Genuine Vs Counterfeit – Pleasure, Pride & Power.

1John 2:16
For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.

The above scripture shows you what exemplifies a great life in this sinful world… the lust of the flesh (that desire for wicked pleasure), the lust of the eyes (that thirst for corrupt power), the pride of life (selfish pride), which is nothing but the veil that blinds the unbeliever to the redeeming merit of the Lord Jesus Christ as presented in the Gospel (2Cor 4:3). The Bible teaches us that the believer must walk by faith and not by sight (2Cor 5:7) and in doing so, it qualifies saving faith as that sixth sense which overrides all our five senses because our flesh naturally from the fall of Adam, is wired to resist the good pleasure of God, but faith teaches us to say no to ourselves and say yes to God. In any case, when you take a look at the end result of our indulging in our own pleasure, when you have had all that you have wanted, whether it be: drunkenness, gluttony, drug addiction or nymphomania, when have had all of what pleases you personally, you are left feeling very squeamish if not diseased. The reason our pleasures handed to us from Adam are so morbid is because we are not God, we weren’t meant to serve our own interest. Instead we were made to serve the Lord and make his pleasure our own (Psalm 37:4).

John 12
24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. 25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.

Rom 5:17
17 For if by the one man’s (Adam’s) offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)

When we look at the above two verses we realize how the free will of man traces its way after the sovereign will of God, like water flowing through a channel made in the mud by hand (Prov 21:1). Keeping this in mind, when we look at the above scripture we realize that the dying to ourselves, which must happen in the life of a believer, is not God calling you to commit social suicide but instead it is the saving power of the Jesus’ Spirit working in the believer (Phil 1:6), in the bringing the believer to repent and believe in God. When Jesus said He didn’t come to call the healthy but sinners (Mk 2:17), we realize that we cannot receive the righteousness of God unless we lose our terribly fraudulent self-righteousness & acknowledge we are nothing but sinners in turning to God. Take a look at the thirst for corrupt power, people will do anything to climb the corporate ladder, sleep with their bosses, bribe their way to get a promotion, bear false witness against their colleagues, then when you look at politics we know that in most socialist countries the best upgrade a gangster or religious baba/conman can get is to become a politician, the whole world practically goes about trying to gain the whole the world at the cost of losing their soul (Mk 8:36).

Gen 3
4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

The above verse sights the Biblical account of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. Notice how Satan baits the woman, he says you will be like God, in the sense you will have your own standard of what is right and what is wrong, separate from what God has set. Verse 6 of Genesis 3 is where the fall happens because the woman actually believes Satan and all the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and pride of life appears to take root in Adam & Eve here. In doing so the living faith that was in them perished but not just for them but for us all who are their progeny. Ever wondered Jesus was born of a virgin? It is so that he would have no part of Adam’s sin (Heb 4:15). It is no wonder that today people are more willing to listen to spirit mediums who communicate with demons impersonating the dead but these same people have the least interest in knowing what the good Lord says in the Bible, because it doesn’t quite whet their rebellious appetite, which is all thanks to fall of Adam.

Romans 8:28
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

When you look at the above scripture, you might begin to realize that unlike man, the reason good comes from God pursuing His own purpose/interests, is because the truth is God and God, man is not God, and to go against this simple and yet critical truth/principle is to dangerously err but we do it everyday unknowingly, and the Bible in this context is quite right in saying: the fool says in his heart- there is no God (Psalm 14:1); because that is the kind of ungrateful lives we are living and then we wonder where’s the joy all gone and why the suicide rates are so high. Still, God in his mercy keeps us alive each day, blessing us with sunshine, rain and all the other pleasures of life, which we can never put a price on. Now take a look at our selfish pride, besides it flying in the face of the Almighty Triune God, you also come to realize that selfish-pride and self-respect are mutually exclusive, the things selfish pride will make an unbeliever stoop to, is something no self-respecting believer will have anything to do with. For any person who takes pride in being very smart/learned, strong or attractive will senselessly speak ill of the other in his attempt to sabotage people’s perception concerning how the other excels in that field, which that person himself self-relates with so proudly. You will also notice that people who speak with great haughtiness concerning themselves can actually do very little, even for themselves. It is as the Bible says that the truth in not in them.

