Weekly Uplift - Discovering And Embracing Your Real Worth In Christ
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Discovering And Embracing Your Real Worth In Christ

 

pastor michael

 

 

 

 

By Pastor Michael Olawore
New Wine Church, London 

 

 

 

Foundation Scripture: Ephesians 1:3-21; Ephesians 2:1-12

Sunday 28th  August 2016

 

We continue the series ‘The Sufficiency of Grace’ that we began three weeks ago, with today’s message titled ‘Discovering and Embracing Your Real Worth In Christ’.


As a foundation for today’s message, I would like us to consider the passage in Ecclesiastes 10: 5-7. It reads: ‘There is another evil I have seen under the sun. Kings and rulers make a grave mistake when they give great authority to foolish people and low positions to people of proven worth. I have even seen servants riding horse-back like princes—and princes walking like servants!


The writer of Ecclesiastes was inspired to write this when he observed princes who were ignorant of who they really were. Sadly, we in the Body of Christ often don’t seem to have discovered who we really are. It is my prayer that we will discover and walk in the fullness of what Christ has made available to us. I pray that we will know who we are in Christ Jesus. Note that as God’s children, we have the responsibility to find out what He has made available to us, and to walk in the fullness of His abundance. It is one thing to know Jesus, and another thing to know what He has made available to us.  Even Jesus searched the Scriptures to identify and proclaim His own identity in Luke 4: 17-21. Therefore, we have no excuse.

 

It is not sufficient to call ourselves children of God, and live in a way that does not reflect the amazing things that the Lord has made available to His children. Again we see God’s grace at work in the way the Lord used the ministry of Apostle Paul to reveal to the Church the fullness of our inheritance in Christ (See Galatians 5:5 and Ephesians 2:8). It was St. Paul who spoke of Jews and Gentiles all being a part of God’s master plan of salvation. Paul sought to make known the good news of God’s abundance and grace, and spoke of something which he called “the secrets of Christ” in verse 6 of Ephesians 3.  Paul had a specific call, and he was very clear about his purpose to make known the grace of God.

 

I was told a story when I was very young, but I remember the story till today. The story was about a young man who was studying abroad and wrote to his parents to ask for money. The parents posted a Bible to him, and put a cheque in the Bible. But the young man did not know that there was a cheque in the Bible, and he didn’t bother to read the Bible. He became annoyed and frustrated as his financial condition became more and more dire, all because he did not know that his provision had already been made available. He was rich, but he did not know it. This was the same situation as the Church in Ephesus, and some of us today. It is a tragedy to be so rich, and yet not to know it. The Church knows God, but does not know what God has done for us. Note the following truths: (a) No man can excel beyond his own perception of himself. (b) The way you see yourself is how you will live your life. (c) To perceive yourself as lower than what Christ has made us, is to sign up for a life of mediocrity, and struggles. (d) Your perception is the lens by which you view and experience life and lastly (e) Whatever you think of yourself, you are correct.

 

In order to appreciate the Grace of God and to live in the reality of what the Lord has made available to us, it is important for us to know what God has delivered us from. This was why Apostle Paul reminded the early Church of their past lives before salvation came to them, in Ephesians 2: 1-3 and 11-12, and also in Colossians 2: 13. While we need to appreciate the Grace of God, we cannot dwell in our past. We must leave the past in the past! We can do nothing to change it, and so God will have us press forward to the future!

 

In Philippians 3:13, Paul was essentially saying that even though we all have a past, God has moved us to a new dispensation of Grace! And he set about highlighting the abundant riches of God’s grace, so that the Church would live in this new realm of God’s supply.

 

So Paul decided to remind the early Church exactly what Jesus had done for them. The message is for us too. From Ephesians 1: 3, he started by saying how blessed we were, and that we were chosen by God! The Lord hand-picked us, and this is how important we are! He says we are accepted in the Beloved... this means we are favoured in the Lord! We must therefore not walk around as though we are dejected and rejected, but we should live in the consciousness that we are sons of God! We are so important to God, that He has made known to us the mysteries of His abundance! Ephesians 2:5-6 also speaks about how the Lord has established us in nearness to the Lord, access to the Father, and citizens, members of the household of God! The Riches of God’s Grace are in you. You are loaded, but you must realise it!

