WISDOM FOR LIVING

KEY SCRIPTURE: Matthew 22:22 (KJV). “When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.”

The Lord cautioned His disciples in Matt 10:16 that He is sending them as sheep in the midst of wolves, and that they should be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves. The serpent has a great surviving instinct. We need such wisdom to stay in a world highly controlled by the wicked forces of darkness and administered by evil men as well. How can one have such wisdom to prevail? Considering our Lord Jesus, He lived in the midst of sinners or evil men, yet they never got Him into the evil net they cast to ensnare Him. They always wondered at the level of wisdom He exhibited. The secret of His excellent answers was by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Lord depended fully on the Holy Ghost. A consistent prayer life is the prime way to fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Fellowshipping with the Spirit, gives Him the ability to direct and influence our lives. The are occasions when the Spirit is able to move one to either wait before taking an action or going a step before time, to avoid calamity. When one has learnt to relate with the Spirit, he or she would not respond to issues out of his own emotions or intellect, but trust the Holy Spirit to speak and answer through Him. The Lord assured His disciples including us, in Luke 21:14 & 15, that, when our opposers would be demanding answers from us over all kinds of wrong accusations, we would not worry about what to say, but rather, He would give us answers that would amaze them.

We are able to receive such counsel from the Spirit of God, by first refusing to be afraid or agitated at what we hear. Fear would make you deaf to the voice of the Spirit. We must rather be confident that the Lord would take over and answer our accusers through us. One way to do this, is to operate with the principle of  James 1:19 “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:” — James 1:19 (KJV)

The verse above could be expressed as follows

1.Be swift to hear. Listen very well

2.Be slow to speaking back.

3.Be slow to getting angry. Control yourself, by trusting the Holy Spirit to give you the right answers

AS WE live this way, we would avoid a lot of traps and problems planned to ensnare us. Always say the truth, but in love. Don’t comment on things and people you have no knowledge about. You would stay out of trouble, if you hold to these principles.

THOUGHT:  THE HOLY SPIRIT NEVER ERRS. TRUST IN HIM ALWAYS.

FURTHER STUDIES

 Matthew 10:16 (KJV). “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”

Luke 21:15 (KJV). “For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.”

WHOSE IMAGE DO YOU HAVE?

KEY SCRIPTURE: Matthew 22:20 (KJV).  “And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?”

The Pharisees asked Jesus whether it was right to pay tribute to Caesar or not. The Lord asked for a coin, and asked further, whose image was on the coin? They answered, Caesar’s. The Lord then responded, give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.

The Lord drew the analogy of Caesar’s image on the coin that meant it must be given to him. He also said God’s image on anything means that thing must be begiven to Him. Who has God’s image? All men including you. “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness….” — Genesis 1:26a (KJV) Everyman, according to the Lord Jesus must give himself to the Lord God. Until a man gives himself to the father, he or she lives a disoriented life.

The word says any one without Christ is dead in His sins. This kind of death means you are SEPERATED from the life of God. The absence of life means the rate of decay becomes so fast. Dear one if you have not decided for Jesus, then death is reigning in you. “Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.” — Romans 5:14 (KJV)

Our Lord Jesus came to break the power of death over humanity. “But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:” — 2 Timothy 1:10 (KJV)Dear one, your decision to make Jesus Lord over your life means you have passed on from death to life. You can make that decision today.

PRAYER

Dear Lord Jesus, I acknowledge my sins before you. I repent of my sins and make Jesus Lord of my life. Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul.

FURTHER STUDIES

1 John 5:11-12 (KJV). ¹¹ And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. ¹² He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

John 1:12 (KJV). “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”

STAY BALANCED

KEY SCRIPTURE: Matthew 22:21 (KJV).“They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.”

Man by virtue of his make up, is spiritual and physical. He goes into error, and subsequently destroys himself when he refuses to maintain a balance. Some people have ignored the reality of the spiritual and so they live fully to please their senses. Such people end up doing abominable things to their own destruction. There are those who live their lives as if they are not men. They make spiritual out of every thing. They likewise suffer certain setbacks, that could have easily been avoided. The Pharisees in their pursuit to get the Lord to err in His words against the emperor, asked Him, whether it was right to pay tribute to Ceasar?

The Lord asked them to bring a coin to Him He asked about whose image was on the coin? They answered Caesar’s. He told them to give to Ceasar what was Caesar’s and to God what was His. Some people take this answer of the Lord out of context and claim, that we do things that are, even contrary to God’s word. Giving to Ceasar does not mean doing anything that opposes the word of God. You can’t give anything to the idol worshippers, in the name of giving to Ceasar. God is Supreme, and in anything we do or say, we must first give regard to what He has said.

