Month: September 2013

Grace and the way we see God


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One of the best explanations of faith that I have learned is this: “Faith is simply a good opinion of God”.

This makes it so simple for me. When I need faith, I don’t have to look at myself to produce faith. I just need to look at God. And true enough, in times where I am low in faith, it’s because my opinion of God at the time needs adjusting.

Our Worries Speak a Bad Word about God

Let’s say I’m worrying about money, what is my heart really saying? It’s saying “God might not provide this time”… “Remember that one time when you were in tough times? That might happen again. If God allowed it before he can allow it again”… “You’re on your own. Do whatever it takes to make ends meet”.

Does that make God look good? Does that glorify him? No. And who suffers? God? Or me?

Let’s say you’re worrying about your health.  What are you really saying? “God may or may not heal me”… “Sometimes he lets us stay sick to teach us a lesson”… “What about XYZ? He got sick and he’s a good Christian guy”…

Is that having a good opinion of God? No, not at all.

Where Faith Comes From

That’s why the bible says that faith comes from hearing the Word of God. Because the Word of God always shows you how good God is! Did he ever blast someone with sickness to teach them a lesson? Would you do that to your own child? Will you give your son a snake if he asks for an egg? What more your Father in heaven! Did Jesus ever refuse to heal someone? Was there anyone ever in lack when Jesus was around? Is there any account of someone dying when Jesus was around? Lazarus died when Jesus wasn’t around… but he resurrected when Jesus arrived. The Word of God has a good opinion of God.

The bible also says Faith is a gift from God. It’s something God does. Our hearts always have a tendency to be veiled… and God always lifts that veil. Just this afternoon I was worrying like crazy about something. And there was this voice in my head saying “why are you still worrying about this? Aren’t you the guy who always talks about Grace vs Anxiety, etc etc?”.. That’s the voice of the enemy kicking me when I’m down. But you know, when you’re caught in the middle of it – it’s really, really hard! You can’t “get a grip” on yourself. God has to get a grip on you.

God is asking you today: “When will you learn to have a good opinion of me? Am I not your Father who loves you? I will take care of you. Be confident of that and rest”.

Unless you people see Signs

In John 4 (where we left off a long time ago!) Jesus went back to his hometown after his trip to Jerusalem. He knows that people there don’t have a good opinion of him. Here’s what he said:

John 4: 48 “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”

In those words you can almost feel Jesus’ frustration. Of course he wants them to believe! This is the problem with unbelief. Unbelief is basically saying “God is not so good”. In the case of the people there, their unbelief sounded something like: “If this guy is who he says he is, he better prove it”.

Where does this come from? Why do people need a miracle before they start believing?

The Law and Unbelief

One of the biggest reasons, is because of our religious background. The Jews lived in the time of the Law. The Law basically says you need to earn your blessing. If you haven’t been following the law lately, you’re not receiving anything from God. This mentality is still prevalent today- and it does bigtime damage to our faith in God. If we lived in this frame of mind, if we’ve been taught anything that sounds like this growing up, we’re basically saying “God will give only what I deserve”. If God blesses us we say: “Well and good, I deserve it.” On the other hand, if we don’t feel like we deserve anything, but we need a miracle – healing or provision we don’t come to God at all. And if we did, we don’t come expecting. Because we feel we don’t deserve it.

This is why many times we feel like we’re on our own. Because our minds still haven’t been renewed about the matter at hand and we’re still dwelling on the whole meritocracy mindset of the law. You see, God has no problem giving. We have a problem receiving.

The Law does not give people faith. It causes people to work. And work is the opposite of faith. Faith rests in God. A Work Mentality says “I’m on my own”. If I ever get rich, it’s because I earned it. If I ever get “blessed” it’s because I deserved it. If I am healthy, it’s because I took good care of my body”. It’s all “I, I, I”. A Work Mentality also says things like “I won’t get blessed today because I have not been behaving well.” It turns God into an impersonal, uncaring economic force. Not a loving Father.

The more we preach LAW, the worse our opinion of God becomes. We see God as someone excited to punish sins, and unwilling to bless. We do not see his heart which delights in mercy and grace.

