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Weekly Motivational and Inspirational Stories for The Marketplace – The School of the Holy Spirit – 45 of 52 – Part 33 – The Lessons from Jesus on the story of the lost sheep, the prodigal son and discover why our sermons are so boring and unattractive to the lost and what we must do to change the direction of the curve + How to deal with Issues relating to Backsliding, Bitterness, Baptism and Blasphemy in a counseling setting + Dream of an Airline coming apart on the tarmac
Date: Wednesday, July 1st, 2020
Today’s Podcast Would be Available by Sunday via link: anchor.fm/otakada.org
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Friends, I welcome you to the brand-new month of July 2020 – May He keep you safe, guide, protect and provide for you in Jesus name.
Also, we bring you today’s series of Otakada.org Weekly Motivational Stories Equipping Christians in The Marketplace. – We are Ambassadors of Christ in this earthly realm. Check this out in 2 Corinthians 5:20
At Otakada.org, we bring YOU over 2 million contents for All Round Success for your Spirit, Soul and your Body all in one place! Check this out in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, 2 Timothy 1:7 and Hebrews 4:12
Read – 1 Thessalonians 5:23 Amplified Bible (AMP) 23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you through and through [ that is, separate you from profane and vulgar things, make you pure and whole and undamaged—consecrated to Him—set apart for His purpose ]; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept complete and [be found ] blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Together with you, we are building MASSIVE SPIRITUAL TEMPLES in people’s heart for the Spirit of God to dwell in and operate through with ease in these times and seasons, so stay with us and build with us! – Check this out in 1 Corinthians 3: 1- 17; Leviticus 26:12; Jeremiah 32:38; Ezekiel 37:27; 2 Corinthians 6:16; 1 John 4:4
If you missed the last two series for Sunday and Wednesday find them hereunder as follows respectively:
The School of the Holy Spirit – 44 of 52 – Part 32 The Secret of developing deeper roots in the pursuit of God – Joseph’s true life story in Entering Gods Rest in the storm + How to counsel people with Assurance, Authority and Attitudinal issues + The dream on Nigeria
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Date: Sunday, June 28th, 2020
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Weekly Motivational and Inspirational Stories for The Marketplace – The School of the Holy Spirit – 43 of 52 – Part 31 – Lessons from Jesus’s parable of the rich man and his shrewd manager + Counseling Businesses in Troubling Times + How to help people with persistent and uncontrollable Anger, Anxiety and Worry Issues 9 of 12
Date: Wednesday, June 24th, 2020
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Good evening friends, this evening, we are going to be exploring the topic – The School of the Holy Spirit – 45 of 52 – Part 33 – The Lessons from Jesus on the story of the lost sheep, the prodigal son and discover why our sermons are so boring and unattractive to the lost and what we must do to change the direction of the curve + How to deal with Issues relating to Backsliding, Bitterness, Baptism and Blasphemy in a counseling setting + Dream of an Airline coming apart on the tarmac
Let’s start with the dream of an airline coming apart on the tarmac – 30th of June 2020
In the dream, I saw an airline a Ukrainian Airline (Could be any airline in any part of the world) come apart literally while taxing on the tarmac filled with passengers. I saw people jumping from the plane with severe injuries.
I woke up in shock and wanted to find out if it is possible for planes to just break up before takeoff. So, I did some research. This is what I found and this might interest you who are eager to go back in the air. I got this information from Bloomberg of the woes from the airline industry via this link
Just a small part of the article is here: “Aircraft can’t simply be dusted back into action. They need plenty of work and attention while in storage, from the maintenance of hydraulics and flight-control systems to protect against insects and wildlife — nesting birds can be a problem. Then there’s humidity, which can corrode parts and damage interiors. Even when parked on runways, planes are often loaded with fuel to keep them from rocking in the wind and to ensure tanks stay lubricated.”
In Summary, I will encourage eager flyers to double-check on the maintenance culture or records of those planes – if it is current. It does not matter if it is an old or new airline, it still needs serious work before taking to the air, and must of the airline industries’ funds have dried up as a result of the pandemic. More importantly, pray. Pray for self and others who fly every day for safety and for the government to also take caution on opening up the airways so early.
