26. September 2017 · Comments Off on DON’T BE AFRAID TO TAKE RISKS · Categories: Action, Choices, Decision making, Jesus Christ, Trusting God

Cast your bread on the surface of the waters, [be diligently active, make thoughtful decisions], for you will find it after many days (Ecclesiastes 11:1 AMP).

Beloved, are you one that’s so afraid of taking risk? Well, if you are, then our feature text is for you. The New Living Translation which titles this “The Uncertainties of Life” says… Send your grain across the seas, and in time, profits will flow back to you… while the Voice translation says… Don’t be afraid to release your bread upon the waters, for in due time you will find it.

According to my Bible notes, verse 1 to 6 of Ecclesiastes 11 “emphasise the element of risk and uncertainty in commercial and agricultural enterprise… Men and women must venture forth judiciously if they are ever to realise a gain, even though there is always a certain amount of risk”.

‘Judiciously’ means with good judgement or sense. So, off course you must use some sense in order to take a certain amount of risk or what some would call a calculated risk which is a risk that you consider worth taking because the result, if it is successful, will be so good.

Beloved, the Holy Spirit may have been nudging you to make some moves but you are afraid or perhaps waiting for all conditions to be perfect. However, Ecclesiastes 11 goes on to say… He who watches the wind [waiting for all conditions to be perfect] will not sow [seed], and he who looks at the clouds will not reap [a harvest]. Just as you do not know the way and path of the wind or how the bones are formed in the womb of a pregnant woman, even so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things. Sow your seed in the morning and do not be idle with your hands in the evening, for you do not know whether morning or evening planting will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both alike will be good (Ecclesiastes 11:4-6 AMP).

According to my Bible notes “the person who is so cautious that he must wait for ideal time before he makes a move is doomed to fail”.

Beloved, at times, all you need is a word from God which may not make sense to anyone including yourself but obedience is key which was what Peter did. Jesus told him… “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.” “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! (Luke 5:4-6 NLT)

I like Peter because he isn’t afraid to take risks. He would walk on water if he has to… Then Peter called to Him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus (Matthew 14:28-29 NLT).

Beloved, don’t be afraid to take risks. With Jesus, you never know the outcome.

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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20. September 2017 · Comments Off on RECEIVING GOD SPEED · Categories: Action, Decision making, God's Plan, Grace, Jesus Christ, Supernatural

Then the hand of the Lord came upon Elijah [giving him supernatural strength]. He girded up his loins and outran Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel [nearly twenty miles] (1 Kings 18:46 AMP).

…GOD SPEED

Beloved, this was the phrase that was impressed in my spirit as I woke up yesterday morning and immediately my mind went to our feature text where the Prophet Elijah was given supernatural strength to get ahead. Perhaps, you are someone that has experienced so many delays for whatever reason. It could be because you have dwelt in one place long enough but as you decide to move forward and walk by faith, you don’t need to start worrying about what the enemy is telling you about all the time you have lost. This is because we serve a God that can redeem the times. We serve a God who is able to make things happen quickly.

The Message Translation of our feature text says… Things happened fast. The sky grew black with wind-driven clouds, and then a huge cloudburst of rain, with Ahab hightailing it in his chariot for Jezreel. And God strengthened Elijah mightily. Pulling up his robe and tying it around his waist, Elijah ran in front of Ahab’s chariot until they reached Jezreel (1 Kings 18:45-46 MSG).

Beloved, this is not the time to start worrying about limited time. However, it is time to get on your knees and ask the Lord for help so that He can empower you with the special supernatural strength, might and the kind of speed that He gave to Elijah to outrun the chariots.

It’s also the time to get serious. No more messing around. You don’t want to look back and regret any further for achieving nothing. I like that Elijah had to get rid of anything that would slow him down. He tucked his cloak into his belt and ran ahead of Ahab’s chariot (NLT).

Beloved, what this tells me is that it does not matter who has left you behind or how much you need to catch up. You can still catch up but you’ve got to be determined and get serious. So, why not ask the Lord for the kind of speed that outruns chariots and then see what happens? Remember, Apostle Paul said… I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace] (Philippians 4:13 AMP).

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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18. September 2017 · Comments Off on GET MOVING · Categories: Action, Choices, Courage, Decision making, God's Plan, Help, Jesus Christ, Trusting God

“Then we turned around and headed back across the wilderness toward the Red Sea, just as the Lord had instructed me, and WE WANDERED AROUND IN THE REGION OF MOUNT SEIR FOR A LONG TIME. “Then at last the Lord said to me, ‘You have been wandering around in this hill country long enough; TURN TO THE NORTH (Deuteronomy 2:1-3 NLT).

