YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN
- We are not here by accident. Jesus loves us, and He wants us to have a personal relationship with Him. We were created and placed here for a purpose –
- To be a praise for God on earth;
- To be fruitful and subdue the earth
- Sin separates us from God; sin. God says that every person that has ever lived is a sinner, and sin separates us from God – Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God
- Jesus LOVES us more than we can ever imagine! – Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
- God says that you cannot make yourself right with God by being a better person. God wants to save you JUST BECAUSE HE LOVES YOU! He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. It is God’s grace that allows us to come to Him – not our efforts to work our way to Heaven. It is a free gift – Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
- In order to come to God, our sins must be paid for. God’s gift to us is His son, Jesus, who paid the debt – Romans 6:23. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.
- Jesus paid the price for our sins by giving His life on Calvary’s cross. God brought Jesus back from the dead and paved the way for us to have a personal relationship with Him through this same Jesus. All that we have to do is to accept the gift that Jesus is has made available to us right now – Romans 10:9-10
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
- God says that if we believe in His son, Jesus, we can live with Him forever, in glory
John 3:16. For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life
John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
- Are you ready to accept the gift of eternal life that Jesus is offering you right now? If you sincerely desire to ask Jesus to come into your heart as your personal Lord and Savior, then talk to God from your heart.
- Accept His gift of salvation which He already purchased at Calvary when He died and rose again from the dead, paving the way for each and every one that will come to Him. He does not cast any one out – John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and I do not deserve eternal life. I believe You died and rose from the grave to purchase a place in Heaven for me. Jesus, come into my life, please forgive my sins and save me.
I place my trust in You alone for my salvation and accept Your free gift of eternal life.
If you have trusted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, I sincerely rejoice with you on what God has done in your life.
Dr. Margaret J Makinde
Our God Answers Prayers
Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
- Isaiah 28:10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
- Isaiah 29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:
- Matthew 7:7-11
7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
6 Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats:
7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
We are to pray:
- To know and do, God’s will
The point of prayer isn’t to change God’s will or to compel Him to do what you want Him to do. Prayer allows you to receive the blessings God already has in store for you. As you pray to know what God wants you to do and what He has prepared for you, you will see more blessings in your life and you will receive more answers to your prayers. Jesus taught, John 15:7.
- With faith
Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
- By Asking
We need to ask God for the blessings we need. Jesus taught, Matthew 7:7. When you are sincerely striving to obey God’s commandments, He will give answers to our prayers. (Proverbs 15:29). – Paul told the Thessalonians to pray without ceasing – 1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
- Prayers must not always be ASKING; but must include or be solely: Thanking, Praising, and worship God.
- Making requests for others – including individuals, nations and situations.
- By Fasting
Sometimes prayers might/must be accompanied by fasting. Fasting is a powerful tool to receive answers to prayer. To fast is to go without food or water for a certain amount of time. This shows God our humility and willingness to sacrifice in order to receive blessings. When Jesus found some of His disciples unsuccessfully trying to heal a young boy, he pointed out that the righteous blessing they sought could be obtained only by prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:21).
- Be Patient, Persistent, and faithful
Sometimes God does not seem to answer our prayers right away; or at all. At other times, God requires us to patiently wait for an answer so we can build our faith and trust in Him. On some occasions, God gives us answers, but they may not be what we hoped for.
Our Heavenly Father will take care of us, and He will help us become the best version of ourselves, and the person He purposed for us to be. As with every aspect of our relationship with God, there are conditions that must be met for everything to work as He pleases. Remember the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead in John 11:1-44
1 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.
2 It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)
3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.
4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.
Jesus waited until the glory of the LORD will be made manifest before He showed up at the scene to raise Lazarus from the dead. After all He could have sent His word.
- Sometimes there is a necessity to repair the Altar, that is purge our hearts from every evil thought that may run contrary to the will of God for us and humanity, like Elijah did in 1 Kings 18:21-45
…30 And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down…
2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.
3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
Rebuilding the altar involves situating ourselves before God according to His priorities. The question must be asked, what is our priority for worship?
FIRE OF GOD ON THE ALTAR OF GOD.
450 Prophets already had their turn and they cried, cut themselves with knives, danced and did somersaults. They barked liked dogs and hollered, but nothing came. When all the dancing, shouting, screaming, clapping and jumping was over, there was NO fire. Then it came to Elijah’s turn to cry unto God to send the fire. On Elijah’s turn, he said to the people, come near to me. The very first things he did – he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down.
