Wednesday, January 13 2021
We bring you greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus.
Thanks be to God for giving us a place in the triumphant procession of Christ.
It is with a heart full of joy that we welcome you all to Year 2021 edition of our Annual Glory Summit - the Ministry of God’s Word. It is a Summit we have looked forward to and finally the Lord has enabled us to see it. We specially give thanks, glory, and honour to our heavenly Father for the provision and opportunity to see one another as we share in His love.
The Bible says in Titus 2:11-13 "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ”.
The second coming of Christ is the hope of the church. It is indeed a living hope that God has set before us throughout the pages of the Bible. It is what Jesus reveals in Matthew 24:64 "Hereafter ye shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." It is what the Angels confirm in Acts 1:11, "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." It is what Paul affirms in 1st Thessalonians 4:16 "The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God." And John in Revelation 1:7 declares: "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him."
Same was Apostle Peter’s witness in Acts 3:19-21 “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.”
The crux of Christianity is the coming of Jesus Christ into the world as a son of man (completely human) to destroy the works of the devil and create a new people for His own glory. The core of our faith is that He did this by obeying the law of God, dying for the sins of His people, rising victorious over death, ascending to God’s right hand with all His enemies under his feet. The second coming of Christ is the completion of His saving work and if this is taken away, the whole fabric of His saving work will unravel.
Over the course of this Year’s Annual Glory Summit, themed: The Herald of His Coming, by His grace, we shall be discussing what we believe is the mind of the Holy Spirit as revealed through Peter in Acts chapter three above. And enfolded right inside the text is what could be summed the run-up to “His Return” (Jesus Christ, the Son of God) to the earth, namely: times of repentance; times of refreshing; times of restoration and His eventual return.
With joyful hearts filled with expectations of what only God can do, we sincerely and respectfully welcome you all to the 14th edition of the Ministry of God’s Word: Annual Glory Summit 2021, themed – “The Herald of His Coming.”
Welcome you and God bless!
Yours in living hope of His return,
’Sogo & Abi Adelaja
Wednesday, January 08 2020
Calvary greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour - Jesus Christ, the name that is above all names. Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of His holy name, amen.
In the opening chapters of the final book of the Bible, we find a clear, precise and repeated directive – “he who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” – hence, if ever there was a time in history that we all need to fine-tune our hearing to the heartbeat and purposes of God, it is now.
The question is – what exactly is the Spirit of God saying? What are the prevailing words coming from all people that proclaim Christ’s Lordship and are seeking to enforce His will? If the entire gospel message were to be pared down to but a handful of words, what would they be? Perhaps, it may be the first recorded words of Jesus - “the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand…” Mark 1:15
We are of the view what the Spirit of God is saying to the Church today is “… seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” Mathew 6:33.
It is therefore time to seek and rediscover a King in His kingdom who is Alpha and Omega; to seek and rediscover a God who is the beginning and the end; to seek and rediscover the realities of the kingdom of God and it’s endless possibilities. With these words echoing in our spirits, we present the annual season of the ministry of God’s word - Glory Summit 2020.
As always, we look forward to hearing from impactful bible-teachers, kingdom-inspirers and keepers of the apostolic ancient landmarks to serve Kingdom-cause within us all. In this regard, our worship will be enriched by your participation as a well-beloved of Christ.
We would love to have you join us in praising the Lord for all that He has done and will do in the New Year and the New Decade.
In Christ Jesus,
‘Sogo & Abi Adelaja
Monday, November 06 2017
“And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. For Moses truly said unto the fathers , A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you..” Acts 3:17-22
If I may ask, what is the most refreshing thing you can imagine or think of? As faces differ so also will the answer to the question. For some people, it might be a bottle of Coke! For others, perhaps, it might be a glass of cold water. Yet for others, it can be good belly laughter, singing from the heart, strolling or walking along the beach etc. The list is endless!
However, of all the refreshing experiences we can ever think or find - nothing can compare to the renewal of the mind and of the spirit that is found in the presence of God. It is a Biblical fact - proved, tried and tested. Indeed, we can continually be refreshed, if we cultivate and keep the right relationship with God.
Nevertheless, the question is, how can maintaining a right relationship with God affect our lives? This we shall see from the living word of God by the help of the Holy Spirit as we examine Acts 3:17-22. Embedded in this passage are some thoughts that if recognised and gleaned together will result in a condition of a refreshed spirit and soul.
