The Basics of Revival.

Key Scripture: 2 Chronicles 15:7 (KJV)  Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.

SUMMARY

The word ‘Revival’ in the dictionary means an improvement in the condition or strength of something. We often hear, believe and pray for a revival in our nation, city or community but seldom know how we can bring about a revival! The good news is God has an answer to every seeking heart and He is telling us today to take courage and not let our hands be weak for our work will be rewarded! Through this sermon you will have an understanding of ushering in a revival through the life of King Asa and prophet Azariah.

SERMON POINTS

What does Revival look like?

2 Chronicles 15:7 (KJV)Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.

Revival starts with individuals who are touched by the powerful presence and word of God. They give prime most importance to His word and orders their steps accordingly. As they obey God’s word, the outlook of the community and society changes. Reading, meditating and praying to God becomes an imperative factor in our life and is reflected through our walk with God. We share the gospel with utmost joy, thirsting for souls to salvation. As we undertake the great commission, God speaks to us and suddenly the love of God fills us and the people around with the presence of the Holy Spirit. People flock into the place to experience the power of the holy spirit. The lives, situations and circumstances are changed forever for good and it becomes so evident through their works! Therefore, let us work towards the ‘Revival’ with courage and never let our hands grow weak.

Requirements for a Revival.

1) The Spirit of the Lord should come upon us:

2 Chronicles 15:1 (KJV)And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded:

For a revival to take place, the spirit of God should come upon us and once we have the spirit of God we will see things with the eyes of His spirit. Here we see the Spirit of God coming upon Azariah, the son of Oded. He goes to King Aza and declares the word of God boldly. If revival has to come upon a church and community, there has to be individuals fully surrendered to the Holy Spirit. Once the Holy Spirit lands on individuals, they become game changers for the better. You are anointed by the Holy Spirit to usher in a revival where you are placed. In your workplace you function as a minister of God to bring people to a revival.

In today’s world the greatest deterrent to revival is the technology gadgets; from children to adults everyone is at unrest and are held captive to sin. Remember God has called us to lead our children in the ways of the Lord and we are accountable to Him! Therefore, let the spirit of God come upon us to encourage, speak and to lead. Today the question is, do we desire and prepare ourselves for the Holy Spirit to come upon us and be used by God?

2) Seeking God in prayer.

 2 Chronicles 15:2 (KJV)And he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you

The Bible clearly tells us that when we seek the Lord in prayer we will find Him but if we forsake Him He will forsake us. The Christian life is meant to be a transparent life, to live in a community sharing the love of God .However, we are in danger zone when we refuse to open our life before God, being honest and transparent. Thus when we forsake His presence and purpose, He would forsake us and it would be detrimental .

What is our passion and purpose today? Is it to establish our kingdom or His kingdom? What is the amount of time we spend with God and what is the mandate when we say ‘amen?’ If saying an amen is just a lousy ritual then it’s time for us to come back and seek the face of God. Let us be determined to find God, immersed in prayer, our knees bruised in seeking Him with a transformed, courteous heart praying out aloud.  A revival is bound to come as we seek the Lord !

3) Having the Law and The Teaching Of God as most important.

 2 Chronicles 15:3 (KJV) Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law

The book of Chronicles says that Israel had no true God, no teaching priest and no law. Sadly, many of our lives, homes and churches are infested with the similar exposition of the Israelites.  We have made a God of our imagination, with no laws in families and churches have become business centers with pulpits echoing a diluted form of God’s word. The true God is not preached or revered . There are no teaching priests as in the time of Asa. However, let us remember that if He is a true God we are His true servants. It is important to receive faithful teaching, setting spiritual principles in families like a family prayer, teaching our children the word of God and setting right priorities in our life.

Remember that our presence and prayers can make a world of difference enough to bring forth a revival when we have a true God, His teaching and His law in our lives.

4) Removing Detestable Idols from our Lives.

 2 Chronicles 15:8 (KJV)And when Asa heard these words, and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and put away the abominable idols out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from mount Ephraim, and renewed the altar of the Lord, that was before the porch of the Lord.

The scripture says that king Asa took courage and removed the abominable idols and destroyed it. Revival ignites courage and every detestable idol is removed from our homes and hearts.

Ezekiel 14:3(KJV)  Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them?

