26. July 2017 · Comments Off on WHAT’S HOLDING YOU BACK? · Categories: Decision making, Discipline, Hardwork and Laziness, Jesus Christ, Repentance

“Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I WAS AFRAID, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and LAZY SERVANT… (Matthew 25:24-26 NKJV).

Beloved, isn’t it interesting how regardless of the number of excuses we give, the Lord always knows the root cause of the problem. In this parable in our feature text, the servant seems to give ‘FEAR’ as the reason why he was unproductive and I have written several times about his fear and how it gets in the way of us making a move but this master goes straight to the point and the word that caught my attention here is… LAZY SERVANT…

The Amplified Bible says… You wicked and LAZY AND IDLE SERVANT!

Here’s a situation where the master distributed talents to three of his servants… each according to his ability (Matthew 25:15), meaning he knew what they were capable of. Through the years, he must have been observing them and knew that this one is just LAZY. Let me give him only one talent and see what he does with it. But it’s a shame that the opportunity was wasted. That one opportunity would have changed his situation because the one that was given 2 talents got exactly what the one that was given 5 talents got. The master told both of them… You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much. Enter into and share the joy (the delight, the blessedness) WHICH YOUR MASTER ENJOYS (Matthew 25:21, 23 AMPC).

LAZY AND IDLE SERVANT!…

Beloved, here’s a Lesson the Bible (and not me) says we should learn from the Ants…

YOU LAZY FOOL, LOOK AT AN ANT. Watch it closely; let it teach you a thing or two. Nobody has to tell it what to do. All summer it stores up food; at harvest it stockpiles provisions. SO HOW LONG ARE YOU GOING TO LAZE AROUND DOING NOTHING? HOW LONG BEFORE YOU GET OUT OF BED? A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there, sit back, take it easy—do you know what comes next? Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life, poverty your permanent houseguest! (Proverbs 6:9-11 MSG)

Beloved… HOW LONG BEFORE YOU GET OUT OF BED?… could the Lord be speaking to you right now? Remember, Jesus told the man lingering by the pool for thirty-eight years with his one million excuses… Get up! Pick up your bed (sleeping pad) and walk! (John 5:8 AMPC).

It’s time to stop making excuses.

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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14. July 2017 · Comments Off on IT IS THE LORD’S MERCY THAT PREVAILS · Categories: Compassion, Jesus Christ, Mercy, Repentance, Restoration

For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I have compassion.” So then God’s choice is not dependent on human will, nor on human effort [the totality of human striving], but on God who shows mercy [to whomever He chooses—it is His sovereign gift] (Romans 9:15-16 AMP).

Beloved, yesterday, I celebrated with a friend who passed her driving test after failing it so many times. Before she went for the test, we had our usual prayer session where we found ourselves praying for the Lord’s mercy. After that, she went for the test but I had no idea at the time because she didn’t want to tell me just in case she failed again. She just said she would be a bit late for our next prayer session. However, a few hours later, she called to tell me the good news. She later revealed that on her way to the test, she just kept praying for God’s mercy; Lord have mercy… Lord have mercy… This was unlike her previous prayers which were; Lord, if you help me pass this test, I would be able to carry many souls to church; you know how we do it when we think we can bribe God but she failed every time (LOL). However, this time things were different because like it is often said; if everything else fails, the Lord’s mercy would always prevail.

Beloved, in our feature text, the Lord says… I will have mercy on whomever I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I have compassion and God’s choice is not dependent on human effort… the totality of human striving, but on God who shows mercy to whomever He chooses. I like how the Message translation put it… God told Moses, “I’m in charge of mercy. I’m in charge of compassion.” Compassion doesn’t originate in our bleeding hearts or moral sweat, but in God’s mercy…

This is why we must always appeal to His mercy and there was one man that knew about how merciful the Lord is. His name is King David

Jonah was another person though he was angry at the Lord because of how He dished out mercy on the people of Nineveh after He had said He would destroy them because of their sins.

This change of plans greatly upset Jonah, and he became very angry. So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that You would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that You are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people (Jonah 4:1-2 NLT).

Well, the Lord says… I will have mercy on whomever I have mercy and it is the same Lord that showed David mercy after he committed adultery and murder… Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins (Psalm 51:1 NLT).

Beloved, do you need to appeal to the Lord’s mercy today?

