Bible Bytes

Apr. 21, 2022

Signed, sealed and delivered
Revelation 7:3
"Do no harm to the earth, nor to the sea, nor to the trees until we have sealed the servants of our God upon their foreheads."
Revelation 7:9-10
When this was done I looked again, and before my eyes appeared a vast crowd beyond man’s power to number. They came from every nation and tribe and people and language, and they stood before the throne of the Lamb, dressed in white robes with palm-branches in their hands. With a great voice they shouted these words: “Salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb!”
Ephesians 1:13
It is  the same with you. You heard the true message, the Good News about the way God saves you. When you heard that Good News, you believed in Christ. And in Christ, God put his special mark on you by giving you the Holy Spirit that he promised.

Ephesians 4:30
And do not make God's Holy Spirit sad; for the Spirit is God's mark of ownership on you, a guarantee that the Day will come when God will set you free.

Reflecting on the verses above we see that we, as God's people are sealed by the Holy Spirit and this seal differentiates us from the people around us. In addition this seal, delivers us from the destruction that is destined for the world. I wrote on the section entitled Stay in Goshen, how the Israelites residing in Goshen were spared from the plagues of Egypt. Similarly,  we are currently living in a world where God's judgment will be poured on the world prior to Christ' return. We see the signs of His coming in the world around us. Plagues,  pestilences, famine, drought, inflation, economic downturn, earthquakes and such which are outlined on Matthew 24. However, God's children will be spared from these calamities because they are sealed by the Holy Spirit. In the last days that we are living in prior to Christ' return, we need His seal of protection on us. This is not something that we can purchase, however,  we are sealed once we have accepted the forgiveness freely offered to all through Christ. Redemption is the work of His Holy Spirit on our hearts. Once we have accepted Christ' forgiveness, we are signed, sealed and delivered. This is the work of the Holy Spirit. Our responsibility is to repent and forsake our sinful ways and accept Christ. As the Israelites consumed the passover lamb, we as believers partake of communion, and this ratifies ou covenant with God. As the song says, God our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, our shelter from the stormy blast and our eternal hope. Before the day closes, ensure that you have Christ' seal upon you as a shield of protection and the wrath of God’s judgment. Please pray, Our heavenly Father please forgive us our trespasses. Deliver us from the evil one and seal us with your Holy Spirit. In Jesus name. Amen. 

Apr. 2, 2022

Branches

Apr. 2, 2022

Woman with an issue

Matthew 9:20-22
20 And behold, a woman who was diseased with an issue of blood for twelve years came up behind Him and touched the hem of His garment;
21 for she said to herself, “If I may but touch His garment, I shall be whole.”
22 But Jesus turned about, and when He saw her, He said, “Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole.” And the woman was made whole from that hour.

The passage above recounts how a woman in biblical times, who was hemorrhaging, was healed when she touched the Messiah's prayer shawl. This was a desperate woman who was slowly bleeding to death. She needed healing and she needed it right away. She threw caution to the wind, broke the livitical law and grabbed a hold of her healing. As per livitical law, a woman who was bleeding, had to confine herself and not touch a Jewish Rabbi. However, the law of Moses also states that the coming Messiah, will have healing virtue in His garments. This woman was desperate. She had spent her livelihood on medical doctors to no avail. She probably figured that if she had to die, she might as well be punished for breaking the livitical law. She knew that the Messiah could heal her. Despite having to push her way through a crowd, whom she was not supposed to touch, she said to herself, if I touch his prayer shawl, I could be healed. However, her desperate faith released the healing virtue from Jesus who immediately picked up on her faith. He immediately asked, who touched me. The disciples replied, Master there's a whole crowd of people around you. Although there were many people around Him, this woman who reached out in faith and received her healing released virtue from the Lord. Many of us can identify with this woman. We have spent our whole lives and sometimes our livelihood dealing with issues that are still unresolved. To you I say Reach out and touch the Lord as He passes by. You know He's not too weary to hear your heart's cry. He's passing by this moment, your needs to supply. So reach out and touch the Lord as He passes by. Remember this God made you special and He loves you very much. He will illuminate the darkness in your soul. He will release His healing virtue to restore your brokenness. He is the repairer of the breach. He is the great physician and the balm of Gilead. He is the burden bearer and yoke destroyer. He will free you from the chains and shackles the enemy has put on you. He will set the captives free and He is proclaiming the acceptable year of the Lord. This is the Jubilee year when those whose lives are subject to the slavery imposed by satan and sin are set free. He is Emmanuel who ransomed captive Israel. Release your anointing Lord and ransom your captive children. O come O come Emmanuel and ransom us your captive Israel. In Jesus name, Amen.

