Month: August 2021

The Principles of Change (Acts 10:1-48)

The Overview

Apostle Peter was given the “Keys of the Kingdom of Heavens” by the Lord Jesus Christ, when he (Peter) acknowledged that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, through the Revelation given to him (Peter) by God the Father (Matthew 16:15-19). Peter, with the “Key” opened the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven to the Jews in Jerusalem (Acts 2); then in God’s time, Peter was used by God to “open” the Gospel of the Kingdom of God to the Gentiles (Acts 10).

The “Opening” of the Kingdom of Heaven to the Gentile, involves the Supernatural Vision (Acts 10), – involving Peter, the Jew with Cornelius, the Gentile, the Roman Centurion, a devout man and one who feared (Reverence) God, who has a visitation from God. Cornelius was asked to seek out Peter, who was residing in Joppa (Acts 10:1-8).

How can God bring them together, when they were separated by such a religious, national, and cultural divide – especially, Peter, the Jew, ministering to Cornelius who is not only a Gentile but also a Centurion of the Roman; the Roman was hated by the Jews, in the time of Christ. God chose to minister the supernatural vision to Peter, the Jew, to unlock the national prejudice of the Jews against the Gentile, let alone, the Roman Centurion.

Peter was given a vision of a sheet lowered from Heaven, holding a variety full of edible animals, birds, and creeping things of which the Jew considered, unclean; he (Peter) was asked to kill and eat (Acts 10:9-13). Peter, first reaction, as a Jew, was his refusal, due to his (Peter’s) Jewish dietary laws (Acts 10:14). God spoke to Peter the second time, rebuking him (Peter) that what God has cleansed, must not be considered as common and unclean (Acts 10:15). It happened three times, and then, the objects were taken up into Heaven (Acts 10:16), leaving Peter totally bewildered about the Vision (Acts 10:17a).

What did the Vision mean? Peter has no interpretation for the Vision, but while he (Peter) was thinking about the Vision, God’s Spirit revealed the Purpose of the Prophetic Vision – Acts 10:19-20 “While Peter thought about the Vision, the Spirit said to him (Peter), ‘Behold, three men are seeking you. Arise therefore, go down and go with them, doubting nothing for I have sent them.” Peter went with the men to Cornelius’ house, preached the Gospel, and watched as the Holy Spirit fell on those people in Cornelius’ house, and he (Peter) saw the Gentiles added to the Church of Jesus Christ (Acts 10:21-48) – of Jews (Acts 2) and Gentiles (Acts 10). From this episode, Nine General Principles could be learned:

1. Change

Change is unpleasant but necessary because change is part of God’s Plan for the Individual, and the Church. The role of the Church Leader is to be an Agent of change and to manage it. Change is inherent in the Leadership of the Church. God modelled some Powerful Principles when he gave the “Keys of the Kingdom” (Matthew 16:19a) to Peter for the inclusion of Gentiles in His (God’s) Church (Acts 1:8), as recorded in Acts chapter 10. God led Peter from being an Opponent of Change, because to his Jewish heritage, to be a Champion of Change.

2. Value and Conviction

God addressed Peter’s Values and Convictions, as Peter was a Jew – Acts 10:9-16 (NIV) “About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city. Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. Then a voice told him, get up, Peter kills and eat. Surely not, Lord, Peter replied. I have never eaten anything impure or unclean. The voice spoke to him a second time. Do not call anything impure that God has made clean. This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.” A Wise Church Leader takes time to understand his People who must adapt to the Change. The Church Leader demonstrates that he is not out to violate their Values and Convictions, but rather to Convince and Convict his People that Change is necessary.

3. Plan Challenged

God allowed Peter to challenge His Plan – Acts 10:14-15 (NIV) “Surely not, Lord, Peter replied. I have never eaten anything impure or unclean. The voice spoke to him a second time. Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” If People’s Objections are not addressed in a forthright and honest manner, the People will not “buy-in.” The Church Leader may wrongly perceive the People’s concerns as antagonism.