Beloved, what do you do when caught up in a loop? You find yourself going around in circles doing the same thing over and over again without results. You find that you are stuck in one place and it seems there’s no way out.

In our feature text, Moses recaps the Israelites journey in the wilderness where they were in a similar situation. They had started their journey to their Promised Land but had to turn around and head back for the wilderness. Why? It was because when they were initially told to leave where they were, they complained about the journey ahead. They were afraid. They lacked courage because of the bad report brought back by those that went ahead of them. They were intimidated by giants and they failed to trust the Lord. It was a pity King David wasn’t around at the time to show them how to tackle giants.

Beloved, what bad report have you received from the people that have failed to achieve what you are trying to achieve that is now causing you to wander around in circles instead of moving forward? I like that the Lord gave them another chance and directed them to TURN TO THE NORTH and to prevent them from wasting their time and energy, He told them the places they should not occupy because it belonged to other people (Deuteronomy 2:5,9). Perhaps that’s the direction you need.

Moses continued, “Then the Lord said to us, ‘GET MOVING. Cross the Zered Brook.’ So we crossed the brook. “THIRTY-EIGHT YEARS passed from the time we first left Kadesh-barnea until we finally crossed the Zered Brook… (Deuteronomy 2:13-14 NLT)

THIRTY-EIGHT YEARS…

That’s how long it took them to wander and I can only think of the lame man by the pool of Bethesda. He had been lying there for THIRTY-EIGHT YEARS. His excuse was that… I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.” Jesus told him, “STAND UP, PICK UP YOUR MAT, AND WALK!” (John 5:7-8 NLT)

Beloved, except you allow it, no one can get in the way of Jesus taking you to the higher level that He is calling you? The tradition of the environment this man found himself dictated that someone had to help him get there. However, what if they brought him a bad report each time? What if they were all about themselves? Jesus had to enlighten him; everyone here is in it for themselves. They all want to get out so you would be waiting a very long… STAND UP, PICK UP YOUR MAT, AND WALK

So, is Jesus speaking to you? Stop complaining. Stop being afraid. Stop being intimidated by giants. Trust the Lord and move forward.

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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23. August 2017 · Comments Off on GIVING YOUR HEART · Categories: Decision making, Jesus Christ, Obedience, Relationship, Sacrifice, Worship

Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship (Romans 12:1 AMP).

Beloved, hopefully, you are familiar with the popular worship song titled “All Heaven Declares” where the lyrics of the chorus says… Forever You will be the Lamb upon the throne. I GLADLY BOW MY KNEES and I worship You alone…

I GLADLY BOW MY KNEES…

Well, some say ‘THE KNEE’ but the million-dollar question is: what about your heart? I remember someone saying you can be on your knees in worship… you can even lie flat on your stomach in worship while your heart is standing tall. How? Let’s take a look at two examples in the Bible…

We know of King Saul who disobeyed God but still had a thanksgiving service at church to thank the Lord for what He had done. He said… my troops BROUGHT IN THE BEST of the sheep, goats, cattle, and plunder to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.” But Samuel replied, “WHAT IS MORE PLEASING TO THE LORD: YOUR BURNT OFFERINGS AND SACRIFICES OR YOUR OBEDIENCE TO HIS VOICE? Listen! OBEDIENCE IS BETTER THAN SACRIFICE, and SUBMISSION IS BETTER THAN OFFERING the fat of rams (1 Samuel 15:21-22 NLT).

On the other hand, we have Abraham. The Lord said… Abraham, go on… sacrifice your son to Me and please make no mistakes about it; I mean… Isaac, whom you love so much (Genesis 22:2 NLT).

OK, Sir… I’ll do as You say. Abraham referred to it as worship. He told his servants… “The boy and I will travel a little farther. WE WILL WORSHIP THERE, and then we will come right back.” (Genesis 22:5 NLT)

Beloved, the Lord was not for one bit interested in him sacrificing Isaac but He allowed Abraham go through the whole ceremony to see what was in his heart… Abraham built an altar… tied his son, Isaac, and laid him on the altar… Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice. At that moment the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!… Don’t lay a hand on the boy!… “Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son.” (Genesis 22:9-12 NLT)

Beloved, the Lord is not interested in what’s in our hands or our outward display of worship but what’s in our heart. OBEDIENCE… SUBMISSION… these are the things the Lord looks at when we come to Him in worship. Abraham gave his heart to the Lord. Are you struggling in the area of obedience? Are you giving your heart?

