“Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him a name that is above every name” (Philippians 2:9 NIV)
Jesus was the name divinely given before His virgin birth. “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus…” (Matthew 1:21, NIV). So with this ineffable name Jesus wrapped Himself around with the garment of our humanity.
Other names are dear but the name of Jesus is dearer. This familiar yet precious name, according to Dr Herbert Lockyer (1886-1984) occurs some seven hundred times in the New Testament.
Joshua saved the people of Israel by leading them through River Jordan. He fought their battles and was steadfast in his allegiance to God and his people. Jesus is our heavenly Joshua, who fought the grim battle on our behalf at Calvary, providing thereby a blood-bought deliverance for sin-bound souls.
Jesus is now our Leader, our Protector, and our Defender and will never cease in His care for us until He has us safely in the sheepfold on the other side. There is power in the name of Jesus. Jesus’ name is the weapon to fight the believer’s enemy – the devil. This name is above every name. There is no other name like the name of Jesus. Anyone who believes in his or her heart and confesses Jesus as Lord is under the canopy of His mighty name.
Have I truly surrendered my life to Jesus, the only Saviour of the world?
Thank you Lord Jesus that in humility you have been highly exalted. Your name is our strong tower and our hiding place. Amen.
*GOD IS NOT JUDGING YOU*
Some people see God as a judge who has exacting demands on man. When they fall short or when things gowrong in their lives, they think that God is judging them. My friend, the truth is that if you are a believer, Goddoes not bring any charge against you. Instead, He justifies you because of the blood of His Son. In fact, God’s Word goes on to say that the One who has the right to condemn you, chose instead to die for you and is risen at the Father’s right hand to be your righteousness! (Romans 8:34)
But what the devil tries to do is to get you to believe that God watches you with a critical eye and punishes you when you do wrong. He has deceived many sincere Christians into believing that if they have done something wrong, bad things have a right to come upon them and their families. And when these things happen, he convinces them that they are suffering God’s judgment because of their wrongdoings. In the meantime, these sincere Christians struggle with condemnation because they think that they are the cause of their problems.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Ever since the cross, where Jesus was judged in your place for every one of your wrong actions, thoughts and words, God no longer judges you, His child. You need not accept condemnation because Jesus took all your punishment at the cross. So when you start to feel condemned for your actions or when you experience negative circumstances, say, “It is written: It is God who justifies me. I am completely forgiven and made righteous before Him. I refuse to accept any condemnation and I reject every symptom of the curse that I am seeing in my circumstances!” Then, simply stand on the truth of God’s Word, and watch Him deliver and bless you!
Father God this is the day you have made, we shall rejoice and be glad in it. Thank you Lord for your amazing grace that saved us from your wrath, through your Son Jesus Christ. Help us to understand that there is no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus. Give us this day our daily bread. Lead us not into temptations but deliver us from all evil. May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. We pray all this in the unequalled name of your Son and our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen…. Stay blessed and Shalom.
Devotion by Pst David Mwamba Zuze
Scripture Reading: Matthew 22: 1-14
Memory Verse: Matthew 22: 12 “And he said to him, Friend, how did you come in here without having a wedding garment? And he was speechless”.
Jesus used parables to explain many of His teachings especially concerning the Kingdom of God. In one of His many parables concerning the Kingdom is the Marriage Feast which teaches us a lot of lessons in these last days. The King is God the Father, the Lord God Almighty who arranged a marriage for his Son, Jesus Christ. The marriage is the union between Christ and his Church, Ephesians (Eph 5:23-27; Rev 19:7-9).
The invitation originally went to Israel as the invited guest. They rejected the invitation to the wedding banquet and killed many prophets, Jesus and the apostles and many other messengers of the king. The rejection of Christ by the Jews led to the opening of the kingdom to the Gentiles including you and I. This would have happened in any case, but the conduct of the Jews expedited and facilitated the process, (Act 13:46).
The invitation is the call for repentance and to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and personal Saviour in order to escape the impending judgment of God. The invitation is an offer of opportunity to enter the kingdom of heaven.
The king’s fresh command to the messengers to go to the street corners and invite anyone found is the grace period opened to us who were not considered fit for this great banquet. The invitation is for all but the question to ask yourself is, “Are you in your right garment? The invited guests are those who have been called into the Church, taken individually.
The robe of righteousness is ours, and yet not ours. The wedding garment is the righteousness of the saints because it has been given to them. “To her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen” (Rev 19:8). Righteousness is not gained by any works of the law, “by the deeds of the Law there shall no flesh be justified in the sight of God” (Rom 3:20). “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away” (Isa 64:6). We must seek it of him, for without that robe of righteousness we cannot sit among the guests at the marriage feast.
Yet, thank God, we may find a place among the guests of the King, but can we be identified by Him as being part of the guests to the wedding? We must “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 13:14). We must appear before the King, “not having our own righteousness, which is of the Law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” We must bear the fruit of repentance and accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour and must show in every aspect of our life as a true believer.
