Archive | March 2014

BURY THE BESETTING SIN

Bible In One Year-Day 90 (Monday, March 31, 2014)

Commentary: Joshua7-9. There is power in praising God. The Angel assigned to welcome the Israelites only needed them to praise God for an accomplished job; Joshua 6:2 And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.”

As far as heaven was concerned, Jericho was already marked “destroyed”, i.e. it was a past tense. All that the Israelites needed to do was to effect the heavenly order in praises. This is what praise is all about. It brings down God’s presence into the midst of His people and judgment into the camp of the His enemies, Psalm149. God takes residence in the praises of His own;

Psalms 22:3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.”

Wonders and miracles cannot cease where God is highly exalted and His praises is deeply rooted in pure hearts;

Exodus 15:11 Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” (Psalm9:11).

If you know how to pray, you must learn to be better in praising Him. David said he prayed to God three times a day but he praised God seven times a day; you must beat the record of David. There are two things God hates, sin and doubt. He was with the Israelites in battle against Jericho but not with them in battle with Ai, a smaller people than the well fortified Jericho. Imagine how sin could make us fall in little battles. Things went wrong in two ways; the sin of Achan and Joshua who never asked God before going into battle with Ai. Joshua forgot that it was God, who gave the strategy to conquer Jericho, but because of the victory, he considered Ai to be smaller and he needn’t consult God. We need to check our steps if God is in it or not. What is written in the Bible and what God will say are different considerations even though they work together. When God speaks concerning the next step, the Spirit refers you to the scripture for encouragement, and this is how the Rhema and Logos work together. Jesus says “He will guide you INTO all truth”. That which is written in the scripture is what you stand on to confront the devil. The devil will want to use the Bible to confuse you, but the Spirit of God will guide you with it. Moses took the smallest matter to God. Each time you find yourself being ridiculed in small things, you need to do like Joshua who cried to God for the reason, Josh7. Sin should be dealt with as Achan was dealt with, i.e. do not have pity for sin, no matter how beautiful it appears, do away with it. Sin successfully nailed the SON of God to the cross, squeezed blood out of His body and fed Him with vinegar. Sin, in this context, blocked the progress of a whole nation and ridiculed them before a little set of people. You need to bury sin in the Valley of Achor, i.e the Valley of Trouble; this is the valley where sin is separated from God’s agenda. The story changed in chapter8 when they had taken care of the sin in their midst; their point of defeat became the point of victory, point of shame became the point of praise and point of ridicule became the point of award;

Joshua 8:18 And the LORD said unto Joshua, Stretch out the spear that is in thy hand toward Ai; for I will give it into thine hand. And Joshua stretched out the spear that he had in his hand toward the city.”

Compare this with Deut8:18. Evidently, God loves His people but outright hates their sinful acts. It was not the faithfulness of the Israelites that brought them into the Promised Land but the faithfulness of God. A whole church can be stagnant if there is any unrevealed sin among the workers; consider the seven churches of Asia manor in the book of revelation. A whole family line can remained bound under the yoke of sin. The first battle a converted Christian should win is the battle with sin; Christianity could be frustrating if this is not won. Let sin be removed from the path of a Christian and you will see an untouchable Christian.

Psalms 125:3 For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity.”

God will not forsake a repentant sinner. Jesus said salvation had entered the house of Zacchaeus after he decided to repent from his sinful ways and make restitution where necessary. Salvation is given to sinners, but the kingdom of God is offered as reward to those who maintained their repentance and allowed the Holy Spirit to work on them. According to Webster dictionary, repentance is to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life. After Achan had been removed from the congregation, the defeat of the Israelites was capsized and they soared in victory. There is a great lesson we must learn from Joshua in this second battle with Ai;

Joshua 8:26 For Joshua drew not his hand back, wherewith he stretched out the spear, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.”

Every spiritual warfare requires perseverance, persistence and determination; don’t give up until mission is accomplished, however, abstain from all appearance of evil (1Thes5:22). Have no fellowship with unrepentant sinners but admonish them to abstain from their unrighteous ways. Don’t withdraw your spear of prayer until you have totally destroyed the works of the enemy, because that which you do not effect judgment upon might grow to become the seed of vengeance. All those running errands for the spiritual king (strong man), and the strong man, i.e. the authority behind the problem, must be wiped out totally. May the Lord grant you the grace to share a better testimony as we move to the next reading today in Joshua10-12. Keep the fire burning and alive.

