Saturday, August 29, 2009

A wonderful Post by a brother in Christ

"Religion, I believe, is the greatest disappointment of our time.
Today’s brand of Christianity is the chief culprit.
People are given laws, rules and regulations which instead of helping them seems to plunge them deeper into sin and fear of death.
The more we know, the more we find out that we are not good enough. The more rules and regulations we have, the more we see that have fallen short of the ideal.
This kind of Christianity cannot be the answer. Religion cannot be that which we are looking for.
The sincere student of the life of Jesus cannot help but notice the paradox of today’s Christianity. The holiness that Jesus practiced did not intimidate the sinner, it attracted him. The average sinner flocked to Jesus. The holiness that Jesus preached attracted the sinner but repelled the religious. Isn’t it strange that today’s message attracts the religious but repels the sinner?
Religion meets the sinner and gives him guilt. Jesus met the sinner and gave him mercy.
Religion meets man and gives him laws. Jesus met man and gave him love.
Religion meets a man in trouble and explains to him that it’s the will of God, he deserves it. Jesus only solved problems.
Religion refuses to be touched by the stain of sinners. Jesus died a sinners death.
Christianity today is a system of self righteousness paying lip service to the finished work of Christ. Please take away the religion, give me Jesus. Him alone.
It’s a shame that we are sacrificing our lives to build walls, denominations, instead of building the body of Christ. Patenting His body. I'm not Roman Catholic [The church is made in heaven not in Rome], neither am I Anglican [The church is not made in England either], I’m not even Protestant [I wasn’t born in the 1500’s]. I'm not even Pentecostal [though I fellowship in a “Pentecostal Organization”]. I don’t have a denominational label. My only identity is Christ. I am from the beginning to the end a believer in Jesus. That alone.
Jesus never started any religion, we did.
Jesus was not denominational conscious, we are.
Jesus never emphasized dress codes, we do.
Jesus was not title conscious, we are.
Jesus never emphasized places. We do.
Jesus did not start the worship of altars, we did.
Religion has taken away my lord, we must find out where He is.
Don’t give me a candle, give me light.
Don’t give me a crucifix, set me free [it’s a shame that the only Jesus some will ever see is a naked man hanging on a cross, dead]. The cross is empty. The tomb too. He is alive and well!
I don’t want “Holy Water”, quench my thirst.
Remove the “pulpit’, give me His message.
Don’t load me with guilt, set my soul free.
Give me Jesus, Him alone."

written by Chinedu Chinweokwu

Friday, August 21, 2009

When "Jesus Loves You" is the last thing on your mind

In my previous blog I mentioned that JESUS LOVES US AS WE ARE. There is no need to feel “distant” from God or to fear His Wrath. Jesus has reconciled us to God and taken the wrath we so rightly deserved upon Himself.

Someone wrote back to me via email and said: “I am going through a hard time at present and want to know where I can find the spiritual power to overcome the obstacles I am facing”.

That may be a question you are asking to. Jesus loves us, SO WHAT? Does he see what I am going through? Does he see my pain? I do not need to hear about the LOVE of God. What I need is spiritual empowerment!


Jeremiah was a young man who loved the LORD. But He was very sad when he wrote the book of Lamentations writing: “He shot his arrows deep within me. My own people laugh at me. All day long they sing their mocking songs” (Lam. 3:13-14)

“I am filled with bitterness. He has given me a cup of sorrow to drink. He has made me grind my teeth on gravel. He has rolled me in the dust. ALL OF MY PEACE IS LOST” (Lam. 3:15-17)

“The thought of my suffering and homelessness is beyond words. I will never forget this awful time as I grieve over my loss YET…” (Lam. 3:19-21)

Have you possibly lost your peace? Maybe things aren’t going well for you at this time. Jeremiah knew what it was like to go through the hardest of times…he speaks about his awful sorrow and his lack of peace but then he says “YET”. This is a word which means “even though”.

“The thought of my suffering and homelessness is beyond words. I will never forget this awful time as I grieve over my loss YET I STILL DARE TO HOPE…”

He is declaring that EVEN THOUGH everything is going wrong HE STILL DARES TO HOPE. I love that! He is DARING to hope. This is not some pretty little poofy hope. It took bravery for him to have hope in the midst of his trials. He decides to go against the messages the world was sending his way and DARE to hope.

