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Day-by-DayWord

Vol. 2

Mthobisi Dladla

ITS UP TO US. Hebrews 3:19 (NKJV) So we see that THEY COULD NOT ENTER IN BECAUSE OF UNBELIEF.

How marvelous is He whom "we have not seen, YET BELIEVING, we rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory"(1 Peter 1:8). The very essence of salvation is held by belief, but how hard is it for many to believe? It is quite easy, this salvation thing, "the word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: that if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved"(Romans 10:8-9). If only we would BELIEVE. Jesus in His conversations with His disciples used the word "impossible" twice, not alerting that there was such a thing as impossible, but teaching them that "there is nothing that is impossible with God"(Luke 1:37). However He did mention extensively that "what is impossible with men, is possible with God"(Luke 18:27), meaning that there are things that men will always look at to be impossible, which teaches us to look at things with the eyes of God, with the eyes of the "impossible made possible". There is a scripture that is so extraordinarily powerful that if we understood it, we'd taste the power of its reality, it says "if we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself."(2 Timothy 2:13). The ONE thing about God that

remains forever is that He is who He is; He is GOD. -all powerful, all marvelous, all glorious. He is that same God they tested in the wilderness, testing His power through unbelief, He is that same God whose power got questioned by Sarah's unbelief, when God told her that she will bear a child in her old age, and the Divine response was to her unbelief, "is there anything too hard for the Lord to do?"(Genesis 18:14). So we see that THEY COULD NOT ENTER IN BECAUSE OF UNBELIEF (Hebrews 3:19). There is another thing that cannot change and that is God can do it all, but why doesn't He do it? You've heard that Jesus heals but you haven't entered into your healing, WHY? Lets go back to the "impossible made possible" and then we will understand. Jesus made a statement that blows my logic and makes it senseless and incapable of the nature of God as it has always been; its a story in the bible actually. There's a man who had a son who was possessed by a spirit which the disciples couldn't cast out, the demon would often torment the boy in various ways and when they brought him to Jesus, Jesus asked the father how long has this been happening? He replied, Since he was a little boy. The spirit often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, IF YOU CAN. WHAT DO YOU MEAN, IF I CAN? Jesus asked. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE IF A PERSON BELIEVES (Mark 9:17-23). GLORY BE TO GOD FOREVER. The difference between the people who experience the "impossible made possible" and the people who don't is belief. If you'd believe, God will definitely,

without a doubt change your situation. Let us live a life of pure BELIEF. If we truly believe in God, then we should truly believe that He can do everything we need Him to do. Its all up to us. We could experience more if we acted out in faith more. God Bless You.

SPEAK, DO. James 2:12(NKJV) So SPEAK and so DO as those who will be judged by the law of liberty.

This particular law of liberty is the law by which all the other laws are based - it is the law of LOVE. The children of Israel have had the law for a long time but even with that they still couldn't understand what it was all about, what was God trying to say, until Paul with the Spirit of Revelation said "the entire law is summed up in one command namely; 'you shall LOVE your neighbor as you love yourself'"(Galatians 5:14). It seems as we read without the eyes of the Spirit that Jesus came to break the law, but no; "he came to fulfill it" (Matthew 5:17 - 20). He before the end of His life on earth gave the disciple a new command, one that fulfils all of the others namely "LOVE one another as I've loved you" (John 13:34), and that is the law that will judge us - the law of liberty as James would have it (James 2:12). But it is not enough that we speak it, we have to DEMONSTRATE it. The writer of Hebrews says "the Lord is not unjust to forget your LABOUR of LOVE..." (Hebrews 6:10) not "your SAYINGS of LOVE, and that is what God is looking for; for us to show LOVE and our works to be a demonstration of love. It was not enough that God should say that He loves us but He had to DEMONSTRATE His love for us by sending His Son to die for our sins as the Scripture testifies (Romans 5:8).

