His Wrath & His Love Are One In The Same!

Read Romans 1:19-23

 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness, Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shown it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse; Because, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man, and birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.”

 This is such a deep passage that we could get dozens of sermons out of it. For today we will just talk about God’s wrath which is obviously justified in the above verses. When I was not a Christian I did not care much about God’s wrath because I rationalized it so nicely in my mind that it softens things for me. Mind you most people, Christians and unbelievers alike, have the wrong idea about God’s wrath to begin with. One of the reasons we do take our time in coming to come, that is if we come at all, is because we have brought the bar so low, we see God just a tad higher than us. So, with our human ability to think we reason that we can bargain our way through heaven or that God will be gracious and will overlook certain things. I find there is a percentage of Christian who see God’s wrath as something that should not be there. As if God should not be associated with wrath at all because it is such a terrible thing. In effect, what they are doing is comparing God’s wrath according to human’s wrath which is an awful thing. These are just a few of the theories out there about His wrath.

 One of the beauties of knowing God is that you learn to appreciate His wrath because His wrath is as much part of who He is as His holiness and His love. His wrath is also as intense as His love and it’s also one of His attributes.  Those of you who are intimate with Him know that just because we no longer fear His wrath, does not touch your reverence for Him. If anything you have more reverence for Him because you know how much of His wrath you deserve, yet you are spared. Whether we talk about the New Testament or the Old Testament, the wrath of God is His indignation against all that is evil. I was talking to someone who reads the Bible all the time, but did not want to hear that in the heart of man there is evil. This person felt the word sin was more acceptable but not the word evil. But according to God’s standards sin is evil. Genesis 8:21 says: “the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth”

 Although God loves us, it is a mistake to think that because of His love we will be okay. If it was just for His love, there would not be a need for the Cross of Christ and everyone on earth would be saved.  Because His wrath is as intense as His love, He made provision through the Cross which is served as a propitiation to appease God’s demands in dealing with sin.  When Christ died on the Cross, He experienced the full wrath of God against sin. So it is not up to us to judge or make excuses for God’s wrath. At the moment of final judgement when all excuses are taken away, all pride, disobedience, need for power, greed, lust etc., and we stand there in front of Him, each one of us will know with no doubt whatsoever that we get exactly what we deserve.

 

PRAY: Lord God I thank you for who you are. I pray that those who profess to be Christians would get to know you with passion through intimacy. They would embrace all of you; they would learn not to make excuses for your wrath as if it was a flaw in you but they would glorify you instead as they realize how deep is the depth of your love through your divine wrath.

 

In Disappointment, Believe His Word and Rest In Him!

1 Thessalonians 2: 13 – “And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.”

 This morning I spent most of my time singing praises. God has been testing my hope in Him so much the past few weeks. I have been doing my best to remain at His feet no matter how difficult and unpredictable my life has been. It took great effort on my part to remind myself that my life was not about me. So, I renewed my pledge to follow no matter where He leads and even when my hopes are dashed I will not change my mind about His love for me, what He has done for me and who I am in Him. As I was praying, the Holy Spirit confirmed to me what I see in my life these days are the result of one of my prayers where I asked Him to make my hope in Him so strong that no disappointment in this life would run me down. Hence, why the past few weeks it has been one disappointment after another to the point where if something goes right I am the first one to be surprised.

 I was reading 1 Thessalonians 2 and I admired Paul’s courage and focus. Paul was following the Holy Spirit leading that led him and Silas in Philippi. There, they were treated so badly for their faith. They were flogged, thrown in jail with their feet shackled, they took their clothes away and so on. Yet while the message in this chapter was poignant but Paul’s purpose and mission were his only focus. I was amazed to see that even after this beating he received from the Romans, he still felt the trip was a success. Strangely, he was right. No details escape God. So, through the letter he wrote to the Thessalonians you could see what his priority was and the joy and hope he found in being used by God. He knew he could boast in Christ for the Thessalonians receiving the Word of God, they believed in it and they were living testimonies of God using Paul for His glory.

