he opens his hands (Psalm 145:16). No wonder apostle Paul told the church that God would supply all their needs. The supply is not limited to finances, it covers all areas and aspects of life.
Engaging our heart and I mean all of it, opens His hand which is full of every goodness you and I would ever need. Christians should endeavor to find God at all times and not sometimes. We are in the habit of finding our friends and families when we are in distress. We seem to forget that vain is the help of man. Psalm 107:13 told us of a people who cried out to God in their time of trouble. They did not call on people who were influential in the society rather they called to the Almighty God and he saved them. This shows that the people described above found God when they engaged all of their heart. God never lies;if he says that’s the way to find him, he means every bit of it. Perhaps you have been finding him and he seems so far away, it’s time to find him with all of your heart…………
” For freedom, Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery” Galatians 5:1 (ESV).
Christ died to set us free from the laws and regulations that were limiting us. The freedom in Jesus Christ is not the licence to do whatever we want else we would go back to our evil and selfish desires. The freedom in Christ is what He has given us to be able to do what was impossible before he died for us. This includes having access to the Father without any form of restrictions. In the old testament era, only a privileged few had access to God and relaying information to the rest but thanks to God ,that in our time,we are able to go boldly into his presence and He has given us all things required for life and godliness. Enjoy your freedom in Christ but don’t abuse it thinking grace abounds. Remember God didn’t give you the strength to get back on your feet so you can run back to the same thing that knocked you down .