Slavery is system of control that is out of control these nowadays. It has never been abolished, even though Abraham Lincoln made slavery illegal it only has grown. “Slavery is any system in which principles of property law are applied to people, allowing individuals to own, buy and sell other individuals, as a de jure form of property”. Paul tells us that to whom we offer ourselves to be slave to by obeying we are that persons or things slave (Ro6:16). Slavery can be either an involuntary or voluntary act of submission to someone or something. The process for conditioning a slave deals with instruction and physical punishment to reinforce what is expected. Escaping from a human master is much harder then a thing master, because humans are more possessive. Sin is a system that easily entangles us into slavery (He12:1), and Luke warns us that we should not allow ourselves to be caught into that.
Genesis 4:7You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”
God told Cain to watch out, because sin was waiting at the door to take control. Now, Cain was angry with God because after he made the effort to pick some ground vegetables for him, God did not accept it; instead he accepted his brothers Abel. Anger became that sin to which took Cain as slave. Paul tells us not to allow anger to cause us to sin (eph4:26), to not let it stay too long us. The reason why we should not allow anger to stay too long is because sin will take its course and bind us. And, Cain did the contrary, he allowed anger to turn into wrath for which he killed his brother (gen4:8). Once sin takes over the results are deadly and we will find ourselves doing things that will indirectly or directly kill someone (Ro6:23). Now, there are sins that do not lead to death, but do lead to slavery(1Jh5:17). God gave Cain the strategy to staying free and that is subduing sin and be its master. But, that is not an easy task to subduing sin, because one day one can be as strong as an ox and the other day one can be somewhat weak. And, to subdue something one has to put effort and must wrestle as their life depends on it; to bring it to control.
Prayer is a powerful tool that has never stopped working. Each time someone dropped down to his knees and called on the name of the Lord he; at some time or another, received a response either a positive one or a negative one. Isaiah said call upon the Lord while he can be found(Is55:6). We need to take advantage of this access we have to calling upon God these days. Jesus said that if you asked anything in his name he will do it(Jh14:13). The ability to have anything we ask from the one who has everything under his possession is exhilarating. Everything is his(Jh16:15) and he will give it to us if we ask. Prayer is that vehicle by which we direct to God for which we tap into to receive of him. But in order for us to receive anything from God there is a process for our prayers to get to him. Revelations tells us that our prayers are stored in vials in the form of odor(rev5:8) and these prayers are offered unto God(rev8:3). So, before prayers are offered unto God they are stored in vials waiting. The question is there a way that our prayers can come up first before God?
9 Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day:11 And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.
The religious people of God felt that they needed to fast and adorn themselves sadness in sackcloth’s and ashes for God to hear their prayers. Like many who pretend to follow God, when they need his help do not get it because the prayers do not make before him. To get our prayers to come out of the vials and into the presence of God Isaiah gives us ideas what we need to do. We need to seek to bless someone before we pray. When we purposely seek to minister or bless someone and not for the purpose to make God hear our prayers but to do what God wants us to do, is when our prayers find themselves out of vials. Daniel’s prayer came before God out of the vials and as soon as he began praying; instantaneously, God sent response to him(Dan9:21-23). Daniel not only received a response but more, he received skills to equip him for what was to come. Our response to our prayers come with more then what we ask.
Talking about God, when we discuss the things that are related to Him with our neighbors or friends a record is kept. Getting used to speaking about God is a daily practice that every Christian should get use to of. He delights when we mention his name, it makes him feel uplifted and motivated to do things in our behalf. Angels are listening to our conversations to post them on His page for him to remember. He is listening and watching to both good and bad conversations and actions (Mal.3:5, Prov. 15:3). God bears witness of the things men say and do he sets angels to record everything. He considers his those who continually mention his name. The Bible tells us that we should speak amongst our selves with palms and spiritual songs and hymns (Eph.5:18-20), because that is what he wants to hear. It is important that we understand that everything that is not material gets recorded. God pays attention to everything.
16Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.
17And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.
Now, it is important that we understand that when we die we will not take anything with us. The only thing we take when we die is our record, the things we say and we do. And, when we stand before judgement our book of record will be opened (Rev. 20:12) and every word will come to judgement before God (Mt. 12:35-37). That is every word filled with doubt, anger, foul, and including those opportunities not taken to minister to someone will come to judgement.