Worthy of note in the passage is the mention of ignorance. Vs. 17 says first of all, “through ignorance you did it”. Ignorance in whatever form, be it spiritual or physical is a barrier to a state of being refreshed. It was such an issue that God says “my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”. Whenever the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse is inevitable. The first thing Peter emphasised among the people was the extent of their ignorance in relation to the identity of Jesus, His purpose and what is previously written about Him. There is always a kind of refreshing, liberty and fulfilment whenever the power of ignorance is broken in any area of one’s life. The Scripture says - the truth you know will set you free. It is my prayer that the power of the Holy Ghost will put to flight every iota of ignorance in our lives.
Another thing pointed out in the passage is the issue of sin. Vs.19 says “Repent….” To repent means more than to feel sorry for the bad things we have said or done. It involves a determination “to change”. Embedded in repentance is an attitude of a sober mind and a sober reflection – remorse. It is demonstrated by turning away from that which is offensive to God and turning to God. It goes beyond a mere emotional response. It is a realisation back up by action in the right direction.
Ultimately, true and genuine repentance always results in a desired change. This scenario was well played out when Peter preached to the crowd on the Day of Pentecost. Notice their responses in Acts 2:37 “When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’” What can we do about our “ignorance” as expressed in the way we have treated God via His Son? Peter gave them the answer: “Repent, let God change your life, and receive His forgiveness”. This shows that repentance will lead to a realisation, and a realisation will prompt a call for action. This action however, will bring about a “conversion” and the benefit of such a conversion will be “times of refreshing” from the presence of the Lord.
All disobedience is sin! I pray that we will recognise our ignorance, repent and turn away from our crooked ways so that times of refreshing will flow into our lives like never before.
Another fact mentioned is to be converted. Vs.19 says, “and be converted.” It is not enough for us to turn away from sins; as we turn away from sin, we must turn to God. Nature abhors vacuum. Many people who have at one time or the other desired times of refreshing from God’s presence but without same might have omitted the basics demand as revealed by Peter - admitting our own disobedience and turning away from it.
When we turn away from sin and turn to God - conversion, He has promised not only to cleanse us of our sins but to bring spiritual refreshing. Turning away from sin may initially appear painful as it is hard to break away from old habits and to give up certain sins. However, by the help of the Holy Spirit, we can do all things through Christ Who strengthens us.
Whenever there is sin in our lives, there is automatically, a kind of wall or barrier that brings a separation between us and God. It was so with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. But the truth is, even when and where we have failed and sinned against God, His love for us is still intact. However, He loves us so much more than to allow us to remain in that condition of sin. The Scripture says “He chastises those Whom He loves”.
Also in the passage is the place of recognising and trusting Jesus - V.20 says “He will send the Christ, who has been appointed for you, even Jesus.” Jesus had already come and lived, died, and rose again. However, He remains the one Who was, Who is and Who is to come. The scripture says “He is the same yesterday, today and forever”. The best way we can demonstrate our reliance on Jesus is as instructed by Moses “the Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. Consider the line of Peter’s message to the people – If they will repent and turn to God, then, will God send His Messiah to them. The evidence of turning to God is demonstrated in the way we trust and obey Him.
It is of paramount importance that we are not just hearers of what Jesus says, but most importantly, doers of what He says. If we cultivate the habit of staying close to Him, we will develop the habit of hearing Him and by the help of the Holy Spirit; we will receive the grace to do whatever He instructs us to do.
Friday, January 06 2017
God established an entirely new administration of things with the coming of Christ. The Messiah’s arrival brought an all-encompassing, all-inclusive newness. He brought new hope, ways, life, man, creation, commandment, doctrine, spirit, principles, methods....... Such that, instead of going to the tabernacle, we go to Christ, instead of a priest mediating for us, our Saviour mediates for us etc
The work of Christ (gift) on the cross that brought us newness is decisive and final. It is a gift and we do not earn a gift; a gift is purely a gift – Romans 4:4-5. The only thing that stands in the way of accepting the gift is pride. So that participation in grace will always be a humbling experience.
Although God’s grace has come into the world with the newness it brings, there are, however, contentions to the life-giving power of God’s grace (Rom. 6:14). Paul mentioned such as “sin” (Rom. 6:2), “flesh” (Rom. 7:5), “death” (Rom. 6:9), or “this world” (Rom. 12:2). We have a choice, whether, through our actions in daily life, to partner with God through Christ or partner with those contentions. Paul calls choosing to partner with God “walking in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4). He compares walking in newness of life to Christ’s new life after being raised from the dead. “Just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the father, so we too might walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4).
