THE WILLINGNESS TO START AGAIN/HOPE AGAIN

There is hope for a tree that has been cut down.

Job 14:7 — Job 14:9
7 “For there is hope for a tree,
If it is cut down, that it will sprout again,
And that its tender shoots will not cease.
8 Though its root may grow old in the earth,
And its stump may die in the ground,
9 Yet at the scent of water it will bud
And bring forth branches like a plant.

It was once said, if you can’t run; walk, if you can’t walk; crawl.
Well, I will get back to that.
Life to me is a straight line with so many curves. Naturally, life ends at death, but for us who believe, we know and hope that there is life after death.


Life is a race as Paul told us.
Meaning, if anything, we ought to always move forward. No matter what happens to us.
As C.S Lewis said, “there is room for waiting, but there is no room for camping. As we wait, we pray. “(Paraphrase)
Life has lots of ups and downs. Amazingly, life cannot screw us unless we choose to believe that we are screwed. Otherwise, life will always work for our good no matter what happens to us.
Didn’t the Holy Spirit inspire Paul to write to us that all things work together for all those that believe and are called according to God’s purpose.
Friends, if we believe that life is a race or rather something in motion, we will always desire to start again everytime we fall. This is true, because, every runner aims to finish the race.
Look at it not as a competition, but as your own race, in your own field, on your own lane, with Christ as your coach.
Run the race with perseverance. When you fall, stand and run again.

So what makes us fall??
So many hurts in this life. Too many temptations. Too many griefs and heartbreaks. These things lower our momentum.
These hurts stiff our muscles, they lame our limbs. They numb us.
It takes strength to rise again.
Strength to say, “I want to continue running” rather than, “I wanna start running again”
Because, honestly, when you fell, you never left the race, you are still there on the lane. So what’s necessary is to stand up or crawl….to continue moving!
I say again, “Continue moving.”
Don’t despair.
The only time we stop is when we know we are on the wrong lane. That’s when we stop to start again or better still, to go back to our lane, the right path and continue our race.
I will have accomplished my purpose of writing this piece if you see life as a journey rather than an event. I want you to see life as in constant motion. Events end, journeys too end but at the destination.
Events are short term but journeys are long term, purposely because they have a destination.
Friend, keep moving.
My consolation comes from knowing that my life is in the hands of God. Knowing that everyday, I can choose to pick my cross again and walk or crawl, coz running with the cross is sometimes difficult. That’s why I rely on the Holy Spirit. Not always of course, sometimes am pigheaded and choose to harden my heart…
But I’ve learnt not to stop.
Stopping means going back to a comfort zone, stopping means stagnating, stopping means giving up an end goal, stopping means, letting shame and guilt rule… stopping means camping.
Friend, you can wait but don’t stop. As you wait, pray. Pray that the good Lord may show you the next step.

Too much to say  there is. But I beg to stop here.
If you know you are on the right path, your path, be it in academics, careers, relationship, partnership, community work, charity, friendship, devotion, religion, just name it. If truly you are on your lane, keep moving, not at your own pace, but at the pace of The Author and Finisher of our faith..
Because…
“It’s is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.”
Dear one, I insist, as long as you are on your lane, keep moving, in His pace and eventually, no matter the number of times you fall, you will surely get there. At the right time still.
Amazingly, the falls are part of the race, they are not step backwards, rather, a leap forward.
Trust Him.
Shalom.

Author: Abbey James.

GOD’S INTENTIONS

1 CORINTHIANS 2:9-14 God has good intentions for all those who love Him.

1Co 2:9 — 1Co 2:14
9 However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
the things God has prepared for those who love him—
10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.

We can not know God’s intentions without His Holy Spirit.

Neither can we know what God has freely given us (for the heirs of His salvation) without God’s Spirit.

A person without the Holy Spirit can neither understand the mind of God nor explain/behold/acknowledge of spiritual realities but is only foolishness to them.