Psalm 37:4 (Pleasure)
4 Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Jeremiah 9:23-24 (Pride)
Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”

Romans 8 (Power)
15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

Do you remember the parable of the pearl of great value in Mat 13:45-46, the Gospel is compared to this pearl of great value, where a merchant in realizing its value (1 Cor 2:14) relinquishes his self-righteousness in receiving Jesus Christ as His Lord/Master & Saviour? From Jesus we learn that a man cannot believe in the Gospel unless he repents (Jn 12:24-26), which is to say that he willingly and happily renounces his self-righteousness in receiving the righteousness of God. The scripture I have quoted above, tell us what exactly is the pleasure, pride and power a Christian is genuinely brought to yearn for. We must remember that we were made in the image in God (Gen 1:26) that was broken in Adam but restored in Christ (Rom 8:29), and so the pride, pleasure & power we ought to reflect must be all for the glory of the Triune God Almighty.

P.S. I DON’T SUPPORT #GayRight or #GayPride for the same reason I DON’T SUPPORT the Right to murder, or the Right to rape, or the fallen Pride murderers/rapists take in their capacity to sin. After all these are all sins deserving of death but our world is lost ever since the fall.

Shout out their Conviction from the Roof!

Mat 10
26 “Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops. 28 Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

Have you ever heard that story of the Emperor’s New Clothes, it took a kid to tell the emperor he was parading naked! The people of this world vehemently despise those who are morally straight, it’s almost as though the righteousness of God which is revealed through the Spirit of Christ working in the believer, convicts the unbeliever of his sin and in that moment the unbeliever’s heart is either hardened (Rom 9:18) or his unbelieving heart is pierced with the weight of godly sorrow that brings him to repentance (2Cor 7:10-11). Today, Christianity for many namesake Christians is just a story but for those who really believe in the Lord Jesus, this religion is an original filled with substance. Take a look at Stephen (Acts 6:8 – 7:60), the first Christian martyr, when he was brought before the council, he spoke boldly of his faith in Jesus Christ before the pharisees and the apostate Jews, to the extent that their hearts were hardened and they took his life because God did not grant those poor fools the capacity to repent and be saved from their sins. Look at the average Christian witness today, does his life testify of the righteousness of Christ working in him, does it convict the unbeliever as Stephen did. No! To a great extent, unbelievers see namesake Christians living the same lives they are living but only believing in a different story and there is really no conviction in that. So, what is the point am driving? I am certainly not implying that the true Christian must be on a suicide mission. This is not Islam, where you can excuse yourself from the hardship of life by blowing yourself up in the midst of non-Muslims and fool yourself into thinking this is your straight ticket to heaven because that’s more like going from the frying pan into the fire.

Mark 1
14 Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

“Until Sin be bitter, Christ will not be sweet.” Thomas Watson

If we are living by what is right in God’s sight then we are walking by faith and not by sight, knowing that the righteousness of Christ we are called to exercise in this world, will be met by hostility, but our lives and theirs, is in God’s hand and they shall be able to nothing to us, until and unless God decrees that we suffer martyrdom for His namesake. After all, if Christ could suffer and die at the hand of sinners what right do we have to consider ourselves as more privileged to lead a Godly life without paying a dear price, which even if it be we lose our lives, it is nothing compared to what Jesus endured. Think about this, God’s wrath was not satisfied when He destroyed all of mankind in the days of Noah but His wrath was satisfied when He poured out the wages of all sin upon His Son Jesus Christ, who suffered the humiliation of this world leading up to death on the cross and then 3 days in hell. Look at us, we have a rough week at work and an anxiety filled weekend and we start grumbling against God. What we are going through for the sake of Christ is nothing compared to what Jesus went through, He was born in the stable because there was no room in the inn, Joseph and Mary had to flee to Egypt because Herod wanted to kill Him when He was a child, in the wilderness in His weak state (from His 40 days of fasting) he was tempted by Satan, during his ministry the pharisees in their inability to deal with their own guilt claimed He performed miracles by the power of the leader of demons, the foxes have their holes and birds have their nest but my Lord Jesus had no place to lie down, then His own disciple Judas betrayed Him and He was slandered, whipped, scourged and put to death on the cross among two thieves and then after He died He went to hell for three days. So, if the Captain of our Salvation could go through all this why should we surprised when affliction visits us as the means of perfecting our faith in Jesus Christ and proving our religion as genuine.