Within my previous blog I mentioned that God loves us UNCONDITIONALLY. Which is: no strings attached FREE love. It does not matter what is happening in our lives-God is with us. He is still pleased with us. He sings over us. He dances over us. He smiles whenever He thinks of us. We are still His Joy.

The Joy of the LORD is our Strength and so when He is JOYFUL over us, we are empowered and strengthened in Him. This is because of Faith and not because of our obedience to certain rules and regulations. We have this privilege not because we are good- but because GOD IS GOOD.

Knowing how much He delights in us gives us supernatural strength to overcome even the toughest of trials.

“The thought of my suffering and homelessness is beyond words. I will never forget this awful time as I grieve over my loss YET I STILL DARE TO HOPE WHEN I THINK OF THIS: THE LOVE OF THE LORD WHICH NEVER FAILS ME WILL NEVER END!(Lam. 19-22)

Can you see this?

When we have a revelation of how much GOD LOVES US we will be supernaturally empowered in the midst of the most trying of times to be OVERCOMERS. The Root word for the word “GRACE” is “CHARIS”. It means the following:

“Unconditional love and acceptance that fills the heart with thankfulness and empowerment”

GRACE, Gods unconditional acceptance of us, is EMPOWERING!

This is why Paul says that GRACE is the POWER of the gospel (Rom. 1 16-17)

If you are going through a hard time, ask God for a revelation of HIS LOVE. His love is a Love that never fails. He will never leave us nor forsake us.

Jesus said, “Remember this, I will be with you ALWAYS even until the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:20)

He did NOT say, “I will be with you for the next ten minutes, but then I have to go somewhere.”

Neither did He say, “I will be with you UNTIL YOU SIN.”

NO way. He said I am with you ALWAYS!

When you fail-He is with you

When you sin-He is with you

When things are going badly-He is with you

When life doesn’t make sense-He is with you.



He is in you. How much closer could God be? He is not far, far away. HE IS IN YOU. He sees even the deepest pain deep down in your heart, because He is deep down in your heart. He is within you ready to empower you and lift you higher. He loved you so much that He gave His everything to reconcile you to himself.

Be deeply encouraged guys, even in the midst of the most troubling of times. GOD LOVES YOU AND IS WITH YOU



Thursday, August 20, 2009

Faith in Times of Affliction

Holding onto your faith can be a tremendous struggle at times. Sometimes it seems as though God has forgotten about you, your struggles or your pain.

I felt like this recently. I have struggled with something the Church views at utterly sinful for as long as I can remember. I have been ridiculed and insulted from pulpits. I have been misunderstood and hated by Christians. I have been thrown out of Church’s. I have been embarrassed at times to even be called a “Christian”.

The Church, that should be a place of love and tolerance, is sometimes, and more often than not, the breading ground for intolerance and hatred.

Sinners often leave the Church condemned rather than free, angered rather than at peace and burned-out rather than refreshed.

I have been angry with the Church, with God and with His Word. Having struggled with Same-sex attractions as a Bisexual male has not been easy in a culture that out-rightly and unapologetically, not to mention hypocritically, denies you the right to full membership and constantly misunderstands you.

But instead of getting upset, I smile. I am not ashamed to say that I am tempted in this way any longer because behind the social-masks and the proud displays of religion some Christians wear, I know that deep within us all is brokenness. We have all failed God. We have all failed each other. No one can say that he or she has acted perfectly at all times.

My sin may be different to yours, but sin is sin. As James puts it: “For whoever keeps the whole law, but stumbles on just one point, has broken the entire law” (Jas. 2: 10)

Maybe you are having sex prematurely, or maybe you are addicted to pornography. Perhaps you are angry with God or His Church. Some may be gluttons or smokers. There are many different sins and whether we like it or not, we have all committed a few in our lives. That’s Okay. It doesn’t shock God. He is the beginning and the end. He is all-knowing. He knows your end from your beginning. He knows what you did yesterday, but greater still; He knows what you will do tomorrow, or the next day or even in three years time. When you failed and sinned, He was not surprised. He knew it was coming. He was not disillusioned because He never had any illusions in the first place.

AND HERE IS A HUGE MYSTERY: Jesus died for ALL of your sins before you were even born. Imagine that! Our God must know every sin we will ever commit because HE DIED FOR THEM 2009 YEARS AGO AND HAS ALREADY FORGIVEN US FOR THEM ON THE CROSS. Jesus does not need to die each time we sin. HE DIED ONCE and His sacrifice was perfect.

