Self Possession

I recently read a book by one Hollywood couple, Devon Franklin and Morgan Good. Called “The Wait”, it is a beautiful book that teaches why people should wait until they marry to have sexual relations. A beautiful book indeed. There is one story in this book where they mention that a study was carried out years back on kids that were put in a control room. In fact they had come in the room one by one, sat in front of an old man who put a marshmallow in front of him.

He told each kid that they should remain sitted on their chairs and that the old man would go out and leave this marshmallow in front of them. He told them that he was going out and that if he came back to the room and if they had not eaten the marshmallow, they would keep that marshmallow and that he would give them an extra marshmallow. But if they ate the marshmallow, then they would not get another marshmallow, all they would have is the one that they have eaten. A majority of kids were found to have eaten the marshmallow. They seemed to have not cared about the idea of getting an extra marshmallow assuming they had kept themselves from eating what they were told not to eat.

Well, my point here is about self control. I think most of us are like the majority that didn’t have self control. They lived in that moment and couldn’t care less about the outcome. Galatians 5:22_23: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,, 23: Meekness, self control: against such there is no law.

These are the fruits there of, and we should walk like the ones that have been given salvation. We have established that salvation is being preserved from harm. We should not be like these kids who could not control themselves. Amongst the many things that God gave us, self control is a blessing for us to have been equipped with.Using it or taking advantage of it would help us get out of so many unwanted stresses and anxiety. We should live out this new identity that we have been given. We can’t let our lusts and selfish passions control us.

If you are tempted to worry, know that you are given the fruit, control yourself not go fall into a worrisome state. If you are tempted to being jealous of someone, don’t justify that by saying you are being human. You are a new creation. You are the enlightened one, not every emotion can control you and lead you.

Galatians 5, 24: And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  The lusts have been crucified with Jesus, it is in the mind that we should be assertive and determined to live up to what we are now.

Philippians 2, 12: Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

We are a whole new breed. Working out this salvation is about making it up in your mind that the new self that you are, you will live it out. Now that you are in a new world, why don’t we live like we are of the new world and not of the kingdom of darkness. When we were in the kingdom of darkness, we lived according to how we felt and pleased. How can we who have been set free from burden of sin live there any longer?  Let’s dig deep in the word of God to know more of who we are now.

Let the new identity we have to be visible. It be on yourself in closed doors or out in the masses.

 

25 June 2007

I remember like it was yesterday. It is about 12 years now, it was on the 25th June 2007 when it happened. It was just a regular day, had come back from school. I was not happy at all. My heart was not in a good place. There were things that I had seen happen at school, they did not sit well with me. I was confused, so confused. Wondering who I was and how I could not be influenced. But the pressure was too much for me. It really overwhelmed me. I decided, I’m going to act this abruptly, go to school intoxicated. I am going to smoke marijuana like my friend did. My mind was made up. I was going to fit in. I was going to be promiscuous. Be mean to girls. Insult them, be a jerk in other words.

Then the day came, the 25 June of that year(2007). The television was tuned in to TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) around 9 pm when Joyce Meyer’s enjoying everyday life program was on. She was talking about how we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God but Jesus made it all beautiful. She had explained it in about 5 minutes if I am not mistaken,  that was all it took, 5 minutes if not less. I felt my heart being so overwhelmed. I didn’t even finish the program, I went to my bedroom. I prayed and gave my heart to Jesus. I felt the peace I have never felt in my life.

All the plans I had about deciding to fit in were ruined in just less than 5 minutes. My point of the story is this, now that is the Gospel being the power of God unto salvation. My life took a whole new turn around. I then felt a great need to look for a church. I remember when I finally found one, that Sunday morning, I ran to Church. I was such in a hurry, I couldn’t hold my breath. I was thirsty for the word of God. I felt like something was pulling me. I felt an attraction I had never felt in my life. My feet were racing themselves to the doorway of that building. A beautiful experience that was, however my focus is on the beauty of the Gospel that leads us unto salvation.

Salvation simply put is the preservation or deliverance from harm or ruin. Looking back, I do get it, I believe if I hadn’t heard the gospel, I wouldn’t have been preserved from the life I had planned to indulge in. I thank God for people who are declaring the word of God,  highly lifting the works of Jesus. If it was not of His obedience, we wouldn’t be delivered. We are preserved because of His obedience.