We, now more than ever, have to start demonstrating love, in this world that is slowly dying, LOVE will not fail (1 Corinthians 13:8), Jesus says "because of the increase in lawlessness the LOVE of many will grow cold" (Matthew 24:14). John the Apostle was a man who had been acquainted with teachings of LOVE, as he was the disciple that Jesus loved, he understood it better than anyone, and in fact if we read carefully his epistles we would realize that LOVE is the basis. He said something extraordinary, which says "let us not just love in WORD, but IN TRUTH and in DEED" (1 John 3:18). Whatever it is that we say, let us also do. Let us practice the very love we preach, the world needs it, we have so much love to give because God poured it abundantly in our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). We have it in us, let us show it. God will never forget what we DO because of love and He will reward us. The truth is LOVE proves that we are truly Jesus' disciples, as He Himself said "by this they will know that you are truly my disciples because you love one another."(John 13:35) LOVE is the light in our hearts, it is the greatest thing in the world, "God is LOVE" (1 John 4:8). God Bless You.

KISS OF LOVE 1 Peter 5:14(NIV) Greet one another with a KISS OF LOVE. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

A kiss is such a graceful thing. It was a way that people used to express affection back in the day, before it was attached to ungodliness. Paul did command us to "greet one another with a HOLY kiss" (Romans 16:16). It is that very reason Jesus was sorrowful when Judas Iscariot betrayed Him. Jesus I believe marveled at this because He always knew a kiss to be a representation of LOVE. Jesus being in such sadness after the event He asked Judas "are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?" (Luke 22:48). The kiss that Judas gave Jesus was not a kiss of love. Nonetheless it is not that kind of kiss that we are focusing on here but the "kiss" of gracious words. He kisses the lips who gives a right answer (Proverbs 24:26), those were Solomon's words. Words hold so much power; they have the ability to build and likewise the ability to destroy. There are words that pierce like a sword (Proverbs 12:18), there are words that are like medicine (Proverbs 16:24). Obviously a word of LOVE will be a word of HEALING. Looking at Jesus' answers to many requests shows the kind of man He was. He was a man who answered with such LOVE, gentleness and compassion. The bible says "a soft answer turns away wrath" (Proverbs 15:1). A soft answer can turn away sickness and anger and disappointment, Solomon also

says "a word spoken in the right time, HOW GOOD IT IS" (Proverbs 15:23). The Holy Spirit teaches us to have our words always seasoned with salt that we may IMPART grace to the people LISTENING (Colossians 4:6). A certain man with leprosy met Jesus when He came down from the mountain side and fell on his knees and said "Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean." and Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man "I AM WILLING" HE SAID. "BE CLEAN"(Matthew 8:2-3). There is too much love in the words "I AM WILLING"; it is a "kiss" to the lips. The power of life and death is at the TONGUE (Proverbs 18:21). Let us speak words that bring about edification, words seasoned with grace, with love, with mercy, with compassion. Let us speak blessings over each other and strengthen each other as God's chosen people, bearing the character and love of our Lord and Savior. If we could do it more and more, there will be no sickness, no sadness but an atmosphere of grace and blessings. God Bless You

MONEY ISSUES Ecclesiastes 10:19(NKJV) A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes merry; but MONEY ANSWERS EVERYTHING.

The opening scripture is quite shocking at first glance; it represents the exact opposite of what we value. Our value is quite simple, "God is the ANSWER to EVERYTHING", however we do believe also that "every scripture is God-breathed and is USEFUL for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16). Nonetheless what could be the use for such a contradictory scripture? What is the meaning behind it? We have always looked at money to be an object that is too connected to the present world, the world which is under the sway of the devil, therefore our conclusion has always been that money is (to say the least) demonic. Even if it be so at first glance, we just can't make such an extreme conclusion without understanding. Paul says in one of his writings (something good to look at) when he was talking to the Corinthians warning them not to keep company with sinning believers, he says "I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people--not at all meaning the PEOPLE OF THIS WORLD who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. IN THAT CASE YOU WOULD HAVE TO LEAVE THE WORLD (1 Corinthians 5:10). The thing that Paul is talking about here is the "undeniable" fact that at some point you will have to meet people of the