John 16 (Jesus Speaking About the Holy Spirit)
8 And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; 11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

The world garnishes their sinfulness with hypocrisy, it’s like the unbeliever sins against his neighbour in the full view and knowledge of his neighbour, so as to subdue & assert his godless authority over his neighbour, which is in keeping with the ungodly leadership this world resorts to, in controlling their environment through tyrannical/unholy fear (Mat 20:25). However, if you have the courage to confront them with what is clearly evident, they will be taken aback because somehow it seems they have no problem with sinning against God and their neighbour but tell them about it, and God will either harden their hearts to hate you or God will take away their hearts of stone and give them a heart of flesh to obey His Law (Ezek 11:19). So what God reveals to you in your quite reflection of scripture, it is good to hide in your heart & keep your peace (Ps 119:11), till you confront your neighbour in the light of that knowledge at an opportune time as guided by the Holy Spirit (1Cor 6:2). Remember, the world’s people are neither your standard nor your audience, whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord (Col 3:23-24). When God is your audience and standard, your hands and tongues will not be tied to speak out against the sinfulness that plagues the whole world, instead you will be shouting out their judgement from every rooftop for the Glory of God alone.

Yes, this is all possible when you are in Christ (Mark 3:27).

Not Just Recipients of Grace but Agents of Grace!

Rev 22:17
The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.

John 4:13-14
13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

The true believer is saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, by whose sacrifice the anger of God against him/her as a sinner is quenched, while the rebellion in the sinner is doused, conforming the sinner to the image/nature/character of Almighty God in which he/she was made. In Christ, we are a new creation, that old Adamic nature withers away while a new nature (of Christ) germinates in us occupying more and more of us each passing day. We aren’t just called unto Christ for our salvation, we are also called to reflect Christ to those around us, which is why the second greatest commandment after loving God with all our strength is to love our neighbour as we love our selves. Take a look at the above verses, it helps you see that Christ is so influential in breathing life into the lives of His elect that we can’t help but continually seek Him and in doing so we become more and more Christlike each day.

John 8:12
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Mat 5:14-16
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

I have quoted another set of verses for you to help you see that Jesus rubs off on the believer. If there’s one thing I have noticed in a heresy or cult is that it thrives simply because of the people’s sloth in not genuinely seeking the Lord. In most cults like Roman Catholicism and the Charismatic Movement, only about 10% of them know their Bibles from cover to cover, and among those ten a good majority have neither the guts nor the gumption to question their pastors/priests on the cherry-picked Christianity they have been teaching and move out of there. Most of such congregations, are more concerned about themselves than seeking the Lord, so while in the world they remain Lawyers, Doctors, Engineers and Managers, their knowledge of the Lord is shoddy because they don’t know their Bible as well as they know their worldly studies, which goes to show they do not rely on the Lord for their sustenance. These people therefore remain within these cults/heresies as they don’t know any better and frankly speaking, they don’t really care because the reality with a majority of them including their priests & pastors is that these people are only doing what they are doing to serve themselves and not unto serving the Lord.

John 13:34
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

Mat 25:40
And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

The Bible says that life is in the blood, and blood is what makes family but as spiritual descendants of Abraham through the promised seed that is Christ (Gal 3:16), the family that is established in sharing of Jesus’ Holy Spirit is of much greater value than a family established by blood, for two reasons as I see it. One because, a family established by blood lies still in Adam where each member primarily serves himself from the fall, in the family of Christ however, every member learns to put Christ first & love their neighbours as themselves. Second because, the life that is in the blood is perishable but the life we have in the Spirit of Christ is immortal. Therefore as Christians in fellowship, we do more than just reflecting Christ to the world, we actually reflect Christ to each other, making His presence known to our brothers and sisters in Jesus (Jn 13:34) who can appreciate and digest that is spiritually appraised. As children restored to God through Jesus Christ we are called to be conduits of His blessing in the lives of our brothers/sisters.

Mat 5
44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Jude 1
22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.

2 Cor 8
6 Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace. 7 But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.
8 I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.

I would like to conclude this post by citing the above verse in Mat 5:44, 45, 48 which shows us that we who have received the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, do so only to become bearers of grace to the elect and to the reprobate in the context of Jude 1:23 as unto serving the Lord & not in the context of sucking up to the world to serve our own sick interest, because the grace of God we exhibit unto others testifies of the salvation that God is working in us (Phil 1:3-6) while proving our love for the Lord to be genuine (2Cor 8:8). For as Rom 8:30 says those whom God predestined, He also justified and glorified but why would God do so… because He predestines us to conform with the Image/nature of His Son as explained in Roman 8:28, which takes us from being recipients of grace to being agents of grace, not by our own capacity surely but by the power of the Triune God Almighty who saves.

