13 Oct 2015
Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. [14] And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.
The prophet Agabus, had signified by the Spirit of God that Paul will be arrested and bound by the Jews at Jerusalem. Naturally, the brethren tried to disuade him from going to Jerusalem, obviously to avoid such severe discomfort, signified by the prophet. What was Paul’s response? He said, “I am ready not to be bound only, but to DIE FOR THE NAME OF THE LORD!!! This MUST BE the standard of consecration for the believer in every age, more so for ministers. Such deep consecration is at the very CORE of christianity. This is where it begins and ends. Men with such focus in their consecration have no room in their hearts to clamour for fame and recgnition. They are too consumed with a burning passion for the kingdom. For such, their “flesh” has been laid on the alter. They are driven and motivated primarily by Kingdom issues. That is really all that matters to them. For them, the value of even a nice car, is only to the degree that it is a tool for advancing the cause of the kingdom. It is not for the enhancement of their personal status or image. For such, they have no “self” to promote. They are too consumed with the passion for God’s purposes, they don’t remember to think of themselves. Paul said ” neither count I my life dear unto me, that I might finish my course with joy and the ministry which I have received”.
My question is, is there still room for such deep and radical consecration today? Or has God lowered his demmands from us, particularly those those of us who are in ministry? My understanding is that, nothing has changed. We are the ones that have changed. We have changed our consecration and consequently our message. We have changed, in order to accomodate the ” celebrity mindset ” which today pervades everything in the ministry. We have changed because our “self” still craves to partake of the accolades of this present life, while still claiming to maintain allegiance to the cross of Christ. But can our ” self ” and Christ dwell together in harmony? Absolutely not. Both are sworn enemies. Again Paul says in (KJV)Galatians 6:14
But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. As the song writer says, “It is no longer I that liveth, but Christ that liveth in me”
I believe we must return to the Christianity of the cross. Today’s christianity has quietly “edged” out the cross. It is not a subject included in our common christian discourse. Many who claim to be believers, know nothing about the cross, neither its claims, nor its demands. No man can ever have a healthy spiritual experience in this life, without a proper understanding of the cross of Jesus Christ, its claims and demands on your life. Whole segments of the church today, have majored on the benefits of the cross, while ignoring its demands. At the cross, Christ was stripped of all he had. His dignity was taken from Him. He hung NAKED at the cross. He as it were, lost “everything”. It is at the cross, that you must VOLUNTARILY lay your ” all ” on the alter, totally surrendered to God, to seek and walk in His will and purpose above your own. Beyond the cross, is the grave, where we ” DIE ” to all we are; yea our achievements and possesions. We voluntarily submit them to God, to be used ONLY for His purposes and glory. As we become a “living sacrifice” ( Rom 12 v 1), we must seek His grace to remain “dead” on the alter. There must be no “untimely resurrections” to take back what we had surrendered. Out of this death, comes the resurection, with all its power and glories. The cross leads to the grave, and the grave leads to the resurrection. This is the divine order of progression. First the cross, then the grave, then the resurrection. The resurrection ushers in a new life and vista of power and priviledges. The resurrection brings a glorious exaltation, as we are raised “together” with Him, and made to sit “together” with Him in heavenly places, as we become “joint heirs” with Him. The blessings and benefits of the resurrection are stupendously mind blowing. Paul attempts to describe them in 1Cor 2v9. He says “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, what God hath prepared for them that love him”. The blessings and priviledges of the resurrection are totally unimaginable. This is where God, in His incomprehensible love and mercy chooses to share His goods and glory with those that love Him. Rom 8v32 says “He that spared not his own son, but gave Him up for us, how shall he not with Him FREELY give us ALL things”. God in His divine wisdom, (I guess knowing the nature of man) had elected that no man should come into such stupendous priviledge without being adequately prepared to handle it. It could destroy him. That is why He ordained that the cross and the grave must come before the throne. The first two strip you of all ego, equipping you to handle the priviledges with brokenness, humility and the fear of God.
When men go straight for the throne without the preparation of the cross, the end product is very ugly creature. The creature bears the name of Christ ( christian) but does not really resemble Him in character. This is the tragedy of today’s neo-pentecostalism, particularly in Nigeria. P God help us.
Rev. Emiko Amotsuka




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