- Have I considered the great invitation extended to me by the king, God Almighty?
- How prepared Am I in honoring such an invitation?
- Is the garment of righteousness I am wearing offered to me by Christ or I have put on my own righteousness?
Lord Jesus, give me the grace to avail myself to your invitation and help me not to rely on my own righteousness and understanding but rather to surrender my all to you. Amen.
The Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines eliminate as “to remove something that is not wanted or needed; to get rid of something”.
Distraction is also defined as “something that makes it difficult for you to think or pay attention; something that which amuses or entertains you so that you do not think about problems, work, etc”.
“You can always find a distraction if you are looking for one”, Tom Kite.
Author John Di Lemme said “Your results are the product of either personal focus or personal distractions. The choice is yours”.
We have all been distracted in one way or the other. Distraction prevents us from concentrating on whatever we do which eventually robs us of our victory and success. At times we become lost in thought during conversations with people and we tend to ask them what they were saying. Distractions are a threat to concentration, success and happiness.
Television programs, use of WhatsApp on our cell phones have become major distractions and ruined otherwise happy marriages as well as the future of brilliant students. Many promising students have made shipwrecked of their future because they could not guard what had been deposited in them and have become addicted to the use of these devices and applications. They allowed peer pressure, promiscuous lifestyles and indiscipline to distract them from their studies.
Again, happy marriages have hit the rocks because couples allowed bad advice from friends and relatives to take the shine and peace out of the marriage. They were not vigilant when the signs were showing.
Isa 6:1-5 MKJV
(1) In the year that King Uzziah died I then saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple.
(2) Above it stood the seraphs; each one had six wings; with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.
(3) And one cried to another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is Jehovah of Hosts; the whole earth full of His glory.
(4) And the doorposts moved at the voice of the one who cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
(5) Then I said, Woe is me! For I am undone; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, Jehovah of Hosts.
King Uzziah was 16 years old when he was made a king in place of his father Amaziah. He reigned for 52 years and his reign was very successful initially. He did what was right in the sight of God (2 Kings 15:3; 2 Chr 26:4, 5). Uzziah was suddenly struck with leprosy while in the act of offering incense. He was driven from the temple and compelled to stay in a separate house till his death (2 Chro 26: 16-21). King Uzziah allowed wealth, pride and arrogance to distract him from his commitment to God and humility towards Him.
When the king died Isaiah turned again to the Lord, and it was then that he received his vision, “In the year King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne. Something needs to die or taken out of our life in order to see the glory of God. Sin prevents us from experiencing the presence of God. After Isaiah saw the Lord, he saw himself, “Then I said woe is me! For I am undone; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts”. Isaiah saw how far he had drifted away from the Lord and when he finally saw God again, he realised how unclean he was after he got the vision of God. He repented of his sins. Until we realize how far we have fallen and repent of our sins we will continue to live in spiritual obscurity.
(Vrs 8) “And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said, Here am I; send me”. The Lord has a job for somebody today and who will stand up and go or do it? God purified him with fire and he became wealthy to be used by the Lord again.
Mark 10: 46-52
In one of Jesus’ numerous journeys with his disciples while undertaking his divinely mandated assignments, he came across blind Bartimeus at the outskirts of Jericho. Bartimeus heard about Jesus passing by and shouted to Him for help. The very people who told him Jesus was passing by were the same people who told him to shut up. The crowd became a distraction to him from seeing Jesus. Their warning to him to keep quiet was a distraction. In order to avoid this big distraction, he shouted even the more and louder.
His shouting drew the attention of Jesus and Jesus called for him. On his way he saw that his garment was a distraction to him so he had to cast it away in order to get to Jesus. Blind Bartimeus was able to receive his breakthrough after he had eliminated the distractions around him and focused on the healer and deliverer. We should also learn from his example in order to achieve our aim.
We see also in many instances where the Pharisees wanted to distract Jesus from accomplishing His mission here on earth. Despite all the attempts by the devil to prevent Jesus from fulfilling His ministry, Jesus triumphed. Remain focused in your convictions and eliminate all distractions that are threat to achieving your dreams.
Heb 12: 1 Therefore since we also are surrounded with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily besets us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, (2) looking to Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right of the throne of God. Beloved, our ultimate aim is to go to heaven. The reality is that, on our Christian journey are many obstacles that distract us and if we are not vigilant we could lose our focus and miss heaven. Unconfessed sin could prevent us from entering heaven. Like serious athletes, let us run in such a way as to obtain the prize.
Conclusion: You may be down and confused, frustrated and in despair, don’t give up and don’t let that weigh you down to let you lose focus. Arise, quicken yourself, gather your thoughts and do what you are supposed to do and surely victory will be yours.
