Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Alpha of Dealing with Doubt

UV2990/10000 The Alpha of Dealing with Doubt
Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done
Matthew 21 v 21

Faith starts as a small seed that is not very visible. The seed dies to itself and lives for the one who planted it and throws down roots that are not visible. Likewise, when we die to ourselves and live for the Lord, our Planter, the Alpha of faith or the root grows downward and becomes stronger and stronger but remains invisible to the human eye. Nothing stands in the way of the root. It pushes aside doubt like the root pushes aside stones or gravel to dig deeper and deeper into the soil. When the tree is full grown and bears the fruit of love and hope, the Omega of faith or the comprehensive and visible aspects and impact of faith are made visible to humanity.
We need to be hundred per cent certain, sincere and earnest of what and who we believe in. Being strong in faith implies that we do not consider the natural impediments or constraints even as Abraham did not consider that he and Sarah were too aged to bear a child, that the reproductive potential of their aged bodies was nil. They did not stagger at God’s promise out of doubt or unbelief but took the Lord at His word. We too should not hesitate or waver out of doubt in matters of our faith for if we do so we would be like the waves that are tossed about in all directions by the wind- a metaphor for the world. Our hearts and minds should be focussed, expectant, thankful and filled with awe and belief at the glory or greatness of God.
Faith bereft of doubt will enable us either to cross the mountain or solve the big problems and issues of life or tunnel through it or go around or under it. We can also command in the spirit and in faith and with God-given authority for the problem either not to appear or to disappear or fade away. We need to deal firmly and decisively with doubt even as Jesus rebuked satan by saying, “Get thee behind me. “ We need to put doubt regarding the existence of God, the power of God, the character of God, the grace of God behind us even as we advance towards Him and the kingdom of God. We need to believe as we pray, as we declare the truths of God that we have already received in the spirit or the fourth dimension that which we asked and we will receive in due course in the three dimensional natural world

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Alpha of Dominion

UV 2989 / 10000 The Alpha of Dominion
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
Genesis 1 v 26

Dominion means leadership. God made man in His image or in His likeness with the mental, moral and social capacity for leadership of all other species. Like God, we can think, plan, create, communicate, judge, desire righteousness, know right from wrong. He placed everything else under the feet of man but man alone He placed directly under His own leadership. Since Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God, human beings are created in the image of Jesus. Therefore, our highest aspiration is to be or become as close as possible to the character of Jesus. Just as all other species are placed under the dominion of man, all mankind is placed under the dominion or leadership of Jesus. Just as all other species are tamed by man, our powerful organs and parts of life that are made in the likeness of God- our intellect, our tongues, our spirits, our attitudes, our talents and gifts are tamed, trained and used by Him. No one else in all of history fills this space as adequately as Jesus then as now. He is the prototype or model. We too are expected to be types of Christ even as Abel, Moses, Joseph, the apostles were types of Christ who either preceded Jesus on earth or followed after Him. Love is the essence of godly or Christ –like dominion or leadership. When we resist the dominion or leadership of God in our lives, we are kicking the thorns or in other words, hurting ourselves needlessly and pointlessly. When we yield to the leadership of God in our lives, we are uplifted, edified, ennobled, enabled, equipped, empowered. The Spirit of God dominates or rules over our thoughts, emotions, actions and reactions. We have the inner strength to endure great trials, difficulties, challenges and tests in this life.

Knowing what is right from wrong in the eyes of God and consistently seeking what is right is the trait of good and godly leaders. Dominion is to be first sought over one’s own self before we can lead or rule others. Dominion or power or influence is not sought for its own sake as the world’s leaders do but in order to pursue what is right and to avoid what is perceivably wrong. Great power and influence is released from the hands of the Lord onto, into and through the godly leader. He can command the elements of nature even as God can. His words have immense creative power. He has dominion over his own emotions, desires and motives. He voluntarily surrenders the dominion of his life either to the enemy of our souls or to the Lord God.
Jesus demonstrated through His own leadership style that dominion is not for abuse, exploitation or domination but to serve, to heal, to teach, to uplift, to encourage, to exhort, to warn, to build, to develop, to set free, to equip and to enable. All of our power, our gifts, our faculties, our talents, our opportunities, our resources are to be used likewise to serve God and people. Our power over nature is to be also used with a sense of responsibility and restraint.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Alpha of Delight

UV 2988/10000 The Alpha of Delight
The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.
Psalm 147 v 11