Why does God show this type of things ahead you may ask? So that we can take action in the place of intercession and abort it because precious souls, some might not have encountered Christ yet are going without a second chance. The COVID-19 have wiped out half a million (500,000) people from the phase of the earth in the space of 6 months, the death figures are still climbing and what is really important for us Christians is to pray to avert death of the wicked. It is a sorrowful thing for people to die without Jesus Christ because the journey of eternity just begun for those ones and us Christians are to continue to intervene in prayers, building up walls for encounters with the living God for these people before they bid goodbye to this planet. You can get some insight from scriptures below:
2 Peter 3:9, Amplified Bible, Classic Edition
9 The Lord does not delay and is not tardy or slow about what He promises, according to some people’s conception of slowness, but He is long-suffering (extraordinarily patient) toward you, not desiring that any should perish, but that all should turn to repentance.
Ezekiel 22:30-31 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
30 And I sought a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none.31 Therefore have I poured out My indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; their own way have I repaid [by bringing it ] upon their own heads, says the Lord God.
John 14:5-7 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
5 Thomas said to Him, Lord, we do not know where You are going, so how can we know the way?6 Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me.7 If you had known Me [ had learned to recognize Me], you would also have known My Father. From now on, you know Him and have seen Him.
John 10:29-30 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
29 My Father, Who has given them to Me, is greater and mightier than all [else ]; and no one is able to snatch [them] out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are One.
John 3:16-19 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
16 For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even ] gave up His only begotten ([a]unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.
17 For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.
18 He who believes in Him [who clings to, trusts in, relies on Him ] is not judged [he who trusts in Him never comes up for judgment; for him there is no rejection, no condemnation—he incurs no damnation ]; but he who does not believe (cleave to, rely on, trust in Him) is judged already [he has already been convicted and has already received his sentence ] because he has not believed in and trusted in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [He is condemned for refusing to let his trust rest in Christ’s name. ]
19 The [basis of the ] judgment (indictment, the test by which men are judged, the ground for the sentence) lies in this: the Light has come into the world, and people have loved the darkness rather than and more than the Light, for their works (deeds) were evil.
In the conclusion of this section on the dream, may those who have an ear, hear what the Spirit of the living God who created all souls is saying to us all in Jesus name, Amen!
Now, let us explore the Lessons from Jesus on the story of the lost sheep, the prodigal son and discover why our sermons are so boring and unattractive to the lost and what we must do to change the direction of the curve
We will be looking at Luke 15:1-31. I will bring insight to the section as the Holy Spirit provides and calling pieces of evidence from other scriptures to buttress the point
Amplified Bible, Classic Edition Now the tax collectors and [notorious and [a]especially wicked ] sinners were all coming near to [Jesus ] to listen to Him.
2 And the Pharisees and the scribes kept muttering and indignantly complaining, saying, This man accepts and receives and welcomes [[b]preeminently wicked ] sinners and eats with them.
COMMENT 1 Why were sinners coming to Jesus? Here are some insights:
– Sincere love and affection for the lost triggers an attraction that cannot be resisted. Jesus sincerely loved sinners and we must do the same
– The attraction will cause us to pray for the lost until the love we have overflows and touches them in ways they cannot resist. In fact, prayer births love. More prayer births more love for the one for whom we intercede
– Jesus told them stories that were relevant to them, creating a need in them that only Him can satisfy – A desire to get more and who He is and willingly letting go of self-dependent life.
– Jesus separated the sinner from the sinful act. He did not condemn the sinner but their actions. His stories and the messages they convey convict their actions and not them. His mere Holy presence convicted them to righteous action because He loved them sincerely (John 3:17), Zacchaeus’s story in Luke 19:1-10 is very instructive to us all.
– Jesus, apart from sermons, associated with them, made them see their sense of significance, self- worth, and security. He associated with them, visiting their homes, mingling with their friends to the point where He eats with them. There is a connection that comes beyond words when you eat with people. We are literally eating one another on the dining table. He was saying, “I like you”, by His actions. He is saying, “we are one”, by His actions of down to earth humility. This is another Holy communion He was having with sinners…Imagine that.
– Pride and arrogance were worrying the Jewish leaders. Their popularity contest was on the losing end – Pride and arrogance make us condemn sinners- This sends them away as far as their legs can carry them. A prideful person thinks about themselves. How they are perceived by others. A loving person thinks about others, how they can make the life of another better than they found them. There are too much pride and arrogance in our churches today and hence the people for which we are set to serve will never come. Our sermons condemn sinners rather than bring solutions to their obvious needs for a savior. When we start practicing real love life, sinners will be attracted to us.
