Make every effort to enter through the narrow door

Luke 13: 24, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door because many I tell you, will try to enter but will not be able to.”

Jesus encourages us to make every effort to enter through the narrow door of abundant life and divine blessings.

Some of us give up more often than others. It’s true that the more we are surrounded by God’s promises and His divine encouragement, the more we tend to lose heart and become discouraged.

We make an action plan and gather resources and strength to take the first step. We seem fine as long as things go in alignment with our action plan. If we see a failure approaching or a distraction coming on our way, we become extra cautious and start second guessing our judgement to move with the plan. We begin to judge every turn of events and take initial failure as a message from God not to go any further. We lose courage and quit.

What we don’t realize is that it might be a deception from the enemy who is trying hard to steal our blessings by not letting us put our best efforts forward. Enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. it’s not just our salvation that he tries to steal, he also keeps an eye on  our wordly blessings. He is aware of our life style and habits and tries every way to deceive us, if we don’t stand on the word of God.

Enemy puts his best effort either to stop or delay our blessings.

The word of God commands us to “make every effort” to receive the eternal blessings in the name of Jesus.

Father wants us not only to declare and claim the blessings in Jesus name, but also to take necessary action, and move in faith, work hard and receive them.

Mere claiming the promises of God won’t bring us any blessings. What brings the abundance of heaven down to us is  our sincere walk in  faith coupled with our best efforts and steel determination that says “Father, I have already received what you have promised and no one can take them away from me. No matter what failure I see today, tomorrow everyone will see me succeed in Jesus’ name.”

God has called us to live life in all its abundance but we can’t make God’s plan of abundance successful unless we move in the direction of his word  with full assurance that whatever is spoken has already been done in our lives.

Make every effort, move in the direction of faith without fail and receive God’s choicest blessings!

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Launch out into the deep

Luke 5:3-6, ” He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything.But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.”

Luke 5 tells us that God pours down his abundant blessings to the one whose heart is humble and obedient to his voice.

When Jesus saw two boats on the shore, he went into the one belonged to Simon Peter and asked him to put out a little from shore. Simon Peter, in simple obedience followed the Lord’s command. He was tired and exhausted from work but he didn’t open his mouth to refute Jesus.

Peter allowed Jesus to use his boat., not only he prepared a place for the Lord to sit and rest but he brought himself to humble submission to His voice, not only once but twice. First when Jesus asked Peter to put out a little from shore and again when Jesus said, “Put out into deep water and let down for a catch.”

The first obedience didn’t bring him anything but the second did. First command that was about to bring blessing to Peter came after the Lord had finished speaking to the people who had gathered around him.

“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you”. Peter let Jesus finish the work for which Father sent Him down and the Lord blessed Peter with the blessing of His word.

Our Lord seeks out those who are willing to give a reign of their lives to Him, for our willingness opens a way for us to receive more blessings. The easiest way to receive blessing in any area is to let the Lord sit and rest in that area. Jesus came to Peter’s boat and sat in it before blessings came to Peter.

Are you working hard but all you are seeing is failure? Let the Lord come and sit in that area in your life. Don’t let worry rob your peace. Be quiet! And you will prepare a place for God to sit and rest. Peter’s major concern was his failure to catch any fish despite his hard work, but simply opening his boat to the Lord, he opened a way for his blessing.

Jesus asked Peter to launch out to the deep. If you have given a place to Jesus in an area of your life, you have invited Jesus to sit and rest, but mere invitation doesn’t bring blessings, obedience does.

Listen to what the Lord is saying. He is asking you to move a bit further from where you are right now, for this is where you will find an abundance of blessings. Listen to HIS gentle voice! you can’t miss it if  HE has come into your boat. Simply obey, and you will have a greater catch, much more than what you could have achieved by your own efforts.

The key to blessings is to prepare a place for Jesus to sit and rest in your boat.

There is no simple formula to success than the one Jesus has taught us. Let’s listen to the voice of our saviour and master. His plans are to bring us blessings in all abundance. Become a part of those plans by giving honour to his word.