world and the only sensible way to avoid that "fact" is if you leave the world. Nonetheless even if you be in the world, "you are not of the world"(John 15:19) and also "do not conform to the standard of the world" (Romans 12:2). In the world you need money to buy whatever you need that is in the world and God chiefly understands that. Money in its essence is not evil, but "the LOVE OF MONEY is the beginning of ALL EVIL" (1 Timothy 6:10). Let us look at the children of Israel for instance in the Book of Deuteronomy, God commands them to not provoke the people of the hill country of Seir because he had given the land to Esau as a possession but rather "they should buy food from them with MONEY, that they may eat; and they should also buy water from them with MONEY, that they may drink." (Deuteronomy 2:5-7). It basically means that they needed MONEY which obviously God had blessed them with, to acquire food and water. It is also in that very Book that God told the nation of Israel that they "will be the lender of nations and not borrowers" (Deuteronomy 15:6). That ultimately means that the nation of Israel was the richest both in money and in possession of all the nations of the world. Money has no negative effect at all towards God, except only when the LOVE for it has consumed a person, one writer of Psalm does say "grow in RICHES but SET NOT YOUR HEART ON THEM (Psalm 62:10). This money issue is very simple, it is not something to be bothered with especially by believers, the principle is that "render what is to Caesar to Caesar and what is to God to God" (Luke 20:25). If God has blessed you with

riches and wealth use it to the glory of God, many have done so. Give to the poor, give to orphans, give to the ministry, be a CHEERFUL GIVER - God loves that so much. The bible says "one person GIVES FREELY, YET GAINS EVEN MORE; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty." (Proverbs 11:24). It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). Let's not be afraid of money but lets not trust in it either, God is forever ready to bless us with it, Paul says "God has blessed us with EVERY spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm" (Ephesians 1:3).We are blessed. God Bless You.

PUT YOU SECOND 3 John 1:9 (ESV) I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, WHO LIKES TO PUT HIMSELF FIRST, does not acknowledge our authority.

In the English language there is a discipline that they teach both in speaking and writing. If for example I was with brothers and we set a date to go out and do something for God and we became successful in it and God's grace is made manifest, when I have to tell others who were not there about what God had done, it would be wrong "in the English discipline" to say "Me and the brothers were successful in the work of God". The right way to put it, in the "English discipline" would be "the believers and I were successful in the work of God". It is the right WAY in this walk of faith also. We are not to put ourselves first in anything we do because that is complete selfishness; which God is against. Selfishness is the opposite of love; which God wants us to reflect in our lives. Selfishness is the closest thing to pride and evil. The opening scripture speaks about a certain brother in the times of John, Diotrephes by name, who LIKED TO PUT HIMSELF FIRST, a man who loved preeminence. Because of his love for preeminence he would often reject authority and in some cases even reject believers who wanted to have fellowship with them and in doing so

resisting the Holy Spirit. Selfishness is the opposite of love; it is, just like the love of money, a gateway to every kind of evil, James does explain it this way "for where there is jealousy and SELFISHNESS, there is disorder and EVERY EVIL PRACTICE."(James 3:16). The thing that James said is quite terrifying and that is exactly why we should get rid of selfishness. Paul also says to the Philippians that "nothing should be done out of SELFISH AMBITION" (Philippians 2:3) because of the amount of destruction selfishness and selfinterest can cause. Satan was also selfish, you can understand that from his evil works and also from his statement in Isaiah 14:14 when he says "I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High. - Everything was "I". He put himself first in everything. Let us learn to put others first, as even Paul says "esteem OTHER better than YOURSELVES"(Philippians 2:3). Now in another place Paul also reflects Christ's love when he says "we then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and NOT TO PLEASE OURSELVES. Let every one of us PLEASE HIS NEIGHBOR for his good to edification. (Romans 15:1-2) and also this powerful part "for even Christ PLEASED NOT HIMSELF; but, as it is written, the reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me" (Romans 15:3). Jesus says the greatest is the one that serves others and not the one who wants to be served (Luke 22:26). Put yourself second, that is one the things that fills you with God's Spirit; being SUBMISSIVE to one another in the fear of God (Ephesians 5:21). Humility is best expressed in the heart that has no selfishness. Love is best expressed in being considerate to

