I read my Bible to see what men ought to do; and read my newspapers to see what men are doing.
Lord renew thy church beginning with me: Lord renew the Church that the church may renew the nation(s)
1. @DamienWKing: USA compared to Jamaica: 100 times the population; 700 times the GDP, 900 times the land area; fewer gold medals. #IAAFWorldChampionships
2015 IAAF World Championships: Medal Leaders
Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 United States 5 5 6 16
2 Kenya 6 4 3 13
3 Jamaica 6 2 3 11
4 Poland 3 1 4 8
T-5 China 1 5 1 7
T-5 Canada 1 3 3 7
T-5 Germany 1 3 3 7
8 Great Britain 4 1 0 5
T-9 Russia 2 1 1 4
T-9 Ethiopia 1 2 1 4
Actually if you go by the standard way of reporting, Gold medals determine the placings. And thus Jamaica came second and the USA third. Kenya only beat us because they had more silver medals
One tweet from Damien King and the Results of the medal standing says it all about the news this week. #Jaminate, #TeamJamaicaBeijing2015, #RealShellyAnn, #OficialAsafa and #KickoutBolt ruled on social media all week as Jamaicans ‘burnt up ‘ the Track in Beijing all week. Perhaps just for completeness sake, it is important to add that Kenya’s population is 44 million compared to Jamaica’s 2.6 million.
THE WORD OF GOD
So in the midst of the third greatest show on earth – World Cup Football #1, Olympics #2 what Word or inspired word did the Lord send this week. A strong message all week. Put Jesus first in your heart at all times. For the temptation to idolize self, sporting heroes – in this context – achievements, money, power, loved ones, and anything else that we ‘enthrone upon in our hearts’ is very strong.
FIRST MESSAGE – sent out on WhatsApp, features a wonderful haunting and very instructive song about what ought to occupy the deepest longings of our hearts and why. And speaks very definitely about the central message of placing Christ first in our hearts. Very unusual as it was written on a Sunday morning which does not happen very often.
GM: I leave for home today after spending a wonderful holiday with family here in Miami. And attending a wedding where a family member got married to a wonderful bride made it even more special.
Special also, at a different level, was the opportunity to worship with family and spend quality time reading God’s Word and listening to Him.
And so as a ‘ parting gift’, the Lord placed in my mind this very special hymn in my heart early this morning. Words that offer a divine perspective on life, even as we celebrate ‘ the best of times’; and lament the ‘ worse of times’.
Further, it did not come by itself, but was a follow up to a challenging mediation from Oswald Chambers, which I read and reflected on last night, before retiring to bed.
Finally, the Spirit of God lead me to a timely Word in James, which speaks to the ungodly ‘ longings in our hearts’ which only lead to strive and ‘ trouble’ with the Lord. A problem which has bedeviled mankind since time immemorial; and led to all kinds of addictions, murder, greed, and wickedness, about which we lament today. And sadly despite all our ‘ longings’, we find no lasting Peace. No ‘ Rest’.
The solution then begins with a longing for ‘ the divine guest, though we unworthy be’.
1. My spirit longs for Thee
Within my troubled breast,
Though I unworthy be
Of so Divine a Guest.
2. Of so divine a Guest,
Unworthy though I be,
Yet has my heart no rest,
Unless it come from Thee.
3. Unless it comes from Thee,
In vain I look around;
In all that I can see
No rest is to be found.
4 .No rest is to be found
But in Thy blessèd love:
O let my wish be crowned,
And send it from above. Amen.
THE MEDITATION FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS
I indeed baptize you with water . . . but He . . . will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire -Matthew 3:11
Have I ever come to the point in my life where I can say, “I indeed . . . but He . . .”? Until that moment comes, I will never know what the baptism of the Holy Spirit means. I indeed am at the end, and I cannot do anything more- butHe begins right there- He does the things that no one else can ever do.
Am I prepared for His coming? Jesus cannot come and do His work in me as long as there is anything blocking the way, whether it is something good or bad. When He comes to me, am I prepared for Him to drag every wrong thing I have ever done into the light? That is exactly where He comes.
