Your heart is the central and innermost part of you where moral activity takes place and therefore includes your soul; emotions, intellect and mind. If one has a pure heart, then it means that one lives devoted to God and for the sole purpose of glorifying Him. God’s nature is to look at man’s heart while man has the tendency to focus on outward appearances (1 Samuel 16:7).
This is why our pious acts of worship and involvement in church ministry do not impress God if we are living secret sinful lives or in hypocrisy. He takes our heart condition before Him very seriously.
When I think of this verse in the bible (Prov. 4:23), I note that it is full of the counsel of God. If my heart is guarded by worshipping God in Spirit and in truth (His Word of truth) and prayer, then the outflow from it bears witness to the fact that I am a child of God. This is one of the functions of the Holy Spirit.
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” (Romans 8:16-17 KJV).
The course of my life is therefore dependant on what I “feed” my heart and from the scripture above amongst others in relation to the Spirit of God, the importance of life lived in fellowship with the Spirit cannot be underestimated.
Two key words of counsel derived from Proverbs 4:23 are that we
1.Watch the Company we Keep.
There are certain people who are inclined to gossip or speak negatively about others and the more I stay close to them the more I will find myself speaking the same way even without realizing it. In fact the mere fact that I listen to such talk means that I am in alliance with their gossiping and malicious banter.
The bible states
The Apostle Paul gives this noteworthy advice for our application:
If I choose to hang around gossipers and malicious people thinking I will change them then I am likely to be disillusioned. Why? Because it is not possible to change someone over night and honestly God is not giving me that mandate unless he knows that I am spiritual strong enough to resist adding to their gossip or malicious talk and partaking of their ways. Even then, God will give me the wisdom to wait on Him for the right time to confront them about their behaviour.
Having done so if they choose to continue, then it means it is time to separate from the one who has chosen to walk the way of the ungodly despite professing to be in Christ. Such people are to be removed from the category of close friends to that of acquaintances who I do not stop praying for, but I guard my heart if I happen to find myself in their company. I accept my calling as a child of God to love the brethren in Christ with the love of God, however not everyone is meant to be my friend. As I walk with the LORD, my priority is to cultivate heart- felt intimacy with Him in true holiness as is humanly possible.
Nothing and no one should be able to prevent me from sustaining a heart from which flows the life of God so that we are able to be in fruitful service unto Him. Therefore if anyone or anything stands in the way, I must step back and take a hard look at that thing or person and pray seriously about it before God, there is no beating about the bush. Satan does me no favors and comes as an angel of light, but praise the Lord that his dark ways through certain people and situations.
It is also important to self examine. If I am so easily influenced by people and even though I know better, I continue to be part of such a crowd and partake of their gossip and malicious conversation (yes even one word) then it means I have formed an unholy alliance which will forever be an obstacle to the power of God working in and through me. This is a serious matter brethren! That I would be quick to acknowledge my sins and repent before the Lord!
We have a Heavenly Father who is merciful and forgive those who acknowledge and confess their sins before him (1John 1:9)
2.Have the characteristics of true children of God
As believers in Jesus Christ we must remember that we are those who live on God’s “Holy Mountain” and there are characteristics that affirm we are children of God:
Strife is not the portion of the child of God and from these verses we are also presented with the importance of the Holy Spirit in our lives:
May the Lord help us to have and sustain the characteristics that bear witness to the fact that we are true children of God;
3.Cultivate a life of intimacy with God
To have the “light of life” (John 8:12) or a heart which is a well spring of life so as to be the “Light of the world” (Matt.5:14)) in christlikeness, we must follow the leading of God our faithful Shepherd:
The secret place of the most high, that place of intimacy is also abiding “under the shadow of the Almighty” as according to psalm 91, and with psalm 23 we are expressed the profound peace, protection, goodness and mercy we receive as children of God.
If we have the attitude that the sanctification process of the believer in Christ means being restored to the place of having the nature of God the Father, then we will see this process as a partnership which involves us consciously doing our part in obedience to the Word of God. This involves
In doing the aforementioned, the outflow of the life of God which speaks of one full of the Holy Spirit to overflowing setting the course of one’s life is not only sustained but increased so that we can do more for God. The reality of the “Life-giving Spirit” Jesus’ words in John 14:12 become evidenced in our lives.
In addition, our discernment and sensitivity to God’s Spirit and His ways is increased and so we are spiritually strengthened and mature enough not to fall into temptation nor act on carnal or satanic provocations.
You are blessed. Determine to stay blessed!
©Deborah E. Nyamekye 18/12/2015
“Behold a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” (Matthew 1:23 KJV)
EMMANUEL, GOD WITH US – RECONCILIATION OF MANKIND WITH GOD.
It was God’s love and concern for mankind which compelled Him to send Jesus, who is a revelation of “God with us”, Emmanuel. Jesus is the one who makes people holy through his suffering and death. He became one with or the “brother of” those who were bring sanctified by him. Jesus became like his brethren in his role as a merciful and faithful high priest able to help those tempted and make it possible for them to be reconciled with God.
“Jesus, who makes people holy, and all those who are made holy have the same Father. That is why Jesus isn’t ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. Since all of these sons and daughters have flesh and blood, Jesus took on flesh and blood to be like them. He did this so that by dying he would destroy the one who had power over death (that is, the devil). In this way he would free those who were slaves all their lives because they were afraid of dying. So Jesus helps Abraham’s descendants rather than helping angels. Therefore, he had to become like his brothers and sisters so that he could be merciful. He became like them so that he could serve as a faithful chief priest in God’s presence and make peace with God for their sins. Because Jesus experienced temptation when he suffered, he is able to help others when they are tempted.” (Heb.2:11, 14-18 NOG)
The Apostle John stated it simply as “God loved the world this way: He gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NOG)
EMMANUEL, GOD WITH US – A REVELATION THROUGH HOLY SPIRIT.