We are created not for our own pleasure as most of us naturally think and behave but for the pleasure or delight of the Lord, the Creator of the universe and the Giver of life and all good and perfect gifts in the natural and the supernatural. The key to finding our own pleasure or happiness does not lie in pursuit of our own happiness but in the pursuit of what pleases or delights the Lord. Instead of playing hide and seek with God like Adam and Eve did first and all mankind thereafter, the secret of human happiness lies in hiding in the Lord and seeking our pleasure in whatever pleases Him. This is the Alpha or root of happiness.
The Lord does not delight in either the possession of power or its exhibition but in people who fear Him and trust in His merciful nature. He delights in people who love His Son Jesus. He delights in people who delight in His Word, His commandments, precepts, examples and promises. He does not take pleasure in the strength of horses or of muscular men but in the humble and God fearing. He takes pleasure in the lives of those who lead their lives with a heart of integrity. He takes pleasure in those who value wisdom over knowledge, goodness over power, truth over falsehood, justice over oppression, mercy over truth and His will over our own wills.
The Lord delights in the extent our faith manifests in the shape of love and the fruit of the spirit or character of God in us. The more He finds pleasure in us, the more blessed and rewarded we are for we flourish in His grace. He delights in the prosperity or Shalom of His people as parents delight in the well being of their children. He delights in us when we give top priority to the Lord and the kingdom of God in our lives. He does not want us like a monk to blot out all other people and desires from our lives and hearts but He delights in giving us or fulfilling our hearts’ desires. He delights in our zeal for Him and rejoices in our conversations about Him. He delights when we reflect His qualities, attributes and attiitudes in our relationships and situations of life. He delights in us even when we mess up and seek His pardon without attempting to hide it from Him.

Monday, June 18, 2018

The Alpha of Discernment

UV 2987 /10000 The Alpha of Discretion
Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:
Proverbs 2 v 11

Gaining a heart of wisdom should be a priority of our lives. For when we learn to be consistently wise, we will not say or do anything that will either embarrass us or cause antagonism or harm us in any way. Discretion that comes from a heart of wisdom is a life preserver. For our own tongues can cut off our career, our prospects, our future, our relationships. But if the ceaseless tongue has a word of wisdom on it always as a rudder, it will pass every word through several filters before uttering a word.

Discretion has a lot to do with discernment- the ability to judge well. We need to weigh our decisions and words and actions in the scales that the Lord has provided us in the form of His Word. Using our knowledge and experience so far to gain understanding gives us a discerning mind, spirit and heart. Scripture talks of discerning the times as well as discerning the spirits. We need to judge well if it is the apt time for a particular decision, action or word as well as we should be able to judge wisely the attitudes and values of the persons we are dealing with. The Holy Spirit also gives us wise counsel by whispering gently in our inner ears but we should be sensitive and responsive enough to hear Him and obey promptly.

Discretion is needed in the conduct of all human affairs. Scripture promises that if any of us lack wisdom, we should ask the Lord and He will give it generously. Wisdom or discretion then is a grace or gift from the Lord God. Being strongly anchored or rooted in the Alpha and Omega of discretion – Christ Jesus is key to our access to godly wisdom. When we receive Jesus who is synonymous with godly wisdom into our hearts and lives, the Alpha or good root is planted in us. We then need to diligently study the Word which again is synonymous with Jesus so the root or Alpha of discretion grows in us and envelops or influences all of our lives- the Omega. Discernment will keep us from evil, from harm and the displeasure of the Lord. It cures our flesh of its inherent hubris or weakness.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

The Alpha of Deliverance

UV2986/10000 The Alpha of Deliverance
The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
Psalm 34 v 17
The believers who are righteous by faith not by deeds, by grace not works are more subject to all kinds of afflictions in the course of their life time. But each affliction brings them closer to the Lord as they cry out to the Lord with broken hearts. It becomes an opportunity for the Lord to pour in His grace and mercy and power and to give a revelation of His deep love and great power. The early apostles faced much trouble especially in terms of persecution. On one occasion, when Peter was imprisoned and held with two chains and as he slept between two guards, the Lord sent his angel to deliver him. The Lord was responding to the incessant prayer of the believers in the city. Paul was likewise afflicted in many ways but the Lord delivered him from prison, from ship wreck, from the venom of a poisonous snake, from being stoned, from torture at the hands of the Roman soldiers.

The means the Lord uses to deliver us from our troubles can be either natural or supernatural as cited in the instance above of Peter. Jesus could heal the centurion’s servant without visiting his house by merely speaking the word of healing. People could be healed by just His touch. When the hungry had to be fed , He just blessed and multiplied the available resources. When we face a financial or business crisis, He blesses our available resources or makes possible a miraculous turnaround. Sometimes, He delivers us from physical danger like accidents without even our knowledge or awareness. He delivers us from diseases either by miraculous healing or a natural process of medical healing or a combination of both. As such afflictions or troubles come our way not as a punishment but to reveal the wonderful works of the Lord.

