Saturday, 14 October 2017

John 14 (Fourteen) At Home

“Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him,” (John 14:21).

Who is Jesus talking about here? He is talking about individuals. He is not just talking to the Disciples, but is throwing it wide open. He is also not just talking to the church or to a particular nation. Every individual is responsible and must have the opportunity. He first says the individual must have His commands. Where do they get the commands from? First of all the commands (not only the Ten Commandments) are written in the Bible, so it is necessary to know the Bible because the commands must be in their heart to be able to obey them effectively. Secondly we constantly receive commands in our spirit and therefore the individual must be in touch with the Holy Spirit to be able to identify the opportunity presented by Him to obey the commands.

If the Lord sees a heart laden with knowledge of His commands and a readiness to obey wherever the opportunity presents itself, He knows that this person loves Him. They care enough about the Lord to do that which matters to Him. Jesus then promised that both He and the Father will love the individual (what an honour) and then the best follows – He will show himself to them.

In marriage spouses declare their love to each other and then show their bodies to one another. The more their love for each other grows, and in the process their trust towards one another, the more of their deepest secrets they will reveal.

How glorious it will be when Jesus will hold back none of His deepest secrets to the individual who has earned His love and trust through being obedient to His every command. Such individuals never cause Jesus to be ashamed of them and often cause Him to boast about them in the heavenlies - “Then the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?’” (Job 1:8).

“Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, ‘But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?’ Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching,” (John 14:22-23).

What Jesus implies in His answer to Judas’ question is that those who do not obey His teaching are those who do not love Him, and are therefore the ‘world’ Judas was talking about. Like we said earlier, why would Jesus reveal Himself to those whom He cannot trust? (See Matthew 7:6)

Who is the world Judas is talking about? Does it not maybe include the disobedient church? Is a disobedient church not like the world – without love towards the Lord?

If we, however, obey His teaching, doing what He tells us to do, whether in the Bible or in our spirit on a daily basis, we love Him and both Him and Abba Father (Daddy God) will make home with us. Take a few minutes to consider this statement. What is a home? Is it not a place of intimacy where fellowship is relaxed and transparent, a place where we feel comfortable? Is home not a place where we can kick off our shoes and be ourselves? If the Lord Jesus and Father make their home with us, would they not also want to ‘kick off their shoes’ and relax, being themselves? Maybe we can make a list of the qualities of a home and, as we make it, picture Abba Father and Jesus in it.

A home

·         Is a secure and safe place.

·         Has food and physical care.

·         Has fun, joking, fellowship and playing.

·         Has support of the members among one another.

·         Has open and transparent communication.

·         Has unity.

·         Is a fortress against enemies.

·         Has protective and caring parents.

·         Has obedient children.

·         Is a place where one can be yourself.

·         Is a place where conflict is a form of developing character and is handled lovingly.

Does our spiritual home enjoy these characteristics in both directions, in other words do we for example only expect protection from the Lord, or do we also protect His honour in both the physical and spiritual realm, or does our lifestyle maybe cause the world and evil spirits to ridicule God? Can God relax in our presence, or must He constantly withdraw due to our sin and attitude of pride?

Lord, teach me what to do to make you feel welcome in my heart.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

John 14 (Thirteen) Life Abundantly (continued)

Please accept my apologies. I'm re-posting messages and did not realise this one followed the previous one, which I reposted two weeks ago. It may therefore be wise to quickly read the previous post on "Life Abundantly".
Here is the re-post.
Our last message got a bit long, so I had to leave it to continue later. Today’s message will therefore be slightly shorter as a conclusion of our previous message. 
"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you (John 14:18-20).

I read a book called ‘Divine Appointments’. In it the author told of how he was painting his house when he heard a lady in distress calling for help from the street. Her car had broken down. He helped repairing the car and then the lady, who was Madonna, asked him if he would drive home with her in case the car broke down again. He conceded and had a wonderful opportunity to share the Gospel with her.