1God [is] our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.2Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;3[Though] the waters thereof roar [and] be troubled, [though] the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.4[There is] a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy [place] of the tabernacles of the most High.5God [is] in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, [and that] right early.”
(Psalm 46:1-5 KJV)
Jesus prayed for the Father to send his disciples (John 14:16) the Holy Spirit, who is depicted in New Testament scripture as living waters. Many including myself have a revelation of the “river” in Psalm 46 as the Holy Spirit. The “river, the streams whereof shall make glad” the people of God, who are His dwelling or “city of God, the holy [place] of the tabernacles of the most High” (KJV). The New Living translation of the bible states that the river “brings joy to the city of God”.
When one has the joy of the LORD, one has the life of God because His joy is an outflow of His life imparted to anyone who belongs to Him so that they can live and labour for Him.
God is with us through Christ. He is our refuge. Despite the rage of heathens and kingdoms against God’s people some of which are happening today, God always speaks into such situations and gives us peace or stillness in our hearts regardless of the situation (Ps.46:6-11 KJV). Nehemiah who was faced with continues intimidation and provocation from those opposing the re-building of the walls of Jerusalem was able to use words such as “…the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Neh. 8:10) when addressing the people. When we read the account of the opposition Nehemiah went through, we can see that if but for the strength of God enabling him to administer wisdom and stay bold he would have easily backed down.
What “earthquakes” or shaking “mountains” are you experiencing in your life today? Let the joy of the Lord, from the River of Life be your strength. Stay in fellowship with God in the Spirit.
Jesus was the giver of life which includes joy in his ministry on earth and was determined to continue doing so as a Comforter or parent even after his ascension this is why he
1.Asked Father to send the Holy Spirit to his disciples.
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:16-18 NIV)
2.Told His disciples to remain in His love (which is abiding in the life of God) and the way to do so is by obeying His command. This is how to have the joy of the LORD within.
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” (John 15:9-11 NIV)
Jesus also said to his disciples
1.“The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life” (John 6:63 NLT).
This is why we must let the Word of God dwell in us richly (Col. 3:16). Living a Christ centered life means that the Word of God, the Bible is where we turn to for wisdom and how to live holy lives.
The Holy Spirit is the “Spirit of Prophecy”. He knows the mind and will of God and imparts it to us (1 Corinth 2) and also testified of Jesus, reminding us of his spoken words or teachings (Rev 19:10/John 14:25-26)
2.“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly”. (John 10:10 KJV).
Through Christ therefore, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear…” (Ps. 46:1-2) whatever the thief (Satan and his agents) comes to do.
EMMANUEL, GOD WITH US – UNITY OF BELIEVERS
One of Jesus’ missions which is to unite believers in him is the subject of his intercessory prayer to God on their behalf. The purpose of their unity is expressed in Jesus’ prayer (John 17:21): “I won’t be in the world much longer, but they are in the world, and I’m coming back to you. Holy Father, keep them safe by the power of your name, the name that you gave me, so that their unity may be like ours…I pray that all of these people continue to have unity in the way that you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they may be united with us so that the world will believe that you have sent me. (John 17:11, 21)
To conclude, let us give thanks and praise to God our Father that because He came in the person of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ we have His abundant and eternal life. The coming of the Holy Spirit, the River of Life, to indwell believers in Christ on the day of Pentecost and thereafter is as though Jesus never left the earth. Through the Holy Spirit therefore, Jesus’ life as Emmanuel or “God with us” during his public ministry until his death, burial and resurrection still continues to this day and will continue until His Second Coming.
As a believer in Jesus Christ, be reminded that the Holy Spirit indwelling you means that God is with you. As part of the Body of Christ world wide “the City of God” a people with God in them, living lives together in christlikeness, you are called in unity with others and individually to be a testimony of the goodness of God or the blessings of the kingdom; “Righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17 NIV).
We who believe are assured a place in paradise at the end of the age, meanwhile, may we obey Jesus’ new commandment:
“Dear children, I will be with you only a little longer. …34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:33-35 NLT)
It is therefore worth keeping in mind the fact that it is not merely being a part of the Body of Christ or the Church that testifies that God is with us, but the act of unity and love for one another regardless of gender, race, nationality or social class status. This will prove to the world that we are indeed children of God and that indeed God is with and in us.
You are blessed, determine to stay blessed!
©Deborah E.Nyamekye 15/12/2015
As I read the biblical book of Hebrews chapters 1-3, I noted the revelation of Jesus as El Elyon, (creator, possessor of the whole universe, the Most High God) was evident through the writer’s account. I could also see him as Elohim, the (God;”builder of all things”). I have written a discourse in this regard below incorporating other scriptures to affirm points I make, but Hebrews chapters 1 to 3 are the key scriptures.
A. EL ELYON (CREATOR, POSSESSOR OF THE WHOLE UNIVERSE, MOST HIGH GOD)
1. Jesus and God are one;
“His Son is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact likeness of God’s being. He holds everything together through his powerful words. After he had cleansed people from their sins, he received the highest position, the one next to the Father in heaven.” (Heb.1:3 NOG)
In Hebrews Chapter one, God referred to Jesus as himself (Heb. 1:8) and also in another sentence as belonging to Him (Heb.1:9).
