Do not sell your birthright 2 – Deception

27 Aug

21 Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come near, that I may feel you, my son, to know whether you are really my son Esau or not.” 22 So Jacob went near to Isaac his father, who felt him and said, “The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” 23 And he did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau’s hands. So he blessed him.24 He said, “Are you really my son Esau?” He answered, “I am.” Genesis 27:21-24

In order to deceive his own father, Jacob had to do two things: lie and disguise himself. His father was almost blind, so he was not able to recognize the error.

Yet, there was a discrepancy. The voice was not that of Esau, it was clearly Jacob’s. But because of the hairy arms and the smell of Esau’s robes, Isaac decided to believe. He had reasonable doubt that he was being deceived, but he chose to ignore it. I personally wonder if the smell of that stew won him over.

It is hard to believe that the people who claim to love you and have your best interest at heart would ever want to hurt you. Yet, to deceive involves lies and disguise.

14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve. (2 Corinthians 11:14,15)

Let us not be deceived. If something does not add up to you, consider that a doubt. Think. Reason. Now is the time to make sure that your choices are yours. Don’t do anything out of fear or because everyone else is doing it.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

I don’t want Jesus to return…yet.

22 Aug

Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’

18 “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’

19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’

20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’

21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’

22 “‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’

23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full.24 I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’” Luke 14:16-24

A friend of mine shared a true story about a lady who lived under the dictatorship of Hitler. The focal point of the article was that Hitler did not conquer Austria with war tanks or cannons, rather, the people welcomed him with open arms. You see, at that time, the living conditions of Austria were hard: no jobs, no food, etcétéra. So when they were asked to vote, they happily gave him 98%. He was like a saviour.

As soon as He came in, he fed them and made sure all eligible people received employment. There was celebrating in the streets.

However, things began to take a turn for the worse. The Austrians were a god-faring people, but right away, the pictures of Jesus in the public schools were quickly replaced by pictures of their new leader. They were no longer allowed to pray, but had to sing their patriotic song towards him. The good morals that they held high began to crumble. Everything became nationalized and owned by the government by force and/or coercion. Every eligible person had to work and women gave up their children as early as 4 weeks old to be cared for by the state. Women were treated like men, forced to train then sent to the frontlines to war.

My friend felt compelled to share this story with others, but the response of one friend in particular hurt her. They insinuated that she was a worrier and that Christians should not worry, that things could never happen that way and will take a turn for the better.

This blog is not purporting that what happened in Austria will or will not happen. It focuses on the fact that many Christians do not want to be reminded that hardships are in the books for us; that the coming of Jesus has to unfold at some point.

I remember a good friend of mine telling me that he didn’t want Jesus to return as yet because he wanted to get married. I felt very sorry that he had said that.

Imagine just marrying the one you love or buying property to then be told, “No time to enjoy it buddy, Jesus is about to open the door!”, how would this make you feel? Would you happily stop your plans to welcome Him? Or would you say, ‘Stop with all this doom and gloom already’?

The above parable rightly describes how things will be at the end. Many Christians will be too caught up with living their best life than with seeking eternal rest.

As I said in one of my earlier blogs, in March 2020, God warned me that, “ The world cannot go on like this any longer.” He is coming and we all know that certain events must take place before He appears.

So let’s continue to abide, to live; but let us not live for this world which is quickly passing away, but let us live passionately for Jesus. Wake up. It is time.

Overcomer

22 Jul

Have you ever had a high only to fall flat a day or two later? One day you’re exercising, eating well, being productive, then come the days when you binge on TV, junk food and you just can’t get off the bed or couch. Yes, it’s such a pain to kick a bad habit that is destroying you inside out. Many may say, “Oh, that’s a sign of depression”, or, “what’s wrong with having down days? But If it bothers you, why not make an effort to change?

We do have good intentions. The worse of us wish we could overcome ourselves, but we end up being slaves to our bodies; we end up being enslaved to our minds due to memories and feelings.

