Category Archives: Faith

Ark of the Covenant – Moving With God’s Presence

The main reason God created us is to dwell among us and have fellowship with us. He used the ark to bring great assurance to His people, Israel, that His presence was among them regardless of their sinful ways. How does the ark of the covenant translate to us today? How does the ark of the covenant transition to the promise for the new covenant believer that the Lord is in our midst, despite our sinful ways?

This book, Ark of the Covenant – Moving With God’s Presence attempts to demonstrate just like God accompanied Israel in their wandering in the wilderness as well as in their return from exile, so, too He is with us in all our life’s situations.

Ark of the Covenant – Moving With God’s Presence is designed with both the Christian and not-yet-saved in mind. It shows in a straightforward way how God’s presence is a two-way operation; it can work both ways – for and against – depending on which side one is on.

The ark, just as it was an emblem of God’s presence before, the cross is an emblem of God’s grace. What role does it play in your life?

Regardless of what we see or experience, God has not forgotten the human race.

All parts, Volume 1, Volume 2 & Volume 3 of this book are available as e-books on Amazon.com

Click here for paperback edition!

Advertisements

Rising Above Discouragement in Church Service

ps42
Each time reality falls short of what an individual expects, discouragement is bound to set in. Precisely, this is what befell my heart when I joined the ministry as a lay pastor after heeding to God’s calling. The conviction that accompanied the calling assured me that all would be well in the vineyard. I thus expected my joy, finances and whatever I touched to prosper as I preached the gospel. I also supposed to see my congregation grow spiritually, materially and in numbers. After four years of total commitment that yielded negligible change at our church, I felt distressed, worn out and on the verge of giving up.

We all have come to such points in life where we felt that God short-changed us. In this valley of desperation where everything seems to have come to a standstill, doubts feel our minds, and we begin questioning if at all God is still in support of our ministries and if He indeed loves us. David, a man after God’s own heart, once found himself in such a situation. We see him responding positively – he encouraged himself in the Lord (1 Samuel 30:6). This should also be our mentality whenever we are hard pressed to the wall by circumstances in the course of serving.

The Bible gives us several ways we can use to rise above discouragements as we tend His flock. Let me show you a few of these ways from the scripture.

1. Study the Word

Ezra and Nehemiah faced fierce opposition when rebuilding the wall of the city after the Israelites came back from captivity. The early church endured resistance as it preached Christ. Some were persecuted yet they soldiered on. Reading tales of such upright men undergoing opposition yet rose above discouragement in their days gives you the strength of holding on to your calling. The word confronts our wrong priorities (Matt. 6:33), reproofs and corrects us (2 Tim 3:16), and instructs us how to live in this age (Titus 2:12).

2. Stick to your assignment

Some of the discouragements that we face while serving come when we veer from what God called us to do. If God did not call us to be politicians, it might be inappropriate to voice our concerns on every political issue arising. Discouragements may give us an opportunity to go back to the drawing board and restart what we were indeed called to do.

3. Trust God

The greatest means you can use to fight discouragement is trusting God. Whenever doubts fill your head on whether God is with you in your ministry, the best weapon to pull out is your confidence in God. Phil. 1:6 assures us that the good work Christ has begun in us will come to a completion. We can believe this word from God and rest in Him.

4. Talk to a friend

There are times in the ministry where you just need a friend who has been through what you are currently undergoing to listen to you. The ideal time for such a friend is when you are going through discouragements. As a minister, find someone you can confide in your secrets. It is not advisable to be a lone ranger as you are likely to be overwhelmed by the enemy. Let them listen to you, advise and even pray with you. It is so refreshing to find one person who approves what you are doing in the midst of discouragements.

5. Pray intensively

The Apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:10 – 18 that we are on a battlefield. One of the weapons this scripture says is at our disposal is prayer. Serving as a minister means that you are at the forefront of the battle and Satan is fiercely fighting to bring you down so that he can attack your church with ease. One of the tools he uses to fight the church is a discouragement. You can win the war against despair on your knees. Engage more in prayer when the desperation gets intense.

6. Take rest

Finally, I would advise you take some time off pastoring and just relax. If possible, do not take phones with you as they are likely to distract you. Go far away for a vacation. Relax, have fun and come back rejuvenated and ready to continue. Rest what you most likely need during times of discouragement.