others and putting them first, that is why Paul says "CONSIDER ONE ANOTHER in order to STIR UP LOVE AND GOOD WORKS" (Hebrews 10:24). James says SELFISHNESS stirs up EVERY EVIL PRACTICE and Paul says THINKING AND BEING CONSIDERATE ABOUT OTHERS stirs up LOVE AND GOOD WORKS. Love is the fulfillment of the law (Romans 13:10). If we loved there would be no ROOM for stumbling in us (1 John 2:10). Let us strive more towards love and less selfishness. Less of us and more of others is what God defines humility to be, that is what Christ did when He gave His life for us, "He humbled Himself to the point of death, even the cross" (Philippians 2:8). Let love live in us. God Bless You.

STUDY THE WORKS Psalm 111:2(NKJV) The works of the Lord are great, STUDIED by all who have pleasure in them.

The works of the Lord are the miracles of the Lord. A life with God is a life of wonders, a life of miracles. When we have come to a level where we know the Lord intimately, we experience His awesomeness continually. The one of many things which testify of who God is are His works. Jesus says "I have TESTIMONY weightier than that of John. For the WORKS that the Father has given me to finish--THE VERY WORKS THAT I AM DOING -- TESTIFY that the Father has sent me."(John 5:36). God's wonders testify for Him. It is quite a strange thing to study the works of God as though studying some sort of science textbook, trying to understand how it works, however men in ancient times did study the works of God. The people who delighted in God's miracles studied them and they had their faith increased. One such example is Rahab (the harlot) who hid the spies that came from Joshua, saying that "we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt,"(Joshua 2:10) and because she had heard and pondered what God did for Israel, by faith she did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace. (Hebrews 11:31). When a person has pleasure in the works and miracle of God, he studies them.

That is what the centurion who had a sick servant did, he had at least heard what Jesus was doing, the miracles He was performing, he had heard how Jesus will speak and people will get healed and how he would heal with the hem of His garment, therefore in some way he understood how faith works. The words of that centurion are too powerful, after Jesus agrees to come to his house to heal his servant he responds in this manner "Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. BUT ONLY SPEAK A WORD, and my servant will be healed. For I ALSO A MAN UNDER AUTHORITY, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, Go, and he goes; and to another, Come, and he comes; and to my servant, Do this, and he does it.(Matthew 8:8). It was like this man was telling Jesus that "I THINK I KNOW HOW THIS FAITH THING WORKS, I HAVE STUDIED HOW YOU DO IT, IT IS QUITE EASY, JUST LIKE YOU I HAVE AUTHORITY OVER MY SOLDIERS AS YOU HAVE AUTHORITY OVER ALL THINGS, IF I COMMAND THEM TO DO SOMETHING THEY DO IT, YOU ALSO COMMAND THIS SICKNESS TO LEAVE MY SERVANT", this man had understood how Jesus does the miracles, how faith works. We could learn so much from God if we studied what He did and what He continues to do. We could increase our faith to a higher level. David says "blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things." (Psalm 72:18). Great miracles are coming in the name of Jesus. God Bless You.

THE HIDDEN MANNA Revelation 2:17(NIV) Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of THE HIDDEN MANNA. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.

