Contending for the Faith: A Choice of Freedom

“Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ: Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you. Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints”

~ Jude 1:1-3 ~

When Jude, gave the exhortation to contend for the faith, he recognized that deception was becoming common, some people were denying the Lordship of Christ and he was calling the people to watch out, to be grounded in truth, and to stand for what is right, never giving up but to STAND.

In calling the people to contend for the faith, Jude was not calling for the use of missiles, guns, swords and knives or any man-made weapons of destruction to fight a cause, but was calling for vigilance, an increase in the knowledge of the holy one, an increase in truth and an increased desire and commitment to peace and a life of freedom. He was giving an exhortation to stand on the solid ground of faith and walk in the highway of righteousness, love and peace. He was calling for a cherishing of the gift of eternal life and a hallowing of the giver of the gift, calling to remembrance both His love and His wrath.  Some people may choose to walk in the ways of darkness but for those who have seen the light of day, he exhorts to continue walking in that light. For the fear of their deeds being exposed, some prefer to stay in the dark place, devising schemes of darkness that do not lead to peace. For those in that place of darkness, remember the light of those around you is focused on you and there is no hiding place from the eyes of the Lord.

As darkness deepens, freedom’s holy light shines brightest, positioned on the solid foundation of faith knowing, as John 1:5 (NIV) indicates that, “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it”.   And again, as Luke 11:35 exhorts to “see to it that the light in you is not darkness”. This is the contention Jude calls for, a truthful self-examination to ensure first that the pure light of God lights up the inner most being and then have that light shine out into the dark places to bring illumination and a witness.  The exhortation to contend for the faith comes with mercy, peace and love multiplied to those that are willing to accept it, as it echoes to people from every tribe and every nation, to stand for what is right, to create a safe and prosperous world, promote justice and work for peace. The eyes of the Lord are upon the nations of the world to see which way they choose go.  I exhort you therefore to let your light shine, to work the works of day and to stay out of the darkness. I pray you will accept to be free and rejoice in that freedom.

#dadwedaa

March 2, 2019

One thing I know

~ John 9:25 ~

“He answered and said, “Whether he is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know; though I was blind, now I see.”

This is a statement of conviction and of certainty out of what was experienced, the known fact. By his words the healed man indicated, “I am healed”, everything else is details. However, the contention is not the healing but the person who caused the healing and the healing process. It was the Sabbath, so no work was expected to be done, even an act of kindness to a blind man. The issue though is that Jesus demonstrated a level of authority that the Pharisees could not understand and were not ready to accept that He had divine authority,  let alone accept Him as the Christ.

In the discourse, an illogical situation occurs, the leaders asked the man to give glory to God for the healing while at the same time asking  him to deny that Jesus the healer, is divine. How could the two be consistent? In asking to give the glory to God, the Pharisees were acknowledging that the healing was of God, however denying the authority of the person who orchestrated the healing, Jesus.

Many people live their lives in the same way as the Pharisees, acknowledging the acts and yet denying God the glory. My prayer is that your knowledge and experience of Him will be coherent and that glory will be rightfully ascribed. In that way, you begin to walk in His light and be able to boldly proclaim, I know He is the Christ.

 

#dadwedaa

February 25, 2019

The works of Day

~ John 9:4-5 ~

“I must work the works of him who sent me while it is still day; the night is coming when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

Jesus made this statement while answering a question about the cause of a man’s blindness and then proceeded to heal him of that blindness. There are questions raised about many things in our day, from the question of God and hell, peace and security of the free world, electronic devices safety and privacy, consumer protection from corporations with no integrity.

From the time of asking these questions and when the world actually receives the answers, there is work to be done.  That work needs to be done now and decisively before the “the night” comes when no man can work. At that time, there will not be the will, the capacity and the capability to answer the questions, and then it will be too late. Jesus acted decisively to heal the blind man, answering the question asked, to show that it was not the sin of the man nor his parents that made him blind, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.

In other words, Jesus gave sight to the blind man to demonstrate that He is the light of the world. In the present time, the light of the free world needs to shine at its brightest to bring light into the dark places, bringing sight and insight needed to lead into light. There is need to do this while it is still day, before the night comes when no man can work. If any should err, let that be on the side of FREEDOM and it’s holy light, following that light safely into the harbor, out of the turbulent waters before the night comes.

The clock is ticking!

#dadwedaa

February 23, 2019

What are YOU going to do?

~ John 3:17-19 ~

“For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.”

When a deal is sealed, its terms become binding. When a deal is sealed by someone who has power to make it happen, it is worth considering and taking seriously. When that deal is sealed by someone in whose nature there is not even a shadow of deceit, it can be trusted. When that deal is extended by one who can change your destiny forever, it calls for undivided attention and serious consideration. When God extended His grace, it was extended to ALL people and for ALL time, till the end of time. The truth is, it is not something you need to wait to find out at the last minute.  You can enter in now. When the curtain closes the deal is off, the closing bell can be anytime and any day. My advice is to book your seat before it is too late. I’d rather have a deal that is already paid for than one that involves a gamble, one in which the terms are well laid out and very certain, one that holds promise here and now and also for eternity. As Charles Spurgeon puts it, “all you have to do is look and believe”. The deal is on, eternal LIFE or eternal DEATH, it’s yours to choose. Soon there shall be the sound of the trumpet call and the game will be over. This is your touchdown moment, make it count and seal the victory. The ball is in the air, heading in your direction, close to the end zone. The clock is ticking.

#dadwedaa

February 16, 2019

“A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain counsel.” – Proverbs 1:5

The Great Call: A Love Story

~ John 3:16 ~

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”.