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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19. June 2017 · Comments Off on YOUR MONEY CAN’T BUY THIS · Categories: Motives, Power and Authority, Repentance

Then Peter and John laid their hands upon these believers, and they received the Holy Spirit. When Simon saw that the Spirit was given when the apostles laid their hands on people, he offered them money to buy this power. “Let me have this power, too,” he exclaimed, “so that when I lay my hands on people, they will receive the Holy Spirit!” But Peter replied, “May your money be destroyed with you for thinking God’s gift can be bought! You can have no part in this, for your heart is not right with God (Acts 8:17‭-‬21 NLT).

Beloved, I was reading this recently and the first thought that came to mind was “your money can’t buy this”. Unfortunately, you find that there are certain people that feel that their money is their power or that their money would get them power. These are people that feel that their money is the only means to get power and control people and things around them and once you’ve done it for a long time, you think you can get away with it… “Let me have this power, too,” he exclaimed.

Such was the case of Simon in our feature text and let me just break this down for you on a level that you may be able to understand or relate with. Your tithe, special offering or gifts shouldn’t be used to get you the power and influence you so desperately want. You cannot use it to gain the power you so crave for.

Beloved, how did Peter respond to Simon? He basically told him where to go. He said… you can have no part in this, for your heart is not right with God… Repent of your wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps He will forgive your evil thoughts, for I can see that you are full of bitter jealousy and are held captive by sin.” (Acts 8:22‭-‬23 NLT)

How I wish there would be more ‘Peters’ to say to people that your money can’t buy this. We would be able to shut this attitude down in the body of Christ.

Beloved, one of my favourite Scriptures is… Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life (Psalms 139:23‭-‬24 NLT). I have found that once you start praying this prayer, you would be surprised at the things the Lord would dig up but that’s okay because it doesn’t stop there. Like David, you can also ask the Lord to… Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me (Psalms 51:10 KJV).

Remember, YOUR MONEY CAN’T BUY THIS OR THAT! God’s gift cannot be bought! Submit yourself to the process… Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time (1 Peter 5:6 NKJV)

SELAH!

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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05. April 2017 · Comments Off on THE UNDONE WORSHIPER · Categories: Change, Jesus Christ, Repentance, Worship

Prophet Isaiah said… In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above Him were seraphim… And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory.” At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” (Isaiah 6:1-5 NIV)

Beloved, usually when I get down to worship, I feel the presence of the Lord so strongly that I can hardly contain myself. However, I expect to feel His presence like this when I’ve been very faithful. That is, when I’ve been regular in spending time before his Holy presence. But I don’t expect to feel His presence when I’ve been too busy and struggling to find time for Him. And so when He does show up at such times, I feel very guilty. Unusually, at such times, as I get down to business and I can immediately feel His presence so strongly, it really messes me up. I find myself saying “Lord, I really don’t deserve this. Why are You always so close and so quick to embrace me? It’s like You are just there waiting for me to come back”. It’s very humbling.

Well, in his book, ‘THE UNQUENCHABLE WORSHIPER: COMING BACK TO THE HEART OF WORSHIP’, Matt Redman whom I talked about yesterday titles this one… ‘the undone worshiper’. Referring to our feature text, he says “before the throne of God the prophet Isaiah becomes an undone worshiper… Isaiah is broken, stunned and shaken in the presence of God. But this brokenness is not a destructive thing; God is stripping him apart in order to put him back together as a stronger, purer worshiper.

What he is basically saying is that it’s not always every time that the presence of God leaves a gently and comforting feeling; you know those times when you are just in awe of Him. There are times when it leaves you broken. Matt says there was a time… “God’s presence invaded my heart in a new and powerful way. But it wasn’t one of those tender, reassuring times. All it did was make me want to repent. Rising to the surface of my heart came those little unspoken attitudes and thoughts which had passed unnoticed, and which I now saw had offended God”

Beloved, what Matt says makes perfect sense. There are times I feel the Lord’s strong presence but He comes to make me repent… to come back to THE HEART OF WORSHIP. Hopefully I’m not the only one. Like King David told the Lord… The sacrifice You desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God (Psalm 51:17 NLT).

Beloved, let this be our heart condition.

 

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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07. February 2017 · Comments Off on WHAT IF YOU ARE WRONG? · Categories: Action, Change, God's Plan, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Repentance, Spiritual Growth

There is a way which seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but its end is the way of death (Proverbs 14:12 AMP).