8 But God said about his Son, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.
The scepter in your kingdom is a scepter for justice. 9 You have loved what is right and hated what is wrong. That is why God, your God, anointed you, rather than your companions, with the oil of joy.” (Heb. 8-9 NOG)
The above confirms what Jesus spoke about his deity, that
-Jesus and God are one (John 10:30)
-if his disciples have known & seen him, then this means they have known and seen the Father (John 14:7,9).
Paul said of Jesus “…God was using Christ to restore his relationship with humanity…
(2 Corinthians 5:19 NOG).
2. Jesus’s Character and what he does is descriptive of God’s character and what He does: Jesus’s character as one who loves righteousness and hates sin or iniquity is descriptive of that of God. (Heb.1:9)
3. In Hebrews chapters one and two, we read about the author of Hebrews reference to Jesus as creator and saviour in a manner that brings to mind the names of God; Adonai ( the Sovereign God of all) & El Elyon (Most high God, creator, Possessor of the whole universe):
God also said “Lord, in the beginning you laid the foundation of the earth. With your own hands you made the heavens.(Heb.1:10 NOG)
“10 God is the one for whom and through whom everything exists. Therefore, while God was bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was the right time to bring Jesus, the source of their salvation, to the end of his work through suffering.” (Hebrews 2:10 NOG)
The scriptures in Hebrews particularly Hebrews 1:3 and 2:10 resonate what is written in many biblical verses identifying Jesus as God, the creator, Saviour who manifests His presence and glory as the Light of the world to overcome a dark evil world.
Christ Jesus is God “Incarnate”, meaning that as the Son of God, Jesus took on bodily form but he did not stop being deity (John 1:1,14). He said of himself “Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and that the Father is in me. Otherwise, believe me because of the things I do. (John 14:11 NOG)
Other scriptures are as follows;
“The earth and everything it contains are God’s. The world and all who live in it are his. (Psalm 24:1 NOG)
Jesus spoke to the Pharisees again. He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will have a life filled with light and will never live in the dark.” (John 8:12 NOG)
“1 In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was already with God in the beginning. Everything came into existence through him. Not one thing that exists was made without him. He was the source of life, and that life was the light for humanity. 5 The light shines in the dark, and the dark has never extinguished it.” (John 1:1-5 NOG)
Jesus said of himself “All of God lives in Christ’s body, and God has made you complete in Christ. Christ is in charge of every ruler and authority.” (Col. 2:9-10 NOG)
B.ELOHIM (GOD; “THE BUILDER OF ALL THINGS)”
“Brothers and sisters, you are holy partners in a heavenly calling. So look carefully at Jesus, the apostle and chief priest about whom we make our declaration of faith. Jesus is faithful to God, who appointed him, in the same way that Moses was faithful when he served in God’s house. Jesus deserves more praise than Moses in the same way that the builder of a house is praised more than the house. “ (Heb. 3:1-3 NOG)
Moses was faithful “ when he served in God’s house…” and “Jesus is faithful to God, who appointed him” however “Jesus deserves more praise than Moses “ as he is the builder of the house of which Moses and his people are a part. (Heb.3:1-3). Jesus is the builder of the kingdom of God or the Church “House” because He is God.
“After all, every house has a builder, but the builder of everything is God.Moses was a faithful servant in God’s household. He told the people what God would say in the future. But Christ is a faithful son in charge of God’s household. We are his household if we continue to have courage and to be proud of the confidence we have.” (Heb. 3:4-6)
What should one do to belong to the House of Jesus, or God. vs 6 “if we continue to have courage and to be proud of the confidence we have.”
What does this mean? We are encouraged to
1. Be steadfast in faith or confidence as well as proud in having Jesus as our Lord and saviour.
2. Not live in unbelief which bears the fruit of disobedience or rebellion;
But rather to obey God’s voice so as to enter into His rest which is His plan for all believers.
Most of the Israelites who had left Egypt did not enter the promised land, but rather died in the wilderness because they hardened their hearts in unbelief and therefore disobeyed God (Heb. 3:15-19 ). We are advised that if we hear God’s voice, unlike these Israelites, we must not harden our hearts and rebel but rather we should receive His words with faith (Heb.3:7-11).
It is faith that compels us to obey. It is evident that God’s rest is not just about having His peace or a trouble free life but it is about allowing Him to guide us in our “wilderness” life-paths so as to “enter Canaan” or receive His promises.
My sincere prayer is that these Devotionals on Jesus’ oneness with Father God will enrich your Christian faith. Also that it would whet your appetite for further revelation and insight into the person of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as you abide in him and seek to know him more and more.
“7However, what things were gain to me, these have I counted loss for Christ.8Yes most certainly, and I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and count them nothing but refuse, that I may gain Christ. 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;
10that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed to his death; 11if by any means I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect; but I press on, if it is so that I may take hold of that for which also I was taken hold of by Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:7-12 WEB)
You are blessed, determine to stay blessed!
©Deborah E.Nyamekye 14/12/2015
Is there something you lack? I have a message for you today, while you may not have everything you want our Heavenly Father gives you all that you need. What you need is necessary for your survival or can determine whether you will live or die whereas what you want is not necessarily a priority or a matter of life or death. God is more concerned about giving you all that you need as a priority than what you want. Our God is Jehovah Jireh, the only one who can provide you with what you need and in this context I will emphasis on God as a giver of provision, Jehovah Jireh in the Old and New Testament.
