25. July 2017 · Comments Off on DON’T SETTLE FOR LESS THAN WHAT THE LORD HAS FOR YOU · Categories: Choices, Decision making, God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Spiritual Growth, Thoughts, Trusting God

My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9 AMP).

Beloved, have you ever been presented with something you’ve been desiring that you thought was really good only for the Lord to turn around and say ‘NO’, that’s not it?

Well, it takes a spiritually mature mind to know and accept that when God says ‘NO’ to something that you felt was that good and have rated to be about an 80 percent, rather than be disappointed, you ought to rejoice because when God says ‘NO’ to something, it simply means ‎He has something better in stock for you.

Our feature text says His ways are higher than your ways and His thoughts than your thoughts. So, this means that if indeed you’ve rated that thing you desire to be 80 percent, then you ought to consider what ‘better than 80 percent’ ‎would be. You ought to be saying… “Lord, so You mean You have something better than this in mind for me? Wow!!!”

Beloved, isn’t that a reason to start rejoicing? However, because we like to hold on to the ‘known’ rather than trust God, we see it as the end of the world and thereby struggle to let go but just like someone said;‎ “‘Do not downgrade’… What satan tempts you with is always less than what the Lord has already prepared for you in the spirit… What satan tempts you with should always be a confirmation that something better is on its way‎”.

Beloved, ‎please don’t make the mistake of settling for less than what the Lord has for you… Do not downgrade. Wait for the Lord’s choice for You. It is bound to exceed your expectations and blow your mind away for…‎ as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9 NKJV)

Most times we haven’t got a clue what the Lord has in stock for us but you must trust that He is up to something that exceeds your imagination. Why don’t you just trust the Lord on this one?

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT).

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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24. July 2017 · Comments Off on YOUR SHORTCOMINGS SHOULDN’T STOP YOU FROM SEEKING JESUS · Categories: Action, Change, Choices, God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Relationship, Spiritual Growth

For God shows no partiality [undue favor or unfairness; with Him one man is not different from another] (Romans 2:11 AMPC).

Beloved, I like that the Lord is no respecter of persons. Everyone, regardless of your background, education, race, past, whatever can approach Him. Our feature text says He doesn’t discriminate. He sees everything that goes on in the earth. He sees everyone and knows us personally by name.

I’m thinking of a man called Zacchaeus, a very rich tax collector, but there comes a time when everything you’ve got no longer has the ability to satisfy you; a typical case of been there… done it… but I’m now at the point where I believe there’s more to life.

I also like that the Lord somehow makes it impossible for us to reach perfection without him so I believe your shortcomings are there for a purpose. No matter how much money Zacchaeus had, it could not buy him height. The Bible says he was a short man and maybe he had been searching for things to fill that gap. I’m sure people made fun of him and he may have thought perhaps if he had all the money, he would fit in but it didn’t work. He was still short so at some point he decided that the height he couldn’t achieve physically, he had to achieve spiritually. He decided to seek God and we know that God… IS A REWARDER OF THOSE WHO DILIGENTLY SEEK HIM (Hebrews 11:6 NLT).

The Message translation says… He cares enough to respond to those who seek Him. Zacchaeus was desperate; he didn’t care what others thought. He sought after Jesus. He made up his mind that Jesus was not going to pass by without noticing him… So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way. When Jesus came by, HE LOOKED UP AT ZACCHAEUS AND CALLED HIM BY NAME. “Zacchaeus!” He said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.” (Luke 19:4-5 NLT)

Beloved, Jesus always knows where to look. He can always tell from amongst the crowd that one person that is sincerely looking for Him and I like that He would stop everything else to attend to you. He was passing by but He decided to drop by in Zacchaeus house. Why? Only because Zacchaeus decided to climb higher.

You may think you have shortcomings but regardless of what they are, Jesus can fill the gap and as far as you decide that enough is enough; I want to let go of everything that I’ve been using to disguise my shortcomings and just seek after Him… I want to position myself where He can find me… He would reward your sincere effort. Be encouraged to go higher in your walk with the Lord regardless of how low you think you are right now.