When this happens, what do we tend to do? Seek justification from those around us. Yes. If enough people agree with our behaviours, then we will feel better. Our conscience would be quieted. There would be peace in the mind, the body and soul.

Being part of a group brings comfort. Furthermore, if laws support you, well, you’re set. Not only do you have peace, but you’re a law abiding citizen.

However, what we really did was say “YES” to our feelings. We gave them power over our minds and reasoning. We quieted our conscience.

Many of us also allow others to think for us because it’s the easier thing to do. Why did God create humans with brains if not to think and reason? When we begin to think we make better choices for ourselves and our families. However some of these choices come with consequences that are hard to bear. They call for faith and discipline.

There are quite a few verses in the Bible that encourage us to discipline ourselves:

But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:27 RSV

Jesus also said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. Matthew 16:34

knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; Romans 6:6

See also Galatians 5:24 and Ephesians 4:22.

Athletes, musicians, doctors, etcétéra, must make the choice to exercise discipline if they are to master their fields. How much more should we? If we are to inherit eternal life, we must overcome the flesh with its passions and desires and submit to God. Submitting to God will require us to go against the current of this world.

To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. Revelation 3:21

Our Creator isn’t an ordinary being. He is infinitely higher that the most important person on this earth. So then, let us study the book that speaks of Him so that we may learn His ways and follow Him no matter what comes our way.

Living our Faith

13 Jul

One early morning, I awoke to these words coming from my mouth: “ Justification by faith”. They did not seem to come from me, it was as though they were spoken through me.

Justification by faith wasn’t a concept I understood well. I always thought I had to work for my salvation and I was often very miserable. Why couldn’t I be good all the time? Why did I keep messing up?

I became a very judgmental person because I expected others to make the same efforts I was making. I was pushing to be a good person because I thought my salvation depended on it.

Only in recent months, (yes months!), did I begin to really understand the amazing provision God made for us through His Son.

“…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Do we believe this? Many of us can’t understand it or we believe that we must do something to help attain our salvation. It can’t only be confession and belief, right? Actually, it is. This is called justification by faith. Jesus paid it all.

So where do works come in? Are we now to continue living as we wish conscience free?

No. This is where sanctification comes in, and here’s how I understand how it works.

Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. John 17:17 (NKJV)

Sanctification happens as we learn about who God truly is and His Son Jesus the Christ. As we learn, we make the decision or choice to follow God’s teachings. This isn’t always easy, because giving up what we’ve spent years practicing often has deep roots, but with Christ all things are possible.

For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. Romans 8:5-9 (NASB)

Personally, I experience sanctification every day. There were times when I felt that I was in an intense course! It involved changing my thoughts in order to change my actions. God’s Holy Spirit would gently tell me, “…that wasn’t a nice thing to say. Do better next time…”. It’s like a purging process, and the Holy Spirit is the agent.

For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:13

Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,
“This is the way, walk in it,”
Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left. (Isaiah 30:21)

We must have respect for God, that is, understand that there’s nothing hidden and He is in us, helping us to overcome our weaknesses. I’ve found this to be extremely important and have started to really pay attention to my thoughts. This is because of late, I’ve recognized that some of my thoughts are actually God talking to me.

We grieve God when we let pride and selfishness stand in the way of sanctification. Pride says, “I want it that way”, or, “this isn’t how I feel things should go. “I’m a good person and I don’t need to be changed.” Pride lives selfishly not thinking about others. How can we become like God if we’re not reachable or teachable? Why do we often reject the labour pains that come with being born again?

In short, I’ve learnt that following God is understanding that He knows what’s best. It isn’t an easy way, that’s why Jesus calls it the straight and narrow way. Thank God that it is a path we walk with a friend; we don’t see what’s ahead, we must depend on Jesus to guide us home.