Most importantly, do not give up. Fix your eyes on Jesus. Remember there is a reward in heaven for you if you do not lose heart.
*********************************************************************************
Contributed by Walker Musalia

Free Read

Bk_LU_3D_3
For a limited time, Amazon is offering my book, “Looking Up” for FREE.

Click here to deliver it to your device.

Then please POST YOUR REVIEW of the book right here.

Bk_LU_3D_1

When Life Get’s Rough, Remember_____ (Part 2)

Dear friend,

I trust that you got some encouragement from my last letter. I’m privileged to write to you again today. One puzzling thing I have observed in life is that it’s always darkest just before dawn. No wonder the Psalmist said, “Weeping may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:35). Usually, when we have no hope and there’s no way out – it is dark and weeping is only natural.

However, God says, “I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you.” (2 Kings 20:5)

This is a continuation of my previous letter:

8. Your approach can improve or degrade your situation: Regardless of how grim your circumstances are, don’t forget that you can always worsen them. A positive life with a negative attitude is impractical. Your conduct, actions, and opportunities are greatly limited when you let negativity turn the wheels of your judgment. Your thoughts are powerful. Negative thinking produces negative results and the opposite is true. (See Luke 6:45)

9. Your worry about other people’s negativity won’t help you: Let’s face it, people around you will always have opinions or carry out actions, which are usually based solely on how they view themselves. That’s their problem – not yours and if you worry about that it will weigh you down. (See Proverbs 12:25)

10. Your strength to rise above this lies in Christ: Sometimes our wounds can feel so deep, and if we let them, they can transform us into who we aren’t. See them as temporary and believe that through Christ, you can rise up again. (See Philippians 4:13)

11. Your struggles are the scenery: View what you are going through as the terrain. Not all scenery is so breathtaking, but soon you’ll be able to say, “Yeah, I’ve been there – seen that.” Remember that you’re not alone; your journey is under the Lord’s eye. (See Judges 18:6)

12. Your failures are your teaching moments to step forward: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work,” said the man who invented the light bulb. Thomas Edison took his 10,000 failures (talk about resilience!) to learn what he needed to learn. The issue here is not that you failed rather what you can you learn in order to make progress. That’s crucial. (See 1 Corinthians 10:13)

When life gets tough it hands you the opportunity to build invaluable strength. Although it may not be easy… “That is why we never give up… our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! – 2 Corinthians 4:16-17 NLT

Be encouraged, my friend.

In Christ’s service,
Dee

**********************************************************************************
*Dee Kyalo is the author of Crushing Invisible Barriers . Check out the book’s cool reviews and ‘like’ us on Facebook!

Stuck and Lost (but hopeful)

Pits are not permanent places

Pits are not permanent places

Joseph found himself in an unbelievable situation. Due to no fault of his own, he was thrown in a pit by his brothers, and as if to celebrate their evil deed, then they sat down to eat a meal! Genesis 37:23-25

Anyway, this one man was thrown into a pit by several of his loved ones – that was bad enough, but looking at his life, you know that he realized something liberating – pits are not permanent places. Talking about pits, another thing that people experience is this – one person throwing several of his loved ones in a pit. Oft times it occurs where you’re so trusting and least expect any problem.

Most individuals who succeed in throwing a group into the pit usually possess some charisma and you’d hardly suspect that they’re up to any mischief. They’re usually very smart and loved by almost everyone who knows them. And when they do something drastic, their beloved are left stuck, lost and in disbelief.

A family discovers that their husband and father has been living a secret life. According to his son, this man was a “perfect father” and his wife described her husband as “a good man, a great father. He would never hurt anyone.” Yet here is one tale of a church-going, scout-leading, family man who fell so low and become a serial killer, murdering ten people in Sedgwick County (in and around Wichita, Kansas), between 1974 and 1991.

His wife had been envied by women at her church for the way her husband doted on her, helping with her coat and always opening the car door. The possibility that her husband of 34 years might be BTK has left her “in quite a lot of shock,” said someone who had been a friend of hers since elementary school. (From Time Magazine, March 14, 2005, by Jeff Chu)

Whether it’s the discovery of spousal infidelity or some other kind of perfidy by a loved one, stories of lies, deception and deceit are not new in our day. When you’re thrown into a pit by someone else’s sin, yes, you will feel let down, and even ask God, why has all this happened to us?!