The word says that the idols are in the heart and it prevents God from reaching to us and vice versa. The idols also can be  as simple a gadget, a television program which hinders our relationship with God. Therefore, remove the idols today because with the idol we cannot progress in our relationship with God.

Psalms 119:37 (KJV)Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way.

King David asks the Lord to turn His eyes from the vain things of the world so that he can see the Lord and follow His ways.

Colossians 3:5(KJV) Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

As the saying goes “What I see is what I want.” The world today has become greedier than ever. We want to possess everything we see, but the word reminds us that it is idolatry and we should not have an idolatrous lifestyle.

 John 12:25(KJV) He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

Therefore, let us praise God for the blessings that He has given us and remove the idols that prevents Him from reaching to us.

5) Repairing the altar of your heart.

 2 Chronicles 15:8 (KJV)And when Asa heard these words, and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and put away the sabominable idols out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from mount Ephraim, and renewed the altar of the Lord, that was before the porch of the Lord.

King Asa repaired the altar of the Lord, that ushered in the revival for the land of Judah. Revival starts as we repair the altar of our heart. Let us repair and ask the Lord to create in us a clean heart asking Him to remove any thing held captive for a revival.See Psalm 51 and pray it with a right spirit to rebuild the altar of your heart.

6) Praise and Worship.

 2 Chronicles 15:11 (KJV)And they offered unto the Lord the same time, of the spoil which they had brought, seven hundred oxen and seven thousand sheep

Many of us believe that number seven in the bible signifies completion and perfection. Revival comes when we find ourselves given to praise and worship. The trademark of a revival is completed and perfected through our praise and worship to the Lord.

7) Seal the covenant with the shout of Praise.

2 Chronicles 15:12 (KJV)And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul;That whosoever would not seek the Lord God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. And they sware unto the Lord with a loud voice, and with shouting, and with trumpets, and with cornets. And all Judah rejoiced at the oath: for they had sworn with all their heart, and sought him with their whole desire; and he was found of them: and the Lord gave them rest round about.

The scripture says that the people made a covenant with the Lord to serve Him all the days of their lives. They made loud voices of covenant. They were not singing a lie to the Lord. They were given to the work of the Lord. All Judah rejoiced at the oath. Today our praise and worship culture has become too noisy without any meaning. We should be determined to declare our covenant to God when we come to Him.

What was the result?

The scripture says as the people made a covenant and swore unto God and  was found of them. There is nothing greater in life than to find God . When we find Him, our lives become drenched by His presence. We get joy and peace from His presence and He gives us rest from all the attacks of the enemy.

A revival is bound to happen when we seal the covenant and be found of God. We will have joy, peace and rest in the covenant with God.

CONCLUSION

Revival can start now with us today when every requirement is met by us. It is imperative that we get rid of any idols in our life to find God, to seal the covenant and find rest in Him. Let His spirit come upon us, seek Him, have His word and laws in our lives. Prepare an altar to praise and worship Him today; and as all Judah rejoiced at the oath we will rejoice in the covenant with the Lord!

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A Call to Persevere!

Key Scripture: Jude 1:3-8(KJV) Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.

SUMMARY

The most blessed hope written and dispatched in the Holy-Writ to humanity is that our Lord Jesus is coming back very soon! We as His church have a responsibility, accountability and work to do. Without being responsible and fighting a good fight of faith we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, let us experience the joy of salvation and perceive unto our faith until the second coming of Christ!

SERMON POINTS

The Joy of Salvation:

There is joy in the presence of the Lord. Many of us today don’t give weight-age to the day that we accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior; the first joy that needs to come out from the heart of every Christian. If only we acknowledge the importance of being saved we will forever be joyful in the Lord. The joy of salvation should be daily because we are being washed by the blood of the Lamb every day. Therefore, let us stir ourselves with the joy of the Lord and He will take care of us!

One important aspect of being a child of God is to underlie our problem, trails and difficulties and still be able to testify the goodness of God. However, the bitter truth these days is we forget Him as our priority and expect the coming of the Lord to be delayed. Let us understand that the second coming of the Lord will not only be a spiritual experience but also a physical experience; He will sit on the throne and judge the whole world. Until then the church has been called and given some tasks. Therefore, let us assimilate His calling in our lives and abide by it!