The Lord delivers us from ALL of our troubles not just some of them. In many cases, He hears us even before or while we are praying for He knows all things affecting us. He does not willingly put us through such pain. But human nature is so fickle and superficial that we do need a deeper appreciation of the love of the Lord which we experience in times of trouble. For instance, when I lost my sleep due to a stomach upset, only then do I realize that sleep and good health are such great gifts of grace that nothing we do can earn or buy. When I am unjustly attacked or accused by rivals or foes, then I realize the amazing care and protection of the Lord.

The Alpha of the Divine Nature- or DNA

Uv2985 /10000 The Alpha of the Divine Nature or DNA
And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
I John 3 v 3

Jesus is the first in history who taught us through the Lord’s prayer to call Almighty God as “our Father.” He is emphasising that our relationship with the Father that He has introduced us to is the most important or significant matter in the whole universe. Just as a child resembles the father or parent, we too need to resemble the Father in our nature or character. The highest form of empowerment is to be called a child of God. Jesus gave us this right and privilege to be the children of God and not just be called so. He being the first born and we are declared His brothers and sisters, heirs of God and co-heirs with Jesus, we are to assimilate the DNA of Jesus or the divine nature of Jesus. Since we have the hope of being like Jesus when we meet Him face to face in eternity, we should purify ourselves of the dross of this world. We are to purify our motives, our speech, our actions and reactions.

It is said that faith can change even our physical DNA. The Lord renews our youth and enables us to run and not grow tired. Our physical DNA, our emotional DNA, our spiritual DNA should resemble the divine nature of Jesus, who being God became flesh and blood like any of us. Many impurities have crept into our lives as we conformed to the pattern of the world. We need to renew the image of Christ in us. We need to discard or eject from our lives the things that do not resemble the character of Christ. Our relationship with the Father through Jesus, the Mediator and the Holy Spirit, the Communicator defines all other aspects of our practical every day lives. As Jesus is merciful, we too need to be increasingly merciful in our transactions with other human beings. As Jesus is wise and gracious, we too need to be increasingly wise and gracious. As Jesus is loving and compassionate, we too need to be growing into more and more love and compassion. As Jesus is humble and gentle, we too need to learn from Him and increase in humility and gentleness.

The fruit of the Spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self control tally more or less with the nine attitudes described by Jesus in the beatitudes or the Sermon on the Mount contained in Matthew chapter 5. We are to increasingly develop these attitudes and attributes of Jesus. We are to reflect the seven fold spirit of God described in Isaiah chapter 9- the spirit of wisdom, knowledge, understanding, the spirit of counsel and might and the fear of the Lord. Concomitantly with our attitudes and attributes, we are to grow in wisdom, in stature and in favour with God and man as Jesus grew. Our diligence and application can accelerate the pace of our conformity with Jesus. The constancy of faith reflected in persistent prayer and our further augmenting our faith by studying, meditating, obeying and claiming scripture will add to the pace and efficacy of the process of purification of our faith, love and hope.

The Alpha of Diligence

UV2984 /10000 The Alpha of Diligence
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
Proverbs 4 v 23

The word “diligence” means to be careful and persistent. The uni-verse encourages us to keep our hearts with all diligence. We need to carefully examine our own hearts in the light of the Word to remove what is harmful or deceitful and to instil therein what is healthy and wholesome. The root or Alpha of all issues of life begin in the human heart. Our motives, our desires, our attitudes, our values, our goals- all have their root in the human heart. The Word acts as a plumb line to justify or straighten our inmost being. We can also ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate the dark corners or aspects of our hearts so that we deal effectively to root it out.
We need to lay bare our hearts before the Lord in our prayers of confession. When we seek His help to overcome some issue that we have been struggling with all our lives, He will surely give us grace to resist, defeat, end these habitual tendencies. All crimes, all conflicts, all misery has its source in the human heart. If the battle is fought and won in the heart, then our lives, our relationships, our communication will improve in many ways. Meditating on scripture and the models in scripture especially the life and teachings of Jesus would have certainly a salutary effect on our hearts. We need to study diligently our patterns of speech, our patterns of interaction with others including our near and dear ones, our pattern of relationships with seniors, juniors and colleagues as well as strangers. Our diligent study should lead us to change for the better whatever the Spirit of God points out to us.
Desires and emotions are interlocked in the human heart. A desire that is illegitimate in the eyes of the Lord manifests in different forms of lust. Pride and anger or arrogance are also interrelated. Our disappointments, regrets and negative experiences in life often give rise to the root of bitterness in our hearts preventing us from being fruitful. We need to be diligent in adding to our faith, a Christ-like consistency of character and conduct, knowledge of the world and the word, patience and perseverance in facing difficulties, challenges and problems of life. It requires diligence to keep renewing our minds so that our thoughts, emotions, decisions and actions are in alignment with the will of the Lord as revealed in His word. Apart from a moral diligence, we also need to be diligent in our workplace so that we excel in whatever we are doing.