Wherever I know I am unclean is where He will put His feet and stand, and wherever I think I am clean is where He will remove His feet and walk away.
Repentance does not cause a sense of sin- it causes a sense of inexpressible unworthiness. When I repent, I realize that I am absolutely helpless, and I know that through and through I am not worthy even to carry His sandals. Have I repented like that, or do I have a lingering thought of possibly trying to defend my actions? The reason God cannot come into my life is that I am not at the point of complete repentance.
“He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” John is not speaking here of the baptism of the Holy Spirit as an experience, but as a work performed by Jesus Christ. “He will baptize you . . . .” The only experience that those who are baptized with the Holy Spirit are ever conscious of is the experience of sensing their absolute unworthiness.
“I indeed” was this in the past, “but He” came and something miraculous happened. Get to the end of yourself where you can do nothing, but where He does everything.
THE WORD OF GOD
http://bible.com/111/jas.4.1-10.niv What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight.
You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God?
Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us ? But he gives us more grace.
That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
THE SECOND MESSAGE – sent on WhatsApp remarkably as led by inspiration from The Lord, continues in the same vein – do not enthrone anything or anybody on your heart except Christ.
GM: By God’s grace I write a message every Sunday night. For years now! And send it out by email and blog it on Word Press danielgodsurelywilldeliver.wordpress.com
The theme for last night message was : Keep your focus on Christ. And was contextualized in the celebrations triggered by the remarkable victory by Usain Bolt in the men’s 100 M at the IAAF World Games yesterday.
Then this morning I woke up with a similar message in my heart.
” There must be no rival in your heart for Jesus’.
Then the Spirit of the Lord placed in my heart this Word from The Book of The Revelations of John.
‘ You have forgotten your first love’.
So I read the entire account in Revelation 2.
THE WORD OF GOD
http://bible.com/111/rev.2.1-7.niv “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands. I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
In my study Bible, Nicolaitians are said to have practiced the same thing as Balaam – the one whose donkey spoke to him.
So I read the account in Numbers 22-24, and came away with the following revelations.
God hates the practice of idolatry and sorcery, as they ‘ displace’ Him from the ‘ throne of our hearts’. And therefore leads to disobedience, which provokes the wrath of God.
So when ‘ Israel joined in worshiping the Baal of Peor, the Lord’s anger burning against them’. Numbers 25:3. And the resultant plague which killed 24,000 was stopped only when Phinehas acted to dramatically to ‘ defend God’s honor.
All because :
http://bible.com/111/num.25.1-2.niv While Israel was staying in Shittim, the men began to indulge in sexual immorality with Moabite women, who invited them to the sacrifices to their gods. The people ate the sacrificial meal and bowed down before these gods.
The Lord will warn us, in sometimes mysterious and uncomfortable even frightening ways, whenever we embark upon a ‘ reckless path’ as Balaam did.
Who God bless let no man curse.
As I write in a few minutes Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce will compete in the women’s 100M and hopefully go on to win the final later on this morning. And there will be more cause for celebrations if she wins as expected.
The challenge for all believers, and the message to even those not yet Baptised, is the same as I received it this morning. God will not permit another rival to the throne of our hearts.
If it is not Bolt and Shelly Ann, it will be money, or family, or work, or some great pleasure. Whatever it is, let us be careful, less we become so excited and either ‘ forget our first love’, or be forever chasing ‘ another love’, the pursuit of which leads us further away from loving Jesus.
The Church in Ephesus has the distinction of being the place where those who followed Christ were first called ‘ The Way’. Perhaps fittingly so, as once we lose sight of the need to have Christ reign in our hearts, at all times, in the midst of big and small and even subtle temptations, then we will have indeed ‘ lost our way’.
I pray God He will give us the grace to always have Christ rule in our hearts, as ‘ The Spirit gives life ; the flesh counts for nothing “. For by ourselves we will always ‘ forget our first love’ as the children of Israel did, and as the ‘ congregation’ of the early Church in Ephesus did. But when we are one with Christ, and empowered by His Holy Spirit, as we persevere in the midst of trials and temptations, we will overcome and bring honor and glory to out Savior.
