THE HOUSE OF PRAYER for all people is a vision to be a people of worship and not merely a place of worship.
ISA 40:29 to 31 – He giveth power to the faint;
and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
and the young men shall utterly fall:
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
they shall run, and not be weary;
and they shall walk, and not faint.
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Bewildered, Nicodemus, a pharisee and a ruler of the Jews, asks Jesus whether that meant entering one’s mother’s womb to be born again, quite literally.
God’s Kingdom, three things: the criterion, the cause, and the character.
During my lowest phase, as I wandered, destitute and ragged, it was the passionate and the relentless pursuit of the hound of heaven that forever changed my life. He followed me, surely, goodness and mercy followed me!
THE HOUND OF HEAVEN, FRANCIS THOMPSON
I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the midst of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes I sped;
And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmed fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. Matt 10:38
Christianity as perceived by some is the stuff of “crowns”, a theology identified by popular labels such as prosperity, abundance and security. This is a form of Christianity which supposedly guarantees immunity from suffering and is akin to a “talisman” that prevents danger.
God’s beauty cannot be described adequately. The Hebrew word for glory, Kabod, is from the same root word for “heavy/weighty”. Rev 4 gives us a glimpse of God’s magnificent splendour.
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Hab 3:17 & 18: Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
Proverbs 15:15 All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast. The Bible says that being merry (cheerful) is like having the choicest food […]
The law and sin are mutually inclusive, which means they complement each other, and that one cannot survive without the other. That’s right! Sin cannot survive without the law. The law is the breeding ground on which sin finds existence, thrives,nourishes and grows; without the law sin becomes non-existent.
1) Proverbs 12:18 The tongue of the wise is health. Proverbs: 13:3 He that keepeth his mouth, keepeth his life. Proverbs: 18:4 The words of a man’s mouth are as deep waters.
But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy.
And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. And he said unto them, Where is your faith? Luke 8.
The only person to whom historical distinction for having slept through a storm can be given is Jesus. He literally slept! and with that made one of the profoundest exhibitions of faith. That it is possible to sleep-rest-in the midst of the greatest tragedies of our life, if we know that God exists, and that He is in control.
JUSTIFIED BY FAITH OR BY WORKS?
Justification, Dikaiosis in Greek, is the act of God declaring men free from guilt and acceptable to him. Biblically, divine acquittal.
To be pronounced not guilty by God has always been the pursuit of religion. And, in order to achieve this, every major religion, except one, endorses the principle of works – good or bad action – to be justified on the divine scales of righteousness.
That said, this is one ubiquitous religious thinking which is deeply embedded in the human psyche, the thought, that we can get right with God with our works, that we can perform our way into God’s heart. And it is from this viewpoint the endless human saga of achieving good works to gradually earn enough brownie points with God springs from.
Psa 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.
The Psalmist says: order my steps in thy word; here, King David speaks a language that is militarish in tone, he doesn’t use mild or affectionate words, but the word most esteemed in the vocabulary of the armed forces: order.
The Gospel or the Good news is that God imputes (credits) righteousness without works (Human Effort).
Impute comes from the Greek word: Logizomai, which means “to take an inventory of”.
Rom 4: 6-8 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.