– Jesus went to see sinners, He did not wait for them to come to Him. The person in love longs to be with people he or she loves. The prideful people want people to come to them so they can show off what they have and intimidate or belittle them.
Let’s continue to read 3 to 10
3 So He told them this parable:
4 What man of you, if he has a hundred sheep and should lose one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness (desert) and go after the one that is lost until he finds it?
5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his [own ] shoulders, rejoicing.
6 And when he gets home, he summons together [his ] friends and [his ] neighbors, saying to them, Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep which was lost.
7 Thus, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one [ [c]especially] wicked person who repents ([d]changes his mind, abhorring his errors and misdeeds, and determines to enter upon a better course of life) than over ninety-nine righteous persons who have no need of repentance.
8 Or what woman, having ten [silver ] drachmas [ each one equal to a day’s wages], if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and look carefully and diligently until she finds it?
9 And when she has found it, she summons her [women ] friends and neighbors, saying, Rejoice with me, for I have found the silver coin which I had lost.
10 Even so, I tell you, there is joy among and in the presence of the angels of God over one [[e]especially ] wicked person who repents ([f]changes his mind for the better, heartily amending his ways, with abhorrence of his past sins).
COMMENTS 2 – When Adam and Eve exercised their free will and were sent out of the garden, independent of God, God has continued to seek out and save the lost. He continues to desire to call the lost sheep back home to a relationship with Him. God is not desirous to throw any into hell fire designed and prepared for the falling angels. When any soul returns from self-dependence to God-dependence life, the heavens rejoice. Souls are the most valued currency in the kingdom of God. God valued the souls He created so much that He sent His Son to die to save souls if they are willing to return. When an unbeliever dies, the heavens are saddened by it because by willful choice, they have chosen the path of destruction by rejecting His Son Jesus Christ.
Let us look at the 11 to 31st verse
11 And He said, There was a certain man who had two sons;
12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the part of the property that falls [to me]. And he divided the estate between them.
13 And not many days after that, the younger son gathered up all that he had and journeyed into a distant country, and there he wasted his fortune in reckless and loose [ from restraint] living.
14 And when he had spent all he had, a [g]mighty famine came upon that country, and he began to fall behind and be in want.
15 So he went and forced (glued) himself upon one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed hogs.
17 Then when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father have enough food, and [even food ] to spare, but I am perishing (dying) here of hunger!
18 I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight.
19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; [just ] make me like one of your hired servants.
20 So he got up and came to his [own] father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity and tenderness [ for him]; and he ran and embraced him and kissed him [[j]fervently ].
21 And the son said to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son [ I no longer deserve to be recognized as a son of yours]!
22 But the father said to his bond servants, Bring quickly the best robe (the festive robe of honor) and put it on him; and give him a ring for his hand and sandals for his feet.
24 Because this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found! And they began to [m]revel and feast and make merry.
25 But his older son was in the field; and as he returned and came near the house, he heard music and dancing.
26 And having called one of the servant [boys ] to him, he began to ask what this meant.
27 And he said to him, Your brother has come, and your father has killed [n]that [wheat- ]fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and well.
28 But [the elder brother ] was angry [ with deep-seated wrath] and resolved not to go in. Then his father came out and began to plead with him,
29 But he answered his father, Look! These many years I have served you, and I have never disobeyed your command. Yet you never gave me [ so much as] a [ little] kid, that I might [o]revel and feast and be happy and make merry with my friends;
30 But when this son of yours arrived, who has devoured your estate with immoral women, you have killed for him [p]that [wheat- ] fattened calf!
31 And the father said to him, Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.
COMMENTS 3 – The younger son, represents all who want self-dependent life. The certain man is God Himself. The older son is those who have decided to have a God-dependent life but with a prideful attitude. All the resources we have, which we claim belongs to us is God’s in the first place and God is so gracious that He allows us to use these resources despite the fact the He owns all. He still loves us and continues to provide despite our rejecting Him. Read this scripture from the mouth of Jesus Himself:
Matthew 5:44-48 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
44 But I tell you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45 [a]To show that you are the children of your Father Who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the wicked and on the good, and makes the rain fall upon the upright and the wrongdoers [alike ].
46 For if you love those who love you, what reward can you have? Do not even the tax collectors do that?
47 And if you greet only your brethren, what more than others are you doing? Do not even the Gentiles (the heathen) do that?
