Wednesday, 19 April 2017

A Man SENT from God


I hope you had a great Easter. Mine was really filled with some outreaches that I am grateful  to God were successful. While we were discussing the “Why series”, under the “Why he came”, one of the reasons we looked at for the coming of Jesus was the fact that Jesus came because he was sent.. This question of being sent is seen all over Scriptures. Several of the prophets were ordinary men who the word of God came to and they heeded the call. Today ,I would like us to consider a man who was described in the scriptures as “sent from God”.
The name of this man is John who happens to be Jesus’s relative. His birth was foretold (Luke 1:8-17) and he was an answer to the prayer of an aged couple who the Bible described as righteous although they had found  themselves in the predicament of childlessness because Elizabeth was barren(Luke 1:7). His father, Zachariah was a priest while his mother was a daughter from the lineage of priest (Luke 1:5-6). This Elizabeth was a cousin of Mary (Luke 1:36), the mother of Jesus and as such John was Jesus’s cousin. The name John means ”Jehovah has been gracious”.

Several years ago when I studied the life of the father of John, I was greatly encouraged that the Bible records some positive things about his life. The first of these is the fact that he and his wife were said to be righteous. Yes, they did have a problem which may have made the society look at them with disdain as barreness was seen as a curse those days( and a sign of disapproval from God. But in the midst of their own pain, I am deeply challenged by the fact that this couple continued in the right ways and Zachariah was introduced as still serving in the temple. He still went around ministering even though there was no hope that his needs would ever be ministered to, he is a typical case of though he slay me(Job 13:15) . He is also a reminder of Habakkuk’s cry that” though the fig tree does not blossom,…yet will I rejoice in God my rock” (Habakkuk 3:17-18).

There  was a man sent from God whose name was John .He came as a witness to testify concerning that light so that through him all might believe .He himself was not the light, he came only as a witness to the light ..”-John 1:16-18 NIV New International Version

This John was sent and he had a sense of vison and purpose. This two things defined who he was and what he did.When the Pharisees sent people to ask him if he was the messiah, he clarified that he was not and then they asked him why he did the things he did. He also informed them in reply that he did those things because those were the instructions he received from whom had sent him ( John 1:19-28) .
John teaches us in his conversation with the Pharisees that the man who has been sent is one whose life is shaped by purpose and sometimes when we do not know these, people will want to define us and give us their own ideas of what we would be doing. John was sent to reveal Jesus  and in order to do this, he had to go baptizing (John 1:31).

The lives of Zachariah and Elizabeth was attractive enough for God to entrust them with someone he sent on a special mission. Their problems did not stop them from serving and their wait on the Lord was not in vain. John teaches us several things that we must learn and have if we are sent from God . He challenges us to go beyond our comfort zone but still allow our lives and works  to be shaped by our purpose as received from him.

We will continue this discussion in our next posts.

 In His Service,
Grace Tom-Lawyer

Friday, 14 April 2017

Why he died 2


“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign ,Behold a virgin shall conceive,and bear a son , and shall call his name Immanuel “-Isaiah 7:15 KJV King James Version

“Now all this was done ,that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet saying ,”- Matthew 1:22 KJV King James Version

“For we are his workmanship ,created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared ahead of time for us to do”- Ephesians 2:10 CSB Christain  Standard Bible



I do not know how familiar you are with Lego blocks but there are several and sometimes our children try to build things using Lego blocks. However if you  have ever watched a child build things successfully using lego, you would probably have noticed that there are usually some foundational blocks they use before they are able to continue  to build .When we started  this series “Why he came”. To reiterate these, the coming of Jesus was not an afterthought but was properly planned by God and the second of these is that the coming of Jesus to the earth was not the beginning of his existence.

Moving on from this, the first reason to consider is the fact that Jesus coming was a fulfilment of prophecy. Long before he ever appeared on the scene, even before he was born, it was predicted that a virgin will bring forth a son (Isaiah 7:14).

Matthew writes the gospel that bears his name to the Jews and as such kept referring to the Old Testament with an emphasis of “that it may be fulfilled” and when he records the birth of Jesus in Matthew 1 :18-25, he repeatedly used the same phrase “that it may be fulfilled” .This prior prophecy was what the angel pointed out to Joseph the betrothed husband of Mary during his time of confusion after Mary informed him of her pregnancy. The coming of Jesus was a fulfilment of prophecy given almost six hundred years before he was born(Isaiah 7:14) .

Even after  Jesus was born, when his parents took him in obedience to the temple to be dedicated, there were two witnesses who confirmed that the coming of Jesus was what they were waiting for . The first of this air was Simeon(Luke 2 :25- 26).When he saw Jesus, he was able to ask God to release him to go as he has seen the salvation that was promised  promised to Israel (Luke 2:2:29-33).

