Archive for August, 2009

HindrancesThe definition of ‘hindrances ‘according to the Collins Concise Dictionary is an “obstruction or impediment or snag.” Hindrances are detrimental to the Body of Christ.  If hindrances exist in the Body of Christ, it means that the Body cannot advance, move forward, and take enemy’s territory.   Hindrances breed disunity and disunity can destroy an army.  The Body of Christ is the army of God and an entire army cannot advance in two directions at the same time and still be effective at conquering the enemy.  In order for an army to be effective it must be unified, and the same principle applies to the Body of Christ,  the Church.  Hindrances, however nurture conflicts causing the Church to stagnate.  The Holy Spirit becomes  grieved  and the anointing to lifts from the church.  Then disunity and conflicts escalate and the church gradually pulls itself apart or splits.   The enemy or Satan uses hindrances to destroy a church  and you should not be “ignorant of his devices”(2 Corinthians 2:11).  Hindrances can leave many broken and wounded children of God in the wake of a church split.  Hindrances can cause the death of a church.

Hindrances become detrimental if allowed to continue.  Hindrances that existed for a long time and are not dealth with become road blocks.  A road block  prevents a disciple of Jesus from growing or advancing in the kingdom of God.  It can rob you of your relationship with Jesus and maybe even hinder your destiny in Christ.  A hindrance becomes a road block if  there is no forgiveness or reconciliation.  Whenever a road block exists, the enemy will offer you an alternative called a detour.  A detour is an alternate route which takes you away from the place where Jesus wants you to be and points you in a alternate direction.  The thing about detours is that there are no hindrances in the detour because it is the Devil’s alternate road which contrary to the will of God.  A detour in the natural is designed to take you around an accident or road works and put you back on the road again.  However, a road block in the spiritual causes you to lose precious time, you could get lost, you could miss what God is saying and you could ultimately lose your way with God.

The bible talks about offenses in Matthew 18: 6-9.  The greek word for ‘offense’ is ‘skandalen’ which means “Anything that arouses prejudice or becomes a hindrance to others, or causes them to fall by the way.”  It is unfortunate that sometimes offenses are perpetrated by believers in Jesus against other believers in Jesus.  Matthew 18:7 sums up the way Jesus feels about offenses ” Woe unto the world because of offenses!  for it must needs be that offenses come: but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh” (KJV).  Offenses can cause a hindrances and hindrances can destroy a church and cause an individual to lose their way with God.  Jesus treats offenses very seriously because offenses create hindrances. The body of Christ should be aware of the danger of offenses and the hindrances they cause.

HindrancesIt is very important not to allow hindrances to hinder you from serving the Lord Jesus Christ.  I recall being told the story of a young woman who surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ and became a Christian, a disciple of Jesus.  A father vehemently opposed her decision and made her life so miserable that she eventually stopped serving Jesus and returned to her old lifestyle.  After some time the young lady became ill and was dying.  She apparently had an experience of the eternal fire of Hell because she screamed and called to her daddy, “Hell me daddy, my feet are already in the fire of Hell!” Her father, who previously opposed her decision to accept the Lord Jesus Christ, now realized that only Jesus could save his daughter from an eternity in Hell.  He screamed for his daughter to recommit her life to Jesus but she died and slipped into eternity without Jesus and without hope of salvation.

I don’t know if this story is truth or fiction but it illustrates a poignant point.  Sometimes people allow hindrances from friends, family members, co-workers, acquaintances or even other christians to stop them from doing what is right.   The young lady in the story, allowed her father  to erect hindrances  to prevent her from serving the Lord Jesus.  Her father’s opposition became her hindrance with devastating consequences.  The end result was a young lady whose possible final destination was an eternity in Hell.

The enemy or Satan uses hindrances to try and disrupt the work of the Body of Christ and to introduce chaos into the Body of Christ. The enemy knows he cannot stop the Church or Body of Christ so he uses hindrances to introduce chaos and confusion, rendering the Body of Christ  ineffective in the execution of its mission.  A church where chaos and confusion reigns is a church that cannot fulfill its mandate from the Lord Jesus to evangelize the world starting in your own ‘Jerusalem’ or your own town or city or nation.  Hindrances stagnate growth in a church leaving it lifeless.  Hindrances are more effective as strategies of the enemy when christians do not recognize the enemy’s tactics.