Our Sovereign Maker, Lord & Saviour

Jeremiah 1:5
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Romans 9
21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?

The connect I would like to show you in the above two verses is this… you know we who are his elect are nothing but vessels made from clay (mud) in whom Jesus has poured out His Living Spirit and in doing so has given life to us spiritually dead sons/daughters of Adam. There was a time we languished among the spiritual corpses of the world because of the disobedience of Adam in whose loins all of mankind sinned against God, yet, who can thwart the might right arm of God, that is Jesus who saves the elect from their sins and reconciles them back to God. Take a look at Psalm 44:1-3, you will see that in Christ we are the heirloom & heirs of Almighty God. The honourable use, He made the godly for (Rom 9:21), was speaking in terms of the elect serving His righteous purpose, which was made possible through the atoning sacrifice of Christ Jesus while the dishonourable use He made the reprobate for, was speaking in terms of the profligate serving their own wicked purpose, as fools handed over to their own adamic lusts.

Mat 13: 8, 23 (Jer 1:5 perspective)
Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

Take a look at the above scripture from the perspective of Jeremiah 1:5 mentioned in the beginning of this post. You will understand that the good soil doesn’t randomly happen here and there with the seed chancing itself on that good soil. That good soil, is a life prepared by the hand of God for honourable use i.e. to serve Jesus’s purpose (Rom 9:21). In all these things we must understand that God doesn’t make/cause people to sin. People who sin, sin of their own volition and enjoy it, it is the very nature they have received from the fall of Adam. The elect too once bore this nature but the redeeming power of Jesus overcame their sinful nature and turned them from serving their own wicked interest to serving God’s interests and enjoying because we are after all a new creation in Christ (2Cor 5:17). It’s like that brand “One Drop”, which can purify a whole glass of water with just one drop of that solution. So too we who were sinners were called and chosen by God, in doing so we’re given a little seed of Jesus’ Spirit, which grows and over comes our sinful adamic nature to bear the image/nature/character of God in the elect.

Isaiah 64:8
But now, O Lord, you are our Father;
we are the clay, and you are our potter;
we are all the work of your hand.

I was reading a little about how a pot is made and I have come to understand that a lump of clay is first put on a wheel, which is spun and given shape and left to dry, then while it is still a little moist, it is chipped and carved into with a pointer or a wire brush. The pot is then fired a little to prepare it for glazing, at this stage the pot is still porous enough to absorb the glaze, which not only makes it waterproof but also gives it texture and colour. After glazing, the pot it is fired in a kiln to convert the clay to ceramic, here the heat rises slowly to 1260⁰C and cools slowly, so that the vessels does not get destroyed. Now, when I ponder on Isaiah 29:16 & Romans 9:21, where the clay is not happy with the way the potter has fashioned it… it’s very much like today, where men feel they should have been women and women feel they should have been men and then undergo transgender surgeries because God supposedly made a mistake with them. What about people who are not happy with their skin colour, these are people who are not happy with the way God has made them either and because they are not happy with God, it follows that they are not happy with themselves. Then you have the Arminian, who believes that that his spiritualty is a result of his own volition… you can imagine how ludicrous it is for the clay to be saying that to itself. There is then the Pre-millennialist who expects to be raptured out of the kiln so as to escape the firing because the sovereignty of God, he believes in is only is theory & he fails to understand that even trials serve God’s purpose.

Genesis 2 (Read in context of Col 1:15-16)
7 then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

John 20 (Read in context of Col 1:19-20)
21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

Col 1
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by[f] him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.

19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

To conclude, I would like to say that every event in the lives of all of God’s elect though unpleasant in that moment, serves to make us the men and women of God we are, while all that glazing and firing sanctifies us and gives us a godly character that the lives we live may hold water in testifying of God’s salvation we have freely availed in His Son – Our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ.

Empowered to Live by the Holy Fear of God!

Mat 13
22 And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

Rev 13
16 And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, 17 and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.