The other individual who confirmed this was Anna who was a widow and had been serving God with fasting and prayer in the temple(Luke 2:36-37).This woman’s sensitivity to the Holy Spirit enabled her to be there when Jesus was dedicated(Luke 2:38).

So for today, as we examine the fact that Jesus came so as to fulfil prophecy, we need to ask ourselves in this season “what prophecy am I fulfilling? Sometimes we may become daunted by the fact that some people had things written about them specifically but if we study our Scriptures very well, we would see that we too, as long as we have been recreated in Christ have a prophecy we are supposed to fulfil. It is something that God has planned for us to do which the next verse states so plainly,

 “God planned for us to do good things  and to live as he has always wanted us to live .That is why he sent Christ to make us what we are”-CEV Contemporary English Version

“God has made us what we are in Christ Jesus. God made us new people so that we would spend our lives doing the good things he had already planned or us to do “-ERV English Revised Version   

Although these good works do not guarantee salvation, they are the product and fruit of our salvation. Jesus came to fulfil prophecy and we are also here to fulfil prophecy. May the Lord help us to fulfil what he has called us to .

In His Service,

 Grace Tom-Lawyer

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Why he came 4


“For the Son of man , came to seek and save the lost “-Luke 18 :10 -NIV New International Version
“But go and learn what this means ,I desire mercy and not sacrifice For I did not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance”--Matthew 9:13  KJV King James Version
“For this reason, whe had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful priest in service to God that he might make atonement for the sins of the people”- Hebrews 2:17 NIV New International Version
 “Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are tested”- Hebrews 2:18 NLT New Living Translation



The third reason we would consider why Jesus came is the fact that Jesus came to redeem man. It was part of God’s redemptive purpose which required that man be restored (1 John 4:10).

Jesus came to redeem us, he came to save us (Matthew 9:13). In his days, Jesus was misinterpreted. He was accused of eating with sinners(Mark 2:17-18) but this company he kept was actually defined by his mission as this were the very people he was sent to.For anyone to work in divine purpose, not all company will be right and we must see this being far beyond physical company.


In this redemptive purpose of God, Jesus came to remove us from just existing to truly living (1 John 5:12).He declared that he had come to give us abundant life(John 10:10).Another part of the redemptive purpose of God was for Jesus to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8).


The next reason we will consider for his coming is that Jesus came so as to identify with humanity. It was necessary for Jesus to come to earth to identify with us. Right where he was in the heaven, he could not redeem man because the prophecy in Genesis 3:15 talked about the “seed of the woman”. God could not fully identify with man until he became man (1 Timothy 3:16) and as such was able to serve us in the redemptive purpose (Mark 10:45).

In identifying with man, Jesus came to reveal the father to us (John 17:25-26) .He started this with his disciples whom  he could not have related to properly without being human.

If Jesus did not identify with us by being made a human being, he would never have really been able to empathize with us , hence we see that in becoming fully human ,in every way, he is able to be a merciful and faithful priest(Hebrews 2:17).

The fact that Jesus came to identify with us brings a lot of comfort to me and I would like to look at several things that Jesus experienced that we experience today, yet he was without sin (Hebrews 4:15).

Jesus knows what it is to have suffered the pain of mockery and insults ( Matthew 27;31&1 Peter 2:23). He is well acquainted with the pain of being misunderstood(John 10:30-33) and misintepreted .Even his family members thought that he was crazy (Mark 3:21).He knows what it is to be betrayed even by close friends (Luke 22:48) and to be left alone or even denied when the chips are down by people who he felt were his best buddies.(Luke 22:54-62).

Jesus has also felt the sting of being despised as his neighbours retorted that he was just a carpenter (Matthew 13:55).While identifying with us, Jesus is fully aware of what it feels like to be forsaken by God ( Matthew 27:46  ) and he knows, O this one has brought me great comfort in the past few weeks, he knows what it is to be falsely accused .Having gone through a season of being falsely accused with many times just lying down on the bed and crying, I have drawn comfort from the fact that Jesus knows what it is to be falsely accused and he can share my pain .


Probably another area we can all identify with is the pain of seemingly unanswered prayers (Matthew 26:39,Luke 22:42). Yes ,Jesus also did not have all his prayers answered as he would have loved them to be. And if we find ourselves grieving, we can also be sure that he understands, having lost even a close friend. We are told he wept. But in all of these, Jesus still did the will of the father and was without sin (Hebrews 4 :15 ) .

Jesus came to redeem man and in doing so, he died in our place. He also came to identify with us, knowing what it is to be human so he can fully help us. We can freely approach him for mercy and grace in our times of need (Hebrews 4:16) He has been there, gone through and nailed it to the cross.

In His Service.

