One-ness

1st August

I am pray that they will all be one, just as You and I are One….

John 17:21a

Jesus, when He walked on this earth, often declared that He and the Father were One; a statement which caused great offence to those listening. It was so hard for people to understand. They saw a man, the Son of Joseph, a carpenter, proclaiming that He and the Father were One. If this were true, it would have surely meant that Jesus was God; and for those listening, that would have been understood as blasphemy. Yet, what the people failed to recognise, is that Jesus’ birth as a human on earth, was long foretold though the very scriptures they read and were familiar with. They just chose to reject the truth, reject the prophetic signs and reject Jesus’ very own words. It was that disunity that Jesus indirectly prayed against. Unity is at the very heart of who God is, and it is the same unity found between the Trinity, that Jesus prayed for for His followers (that includes us too).

Moreover, it is, as Jesus said, “perfect unity” by through which “the world will know that You (the Father) sent Me and that You love them (US) as much as You love Me” (verse 23). It is by perfect unity lived out and shown through the Body of Christ, that the world will know the Father and His perfect love. It is from our actions, words and deeds, lived and breathed out in the spirit of unity, joined and connected by Christ, that the world will know more of who Jesus is and more about the Father’s heart for them. Jesus prayed that for His disciples and for us. Let us live in the truth and answer of Jesus’ prayer. Let us be ONE. Let us live in perfect unity with each other. Let us reject disharmony, disunity and discord and replace it with ONE-NESS in Christ.

Are Your Eyes Open…?

31st July

Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in Your instructions.”

Psalm 119:18

So often, the Bible is just seen as a book of rules and regulations by those who have not actually read it. Upon reading His word, you will begin to find that they’re not just words written on paper, but life! David had a great love for the word of God. Yet what David had access to read was probably very limited compared to what we now have (ie, New Testament). Yet he fell in love with what little he could read or understand. He knew that God’s laws were not rules and regulations but paths which lead us to the truth of who God was and is. It is in God’s instructions that we learn how to please God, how to live life for His glory and how to know Him more.

As we read God’s word today, let us pray the same prayer as David prayed, ‘open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in Your instructions.’ May God’s word enlighten our hearts and minds, comforts our souls, correct us when we are wrong, remind us of God’s love, and increase our understanding who God is and who we are in Him.

Christ Is All That Matters

29th & 30th July

Weekend Edition

In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave or free. Christ is all that matters, and He lives in all of us.”

Colossians 3:11

In today’s world there is so much trying to create disharmony. Be that political elections, a rise in racism and sexism, and a massive increase of disharmony and dis-unity; even in the church! Yet it is in the church that unity should be increasing. We so quickly forget that if Christ lives in us, then we are brothers and sisters of the same family. There is no separation. As Paul rightly says, ‘it doesn’t matter who or what you are….Christ is all that matters!’

Yes we may have different worship styles, we may speak different languages, we may have completely different characters and views about life, but we should be united because of Christ. Our prayer should be that we can love the bride of Christ, Jesus’ body, the church. Not the four walls that make a building, but the people that worship inside. Christ is all that matters. Our prayer should be that we can live in harmony with all types of people and be united in our worship to and of Jesus. Friends, brothers and sisters, let us put to death feelings of dis-unity and disharmony and allow Jesus to bond us and bind us together for His Kingdom. He is all that matters.

Whats Does Jesus’ Sacrifice Mean For Me? Healing

28th July

Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, “Look at us!” The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money. But Peter said, “I don’t have silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the Name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!”

Acts 3:4-6

Do you realise that after you were born again, you became part of God’s family? You joined millions on this earth who would call you brother or sister! Furthermore, you join the billions who have gone before us, but yet whom we will meet again when Christ returns. We are all one big family. You are not on your own. The best news of all is that our loving Father shows no partiality or favour with any of His children. We are loved the same, and can all access the unlimited grace of God, whether we have been believers for seconds, years or lifetimes. Because of the inheritance we have as sons and daughters of the Most High God, we too can access the power that is in the Name of Jesus.

Today’s Bible verse is an extract from the story of Peter and John’s healing of the man crippled from birth, found in the book of Acts. In this story we learn that Peter and John accessed the power of Jesus’ Name, as Sons of God, to pray for a crippled man and see a healing miracle. Guess what, that same power is available to us today. Jesus’ time on this earth was spent healing people. Form physical sickness, spiritual oppression, emotional healing and even natural phenomenons, Jesus showed that He was God and that He cared for His creation through His works. Jesus today promised us with His own words that we will be equipped with power from on High, to heal the sick, cast out evil spirits and bring many to Him.