How Do We Persevere to Our Calling?

1) Fight for the Faith.

Jude 1:3-4Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

As St. Paul says that he has fought a good fight of faith and the crown of glory awaits him in heaven in a similar manner we are called by God to fight a good fight of faith. Saying we don’t have opportunities or responsibilities in the church would be wrong because we are commissioned to pray and be prayer warriors. Prayer is a high calling and nobody is unemployed in the kingdom of God, but if we become like the one talent man in the bible who was lazy and buried his talent we will also be considered worthless and will be casted into the outer darkness like the servant man.

Therefore, let’s us take a share of our responsibility in the church, seek the Lord and ask how we can be usable vessels for the kingdom of the Lord. St. Paul asked his calling the moment when he received the light of the Lord and he was used mightily by Him. Like the old phrase says, “It never too late to right a wrong.” Hence, if we have the zeal and passion for Him its never too late. So what is our ask today?

2) Believe the Lord

Jude 1:5 (KJV) I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.

In Jude we read that the Egyptians were destroyed because they didn’t believe. Though it is a wonderful feeling to be saved yet if we don’t continue in faith to believe and trust in the Lord, we greatly displease Him. The Israelite’s wavered in their faith. One day they worshiped the idols and the other day they came back repenting to God. Finally, a day came when they didn’t believe the Lord wholeheartedly, though the Lord had promised them a land flowing with milk and honey yet they erred and chose to believe the lie of the enemy. Similarly, today as Christians we pray to God halfheartedly, believe in the lies of the enemy and make our hearts troubled with fear and anxiety nonetheless committing a great sin against the Lord.

Remember God is a faithful God and He will give us things at the right appointed time. The world may receive it a natural way but we will get in a super natural way by a super natural power. Believe today that God has a definite work through the Pastors into our lives!

3) Protect our Calling

 Are Jude 1:6-8 (KJV) And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.

God has given as an estate a high calling. We read in the bible that the angels were given very high place in heaven to keep safe the great estate and possession. However, the angels defiled the flesh with the filth of sin. Therefore, God destroyed the whole earth except Noah and His family. Also in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah they did the same thing, they sinned against God. Hence, the angels failed in the great calling of God and they will be judged. God has placed us with a high calling, greater compared to the calling of angels but if we don’t protect our calling in purity, mix with the world and do the unwanted things of the world we might as well fall into the judgement of God.

If the Angels who were given high estates were judged how much more are we prone to the judgement of God? Therefore, let us be careful with our estate and if God has blessed us let us keep it pure and holy. Let’s us be vessels of honor to the Lord for we share the inheritance of Jesus, introspect our lives and impatiently await the Lord’s Coming.

John 1:12 (KJV) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

We share the same inheritance of Jesus of calling God, “Abba Father” which is the highest inheritance we can have on earth. Therefore, as we have become His sons, let us protect our highest estate that God has entrusted upon us.

CONCLUSION.

The biggest possession we have in our Christian life is faith.  We are all employers in the Kingdom of Heaven to fulfill His calling in our life. We fight the faith, we believe in the Lord and we also protect our calling. Remember Jesus is coming very soon and we have a lot of work in hand; let every seed that we sow fall on the fertile soil, so that it will yield and produce double fold the good work of God’s that He has assigned us. Believe in Him and He shall direct our paths! 

Jesus: The Name above all Names(Part I)

Key Scripture: Philippians 2:9 (KJV) Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

SUMMARY

Anything and everything that exists around the world are addressed and referred by ‘names.’ A name brings to our minds  their character, personality, nature and being. Names also bring out our emotions and attitude towards the same. In the Bible, we read that whoever had a quest to know God and His name led them to a great blessing! This sermon introduces us to the power revealed in the Name of Jesus. Call out His name now and His name has the power to save, heal and restore us today!

SERMON POINTS

Genesis 5: 2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.

As we look at the names of the people in the Bible we know that the first name was given by God. The first man Adam was created by God with a woman inside of him and was named by Him. God named people and sometimes renamed people based on the destiny they had. He had a special purpose for them.God renamed Abram to Abraham meaning ‘father of many nations’ and Sarai as Sarah meaning ‘princess’ because God had a purpose.