Grace and Faith

This is why the message of Grace changes everything for us who believe. Grace says “God will give you something you do not deserve. Not because you are good but because He is Good.” Looking back at the story in John 4: Jesus was complaining that people needed a sign, but he still healed the sick boy in the story. He has no problem giving us signs and wonders! It is just frustrating for him to know that many times, we refuse to believe at face value – just taking him at his word, or just assuming the best from him. Why? Because he loves to bless us! He hates to see unbelief robbing us!

Many times my wife and I have fights about words. You know those arbitrary sentences which can either mean something very good or very bad?  Those cause many fights! Sometimes I get hurt and say “That’s not what I meant! Why did you assume that I meant that other horrible meaning?”. I do it a lot to her too! And she says “Why can’t you give me the benefit of the doubt? Of course that’s not what I meant!”. We fight because we do not assume the best from each other all the time. We choose to believe the worst. It is the same with God.

If we ever wonder if God will provide – why can’t we just assume he will? If we don’t have enough faith to be certain, let’s just assume the best. Don’t say “well I’m afraid to hope and be disappointed”. Faith is having a good opinion of God. Say “He will not disappoint”. The people in Galilee in Jesus’ time did not believe God would heal, give, provide, love and care for them. People today – even Christians – have the same difficulty in believing. The oppression from years and years of being preached the LAW did that to us.

The Sign of Jonah

In another account, Jesus says that only a “wicked generation asks for a sign”. Please don’t read this and feel bad – like Jesus is calling you wicked for your unbelief. He was specifically referring to the Pharisees and Sadducees. But he also warned against their “yeast” or their teaching – which infects us with the same unbelief. And what do they teach all the time? The law! They were the most legalistic, religious bunch! And they were hypocrites by default, because no one could live up to the standard they were demanding – or were saying that God demanded. It’s their message that made people have a bad opinon of God.

But anyway, Jesus continued to say that the only sign they were going to get was the Sign of Jonah. And what is the Sign of Jonah? Jonah was in the belly of the whale for 3 days. Jesus was referring to his death and resurrection. That should be sign enough for everyone!

My friend, the sign of Jonah is the gospel. It tells you that Jesus died for you! It tells you that if you believe God cannot be good to you because you don’t deserve it, remember that he was “bad” to Jesus even if Jesus didn’t deserve it. Jesus took our place. Jesus’ death threw that whole “business of deserving” out of the window! That gives us the divine right to expect good things from God. And Jesus rose from the dead! That’s a declaration that his death was accepted by God as payment for our sin. That there was more Good in Jesus’ life than the Bad that he was punished to pay for.

Romans 8:32 He who did not spare  his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with  him, graciously give us all things?

If God gave you Jesus, that is proof enough of how good he is. He values Jesus more than anything in the universe. And yet he did not withhold Jesus- he gave him to us.

Guilty of Presumption

In the past I would be afraid to pray with faith because I did not want to be guilty of presumption. But today I am telling you – that it is far better to be guilty of presumption than to be guilty of unbelief! (Sorry for using the word guilty. Either way you can never be guilty again because of the cross! But you know what I mean!)

So like I said a while ago I was struggling with a certain worry. Do you know what I did? I picked up my bible (no I don’t always do this when I’m worried! But good thing I did a while ago)… and decided to pray.. I prayed the most presumptious prayers ever.

  • I did not say things like “God if it is your will….” I just assumed it was his will.
  • I didn’t say “In your time, God…” I just said out loud that I expected it at a specific time.
  • I didn’t say “If you want to God” I just assumed and believed he wanted to.

And when I was done praying like that, I felt his pleasure over me. Like he was saying “you sounded much better right there than you did a while ago when you were worrying like crazy”.

God did not say “What a presumptuous boy”. I know it was more like “Now there’s someone with a good opinion of me!”. I wish I could be like that always!

The Real Sign and Wonder

Our hearts can be so hard. When you see Jesus saying “Oh you of little faith”… he means it! But that’s something he came to help us with too!

Remember that God does not demand from you. He supplies to you. The faith he wants to see in you – he will give it to you as well. For me, I would have no basis to believe God, no basis to have a good opinion of him – if not for the Cross.