Imagine he was not in Jesus and in the Father and therefore did not recognise the divine appointment arranged for him and Madonna. Imagine he instead considered the ‘wise’ advice he had learnt in church that a man should not minister to a woman and so forth. Imagine he turned around, ignoring her plea for help because he was dead scared that she would provoke him into sin, since he had heard in church that it usually happens. Imagine he thought that he had to check with his pastor first. What would then have happened? Madonna would never have had her God-ordained opportunity to hear the Gospel from him. Fortunately for Madonna he was mature in Christ. He knew when the Lord was speaking, and his intimacy with Christ and the Father overruled all religion preached by the church of today. This type of Divine Appointment happens regularly.

It is not that we try to discredit the church, but the task of the church leadership is "to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up," (Ephesians 4:12 - for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ - KJV).

This ‘preparing or perfecting’ should be a process by which Christians are taught how to be intimate with the triune Godhead, in other words how to be ‘in Jesus’ who is ‘in the Father’ through the Holy Spirit. Once we have learnt to be one with the Lord, He can start working through us just like the Father worked through Jesus while He was on earth. If we could grasp this secret on how the Godhead functions in relation to us - the called ones - the church will be much more effective and powerful.

Lord, I want to move as one with you.

Give your children a sporting chance for a faith relationship with God. Teach them more than Bible stories. Teach them Biblical and life principles with the help of The Nutshell College Train-a-Child series. 

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Saturday, 16 September 2017

Give Your Children the Privilege of having Faith - Don't Miss this Series. Watch the Video!

Give your children a sporting chance for a faith relationship with God. Teach them more than Bible stories. Teach them Biblical and life principles with the help of The Nutshell College Train-a-Child series. For more information and a beautiful high definition version go to http://t-a-c.co.za


Tuesday, 12 September 2017

John 14 (Twelve) Life Abundantly

"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you (John 14:18-20).


Jesus said because He lives, we will also live. What life is He talking about? Is it life after death? In the context of this passage it is life on earth because Jesus said it in the same breath as His statement about not being orphans. He said "because I live, you also will live". Where does He live? He lives at the right hand of Father, but also in us through the Holy Spirit. What kind of life does He, and therefore us, live? The Greek for ‘live’ in this passage means ‘be alive, lively, to be in full vigour, to be fresh, strong, efficient, active, powerful and efficacious’. This reminds me of the word ‘zoe’ which means life - vitality, animate, vigorous and active? John 10:10: ‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.’


Jesus went for it all the way while He was on earth. He didn’t spare Himself when it came to living life to the full, in other words pouring Himself out on others in obedience to His father. He lived true to what He said through Isaiah in chapter 58: “and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed...” Jesus is still living life to the full, but only now He is living it within us. The measure to which it bubbles out from us depends firstly on how much we fellowship with this lively Spirit of the Lord and secondly how much we allow Him to show and manifest. This manifestation depends on our faith and attitude.


If we are going to be embarrassed when we are to be animate, vigorous, active and alive we will suppress His life. If we, however, don’t care what people think of us as long as we can please God, life in abundance will bubble from us to the benefit of the Kingdom of God. This will also not come by itself. It is a choice and an act of our will. We must live abundantly by choice, not by feeling. Abundant life therefore means that through our gifting and His power we abundantly bear fruit in order to accomplish that which we were born for. This differs somewhat from the idea that living abundantly means having lots of money, fun and comfort? Even the poorest person can have an abundant life the way Jesus meant it.


What did Jesus mean when He said: "On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you"? Isn't He sitting at the right hand of the Father and the Holy Spirit is living inside of us. How can He be in the Father and us in Him? The Lord Jesus purposely spoke the words in this passage in this sequence. He knew that once His disciples have learnt to ‘see’ Him in the Spirit and ‘live life in abundance through him’ they would understand that the latter is only possible if the disciple, Jesus and Father forms a close unit. There will be no need for crying, shouting or the like while praying. How much closer can three beings be than being inside one another? No secrets, no misunderstandings, no walls and no ceilings against which prayers can bounce back. That is why Jesus said ‘on that day’ – in other words the day that we have managed to be intimate – ‘you will realise.’ Jesus being in the Father means Him being totally dependent on His father, like He said, and us being in Jesus means us being totally dependent on Him. And, maybe surprisingly, Jesus in you dependent on you; for without your willingness and taking action, His abundant life CANNOT manifest to the world around you.


