Tuesday, 15 March 2016
Excerpt from ‘Jesus - pure & simple' by Wayne Cordeiro
The story is told of a certain African tribe that learned an easy way to capture ducks in a river. The tribesmen learned to go upstream, place a pumpkin in the river, and let it slowly float down into the flock of ducks. At first, the cautious fowl would quack and fly away. After all, it wasn’t ordinary for pumpkins to float down the river! But the persistent tribesmen would subsequently float another pumpkin into the re-gathered ducks. Again they would scatter, only to return after the strange sphere had passed. Again, the hungry hunters would float another pumpkin. This time the ducks would remain, with a cautious eye on the pumpkin, and with each successive passing, the ducks would become more comfortable, until they finally accepted the pumpkins as a normal part of life.
When the natives saw that the pumpkins no longer bothered the ducks, they hollowed out pumpkins, put them over their heads, and walked into the river. Meandering into the midst of the tolerant fowl, they pulled them down one at a time.
Dinner? Roast duck.
If we don’t correct our hearts back to Jesus, it won’t be long until we start tolerating “pumpkins.” They have a seductive way of sneaking in to our marriages, our thinking, our language, and our theology. They creep in one by one until we sink beneath them and enter a watery grave.
God is the same yesterday, today and forever. Yesterday, God was holy. Today and forever, God is and will still be holy.
“Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong. Habakkuk 1:13a
We must remind ourselves that God has not changed.
Yesterday, God was love.
In the Garden of Eden, God loved Adam and Eve, even after they disobeyed and sinned against Him - God covered their naked bodies with animal skins.
Today, God is love.
Forever, God is love.
God speaks to us (the seven churches) through the book of Revelation, written by the disciple whom Jesus loves:
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, and 22.
God is love yesterday, today and forever!
Let me make a bold statement: We are the seven churches. The number 7 represents completeness. No matter where we attend service, no matter where we are registered as a member (church, denomination) - we are the Church of Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the HEAD. The church is the BODY. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever!
Every one of us has a pair of ears. God is saying the same thing, “He who has an ear, hear what the Spirit says.”
My prayer: “Dear God, please open our ears. We want to hear You.”
Sin seldom starts out with evil intent. It often begins with clean hearts and good intent – an innocent lunch with a co-worker whose marriage is struggling or a harmless travel excursion for business purposes that grows until we are caught in a web of emotion. As our tolerance levels rise incrementally we cross the invisible line that runs parallel to the fence (boundary) with increasing frequency until it no longer causes any concern.
If we do not invite Jesus in to cleanse our hearts (frequently), sinful habits that are repeated aren’t as bothersome anymore.
How do we invite Jesus in to cleanse our hearts?
Read His Word; Let His words wash us clean – every part of us – spirit, soul and body.
The first time we do something wrong, our conscience stings. The second time, it concerns us. The third time, it informs us. By the fourth time, we don’t notice the breach, and with each successive infringement, we begin to endorse the action as the new normal. We need to learn to self-correct. We need to draw near to Jesus, and He will draw near to us.
Dear Father God in heaven,
We hear You. We invite You into our hearts - not just once but frequently - to wash us thoroughly and completely – to serve You with clean hands and pure hearts.
Please remind us to self-check and self-correct. Please help us to exercise self-control.
Indeed, You did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love and of a sound mind, amen.
Today, I pray for every member of the Church of Jesus Christ. May we yield to the Holy Spirit, obey God and His Word, take authority and be empowered - by the mind of Christ, with the heart of God, and through the power of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ mighty name I pray, amen.
Lam Yee Ling
Kingdom Life: Follow the leading of the Lord; Listen to the Lord’s voice; Follow the way of the Lord. The Lord will guide us always. (Isaiah 58:11)