With the knowledge that
- Judas would betray him, resulting in his crucifixion,
- Peter would deny him three times when Jesus was on trial prior to his crucifixion,
- Thomas would doubt that he had resurrection and
- several of his disciples would desert him when he was captured by the Roman soldiers, put on trial and crucified,
Christ Yeshua (Jesus) still chose to wash his disciples feet (John 13). He forgave them even before they offended and rejected him. This was demonstrated by his humility and servitude towards them when he washed their feet.
Christ clearly expresses that his act of humility and servitude towards his disciples was also for the purpose of them doing the same to one another.
“..since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet.” (John 13:14-15 NLT).
Christ demonstrated the grace of God towards his disciples. He was not condoning what they would do to him by way of betrayal and rejection, but was revealing that in spite of their future actions and heart condition (Judas was plotting to betray him) towards him, he loved them and was therefore willing to be gracious towards them far beyond what is expected of a master or leader in human terms.
“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”(John 15:13 NLT).
Christ choosing to wash his disciples feet is as much a sign of humility and unconditional love, a love of the highest order, as his willingness to be crucified for their sake. He demonstrated the grace of God towards man; Forgiveness, care, respect and servitude to all regardless of what they have done or are doing. Christ is saying to us, his present day disciples (as he expected of his disciples in his day), to exemplify him in acts of forgiveness, care, respect and servitude towards others.
Even if we know that if roles were to be reversed they would not be loving and gracious towards us, we are expected as those who have “…put on Christ like putting on new clothes” (Gal 3:27) to be loveable and serviceable to such people anyway.
In addition, if we fail in demonstrating the grace of God through forgiving those who have hurt us, we allow ourselves to harbour bitterness which will inevitably bear problematic fruit which will defile us as well as others (Hebrews 12:15).
One would think this kind of love and grace (Yahweh’s) are humanly impossible! In our own flesh it is impossible, but as we remain in Christ we are capable of being in his likeness and doing what he did or requires us to do; In Christ, we have what it takes to demonstrate God’s love and grace of the highest order, regardless of the circumstances.
©️9-Jun-2018 Deborah E. Nyamekye
Want close friends made in heaven? Allow the Holy Spirit to be your best friend. If Jesus needed a close circle of friends to walk with, twelve disciples and then three who were even closer (Peter, James and John) so do we who are his.
Seek the LORD and ask Him who should be among your close friends or in your close inner circle. Trust me, certain people do not qualify and also be warned that not everyone wants you to prosper or fulfil your identity.
When Jesus went to the garden of Gethsemane, he told some of the disciples to wait and took three with him, Peter, James and John who were the only ones to whom he said the following: “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here, and watch with me” (Matthew 26:38).
These were the only three disciples he chose because they were destined to walk with Jesus in this manner by God. Could it be that there are people chosen by God to walk with you in different ways? Those who are mere acquaintances, close friends and some even closer? I believe so.
Not everyone should have access to your personal information. We have to walk in God’s wisdom and discernment in relation to how we relate to others. Although we are called to love one another, we are not to do so to our detriment, that is not love. When we allow people to afflict us because we convince ourselves that it is because we love them and we have no choice but to accept whatever offensive treatment they give us, we are in deception. In actual fact fear for the person is what is keeping them bound and in enslavement to them. The two greatest commandment of God are to love God, and our neighbour as ourselves (Matthew 22:36-39). If we do not love ourselves the way God loves us to any degree in order to prevent other people afflicting us physically or emotionally, then we cannot love them with the genuine kind of love, which is that of God.
Could it also be that as Jesus had Judas in his entourage for only a season because he served a specific purpose only for that season (which was to betray Jesus), that likewise there are certain people in your life and mine only for a season to serve a specific purpose in that season after which God takes them away? I believe this is the case.
In my experience even as a Christian, there are people who were friends of mine, in fact the ones I am thinking of approached me so we became friends but as I grew spiritually and if I told them what God was doing in my life, they would at the time be congratulatory but then after a while appear not to want to know details of things I have birthed to the glory of God. I told them those things not to boast but because as I thought they were close friends of mine, I could share and discuss with them without reservation about such things.
