Delightful fear

No, the Lord’s delight is in those who fear him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love. Psalm 147:11

How great it is to know that we can bring delight (an extreme pleasure) to the Lord by fearing Him!

Fear of the Lord comes in our lives not because we’re threatened by His power and might, but because of His unbelievable forgiveness and tender mercy towards us.

But you offer forgiveness, that we might learn to fear you. Psalm 130:4

The only way to maintain the fear of the Lord is continue to praise Him and thank Him for His forgiveness and mercy.

Isaiah 11 says Lord Jesus Christ delighted in fearing His Father!

“His delight is in the fear of the Lord” Isaiah 11:3

Fear of the Lord is the only thing that brings a mutual delight in God and in us. Let’s delight in Him!

Yes, overkill the enemy

But the man of God was angry with him. “You should have struck the ground five or six times!” he exclaimed. “Then you would have beaten Aram until it was entirely destroyed. Now you will be victorious only three times.” 2 Kings 13:19

This was the last chance (actually a test) God gave to Jehoash, the king of Israel; as expected he failed!

Devil is the enemy of our souls out there to steal, kill and destroy.

Yes, Christ Jesus did overcame satan, but definitely want us to continue to oppose and destroy the works of the devil who is our enemy.

For this reason, Christ Jesus has given us the authority that has to be exercised with the right tone, strength and zealous against the devil in order to retain the abundant life in Christ Jesus.

Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Luke 10:19

Lord Jesus redeemed us from the utter darkness and restored our status back to how Adam was originally created, and has put us into the same responsibility to keep the devil under our feet (to have dominion).

Our victory and retention of victory over the devil in all areas of our lives totally depends on how vigorous we attack, defeat and conquer over him when he intrude our lives.

No haphazard ‘believer’ ever won the devil.

So, when it comes to devil, go ahead and overkill him. By this you know you have victory in Jesus!

Honey I shrunk the kids

At about that time the Lord began to cut down the size of Israel’s territory. 2 Kings 10:33

God’s blessing on a nation is always directly proportionate to its people’s fear of God and obedience to His Word.

As generations pass by in disobedience the people lose focus of God and have no clue what is to be blessed. They settle for less, become cowards, weak, dull minded and poor.

The same goes for families and individuals. God’s blessings are for thousand generations as long as the generations profess the faith in God and fear Him.

Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power. Psalm 145:4

More than any inheritance, wealth we can acquire for our children’s future it is our responsibility to teach them to fear God and lead them to the truth.

In the same way unless the leaders of a nation set high standards complementing the God’s way in each system, the nation could never grow but eventually shrink.

Let’s take a serious look at ourselves and make sure we don’t shrunk our kids but make them expand and flourish by training them in the ways of the Lord!

Be prepared, here they come

And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. As a result, many Jews believed… Acts 17:11-12

Lord has always kept people ready to be saved and are waiting for the truth to be preached.

Kingdom of God is rapidly getting populated on a daily basis. Souls are being saved, restored and healed all around the world.

Holy Spirit is moving in specific place, in specific time among specific people. The moment Gospel is preached and taught there are new births in His Kingdom.

All we need to do is be ready with a plan on how we are going to preach the Gospel. Plan is not a smart knack trick or eloquent speech but knowing and presenting the word of God – the Good News which has the power to save the lost.

Below would be handy –

Romans 3:23
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 5:8
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

Romans 10:13
For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Romans 10:9-10
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.

Now that you have a plan when His Spirit brings you to the specific place and specific time in midst of specific people, their eyes of understanding are open for the plan/hope you give in Christ Jesus.

Get ready, specific time has come!

Rescuers never escape!

A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape. So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks. Acts 16:22-24

Neither Paul nor Silas revealed that they were Roman citizens until all that God wanted to do was done. In other words, they were not looking to escape or negotiate but very much wanting to finish God’s work in that place to win all the souls He had kept for them to win.

The price Paul, Silas and the early Church paid to win each souls was severely painful and humiliating – just like what our Master Jesus Christ went thru’.