Beloved, I finally came to the decision that I don’t trust the spell check on my phone anymore and I am seriously considering looking for how to turn it off because it keeps changing the words that I type. However, the annoying thing is that even when you try to correct it, it keeps insisting and imposing that it is right and would change your spelling back to what it thinks is right and the funny thing is that if it made suggestions that made sense, it won’t be that bad but it keeps coming up with words that don’t even make any sense and on Saturday as I was speaking to my phone to stop it, my conversation to my non talking phone immediately turned into a message and I began to think of how many times we insist that we are right when we are actually wrong?

Our feature text says… there is a way that seems right to man but the end only leads to death and it takes huge doses of humility to say you “know what, maybe I am not right. There’s no way I can know it all”.

Yesterday, I wrote about the power of walking and working together in agreement and this is definitely one of the things that bring about disagreement but I like how the Bible says… Understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters. Let everyone be quick to hear [be a careful, thoughtful listener], slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words and], slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving] (James 1:19 AMP)

Be slow to speak… This creates the time you need to carefully consider things before you open your mouth to speak and personally, this is an area where I have to put my hands up and say “Holy Spirit… help me!” Well, I’m definitely not there yet but on my way. As, for my phone, I know the ‘IPhone’ people keep saying change and come over to the light but my phone takes really good pictures and it’s a case of beauty versus brains (LOL) but seriously, what does the Bible say about true beauty?

The Bible says… Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God (1 Peter 3:3-4 NLT).

Beloved, the Bible also says… He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6 NKJV).

So beloved, what if you are wrong? Do you need some grace or more grace?

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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13. September 2016 · Comments Off on DON’T BE POISONED BY BITTERNESS · Categories: Anger, Bitterness, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Power and Authority, Prayer, Repentance

And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for YOUR HEART IS NOT RIGHT IN THE SIGHT OF GOD. Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. FOR I SEE THAT YOU ARE POISONED BY BITTERNESS and bound by iniquity.” (Acts 8:18-23 NKJV)

FOR I SEE THAT YOU ARE POISONED BY BITTERNESS…

Beloved, recently, I heard a prophet say that Satan wanted him to be so crushed by people that he use the weaponry of the spirit to control and wound them… to kill them with his words but the Lord had to deal with his bitterness.

Hmmm… what was he saying? This is a case of people trying to use their supernatural ability to control and curse others and in many cases the root cause is bitterness. In our feature text, we see that Simon was eager to acquire some supernatural way to control people and amongst other things, Peter was able to identify that the root of his pursuit was bitterness.

Simon used to be a sorcerer and like this person said, witchcraft was probably his way of retaliating people because of his resentment because there is a relationship between releasing curses and bitterness. Unfortunately, we find that today many Christians, even Christian leaders have allowed bitterness to consume them to the point that they begin to make soulish incantations calling it prayer; “nothing is ever going to go right for you wherever you go etc.”

They begin to use their words to curse you. However, the enemy tried to use Balaam to curse the people of God but he was at least smart enough to know… how can I curse those whom God has not cursed? How can I condemn those whom the Lord has not condemned? (Numbers 23:8 NLT)

Beloved… Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor [perpetual animosity, resentment, strife, fault-finding] and slander be put away from you, along with every kind of malice [all spitefulness, verbal abuse, malevolence] (Ephesians 4:31 AMP). I love how the Voice translation puts it… Banish bitterness, rage and anger, shouting and slander, and any and all malicious thoughts—these are poison.

Has someone wronged you? Don’t be poisoned by bitterness… “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord (Romans 12:19 NKJV). This is not to say you shouldn’t pray. God doesn’t like injustice but I remember telling God that if I pray with my understanding on a particular case then, I know I would be crossing the line. So I would rather pray with the Spirit because… We are weak and do not know how to pray, so the Spirit steps in and articulates prayers for us with groaning too profound for words (Romans 8:26 Voice).

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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29. July 2016 · Comments Off on THE POINT THE LORD BEGINS TO TURN THINGS AROUND‏ · Categories: Action, Choices, God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Repentance, Restoration

We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful WHEN WE LOVE HIM AND ACCEPT HIS INVITATION TO LIVE ACCORDING TO HIS PLAN (Romans 8:28 VOICE).

Beloved, one of my favourite songs that makes me dance like King David danced is a praise song that originated from Africa that goes along the lines of… “I can see everything turning around… everything turning around for my good”.