BE COURAGEOUS

Bible In One Year-Day 89 (Sunday, March 30, 2014)
Commentary: Joshua4-6. The names Joshua, Jesus and Hosea are of the same meaning – Salvation. It was God who inaugurated Joshua, Deut31:14, 15 and 23.
Deuteronomy 31:14 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thy days approach that thou must die: call Joshua, and present yourselves in the tabernacle of the congregation, that I may give him a charge (inaugurate him). And Moses and Joshua went, and presented themselves in the tabernacle of the congregation.”
Not only that, He encouraged him for the great task ahead. He repeated the words of encouragement in Joshua1:7 even though He had told Moses to do the same before then. One would wonder why God really emphasized on encouraging Joshua. Out of many reasons, one stands out clear. The Israelites were stiff necked who forgets God’s goodness easily. They didn’t consider God’s goodness in most cases, when in difficult times and in comfort, they forgot Him. At every difficulty, their leader was in trouble, but when in comfort, they slip into serious sin. Moses fell under their pressure when they needed water and because of this, Moses got into trouble with God which ended his career with God. The Israelites had not changed and Joshua was to lead them into the Promised Land just for the sake of God’s faithfulness. At his inauguration, God told Moses in Joshua’s presence that the Israelites would go into harlotry with other gods which would provoke Him and He would hide His face from the abomination which they would get into. Therefore, the encouragement came for Joshua not to be discouraged at that moment. Stones are always thrown at the leaders (good or bad). The encouragement is that, under any pressure, the principles of the scripture should not be compromise; our thinking, talking, acting and deliberating should follow the principles of the scriptures and the pattern of the vision on the mountain;
Hebrews 8:5 “Who serve to the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount.” Trying or challenging moments do not mean God has forsaken or is unaware of our plights; we need to patiently pray for God’s encouragement and direction in hard times. Under no circumstance or pressure should the pattern of the vision be changed. Jesus went through the suffering as a pattern for those who will believe on Him;
1 Timothy 1:16 “Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.”
As leaders and as Christians, the life of Jesus must still be evident in you even in unfavorable situations;
Titus 2:7 “In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,”
Despite God’s encouragement, Joshua was still reluctant or undecided when God charged him in Josh1:9 “Have I not commanded you?” and in verse10, Joshua summoned courage and set to work. The first place to conquer was Jericho. Without taking up this place, there was no moving forward. It was a well fortified city. However, there was help already planted there by God; Rahab. Rahab was a prostitute and at the same time a woman of faith; she believed in the God of Abraham. To every child of God who walks in the covenant of God and comes in contact with Jericho, a Rahab is planted there. She could appear unrighteous with some horrible manners, you need to discern the spirit in her, if you could see faith or hunger for righteousness in her, use her to get the map of your Jericho. That is your first convert;
1 Corinthians 1:27 “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;”
Rahab entered into a covenant with the Israelites, thereby saving herself, household and father’s house from destruction. Your salvation should affect your family positively. The action of Rahab shows the usefulness of women of faith in ministry, family and life. They cannot be relegated. Rahab was not self centered but quite considerate in support of a true vision and interceding for her family. God was impressed by Joshua’s actions in taking steps to move forward and He declared in Joshua 3:7 “And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee.”
A true and genuine child of his father will manifest the grace of his father by the Spirit in his father. It is amazing to see how God proved His faithfulness to Joshua by parting River Jordan;
Joshua 4:14 “On that day the LORD magnified Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they feared him, as they feared Moses, all the days of his life.”
May the Lord do something through you that will send fear over your adversaries in the name of Jesus and you will pick stones of everlasting testimony as you pass through your difficult times. Fear is not a good thing to have but it is a good instrument in the hand of the Lord to weaken the enemy. It kills untimely;
Joshua 5:1 “… that their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them any more, because of the children of Israel.”
They were already dead even before the Israelites got to them. The Israelites had been eating manna all along until they tasted the produce of the Promised Land; this is God’s faithfulness. In Ex3:5/14, the Angel of the Lord appeared to Moses in a flame of fire to escort them out of Egypt, but to Joshua in Josh5:13-15, He appeared with a sword to welcome them into the Promised Land;
Isaiah 45:1-3 “… to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; I will before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.”
It is funny to realize that men secured the gate of Jericho because of the Israelites in chapter6 where God’s Angel was standing. They secured the tomb of Jesus also with stone but an Angel rolled it off with ease and sat on it. The secret of victory is in the hand of God. They may secure the gate, but God can collapse the walls holding the gate, then of what use is the gate. That Angel shall lead you through this year in the name of Jesus. Our reading for today is Joshua7-9. Keep the fire burning and alive.