The Cross is the reason why I do not need to look at myself – whether or not I deserve God’s goodness.

The Cross is proof that Jesus loves me so much.

The Cross is proof that the Father will not spare anything, withhold anything from me. He loves us that much.

Unless we see signs and wonders we will not believe. But we see the cross. And it’s impossible not to believe.

The real miracle – is what happens in our hearts when we accept the message of God’s love, grace, mercy and favor for us – through his son Jesus. The way we see God begins to change, and everything changes along with it.

Thank you for your cross Lord! I look upon your cross and believe! Everything is a YES and AMEN because of the cross! Continue to change the way I see you!

– stefansuarez

Grace is what G…


Grace is what God does, independent of our ability and self efforts. If you were saved by grace through faith, then you can also live daily, learning to rest on His ability to protect and provide at all times without having to fret about today or tomorrow.

– McDaniels Gyamfi

Matthew 6:25-29 New King James Version (NKJV)

25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

child-labour

JABULANI ~ TO REJOICE IN SWAHILI


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All People, All Cultures, All Nations in the presence of One King at DMV

JEHOVAH KNOW


Gravity of Grace Note:
I listened to this song today and felt so much overwhelmed with God’s supernatural peace which surpasses everything in this world over my entire being. My desire and prayer is that you may experience an unusual peace and the boundless love of Christ whatever maybe your situation today. God knows it all and He always has the answer for the unsolvable puzzles of like that kick us against the wall. We are bombarded with so much negativity each day of our life on this side of eternity…confusion, bad report of the doctor, disappointment and the many insecurities and façade of society.

In the midst of the perplexities and the hopeless landscape of our world today, we can lift our head to a God who knows all things and only desire the prosperity of His children to embrace peace, comfort, hope and a future instead of being crippled with a belly full of regret and despair. Wipe your tears and turn your eyes upon Jesus, my dear friend and appropriate strength to soar up high like an eagle as you listen to this song and meditate on the words. Cheers!

LYRICS OF THE SONG

I will worship the Lord,
For He is worthy;
I will lay down my sword,
The Prince Of Peace is His name.
King of the flood,
The Lord is mighty;
The Lord can quench the evil flame.

Peace when trouble blows,
Jehovah sees, Jehovah knows;
He is my peace, when sorrow nears,
Jehovah sees, Jehovah hears.

Feel the presence of God,
Upon the water,
Hear the voice of the Lord,
Within the thunder that rolls,
King of the flood,
The Lord is mighty,
The Lord can calm the troubled soul.

Peace when trouble blows,
Jehovah sees, Jehovah knows;
He is my peace, when sorrow nears,
Jehovah sees, Jehovah hears

Like the breath,
I need to live,
Jehovah takes, Jehovah gives;
Gives me peace,
When trouble blows,
Jehovah sees, Jehovah knows.

Judgment coming, He is my peace;
Men pursue me, He is my peace.
Judge! Judgment is coming, He is my peace;
Men pursue me, He is my peace

McDaniels Gyamfi

Shalom

Shalom

WISDOM ACCELERATION


By wisdom a house is built

By wisdom a house is built

How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver! Proverbs 16:16 (NIV)

I think what fascinates me about wisdom is that it is non-discriminatory. You can have a Phd and lack wisdom, but you can be illiterate and be wise. The pauper can obtain it, but the wealthy can’t buy it. And the strong can’t take it from the one who is weak. It would seem wisdom can be obtained by all. The only advantage in obtaining wisdom is time. The longer one lives the more opportunities to amass it, but age is only an advantage, it’s not a guarantee.

So how do we get it?

It seems that humility is one accelerant to obtaining wisdom.

Proverbs 18:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” What could be more humbling than recognizing the character and nature of God and our position to Him? The wisest of people I have encountered do not have even a smidge of arrogance or haughtiness in their person. Jesus, who had every right to power, became nothing, serving his own creation to the point of death. Humility has probably been the most difficult of postures to acquire and greatest of personal struggles I’ve faced throughout life. Every time their is pride, wisdom is absent
– Wisdom Hacker

Where is God in your life?


Where is God in your life?.