The manna was the bread-like food the children of Israel ate in the wilderness on their journey to the promise land. It was that same manna that they despised saying "there is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink. And we hate this horrible manna!"(Numbers 21:5), which represented something greater than what they thought. The manna that they ate represented the WORD of GOD, as Moses says in one place "He (God) humbled you, causing you to hunger and then FEEDING YOU WITH MANNA, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to TEACH YOU that man does not live on bread alone but on EVERY WORD THAT COMES FROM THE MOUTH OF THE LORD"(Deuteronomy 8:3) - the manna that God fed them with was a representation of the word. God caused them to hunger, so that He can feed them with the word as He does us even this day. God causes a deep hunger and thirst for His word in our spirits daily because He knows

that without His word we will begin to die down spiritually and as we feed more on His word He makes it as "sweet as honey to our taste"(Psalm 119:103) as He made it with David. Jesus who is the Word of God, when He was with the Pharisees said something very profound about Who He is and what He represented, He said "I am the TRUE BREAD that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will not die as your ancestors did (even though they ate the manna) but will live forever."(John 6:58), Jesus indirectly called Himself the heavenly manna. This is evident when we read the words of Asaph when he says "He rained down MANNA for them to eat; he gave them BREAD FROM HEAVEN."(Psalm 78:24), therefore Jesus being the Word of God says "I am the TRUE BREAD FROM HEAVEN". Now this manna in our opening scripture which the Lord Himself speaks of, is a manna hidden in heaven, a manna that we cannot receive until the last day. It is that Word of Revelation about God Himself, the Revelation of the Divine Mystery of our Father, as Paul would assert in another place saying "great is the mystery of godliness"(1 Timothy 3:16). When we have overcome in this world, we would receive that hidden manna, which is why it is important for us to abide in Christ and not fall short of the grace of God. It is not just the grace of being saved that we fall short of but also the grace of knowing our God completely, knowing the full measure of His Being. There are things such as the day and hour of the Lord's coming, the restoration of the kingdom of God, which have not been revealed to us for a reason that only God knows, but what has been revealed to us is for us to know. Moses

also says "the SECRET THINGS belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are REVEALED belong to us and to our children forever..."(Deuteronomy 29:29), that Day when we receive the hidden manna, even the secret things of God that even the Holy Spirit (being a revealer of the deep things of God) does not REVEAL to us about God, will be revealed. We need to hold on to this faith if we want the hidden manna, we have to remain unshaken but stand strong in the Lord and when that Day comes we will be rewarded with one of the greatest rewards the Lord has for us, the FULL COMPREHENSION of the DIVINE MYSTERY of God. God Bless You.

THE REAL ISRAEL Romans 9:6(KJV) Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. FOR THEY ARE NOT ALL ISRAEL, WHICH ARE OFF ISRAEL.

The second part of the opening scripture is really extraordinary. Paul in his revelations had understood this great mystery. The New International Version renders it better than the King James Version, because in the NIV it says "It is not as though God's word had failed. FOR NOT ALL WHO ARE DESCENDED FROM ISRAEL ARE ISRAEL". Then the most obvious question is who then is or are of Israel? Paul goes on to explain it better in the eighth verse of Romans in the ninth chapter when he says "In other words, IT IS NOT THE CHILDREN BY PHYSICAL DESCENT WHO ARE GOD'S CHILDREN, but IT IS THE CHILDREN OF THE PROMISE who are regarded as Abrahams offspring"(Romans 9:8). Brothers and sisters if we didn't know, from today we need to know that "WE ARE THE CHILDREN OF PROMISE". We are the adopted sons of God, by the Spirit of Adoption (Romans 8:15), we are the branches that are grafted in to the True Vine (Romans 11:17) who is Christ Jesus. The word testifies in another place that Christ Himself said "here am I, and the children the LORD has given me."(Isaiah 8:18) - Those children are us. When Jesus shared His blood on the cross we were brought near when we were afar off (Ephesians 2:13), us "who once were not