People however named their children on the basis of the situations they were in. For example we see ‘Jabez’ or ‘Ichabod’ according to their situations. So, whenever God has a divine purpose He would name and rename people.

God calls us by name!

Isaiah 43:1,2 (KJV) But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.

How wonderful is it to know in this context that God calls us by our name. If He calls us by name our destiny and future is blessed.

Whoever wanted to know the name(His character,person,nature) of the Lord were blessed.

Genesis 32:29(KJV) And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.

Jacob was fighting a divine fight. As he struggled with God all night long but there was something happening inside of him. Jacob wanted to know more about the mysterious character with whom he had been contending and because he asked His name, he was blessed there. From henceforth, God renamed him and called him Israel. Therefore, let us struggle more with God today so that He can bless us. For it is better for us to struggle with God than to struggle with man and know His name!

Exodus 3:13,14(KJV) And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.

Moses the greatest of prophets in the Old Testament was sent by God to lead the Israelite’s. Moses like any other man was keen in knowing His name and was empowered to declare the name of the Great God by whom he was sent.

The Revelation of the Name:

Acts 9:5(KJV) And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

It was only in the New Testament that the long-anticipated answer of His name was revealed. Mary the virgin and her husband Joseph was directed by heavens to name the Son to be born in their house as “JESUS”(Yeshua-meaning salvation). Then Saul on the road to Damascus heard that blessed name of Jesus . God the Father bodily dwelt in Jesus Christ. St. Paul’s life was never the same again, he experienced the presence of God so closely and became the greatest apostle, writing the glorious spiritual experiences of his time.

The name that was sought for so many years was now unraveled to us. God revealed His Holy Name; Jesus the name that is exalted above every other name for us to experience, receive and live out His name!

Jesus: The Name

1) Represents His Person.

Luke 1:31-33 (KJV) And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Jesus the name of God revealed before His birth to Mary represents His person. He was the Son of the Highest God manifested in flesh unto whom the throne was given to rule. A Saviour appointed and sent in person to save humanity; the scripture says that He shall rule forever and that His kingdom shall have no end. So, let us welcome and accept the person of Jesus in our life today. When we say “JESUS” we experience glorious experiences as determined by heavens!

2) Represents His Character.

Matthew 1:21 (KJV) And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.

We might be surrounded with many names that bring anxiety, pain, fear and distress but blessed is the name of Jesus who being born two thousand years ago still brings in peace, love, joy and happiness in our lives. Jesus Christ was sent with an assignment that brought and still brings salvation from all our sins, healing from our sickness and a hope to an eternal life!

Acts 4:12 (KJV) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Nobody can pull Him down for He is highly exalted by God; there is no other name given to men under heaven other than the name of Jesus by which we can be saved.

3) Represents Our Destiny in Him.

Colossians 1:27,28 (KJV) To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

Colossians 2:9, 10 says “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:” In Jesus Christ we find the fulness of the God Head and only in Him are we complete.

God the Father bodily dwells in Jesus Christ. His name is greater and bigger than any other name. Do we have Jesus in our life? If we know Jesus than we are in the highest level, if not then in the lowest level. His name is the highest pursuit and serving in His name is the greatest privilege.There is no greater a knowledge one man could have than to experience and know that we are complete in Him. When the name Jesus comes  the fullness of God, the nature of God, the kindness of God and the love of God comes in to our life. So, are we ready to let Him in today?

CONCLUSION

With Jesus we are complete but without Him we are incomplete. If in the Old Testament, people were blessed by the pursuit of knowing His Name how much more will we be blessed to know and experience the Name Jesus! Therefore, come let us know Him in person  and His character as we become complete in Him and adore His Holy name.

 

Resurrection from the Dead.

Key Scripture: Philippians 2:9 (KJV) Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

SUMMARY

Death is inevitable. From the greatest aspiration to one moment of weakness can bring an end to every opportunity physical or spiritual if only Jesus is not revealed in our lives. In the gospel of Luke, we read the angels asking, “Why seek ye the living among the dead?” Therefore, today instead of searching the Lord Jesus among the dead let us understand that the Lord has rolled away the stone from the dead and He is alive!