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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16. July 2017 · Comments Off on MAKE JESUS YOUR CENTRE PRIORITY · Categories: Action, Blessing, Change, Choices, God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Relationship, Rest, Trusting God

Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise early, To retire late, To eat the bread of anxious labors—For He gives [blessings] to His beloved even in his sleep (Psalm 127:1-2 AMP).

Beloved, there are times when we have a very busy schedule that it can become overwhelming.
and we think the only way out is just to plough our way through – we think we must just keep going till things get done but this becomes at the expense of our precious sleep and our relationships including our relationship with the Lord.

This isn’t intentional. Many of us have the mind to try and make the Lord our top priority, spending ample time with Him; waiting on Him for His wisdom for direction and also resting in Him but we still find that we struggle but a while ago, I remember listening to Israel Houghton, the famous gospel artist, preach about the priority Jesus takes in our lives based on his famous song; ‘Jesus at the centre’. He said the problem with making Jesus our number one priority is that whether we like to admit it or not, thing pop up and regardless of how hard we try, we sometimes find that He drops down to number two and even further down our priority list as we get even busier.

To resolve this problem, instead of having a top priority list where Jesus is number one, he drew a circle and said we should place Jesus at the centre of it all. That way he never drops from number one position but is a part of everything we do. He demonstrated this using a wonderful illustration and I’m not sure whether I’ve explained it as well as he did but instead of having your top ten priorities listed one below the other, picture them spread around the edge of a circle and Jesus is at the centre of that circle. That way He becomes even a part of your eating and sleeping.

Also, my Study Bible notes say that “God is not against human effort but working to the exclusion of rest or to the neglect of family may be a cover up for an inability to trust God to provide for our needs. We all need adequate rest and times of spiritual refreshment. On the other hard this is not an excuse to be lazy. Be careful to maintain a balance: Work while trusting God, and also rest while trusting Him”.

Beloved, our feature text says the Lord… gives [blessings] to His beloved even in his sleep. The message translation says… it’s useless to rise early and go to bed late, and work your worried fingers to the bone. Don’t you know He enjoys giving rest to those He loves?

When you make the Lord your centre priority, you can go to rest knowing that He is working on your behalf and when you wake up, you find that you are refreshed and that He has put things in place which then requires less of your human effort.

Shalom!

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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11. July 2017 · Comments Off on IGNORE THE MOCKERY · Categories: Choices, Jesus Christ, Relationship, Self Control, Spiritual Growth, Trusting God

When Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem the Arab heard of our plan, they scoffed contemptuously. “What are you doing? Are you rebelling against the king?” they asked”. (Nehemiah 2:19 NLT)

Beloved, over the past few days we have been led to pray against the intimidation of mockers because one of the tactics the enemy uses against us is MOCKERY. In our feature, Nehemiah tried to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem but received strong opposition from the enemy; opposition that included MOCKERY.

Nehemiah said… they scoffed contemptuously… To scoff someone means to mock or ridicule them. The Message translation says… they laughed at us, mocking, “Ha! What do you think you’re doing?”

Sanballat and his crew heard about the great work Nehemiah and his crew planned to do and began to laugh and mock them. The plan was to magnify the obstacles and make them feel little about themselves so that they become discouraged. “What do you think you’re doing? You are never going to make it. You will soon give up”.

Sanballat also mocked them of being too weak to finish the job. Nehemiah said… Sanballat was very angry when he learned that we were rebuilding the wall. He flew into a rage and mocked the Jews, saying in front of his friends and the Samarian army officers, “What does this bunch of poor, feeble Jews think they’re doing? Do they think they can build the wall in a single day by just offering a few sacrifices? Do they actually think they can make something of stones from a rubbish heap—and charred ones at that?” (Nehemiah 4:1-2 NLT)

Beloved, do you know anyone who just tries to ridicule you in front of others? They not just belittle you, they also belittle what you’re trying to achieve. But what do you think they’re trying to do? They want to demoralise you and make you question your abilities. “YOU’RE JUST TOO WEAK! YOU’RE NOT STRONG ENOUGH! YOU CAN NEVER ACHIEVE ANYTHING LIKE THIS?” They try to make you feel like you are bound to fail even from the very beginning and if you let them get to you, you’re already destined to fail. Then they would have won.