Jesus desires to bless you, Have you given him a place to sit and rest?

May no one ever eat fruit from you again

Mark 11: 12-14, “The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it”.

Jesus came to the fig tree, expecting to find a fruit. He was hungry and wanted to eat something and even though he had seen that the fig tree was full of leaves, he came closer to see if it had any fruit. Since our Lord is same yesterday, today and forever, He still comes to us in eager expectation to find if we have grown by making good use of the blessings that he has bestowed in our lives, and by regular practice turned them into fruits that are seen by all. We have been blessed in heavenly realm with many blessings in Christ but our blessings remain dormant unless we take a step in faith and turn them into action.

We procrastinate and delay our own blessings. We get fearful to take any new initiative even though we know that in order to refine our talents and receive new blessings we should take a step in faith and start walking in their shadow, the way Abraham did.

The Lord wants us to seize every opportunity and make good use of our gifts in order to bring them to the point of perfection. We can’t offer unrefined gifts and talents to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Life is short and there is a time for everything. If we miss that opportunity we run the risk of losing our blessings that come on our way when the giver of those blessings passes by us.  Unrefined skills are like leaves that are of no use to the Lord. All they can do is to fill us with pride for the skills that are not being used by God can be used by devil to take away the blessings that the Lord pours down when we submit our gifts and talents to the feet of our master.

The Lord longs to see fruits in our lives not just the leaves of never been used skills. He doesn’t accept the faith unless it has been turned into action to bring glory to his name. Fruit is seen by all; likewise our gifts and talents must be visible to the Lord and others.

What gifts and talents you have been blessed with? When was the last time you used them? Have they been perfected by continuous practice or buried and covered under the curtain of doubts and fear?

What is acceptable to the Lord is faith in action not just the thought that we have faith in Him.

Col. 3:23, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord”, Let’s work hard and offer the fruits of the labour to the King and the Lord. He deserves the best and the first portion of our work. Let’s bear fruit for His glory so that whenever He comes, early morning or late at night, He may find us dilligently seeking and exploring new ways to use our gifts and talents. He is the one who gave his life so that we may receive new blessings, Can’t we give him the full grown fruits of those blessings?

Seven elders lay their crown at the feet of the master acknowledging that he is above all gifts and rewards. Can we give our saviour the best portion out of what he has given us to be used for his glory and Kingdom.

Don’t worry about tomorrow

Jesus says in Matthew 6:34, “Don’t worry about tomorrow.”

Is Jesus asking us to do something impossible? Don’t we all plan for the future and work hard to bring those plans to fruition, and during the process of planning and  implementation, worry is inevitable! Thinking about how will it happen? what if things don’t turn out the way they have been planned? Will others make fun of us  if we are not able to finish what we have started? Isn’t it all natural. The problem begins when worry and doubts take over and convince us to quit before we have even started. We don’t realize that simple planning, feeding on fear of unknown, is gradually turning into the greatest impediment to our progress.

Worry, taking its strength from the inherent fear of unknown becomes our greatest resistance to to move any further. We don’t realize that it all started with planning for the future without including the counsel of the one who is the author of our days.

Jesus is asking us to base future plans on the word, “Don’t worry”. The one who is victorious over death and reigns in the future wants us to leave behind the fear of unknown to HIM.

A robust future plan not only include time tested strategies of success but also rests on the solid foundation of the irrevocable word of God.

When the word was spoken, the power to follow it was already granted. All of us are fully equipped to do what the master is asking us to do, “Don’t worry about tomorrow.” 

If we try to do the contrary by worrying about things, the effort to resist the word of God, will take up all our energy and leave us powerless. The Word is the real bread today tomorrow and forever, and we receive just our daily portion every day. God never supply more than what we need today the way Father provided Israelites with fresh manna every morning and asked them not to store anything for the future. Our God is same who wants his children to trust on HIS daily provisions. Father desires his children to hold onto the giver of the blessings and not just the blessings that He gives.

