When the Master steps in

Not long ago, I read a story about a five–year–old boy who loved the piano. Any time he got the chance, he would sit down and fiddle around on the keys. He never had lessons or formal training because he was told that he was too small or too young to play the piano. But in spite of those comments, he continued to practice and practice the only song he knew how to play, “Chopsticks.”

One day, the boy’s father surprised him with tickets to go to the symphony and hear a world–renowned Italian pianist. This man was one of the greatest pianists that had ever lived. The night of the concert arrived and as they walked to their seats, the little boy saw the beautiful grand piano on stage behind the curtain.

When no one was looking, he snuck over and sat down on the piano bench and began to play his elementary version of chopsticks. About that time, the curtain began to rise and the audience was prepared to see the world–famous, master pianist. Instead, they saw the little boy hunched over the keys playing “Chopsticks.” The boy was so caught up in his world that he didn’t even know anyone was watching. When he suddenly realized what was happening, he was petrified.

Just as he was about to get up and run for his life, two big arms reached around him and placed two big hands on the piano keys. It was the master pianist. He whispered in the little boy’s ear, “Keep playing.” As the little boy continued to play his simple rendition of “Chopsticks”, this world–renown pianist began to play a Beethoven Symphony piece scored in the same cadence and key. Under the direction of the master, the rest of the orchestra came in.

First, he brought in the woodwinds, then the brass, then the percussion. The boy’s father sat there with tears coming down his cheeks. He couldn’t believe what he was experiencing. He never dreamed that simple tune he heard in his living room each day would become a beautifully orchestrated Beethoven symphony.

What was the difference? The master stepped in.

Together, the old master and the young novice transformed what could have been a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience.

The audience was so mesmerized that they couldn’t recall what else the great master played. Only the classic “Chopsticks”.

Do you know God is going to bring about transformation in your life and family? He will transform your weeping into dancing, mourning into laughter, (Ps 30: 11-12) nothing into something, lack into gain. Trust me. The master just stepped into your situation, and your help has come. (Ps 124: 8)

What we can accomplish on our own is hardly noteworthy. We try our best, but the results aren’t always graceful flowing music. However, with the hand of the Master, our life’s work can truly be beautiful. (Matt 19: 26, Philippians 4: 13).

As the new month begins and you set out to accomplish great feats, listen carefully. You will hear the voice of the Master, whispering in your ear, “Don’t quit. Don’t stop. Don’t give up. Keep playing. Keep moving. I will help you. ( Is 41: 10).

As the new month unfolds, may you feel His loving arms around you and know that His hands are always there helping you turn your feeble attempts into true masterpieces. Amen.

Wishing you a great new month of MAY.

Love and Blessings

FOR

Has it occurred to you that we serve a powerful God? “O Sovereign Lord! You have made the heavens and earth by Your great power. Nothing is too hard for you!” (Jer 32:17)

God merely spoke the universe into being – a universe that astronomers estimate contains more than 100 billion galaxies, a world with 7 billion people, with no two ever the same. But all the power contained in the entire universe is but a small representation of His unlimited power, and all the peoples put together are nothing compared to His might. All of earths storms, winds, ocean waves, tornadoes and other forces of nature do not equal a fraction of God’s power. He is so powerful that with Him, no problem is without a solution, and no task too big for him. He never fails and cannot be frustrated. He can do the impossible and is not limited by the unimaginable. Our education and background cannot stop Him. He knows the end from the beginning. He is the first and the last and already has solutions to problems you have not even had. He is God and besides him there is no one. No one can compare with Him.

With all of such great powers, He still cares about us. David writes, “when I consider the heavens, the work of your hands, the moon and the stars which you arranged, what is man that you care for him? ( Ps 8:3).

God cares about you and irrespective of what you may be going through right now, God can help you. He can fix it. Scripture writes; By His mighty power at work in us, He is able to do abundantly above all that we ask or think. (Eph 3:20).

People may have tried to push you down, deprive you of what is yours, stand as a stumbling block in your path, and have tried all sort of things to stop your progress. Even at that point, God is the powerful God He is and can stop those seeking to stop you. Seek Him first and ….( Matt 6:33) and He will push you up. He will take you places you have never been. Just believe FOR when you do, all things are possible. (Mark 9: 23).

He Paid a Debt He Did Not Owe

Strength Renewed

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Have you ever been punished for something you didn’t actually do? Maybe you were rejected and punished even though you tried to do the right things. Maybe you willingly took the blame to prevent someone you cared about from suffering the consequences of their actions or choices.  We often stand up for ourselves refusing to take the blame, but there are times in which we willingly accept the blame to protect those we care about. Whether by choice or not, it’s not easy taking the blame or punishment for something you didn’t do.  But your love for those involved causes you to understand the consequences involved if the truth were known, so you accept their punishment.

That’s exactly what Jesus did for each of us.  “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed”…

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The big picture

The cross of Christ, will help you imagine how far God will go in search of you. You will now understand who you are and to whom you belong. So, no matter how unfair life treats me, no matter how painful the experiences may seem, with God, there is always the big picture and He would say don’t forget what I did for you on the cross.

