A Daily Word from the Word for Monday, February 24, 2014
Today’s Daily Word and tomorrow’s conclusion are written by my Kingdom partner, Zalihta Pegeese.
“Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: ‘The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat, Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, Rabbi, Rabbi.’” - Matthew 23:1-7
My heart was broken the other day, after a small discussion with a few colleagues, about the condition of my city. After hearing the stories of those I was talking with, I was truly alarmed by the brokenness of the multitudes around me.
Of course I knew these precious souls existed, but it hit my spirit in a different way. There are many agencies and projects that have been created in hopes of “changing” the community; but this problem, this condition, goes much deeper than that.
It does not matter how much money is put into these efforts, or how structures are changed. It is a depth of despair that no one can break through, touch, and heal, except for God Himself. People’s hearts have been broken and they are wandering in their personal wilderness, not knowing where to go or what to do.
“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of this world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:13-14 NKJ).
If those who are poverty stricken, lost, abandoned, homeless, violent, discouraged, abused, confused, hopeless, broken, wicked, and starving are wandering, whose responsibility is it to lead them to the right place? If you answered the church, then you are right. The Word of God commands us: “You shall neither mistreat a stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child” (Exodus 22:21-22).
When we do nothing to relieve a person of their burden by helping to meet their immediate needs and pointing them to Christ as our reason for doing so, and as their long-term and permanent solution, then we are mistreating the least of our brothers and sisters.
The city where I live in has over 150 churches with a population of about 160,000 people; so how could this be, family? Could it be that we have gotten so comfortable in our “church community” that we have forgotten where we came from? Jesus testifies, in the scripture referenced above, that we are to be salt and light to this world. We have a responsibility as a church, no matter the denomination, to go out and be light. To point these people to Jesus, the very One who saved us. If you think you are being salt in the church, you are only half right, because there are many that aren’t making it to the church because they don’t know how! Satan has blinded and bound them. We are to unshackle and usher "the least of these" in as a shepherd does his sheep.
“Jesus is the way, the truth, and the light. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
Those who are wandering do not know a Savior exists; or if they do, they don’t know how to get to Him. The Church does, but where are we? Are we so focused on ourselves? The Apostle Paul reminds us that “We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. For even Christ did not please Himself.” (Romans 15:1-3)
Some of you may be saying right now, “well sister Zalihta, my church is ministering to broken people!” And to this I say: we, as a corporate body, have not done enough, as evidenced by the tremendous work which still needs to be accomplished.
Could it be that church members have been too prideful to allow God to circumcise their hearts? If this is the case, then there is no change because we have broken ministries ministering to broken people. God recently gave me that revelation while reading a book by Apostle Dr. Pernell Hewing entitled “Come to Gilgal for Circumcision of the Heart and for a Deeper Walk With God” ( © 1999).
Broken cannot fix broken. Hurt cannot heal hurt. And confusion cannot usher in truth. Are you tired of wandering in the wilderness, my brother? Does church feel like a jungle to you, my sister? Then join me tomorrow, as we allow the Lord to lead us across the Jordan River, to a place called Gilgal, where every broken heart is healed, every unmet need met, and every issue is resolved.
It is a place in the Savior where the deep work of the heart is begun, won, and accomplished, so that the work of the Cross may be presented, and lives can be saved and changed into the Image of the One Who took captivity captive, so that we may live freely in Him.
Father, we repent for relying on others to fix the problems within us and within our communities. We repent for looking to people, even the church, to heal within us and others, what only You can do. Help us to focus on the real fix to every broken life, which is Jesus. Circumcise our heart, Oh God. Help us focus on the Savior, the Treasure of Heaven, Who was broken for us so that we may be made whole. In Jesus Name, we thank You that we have given you our heart, which you willingly and graciously accept, and to do the much-needed circumcision, so that we may be whole and minister from Your place of wholeness and healing. Amen and Amen.
Take action! Challenge your thinking! Choose to surrender your heart to the Great Physician, and allow Him to do only what He can do to heal your broken heart. Stop looking to people to do only what God can do for you, in you, and through you. Get off the bench and into the harvest field! The laborers are few, and God is in need of you; but in need of you only after He does the necessary work in you. And continue to fight the good fight of focusing inward so that God can use you outward; for God, your Secret Place, has already given you the victory!
If you have never received Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, I encourage you to do it today, right now, by saying this prayer out loud: “Jesus, forgive me for my sins. I am sorry. I truly desire to be saved and reconciled back to God, my Father, through You. I receive Your sinless Blood as payment in full for my sins—past, present, and future. I now call You my Lord and Savior, and invite You to live within my heart, and to permanently live within me. I make You Lord over me and over my life from this moment on. Amen.” Congratulations! You are now a child of God, made whole and made new, by the Blood of Jesus Christ!
God tells us that we are blessed to be a blessing (Genesis 12:2). Be a blessing to someone by sending them this word of encouragement. If God did not already put someone in your spirit and on your heart that needs to read this uplifting message from above, simply ask your Heavenly Father who to bless on today. Forward this message right now by email, facebook, or twitter.
Jesus is coming soon!
May God Bless you and keep you always.
With warmest regards,
And, in service of The Most High King,
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All references to Hebrew and Greek words and meanings, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance © 1990 by Thomas Nelson Publishing. All dictionary references are taken from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary © 2013, unless otherwise noted.