In the garden of Gethsemane as Jesus travailed in prayer, the Sovereign Lord was at the junction of a trajectory for humanity. Either leave them going the same path or shift them towards a trajectory of life, He thought. To do that required the construction of a new track.  The cost of that new track was enormous, but that was the only way God’s wrath could be appeased. Jesus knelt in that garden and prayed, father if it is possible, let this cup pass over me, not my will but your will be done. In other words, I wish there was another way, an easier way to do this so I do not have to suffer the pain of the cross.  However, as Billy Graham puts it, there was silence in heaven and on earth at that moment, meaning there was no other option for God to appease His wrath and provide a pathway to life, the only option was to build the new track and build it quick. On that night, the deal for salvation was sealed, Jesus had to go to the cross, so there could be a pathway to life and save mankind from destruction. God out of His great love, had to make the hard call. Jesus had no option but to go to the cross, to be the bridge that could change the trajectory of humanity from death to life. It was a hard call to make but God made it, and as Jesus hanged on the cross afterwards, God’s wrath was satisfied as a new track was put in place, watching humanity rushing at top speed to that junction of life and death. In that moment, He made it possible to choose the path to life. It was the night the greatest love story was sealed, the story of God’s love for mankind. A track to salvation was built and it cost God His only begotten son. As a result, you do not need to stay on the track towards destruction, your trajectory can be shifted to life through Christ. I encourage you to make that call this day and chose life as love stories are celebrated all over.

#dadwedaa

January 14, 2019

“A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain counsel.” – Proverbs 1:5

A trajectory shift:  From Convict to Prime Minister

In a strange manner, Joseph having told his family about his dream, attracted misgivings from his brothers and eventually a scheme to terminate his life. Little did they know that the very life they sought to terminate was the divinely ordained channel by which they would be preserved. They meant it for evil, but God turned it around for good.  His brothers sold him to merchants who in turn sold him into Egypt, to Potiphar an officer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard. The brothers did this out of envy for the dream God had given him as a young boy, but God was with him even under those strange and difficult circumstances.  God’s presence with him was the game changer even in the most uncertain circumstances.  It is not surprising that Potiphar put him in charge of all his house to manage it.  As a matter of fact, Potiphar’s house prospered under his watch.

“So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority. So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had in the house and in the field” (Genesis 39:5-6). 

Then came the troubles, his master’s wife persistently wanted an affair with him, but Joseph refused. It is profound the reason (in bold) Joseph gave for refusing the affair.

“And it came to pass after these things that his master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.” But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”” (Genesis 39:7-9).

This persisted for a while with Joseph standing his ground until she eventually framed him and got him thrown into jail. Very devastating but Joseph kept his head up knowing that the sin is against God first before it is against man, as he was living by a higher code. As painful as it was being thrown into jail for a crime he did not commit, God turned it around for him and orchestrated for him to have an appointment with his destiny even in jail, one that would move him from a sexual assault convict serving jail time, to prime minister of Egypt, second only to the powerful ruler of Egypt, Pharaoh. All this happened in a period of just over two years. In the jail, two fellow prisoners have dreams on the same night, Joseph out of a divine gifting interprets the dream which comes to pass exactly three days after his interpretation.  Joseph makes one request to the Butler as his release and restoration was imminent.

“And Joseph said to him, “This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days. Now within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your place, and you will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand according to the former manner, when you were his butler. But remember me when it is well with you, and please show kindness to me; make mention of me to Pharaoh, and get me out of this house.” (Genesis 40:13-14).

 The butler however completely forgot about Joseph after he was released and restored as verse 23 illustrates.  “Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph but forgot him” (Genesis 40:23).

It took two years before the thought of Joseph crossed his mind and not until all the wisdom of Egypt had failed. None of the wise men and magicians of Egypt had been able to interpret the troubling dream of Pharaoh. The most powerful man in the land at his wits end. Then the Butler remembered the forgotten Hebrew convict who was still serving jail time, whom he had an encounter with two years before. Joseph had told him at the time, when they were both in jail, exactly what his dream meant, and everything happened exactly as told. The butler then told Pharaoh about this poor Hebrew convict languishing in jail for a harassment crime he did not commit.

What a day for Joseph to hear the words “Pharaoh has asked to see you” and what an irony that the most powerful man in Egypt would need help from a poor Hebrew slave and convict serving jail time. This happened not only because the wisdom of Egypt had failed, but because the God of the universe planned it. On that day, Pharaoh narrated his dream and Joseph promptly provided the interpretation exactly as to what was about to happen. Seven years of plentiful harvest to be followed by seven years of famine throughout the land. Then the convict proceeded to give his humble “national security” counsel to the most powerful ruler, Pharaoh of Egypt. Why would Pharaoh believe Joseph? I put forward two reasons:  First, because his advisors had failed to deliver on the occasion and second because he had a trusted testimony from his own butler of Joseph’s ability to interpret dreams and the certainty of its fulfillment. What was Pharaohs reaction? Since you know what is coming, you be in charge and prepare to keep us safe. What a divine orchestration, from a convict to a prime minister in an instant.

“So the advice was good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his servants. And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.” And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, “Bow the knee!” So he set him over all the land of Egypt. Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no man may lift his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt”” (Gen 41:37-41).

What an astonishing story of how God can shift the trajectory of a man that trust’s in him. From head of Potiphar’s household to jail and from a simple prisoner to special assistant to the prison warden, then to dream interpreter in prison and then before Pharaoh ruler of Egypt and  finally next in command to the most powerful ruler, Pharaoh. From a convict to prime minister of Egypt. From this time forward nothing was to happen except at the word of Joseph. To crown it perfectly, Joseph was given a noble African bride. What a shift in trajectory!

#dadwedaa

January 14, 2019

“A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain counsel.” – Proverbs 1:5