Grace Tom-Lawyer

Friday, 24 February 2017

Why he came 3


“For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten son that whosever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life”- John 3 :16  KJV King James Version

“But when the set time had fully come, God sent his son ,born of a woman ,born under the Law “-Galatians 4:4 NIV New International Version

The second reason we would address in these series is the fact that Jesus came because he was sent. Jesus was humble enough to be sent (Philippians 2:5-8 ).Although a member of the Godhead(John 1;1-3), he was obedient enough to be sent. Jesus was willing to take the place of a messenger (Isaiah 6:8). He did not come of his own accord but was sent. One of the most famous Bible verses (John 3:16) tell us that this was because of the love of the Father.

Jesus himself  was sent  and so did not come to advance his own purpose. Rather he came to do the will of God who sent him(John 6:38). On one occasion, he commented that he did the things he had seen his father do (John 5:19-20) in the true spirit of servanthood.When Jesus prayed finally in the Garden of Gethsemane , he prayed that only the father s will be done(Luke 22: 42).This inevitably is  the mark of a true and faithful servant who has been sent.

Jesus came because he was sent and we also have been sent by God to preach the good news, baptize and make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20 ;Mark 16:15-16). Someone has rightly commented that this is the Great Commission and not the Great suggestion.

As we consider in this season that Jesus came because he was sent and indeed fulfilled the reason for which he was sent, we need to reflect on how well we are doing with what God has sent us to do. Let us also pray that the Lord will send labourers to the harvest field   Matthew 9 38 ) and “Lord, please start with me”.

In His Service,

Grace Tom -Lawyer


Thursday, 16 February 2017

Why he came 2

“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign ,Behold a virgin shall conceive,and bear a son , and shall call his name Immanuel “-Isaiah 7:15 KJV King James Version

“Now all this was done ,that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet saying ,”- Matthew 1:22 KJV King James Version

“For we are his workmanship ,created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared ahead of time for us to do”- Ephesians 2:10 CSB Christain  Standard Bible

I do not know how familiar you are with Lego blocks but there are several and sometimes our children try to build things using Lego blocks. However if you  have ever watched a child build things successfully using lego, you would probably have noticed that there are usually some foundational blocks they use before they are able to continue  to build .When we started  this series “Why he came”. To reiterate these, the coming of Jesus was not an afterthought but was properly planned by God and the second of these is that the coming of Jesus to the earth was not the beginning of his existence.

Moving on from this, the first reason to consider is the fact that Jesus coming was a fulfilment of prophecy. Long before he ever appeared on the scene, even before he was born, it was predicted that a virgin will bring forth a son (Isaiah 7:14).

Matthew writes the gospel that bears his name to the Jews and as such kept referring to the Old Testament with an emphasis of “that it may be fulfilled” and when he records the birth of Jesus in Matthew 1 :18-25, he repeatedly used the same phrase “that it may be fulfilled” .This prior prophecy was what the angel pointed out to Joseph the betrothed husband of Mary during his time of confusion after Mary informed him of her pregnancy. The coming of Jesus was a fulfilment of prophecy given almost six hundred years before he was born(Isaiah 7:14) .

Even after  Jesus was born, when his parents took him in obedience to the temple to be dedicated, there were two witnesses who confirmed that the coming of Jesus was what they were waiting for . The first of this air was Simeon(Luke 2 :25- 26).When he saw Jesus, he was able to ask God to release him to go as he has seen the salvation that was promised  promised to Israel (Luke 2:2:29-33).

The other individual who confirmed this was Anna who was a widow and had been serving God with fasting and prayer in the temple(Luke 2:36-37).This woman’s sensitivity to the Holy Spirit enabled her to be there when Jesus was dedicated(Luke 2:38).

So for today, as we examine the fact that Jesus came so as to fulfil prophecy, we need to ask ourselves in this season “what prophecy am I fulfilling? Sometimes we may become daunted by the fact that some people had things written about them specifically but if we study our Scriptures very well, we would see that we too, as long as we have been recreated in Christ have a prophecy we are supposed to fulfil. It is something that God has planned for us to do which the next verse states so plainly,

 “God planned for us to do good things  and to live as he has always wanted us to live .That is why he sent Christ to make us what we are”-CEV Contemporary English Version

“God has made us what we are in Christ Jesus. God made us new people so that we would spend our lives doing the good things he had already planned or us to do “-ERV English Revised Version   

Although these good works do not guarantee salvation, they are the product and fruit of our salvation. Jesus came to fulfil prophecy and we are also here to fulfil prophecy. May the Lord help us to fulfil what he has called us to .

