Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Access to Jesus

Hi Christoggers!

Can you access Jesus?
By the end of this week, many christians around the world will be going to church to celebrate Easter. For some, this is simply a yearly ritual and for others, it's just part of their family Easter celebrations. For those who see church as an extension of their christian life, Easter is simply part and parcel of that.

Is there anyone in these crowds on their way to church looking and hoping to gain access to Jesus - in church? I sincerely hope not! Jesus never lived in a church so he cannot be found there! Jesus is married to the church and that is where you'll find him - by his bride. If, in an attempt to gain access to Jesus, you don't know where to start, may I suggest stopping and staying where you are and calling out to him. The church building is where the church, the bride of Christ meets and you may or may not 'see' Jesus. There are people who have been in a church for decades but still have no access to Jesus because they think it's the pastor's job to give them access! Jeremiah 29:12-13 says: 

Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you. Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. (Amp Bible)

The church community is where you learn how to be Christ's perfect bride and grow in him! When we try and convince people that Jesus can only be accessed when they come to church, we make them prisoners of life who are still stuck in the world without an escape route. I am not advocating avoiding church but the most important relationship that is needed is one with Jesus not with a church. How then can one get access to Jesus?
  • Jesus' Call - In Matt 4:18-22, Jesus noticed Peter, Andrew, James and John while they were busy on their jobs. He then called them and they followed him. Jesus can interrupt your routine or plans to call you into a relationship with him. Will you be able to hear and respond positively? His call is ALWAYS to better and greater things but the busy-ness of our lives and the value we place on ourselves cannot only prevent us hearing but also accepting this call.
  • Your invitation - In Mark 5:21-24 and 35-43, a man by the name of Jairus invited Jesus to his house to heal his sick daughter. On his way there, Jesus was interrupted by a woman who needed healing. Jesus attended to her and was still willing to go to Jairus' house but almost did not because Jairus was interrupted - by negative circumstances. He was informed that his daughter had died and therefore had no more need of Jesus. Before the seed of doubt rooted, Jesus encouraged Jairus to 'keep his believer' believing. Your situation cannot hinder Jesus coming to you but your rejection can.
  • Jesus' invitation - In Luke 19:1-10, Jesus invites himself to Zaccheus' house. Zacchaeus was a man unworthy of Jesus' company and certainly undeserving of his blessings because he was a sinner. The problem with this was that this opinion was not Jesus' but rather, that of people who in reality, were worse than Zacchaeus. Jesus knows who you are and still wants a relationship with you in spite of how you and the world see you. Jesus is more interested in who you will become in his presence rather than who you were in his abscence.
Nothing, absolutely nothing can stop you gaining access to Jesus. There is nowhere you are on this earth, from which you cannot reach him. If you ever feel so low and think you're in the pit of hell, (and this is not swearing!), I know a man who's been there. He went down into that same hell, crushed the devil and took back the keys to your freedom! He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens (Rev 3:7b). Hell could not restrain him and death could not suppress him! Call on him - he's accessible 24/7!

Till next week, keep on walking in Christ!

Yorz-in-Christ,
Funmi Akinmade (Lahyorz)

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

The all-weather coat

  Are you weather-proof?
Hi Christoggers!

I was hoping to get a spring coat but this past week, the weather went through the four seasons of the year! An ALL-WEATHER COAT would have been the ideal thing. Could you imagine having to carry different types of coats for each season around with you everywhere you went? So, it's sunny and you feel happy and put on your bright yellow coat but when it's overcast, the dull grey coat comes on the scene. In other words, what you look like is determined by the weather! It sounds funny, almost ridiculous to imagine that anyone would do this, doesn't it?

Now, let's compare this situation with the life of a christian. Sunday is 'Holy day', so the cheerful attitude is on display. On Monday, it's a grey day and the very thought of having to go to work puts a downer on everything else! Tuesday is a red letter day - the bills are due and the monthly income is not due to be paid for another week or so: Welcome 'Gloom'! Wednesday should be better and it was, until the neighbour's dog jumped on you and got mud all over your work clothes. Now you have to go and get changed and run the risk of being late for work - again! Thursday is pre-Friday so, your mood is lighter - it's almost Friday! Roll on Friday! Thank God it's Friday!! It's time to let down your hair, for those who can ;)) and yes, you've got it - relax! Everything else can wait - you deserve to rest!

Okay brothers and sisters, let's get real and I'm addressing 'me' too! The question now is, when is the real 'you' and 'me', (pardon my grammar), ever going to be seen? When is your coat going to be that of righteousness and not of worldliness? Everyday of the week presents an excuse to exhibit worldly attitudes but when are you going to put on your ALL-WEATHER COAT meant to weather every storm the world may throw at you? This coat is NOT just for protecting you but also for exhibiting you. You are on show for the world to see and the world would certainly like to know if your action matches your profession!