Remember… and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul (life), and with all your mind (thought, understanding), and with all your strength.’ (Mark 12:30 AMP)

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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12. August 2017 · Comments Off on DON’T GET OVERWHELMED BY THE SITUATION · Categories: Decision making, Depression, Faith, Fear, Jesus Christ, Trusting God, Vision, Wisdom

[looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work] (Hebrews 12:2 AMP).

Beloved, there’s a song by Jenn Johnson titled ‘God I Look to You’ that has been in my spirit for days now with lyrics that say… God I look to You, I won’t be overwhelmed… Give me vision to see things like You do… God I look to You, You’re where my help comes from… Give me wisdom; You know just what to do.

One definition of overwhelmed is to bury or drown beneath a huge mass of something. Another definition is to defeat someone or something by using a lot of force. Beloved, that’s what the enemy is up to. He is trying to defeat you by bringing things that would overwhelm you and that’s why like our feature text says, we are to look away from all that will distract us and to focus our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of our faith.

This is similar to what happened to Peter as he stepped out of the boat to walk on water. Satan sent a huge storm to overwhelm him causing him to take his eyes off Jesus and as he succeeded in doing that, he started to drown him.

Beloved, the devil tries to overwhelm with situations all coming at you at the same time. He also releases a lot of doubt, anxiety, depression, fear, confusion etc just to cloud your judgment but like the song says, this is the time to say… God I look to You, I won’t be overwhelmed… Give me vision to see things like You do… God I look to You, You’re where my help comes from… Give me wisdom; You know just what to do

You need to ask the Lord for vision to help you see things the way He sees things. But not just vision, you need to also ask for wisdom. The Bible says… If any of you lacks wisdom [to guide him through a decision or circumstance], he is to ask of [our benevolent] God, who gives to everyone generously and without rebuke or blame, and it will be given to him. But he must ask [for wisdom] in faith, without doubting [God’s willingness to help], for the one who doubts is like a billowing surge of the sea that is blown about and tossed by the wind (James 1:5-6 AMP).

Beloved, the psalmist also says… I look up to the mountains— does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth! He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber (Psalm 121:1-3 NLT).

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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26. July 2017 · Comments Off on WHAT’S HOLDING YOU BACK? · Categories: Decision making, Discipline, Hardwork and Laziness, Jesus Christ, Repentance

“Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I WAS AFRAID, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and LAZY SERVANT… (Matthew 25:24-26 NKJV).

Beloved, isn’t it interesting how regardless of the number of excuses we give, the Lord always knows the root cause of the problem. In this parable in our feature text, the servant seems to give ‘FEAR’ as the reason why he was unproductive and I have written several times about his fear and how it gets in the way of us making a move but this master goes straight to the point and the word that caught my attention here is… LAZY SERVANT…

The Amplified Bible says… You wicked and LAZY AND IDLE SERVANT!

Here’s a situation where the master distributed talents to three of his servants… each according to his ability (Matthew 25:15), meaning he knew what they were capable of. Through the years, he must have been observing them and knew that this one is just LAZY. Let me give him only one talent and see what he does with it. But it’s a shame that the opportunity was wasted. That one opportunity would have changed his situation because the one that was given 2 talents got exactly what the one that was given 5 talents got. The master told both of them… You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much. Enter into and share the joy (the delight, the blessedness) WHICH YOUR MASTER ENJOYS (Matthew 25:21, 23 AMPC).

LAZY AND IDLE SERVANT!…

Beloved, here’s a Lesson the Bible (and not me) says we should learn from the Ants…

YOU LAZY FOOL, LOOK AT AN ANT. Watch it closely; let it teach you a thing or two. Nobody has to tell it what to do. All summer it stores up food; at harvest it stockpiles provisions. SO HOW LONG ARE YOU GOING TO LAZE AROUND DOING NOTHING? HOW LONG BEFORE YOU GET OUT OF BED? A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there, sit back, take it easy—do you know what comes next? Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life, poverty your permanent houseguest! (Proverbs 6:9-11 MSG)

Beloved… HOW LONG BEFORE YOU GET OUT OF BED?… could the Lord be speaking to you right now? Remember, Jesus told the man lingering by the pool for thirty-eight years with his one million excuses… Get up! Pick up your bed (sleeping pad) and walk! (John 5:8 AMPC).

