Prayer Meeting DynamicsOctober 4, 2016
Call to leadership in the 21st century/ Life of a leaderOctober 4, 2016
KEY TEXT & PRAYER:
Bro. Anthony Osei Assibey
National Director, CCR Ghana
- “Jesus said: ‘I am the Way, I am Truth and Life. No one can come to the Father except through me.’ ”JOHN 14:6 (The New Jerusalem Bible)
- Presentation Outline
- THE NATURE & ORIGINAL STATE OF HUMAN BEINGS
- THE JUSTICE, MERCIFUL & LOVING FATHER
- JESUS, THE FATHER’S APPROVED WAY TO LIFE
- PRACTICAL WAYS
THE NATURE & ORIGINAL STATE OF HUMANITY
Created in the image & likeness of God: (Genesis); Object - Shadow
- Spirit – Soul – Body: “Formed from dust, God breathe life into man, and man became a living being” (Gen 2:7); very complex & delicate; mystery, etc
- Given Free will, Conscience to reason, ability to differentiate & choose.
- Fellowship with God, the Creator: Communion; Conversation in the cool of the evening.
- Garden not a forest: Beauty, Abundance of Food, Home
- Adam & Eve, the first married couple & Family are given authority to have dominion, and blessed to multiply and fill the earth. Co – creators, Co – Partners & Co – Workers of God.
- God sets the basic rules & warnings, and demanded total obedience to His Word.
- Beauty & and Good God final works of Art.
- “God looks and took delight and rested.”
The Fall of Man: Devil at work: Deceiver & Tempter
- Fallen Archangel; Out of Envy for human beings; pride
- Goal of the Enemy; Rebel & Opposition: to Steal, Destroy & Kill (John 10:10)
- Engages Eve in conversation; sows seed of discord: lies & mistrust in God’s Word.
- Where was Adam? Loneliness & idleness is the workshop of the devil; lone rangerism
- Tempted through: Sense of sight, feeling: appealing to eyes, feeling of pride, to be gods
- Adam listened and obeyed the Serpent through his wife thereby disobeying God his Creator
- Disobedience to Creator resulted: Lost dignity; led astray leading the death (separation).
- The Justice, Mercy & Love of God demonstrated: “the wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23)
- Eyes opened, Nakedness exposed; Go into hiding; Blame game played by Adam & Eve; No acknowledgement of wrong doing.
Sin Effects:, like very dangerous virus & infection leading into all forms of enslavements;
- “all have sinned and lack God’s glory” (Rom 3:23)
- Generational curse; Original sin – the flesh, inherited imbedded weakness in my/our body
- Fears, Depression; Destruction; Darkness; Dead Conscience etc
- Relationships with one another negatively affected:
- Cain & Abel: jealousy, envy, distress, bitterness, depression, murder of brother
- Ideas & development of deadly tools & weapons of fighting & destruction:-stones; club; sticks; knife; arrow & bow; sword; guns; bomb; nuclear;
Man lost touch with truth about his true identity – as rooted in the mage & likeness of God
- (as they dialogued with the Serpent and believed his word, the father of lies) and lost the way.
- This is manifested in our way of life and the difficulty we have in accepting the love of God and what He offers.
- Man prefers to follow false gods ( created things) instead of the Creator
- We often act in disapproving ways to demonstrate our rejection of God
- Living according to the dictates of the flesh—The result of living according to the flesh results in enslavements that deprive us of our true freedom and identity
- Worldliness: passion for the world and the things that are in it (1John 2:15-17)
- Sins, disobedience to God, then give the enemy the opportunity to come in to steal, destroy and eventually deprive us from going to the Father.
Longing of how to return to the Father, and be restored to our original glory,
- Humanity standing in need of the Way, Truth, New Life
THE JUSTICE, MERCIFUL & LOVING FATHER
- God demonstrated His lovely & merciful Nature and put His plan of salvation in place to restore humanity after the Fall.
- God promised salvation in the Garden of Eden, stating that the off-spring of the Woman will crush the head of the Serpent. (Mary, the second Eve, and her Son, the second Adam)
- God loves us with an everlasting love; He cannot give up on His creation.