AS much as this scripture requires of us to honour various authorities over us, it basically means, we must always keep a balance between the spiritual and the natural. This means we attend to anything physical that makes living on this earth worthwhile, and also do our spiritual activities as it’s expected.  You must give rest to your body when it needs it. You must eat when you are hungry and it is time for meals. You don’t pray to be satisfied with food or for your body to recover from fatigue when you are supposed to rest. You must pray and fast when it is needed. You don’t pray for a hungry man to be satisfied with food, rather you feed him. In all these because God is supreme, the spiritual must always come first, so that, your natural results will be the best. (Matt 6:33)

THOUGHT:   Balance is the key to a fulfilled life.

FURTHER STUDIES

Matthew 6:33 (KJV). “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

 1 Timothy 4:8 (KJV). “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”

YOUR GARMENT WOULD OWN YOU UP

KEY SCRIPTURE: Matthew 22:12 (KJV). “And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.”

In our last study we saw that the Lord Jesus talked about the king who asked his servants to go for anyone they could contact to come to the son’s wedding. The king came to the feast and as he passed through the celebrants, he came across a man who did not have on a wedding garment. The king asked him, how come you are here without a wedding garment? He asked that, he be thrown into outer darkness.

Garments are symbolic of a person’s way of living. There are some who have answered the call to be in the family of the saints yet have different lifestyles. Although many were being called into the party they had to wear a special garment prescribed by the king. . “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.”— Revelation 3:4 (KJV). White garment symbolizes holiness of life. “Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment.”— Ecclesiastes 9:8 (KJV)

Dear child of God, do not deceive yourself. Answering the call to follow Jesus is not all that is required, you would have to walk in holiness. Now get the truth about holiness. The day you gave your life to Jesus, you were washed by the blood of Jesus, sanctified by the Spirit and justified by Jesus ‘ resurrection from the dead. Through these acts you have been made holy, and so you must live a holy life. Understand what has taken place in you by virtue of your regeneration into Christ. A sinful life is no more part of you. Sin is not in you. It always comes from outside. Refuse sin anytime it attempts to take a hold of you. Keep your garment white.

CONFESSION

I am circumcised with Jesus, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh. ,The Lord Jesus through His death condemned sin in my flesh, so with my mind I acknowledge a newness of life. I therefore live to glorify God always.

FURTHER STUDIES

 Colossians 2:11 (KJV). “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:”

  1 Corinthians 6:11 (KJV). “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

GATHER MANY INTO GOD’S HOUSE

KEY SCRIPTURE: Matthew 22:10 (KJV). “So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.”

The Lord gave another parable about the kingdom of God. He said a king made a dinner for his son’s marriage, and bid a number of people to come. These people were adamant and refused to go. The king was not happy with the number of persons present. He instructed his servants to go to the highways and gather in people both good and bad. This parable is referring to the house of God. The gathering of the people of God is for a  feast. This feast is made up of, a meal of salvation, a meal of instruction in wisdom, a meal for healing, a meal for deliverance and many more IT is always a great disservice to any child of God to abstain from the gathering of the saints. (Heb 10:25)

God always wants His house filled to capacity. “And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”— Luke 14:23 (KJV). In this parable, the Lord asked his servant to go and compel every kind of person to the dinner, so that His house would be full. Compelling people means forcing them to come alongside. God is asking every child of God to go out there and ‘force’ people into the house of God. We should not be shy doing this for God.

WHY would people refuse to partake of great meals that has been set up for them? Why would people give very flimsy excuses for not coming into the house of God.? Many of these people are ignorant of the evil forces that force them not to go into God’s presence for wisdom, salvation, divine security and many more. 2 Corinth 4:4, and Ephesians 2:2&3. I have prayed for different kinds of people, while certain voices speaking through them say, they have been keeping them from coming into God’s house. Pray for soul, speak to them and compel them into the house of God. God wants his house to be full.

THOUGHT: God’s church is the pillar and ground of truth, get men there.1st Timothy 3:15

FURTHER STUDIES

2 Corinthians 4:4 (KJV). “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

Luke 14:21 (KJV). “So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.”

JESUS IS THE ONLY TRUTH

KEY SCRIPTURE: Matthew 21:42 (KJV).  “Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?”