The sad truth, however, is that there are still plenty of orphans around the church today. How many Christians are able to see Christ as described above? How many Christians are able to live life to the full in Christ? We are so caught up in religion. Our lives are controlled by what the pastor and the church system tell us. Many Christians cannot make a move without checking with the pastor or the home cell leader whether or not it is the right action. If people have to check with the pastor first every time the Lord calls, how difficult do you think the Lord would find it to get individuals to obey His command for a particular moment in time. In other words doing what the Lord urgently requires? Often He wants action now - a soul needs to be touched now, not tomorrow… a once-off opportunity.


Lord, I want to LIVE!

JESUS IS COMING SOON!! ARE YOU READY? HAVE YOU MADE HIM MASTER OF YOUR LIFE?

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Tuesday, 29 August 2017

John 14 (Eleven) Do You See?

"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you (John 14:18-20).

What did Jesus mean when He mentioned orphans? The Greek word used for ‘orphans’ means comfortlessin other words bereft of a father or parents or of a guide. He simply meant He would not leave the disciples, and therefore us Christians, to ourselves – He will be there for us. An orphan is a child growing up without the comfort and direction of parents, especially of a father. These words of His indicate that we disciples are not able to cope on our own. We may be able to cope as adults in a human world, but in the spirit world we are but children – we need a Dad for protection, comfort and guidance.

The next word in this passage that needs some explanation is the word “see”. Jesus stated that soon the world (those who are not part of Him) will not see Him anymore, but the disciples will see Him. He probably meant it physically, since after His ascension it was obvious that nobody would see Him, but we can also assume He was talking about the post-ascension time, which is why He mentioned that the disciples would still be able to see Him. How could his past and present disciples see Jesus? The Greek word used in this passage means "to see, to behold, to view attentively, to view mentally, to enjoy the presence of one, and to discern." This word is not used of an indifferent spectator, but of one who looks at a thing with interest and for a purpose. From these definitions we gather that ‘see’ here actually means to see Jesus in the spirit, perceiving Him with the mind’s eye, to enjoy His presence and feel His closeness.

That is why the world will not be able to see Him, because to be able to ‘see’ one must behold Him - look for Him attentively and with interest. Even Christians would not experience His presence if they were indifferent. To see Him demands undivided attention and focus. ‘So I see Him, but what do I see? Do I see him physically?’ you may ask. We see Him for who He is. He says in John 14:21, which we will discuss later, the following: “He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me. And he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will reveal Myself to him" (MKJV).

The greatest adventure for a Christian is not doing all kinds of exciting things, but is to get to know the Lord. It is to self-develop through doing the Word and then see how He responds by making Himself known. This is how the original disciples saw the Lord and how we would see Him. We experience His presence and get to know how He thinks. Although the latter focuses on Jesus' personality, Jesus also offered His disciples other things such as physical peace, comfort, strength and love while He was on earth. These we can also have through the Spirit if we would seek to find them. To those who eagerly seek Him (Matthew 7:7), to them He will be there as if He was there physically, just like the apostles and Paul experienced His presence. On the Lord’s part nothing has changed. It is us who found ‘more important’ things to do with our time so that we do not experience His reality in our presence. There is, however, a condition to seeing Him - you must be born again. The spirit with which we are born is dead toward God due to Adam’s sin and can therefore not connect with the Holy Spirit. It therefore needs to be renewed through rebirth after which we must be baptised with the Holy Spirit, because Jesus only lives within us through His Holy Spirit.

Jeremiah 9:23-24: "Thus says the Lord: 'Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.'"