- The Call of Abraham, the Father of Faith, effected God’s plan of Salvation
- In entering into Covenant with Abraham, God unconditionally committed Himself to bless and redeem Humanity through the Obedience of Abraham.
- Moses & the Prophets all pointed to the coming of the New Covenant.
- “Emmanuel: God with us”
JESUS, THE FATHER’S APPROVED WAY TO LIFE
- Our true identity comes out of the Father’s love
- Jesus is the fulfilment of the Father’s love
- “For God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not die but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
- “See what great love the Father has lavished on us by letting us be called God’s children—which is what we are!....” (1John 3:1-3)
Basic & critical questions and answers of importance
- Apostles / Disciples / Followers in the state of confusion, troubled, dilemma.
- Questions by Thomas, Philip, Rich man, Nicodemus, others:
- We do not know the way!.
- Show us the Father!
- How can I have eternal life?
- How can I be saved?
- Will many people be saved?
- How can I see the Kingdom of God?
- Jesus shares with his Apostles just a day before his agony & timely death & departure
- Jesus said among others (John 13 -17): (Holy Thursday)
- ‘I am the Way, I am Truth and Life. No one can come to the Father except through me.’
I am the Way
Definition of Way:
“A route or road that you take in order to reach a place” (Oxford)
This definition gives the following connotations regarding the word ‘way’:
- Direction; A journey; A destination ahead
- The possibility of missing the route and getting lost
- Road map; Vehicle to be used; Need for leading and companion,
- Overcoming challenges
- Jesus Comes from the Father
- In these chapters, Jesus reveals the relationship between Him, the Father, and the Holy Spirit.
- He makes us understand that He is one with the Father—He is in the Father and the Father is in Him (John 14:11)
- He came from the Father and returning to Him
- Therefore, to get to the Father who is in Him, one must pass through Jesus.
- Passing through Jesus to the Father is thus inevitable for man.
- Narrow is the way that leads to life, therefore, Jesus is the narrow gate
- Jesus is the true shepherd; He guides our souls to remain in union with the Father
- “My sheep knows my voice, and they follow Me; No one can snatch them from Me”
Definition of Truth: “Connected with facts rather than things or ideas invented or guessed”
(Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary)
The word “truth” therefore has such synonyms as fact, certainty, reality, actuality, accuracy, etc.
It also suggests that there exist
- Falsehood; Deception
- Light, Darkness
Jesus, the Light of the world
- Jesus comes to us as the light of the world (John 1:1-14); naturally, light conquers darkness.
- Obeying the word leads us to truth, and this truth sets us free
- Jesus is the only Mediator, the ransom victim for our sins (1 Tim 2:4- 6)
- In accepting Jesus, we become children of God (John 1:12)
- When we have Jesus in us, he exposes all darkness and falsehood in us.
- In Him we discover the true meaning of life (John 10:10).
- The revelation of God and the knowledge of truth come through Jesus.
- Truth is thus not relative as the world has made it seem
- Truth is Jesus and all He teaches and offers
- This however eluded Herod, so He asks “Truth, what is truth?”
- Definition of Life: “The ability to breathe, grow, reproduce, etc. which people…have before they die” (Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary)
This definition brings up such notions as:
- Existence; Being; Fruitfulness; Time; Death
- TYPES OF LIFE: Physical (natural & limited) and Spiritual (Eternal Life)
Life also brings up the following notions:
- Food in relation to life
- Death and Destruction
Jesus is the Life
- If life is “the ability to breathe, grow and reproduce…” then, to have Jesus is to possess the ability to breathe, grow and reproduce (bear fruit)
- If Eternal Life is to know Jesus and Him crucified, then, knowing Jesus is possessing Eternal Life.
- Life is fruitfulness: the one who is alive bears fruit
- I am the real (true) vine, and you are my branches (John 15)
- Remain in me to bear much fruit
- Without me you can do nothing
- The one who is not dwelling in Christ cannot be said to be living; He may be physically alive, but spiritually dead.
- Truly, it is in Jesus that we live, move and have our being.