I hope this all makes sense. Send me a comment if you wish to add more insight or need further help grasping these two concepts better.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Corinthians 13:14)

29 Jun

www.bible.com/114/rev.3.10.nkjv

Your Creator longs to be with you

8 Jun

Or do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price (1 Corinthians 6:19)

There has always been some ambiguity with regards to the Law of God. Are we free from keeping them? Were they “nailed to the cross“, or were they nailed in our hearts?

In the beginning, after God called the world into existence, He formed the first man and woman. God dwelled with them in the garden. They were innocent and did not know anything about being ashamed. This was because there was no wrong doing, nor disobedience. God visited them in that garden and there was nothing separating them from Him.

Now, picture the Israelites in the wilderness near Mount Sinai.

God told Moses not to let any one go near the mountain; it was for their own safety. This was because the presence of God was there.

“Put limits for the people around the mountain and tell them, ‘Be careful that you do not approach the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain is to be put to death.” (Exodus 19:12)

The disparity between the garden of Eden and and the wilderness is evident. Sin placed a barrier between God and the ones He formed by hand. In its place was hostility. Sin could not dwell in the presence of God.

Yet, God always wanted to be among His people. Always. He also desired them to be the light for the nations. He wanted everyone in the world to be drawn to this light which would eventually lead to Him.

God never wanted His people to be exclusive, they were to be a light to other nations, and their light was supposed to draw all people to Him.

To be this light, they needed to show the character of God by following the Law that He gave them: The 10 Commandments. To help them further, He broke them down into little laws detailing what constituted lying, stealing, killing, adultery, covetousness, dishonouring Him, etcetera.

This proved too much. It became burdensome, like a list to be checked off. God’s people couldn’t keep up with all those Laws.

They became more concerned with keeping them than being a light to other nations. It also did not draw them into a close relationship with the Lawgiver. In fact, it made Him seem harsh and exacting and they too became that way.

Furthermore, the punishments that accompanied many of the Laws were severe. Those who kept them and knew them well became puffed up and those who were tired and weary of them became lawless.

God saw that this method of teaching His Law did not produce the results He desired. He Always knew this would happen, but, this particular experience with the Law was crucial for the understanding of its importance. We needed to understand that the Law was holy and good. Yes, it needed to be followed because it was a guide on how to love God and our neighbor. We also needed to understand how profound the great sacrifice of Christ was; it was the sacrifice that would spare us from the consequences of sin.

God had always desired to live among His People, and so, the Son of God came into this decaying world. Jesus, became that Light that God wanted His people to be. God the Father dwelled or lived in His son, showing His people how to live the true meaning of His Law. He was drawing His people to Himself. (See John 6:44).

At the famous mountain, Jesus explained the Laws pertaining to man in their true sense. He told His people, forget physically killing, if you threaten someone, you’ve already killed them; if you think about being intimate with another, you’ve already committed adultery in your heart, and it goes on. Jesus further said that not one part of the law was abolished, but fulfilled.

Again, God always wanted to live among His people. When the amazing act of love was demonstrated by Jesus, the Son of God, He received all the punishments for all those laws broken. You would have heard that all our sins, before and after, yes, all, were placed on Him. This is Jesus dying in our place. He took the penalty. This act put an end to the ceremonial laws, which were the killing of lambs, rams, bulls, in short, the spilling of blood. His blood was more excellent and meaningful. He placed a value on us that is far more priceless than anything.

It is important to understand that God the Father was in His Son reconciling or drawing the world, to Himself. He wasn’t sitting down up in Heaven as a distant spectator. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”

After Rising Again and returning to His Father, He was glorified. God sent His Holy Spirit to live in us: remember, He always wanted to live among us. The Law was good, but the old dispensation or order did not fulfill God’s desire to be Among us. Now, the laws can be placed in our minds.

When we read and teach or share what the Law says, it stays there. We learn that stealing, killing and lying, are wrong. It hurts people and relationships, it isn’t love, it’s the opposite.

So the Law is good. Yes. We must love it if we want to live in God and have Him live in us. It’s like going to school to learn our lessons, afterwards, we no longer need the text books. Or, it’s like learning an instrument, practicing and following teaching methods. There’s the desire to learn, then the effort. Then one day, our fingers naturally find where to go and we play beautifully.