Abraham was obedient to God when God told him to sacrifice his son Isaac (Genesis 22). He started preparing to kill Isaac and had the fire and wood ready, he bound up Isaac and placed him on the altar. Just before he used the knife on his son, God gave him a ram as a substitute. Abraham called that place “The LORD will provide..and to this day it is said ‘on the mountain of the Lord it will be provided’ (Gen. 22:14 NIV).
God’s instruction was just a test (Gen. 22:1) which Abraham passed “And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only [son] from me.” (Gen. 22:12 KJV)
Can we honestly say that we live a life as Abraham did understanding the ways of God to the point that when we are in the midst of a crisis in which God requires us to sacrifice something we really love:
1.We call the act of sacrifice worship? Abraham told his servants to wait for him and Isaac while they went up the mountain to worship the Lord (Gen. 22:5).
2. Follow through with sacrificing what we feel God is calling us to however hard it is knowing that God has a glorious plan through it?
Did Abraham discern this command to kill his son was a test and so was determined to pass it by following through with the process of starting a fire and then raising his knife to kill Isaac?
I believe so. Abraham had so much faith in God supernaturally intervening in this act of “worship” he even told the servants “we will come back to you” (Gen. 22:5) note the “we” not “I”.
As Abraham may we always be on the “mountain of the Lord”, that place of intimacy with Him such that everything we do in obedience to Him is an act of worship unto Him.
May we also have the following attitude: if whatever I give up is returned to me by the Lord then “praise the Lord”, if it is not then I still say “praise the Lord”, for God is in absolute control and knows what I need and what is best for me for the fulfillment of His plans and purposes for my life.
There are spiritual and natural blessings and rewards God will release only after we have proved ourselves to be obedient to His commands.
Jehovah Jireh provides us with what we need. God provided Isaac to Abraham as a means to ensure His promise to Abraham to make him a father of many nations or a means through whom nations will be blessed would come to pass.
Isaac was the promised son given to the world from God through Abraham. Likewise Jesus is the promised son given to the world from God through Abraham’s descendants Mary and Joseph, specifically the God chosen royal lineage of David which Joseph is a descendant of.
When Adam and Eve sinned, God was grieved that His most favoured creation, created for fellowship with Him would desert Him through disobedience.
God our merciful Father, even when He pronounced punishment on Adam and Eve for their disobedience to Him (read Genesis 3) also pronounced a means of escape. This means of escape was Jesus Christ, God called him (Genesis 3:15) the “seed of the woman” that will crush the head of the serpent (Satan).
Here we see that at the beginning when all things were created the seed of the woman, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is spoken of as being already victorious in spiritual warfare for the sake of mankind. He was destined to arise on earth to overcome or defeat anything birthed by Satan.
Let us meditate on the following: Jesus is written of as being the Word who was in existence and with God “in the beginning” of creation and came to dwell among men on earth (John 1:1-14). By and for him things were created and “he is before all things” (Col. 1:16/17). Another evidence that Jesus existed before the foundations of the earth was that he was the Lamb that was slain by whose blood the heavenly warriors in God’s camp (Michael and the Angels) overcame Lucifer the fallen angel and his hordes (Rev 12:11).
Jesus Christ the Messiah is the provision descendants of Adam and Eve need to make peace with God through reconciliation to a place of fellowship with Him. This is why Jehovah Jireh who knows and desires to meet the needs of His beloved creation sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour of the world (John 3:16).
JESUS WAS BROKEN FOR MANY, SO WE WOULD LIKEWISE BE BROKEN FOR MANY.
Jesus told the men who were seeking him (John 6:24-29) after he performed the miracle of multiplication of loaves and fishes not to labour for “meat” that perishes but for the meat that endures unto eternal life which he, Christ would give them.
He was speaking this way because he knew their motives, they were not seeking him because of the miracles of God, but because of the food he gave them to eat. Jesus however wanted them to understand the futility of life without God; He is the provision “meat” they needed for eternal life or their salvation. In order to do the works of God they needed to believe in him whom God sent.
That we will always say and be instruments of God to lead others to say what the crowd replied “Lord always give us this bread” (John 6:34 KJV).
Jesus said that Manna, the food God gave to the Israelites when they were in the wilderness was not the true bread from heaven, but he, Jesus is because he is the bread of God that came down to give life to the world (John 6:32-33)
Jesus also said “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will not be hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35 KJV)
When an individual accepts Jesus Christ the “Bread of Life” as Lord and Saviour, God’s predestined plan for their lives as an instrument to bring eternal and abundant life (John 10:10/11:25) of God to multitudes is made possible. This plan is their Abrahamic inheritance because as a believer in Jesus Christ, they are called to be a blessing to nations.
“And if ye [be] Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Gal 3:29 KJV)
GOD IN THE PERSON OF JESUS CHRIST: JEHOVAH JIREH IS THE BREAD OF LIFE
Brothers and sisters, here is the great mystery and cause for us who believe in Jesus Christ as our precious Lord and Saviour to rejoice, that God himself came as our much needed provision in the person of Jesus Christ!
While Isaac and Jesus Christ were both given by God and for the purpose of mankind’s need for redemption, Isaac was a human being called and chosen by God, while Jesus Christ was God himself.
Yes Jehovah Jireh gave Himself as the ultimate and once and for all sacrifice for the sins of mankind when He came to earth as the sacrificial lamb (Rev 12:11) or “seed of the woman” (Gen 3:15). The provider became the provision or means for redemption.