I noticed they would never bring the subject up and would become scarcer in my life, failing to stay in touch as frequently as when I did not have anything significant for them to envy or feel threatened by. At times I would discern in their voice and attitude that they were not really happy for me in terms of my breakthroughs or advancement to the glory of God. I thought back at one of them in particular and how she said God sent her to me in a time when I was quite distressed and she was a great source of encouragement to me and I do believe that God sent her for not only did she encourage me but also prayed for me many times.
However when by God’s delivering hand I began to change my manner of speech and attitude to one who was highly self-encouraging and unrelenting in fulfilling prophetic destiny, as well as being one to minister to her and encourage her as well, I realised sadly a change in her attitude towards me or her desire to be a consistent friend.
I never told this particular friend I did not need her encouragement and prayers, but something in her could not accept me anymore because I had changed. Honestly I struggled to understand and was often hurt by certain mannerisms and attitudes that surfaced as a result of me speaking about what God was doing in my life positively or refusing to stay in the “poor me, pity me” mindset and attitude.
I did forgive her as God gave me a depth of understanding as to why she was acting that way and I began to pray for her. However now having had a certain measure of God given discernment, I have stopped taking initiatives to sustain “close” friendships when I felt they are not bothered anyway to make an effort to stay in touch or maintain closeness. In addition, I don’t hesitate to let people be who start acting strange and think it necessary to pull away from me or those I personally feel led to pull away from if I discern that they don’t like the new me who I know is the real healed me coming to the fore.
If a close friendship begins to fizzle out and you know your conscience is clear and you have not deliberately hurt the person or are in anyway responsible, let it end its course. I have realised that at times certain friendships are for seasons and some people cannot be close to you anymore as you advance into the purposes of God. If you dare forcefully stay in touch with them it is to your detriment especially if you discern the spirit of jealousy, envy and bitterness which is their problem not yours.
Cry out for the gift of discerning of spirits and the Wisdom of God. In these last days, whatever you do make sure you are doing all that is humanly possible in relation to godly Christian living in order to stay strong in the LORD and in the power of His might! The people you hang around with, call your close friends or confidants will play a great part in determining whether you stay strong and on course to fulfil your destiny.
It is only in staying close to God in the power of the Holy Spirit that you will know who God has sent into your life for mutual personal and kingdom purposes, what these are and how long for. You will also know how to interact with people as according to God’s will so that you do not miss God induced mutual opportunities and blessings.
The Holy Spirit knows the wisdom and will of God and reveals them to us (I Corinth. 2). Much prayer for the fruit and gift of the Spirit will develop your nature to be as one who is shrewd as a serpent and gentle as a dove as well as one who has God’s perspective on things. The wisdom and perspective of God will therefore keep you one step ahead of the enemy at all times.
Satan and his demons are pacing about through people and situations seeking whom to devour. The Holy Spirit should therefore be our closest or best friend first and foremost and through him we will be able to discern or know who should be our confidant or close friend. In addition the Holy Spirit will give us sensitivity as to where we should and should not go. We are therefore protected from danger and opening ourselves up to situations which include alliances that are not God’s will for us.
I can testify that God has been bringing me genuine friends who are excited about and share my vision as I do theirs because we understand each other as we are equally yoked spiritually. By this I mean that the Holy Spirit is as much their best friend as he is mine.
Thank you Holy Spirit!
Come Holy Spirit, have your way! God we ask for a greater measure of the gift of discerning of spirits this day, so as to know who we should walk with closely.
We ask for God’s choice of close friends in our lives who are the type of friends we are equally yoked with. Change us if in any way we fall short of the type of friends you expect us to be to others.
In Jesus’ mighty name we pray Amen.
The Spirit of Truth
Truly on the road to nowhere are the walking dead masses.
With Father’s truth, you’re on the road to somewhere
on a daily basis.
Truly he will teach you to keep your eyes on what is vital.
With Father’s truth, you will gain faith as a shield of metal.
Truly he will release you from ungodly soul-ties.
With Father’s truth you will overcome Beelzebub, the Father of lies.
Truly he will ensure you no longer waste your life in a barren state
and that you live a fruitful life to Father’s taste.
Receive the Spirit of Truth.
Scriptural inspiration: John 14:26, John 16:13
“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.” (John 16:13 NLT).