To walk in newness of life requires us to live for Christ rather than continuing in our self-serving habits (Rom. 6:12–13). As ambassadors of Christ, we are to act in ways through which the life-giving power of God’s grace builds up people, families and communities in Christ. Our calling is to become instruments of righteousness and reconciliation, working to root out the effects of sin in a troubled world.
Making this kind of change in your life can be exceedingly difficult. Paul says that sin continually seeks to “exercise dominion in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions.” Only God’s grace, made real in Christ’s death, has the power to make us free from the old man’s habits. Paul admits that walking in newness of life will feel a lot like slavery at first. Our choice, then, is which kind of slavery to accept—slavery to newness of life or slavery to our old sins. “You are slaves of the one you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness” (Rom. 6:25). The advantage of walking in newness of life is not that it feels freer than slavery to sin, but that it results in righteousness and life, rather than shame and death.
Wellbeloved of God, in anticipation of what promises to be a glorious and impactful time at the very feet of the Master; Our Messiah, we gladly welcome you all to the ministry of God’s word: Glory Summit 2017 – “Newness through the glory of His grace”.
Welcome and God bless!
Yours in Christ,
’Sogo n Abi Adelaja
Saturday, December 19 2015
INVITATION TO GLORY SUMMIT 2016
Calvary greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour - Jesus Christ, the name that is above all names, the gift of God to the world and the reason for the season. Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of His holy name, amen.
On behalf of the entire brethren at RCCG, Hope of Glory, Dublin, we write to humbly invite you and your parishioners to our Annual Glory Summit taking place at our worship centre: Knockcross, Balrothery, Co Dublin, Republic of Ireland.
Theme: “Redemption of the Purchased possession”
Dates: 22nd, 23rd & 24th January 2016
Time: 6:00pm, 2:00pm & 2:30pm
- The Passover: Redemption through participation. Exodus 12
- The Power: Of an endless life. Hebrews 7:16b
- The Position: Possessing all things. 2 Cor. 6:10
- The Promise: Exceeding great and precious. 2 Peter 1:4
Beloved of God and partakers of the divine nature, as we go through this period together in His awesome presence, may we all experience the beauty and blessings of His redemptive power to the praise and glory of His Holy name, amen.
We look forward to receiving you.
Jesus is Lord!!!
Thank you and kind regards.
Yours in Christ,
’Sogo n Abi Adelaja
Wednesday, May 13 2015
“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
Greater simply means more. The One who is more than enough is in the inside of you. If you are in Christ Jesus, the Holy Spirit - Who is more, is on the inside of you. As a result of this you are an overcomer. The One who is more, the greater One is on the inside of you. The greater One lives within you. It is because of the greater One that lives within you that you are victorious. It is because of the greater One that lives within you that you are successful. It is because of the greater One that dwells within you that causes you to triumph in every circumstance of life.
We should make it a habit to continually declare that the greater One makes us victorious. When we declare this, we are lining our words up with God’s words. We are giving God a place to work in our lives when we speak what He has told us to speak. This is not presumption it is obedience to His Word. Presumption is to assume something, and I am not talking about that at all. I am talking about acting on knowledge. We are acting on what we know to be true and declaring it to be so. Start to declare in obedience the greater One will cause me to succeed. I will not fail but will put my faith in Him. His Word says in 2 Corinthians 4:13 “But since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, I believed and therefore I spoke, we also believe and therefore speak”
This will open the way for the greater One to rise up inside of you. When you do this you magnify Him and open the door for Him to give you enlightenment, direction, and revelation to your spirit, healing to your bodies, and help and comfort you in every situation of life. Hebrews 4:16 says “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need”
He’s telling us in His Word to come boldly and ask for this help, it’s there when we need it. Some people would say I don’t know if I can do that or not, yet we are told to come boldly and ask. God wants us to have His help. We should receive it and begin to walk in it. We must come to the realisation that He is always with us. Hebrews 13:5 says “Let your conduct be without covetousness, and be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you.’’
When faced with life’s trials, we must learn to take and receive comfort in the fact that the Holy Spirit of God has taken up residence within us. He’s always present to help, not just when we feel like it but always, whether we feel like it or not. Our faith cannot be based on our feelings. It must be based on what we know to be the truth of God’s Word. I would encourage you not to look to the circumstances but to look to the greater one within. The Holy Spirit will quicken God’s Word to your spirit and make it real. It is all too easy to take our eyes off of the one who has set us free and to dwell on the negative circumstances that come at us in life. Look to the inside where the greater one dwells, not to the circumstances. We can know that regardless of the circumstances we have victory on the inside of us, if we will just give Him the opportunity to work on our behalf.
