*all scriptures are quoted from the KJV except otherwise stated.
“There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;” (Eph. 4:4)
Recently, I was re-reading the account of the first pentecost after the death and resurrection of Christ. The account gave details about the infilling of the Holy Spirit received by the disciples, fulfilment of the prophecy of Joel, the boldness of Peter in preaching to those present and the resulting multitudes who came to receive Christ through Peter’s message that day.
In this account, there is a very important verse in Acts 2, which I believe was pivotal to what we read today in Acts 2, and it is the first verse of this chapter:
“And the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.”
I believe the phrase “ONE ACCORD” really describes the state of how God’s people (the Church) is to be. Everyone comes to fellowship together in unity irrespective of their background, life experiences, self worth, achievements and without any wall of division or segmentation in their hearts. The Holy Spirit through Paul wrote to the Ephesians saying:
“Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all” (Eph. 4: 3 – 6 NLT)
Notice the first statement…”Make every effort!” I believe the Holy Spirit knows strongly the importance of brethren dwelling together in unity and as such, encourages us strongly to make sure that this is seen and witnessed amongst us. So today, I want to encourage you, make every effort to keep the Church of God united in the Spirit! Note that the Church is not limited to your local assembly but believers round the world. It is One body of Christ! One Church!
Scriptures again and again tell us of the importance of this unity. In the description of the Church given in 1 Peter 2:5, the Church is described as a spiritual house.
“Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 2: 5)
Jesus speaking said:
“And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand” (Mark 3:25)
I believe this explains the weakness we see in the Church today. There is so much division amidst ourselves, along denominational lines, ethnic lines etc. One person is saying I am of this group, while the other says I am of that group. One says I know better, the other says, No! I have more resources than you, so I’m better, causing so much strife and contention within a house which is supposed to stand together in one accord. It is One Faith! One body! One Father of all!
Paul writing to the Corinthians on the issue of strifes and contentions wrote:
“For you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world? When one of you says “I am a follower of Paul” and another says “I follow Apollos” aren’t you acting just like people of the world? After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us.” (1 Cor. 3 : 3 – 5 NLT)
Paul again writes:
“Some of you are saying, “I am a follower of Paul.”Others are saying, “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Peter,” or “I follow only Christ”. Has Christ been divided into factions? Was I, Paul, crucified for you? Were any of you baptized in the name of Paul? Of course not!
(1 Cor. 1:12 – 13 NLT)
In other instances, scriptures describe the Church as a body which needs each part to function perfectly. The eyes are not greater than the hand, neither is the head better than the stomach. All parts need each other to function. The eyes can’t walk on its own, it needs the legs for that, and of course while in motion the legs need the eyes so it doesn’t fall into a ditch. None less, none greater.
“The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit” (1 Cor. 12: 12 – 13 NLT)
“All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it” (1 Cor. 12: 27 NLT)
Today, I encourage you to strive to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Don’t seek exaltation for one part of the body over another. Strife and contentions weaken the body, don’t do it!
Pray this with me:
“As a believer,
I will make every effort to keep myself united with my brethren,
As a part of the Spiritual house that Christ is building,
I will not be part of strife or contentions that weaken it.
As a part of the body of Christ,
I will contribute my part to its growth and functioning,
Without thinking I’m better or lesser than the other parts,
All this by His grace.
It is one faith, We have one body and one Father over all,
Who is Lord of all. Amen”
Thanks for reading.
I Call You Blessed
Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the Children of Israel, saying unto them, The Lord bless thee and keep thee. (Num. 6: 23 – 24 KJV)
It is the Father’s will to bless us. Beyond that conviction, it is important to know what the blessing is, how it is received , what qualifies one for it and why God blesses.
And God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it [using all its vast resources in the service of God and man]; and gave dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of air, and over every living creature that moves upon the earth.
The account above is of the beginning; God was proclaiming a blessing to man even before he was created. Even when he was without works, without any good or bad deeds, he was blessed. He came into life with that blessing upon his life. He was created to be in charge, to subdue, to have dominion. He was blessed. Even though this blessing was lost, when he fell but it was restored in Christ. Even before we had any works, the Father blessed us!
May blessing (praise, laudation, and eulogy) be to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) Who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual (given by the Holy Spirit) blessing in the heavenly realm! (Eph 1:3 AMP)
He blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm. I find this amazing, that the account in Ephesians 1 is similar to Genesis 1. While Genesis 1 explains what happened at the beginning, Paul, in Ephesians 1 through the Holy Spirit explains to us what happened at the point we were born into God’s household. And in both instances, God blessed us when we were without any good works. Before we even thought about service to Him or doing good or paying our tithe or offerings, we were blessed with all spiritual BLESSINGS in CHRIST JESUS.
Everything we want is in God’s blessing for us. Everything God has blessed us with is in Christ. All our requests for life are in Christ and Christ is in us.
Notice Ephesians 1:3 tells us He blessed us in Christ Jesus, telling us the channel with which God blessed us is Christ Jesus. As the verse describes this blessing as spiritual, I do believe they can be manifested in the physical. Various scriptures tell us of God’s blessings upon the believer.