- Living without Jesus is not life, but death
- Our existence is only meaningful if we live it in Jesus
Authority & Demonstration of Jesus
- Forgiveness of Sin: “the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”; “here comes the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world”
- Spiritual world: Over Satan; Demons & Angels: “At the mention of his name every knee shall bow” (Phil 2:5-11)
- Over Death: “I am the life & Resurrection”; Lazarus; Son of the widow; etc
- Infirmities: Healings; “By His wounds we are healed”
- Nature / Physical: Over Sea / Storm; fishing; multiplication of food.
- Word of God: Fulfilment of the Law & prophets; Moses & Elijah at the Transfiguration; Morality / Marriage Relations; Godliness; I say; I give you a new commandment;
- Revelation: Fullness of God; Spirit of the Lord
- Repetition of the Garden of Eden episode in our modern world
- Disobedience; no need for God syndrome
- Human rights detached from godliness leading to enslavement & hopelessness
- Secularism; all about physical world
- Egoism & Relativism; No absolute Truth; all about me; self-centredness
- Deception & falsehood order of the day; beliefs in lies & human concepts
- Satanism seems to penetrate every fabric of our society
- Complacent with other Ways to God
- Results: blame game; unrest; violence; conflict & wars; corruption; confusion; etc
- Personal Level: Lack of personal encounter with Jesus the Way, Truth and Life
- It is not enough to know about Jesus; he is alive, He is the same yesterday, today and forever and there is the need to say Yes to His invitation.
- I stand at the door and knock, if anyone opens the door, I will come and dine with him. (Rev 3:20)
- The question therefore is, Do I Know Jesus and Do I Hear Him speak to me?
- Do I have Eternal life Insurance; I am faithful in securing it?
- Community Level;
- Witness & Testimony of John the beloved:
- This Apostle knew Jesus, walked with Him, ate with Him, lived with Him & His mother; saw Him crucified and saw Him ascend to Heaven. He even had revelations about the New Heavens, our ultimate goal & destiny in life. (Rev 21:1-4)
- From the same location of the Island of Patmos, John had revelation and wrote to the churches:
- Loss of first love: Church in Ephesus— Rev2: 2-5
- Alive but spiritually dead: Church in Sardis— Rev3:1Bff
- Lukewarm spirituality: Church in Laodicea— Rev3:14-20
- Lack of sharing in the Mission of Jesus;
- Whoever embraces Jesus would have to share in His ministry; living a life of Jesus
- “when I am lifted up I will draw all men to myself”; “You are the Salt & Light of the world”
PRACTICAL WAYS: DAILY FOLLOWING JESUS THE WAY, TRUTH AND LIFE
- Fixing our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12)
- Daily confession, conversion & transformation;
- Living a life of truth like Jesus did. (Those who follow Jesus must walk as He did)
- Daily quiet time; divine appointment in His presence & prayer; Lord, teach us to pray.
- Docility to the Holy Spirit: Living in communion with the Holy Spirit (Rom 5:5)
- The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth who reveals the truth about God—John 14:17
- It is the spirit that gives life the flesh has nothing to offer. John 6:63
- Letting the fruit and gifts of the Spirit manifest in our lives
- Obedience to the Word of God
- Your word is a light unto my path); Psalm 119; 2 Tim 3:16ff
- “If you love me, you will obey my word; and the Father will love you; and the Father & I will come live with you”; If you love me you will obey my word; and you will know the truth and the truth shall set you free.
- Encountering Jesus in the sacraments;
- Bread of life; My Blood is drink
- He that eats my body & drinks my blood has life in him.
- Meeting Jesus in a community & the needy
- “Where two or three have gathered in my name, there I am”(Matt 18:19)
- “When you did it to the least of my brethren, you did it to Me” (Matt 25:31)
CONCLUSION & PRAYER
- STATEMENTS ABOUT LIFE
- Life is a Journey: to Heaven; Rev 21: 1- 5
- Life is a Battle / Life is a race: I Cor 9:24
- Renouncing and rejecting temptation: resisting the devil. 1John 3:7ff
- Life is a Mystery; Calls for faith
- Life is a Choice; Renounce all: Lk 14:25:
- Life is Jesus; the God made Man, the source of Abundant life
- Prayer of Commitment & Dedication