In His Service,

 Grace Tom-Lawyer

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Ash wednesday-Why he came


“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.-John 3:16 MSG The Message

I must confess that sometimes while I am writing or teaching  a particular  series,I am usually not sure about what the next series would be.It is not for lack of content but there are usually so many things going on that I begin to wonder ,”Lord what is the best direction to take the next series .I do do this quite ahead of time and eventually get something, sometimes it comes  quite close to when the new series is about to begin.

So recently ,it got impressed on my heart to start treating in this Lent season what we will call "The Why Series". The Why series is a look at three questions that relate to Jesus Firstly we will deal with” Why Jesus came”,secondly  “Why Jesus died “and then finally “Why Jesus rose”. Sometimes we may think we do know more than we actually do and that is what I actually discovered as I began to study and the Holy Spirit threw  light on several other Scriptures,I realized that apart from redemption, there were some other reasons why Jesus came and these proved to be of great comfort to me and I sure believe will be to you also .

 So before we delve into these reasons,I would like to establish two things. The first of these is the fact that the coming of Jesus was not an afterthought. It was not a last resort or a fire brigade approach to the fall of man. This fall of man occurred as a result of the sin of Adam and Eve. They disobeyed God and their sin had to be atoned for by the shedding of blood (Hebrews 9:22 ).And although physical blood was shed when God made clothes for them (  Genesis 3:21), we are also told in Scriptures  that before the foundation of the world, the lamb himself was already slain (1 Peter 1:20 &Revelation 1:8).

The second of these truths is that the coming of Jesus to  the earth was not the beginning of his existence. There are several Scriptural references that support this pre-existence .Right from the Genesis account, we see God talking in the plural 'let us make man…'(Genesis 1 : 26 ).Also during the building of the Tower of Babel still in Genesis ,it was still the plural term used for let us go and see what man is doing (Genesis 11:1-9 ).

This pre-existence of Jesus is supported by Apostle John who tells us at the very introduction of the book of John : 'In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word is God ….'(John 1:1-3).These very first three verses are very much similar   to the first three verses of Genesis 1(Genesis 1:1-3).He goes further to also tell us in his first letter that there are three that bear record in heaven(1 John 3: ),the father ,the Son and the Spirit And in verse 8 of the same chapter, he tells us that the son of God “appeared”. This fact that he appeared denotes that he was existing somewhere else. This same letter contains the phrase he appeared in both verse 5&8(1 John 3:5,8).

Having established these two important truths as foundation blocks for our series, we will begin to consider in the next post some of the reasons why Jesus came.

In His Service,
Grace Tom-Lawyer

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

On the Way to the Palace-Potiphar's house 2


And the midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh’s  and captain of the guard”-Genesis 37:36 KJV King James Version

“And Joseph was brought down to Egypt and Potiphar , an officer of Pharaoh ,captain of the guard ,an Egyptian ,bought him of the hands of the Ishaemelites which had brought him down thither”-  Genesis 39:1 KJV King James Version

Another salient point we notice in these verses above is that Potiphar is an Egyptian. We have already noticed that this man who bought Joseph from the slave market had close links with royalty. He is an officer of Pharaoh and called the “chief executioner”. In other words, he dealt with the unpleasant business of getting rid of those the king was displeased with.

The fact that he brought Joseph to live in his house tells volumes about Joseph that we should not ignore. It appears that Joseph may have initially started out on the fields before working his way to serve in the household of his master. For Joseph to be able to do this effectively, he would have had to go through the challenges of learning a new language so as to be able to communicate properly. And with the language of the new people he found himself amongst, there was the added burden of learning a new culture in the midst of strangers.

The man on the Way to the Palace is one who must be able to adapt to changing circumstances and be ready to learn and unlearn as the  situation requires. Adaptability is an essential requirement for the man on the Way to the Palace.

It was no coincidence that Joseph was bought by someone who served the King, God had to position Joseph rightly and as such Potiphar’s house served as a training ground for Joseph. In addition to the language and culture of Egypt, he learned the business and politics of Egypt. It is also worth noting that Joseph’s sale to Egypt was all part of fulfillment of prophecy ( Genesis 15:13).

It takes a great degree of humility to be able to learn anything ( Proverbs 11:12;Psalms 25:8-9) .Forced with the estrangement from his father, Joseph decided to not to allow his history deprive him of the current moment or his glorious future. He maximized the moment by getting to know the Egyptian language, culture, business and politics.

In  Conclusion, the man on the way to the Palace  is one who is easily adaptable  and ready to learn new skills.  Refusing to learn and improve ourselves will eventually make us unfit for God’s purposes and getting to the Palace. This new location of Joseph is all part of God’s sovereign plan and on the Way to the Palace, our location is critical    and hence relocation should not be taken lightly or changed solely on economical reasons. He should also be one who is always ready to make the best use of whatever situation he finds himself in (Proverbs 16:4& Ecclesiastes 9:10).

In His Service,

Grace Tom-Lawyer.