4. Worked Through Resistance

God allowed Peter to work through his (Peter’s) resistance – Acts 16-17 (NIV) “This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven. While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon’s house was and stopped at the gate.” Adaption to change takes time. The Wise Church Leader allows the People the time needed to work through their Reservations.

5. Controlled Situation

God allowed Peter to manage change in a controlled situation before thrusting him into major change. He allowed Peter to “try on” the change under controlled circumstances – Acts 10:18-23 (NIV) “They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there. While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, Simon, three men are looking for you. So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them. Peter went down and said to the men, I am the one you are looking for. Why have you come? The men replied, we have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to have you come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say. Then Peter invited the men into the house to be his guests.” A Wise Church Leader allows his People to experience the process of change in order that the People may begin to experience progressively the change’s effect.

6. Preparation

God prepares the People who are involved in change: (1) Cornelius, a Gentile and a Roman Centurion (Acts 10:1-8); (2) Peter, a Jew (Acts 10:19-23, 30-33): Cornelius – God Commended Cornelius’ Attitudes and Actions by the Angelic Visitation. Cornelius was commanded to look for Simon Peter and to bring him to his house (Acts 10:1-8). Peter – God moved Peter’s heart through the Heavenly Vision (Acts 10:34) and the Visitation of Cornelius’ Servants. God anticipated Peter’s Jewish background and objections. God addressed Peter’s fear and concern. When introducing change, a Wise Church Leader must be prepared to address the concern of the People and the questions that might arise.

7. Invitation

God did not ask Peter to change. He invited Peter to participate and become Agent of change – Acts 34 (NIV) “Then Peter began to speak: I now realise how true it is that God does not show favouritism but accepts men from every nation who fear Him and do what is right.” God showed forth the undeniable proof by the out pouring of the Holy Spirit – Acts 10:44-46a (NIV) “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers (Jews) 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.” Abandoning the comfort of the status quo (Peter, a Jew) can feel the threat. A Wise Church Leader helps his People to assimilate and adjust to the change.

8. Key Leader

God usually convicts the Key Leader (in this instant, Peter) and allowed that Leader himself to champion the change. The Key Leader needs to explain the Vision and Strategies (or Actions) – Acts 11:1-18 (NIV) “The apostles and the brothers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised Believers (Jews) criticised him and said, you went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them. Peter began and explained everything to them precisely as it had happened……..When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, so then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.” Individuals are easier to work with than a Group. Change needs the support of other Leaders for it to be wide-spread and successful. Peter had the Apostles and brothers in Jerusalem for his support (Acts 11:18). These Leaders will then help to galvanise (“fire up”) Others to reconcile themselves to the New Change. Peter was given the “Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 16:19) – Peter was the Key Leader in the Opening up of the Gospel to the Jews in Jerusalem, on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:14-41) and the Gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 10:1-48).

9. Core Values

Change is important, but it must not undermine the core values of the Church. Peter experienced that tension, and God helped him facilitate change while not abandoning his Jewish Core Values. Core Values should form as the Rock-Solid Foundation, while Practices and Procedure can be changed to enable the Church to face the future. Peter’s Core Values are: Peter was an Apostle (Matthew 10:1-2a) with the “Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 16:19) – Matthew 10:1-2a, Matthew 16:19 (NIV) “He (Jesus) called His twelve disciples to Him…….These are the names of the twelve apostles……I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” And his (Peter’s) Jewish Heritage (Acts 10:9-17).