Let us join Peter and John and live out the great commission. Let us access the healing power of Jesus Christ, for our own lives and to spread Christ to the nations, through signs, wonders and miracles. Let us fully understand the greatness of Jesus, God who lives in us!

Believe Like Thomas

Believing Thomas

27th July

They told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in His hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in His side.”…..“Peace be with you,” he said. Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at My hands. Put your hand into the wound in My side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!””

John 20:25,26b-27

Thomas, a disciple of Jesus Christ, was witness to the most extraordinary event ever to be recorded: The Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Yet, despite the testimony of his friends, Jesus’ other disciples, Thomas did not believe straight away, hence why many have given him the name ‘doubting Thomas’. However, what is more mind-blowing is not Thomas’ doubts but rather Jesus’ words when He finally appears in the flesh to Thomas, “Peace be with you”.

When Jesus revealed Himself to Thomas, the first words He used were not words of rebuke or condemnation, but words of comfort and peace. He didn’t even get angry with Thomas. He simply calmed His doubts and re-assured Him with Heavenly peace. In addition, He met Thomas were his doubts were and allowed Thomas to touch His wounds to appease his doubts. This scene speaks volumes to those who doubt or those we know doubt Jesus’ existence or resurrection.

If Jesus did not rebuke His own disciple who had been with Him, seen the miracles first hand, listened to Jesus’ own prophecy about rising again on the third day, then is that not a lesson for us today. Instead of rebuking everyone who doubts our Lord’s resurrection, may we too respond with peace and show who the resurrected Jesus is through our lives and pray that the Lord may also reveal Himself to them too. We can take comfort that Jesus meets people were they are and calms their doubts in His own loving way, just as He did with Thomas.

Because Of Jesus….

26th July

He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins……Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

Ephesians 1:7, Hebrews 7:25

Did you know that it is only because of Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit in glorifying the Son through our lives, that we can enter into God’s presence and live for Him in all we do. We do not enter out of merit but out of surrender; Surrender to Jesus’ finished work on the cross. We surrender to the fact that we are forgiven and made clean before the Father, and have accepted that Jesus has purchased our freedom with His own blood. Moreover, it is Jesus who intercedes for us saying, ‘Don’t punish them, I paid the price.’

Bryan Chapell, in his book called “Praying Backwards” talks of how important it is to pray in Jesus’ Name as the foundation of your prayer, not the conclusion of it, because it is in Jesus’ Name, that the Father is glorified in our petitions and in Jesus’ Name that we can even approach God’s throne. He suggests that this, is in essence why and how we can pray in Jesus’ Name….

Lord, there is not enough goodness in my best works to warrant Your listening to me or answering my prayer. But, Lord, I am not appealing to You on the basis of my merit. I ask You to listen to me as one who trusts in the blood of Jesus to wash away my sin. By the work of Your Holy Spirit, I am united to Jesus, and it is only on the basis of His righteousness that I can approach Your holy throne in this prayer.”1

Chapell’s prayer is an acknowledgement, that as forgiven sons and daughters of Almighty God, we can enter into God’s presence, not based on merit, but as people who have accepted the finished work of the cross. Today, when you pray in Jesus’ Name, know that He is listening, sitting next to the Father and interceding on your behalf.

1Praying Backwards: Transform you prayer life by beginning in Jesus’ Name, Bryan Chapell

Live As Christ Lived

25th July

But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love Him. That is how we can know we are living in Him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.

1 John 2:5-6

As the stone rolled back and Jesus’ earthly body was resurrected, a great victory took place, both on this earth and in the Heavenly realms. The angels celebrated, humanity celebrated and we too now celebrate Jesus’ victory over sin and death. Our commission on this earth is to simply live as Christ did, and make His Name known among the world. Christ lived to serve others. He lived to show God’s love, grace and compassion to all, even to those who hated Him. He lived to bring healing to the sick, the burdened, the lost, the spiritually oppressed and the marginalised. Yet above all, He came to make a way that we can receive forgiveness from our sins, through His substitutional sacrifice for us. In other words, He took our place on the cross.

It is because of what Jesus did on the cross that we too can live for Him, obey His word and replicate His loving, kind and compassionate deeds on this earth. Yes there will be times when we slip up and fall very short of the standard of living Jesus set, but as it says in the beginning of John’s letter in verse 1 and 2 “if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ…..the sacrifice that atones for our sins – not only our sins but the sins of the world.” Friends may we show how much we love Christ by living for Him, reflecting His character in our schools, homes, work and communities. Let us live for Jesus, turn away from our sins and keep our eyes fixed on Him.