He who had no sin became a curse or a sin for sinful man. (2 Corinth. 5:21)
Jesus is the brightness of God’s glory and the express image of His person (Heb 1:3 KJV).
God was in Christ reconciling the world back to himself (2 Corinth. 5:19).
The angel’s announcement to Mary as to how Jesus would be conceived, by the Holy Spirit (who is God) overshadowing her, affirms who Jesus was
“35…The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35KJV)
In this Christmas season and from henceforth let us always have at the forefront of our minds, the true nature of Jesus Christ, not only as the Son of Man or “child” “born into us” but also as the Son of God given unto us (Is. 9:6) “Given” because he existed before creation and is God Himself. God came down Himself as a Man of War for the sake of inhabitants on the earth warned by Michael and the Angels following their Victorious warfare in heaven when Satan and the other fallen angels were cast down to earth (Rev. 12:11-13).
We can rest assured therefore that as they overcame in heaven by the blood of the Lamb and their testimony, so too every believer in Jesus Christ who resolves to live a life of obedience and trust in God will overcome.
We are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us (Romans 8:37)
You are blessed, determine to stay blessed.
©Deborah E. Nyamekye 13/12/2015
Part 1: The Good Shepherd, Jehovah Rohi (12/12/2013
Part 2: The Bread of Life, Jehovah Jireh (13/12/2015)
Part 3: El Elyon, Most High God & Elohim, God “Builder of all things”
I feel led by the LORD to write a four part devotional for the next four days based on the abundant weight of glory and truth in the fact that He and Jesus Christ are one. This is for our meditation, a means of thanksgiving and encouragement. Highlighted will be scriptures which affirm the oneness of God and Jesus Christ in their characteristics as Shepherds (part 1) and providers of man’s needs and the greatest need of all, salvation (part 2).
Part 3 is a discourse, with Hebrews Chapters 1-3 as foundational scriptures which reveals Jesus as El Elyon, (Creator, possessor of the whole universe, the Most High God) and Elohim, (God;”builder of all things”). Part 4 is conclusive and explores Jesus Christ as Emmanuel “God is with us”.
Jesus spoke clearly about being one with God a number of times, for instance when he said
“me and my Father are one” (John 10:30) and “…before Abraham was I Am” (John 8:58 KJV), “I Am” is how God referred to Himself when He spoke to Moses “I Am that I Am” (Ex. 3:14).
Part 1 The Good Shepherd, Jehovah Rohi.
One of the descriptive ways that Jesus expressed how he and Abba Father are one is when he said “I am the good Shepherd…” (John 10:11 KJV). He was describing himself as such as a means of teaching and encouraging those who had accepted him as their “Rabbi” or Lord and Saviour at the time and of course for believers in him like you and I thereafter.
The characteristics of the Good Shepherd we read about in John 10 are not only Christ’s but God’s also as evidenced in His relationship with Israel. The principles God used in relating to Israel are prophetically the same as those He uses in relating to believers in Jesus.
As God “made His own people [Israel] go forth like sheep” (Ps.73:52 NKJV) through the wilderness, so in the person of Jesus, he leads us, His children as sheep in our life path.
” [God] guided them in the wilderness like a flock…He led them on safely, so …they did not fear…” (Ps. 73:52-53 NKJV).
Jehovah Rohi begins Psalm 23 “The LORD is my Shepherd”; It is a combination of the personal name of God, Yahweh (or Jehovah) with His descriptive name Rohi meaning “My Shepherd”. This name speaks of God caring for his people practically and providing spiritual sustenance.
You may feel like you are in the wilderness, but don’t be afraid because you are actually going through it, rather than imprisoned in one place, for the Lord did not bring you out of “Egypt” of affliction or the kingdom of darkness to leave you in the middle of no where. As God did for the Israelites, He has a perfect plan to fulfill your destiny and answer your prayers according to His will.
The Israelites, God’s “Sheep” were suffering at the hands of pharaoh while in Egypt. God heard their cry and in His appointed time He sent Moses as their deliverer out of Egypt through the wilderness to Canaan the land God gave their forefather Abraham.
Do you at times wonder where you are heading in life? These questions pop into the heads of many a believer in Christ so you are not alone. However be encouraged for you too have a destiny in Him as one identified as His child. As soon as you were saved, God by His might placed you on a journey towards “Canaan”.
In the new covenant be reminded that safety in our journey of sanctification to be more like God and the fulfillment of our destiny is assured because Jesus has already purchased our redemption on the cross of Calvary.
God called you by name out of darkness or the realm of the “thief & robber” into His kingdom through the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ.
“…he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.” (John 10:3 KJV)
Jesus also gave his life in exchange for yours.
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly.I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” (John 10:10-11 KJV).
Meditate upon the magnitude of love God has for you which compelled Him to do such a thing.
His authority is given to us to rule and reign on earth. As ones empowers against Satan and his demons, we overcome curses and afflictions.
“Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. (Luke 10:19 KJV)
God required His “sheep”, Israel to follow His leading by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night (Ex. 13:21-22 NKJV), so too he requires you and I to follow the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ.
“I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and I’m known of mine”. (John 10:14 KJV)
“my sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand, my Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one”(John 10:27-30 KJV)
Jesus’ sheep hear his voice and recognise that it is him speaking and as a result follow his leading.
We have available to us spiritual gifts which Paul encourages us to desire (1 Corinth.12). A key spiritual gift is the gift of discerning of spirits.
The ability to discern whose voice we are hearing, our own satan’s or God’s has become increasingly more important because of the increase in false prophets, teachers and pastors. These come in disguise as the “Good Shepherd” speaking for God in public places including churches and set up their establishments to deceive as many people as possible.
