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Ananias based his fear on an OUTDATED report.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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09. June 2017 · Comments Off on HUNGRY FOR MORE · Categories: Action, Change, Choices, Discipline, Jesus Christ, Prayer, Relationship, Spiritual Growth, Worship

I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead… (Philippians 3:10 NLT)

Beloved, there’s this gospel song by the Nigerian Gospel artist Sinach titled “More of You” with wonderful lyrics that says.. ‘I want more of You Jesus… the more I know You… The more I want to know you… Jesus… More of You…’

It’s a very beautiful and simple song however, I’ve had to stop and ask myself… what does this actually mean? What do I mean when I say… The more I know You… The more I want to know you… Jesus…? What steps do I actually take to want to know Jesus more?

The story of Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch comes to mind. The Bible says… Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road… that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch… This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, AND ON HIS WAY HOME WAS SITTING IN HIS CHARIOT READING THE BOOK OF ISAIAH THE PROPHET. The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him (Acts 8:26-31 NIV).

Beloved, how many times have you left a Christian gathering with that kind of hunger for more of God’s word? I remember listening to someone say they laugh at how many Bibles people leave behind after service and don’t come back for it. If it were their wallets, surely they would come back for it… but not their Bibles. That can wait till next Sunday. But this Ethiopian eunuch was returning from a worship service and because of his hunger for more, was found reading his Bible. As a result, Jesus chose to reveal Himself to Him…

This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter… In His humiliation He was deprived of justice… His life was taken from the earth.” The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus (Acts 8:32-35 NIV).

Isn’t it amazing how Jesus would reveal Himself at your level? This man’s eagerness didn’t stop there… As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him (Acts 8:36-38 NIV).

Beloved, this is a simple example of someone asking for more? I want more of You Jesus… How hungry are you? What steps are you taking to want to know Jesus more? How much time do you spend with Him in prayer and in His word?

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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04. June 2017 · Comments Off on YOU HAVE BEEN FILLED TO FUNCTION · Categories: Action, God's Plan, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Pentacost

AND when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind… And they were all FILLED with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance (Acts 2:1-4 KJV).

Beloved, ‘AND’ is a part of a speech that connects two words or phrases together suggesting here that something happened before that connects to the above text. So, what happened before?

Well, just before Jesus ascended into heaven, He promised that the apostles will receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them to enable them witnesses to the end of the world and then He was taken up into a cloud (Acts 1:8-9).

Wow! That must have been a sight. This was someone that used to eat and talk with them. They stood there staring until two white-robed men had to interrupt… “why do you stand gazing into heaven? This same Jesus, Who was caught away and lifted up from among you into heaven, will return in [just] the same way in which you saw Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11 AMPC).

This was almost like saying; common guys, stop wasting time staring into space. He’ll be back but right now, there’s loads of work to be done. So, they started preparing – praying together, getting their team back in order and bonding and … AND when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place… and after they were filled with the Holy Spirit, work began. Peter began to preach and 3,000 people got saved in one day (Acts 2:14-41).

Following that, he and John healed the crippled beggar (Acts 3:1-11) and many more great works followed. Why? Because Jesus made it clear that they were to be FILLED TO FUNCTION and not gaze into space.

Beloved, unfortunately many Christians are still gazing… either at the cross or into space; that is looking at where Jesus was when He’s moved on and now lives inside us? We’ve been filled with the Holy Spirit. The same Jesus that walked the earth now lives inside of us… and as He is, so are we in this world (1 John 4:17) and there’s work to be done; greater works than He did because there are now many of Him working around.

The apostles began to speak as the Spirit gave them utterance. Utterance is the release of the word. However, many are mute. If it’s the same Spirit that spoke in Genesis 1; and spoke in Jesus (and the Word became flesh); why isn’t He speaking through us?

Beloved, the apostles functioned as a result of the filling of the Holy Spirit and if there’s no difference in your filling, then there should be no difference in your ability to function. Like someone once said; no one puts petrol in a packed car. Are you packed? Or are you more interested in owning 10 packed cars? Is this the time to be gazing at what the world is gazing at?

On this Pentecost Sunday, let our prayer be simply; Father please show me how to use my filling to function.

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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03. June 2017 · Comments Off on ARE YOU DESPERATE ENOUGH? · Categories: Action, Deliverance, Fear, Freedom, Jesus Christ, Perseverance, Power and Authority, Prayer, Restoration

Then he said, “Take the arrows”; so he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, “Strike the ground”; so he struck three times, and stopped. And the man of God was angry with him, and said, “You should have struck five or six times; then you would have struck Syria till you had destroyed it! But now you will strike Syria only three times.” (II Kings 13:18‭-‬19 NKJV)

Beloved, I am currently reading a book by Apostle John Eckhardt on Fasting for Breakthrough and Deliverance where he refers to our feature text. He says “Elisha told Joash that he must strike against Syria over and over again until they had been destroyed. Then Elisha told him to take a bow and arrows and strike it on the ground. He didn’t tell him how many times. Joash hit it on the ground three times and stopped. The prophet was very angry because it meant Joash would only defeat the Syrians three times. Three times was not enough to destroy the Syrians as Elisha had prophesied. Perhaps Elisha could have told him how many times to strike the arrows on the ground. But sometimes what is in a person comes out in their actions. Joash didn’t have enough hatred and anger for the enemy to strike the ground beyond the third time-or until the arrow broke!”