 Sometimes even when we follow God’s leading all we end up with are: closed doors, deception, mistreatment, pain and persecution, but we should not despair. If we trust Him He will use it all for His glory. The way we respond to Him when we are afflicted makes a world of a difference. We ought to learn to give it all to Him and let Him carry the burden and the pain while we find rest in Him as we continue the path. But we can only respond this way if we truly trust Him. God does not expect us to enjoy the process, but He expects us to understand if we are truly His, then nothing in our lives is left to chance. Every step we take has been ordained by Him. If we learn to comply according to His Word, His will and His life in us, by His grace, we will be transformed day by day.

 PRAYER: Father, I pray on behalf of all your children that are distressed and afflicted. May they find consolations and hope in you. May they remain strong and focus to the mandate you placed before them, and may they glorify you my Lord and Saviour!

In His Love & Service,

M. J. Andre

 

A Child-Like Attitude

The Scriptures say in Matthew 11:25 & Luke 10:21:At that same time Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, and he said, “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way.  

When I did not have intimacy with Christ yet, I assumed Jesus was referring to all of us His followers as those with childlike- attitude. I assumed if you received Salvation, you automatically have a child-like attitude and those who make up the corporate Church could not be among the wise and prudent Christ was referring to. Knowing how a child-like attitude pleased God and even though I did not know what it meant to have a child-like attitude I set out to work on it, on my own. I recalled after the Holy Spirit asked me to surrender all that I am to Him, two major things happened to me inwardly. One was that He opened the eyes of my heart. The second one was the need to ask myself a very important question, something that was all of the sudden embedded in me. It was as if I knew what I was talking about yet I had no idea where this knowledge and wisdom came from. This nagging question was “why do I need to work out Salvation on my own, if He is the one who opened my eyes to see it when I was in pure darkness?” With a confidence, I knew the answer was, since you showed me when I was totally ignorant, then I can trust you to continue showing me more. But, make no mistake about that, it was hard to live out this revelation because when life sets in, you forget.

 It turns out that a chil-dlike attitude is obtained through Him lavishing His grace on you. It is like you are watching yourself believing and walking with Him like a child. Not only you cannot stop yourself, but as time goes by, you get deeper and deeper into it. Through that, I learned the Church is filled with wise and prudent (it is almost like they are too smart for their own good). You see, the bigger is your God the more of a child you become.  The bigger is your God the more you are able to humble yourself before Him. You have no problem humbling yourself in front of man or God because you know there is a God and it is not you.   When you acquire a child-like attitude, submission and obedience to God become natural to you because you have acquired an inner disposition that is not even yours. It is Christ’s disposition toward the father that you are living out while abiding in your union with Him. There is no room for anything else in your life if it does not pertain to the light of God. Things have to be cleaned and nothing is hidden.  

Of course this subject goes so much deeper than that, because God has to break you, cleanse you, teach you, you have to unlearn things you learned on your own, He has to take away your spiritual ignorance and so on. You can read more on the process in my book Apprehended & Apprehending”. But, it is a process where you are learning to decrease while He increases, Through my surrender and complete submission to Him, I am amazed at how there is a Christianity that is completely automated and practical that we will miss out on if we insist on using only our intellect to provide people with explanations and definitions. The spiritual component is always reserved for the babes.

 PRAY: Father I pray that you would teach us how to work out our salvation with fear and trembling without having to do it on our own, but through you in grace, faith, and dependence like babes. I pray that you would open the eyes of all those who have received your Salvation they can learn to see you, experience you and live for you alone my Lord, Savior Master & Redeemer! I love you daddy!  

In His Agape Love & Service,

M. J. Andre

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Ignorance of our Own Idols

DEVOTION

 

 Read Jeremiah 2:5

  “This is what the LORD says: “What fault did your fathers find in me, that they strayed so far from me? They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves.” 

