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Thursday, February 14, 2008

How do we heal our land?

II Chronicle 7:14

Our land can be healed through Jesus Christ. We can begin accomplishing a healing through true repentance if we do the following: (a) humble ourselves (b) pray, (c) seek Jesus, (d) turn from their wicked ways, and then we will hear from heaven, we will be forgiven, and our land will be healed.

(a) Humble ourselves
The first thing we as a people who are called Christians must begin to do is to humble ourselves before God. Jesus Christ came into the world in total humility, He was born in a manger, total humility; giving us a perfect example to the world of humility. He lived as a perfect example for humanity and we missed His lesson He taught mankind on humility.
Scripture teaches on humility; Philippians 2:7-9 states, “But made himself of not reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.”

Humility is the first step in admitting to needing God’s help. He warns us against being wise in our own conceits. Proverbs 22:4 states, “By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour and life.” This verse gives God’s view and rewards of humility. Another school of thought is before honour is humility. Therefore, we must humble ourselves, and pray.

(b) Pray
The second healing strategy is prayer, which is our communication with God. Christian’s prayer life should be an essential part of the believer’s relationship with Jesus Christ. Why is prayer such an important part of the believer’s life is because we are to pray without ceasing and furthermore “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” (Ephesians 6:18), which means we are to pray for self and others constantly.

Additionally, believers are to develop a prayer life because we are to be in fellowship with the LORD. When you are in fellowship with the LORD, you can go to Him and ask anything in prayer, believing, He will an answer. This reminds me of the words of Proverbs 15:8 which states, “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD; but the prayer of the upright is his delight.” This verse gives credence to the fact that the Lord delight in prayers of believers. Another school of thought is that prayers of the righteous availeth much.

Finally, how should we pray? We should use the ACTS of prayer, which stands for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Sanctification. We adore God for who He is and what He has done for mankind. Then, we confess our sins, for we all have sin and come sort of the glory of God (Roman 6:23). We proceed to give thanks to God for what He has, is and will continue to do in our lives. Finally the sanctification process is where God sets the believer apart from the world. This is the final stage where the world views us as peculiar people, and to them we are different. To them we different, we are a chosen vessel. We are the prayer warriors for Christ seeking Jesus.

(c) Seek Jesus
How shall we seek Jesus? Jeremiah 29:13 states, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” The inner man is essential to our seeking Jesus in our search for the truth. In addition, our heart holds the key to our endeavor in healing our land according to our scripture verse (II Chronicle7:14) when we seek Jesus, if we are not sincere, then our efforts are in vain.

Furthermore, it is man who is lost; Jesus is calling with outstretched arms, saying come to me. He wants to heal our wicked land. He wants to save the lost souls of the world. In the words of AMOS 5:6, “Seek the LORD, and ye shall live.” It appears if man would rather seek the lostness of the world...”Seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Luke 12:31). Matthew 6:33 confirms what Luke 12:13 says about seeking the Lord, and Psalm 27:4 sums up our desire for the Lord.

The question becomes how do we first seek Jesus? It is to recognize who He is; this is by accepting Him as the Saviour of the world. John 3:16 becomes vital to the believer, because whosoever include all humanity. God’s love transcends all races, gender, classes and nationalities. God gave His only begotten Son to be the sacrificial lamb for the sins of the world. O! What love? Reflect on God’s goodness for mankind is enough to turn from our wicked ways.

(d) Turn from their wicked ways.
How do we turn from our wicked ways? Repentance is the first stage in the turning from our wicked ways. Repentance is a three step process, which consist of (a) admitting we are sinners, (b) confessing our sins and asking for forgiveness of our sins, and (c) turning from our sins.

How did man become sinful? Was it father Adam disobedience in the Garden of Eden? The Bible speaks of Adam’s disobedience to God when Eve ate the forbidden fruit and blamed the serpent. The story ends with Adam and Eve being banished from the Garden of Eden by God. What one (Adam) man brought into the world (sin) another (Christ) took out, He provided salvation for all. Galatians 1:4 states, “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” Sin and wickedness caused God to pronounce the whole world guilty which resulted in the death of His Son Jesus on the cross at Calvary as the sacrifice for humanity. Therefore, what was costly to God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ, we owe our transformed lives to God, because it was His love, grace and mercy that He gave His best to humanity. What have you done for Jesus lately?

When will God heal this land? God will heal this land when these five conditions are met, which are (a) mankind humble themselves, (b) pray, (c) seek God’s face, (d) turn from their wicked ways, and (e) ask for forgiveness, then they (a) will hear from heaven, (b)be forgiven, and (c) their land will be healed.

(a) Hear from heaven
Think of the revival and restoration this land will experience; it will be a mini heavenly revival taking place here on earth. What will have happen is that God would have heard His people’s cry and will have turned away His anger and be attentive to their prayers. The earthly revival will be evidence of God’s compassion for His people and God will have heard the prayers of the righteous (vv 14-15). As recorded in Psalm 85: 4-7 God will turned His anger from His people; grace and mercy will taken center stage. In verse Psalm 85:7, the writer is asking for salvation, which is freeing from sin; God grants their cry, but the people are encouraged not to turn again to their wicked ways.