 

This dispensation of Grace has secured the following for us: intimacy with the Lord, access to the Father, blessings, membership of the Household of God, knowledge of the secret plans of God, an Inheritance in the Lord, abundant life in the Lord, the presence of the Holy Spirit, being sealed with the Holy Spirit, son-ship ascribed by the Father, being raised and seated with Jesus!

 

How would you feel to be seated next to the Queen of England? Imagine then, the privilege of sitting right next to the King of ALL kings! Everything that God owns (and that is everything in the whole world), has been made available to you as His child! This message is for you to go home and ponder on for the rest of your life. How could you be so rich, and not know it? Imagine this, if I put an expensive wrist watch inside a trash bin, wouldn’t the value of the bin increase? The same way, it doesn’t matter what your life looks like right now; what matters is what, or more correctly WHO you carry! You are so rich, because you carry Christ in you! Sitting with Christ is a position of elevation by which the Lord has bestowed on you the same worth as Christ! God wants us to live from the abundance of the resources that He has placed in us, because it grieves Him for us to be oblivious to His grace and to carry on suffering.

 

Paul was so deeply concerned for us to be aware of God’s Grace that he prayed with intensity in Ephesians 1:18. He wanted the Church to know the reality of what Grace has done. He prayed that God would open the eyes of our understanding, to see the riches of God’s grace.

 

I challenge you today, as you go on in life, to realise that you are blessed! Align your thinking with the Word of God! Embrace the fact that Christ Himself is inside of you, and live a life that reflects what God’s Grace has already done!


               

 

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As we continue the on-going series ‘Experiencing the Power of Multiplication’ today, here is a brief summary of the message: ‘Empowering the Next Generation’ from a fortnight ago. We agreed that God is generational in His thinking and deals with us from that standpoint. All God gives to us is meant to be passed on to upcoming generation. Our lives are a channel, a means by which God reaches out to our young ones.

God’s word, the bible is full of accounts of people who lived, thinking of the young and the unborn. Abraham in Genesis 17 aptly fits this description, with God reminding him of this truth. Bearing this in mind, Abraham was able to prepare adequately for Isaac’s future as we discovered from these seven points, namely: (1) He dedication Isaac to God, by circumcision (2) He celebrated Isaac (3) The bond woman and her child were sent away (4) He taught Isaac to obey God (5) He set the stage for Isaac’s future (6) He empowered Isaac (7) He sent away the children of His concubines.

Today as we examine this message, titled ‘Make Your Life Count for a Divine Purpose’, it is the crux of this series. Let me start by reminding us that it is vital that life flows from us to the next generation, and I intend to encourage us in this message to embrace a purpose beyond our personal life’s goals and aspirations. Within the timeframe that we have been given by God, it is important that we use it wisely and intentionally, serving His purpose on earth.

I have often wondered if coming to church, and engaging in the various forms of spiritual exercises – giving, praying, studying the scriptures and so forth, and having our needs met are an end in themselves? All these are good but they are simply a means to an end – and not an end in themselves. We’ve been created for a purpose bigger than the meeting of our needs. We experience healing, empowerment, and blessings for a purpose beyond us. Hence, life ought not to end with us. Ephesians 1:1 reads, ‘This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus’. Being chosen is not an end, but the choices made after the calling of God is more important. Unfortunately, the present day church has made the means, an end and disregarded the real end. Our personal victories, blessings and successes are meant to encourage us towards that end.

The essence of our faith is wrapped up in the first statement made by God to mankind in Genesis, and the last words of Jesus to his disciples before His ascension. Here they are, Genesis 1:28 reads thus: Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”  Matthew 28:18-19 reads: ‘And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’. Here is the reason why God has created us to live on earth; to make disciples of all nations. Our desires for comfort and pleasures are delightful, but they must not impede us from fulfilling God’s mandate for our lives.