These false shepherds are as the hireling who do not care for Jesus’ sheep and expose them to danger (John 10:12-13).
My prayer is that the LORD will always empower those who are truly His to always distinguish His voice from our own and all the many voices that speak to us attempting to command or instruct us to deviate from the will of the Father.
Jesus is the Light of the World (John 8:12), He is also the Word of God that existed before creation and came to dwell among men (John 1:1-14)
This is why Psalm 119:105:
“Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path”(KJV)
sums up who Jesus is, the means through whom we not only go to the Father (John 14:6) but also through whom we are led to where Fathet is taking us.
In the absence of Jesus physically with us, we have the Holy Spirit of truth who among other functions, guides us and testified of Jesus, reminding us of His teachings. (John 14:26/16:13)
Brethren, as you can see we have all that we need to know the way we should go so as to fulfill the destinies God has predestined for us. Let us therefore always be zealous in our walk with God through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for this is the only way we will succeed in staying on the narrow way to eternal life.
“…The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.”(Matthew 7:13-14 NLT)
You are blessed, determine to stay blessed.
©Deborah E. Nyamekye 12/12/2015
No one is an accident, if you have been told that you were unplanned as a child and so were conceived by accident or you came into this world as a result of rape, I have a message for you: how you came into this world does not determine your worth or significance.
While your mother and father, or one parent voiced any of the afore mentioned reasons why you are on earth to you, that was their opinion based on the facts that actually happened and if you are still suffering the effects of being told such details of how you came into being, may our God of compassion heal you completely in Jesus’ name.
Our sovereign God who is all knowing, all seeing and all powerful foreknew that this is how you would come into this world. He did not plan it this way. Man has free will, but God is the creator of the following process as all things: conception, fetus formation and the gestation period until birth. He formed you in your mother’s womb and knew what you would look like.
God gave you your unique finger prints, DNA, iris and palm prints among other biometrics.
“13For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. 14I will praise thee; for I am fearfully [and] wonderfully made: marvellous [are] thy works; and [that] my soul knoweth right well.15My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, [and] curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.16Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all [my members] were written, [which] in continuance were fashioned, when [as yet there was] none of them.” (Ps. 139:13-16 KJV)
God chose who your parents would be and where you would live (Acts 17:26)
If you have been wounded by your parents because of the way they have treated you or the words they have said, forgive them and if they are still alive let them know they are forgiven and reach out to them with the love of the LORD. Whatever they put you through, they were chosen by God to be your parents and you are required by God to honour them.
What a privilege and joy to know that as Christians our destiny was outworked such that at some stage in our lives we became children of God. Just think our names were written in the Lamb’s book of life before the foundation of the world. So if someone tells you that you were unplanned, an accident or even attempts to make you feel insignificant because you do not in their opinion conform to the norm (again in their opinion, not God’s as regards what the norm is!) be reminded that not only were you created by the one and only Master Creator, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, you were chosen even before your parents met and conceived you as one of those who would know God and serve Him through Christ.
“16Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you” (John 15:16 KJV).
Our unique destiny path resulted in us meeting others in the family of God who have also come from their unique backgrounds and journey.
The Apostle Paul (1 Corinth. 12:12-26) used the following analogy : As each human part is necessary for the function of the human body as a whole so too each member of the Body of Christ is needed for the function of the whole. The different parts of the human body are unique, an eye does not look like or function as the ear, nor the foot as the arm but they are nevertheless necessary and important parts of the human body. Likewise in the Body of Christ we do not look alike naturally nor have the same giftings and callings because we are unique natural and spiritual individuals but each of us are necessary and important parts of the body of Christ.
When we are new believers in Christ there is a new destiny path as a member of the kingdom of God which again as our pathway before is unique or unlike that of anyone else. It is only when we stay close to God, in obedience to His word and in total surrender to Him that we are able to fulfill our destinies as children of God.
Brethren let us maintain a life of reverential fear of the Lord and engage in spiritual check ups periodically along our journey as purposeful individuals for God.
If we reach the stage in our Christian lives when we start thinking we are too strong in the Lord to fall into temptation or to be deceived then we are in trouble because pride has taken root.
“Pride [goeth] before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” (Prov. 16:18 KJV)
God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6)
In our spiritual check up, we humbly pray as David did
“23Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:24And see if [there be any] wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24 KJV)
“12…cleanse thou me from secret [faults].13Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous [sins]; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.14Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:12-14 KJV).
Not long before Jesus died he prepares his disciples for his departure with comforting and uplifting words. What he says in the first couple of verses of John 14 which has often been missed confirms that in heaven we are individually regarded as unique in God’s eyes.
Meaning? Well you and I have our own mansions built for us because Jesus said “in my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2 KJV)
While we are with other believers in Christ a collective redeemed people of God destined to worship Him day and night in heaven, we are heirs with Christ and therefore kings and priests unto God (Rev 1:6/5:10). The preparation of Christ following his ascension is so that we would be received by Him at the end of the age as kings and priests unto God befitting our individual restful mansions. This is as opposed to masses of God’s people abiding in what looks like dormitories. It is a literal fact as Jesus interjected “…if it were not so, I would have told you…” (John 14:2 KJV).
It is also very exciting and the ultimate assurance we need that even while undergoing a unique and purposeful life on earth designed to glorify God, awaiting every true child of God is a welcome by Him which honors them. Someone might say “is it necessary?! The fact that we are with Him in itself is all that matters”.