As our opening Scripture declares. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. We are of God. Begin to meditate on this until it is so real that nothing can take it from you, and know that as God’s child you have been called to succeed. God doesn’t want His children beat up and run down. Just the opposite is true. However we will just begin to realize it and walk in the light of it. Let Him speak this quiet assurance into your spiritual being and allow the One who is more to rise up in you, and begin to see yourself as the Holy Father see us in Christ. We can then say with confidence, greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.
God’s Word tells us that the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in us.
Romans 8:11 says “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you”. This is not some different spirit but the very same Spirit dwells in us and will give life to our mortal bodies. You might say I don’t know about that. It is absolutely so. This is talking about the here and now, our mortal bodies not our resurrected bodies that we will have in Heaven. We won’t need our bodies quickened when we are in Heaven. We need it now. This is part of the Covenant that has been purchased for us. Along with the forgiveness of sin we also have the healing of our bodies. Acknowledging this fact is what brings the manifestation. We will not receive it if we won’t believe it and acknowledge it to be so. This is the same way we get born again. We have to believe it and acknowledge the fact. This is the way God allows our faith to manifest the promises of His Word in our lives.
Start to declare it out of your mouth and believe it in your heart. How can we expect to walk in God’s best if we won’t acknowledge God’s best? God’s best is here for us. It has been freely given. Let us acknowledge it to be true and begin to walk in this new creation reality. The Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:11-12 “When I was a child, I spoke as a child; I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known”.
We don’t have all revelation now, but we can begin to get God’s revelation and start to walk in it. We must start somewhere, and now is as a good a place as any to begin. The Apostle Paul had great revelation of the mystery of the Gospel, yet this mystery was not just for him. It was given to him for us all, so that we can know who we are and walk in the reality of what God has called us to be.
I truly believe that most Christians ignore the supernatural in search of the spectacular. Right on the inside of them is the Supernatural Helper - the One who has all the answers. Isaiah 1:19 says “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land”
Saturday, January 03 2015
We gladly welcome each and every one of us to this year’s Glory Summit (season of the ministry of God’s word), themed: ....Changed from glory to glory.
The law was so glorious that Moses was filled with joy; however, this glory passed away to reveal the excellence of Christ’s glory in the ministry of the Holy Spirit - so that, it will no longer be “Thou shall not” but rather “God’s will revealed to us in Christ”. Psalm 40:8 says “I desire to do Your will, o my God”. We henceforth live, move, reign over all things in Christ Jesus. It is no longer “thou shall, thou shall; but “I will, I will, I will”. Ezekiel 36:22-38
God’s Son is in us with power of the Holy Spirit to enrich us by His divine grace until it appears to all that God is transforming us from grace to grace, from victory to victory, from glory to glory until we all come to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, Ephesians 4:13.
Every place that God brings us into in a rising tide of perfection is a place of humility, brokenness of heart and fullness of surrender, wherein only God rules in splendour, power, authority and majesty. It is not where we are somebody, but where God is everything and where we only live for His glory. I believe God is helping us to be sound in mind, right in thought, holy in judgement, separated unto God, and one in the Spirit.
Something that was outstanding in the life of Jesus and the Apostles of old – Acts 4:13, was the fact the people glorified God in them. As we go through this period together in His awesome presence, may we all experience the glory of His countenance such that He will be glorified in all our lives, have His way and our whole-hearted attention and devotion.
A man who knew William Blake said of Blake’s happiness: "If asked whether I ever knew among the intellectual, a happy man, Blake would be the only one who would immediately occur to me." And yet this creative power in Blake did not come from ambition. ...He burned most of his own work. Because he said, "I should be sorry if I had any earthly fame, for whatever natural glory a man has is so much detracted from his spiritual glory. I wish to do nothing for profit. I wish to live for art. I want nothing whatever. I am quite happy."
...He did not mind death in the least. He said that to him it was just like going into another room. On the day of his death he composed songs to his Maker and sang them for his wife to hear. Just before he died his countenance became fair, his eyes brightened and he burst into singing of the things he saw in heaven. ”
May your glory arise and be awaken- Psalms 57:8; 108:2, in this season and throughout your life in Jesus mighty name, amen!