Three Laws of Heaven (Micah 6:8)

The Statement

The three Divine requirements of human relationship is shown in Micah 6:8 “What doth the LORD requires of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.” In the 8th Century, before Christ, in the heart of idolatry in Israel, Prophet Micah, under the inspiration of God’s Spirit put forth a conception of threefold Divine requirements in human-relationship. Prophet Micah is conspicuous as the Prophet of Mercy. The strong rebuke at the beginning of his (Micah’s) Prophetic Book, of God’s judgement against sin, ends with depth of Mercy at the end of his Prophetic Book. This trinity of truth (“Do Justly,…..Love Mercy,…..Walk Humbly with our God”) sums up the requirements of God in our human-relationship; feeling God’s heart-beat for His people. What God has commanded us in Micah 6:8, He will enable us to do: “Faithful is He who calleth you, who also will enable us to do.” (1Thessalonians 5:24). God requires us to: “Do Justly,” and to “Love Mercy,” “Walk Humbly” before our God (Micah 6:8); these three things God asks us to do, in human relationship; He empowers us to be able to do them, involving:

  • Outer Profession (“Do Justly”).
  • Inner Disposition (“Love-Mercy”).
  • Upper Communion (“Walk humbly with our God”).

Point 1 – Do Justly

Micah 6:8 “What doth the LORD requires of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.” Prophet Amos, whose Disciple is Micah, sternly declared that religion can never be substituted for: “Justice, Mercy and Humility” (Micah 6:8); no matter what areas of influence we may have; God demands of us, first of all, an integrity of heart in our relationship with Others:

  • Action – that is, we are to “do justly.”
  • Attitude – In our thoughts, feelings, and actions, as Christians we must be fair and just in our relationship/dealing with people., as the Foundation of God’s Throne is Justice, and God is Just in all His dealings; and God expects us, His children to reflect His Character (Micah 6:8).

We look for others to be honourable, fair, and just as they relate to us, and we must be prepared to treat them according to the same standard, this is God’s requirement (Micah 6:8).  Because we are Divinely Justified, we have Peace with God (Romans 5:1); we must exercise justice; that we carry God’s Presence in our actions, thus, impacting the people around us.

Point 2 – Love Mercy

Micah 6:8 “What doth the LORD requires of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.” Justice applied without Mercy could be correct, but cold. God does not want us to be merely Just, but He wants us to show Mercy and Tenderness in our dealings with others, without compulsion, but from generosity of heart. We are to “Love-Mercy.” In God’s Sight (Micah 6:8), Justice cannot be divorced from Mercy – “Doing Justice and Loving Mercy.” If Justice says, “Pay that thou owest,” Mercy listens to the Suppliant’s cry, “Have patience with me,” and forgives him “all that debt.” God delights in Mercy (Micah 6:8), we, His children must reflect His Character. So, although Justice is mentioned first, in Micah 6:8, God’s Word exhorts us to be Merciful in heart and action.

A mere show of Mercy is hypocrisy; if such a virtue is to be effective, it must be governed by God’s Love – “Love (agape) Mercy” (Micah 6:8). Tenderness is an inward disposition which makes possible Mercy in action. Justice without Mercy would crush the person we deal with and also hardened our character. In God, both Justice and Mercy act in unison, and He requires us to preserve the same harmony between them. We must not be hard, harsh, unfeeling, and unbending as we strive “to Do Justly.” Tender Mercy must be combined with integrity – Proverbs 11:17 “The merciful man does good for his own soul, but he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.”  God is Just and Justifier of all who believe, but at the same time, He is “very pitiful and full of tender Mercy.” We, totally dependent upon God’s Mercy, we, in turn, are to show-forth Mercy and Grace – “Be ye therefore merciful as your Father also is Merciful” (Luke 6:36) was the exhortation of our God through whose Mercy we are saved.

Point 3 – Walk Humbly with Our God

Micah 6:8 “What doth the LORD requires of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.” Walking Humbly with our God is a true sign of God’s Servanthood in our life. “To Do Justly….to Love Mercy… Walk Humbly with our God” (Micah 6:8) could only be possible if we walk in deep fellowship and submission to the Lordship of God’s Spirit – “Can two walk together except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3). Walking Humbly with our God leads to the transformation of our attitude and character (2Corinthians 5:18). The secret of “Doing Justly” and “Loving-Mercy,” is our Humble walk with our God, which always results in our walking as He walks. Enoch and Noah walked with God (Genesis 5:24; Genesis 6:8). Humility before God is called: “the Crown of all Virtues” (Saint Augustine); Pride is one of the deadliest of Sins. “Pride always goes before a Fall” (Proverbs 16:18). Pride brought about the Fall of Lucifer (Satan – Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:12-19). Pride is at the root of every Sin. Christ, our Lord, is associated with Humility and Obedient (Philippians 2:5-8; Hebrews 5:8). The Sevenfold Benefits of walking humbly with our God:

  1. God’s Grace – 1Peter 5:5b “Be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the Proud, but gives grace to the Humble.’”
    James 4:6 “But He {God} gives more grace. Therefore, He says: ‘God resists the Proud but gives grace to the Humble.”
    Proverbs 3:34 “Surely He {God} scorns the scornful but gives grace to the Humble.”
  2. God’s Exaltation – 1Peter 5:6 “Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.” And Psalm 75:6-7 “For exaltation comes neither from the east nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the Judge: He puts down one and exalts another.
  3. God’s Attention – Isaiah 66:2b “But on this man will I {God} look: on him who is poor (humble) and of a contrite (broken) spirit, and who tremble at My Word.
  4. God’s Presence – Isaiah 57:15 “For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: ‘I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite (broken) and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.’
  5. God’s Nearness – Psalm 34:18 “The LORD is near those who have a broken (contrite) heart and saves such as have a contrite spirit.
  6. God’s Acceptance – Psalm 51:17 “The sacrifices of God are a broken (contrite) spirit, a broken and contrite heart – these, O God, You will not despise.’
  7. The Key of “Doing Justly” and “Loving-Mercy,” is our humble walk with our God (Micah 6:8). – Humility before God is called: “the Crown of all Virtues” (Saint Augustine).


Micah 6:8 “What doth the LORD requires of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.” The threefold Divine Requirements of: “Do Justly,….Love Mercy,…..and Walk Humbly with our God” (Micah 6:8) is not beyond us – and not too idealistic – because we have the Indwelling Holy Spirit, enables us with His Synergistic Works:

  • Philippians 2:12b-13 (NKJV) “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
  • Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
  • Colossians 1:29 (NKJV) “To this end I also labour, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.”
  • Hebrews 13:21 “Make you complete in every good works to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ,….
  • Psalm 127:1“Unless the LORD builds the house, they labour in vain who build it; unless the LORD guards the city, the Watchman stays awake in vain.” God is involved in the building and watching; yet it is obvious the Psalmist envisions the Builders labouring to build God’s House and the Watchmen standing guard over the city. Both the Builders and the Watchmen carried out their responsibility in total dependence on God that is why the Psalmist speaks of God building and God watching.

Financial Freedom (Luke 16:11)

The Statement

Money is an essential aspect of life. We cannot avoid being involved with it. It can be a Good Servant or a Terrible Master. Either way it affects every other area of our lives. Our Lord Jesus Christ reminds us if we are not able to handle our finance prudently (worldly wealth), how can He (Jesus) entrusts us with His Riches? – Luke 16:11“If you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth who will trust you with true riches? (Luke 16:11). There are various causes of financial difficulty, but the most common is overspending:

  • This may involve spending all the money we have, leaving none for giving or saving for the future.
  • Spending everything, we have almost inevitably lead to living on credit, which is spending money we do not have.
  • Living on credit reduces our future resources, initiating a vicious cycle of increased borrowing that can lead to a seemingly hopeless situation.
  • Overspending and indebtedness can develop at any age. People with high income are not immune.

The Root of Overspending

A Psychological Test was carried out, the Audiences were given a quick reflex test by asking them to list the emotions they associate with money: Often the lists are dominated by worry, concern, guilt, or desire. There were Psychological Factors discovered, in the Test, behind overspending:

  • The Person may be deprived as a child and would be determined that he and his family would enjoy everything life has to offer.
  • Others think poorly of themselves and try to compensate with displays of affluence.
  • Some seek emotional security in material things when they do not feel loved and accepted.