It’s time to stop making excuses.

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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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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08. July 2017 · Comments Off on REFUSE TO BE CONFUSED · Categories: Decision making, God's Plan, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Prayer, Revelation, Understanding

“‘Relax, Daniel,’ he continued, ‘don’t be afraid. From the moment you decided to humble yourself to receive understanding, your prayer was heard, and I set out to come to you. But I was waylaid by the angel-prince of the kingdom of Persia and was delayed for a good three weeks. But then Michael, one of the chief angel-princes, intervened to help me. I left him there with the prince of the kingdom of Persia. And now I’m here to help you understand what will eventually happen to your people. The vision has to do with what’s ahead.’ (Daniel 10:12-14 MSG)

Beloved, I have come to realise that one of the greatest tactics used by the enemy against one’s destiny is that of confusion. Oh, how the devil loves it when you can’t see your way through and don’t have clarity about your future or next move.

The prayer and fasting of Daniel is a well-known story in the Bible. We are told that there was a time Daniel waited on the Lord and when an angel finally appeared to him with an answer to his prayers, he revealed to Daniel that he was supposed to have been there sooner but he got waylaid by the prince of Persia. So, the prince of Persia waylaid Daniels answer but the question is what was Daniel praying for and why did the devil not want him to receive an answer?

Beloved, the angel of the Lord told Daniel in our feature text that… FROM THE MOMENT YOU DECIDED TO HUMBLE YOURSELF TO RECEIVE UNDERSTANDING…

This lets me know that Daniel was praying for understanding but the devil didn’t want him to receive understanding. So, you can just imagine that the enemy would rather have you ignorant or confused. The opposite of understanding is misunderstanding and with misunderstanding comes misinterpretation. For some people, it just means they remain stagnant but the devil is a liar.

Daniel knew the importance of getting understanding and that’s why he tarried in a place of prayer and fasting until he received the answer he was looking for.

Apostle Paul (used to be known as Saul) was another person that prayed that the scales in his eyes be removed because he couldn’t see clearly. He prayed and… Ananias went and found Saul. He laid his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight… (Acts 9:17-18 NLT)

Beloved, there is a war going on for your understanding. The enemy would rather have you blinded but you have to refuse to be confused. Do not be ignorant of the devices of satan (2 Corinthians 2:11). Remember… “The beginning of wisdom is: Get [skillful and godly] wisdom [it is preeminent]! And with all your acquiring, get understanding [actively seek spiritual discernment, mature comprehension, and logical interpretation] (Proverbs 4:7 AMP).

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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07. July 2017 · Comments Off on DON’T FAIL UNDER PRESSURE · Categories: Decision making, Jesus Christ, Patience, Perseverance, Trusting God

If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small (Proverbs 24:10 NLT).

Beloved, our feature text is one of those texts that challengeus and when you start to read stories like that of Apostle Paul, you are bound to ask yourself; what have I really been through? There are many people that are considering quitting just because of the trials they’ve had to face, however, can you compare what you’ve been through to that of Apostle Paul?

Apostle Paul said …I have worked harder, been put in prison more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again. Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not. I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm. Then, besides all this, I have the daily burden of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak without my feeling that weakness? Who is led astray, and I do not burn with anger? (2 Corinthians 11:23-29 NLT).

Beloved, with all these trials, we aren’t told that it ever came across the mind of Apostle Paul to quit and say “Lord’ I’ve had enough”. Rather, he kept pushing through and according to one of my Bible notes… “Sincerity is a difficult thing to judge. THE COMMITMENT THAT PEOPLE HAVE TO A CAUSE CAN ONLY BE DETERMINED OVER TIME. One test might be: do they persevere through hardships and challenges? In this regard, Paul is without equal. If the cause of Jesus were a fleeting interest or a halfhearted pursuit, then he would have given up after his first beating. But Paul’s compassion for those who did not know the beauty of the gospel was stubborn and unyielding. This persecutor-turned-emissary always had his critics. But who could call him insincere?”

Beloved, Apostle Paul endured till the end and his final testimony was… I have fought the good fight, I have stayed on course and finished the race, and through it all, I HAVE KEPT BELIEVING. I look forward to what’s in store for me: a crown of righteousness that the Lord—the always right and just judge—will give me that day (but it is not only for me, but for all those who love and long for His appearing) (2 Timothy 4:7-8 Voice).

I HAVE KEPT BELIEVING…

Beloved, what have you gone through that might make you want to give up? And then, give up to do what?

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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