Romans 5:19: “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” So there is nothing more we need to exalt than the beauty and work of Jesus. I came into believing through this wonderful woman of God(Joyce Meyer). May we as the body of Christ keep declaring the faithfulness of Jesus and His perfect work on the cross.

Romans 1:16: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Just listen to the authenticity of Paul, so crystal and majestic of him to boldly declare such a statement. With the experience I had on the 25 June 2007, I am a living testimony that indeed the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. If I  hadn’t had heard the Gospel, only God knows where I would have been.

Ephesians 2, 8: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Ephesians 2, 9: Not of works, lest any man should boast.  All it took for me to be saved from harm’s way was just faith, definitely not my works, considering what I had planed, if it were about works, where would I boast because I was thinking and planning some really faulty thoughts. This is the Gospel, may it reach people across the world, that it is not about what they do that God would preserve them but by what Jesus did on the cross. Salvation is real and indeed through Jesus, salvation is alive.

My point is that the Gospel is power unto salvation. It is the power of God. An alive power. A real power house it is. Jesus’s death is the salvation provider.

The Gospel Stands

My intentions for this blog was so that the name of Jesus might be exalted.For the Gospel to stand out.Not to be ashamed of this Gospel for it it is power unto salvation to those who believe. It was so that the beauty of Jesus might be seen as it is and that people might not fear in losing their salvation. It was so that we could understand that,what Jesus did is far greater than what the blood of bulls and goats did in the old Testament. Before I came to the knowledge of Jesus’s work on cross, that it was once and for all. That I am the righteousness of God through Jesus, before I came to this knowledge, I was really confused and scared because I was not approaching the perfection status and kept on messing up no matter how much i tried to be perfect. When I came to the teaching of Grace, I knew this was real and did not want to back down. And yes, my purpose for this blog is still to advance the message of grace across the whole world.

Romans 4:3: “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” What does this say?  I believe that if God would have chosen to make Abraham righteous through his works, we would not be having Abraham as the father of faith today. It would have taken him even less than a day to fall short of being declared as thus. Abraham’s thoughts would have placed him in a whole different area all together. But this gives us so much valour that indeed through faith we can be made righteous not at all boasting in what we put in front of God as our performance.

Genesis 17:10_14: “This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.

And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.

And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.”  

Look at that, that was the covenant of God and Abraham. Foreskin cut off and God looked at them as His own. After they would be circumcised, I am pretty sure that they did some imperfect acts, but God still viewed them as righteous. Even when they would be walking around town and had a rather off putting thought, I am solemnly sure that they would recall that their covenant with God was based on their circumcision and a sense of love and security would cover them knowing that their relationship with God was not based on what they did ,but what they have become and that was the circumcised ones.

Colossians 2: 10_11 “And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:” I don’t know about you but this blesses me so much. Just listen to what kind of circumcision we have now, the circumcision of putting the body of sin off. So if we say that our righteousness or perfect standing goes as far as us having perfect moral conduct all the time or thinking right all the time or knowing what to say all the time, then when we slightly fall short, we miss the idea of being children of God? So that means the circumcision made of hands by Abraham and his descendants was far greater than the circumcision made by Jesus in putting off the body of sin?

Ladies and gentlemen let’s rightly believe that what Jesus did is far greater than what men did in the old Testament. His blood has perfectly washed us clean, so much better than the blood of bulls and sheep where it had to be repeated over and over again. The circumcision of Jesus by removing our body of sin is far more greater than the circumcision made of hands. Just as the foreskin can not grow back, our body of sin can not be attached back in us. Jesus has permanently and perfectly removed it.

Abraham, by believing, God ordered him to do the circumcision as a result of his believing and that becoming a covenant. So with us, in believing in Jesus’s death and resurrection, He has removed our body of sin in the circumcision of the spirit once and for all. Praise Jesus. The Gospel Stands.

Guard Your Heart

We are living in a day and age where we are almost overwhelmed everyday by the things that happen around our societies. There are unfortunate things that happen and we keep hearing them almost everyday. This gives us that unsettling feeling where our hearts are always troubled. The things we hear, the things we watch and let into our hearts.

Well, at least I am speaking for myself when I say that. Recently I watched a movie, a horror movie. Well, I was entertained and all during the movie. Later that day, I told my brother that I really do understand why we are warned against such x rated and horrific movies. Well, I told him what was the aftermath of the movie since we were watching it together. I told him that after we watched the movie, when I tried thinking on the word of God, the images of the movie came into mind. I felt so disturbed. My focus was being compromised so much. Felt a bit fearful and interrupted so much by this motion pictures.