In the Old Testament we see pictures of Christ in The Sin Offering. A lamb (without blemish or spot) was brought before the High Priest to be sacrificed for the forgiveness of Israel’s sin once a year. The High priest would examine (inspect) the sacrifice and make sure that it was perfect. If the Lamb was perfect, then it would be acceptable to God as a sin-offering and Israel’s sin would be forgiven. The High Priest knew that if the sacrifice was perfect, then God would forgive Israel of all of her failures.

Jesus is our Sacrificial Lamb. He is our sin offering. HE IS PERFECT, without blemish or spot. We may fail, but we have a perfect Sin Offering. Remember, the High Priest inspected the Offering to make sure it was Holy, not Israel. Likewise, when God wants to see whether we are holy or not. HE LOOKS AT THE SACRIFICE (Jesus) God does not look at us. Based on our thoughts, actions, behaviours and past we will fall short of Gods glorious standards. We are all sinners. No one is perfect, not even one. God knew this, and so when He declares us Holy it is not because we did something right-But because Jesus has washed us clean of every impurity.

I love the way Paul saw Jesus. He was in Love with God in everyway. Jesus was his romance, his Joy and his delight and when he describes Him he says: “Jesus is our High Priest forever in the order of Melchizedech.”(Heb.5:6)

I love that! A High Priest is the representative of a nation before God (Heb 5:1). This word “representative” literally means “to imitate, personify or act in place of someone else”.

Representatives personify whoever they represent. If I sent you as my representative to President Zuma, he would view every word you spoke as my words, your every action as my actions, and your every thought as my thoughts. You would be imitating, personifying and acting in place of me!

When the High Priest went before God he was representing and personifying Israel. If he was Holy then God would view Israel as Holy. But if he was evil, God would view Israel as such.

Jesus is our High Priest Forever! He represents us before God always! He imitates us, personifies us and acts on our behalf in Gods presence! OH YES!

Just like Old Covenant High Priests, Jesus represents us before God. If He is Holy, God sees us as Holy. And you know what? JESUS IS HOLY AND ACCEPTABLE. Therefore, because we have this great High Priest we can rejoice. God sees us as Holy and Acceptable.

But Brogan, what if I sin? Will I still be holy and acceptable then?

God will view us as Holy and Acceptable for as long as our High Priest is holy and Acceptable. Ask yourself: Is He? YES HE IS. And here is the magic word: “FOREVER.”

“Jesus is our High Priest FOREVER in the order of Melchizedech”

Jesus represents us before God always. Therefore we are ALWAYS holy and acceptable! Even when you fail and mess up, because, as I have already shared, Jesus forgave you of all of your sin before you were even born by being your Sacrificial Lamb.

But, I am so sinful? Surely God see’s that?

Moses had a word from God that said the Israelites were to kill a lamb and place the blood of the lamb on the doors of their houses. God warned that the Angel of Death would pass-over Egypt at night and kill all the firstborn sons of each family. However, if the Angel of Death saw the blood of a lamb on the doors of a house, he would pass over them and no harm would be done.

The Angel of Death did not inspect the family. He did not ask them their names or ID numbers. He did not check to see if they were black or white, pink or yellow. He did not look in the window to see what they were doing. He did not look for sin.

He looked for one thing only: BLOOD. If he saw blood, then the family would be saved, irrespective of their history, financial statements or sinfulness.

Likewise, when God looks at us he is looking for one thing: BLOOD.

It is no coincidence that Jesus died on the Day of Pentecost. He is our Passover Lamb and His blood has been poured all over us. When God looks at us, when He sees Jesus’ Blood, He is pleased and His wrath and anger pass over us. He knows you are a sinner, but He see’s blood and His wrath is quenched.

But I was taught God was Just. Surely a Just God must punish sin?

God is Just and He takes sin very seriously. He does not make light of our sin. He hates sin. In fact, He takes sin so seriously that He sent His One and Only Son to die on the Cross to suffer the punishment of your sin.

God hates sin BUT HE HAS ALREADY PUNISHED SIN ON JESUS. The Bible tells us that Jesus took all of Gods Wrath and Anger upon himself at the Cross. God’s anger and Wrath are fully satisfied. Jesus took it ALL. There is nothing left for you. You do not have to fear wrath or judgement because Jesus, as your representative, High Priest and Sacrificial Lamb, quenched all of Gods Wrath and Anger on the Cross. All God has left is Love.