But of him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption: (1 Cor. 1: 30)
Christ has been made unto me wisdom
Christ has been made unto me righteousness
Christ has been made unto me sanctification
Christ has been made unto me redemption
It is in Christ that we are blessed not on account of any good works we have done. In Christ, we have a sound mind. Notice scripture does not say we will have it, it says we already have it.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love and of a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7)
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed. (1 Pet. 2:24)
It is part of God’s blessing upon the believer’s life that we should be in good health. Scripture also tells us that the blessing of Abraham is upon the believer.
“That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Gal. 3:14)
And here is one of the blessings God proclaimed upon Abraham:
“And I will make of thee a great nation, that I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 12: 2 – 3)
I believe one of the reasons God blesses us is so we can be a blessing to all the families of the earth. We are God’s channel of blessing the earth. One might be tempted to say, “of the 10 richest people on earth, none of them is a believer”. Well, we need to start seeing that the blessing is not first, financial! Of course it may manifest as financial but God’s blessing upon our life is far more than money. We need to have this perspective. That’s why every now and then, I tell myself “Samson, you are blessed”.
Brothers and Sisters, whether we feel like it or not, we are blessed, and not because of what we do or don’t do but because of what Christ did. And we are blessed to be a blessing.
He Calls us blessed.
If a believer becomes Righteousness-conscious, Son-conscious, Satan will be afraid of him – E.W. Kenyon
At Redemption, we were transferred from death to life. Our spirit man was regenerated, made a new creation and gained the righteousness of Christ so that we can boldly declare that we have the same standing before the Father as Christ has. We are now His beloved children (as Christ is beloved) accepted in Christ Jesus, free from the hold of sin and death and now translated into the kingdom of God. We who were slaves and servants to sin, and by extension were under the domain and rule of the devil, can now boldly declare that ‘Now are we sons of God’. Yes, we can call him Father.
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God,…” (1 John 3:2)
“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:” (Col. 1:13)
“Having predestined us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Eph. 1: 5 – 7)
Redemption brought so many benefits to the believer, that it will take until Christ returns for us to fully unravel it. Scriptures teach that the salvation of our soul occurs as our soul learns of what happened to our spirit at redemption, and this will continue until Christ returns or we are translated in death. This indicates the magnitude of what happened to us when our spirit was regenerated and of the awe of the wisdom of God demonstrated at redemption.
As believers, we are to seek to know about these mysteries. We are to learn about who we are. In all of Paul’s letters, two things he taught the most were (1.) Christ – who He is, and (2.) the Church – who we are and who Christ has called us to be. It is in learning about this that we can really take full advantage of the benefits of redemption.
“But these oppressors know nothing; they are so ignorant! They wander about in darkness, while the whole world is shaken to the core. I say ‘You are gods’, you are children of the Most High. But you will die like mere mortals and fall like every other ruler” (Ps. 82: 5 – 7)
Ignorance is expensive. Trust me, you don’t want to be ignorant. We need to know who we are. We know who we are as we learn of our rights at redemption. We learn that at redemption we received sonship; the right to call him Father, having a right standing as regards righteousness before the creator of the universe. We learn of our right to rule over sin, sickness and diseases and over principalities and powers and every ruler in the dark places of this world. We learn of our right to God’s presence every minute of the day, and our right to use the name of Christ in healing those who are sick and raising the dead and much more.
With our knowledge must come consciousness. When we learn of this truth, we are to live daily with the consciousness of it, that is the secret to living victoriously in this wicked world.
We are conscious that God is with us, assuring His protection.
We are conscious that we are seated in heavenly places far beyond the reach of principalities and powers, as such we don’t live in fear.
We are conscious that we are loved by our heavenly father, as such we cannot be depressed because all things (both good and not so good experiences) work together for our good.
We are conscious that we are not slaves to sin, but servants unto righteousness.
We are conscious that by his stripes we are healed, and can speak to our bodies ‘No sickness here’.
Brethren, the key is not just to have a mental acceptance of the truths of redemption but to be conscious of them daily. That is exactly what scares the devil, the knowledge of who we are in Him. No wonder Paul prayed for the Ephesian Church (and us in extension):
“Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;”
“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:”
“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints”
“And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power”
“Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places”
“Far above all principality and power and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only this world, but also in that which is to come” (Eph 1: 16 – 21)
It is my prayer that we may come into full understanding of what Christ did on the cross for us.
I call you blessed
** All scripture is in the AMP version except otherwise stated.
I’m happy for the opportunity to bring God’s word to you once again. I’m even more excited to be sharing on this topic because it is one particular lesson I have seen work testimonies in my life. The lesson is this: the connecting line between requests and answered prayers is often receiving instructions.
“The Lord said to Moses, Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward!”
“Lift up your rod and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, and the Israelites shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea” (Ex. 14: 15 – 16)
“Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night and made the sea dry land; and the waters were divided” (Ex. 14:21)
The instruction, “stretch out your hand over the sea”, was what transformed Moses to a victorious man singing sons of deliverance from his enemies, in Exodus 15. Prior to the instruction Moses had been a man crying for help for fear of being overtaken by the Egyptians and as a result returning to captivity.
