Hope that cannot disappoint

“But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

Isaiah 40:31.

We are all waiting for something in hope. Yet, the hope of non-believers is different from that of believers.

The hope of the world is based on humanistic efforts and wishes. Always waiting and chasing things that attract the eyes.

This hope can fail. It can be lost. It can disappoint. It can lead to despair and depression. It can lead to maladaptive behaviours when the wishes are not met. Because human efforts and wishes are limited.

Hopefully, the believer’s hope cannot be lost. It cannot disappoint. It cannot lead to despair. Because it is based on always waiting and seeking the one who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Jesus is our hope.

Only when we have Jesus we can truly rest. Rest in this hope. A rest that moves us to the next level.

Today we’re experiencing untold food shortages, famines, pandemics, and deaths… Commodity prices are skyrocketing. The cost of living is high. A majority of people are resorting to drugs, alcohol, even suicide and other maladaptive behaviours as a means of escape.

Born-again believers have hope that isn’t dictated by circumstances. Our hope is even bigger when we’re facing the worst of circumstances. Because circumstances change but Jesus, our hope never changes.

Beloved, don’t allow hopelessness to strike you so you won’t move to the next level. Conquer it by putting your hope in Jesus Christ.

I want to encourage somebody who’s waiting. Perhaps you’ve waited for so long that you’re about to drop the ball, perhaps you feel like fainting and you want to quit… Don’t quit. Don’t lose hope. Our faithful God doesn’t sleep nor slumber. He’s watching and hearing your prayers, your cry… He has the answer to all your needs.

“Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rest in hope.” 

Psalm 16:9.

God bless you indeed!

A replica of the first Passover

Acts chapter 12 begins with Herod’s brutal acts on the apostles. After killing James, he arrests Peter and puts him in prison during the Passover festival. An angel of the Lord miraculously liberates Peter from the prison. (Acts 12:3-4).

Similarly, Exodus chapter 12 records the first Passover in which God liberates Israelites from Pharaoh’s brutal slavery. Peter’s is a replica of the first Passover as an angel delivers him from prison.

The angel of the Lord appears to Peter during the night while asleep and instructs him, “Gird yourself and bind on your sandals” (Acts 12:8). God gives similar instructions to the Israelites on the night they eat the Passover lamb: “Thus you shall eat it with your belt girded around, and your sandals on your feet” (Exodus 12:11).

These powerful instructions usher in the miraculous and urgent liberation of the Israelites and Peter from the bondage. Again, what a miracle how a gate of “iron” opens for Peter and the angel at the boundary of the prison grounds, and they escape! (Acts 12:10).

We are in a season of remembering when the original Passover lamb, Jesus, was crucified, died, and raised from the tomb. He’s now sitting at the right hand of God in the heavenly places far above all the principalities, powers and might, together with the born-again believers. What a joy of victory for the believers in Jesus, for they have been set free from satan’s slavery.

God did not let us get away and die with our sin. But, He punished His only begotten son who saved us with His blood and death. He paid the wages of sin, out of love and self-will, so that we might be free and have eternal life.

Just as the Israelites escaped from Pharaoh’s bondage and Peter escaped from Herod’s prison during Passover, God’s presence and power are available today to liberate people from the bondage of Satan, the ruler of this world.

Remember that Satan’s only mission is to take captives, kill, destroy and bind them in dark prisons of spiritual poverty, brokenness, blindness and death. (John 10:10).

Yet, Jesus came to proclaim liberty to the captives and unlock the prison doors to their freedom. He came to take captives out of darkness and bring them into the light. He came to preach good news to the poor and heal the brokenhearted. What an abundant life! This is the inheritance of believers. Amen!

“I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.”

John 12:46.

Like the church was praying for Peter, I’m praying that during this season, somebody is going to receive their freedom from any manner of bondage they are in right now. Let a replica of the Passover happen to that person who believes with me that there is power in the resurrection of Jesus.

Maybe you’re enclosed in a situation that looks like a prison, may the light of Jesus shine in that prison. May those chains fall off your hands so that you move out. Perhaps you’re at the boundary of giving up and moving forward yet, you can’t move because an iron gate is barring your breakthrough. May God urgently send an angel to open that iron gate to your freedom in Jesus’s name. Hallelujah!

By faith, gird yourself and bind on your sandals and get out right now. Amen!

Have a blessed Easter festival.