Our Lord Jesus have been attacked throughout history till today, yet He remains the one single personality who has affected countless millions throughout history till date than any other. Some even say he is a myth, yet any one who bows to His Lordship receives a real meaning to life.  He is the chief cornerstone to the proper construction of any life. No building can be raised perfectly without the cornerstone He is the way, the truth and the life. In Him is life, and the life is the light of men. Without Him every man would continue to grope in darkness. Dear one, do not allow your life to be misled by anyone.

Over the years countless numbers of people of all walks of life, have encountered the resurrected Lord at various moments of defeat and failure. They realized He is the stone that the builders that they could not reject. To those whose hearts are in turmoil because of various challenges in this life, Jesus is the calmer of storms and would fill your heart with peace. If you have characters that is a reproach to yourself, He will help you fix it. He is the greatest physician and would answer your health questions. He is the great I am. Whatever you are crying for He says He will be that thing for you. All that you require is to bow to His Lordship over your life.

The scriptures warn us against being taken captive or deceived from the truth. Jesus is the fulness of the Godhead bodily. “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” — Colossians 2:8 (KJV). The above verse shows us how men deceive others The process of deceit is always the same. One way that one could be deceived is through philosophy. Philosophy is an expression of human wisdom. It could also be said to be common sense. According to the Bible men through common sense cannot know God. 1st Corinth 1:21-23. The other means of deceit is just vain deceit. How deceptive to claim the Bible was written by Europeans to deceive blacks.  Archaeological findings have firmly established the Middle East as the origin of the Bible. A more sure grounds for its reliability, is the Bible’s transforming power. No one who has truly submitted to its teaching has not received a real change of life.

THOUGHT: Jesus has truly liberated men because He is the truth

FURTHER STUDIES

 John 14:6 (KJV). “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Psalms 118:22 (KJV). “The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.”

GOD EXPECTS FRUITFULNESS

KEY SCRIPTURE: Matthew 21:41 (KJV). “They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.”

Please read Matthew 21:33-41

In the above passage the Lord spoke about a man who set up a vineyard and placed it under the care of a husbandman. He sent various men to enquire of the fruits or the profit acquired. Each messenger was beaten in turn. He finally sent his son yet they caught him and killed him. This passage can be inferred to relate to the many prophets who were sent by the father, yet were persecuted. The ultimate was the Son of God who came himself yet was killed. This interpretation is very clear, yet another hidden inference is the desire of the father to get fruits from every investment He sets up.

In the parable, the Lord concluded that, he would ultimately destroy those unfaithful husbandmen, so that he would have a new one who would bring Him fruits. Fruitfulness is God’s goal for setting up any enterprise. God created you to be fruitful. He has blessed you and commanded you to be fruitful and multiply. Gen 1:28. Whether it is a church setting or whatever, God expects fruitfulness. “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” — John 15:16 (KJV). Fruitfulness glorifies Him. (John 15:8). God is satisfied with a fruitful life. Matt 21:19,20. Please note, the New Testament is the dispensation of God’s grace yet a fruitless life as a result of not taking advantage of divine provision is disliked by the father, John 15:1-8

When a person or a system God has set up refuses to be fruitful, the following may happen to that system

1.He may abandon it outright. Isaiah 5:1-7

2. It may be rejected and nigh unto cursing Heb 6:7&8

3. He may cast the person or system, forth as a branch John 15:6

4. God hates unfruitfulness. Mark 11:12-14

What must you do?

1.Unfruitfulness is your enemy, hate it.1st Samuel 1:10

2. Fruitfulness is a product of your strong fellowship with the Lord. Let nothing substitute it. John 15:5

3.Go for proper knowledge about what makes whatever you are involve work.

4. For growth, give a selfless service to what ever you are engaged in.

THOUGHT: Since God wants you fruitful, You can be very fruitful.

FURTHER STUDIES

Hebrews 6:7-8 (KJV). ⁷ For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: ⁸ But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

 John 15:8 (KJV). “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.”

IT IS NOT TALKERS BUT DOERS WHO ARE GOD’S CHILDREN

KEY SCRIPTURE: Matthew 21:32 (KJV). “For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.”

  Please read Matt 21:28-32

In this passage the Lord spoke about two sons who gave different responses to their father about a task he was giving them. One responded negatively but repented and did the task. The other said yes yet he did nothing. There are many today who are mere talkers. These people seem to know everything about the word of God, yet are complete strangers to being practitioners of the word. “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:”— Romans 2:28 (KJV)

WHY should there be people who are ardent professors of the faith, yet do not do what the word of God says? Many are very familiar with what the word says yet have no conviction of the authority and the truthfulness of the word over their lives. “(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.” — Romans 2:13 (KJV)God our Father is just and knows those who are Hiis children. Everyone who names the name of Christ must depart from iniquity. 2 Timothy 2:19. The Lord said in Luke 8:21, that His mother and brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it. Do you belong to the Jesus Family?