For God has blessed us in Christ Jesus – there is therefore no more condemnation, no wrath, for those who are in Christ Jesus ( Romans 8:1) – and in Him will protect us from all evil – the Powers and Principalities of this world where Satan’s days are ‘ numbered’.
THE THIRD MESSAGE – sent out on WhatsApp features one of my favourite hymns; inspired words which encourage us to ‘listen carefully’ to Christ. Spend time with His Word, which is ‘ Spirit and Life”. And which enables us to live by the Spirit and not by the flesh.
GM: A verse of Scripture has been ‘in my head’ ever since I read it for, and heard it at, Church on Sunday. Even more so because the preacher, did not refer to it at all during his sermon. A good honest sermon it was, but, in my humble opinion, it could have been so much better.
The Spirit gives life, the flesh counts for nothing ( one version says ‘ the flesh is useless). John 6:63 NIV
The point here, which is far much more important than the excitement being generated in #Jamaicalandwelove by our success at the IAAF World Games in Beijing, #RealShellyAnn, is that we really have to ‘ die to self’ , the flesh, and live entirely by The Spirit of God, to love and serve and be obedient to Him.
The context then, was Jesus’ ‘ hard saying’ that if we believe in Him, trust Him ‘ that He would one day ascend to where he was before – return to His Father, repent of our sins and participate in Holy Communion/Lord’s Supper regularly, we would ‘ live forever’.
But the Word can be applied to every situation in life. For if we are to ‘ wage war’ successfully, and ‘ let Justice roll down like a great river’: if we are to live Righteousness lives and become ‘ Light for others in this dark world of an obsession with pornography, and in particular child pornography; if we are to ‘ search for the lost, strengthen the weak, heal the sick, bind up the wounded, and bring back the stray, then the flesh, our own strength, is useless. Determination, in and by itself, to do good, is admirable but not sufficient to ‘ wage war’.
And since we know that ‘ we fight not against flesh and blood….but against the evil forces of this world’, we the children of The Resurrection, are called to live by the Spirit. This was the message from Joshua to the children of Israel when they all, every single one of them, pledged to ‘ serve the Lord’.
And Joshua responded by saying ‘ You are not able to serve the Lord. He is a Holy God; he is a jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins.’ ( Thank God for Jesus…for in Him there is no more condemnation) Joshua 24:19
And this is the same message Jesus, the Second Joshua, according the theologians, said to His disciples, and says to us in the 21st Century. Viz. Our own understanding and knowledge and determination to ‘ follow Him, is of no use. We must be ‘ born again of The Spirit.
To live by the Spirit of God is a life long journey, but note the revelation and encouragement that Jesus immediately gives.
” These words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life”. John 6: 63b. NIV
So at least on the basis of this Word, if we earnestly wish to live by The Spirit, we have to ‘ feed on the Word of God’. And not just merely read it, but as James reminds us in his very practical book, ‘ we must be obedient to the Word. James 1:22-25 NIV.
And also based on this Word we need to ‘ feed regularly on the Body and Blood of Christ’, regardless of how we understand what it means.
Finally in support of the need to listen carefully to Jesus, and the need for grace to love Him and to be obedient, the Lord placed in my heart one of my all time favorite hymns. A hymn which has been a huge support to me during the darkest hours of my life. And from which I have, and continue to learn, so much about the true nature of the God of Abraham, the God of Issac, the God of Jacob, and The Father of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
THE HYMN – all the verses are instructive, but in this context, the first and the last are the most important.
1. Hark, my soul, it is the Lord!
‘Tis thy Saviour, hear His word;
Jesus speaks, and speaks to thee,
“Say, poor sinner, lovest thou Me?
2. “I delivered thee when bound,
And, when bleeding, ( wounded says some versions) healed thy wound;
Sought thee wandering, set thee right,
Turned thy darkness into light.
3. “Can a woman’s tender care
Cease toward the child she bare?
Yes, she may forgetful be,
Yet will I remember thee.
4. “Mine is an unchanging love,
Higher than the heights above,
Deeper than the depths beneath,
Free and faithful, strong as death.”
5. Lord, it is my chief complaint
That my love is weak and faint;
Yet I love Thee, and adore:
O for grace to love Thee more!