Hindrances stop the church from advancing. The church or the Body of Christ is a mighty army, the army of God in this world to continue the work Jesus began two thousand years ago.  Hindrances within the Body of Christ can stop the progression of the army of god. Two qualities characterize an efficient army:

  • An army must be obedient to its commanders (must follow orders)
  • An army must be disciplined and unified

Satan uses hindrances to disrupt unity and stop obedience. This causes chaos an confusion to reign, rendering the church ineffective in its mission.  The tactic of the enemy is not to stop the Body of Christ because he cannot, but to simply stop the Body from fulfilling its mission.  He therefore introduces and perpetuates a sea aof hindrances to disrupt the efficient functioning of the the church. Hindrances are detrimental to the Body of Chist and can prevent it from fulfilling the great commission. Therefore each member of the Body of Christ should strive to eliminate hindrances at all cost.

Focus on God

Focus On God” Focus on God and allow Him to lead you” bellowed the preacher from the pulpit.  His voice echoed through the tiny church building are good advice for each person to follow.  Do you allow yourself to become distracted with so many conflicting ideas and ideologies that you forget to focus on  God.   God  created man  in his image and God expects to focus on Him and worship Him. The way to God is through God’s Son, Jesus Christ.  Jesus said  “… I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6,KJV).  Trying to get to God by any other way is a tremendous waste of time.

Yet, many will tell you that there are many ways to God or that all religions point one to the same god.  If that was true, then all religions will have to focus on and preach the same things, because God is consistent and unchangeable. If He was not, He would not be God.  The God of the bible qualifies as God because he does not change.  The bible says, “For I am the LORD, I change not… (Malachi 3:6 KJV).  The focus of the entire world should be on the God of the bible because He is the only one who can forgive sins.

Yet all religions do not focus on the God of the bible..  This means that all religions do not point to the same God.  Different religious that preach conflicting  messages are not talking about the same god, but many different gods. Their focus is not on the God of the bible but a myriad of different gods.  The one and only God must be consistent because He has an unchangeable nature.  I don’t believe anyone would want to  focus on and serve a god  that was inconsistent. I do not believe that anyone would want to focus on and serve a God who was inconsistent in his messages.  A god like that would be unstable and capable of doing anything at any time and maybe even act contrary to his word.  That is scary! Would you place your life and your eternal future in the hands of a god who could change his mind at any time, and perhaps decide, on a whim, to destroy this world simply because he was having a bad day?  No, I do not believe that you would want to focus on such a god.  You focus should therefore on Jesus Christ, the God of the bible, the one and only true God because He loves you.

The Lord Jesus, the God of the bible, will judge this world because of sin, and He warns us about it in His Word, the bible.  He gives everyone a change to repent of their sins, turn their lives over to Him and focus on Him. He wants everyone to focus on Him because He is the only God. Your focus on Jesus as your savior is the only way to escape Hell, a place of eternal punishment.  He will forgive you of your sin and save you from eternal damnation in Hell.  Hell was created for the devil and his angels and all who focus on Jesus as savior will escape hell and live eternally in heaven.  However, in order to focus on Jesus you must first accept Jesus into your heart as your Lord and savior.  If you want to receive the Lord Jesus as your personal Lord and savior and focus your life on Him , just pray the Prayer of confession to receive salvation  and invite the Lord Jesus into your heart this minute!   He will come into your heart and forgive you of all your sin.  Then you will focus on Him and experience the joy of having your sins forgiven and communion with God.  Focus on the only true God, Jesus Christ, the God of the bible, the one who does not change.  Put your life and your future in his hands today and focus on God.

Arise And Do Not Fear

Perfect love casts out fearJesus comforted His disciples by admonishing them not to fear many times throughout the gospels during  His ministry here on earth. “Arise and be not afraid” (Matthew 17:7 KJV). What is so important about being afraid.  What is so important or so terrible about fear.