Text: Matthew 6:19-21, 24
In this life we can only have one master. Unfortunately we live in a materialistic era where many people are serving money.
They spend all their lives collecting and storing it, only to die and leave it behind. Their desire for money and what it can buy far outweighs their commitment to God and spiritual matters.
Whatever you store up, you will spend much of your time and energy thinking about thereby having mastery over you.
1. When Money Rules Over You
a) You don’t tithe at all, or faithfully.
b) You ignore the leading of the Holy Spirit in your offerings.
c) You will absent yourself from church on a drizzling Sunday morning but
go out to work during a storm on a Monday morning and on time.
d) You can do anything to get money e.g. sleep late, overwork, sell your soul,
kill, sacrifice etc.
e) In a marriage there will be fighting, cheating, suspicion, mistrust,
f) You live in perpetual debt.
2. Helps On Handling Money
a) You are supposed to rule over money not money to rule over you.
b) Your heart follows your treasure, hence put your treasure where you
want your life to be.
c) Avoid misplacing your affections and loyalty because of personal
possessions, sell unnecessary or distracting possessions and give the
money to the poor or to the Lord’s work.
d) Practice financial faithfulness and generosity towards God! Stop any
form of hoarding or laying up of treasures on Earth.
e) Use material wealth for the Kingdom not for personal selfish ambition.
f) Free your heart off from your possessions, do not seek security in the money you have or material possessions.
Can you honestly say God and not money is your master? Ask yourself which one occupies more of your thoughts, time and efforts.
We should not be over excited by our possessions, lest they possess us. God alone deserves to be our master. Either we store our treasures with God, focus our eyes on Him and serve Him alone or else we do not serve him at all.
In answer to the question: ‘Are you saved?’ , many Christians say: “I don’t think so” or “I hope so” or “we will be sure when we get to heaven”. Others say: “only God can tell”.
When you ask a question like: “Are you married?” people answer “yes” or “no” and they are sure.
Salvation is a miracle of change, and we ought to know with full assurance whether that change has taken place or not.
Assurance of salvation explained
What do we mean when we say one has assurance of salvation?
The saved person has absolute confidence that he is saved and that if he died suddenly, he will go to heaven.
Who must have assurance of salvation
Those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior should have the assurance of salvation read John 1:12; John 3:16; John 3:36.
Basis of Assurance of salvation
Assurance of salvation is not based on feelings or circumstances. God has given us three things upon which to base our Assurance
i). The Witness of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:16). Before we accept the Lord Jesus as Lord and savior the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, righteousness, and judgement. After conversion, the Holy Spirit gives an inner peace to the believer and confirms to him that he’s a child of God. read Galatians 4:6.
ii). Faith in the word of God 1 John 5:13.
The Holy Spirit Witnesses through the word of God (1 John 5:13).
The Apostle John wants those who believe to know that they are saved not merely to Hope.
When we become Christians, the devil will come many times to tempt us and make us doubt our salvation.
Say to Satan, “the word of God says that if I believe in Jesus Christ I have eternal life.” I have believed on the Lord, so I am saved and my sins are forgiven. (John 10 27 – 29; 1 John 5:11 – 13).
Build your assurance on the word of God.
iii). The changed life: Our former friends and those around us will see a change in our lifestyles, and this assures our own hearts that we truly saved. Read 1 John 3:14; 2 Corinthians 5:17.
Hindrances to assurance of salvation
i). Failure to trust the word of God.
ii). Cares of this world choke the desire for God, His word and prayer (Mark 4:19).
iii). Temptation and sin: Our yielding to temptation and sin opens the way for the devil to accuse us and to weaken our confidence that we are saved (Revelation 12:10)
Salvation is as intangible as love. One has to accept it by faith and to move with confidence provided in the Scriptures. Once One believes in the finished work of Christ on the cross and accepts it’s sufficiency to save one’s sin as well as confesses the same, Salvation is definitely taking place.
Our Jubilee God is at work. This is an 8 year old Phenyo Zamba, a talented drummer in the assembly of Soshanguve of the Church of Pentecost(Pretoria District). He is an inspiration to the body of Christ. When God grants you such an amazing and gracious gift, He empowers you to nurture it to bless, inspire, and encourage others for His Glory. May you Identify your gift in Christ to be a blessing to others. What a future this young boy has in Christ! He really has an amazing ministry and the Assembly of Soshanguve is blessed to have such a great gift.
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
2 Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
4 praise him with timbrel and dancing,
praise him with the strings and pipe,
5 praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
A praise report from the Pastor of the District (Pastor Anthony Nebarwe):
Our Jubilee God is at work this is 8 year old Phenyo Zamba our Jubilee drummer at our Soshanguve Assembly, what a future this young boy has in Christ! He really ministered to me when mama and I visited Soshanguve during the just ended prayer and fasting programme🙌🏾🙌🏾