More often the problem has simpler roots. Some People simply do not know how to manage their financial affairs. Our Society’s insistence on instant gratification encourages overspending. The advertising that surrounds us creates artificial “needs” is another powerful stimulus to overspending. All, of these roots of overspending find fertile grounds in the soil of materialism – the age-old desire for and slavery to material things. Materialism expresses itself in:

  • Covetousness (greedy desire for what does not belong to us).
  • Possessiveness (selfishly clinging to everything we have).

Overspending is almost always closely related to this inordinate desire for things and pleasure. The answer to gaining control of our finances lies deeper than good rules of financial management. These are necessary, but more fundamental is the process of growing into maturity in a very significant area of our life, our attitude. The correct attitude is essential to controlling money.

God’s Word – The Bible provides us the Principle and Guidance on the Management of our Finance. If we are to achieve control, the understanding of the Principles are essential:

God’s Blessing – Genesis 1:31 “And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good.” God created the material universe as a provision, not as a temptation. He described His Creation as “good.” Money represents material things. It functions as a medium of exchange and a store value, facilitating the use of God’s Creation in many ways. If the material things God created are Good, so is the money we substitute for them in exchange. Therefore, our attitude toward both material things and money should be positive.

Stewardship – 1Corinthians 4:1-2 “Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” Responsibility is a corollary of Freedom. All through the Scriptures Individuals are held accountable for their attitudes, decisions and actions. The Scriptures established the Principle of Individual Ownership of the Person’s attitudes and actions. God gives us the right to control and the use of our wealth. But with our right to control what we own comes our responsibility to use it as God’s Stewards, accountable to Him. This responsibility of Stewardship is an Individual matter. In Jesus’ Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30), each Steward is held responsible and rewarded or rebuked according to his diligence.

Apostle Paul set the example of assuming responsibility for his financial needs, even though he had the right to be supported by those who have benefited from his ministry (2Thessalonians 3:6-10). He encourages his Followers to work to meet their own needs and to help others (Ephesians 4:28, 1Thessalonians 4:11-12). Unless a person demonstrates his trustworthiness in these “little things” of material wealth, he cannot expect God to entrust him the true riches of Eternal Values (Luke 16:11).

Live Below Income – Proverbs 21:20 “The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets” (TLB). Our standard of living must be such that total expenditures are less than income. This requires a life-style that keeps material things in their proper perspective. If we are living within our means, there will be resources to meet even severe emergencies without violating this rule. This is an essential step toward financial freedom. It is particularly importance that this rule never be violated because violations are cumulative and inevitably make tomorrow’s problems worse than today’s. Yet, it is so obvious that it is often overlooked, and its violation is the source of nearly all financial difficulty.

Establish Priorities of Use – Establish priorities for the use of our Resources. Much has been written about the proper order of priorities for the Christian, but our basic guidance should come from God’s Word. Living below our income implies an orderly control of necessary expenditures and at least a small surplus that can be used for optional priorities – including giving and saving – Proverbs 21:20 “The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets” (TLB).

Master Our Credit – Proverbs 22:7 “The Rich rule over the Poor, and the Borrower is Servant to the Lender.” In our society credit is the greatest single impediment to financial control. It is not only readily available but is foisted on consumers through the clever advertising of both money and product. Spending on credit without proper control is likening to “a foolish man who spends whatever he gets” (Proverbs 21:20 – TLB).

Learn to Buy Wisely – The Virtuous Wife of Proverbs 31, we are told: “sees that her trading is profitable” (Proverbs 31:18). Clearly, she must have looked for good buys! Notice that she “considers a field and buys it” (Proverbs 31:16). One Writer states that he does not believe that it is an exaggeration to say that expenditure costing one family, of the same family size, $10,000.00 can cost another $15,000.00. Many factors enter into this discrepancy, but the important ones are ordinary common sense, patience, and willingness to search hard for the best buy. Financial Freedom – Living in control of our financial affairs – is not only a wonderful experience, it is an enabling one. It prepares us for fruitful usefulness in other areas of life, an initial step toward maturity!