SPIRITUAL PARENTHOOD

Bible In One Year-Day 88 (Saturday, March 29, 2014)
Commentary: Joshua1-3. God nominated and appointed Joshua because of the level of his faith which the book of Hebrews talked about. Through his loyal servitude to Moses, the likeness of Moses was transferred into him by the laying of hands;
Deuteronomy 34:9 “And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses.”
At this junction, we must understand spiritual parenthood. Joshua did not imitate Moses just because he was close to him but he received the spirit of Moses to walk in his teachings towards the same goal; never turned right or left. Through this spiritual transference, Joshua became Moses’ protégé. The likeness of Moses was in Joshua. This was the case between Elijah and Elisha; the spirit of Elijah was noticed in Elisha. Paul puts it in a clearer way in 1 Corinthians 4:14-16 “I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons (or children) I warn you. For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers (imitators) of me.” (Parenthesis is emphasis please).
The spirit of the vision carrier, Moses, was evident in Joshua, his spiritual son, which makes it easier for Joshua to lead ahead. Moses never wavered, Joshua followed course. For the father and the son to be one, their spirit must be one; contrary spirits show where they belong. Jesus says “I and my Father are one” because the same Spirit works. When new born babies are mixed up in the maternity without identification, fathers claim any child as theirs, but definitely with different DNAs. The spiritual DNA is what was transferred to Joshua and that was why he followed Moses’ vision. Fatherhood is by grace and grace alone and not by age, educational attainment, material acquisition or any other qualification. The vision carrier could be younger, but grace will make the different. Remember only the rod of Aaron blossomed even if others had their rods. When such grace is questioned, God is questioned. This scope is not enough to expound this aspect. In summary, what binds two people together as spiritual father and son is the spirit of purpose or the kingdom; not different spirits. No one gains anything if such is disloyal to the superior. Men pleasers are not kingdom workers but little foxes that spoil the vine. If you got the revelation for your personal ministry, you need to get the vision for the ministry you are working with also and marry them together (the revelation and the vision). The proper marriage makes the grace to flow and that grace is the flow of the Holy Spirit. Joshua got the revelation of the Promised Land and married it with Moses’ vision to press forward, unlike others who decided to go back to Egypt. Let God call you out for ministry; don’t let the problems or challenges you are facing call you out or create another ministry for you. Those who greatly added to Moses’ life were Joshua and Jethro. No matter how highly anointed you are (position, attainment in life or achievement), there must be a Joshua and Jethro God has appointment to you. Joshua was lower to Moses’ in responsibility but better than Moses in strength and vigor. Jethro, also, perhaps, older in age, and versed in ministerial and administrative experience; so he could give Moses’ elderly advice, but the grace on Moses was unrivaled. Joshua is a symbol of ability to reproduce your kind, while Jethro symbolizes readiness to learn from other peoples’ experience (success and mistakes). All these guys had their own responsibilities, callings and portions to fulfill. The binding factor is respect for one another. Respect is a 2-way thing just as rudeness is a 2-way thing. Rudeness is not only from the junior to the senior, but also from senior to the junior. In every successful spiritual team, there are three pillars holding it; LOVE, RESPECT and DISCIPLINE. These three pillars keep the flesh and its unruly lusts away. No one lords his position over another just as Jesus advised in Luke22:24-26. Those who struggle and fight for recognition have internal problems; lack of clear vision of the blue print of their lives which results in inferiority complex. And when such gets to a position without vision, they lord it over their subjects; they harass and embarrass their subjects. Just like Lot who, after he had grown big, he spat at his uncle’s (Abraham) face and even made a choice of where to settle before his uncle did. You could see such spirit of Lot in Christendom now and this makes the heart of Jesus bleed, John13:35. Joshua had the strength and the spirit to be on the field of war, Jethro had grace of ministry management. Moses, on his part, was given the grace of God’s presence or the assignment to bring the Israelites out of Egypt to the Promised Land. The real assignment is bringing the Israelites out of bondage and these three ministries are needful; ministry of Moses, ministry of Jethro and the ministry of Joshua. When you discover destiny and the assignment, people will discover you. You must search out, recognize and respect your Joshua and Jethro; you need them. Also, don’t stone your Moses. Proverbs 29:21 “He that delicately bringeth up his servant from a child shall have him become his son at the length.” Joshua led but God conquered. Our reading for today is Joshua4-6. Keep the fire burning and alive