Life changing experiences with God are happening today like throughout the history. People are encountering Jesus Christ at their homes, in their jobs, in situations that are difficult like persecution and in the very face of death. According to the Christian post more Muslims are coming to Christ then ever. Iran is the most open nation to the gospel in the world (Post). An encounter with Christ is a life changing experience that once it happens nothing surpasses its worth. Nothing becomes more important then Christ, once one experiences Christ. Jesus’ twelve disciples were always with him, they were first hand witnesses of his miracles and manifest power. Yet, not all of the disciples had a personal encounter with the Lord, but just a few like Peter. Peter’s mother-in-law was found in bed with a high fever (Lk4:38-39), and Jesus stood over her and rebuked it and it left immediate; Peter witness this firs hand. Phillip and Andrew participated first hand in the miracle of the five thousand (Jh6:11) along with the other disciples. Jesus asked Phillip where could they get enough food for the people and Andrew found the couple of fish and bread.
3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him,5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
Now, Mary’s brother had died and her and Martha; Mary’s sister, were distraught. They were so hurt because of Lazarus death that when Jesus came to them they accused him of neglecting their friendship and allowing him to die. A death of a close family member seems to hit the hardest in the heart. But, when Jesus came and called out Lazarus from the grave (Jh11:43), the encountering effect of the Lord became real in the two sisters. There were two blind guys whom, when they found Jesus they followed him crying “Son of David have mercy on us” (Mt.9:28-31). When they came to a house Jesus healed the two charging them not to say anything to anyone but they could not stay shut, they went and proclaimed what he did to them throughout. The impact of what God does unleashes a proclamation in us no matter what or where we are. When Mary poured the expensive ointment on Jesus Judas who was impacted by Jesus, but stole from the treasury commented that it should have been sold and given to the poor. Now, the good feeling that we receive from doing something for someone else is good, but it is not compared to the impact the comes from God’s doing. That is why the bible tells us that everything that we do we must do it as if to the Lord (Col.3:23), because the impact is so much greater.
In order for something to be new there should not be anything of the same lingering. When we mix something new with something old usually the old affects the new. Jesus spoke of the process for wine conservation and he said that one cannot put new wine into old skins (Mt. 9:17). The old wine skins cannot hold the new wine it will burst. For 2016 we cannot drag in the 2015 old wines. A complete fresh and new start is required in order for any resolution to be effective. It is important that we start anew, fresh, with out any residue from the past. It is the same in Christ, when we come to the Lord all our old habits need to be put to a stop and a whole new ones must begin. The old is past away and the new must take over; No mixing.
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
God’s specialty is to make all things new and this newness begins with God’s word. His word is the agent of change. Something new has to come with the new year. For some, it will be catastrophe, but for others it is a good thing that will come this new year. God has something new to reveal to us (Is. 48:6). But, his hidden things that he wants to reveal will not happen when we drag the old ideologies and ways from the past. The new becomes a way of life Paul calls it “newness” (Ro. 6:4). Newness of life evolves around the verse to the Corinthians “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, allthings are become new” (2Cor. 5:17).
So, the process for starting anew begins with us not dragging old habits from the previous, incorporating the word of God, and acting or walking in newness. There are too many people; people of God, dragging on old habits to the way of God not realizing that soon enough a rip will tear that way of life and God’s purpose and plan will slip away.
Learning a new language gets harder as we age, but when one is a youngster its not so hard. In fact, studies suggests that in order to learn a new language full immersion is the most effective way to go. Language is a set of words that is shared among the same culture, but those words can be corrupted making part of the language corrupt. No matte what language we speak someone down the line has made it corrupt (Eph. 4:29). Paul spoke to the church to remove filthy language away from the their mouths because it is not pleasing to God (col. 3:8). Corrupt language is not just cussing, but it includes lying, and double standard speech; Jesus called Satan’s language a lying one (Jh. 8:44). Now, God has a language of which words share a common culture, and like all language some have tried to corrupt it with their actions. The question that comes to mind is, how do we really know when God is speaking, or what is he trying to say? Many people have a difficult time understanding what God is saying these last days because they do not know his words after all the first thing in learning a language is know the words.
43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say.