The Book of Isaiah teaches that God says “Just as I promised in the time of Noah to never let a flood cover the whole earth again, so now I promise that I will never be angry (disappointed or disillusioned) with you ever again.” (Isaiah 54: 9)

God has promise to never be angry or disappointed or disillusioned with us EVER AGAIN.

If you fail-no anger

If you sin-no disappointment

If you get angry and upset with God-there is still no anger, frustration or disillusionment.


Does this mean that God will bless me even when I sin?

OF COURSE As Paul said, Jesus is our High Priest forever in the Order of Melchizedech. Unlike the AARONIC PRIESTHOOD that had the power to Bless and to Curse, the Melchizedech Priesthood ONLY BLESSES! Oh yeah! Jesus will never send a curse your way because HE TOOK EVERY CURSE UPON HIMSELF AT THE CROSS. Now, He only sends blessings our way! We have complete peace with God and can rest assured in our Salvation.

Melchizedech was the King of Salem. “Salem” means “Peace”. He was the King of Peace, Just like Jesus. So many Christians are living under condemnation, falsely believing that God is angry or upset with them or that He is disappointed with their performance. They are not at Peace.

But Jesus is Peace and we can have peace between ourselves and God through Christ.

I do not know which sins you struggle with. I do not know the hurt and pain the Church has put you through. I do not know where you are or what you are doing. But one thing I know for sure is that JESUS DOES ACTUALLY LOVE YOU. And that God is not angry or disappointed with you. You do not have to be ashamed, or avoid Him. If any one has any right to hate God it is me…but I trust Him because He is not His Church. They may fail me, but He never has.

So does this mean that I may sin whenever I want to?

Sin is still sin, even if we all deal with it and even if Jesus did die on our behalf. It is impossible not to sin, but the Grace of God was given and it “teaches us to say no to unrighteousness and to live soberly in this present age” (Titus 2:12). The Revelation of HOW GOOD GOD IS will catapult you into a life lived in LOVE FOR GOD. Sin will become boring to you. As the Scriptures testify: Those who are forgiven much; Love much. When we learn just how much gunk Jesus has freed us from and forgiven us of, WE WILL LOVE HIM MUCH. We will live for Him naturally.

But how exactly?

If you have received Christ you are a new creation. Your Sinful Nature has been removed and replaced with a Righteous Nature. Innately, you are Righteous. Live out of this Righteousness by Grace.

That however is for a whole new blog, right now all I want you to know is HOW MUCH JESUS ACCEPTS YOU AND LOVES YOU.

Grace and Love Always


Friday, August 7, 2009

This is a teaching from Joseph Prince on Ephesians 1:3. I found it amazingly simple and true:

Blessed With Every Pneumatikos Blessing

Ephesians 1:3: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ",

Some people think that the term “spiritual blessing” refers to only non-visible and intangible blessings like peace and joy. To them, God’s promise of “every spiritual blessing” excludes the tangible blessings of health, prosperity, a healthy marriage and so on. They say things like, “Don’t expect God to remove this tumor because our blessings are only spiritual.”

Beloved, do you know what the word “spiritual” here means? In the original Greek text, it is pneumatikos, which in this context means having properties and characteristics belonging to the Spirit of God. So if you have the pneumatikos blessing of health, for example, it means that it is of the Spirit of God, and therefore does not depend on your exercising or dieting.

A church member had high blood pressure which did not normalize even after he started exercising and eating well. So he stopped being preoccupied with his exercise and diet regimes, and simply rested in the truth that a normal blood pressure was a pneumatikos blessing from God already given to him. In a short time, his blood pressure came down to a healthy level!

The same goes for the pneumatikos blessing of prosperity. It is of the Spirit of God and does not depend on our toiling seven days a week or monitoring the stock market closely.

A church member, who owns a small company, received her pneumatikos blessing of prosperity when she believed that God would cause her small company to be publicly listed. He did. In fact, the company was over-subscribed seven times within the first week! Later on, it even made inroads into Dubai in the Middle East. For a woman to find favor in a male-dominated society like Dubai, it can only be the pneumatikos blessing of favor, which is not subject to the laws of man.

My friend, believe that you have received every pneumatikos blessing, and you will find yourself enjoying blessings that are eternal, just as God is eternal, and of a quality that only the Spirit of God can give!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Conversation about Sin, Forgiveness and Grace

I was reminded recently of the conversation I had once had with a friend of mine.
She was looking a little worse for wear, tears were streaming down her soft pink cheeks and it was obvious that she had a lot on her mind.
I made my way up to where she sat; half curled up into a ball in the corner of the youth hall.