SERMON POINTS

John 1:1 (KJV)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Our Lord Jesus lived as a normal man from being born in a tiny filthy manger in Bethlehem to being crucified in Calvary. However, there was something divine about Him; the people were astonished to see Him raise people to life, heal the sick, drive away the demons and transforming water into wine which were all true miracles and nothing fallacious. The Creator walked and dwelt among men to serve and never to parade about His position. People saw the divinity of Jesus, it was evident through His miracles that there was something divine about Him and one such greatest divinity was when Jesus rose from the dead!

Jesus had the heavenly moments in His life. These divine experiences of Jesus were the key to His resurrection from the dead. The same divine experiences should happen in our lives for us to experience the resurrection and overcome death by the power of our resurrected Lord. St. Paul says in Philippians 3:11 (KJV) If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Therefore, let us remember today the marred and bruised body of Christ. Let us all be responsible and accountable for the bleeding body of Christ. A responsibility and accountability to reflect Jesus in and through our lives that can over turn any dark forces working against us and overcome death by the power of our resurrected Lord!

There were four divine experiences of Jesus that should happen in our lives  to experience the same resurrection as He did:

1) The Purpose Factor:

Philippians 2:7,8 (KJV)  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

In Greek ‘Kenosis’ means self-emptying, Jesus gave His divine Godly reputation and took upon Him the form of a servant. How many of us want us to be a slave for His kingdom purpose? Has this transformation happened in our lives? Unfortunately, we can’t experience the resurrection from the dead if the transformation has not yet happened. Remember we don’t have any reputation before the Lord, we simply are privileged custodians of His House! Our profession or any materialistic gain is not our purpose but to be a slave of the Almighty God is the ultimate purpose for Jesus.

The bible says Jesus became humble and obedient to the purposes of God unto death. These were His trademark and God exalted and gave Him the name above every other name. As a follower of Jesus, we should be like Him, humble and obedient for the purpose of God.

Remember humility is the condition of the mind which is reflected outside as well. Unless we are humble God cannot reach out to us to fulfill His purpose.

A Route to Achieve the Purpose of God:

Humility with obedience is the route in achieving the purpose of God. When we live by the standard of the cross to die, to be servant and slave for His purpose, we will resurrect from the dead as Christ did!

2) The Prayer Factor

 Hebrews 5:7-8 (KJV)  Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

Jesus Christ being the Son of God, prayed with loud cries and tears offering His prayers and supplication. Prayer is one of the factor that set Jesus different from the rest, the bible says He prayed with loud cries. How is our prayer life or when is the last time that we prayed with loud cries for our community and people around us? If we haven’t then sadly we need to examine our prayer life.

Jesus always emphasized on the importance of prayer. Matthew 26:41(KJV) Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Jesus not only prayed with tears but with reverence. He exhibited the fear of God. We also need to introspect our prayer lives today. We must ask the Lord for a heart of prayer instead of the vain things of this world. Let us always be in an attitude of prayer. If Jesus prayed a prayer with tears and crying that was able to save by a God who resurrected Him from the dead then the same God will resurrect us too!

3) The Presence of God Factor.

 Acts 10:38 (KJV)  How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

In the book of Acts we read the two personalities of God: God and Jesus of Nazareth. The humanity and the divinity of Jesus. He was anointed by God with the Holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healed all who were under the power of the enemy because God was with Him and His promise. The question is who is with us today? Do we have the presence of God? It is important for us to have the presence of the Holy Spirit, to dwell within us in doing good and healing the oppressed.

Romans 8:11 (KJV) But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit raised Jesus Christ from the dead. When the presence of God is in us and we are anointed with the Holy Spirit and power; the Holy spirit will never let go of us even after death. When Lord Jesus comes us we will be transformed into a glorious body by His Holy Spirit that dwells within us.

4) The Promise Factor.

Acts 2:30-32 (KJV)  Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.

If God promised us the resurrection He will give it to us. Apostle Peter speaks of the prophesy that King David is given regarding the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. As per the promise of God, He is faithful to fulfill His promise. He neither allowed the body of Jesus to decay nor let death swallow Him.

John 14:1-3 (KJV)  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

How many of us today have this promise? Can we hear the voice of Jesus making this promise or do we believe that God will resurrect our body? Jesus gives us this glorious promise that He will come again and has prepared a place for us so that we will be with Him into an eternal life.

CONCLUSION.