But why the anger? Why the mocking? Sanballat actually means ‘secret hatred’. So, don’t be surprised to find out that some people secretly hate you. You’re bound to discover this as soon as you step out to do anything good. Sanballat believed that if he could get into their minds by mocking them, he could stop them and that’s what satan does to paralyse you. His trick is to work on your mind to make you feel you’re not good enough. Many people won’t make a move because of fear that they might be mocked if they failed? They back down because no one likes to be mocked. However, Nehemiah didn’t back down. He took it to God in prayer, renewed his mind and continued to rebuild the wall (Nehemiah 4:4-6).

Beloved, are you going to allow mockery mess with your mind?

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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10. July 2017 · Comments Off on IGNORE THE PEOPLE THAT TRY TO BELITTLE YOU · Categories: Choices, Comparism, Contentment, Rejection, Relationship, Spiritual Growth, Trusting God

Now Eliab his oldest brother heard what he said to the men; and Eliab’s anger burned against David and he said, “Why have you come down here? With whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your presumption (overconfidence) and the evil of your heart; for you have come down in order to see the battle (1 Samuel 17:28 AMP).

Beloved, David was a man that faced so much discouragement and intimidation. He even faced it from his own brother. As he enquired about the fight with Goliath, we are told in our feature text that his very own brother tried to belittle him.

WITH WHOM DID YOU LEAVE THOSE FEW SHEEP IN THE WILDERNESS?

Beloved, do you know anyone who does their best to put you down at any opportunity they get? Why did Eliab have to use the word ‘FEW SHEEP’? Well, let’s remember Eliab was there when David was anointed king. He was there when Samuel bypassed all the brothers and waited for their dad to go and call David from attending to the said ‘FEW’ sheep he was looking after in the fields (1 Samuel 16:10-12). Eliab was rejected by God so I bet out of jealousy, he wanted to make David feel like he didn’t have what it takes but how did David respond? …. But David said, “What have I done now? Was it not just a [harmless] question?” Then David turned away from Eliab to someone else and asked the same question; and the people gave him the same answer as the first time (1 Samuel 17:29-30 AMP)

David basically ignored him but many of us would either get discouraged or try to go over our credentials to prove ourselves but all that’s just a distraction.

And then there was Saul… “Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!” “DON’T BE RIDICULOUS!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.” (1 Samuel 17:32-33 NLT)

I like how the not so popular Voice translation put it. Saul said… Don’t be ridiculous—you can’t fight the Philistine. You’re only a youth, and he has been a warrior since his childhood. YOU LACK AGE AND EXPERIENCE.

Beloved, David faced discouragement on all levels. The people that were supposed to be closed to him tried to belittle him but his ability to ignore them all got him to his destination. Please know that the enemy is always going to use this to try to discourage you but it’s just so he can hinder you but like David, you must ignore and keep moving forward. Remember, God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin… (Zechariah 4:10 NLT)

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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04. July 2017 · Comments Off on COULD IT BE TIME TO CUT IT DOWN? · Categories: Action, Change, Choices, Decision making

Then Jesus told this story: “A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed. Finally, he said to his gardener, ‘I’ve waited three years, and there hasn’t been a single fig! Cut it down. It’s just taking up space in the garden.’ “The gardener answered, ‘Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. If we get figs next year, fine. If not, then you can cut it down.’” (Luke 13:6-9 NLT)

Beloved, this is a familiar that we use when we want to ask the Lord for more time so we can see whether we can be productive if we put in more effort but during my retreat in Spain, the owner of the retreat centre said something to me that stopped me in my tracks. She said; “you are trying too hard to fix things”. I tell you that word cut through me like a knife, I didn’t know how to respond.

Referring to our feature text, immediately, I remembered what someone said recently about asking for more time; “some of you know that this is what you told the Lord last year”. Lord, if you just give me one more year, I would do everything within my power to fix this relationship or situation that I’m in but you know deep down that it’s time to cut that thing down because it’s costing you too much? How long would you keep requesting for more time to fix that dead situation? How much more of your attention are you going to give it?

I found it interesting that the parable ends without telling us how the owner of the garden responded to the gardener but it reminds me of Abraham and Lot. God never said a word to Abraham but after seeing how toxic and unproductive their relationship was becoming, it was Abraham who had to summon the courage to say this is not working.

