Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth (Revelation 3:10).
In 2 Thessalonians 2:3, Paul the Apostle said, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” It says many will defect from the Faith. Why would this happen? In Judges 7, when God wanted Gideon to go fight the Midianites, God assured him through the angel that he (Gideon) would defeat his enemies.
Gideon thought he’d need an army; so, he gathered his soldiers. But God said to him, “If you go with so many soldiers, you might think that you won the battle by yourselves. Tell everyone who’s afraid to go home”; and the Bible says twenty-two thousand of them went home (Judges 7:3). Then God said, “I want to test the remaining ten thousand soldiers. Bring them to the stream and tell them to drink water. You’ll retain only those who watch out for the enemy while they drink.”
And the Bible says only three hundred of them passed that test (Read Judges 7:4-6). They didn’t even know they were being tested. Also, in Jeremiah 9, the Bible says the people accustomed their tongues to lies. They were so false that even a brother couldn’t be trusted. Because of this deceit and hypocrisy, and lying, God said, “...Behold, I will melt them, and try them…” (Jeremiah 9:7). This is going to be happening in these last days. A great test is coming, and it has already begun, because God must separate those that are real from those that aren’t real; those who were never true with God.
If this weren’t serious, Jesus wouldn’t require to intervene on behalf of the church in Philadelphia, as read in our theme verse. If your faith in Christ is genuine, it’s going to be tested: “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7). Let Jesus Christ and His Kingdom be all that matters to you in this life.
I’m deeply rooted and grounded in Christ. I live to fulfill God’s dream, His vision of Kingdom expansion, and world evangelization. I’m focused on things above, and not on the transient pleasures of this world. I remain steadfast, unmovable, doing the work of the Lord with joy, as I look forward to His appearing.
FURTHER STUDY: Job 23:10; Colossians 3:1-2; Revelation 3:9-10 CEV
1-YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN: Mark 4:21-41 & Leviticus 16-18
2-YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN: Matthew 16:1-12 & Exodus 1
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves (Philippians 2:3).
The Amplified Classic translation puts our theme verse in a clearer perspective. It says, “Do nothing from factional motives [through contentiousness, strife, selfishness, or for unworthy ends] or prompted by conceit and empty arrogance….” It brings to mind the confrontation between the Prophet Elijah and the false prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18.
Some have studied that portion and ran off with the idea that what Elijah did was to project himself for others to applaud, but that’s not true. The prophet challenged King Ahab to gather the Israelites and the prophets of the false gods—four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and four hundred prophets of Asherah—at Mount Carmel. They were to prepare a sacrifice, and call down fire from heaven to consume the sacrifice. The one who succeeded would be revealed as the true prophet. Each group prepared a bull on an altar and called on their god to send fire from heaven.
The prophets of Baal called on their god and cried and cut themselves, but there was no response from their god. When it was Elijah’s turn, he drenched the sacrifice with water; then he called to God and God sent fire from heaven. The fire completely engulfed the sacrifice. Read Elijah’s words in 1 Kings 18:36: “…LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.” He was following the guidance of God’s Spirit. That confrontation wasn’t a show of his sense of self, or self-importance; it was solely based on the Lord’s guidance.
Observe the result: the Israelites lost faith in Ahab and followed Elijah’s guidance in trusting and recognizing God’s sovereignty. What Elijah did glorified the Lord God of Israel before the people.
Whatever you do for the Lord shouldn’t be out of selfish ambition or conceit. It should be for His glory. You must learn to follow the Spirit in the Word, by the Word, and through the Word just like Elijah did. And your works, and your ways, will glorify the Lord.
Dear Father, your Word is the light that guides my thoughts, plans, decisions, and helps me navigate through life in glory. I follow your guidance solely, and my heart is devoid of conceit. Through your Word, I receive direction, illumination and insight into the mysteries and realities of the Kingdom, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
FURTHER READING: 1 Kings 18:30-39
1 YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN:
Mark 1:1-20 & Leviticus 6-7
2 YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN:
Matthew 14:11-21 & Genesis 45
“So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed” (Acts 19:20)
What is your thinking when you observe needs and challenges in your city? Do you see them as a problem or as an opportunity? When you become conscious of the fact that you’re God’s change-agent, and you possess a Gospel that can change anything and anyone, all you’ll see will be opportunities!
God has sent you into the world as His agent of change, and that’s one of the reasons for the ministry of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus preached in Israel, the ministry of the Holy Spirit had not taken full force, so even with the mighty miracles and powerful sermons, some did not believe. After three years of remarkable ministry, and massive crusades, He had only 120 disciples left.
But when the dispensation of the Spirit came, Peter, full of the Spirit, preached once, and 3000 were impacted in their hearts! The next time he spoke, 5000 believed, and in a few days Jerusalem was turned upside down. That's the Holy Spirit that has been granted us!
You are influential; never think you don't have what it takes. Naturally you might not, but that's why He sent the Holy Spirit. Now you have all ability available to you through the Spirit to change anything. Be even more confident in the ability of the Spirit through you today.