Keeping negative emotions under wraps is not the easiest thing and I should know! Being in Christ does not stop you having problems but helps you handle problems better. There is a constancy we need to have, a steadfastness we need to show, that is not just about faith confession but character transformation. If there were ever a coat that needed to be put on and permanently kept on, it would be one of steadfastness - not in what we are expecting but in whom we have become. This all-weather coat is one of righteousness; being right with God and being right in God through Jesus Christ and it is what identifies us as belonging to God. This coat simply says - not me but God, not my will but his will, not by my power but by his Spirit, not my effort but his grace, not deserved but still given, not qualified but still honoured, not able but in and through Christ my Lord, I weather every storm yet looking unweathered, I go through deep waters yet not overwhelmed and through fire, yet not consumed (Is 43:2).

No matter the weather or the season, your coat of righteousness needs to be on you 24 hours a day. You need it to walk with God; it's your status symbol for who you have become - in Christ! So, keep it on through every season; this coat of righteousness can weather ALL storms! Till next week, keep on walking in Christ!

Yorz-in-Christ, 
Funmi Akinmade (Lahyorz)


Image courtesy of Victor Habbick / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Spiritual saturation

Hi Christoggers!

The human body is a mini reservoir of water which accounts for more than fifty percent of it's weight. One would expect that we would not easily thirst but of course, we do! It's not that we do not have enough water to quench our thirst in an emergency but the water is simply not accessible. It's like our physical assets which need to be converted into the more usable cash!

In reality, being thirsty is a state of emergency. We should never get to this stage except as a result of strenous activity. In the same manner, our thirst for God is an indication of desperation. We really should be living in a state of 'Spiritual saturation' and not dwell in dryness to any degree, so that we never become desperate. What exactly is involved in becoming spiritually saturated? The story in John 4:7-26; 39-42 (NKJV), about a Samaritan woman who had an encounter with Jesus at a well has some clues. All she wanted was some water - to quench her thirst. Let's see how her story helps us to understand spiritual saturation:


       Verse 7: Come!
       '...she came to draw water'. If you are thirsty, you will have to go the 
       source of the water. Isaiah 55:1a confirms this,Come, all you who
        are thirsty, come to the waters..." Your kitchen tap or refrigerator
       may have water stored up but you will have to move from where you are
       to where they are!
    Verses 7-10: Give!
     Jesus asked her to give him a drink. You probably think Jesus should be the one offering and not asking. The principle of seed time and harvest time is the foundation of receiving from God. He wants you to sow into what you need; give him a cup of water and he'll give you living water, to the overflow.
    Verse 13-14: Saturation is guaranteed:
     "...whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst." How is this possible, you may ask? "But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life."
    Verse 15a: Ask and you shall receive. 
    Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst...”     
    Verse 15: Be connected to the source!
     The Samaritan woman wanted a 'fix' for her thirst; she wanted her encounter with Jesus to be an all-inclusive, one-for-all, lifetime deal: Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst nor come here to draw.” God does not give you anything that satisfies you to the exclusion of himself because he is the ONLY one that should ever satisfy you - not the house, the car, the business, your spouse, children or money! To be saturated, you have to be permanently connected to God.
    Verses 17b-18: Your past is not a barrier. 
    You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband..." Jesus informed the Samaritan woman about her life but in no way condemned her.
    Verses 19-21: Worship glorifies God and purifies you. 
    "...the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” 
      Worship purges the heart: (...for God’s love has been poured out in our 
        hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us - Rom 5:5 
        Amp bible).  
       Worship improves the intellect: (...we have the mind of Christ (the
       Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His       
       heart - 1 Cor 2:16 Amp Bible). 
      Worship edifies the spirit: (He that speaketh in an unknown tongue
       edifieth himself - 1 Cor 14:4 KJV
).

        Verses 25-26: Acknowledge Jesus as Lord. 
       “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He 
       comes, He will tell us all things. ...”Jesus said to her, I who speak to
        you am He." The bible reminds us in Hebrews 11:6 that ...anyone who
        comes to him must believe that he exists and that he a rewards those
        who earnestly seek him. To receive from God, you must believe in him.
    Verses 39-40: Purpose discovered. 
    And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.” She had an encounter with Jesus and it changed her life. She wanted a quick fix for a problem but Jesus gave her the solution to ALL her problems - himself. She wanted a drink to quench her thirst but God wanted her to preach to feed her city. She saw her need, which was temporary but Jesus revealed her purpose, which was eternal.
Whatever it is you need to do in life, being spiritually saturated, filled with the life of God, is the starting point. For you can ONLY do ALL things through Christ who strengthens you (Phil 4:13). Till next week, keep on walking in Christ.

Yorz-in-Christ,
Funmi Akinmade (Lahyorz)


Image courtesy dan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net"