Paul submitted his life at the feet of Lord Jesus Christ with no reservation and was delighted to see God’s power thru’ his powerlessness (by rejecting his opportunities to escape) and suffering.

That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10

What a heart wrenching scene for those in the prison to watch Paul and Silas preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ with love to the jailer, his family and others – with bleeding wounds and swollen face!

God’s presence would be extremely rich every time we present the good news in midst of our sufferings – especially for the sake of His Kingdom. At that point the only way to oppose the enemy is to worship and preach the Good News!

If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Romans 8:31

Summon those Miracles!

While they were at Lystra, Paul and Barnabas came upon a man with crippled feet. He had been that way from birth, so he had never walked. He was sitting and listening as Paul preached. Looking straight at him, Paul realized he had faith to be healed. So Paul called to him in a loud voice, “Stand up!” And the man jumped to his feet and started walking. Acts 14:8-10

The power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and Him crucified is most often understated and is not realized to its fullest potential in what it could do to those who listen as it goes forth.

There is not one thing that the Cross of Christ has not accomplished to provide an abundant life to every sinner – you & me.

  • Cross of Christ heals every sickness, diseases, broken bones, failed organs and even missing organs.
  • Cross of Christ breaks every curses, spells, vex, vows and judgements.
  • Cross of Christ delivers from every access, bondages, strongholds and possessions.
  • Cross of Christ restores every broken hearts, spirits, emotions and minds.
  • Cross of Christ saves from every guilt, condemnations, accusations and arguments.

We only need to preach this Jesus Who was crucified on this Cross and let them listen. Then we too can summon those miracles awaiting left and right just the way Apostle Paul did here in the Book of Acts.

Preach! You and your listeners will never be disappointed! Let’s take ’em home.

The God of Elijah

He struck the water with Elijah’s cloak and cried out, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” Then the river divided, and Elisha went across. 2 King 2:14

Elijah had severely impacted Elisha’s life that had extremely elevated his understanding of the power of God, His authority and purpose of existence.

The impact was to such extreme; Elisha stopped referring to God as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and referred as the God of Elijah!

  • Elijah was fearless and was the one sent by His God to challenge Ahab (& Jezebel) when they pledged to kill all the prophets of the Lord.
  • Elijah ate always supernaturally provided food from His God (thru’ ravens, widow’s jar, angels).
  • Elijah was the very first to raise a dead. It was a clear sign that He had an exclusive view of His God’s ability and simply acted on it.
  • To cross river Jordan Elijah never attempted to take a boat or swim across, rather in His God’s authority split the waters and walked on dry ground.
  • Elijah never defended himself, rather had His God send down fire on his enemies.
  • Elijah was the pioneer to plant and lead schools of prophets all around and populated numerous youngsters to serve His God of Israel.
  • Usually dealt only with kings, always to rebuke their rebellion and pronounce death as His God’s judgment.
  • Of course, performed world renowned outstanding miracle of bringing fire from His God which burnt even cold water that drenched the offering on the restored altar.
  • Elijah never died, was taken up in a fiery limo to heaven sent by His God!

Like Elisha, I want to serve the God of Elijah! How about you?

Follow your Elijah, never leave him or His God – if you do, not just double portion, you will be soaked in His presence.

A different kind of promise

Then his chariot was washed beside the pool of Samaria, and dogs came and licked his blood at the place where the prostitutes bathed, just as the Lord had promised. 1 Kings 22:38

This was God’s judgement on king Ahab of Israel.

Ahab lived an outrageous life and deliberately rebelled against the God of Israel in all he did.

He never did what God wanted him to do and explicitly did all that God said should never be done.

There were several warnings, forgiveness, mercy and patience from God for the sake of His Name and the people of Israel.

No matter how graceful enough God was, Ahab consistently did exactly the opposite of what God wants him to do.