 God is grieving because over and over from generation to generation the Israelites have chosen their idols over Him. They replaced Him with empty and worthless things and they refused to get back to Him. They preferred their idols guidance over God’s. They had even taken their idols’ characters. Their rejection of Him and lack of gratefulness caused Him grief. 

 Most of us today exude idols in our lives. Often, we lack an understanding to see what we have substituted for today’s idols. Sometimes sheer ignorance is the cause of not identifying the legion of idols we keep in our hearts and lives. Whatever reason we have for not recognizing idols in our lives the result is bondage to Satan. Understand something, the fact that we are busy serving God or that we ooze with zeal for Him does not mean we value God more than the idols in our lives. Often, it is difficult to talk to people who are over zealous for God, to make them understand they are running on empty and left God behind a long time ago. Often it starts so subtlety and before we know it we are driven by pride and satisfaction that we get from our ministry. Sometimes our idols come from the fame and admiration we get from the people we are serving. Other times it is the perks and prestige that comes with our ministry. the bottom line is that we get to the point where we forget that it is not about us but Him. So we move forward with our mission or ministry without God. 

 For us that are lower in the food chain, idols could be as simple as our love for television, or our need to be constantly surrounded by our friends. While these things look simple and often I hear people say come on, how can my friends get in the way?  Sometimes they would conveniently list it under fellowship so they could ease their conscience. But think about it. If you choose to watch television and the next morning you cannot wake up early enough to be with God, then you are forced to rush out to work without your devotion time with God, it does not matter what you call it but by God’s standards it is an idol. A one time deal is not a big deal but when this becomes a lifestyle then I assure you that you are in the same basket as the Israelites and their love for idols. If you find yourself constantly in need of spending time with friends just to pass time, or because you are bored with life, etc., you can call it fellowship this does not mean you fooled God with it. 

 The Word of God tells us that it is not enough to start well, but we have to finish well too, We finish well only through perseverance, endurance, faithfulness and dedication.

  Can you imagine at judgement time when God ask you to tell Him what exactly He did to you that caused you to walk away from Him? What would be your answer?

 PRAY: Lord help us not to walk with iniquity in our hearts. May we learn to appreciate who you are, what you have done for us and who we are in you. Savior I pray we would be people after your heart instead of walking after vanity and vain gods!

 In His Agape Love & Service, 

M. J. Andre

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Prayer is a Way of Life

DEVOTION

 

Read Jeremiah 14: 10-12

 “This is what the Lord says about this people:“They greatly love to wander; they do not restrain their feet. So the Lord does not accept them; he will now remember their wickedness and punish them for their sins.” Then the Lord said to me, “Do not pray for the well-being of this people. Although they fast, I will not listen to their cry; though they offer burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Instead, I will destroy them with the sword, famine and plague.”

 The Jews loved the fact that they were God’s chosen ones but they treated Him as if He was the one who needed them. They never quite grasp the magnitude of being chosen by God. There was never an indication of being grateful for having been chosen. If they understood what they had in Him, they would have acted differently and stop doing things that were displeasing to Him. God had enough of their lack of reverence, their wickedness, their ungrateful hearts, and their love for new idols with no self-control. Jeremiah knew the only way to root out his people harden hearts and their callous consciences was through prayers, yet he was told by God to stop praying for them. There was nothing that God wanted from them anymore. This time was different He wanted to hold their sins against them. He wanted to remember how much they did not want Him.‒ Imagine the pain of our God’s heart, His heart was grieving!