MOSES’ FAREWELL MESSAGES

Bible In One Year-Day 87 (Friday, March 28, 2014)
Commentary: Deut32-34. These three chapters narrate the farewell messages of that great man, Moses. Moses went through thick and thin of ministry. A good Christian should learn from him tremendously; from his birth to the last page of his life. At birth, the sword of Pharaoh hunted him, but God secured his life in the hand of those he was created to destroy, what a mighty God we serve;
Isaiah 44:25 “That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish;” (also Job5:12). As a young man, he wanted to help God but he ended up in exile where he learnt submission and obedience; the lesson is that you should never do God’s work in your own strength; He gives the required strength and power for His assignment. We could notice these trails in Moses’ ministry after being called into ministry; he never took any action without asking God who called him; that was the meekness the Bible talked of about him. Hidden pride is not meekness. It is quite unfortunate that many went through bible schools, seminaries, colleges and universities, but the spirit of the teaching is never evident; rather pride is acquired as collars and stoles, garment of positions and pride are received instead of garment of priesthood and servitude.
John 12:43 “For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.”
Matthew 23:5-7 “But all their works they do to be seen by men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, And greetings in the markets, and to be called by men, Rabbi, Rabbi.”
A lot don’t have a tenth of the tremendous grace upon Moses, but the advert they put on themselves is quite disturbing to one who has seen a bit of His glory. A genuine vision does not glorify the carrier but the Giver. Moses feared God indeed. Moses did not just wake up to suggest the person who was to step into his shoes after his departure from earth; rather, he inquired from God and God said it was Joshua. This simply translates into his commitment to the perfect will of God. He did not play politics in God’s service. When his nephews brought strange fire and they were killed, Aaron, their father was very sad; but Moses warned Aaron to take God’s work and interest first. The rancor in ministries now, are due to politics of favoritism, ‘God-fatherism’, unholy ambitions and the like. Absolutely, such have not met the Lord where Moses met Him (he saw the leprosy hiding in his life, Ex4:6) or where Paul did (where his knowledge was made foolish and his blindness was revealed. An ordinary person prayed for him before he could see again); the point of genuine exchange is where the heart is changed and a right spirit renewed;
Ezekiel 36:26 “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.”
Moses served in three ministries in his life; the ministry of Pharaoh, that of his father-in-law and God’s ministry. Moses plugged into the real ministry which God called him at quite an old age. He experienced a very painful ministry because God sent him to the most stubborn set of people. He went through a lot of discouraging moments. Unfortunately, the last chapter of his ministry was not too good; yet he never denied God. He obeyed His commands and sought God’s perfect will unto death. In most cases, we think God is not there in our difficult times, but the truth is that all things work together for good to those who are the called according to His purpose. It was good for Moses to die at that time rather than see the corruption he predicted in Deut31:29;
Isaiah 57:1-2 “The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come. He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.”
The peace Moses entered was revealed on Mount of Transfiguration, Luke9:30. Christian life is not about long life but about a fulfilled and accomplished life. The disciples lived fulfilled lives. Long life has nothing to do with God without being fulfilled. A worldly person seeks to remain on earth perpetually and oftenly amass wealth as if he would never die anymore. Some even desires streets and buildings to be named after them.
Psalms 49:10-12 “For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others. Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names. Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish.”
It is good to pray for fulfilled life for the Apostles of our time and not infamous ending of a long life;
2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:”
Every Christian has a course to be finished. Those who have never gotten to the point of exchange rarely finish it and, in most cases, they are the pains of a ministry or life; if you come in contact with such, you need serious prayers and fasting for them not to terminate your ministry just as they did to Moses at Pisgah. Songs and Hymns are the expression of God’s breathe over man. Moses wrote his farewell message in songs. There are three things we must notice in the songs; the truth, God’s mind and imparts on life. He finally blessed the Israelites. The end of Moses is worth studying. May your hand be sufficient for you in the name of Jesus. In our readings so far, we interwove the study of the books of the law and three of the gospel. By this we are able to see deeper into the LAW and GRACE. The law is for those who are spiritually dead while grace is for those that are spiritually alive. Whoever remains under the law has fallen from grace and whoever is under grace receives strength and power to overcome sin, i.e. dead to sin. In our next reading, we shall be looking into one of the historical books; the book of Joshua. For today, our reading is Joshua1-3. Keep the fire burning and alive.