THE FOURTH MESSAGE – short, and carries us a step further and reveals why we need to have Christ first in our hearts. For God’s power is amazingly made perfect in our weakness
GM: I had read this particular passage of Scripture many times before, but the full meaning of it never came home to me as it did yesterday. So during my brief devotions, as I had lunch, having been ‘ strangely led’ to the 2 Corinthians passage about Grace, it hit me like a Usain ‘bolt of lightning’. And stayed’ in my head’ all evening. SoI just had to write this morning and ‘ deliver the message’, almost as if I was giving birth.
THE WORD OF GOD
http://bible.com/111/2co.12.8-10.niv Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me,
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.
For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Comment: Yes the revelation about Grace is a strong message in this passage, but it comes only when we are ‘ weak enough to receive it’.
This is what struck me so forcibly. For in my Jamaican culture weakness in a man ‘ is not a good thing’. In some women, that may be ok. But ‘ man haffi run tings’….be in charge. Give his woman instructions; beat the pickney when they give trouble; beat up any boy who ‘facety with him’….and don’t back down or apologize when he says or does something which wrong. And God help him if he is a politician or worse a Minister of Government! For any sign of ‘ weakness’ in the political culture is like a ‘ death sentence’.
And it is a worrying sign that, increasingly, either because their men do not stand up to their responsibilities, or just a sign of the times, many Jamaican women are being forced to, or wish to become, a ‘ strong woman’, who don’t ‘ tek no foolishness from nobody’.
And in the middle of this reality the Word of God calls us to:
‘ delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties’.
O Jesus I have promise to serve you to the end….enters my mind at this time.
It is also very instructive that as I pondered on this profound message, words from my favorite ‘Communion hymn’ came mind.
Here O my Lord, I see thee face to face….. and in particular the last verse
I have no other help but thine; nor do I need
another arm save thine to lean upon:
it is enough, my Lord, enough indeed,
my strength is in thy might, thy might alone.
1.Thank God that the ‘ battle is the Lord’s’ and not ours. And that it is only the Holy Spirit Who can convict men of the need for Salvation. And therefore the need for ‘ strong men and women’ to humble themselves, like John the Revelator, before ‘ He who is the Alpha and Omega, the Living One, who was dead and is alive again and who holds the keys of death and Hades’. Christ the Crucified One.
2. No wonder Jesus warned that ‘ not all who said Lord, Lord, shall enter the Kingdom of God’. For this thing called Christianity literally demands, as the hymn writer penned’:
….love so amazing, so divine,
demands my soul, my life, my all.
For the foundation of the Christian Religion and the entire thrust of the Gospel message, is the revelation of God in Christ. Who because of love ‘ which passeth all human understanding’ died, was raised from the dead, and calls all men and women, weak or strong to die to the old self of sin and death, and live only for Christ. So that all who believe in Him may live forever.
3. What a joy to know that, in our weakness, glory and honor comes to the God who we love so much because of the events of Good Friday.
And that we have no need for any other help but the ‘ strong right hand of The Living God’ which is more than enough to help in times of trouble.
And trouble comes to every man and woman sooner or later. Whether we are Bolt or Shelly-Ann, or Donald Trump or Sister P. Weak or ‘ Strong’.
THE FIFTH MESSAGE – goes even a step further than the last one and explains that as Christians we are always ‘ at war’. And thus the need to have Christ ‘with and before us ‘ in the battle’.
GM: Which war are you fighting at this time? None! Well you cannot claim to be a follower of Christ, and an adherent of the teachings of The Apostles.
‘Listen’ to the Word of God to which I was led, again during a brief lunchtime devotions yesterday, and see if you don’t agree.
THE WORD OF GOD
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ .
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NIV
And there are many other passages of Scripture which make the same point: that Christians are war with evil in the world. So much so that one famous hymn opens with the words;
Onward Christian soldiers……
The context of this Word is Paul’s defense of his ministry, but the way this Word came to me in the midst of my own struggles and those around me, suggests that we ought to apply the same principles to every aspect of our lives.