Lord, I want to see you. Help me be obedient so you can show yourself to me.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

John 14 (Ten) ‘With’ or ‘In’

“The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you,” (John 14:17).

I was about to skip this passage since I didn’t intend to teach about these chapters verse by verse, when the Lord opened my spirit to something very interesting. Jesus said that the disciples knew the Holy Spirit because He lives with them and will be in them. Note that at the time Jesus that said this the Holy Spirit was, according to Jesus, already with them and would have been in them at a future date. What is the difference between the ‘with’ and the ‘in’ in this passage? The Holy Spirit lived in Jesus since the day He was baptised with the Holy Spirit. Because Jesus was with the disciples and they saw the Holy Spirit in action through Him and believed, Jesus stated that they have known the Holy Spirit for He was with them through Jesus. The reason why the World can neither see nor know the Holy Spirit is simply because they will see Him in action but refuse to believe.

Jesus however also stated that the Holy Spirit “will be in you”. What we see here is that even though the disciples had been with Jesus for almost three years, they had not been baptised with the Holy Spirit yet and therefore did not have the Holy Spirit living in them. This is the reason why they were weak and hid in a room after His crucifixion and even after His ascension. At the time of our passage they were not even born again yet. It seemed that they were only born again at the moment recorded in John 16:30-31: “‘Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.’ 

‘You believe at last!’ Jesus answered.” 

This was the moment when faith entered their hearts and they thus got born again. It was only after they were baptised with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2) that they received power to preach the gospel (Acts 1:8) and confirmed it with love and miracles. A practical example was Peter who, at the time of Jesus’ arrest had been born again, but still had no love or courage, which is why he selfishly and fearfully denied that he knew Jesus. After the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, however, we read in Acts chapter 2 and several other chapters that this same weak man acted with tremendous courage and boldness.

We get exactly the same situation today. Many believers believe in the Lord Jesus and are saved (Mark 16:16, Romans 10:9), but experience no power. They feel too fearful to preach the Gospel, have no confidence to pray for the sick, do not act with the power of the Word of Knowledge and Wisdom, and in general do not walk in the Spirit but in the flesh - acting on the prompting of the mind rather than that of the Spirit. These people only live with the Holy Spirit. However, when we are born again and baptised with the Holy Spirit, we have the Holy Spirit with all His gifts and power living in us. All that power, love, knowledge and wisdom are then available to us to enable us to effectively build the Kingdom of God there where we are called to.

How do you get baptised with the Holy Spirit? Either ask the Father yourself to give you the Holy Spirit as Jesus offered in Luke 11:13: “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Otherwise you can ask someone to lay the hands on you (Acts 19:2-6).

Holy Spirit, please come and live in me and fill me with your presence and everything that comes along as promised in the Word of God.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

John 14 (Nine) Would you Like to Know How to Exercise Power, Love, and Self-Dicipline?

"If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counsellor to be with you forever - The Spirit of truth," (John 14:15-16).

When Jesus spoke the words in John 14:13-14, I can imagine the disciples thinking: Wow, whatever we ask in His name - how about a nice something to make life comfortable? Maybe they had a new fishing boat or a bigger house in mind. Jesus, however, added some water to their fire in the above passage. He basically said: ‘If you love me, you will do as I say and also make use of the offer to ask for whatever you need to get the task done.’ He added in the same breath that He would ask the Father to give the Holy Spirit. Did you see the condition? ‘If you love me’ you will prove it ‘by obeying my commands’, and to help you I will ask the Father to give you the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is called a counsellor. What is the work of a counsellor? Is it not to guide us in discovering truth about ourselves? Is it not to guide us in the way we should go? If one for example consults a marriage counsellor, she will have two purposes in mind - to get both partners to see where they individually have gone wrong in the course of the marriage, and then to guide them in the necessary action to put things right. This Counsellor is called the Spirit of Truth and His task is to counsel us in the truth.