IT IS A MATTER OF CHOICE

Bible In One Year-Day 86 (Thursday, March 27, 2014)
Commentary: Deut29-31. From Deut29:1, we could see that two covenants were in place; that of Mount Sinai and the Plain of Moab. To every covenant, regulations are attached. The first covenant had the laws that virtually eliminated the whole nation. This covenant was to see them through the wilderness where there were many distractions; idols, seductions, immorality, murmurings, root of bitterness, etc. The regulations given then were to warn them against these distractions. Such distractions are still the challenges of Christians going through the wilderness experience nowadays. These distractions are the satanic signboards that divert Christians, especially the ministers, from the genuine course to the Promised Land. One basic means of falling victim of these distractions is in Deut29:19 “… saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination (i.e. dictates) of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst:”
The rule which many Christians are following in this present dispensation is the dictates of the heart and not of God as revealed in the vision. What is the state of the heart as dictated by the scripture?
Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
The greatest enemy of a Christian’s testimony through difficult journey to the Promised Land is unregenerate (uncircumcised) heart. Such heart defends its shortcomings rather than deal with it. Such heart is always right in the face of taking wrong actions;
Proverbs 3:7 “Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.”
Such hearts conform to this world rather than being transformed through renewing processes. Is there bitterness, unforgiveness, anger, envy, jealousy, malice, diary of offenses etc, they kill and not make alive; therefore, you must deal with these. The Promised Land does not accept such.
The second covenant was given in the Plain of Moab, just before entering into the Promised Land. This carried the smell of grace, Deut30:2-5. This covenant allowed repentance, and repentance comes only from a regenerated and circumcised heart;
Deuteronomy 30:6 “And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.”
In essence, a repentant heart, love for God and His ordinances and total yield to His Spirit are the immunities against attacks in the Promised Land, Deut30:17-18. God knew the hearts of the Israelites and that is why He instructed Moses to call heaven and earth to witness against them as he presented life and death before them, blessing and cursing with a profound advice to choose life;
Deuteronomy 31:20 “For when I shall have brought them into the land which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and break my covenant.”
Unfortunately, this is what is happening now. God will not force anyone to heaven and the devil will not force anyone to hell, IT IS A MATTER OF CHOICE. What is the choice in your heart? We are rounding up the book of Deuteronomy today by reading Deut32-34. Keep the fire burning and alive.

