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GLEANINGS..."A weekly Devotional" by Gbile Akanni

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  • 26th Sept., 2016
  • 12th Sept.., 2016
  • 15th Aug., 2016


"When He Comes... Remain Humble and Teachable"

So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. Now Martha said to Jesus, 'Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.'Jesus said to her, 'your brother will rise again.' Martha said to Him, 'I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.'Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whosoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?''She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ the Son of God who is to come into the world.
John 11:17, 21-27 NKJV:

If Martha had asked, Jesus would have said: Yes, there is the resurrection in the last day which we must all look forward to. But even now, I am the resurrection and the life. I have come to do what would otherwise be reserved for the last day. It is for “My glory;” by this I do not encourage presumptuous violation of Scriptures by the so-called 'Spiritual Movement' that wrest the Scriptures for human manipulation.

Jesus said to her,

“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?”

The LORD, desiring to get Martha to believe not just generally or doctrinally went ahead to re-introduce Himself to her. It is our fresh knowledge of Jesus (whom we have known before) that brings a surge of revival and life to our hearts. It is not a routine knowledge about Him that will keep us going. For us to be in constant revival, to be fresh daily in our relationship with Him, we must wait at His feet and let Him reveal Himself to us again and again. It is as we behold Him, with unveiled faces, in his glory, that we ourselves are being changed into His very likeness from one degree of glory to another (2Cor. 3:18).

What we knew of Him is true and correct. But it is not complete. It is not full and final as yet. We must continue to grow in our knowledge of Him, till we know Him fully as we are known.

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
1Cor.13:12 NKJV:

It is this attitude of humility that we must bear, lest we stop him few miles away from our shore. Martha, still full of self knowledge, would not be pinned down to “do you believe this?” She said to Him “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” It is as if she said,“I do not want to believe this new thing that you are the resurrection and the life but, what I believed is what I believe ... You are the Christ, the Son of the living God, who is to come into the world. Do not push me beyond that. This matter of you being the resurrection and the life and that he who believes in you will never die is strange. Close that chapter. I refuse to see that aspect of You, if it ever truly exists.”

“...And when she had said these things, she went her way...”
Jn. 11:28 NKJV:

This is the next thing that stops Him on the way from coming to our situation: Tradition and conservatism. Saturation in our hearts, fullness and lack of desire for anything new. This manifests itself in our self-defence of our old positions, our sluggishness to learn and look into anything new (even if it be introduced to us by the LORD Himself or through any of His servants).

Those that have known Him as the Saviour and Redeemer hold unto it tenaciously that when He comes as the baptizer in the Holy Ghost, they refuse with the same note as Martha: “Yes I believe You are the Redeemer and Saviour, but this baptism in the Holy Ghost, let us leave it aside.” It is the same Jesus who is the Christ, the Son of God who is to come to the world, that says, “I am the resurrection and the life.” Why must we not sit down and learn that of Him.

He has been coming severally to wake up His Church in our care ... But the “Marthas” have always stopped him and kept Him on the same spot because of unbelief that manifests itself in conservatism, tradition and lethargy to change and to learn anything seemingly new!

Many congregations are dead and laid away in the tomb today, because the “Marthas” of the ministry are insisting on their old knowledge.


"When He Comes... Beware of Empty Doctrine"

So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. Now Martha said to Jesus, 'Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.'Jesus said to her, 'your brother will rise again.' Martha said to Him, 'I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.'Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whosoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?''She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ the Son of God who is to come into the world.
John 11:17, 21-27 NKJV:

The above conversation between our LORD and Martha has a lot to teach us, as regards the matter of labouring with Him in Revival.

Martha was a principal seeker of Jesus for the deliverance of Lazarus. She took the lead in sending for Jesus; but something seemed to have happened to her faith in the whole thing. This was revealed in her discussion with the LORD, on the way.

Let us note here that the determination of Jesus to come this far was not in consultation with Martha. It was Christ's deliberate choice. He was already on His way with a clear focus “I am going to wake him up.” But two miles to the spot of his intention, Martha kept him at a standstill, while she fussed around in an act of unbelief, which appeared to be a genuine display of knowledge.

1. Beware of Empty Doctrine

“LORD, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now, I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give You.”