“But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative–that is, the Holy Spirit–he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.” (John 14:26 NLT).
Note: This devotional is an excerpt from the book Wielding the Sword of the Spirit (Chapter 9) by Deborah Esther Nyamekye (Amazon Books online). Chapter by Chapter it contains devotionals or encouraging articles about diverse topics such as prayer, peace, sacrificial living and worship. Each chapter ends with a poem that relates to the devotional.
©2018 Deborah E. Nyamekye
Whether the sky’s face is grey and its tear drops fall daily on the earth as though in remorse,
Summer is on her berth and is here to stay her course.
It’s a season we judge not by her countenance whether bleak or gay.
Her worth is vast and more precious than meets the eye so mortal man is not fast to judge.
Listen to Wisdom speak.
Wisdom proclaims her breaking forth is as the dawning of a new day;
An era to arise and shine as the sun does beam it’s rays on a Summer’s day.
A time to wear a smile of contentment and be clad in the cloak of gladness sown in Spring from a tapestry of God’s victories in the Autumn of oppression and the Winter of discord.
Wisdom speaks of her as the season to reflect on God’s truths so as to deflect from falsehood, discard the unproductive and disregard the immotive.
By her, productive and active shall you be. Able to invest and harvest not in haste, but in God’s heartfelt rest.
Listen to Wisdom speak: “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest.”(1)
His speech of renewal at Summer’s berthing until she departs, is what Wisdom hears from Father in every season and sees Him doing for whatever reason.
“Wisdom is the Principle Thing” (2)
Listen to Wisdom Speak.
©Deborah E.Nyamekye 20/06/2016
Biblical Scriptural inspiration: Quotes no.
(1) Ecc 3:1-2 NLT.
(2) Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” (Prov. 4:7 NLT)
For more from The Witness Poetry Book (out soon) visit: https://thewitnesspoetrybook.wordpress.com/
Case studies: The resurrection of Lazarus/The ten plagues prior to the Exodus
(Excerpt from the book God’s Ways are Higher Chapter 2)
While I was tidying up, I saw a piece of paper dated 18th April 2013 on which I had written the following:
1. A quote I had seen written on a board (daily quotes are written on it) at Tooting Broadway underground station that day “The greater the obstacle, the more the glory in overcoming it”
(Anonymous) and underneath I wrote:
2. “I meditated on the sermon on the subject of worship at church one night: “We have a God who is faithful whatever He has promised, He will fulfill or bring to pass”‘
I have a journal and at times I write things I need to remember for my journal on pieces of paper.
I knew it was not a coincidence I found the paper on the night I was writing this series on God’s glory maximised during the process of fulfilling His promises or miracles in what may appear to be delay or denial.
DELAY IS NOT DENIAL
For Glory maximisation: The Resurrection of Lazarus.
It is not surprising that Jesus would use the same strategy as Abba Father did (see Part 1), by prolonging the time in which he performed a miracle so as to reap as much glory out of it as possible. Jesus was simply affirming who He is, the incarnate Christ, God who came as man to redeem the world:Paul the apostle said
“Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation…” (Col. 1:15)
Jesus himself said “I and [my] Father are one” (John 10:30 KJV).
In his ministry, Jesus did what he saw the Father (God) doing and the Father was working through him to fulfill His will (John 5:17,19,30)
Having heard that Lazarus was sick, Jesus did not go to Bethany immediately, by the time Jesus arrived Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days (John 11:17). No one who knew he was sent for could understand why he had taken so long to come, after all he loved Lazarus and his sisters Martha and Mary. Even Mary told Jesus that her brother would have not died if he had come earlier.
Miracles reveal to the unbeliever that the God is indeed real and they testify that He sent Jesus Christ.
Jesus’ goal in his ministry was to glorify God and he chose at this time a strategy God also uses which would bring greater glory to God.
Jesus “stayed where he was two more days,..” (John 11:6) deliberately when he heard that Lazarus was sick
because the miracle of resurrecting Lazarus was a far greater glory inducing miracle than healing him would have been.
This is why Jesus said when he heard Lazarus was sick “this sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby”(John 11:4 KJV).