If St. Paul a great servant of God who laid his life for the gospel of Christ says that he “might” attain unto the resurrection of the dead how much more should we strive to experience the power of His resurrection. This Easter as we celebrate and send a message of the greatest victory of the Living God unto death, lets us believe that Jesus who resurrected from the dead because He had a purpose, He prayed, He had the presence and  promise of God; the divine experience that should happen in our lives  to experience the same resurrection as He did!

Therefore, let us live our lives to fulfill the purposes of God, being filled with the Holy Spirit, praying without ceasing and holding unto the good promises of God today.

The Rise of Dictators and the Servant King.

Key Scripture: Mark 10:45 (KJV)” For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

SUMMARY

The world history has always been about dictatorship and leadership. They control and influence the environment by their persona, communication, ideology and philosophy. However, amid a dominated culture and society we thank Jesus that He modelled Himself as an ultimate Leader, with no false aura but merely a carpenter’s son, “a Servant Leader” changing lives bringing in hope and peace. Today our Lord Jesus is looking for leaders with a right philosophy, discipline and ideology that can inspire the lives of people under our leadership.

SERMON POINTS

Matthew 9:36 (KJV) But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.

In the gospel of Matthew we read that when Jesus saw the people scattered and weary in multitude with no leader or guide He was filled with compassion. However, today we have the church under the leadership and mentorship of the pastors, teachers and elders a good leadership system that is heart woven by God.

Always understand that a good leadership is good shepherding. A good Leader influence the people and carry out the responsibility by making sure that all their  needs are met.

Psalm 23:1,2(KJV) The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

A good leader will be conscious about the state of his sheep. God has called us to be good shepherds in our homes, workplaces and in areas where we can be a guide and guard the sheep.

Proverbs 27:23-27 (KJV) Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And thou shalt have goats’ milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens.

The Lord wants us as leaders to be aware of the state of the flock; looking after the herd and spending time to know them well because our blessing lie ultimately in how we took care of them.

A Servant Leader ‘The Lord Jesus Christ’:

Zechariah 9:9 (KJV) Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

Isaiah 9:6 (KJV) For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

There might be a government around us, imposing laws and ruling us but there is a far superior government over each one of us and that is the government of the Lord Jesus Christ which shall have no end. Our Lord was the Son of God who could’ve marched into the city of Jerusalem with a battalion of soldiers or could have the best royal self but the ‘King’ came riding on a lowly donkey. A leader hence should do all that’s required to identify with the sheep. Our Lord identified with people by being one among them. He broke the walls of division and He encourages us to learn from Him.

Trademarks of a Servant Leadership:

1) Humility.

Matthew 11:29 (KJV) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

The Lord Jesus modeled humility. As leaders in Christ He expects us to identify ourselves with people around us with humility and gentleness. Humility is the trademark of servant leadership. Sometimes it may be difficult to be meek and gentle with the world but our Lord considers it as a yoke that we need to learn from Him to adjust to people and lead them in reaching the benchmark. So, have we learnt from the Lord yet? Remember Christian life is not a show off life but sowing life where we model Christ to others with humility and gentleness.

2) Service-minded.

John 13:13-15 (KJV) Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

Jesus Christ the Master and Lord of all, washed the feet of His disciples and He is asking us to do the same to one another. The Lord wants the leaders to be service-minded, serving one another, praying for one another and being available to glorify His name. As Job prayed for his friends the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. Therefore, let us say to the Lord today that our basins and towels are ready at His service to serve one another. We hear God’s Word because He stooped down and served us. Do we  have the towel and basin? Do we use life to satisfy our self?

3) Obedience.

Philippians 2:7-8 (KJV) But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Our Lord forsook His reputation and obeyed the Heavenly Father in humbling Himself as a servant,being in the likeness of man  unto His death. St Paul goes one step ahead and says “He was obedient to the death on the cross” . The Son of God showed us the extent to which we need to go to obey God.If God of the universe humbled, served and obeyed and made Himself of no reputation how much more should we obey to lead and serve His creation?

Distinction Between Dictatorship and Servant Leadership.