This was all correct theologically. It was all well laid out in terms of expression. It was very brilliant but it lacked latent ingredient in the heart. Martha was committed to doctrine so much that she could not see the personality of Christ standing right there with her. “Your brother will rise again” was the Master's firm declaration because he had come to wake him up. It was a determinate counsel he took far away in Judea, even before He started on the journey to Bethany. Martha could have asked: when and how will it happen? And that would have left a room for divine instruction and impartation of faith ... but she retorted almost by reflex: “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

The presumption that we all fall into severally is to claim to know, rather than all at His feet to learn what He is currently doing and teaching us. We fix permanent interpretations to Scriptures and expect nothing new or different. We quote scriptures copiously, insisting that we know what the Author has in mind when he first gave the inspiration. It turns us to become rigid, unbending, non-compassionate scribes of the holy writ, without the grace of His presence. True, Martha quoted what she must have heard the Master teach in one of His teaching sessions with the disciples but she missed a matter here. All Scriptures only become alive and relevant when He comes and quickens them again. While we must be faithful to the context of Scriptures all the time, we must live in the consciousness that it is the Spirit (who is presently, currently and continuously abiding and seeking to unveil the mind of Christ and the purpose of God to us) that brings life and reality to the Word we read or quote.

Martha was unwittingly rendering the personal presence of Jesus unnecessary, by holding to the Scriptures she earlier learnt. This was the same mistake of the Pharisees. They learnt all the Scriptures. They gave excellent exegesis of the word of God, but when the WORD Himself came, they stumbled at Him because of unbelief. They expected Him not to have come the way he came. This actually was because “they knew not the scriptures nor the power of God.”

This to me is the first hindrance we must watch in our lives. Many great Bible scholars and even well-meaning evangelical Christians miss out on the move of the Spirit of God and of the power of God in revival, because, their commitment to Scripture would not allow them give attention to Him who has come to the shores of their situation. They become so rigid at applying the Scriptures that they become critical and suspicious of anything or anyone who does not fit into what they used to know. It becomes more dangerous, when we silently resist Jesus and His Spirit at work, with our mental knowledge of the Holy Scriptures.


"For Our Admonition… 2"

I see you quietly pursuing money in ministry. I see how you preach so eloquently for fund raising and just casually dismiss the sinners with a wave of hands. You will stop sinners from going for genuine altar calls and counselling until you have collected their offerings. You kill the conviction of sin in their hearts in order to excite them to come and give “sumptuous offerings”...

Your excitement at the size of the crowd everyday and at every meeting is actually the “droppings!” The success of a meeting in your own estimate is that it pays off the bills incurred ... you are the modern Thomas of our day. All this is a loud echo of your heartbeats: “let us also go and die with him.” What else would I say about what killed Demas - who left a glorious inheritance for Thessalonica - because “he loved this present world?” What about Esau who would have inherited Isaac, and Abraham and the covenants? He sold his birthright for a mess of pottage. Reuben exchanged his first-born position for a love affair with his father's wife.

Judas Iscariot was one who had already obtained a part in this ministry. He was earmarked to sit along with the twelve apostles of the Lamb, on the twelve thrones of Israel, judging the nation of Israel in the millennial reign. He purchased a field with all these and fell headlong, his bowel scattered; he became a ridicule among men up till today.

The sons of Eli - Hophni and Phinehas - were being raised to replace their father and perpetuate a priesthood that their great grandfather secured by puncturing a sinner in Israel with a sharp javelin. They died in one day, and the ark of God's covenant was taken away from their hands into the land of the Philistines; they led their father into a shocking death and left their wives widows without any notice. They left God's ministry with a bad label “Ichabod” - no one came eagerly to the temple anymore. The offering of the LORD became contemptible. They used their flesh hooks to catch the best of the offerings, even before God's portion was set aside, they recklessly, molested innocent ladies, wives of other men of Israel. They used their priestly anointing to exploit the brethren. You are well aware of these things that sent them to their early graves and you still walk on that terrain. You sit before the TV of this world and drink in all the junks! You hunt around like Esau, restless and untamable. Once “you spoil the ground” in a place, you move into a new location seeking ministry. You are the Thomas of our day; you have eloquently said to your friends and all who follow you ... “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

Look at your heart today! What is your action saying to the brethren? Are you concluding that since these men stumbled, no one else can bear life unto the end? Have you said “Let us also go, that we may die with him?” This is the day when the Lord firmly declares “I am going to wake him up.” Be careful lest you die off, while our friend Lazarus who had died rises again! Be careful of the way you are going. All those who went that way went into death. They are dead while yet they live! They make empty noise but only transmit death and contamination to those who hear them. He is determined to wake his Church from all these 'death' and rottenness. Do not go the way of death anymore, otherwise you will not be part of what God is about to do in His church.