Look at how much he paid to see you free and get you out of trouble. I need you to know this resurrection morning that if God has the power to take the sting of out death, surely he has the power to heal your son. If he can descend in to hell, and ascend again then he has the power to deliver you. If he rose from the dead without human assistance, trust me, he doesn’t need your help to work things out for you. He is the same God.

You may not have reached where you ought to be, and things not working out fine. But be glad he came out of the grave. Merry, because the grave could not hold him bound. The grave could not keep him down.

We must be personally connected with him. St. Paul writes in Romans 6:8 If we have died with Christ, we will also live with him. This means life has crosses; and the good master in Matt 16:24, if you love me, you will take up your cross everyday and follow me. Your cross may be in form of a job, a spouse, a sickness, a lack, etc. But the good news is the story of Christ, did not end on the cross and yours will not either. You may be broke right now but you won’t be forever. You may be down right now, but you won’t stay down forever. Things will change. Things will get better. He didn’t just die and was buried. Early on Sunday morning our Saviour got up and got out of the tomb. The grave could not hold him any longer. He lead captivity captive.

When I think of the goodness of the Lord and all he has done for me, my soul sings Alleluia.

He didn’t take you through the death and burial to leave you in the grave. He took you into it that He might take you through it to the other side call resurrection. He took you through it so you will see the big picture.

Lessons from THE CROSS

1. One is usually set up to go down. But on the cross, the rules were changed. I will do anything for you, if you would just ASK. Your betrayer is SETTING YOU UP for your RESURRECTION.

2. The enemy would always try to pull us down, but God always has a plan, a plan to pull you up.

3. Don’t get made at your enemies. Get glad. You’ll soon REIGN over them all.

4. The enemies plot against you has ALWAYS been part of God’s plan for you. So it is just working according to plan.

5. Low places are launching places. Never despise low and dark moments. There are birthing places. Birth place for resurrection.

6. You can’t bury whom God is blessing.

7. The pit the enemy has designated as your tomb will be the place God turns it all round in your favour.

8. Jesus’ resurrection serves as a reminder that you can come out of the very thing your enemies tried to put you in.

9. Even when you are being crucified, you are still lifted above your enemies.

10. A crucifixion is only the genesis of a resurrection, and your resurrection is a reminder to the enemy YOU ARE NOT WHERE THEY LAST SAW YOU. YOU ARE NOT WHERE YOU USE TO BE. You have moved forward and better.

Three words

Words! Words! Words! Words are powerful idioms of expression. Words are real and can unleash something. Words can mar, words can make. Words can kill. Words can give life. (Proverbs 18:21).

The power to speak was granted to man in the Garden of Eden. Scripture writes; God created them, but Adam and Eve named them, and till today, the man, animals and plants still bare the names given by Adam and Eve.

A word from God is so potent. A word from God will turn mourning into dancing, weeping into laughter, darkness in today, failure into success, demotion into promotion, weakness into strength. A word from God can change everything. Matt 24:35 says heaven and earth shall pass away, but Gods word will stay forever. Like the Roman centurion in Matt 8:8, JUST SPEAK THE WORD, my servant will be healed. Ps 107: 20, He sent his words and it healed and saved. It transformed and blessed. It forgave sins and gave a new start.

To Peter the Lord spoke just a word COME and he walked on water.
To the paralytic, he said STAND UP AND WALK and immediately his legs were healed. To the woman he said GO YOUR SINS ARE FORGIVEN.
To Lazarus he said COME OUT, then further said UNTIE HIM. To the apostles, he said GO DEEPER. The Lord always spoke and like he did, He today says three words, words that will change our destiny. Words that will change everything; three words; IT IS FINISHED.

Thank you Lord for speaking over troubled me. Thank you lord.

It is finished. Redemption is finished. My work is finished. I have completed the assignment. It is now time for you to reap the fruits of my labour. Christ knew the significance of his death for our salvation so he said “I came that they might have life and have life to the full” “the son of man came to give his life as a ransom for many”.
It is finished. The sufferings and agonies in redeeming man are over. The work long contemplated, long promised, long expected by prophets and saints, is done. The toils in the ministry, the persecutions and mockeries, and the pangs of the garden and the cross, are ended, and MAN IS REDEEMED, for by his strips we are healed. Receive your healing today.

Holy Thursday

Holy Thursday is more than just the lead-in to Good Friday; it is, in fact, the oldest of the celebrations Holy Week And with good reason: Holy Thursday is the day in which Catholics commemorate the institution of three pillars of the Catholic Faith: the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist, the priesthood and the Mass.

With his disciples at table during the celebration of the Passover, Jesus handed the betrayer a piece of bread, just as he had been feeding all his disciples all along. He always was a father and carried out his role. Today, we pray for fathers especially those not able to be the kind of fathers they should be to their children. Jesus was always giving, always gracing. Jesus fed thousands of people with fish and loaves, and every word that came out of his mouth was spiritual food for those who listened and understood. But on this night something we special happened. He stopped looking outside for food and water. He looked inwardly. He fed them differently. He fed them with his body and blood. Passing the bread, and then the wine, he spoke ominous, comforting words: “this is my body… this is my blood.” This was not an ordinary supper, not even an ordinary Passover. This was the beginning of the greatest story ever told. This was grace searching for lost man. His words connected with what he had said on the shores of far-away Galilee “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty…. whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:35, 54). For us, Jesus gave himself for us. Can we do same? Can we give ourselves for others?