Revelation 21:3 says:

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.”

Just as it was in the garden of Eden, so shall it be. God always wanted to be among His people. Always. He wants to purify us and make us clean. He washed us by the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ and He wrote His Laws in our minds. He cannot wait to live visibly among us. Isn’t that beautiful? Isn’t He beautiful?

Do not sell your Birthright …

6 Jun

There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end, it leads to death. Proverbs 14:12

Esau was flippant towards his birthright. He said, “I am about to die [of hunger], of what use is a birthright to me?” (Gen 25:32) And just like that, he sold it to his younger brother for a bowl of lentil soup.

As the first born son, the birthright belonged to Esau. He could not lose it unless he gave it away. Having the birthright meant inheriting the leadership role of the family and taking the place of his father. But he rejected that responsibility.

The blessing was of more importance to Esau because it had more to offer him. It meant a future of wealth and happiness. That, he did not want to lose.

However, disdaining his birthright had set him up for losing the blessing.

That’s like many of us today; we want to receive blessings without putting in the work. We lack integrity and if there’s nothing in it for us, we treat it flippantly.

Just like Esau gave up his reasoning and despised his birthright to satisfy his hunger, so shall the people of today give up their reasoning for the comforts of this world.

But when they finally wake up, it will be already too late, they will have already sold their birthright, they will have given their will away for the desires this world. They will have thrown away their reasoning.

If we sell our birthright, it will certainly be a great struggle to receive the greatest blessing to come: entering into eternal rest from this chaotic world.

At 3 am in the morning, the above message was placed on my mind. I truly believe that it was from God, so I am sharing it with you.

The only true power we have, is the power of choice. Yes, we can be coerced, manipulated, even deceived, but, we still get to choose. God never forces us to do anything. He operates by love. He says “CHOOSE”. He never manipulates his people into doing things against their conscience or without faith.

Let us guard our individuality. Let no consequence stop us from following our conscience. It is our birth right.

“Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the Lord, ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18

Our God is gracious. He is a gentleman. He will never force you to do anything against your will.

The end isn’t far off

27 Mar

Hi everyone, I just wanted to share an interesting experience I had just before Spring-break 2020. No one knew what was ahead.

I was getting ready to go teach a class when a strong impression stopped me. I heard a voice in my head; a message communicated in my mind. I had one foot in my car and the other out when I was told:

“The world cannot go on like this any longer.”

I paused to reflect on the message, and somehow I knew it was God. In fact, some time before that experience, the indifference of the world felt like a burden on me. I sensed that most of us were doing our own thing, going about our own business, just taking care of our inner circles, not caring, not loving, just existing. I remember the deep sadness I felt.

Right now, we have a lot of geo-political, social and economical turmoil happening globally. They are predicting a depression that could cause challenges similar to those faced in the 1920s. There are shortages on multiple fronts: food, computer chips, lumber and pulp necessary for toilet paper.

I am not one to scare people into coming to God by shouting “Jesus is coming!”, rather, I’m more interested in sharing the gospel message to everyone; more concerned about people dying before learning that there is a Saviour that loves them immensely. However, I cannot ignore that what is happening now is the beginning of the end of all things. In prophesy, this is referred to as the winds of strife.

After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. 2 Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: 3 “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” Revelation 7:1-3

Many say that this world will never have an end because of the countless false predictions that were made in the past. However, there is an end and Jesus said only The Father knows. (Matthew 24:36)

3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 2 Peter 3:3,4

Truth is, many people, yes, even Christians, don’t want to hear that Jesus is returning soon. They want to get married, build their houses, see their grandchildren, and the list goes on, but, the end must happen at some point.

Yes, everything eventually has an end, but, what is to come will be absolutely amazing! Revelation 21 says that God will make all things new. God Himself will be with us and be our God! There will be no more pain, no more crying, no more dying, all these things will pass away.