48 You, therefore, must be perfect [growing into complete [b]maturity of godliness in mind and character, [c]having reached the proper height of virtue and integrity ], as your heavenly Father is perfect.
That is the character of our Father…Always loving, always looking out for the lost.. Always providing for us even when we have rejected Him. But the time is limited. There is going to be a day of judgment and it is beckoning to us when the time for reconciliation is no longer possible; Let us run to Him while grace abounds plenty and we still have breath in our lungs.
Why was the older son angry? He already had everything. The older son represents us in the kingdom – the prideful ones – those who have a mindset that the earned their salvation. We are so proud like the Jewish leaders that we do not even want the outcast to come in. We are so prideful and prejudiced that we do not see any good in the lost coming home because we love ourselves and no one else and want to show off rather than love off.
We are like the older son who will never go out to witness to the lost younger brother or look out for him because we think we have it all together already and the kingdom rightly belongs to us because we have earned it. God owns everything we have and by the work of grace alone we are safely in God’s kingdom. We must not allow pride to take us over and send us to where we do not belong. Look at the way the older son stood out from the enjoyment that was going on inside with the lost that just returned. May God help us all not to reject the free gift of salvation that God has freely given to us by our prideful actions in Jesus name.
Another lesson gained from the younger boy and the father is that the younger man came to His senses and decided to return. You cannot save any lost who is unwilling to return. We must allow the work of the Holy Spirit to complete His work and not abort the process. The Holy Spirit will move into action if we continue to intercede for the Lost. Also, notice that the Father did not go looking for His younger son. He reached out to the younger son when the younger son drew back home to the father – although He was expectant of His lost son. Read the following scripture about the character of God
Jeremiah 29:12-14 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
12 Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you.
13 Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
14 I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will release you from captivity and gather you from all the nations and all the places to which I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I caused you to be carried away captive.
James 4:4-10 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
4 You [are like ] unfaithful wives [having illicit love affairs with the world and breaking your marriage vow to God]! Do you not know that being the world’s friend is being God’s enemy? So whoever chooses to be a friend of the world takes his stand as an enemy of God.
5 Or do you suppose that the Scripture is speaking to no purpose that says, The Spirit Whom He has caused to dwell in us yearns over us and He yearns for the Spirit [to be welcome ] with a jealous love?
6 But He gives us more and more grace ([a]power of the Holy Spirit, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully). That is why He says, God sets Himself against the proud and haughty, but gives grace [continually ] to the lowly (those who are humble enough to receive it).
7 So be subject to God. Resist the devil [ stand firm against him], and he will flee from you.
8 Come close to God and He will come close to you. [ Recognize that you are] sinners, get your soiled hands clean; [ realize that you have been disloyal] wavering individuals with divided interests, and purify your hearts [ of your spiritual adultery].
9 [As you draw near to God ] be deeply penitent and grieve, even weep [ over your disloyalty]. Let your laughter be turned to grief and your mirth to dejection and heartfelt shame [for your sins ].
10 Humble yourselves [feeling very insignificant ] in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you [He will lift you up and make your lives significant ].
Isaiah 55:6-7 Seek the Lord while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the Lord, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.
Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God. let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Jeremiah 3:22 “Return, O faithless sons, I will heal your faithlessness.” “Behold, we come to You; For You are the Lord our God.
In the conclusion of this part, we must pray and pray for the lost. The exit of the lost from this part of eternity without Christ should be a sad thing for us all already in the vineyard. We must adjust our messages to resonate and be relevant with the lost with a bait that cannot be refused – The bait will be different depending on the leading of the Holy Spirit as we engage the lost. we must of necessity refrain from judgmental mindset, pride, and arrogance towards the lost. We must avoid the Pharisee and Sadducee mentality towards the lost. We must love, the kind of love that can be felt and attracts – the kind of love that is practical and relevant. We must be willing to go to where the lost are, no matter how sanctimonious the environment could be and see God use us in ways we never imagined, bringing in harvest into the kingdom like never before in Jesus name, amen
Now, let’s explore How to deal with Issues relating to Backsliding, Bitterness, Baptism and Blasphemy in a counseling setting
Starting with BACKSLIDING
DEFINITION: Backsliding is when a believer deliberately goes back into sin, turns away from God, or becomes rebellious to the will of God. Backsliding starts in the heart and then is expressed through outward actions.