“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.” Hosea 10:12
A fallow ground refers to a piece of land that has been left uncultivated for a period of time. To reuse this piece of land for planting, it has to be broken up and softened so that it can receive seed for a harvest. This is akin to the state of the heart of men and one reason why as a soul winner, your prayer is important, because it ‘breaks up the fallow ground’ and creates a suitable environment for the Word to be sown.
Remember, God’s Word is seed. And for a good seed to germinate and bear fruits, it must be planted in the right environment where it can grow. In the same way, when you minister the Word, it must fall on good soil of the hearts of those that listen to you. This is why you must pray, so that the hearts of your listeners are made receptive to the Word.
Zechariah 10:1 says “Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; so the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.” Glory! He says ask, as you ask in prayers, intercessions, and supplications for the lost, He will make the bright clouds available and give the showers of rain. Then when you go out, and the souls are prepared to hear you; the Word comes on good soil, broken up and softened by prayer, and it produces the desired results. Hallelujah!
Put these principles to work as you win souls for the Lord!
Pastor Chris points out four important areas of preparation:Effusive moments sprang across the auditorium at the magnificent LoveWorld Crusade Grounds and widespread viewing centers with participants from around the world, as LoveWorld President, Reverend (Dr.) Chris Oyakhilome released the timely prophetic word of the new year, 2021. He declared 2021 to be 'the Year of Preparation' at the Global New Year's Eve Service. The global audience received God's Word to them with palpable joy and unprecedented celebration with readiness to act on the Word.
Expounding further, Pastor Chris heralded that God is building His Church through His people and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Reading from Amos 4:10-12, the man of God charged the global participants to prepare their hearts to serve the Lord and to make preparations for the house of the Lord. 'Prepare with the gospel' was the third point spelt out by Pastor Chris as he read from Ephesians 6:15; "And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace." LoveWorld President finally urged participants to prepare to meet God emphasizing that the Church has entered a time of preparation. 'We are in the last days, the closing moments of the world', he remarked.
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15).
Some have asked if Christians who never won souls to Christ would go to heaven. Their question is based on what the Lord said in Ezekiel 33:2-6 (read entire text). There’re three important reasons you must preach the Gospel and win souls as a Christian. First is your faith in the Lord Jesus and His glorious Gospel. The second reason is your love for Him and hope of His soon return. The third reason is His instruction for us to win souls. These three reasons should compel you to win souls.
If you don’t win souls, then your love for the Lord is questionable. Also, your hope of heaven is called to question, as well as your obedience to the Master’s instruction. So if you’re not a soul winner, it means you really don’t believe, and heaven isn’t a place for the “unbelieving,” as it isn’t for murderers, idolaters, etc. Revelation 21:8 says, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
God has determined that souls be won to His Kingdom, and He’s given us the responsibility to locate the lost in our world and share the Gospel with them. Therefore, you MUST reach the unreached and bring them to Christ; it’s your primary and solemn responsibility as a child of God.
The Apostle Paul, recognizing this, writes, “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ…” (2 Corinthians 5:19-20). Be fully committed to the Gospel and its furtherance around the world.
Dear Father, I thank you for making me an able minister of the New Testament, to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth. I fulfil my calling with boldness, faith, courage and conviction. The light of your glorious Gospel shines brightly through me today, bringing men out of darkness, into the glorious liberty of the sons of God, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
FURTHER STUDY: Romans 1:16; Matthew 28:19-20; 2 Corinthians 3:6
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9-11).
When we say, “Jesus is Lord,” it’s much more than a religious expression; it means He’s One with supreme authority. He’s Master and Ruler; He’s the One to be reverenced and adored! That’s what “Lord” means.
Some have only been acquainted with Him as Saviour, but He’s more than a Saviour. He’s the One that has the pre-eminence, and to whom service and obedience are due. You must know Jesus in this light and walk in this consciousness every day. In your family, business, academics, job, finances and everything that has to do with your life, relate to Him as Lord! In other words, let Him have supremacy and ascendancy. Let Him have the final say in all that concerns you.
Remember, He’s the only wise God; therefore, submit to the supremacy of His will, counsel and wisdom. And if you’ve never been born again, if you haven’t yet made Jesus the Lord of your life, say this prayer and mean it with all your heart: “O Lord God, I believe with all my heart in Jesus Christ, Son of the living God. I believe He died for me and God raised Him from the dead. I confess that Jesus Christ is Lord of my life. Through Him and in His Name, I have eternal life; I’m born again. Thank you Lord, for saving my soul! I’m now a child of God. Hallelujah!”
Lord Jesus, I recognize you as my Lord, Master and Ruler, the One to whom I belong and that has the final say in my life. I believe with all my heart and declare with my mouth that you’re Lord over everything in heaven, in the earth, and under the earth. I walk in the consciousness and revelation of your greatness, dominion and lordship today. Amen.
FURTHER STUDY:1 Timothy 6:15-16; Acts 10:36;
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18).
CHRIST EMBASSY TORONTO
Christ Embassy is a Global Ministry with a vision of taking God’s Divine Presence to the nations of the world and to demonstrate the character of the Holy Spirit.
This is achieved through every available means, as the Ministry is driven by a passion to see men and women all over the world, come to the knowledge of the divine life made available in Christ Jesus.