                                                   Fear is torment

The bible says,”There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment.  He that feareth is not made perfect in love”     (1John 4:18 KJV). The definition of torment according to the Collins Concise Dictionary is “to afflict with great pain,suffering or anguish:torture” Anyone who lives or operates in a state of perpetual fear is not happy.  Being fearful is like being locked up in a prison where you are tormented everyday; physically, mentally and emotionally.  Fear is like being in Hell, a place of torment, “And in Hell he lifted up his eyes being in torments…” (Luke 16:23 KJV).  Jesus does not want His church, His disciples, to be afraid of anything. Instead, Jesus wants you to have His peace, ” Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you I unto you. Let not your hearts be troubled neither let it be afraid” ( John 14: 27 KJV).  A heart filled with fear is a troubled heart devoid of peace.

                                                                                                                         Fear is an evil spirit

” For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). To operate in fear is not of God and it does not originate with God.  It  is an evil spirit sent out by the devil to bring torment in the lives of anyone who would entertain it.  But as believers in Jesus, you should bind the spirit of and prevent it from operating in your lives. There is no excuse why a child of God should be living in fear because Jesus has given you power over the enemy,Satan. ” Behold, I give unto you power to trample on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you” ( Luke 10:19 KJV). You do not have to live in fear and be tormented as a prisoner.  You need  to bind the spirit of fear and prevent from operating and wreaking havoc in your life and the lives of your family.

                       Bind the spirit of fear

“…Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” Matthew 18:18 KJV).  The spirit of fear is subject to the authority of the Name of Jesus.  All the child of God needs to do is to bind the spirit of fear and command it to go into dry and uninhabited places. The reason for uninhabited place is that you need to send the spirit away from people.  You must use the authority of the Name of Jesus because everyone, and everything must bow to the name of Jesus. This also includes all demons or evil  spirits and also the Devil himself. “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name that is above every name: that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus christ is Lord, to the Glory of god the father” (Philippians 2:9-11,KJV). Command the spirit of fear to leave by saying these words,  ‘ spirit of fear, I bind you in the Name of Jesus and I command you to leave my life and the life of my family and go into dry and uninhabited places.’ The spirit of fear has no choice but to leave you.  If you are not a born again believer, please invite the Lord Jesus into your heart today and do not walk in fear.

The Salt Of The Earth

Salt“You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to thrown out and trampled by men” Matthew 5:13,NIV).  Jesus used the illustration of salt, something that everybody knew, to communicate a spiritual principle to His disciples.

Salt is a compound with several noticeable and distinctive properties. It has a very distinctive taste and it makes food more palatable.  The  addition of salt to food changes the flavor of the food and improves  taste.  It is essential in the diet and can  be added to food to preserve it.  Salt does not change. It remains the same just like disciples of Jesus should be. Jesus was expressing a quality that he expected his disciples to have.  He expected His disciples to change the world without being changed by the world.  This is the property or characteristic of salt. The first century disciples did just that.  They changed the world by preaching the gospel and remained unchanged by the world.  Jesus’ continue the practice of being world changers, and neighbourhood by touching lives for the kingdom of God.

What does being the salt of the earth mean?  The disciples of Jesus are people who have had their sins forgiven and washed away with the blood of Jesus.  The disciples of Jesus are in this world to continue the work Jesus started over two thousand years ago.  The disciples are supposed to be a positive influence in this world by preaching and sharing the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ while living righteous lives demonstrating that they are truly Jesus’ disciples.  Also just like salt does not change, the disciples should not allow the negative and sinful practices in the world to corrupt and change them. They should remain pure while influencing the world for Jesus.  This what Jesus meant by the salt of the earth.   The work of Jesus’ disciples as the salt of the world brings glory and honor  to the lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus continued continued to say that if the salt loses its saltiness, it becomes useless.  Likewise, If the disciples are no longer  obedient to Jesus, preaching and reaching lost souls, and living holy and righteous lives, then they become a negative influence in this world.  In other words they are no longer effective as the salt of the earth. If people cannot see righteousness in the lives of the disciples, then people would not want to become disciples of Jesus themselves.  The unrighteous lives of disciples would be a deterrent rather than a positive influence.  This is what Jesus meant by salt losing its saltiness.  Disciples of Jesus cannot expect to engage in sinful practices, refuse to repent and still win the lost to Jesus. The disciples must be pure and holy, they must be the salt of the earth in order to win their communities, nations and the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.