At various junctions in our lives, we seek God’s intervention about a particular matter needing a miracle. We pray hard, talking and crying to God without being patient to listen to Him for instructions that will take us out of the situation. Sometimes we listen, but when these instructions that are supposed to bring our needed solutions come our way we disobey because, to us, these instructions seem so inconsequential and illogical to the solutions we seek. We do not realize that our victory lies in our obedience. See this:
“So Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stopped at Elisha’s door”
“Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored and you shall be clean”
“But Naaman was angry and went away and said, Behold, I thought he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and heal the leper.” (2 kings 5:9 – 11)
“Then he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, as the man of God had said, and his flesh was restored like that of a little child, and he was clean”. (2 kings 5:14)
Many of us are like Naaman, we want to dictate how God performs miracles in our lives. No! He is sovereign over all. The best posture is to be careful to listen to what He has to say, and be diligent to obey. Yes! Whatever He says to you, do it! That was the same advice Jesus’ mother gave the servants at the wedding at Cana of Galilee (and in extension to us, today).
“His mother said to the servants, Whatever He says to you, do it” (John 2:5)
“Jesus said to them, Fill the waterpots with water. So they filled them up to the brim”
“Then He said to them, Draw some out now and take it to the manager of the feast [to the one presiding, the superintendent of the banquet]. So they took him some.”
“And when the manager tasted the water just now turned into wine, not knowing where it came from–though the servants who had drawn the water knew–he called the bridegroom…”
The servants at this wedding went from having no wine at all to serving the best wine at the wedding, by doing what He said.
Two Important things that need to be emphasized is the need for every Christian to learn to listen to God for directions and obey them. Prayer ought to be two-way communication. We talk to God, and God talks to us. Each part is very important, one part should not be emphasized over the other. We need to be able to receive the instructions that will bring the solutions we seek. As believers, we must learn to train our senses to hear Him for ourselves. Do not worry, He is committed to lead us:
“I [the Lord] will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you” (Ps. 32:8)
So when you receive an instruction, receive it and obey it.
“Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not” (Prov. 8:33 KJV)
“Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured” (Prov. 13:18 KJV)
If you are a believer say this:
I am a child of God,
I have light and directions from above,
I receive the instructions providing solutions to my challenges,
When I receive them, I obey them,
I have a sound mind and I am blessed from above. Amen
I call you blessed
I will start this write up with a prophecy:
Going forward, the church will begin to have an invasion of undeniable miracles in succession across various denominations. Those who will bow their knees and lift up their hands in the place of prayer will enjoy it. This will be an outburst, all eyes will see it; for it will not be hidden.
Acts 4:16 – saying, “What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them (Peter and John) is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it.
The story of a man who is over 40 years old, yet is being carried to one of the temple-gates called Beautiful because he has been lame from his mother’s womb, opens us up to what the believer can do in His name, through faith in His name; yes, the faith that comes through the name of Jesus.
Mark 16:17-18 – “And these signs shall follow them that believe, in my name they shall cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.
Acts 10:38 – How God anointed Jesus Christ of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
A believer carries so much power in him because the Spirit of God dwells in him.
Ephesians 1:19 – 20 – And what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of his mighty power his great power was wrought when He raised Christ from the dead…
An amazing thing about this lame man is that he was always carried to the temple every other day to receive alms from those who were going in until he experienced a turn around. On a certain day, about the ninth hour, the hour of prayer; they had just dropped him at the gate of the temple when Peter and John were about to go in. Even though, the man gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them, Peter couldn’t take his eyes off him because he had something he could offer which was superior to silver and/or gold.
What a great day! He leaped, stood, walked and continued in the same manner into the temple, praising God, because the miracle of healing which gave strength to his feet and ankle bones had just been delivered by uneducated and untrained men who had, and used, the power stored up in them.
Enough of just knowing that you can walk in power and miracles, rather give expression to it. Walk up to the lame, blind, deaf, all with divers kinds of sicknesses and diseases, even to the dead, for testimonies will abound; notable and undeniable miracles will be done through you in His name.
Why is the church going to experience this notable miracle?
In response to the people’s wonder and amazement, Peter gave an amazing sermon about Christ (who is the brain behind this great and notable miracle). The priests and Sadducees who were grieved that they taught the people and preached through Jesus and the resurrection from the dead, arrested them. The next day they brought them out of their custody and set them in their midst with a simple question to be answered; “By what power or by what name have you done this?” Peter replied, emphasizing that the miracle was done by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom they crucified, whom God raised from the dead.
Seeing that this miracle is a good platform for the gospel to be preached. The priests and the Sadducees saw this and said:
Acts 4:17 But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name.”
Likewise today, the world might pose a threat seeing that they can’t deny it. But we will take to our knees and pray, for there shall be a shaking and the boldness to preach will be released.
We will not chicken out;
Acts 4:19-20 But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”
I charge you all to be instrumental to this great move of God upon us.
I call you blessed.
Damilola Caleb Akintayo