Elijah had to convince the nation that Jehovah was still alive and in business. The church of Jesus Christ set on fire with His love. Nothing will make any difference in our ministries, and in our lives, only the fire of God. We have got to get closer to God.
- THE TRUE AND THE REAL ALTAR IS IN OUR HEARTS
My altar is in my heart. Your altar is in your heart and that’s where the fire of the Lord burns. God commanded the priests at the tabernacle in Leviticus 6:12 – “the fire shall be ever burning upon the altar it shall NEVER go out!”
The same principle is in the New Testament tabernacle – the church. The fire must always be burning and it must be burning in the morning, noon, evening and night. That’s the mission of the church. That’s how we shine forth as light in the darkness.
- HOW IS YOUR ALTAR?
He went to where God required an altar and the altar was broken down. Everyone could see it was broken down and the first thing Elijah did was repair it. The altar is the heart. What needs to be repaired? A broken heart? A hardened heart? An unforgiving heart? A critical heart? Unbelieving heart? Those things can hold you back. God is the God of the heart.
- OUR GREATEST ENEMY.
The devil is a great enemy but not your greatest enemy. Your greatest enemy is yourself and your greatest enemy is your own heart. You know yourself, there are days when your heart can reach great and holy things and there are other days when that heart of yours can reach to great and holy things and there are other days when that heart of yours can reach to terrible things.
That is how desperate and deceiving the heart is. The heart is deceitful, says Jeremiah, above all things and desperately wicked. It’s your heart that deceitful. 1 Samuel 16:7, “Man looketh on the outward appearance but the Lord looketh on the heart.” Here we go again – the Lord looketh on the heart! Then Psalms 139:25. Proverbs 1,2 &3, My son, give me thine heart.
The heart is the alter and the altar is the heart.
- BEFORE GOD WILL TOUCH US.
We must all start like Elijah and repair the altar of our heart. You know what needs to be repaired. I don’t need to tell you, but you know what God can do. He can give us a new one as stated in Ezekiel 36. Elijah dug a trench around the altar. He put the wood in order (and notice the word order). He just didn’t pile up the wood, he put it in such a way that it would ignite. He set the wood in order. But you can have order and yet have no fire!
Let us do everything so that the fire will come. He put it in such a way that it could ignite. Then he cut the bullock in pieces. Elijah repaired the altar that is broken down; he digs a trench round it; he lays the wood in order and now he cuts the bullock in pieces! Sometimes it takes weeks or months to get right with God. He works in our hearts while waiting.
- BLOOD AND WATER ON THE ALTAR.
Elijah demonstrated an old and a vital truth – without the shedding of blood there is NO remission of sins. Then he soaks it with water, filling the very trench to the brim. What does the water speak of? It speaks of the word. The water speaks of the separation – the word of separation.
- The water separated Elijah and the water separated Elijah’s alter from the prophets of Baal’s altar. Ephesians 5:26 Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. He pours the water upon the sacrifice – what does He do with the sacrifice? He sanctifies and cleanses it with the Word. That is what Jesus said to His disciples in John 15, “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” The water goes over us. Now we are clean. Psalm 119 “Whence shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereon to thy word. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.
- He prepared from noon to evening. From 12 to 6. Elijah worked over 6 hours non-stop. He did not build a new altar – he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down. He had to take away the vines and the weeds and cut away the thorns.
- It had been active and it had been used in the past for the worship of God. When the Holy Spirit looks in our hearts, does He see an altar broken down and covered with weeds and vines? How does it get that way? By being neglected, out of use and that’s what breaks it down.
- Before God’s fire would burn on it again, Elijah had to repair it. If we repair the altar God will send the fire.
- After I repair the altar, what’s the sacrifice? I am.
Then God sends the fire and God looks down and sees a sacrifice on the altar. The trouble of many is, they say, send the fire. The Lord says where will I send it? Send the fire, you say, just send it! God sends the fire on a sacrifice and when you lay yourself on that altar God will send the fire and a mighty work will be accomplished for the glory of.
Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
Today – there is a call to repair our ALTARS, so that we can reach God – and get the answers to our requests at the time it will glorify God.
Some of the things that corrupt our altars are:
- FEAR AND FAITHLESSNESS/UNBLIEF
- INCONSISTENCY IN OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
- NOT APPLYING THE WORD OF GOD TO OUR PRAYERS AND SITUATIONS
John 9:31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.