people, are now a people of God"(1 Peter 2:10). John seals the very nature of our identity when he says "Dear friends, NOW WE ARE CHILDREN of God..."(1 John 3:2) - GLORY BE TO JESUS FOREVER AND EVER; not tomorrow, not next month, NOW. God had planned before-hand that the real Israel should be in Christ Jesus that the true birth of Israel should be given through His Son. This is evident when Paul says "understand, then, that THOSE WHO HAVE FAITH are children of Abraham."(Galatians 3:7) but more powerfully in this statement (from the New Living Translation) "AND NOW THAT YOU BELONG TO CHRIST, you are the TRUE CHILDREN OF ABRAHAM. You are his HEIRS, and God's PROMISE TO ABRAHAM BELONGS TO YOU."(Galatians 3:29) AMAZING; this clearly means that the blessings of Abraham belong to us, the TRUE ISRAEL. The opening scripture says "IT IS NOT THAT THE WORD OF GOD HAS TAKEN NO EFFECT"(Romans 9:6); meaning that to the true Israel the word of God does take effect. For instance in one place Solomon stands before the children of Israel and says "Praise be to the LORD, who has given rest TO HIS PEOPLE Israel just as HE PROMISED. NOT ONE WORD HAS FAILED of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses."(1 Kings 8:54), meaning that to the TRUE Israel of God the WORD does not FAIL; the promises are forever active BECAUSE "THOSE WHO HAVE FAITH are children of Abraham."(Galatians 3:7) - He said it better who said "but the WORD which they heard did not profit them, NOT BEING MIXED WITH FAITH in those who heard it."(Hebrews 4:2), no wonder the Holy Spirit through Paul says "for no matter how many PROMISES God has made,

they are "YES" IN CHRIST. And so through Him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God"(1 Corinthians 1:20). Whatever God has said to Israel, He said it to us indirectly, "you shall be the head and not the tail"(Deuteronomy 28:13), "he that touches you touches the apple of His eye"(Zechariah 2:8) - We are all that and more in the sight of our Heavenly Father. We hold the citizenship of a far better country than Canaan (Philippians 3:20), that heavenly land where we are called. We are the blessed of God, "the first-fruits among His creation"(James 1:18) - the first and the best of our Father. GLORY TO GOD. We might not look like much on the outside anyway Paul did say in one place "for he is not a Jew, WHICH IS ONE OUTWARDLY..."(Romans 2:28). WE ARE THE TRUE ISRAEL. God Bless You.

YOU ARE MISTAKEN Matthew 22:29(NKJV) Jesus answered and said to them, You are MISTAKEN, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.

We hear people who are not trained in the knowledge of God say things like "allow me to make my mistakes so that I can learn from them". The thing is mistakes are not really made for learning from, the word of God is. Mistakes are a result of uninformed decisions. The mistake that Adam made cost the entire human race an alienation from the glory of God when he DECIDED to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3:17), the mistake that Esau made cost him his birthright when he DECIDED to sell his birthright for a morsel of food (Hebrews 12:16), the mistake that Saul made cost him his kingdom and God rejected him when he DECIDED to reject the commandment of God (1 Samuel 15:26). Some mistakes that we allow ourselves to make might not be accompanied by grace and as a consequence we will carry them for the rest of our lives . David said something powerful, he said "Blessed is the man whom You chasten, O LORD, and TEACH him OUT OF YOUR LAW"(Psalm 94:12), so God really doesn't want to teach you out of your mistakes but out of His word; APPEARANTLY even His chastening is from His word. The word of God has a way to keep us in line and in check; it has a way to discipline us that

we may not make any faults. Paul also writes something like this, "These things happened to them as EXAMPLES for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age."(1 Corinthians 10:11), the mistakes that ancient Israel made were for us to learn from, so that we may not make the same mistakes they made, unfortunately they had no one before them to learn from that's why God gives them the law of commandments and says to them "you must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices."(Leviticus 18:3). Jesus in the opening scripture says to the Seduces they are mistaken because they don't know the scriptures and He was right in saying so. David also states that "The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, MAKING WISE THE SIMPLE."(Psalm 19:7). When you dwell more in the scripture you become wise, you find the knowledge of how things work. Solomon said "I gave my heart to seek and search out by WISDOM concerning all things that are DONE under heaven"(Ecclesiastes 1:13), he used wisdom to look at all things that people get up to and he was able to derive a lot from it - that same wisdom is now given to us through the word of God and His Spirit. The word of God guides a man's steps so that he doesn't fall and make unnecessary mistakes; of which some are tragic. Let us therefore seek more the things which bring about wisdom, the wisdom from God which is through His word and seek more Jesus "who has become for us WISDOM from God"(1 Corinthians 1:30).