Beloved of God, you will not stay in that pit indefinitely. Every trouble has an expiry date. Have faith in God and keep looking up. You can, like Joseph, choose to forgive.

19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.Genesis 50:19-21

In this modern example, we see a husband’s forgiveness toward his wife who returns home pregnant with another man’s baby, after years of being a prostitute on the streets.

When you're thrown into a pit by someone else's sin, yes, you will feel let down...keep looking up. When you do, you will definitely see the light and receive new hope.

When you’re thrown into a pit by someone else’s sin, yes, you will feel let down…keep looking up. When you do, you will definitely see the light and receive new hope.


Do you have a loved one that has run down the family business or depleted your resources, maybe trying to feed their drug or sex addiction? Although it might not be easy, forgiveness is the only sure start to getting out of the pit they’ve thrown you in. Forgiving them means that you have not given up hope. It means that you’re positioning yourself to not miss God’s grace. It means that you have refused to be defiled by bitterness.

15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.Hebrews 12:15

Sometimes the enemy decides to use one person to embarrass, kill, steal from and destroy a family. As believers, we have to recognize this. We must identify who the enemy is and refuse to give him a foothold. Forgiving the person through which trouble has come is denying the enemy a grip.

Finally, I want to leave you with this wonderful word of encouragement from Romans 8:28,

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

Shalom!

BAM! Door Slammed!

slamming-doorHave you ever had a door slammed in your face? BAM! And as you stare in disbelief, you’re thinking… “No, that did not just happen!” But then you realize yes it did and you’re astounded. How do you react? Do you get angry or resentful?

I read the story of a woman who happened to come home from church later than usual one winter night. This infuriated her husband and he stated: “I am master of this house, and I am not going to have you coming home at so late an hour as this!” He forced her out the back door, then closed and locked it.

Out in the cold? How dare he?! I know, that’s what I thought too.

Sometimes doors are slammed, others are closed while still yet others are shut right before us. Probably you were up for a promotion at your place of work. In fact, maybe you were the interim person in that position (assuming all the duties of course) and they had even promised it to you. It was just a matter of time and it would become official. Then to your dismay, a new hire was brought in – and you were required to train them! BAM! Door slammed! Maybe you were engaged. The wedding had been planned and invitations sent out. Everything was set, then your fiancée changed their mind! BAM! Door Slammed! This can be very irritating – and especially if you have no doubt that you’ve done the needful in that particular situation.

We go through different door-slamming, door-shutting, and door-closing experiences. You probably have dreamed of open doors only to experience them slam, shut, close and even locked before you – one after the other. I don’t know what your experience is but I’d like to encourage you today.
Now, this woman who had been forced out on that winter night was a woman of faith. She had quietly responded to her husband’s infuriating action thus: “I know that you are my husband, but Christ is my Master.” She put her faith where it was supposed to be – in Christ. Then she walked around the house and when she came to the front she discovered that her husband had forgotten to lock the front door! So she simply came in through the main entrance, laughing.

Might it be that you’re standing at the wrong door? Did you happen to knock at the back door?

Very upset businesmman knocking off a door trying to collect a debt.

If you’re at the wrong door, you will not get the desired results

Maybe you were supposed to come through the front door, rejoicing. The Bible says, “…Knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7b, Luke 11:9b). Just make sure it is the right door – and you’re wearing the right attitude. Hard as it may be just rejoice in the Lord (Philippians 4:4) We are told to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). With faith in God and the right attitude, before you know it, another door will be open.

What makes this lady’s story more interesting is that when the husband finally saw what he had done, he caught her laughter and realized how silly he had been. Together they laughed about the matter, but to him it was also a revelation of how cold he had grown in the things of God. Shortly afterward, he spent ten days praying and fasting in repentance, and God gloriously restored him. The couple was Smith and Polly Wigglesworth. [1]

In life, when a door shuts on us it’s easy to panic and give up or we might sit there looking at the closed door for longer than it is necessary that we fail to see the opened one. Had Polly sat there in the cold staring at the shut back door she would have probably frozen to death that severe winter of 1884. Has a door been shut before you? Take a walk around the building you might discover something.