We are told that… finally Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not allow this conflict to come between us… The whole countryside is open to you. Take your choice of any section of the land you want, and we will separate….” (Genesis 13:8-9 NLT) and it was only… after Lot had gone, the Lord said to Abram, “Look as far as you can see in every direction—north and south, east and west. I am giving all this land, as far as you can see, to you and your descendants as a permanent possession (Genesis 13:14-15 NLT).

Beloved, only last week, I wrote about laying aside every weight so we can run with patience the race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1). Are there things in your life weighing you down? Could it be time to cut it down? Are some of the things in your life just taking up space?

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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03. July 2017 · Comments Off on KNOWING WHAT YOU REALLY NEED · Categories: Anger, Change, Choices, Deliverance, Jesus Christ, Prayer

Peter and John went to the Temple one afternoon to take part in the three o’clock prayer service. As they approached the Temple, a man lame from birth was being carried in. Each day he was put beside the Temple gate… so he could beg from the people going into the Temple. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for some money. Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, “Look at us!” The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money. But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!” (Acts 3:1-6 NLT).

Beloved, one of the greatest things that keep people bound is when they receive the wrong kind of solution to their problem or they receive what they think they want rather than what they really need. That’s bondage and in the case of this Crippled Beggar, it was over forty years of bondage (Acts 4:22).

Year in year out, he was carried out to beg for money and so that’s what he grew up to expect. And I’m sure that every time anyone approached the temple, he would start to pray that this one coming shouldn’t be stingy with their money. However, receiving handouts was what kept him in that position for a very long time.

Peter and John had to look at this man straight in the eye and say “begging for money is not what you really need… then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. And as he did, the man’s feet and ankles were instantly healed and strengthened. He jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk! Then, walking, leaping, and praising God, he went into the Temple with them (Acts 3:7-8 NLT). PROBLEM OF A LIFETIME SOLVED…

Beloved, a while ago, during one of my meetings, I remember coming across a lady who said that she was dealing with a generational problem with anger and she honestly thought she had to go for deliverance. However, after being real and dealing with some practical steps to work on her anger, she said she believed she received major breakthrough and it wasn’t even by the laying of hands but I believe the Holy Spirit had already begun to work in her life concerning that problem.

Beloved, it’s very easy to find yourself trapped with a problem because you’ve been prescribed the wrong kind of medication. However, in this second half of the year, my prayer is that God reveals the real solution to that PROBLEM OF A LIFETIME.

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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30. June 2017 · Comments Off on LAYING ASIDE EVERY WEIGHT‏ · Categories: Action, Choices, Discipline, Jesus Christ, Self Control, Spiritual Growth

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1 KJV).

Beloved, yesterday, I wrote about laying aside that besetting sin that so easily beset us but our feature text doesn’t just talk about the sin which so easily beset us, it also advises us to lay aside every weight that slows us down from running the race set before us and this is one that affects a lot of us.

I like that the text says, ‘every weight’. The Amplified Bible Translation says… stripping off every unnecessary weight… The Message translation says… No extra spiritual fat… and I would like for you to think about all the junk that you consume that causes you to put on extra pounds and then try and relate that to your spiritual life.

Beloved, this is a call for us to get rid of those things in our lives that do not contribute to our purpose here on earth. This is a call for us to do a simple evaluation of everything we are involved with by asking ourselves this honest question; what contribution is this thing making to my life? ‘This thing’ includes your relationships, your conversations, your daily activities… everything…

I did this evaluation a while ago and I tell you… my TV went off, my contact list reduced to less than half, I reduced the number of places I went to and you would be surprised how much free time you have to do the things that are really important and are in line with the race that you are running.

Beloved, King David said… Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, Or in things too difficult for me (Psalm 131:1 AMP). The Message translation says… I haven’t meddled where I have no business…

The Apostle Paul also said… No soldier in active service gets entangled in the [ordinary business] affairs of civilian life; [he avoids them] so that he may please the one who enlisted him to serve (2 Timothy 2:4 AMP). In order words, stay out of people’s business and focus on what you’ve been called to do.

