Abraham, a Mesopotamian idolater who twice ‘lied’ to protect himself
His son Isaac who cherished the taste of pepper-soup above his children’s destiny
Waoh! see Jacob whose name as supplanter was shaping his outcomes until God stepped in
Ah! Look at Judah in that corner
That one who craved illicit romps in prostitutes’ beds until one turned out to be his daughter-in-law
Pharez, product of a one-night-stand between father-in-law and daughter-in-law
Oh! I can see David, shepherd minstrel and Commander-in-Chief who took over his soldier’s wife and covered it up with the innocent man’s murder.
And Solomon! The one who could not manage success! Three hundred wives and seven hundred concubines!
Only God knows what aphrodisiac sustained such beastly concupiscence
What on earth is he doing in this album?
I thought this was supposed to be a most glorious assemblage?
What kind of characters are these?
And these women? How did they get into the picture?
Thamar, who feigned prostitution to seduce a philandering father-in-law
Whaaaat? Rahab, courtesan to city elders with deep pockets
How did she get here?
And Bathsheba, “her that had been the wife of Urias”
I see you put your nose in the air and sneer, “This is one heck of an album!”
But be reminded, this is the tapestry of the Savior’s ancestry!
If you were God and you were writing the story of your venture into the realm of time in the flesh
Would you have admitted or identified with this ‘inglorious’ lineage to birth a purpose so glorious?
Would you have permitted their being mentioned in Messiah’s lineage?
Would you have committed to the documentation in such graphic details?
Seriously, would you?
What kind of Savior would come from such ‘tainted’ lineage?
But thank God, you are not God
And neither am I!
He came through “damaged goods”
To reinforce His plan of fixing the broken
He chose the weak to demonstrate His power
He chose the despised to show His glory
He became High Priest because He came through our infirmities
He chose men to show He didn’t come for angels
He came as man so man could become as HIM
How bad is your story?
Bad enough to earn men’s sneers and neighbors’ jeers?
Awful enough to make your head bowed in shame, unable to greet a new day with zeal?
Tossed aside from having been so tossed around?
Just come with the fragments of your broken life
Surrender every little detail into His skillful hands
Watch Him weave it into the tapestry of His story
Every line written in indelible lines of love dipped in blood. His blood
Filling each chapter with His glory as He brings beauty out of your ashes
Rewriting mournful looks into dancing steps, ululations into joyful expressions
For He did not come to save angels, but the seed of Abraham
It’s a curious album alright.
But that’s the only way it could have accommodated YOU!
Remember, the sky is not your limit, God is!
The message above was approved and permitted to be published by The Author, Tope Popoola. The actual message title was adjusted from the actual title, THE FAMILY ALBUM by Worldwide WORD Missions editors. Rev. Tope Popoola can be reached by the name TOPE POPOOLA on Facebook.
When you hear the Bible say that Jesus prayed so fervently that his sweat was like droplets of blood, if you didn’t know any better, you’d think Jesus was praying against the evil altar, demonic foundation, and the witches and wizards of his father’s house. I mean, what else can make a man pray like that? What else can make a man involve the totality of his person in prayer but for warfare against family stronghold?
But alas, Jesus prayed so passionately and fervently, in bringing himself into alignment with God’s plan for His life at that crucial phase.
But that doesn’t make sense. Does it?
Ordinary God’s plan? And he was praying with so much energy? Isn’t that the kind of prayer you pray with your two hands in your pockets, mumbling in tongues as your mind wanders from coast to coast?
When you hear the Bible say that the apostles prayed so much that the place where they gathered was shaken, if you didn’t know any better, you’d think they were praying for money, promotion, or business breakthrough. After all, if we come this life, we no make money, wetin we gain? Right? What else can stir such fervency in prayer?
But alas, they prayed so fervently that they may stay bold, and that healings and miracles may abound through them?
Does that even make sense?
Boldness to preach? And you are praying so fervently that the facility was shaken together? What kind of misinvestment of energy is that? Isn’t that the kind of prayer you should pray, looking at your wristwatch time and time again, so the prayer meeting can end and you can finally go home?