HOW could one be a preacher of righteousness, yet a fornicator.? How come that right in the gathering of saints some would be gossiping about their fellow Christians in church? If you have made Jesus Lord of your life, then listen to what God says about you. “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” — 1 Corinthians 6:11 (KJV) Dear one, according to the word Jesus through Hs blood has washed you, sanctified you or made you holy, and has also justified you. You were darkness yet He has made you light. These are all the benefits of God’s grace. Accept it, believe it, and let your actions be controlled by your new status in Christ. Have a renewed mind about yourself. Rom 12:2, Col 1:21,22.

CONFESSION

I am a doer of the word of God, and not a hearer only. By my birth into Christ, I am made righteous, unblameable, unreprovable, so I live my life according to what my Lord through His death has made of me.

FURTHER STUDIES

Colossians 1:21-22 (KJV). And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled. In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

Romans 12:2 (KJV). “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

LESSONS FROM THE FIG TREE 3: ANSWERS TO PRAYER

KEY SCRIPTURE: Matthew 21:22 (KJV).  “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”

  The Lord Jesus kept teaching His disciples on some lessons on the aftermath of the cursing of the fig tree. The Lord established the truth that we can receive answers to our prayers if only we would believe that God has heard and answered us. Believing is receiving. Without believing one has not received what God has promised. Some have asked, why must we believe before we can have what God has promised? Every system has its principle of operation. Food is received by our mouth. The nose of a man cannot hear any words. Words are received by the ear. God is a Spirit, the only spiritual way to receive from Him is by faith.

We believe with our hearts. The heart in this context is not referring to our physical body pump. It is referring to the spirit of the man. Job 32:8. Faith is not a conviction of the mind but an assurance of the heart. It is a knowing deep down in the heart that everything is well. The believe that takes home the answer does not anticipate for a future answer but a conviction that God has answered here and now. (Heb 11:1)

In the light of all that has been said above, when one prays about anything, (it could be the most expensive thing one could imagine, or the most impossible situation), all that the Lord requires of you, is to believe, or in a more simple terms, to receive whatever you have asked for. This means, you will be at rest about what you asked for. That state of rest and inner assurance is the right posture that makes you take your answer. The answer is always received before it materialises. Without believing one has not received what God has promised. (All that is referred to in this study, relates mainly to praying the prayer of faith)

CONFESSION

WHEN I pray, I believe I have received my answer and so I have the answer.

FURTHER STUDIES

Hebrews 11:1 (KJV). “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

 John 3:36 (KJV).  “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

LESSONS FROM THE FIG TREE:2 FAITH

KEY SCRIPTURE: Mark 11:23 (KJV). “For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.”

 In Mark’s report of the encounter of the Lord Jesus with the fig tree, the Lord used the incident to teach His disciples some lessons in faith. When the tree got withered, after the Lord had spoken to it, the disciples came to Jesus expressing that the tree he cursed had withered. The Lord then said, have faith in God. The marginal meaning of that statement is to have the God kind of faith. The Lord then went on to explain how the God kind of faith functions.

He said, whosoever shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed, and enter into the sea, and shall not doubt in his heart, but believe that those things he says shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he says. The following is the order the Lord gave to exercise the God kind of faith.

1. The Lord says, anyone can exercise the God kind of Fath and see results.

2.  One must command the condition, or thing to function in a particular way.

3. He must not doubt about whatever he commanded, but believe that what he said would come to pass.

4. He would have what he said.

THIS kind of thing is not the same as praying to the Father in Jesus name. In this situation you demand a change and it is effected. The Lord said the same thing but in another way. In John 14:13 the Lord said, “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”— John 14:13 (KJV)

The Lord said in effect that whosoever shall ask or demand that a situation or a thing should change in Jesus’ name, He the Lord will effect that change. On many occasions we command diseases to depart in Jesus’ name, and they leave. If you should demand that a demon leaves its host in; Jesus’ name, it will depart by following the instructions in the second paragraph you can always get certain unwanted situations changing.

THOUGHT: For results command, believe, act in line of your command.

FURTHER STUDIES

Acts 3:6-7 (KJV). Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.  And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.

John 14:13. “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”

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