This is for your own admonition. Their stories were written lest you fall into the ditches that swallowed them up.

Though Thomas said this, it was clear that he saw his foolishness and ignorance early. He almost fell into the pit of unbelief but God helped him. He did not die with Lazarus. He saw him raised from that death. He must have listened more attentively to the Master. He asked questions more personally when he did not understand what the Master said. He would not even believe the story of Christ's resurrection until he had seen Him by and for himself. He reached out his fingers to touch the nail prints etc. His last recorded voice in the gospel and possibly in the New Testament is “my Lord and my God.”

What a good way to end! He was one of the Twelve. He will sit on the Twelve thrones of Israel someday. Do not end up a casualty. Thomas left the garment of unbelief. He left the trade of trailing dead men. He pursued Christ who himself is the Resurrection and the Life. He asked for the way. Thomas said to Him:

Lord, we do not know where you are going and how can we know the way?.
John 14:5

It was to him that Jesus specifically granted that personal answer, which has become a great guidepost for all men who would follow the way of life today.

“I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh to the Father, but by Me.”
John 14:6

Do not just follow men, not knowing where they are going. Some are going to death, others are going to the dead to die with them, but you, follow the Way! Follow the truth, follow the Life! And when God points men to you, as disciplers, then obey the rule of scriptures:

“Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk as you have us for a pattern. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you, even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly and whose glory is in their shame - who set their mind on earthly things.”
Phil. 3:17-19

“Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.”

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  • Clergy Retreat 2016 -

    Date: Monday 10th - Thursday 13th, October 2016
    Theme: "The Apex Clergy: Engaging our Priestly ministry for National Transformation"
    Venue: Bethany Resort, Peace House Camp, Gboko.

    NOTE: THIS MEETING IS FOR THE APEX LEADERS OF THE MAINLINE (Orthodox) CHURCHES. To check eligibility to participate please call 08187071063 or  08037139774.

    Click here for NOTIFICATION FORM.

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26/09/2016 - The Great Invitation
By Gbile Akanni

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Praise God for yet another year which the grace of God has brought us into. This year is particularly critical for us since it comes with our daybreak. The Lord specifically announced to us during the Ministers’ Leadership Retreat (MLR) in Gboko in December 2015 that the day breaks. 2016 therefore is the year that our daybreak has ushered us into. And we say, to God be the glory.

Every daybreak comes with a demand for each man unto whom such a day has broken to respond to. Lack of understanding on how to respond has always been the reason why many waste their day, but thank God that He did not leave us without instructions on how we ought to respond to this our daybreak. He said to us:

“Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.” (Isa 60:1 NKJV)

Behold! The days are already running; we must stir up ourselves and match obedience with this instruction which God gave us, least we waste our light which has come already! This is a charge, not a suggestion. It is a command that needs our willingness to obey.

As we welcome you this year to this website, which is but a fellowship point for us all, we pray that God will find each of us standing on our different lampstands where He has located us at the moment, ready to give light to all that are around us. Amen.

God bless you.

Living Seed Sitekeeper.

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Date:  Monday 10th - Thursday 13th, October 2016
Theme: "The Apex Clergy: Engaging our Priestly ministry for National Transformation"
Venue: Peace House Camp, Km 21`Gboko-Aliade Road, Mbahyande – Mbayion, Gboko, Benue State, Nigeria.

PLEASE NOTE: This meeting is for the apex leaders of the mainline (Orthodox) churches, please if you do not belong to such level of leadership do not indicate interest to come because you will not be allowed to register for the meeting. Also, persons not belonging to the list of eligible denominations will not be allowed to participate in the retreat. . To check eligibility to participate please call 08187071063 or  08037139774. God bless you.