Reason: Ahab hated the ways of God, hated the prophets of the Lord and was caught in a stronghold due to his union with his wife Jezebel and ended in a terrible Judgement God spoke thru’ Elijah – which God’s word in 1 Kings 22:38 refers as “the promise“.

Ahab was a warning of pernicious living that made the most merciful God to vow/promise that He will kill.

But Micaiah replied, “If you return safely, it will mean that the Lord has not spoken through me!” Then he added to those standing around, “Everyone mark my words!” 1 Kings 22:28

Trashing God’s grace and dismissing God’s mercy will surely obtain the same promise Ahab got.

The authority that win souls!

But Elymas, the sorcerer (as his name means in Greek), interfered and urged the governor to pay no attention to what Barnabas and Saul said. He was trying to keep the governor from believing. Saul, also known as Paul, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he looked the sorcerer in the eye. Then he said, “You son of the devil, full of every sort of deceit and fraud, and enemy of all that is good! Will you never stop perverting the true ways of the Lord? Watch now, for the Lord has laid his hand of punishment upon you, and you will be struck blind. You will not see the sunlight for some time.” Instantly mist and darkness came over the man’s eyes, and he began groping around begging for someone to take his hand and lead him. Acts 13:8-11

Holy Spirit is the Authority when it comes to witnessing, preaching the Good News and leading souls to Christ.

Paul’s authority in this passage was not in his calling or title, but in the very action of preaching the Good News to those Holy Spirit has sent him!

So Barnabas and Saul were sent out by the Holy Spirit. Acts 13:4

When it comes to soul winning it is all the work of the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit flows (gives wisdom) thru’ the vessel that He use to preach the Good News and Holy Spirit is the one who convicts of sin (gives grace) in those who listen to the Good News.

Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you… And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment…” John 16:7-8

Anything or anyone that hinders this communication is of the devil!

Paul knew He was sent by the Holy Spirit and the governor wanted to hear the Good News (The governor invited Barnabas and Saul to visit him, for he wanted to hear the word of God. Acts 13:7). So Paul had completely let Holy Spirit’s Authority to be exercised to win that key person – who in turn would influence the further of the Gospel in entire Paphos region!

If Holy Spirit was that zealous for spreading the Gospel back in Acts 13, how much more passionate and zealous He is now and want to send us in His authority!

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:3-4

Get up, you’re not done yet!

Then the Lord told him, “Go back the same way you came, and travel to the wilderness of Damascus. When you arrive there, anoint Hazael to be king of Aram. Then anoint Jehu grandson of Nimshi to be king of Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from the town of Abel-meholah to replace you as my prophet.” 1 Kings 19:15-16

When it comes to discouragement or losing focus – we tend to think even Elijah had his moments. But James corrects that thought (James 5:17) “Elijah was a man subject to suffering like we…” – putting an end to the impression that God calls individuals according to their talent or ability. On the contrary, God can call anyone and equip him/her who He wants him/her to be.

The reason for Elijah’s discouragement was two-fold.

Elijah was zealous for the Lord and was passionate to restore the people of Israel back to the Lord. Elijah truly thought when he destroyed all the false prophets in the Kishon Valley and brought the rain after three years he had accomplished all that God called him to do (1 Kings 18).

As every man of God, Elijah too couldn’t retreat long enough on what all God did thru’ him and how much His glory was seen among the people of Israelites. He quickly started to wonder was there anything to do for him next for God or his ministry was actually done.

This thought and the threat from Jezebel created a reaction in Elijah that made him to flee in fear.

A man of God will be bold only when he knew that God has still work for him to do. The very strength to face the adversary, persecution comes when we know what God has called us to do is not done yet.

When God said to Elijah “Go back – anoint kings of the nations – anoint your successor” – a great encouragement and purpose came back into the Elijah’s spirit and he got his fire back again!

Are you discouraged today? Are you having difficulty to focus on the vision or purpose?

Know that our Master Jesus Christ has given us a great Go-Mission in Matthew 29:19-20 –

“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Let this be always reminding us of who we are, what we are called to do… even to the end of the age!