You know, so much redefinition has been forced upon the sacred art of prayer, that many today who reckon themselves to be prayer warriors and are so perceived, would fail the Bible test of a sound prayer life.
In some quarters today, when you hear the roar of prayers quake the environment and the sound take over the neighborhood, you can almost predict what the prayer point is. It’s either it is about household wickedness, generation curse, ancestral stronghold, evil foundation, or the almighty money. Raise prayers of consecration or for missionaries, and it’d almost be as quiet as the graveyard.
Where did we get this training in prayer from?
Who taught us?
Jesus? Peter? Paul? John?
Dear Prayo, what kind of prayer draws out sweat from your body? What kind of prayer draws out roars out of you? What kind of prayer draws tears from your eyes?
Dear Prayo #002
You probably have heard of the term, catching a prayer burden. It is used to describe those moments in prayer when we are totally “out of control”. The prayee becomes consumed, as it were, with the prayer. Those are moments that come with diverse demonstrations. It’s either the individual is hitting is fist on the wall, or stamping his feet hard on the ground, or he bends down, or kneels, with his limbs in disorganized motions and many times, his veins protruding out of his flesh. Sometimes, it brings us to that place where there’s no more words, and there’s only wailings and heavy, deep intermittent sighs. Oh, such precious moments. But for grammatical correctness, you could almost say that in such moments, the prayer is praying the prayee. You see, such moments are not to be experienced only once in a blue moon. We should have regular moments in prayer, when all our hearts and our minds are totally immersed in the praying till it takes over our whole being.
Such was the kind of moment Jesus had in Gethsemane. The writer of Hebrews says He prayed with strong cryings and tears. Luke was more lucid.
Luke 22:44 KJVS
And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
And what was he praying for?
He was at a very crucial phase of the reason He came. And there was the strong temptation to turn back. The pains…the sufferings…the agony was all ahead waiting for him. Yet all of God’s plan from the very beginning depended on His obedience.
Oh, Jesus went to pray. And he stayed in prayer until strength and focus was renewed. He prayed away everything beclouding his sight. With much agony. When it was time to obey, the hesitation was all gone.
You know…he told Peter, James and John to also pray…so they don’t enter into temptation. But they didn’t heed. They thought obeying God is something that’s very easy. They thought staying true to God’s plan is something determination can make happen. They learned the hard way. Much later in Acts, when they were bullied and threatened to stop preaching and abandon God’s plan, they knew exactly what to do…they went to pray!
You see, the man who struggles with God’s plan is usually the man not given to prayers. If you find compromise appealing, something’s wrong. You can’t obey God outside a sound prayer life.
You are already being tempted to turn your back on God’s plan for your life?
The “successful” life of that your friend with whom you graduated is already making it look like you are stupid for obeying God?
Fear, hesitation and struggles seem to be on the climb when God tells you to do something?
My brother, get away from everything.
Lock yourself up somewhere…and PRAY.
Not some tushed prayer o.
Not the don’t-disturb-your-neighbour kind of prayer. Get far away. Go into a bush if you like. And pray the prayer.
That kind that comes with a heart thoroughly torn and turned inside out.
Pray your senses into obedience. Pray fear away. Pray away everything not making you see as clearly as you ought.
Get into prayer and stay there.
Obeying God is difficult. Prayer is what makes it easy. It gives us a divine perspective. Every odd thing becomes even in our eyes. We begin to see straight paths in a road filled with contours. We receive new eyes, so to speak.
The man who will fulfill God’s plan for His life can’t depend on strategy and determination.
Strategy will fail and determination will let you down. Peter was determined never to betray Jesus, but when the rubber met the road, he didn’t have to try too hard to betray Him.
Prayer is the strategy. That’s what strengthens our will to stand strong and stay true till the very end.
The praying man will not be distracted, and the distracted men will not pray.
Have you been finding it difficult obeying God?
Do it the Jesus way.
Get into your Gethsemane.
Let it all loose
You’ll return with strengthened resolve and and an undistracted focus.
The above message was approved to be published and permitted by The Author, Popoola Oluwatobi. He can be reached by that same name on Facebook.
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