Here is where many Christians get deceived. I once drove behind a vehicle that had the following written on the rear window: ‘Have you experienced the Holy Spirit power’. On the door was the emblem of a church organisation. I asked myself whether that is what the Holy Spirit is all about – to have some sensational experience. Paul summarised the role of the Holy Spirit well in 2 Timothy 1:7: "For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (KJV). Although the context is somewhat different, the truth is the same. The Holy Spirit works in three ways:

·         Through power - 1 Corinthians 2:4: "My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power,” and in 1 Thessalonians 1:5: "Because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake." Miracles were many – of that we have enough evidence from the book of Acts - but the power spoken of in these passages is power related to preaching, conviction and lifestyle.

We therefore need the Holy Spirit to counsel us in how He wants us to implement His power to change the hearts of the people to God; whether by miracles, conviction or His gifts. His power is not meant for the church to draw people to a sensational meeting in order to make us look good or to increase the popularity of the church, but to assist us in building the Kingdom of God.

·         Through love. Since the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of love, His task is to counsel us how to love one another. Only through love toward one another (John 13:35: By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another) and toward our enemies (Luke 6:27: But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you) we will be able to build the Kingdom of God and at the same time love the Lord, since we then obey His commands.

·         Through a sound mind. This is a very important role of the Holy Spirit. Why? Because the devil goes out of his way to confuse God’s people. One only has to look at all the deception under the name of Christianity to understand this, leave alone the battle of the mind that every Christian experiences. The meaning of the Greek word for sound mind is self-control and is translated in the NIV as self-discipline.

The Holy Spirit therefore has the task to counsel us how to always have God’s mind concerning His Kingdom, and how to exercise self-control when dealing with all the power and knowledge we get exposed to when being involved with God’s Kingdom. He will guide us away from ourselves towards the Lord who deserves all the glory.

I submit to your guidance Holy Spirit, so I can prove my love through obedience.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

John 14 (Eight) Whatever You Ask

We are discussing John chapter 14 as part of a series.
"And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it" (John 14:13, 14).

How often have you blamed the Lord; "Lord, I ask and ask, and ask, and ask in your name but I do not receive?" What do we ask for and with which motivation? Last week we have discussed the god that many Christians actually serve, which is Mammon. Do you think the Lord will give you the nice car and house you ask for to suit your lifestyle?
The above words were written in the context of the previous verse. Earlier we have proved that Jesus was in the Father as the Father was in Him. He did nothing out of His own. When He was therefore challenged with a faith situation, He first asked Father to give Him that which He needed to accomplish the task, including the faith. I have often wondered why Jesus waited for four days before He attended to Lazarus (John 11:1-44). Then a thought came to me. This was not an easy miracle and Jesus needed to spend more time than usual to consult with Father and receive what He needed to do this great miracle. Remember that, although Jesus was both God and man while on earth, He did not use His godly powers. For Him to identify with man He had to become in all respects just like us. 
When Jesus called Lazarus forth, as recorded in John 11:43, we see the following: "the dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face." Was it possible for Lazarus to walk out of the tomb with his hands and feet bound to his body and his face covered with a cloth? No. So how did he get out? The power of God lifted him and brought him out, Hallelujah!

Jesus therefore actually said in our passage under discussion: "Whatever you need for the sake of My Kingdom here on earth, just ask for it in My name and I will do it so that the Son may bring glory to the Father". Asking for all kinds of things to suit our own comfort, to make life easier for us and rid us of our personal troubles is not what Jesus meant in this invitation. Once again we can link up with 1 John 5:14 & 15: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of him.” Father God desires only a few things, namely souls and truth (1 Timothy 2:4), obedience (1 Samuel 15:22) and faith (Hebrews 11:6). Therefore before we ask anything of God it will be wise to establish the Father’s will regarding these basic guidelines first and then ask for anything we might need in order to establish His Kingdom here on earth.

Father, please share with me your will regarding your Kingdom for my life, in Jesus name, amen.