Feed the spirit, starve the flesh

“We are what we eat” is a familiar saying whose truth is undeniable. Nutritionists and medics are always bombarding us with a plethora of dietary mantras. “Touch this…,  don’t eat this”…  And we always obey when it is in our capacity. We’re what we listen to as well.

Although feeding on a balanced diet is profitable to the body, it isn’t a guarantee that we’re always going to be healthy. We could be eating well but being eaten from the inside — by anxiety, stress, depression, heart brokenness, sin … maladies whose causes must be dealt with first. Consequently, the body’s response to a balanced diet becomes poor leading to ill health.

A holistic feeding approach should aim at balancing both the outside and the inside; we need to feed the spirit more than we feed the body. When the spirit is well fed, the body becomes healthy. Sadly, we sometimes starve the spirit as we feed the body, yet, the body grows weaker.

What we put into the spirit will choke and constipate us if it is obnoxious, or make us thrive if it is favourable. We feed the spirit on what we hear, read, and speak. It is the hearing, reading and speaking of the word of God that provides the spirit with spiritual food — the natural food doesn’t equal the spiritual.

Our auditory and optical sensors are always flooded by negative news from all directions. We hear about dreadful atrocities committed in the news every day. Evil is lurking around us in society. However, it is our choice to filter what to absorb into our spirits.

What are you feeding the spirit on? Junk or balanced diet? Is what you’re absorbing daily drawing you near the Father or it is pulling you further away?

Feeding the flesh is absorbing the negative stuff the world offers — the lust of the flesh, pride of life, the lust of the eyes … These will only nourish the flesh at the expense of the spirit. The outcome is poor health in all dimensions of life because the victim is far from God, the sole provider of spiritual food.

When we spend time listening to sermons and praise reports, reading the Bible and Christian content, meditating on God’s Word, praying and fasting… we’re feeding the spirit and starving the flesh. When the spirit is nourished and the flesh is famished, we flourish both physically and spiritually.

The power of spiritual food, as opposed to the natural, is well conveyed in Daniel’s chapter 1. Daniel and his colleagues who set themselves apart and declined to defile themselves with the king’s delicacies were found to be healthier than their counterparts who were daily feeding on those kingly treats. 

“But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself… And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies. Thus the steward took away their portion of delicacies and the wine that they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.”

Daniel 1-16.

There are countless alluring king’s delicacies the ruler of this world (satan) has put on display. Believers in Jesus Christ must set themselves apart and choose not to defile themselves with the delicacies of this world. We will miss out on the benefits of spiritual food if we mix worldly affairs with Godliness because worldliness will hinder the operation of the word in our lives.

Fellow Christians, let’s always stay connected to the vine (Jesus) — the source of spiritual delicacies. It is from the vine where we’re going to absorb all the nutrients for our spiritual growth. Because Jesus came to bring abundant life — to set the captives free, to heal the heartbroken, to make the poor rich… And without Him, we can do nothing.

Enjoy your meal!

Amen!

Our heavenly position matters more than our earthly positions

“…Yet it shall not be so among you, but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Mark 10:43–45.

Points to consider

  1. Position is not given for personal gain but the benefit of the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11–13, Romans 12:3·5)
  2. Position is not given to convey the value of one person or part of the body over the other.
  3. Physical position does not parallel greater value.
  4. Each part of the body is to do its best to benefit the whole.

What to do to be fruitful in our earthly positions

  1. Renew our perspectives. We must see ourselves as Jesus sees us by fixing our eyes and minds on Him. We must build our lives on His position rather than on our experience and the titles men have placed on us. (Philippians 2:4).
  2. Reject being controlled by our past. We must go off the old patterns. We will never serve in an empowering way if we hold on to our old self, our old mess, our old citizenship, our old camps…
  3. Remember our assignment/purpose. We slip when we lose sight of why God left us on earth. Our mission is to participate in God’s redemptive plan for the world. When we embrace God’s agenda, we receive His power to serve. (Ephesians 3:7–13).

“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”

Colossians 3:1-2.

We will carry out our earthly assignments and serve in our earthly positions better if we appreciate and accomplish our God-given purposes. Your purpose is God-given to be a co-worker with Him in His Kingdom. When you mind kingdom business you experience incredible growth and fruitfulness in all facets of life.

We shouldn’t place a great value on our earthly positions; our heavenly position has greater value. Our heavenly position empowers us to serve better in our earthly positions. Amen!

May God give us more grace to serve.