GLEANINGS..."A weekly Devotional" by Gbile Akanni
- 16th Jan., 2017
- 9th Jan., 2017
- 2nd Jan., 2017
WHEN HE COMES - 20
"Do you believe this?"
"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
John 11:25 NKJV:
“I am the resurrection and the life.” Jesus declared! This is the basis of our expectation. Lazarus' story only happens to serve us as an illustration ... even if there was no Lazarus, He is still the Resurrection and the Life. He is the life ... He is the essence of living. He also is the Resurrection! When you touch Jesus, you have touched the life and you have touched the resurrection and the power that raises a man from deadness. The life that quickens the dead and forestalls every decay... Himself is the resurrection. When He comes in, there must be a resurrection. “He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live...” What an assurance and a definite word! Though he may die, though he may decay... He shall live.
And whoever lives and believes in me shall never die... He is the Sustainer of life. He is the One that keeps a man ever fresh and in continuous revival. Look unto Him and you will never die again. I speak not of the dying of our mortal bodies but of your spiritual life and of your communion with the LORD! We can trust Him to keep the fire burning and to keep us ever-fruitful even at our old age. He is the Resurrection and the life: do you believe this? You may have believed many other things. You may have quietly postponed the time of visitation for your life till the “by and by”. You may have given up every hope of recovery and restoration but hear Him authoritatively declare...
“I am the resurrection and the life... Though he may die, he shall live and if he lives and believes, he shall never die... Do you believe this?"
This is the crux of the matter. Every death and decay must give way when He comes... Even ordinary Elisha died and his dry bones in the grave still carried remnant of this resurrection life. A dead soldier was mistakenly dropped in his tomb and on touching Elisha's dry bones, the man revived and walked away. Elisha only received a double portion of the spirit of Elijah but this man, Jesus, did not receive the spirit by measure. He carries a measureless, inexhaustible anointing.
It pleased the Father that in Him should all the fullness of the Godhead dwell. Out of His fullness - out of His own store have we all received grace upon grace! John the Baptist was the greatest of all the prophets but he confessed that the latches of His shoes, he was unworthy to unloose ... it is Him, who is the first born of every creature... He that was with “God in the beginning, He is the WORD that became flesh, He made all that was made in the beginning. There is nothing that was made that He did not make ... Even God the Father reverenced Him and adored Him. To the Son, He said:
“Thy throne O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” Heb. 1:8-9.
He is the “I AM!” Before Abraham was “I AM...”, was His declaration. He is the only one that can bear “I AM...” And He said ... “I am the Resurrection and the Life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live...”
WHEN HE COMES - 20
"Whatsoever He tells you… Do It!"
"Then they took way the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard me. And I know that You always hear me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that you sent me.” Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave-clothes and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him and let him go.”
John 11:41-42 NKJV:
He never asked them to do what was beyond them. Stones they could roll away, but the dead Lazarus, they could not call forth. Even now, as we follow Him into the ministry and into battle, He would never ask us to do what we have no wherewithal to do. He is ready to step in at the appropriate point in time to bring life.
What we need keep in our hearts as we come along in His entourage forthwith is that He, the Resurrection and the Life has come. And He has come to wake up and call forth His friend. It is a privilege to be in the kingdom at such a time as this.
In the case of the men of Jericho, Elisha only asked them to bring him a new cruse and to put salt therein. He never asked them for any strenuous thing. His commandments are not grievous. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Casting of the salt at the springs to heal the barrenness of the land requires an invisible, but invincible, power that would turn the water that is bad around. It is not in their power. He never delegated it.
The cutting down of the stick and casting it in the water, to cause an iron to swim after a long time that it could have been dragged down the stream, again was not for the son of the prophet to perform. It is His to perform and to provide the power. Please note this again: When He comes, ministry for us must change. We must put off our shoes and empty ourselves of self-knowledge, oral experience and expertise. He must lead. He comes to take over and assign to us the barest duty we can do, but under instruction and under His eyes. We are at best mere stand-by attendants to Him - who Himself is the Resurrection and the Life. Stop stretching yourself. God's work is not done by the energy of the flesh. It is God Himself at work in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. What He asks you to do, no matter how insignificant it appears, is the only useful thing you can contribute to His labors on earth and in His Church.
He alone is the Resurrection and He alone is the Life. Until He comes, there can be no life. Let us get behind Him as our Lord, Leader and Foreman. He is the Executive head of all things to His Church and to all His servants. Each can only do what task He assigns him or her.
"After all who is Apollos? And who is Paul? We are simply God's servants, by whom you were led to believe. Each one of us does the work the Lord gave him to do. I planted the seed, Apollos watered the plant, but it was God who made the plant grow. The one who plants and the one who waters really do not matter. It is God who matters, because He makes the plant grow. There is no difference between the man who plants and the man who waters; God will reward each one according to the work he has done. For we are partners working together for God, and you are God's field.”
1Cor. 3:5-9 (GN)
This was the word of the LORD, through Paul, one of His servants. No matter how much labour they bestowed, they never forgot that they were not the ones who mattered! To plant and to water is all what a man can do; but to make a plant grow and yield an increase is a divine, invisible, inexplicable action of God. We need to realize this in all we do in the vineyard. You never can own God's work. It must be left for Him and for His glory alone. Placing your name on God's work as “Brother Gbile's Ministry” is an abomination. If the possessive capitalistic spirit of the present age is not cut off, it will snuff off the life out of 'Lazarus' again. The grave clothes, the rope of inhibition, the identity of tombs etc. must give way for the church to come forth and fulfill His glory on the earth. There should be no ground for boasting. If He hasn't come to bring life and resurrection, we would still all be sweating, spraying perfumes. We shall just remain unprofitable servants. Zeal is good, but it is not the resurrection, it is not the life. No one must go away with any credit. It all must be ascribed to Him, who matters... He who calls forth the dead from the graves and only allow us to tear out the grave clothes and the ropes.
WHEN HE COMES - 20
"Take Away The Stone..."
"Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, "Take away the stone."”
John 11:38-39 NKJV:
This was the next instruction from the Master and it was what they could do. They placed the stones there and they could remove it. The stone could mean different things to different people ... it could be the stumbling block we have placed at the mouth of the tomb ... it could be issues of unsettled restitution that had now grown tentacles and roots. It could be personal indulgences that have sediment over the years. Cast out the stones and make a thorough path for your life to break forth again from this tomb of death.
Whatever the stone may mean to you, take it away! Could it be negative biases against the dying and decaying congregation? Could it be past disappointments that have erected a stone of unbelief in your heart, as regards the possibility of revival? Could it be doctrinal differences that became a stumbling stone against our brothers?
Take the stone away! Open up the tomb again! “Get to the Cemetery?” Yes! To the tomb, to the graveyards... There is going to be a rattling soon. A lifting of the finger. A fresh pumping of life. Take away the stone! Allow the Resurrection and the Life an access to this “Lazarus”! Do your own little part and let Him perform what He alone can do - revival, redemption, and restoration. All these are His own specialties! No one else can do them.