Worry induced by unknown fear doesn’t do any good to us. All it does is to shut our eyes to see the abundance of blessings that Father has granted us in Jesus. Worry is an evil weapon that block our growth by resisting us to offer sincere thanksgiving to God, The Father.

Not only that, worry robs our peace and don’t let us see the opportunities that come to us every day. When we can’t see the opportunities, how would we make good use of them to turn them into prosperity.

Worry and doubts make us quit even before we have started off.

Don’t listen to your doubts and worry. No-one has seen the future except the one who is, who was and who is to come. Jesus, the truthful witness, is asking us not to worry. How can we not pay attention to His word!

Conviction of the Holy Spirit

John 16:8, “When he comes, he will convict the world of the guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgement. In regard to sin, because men do not believe in me, in regard to righteousness because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer, and in regard to judgement, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.”

Jesus spoke these words to his disciples when he was about to fulfil the mission for which he was sent on earth to redeem mankind. He said that when the Holy Spirit comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgement.

The world of guilt was given power to rule over mankind after the first man sinned by disobeying God. Adam sinned, and as a result he was taken out of the garden of Eden and from the presence of most high God. He lived with the consequences of the sin that he had committed. Sin started transmitting from one generation to another until one came whose lineage was not from human bur from God, with his unblemished blood He redeemed mankind from the consequences of sin. Not only so, he provided a solution to tame the weak human nature by leaving us a divine helper – The Holy Spirit.

What is Sin? Bible says in  James 4:17 – “To him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” It’s the basic tendency and natural instinct of the weak human nature .

When someone sins, he becomes powerless and make himself open to other forces to rule over him. World of guilt takes a reign over that person to torment him day and night by reminding him of what he has done. When prayers are made in confession, Holy Spirit takes the control and comes to convict the one who is convicting others, that is the world of guilt. The spirit leaves the world of guilt powerless by convicting it the same way it is convicting others. As a result of the Spirit intervention, the person who has sinned and then repented is made free from the guilty feeling, not only so, he is also filled with a sense of freedom. Its this freedom that enables a child of God to walk in the renewed state of mind and spirit with God the father.

Sin separates us from Christ by erecting a wall of disobedience and doubts between us and Jesus. When Adam sinned, his eyes were opened  to see what he had done since the moment he gave the power over to sin to rule over him, the world of guilt took over and filled him with remorse and shame. Adam ran away from the presence of God, in whose image he was created.

What did God do to bring Adam back to his presence? God, in his love and mercy,  provided lamp skin to cover Adam’s shameful guilt. But the lamb skin was a temporary solution that could just cover but never bring atonement.

God, the Father sent his  Son, in the likeness of men, who was killed to reconcile us to most High God. Jesus came so that in him we may find refuge from the negative effects of sin and sinful nature. Since Jesus has done the work, what is left  for us to do is to trust and meditate on his work rather than giving ourselves over to the torment of guilt.

Next time guilt comes to torture you (even though you have confessed the sin to the Lord), proclaim the work of Christ in your life and the guilt will run away.

World of guilt not only brings to memory the sinful act but also lies about righteousness, that whoever has sinned has lost his righteousness before God. World of guilt tries to convince us that our own righteousness is the result of our good works. This is not true! Righteousness begins and ends at Jesus. Its just by looking at the King that we are counted righteous in his presence.

Don’t try to find your righteousness in religious rituals and good works. Just look at Jesus and submit to him your works and you will share the righteous of the one who Himself is declared righteous in heaven and on earth.

Jesus, by his death and resurrection, has judged and disarmed all the forces of darkness. Don’t let the one who himself was condemned by your saviour judge you in any way. Its Jesus, his finished work, your confession and the Holy Spirit who has prepared a new way for you to go.

Let not the world of guilt but the truth of the Holy Spirit that has come down to us through Jesus, our King and Lord nourish your body, soul & spirit and keep you safe in HIM.