We should be encouraged that as God is glorifying himself in all the earth, so he is also performing miracles in our lives and in the lives of our loved ones. There is also a lesson Mary and Martha as well as multitudes must have learnt following the resurrection of Lazarus as well as other miracles of God, which should also serve to assure us God is in absolute control in the worst circumstances. This lesson is that some situations get worst before they get better.
“The greater the obstacle, the more the glory in overcoming it” (anonymous -see point 1 above)
For Glory Maximisation: The 10 plagues prior to the Exodus.
To the naked eye, Pharaoh was extremely defiant and unreasonable in his reluctance to let God’s people go despite several tragic incidents (plagues) which were devastating to the Egyptians and their land.
However when God sent Moses to Pharaoh to demand that he let the Israelites go, God literally spells out what He was going to do and why:
“And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.
And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel [is] my son, [even] my firstborn. And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, [even] thy firstborn.” ( Exodus 4:21-23 KJV)
“And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had spoken unto Moses.” (Exodus 9:12 KJV)
“And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I [am] the LORD.”(Exodus 14: 4 KJV)
The evidence is therefore crystal clear; God allowed Pharaoh to refuse to release the Israelites from bondage each time until after the the tenth plague so that He would, during each of the ten times he sent Moses to Pharaoh, demonstrate His might and power. As a result the Egyptians suffered the consequences of Pharaoh’s hardened heart each time, the tenth and final one was by far the worst in that all the first born sons of the Egyptians died including Pharaoh’s.
The Lord plans to unleash vengeance on our enemies on our behalf and to deliver us from every demonic bondage because as His children and believers in Jesus we are his “first born sons” and so precious to Him.
It is worth noting that before Moses’ journey to Egypt when the Lord spoke to him, He mentioned that Pharaoh’s hardened heart would result in his first born son being slain (Ex. 4:23), Moses did not at the time envisage a prolonged nine plagues processes before this most devastating one of death to Egyptian first born sons.
As in this case, the Lord may ask us to do something but He may choose not to give us all the details of the time span, how he would do it or details of some of the joys or dangers and challenges we may encounter along the way but as Moses we must obey nevertheless because our lives or those of multitudes may depend on our obedience. Our obedience as that of Moses did although we may not be conscious of it often has eternal consequences and is for prophetic fulfilment.
Although the Israelites were doubtful and fearful revealed by how their suffering was intensified by Pharaoh at beginning of Moses’ demand he lets them go, the prolonged wait to perform His miracle of deliverance of His people was worth it to God. This is because through it He demonstrated that He was the one and only Almighty, Omnipotent God who Pharaoh, the magicians and gods of Egypt could not withstand or stop.
Our God is in every situation we go through. He sees, knows and cares. What appears to the naked eye or in the natural is often not what the full picture is or how it will remain permanently.
In order to have God’s perspective of things or understanding of His ways, we must determine to stay as close to Him and Jesus Christ as possible through daily bible study, prayer and praise. The Holy Spirit is activated as a result and we become ones who walk in the Spirit with the gifts and fruit of the Spirit able to know God and have His wisdom, knowledge and understanding.
In addition, whatever the enemy throws at us will never derail us because our soul knows well that in every “storm” or unsettling situation God is at work in His supernatural ways we may not understand for however long it pleases Him to reap as much glory out of it as possible.
“We have a God who is faithful, whatever He has promised He will fulfill or bring to pass”
“You are blessed, determine to stay blessed”
©2018Deborah E. Nyamekye
NOTE: God’s Ways: Maximising His Glory – Part 1 & 2 These articles are from Chapter 2 of my book God’s ways are Higher (Light of the World-John8.12 Publishing).
In this book, I expound on case studies from scriptures that reveal God’s Ways that are often not easily understood by people and at times may appear foolish to the human mind. However His sovereignty, wisdom and might are greatly revealed in the process as well as the outcome. This book also helps us to know and understand the God we serve and hopefully encourages the reader to search the scriptures more and to cultivate an intimate lifestyle with God even more.
I see your face ablaze through the darkened window pane of my heart ache and pain.
I see your face aglow emitting rays of hope as I walk on life’s shaky tightrope.
In life’s next phase, you will be there I know, your face ablaze and aglow as today, yesterday and always.
©️3-June2018 Deborah E Nyamekye