FACTS ABOUT BACKSLIDING:
Backsliding is closely aligned with carnality. One’s own desires and devices are acted out in opposition to God’s will (1 Corinthians 3:3; Proverbs 14:14).
Backsliding results from a general falling away from God due to conscious rejection of the truth revealed in His Word. Sins of the flesh also lead to backsliding, i.e., deliberately engaging in immorality, addictions, etc. There is an indifference towards God, His Word, and the church, and making other things a priority ahead of the spiritual.
Your own backsliding condemns you. It is your own backsliding that condemns you (Jeremiah 2:19). Jesus did not come to condemn you, but to give you abundant life (John 10:10)
Backsliding is a sin. Like all sin, God will forgive it when you repent.
DEALING WITH BACKSLIDING:
Identify the issues that caused you to backslide. Was it disappointment with God? Did you refuse to do something God asked you to do. Was it because of unanswered prayer? Hanging out with worldly people in worldly places? Unwholesome media through the TV, Internet, videos, music, and literature? Did you continue to engage in willful sin or did you just grow cold in your intimate relationship with God? It is important to identify where you began to backslide so that you will not fall into the same trap again.
Confess backsliding as sin. Ask forgiveness, and you will be forgiven (1 John 1:9).
Pray for restoration. David prayed: “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” (Psalm 51:12).
Make a new commitment to God. After praying for restoration, David promised to make evangelism, praise and worship, and sacrificial living a priority (Psalm 51:13-19).
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT BACKSLIDING:
Can papyrus grow tall where there is no marsh? Can reeds thrive without water? While still growing and uncut, they wither more quickly than grass. Such is the destiny of all who forget God; so perishes the hope of the godless. (Job 8:11-13)
Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man
whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. (Psalm 32:1-2)
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. (Psalm 51:12)
Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. (Proverbs 4:25)
If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all. (Isaiah 7:9)
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? (Isaiah 43:18-19)
Let him return unto the Lord … for He will abundantly pardon. (Isaiah 55:7)
“Your wickedness will punish you; your backsliding will rebuke you. Consider then and realize how evil and bitter it is for you when you forsake the Lord your God and have no awe of me,” declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty. (Jeremiah 2:19)
Return, faithless people; I will cure you of backsliding. Yes, we will come to you for you are the Lord our God. (Jeremiah 3:22)
Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord. (Jeremiah 17:5)
1 will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely… (Hosea 14:4)
Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them…Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. (Mark 4:1518-19)
And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger. I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee… (Luke 15:17-18. The story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15 is a tremendous example of being restored after backsliding.)
You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? (1 Corinthians 3:3)
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! (1 Corinthians 10:12)
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58)
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lamp stand from its place. (Revelation 2:4-5)
Let’s look at BITTERNESS
DEFINITION: Bitterness is characterized by an unforgiving spirit and accompanying negative and critical attitudes. It begins when you harbor offences by others, allow disappointments to germinate in your heart, and permit resentment to grow.
FACTS ABOUT BITTERNESS:
Bitterness is destructive. Bitterness is a bottled-up feeling that will eat away at you until you finally explode externally or implode spiritually (Galatians 5:19-20).
Bitterness affects others. Bitterness will spread from you to others: “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many”(Hebrews 12:15)
Bitterness affects how you talk. Paul said that the mouths of unrighteous men are filled with “cursing and bitterness” (Romans 3:14).
Bitterness is sin. Peter told a man named Simon: “You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin” (Acts 8:20-23).
Bitterness will hinder your ministry. Peter told Simon that he had no part of the ministry because of the sin and bitterness in his heart.
DEALING WITH BITTERNESS:
Determine what caused your bitterness. What event, circumstance, disappointment, relationship, etc., planted the root of bitterness in your heart? Go to the root cause and identify it so you can deal with it.
Repent of your bitterness. Repent and ask forgiveness for bitterness and the unforgiveness, anger, etc., that caused it.
Extend and ask forgiveness. You may need to ask forgiveness of others who have been affected by your bitter spirit. You may also need to forgive someone who hurt or failed you which led to your bitterness. The Bible commands: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31-32).