Sunday, 30 July 2017

John 14 (Seven) Faith For Miracles

"I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father" (John 14:12). Every time I read this verse I ask myself why we then see so few miracles today. We have touched on it previously. We have mentioned that Jesus was completely sold out to the Father and we also mentioned that there are a few individual groups doing great things. If I, however, read this passage, two facts come to my attention. Firstly Jesus stated "anyone" (the KJV says he), which indicates an individual. Today we see great things being done by churches or organisations that lean quite heavily on money, marketing and numbers. Yes, the power of God does convince and convict people, but is this what Jesus had in mind here – great crusades, healing services, large churches and so on? Maybe partly, but He is talking about individuals having faith.

Having faith is the second aspect we notice in this passage. Jesus said if an individual believes in Him he will do the same things He has been doing and even greater things. What has Jesus done? Just read the Gospels - John 21:25: "Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written." What did Jesus truly and actually expect when He spoke these words. I believe He expected His individual followers to spend their life healing, preaching and doing miracles – doing greater things than He has done. This is what the Disciples and the Apostles have done (Mark 6:8-13, Luke 10:1-24). Imagine the different place the world would have been if that had been the situation. Doctors, other health workers and undertakers would have had a hard living and the church would have grown mightily because Christians would have been everywhere healing and raising people from the dead and preaching the Gospel. Why would it be that we do not see these kinds of miracles regularly among all the followers of Jesus today? We see and hear about miracles by certain well known ministers, but it is not general. Jesus said in Matthew 17:20, when the disciples asked Him why they were unable to drive the demon out: "'Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you'".

We seem not to even have faith as big as a mustard seed. We think too easily: What if it does not work? Except for our faith, our focus is also wrong. Why are we concerned that it will not work? Is it because the Lord would then be embarrassed? No, it is because we might be embarrassed – what would people think of me? We also rely too easily on material things such as doctors and medicine and the power of money. All this modern technology destroy our faith. It is easy to think for example: If the Lord does not heal him, there is always medicineWhy do you think healing ministry in Africa is so powerful? It is because the people in the poor third world countries have nowhere else to turn to. Medicine in those countries is not what the developed countries are used to. Apart from that the people are too poor to afford good, expensive doctors. What are the options left - sickness, suffering and death? When one man therefore thinks he has faith like a mustard seed, enough not to wonder whether it will work or not, the Lord sees a golden opportunity to show off His power and the people benefit from the greater-things-than-Jesus-did opportunity.

Materialism destroys our faith because faith is the "substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). Faith that cannot be seen is the voucher, which is the evidence that God will act. Money can be seen as well as be manipulated and can accomplish many of the things God wants to do for us, so why would we rely on faith if we can rely on money? Therefore what happens? Those who can afford to create their own miracles do so and sell it also to others who can afford to buy it. Those who cannot afford either, suffer in silence because they envy those who have money. Everybody is so busy being concerned about money that very few Christians even consider faith. Have you wondered why the Lord so much hate Mammon (Mat. 6:24, Luke 16:13)?
Lord, I choose faith.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

John 14 (Six) Jesus’ Power Though Us

Good morning
We continue with our discussion of John chapter 14.
“Jesus answered: ‘Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves,’” (John 14:9-11).

Why is it that the church seems so powerless? In the passage we’ll discuss next time, Jesus mentioned that His Disciples would do greater things than He did, yet we don’t often see it. Is it not maybe that we are not one with Him as He is one with the Father? He said that the Father lives in Him and the works that the disciples saw and the teaching that they heard was actually not His, but the Father working through Him. Jesus was completely surrendered to His father. He did not think of His own comfort for one minute. He had no material possessions and no place to stay (Matthew 8:20). He spent all His time and energy either praying or ministering. His life consisted of receiving from the Father and giving it out. There was no time for entertainment, watching television, keeping a luxurious or even ordinary home and so on, if we could speak in modern terms.

How do you compare with Jesus? If we want to do greater things than He did, if we want revival – even as a church – how does our availability compare with His? There are a few individual groups doing great things, but what about the rest of the body? As the Father in Jesus did the work while He was on earth, so Jesus in us wants to do the work. Jesus said to the Father in His last hours before the crucifixion as recorded in John 17:4: “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.” Now He wants us to do the same through Him that lives in us. He wants us to complete the work Father gave us. 