The end of this world should not be something to fear. It should be something to look forward to and we should not want to go alone. In fact, God wants us to tell everyone about this blessed hope.

I pray that all who reads this will desire His appearing. If you don’t, it isn’t too late to pray and receive the Holy Spirit.

You are loved.

You are my friend…

15 Feb

You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. Matthew 10:22

The choices we make reveal who has our allegiance. We know what Jesus stands for and we know what he is against.

The principles we choose to stand up for are no longer backed by law or sound understanding; we are now the minority.

When Daniel was introduced to the culture and cuisine of Ancient Babylon, he did not compromise God’s principles. He was willing to die than to do what was easy and seemingly innocent, “You just have to bow at the sound of the instruments, what’s wrong with that?” or, “It’s just meat sacrificed to our gods, come on! You don’t want to offend our leader!” “It’s just a day, does it really matter which one you observe?”, It’s just…”

It is time to stand alone, yet we are never alone. The distance caused by time may have darkened and contorted truth, but it still remains.

One day, as I was enjoying an aerobics class at my local YMCA, the next song that played was “Rude Boy”. As the instructor guided us to our next move, I couldn’t help but listen to the words of the song. I immediately stopped exercising and said to myself, “I can’t exercise to this.” I was very disappointed because I really enjoyed the classes, but, Jesus was more important to me. I walked to the back of the class to gather my things when I heard a voice say, “You are my friend.”, then I felt someone put a robe over my shoulders. Right away I knew it was Jesus.

I walked out of the gym humbled that Jesus would even bother to notice that simple decision I made for Him. The King of the universe truly cares about what we choose. So, my brothers and sisters, will we stand up for Him in the little things? Yes.

“If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?” Jeremiah 12:5

Now is the time to be faithful in the little things, because the time is coming when we will find ourselves in bigger circumstances.

Let’s stand firmly in what we believe. Keep the faith because it is not in vain.

The Jab

30 Jan

Writing about spiritual things isn’t a light matter. I’d love to upload posts more often than I do, however, they often end up as drafts. I am very careful about what I share as I feel humble dealing with anything pertaining to God.

Take the topic about unity for instance; once I started writing and researching, I no longer felt moved to share it. I now understand that true unity is something that only Jesus can do, any other artificial way is destined for ruin. Whether we accept it or not, where there is Freedom of thought, there will always be differences. Freedom, therefore, is the enemy to those who wish to forge unity.

What I really want to share is this fear of the vaccine. I know that I am treading on dangerous ground, but I have been reading and hearing views from both sides, and I’ve finally found peace. My question is, as believers in Jesus, which stance should we take?

Is the vaccine powerful enough to separate me from Jesus?

No.

38 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. (Romans 8:38,39)

Who should we fear?

But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. ( Luke 12:5)

I read “In God’s Underground” by Richard Wurmbrandt. It was a faith-filled book about a believer who dedicated his life to sharing Christ in a communist prison. One amazing account was that he suffered greatly due to perforated lungs caused by the horrible conditions he was subjected to. The doctors did not expect him to live, but, he survived the entire ordeal and lived to ninety-one.

When you are walking with The Lord your God, your life is in his hands. He will do miraculous things through you.

And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”(Luke 16:17,18)

Should I focus on what I fear, or on What I was called to do?

Even though the disciples were threatened with imprisonments and death, they chose to obey God rather than the laws of man. They placed their lives in danger for the sake of the gospel.

God has put leaders in place to govern us. He does expect us to follow rules. However, the time will come when we will have to follow God instead of man. Daniel did it. The disciples did it. Even Jesus did it. When God’s holy spirit falls on you to go and share the gospel, what will you say? I cannot travel because I don’t trust the vaccine? Or I cannot because we’re not allowed to proselytize? Taking the vaccine is not the issue; following Jesus is. Have faith. I encourage all of us to seek a closer walk with God, so that we can all hear his voice and do confidently what he wants us to do. Courage.