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT BITTERNESS:
Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked, From the rebellion of the workers of iniquity,
Who sharpen their tongue like a sword, And bend their bows to shoot their arrows–bitter words, That they may shoot in secret at the blameless; Suddenly they shoot at him and do not fear. (Psalm 64:2-4, NKJV)
“You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin” (Acts 8:20-23).
There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know. There is no fear of God before their eyes. (Romans 3:10-18)
Love… is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. (1 Corinthians 13:5)
Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. (Colossians 3:19, NKJV)
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32)
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of man; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled. (Hebrews 12:14- 15)
Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? (James 3:11, NKJV)
But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. (James 3:14-15, NKJV)
Let’s look at BAPTISMS
DEFINITION: The word “baptize” used in the Bible means to entirely immerse or submerge.
FACTS ABOUT BAPTISMS:
The New Testament mentions four different baptisms. These are Christ’s baptism of suffering; the baptism of John; Christian baptism; and baptism in the Holy Spirit. The first two were unique to New Testament times. The last two are experiences for all believers.
-Christ’s baptism of suffering refers to His death on the cross (Luke 12:50). This baptism was unique to Christ and His suffering for our sins.
-The baptism of John was performed during his ministry. John made two demands on the people: Repentance and public confession of sins. Those who were willing to meet these God-given requirements were baptized by John in the Jordan River as a public testimony that they had repented of their sins. John’s baptism was for those who repented prior to the death and resurrection of Christ.
-Christian baptism is the term used to refer to water baptism of a person who has confessed faith in Jesus Christ. The biblical pattern for this baptism is immersion in water.
-The baptism of the Holy Spirit is an immersion in the power of the Spirit that occurred after the ascension of Christ back into heaven (Acts 2).
Christian baptism should be done by immersion in water, following the example of the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 3:13-17).
Baptism in water is a command. It is not an option. Many believers procrastinate or ignore water baptism because they think it is optional. Jesus commanded his disciples saying: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20). From that point on, people were baptized upon their confession of faith, fulfilling the Lord’s command.
Requirements for Christian baptism in water are:
-Repentance: Repenting from your sin (Acts 2:38-39).
-Believing in the Lord Jesus Christ and confessing Him as Savior (Mark 16:15-16).
-Instruction. New believers should be taught the meaning of baptism before they are baptized. This does not have to be lengthy instruction. Most New Testament converts were baptized immediately after conversion (Acts 8:36-38).
Baptism of babies. When Jesus was an infant, His parents brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord, but He was not baptized (Luke 2:22). Jesus was baptized when he was old enough to know what He was doing and the reason why He was doing it (Matthews 3:13-17). Babies can be presented to the Lord for dedication and blessing by the laying on of hands, but a person should not be baptized until they understand the meaning of the act and have met the Biblical requirements. There is no set age at which this understanding comes. It depends on the mental and spiritual development of each individual child.
Baptism does not save you. It is a public confession that you have been saved, you are dead to the old life, and risen to new life in Christ (1 Peter 3:21-22).
The significance of Christian baptism is that you are following the Lord’s example by making a public confession of faith (Romans 6:1-4). It symbolizes death to sin as you are immersed in the “grave” of water and resurrection into new life as you come up out of the water.
Words to be spoken at the time of baptism. According to the Bible, baptism “in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ” or in the “Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” are both acceptable to be spoken at the time of Christian baptism. There is no conflict between either wording because both refer to the Trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The following wording is suggested: “Upon the basis of the confession of your faith, in the name of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, I baptize you into the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Requirements for baptism in the Holy Spirit. You must be a believer: “Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off–for all whom the Lord our God will call'” (Acts 2:38-39). You receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit just as you did salvation: By faith.
DEALING WITH BAPTISMS:
If you are not saved, accept Christ as your Savior. This is mandatory in order to participate in Christian baptism.
After accepting Christ, be baptized by immersion in water as a public confession of your faith, your death to the old life, and your resurrection to new life in Christ. Water baptism is usually done by a pastor or spiritual leader.
Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit baptism after your conversion. Study the following instances of the baptism of the Holy Spirit in New Testament times:
-Acts 9:17-19 recalls how Saul (Paul) received his healing, baptism in the Spirit, and water baptism all in one day.
-Acts 2:2-4 records what happened on the day of Pentecost.
-Acts 10:44-46 records what happened when Peter preached the Gospel to a man named Cornelius and his family.
-Acts 19:6 describes what happened to the first group of converts at Ephesus.