Do you know the work the Lord wants you to do? Maybe you do not have a specific Christian mission, but are placed in an ordinary day job and therefore think you are not called. Whether we are called to full-time ministry or full-time secular work with part time ministry, we still need to hear from the Lord on a daily basis what work He wants us to complete.

Jesus had to take action. He had to pray during the night to hear from His father what He wanted Jesus to say and do in order for the Father to be able to do for people what He intended to. Jesus had to exercise faith to do and say what His Father told Him to do and say. It was not any easier for Jesus to act by faith as it is for us, because whilst on earth He was a man just like us. Do you think it was easy to spit in the mud and smear it onto the blind man’s eyes, having to believe that he will see, or to believe that Peter would find the coin in the fish’s mouth?

Jesus was exactly like any Spirit-filled Christian when He was on earth. He had the Holy Spirit, the Word in Him and He had open communication to the Father living in Him. Under guidance of the Holy Spirit He had to hear from the Father through the quickening of the Word in His heart. This would have created faith in Him to do what He had to. The more time He spent in prayer, the more power He had available to do miracles. 

Because we have the fullness of Christ living in us, we should be able to do the same if we devote the same time and energy to it.
 
Lord, I want to be like Jesus.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

John 14 (Five) Do You Have the Life?

Good day

We continue with John 14:6: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Jesus is the life

This passage can easily be interpreted that Jesus is life, the opposite of death. In other words in Jesus a believer is alive, which is good, but it does not say life, but the life. The Greek word for life in this context is zoe, which means vitality, fullness of life that is animate, real and genuine, a life active and vigorous and devoted to God.

Because of Adam’s sin and resulting death we are all dead outside of Christ. Although we are physically alive, life is empty, senseless and without meaning and purpose – in short without the life, Jesus. But once Jesus’ life is poured into us through the Holy Spirit, life becomes fun. We, however, still have a choice. We can live life as per the definition above - full of vigour, vitality, animation and fullness or we can be carnally religious and sad.

Jesus said that He is the life and no one gets to the Father but by Him. The definition of the Greek word for life, zoe, has words like vitality, animate, absolute fullness, real and genuine, active and vigorous. This is how Jesus lived and is what He desires for us to have in Him; a life that suggests productivity, fruitfulness, transparency and a testimony of something worthwhile to be desired by outsiders.

If Jesus in all His life and fullness lives in you through the Holy Spirit, your life will have these qualities. However, if you do not experience these qualities, it is quite possible that you have not exercised the faith required to allow Jesus to live through you in all His fullness, in other words you still rely too much on yourself and on people, or allow the sinful nature and Satan to rob you of your joy. It is then that, for instance, circumstances control you instead of faith, and worry often manipulates you.
Right, let's move on to verses seven and eight.
 

“If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him." Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us," (John 14:7-8).

Jesus’ standard is clear - we will only know the Father once we know Jesus. If for example you are an ordinary citizen of the country, a meeting with the president would be very difficult to accomplish. If, however, you are a close friend of the president’s son, you would be able to walk with him into the president’s office and meet with him if he is not occupied. Why? It is because the president and his staff know you personally as a friend of the family. If we know Jesus as a close friend, we will enter heaven one day saying: “Hi Lord Jesus, here I am – thanks to you I’ve made it.” He will then say: “Hi Pete, good to see you. Come let me introduce you to my Father, whom you already know.”

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Matthew. 7:21-23)

Imagine the surprise when a person has done all these wonderful things in the name of Jesus with the attitude to be seen or to get recognition from men, but never went to the trouble of knowing Jesus and doing His Father’s will. When she walks into heaven and very confidently say: “Hi Lord Jesus here I am, do you remember me?”Jesus will look at her with a frown saying: “I never knew you.” I don’t want to be in that position. Do you?
Lord, help my faith please.