Take a look at the world today, it would seem that a person’s survival and well being depends fully on how he cooperates with the unrighteous syndicates that operates in his environment, which figuratively speaking is wearing the mark of the beast (Rev 13:16-17). The world is filled with covetousness, adultery, murder and thievery. Covetousness in the sense, that people only associate with those whom they have something to personally gain from. When they gift, it will be with the expectation of getting something of equal value or higher in return. People like these, want to be seen hanging out with the bigwigs and subtly brag about it to promote their own self-esteem. When it comes to adultery, it doesn’t matter what God thinks, as long as you have two consenting adults, you can do what you want with yourselves. You know, there was once a study conducted where random people were offered to choose from a Hershey’s Bar and a 10g bar of silver bullion, you will be surprised that every person in that study chose a Hershey’s Bar because that is how short sighted we are when it comes to pleasure. So, it is also with Sex, who cares about nearly dying on the table while going through an abortion, that sexual lusts must be satisfied first. Not that I am for abortion, I am very much prolife, in fact I believe even in the case of rape (the favourite prochoice excuse for abortion), if a mother raises that innocent child with the love he deserves, he will grow up and avenge his mother and give his biological father the deserving justice, which his liberal government would have most probably fail to act up on. In any case liberal logic is so lopsided that in the case of rape, it licences the death of the innocent child while denying the rape victim the justice she must get against the rapist. When it comes to thievery, it seems to be ok to rob only when everybody else is doing it, like piracy or like when a mob goes on the rampage and it’s a free for all, then nobody cares what God thinks because the esteem we hold ourselves in is only before the people around us and not before God, so it’s ok to stoop to thievery simply because everybody is doing it and it doesn’t really matter how well you are doing in life because what you serve is not God but yourself and so every opportunity to sinfully gather to yourself what pleases you, is just an opportunity your depraved nature cannot let go off.

Matthew 6:24, 30-33
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

30 …You of little faith! 31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

It is in seeking the good pleasure of God that we live life to the fullest. If you have ever noticed, it is those who are self-centred who cannot even do anything for themselves because the truth is we were made to serve the Lord not ourselves and it is in selflessly serving the Lord that we unlock our full human potential, which in itself serves as the building blocks of healthy society. Humanist always try to serve themselves by pleasing the people around them but the Godly live to please the Lord, that is our purpose & the thorns of trying to please to the world does not hold us back (Mat 13:22). Jesus does not cramp our style, Jesus is our style, He is what makes us tick and we are not ashamed of Him, He is that one person we identify with as Christians. It is in following after this Jesus that we learn not to be ashamed of the truth concerning everything, even ourselves. This is what it is like to live empowered with the holy fear of God. It is not about being afraid of Him for no reason… God is not Satan to kill without reason. God makes His standard known through His Law, and it is in abiding by this Law that we learn what it is to be moral and civil. Rebel against Him, and even if the whole world may support you, you will see no point in living the life you have. Let me give you a real-life example, take homosexuality for instance, every backsliding nation is decriminalizing homosexuality and many media agencies are expressing their support for the #LGBT by giving their logos the multi-colour theme but all this support is doing nothing for the sky rocketing suicide rates of among the LGBT.

Psalm 144
1 Blessed be the Lord, my rock,
Who trains my hands for war,
And my fingers for battle;
2 My lovingkindness and my fortress,
My stronghold and my deliverer,
My shield and He in whom I take refuge,
Who subdues my people under me.

Mat 10
27 What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops. 28 Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Phil 4:13
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

This world looks at true Christians like we are pigs wallowing in the mire because the faith that empowers us to do what we do for the Lord is absolutely alien to these self-serving gods. So, as much as it is not possible to serve two masters: money and the Lord, it is also not possible to please the world in their sin and please God in the righteousness revealed to us in Christ. I once read about what made the Persians such great warriors in their time and it is said that they would rather die in battle than face their king in defeat. If a Persian King can command such reverence from his people, then why can’t the Son of God incarnate, the King of kings & Lord of lords… Jesus Christ command the same? Why then does David say in Psalm 84:10 Better is one day as the doorkeeper in the house of God than a thousand days in the tents of the wicked?.. because that is the holy zeal the Holy Spirit that is at work in us commands unto our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ. A God-fearing man is not one who lives maintaining a spotless reputation in a wicked society, rather a God-fearing man is one who roars like a lion against society for supporting all that which displeases his God. A God fearing man does not use the love of God as a convenient excuse to bow out to those who identify as unrepentant sinners (right & wise in their own sight), rather that Love a God-fearing man has for the Lord burns within him like a zeal to do what is right/pleasing in the sight of God, which often results in calling sinners out on their sin that they may repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ who saves us from our sins. In any case being a true God-fearing man often comes at the cost of offending every self-righteous fool around because when you really believe in God, you live like God is for real, rather than a make-believe exhibited only through rituals and/or prayer.