One, that we must always be ‘ at war against evil’. Two, that our ‘ weapons,’ are much different from those the world uses to fight wars. Three, that we have ‘ divine ‘ power available to us in our struggles against evil.
So which war are we fighting today?
Satan attaching your marriage – in many and varied ways? O Jesus have mercy!
Attacking your children – leading them astray, enticing them to use drugs, get involved in early sexual activity, become ‘ little terrorists’ to the teachers at school, thus provoking the Minister of Education to ‘ wrath’…..I have many patients who are (young) teachers ‘ dying’ to leave the classroom on account of uncontrollable and deviant behaviour of, both young and older students.
Is Satan attacking your mind: placing all kinds of negative thoughts in your head at work; at school ; whenever you are in an airplane; when you are driving; in your sleep; even when you are praying or at church?
Do you know of children and adults addicted or attracted to pornography – the craze among young people today with their smart phones; is Satan placing all kinds of unwelcome sexual thoughts in your head and in your dreams; are you coming under ‘ pressure’ even from friends and those you least expect to behave in this fashion, O God, even from your Pastor, your own father, and other close relatives?
Are we deep in the struggle against the evil that would keep people made in the image and likeness of God in poverty; living in #WrongAddrresses; illiterate and unable to function in a modern world; people locked up in prison or mistreated in any way by the police and have their rights trampled upon; against corruption in high places; against International forces that would keep former enslaved peoples forever marginalized in the global market place.
Are we disturbed and distressed how our music forms have been hijacked by the dance hall and ‘ out of order’ the real ‘ leggo beast’, Soca Culture. A music which helped to liberate ‘ Zimbabwe’ has deteriorated to ‘ devil worship’, encouraging ‘ underclothes ‘ behavior’ and explicit ‘ buss a gunshot’ lyrics. And who knows how such a ‘ culture’ has contributed to the plague of murder and Violence and immorality in our society, where someone who is accused of ‘ chopping up a human being fine, fine,’ is still glorified in the minds of some people? Where so many of our young girls become pregnant as teenagers with disastrous social and economic consequences! Are we really, really disturbed! And distressed.
Are we disturbed by the growing number of people who claim that there is no God – with the attendant breakdown in the morality? Are we deeply distressed about the conditions and eternal future of souls of those who don’t know Christ? And not Baptized and may die thoroughly unprepared for Judgement? Are we deeply disturbed by the ‘ False Doctrines’ masquerading as Christianity and leading people astray. And even worse the ‘ splintering’ of the Body of Christ, for which, on the night before He died, Christ prayed that we may be one as He and the Father are one.
My friends, most of you can add to this list, but the central point is that we ought to pray without ceasing and not give up. As, though by His permissive will, for the time being, but not forever, God has allowed Satan to be ‘ like a roaring lion seeking to devour the careless’, we have Divine Power available to fight against all kinds of evil.
If our only concern is whether or not Bolt beats Gatlin, or if our church is the most popular one, or the concerns of our immediate family and friends, then our claims to be Christian will ring hollow. Now and at the time of Judgement.
For Jesus famously said, Not everyone who says Lord, Lord shall enter the Kingdom of God, but those who are obedient to Him. And He died for us ‘ even when we were still sinners’. Still like Tommy Lee. Still like ‘ leggo beasts’. Still like Kartel!
So whatever you are facing today, wage war, call upon the mighty Name of Jesus, use the ‘ sword of the Spirit – The Word of God, in fact put on the ‘full armour’, and with confidence ‘ destroy every stronghold’ in your life, and every ‘ pretension’ that sets itself against the knowledge of God. For if God is for us, who can be against us. In Jesus name. Amen.
THE SIXTH MESSAGE – most of them are relatively short, picks up on the issue of original and the devastating nature of sin. And the wonder of God’s grace. The only complete answer to the Problem of Sin in the world
GM: Yesterday, during my early morning devotions, as I gave thanks for yet another day using the first part of Jacob Boheme’s ‘A Morning Watch’, about which I have written several times:
Living Lord, you have watched over me, and put your hand on my head, during the long hours of night. Your holy angels have protected me from all harm and pain. To you Lord I owe life itself. Continue to watch over me and bless me during the hours of this day:
…..The Spirit of God reminded me, immediately about a profound reality.