Prayer the Answer to Not Giving Up (Luke 18:1-14) (Part 2)

The Day of Crisis

Proverbs 24:10-12 “If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small. If thou forbear to deliver those who are drawn unto death and those who are ready to be slain.

  • Proverbs 24:10 there is a play on the word adversity (Hebrews “tsarah”) = “distressful (severe trouble, mental pain), constricting, narrowing, pressure-packed,” and small (Hebrews “tsar”) = “narrow.” Because of the “constricting” nature of adversity, our smallness (“narrow corridor”) of strength amplified the situation, thus resulting in “fainting” = Disheartened, a sense of Hopelessness.
  • Proverbs 24:11-12 set forth situations where the character of the Person is tested. The obligation to receive the Person who is being overwhelmed by situation is set forth. Any attempt to avoid the responsibilities for deliverance in such situations is unacceptable. One may not hypocritically plead ignorance. The God who knows us will “render to every man according to his works.”
  • King Solomon reminds us that the time of crisis is in reality a test of strength, an opportunity for the Person to demonstrate his mettle. Strength neutralized by pressure is weakness. For the Person who cannot show strength to cope, endure, or produce while under pressure and in difficulty is perhaps physical weakling.

Waiting on God

The Answer to Fainting is Prayer (Luke 18:1) and Waiting on the LORD (Isaiah) – Isaiah 40:28-31 “Hast thou not known? Has, thou not heard, that the Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of His understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to those who have no might He increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall. But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

  • Abraham Lincoln once confided: “I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of those around me seemed insufficient for the day.
  • Good Decision – A popular story concerns a successful Executive retiring after much Fruitful Leadership. His Young Replacement nervously asked, “Sir, to what do you attribute your Success?” His quick response was “Good Decisions!” And how, sir, did you know how to make Good Decisions? That’s simple, son, by Experience.” Please, sir, where does this Experience come from? “From Bad Decisions,” was his honest reply. Leaders learn from their Mistakes.

Mind – Area of Fainting

Hebrews12:3“For consider Him (Jesus) that endured such contradiction (opposition) of Sinners (sinful men) against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

The Issue“Wearied” = Sick (James 5:15; Fainting, Revelation 2:3). Weariness is a sudden breakdown in Endurance. “Faint” = Despond, become exhausted, or slack in one’s mind:

  • A more gradual relaxation in vigilance
  • Mental Depression can lead to psychological loss of determination and even physical fatigue and sickness.
  • Discouragement is not a single moment but over a period of time, with a gradual slackening of resolve

The Meditation – The Corrective for Weariness and Fainting is an ever deepening consideration of the Humiliation and Sufferings of the Lord Jesus Christ in comparison with our Own Sufferings:

  • In considering our Lord Jesus Christ we must have regard to the Infinite Glory of His Person, the depth of the humiliation to which He suffered both under the cruelty of man, and the wrath of God, and the perfection of the example of meekness, quietness and constancy with which He endured all. 
  • Meditations of our Lord’s humiliation and sufferings will strengthen our courage and support our faith and the solace of our hearts.

Peace of Mind – – In his bestseller, “Peace of Mind,” Joshua Liebman tells of his experience as a young man. He listed the supreme goods in his life and took them to a Wise Mentor. When he showed him the list, he expected to be praised for his precocity (maturity). His list included such values as love, health, riches, talent, beauty and friends. The Wise Old Mentor pondered the list, then with a twinkle in his eye, reached for a pencil. He drew a line through each item on the list and then said: “Young man, you may have all of these, but they will turn out to be your enemies instead of friends unless you have the one and most important thing you missed.” Then he wrote on the paper, “the gift of an untroubled mind.” – Isaiah 26:3 “Thou wilt keep him in Perfect Peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee.


The Answers to Weariness and Fainting are:

  • Prayer (Luke 18:1).
  • Waiting on the LORD (Isaiah 40:31).
  • Considering the Humiliation and Sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ (Hebrews 12:3).
  • Not weary and faint not in Well-doing = Rewards (Galatians 6:9).