My brothers and sisters, we serve a God who loves not only to tell us He loves us but also to show His appreciation for our purposeful lives in His regard by rewarding us in unique ways. Jesus emphasised the truth of what he was saying by adding “if I go and prepare as place for you, I will come again, and receive you into myself; that where I am, there ye may be also”. (John 14:3 KJV)
Yes, our Lord Jesus will come back to us and take us where he is and while we know our spiritual position while on earth is as ones raises up with Christ and seated in the heavenly realms with God in Christ (Eph 2:6) we are assured that we will be there with him naturally. So let’s rejoice eagerly awaiting that day. Praise the LORD!
You are blessed, determine to stay blessed.
©Deborah E. Nyamekye 11/12/2015
I have had in mind author Stephen Covey’s quote “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing” because I have a pastor who quotes it quite often in the Christian context. In the Christian context, I would say that we must know that the main thing is to keep the central focus or “the main thing” of our Christian faith the main thing.
What is this “main thing” or central focus of our Christian faith? Our relationship with God and upon this foundation, our relationship with other Christians as well as non Christians and our God given commission to evangelise to that men would be saved.
As many know, David is one of my heroes and I will quote him when I say that keeping the “main thing” the main thing is only possible or comes naturally to us when we begin to desire the ONE THING. It is the state of our heart condition that determines whether we will activate or seek after God or keep the “main thing”, the main thing.
“One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.” (Psalm 27:4 KJV)
As I quote the above, I get this sense that in fact David was stating in his own words set to music the fact that we must seek first God’s kingdom; abide in Him (make Him the central focus of our lives), behold His beauty (the goodness of God in its entirety) and inquire of Him (ask Him things, to gain His wisdom, knowledge and understanding).
Living such a lifestyle we become like David, able to have God’s supernatural strength to overcome afflictions day after day. There is therefore an outflow of generosity, love and ability to forgive and embrace people regardless of their background or what they do to us easily and see things from God’s perspective.
Indeed David was someone whose life exemplified one who could do all things through God who strengthened him, likewise if we have the same conviction as David, through Christ, we are empowered or strengthened to be able to do all things (Phil 4:13).
You cannot give what you do not have, and as we are in the worst of times in terms of the works of the powers of darkness, may we stay in the place of pursuing God with more zeal as never before so that we are transformed and strengthened through His word and fellowship in the Spirit daily. Let us keep in mind that it is not only for our sake that we do this, but so that the fountain of living waters (Holy Spirit) within us will overflow into the lives of our families, friends, neighbourhood and even on national levels.
“The zeal of your house has consumed me” (Ps.69:9 NIV/John 2:17)
Without your zeal for God at whatever cost someone may never know God or receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, just think about that!
“And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” (Romans 10:14 NIV)
Brethren, may we take stock of our personal lives and honestly search our hearts asking “Have I made “the main thing, the main thing” this year and past years? It is not too late for us to repent if we need to and tell the Lord that we will change our ways, seek after him first, not what we want from him.
In this Christmas season, may the Lord grant us wisdom and creative ways to reach the unsaved and draw them into the kingdom of God. As my pastor is encouraging us to invite at least one Christian to our Carol service, you too can do the same, if you have not thought of this already. Also be prepared to have coffee with them before or after to speak about Jesus Christ the Savior of the world. You may be their first introduction to the Christian faith and that day could be their day of salvation or the beginning of a hunger and thirst for God’s righteousness.
My Desire for His Things
To have all things The Kingdom I first seek, To do all things Christ’s strength I entreat.
One Thing I desire Is what I do seek To abide in God His beauty to behold To enquire in His abode His Word to savor And rest in His favour
One main thing I desire is What I do seek To heal the sick and Strengthen the weak To feed the hungry the Word of Truth For the way of Father to take solid root.
You are blessed, determine to stay blessed
©Deborah E. Nyamekye 9/12/2015
Many of us can identify with David’s suffering at some point in our Christian lives. His brothers and others did not understand his zeal for God so they mocked and insulted him. He had countless enemies (Ps.69:4) who in effect were the enemies of the LORD. He was often wounded emotionally due to rejection and also suffered loneliness.
He described his troubles as mire which he sinks in deeper and deeper and floodwaters which overwhelm him:
As we have noted in David’s psalms, he also expresses his dependency on God as deliverer even while pouring out his problems. If that isn’t keeping our focus on God, believing that His silence does not mean He is not attentive, then I don’t know what is!
Oh! That we would always be like David!
Brethren, our God does not sleep, He may be silent at times and deliberately so because that is how He tests and tries His children. In His silence He is watching to see whether we will overcome fear, decide to trust and obey him or take that step of faith He is prompting us to take.
The incident in which Jesus was sleeping in the boat with his disciples present also speaks to us (Mark 4:35-41). The disciples were not bothered that Jesus was sleeping when the lake was calm, but when a fierce storm raged they were upset because they thought that their lives were in danger and
It is so typical of human beings as a whole that when we think all is well, we are less inclined to seek God for help. We can also behave in this manner when we come to Christ, but as we mature in faith we become more like David; whatever the ‘weather’, we recognize God as our help and stay close to Him praising Him in all circumstances.
Many believers in Jesus came to faith when they experienced problems in their lives for suddenly they recognized the futility of life without faith in God. They may have tried other religions and still felt the void within, desiring the one and only true God who sent Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. It is actually God giving them the desire to search for Him through Jesus Christ for He is ever ready to make a way of escape for every human being through His only begotten Son (John 3:16).