God Bless You.

THE ALTAR OF PRAYER Leviticus 6:13(NIV) The FIRE must be KEPT BURNING ON THE ALTAR CONTINUALLY; IT MUST NOT GO OUT.

The opening scripture holds a weighty amount of revelation. The altar that was made in the first tabernacle was very significant. It was an altar of burnt offerings, peace offerings and even sin offerings. What did it mean? Moses said this "...Every MORNING the PRIEST is to add FIREWOOD and arrange THE BURNT OFFERING on the fire and burn the fat of the FELLOWSHIP OFFERINGS on it."(Leviticus 6:12 - NIV). One thing we have to remind ourselves is that the first tabernacle was a shadow (Hebrews 10:1), a mere reflection of the true tabernacle. The priests were a chosen people by God, they never made themselves acceptable for the service but it was God who enabled them (Hebrews 5:4-5). The burnt offerings were given to them by the people, because their service was for the needs of the people, the children of Israel (Numbers 3:8). All that was required of them is to have the fire ALWAYS ready for the burnt offerings, to make sure that it doesn't go out. What is then the meaning of these things? The priestly ministry that they were given was to intercede for the people of Israel and for themselves as well, it was to always have something ready to offer before God as part of their FELLOWSHIP with Him, continually and ALWAYS. What

does that mean to us? Since that priesthood was according to the law and the law was put away, there is a new priesthood that God has made available by the blood of Jesus. Peter explains it this way, "YOU are a chosen people, A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, a holy nation..."(1 Peter 2:9); we who are in Christ are the priesthood now. We are to always keep the fire burning in the altar. Solomon wrote somewhere something like this "WITHOUT WOOD A FIRE GOES OUT..."(Proverbs 26:20) - as priests we have to make sure that there is always firewood on the altar for the constant burning of the FIRE, as Moses also commanded those priests to ADD THE FIREWOOD and arrange the burnt offering. The FIREWOOD comes from us - it is the zeal and desire to pray and intercede, it is the diligence and ferventness that God works in our spirits, to always be at the altar offering something to Him. The NIV in this scripture of Leviticus 6:12, calls the PEACE OFFERING (NKJV) the FELLOWSHIP OFFERING. It is the offering we make to God for fellowship with Him and Him with us. It is not our concern as to where we are going to get the burnt offering from because God will PROVIDE. In one place Paul says "we KNOW NOT what to PRAY FOR as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us"(Romans 8:26). Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. (Luke 18:1). We OUGHT TO ALWAYS PRAY, ALWAYS INTERCEDE. The people always provided the BURNT OFFERINGS, and the priests did their part by bringing it to God - it is even so today. People always have something they need us to assist them with in prayer, their PRAYER REQUESTS is the BURNT

OFFERING. Even if they don't let us know directly, the Spirit of God informs us prophetically. Even when Abraham goes to the mountain of worship (signifying the altar and closet now) for a sacrifice to God, His son Isaac says him, "The FIRE AND THE WOOD are here,but WHERE IS THE LAMB FOR THE BURNT OFFERING?"(Genesis 22:7), and Abraham being a prophet, spoke by the Spirit and replied "God Himself WILL PROVIDE THE LAMB FOR THE BURNT OFFERING, my son"(Genesis 22:8) - GLORY TO GOD. God will always give us something to say when we pray, that is why the Holy Spirit says through David "I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. OPEN WIDE YOUR MOUTH AND I WILL FILL IT"(Psalm 81:10). If only we could not stop talking, God will give us words to say. God will always be close to the altar, ALWAYS. Amos being a prophet also says something he saw, which is really powerful; he says "I saw the Lord standing BY THE ALTAR."(Amos 9:1). God is too near to our altars, He's always there, and Moses knew this because he had seen by revelation the real tabernacle in heaven. Some of us call it the closet, it doesn't matter what we call it, all that matters is what God recognizes it to be - A PLACE OF OFFERING. Let us make sure that the fire is always burning in the altar and that we don't put it off, in fact it should grow more and more, we need not worry about how, because "it is Him all the while WORKING in US both TO WILL and DO for HIS GOOD PLEASURE"(Philippians 2:13). Let us ONLY be yielded to His Spirit. God Bless You.

