The greatest encounter..

“Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.””

‭‭Mark‬ ‭2:3-5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

For some reason, this is the story dropped in my heart as I woke up today. Though the miracle was great as the man was paralyzed and couldn’t move his body , for we read later the people were amazed and …”they thanked God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”..vs12. However, it’s their zeal and determination that stands out. Because the house was too full to access, they climbed onto the roof, and lowered him from a hole down to where Jesus was! Even Jesus took cognizance of their faith!….

– “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven”…Mark‬ ‭2:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

To what lengths are we willing to go to have an encounter with the Messiah, Jesus Christ? Would we rate ourselves using today’s yardstick…..

– Could we have given up at the entrance?

– Could we have, like the man and his friends, sought every possible way, to see Jesus?

Separately, Jesus said.. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”…Matthew‬ ‭7:7-8‬ ‭NIV‬‬. But it’s through Prophet Jeremiah that we read the LORD state…”

– “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”….Jeremiah‬ ‭29:13‬ ‭NIV‬‬

To what lengths are you willing to go, to have an encounter with Jesus?

JESUS IS THE CENTRE

GOSPEL TEACHING LIFE CHURCH

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GOD IS NOT TOO FAR OR UNREACHABLE …

“And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”

And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”

When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.””

‭‭Exodus‬ ‭33:17, 19-20, 22-23‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Moses spent much time with God till we read that God spoke to Him face-to -face as one would to a friend…Numbers 12:8. Whilst Israel opted out due to fear …Exodus 20:19.

Apostle Paul also later said…

– “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And He is not served by human hands, as if He needed anything. Rather, He himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man He made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from any one of us.”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭17:24-27‬ ‭NIV‬‬

God is not too far or unreachable. He is as close as the air we breath. Jeremiah further wrote..

– “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” …Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11-13‬ ‭NIV

You will seek God and find Him, when you seek Him with all of your heart.

JESUS IS THE CENTRE

GOSPEL TEACHING LIFE CHURCH

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Behold! I stand at the door and knock…

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”

Revelation 3:20 KJV

Separately, Jesus said, “…Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.” ..John 14:23-24 NIV

If we believe in and accept Jesus, love Him and obey His commands, then together with the Holy Spirit whom Jesus said He would ask the Father to grant for believers, the Holy Trinity would come and make our hearts their abode, and sup with us….

⁃ “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and 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. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”…John 14:16-18 NIV

⁃ “On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.”….John 7:37-39 NIV

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved..Romans 10:9. You are “born again” and bound for eternal life, as Jesus explained to Nicodemus who was desirous of eternal life…John 3:1-21.

In closing Jesus praying to the Father, said…

⁃ “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”…John 17:3 NIV

TO KNOW, THE ONLY TRUE GOD, AND HIS ONE AND ONLY BELOVED SON, JESUS. For indeed there are many so-called gods, but we know One God and One Lord, the man JESUS…1 Corinthians 8:5-6

JESUS IS THE CENTRE

GOSPEL TEACHING LIFE CHURCH

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ARE YOU CALLED TO SERVICE IN THE KINGDOM

“Amos answered Amaziah, “I was neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. But the Lord took me from tending the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’”

‭‭Amos‬ ‭7:14-15‬ ‭NIV

From this scripture, it is clear that GOD can use anyone. There is no definite pattern, hereditary, hierarchy or prestige. The disciples Jesus called to follow Him came from simple backgrounds some being local fishermen….

– “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.”…Matthew‬ ‭4:19-22‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The Mary Magdalenes and women who supported His ministry were simple ordinary women, some of whom had been delivered from various afflictions….

– “After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.”….Luke‬ ‭8:1-3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

One disciple we read was a taxpayer, a “questionable” profession at that time as they were grouped amongst the “sinners”….

– “As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.”…Matthew‬ ‭9:9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The holier-than-thou Pharisees and Sadducees questioned why Jesus dined with taxpayers and sinners.. Matthew 9:10-17, Mark 2:15-22, Luke 5:29-39. This could not be the anticipated Messiah! The Pharisees and Sadducees perhaps expected to be in the Messiah’s line-up! But Jesus called the unexpected.

God can use anyone, even you. Has God called you to be of service in His Kingdom? Those Jesus called, dropped everything and followed Him. To those who faltered Jesus said…..

– “He said to another man, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”…Luke‬ ‭9:59-62‬ ‭NIV‬‬

JESUS IS THE CENTRE

GOSPEL TEACHING LIFE CHURCH

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THE WORD, THE WORD, THE WORD

THE WORD THE WORD THE WORD

“Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

Ephesians 6:17 NIV

The word of God..the sword of the Spirit. When satan in the wilderness, came to test Jesus, oh yes Jesus too was tested, so be sure as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, YOU WILL BE TESTED! Jesus used the word as His sword….

⁃ “Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

⁃ Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ”

⁃ Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ ”…Matthew 4:4, 7, 10 NIV

And in conclusion, we read…

⁃ “Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.”…Matthew 4:11 NIV

Success! Needless to say, you have to spend time in the Word to be able to apply it even when your enemy twists it as he did with Jesus. Know the word and use it. The word further says .. be subject to God, resist the devil and he will flee. Just screaming “devil we rebuke you” is not enough and quite ineffective. More effective is “the Word states!” To get him to flee….

⁃ Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ ”…Matthew 4:10

The Word of God, your enemy cannot stand or even withstand. The demons know the name and tremble…James 2:19. He will flee at the mention of the name and what it states.

Know your word and apply it. Otherwise you are just a sitting duck ready to be tormented and knocked out.

JESUS IS THE CENTRE

GOSPEL TEACHING LIFE CHURCH

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Love one another

God is Love and he that does not love, does not know God. How can one say they love God whom they cannot see yet they hate a brother whom they see? That is a lie and lies belong to the originator..John 8:44.

– “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

– “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.”

‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:11, 19-20‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Love one another. When you love the devil is angered. Because God is Love and that is Godly. Even your enemies and them that persecute you, love them anyway! We do not fight flesh and blood, but powers and principalities that are operating behind those people who are being used to wage war on you. When your love falls short because of the enemy’s assault, remember God said “my grace is sufficient”, and draw your deficit from His grace.

Love one another. The Master Jesus said, that is the sure mark of true discipleship…

– “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”…John‬ ‭13:34-35‬ ‭NIV

JESUS IS THE CENTRE

GOSPEL TEACHING LIFE CHURCH

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DOUBLE FOR YOUR TROUBLE

“Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.”….‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭61:7‬ ‭NIV

God, the restorer of the broken. From separate scripture, the story of Job quickly ‬‬comes to mind. We read that after the devourer asked to do what he does best….Job 1:9-12, 2:3-6, satan meted his worst on Job, targeting every area of his life that would get him to “fall”: mainly family, finances, health. However, after all the tormentor had done to Job, BUT only as far as God had permitted!, in the end the Lord restored Job with a double portion!….

– “And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.”….Job‬ ‭42:10‬ ‭KJV‬‬

What area of your life has the devourer and tormentor targeted for ravage? Family? Health? Or is it your Finances?

The LORD shall restore, double for the trouble…

– “The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part…”. ‭‭Job‬ ‭42:12‬a NIV‬‬

JESUS IS THE CENTRE

GOSPEL TEACHING LIFE CHURCH

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