WHERE DOES SALVATION BEGIN?

1Jo 1:8 — 1Jo 1:9
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Romans 3:23 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Act 2:37 — Act 2:38
37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized , every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Salvation begins with the acknowledgement that you are a sinner and that you need God’s grace.
Salvation begins with a repentant and broken heart. It’s like standing in front of the mirror and looking at yourself, you see how deficient you are and realize that you need God. It takes humility and coming to the end of yourself and above all, the Holy Spirit.

Ezekiel 11:19
19 I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.

Romans 2:5 5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.

Note: It is an unrepentant and stubborn heart that keeps men from salvation.
Do you feel you have backslidden? Check your heart.

Do you have an obedient, repentant heart? If not, seek God. Make it a prayer. A broken and repentant heart, God will not despise.

Psalms 51:17
17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart
you, God, will not despise.

Shalom

AT THE POINT OF SALVATION

AT THE POINT OF SALVATION

At the point of Salvation,
✅ There is Hope
✅There is Forgiveness of sins
✅There is Mercy
✅There is Healing
✅There is Restoration
✅There is Strength, there is Deliverance, there is Redemption
✅There is Power
✅There is Breakthrough
✅There is Freedom
✅There is Peace, there is Clarity
✅There is Light

*****
At the point of Salvation, there is The Cross, Jesus the Son of God.
Jesus was, is and forever is Our Salvation.
You are Never too far gone from God’s loving arm ✋!

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION

Restoration

Ezk 34:1 — Ezk 34:3

The LORD Will Be Israel’s Shepherd
1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to you shepherds of Israel who only take care of yourselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? 3 You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock.
Ezk 34:4 — Ezk 34:5
4 You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. 5 So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals.

These are the duties of a Shepherd:
1. To strengthen the weak
2. To heal the ill
3. To bind up the injured (Isaiah 61:1)
4. To bring back the stray
5. To search for the lost.

God was speaking to the shepherds of Israel. They had forsaken their duties as shepherds. Don’t be one of them.

Jud 1:22 — Jud 1:23
22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

Pro 24:11 — Pro 24:12
11 Rescue those being led away to death;
hold back those staggering toward slaughter.
12 If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who guards your life know it?
Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?

2 Cor 5:17-19 The ministry of reconciliation has been given to us, let us not forsake it.

In John 21:15 (onwards) 3 times Jesus reinstates Peter telling him to Shepherd His flock.

“AND HE THOUGHT OF ME.”

Phillipians 2:5-11 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

Psa 40:6 — Psa 40:8 6 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—
but my ears you have opened—
burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.
7 Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—
it is written about me in the scroll.
8 I desire to do your will, my God;
your law is within my heart.”

Isaiah 6:8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? ” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

On that particular day in Heaven, when God asked, “Who will go for us?” and Jesus answered, “Here am I. Send me.” He had you and me in mind.
Jesus in the very nature God did not consider equality with God something to be used for His own advantage but instead He chose you! When He came in human likeness and lived among men, suffered and persecuted, He had you in mind. On that cross when He cried to God as if God had abandoned Him (because of the sins of mankind), He thought of you. When He cried with so much heaviness of heart at the garden of Gethsemane that His tears were as blood, He had you in mind. When He cried on that cross saying “It is finished!” it was all for you. He was saying that ‘The work that Thouest sent me to do, is finished.’

1Pe 1:18 — 1Pe 1:20
18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.

1 John 3:1
1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

Therefore, let us be thankful and live out our time as foreigners here in reverent fear.

MOVING FORWARD IN FAITH

Phi 3:13 — Phi 3:14
13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Many of the Christians today are weighed down by their past and are thus unable to lay hold of what God has for them.
Dwelling on the past won’t do you any good. Dwelling on ‘I should have’ or ‘I ought to have’ or ‘why did I do that’ or ‘why didn’t I do that’ will do more to slow you down than to propel you towards God’s will for you.
The devil works to remind you of your past while God (our heavenly Father) speaks to you concerning your future.