Dictatorship v/s Servant-Leadership
Selfish Selfless (Philippians 2:7-8)
Commands Listens(Jer 33:3)
Ego-Driven Service-Driven(Luke 10:45)
Position-Oriented Purpose-Oriented (Luke 2:49)
Insecure Empowering(Luke 10:18)
Busy (Authoritative) Free (Approachable)(Heb 4:16)
Role-Based Presence-Based(matt 28:20)
Disrupts life and destroys systems. Inspires life and builds systems.(John 10:10)
CONCLUSION.

Though the world is topsy-turvy today, we must always remember that God the Father gave His very best to us and our Lord Jesus is the very best one can have in a lifetime. Therefore, the Lord is looking out for leaders who can model themselves to servant-leadership in fixing this broken world.

Therefore, let us be good leaders in our homes, workplace to be a guide and guard the sheep. Let us choose humility to identify with the people, to shepherd, serve and obey as Christ Jesus modeled and has taught us.

Cultivating a Culture of Honor

Key Scripture:

1 Samuel 2:30 (KJV) “ for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.”

SUMMARY

We honor God through our giving, serving and living. God not only wants us to honor Him in all that we do, as important as that is, He wants that same honor to permeate into all our relationships. He wants us to have a culture of honor towards the Lord and also towards everyone He has placed in our lives. In this sermon, let us have a look at four different groups of people whom we need to honor in our lives and become store houses of honor.

SERMON POINTS

 Honouring as God honored us.

Isaiah 43:4 (KJV)  Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.

God considers us to be so precious. We are honorable in His sight and very much-loved. This has been true even when we were the worst of sinners. He found us worth pursuing and laid down His life for us.

In the same way the Lord wants us to honor others just in the way He has honored us. We see that the love of God for us has been so great that He wipes out nations and people in exchange for our lives like how He sent a famine over the land of Egypt to exalt Joseph; He is more than able to change the scheme of things exclusively for His people.

Similarly the Lord wants us to give honor for those around us. Timé – the Greek word for honor means to perceive someone as valuable especially those the Lord has placed in our lives and honor them. We are to specifically assign value and honor those in areas of delegated authority by God.

Giving honor to those areas of Delegated Authority.

  1. Civil Authorities.

 Romans 13:1,4 (KJV)  Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil

The Lord wants us to honor those in the government. All ministers are appointed by God. They are servants of God. We need to honor them for the position they hold. They are ordained by God and we need to respect them.

1 Peter 2:17 (KJV)  Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

We need to help the city authorities as a church and not dishonor them even though their behavior might be cruel.

  1. Family :

A) PARENTS.

Exodus 20:12 (KJV)  Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

The first commandment with a promise is to honor our father and mother so that it may be well with us. The secret to a long life is honoring our parents, even our spiritual parents. We must support them and take care of them.

 Ephesians 6:2,3 (KJV)  Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

 The Pharisees used to take the portion of income to be given for their parents and give it to God as devoted to Him. The Lord wants us to love our parents and be ready to meet any need they may have.

B) SPOUSE.

1 Peter 3:7 (KJV)  Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

Husbands are to honor their wives as they are the weaker vessels. Being kind to them and leading the family according to the knowledge that is from heaven. Not honoring their wives, would result in hindered prayers.

 1 Peter 3:3 (KJV)  Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;

 Similarly, wives are to adorn themselves with the meek and quiet spirit the Lord has already placed in their hearts. They need to honor their husbands as Sarah considered Abraham her lord. Wives need to follow her as her daughters in trusting the Lord, being submissive to the husband and evaluate every situation.

 3.Social

Colossians 3:22 (KJV)  Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God;

 We are all accountable to someone in our area of work. We tend to work earnestly while being watched and slack off otherwise. The Bible tells us that is wrong and that we must work diligently and complete every task as doing it unto the Lord Jesus Christ and in doing so He will surely bless us by the reward of an inheritance.

Ephesians 6:9 (KJV)   And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.

 Similarly, when we have people reporting to us, the Bible asks us to give all a fair chance to improve, being kind and responsible over them. The Lord requires us to treat them how He treats us.

 

  1. Church Authority:

 1 Timothy 5:17 (KJV) Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

 We are to give double honor to those who labor in teaching us the Word and doctrine of God’s word. Honor doesn’t include only the giving of honor but also the acceptance of sound correction and advice that our Pastors and church leaders give to help us walk in the path of righteousness.

 Matthew 10:41-42 (KJV)   He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.