Prayer the Answer to Not Giving Up (Luke 18:1-14) (Part 1)


Luke 18:1“And He spoke a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Romans 12:12 “Patient in tribulation, continuing instant (diligently) in prayer.”)

The Setting

Luke 18:1-30, we find the last events in the Public Ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, as recorded by Luke prior to the Final Journey to Jerusalem:  Luke 18:31 “Then He took unto Him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished.” In Luke 18:31 is where the story of the Final Journey begins.  In this paragraph there are two Sections:

2 Parables on Prayer

  • Perseverance in Prayer (Luke 18:1-8).
  • Right Attitude in Prayer (Luke 18:9-14).

Which unquestionably took place in close connection? The First Parable was spoken to His (Jesus’) Disciples (Luke 18:1-8) and the Second Parable to the Crowd or Jewish Rulers, who trust in themselves. The two Parables moved in the same realm of thought but had two entirely different emphases.

2 Incidents

  • The Lesson of the Little Children – Luke 18:15-17
  • The Hindrance of Riches – Luke 18:18-27


Luke 18:1“And He spoke a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.”

  • The Necessity of Prayer – The First Parable opens with a very arresting statement. Our Lord Jesus Christ introduces this Parable in order to emphasize the Necessity for Prayer, and the Necessity for Prayer as a way of life for the Christian in the face of the events that surround Christ’s Second Coming (Luke 17:22-37).
  • The Revelation – The Age in which we live would be days of great difficulty. The Parable, then, is a Revelation of what is necessary for the Life of Faith, in the Age which is not conducive to faith. In such an Age, Prayer is the very essence of life to carry us through to the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Prayer or Faint – Under such circumstances, our Lord Jesus Christ says, in effect, there is one alternative offered to us, Prayer or Faint. Our Lord Jesus warns of the Age and of the life of His people through that Age, is that unless we Pray, we will Faint. Thus, the Revelation on the Purpose of the Parable is revealed in the opening verse of Luke 18:1 “And He spoke a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Romans 12:12 “Patient in tribulation, continuing instant (diligently) in prayer.”).
  • Readiness – Our Lord Jesus Christ was making an immediate application of His Prophecy on the Second Coming (Luke 17:22-37). Readiness for His Return will be conditioned by Prayer.

The Principle Enforced

  • Positively – “Men ought always to pray.” “Ought” = Renders an infinitive (dein) which expresses a moral and spiritual obligation. It is only “always prayer” that will Prevent the Fainting.
  • Negatively –“Not to faint” means “Never to lose heart.” The word “to faint” render a word (enkakein) which means “to give in to evil, to lose heart, or to play the coward:”
    • It suggests great trials.
    • It suggests a lack of spiritual health.

All of these meanings enhance Jesus’ Words about Prayer.  Men are not to do these things but are to rely upon Prayer for strength, encouragement, and bravery. That the Apostles needed such an exhortation is seen in their conduct when Jesus was arrested. But that they kept Praying and received answer is evident in their conduct following Pentecost. It was to encourage them to be perseverance in Prayer that the Lord Jesus spoke the Parable of the Unjust Judge (Luke 18:1-8). 


To be discouraged is to lose heart and strength. Doctors and Psychologists are convinced of the relationship between the two:

  • Discouragement can actually paralyze both our wills to do something and our strength to carry it out.
  • Discouragement saps our strength emotionally and physically.
  • Weariness – We need to be aware of the relationship between weariness and discouragement. We are especially susceptible to discouragement when we are overly tired. A person often gets discouraged when he is too tired.
  • Temptation – We need to be aware of the relationship between physical weariness and temptation. That is why it seems to be Satan’s prime strategy against those who really want to work for God.
  • Faith – Luke 18:8 “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” Our Lord Jesus is concerned that Christians might Fail to Pray persistently and therefore become discouraged and lose Faith.