Ecclesiastes 7:10
10 Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?”
For it is not wise to ask such questions.

Stop dwelling on the past and start with God now and move with Him in faith and confident trust.

In order to move forward you also need to forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for those bad choices you made, forgive yourself for that financial mistake, forgive yourself for that relationship that didn’t work.

The moment you forgive yourself, you give yourself an opportunity to started again and afresh. Start hoping again, believing in yourself again.

Further reading:
Luke 9:62
James 1:6-8 God is not a fun of indecision.
Genesis 19:26

BUILD YOURSELF UP IN FAITH

Jud 1:20 — Jud 1:21

20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

2Pe 1:5 — 2Pe 1:9

5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.

When you received Christ as Lord over your life, you said “Yes!” to a new abundant life in Him, but don’t let it stop there. Don’t be satisfied with just that, but dig deeper into Him. Get to know this God even more. Moses used the fact that he knew God as an argument for knowing Him better. He goes on to make this claim unto God Almighty, “I beseech thee, show me thy glory.”
This is a man who has deeper hunger for God to know Him even the more.
Paul the apostle states in Phillipians 3:8
8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ

David’s psalms display a cry of a hunger and a thirsting after God.
Psa 42:1 — Psa 42:2
1 As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go meet with God?

It is not enough to only have accepted Christ as Lord and rest at that but we ought to have an active longing for Him. As 2 Peter 1:5-9 states, continue adding to your faith that you may be effective and productive in your knowledge of Christ Jesus.

Shalom

LEAVE IT FOR GOD

Matthew 5:44-45 Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you that you may be children of your Father in Heaven.

Romans 12:14‭, ‬17‭-‬21 NIV

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, *but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.* On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


There is a reason why Christ taught us to pray for our enemies and not against them:
☑️ Praying for our enemies promotes love. The more you pray for someone, the more you will love them. The opposite is true. The more you love someone, the more you will pray for them.
☑️ It eases the necessity to forgive.
☑️ The more you pray for your enemies, the more they are turned from being your enemies into friends; the more they are drawn towards godliness.
☑️ In praying for our enemies, we are also turned towards godliness.
☑️ One way to put our trust in God is by leaving it all to God; letting God fight our battles for us. Which is through forgiveness. Not fighting our battles but aligning ourselves to His truth and letting Him fight for us.

God is more concerned about getting us justice than we are.

Matthew 5:43‭-‬48 NIV
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

The road to perfection is through love. God teaches us today that it is possible to be perfect, and that is by being like Him, loving our enemies and friends.

“COMING TO THE END OF YOURSELF.”

You are not ready to lay hold of God’s, unless you let go what’s yours.

Matthew 10:39
39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

You cannot lay hold of eternal life unless you forsake your own life for Christ’s sake.
You have not laid hold of eternal life until you acknowledge you are nothing without Jesus.
God’s Word tells us that those with Christ Jesus in their hearts have crossed from death to life. You haven’t started living until you start living for Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:19
19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.

Every day we should come to the end of ourselves. Choosing to obey His commands everyday.
Do you want a financial breakthrough? Then you must be ready to follow the principles of giving and tithing. You must be ready to let go disobedience, come to the end of yourself and follow God’s commands.
Do you want your relationship to flourish? Then let go what you have been perceiving as right with worldly principles and align yourself with God’s truth. (A man should love their wife as Christ loves the Church and the wife should submit to their husband.)

Most people refuse to live for Christ simply because they haven’t come to the end of themselves. They hold to some glory which is no glory at all. It’s all fleeting.

Do you want a breakthrough? Then let go what’s yours and lay hold of what’s God’s.

I pray that we will all come to the end of ourselves at every level in life. That we will hunger for more of God at every point in life.

Matthew 5:6
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.

There is a filling that’s awaiting you and I, once we hunger and thirst for God’s righteousness.

God bless you all.