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Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the Christian believers: "Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved." This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. However, Paul and Barnabas addressed the issue, thereby telling about the signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them.

Reference: Acts 15:17 New King James Version (NKJV)

"So that the rest of mankind may seek the LORD, Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, Says the LORD who does all these things."

Some Pharisee-Christians who accepted Christ as Saviour, joined the church. Unfortunately, they were not preaching the message of grace, which is the good news, rather they were trying to inculcate in other Christians, an excessive adherence to the law of Moses. In the process, they were harassing the Gentile believers in Syrian Antioch with the culpable message of circumcision, meaning that they must follow the Mosaic law to be saved by the Jewish Messiah.

In light of addressing this issue at the Council at Jerusalem, apostle Paul reminded them that such dictates they were trying to put on the necks of Gentiles were a yoke that neither they nor their ancestors had been able to bear. Therefore, we believe and come to inarguable conclusion that it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, not by the deeds of the law. Then James added the part that God's Word and promises through the prophets were being fulfilled right before them. And He meant that apart from the Jews, the rest of mankind now seek the Lord, and so, even among the Gentiles are Christians who bear God's name. And God is the Lord who does these things known from long ago.

Beloved, God is consistent in fulfilling His Word. If He says He will do something, He will definitely do, perform or accomplish it, no matter how long ago He said it. This is why I want to introduce you to this God. He is the Ancient of days. Ancient here indicates that He existed before time began and He is the God that endures from everlasting to everlasting. He does marvellous things, and He's been that way right from the beginning. The marvellous things of God's work are due to the infinite perfection and greatness of His nature. They are a true representation of His excellency and glory. Therefore, you don't have a difficult case with God. Just believe what He says concerning you because every word from God has nothing to do with inefficacy.

In Isaiah 46:5 reads, "With whom will you compare me or count me equal? To whom will you liken me that we may be compared?" (NIV). Nobody can be likened, equalled or compared to God. He is the Lord who does marvellous things that have been known for ages, and He has been that way for ages. He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted (see Job 5:9 NIV). The marvellous things He does are things that are quite wonderfully fashioned to excite amazement. And as Christians, we must be careful never to attribute His marvellous works in our lives to luck or fortune, but to grace.

Now what is our part in what God is doing? God wants us to come to full maturity to the point of "knowing" and "believing" and "trusting" His Word and then develop a mindset guided and governed by the truth that He cannot fail us. Always attend to God's Word from a state of rest and certainty. Of course, in practice and experiential knowledge, it may take time for many of us to become fully established in the knowledge of who God really is and the possibilities embedded in His attributes, but we must persist to arrive and remain firm in the realm of arrival.

So for sure, the Spirit of God can guide us through many varied routes, through many negative situations, and through diverse challenges to bring us to this confident realization and firm conviction, meaning that it rarely happens overnight. In another way, this deeper recognition and conviction of who God is and His wonderful works, is brought about through a series of trials that come in seasonal circumstances, and they are designed to instil depth to our persuasion, until we can no longer lean on our own understanding. Shalom!

Scripture Reading - 1 Chronicles 16:12; Psalm 9:1; Isaiah 29:14; Psalm 31:21; John 9:30; Psalm 98:1.

Guided Prayer:

Lord God, you do great and mighty things and all of your works and artistry are wonderful and marvellous. The making of the heavens and the earth, and all therein, were performed by the words of your mouth, out of nothing, which is a display of your great power, wisdom, and goodness. You extended your covenant of grace and its blessings to all of mankind through the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, regardless of race and without partiality. Therefore, I lift up my hands to appreciate you for your favour, help and marvellous work in my life daily in Jesus' Name, Amen!


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