THE SPOKEN BLESSINGS


http://bit.ly/18eW1G8

You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Righteousness can be defined as having a right standing with God without a sense of guilt, shame or condemnation.

Righteousness is a new position of the believer in god independent of his or her effort. It is the work of grace…be encouraged and inspired to access the treasures of God’s favor in your new position as a believer wrought out for you through the finish work of Christ.

AFRO PRAISE- SONNIE BADU (VIDEO)


Sonnie-Baduhttp://youtu.be/SNkQQnJhnUI

Gravity of Grace Note: I started my day in the atmosphere of Afro Praise…Ushered into His presence by no other personality than Sonnie Badu. Sonnie Badu, if am not mistaken is the Israel Houton of Africa. He has become the face of Africa in the 21st Century touching lives, transforming nations through spirit filled songs. To know more about him, read below for his biography and impact in the musical scene. Thanks!!

Sonnie Badu is a multiple award winning Gospel singer, songwriter, philanthropist, producer, TV presenter and author. He is arguably the most successful gospel export to emerge out of Africa in recent years. His unique blend of intimate worship, high class visuals, and his energetic style of ushering congregations into the presence of God is affecting lives worldwide. Sonnie leaves his audiences mesmerized both emotionally and spiritually.

Sonnie Badu began his musical career at a very tender age, under the tutelage of his father, a prominent preacher in his hometown of Accra, Ghana. His decision to become a gospel singer has to do with a close encounter with death at the age of 18, when he was struck with a deadly virus. He recounts that it was in this moment as he lay on the hospital bed slipping in and out of consciousness, with his mother singing hymns into his ear that he made a vow to rededicate his life to God, if he pulls through. It seemed like an irresistible offer to God as immediately he entered into that covenant, his body began to regain strength. It was then that Sonnie Badu ‘The Worshipper’ as he is popularly known was born.

In rising to the pinnacle of achievements, his hall of fame is replete with these significant laurels: he organized the first Africa worship concert in UK in congregation with most High Commissioners and ambassadors. In 2009, he received numerous honors and accolades for his contribution to the gospel community, winning a BEFFTA (Black Entertainment Fashion and Film Award) in the category of Best Gospel Artist. He was also the recipient of three awards at the Gospel Music Awards Italy in the categories of Best Gospel Artist in Europe, Best Worship Artist of the year and Best Worship song for the smash hit single ‘Covenant Keeping God’ and to crown the year, he was decorated the Best Gospel Male at the British Gospel Music Awards.

He added to his resume best worship song, video of the year and best male contemporary in the recent Africa Gospel Music Awards in UK. In 2010, Minster Badu received the two awards in the course of one month: Best Gospel Artist at the 2010 African Music Awards (AMA) held at the Wembley Arena in London on October 15th, 2010 and Best Musician at the GUBA Awards which was held in London on October 24th, 2010.

For Sonnie Badu, it is an honor and privilege to stand and lead God’s children in the art of spiritual intimacy. His ministry houses the presence of God and where God’s heart is, His hand will be. Testimonies of healing and breakthrough follow him wherever he sets up to praise. He has performed in a number of countries alongside gospel music stalwarts such as Bebe and Cece Winans, Donnie McClurkin, Yolanda Adams, Martha Munizzi Alvin Slaughter, Kierra Kiki Sheared, Noel Robinson, Muyiwa, Kurt Carr, Lionel Richardson, Ron Kenoly, Juanita Bynum and more.

In 2008 he launched the annual ‘Sonnie Badu Worships’ program. So far the event has been held in London, Germany, Italy, Ireland, New York, Maryland, Atlanta, Virginia, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, Ghana and Canada and its reputations continues to spread with more nations coming on board in the new year. At the moment, Sonnie’s main task is to help improve the lives of those less privileged in Africa and indeed other parts of the world. In this regard he has stepped up his Ministries Charity Project, ‘Thy Dwelling Place’ Orphanage. He undeniably has an unfinished business with destiny; therefore watch out for more of intimate prophetic worship and Sonnie Badu Clothing line known as’The Worshipper’s Garment’ (SB.WG) as well as two new books scheduled for release in 2010.