Preachers tell us we ought to get out of comfort zones,
But I’ve discovered that since I’ve surrendered my life to the Son,
My existence I live as a war zone,
My weapons my love,
My discomfort all gone.
Far from me to boast, blame it on the Holy Ghost,
It’s not my personality, I thought my strength was my timidity,
Been called a good observer, a good listener,
But Jesus cares very little about what personality I prefer.
Behold I am a new creation!
And sharing the Gospel shamelessly never my intention,
But my life took a new dimension when God opened my heart about the resurrection.
My faith I intend on making it an infection,
My life I consider it nothing but a mission,
To finish the race and share the Gospel to all the nations,
LOVE the refrain to all of my compositions.
The wind blows but I don’t know the direction,
By faith I walk and I trust, not by vision.
If ever I was shy it is now an explosion,
To you I’ll recite Christ’s best sermon,
because He gave me the ministry of reconciliation,
If I am out of my mind it is for your salvation.
I want to tell about the cross, about Love’s perfection,
About the God that loved you to the point of crucifixion,
About the author of life, the author of all creation.
Jesus Predicts His Death a Third Time Mark 10:32-34
“They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him. “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.””
The scene: Jesus leading the way, the disciples astonished and those who followed afraid.
Perhaps those who followed were afraid because they were going to the great city of Jerusalem with the man they knew would not pass unnoticed and the disciples astonished because He was leading them there so boldly.
May we be a procession of disciples gladly and joyfully following Jesus to heaven as He is leading many sons and daughters to glory (Heb2:10). May we proclaim His Kingdom like a mighty throng (Ps68:11), may we follow the King astonished at what He is doing with us, an army of redeemed sinners.
“On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’?But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’”
What sin do I get annoyed at? angry at? Is that over petty irritations and personal insults or over the perversion of justice for one’s selfish benefits? What does break the heart of God, what gets Him angry according to His revelation in Scriptures? Someone being mean to me or His people being exploited for financial gain? My pride being hurt of the needy being neglected? A criticism at my workplace or His Word being twisted for someone’s selfish ambition? God align my heart to Yours.
I don’t know what your prayer life is like but if it’s like me you’ve got your ups and downs. And I believe it is normal because it is the Holy Spirit who leads our prayer lives. In fact it is through the Holy Spirit that we can say “Abba, Father” (Rom8:15), it is He who intercedes for us in prayer (Rom8:26). Jesus uses the illustration of the wind in John chapter 3, the wind that blows everywhere it pleases, we hear its sound but we cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit Jesus said (John3:8). Interestingly the Holy Spirit gives us at the same time self-discipline and self-control (2Tim1:7,Gal5:23) but is unpredictable, often described with images of wind, fire, water and of a bird, the dove. (Acts2:1,3,John7:37,Luke3:22). And so we have ups and downs in our prayer lives, we cannot maintain it in the flesh like a normal activity, we need the help of the Holy Spirit. But my desire is to be a prayer warrior, I want to be a soldier for Christ in prayer and I want to be persevering because in Luke 18 verse 1 Jesus says to not to give up in prayer but to persevere. And so I have a list of things that I pray for on a daily basis, other things that I pray for depending on the day of the week. I do have a prayer timetable! Each day for its geographical place. And if you knew some of the things that I pray! They are quite big. And so even using my best organisation skills I have my downs and my moments of discouragement. I am on the mission field in Italy and there are so many challenges and there are various things that I need in my ministry to go further on. The other week I went to a service in Italy led by migrants from Africa, the worship and the songs are different form what I know but I enjoyed it and in one of the songs the refrain had a question that encouraged my faith! And so I would like to ask you this question just now. One simple question that I want to ask you and that I want you to answer me. When Jesus says yes, who can say no? Who can say no when Jesus has said yes? Nobody. Nobody can say no when Jesus has heard your prayer and said yes. And that is the question that I now ask myself when I am on my downs and I want to keep on going with the help of the Holy Spirit. What I need in my prayer life to keep fighting is the help of the Holy Spirit and faith. Faith to believe that nobody can stand in the way of Jesus answering my prayer because He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end(Rev22:12), able to do more than I can ask, imagine or dare to think(Eph3:20). He is the One who can answer all my prayers. And so I ask you today, that prayer you are loosing faith in, when Jesus says yes, who can say no?
The false prophets in Jerusalem in the time of the Babylonian exile during the ministry of Ezekiel covered their flimsy wall with whitewash (Ez13). When the wall falls, when the wall collapses with the storm, when the Lord tears it down and levels it to the ground and its foundations are laid bare, the wall is gone and so are those who covered themselves with. And so it is with us. There is no well-crafter philosophy, no religion, no amount of good works, no prophet who can cover for our sins for the day of Judgement. “Where is your covering?” God asked the false prophets of Jerusalem. “Woe to you” the Lord Jesus said to the religious leaders of His day. They looked beautiful on the outside but were dead and unclean in the inside, like whitewashed tombs he said (Matt23:27). I can cover my sin from men but I cannot cover my sin from God, He knows my deepest thoughts and most wicked desires. I cannot cover my sin so Jesus offered to cover me. Though my sins are red as scarlet they shall be as white as snow (Is1:18). In Christ my sin is truly whitewashed, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach it (Mark 9:3). “Naked to Thee I come for dress, helpless look to Thee for Grace” Cover me Saviour or I die.
The ten lepers were standing outside the town, waiting for Jesus to pass by. There was already discord among them. “We cannot be certain that Jesus will come this way” one said, “and if he does, it is unlawful for us to approach him.” “We will shout for him to hear us”, the younger said. “And then what happens?” the first responded. “They say he is a man from God,” the one sat on a rock started, “that he is even the Messiah. We will plead for his mercy, if he is truly from God, he will have pity on us.”
Far off in the distance they noticed a small crowd of people walking on the path leading to the village. The younger leper said, “I don’t see anybody in this crowd who looks like the Messiah, isn’t it a group of peasants?” The crowd was approaching the town not noticing the lepers who were afar. The one sat on a rock stood up and looked at each of them intently. He said to the rest of the lepers, “Shout with me for Jesus to have pity on us”. They shouted, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” The small crowd walking on the path stopped and turned to the lepers, one of them replied “Go, show yourselves to the priests.”
There was a long pause. None of them said a word. Jesus knew their thoughts. Some were wondering “If he is the Messiah he would heal us, why does he tell us to go to the priests as if we were healed already? If we go to them and we’re not, they will chase us and the town people as well.” Some other thought “Is this man really the Messiah? He is travelling by foot and looks like an ordinary man.” But after a long pause, one of them turned in the direction of the temple and started walking. After a few steps, another followed, and another, and another. While all of them were walking towards the temple they were healed from their leprosy.
When the lepers who initiated the journey – the one who was sat on a rock – looked at his cleansed hands he wept. He turned round to see if Jesus was still there. When he saw him looking at them, he went to him shouting “Glory to God in the highest, I was cursed and now I am blessed!” As he was running to Jesus he could feel strength and endurance he had never experienced before, he sensed the touch of the wind and of the sun on his virgin skin and continued running to him with tears rolling down his cheeks until he finished his race at the feet of his Master. “Thank you my Lord, though I am a Samaritan and a leper you had pity on me and healed me.” Jesus looked at his disciples and asked them why only one leper returned, then he looked to him and said “Go, your faith has made you well.”