 Most of us do not realize God’s attitude with the Jews has not changed with us Christians. We go on with God with our defiant attitude, we sin left, right and centre because we take Him for granted and expect Him to forgive us. A lot of us corner Him by taking our salvation for granted and thinking that God cannot lie so basically there is nothing He can do to us. We are so self-righteous, full of unbelief we ignore His Words and we are filled with hypocrisy. We entertain unforgiving spirits, we give more importance to the things of this world than we attached to God. We give Him lip service during worship time and we feel He should be satisfied with those bread crumbs we hand Him. Some of us would not even consider examining ourselves. We choose lifestyle pleasing to us, and as for idols we have them coming out of our ears. Most of these things that I mentioned are the attitudes and motives of the heart. Yet, the Bible is full or verses where we are warned about hindrances to our prayers and verses that tells us who God listen to. Two of them on the top of my head would be Proverbs 28:9 it says: “one who turns away his ears from hearing the law, even his prayers is an abomination” and Proverbs 15:29 says: “The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous”.

 My dear brothers and sisters, prayer is not something we do when all else fails. You see, prayer is a way of life. Would you consider asking God to teach you how to cultivate a righteous life with Him. A life where He is the Master and you walk according to His leading alone. A life where the pain of brokenness is of no importance if at the end of it you find His heart. Keep your heart open, get rid of all your reservations about Him because if you do not want all of Him by any means and any road He leads, it simply means you are not in love with Him enough and you are not desperate to find Him. Go to Him, know for sure that at the end of it, you will find the pearl of great price which is the heart of God the father. I have been through it, and it is painful, but I would do it all over again because of the treasure I found in the triune God.

  

PRAYER: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

In His Agape Love & Service, 

M. J. Andre

 

Believing the Truth Does Not Make It True

Time To Put A Context To It

To put my writing into context one must understand what my ministry is about. Prior to entering in the wilderness with God, I heard the call of God and He wanted to send me.  God calls us in different ways. But, there is another call by God that is so personal and beautiful that it puts you for a while in a state of awe and you feel you are living life kind of suspended for a while.  After I heard my call, my heart could not come down to earth and all I could sing is this song by Daniel O’Donnell of 2004 and the title of the song is “here I am Lord.”  At the end of this post, I will provide the lyrics for you. I was not sure what to do with the call and I was one of those people, God restrained me right away. So, even if I wanted to move ahead on my own, I would not have been able to.  Two years have passed I enrolled in an evangelism training. Through it, God overwhelmed my heart with the darkness that existed right there in a small corner of Toronto. Because I was spending weeks amongst people involved in Evangelism, I thought it was a great opportunity to tell them about my calling. Needless to say that most people were surprised that I did not set sail and “go.”  While I was urged to be obedient to the call, I was so torn inside, the wilderness was raging on in my life, and everything was falling apart. Meanwhile, God was restricting me from making what would have been the biggest mistake of my life with Him.

Surprisingly, while I felt there was a call to go and evangelize the world, mainly the South Asia, God was at work in me working in the background and preparing me to be ‘His’ first and foremost before I could go. Through the process of preparation that lasted years I found out so much more. Yes, I needed to learn evangelism, I needed to learn God’s Word, I needed to learn to be broken by Him, so that my will would be His first before handing it back to me. While there is a whole list that I needed to learn from Him, most of all, I needed to understand His standards. Through the wilderness, the vision took shape and my identity and spiritual life in Him have catapulted to an unimaginable level. It turns out God was raising me to be a prayer warrior. A real one. But the true vision did not take shape until 2012. More than seven years after I heard the call.

While my spiritual maturity in Him, and the knowledge and boldness I have received from being with Him could be beneficial to anyone with a heart set on living for Him, my true calling is to reach those who do not understand that believing the truth does not make it true, Satan believes the truth as well. Most of these people are very active in the Church and a lot of them are in leadership positions. These people are so hard to reach and they make it their mission to resist any changes you call them to. They have accumulated just enough Christianity to become Satan’s personal favorites. Beside the stubbornness of their hearts two major things they also have in common is that they do not want to go to Christ to be changed and they are all carnal. They are the perfect picture of the reverse of John 6:65 meaning they have no willingness to go to Him to be transformed. There is lots of frustration in this ministry, the only thing that keeps you going is knowing who God is and He is able to do the impossible. So you keep praying and keep calling for changes.