Holy Thursday is also known as Maundy Thursday. The word “Maundy” is derived from the Latin word mandatum, or “mandate.”This word is used in the Latin text for John 13:34: “Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos.”, in English:”A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you.”

Have you loved today like Christ? Many of us will say; ah! I cannot love like Christ o. He is God and can do anything. Yes He is God. But the simple characteristic of Christ’s love for us was SACRIFICE. No greater love can a man have other than to lay down [SACRIFICE] his life for his friends (John 15: 13). Are you ready to sacrifice? Or even sacrifice more? Many people today don’t just want to get involved. They give excuses and tell lies because they don’t want to be inconvenienced. They don’t want anybody to trouble or bother them. Even in church many people just don’t think they should join the men, women or youth organizations because they do not want anybody to disturb them, or come to them with an issue. Today Jesus teaches that it is a great gift and honour for someone to recognize that you could be a solution to a problem. Even if you are not, you could help and offer assistance. Jesus teaches today that we should take the gaze off us and go out of our way to help, support, assist and inspire people. That is what loving as Jesus did means. Like glass, he broke himself. Like from a cup he poured out himself for us, and commanded we do same.

Jesus told them to repeat this unique meal in the future, and then it was time to go out into the chilly night. In a quiet garden among olive trees, quiet but for the deep night sounds of dogs barking in the distance, Jesus prayed. In agony he prayed. In tears he prayed. With blood as sweat he prayed. Never grow weary of praying. I know you may have prayed for years and are getting discouraged. But let tonight reminds you; God listens to the brokenhearted and those whose spirit is crushed he will save ( Ps 34:18).

The specter of shameful execution and of bearing the curse of sin tore into the human consciousness of Jesus. And in the end it was sheer obedience to the divine plan that carried Jesus into the hands of the conspirators waiting for him. Don’t forget HE DID THAT JUST FOR YOU.

The week that changed the world

Holy Week is the Hall of Fame week in world history. Why? Because Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday reveal God’s power to give meaning to Every Day of our lives. So, I say, welcome to the season that gives meaning to our lives.

As throng of crowds shouted “hosanna”, they were offering a cherished prayer, “God, save us.” As you join the millions of Christians all over the world today to sing HOSANNA, may God save you through Christ our Lord. Jesus received and answered their prayer in such a way that they did not immediately understand. You may think God does not hear you when you call just because things did not go the way you hoped. But could it be God is responding to your prayers with such uniqueness that it is taking you awhile to figure out what He is up to? Remember Scriptures in Ps 138; 3 On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased”.

We know He listens to prayers and hears even the faintest cry. The issue that denies you sleep, the discomfort of a disease, the hurt of rejection, the agony of no job, we could go on and on. In all of this, remember a broken and contrite heart He would not despise. So, feel very free to bring your broken heart and torn garment to him. He will not despise you because when you are down to nothing, He is up to something.

As Jesus rode into Jerusalem, the crowd greeted him as the one who would fulfill their desires. With him, the moment they had all been waiting for had arrived; that great moment of triumph over the Roman government and the creating of a new “kin-dom” for them who had been subjected to one empire or another for the better part of 600 years.

Many Christians have had similar expectations of Jesus, which continues to our day. Many Christians only focus on Jesus as a triumphant figure, with a craving for a powerful Jesus who will roll the stone away. However, this is only one side of Jesus and one dimension of God. If we only focus on this side, we have then failed to see the Jesus of the gospels who taught at length regarding how we are to live, who showed love and compassion, who was humble even to death. If we continue to focus only on the triumphant, powerful Jesus, we would only see the human constructions of Jesus becoming Christ and will fail to recognize the humanity of Jesus; that part that wept for his friend Lazarus (John 11:35), that part that prayed before his impending arrest and execution, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done (Luke 22:42), that part that said have you anything to eat (Luke 24: 41) Many Christians often want to ignore or push aside the humanity of Jesus who cared for the poor, only clinging to the strong, powerful and rich God. We hear people say my God is a rich God so I cannot be poor. Nobody says you should be poor. We are saying remember, you may be the only Jesus that man sees; in other words, through your love, maybe a kind word, a compliment, assistance, people will come to know God cares about them. We need to recognize the other side of Jesus who proclaimed his mission in the words of the prophet Isaiah, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,” (Luke 4:18). Jesus loves those who are the forsaken people and wants us to do the same: feed the poor, care for our sisters and brothers who are sick, and visit those in prison.

Remember we are all God’s beloved children and ought to treat all people as our brothers and sisters, particularly those in need. We need to remember and live Jesus’s words, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers [and sisters] of mine, you did for me (Matthew 25:40).

Wishing you a blessed Holy Week. 

Love and Blessings