Sometimes when a door is slammed against you it could be because God is protecting you from a situation or He is setting you up for a blessing that you’ve never imagined or He is positioning you as a destiny helper to someone you don’t even know yet.

closed-doorsThink about Joseph for a moment. His story which can be found in Genesis 37-50 should help us see things a little differently. Joseph’s sold-into-slavery-shut-door experience was God’s way of preserving a nation. When famine struck, the only place Israel could get food was from Egypt; and the only person to help them out was Joseph! Suppose he had tried returning to Israel – a whole nation would have perished. When Potiphar’s wife accused him of rape, that was his palace-to-prison-slammed-door experience and this, God used to promote him. What’s your slammed door story? Forcing it open might be detrimental to your well being. Rejoice and again I say rejoice because God is up to something!

__________________________________________________________________________________________________
Endnotes:
[1] http://www.godsgenerals.com/person_s_wigglesworth.htm

Why Has All This Happened To Us?

break altar

Here’s a question you may have asked yourself before:

“If the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us?”

Some problems come with such a severity that one finds themselves asking such a question.

A while back, my family was facing a difficulty and one of my sisters had reached a point of despair. She was crying. “Have we been saved only to be shamed?” She asked. We needed relief fast but things only seemed to be getting worse rapidly.

I thought to myself: Behind every Google Map, there is a much more complex map that is the key to our queries but hidden from our view. It’s as if there is an invisible barrier between what we can see and what we can’t. This took me back to the book of Judges. It was a terrible time for the Israelites and the situation kept getting worse. So here was Gideon beating out wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites, who whenever they came around, stole everything they could carry, and destroyed everything else. People lived in fear; they didn’t know what would happen next but they were sure it would be bad – yet they couldn’t see the real issue. There was the ‘Google Map’ but what was really behind this difficulty?

Behind the Trouble

The answer to that question is spelled out clearly in Judges 2:10-12 The people forgot and forsook God. Wait, there’s more… in His anger against Israel the Lord handed them over to raiders who plundered them. He sold them to their surrounding enemies, whom they could no longer withstand… They were in terrible distress. Then the Lord raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these plunderers. Yet they would not listen to their judges but whored after other gods and bowed down to them. (Judges 2:14-17)

Saint of God, perhaps you know from personal experience how it feels to have the forces of wickedness unleashed against you. You develop ‘survival tactics’ because you just want make it through another day. In Judges chapter 6, Gideon was doing exactly that. He was beating wheat in a winepress because if he did it in the right place the raiders would find him and take it all. He was just trying to survive. When the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said that God was with him – Gideon just couldn’t believe it. Things were so bad that he couldn’t see God anywhere.

13 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” – Judges 6:13

God’s answer to Gideon’s complaint of how the enemy was wrecking their lives was simple; “…pull down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the Asherah that is besides it and build an altar to the Lord your God…” (Judges 6:25-26)

Still peering behind the ‘Google Map’, what this means is that sometimes trouble pursues and overtakes us because of strange and ungodly altars in our lives. Some altars maybe our own doing while others may have been erected by our parents as in the case of Gideon.

Tearing Down Your Father’s Altars

It suddenly dawned on me that when there is sin in the camp, unfortunately, everyone is affected – the saved and unsaved alike. It is the responsibility of those who love God, those who take Him seriously to ensure that God’s will prevails. Remember, in Joshua chapter 7, when Achan took some of the devoted things (from the fallen Jericho), the anger of the Lord burned against the people of Israel. Verse 1 says that the people of Israel broke faith in regard to the devoted things. They went to war and were defeated by their enemy. It was only after they had destroyed those things that they overcame their enemies. Going against God weakens a people and they become an easy target for the enemy.

When we begin to take God seriously He assures us of peace with Him, but we have work to do. Our first task is not to take on the external foe, but to deal with the enemy within.

Break free from ungodly altars

Break free from ungodly altars

Gideon had to deal with anti-God evils right in his own home and family. His family had an altar to Baal, a pagan god of prosperity, and a pole for Asherah, a goddess of sex. Whoa! Isn’t it amazing how blind we can be to our own sins? How can we stand with lifted arms and tears in our eyes asking God why such bad things are happening to us, when right in our own homes the worship of God is mixed with idol worship and sexual perversion?! Until we have dealt with such wickedness in our own households, the enemy will continue to have a field day in our lives.