Like I said, I dropped a number of things and have been amazed at the number of important things I could do but even now, as I’m writing this, I’m away at a retreat somewhere in a little Spanish village because the Lord wanted me to spend some alone time assessing and re-evaluating where I am now; to drop every weight so I can hear His still small voice giving direction for what is set before me.

So, beloved, the question for you is, “do you need to get rid of any weight?”

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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28. June 2017 · Comments Off on THE PRAYER THAT REVERSES THE LABEL · Categories: Blessing, Change, Choices, Jesus Christ, Prayer

Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; but his mother named him Jabez, saying, “Because I gave birth to him in pain.” (1 Chronicles 4:9 AMP).

Beloved, there are people born with a bright future, however because of what their parents went through, they alter the course of their lives. For instance, we see some mothers who have suffered in the hands of men training their daughters to be bitter towards men. As a result, instead of having a successful marriage, the daughter ruins it because of how her mind has been polluted. Same with some dads, they train their sons to be hard because of what they’ve experienced and the son ends up becoming heartless… They may look hard on the outside but inside, they are surrounded by pain and they seem helpless.

Our feature text introduces us to Jabez whose mother named him after the pain she had experienced and in Hebrew culture names were important. Your name revealed some characteristic about your birth, or a hope for your future and a person would normally manifest what they were called. The Amplified Bible Classic Edition says Jabez means ‘sorrow maker’. Can you imagine what they prophesied every time they called his name?

To be honorable means to be characterized by integrity and guided by a high sense of honor but despite his decisions to remain honorable, he was surrounded by painful situations. Who knows, maybe he was always experiencing broken relationships, disappointments at work or in business or ill health. Every letter that came through the post came with bad news.

However, one day he decided enough is enough. Jabez knew he was in the position to change things because He knew a God who could bring about a change in his life… He was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!” AND GOD GRANTED HIM HIS REQUEST (1 Chronicles 4:10 NLT).

He prayed to God to bless him and his handiwork and for all round protection from pain. He said God, please do not depart from me because without you I am nothing and would continue in my misery.

Beloved, Jabez was labelled with sorrow and pain but his prayer reversed the label. Today, you probably don’t think you can do anything about your situation but you are in a better position because Jesus died to set you free from every baggage. He redeemed you from the curse (Galatians 3:13); By His wounds you have been healed (1 Peter 2:24); He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich (2 Corinthians 8:9).

Jesus said…You may ask me for anything in His name and He will do it (John 14:14). Why not pray Jabez’s prayer and as you do so, it is my prayer that every parental baggage is broken off your life and you become free to be the honorable person that God has called you to be.

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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10. June 2017 · Comments Off on WHOSE REPORT WILL YOU BELIEVE? · Categories: Action, Choices, God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Obedience, Trusting God

In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord,” he answered. The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.” “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I HAVE HEARD MANY REPORTS about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem (Acts 9:10-13 NIV).

I HAVE HEARD MANY REPORTS…

Beloved, do you know the problem with many of us is that we hear too many reports? This person said this… that person said that… As a result, we end up not doing what the Lord has asked us to do and we miss out on the outcome. However, one of the things I have come to understand is that everybody has a unique walk with the Lord and the grace and favour He might give to one person may be different to what He gives to another. There are also other factors to consider why people’s outcomes are different such as perfect obedience, perfect timing, one’s trust and total reliance on the Lord etc. So, if you are listening to that person’s report, you may just be doing yourself a lot of disservice.

Beloved, when the Lord gives you an assignment, be rest assured that He means it when He says… I will go before you and level the mountains [to make the crooked places straight]; I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut asunder the bars of iron (Isaiah 45:2 AMPC).

In the case of Ananias in our feature text, even before God sent Ananias on this special assignment, He had already put everything in place. All Ananias had to do was show up… The Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel (Acts 9:15 NIV).

Beloved, when the Lord says go, He expects you to go. Those MANY REPORTS that you have heard are meant to discourage you from moving ahead but the simple question you have got to ask yourself today is… WHOSE REPORT WILL YOU BELIEVE?… To whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? (Isaiah 53:1 NKJV)

Ananias based his fear on an OUTDATED report. Could this be your case? We are asked to fix… our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith (Hebrews 12:2 NIV). He is the One that has the most UP-TO-DATE report.

And remember… God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV).

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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