There was a problem between the religious people and the Jesus, they had a language barrier. They spoke the same language both Jesus and the religious, they had the same dialect, but something was wrong. The religious people had not taken the words of God spoken by the prophets and the ancients serious enough and they had spread it throughout as it happened with the tower of babel (Ge. 11:6). The people throughout the earth had decided to unite with one language and become one people they understood that a united language was a powerful one. But, their language became corrupt and strange once the people decided to exclude God from their lead it became strange and out of place. What is amazing about God is that no matte how strange the language have gotten they will listen (Ez. 3:5-7). When we allow God as our lead and immerse our selves into his words no matte what language we speak someone will listen (act. 2:6).
Problem solving is a matter of have or have not, either you have the resources to solve a matter or you don’t. We are not born with all the answers to life’s troublesome experiences; it would be great if we did. Some problems come and linger longer then other and even with the appropriate resources they just don’t want to get resolved. Man’s problems are classified under two main umbrellas, thirst and hunger. Now a days God has been actively providing with ample, solutions to all our problems. We can no longer blame ignorance for problem solving, however, we can blame forgetfulness. The Samaritan women was faced with a new way to solve her problem while the disciples of Jesus had forgotten their way.
10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
As Jesus comes to this well tired and thirsty he comes across this women who did not know a better way towards her problems. She came to the well to draw water daily with all her life’s problems lingering right behind her and no solution until she met Jesus. She did not know that her solution was right before her, so Jesus tells her “If you knew the gift of God”. Knowing God’s gift plays a big part in how we handle our daily problems. When we understand God’s plan for our live’s we have a better grasp of things. (pro. 19:21). God’s plans includes tips and solutions to our most difficult situations (Jer. 29:11). The Samaritan women needed to be introduced to her solutions to her problems and Jesus did just that.
The disciples of Jesus knew what they had; the solution to all their problems, and, yet tended to play forgetful. Right after Jesus fed five thousand people he and his disciples got into a boat and went to sea. Once Jesus mentioned the leaven of the bread; well, not of the bread but of the religious, is when they remembered the material bread they had forgotten. They did not remembered the one who brought the solution to the problem; Jesus,(Jh. 14:6). God never forgets his plans and purposes for us (Is. 49:15). We can become as forgetful as we can but he never forgets. We are forgetful people; some intentional and some not, but God warns us not to be forgetful (Deut. 6:12). If there is something in life that we should not forget is that God is ever present and ever willing to help (ps. 119:83). The disciples did not search in their tiny brains to recollect the signs and wonder Jesus had done even right before they entered the boat; the five thousands (ps.143:5).
The Samaritan women as soon as she understood who Jesus was reached out to him to give her that living waters and saw Christ in it, but she did not have him. The disciples knew Christ, but forgot what he had done and only remembered what they were missing.
There are two things that need to happen before God’s magnificant kingdom become evident in ones life. Many people today attend church services around the world with the hope of experiencing such evident as the kingdom of God manifest; even if they do not really know why they go to that specific church. So, then the question that comes to mind is why do people go to church? What is it that draw people to church? One of the things that we need to be ready to accept is that Jesus really came from God, and that the very signs that he did and is doing are also God’s work, and I think that that is the real reason why we go to church.
3 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council.2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.
Nicodemus a man who knew the law and was very knowledgeable person all of a sudden dawned on him the Kingdom of God. His mind was opened so that now he could see the Kingdom but he had one last step to take before he could enter. Nicodemus saw Jesus drive demons out (Mt. 12:28) with God’s finger. The tone of the voice in Nicodemus displayed in John 3 was that of worrisome. He understood that the same way it came it could leave; the kingdom of God (Mt. 21:42).
When we are in God’s kingdom all its secrets are revealed to us (Mk 4:11). God likes to share his plans with us; those secret things that no one else knows are the things that he likes to share with us (Deut. 29:29). God, from now on, is and will be showing his people those hidden things (Is. 48:6-8). God’s kingdom is not hidden these days and times it is very noticeable to those who are born again.
The Kingdom of God is accessible to everyone, but a condition of child hood is required in order to see it (Mk. 10:14). Many are expecting and waiting for God’s kingdom to come and therefore many cults have arise like the “Jesus cult” (Lk. 27:20-21). Something has to happen to a person before he or she can see the Kingdom of God; something like a clear understanding who Jesus is and believe in the miracles that follow him. The kingdom has come!