The 2nd day of the Renewal Day Program was awesome. I am not sure what the message was titled but I choose to call it “Pursue To Grow Further.” It was taken by Sister Amaka who pointed out to us that God’s grace and mercy has allowed us to see 2017 perhaps because we have not fulfilled the purpose for which He has placed us on earth. She mentioned that 2017 allows us to practice ongoing repentance and discussed the realms which existed to fulfill our purpose on earth.
This is the realm which Jesus mentions in John 17:16 and which we are told to cast away by being born again in Jesus. We are to put on the new cloak of Christ as said in Romans 13:14 and Galatians 3:27 and to renounce the sins of the flesh in Galatians 5:19-21. It is a realm in which some Christians deny that they are in, for they claim that they have renounced the sins of the flesh and are a new creature. However, they continue to rationalize and make excuses for sins of the flesh by explaining it as being the new culture and that everyone is doing or acting that way so it is acceptable.
This realm was intriguing because I thought it was where we all were. After all, we were the Church Militant and we belonged to the Body of Christ. However, the speaker explained that it was not an enviable realm. Although it was a step higher from the worldly realm since it entailed accepting Jesus and making a conscious effort to serve Him, it was not good enough. She referred to 1Corinthians 3:1-3 which talked of Christians being “infants in Christ” unable to take solid food “for you are still of the flesh…and behave like ordinary people.“
Now, this was a realm we all read, heard and knew about. This was the realm of the Acts of Apostles. This was the realm that “had it going on!” She explained that this realm was where you are in when you understand what God has put in you and what you carry. She stated that when you realize that you are a walking Ark of the Covenant and act accordingly, then you access this realm.
The speaker stressed the role of Mary and saying the Rosary to help us enter into the supernatural realm. There must be a yearning for God to know Him through His Word and to obtain the gift of wisdom.
KINGDOM EXPANSION REALM
She explained that this realm is where we are all supposed to be. As a parishioner in Divine Mercy with the various programs being organized, I have no choice but to be in this realm. In short, we are all made to be in this realm since God’s will is for us to be fruitful and to multiply. I was having a discussion on fruitfulness the other day and realized that most people restrict this to populating the earth. I believe that God was more interested in us being fruitful in multiplying our gifts and bringing His Kingdom forth.
It was upon thinking about this kingdom expansion realm that a conflict I had in my mind was clarified. I had earlier sought clarification on the words “Thy Kingdom Come” in the Our Father in Matthew 6:10 and the words in Matthew 3:2 that the “Kingdom of God is at hand” and “the Kingdom of God has come upon you” in Luke 11:20. I was unsure whether the kingdom was actually here or whether it was futuristic. Upon reflecting on the supernatural realm, I understood that by saying “Thy Kingdom Come” in the Daily Prayer, we were actually calling upon the presence of God within us and in our world. This was why John the Baptist was asking those to repent and warning them that the Kingdom of God is at hand because Jesus was to shortly enter into His Ministry on earth and be present amongst us. This is also why Jesus said that the kingdom of God has come upon you and “the Kingdom of God is within you” in Luke 17:21.
When we are in the kingdom expansion realm, we bring forth God’s kingdom and presence and His presence ignites within us giving us supernatural power as we manifest His glory as His temple. We no longer feed on milk but on solid food as we obey His command to be fruitful and multiply.
This is the realm which we all seek to attain. The realm that those we recognize as saints achieved while on earth. It is a realm where we walk in complete tandem with God and where He pours out His amazing grace and peace upon us.
The speaker then delved into Colossians 3:1-10 and 23-25 by first explaining that atonement is still being done in the New Testament since we are to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice. Like the sacrifices made in the Old Testament, the dead animal stays dead. We too must also not go back to our old ways since we have been sacrificed and “are risen with Christ.” She gave an example of having a dream about what your old self used to do or be and explained that there was no need to spend unnecessary energy casting and binding when you awoke from the dream because that would be recognizing that the person still exists. All you need do is “set your mind on the things that are above” and ignore the dream because it is no longer part of the new you.
She advised that you go through life with the mindset that everything is about the kingdom of heaven, as said in Colossians 3:23 that “whatever you do, do it wholeheartedly working for the Lord and not for humans.”
The need to discover your own gift and to apply it for the kingdom of God was stressed. She explained that the reason why some of us do not know our charisms or could not develop our gifts is because we expect to feed from the priest who is a man. She stressed that we must focus on spending time with God in our closet since God is the one who truly feeds and directs. He is a God who loves privacy, as shown by his advice that the left hand should not know what the right hand is doing in Matthew 6:3 and yearns to feed you with all that He is.
She referred to Colossians 3:10 where it shows God’s action of constantly renewing us to bring us to the full knowledge of Him. She pointed out that God renews the new person and not the old self so we must be very careful of not going back to our old sinful ways.
Indeed God brings us to the full knowledge of Him in the use of our gifts which prepare us for service as seen in Colossians 3:23. She referred us to the Great Commission in Matthew 28:16-20 to expand God’s kingdom and stated that the point of life is not only to make heaven since you would die once you received Christ if that was the sole purpose. The point of life was to expand God’s kingdom and build the Church in service to one another. She challenged us to point to those who would stand behind us as evidence of our kingdom work on judgement day and warned that God is not happy with only one, as shown in the parable of the talents.
We must build up the Body of Christ and this is done by gaining knowledge of Jesus in hot pursuit of knowledge of God, in order for God to exist in our reality and dwell within and amongst us. She stressed that the bible was not meant to be the source of intellectual citation but to renew you and to change you. We are to have the mind of Jesus, feed on solid food and walk in authority This is required to avoid God saying “I do not know you” when you call upon Him and seek access into heaven.
I once watched a clip of a man doing performance poetry of what happened after He died and he approached the gates of heaven. The gates were locked to him in spite of all his church going activities. God simply replied to him – “Sorry, do I know you?”
As the days of 2017 unfold, may we rise up to do God’s work set before us and advance with purpose to the realm of grace which He has prepared for those who seek Him with fervour and diligence. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.