The Glory of the Good we do belongs to GOD (not us).

Eph 2:8-10
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

From the fall, man in receiving to himself a righteousness of self, is a law to himself and a god to himself. It is no wonder that a natural man’s attitude is indifferent towards God owing to that fallen need to serve himself in everything he does. Hence, fallen man has made the pursuit of serving himself as the chief end of his life, a wicked end justified no doubt by the most devious means because the truth is that man is no God and so his self-centered pursuit of life is nothing short of dastardly. Even when he does something good, it is with the motive of serving his own interest, so there is never anything that is genuinely good that comes out of man because man doesn’t believe God is God, man on the contrary feels that he is god and that is why he rejects the truth about God because he sees no point in serving God’s interest over his own.

Mat 6:33
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Luke 17:10
So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.

The other day I called Amazon to thank the advisor, whom I had fired the previous day because of the delay in delivery of my order. The advisor escalated my complaint and my order was delivered the very next day. I thought it would please God to display some neighbourly love by calling Amazon and appreciating that advisor for being patient with me and doing his job. So, I passed on a note of appreciation to his colleague over the phone and through an email feedback form as well. When I had finished the call, I felt almost in the 7th heaven (figurative) for doing this but I soon realized that the glory of the good I do belongs to God and was not for me to wallow in and delight in concerning how good I am myself. This incident brought me to write on this subject that the glory of the good we do belongs not to us but to God.

Mat 10:42
And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.

Mat 6:5
And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. Truly I tell you, they already have their reward.

True religion is about pleasing God and serving His interest, for hypocrites however, religion is all about pleasing people and serving their own interest. So, just as there is such a thing as temporal blessing, we ought to understand that these hypocrites who do good to serve their own interest and rewarded in full here on earth itself, where their every blessing is susceptible to the destruction/corruption of moth and vermin, possibly reflecting their own spiritual condition before God. I once attended a Bible study in Mumbai where a UK national asked this question: “Is it ok to serve God out of the desire of being rewarded?”, I then happened to understand that the fall of Adam is so ingrained in people that many Seek the Lord out of covetousness, & these people wish to serve the Lord with the intention of actually serving themselves. Indeed, God is no man’s debtor (Rom 11:33-35) and he will pay us back according to our deeds but Salvation is when we have the mind of Christ and God’s interest become our interests (Ps 37:4).

Mat 6:19-21
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

We must understand that the power to covert the heart, is of God (Ezek 36:26-27), we know that God does not look at outward appearance but at the heart (1Sam 16:7). Also, the Bible teaches us that life is in the blood, so figuratively the heart which pumps the blood in our bodies is seen as the source of our being. Therefore, the evil thoughts and actions that proceeds from the heart of natural man (Mat 15:18), shows he is corrupt at the very source of his being. However, since God has the power to covert the heart, when He looks at a regenerated soul, what God is look at or looking for is His own handiwork within us (Phil 1:6) and there is none can thwart (Job 42:2) His mighty saving right arm i.e. His Son Jesus Christ (Ps 98:1).

Jer 31:33 (in the context of Eph 2:11-16)
“But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

To conclude, we can never freely obey God unless we are brought to desire it and enjoy it, which is what God brings about in His people. He gives us all a heart that seeks after Him and prizes Him over everything else in our lives (Mat 13:45-46). Out of the this regenerated heart flows our actions and intentions, which are God’s handiwork and for His own glory, making evident that His elect are a new creation in Christ (2 Cor 5:17) because the glory belongs all to the Triune God Almighty for our Salvation.

Mustard Seed Faith Avails God’s Strength

Mat 17
20 Jesus replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

2Cor 12:9
But Jesus said to Paul, “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.

From the two pieces of scripture mentioned above, we are able to deduce that the act of overcoming our trials, is in thinking less of ourselves and focusing our lives more on the Son of God “Jesus Christ”, through whom God creates and restores life in all its holistic essence. It is in counting all we have achieved in the flesh as loss (Phil 3:8) and dying to ourselves and living for the Lord Jesus Christ (Jn 12:24-26) that we enjoy life in all its fullness. Have you ever noticed that people who show-off, put on the poorest show? The thing is we were not made for the purpose to glorify ourselves but to live for the glory of God, and am speaking of those who have been saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation is not about what we have done but about finding refuge in Jesus, learning His precepts & be empowered by His Holy Spirit to exercise His commandments with a new heart that beats for God (Ezek 36:26-27).