‘Sogo & Abi Adelaja
Friday, December 19 2014
Seminar: Vision-fulfilling Biblical Principles
- Overview of Hope Seminars
- Introduction and Background
- Detailed review of Seminar topic
- Case Study
OUR VISION: KNOWING WHAT TO DO PER TIME. “And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.” 1 Chronicles 12:32
OUR MANDATE: TEACHING EVERYWHERE THE PRECEPTS OF GOD. “And they taught in Judah, and had the book of the law of the Lord with them, and went about throughout all the cities of Judah, and taught the people.” 2 Chronicles 17:9
OUR AIM: GROWING AND RAISING PEOPLE OF UNDERSTANDING. “Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out”. Proverbs 20:5
- INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
WHAT IS A VISION?
WHY IS VISION IMPORTANT?
WHAT CAN YOUR VISION DO?
WHAT YOUR VISION INVOLVES?
- NECESSITY OF A REAL VISION.
- THE ABILITY TO SEE - AWARENESS
- THE FAITH TO BELIEVE - ATTITUDE
- THE COURAGE TO DO - ACTION
BIBLICAL VISION-FULFILLING PRINCIPLES
- A CLEAR PURPOSE
- A CLEAR POTENTIAL
- A CLEAR PLAN
- A CLEAR PASSION
- A CLEAR PROCESS
- A CLEAR POSITION
1. A CLEAR PURPOSE
- “What is it that I want out of life?” (Write it down)
- What “things” are distracting you from the “real business” of your life?
2. A CLEAR POTENTIAL
- Take a “virtual tour” of your dream. Imagine all the details of the completed vision.
- Let God know where you want to go.
- Ask Him to enable you take your idea from “dream” stage to full fledged reality.
- Determine how you can begin to “plant the seed” of your vision today.
3. A CLEAR PLAN
- After you know the answers to: Who am I? and Where am I going?
- Develop a blueprint for your vision.
- Start thinking about where you want to be in one, five, ten, twenty, thirty years from now.
- Write down your ideas and continue to think and pray about them.
- Write the “specifics” of your plan.
4. A CLEAR PASSION
- Ask yourself:
- How hungry am I for my vision? How much do I really want what I’m pressing toward?
- What evidence of “passion” for vision do I see in my life?
- Do I generally tend to “give up” the first time I fail?
- Sight is a function of the eyes, while vision is a function of the heart.
- Vision sees things as they could be, instead of how they are currently.
5. A CLEAR PROCESS
- POWER OF OTHERS - INFLUENCES
- PROVISION OF VISION – RESOURSES
- PERSISTENCE OF VISION – COMMITMENT
- PATIENCE OF VISION - FULFILMENT
6. A CLEAR POSITION
- Stay connected to the source of all Visions
- Establish a daily prayer time with God
- Commit every areas of your plan to Him in prayer. (Be honest with Him about how you are feeling and allow Him to strengthen, sustain and encourage you through His presence and His Word)
7. SEVEN “HOPEFUL” PILLARS OF VISION FROM HABAKUK 2:1-4
- The principle of Documentation - Write the vision
- The principle of Simplification - Make it plain
- The principle of Shared vision - Given it to the heralds
- The principle of Participation - Let them run with it
- The principle of Timing - An appointed time
- The principle of Patience - Wait for it
- The principle of Faith - It will certainly come
CASE STUDY: NEHEMIAH
- Purpose – 2:5; 2:10
- Potential – 2:10
- Plan – 2:17
- Passion: 2:18,20b
- Process: 4:6
- Position: 4:14
- God ordained visions are always too big for us to handle
- The “what” of the vision, always precedes the “how” of it
- What God originates, He orchestrates
- Visions never become reality until you make a move.
- Don’t confuse your plans with God’s vision
HOPE SEMINARS - TOPICS
- Biblical Power of Vision and Strategic Planning.
- Biblical Prosperity.
- Money Management & Budgeting for the Christian family.
- Principles for Godly & effective Leadership.
- Secrets to Abundance in Famine.
- Transition Management
- Vision-fulfilling Biblical Principles
Monday, May 12 2014
If you are interested in finding what is really truth—what the Bible really teaches, then the subject of this article will be of great interest to you.
After dealing with the backsliding of the children of Israel, warning them of sure judgement for their sins and transgressions, the Lord promised a remedy for their unconverted and hardened hearts.“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” - Ezekiel 36:26-27
We see from this promise that God is in the business of actually changing people’s hearts. God is able to operate on the cold, hard, stony heart with no love for right or for Him and change it into a soft, warm, responsive heart, full of love for the things of God and everyone else. What a mighty God we serve! A willful, wicked heart into a submissive, obedient heart. Praise His Name!