Through my training, and also my daily walk with Him, God has given me wisdom and discernment to unmask these Christians no matter how many masks they are wearing, their gender, rank etc. Make no mistake this is hard ministry. God has to teach you humility which is painful to learn from Him. I am not sure how to explain the other major component of this ministry. It is something you possess in your heart, where you automatically know certain insights you have on someone has to remain confidential. It is funny, because God does not have to tell you not to say anything about it. The other thing I find out is that God keeps you on a need to know basis.

PRAY: Father God I pray that my brothers and sisters would learn to serve you wherever they are.  I pray you would pour out Your Spirit Lord on those sitting in the pews that are blind, my heart’s desire is for them to see you. I pray hearts would be softened and people would respond to your invitation to  “come to me!”

Here is the lyric of the song I mentioned in the post

Here I Am Lord!

I, the Lord of sea and sky
I have heard my people cry
All who dwell in dark and sin
My hand will save.
I who made the stars and night
I will make the darkness bright
Who will bear my light to them
Whom shall I send?
Here I am Lord
Is it I Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night
I will go Lord
If you lead me
I will hold your people in my heart.
I the Lord of snow and rain
I have borne my people’s pain
I have wept for love of them
They turn away.
I will break their hearts of stone
Fill their hearts with love alone
I will speak my word to them
Whom shall I send?
Here I am Lord
Is it I Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night
I will go Lord
If you lead me
I will hold your people in my heart.
I will hold your people in my heart…

False Religion According to God’s Standards

DEVOTION

Read Jeremiah 7: 1-5

This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord:  “Stand at the gate of the Lord’s house and there proclaim this message: ‘Hear the word of the Lord, all you people of Judah who come through these gates to worship the Lord.  This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Reform your ways and your actions, and I will let you live in this place.  Do not trust in deceptive words and say, “This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord!”

As I was reading Jeremiah 7  today, my heart was breaking because while this story is the Israelites story, specifically, in these verses Judah was targeted by God and it happened thousands of years ago, it is still us today. Things have not changed that much. We still go on with a vain confidence in mainstream Christianity. We find pride in our buildings, our achievements, the eloquence of our pastors, in our head knowledge, our plans, our standards, our denominations etc. We have compartmentalized Christianity, to us Salvation has become what we feel it should be. We bring God down so low, that His standards do not matter to us anymore. Our hearts are so callous, so much arrogance and pride in the Church and among Christians. Most of us in the pews along with our pastors have no idea what it means to be broken by God and the list goes on. Yet, we come and stand in His presence with no fear whatsoever. The Israelites felt they found protection too when they came into the temple. They too had compartmentalized their lives and expected God to honor His Word as if He could not see their hearts were not in it. We do not pay enough attention to the fact that God wants us to do things according to His Way and His standards.

We go through the Bible like lawyers going through documents to find loopholes. In the meantime we forget this is OUR GOD, the God of our Salvation. We offer Him sentimentality and we get caught up in our own hypes, our own deception and low standards of Christianity. But, true Christianity according to His standards demands that we live purposely for Him. Not according to what that means to us but according to His views, His Word, His standards and His plan for Salvation.  When this is done according to His standards and by His grace, we are transformed on the inside. It is sad to see how we misunderstand Christianity because we do not know what it means to live under His grace and worst we have never learned to know ourselves because we have not been humbled by Him. So somehow, in the depth of our souls, we still think there is something good in us.

PRAY: Oh Lord, I pray we learn to embrace full Salvation according to your plan. I pray the eyes of our hearts would be open and we would get rid of Spiritual blindness. Take away the darkness that surrounds us Savior even though we do not deserve you, I pray that you would be glorified in all our lives.

In His Love & Service

In my book Apprehended & Apprehending I have gone more in-depth on this issue. I am running a promotion on my new book “Apprehended & Apprehending –Soaring In The Wilderness With God!” Find out how you can get it for free for a limited time only.

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