 We receive God by honoring men of God. The Bible says that if we give a cup of cold water it will be counted as righteousness to us. When we bring men of God, prophets home and serve them, we will receive the prophet’s reward for they are custodians of God’s Word. The way we perceive people and receive them determines our reward.

CONCLUSION.

The Lord deserves every bit of honor. At the same time He wants us to cultivate a culture of honor by honoring others. St. Paul tells us to out do each other when it comes to honoring. Therefore let us honor all men not as how we think they deserve but just as how Christ honored us and loved us.

Honor God

Key Scripture:

1 Samuel 2:30 (KJV)”… for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.”

SUMMARY

This sermon’s main focus is on giving God the honor. We ought to honour God and this was not only for the Old Testament saints it is for all of us ,at all times. The Lord our God is faithful to honor those who honour Him. In this sermon we learn we honor God by our living, by giving our best, by serving Him and through our praise.

SERMON POINTS

 Honoring God through obedience.

1 Samuel 2:30 (KJV)  Wherefore the Lord God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the Lord saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.

The Bible is entirely about honoring God. He wants us to honor Him. Honoring in the biblical context necessarily refers to giving, glorifying and exalting God.

Lucifer was created to worship and honor God, but he was pushed off because of his desire for God’s throne. You and I are created to take that very spot to worship and honor God Most High without desiring His throne. This is our highest calling .

Genesis 3:17 (KJV)   And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

The first sin occurred due to an error in giving honor to God. Adam, the first man ever created took heed to his wife instead of obeying what God had said to him about eating the fruit. He honored the word of his wife more than the Word of God. It brought curse on the earth.

When God says something, He expects us to abide by His word. Sin begins when we dishonor God and His Word.

Moses was denied entry into the Promised Land because he failed to honor God in the sight of all the people by striking the rock when he was commanded to speak to it. (Numbers 20:12)

Moses was a man who spoke to God face to face but one instance of dishonoring God proved very costly.

Similarly, failing to honor God puts us at the risk of not inheriting our promises.

Let us thereby make every effort to honor God.  L

Areas where we can honor God.

  1. By Giving our Best to God:

 Malachi 1:6-8 (KJV)   A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the Lord of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the Lord is contemptible.

And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the Lord of hosts.

God tests the quality of our giving. He will not accept half-hearted sacrifice. Whatever we do unto God, we should do it with all our heart.

Proverbs 3:9,10 (KJV)  Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

God loves a cheerful giver. Give God for honouring Him and not for getting benefits from Him. When we honor God with all the first fruits of our increase and all our substance, the Lord honors by filling us with plenty. He promises us new wine and new experiences.

  1. In our Living:

 1 Corinthians 6:19 (KJV)  What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

We need to honor God with our bodies. The fact is that our body belongs to the Lord. The Lord is the owner and we are only as tenants living on rent. We will be accountable to the Lord as to what we do with the body He has given us.

We need to keep ourselves pure and holy, not allowing the filth or the unwanted things of the world to pollute our thoughts and actions; because on the day of resurrection this mortal body will be hit with the power God and raised to be with the Lord. Therefore let’s maintain it with glory.

  1. By Serving God:

 John 12:25, 26 (KJV)  He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.  If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

 Those who claim to follow the Lord must serve Him. even when situations tell us to do otherwise. Jesus told His disciples that those who love life will lose it but those who hate it will keep it . If someone serves the Lord, the Father in heaven will honor him. Let us give it all to Jesus and serve Him with all that we have.

  1. By Praising God:

 Psalms 50: 23 (KJV) Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.

 We honor God by praising Him. when we praise Him there is protection around us and our families. As you praise Him He shows forth His salvation.

 Psalms 26:8 (KJV)   Lord, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth.

 King David says that he loves the habitation of the Lord and that’s where His honor dwells. Do we have the same love and excitement when it comes to our church is a question we must reflect on, because that’s where we see the salvation of God.

CONCLUSION.

Exodus 20:24 says An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.”

Whenever we cause His name to be honored the Lord will come and bless us. Let us always make it a point to honor God in all that we do. In every crucial decision we take, let’s make sure we are willing to do what the Bible asks us to do. It pleases the Lord when we honor Him. Let us honor Him by obeying His Word, which is exalted above the heavens.

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