At the time that Ezekiel penned these words, the promise was in the future. Turning to the New Testament, we quickly find that the brethren of that day found it a blessed reality.“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” - Hebrews 10:16-17. The writer of Hebrews is quoting the Old Testament promise as a current possession. He regards the promise as fulfilled in his heart and the hearts of others. Now, he states, they have“a true heart.” - Hebrews 10:22 Earlier, the brother states that this entire new covenant is established upon better promises than were obtainable before the New Testament. And what is the nature of these better promises?“This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.” - Hebrews 8:1
The testimony of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthian brethren:“Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.” - 2 Corinthians 3:3
The testimony of the Apostle Peter to the gathering at Jerusalem, describing both the experiences of the gentiles and their own:“And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.” - Acts 15:8-9. The New Testament not only emphatically teaches a changed heart, but a changed heart that is subsequently purified, as well.
In Matthew 18:3, Jesus stresses the absolute need of a heart change in the following words:“Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”When does this conversion take place? When we repent, when our sins are blotted out - Acts 3:19. When our sins are forgiven - Mark 4:12.
It is so great a change, a change wrought by God in the heart of an individual, that it is referred to as being born again. Nicodemus did not understand this, although a master in Israel, because he had not the experience. As Jesus told him,“We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen.” - John 3:11. Nicodemus did not have the testimony.
“The blood will work a perfect cure,
Will cleanse the heart, and keep it pure;
The blood, the blood,
The precious blood of Jesus.”
If God has changed your heart in this Biblical fashion, you do not need to be persuaded of the reality of the experience. You already have the testimony. But, dear reader, if you are lacking in this crucial aspect, be warned:“Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” - John 3:3
Saturday, February 22 2014
We all agree or believe that love is a good, required and a sought-out thing in every life. However, what we might not all readily agree on is the definition of love i.e. “what love is”. Is love the warm touchy-feely feeling a person has when he is with a familiar person? Is love on all fours as depicted by the numerous Hollywood Actors in their films and real live scenarios? Can the greatest love be “ to love yourself”? According to the Bible, love is caring in action. Love is not what we feel, or think, or what we say, but more of what we do.
The true meaning of love, as defined in the Bible, is far way-off from what love is portrayed to be in this generation. Love is grossly corrupted in the common usage of our language, culture, relationship and the society. Most often, love is confused with infatuation and lust - the instantaneous high feeling one gets when one "falls in love." Meanwhile, this kind of "love" is something that is transient, temporal, short-lived, and unless replaced by genuine love, results in despair, disappointment, disillusion, divorce, hatred, murder, abandoned relationships etc.
The Bible indicates that love is from God and that "God is love." Love is one of the primary characteristics of God. Likewise, God has endowed us with the capacity for love and to love, because we are created in His image. This capacity for love is one of the reasons that validate the fact that we are created in the image of God.
The Greek language uses two different words to describe and define love. The most commonly used Greek word translated "love" in the New Testament is "agape." This love is represented by God's love for us. It is a non-partial, sacrificial love probably best exemplified by God's provision for our rebellion: "For God so loved (agape) the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." - John 3:16. The gift of God's son as a provision for sin was given to all humans, regardless of who we are. God's love is unconditional.
In contrast, our love is usually conditional and based upon how other people behave toward us. This kind of love is based upon familiarity and direct interaction. The Greek word "phileo" defines this kind of love, often translated "brotherly love." Phileo is a soulish (connected through our emotions) kind of love. Agape love requires a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, since the non-regenerated soul has no capacity to love unconditionally. Agape love gives and sacrifices, expecting nothing back in return.
A famous biblical chapter on love has this narration: “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child; I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” -1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Herein stated is the description of agape love. It is described as being patient, kind, truthful, unselfish, trusting, believing, hopeful, and enduring. It is not jealous, boastful, arrogant, rude, selfish, or angry. True love never fails. The description perfectly fits God's love toward us, and should be the way we love one another. The Bible says that this unconditional love is more important than everything else. Love is eternal and the basis of eternal life. When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus said, “thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, this is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets”.
To a very large extent, a normal person’s desire will be to express love as defined in the Bible. However, wanting to do so and attempting to do so in the power of one’s will, is guaranteed to fail. This kind of love is only possible by relying on the power of God, through faith in Jesus Christ. Even if you are a Christian, you will not succeed if you do not abide in Christ. May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ, amen.