THE STARS OF HEAVEN Genesis 15:5(NKJV) Then He brought him outside and said, Look now toward HEAVEN, and count the STARS if you are able to number them. And He said to him, SO SHALL YOUR DESCENDENTS BE

This vision that God gave Abraham was too powerful. He in a way, wanted to demonstrate to Abraham the AMOUNT of children that Abraham would father. Now this is what God said to Abraham, "as for Me, this is My covenant with you: You will be THE FATHER OF MANY NATIONS"(Genesis 17:4). Isn't it just amazing that God spoke about us, the previously called Gentiles, and the blessings that would fall on us by Abraham long before Christ came because He didn't say "you'll be a father of a great nation; talking of Israel" but "a FATHER OF MANY NATIONS" - speaking of more than one. No wonder Paul also says "He hath CHOSEN us in Him BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD"(Ephesians 1:4) glory to God. There is also another interesting point that God makes through the vision of Abraham, it could have been easier for God to express the multitude of Abraham's children by likening them to the sand of the sea (which He did at some point) - which is literally impossible to count, but on the hand He uses the STARS of HEAVEN, which could

mean He was also trying to indicate something else - maybe "Your CHILDREN WILL BE STARS". The STARS are beautiful, they are shining, they are lifted up, they bring light at night and brothers and sisters that's exactly who we are. God made mention of us and how we would be like through the vision of Abraham. "It has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him."(1 John 3:2). Jesus was the first STAR; He was the first expression of the sons of God. When He came, He was the FIRST Son of God, but Paul speaks in another place after His resurrection that "for those God foreknew he also predestined TO BE CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON, that He (Christ) might be the FIRSTBORN AMONG MANY brothers and sisters."(Romans 8:29 - NIV) - Amazingly He is now not the only but THE FIRSTBORN AMONG MANY MARVELOUS. God predestined us to be like His Son, Jesus; for us to be the express image of Jesus, that is why Paul also says to the Galatians "my dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ IS FORMED IN YOU"(Galatians 4:19). Let us go back to the stars. Jesus was a light in the world and STILL IS but only now THROUGH US, therefore He says "YOU ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD."(Matthew 5:14), as He was a star, He has also made us stars as God confirmed it to Abraham. There is something else that Paul says to the Philippians, it is rendered extraordinarily in the New International Version, he says to them "so that you may become blameless and pure, "CHILDREN OF GOD without fault in a warped and crooked generation." THEN YOU WILL SHINE AMONG THEM LIKE

STARS IN THE SKY"(Philippians 2:15) - don't you just love God? Children of God shine, wherever they go, there is something about them that makes them great in the world, Israel was always lifted up - always the head never the tail (Deuteronomy 28:13), they couldn't be cursed (Numbers 23:23), God surrounded them with favor as with a shield (Psalm 5:12), but the grace that falls on us every day is far much greater in comparison to the one they had, God has always had us in mind, so that we can SHINE as STARS IN HEAVEN. The one thing that defeats the purpose of God through us is our lack of knowledge of our true IDENTITY, who we are in Christ, in one place Paul says "we are COMPLETE in Him who is the head of all principality and power"(Colossians 2:10), imagine the power of what that verse says - COMPLETE in Him. We constantly fail to recognize the true nature and power of the word of God and the transformation it brings. When we know Christ better we know ourselves better, because we were created in "His image and likeness"(Genesis 1:27), how so? Because Jesus "is the true image of our invisible Father"(2 Corinthians 4:4). If only we could see ourselves the way God sees us - as STARS. God Bless You.