Things were going terribly wrong in our family, sin seemed rampant and God seemed several million miles away. People were desperate, emotions were running high and then like a scene from the book of Judges, God spoke, revealing the key to our queries. Like Gideon, we had take tear down our father’s altars and then build the proper kind of altar to the Lord. We couldn’t expect power from God to defeat enemies on the outside if we didn’t face the enemy within.

When you see sinful or demonic or ungodly things happening repeatedly in your life or family, it is more than likely that there’s an altar to the enemy present. You know what things plague you and if you’re tired of them, stop hiding in the winepress – come out and deal with them! Take time to break free from past patterns and practices of your family and community in order to be in tune with God. Break free from bowing down to idols (anything that has taken the place of God in your life)! Break free from spirits other than the Holy Spirit of God! If you’re afraid to be seen by unsaved friends and family members breaking those ungodly altars, then like Gideon, do so during the night. After all the Bible says that a man sowed his wheat and while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away (Matthew 13:25); but this time, you will be awake and ready when he comes. You will do well to arrest him in his tracks! He will not have a chance to sow discord in your life anymore!

We know that after Gideon obeyed God, in Judges chapter 7, God used him to bring victory to Israel – defeating the very Midianites that had earlier impoverished Israel. You may be the person that God wants to use to bring deliverance to your household. The enemy might have unleashed terror on your family but be encouraged in the Lord; keep looking up, for He has not abandoned you. The trouble you see today has an expiry date and no enemy is more powerful than the almighty God. God has not saved you to shame you for anyone who believes in Him will never be put to shame (Romans 10:11). Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld.

**********************************************************************************************************
Crushing invisible barriers and proclaiming liberty in Christ to the nations!

Don’t Settle For Little! (Part1)

hill

A while ago I was asked write an article for the suspense/thriller genre and I did one titled: Double Catastrophe – based on Lot’s escape from Sodom as inspired by Genesis chapter 19. This story still fascinates me. God planned to destroy Sodom (the city in which Lot lived) and Gomorrah because “their sin was very grave” (Genesis 18:20-21).

As I read this story again, few things stand out. When the two angels came to Sodom to carry out the destruction, they told “escape for your life” (Genesis 19:17). We live in a world where evil seems to prevail but God’s word for us is to flee/reject/stay away or abstain from all/every appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22). We are to escape for our lives lest destruction comes upon us.

In the same Genesis 19:17 Lot was told, “Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley.” As God’s chosen people living in a fallen world, when He rescues us as He did Lot, we should not look to the past or in the pits or depressions of life. If you stop in your pitfalls you will go under, you’ll be swept away and buried in them. Beloved “escape to the hills” from whence cometh your help! (Psalm 121:1)

Lot argued with the angels (vs 18) and they let him do his own will. Sometimes we argue with God and He permits us to follow our own desires. The fact that calamity hasn’t befallen you doesn’t mean that you’re in God’s will. God stopped striving with man in Genesis 6:3 because every inclination of the thoughts of man’s heart was evil (Genesis 6:5). So yes, there are plenty of times – if you’re not led by the Holy Spirit – you’ll be doing your own will; which we try to elevate as “God’s permissive will” .

NB: God has only one will – the pleasing and perfect will and this we can learn only if we are not conformed to the pattern, behavior and customs of this world (Romans 12:2)

For instance, Ishmael was not God’s pleasing and perfect will but Isaac was. (Genesis 17:18-19)

“Escape to the hills” was God’s pleasing and perfect will for Lot but in verse 16 we see that he lingered and in verse 18-19 he argued. Then in verse 20, he chose a place which wasn’t what God had in mind. Lot was acting on his own will here and he settled in Zoar (which means ‘little’). Lot settled in a little place. Oh, how we many times behave like Lot! God wants to take us out of the place of immorality, corruption and destruction to a place that is above (the hills), but we choose to settle in a place that is little (Zoar). Lot came from an environment of immorality to settle in a place of littleness and his life became miserable. What is your Zoar?