That we are here living on earth only by the mercy of God. The first time I read the passage of Scripture below, I was so ‘ frightening’ that I sought counsel from my spiritual mentor.
THE WORD OF GOD
The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that he had made man on earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So the Lord said, I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth – men and animals, and creatures that move on the ground, birds of the air – for I am grieved that I have made them.
But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
Genesis 6:1-8 NIV
Having read, again, this profound revelation about the mercy of God, I didn’t even stop to think about how nothing much has changed since then. And who knows ‘ the heart of man which is desperately wicked’ according to God’s Word, may have gotten worse since then. But that was not my immediate concern.
My soul just praised the Lord with one of the greatest praise songs ever written.
THE FIRST VERSE
Your grace and mercy brought me through
I’m living this moment because of You
I want to thank You and praise You too
Your grace and mercy brought me through
For, if though Noah found favor with God, and because of his ‘ Righteousness’ grace and mercy flowed, O Jesus, how much more we ought to give thanks to you.
For in the words of the hymn writer:
‘ Thou, O my Jesus, thou didst me
upon the Cross embrace;
for me didst bear the nails and spear,
and manifold disgrace.
and grief and torments numberless,
and sweat of agony;
yea, death itself – and all for me
who was thine enemy. ( My God, I love thee; not because…)
Then yesterday during the day, wearing my ‘ road safety hat’ I had the heavy burden of writing an appeal to the nation, in the wake of the tragic, sudden and entirely preventable death, of two young university students who died in a motor vehicle crash the day before. Sadly, as a nation we’ve been this way before. And only God can help the relatives and friends to deal with this kind of life changing and life shattering event.
That is why we should never take this gift of life for granted, but rather than being ‘ distracted’, and either getting upset or worrying about the many challenges we face on a daily basis, always give thanks for life. For it could have been so much different for all of us. And not just those who die suddenly and tragically.
Finally, as I looked for another praise hymn this morning in my devotions,
these words, from ‘ Rock of ages cleft for me’, the third verse, reminded me of what our attitude to God in Christ, on account of His Grace and Mercy to us, ought to be:
Nothing in my hand I bring,
simply to the cross I cling;
naked, come to the for dress;
helpless, look to thee for grace;
foul, I to the fountain fly;
wash me, Savior, or I die.
I pray God that as we ‘ walk through this valley of the shadow of death’, as we contemplate the reality of the almost 800 hundred persons who have been brutally murdered in this #quadruplemurder country, and reflect on our own ‘ many, many sins’ before a Holy God, that we may give thanks for the Life, Death and Resurrection of Christ.
For only in Him can we find Peace in the midst of trials, as truly, according to the Word of God, as I was reminded this morning just now, of our Blessed Savior’s Word according to John:
” The thief only comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and life to the full ( I like the KJV ….life more abundantly) “. John 10:10 NIV
From Adam allowed Satan to deceive him, at The Fall, ever since then there have been trials and troubles and disease and various tragedies in the life of mankind. On the roads, in our homes, communities and nations. For that is His only purpose – to destroy. And to keep us from praising and being obedient to The Living God.
Thanks be God then, for the gracious gift of Life, and Life more abundantly in Christ Jesus.
Your grace and mercy, brought me through…..O Jesus, we bless your Holy Name this day. Amen.
THE FINAL MESSAGE – challenges us to respond to the grace very carefully, and in communion with others. Not to ‘hug it up ‘ for ourselves, but to spread the Word of Salvation far and wide. In Beijing, in Washington DC, or in Nairobi. Wherever we have an opportunity. On Twitter, FaceBook, WhatApp, WordPress, email, Instagram, Imo or the old fashioned face to face.
GM: I did not watch the W 4×100 nor the M 4×100. Me, not just a track and field fan, but a former athlete who ran at Champs! Why? For while #RealShellyAnn and company and #KickOutBolt and company were bringing glory to #Jamaicalandwelove The Lord God was teaching me a profound lesson in my early morning devotions, and early morning walk.