As I was reading our feature text, this was the song that came to mind. This is also one of my favourite verses and whenever anyone asks me to sign a copy of my book, I just write Romans 8:28 and then sign underneath it because it’s a text that summarizes my life’s story.

I have observed that a lot of people also like this text because it basically lets us know that God can take whatever we’ve been through; both the good, the bad and ugly, and make is work in our favour. However, what caught my attention about this text was the bit in this particular translation that says… WHEN WE LOVE HIM AND ACCEPT HIS INVITATION TO LIVE ACCORDING TO HIS PLAN…

There has got to be a point we decide to turn away from whatever it is that we are involved in‎ and accept God’s invitation to live according to His plan and purpose for our lives. That’s the point when things start to turn around for us and not when we go on in our rebellious ways, doing things outside His will. The text also says… WHEN WE LOVE HIM‎… and ‎we show we love God when we obey Him.

Don’t get me wrong, things will still work for your good because nothing you’ve been through will be wasted. There’s something called transferable skills‎ where you take the same set of skills you learn in one profession and apply it in another profession. We see this example with Moses. Everything he learnt in the wilderness looking after his father-in-law’s sheep was the same skills he used in leading the Israelites through the wilderness.

Beloved, things will always work out for your good but perhaps God is waiting for the time you decide to start to do it His way‎ and that’s your choice. ‎

“So what’s God’s will for my life” some people will ask? Well, turn around first and then devote yourself to praying with the help of the Holy Spirit because like the Scriptures says… We are weak and do not know how to pray, so the Spirit steps in and articulates prayers for us with groaning too profound for words. Don’t you know that He who pursues and explores the human heart intimately knows the Spirit’s mind because HE PLEADS TO GOD FOR HIS SAINTS TO ALIGN THEIR LIVES WITH THE WILL OF GOD? (Romans 8:26-27 VOICE)

HE PLEADS TO GOD FOR HIS SAINTS TO ALIGN THEIR LIVES WITH THE WILL OF GOD…

Beloved, turn around and then devote yourself to praying with the help of the Holy Spirit …

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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23. May 2016 · Comments Off on PURGING YOUR HEART BEFORE GOD · Categories: God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Relationship, Repentance, Worship

Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24 AMPC).

Beloved, these were the words of David who was by no means a perfect man but understood that God, to whom it matters most, is always looking deep into the heart of man. With God, IT IS A MATTER OF THE HEART… Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord WEIGHS AND TRIES THE HEARTS (Proverbs 21:2 AMPC). I believe that’s why you would always hear David say things like… Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me. Test my motives and my heart (Psalm 26:2 NLT). As Christians, this is so important. God already knows we are not perfect that’s why He gave us the Holy Spirit to help us.

God looked down from His throne at all the people on the earth and said, “that’s the man I’m looking for” …HE RAISED UP DAVID to be their king; of him He bore witness and said, I have found David son of Jesse A MAN AFTER MY OWN HEART, WHO WILL DO ALL MY WILL AND CARRY OUT MY PROGRAM FULLY (Acts 13:22 AMPC).

Do you think that when God looked down at David and said “this is a man after My own heart”, God did not know David was going to commit adultery, kill the husband and take his wife? But David always presented his heart before God. God said David…WILL DO ALL MY WILL AND CARRY OUT MY PROGRAM FULLY… How did David achieve this? …He knew all sorts of things can get in the way…self-ambition; wrong motives etc. so all day long he cried out… SHOW ME HOW YOU WORK, God; SCHOOL ME IN YOUR WAYS. Take me by the hand; Lead me down the path of truth. YOU ARE MY SAVIOR, AREN’T YOU? (Psalm 25:4-5 MSG)

God ‘RAISED UP DAVID’ meaning ‘TO TRAIN’…and David was willing to learn. He must have said “You called me into this thing; I did not call myself so SHOW ME HOW… This is a desperate cry for help from someone that knows that if you leave me to it, I’ll mess it all up. Even with good intentions, you can still miss it because… There is A WAY WHICH SEEMS RIGHT TO A MAN AND APPEARS STRAIGHT BEFORE HIM, but at the end of it is the way of death (Proverbs 14:12 AMP). This means that as far as you are concerned, you may think you are doing the right thing but the end is disaster.

Beloved, I’m by no means perfect but one thing I always do is present my heart before God; all my wrong motives, malicious thoughts etc. and say… Lord, please help me purge my heart and He does. So, beloved, does your heart need purging?