Eventually, in verse 30, we see that Lot actually moved and went to the hills where he should have gone in the first place. However this delayed obedience. When you delay in your obedience to God, you give the enemy grounds for entry. The real reason Lot moved is that he was afraid to live in Zoar. Why? He wasn’t in God’s perfect will. When Adam and Eve sinned and they heard God walking in the garden, they hid because they were afraid. They had fallen out of God’s will and knew it, hence the fear. (Genesis 3:10) Fear has no place in your life when you’re God’s perfect will (2 Timothy 1:7).

When you come from an environment of immorality to settle in a place of littleness, your thinking become dull – you’re not sharpened, you’re not challenged, you cannot see far – your vision is limited such that when you eventually go to the hills, you settle for the cave. A cave is a large underground chamber. Why go to the hills to live underground? This is abnormal and abnormal behavior attracts abnormal activities. (Genesis19: 30-38)

This message continues

The Box

Gift_box
They had married young. He was twenty and she, eighteen. Ten months after their wedding their first baby arrived, and the next one followed fifteen months later. Now both their children were out of the home, and he was just settling down to enjoy the new phase of life with his wife. They had plans to go on all those cruises they had previously not been able take. Then a couple of weeks before their twenty-fifth anniversary he got a shock of his life. Tucked away at the bottom of her closet was a box full of letters and cards from another man.

For a few seconds, life stood still before him and then the ache of betrayal jangled violently through his entire body and soul. He carefully carried the pink scented gift box and placed it on the blanket chest. Peering at the contents in one letter, it was apparent that this illicit affair had been ongoing when she worked at the hospital. He couldn’t understand how this was happening to him. As far as he knew, theirs was one of the most stable marriages around. This finding tore into his heart like a sharp knife. He really wanted to confront her with this box, but on second thoughts he returned the overwhelming evidence exactly where he had found it.

He was sitting at the kitchen table when she came back from the beauty salon. She was still as beautiful as when he had first laid his eyes on her. Although his heart was heavy he stood up and took her in his arms. Trembling and fighting back his tears, he mustered enough strength to say, “After all these years, I, Rodgers, still take you Armella, to be my wife, to have and to hold, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; until death do us part.”

She was a little puzzled by this very touching moment; however she savored it and reaffirmed her own vows back to him.

Later that night when she reached for her box of secrets, there, on top of it was a note from her husband:

“My life is so beautiful with you in it.”

Armella’s legs gave way beneath her and she sat on the floor weeping. She knew he had found out. She was extremely remorseful.
After gaining some composure, she took the box into the den. Rodgers was there reclined in his favorite seat watching a game. She tossed it into the fire. They both watched it go up in flames.

“Honey, I am very sorry…” she began.

He switched off the television and motioned her to sit beside him.
Gazing into her eyes he said, “I am too, but we can start a new box – our own memory box.”

So they did and called it “1 Peter 4:8”.

Last week they celebrated their fiftieth anniversary.

***

Let us not be afraid to call sin sin, but let us not be slow to forgive it and to look past it. It’s amazing how much beauty we can see and how much further we can go together when we choose to close our eyes to our spouse’s faults.

Copyright © 2014 Dee Kyalo-Mwanzia

*************************************************
Dee Kyalo is the author of Crushing Invisible Barriers and Looking Up . Check out the cool reviews and ‘like’ us on Facebook! Both books are available here now.

Experiencing Grace

God's grace is not only sufficient - it is inexhaustible!

God’s grace is not only sufficient – it is inexhaustible!

Truth must be revealed and believed to be effectual. To experience God’s grace, we must first understand its revelation and believe it; and this is as enabled by the Holy Spirit who guides us into all the truth (John 16:13 NIV). When Jesus went back to heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to exercise a worldwide ministry. Today the Holy Spirit illuminates the minds of the people, makes us yearn for God, and takes spiritual truth and makes it understandable to us. Here is the truth:

Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him. – Romans 4:7-8 NIV

I have been on a wonderful 30 day journey of rediscovering my identity in Christ and learned that knowing who I am in Christ is liberty. This knowing is freedom from sin, condemnation, fear, worry, guilt, depression, addictions and/or among others. I was excited as Romans 8:1-4 NLT came alive once more:

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The Law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.

