by Pastor Adekoya
Just some few things to bring out from this chapter…
1. WHAT IS YOUR OWN GOSPEL? (The Place of Personal Conviction)
Luke verse 1 to verse 3
I really want to ask us, what is your Gospel? This talks about the place of conviction, or persuasion. Since all these while that you’ve been listening to the gospel and you’ve been doing personal studies like we all have the opportunity to do here every now and then, have you come to a point of personal conviction; a point of persuasion that you can say this is my gospel?!
We have the gospel account according to Matthew, according to Mark, according to Luke and according to John. But, haven’t read, studied and have been listening to the gospel preached to you, what can you write or say he’s your own gospel? We can talk about Luke laying more emphasis on some events that characterized Jesus earthly ministry that some other writers either omitted or talked about in some brief way but the chief point is, they were all pointing to the same thing: Jesus as the Messiah; Jesus as the chief cornerstone; Jesus the giver of Life; Jesus the only way to the Father; Jesus the truth personified; Jesus the great physician; Jesus the representation of the Godhead; Jesus the visible manifestation of the invisible God; Jesus the author and the finisher over salvation, emphatically ETERNAL SALVATION!
Now, it is important that you come to a point of personal conviction so that your Gospel is not just about what someone tells you or preaches to you or just what you read on the pages of the papers but something that you have taken in, something that you have absorbed – your entire being has agreed to it. Not just the things you’ve heard or the things you’ve read but the things that have become flesh. The word has been made flesh; nothing can dissuade you any longer. You cannot be tossed here and there by any other gospel, any longer. You are not still doubting any part of what you’ve heard about Jesus being the author of eternal salvation, or the truth that the salvation Jesus paid for is in every context. This is important!
I’m admonishing us therefore, not just to be reading or studying or listening to the gospel being preached to us. We must endeavor to arrive at that point of persuasion and that is what will help us to navigate through life, no matter what our daily experience or earthly existence brings. That is the point that we can preach the gospel to OURSELVES! We can preach the gospel to our SITUATIONS! We can preach the gospel even to the devil letting him know that we know that/how Jesus has already finished the work and therefore you are resting in his finished work. knowing that whatever the situation is, it’s turning around for your good!
This is what having personal conviction about the gospel does: it makes you to face life with the mindset of an overcomer; with the mindset of one that is eternally saved and secured in Christ. So that when challenges come you don’t doubt the veracity of the things you’ve heard or have studied. You can tell your situation or your challenges that no matter what, Jesus is alive! No matter what, Jesus reigns! No matter what, Jesus is glorified! No matter what, it is written, all things work together for my good. You can tell the devil “shut up” and remind him he’s been defeated and because Jesus is alive everything is turning around for your good.
This is a proof that you have come to the point of personal conviction and it is at this point that you can preach the gospel and make impact in the life of your hearers or listeners. It is at this point that you can enlighten others, preach the gospel with boldness – unashamed! Hallelujah!
2. WALKING RIGHTEOUSLY WITH GOD IS POSSIBLE!
Another thing I want us to see here is the fact that, even though when the Bible talks about anyone being righteous before the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ we know that they are called righteous because of the state of their hearts towards God and their commitment to carrying out divine orders as given to them, not necessarily because they are sinless. For instance, Abraham’s righteousness was imputed was not impacted because, though he walked in obedience to God, he wasn’t sinless in nature. So, to be righteous under the Old Testament talks about walking in line with Divine dictates or instructions with a pure heart that is centered on God.
But in the New Testament, righteousness is far more than that. It is first and principally our nature in Christ Jesus! It talks about you being at home with God, being one with God, being a partaker of the Divine nature and we understand that righteousness or right standing with God is a gift. Having received the gift of righteousness, learning from the people of old, we see that it is also possible to walk/live righteously with/before God. Emphatically, to live righteously in the world is very very possible. Let us not forget. It will not add to our salvation but it will bring glory to our Father in the now, and will earn us reward on the last day.
Certainly, Grace does not nullify the place of righteous work with God it rather strengthens us, prepares us and galvanizes us towards working intimately, affectionately, passionately and righteously with God on daily basis. Hallelujah!
If it was possible to find anyone under the old covenant to walk righteously with God much more expected of us. This is from verse 5 to verse 6. And also it is amazing to know or rather, it is good to know that walking righteously with God, or the fact that we are saved eternally doesn’t mean that there will be no one or two things or challenges that we have to face or deal with and that is why like I said earlier would need to be convinced about what we believe. That is faith!
As long as we are in this world or here on earth (this present earth), we will always need faith which can be said to be our personal conviction about God or about Jesus, beyond what we have read or heard but though as communicated and empowered by the things we read or hear. Elizabeth the wife of Zechariah, a priest, was barren even though they have a track record of walking righteously with God: walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. That’s awesome! But they had no child.