Mar. 23, 2022

Fait accompli

John 19:30
When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
Phillips
There was a bowl of sour wine standing there. So they soaked a sponge in the wine, put it on a spear, and pushed it up towards his mouth. When Jesus had taken it, he cried, “It is finished!” His head fell forward, and he died.

As the passover season approaches, let us reflect on the blood of the Lamb which was applied on the doorpost as a shield of protection. Jesus was the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world.  He overcame the devil in his own stomping ground. Sin had dominion over mankind's soul. The law of God only pointed out the fact that sin was dominant in people's souls. The law did not have the power to overcome sin. That is why the Lord instituted the blood sacrifice of bulls and goats to atone for sin. The explanation for this is that sin comes with a death sentence and the animal is killed in proxy for man's sin. The blood of the animal is sprinkled on the person and also poured out on the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant. This ratifies the covenant between God and man. The justice of God is satisfied and man's life is spared. In the new covenant, God no longer accepts the blood of bulls and goats. The death penalty that mankind's sin exacted was applied to Jesus, being the scapegoat, and we who are guilty of the sin escaped scott-free.  When Christ's ordeal at the cross was over, He said It is finished. The battle for mankind's soul was won. A resounding victory for God spelt a breakdown for satan's forces. Satan gets his victory by forcing people to sin and then flashing their sin before their eyes so they are riddled with guilt and shame. Satan often referred to as the serpent had his fangs removed and his venom extracted. The antidote for satan's temptations and trials is the blood of the sacrificial Lamb. The Lord has accomplished the victory over sin. He has triumphed. We as people have to draw on the strength from the blood of Christ to walk in victory over temptations. It's a done deal or as they say in French a fait accompli. An exhortation to walk on the strait and narrow drawing strength from the blood of Christ. Amen. 

Feb. 3, 2022

Power to get wealth
Deuteronomy 8:18
But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.

Remember the Lord your God! He’s the one who gives you the strength to be prosperous in order to establish the covenant he made with your ancestors—and that’s how things stand right now.

Let us reflect this morning on the verse above. The previous verse says Don’t think to yourself, My own strength and abilities have produced all this prosperity for me. The passage verses 10-18 from deuteronomy 8 talk about how the Lord led his people out of slavery and into a land flowing with milk and honey. The Lord protected  the people of God through their journey through the wilderness. History repeats itself in our lives. The circumstances we face in our journey through this life can only be handled if we are under his wing of protection. Once we have come victorious through this trial we can say that it was the Lord who brought us through. Deuteronomy 26:8 And the Lord brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great fearsomeness, and with signs and with wonders; The journey of the Israelites can be an analogy of our journey through this life. We were once subjects to satan who whipped us in the realm of sin, sickness and suffering. However, the Lord delivers us out of the domain of satan to the kingdom of Light. Even after being delivered we journey through this wilderness of life encountering numerous tests, temptations and trials. Once we have come through a roadblock set up by satan and are victorious, we should be cognizant of God's protection and His blessings on us. We should not gloat in how wise we are and how hard we worked to make it happen and forget that it's God's hand of favor which was on us. Jabez prayed O that you would bless me indeed and enlarge my territory and take not your hand from me. King David prayed, take not your Holy Spirit from me. Despite our weaknesses and shortcomings as long as we rely on God's grace and mercy,  He will come through for us. God is good and His mercy endures forever. A quick right up to ensure that we are honoring God for all we have and all we are. Amen