The idea of hell is a scary thought for some people and indeed it should be.  Some try to say that Hell does not exist.  But Hell does exist and it is a real place, a place of eternal punishment.  The bible says in Matthew 10:28, ” And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in Hell.”   Hell is described as everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41 KJV).   The devil and Lucifer are the same person.

God created Lucifer, a beautiful, sinless, perfect creature. He was an angel, a cherubim.  He abode in Heaven with God. But Lucifer sinned against God and became a sinful creature, no longer perfect. “Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God. … Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God. … Thou wast perfect in thy ways till iniquity wast found in thee.” (Ezekiel 28:11b-15,KJV).

But  Lucifer rebelled against God and tried to usurp God’s throne. His rebellion was fueled by pride.  Lucifer failed in his attempt at usurping God’s throne and was cast out of heaven. “How art thou fallen from heaven O Lucifer, son of the morning! … For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit upon the mount of the congregation in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most high.  yet thou shalt be brought down to hell to the sides of the pit.” (Isaiah 14:12-15 KJV).    Sin transformed Lucifer from the beautiful angel God had created into Satan (adversary) or the Devil (accuser).  The angels who rebelled with Lucifer were also corrupted by sin.  They were also cast out of heaven and sin and become demons. ” And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Revelation 12:9, KJV).

God created Adam, the first man, in the image of God and placed him in the Garden of Eden.  God also created Eve, the first woman and gave her to Adam as his wife. The Devil, seizing the opportunity, appeared to Eve and tempted her to sin against God by disobeying God’s command about not eating the forbidden fruit.  Eve succumbed to temptation and ate the fruit which God had commanded them not to eat.  She gave of the fruit to Adam and he also ate of it.  This story is recorded in Genesis2:7-3:6. This act of disobedience plunged the entire human race into sin because every person born after Adam came from his bloodline and inherited Adam’s sinful nature.   Therefore, the entire human race became  guilty of sinning against God and the end result of sin was death.  ” Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world,and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men for that all have sinned”(Romans 5:12, KJV).  But God had a plan and God intervened to save man sin and eternal punishment in Hell.  This plan included the Atonement.

The Greek word for ‘atone’ is ‘kapar’ which means “to cover over, propitiate or pacify.”  Sin brings the wrath of God.  Also, everyone who is born is born into sin.  So something had to be done to pacify God’s wrath and to cover sin.  Sin also brought death,”…the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).   So the atonement consisted of Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, becoming a substitution sacrifice for sin. Jesus died for the sin of the entire world and by His death, He was able to save man from horrible, horrific, and eternal  punishment in hell.  ” For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 KJV).  Jesus died and paid the price for sin so that you do not have to. Consequently, because Jesus died and paid the price for your sin, He bought you with his blood and you now belong to Him.

However, it is your decision to accept or eject Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. If you accept it, all your sins will be forgiven and you become a new creature. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new” Romans 5:17, KJV)  But if you reject Jesus’ sacrifice, all your sins will not be forgiven. If you die without having your sins forgiven, you will go to hell, a place of eternal punishment. Only Jesus can forgive your sins and save you from Hell. Jesus says ” I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the father, but by me” (John 14:6, KJV). But you must accept Him and His sacrifice on the cross.  His death means that you can have life.  Refusing to accept the lord Jesus Christ means that you will have to pay the price for your own sin and no man, woman, or child is qualified to do that.  It took someone who was sinless to atone for sin and Jesus is the only one who qualified to atone for sin. Jesus is the way. Why not trust Him and invite Him into your heart and life.  Ask him to forgive of your sin and He will.  When you do this, all your sin will be forgiven and atoned for. It is your decision.  I urge to make a wise decision and surrender your life to Jesus today.