It came during a reflection, again, on one of my favorite songs in our Anglican Liturgical worship form for Morning Prayer.
Words written by Zechariah, the Father of John the Baptist, as recorded in Luke 1:68-79, KJV when he regained his speech. In our Church it is known as :
Blessed by the Lord God of Israel:
for He hath visited, and redeemed his people;
And hath raised up a mighty salvation for us: in the house of his servant David;
As he spake by the mouths of his holy Prophets: which have been since the world began;
That we should be saved from all our enemies: and from the hands of all who hate us;……
That we being delivered out of the hands of our enemies: might serve him without fear;
In holiness and righteousness before him: all the days of our lives.
And thou, child, shall be called the Prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;
To give knowledge of salvation unto his people: for the remission of their sins,
Through the tender mercy of our God: whereby the day-spring from on high hath visited us:
To give light to them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death: and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be: world without end. Amen.
1. A revelation from God, that once we repent of our sins and accept the free Gift of The Mighty Salvation wrought by Christ on Calvary, we are ‘ Delivered’ from all our enemies, and those that hate us.
In this context, we have to recall, as I was led to write earlier this week, that we do not ‘ fight against flesh and blood’. And therefore, that our enemies are really the spiritual forces of evil in this world.
What Satan, the captain of these forces wishes to do, and which evil began with Adam’s disobedience, The Fall ( after God made everything good and perfect), is to hold us ‘ captive to Sin and Death’. And both of these terrible things from the ‘ pit of hell,’ are manifested in many and various ways in the lives of all mankind.
Including the the list of evil which come from ‘ within’ as revealed in the Gospel appointed for tomorrow at my Church.
” …..evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness ( leggo beast), envy, slander, arrogance and folly ”
Mark 7 : 20-22 NIV
And just in case anyone is so presumptuousness to declare that he or she ‘ is not on that list’, recall the Word that says: ” All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
So whatever Satan has used to hold us ‘ captive’, whether it be irrational fears, or real issues; evil thoughts in our hearts which sometimes ‘ bruk out into actions’ , for which we may or may not be sorry; disobedience to the Word of God, seeking other things first, instead of God’s Kingdom; sicknesses – in some but not all instances as God sometimes uses illness to teach us lessons; and it the wise person who knows the difference – financial problems ( the same caveat applies here too) ; whatever, in Christ we have been ‘ set free’ – Delivered.
But most important of all Delivered from Sin and Death unto Eternal Life.
So who must rejoice more? Those who are pleased with our Gold Medal performances in Beijing by #TeamJamaica or those who have been Delivered by A Mighty Salvation in and through Jesus Christ?
Your grace and mercy……
2. As we celebrate this mighty Salvation let let us not miss the following revelations:
That we should live now without fear. For if God in Christ is for us, who or what can be against us.
That we should live Righteousness lives. For, in Christ, living by The Spirit , we no longer ‘ have to sin’. And if we do, and repent with ‘ a pure and contrite heart’, immediately ( repentance is never a tomorrow story) then a merciful God will forgive us.
That we are called now to ‘ spread the Word, the Gospel’ to ‘ them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death’.
That means all with whom we come in contact who are not yet ‘ Saved’. Have not yet committed their lives to Christ. All! Whether they be JLo, Serena, Bolt, Gatlin, Beanie Man, Chronixx, the person who sits next to you at work, whoever , and wherever.
And if you don’t feel comfortable speaking to that person, pray for their souls, as we are only here to ‘ prepare the way for The Holy Spirit ‘. And Prayer opens doors for the Lord to act.
Finally that ‘ people who sit in darkness’ can be interpreted to mean many things. But the Word of God always speaks about Justice in the same breath with Righteousness. They are inseparable. So we are also ‘ Delivered’ so that we can work to set free others who are held captive by Injustice anywhere. Whether it be as a result of breeches of Human Rights or Human Trafficking or Exploitation by Unjust Economic systems, Illiteracy, whatever, we the children of the Resurrection are called to ,’ set the captives free.
So my friends what is of greater importance to you. Victory by Bolt and Shelly Ann or Deliverance from Evil!
O Praise the Lord. Thank you Jesus.