My heart was really troubled and my peace really compromised. These are the kind of things that may be a source of  instilling fear in our hearts. I know there are quite a number of things but for me in this instance, this movie really suffocated the peace and joy out of me for a second.

Proverbs 23:26: “My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.”  I for one, really understand why God needs us to see Him and keep our heart fixed on Him. God understands what the world offers so many external forces that compromise with our happiness and joy.

Psalms 51: 10: “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”  This is what David sang to God. Fortunately today this is not what we can sing unto God. No, Jesus has made an accomplishment for this wonderful prophecy made by David. Romans 5: 5: “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” David sang “create in me a new heart” And God says to us today “My love is shed into your hearts”.This is beautiful, and where God lays His love, no fear should be entertained.

1 John 4:18: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” This is what God has done for us through His son. He did not fashion us for fear at all. So let’s not compromise our peace and joy with what we can control and avoid. The flesh should not be subjecting us so much that at end of the day it causes us to be so subjected by fear. I watched the movie through out the 2 hours though I could visually notice that it was not good for the peace in my heart.

Proverbs 4:23: “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Having done all things, we should by all our might keep our hearts guarded with the word. Yes, we have been given this love in our hearts and this new spirit but we should do our part in deciding what goes in our hearts.

Spirit of excellence

This morning I was listening to one of my favorite preachers, Andrew Womack. I was really blessed by what He was talking about and really made go through introspection. Whether or not I really am striving towards an excellent spirit. Lot of times as Christians, we turn to slack behind in this aspect.

Sephetho sa setšoantšo sa excellent

Are we really living up to the real identity that we are?  Already we have this perfect and clean spirit. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, we are indeed perfect in spirit. Excellent in spirit though we may be but are we really living out this perfect spirit that we have been given? Are we living it out even when people are not watching? We turn to conform to the world system whereby we live up to it only when we are being watched. Or if you are at work, you show excellence only when the boss is around, but when he/she is not around, we just become really lenient.

I remember one scenario when I was still working at a telecommunication company where we sold benefits and insurance and offered loans. It was a huge company and a group of about 12 people had a team leader who made sure that we were being effective and making sales. It was a weekend whereby we had to go to work but normally you would find that since it was a Saturday, people would not dial and push to make sales but would sit and pretend to be dialing yet there were chit chats almost across the whole floor. So our team leader had gone out and when we he came back, he checked the statistic of the calls being made by each consultant. When he checked. I had made about 10 sales and had dialed so many times and when he checked the rest of the 11 consultants, they were far behind in dialing and far behind in making sales. He then told me that I could go home even before time of knocking out had approached.

What emphasis am I trying to make here?  My team leader was not around but I did my job even when he was not looking. This is what the spirit of excellence is. I am not trying to make myself appear all goody goody but I am just trying to drive my point home with what Andrew was preaching about. Colossians 3: 23: “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men”   See, if we would understand this concept, we would not fall short even in our work place. The amount of excellence would be staggering.

Daniel 6:3: “Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.”  I do believe that even at work, if we really showed excellence even when our bosses were not around, promotions would be so evident. Daniel was promoted due to his excellence of spirit. I am very sure that Daniel did not look at what the majority of people did but he acted out in excellence regardless what people would say or in what manner they behaved. Our core priority should be about executing excellence in all fields. Even in our relationships, this would set out our relationships to elevate so much if we showcased excellence even in our relationships.

I bet even the rate of divorces would drop if we carried this spirit of excellence would be carried there as well. I remember one  man whom I respect so much said that he encouraged his brother to be loyal to his wife and that even if he would be unfaithful, he should make sure that he does not get caught. But it always back fired for this brother; his wife always caught him and would amount to fight after fight. My point is here, “when you cheat, don’t get caught” this is a major issue. Why can’t we be faithful and not cheat all together and let excellence play it’s part in our relationships?  Philippians 1:9_10: “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ” This is what happens when we grow in love and in knowledge, we are able to see that which is of excellence. I pray that even in our relationships, we may practice this spirit of excellence. That we may show ourselves to be faithful and loyal so as to sustain long lasting relationships. It be in marriages, courtships or just plain friendship.

We need to work out this excellence in all spheres of our lives. Work. Relationships. At home. School. Every where. Just because I emphasized on work and relationships do not mean I am implying that you should not execute excellence at school or at home or anywhere else.