"Is everything okay?" I asked as I sat beside her.
"I guess so-" came the reply.
"I don't buy it...speak to me..."
"Ah, it's nothing, Brogan. Really-"
"It can't be nothing, can it? I mean, why would you be so bothered about nothing?"
She sighed deeply and lowered her head to her knees, hiding her face from my view.

"Is God judging me? Is He angry with me?"

I sat up. It really was not the response I was expecting. I thought her sadness may be rooted in "boyfriend" trouble or even a problem at school. After all, those were the replies I was most used to...

"Why would you ask that-" I replied dumbly.
"Because I am not perfect...because I fail...because I sin..."
"And now you fear Gods judgement?"
"What did you do?" (Again a dumb question)
"Sin is sin, right? So it really doesn't matter what I did...the Law is a composite whole. You taught me that! If we have broken one commandment then we have broken the entire law. Surely, if God is just, He would punish me for my law-breaking, even if it were accidental?"

I was stunned. She was really thinking. She was asking the important questions. I could not help but smile proudly at her reply.

"I don't think this is funny," she protested.
I cleared my throat and nodded in agreement, "NO I don’t think it is funny either. I am smiling because you have asked such a clever question-"
She grinned, "-and the answer is?"
"WELL, before I answer your question, let me ask you one. Do you believe that Jesus died for you?"
"Of Course-"
" forgive me of my pay the save me from the punishment that was due by quenching Gods anger..."

Suddenly a light went on!

"Brogan, surely not! Are you saying that God won't punish me now for my sin, because he has already punished Jesus for my sin (in my place)?"
I nodded gently, "but you said it, not me!"
"But...what if I sin now after being saved? What if I fail as a believer?"
"Lisa, we all fail, that is why we need grace. But let me ask you this: how many of your sins were covered by the Blood of Jesus on the Cross? One sin? Two sins…"
"No, not just one or two...ALL OF THEM SILLY..."

Suddenly another light went on!
Suddenly she began to laugh hysterically!
Suddenly she brightened up!
And without even thinking twice she said aloud:
"WHOA! That is amazing! Is that the gospel? It all makes sense now! How did I miss it? And to think, I have been living in fear all this time when I could have been living by faith!"

Friends, Jesus died for all of your sins. YOU ARE FORGIVEN. God is not about to punish you. yes, he does discipline his children but it is always in love and through love. Gods discipline is not punishment or judgement. You can walk with your head held high and enter Gods Throne Room of Grace with confidence because you are THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS. FOREVER.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Honest Christianity

My first attempts to begin a blog dedicated to GRACE (Gods ability to accept us regardless of spiritual pedigree or qualifications) were scrapped within a matter of seconds. Ironically, this was because I felt un-qualified for the job. Surely if one is to represent GRACE in its entirety they should live a perfect life, have a perfect family and simply be perfect?

I think NOT

The world is not looking for Perfection, they want realism. A dear (unsaved) friend of mine mentioned once that she would accept Christ “if Christians were honest about their struggles and did not try to hide behind social masks.”

I have to agree. It is the unfortunate fact that we have been taught to be perfect before loving God, moving in God or being used by God. This false teaching has robbed many of the joy of their salvation. It has created a burdening load over the shoulders of many Christians.

Many prominent Pastors teach that God only uses those who “act in righteousness and perfection at all times”. This is not true. God uses the weak and foolish things of this world to shame the wise (1 Cor. 1:27).

He does not only use the strong and sinless (for who is truly without sin?).

Rather, God accepts us NOW in our imperfection. No strings attached.

Just as Mark Darcy confessed to Bridget in the fictitious film Bridget Jones Diary: “I like you, JUST AS YOU ARE”

God says to all of us: I LOVE YOU JUST AS YOU ARE

We do not have to be perfect in our own right to be loved, used and moved by God.

If only we could break free from the conditioning of the past and realise that God has qualified us in His Son JESUS. He is not looking at us through eyes judgemental. Rather He views us through the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ AS PERFECT FOREVER even if we do mess up.

And so, if you are looking for a perfect blog written by a perfect person then keep looking. What you will find here is reality saturated in the Grace of God; a blog written by a broken man to a broken world. You will find Spelling errors and honesty.

But hopefully, amongst all of the imperfection I or this blog may contain: I PRAY YOU FIND CHRIST AND THE PERFECTION OF HIS LOVE.