There is therefore a “True God void” in every human being until they find the one and only true God of our Lord Jesus Christ. The knowledge that this void is there comes with the desire to reconcile with God and is a sign of an awakening to God’s means of escape which is the promise in Genesis 3:15 to Adam (and so his descendants), that the seed of the woman (Jesus) will crush the seed of the serpent (Satan).
God is always in the “boat of life”, meaning He is omnipresent and in the person of Jesus active in the lives of true believers. Sadly it is the “storms of life”, often fierce ones which create fear and stops people from either ignoring or taking God or Christ for granted as in the case of Jesus’ disciples (Mark 4:35-41). Does Jesus’ question to his disciples apply to you (after he calmed the storm):
Do you know people God may want you to minister to and encourage to stay in the place of faith and attentiveness to God in times of “storm” as well as calmness? If so please do not hesitate for you may be their only hope of salvation or God wants to use you as a vessel to bring them back into the sheepfold.
There is a storm called “Storm Desmond” raging in the north of England. In some parts of the south of England, gusty winds and heavy consistent rains are being experienced. Sadly yesterday in north London a 90 year old man lost his life when he was pushed into the path of a bus by strong winds. These natural storms are a picture of the spiritual ones that rage in our lives and bring destruction and can even keep believers in Jesus in a state of spiritual death.
In our modern times, nations of the world have been through storms of conflict between factions within them and from external terrorist groups. This is happening now and fulfils Jesus’ own words:
Jesus also prophecies (Matt. 24) of many deceptions and afflictions Christians will endure in the last days and we are seeing them all happen and increasingly so.
The storms raged in David’s life for many years after he was anointed king of Israel and during the process leading to his mounting on the throne. What a life! But as we know God allowed it all and through it David, (and us who believe and read his testimony) gained the privilege of knowing not only the acts but ways (i.e wisdom, principles) of this awesome God we serve.
The process of sanctification so as to be more like Jesus with its trials and tribulations is where we draw closer to God, know who He is to us and who we are in Him. As long as we depend on God through Christ, we will overcome the storms because we are awakened to or reminded of our authority in Christ and able to exercise it effectively.
We are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us (Romans 8:37).
Brothers and sisters, let us be reminded this day that as a rescue team is mobilised for the sake of those in natural floods and storms, so God mobilizes Himself and His Heavenly Hosts or Armies (angels) for us, our families, communities and nations during spiritual floods or storms whether great or small. He is Jehovah Sabaoth, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.
You are blessed, determine to stay blessed.
©Deborah E. Nyamekye 8/12/2015
12 When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he …moved to Capernaum, beside the Sea of Galilee, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. 14 This fulfilled what God said through the prophet Isaiah:
15 “In the land of Zebulun and of Naphtali, beside the sea, beyond the Jordan River, in Galilee where so many Gentiles live, 16 the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light. And for those who lived in the land where death casts its shadow, a light has shined.” (Matthew 4:12-16 NLT)
Jesus went to settle in Capernaum and in so doing fulfilled what was spoken by God through the prophet Isaiah, that “…the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light” (Matt. 4:16 NLT)
The people were in darkness in that region but Jesus went to dwell among them, a sign that God in His mercy had seen their desperate situation and sent them the hope of their salvation, the Light of the World in the person of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. From that point on they had a choice to either stay in darkness or choose salvation through accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.
This dark region reminds us of the darkness in most localities in our world today. But wherever a genuine believer in Jesus resides, worships and serves in ministry they are the Lights in Christ-likeness for people who live in darkness in those places.
Jesus …said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” (John 8:12 NLT)
Do you know anyone living in “darkness” personally? I mean the unsaved and even believers who know Christ but are discouraged and have backslidden into the dark world.
As we know Jesus did not stay within the four walls of the house he lived in, while in Capernaum or anywhere else, but he always went about doing good (Acts 10:38); healing the sick, delivering the demonised and preaching the good news of the kingdom of God. This is your call and mine too.
14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. (Matthew 5:14-16 NLT)
I therefore encourage you brothers and sisters, never to hide your light or who you are as followers of Christ wherever you may be, whether at work, school or anywhere you are a minority in terms of your faith. God said to Eli the priest “…I will honor those who honor me, and I will despise those who think lightly of me” (1 Samuel 2:30 NLT)
Someone reading this, you may have areas in your life where you feel there is darkness because there is no clarity, but often confusion and obstacles whichever way you turn.
Remember what David said of the LORD “For you are the fountain of life, the light by which we see” (Psalm 36:9 NLT)
Also according to Psalm 119:105 (NLT), we know “Your (God’s) word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path”.
God is the light by which we see, and His word is a lamp to guide us wherever we go. Based on these truths, and remembering your inheritance as the light of the world in Christ-likeness, determine to meditate on God’s word while in fellowship with the Holy Spirit, in a spirit of praise asking the LORD to illuminate your mind and give you insight into areas of your life where there is a lack of clarity or you discern confusion (signs of darkness).
You will gain God’s wisdom, knowledge and understanding through His Word and the Holy Spirit. With this insight, you can pray more specifically and exercise your authority more effectively against the kingdom of darkness.
As the saying goes “Prevention is better than cure”, so let us always conduct ourselves and pray in the aforementioned manner and not wait until we are in dire straits, or at our wits end to begin to do so. This is because while at times we may think we see clearly, we actually don’t and it is after we are afflicted that we wish we had waited on the Lord before taking action or moving forward.
You are blessed, determine to stay blessed.
©Deborah E. Nyamekye 7/12/2015