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Muscling our way to glory

Dear saints, I trust that the Lord has been preserving and prospering you. I’m indeed blessed to be with all of you and will be happy to see every one of you in glory. When God calls us to do something the opposition to it from sin, Satan and sometimes even our natural selves is vociferous. A united opposition can make us do either of these two things: either turn back and re-consider our position or keep powering ahead till we accomplish that which God called us to do. The things that God calls us to do are always too radical and unconventional. God’s children are called to challenge preconceived ideas and traditions that human beings in bondage to sin. As saints of God it’s our sacred duty to challenge entrenched perceptions that hinder the progress of God’s kingdom.

Please turn with me today to Hosea 1:2-3. The book of Hosea depicts God’s faithfulness and love to an unfaithful nation. In verses 2-3 God Almighty commanded the Prophet to marry an adulterous woman and accept the responsibility of her children. We have to understand the times that Hosea lived in. Israel was a deeply conservative nation and adultery was punishable by death (Leviticus 20:10, John 8:5). Theoretically, the Prophet Hosea was punishable by death for this apparent act of indecency. I’m quite certain that he received numerous death threats from his own people. However, he knew that God had a greater purpose and intent and was willing to risk his reputation and social standing to gain a place in glory.

Let’s take an example from the life of our Lord Jesus Himself. Luke 7:36-50 describes the encounter between our Lord and a woman with a shady past. Not only did the Lord Jesus offend his host Simon the Pharisee, but He also put his personal credibility and reputation on the line (Luke 7:39-40). Had the Lord failed in clearly articulating His bizarre behavior, people would have rebuked Him as a false Messiah. However, not only did the Lord rebuke the Pharisee for his ignorance (Luke 7:40-47) but He also saved the woman (Luke 7:48). This was another victory for our Lord.

Let me finally turn to an example in the New Testament. Acts 10 describes the conversion of Cornelius through an unwilling and reticent Apostle Peter. Verses 9-16 describe Peter’s vision and his interaction with the Lord’s Angel. The Apostle was obviously hungry (Acts 10:10) and the Angel showed him all kinds of animals: four footed beats, snakes, reptiles and the like. Being a pious former Jew the Apostle immediately rejected the offer saying that he never ate that which was unclean. The Angel of the Lord then rebuked him with the following words:”Do not call anything impure that which God has made clean” (Acts 10:15). Subsequent narrative describes the arrival of the Roman Commander Cornelius’s messengers and the salvation of his family. God could have saved Cornelius and his family directly. However, God’s greater purpose was to rid the Apostle Peter of his racial prejudice and truly sanctify him (Acts 10:34-35). The Apostle Peter was also accused by the Apostle Paul of hypocrisy and racism in his dealings with the Galatian church (Galatians 2:11-14). Clearly, even the great Apostle Paul had to be perfected and sanctified by the Holy Spirit before he could be useful in God’s kingdom.

There are prejudices, preconceived notions, entrenched mindsets and societal dictums that we should smash and alter if we are to advance God’s kingdom. The Lord described this very graphically in Matthew 11:12 when he described how the kingdom of God was being advanced with force and determination (against sin and Satan) and how purposeful (or forceful) men of God like John the Baptist were advancing the Lord’s kingdom against all odds.

Let me end with a quote from one of my favorite CEOs, the late Steve Jobs of Apple Inc. (I do hold this stock saints). In the movie “Jobs”, the character Steve Jobs is asked to re-jig Apple’s management to make it more competitive. Job’s relieves many non-performing board members and assumes complete control of the company. After relieving some of the board members, the senior directors ask Jobs as to what his plans were. To this Jobs replies, “let’s put a dent in the universe.”

Maybe today God is calling you to start a business like Jobs that’ll make life simpler, quieter and easier for the average person, start a nursery for underprivileged kids, or give a woman and her children hope and a secure future. Do not let conventional wisdom, or your personal fears stop you from being everything that God wants you to be. Like Jobs, let’s put a dent in this universe for Heavenly Father. Amen.

Dear friends, I’m quite certain that all of you are sanctified, Holy Ghost baptized saints. Should there be any among you that don’t know the Lord yet, I pray that the Lord of the Universe will set you free from sin and disobedience into His glorious light and freedom. Amen.

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