(b) Be forgiven
He will have forgiven His people and cleanse them of their sins and restored His favor, His presence, peace, truth, righteousness and power among them. We see salvation is nigh to all that fear the Lord, and that His glory dwell in the land (partial paraphrase, Psalm 85:9). It is God’s desire that His people prosper in the land both spiritually and physically because as Psalm 85:12 states, in parts, “the Lord shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase.” Verse 13 supports God’s desire for humanity, which is righteousness for believers and non-believers to follow Him.

To be forgiven of sin mankind has to ask for forgiveness of their sins, this brings a question to mind. Who have the ability to forgive sin? Jesus has the ability to forgive sin. He accomplished this on the cross at Calvary. As Christ has forgiven us of our trespasses; we are to forgive our brothers and sisters. “Judge not, and ye shall not be judge: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven” (Luke 6:37).

In our efforts to request forgiveness for our sins is to say like David, “Lord I have sinned against the,” thus admitting that ultimately our sins are against God. Let’s reflect back in Jeremiah 31:1-40 and the restoration of the nation of Israel when the nation had strayed away from God and the prophet Jeremiah cried out to God for his people. God promised that He would once again be their God and they would enjoy the blessing and dwell together in peace and harmony. In addition, through Jeremiah, God assured the people He would make a new covenant with them and write it in their hearts; therefore they would have no excuse of disobeying His new covenant and would have the spiritual powers to obey His commands. This holds true for believers today

(c) Their land will healed
When God said I will heal their land; what was God going to do heal the land of? God was going to heal the land of spiritual wickness and He was once again going to bless the land with His favor, presence and the Holy Spirit will provide a spiritual awakening among His covenant people and the spiritually lost. Another school of thought on how God was going to heal the land for His people; rain is symbolic of the Holy Spirit and water in this scenario can be looked upon as both spiritually and physically as a benefactor for the land.

Closing this dialogue on healing our land, we see that if humanity will do four things which are humble themselves, pray, seek my (God’s) face, and turn from their wicked way, then God will do three thing and they are , hear form heaven, be forgiven, and then He will heal our land. What have we learned from this discussion?

In spite of our backsliding, God’s grace is sufficient. Are you ready for to God heal our land? He is waiting.

Follow Jesus

John 1: 43-51

If anyone should ask why should I follow Jesus? The answer(s) should flow like this; He is God’s Son who was slain form the foundation of the world. Jesus is the promised messiah who was prophesied by the Old Testament prophets that God the Father would send a savior to save His people. Jesus came into the world to save mankind. Jesus is the savor of the world (John 3:16).
Another school of thought on Jesus being the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world; begs the question of when did His existence begin? Christ was preexistent “with God” before the creation of the world and “all things were created by Him both invisible and visible” (Colossians 1:15-16).

Reflect back we me during the time when Israel was being delivered from Egypt and the death angel past over the door post where there was blood painted; whose blood was being represented here, it was Jesus’ blood.

Another reason to follow Jesus is He died for the sins of the world. Jesus entered this world in human form through the gateway of humanity by way of a virgin birth after having existed form eternity but in eternal fellowship with His Father. Christ was divine in nature and essence as His Father. Christ’s sole purpose for coming to earth was to reconcile man back to God; therefore His death was required on Calvary’s cross. This was done out of love. What love?
What love? John 3:16 tells of God love for humanity and the results of that love as well as what mankind will have if we accept God’s love gift; that gift is salvation. The beauty of God’s gift is it requires no certain status, or pedigree; just as you are. He will make the necessary adjustments with the aid of the Holy Spirit who lives in each believer.

How do I receive this free gift? Accept Jesus as your personal savior, “confess with you mouth, and believe with your heart you shall be save”; this is according to scripture.

The question may arise where can we as modern day believers follow Jesus? To answer the question, we must look at Jesus’ great commission recorded in Matthew 28:19-20 where He wants believers to go into all parts of the world teaching and baptizing others and that He would be with them. Keep in mind that Jesus is no longer with believers physically but He left His word and example for us to live by. From our scripture text when Jesus called His disciples to follow Him was during His earthly ministry; He wants believers to follow Him and witness to others in making disciples.

When are believers to witness and follow Jesus? Believers are to witness and follow Christ at all times because this is an on-going process. Why because believers are light to a sin darken world. Another school of thought, if we are to persevere, then believers are to remain steadfast in following Jesus so the world will see Christ in you.

Finally, think about this, on His way to Calvary, if Jesus would have told His Father, this is too hard; I cannot do this, let man die for himself. We would have no hope of salvation. Aren’t you glad Jesus remained steadfast to His mission and went to Calvary and hung on the cross in our place? Can you follow Jesus? He is our perfect example. He is with you all the way. Have you decided to follow Jesus? He is worthy to be followed.