See also Acts 1:8, Matthew 3:11, Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16, John 1:33, Acts 1:5, and 11:16. Check out Otakada.org for ministry of the Holy Spirit
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT BAPTISMS:
I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.(Matthew 3:11)
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:13-17)
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”(Mark 16:15-16)
The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Christ. John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. (Luke 3:16)
I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high. (Luke 24:49)
Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.” (John 1:32-34)
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever–the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. (John 14:16-17)
For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. (Acts 2:2-4)
“In the last days,” God says, “I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.” (Acts 2:17-18)
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off–for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. (Acts 8:12)
When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. (Acts 8:14-17)
As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. (Acts 8:36-38)
Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord-Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here–has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength. (Acts 9:17-19)
While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, “Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days. (Acts 10:44-48)
“As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.'” (Acts 11:15-16)
Before the coming of Jesus, John preached repentance and baptism to all the people of Israel.
One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us. (Acts 16:14-15)
Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized. (Acts 18:7-8)
Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.
While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism,” they replied. Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. (Acts 19:1-6)
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. (Romans 6:1-4)
For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free– and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. (1 Corinthians 12:13)
There is one body and one Spirit–just as you were called to one hope when you were called– one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:4-6)
…having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. (Colossians 2:12)
…and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also–not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand–with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him. (1 Peter 3:21-22)
Let’s look at BLASPHEMY
DEFINITION: Blasphemy is disrespect shown towards God, His Word, or something that is deemed holy.
FACTS ABOUT BLASPHEMY:
Blasphemy can occur in various ways. You can blaspheme not only by what you say, but also by your conduct. Riotous, sinful behavior does not show respect towards God and His Word and is a form of blasphemy. Using God’s name in vain as a curse word is blasphemy.
Blasphemy starts in the heart. Jesus said that blasphemy–as other sins–begins in the heart (Mark 7:20-23).
Blasphemy is sin. Jesus said one who blasphemed needs forgiveness (Mark 3:18).
DEALING WITH BLASPHEMY:
Identify your blasphemous behavior. Are you committing blasphemy by what you say or do?
Repent. Blasphemy is sin (Mark 7:20-23). As in all sinful behavior, it requires repentance.
Ask God to create a new heart in you. Since blasphemy comes from the heart, your heart needs to be changed. Claim this scripture: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws” (Ezekiel 36:26-27).
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT BLASPHEMY:
I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. (Mark 3:28)
And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” (Mark 7:20-23, NKJV)
But now you yourselves are to put off all these: Anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, (Colossians 3:8-10, NKJV)
And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. (Luke 12:10)
Father, thank You for helping us to build our intimate needs of significance, self-worth and security on you. Lord Jesus, You are the mighty counselor, the everlasting Father, the king of Kings and the lord of Lords, you have commanded us to be your ambassador and to represent you correctly. Lord, we pray that you will equip us through the subseries to be all that you have called us to be and to do in Jesus name. Give us a teachable heart that learns, apply to ourselves first and to others Lord, God. We pray that as a result of our effectiveness, more souls will be added to the kingdom, the backslidden will be restored to the glory of Your name.
As we are willing, we receive the grace to be led continually by Your Holy Spirit so that we know when the lost are ready and what we need to say or do that resonates with them in the name of Jesus Christ. Grant us grace to sincerely love the lost in the name of Jesus Christ. Lord, grant us wisdom to know how to minister to the backslidden, those with habitual bitterness that is wreaking havoc in their lives and relationships, those who are blaspheming and those who need counsel concerning the importance of baptism, especially the Holy Spirit baptism in the name of Jesus Christ. We come against the root of bitterness, springing up in believers by which many are destroyed to bow to the lordship of Jesus Christ. We declare the backslidden returns to the glory of God the father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Lord, as we counsel people from all works of life, grant us wisdom that comes from You and You only in the name of Jesus Christ.
We continue to pray for the thousands of visitors to our sites day in and day out, week in and week out, month in and month out, year in and year out that they will encounter You Lord Jesus in a brand-new way that will lead to lasting transformations Lord God.
Thank You for we know you will do exceedingly, abundantly and above all that we can even ask or think according to your sovereign will for these times and seasons in Jesus name, amen and amen.
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Experience all round-success this week and beyond as You are led by your closest friend – The Holy Spirit!
Monday Ogwuojo Ogbe
e-discipleship at Otakada.org
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Monday Ogwuojo Ogbe