DAVID’S SECRET

Bible In One Year-Day 85 (Wednesday, March 26, 2014)
Commentary: Deut26-28. One attribute of God is that He is ever mindful of covenants, i.e. an agreement that is signed and sealed with a symbol of life (ink or blood). Covenants bring two or more parties together as one. When a covenant is respected and observed, it carries more rewards which, in this case, is blessing. However, the violation of such agreement will be judged. The judgment of the violation of a covenant is curse. These three chapters highlighted the blessings attached to observance and the curses attached to the violation of God’s covenant. Looking at it very well, we realize that the curses are more emphasized than the blessings; it is to let the Israelites know how grievous the consequences of the violation are. Unfortunately, many read only the blessings and refuse to read and understand what could be the satanic door that opens for curses to have its leeway;
Proverbs 26:2 “As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.”
We run into trouble because of the wrong we did and not the right thing we did. We can do better if we are more conscious of the laid out curses. All that God demands from us is obedience to His words. Disobedience is tantamount to rebellion and witchcraft;
1 Samuel 15:23 “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.”
When you notice a trembling heart (this is fear), failing eyes (lack of vision, revelation and foresight) and anguish of soul (lack of peace of mind or confusion of the heart), then the simple meaning is that there is rebellion to the word of God lying at the corner. If this is not taken care of, there can be no peace; you can’t bribe the conscience. You may give many excuses to justify your stand, only time will reveal the truth. To every violation of the word of God which you eventually realize, quickly seek to address it. This was David’s secret; he was quick to repentance and forsakes the sin without second opinion. You can’t read where David repeated a sin twice. Once you repent of a sin, then forsake completely without any compromise, i.e. don’t go back to it. May the Lord give you grace to overcome sin in the name of Jesus. Our reading for today is Deut29-31. Keep the fire burning and alive.

Pastor Supo Abayode

Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries, Delaware, USA

+1-302-230-6792

LET JESUS BE PROUD OF YOU

Bible In One Year-Day 84 (Tuesday, March 25, 2014)
Commentary: Deut23-25. In these chapters, we find further rules given by Moses to the Israelites before entering the Promised Land. Through these chapters, few things are quite outstanding; cleanliness (23:14), paying of vows (23:23), payment of wages without deferment (24:14), perfect and just weights and measures (25:15) and be responsible for sinful acts (24:16). The violation of all or any of these is sin before the Lord;
Deuteronomy 25:16 “For all that do such things, and all that do unrighteously, are an abomination unto the LORD thy God.”
What Moses was telling them in essence was that for them to live healthily and with long life, they shouldn’t sow evil seeds in the Promised Land. Just as it is usual for me to remark in my messages in the first three months of every year “don’t cheat while filing your tax return, and if you decide to cheat or defraud the nation, don’t bring your unrighteous harvest into the house of God”. It amounts to sowing evil seeds in the Promised Land by doing such things and you cannot expect to reap good health, gladness and joy in God’s own country, i.e. your Promised Land;
Galatians 6:7 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
My yearly slogan is quite biblical, whatever you reap from sinful businesses should not be brought into the house of God;
Deuteronomy 23:17-18 “There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel. Thou shalt not bring the hire (or wages) of a whore (harlot), or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD thy God.”
The blessing of God only falls on what you earn in the genuineness of your sweat and not that earned in cheating. A hundred dollars of genuine earning is weightier in blessing than a thousand dollars acquired through unrighteous means. One thing cheaters don’t really know is that each time they cheat, they actually rob themselves. The inability to make progress or gather much may anchor on this. We should ask the Lord to reveal to us where restitution is needful for us to make it quickly. The practical demonstration of restitution is in Lk19:1-10. No doubt Zacchaeus was a sinner and rich, but on meeting the Lord or when Jesus decided to be his guest, the first thing was to correct every wrong;
Luke 19:8-10 “And Zacchaeus stood, and said to the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said to him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Jesus as your guest is more precious than keeping the verdict of hell fire in form of wealth. Be like Zacchaeus and let Jesus be proud of you. We could see that Zacchaeus repented AFTER he received salvation. Jesus did not condemn or threaten him. Zacchaeus appreciated God’s love and grace and took the step to start showing it to the poor as well. He further decided to correct the wrong of the past where possible. This is genuine conversion. When you become born again, your old life shouldn’t be seen in your future, i.e. a remarkable difference must be evident when you evaluate your life 5-10 years after receiving Jesus into your life; the Holy Spirit must have done a great job in you. This is what is referred to as GROW IN GRACE.
2 Peter 3:18 “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”
The reading for today is Deut26-28. Keep the fire burning and alive.