To be continued….. Stay tuned

Forgiveness (Matthew 6:12) (Part 2)

Unanswered Prayer

Mark 11:24-26 “Therefore, I say unto you, whatever things you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them. And when you stand praying, forgive, if you have ought (anything) against any, that your Father also, who is in heaven, may forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father, who is in heaven, forgive your trespasses.” This is the root cause of Unanswered Prayers. Unforgiveness is not changed by time. The Person may have resentment in his/her heart for years. That Person still has to take the appropriate action to forgive. Unforgiveness is not changed by the fact that it has happened a long time ago. The Person that is closest to us is the one that is going to hurt us the most. To maintain a spirit of forgiveness is therefore essential to our walk with the Lord Jesus. One of the main problems with the Younger Generation is their relationship with their Parents. Parents have to carry the share of the blame, the “missing fathers” – Malachi 4:5-6 “Behold, I will send you Elijah, the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord; And He shall turn the heart of the fathers to their children and the heart of the children to the fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

Remit or Retain

John 20:22-23 “And when He (Jesus) he had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, receive you the Holy Spirit: Whosesoever sins you remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins you retain, they are retained.” A tremendous responsibility on the Holy Spirit in-breathed Christian. The Person becomes “a Sin-Remitter” or “a Sin-Retainer.” The words of our Lord Jesus Christ were for all Christians rather than the earlier Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. The unforgiving Person is bounded by an invisible cord to the Person who he has not forgiven. The only way to break loose is Forgiveness.

The Steps

When the Person is confronted with this requirement that we have to forgive others as we want God to forgive us, I often heard people say, “I can’t forgive.” But this arises from the misunderstanding of the nature of forgiveness. Forgiveness is not an emotion it is a decision. We cannot work up the emotion, but we can make the decision. This means that we can forgive if we know how. Six steps to forgiving others:

  1. Recognise our need to forgive by God. Be honest with ourselves. Do not try to be too religious or too pious. Do not pretend that they are no “bad feelings” in our hearts against that Person or Situation. Acknowledge that there are some people that we are really bitter against, we really hold resentment against. Do not covers it up. Be willing to name the Person(s) we need to forgive.
  2. Submit to God’s Word – Excepts the teaching of God’s Word on forgiveness (Matthew 6:14-15; Matthew 18:15-35; Mark 11:24-26; John 20:22-23). Forgiving others is not being spiritual but enlightens self-interest. The measure we forgive others is the measure God forgives us.
  3. Make the right decision, remember, do not wait for feeling, because our feelings are not fully under our control. But our wills are fully under our control. Forgiveness proceeds from the will not from the emotion. Willed to forgive that Person(s). Make the decision.
  4. Affirm to forgive verbally. Do not let it be an inner thought that passes through our mind. Affirm it with our words. “Lord Jesus I forgive…….” Affirming it with our spoken words give it tremendous power.
  5. Confirmation – Suppose that hurt and resentful feelings come back. We keep thinking about the Person(s) and the hurts. What are we going to do? Are we going to forgive again? My advice is that you do not reaffirm that forgiveness again. This will weaken our first forgiveness. What we need to do when we are tempted to give up the forgiveness, tempted to go back to resentment or bitterness, is this just say: “Lord Jesus, I have forgiven……” do not go back to it but just state it that it has been done. I have forgiven.
  6. Exercise Love – Replace the negative image you have created in your mind about that Person with the goodness in that Person, also speak into the spiritual world, the Person’s goodness. In other words, every time we begin to think of that Person that we have a hard time to forgive, do not dwell on the Person and the issue but thank God for that Person and the Situation. And begin to Pray for that Person and his family.


God, I acknowledged my need of Your Forgiveness. I believe that You are willing to forgive me for our Lord Jesus’ Sake. But I also acknowledge that I need to forgive Mr/Miss……….., so by the decision of my will, I now forgive Mr/Miss……… as I will have You to forgive me. Trusting in Your Grace and Mercy, I now affirm that I have forgiven Mr/Miss…….. as You have forgiven me. Thank you in Jesus’ Name. Amen.