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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21. April 2016 · Comments Off on WHAT’S IN YOUR POSSESSION? · Categories: Repentance, Restoration, Victory

Get up, and tell the people to purify themselves for tomorrow. Tell them that the Eternal One, the God of Israel says, “There are items among you that were supposed to be destroyed as I commanded. You will not be able to resist your enemies unless you remove the banned items from among you.” (Joshua 7:13 VOICE)

Beloved, whenever I face any form of attack or setback, my first question is “where have I opened a door?” The story behind our feature text is that the Israelites were confident that they were going to win their fight against their enemy but to their surprise, they were defeated. They couldn’t understand why but when they took the case to the Lord, He made them realise that they had things in their possession that were meant to be destroyed.

According to my Bible Study notes, “there’s always an explanation in the Book of Joshua when the people of Israel are defeated in their battles for the promised land, and that explanation is not that God has been unfaithful. It’s the other way around: God tells the people of Israel to do something, and they don’t. God allows their defeats so that they can see the error of their ways”.

In this case, Achan was the ‎culprit and so… Joshua spoke to Achan, “My son, give glory to God, the God of Israel. Make your confession to him. Tell me what you did. Don’t keep back anything from me.” Achan answered Joshua, “It’s true. I sinned against God, the God of Israel. This is how I did it. In the plunder I spotted a beautiful Shinar robe, two hundred shekels of silver, and a fifty-shekel bar of gold, and I COVETED AND TOOK THEM…” (Joshua 7:19-21 MSG)

Unfortunately, Achan and his family were killed because of that incident but thank God for Jesus and like a friend would say; “Ruky, say that again”. Well, thank God for Jesus. We are now in a position today were we can come to Him, confess our sins and get rid of whatever it is that is causing the defeat in our lives.

The Bible says… submit yourselves to the One true God and fight against the devil and his schemes. If you do, he will run away in failure. Come close to the One true God, and He will draw close to you. Wash your hands; you have dirtied them in sin. Cleanse your heart, because your mind is split down the middle, your love for God on one side and selfish pursuits on the other (James 4:7-8 VOICE).

The Bible also advices… let us drop every extra weight, every sin that clings to us and slackens our pace, and let us run with endurance the long race set before us (Hebrews 12:1 VOICE).

Today, lets pray that the Lord opens our eyes to see if we’ve opened a door to the enemy so we can close that door immediately.

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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06. April 2016 · Comments Off on WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE A MODEL GENERATION‏ · Categories: Change, Choices, God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Light, Repentance

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9 NKJV)

Beloved, reading through the Old Testament, we find that as the Israelites were in transit, making their way from the land of Egypt where the Lord had called them out of into their Promised Land, they were given very strict commands, some of which have some serious repercussions that we could say were really harsh. God would sometime ask that people be stoned to death for their actions and like a young convert once said while trying to read through the OT… “God, what are You doing killing all these people? You are making Yourself look really bad”. However, one reason for this was to make sure there was no pollution amongst the people He had called out and to make a clear demarcation between God’s people and other nations who worshipped other gods.

Also, according my Bible notes… “the Lord chooses Israel from among all the nations to be His own people; but that choice, paradoxically, is for the sake of all the other nations too. ISRAEL IS SUPPOSED TO CREATE A MODEL SOCIETY, following His laws, and this is supposed to attract other nations to true faith in Him. Most of the Old Testament describes how the Lord is at work in close relationship with one nation. But it also provides continual glimpses… of the way that relationship is designed to be a vehicle to reach all nations. The “law” is a complex legal code designed to build a new society out of former desert wanderers.

The Israelites were supposed to be a model for the world and so are Christian’s of today but unfortunately, we can hardly tell the difference. We look just like those in the world with the way we act and even dress but Jesus said to God… They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth [set them apart for Your purposes, make them holy]; Your word is truth (John 17:15-17 AMP).

The Voice translation says… Like Me, they are not products of the corrupt world order.

In another place, He tells us… “You are the light of [Christ to] the world… Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and [recognize and honor and] glorify your Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5:14-16 AMP).

The Message translation says that by being the light of the world… you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

Referring to our feature text, a friend said… “we are a CHOSEN but FROZEN generation. I thought of this and perhaps we are frozen and aren’t making any effect on the world because instead of being a peculiar people, we have so blended in that the world can’t tell the difference”.

Beloved, how do you think we can start to affect our world?

Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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