Mat 22
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.

Psalm 2
11 Worship the Lord with reverence
And rejoice with trembling.
12 Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way,
For His wrath may soon be kindled.
How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!

Remember how God tells Israel in Deut 7:7 that He did not choose Israel because they were great but because they were the least of all peoples. You know, God is so Sovereign and Mighty that His enemies exists simply because He raises them, like fattening a cow for the slaughter (Rom 9:17, 22). Even Satan does nothing more than further God’s agenda in this world. You might ask, so if everyone is doing the will of God, why are people going to hell? Good Question… well, unlike the serpent in the garden of Eden, we who were made in the image of God are warm blooded, so as to indicate that we won’t adapt to our environment to the extent of succumbing to it. Take Simon for example, whose name means “a reed that sways with the wind” but after his confession concerning Jesus’ true identity as the Son of God, Jesus named him “Peter” meaning ‘rock’ (Mat 16:18), a testimony which cannot be shaken and upon which Jesus shall build His Church. It is said about God that He is immutable (there is no shifting shadow [James 1:17]) and this is how we are to be… holy as God is Holy, that even in an environment of a fallen world we shall be as saints empowered by grace to serve the Lord (Phil 3:14 & 4:13), like the lotus that grows in the marshes. So it is, that from the fall, all men are sinners (Rom 3:23) left with the self-righteousness they chose in Adam to saves themselves while the Saints are God’s elect in whom God overcame sin by the power of Jesus’ blood and reconciled them to Himself (1Jn 2:2). So, the reason people are going to hell is because the righteousness they chose for themselves in Adam doesn’t save them from sin, especially when you consider how self-righteousness blatantly differs from the righteousness of God, revealed to us in Christ.

John 1
18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has revealed Him.

Rom 5
17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

The counterfeit religions of the world have a very misleading view of piety, because their righteousness is not revealed to them through Christ, the only mediator between God & men (1Tim 2:5). As a matter of fact, these religions are driven by the people’s self-righteousness in their wasted attempt to please God on their own terms but truth be told the only god they serve is themselves because if their righteousness is their own, then these fools are a law to themselves & wise in their own eyes. Following Jesus (true Christianity) on the other hand, calls for a piety where the precepts we are to obey are moral (Mat 28:18-20). I really don’t think God is really concerned with the people’s sadistic take on religion, who beat themselves silly, grow an unkempt beard or walk long distances barefoot to the Mosque, temple or monastery. If you think your zeal to not eat pork or drink wine pleases God (Mat 15:17-18), guess what… it doesn’t. What pleases God is seeing you obey His Moral Law, where you first love the Lord with all your strength and second that you love your neigbour as you love yourself (Mat 22:36-40). The religions of the world believe in putting on a show of humility with their attire for all the world to see, while by way of self-righteousness they magnify themselves before God concerning how they merited/attained their jannat/nirvana with their sadistic religious routines. However, the truth is Salvation is about being put right with God… aligning your desires with His by the redeeming merit of the unblemished lamb of God: Jesus, by whose blood we have forgiveness of sins. Salvation is not naturally possible for any person, until the irresistible grace of God converts the person from being self-centered to being God centered. This is true conversion and is only possible by way to repentance, where after God brings the person to realize the futility of his/her self-righteousness, that person submits/lowers/prostrates himself/herself to God, that in truly admitting his/her weakness, he/she may find comfort & refuge in God, through Jesus Christ.

Mat 5
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

2Cor 7:10
For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.

To conclude, if we were to look at Eph 2:8-10 and Luke 17: 10, we understand that we are saved by grace through faith and the evidence of our salvation is in the fruits but the merit is of Christ and so if we are to boast, we are to boast in the Lord (Jer 9:23-24) & think less of ourselves to the extent of boasting in our weakness, which is spiritual prostration in revealing how much we really love the Lord our God who is worthy of true worship (Rev 5:8-14 & 7:10). It is therefore in earnestly seeking the Lord concerning the obedience He requires of us, that we can see beyond ourselves and beyond our apostate totalitarian environment, only to realize as Paul did, how helpless we are as sinners (Rom 7:24) and how great the mercy of God is for those who seek Him that where our sin abound, His saving grace abounds all the more (Rom 5:20).

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