Interestingly, I found out from the stories of men and women in the scriptures who walked with the Lord, everything they had to face or suffer was to bring about the glory of God; something of eternal importance in the Divine agenda; something of eternal value! With that I can encourage you, whatever is negative that you are going through while in the Faith is a sign that God is preparing you for the opposite in a very special way.
For instance, are you having some financial challenges but you know that in your finance or with your finance? You are faithful to God, meaning you’re not neglecting the place of promoting the gospel, yet you still have to face some financial constraints or challenge. I need to let you know that God is preparing you to handle Kingdom prosperity! By the time it is unleashed, His name will be glorified. Hallelujah, praise God!
3. FAITHFULNESS IS KEY, WALKING WITH GOD!
Still drawing lessons from the life of Zechariah and Elizabeth… The first thing I’d mentioned is the fact that they, amongst other people of old, show us that it is possible to walk righteously with God. Number two, I can see the virtue of faithfulness to God in the place of your given task. Despite the obvious, probably socially shameful situation that he and his wife found themselves, they have a track record of faithfulness, serving the Lord.
I can imagine how many people will talk about them, jeer at them, ridicule them, mock them that despite that they were serving God they were still barren. Yet we find out that even at old age Zachariah was still at his duty post. I’ve learnt that when it is time for God to reach out to you, he wants to meet you where he has ordained you to be. That’s why I’ve always said that the best place to be is where God wants you to be, all tantalizing opportunities around you notwithstanding. That’s important because, when God is set to reveal himself to you and through you he wants to find you where he has positioned you or ordained you to be.
Jesus said “’blessed is that servant whom when his Lord shall come shall find so doing”. In other words, the master will find a servant doing exactly what he has ordained him or asked him to do; find him where he has commanded him or ordained him to be. It is very very important!
If we have a call of God on our life or we are persuaded that God wants us to do something, don’t let us allow the circumstances around us to cause us to deviate from being where God wants us to be or from doing what God wants us to do. Isn’t it amazing that when God was ready to visit Zechariah he didn’t ask the Angel to go to his house but to the temple where he was expected to be found and, praise God Zechariah was there. That’s from verse 8 was 11.
The place of faithfulness is non-negotiable in having a fruitful walk with God. Whatever it is that you are doing in the Kingdom or for the Kingdom in any place, keep doing it; don’t stop doing it because your reward will meet you at your point of doing! If for instance you are a giver (and it’s good to learn to give with a pure heart and pure motives) keep giving. A day’s going to come you’re going to give and it will be as though the little amount you just gave is what has opened the door for you. But actually all that you’ve been given has been recorded by God.
Like I’ve often said: you love to praise God, you love to worship God, don’t stop doing that no matter the circumstances around you. A time is going to come; you’re worshiping like ever before, praising him as usual and his glory with envelope first-time! You will receive healing; something miraculous, something supernatural is going to happen and it’ll be a new dimension for you!
Beloved, you need to keep doing what you know is good to do that you’re doing, wholeheartedly. Be encouraged and be steadfast doing whatever you are doing to advance the kingdom of God in any place. I can announce to you as God’s mouthpiece that your own “John” is about to be born, amen!
Also it is very important to note that while doing what we know is good to do to advance the kingdom of God we do not need any recognition we did not need any accolade from any man. Simply know that there’s always the day of showing forth! John was in the wilderness until the day of his showing forth. Keep doing what you are doing in “secret”, the Lord who sees in secret will reward you in the open amen.
4. WITH THE HOLY GHOST IN US, NOTHING SHALL BE IMPOSSIBLE!
Another thing I want us to see here is that with the Holy Ghost or the Spirit of God in us, there is no telling what God can do to through us if we are willing and we are ready. Life’s daily activities seem to be contesting the place of our focus and dedication to Kingdom course, but yet in our respective locations there’s no telling what the Lord can do for us because of his Spirit, his anointing, his wisdom, his hand in and on us.
The supernatural takes place when the Holy Ghost is in place. The miraculous conception of Mary was consequential upon the Holy Ghost coming upon Mary. Can we estimate what we can make happen now that we carry the Holy Ghost in us to wherever we go? It is important therefore for us to live in the consciousness of the power of God in us and to keep the right company – the people that will help our faith, our confessions and our conviction. I believe Mary’s faith was strengthened as she visited Elizabeth to see that indeed what the Angel said was true and that can be proven in what we see from verse 46. Mary was enraptured, I believe, by the Holy Ghost and began to “worship” and make confessions: My soul doth magnify the Lord and my spirit has rejoice in God my saviour. for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden, for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty has done to me great things and holy is his name.
I believe it was at that point he was enraptured by the Holy Ghost and the conception was made possible, because seeing Elizabeth helped her faith and something erupted! It is important for us to keep right companies if we must continue to grow in faith in Grace and in the wisdom and power of God.