Experiencing God’s grace, for me, is an ongoing journey of freedom in Christ. This is a much needed back to basics adventure for the ‘older’ Christian and an introduction to the significance of the cross for the newer believer. Grace, which is God’s unmerited favor, starts at the cross of Jesus Christ. Either cannot exist apart from the other. This exercise was a great reminder of how every Christian desperately needs God’s grace to fill their lives. How without it, we would be in bondage.

It is this grace that converted a terrorist like Saul into a saint called Paul (Acts 9:1-9, Acts 22:6-14 NLT). Despite his impressive résumé, Paul couldn’t recognize Christ (Acts 22:3 NLT) and remained one of the worst sinners who needed God’s grace (1 Timothy 1:15-16 NLT). Then he was chosen (regardless of his flaws). When the Lord appeared to him on the road to Damascus, it was grace and this same grace is what made him become not less than the “super-apostles” (2 Corinthians 11:5 NLT). Though he ascended to an outstanding position among the apostles, Paul understood that it was not about what he could or couldn’t do; and it wasn’t about his achievements either. In any case he had some weakness (2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NLT) making him dependent on Christ. Paul had great understanding of God’s grace that even if the accomplishments – those things that would count in the eyes of men were to be considered, he considered them garbage, that he may gain Christ (Philippians 3:7-11 NIV).

When we get saved and come to know Christ, it is by God’s grace through faith; and this is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8 NIV). Only through Jesus Christ we are offered grace, a free gift. It is not because of our strength, capacities or gains. The Bible says, “It is not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:9 NIV). We have done nothing to deserve it and scripture makes it clear that everything about our relationship with God depends upon us trusting Him in faith, by resting in His grace. For this to be effective we must allow the Holy Spirit to work in us and on us through us applying the grace of God to our personal lives. Stepping outside these confines means that we are treading on the dangerous fatal path of the Law.

The Law only shows us how weak we are but doesn’t empower us to overcome those weaknesses. It demands righteousness but doesn’t show us how to achieve it. God’s grace, on the other hand, is made manifest through Jesus finished work on the cross gives us His righteousness as a gift. In Christ we are equipped with everything we need to do His will (Hebrews 13:21 NIV).

As I observed the life of my favorite apostle (Paul) afresh, I couldn’t help but acknowledge that grace is what equips ministers of the gospel to minister to the foreigner, stranger and all the unfamiliar persons. Is it any wonder that Jesus was a friend of sinners? (Matthew 11:19 NIV, Luke 7:34 NIV) It is grace that brought to a standstill the stone throwing gathering of the woman caught in the act of adultery (John 8:1-11 NIV). Grace embraces people that society is unenthusiastic to relate with – like addicts and criminals. It is grace that brings them to the road of recovery and ultimate restoration. While we may not all be ministers per se, we must understand that we are utensils (2 Timothy 2:21 NLT) and channels of this grace (Genesis 12:2 NIV). Grace operates where the Holy Spirit is welcome.

For anyone that is pre-saved, it is my delight to let you know that cleaning up our behavior is not a pre-requirement for salvation. Grace takes us as we are and what God has done for us in Jesus saves us and changes our hearts – not what we have done for God (Titus 3:5 NIV). By the way, what could we possibly do for God anyway? Apart from His grace, our righteous acts are like filthy rags before Him (Isaiah 64:6 NIV).

God’s grace first saves and then trains His people for godliness and good deeds (Titus 2:11-12 NIV). Without this understanding, trying to live the Christian life it is an immense struggle, that is why many feel beaten down by the enemy. Come to me ye that are heavily laden… this is grace calling, that we may find rest (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV), this is freedom in Christ.

A priceless lesson learned is that grace is no excuse for pride and definitely no ticket to continue in sin. Just like the prodigal son came back to his senses and returned to the father, we all must. Returning to the Father removes one from slavery and enables us experience God’s grace daily.

More inspirations from Romans 6:14 NIV, Jude 1:4 NIV, Zechariah 4: 6-7 NIV, Romans 8:9 NIV, 1 Corinthians 2:14 NIV

Copyright © 2014 Dee Kyalo-Mwanzia

********************************************************************************************
Dee Kyalo is the author of Crushing Invisible Barriers and Looking Up . Check out the cool reviews and ‘like’ us on Facebook! Both books are available here now.