Beloved, this left me thinking? How much do you hate the devil? How much do you want to see yourself delivered in whatever area?

I started thinking of the time Jesus’ disciples could not cast out a demon from a little boy and Jesus had to come to their rescue. Later… His disciples asked Him privately, why could not we drive it out? And He replied to them, THIS KIND cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting (Mark 9:28-29 AMPC).

So, if Jesus says…. this kind can only go away through prayer and fasting, do you love your food more than you love your freedom?

Apostle John Eckhardt went on to say “when you are dealing with the enemy, you need to give him more than just a courtesy tap. You need to really want to win. You have to hate what you are fighting so much that you beat it until the arrows break. You must hate lust, poverty, fear, rejection, or whatever it is until you smash it. It’s not just one, two, three, and then look at the prophet and ask, “Did I do good?” Strike it until it is destroyed”.

Hmmm… it’s not just fasting till 12 noon and then say, “did I do good?” It’s not just praying for 30 minutes to one hour and then say, “did I do good?” No, you are to keep praying and fasting or doing whatever it takes until something happens.

Beloved, how desperate are you? How much do you hate that situation you are in? Have you got that much holy anger in you that you want to keep striking until that situation is completely destroyed?

SELAH!

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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02. June 2017 · Comments Off on PUT YOUR FAITH TO WORK · Categories: Action, Faith, God's Plan, Hardwork and Laziness, Jesus Christ, Promise, Trusting God

…faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead) (James 2:17 AMPC).

Beloved, there was the time the Lord sent a message to Abraham saying… “I will return to you about this time next year, and your wife, Sarah, will have a son!”… (Genesis 18:10 NLT). So, let’s try and get into the minds of Abraham and Sarah. We know Sarah was eavesdropping so on hearing this she must have thought, who are these drunkards that have come to disturb my husband on this hot, sunny afternoon. Why did she find it so amusing?

Well, Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am WORN OUT and my lord is OLD, will I now have this pleasure?” (Genesis 18:11-12 NIV)

Sarah seemed to think she was worn-out… How could a WORN-OUT woman like me enjoy such pleasure? And as for my husband… well he’s OLD. But thank God that He doesn’t sees us the way we see ourselves because while He acknowledges that Sarah is old, He doesn’t see a WORN-OUT woman so He omits that bit in His reply… Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, NOW THAT I AM OLD?’ IS ANYTHING TOO HARD FOR THE LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” (Genesis 18:13-14 NIV)

Beloved, the Lord said… IS ANYTHING TOO HARD FOR THE LORD? Don’t worry, I’ll be back. But then what happens next? Did 99 years OLD aged Abraham say to 90 years OLD and WORN OUT Sarah… Girl it’s on tonight or did they find it too ridiculous and say honey… let’s just sit down by the fire and have a cup of hot cocoa as usual. I don’t want anyone having a heart attack on me this night. Let’s just wait until He comes back next year as promised. They would have been waiting a very long time because no matter how the Lord must have convinced them about His promise, they still had their part to play in it; no matter how ridiculous it may have seemed at the time. They must have said, “at least, let’s try”. Abraham and Sarah had to take corresponding action because as far as I’m aware there’s been only one virgin birth recorded in history.

Beloved, could you be waiting on God when He’s waiting on you to take an act of faith? Yes, things may seem dead or look like it’s not going to work but… like our feature text says… faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead (James 2:17 NKJV)

So, why not make a decision to act on that thing that God has put in your heart? And as you do so, I pray that the Lord returns to you at the appointed time with a fulfilment of His promise.

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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25. May 2017 · Comments Off on ASKING FOR SUPERNATURAL STRENGTH AND ACCELERATED SPEED · Categories: Action, God's Plan, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Trusting God

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).

Beloved, yesterday, when someone told me what date it was, I could hardly believe it. There’s the saying that ‘time waits for no man’ and when you look back at how quickly time has flown, that saying couldn’t be any more real…

Now the question is what have I achieved so far? How many things can I tick off my list as completed or achieved? Perhaps, you have found yourself with too much on your plate. You’ve got too many deadlines all at the same time and as with the case with many of us, you feel that you have got limited time. However, do you know that if the Lord felt that we needed more than 24 hours in a day, He would have made our days longer? It’s something to think about.

Beloved, all hope is not lost though. I believe it’s time to get on your knees and ask the Lord for help; for Him to empower you with the special 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 in December and regret the time wasted achieving nothing. I like that Elijah had to get rid of anything that would slow him down. He tucked his cloak into his belt. The Message Bible Translation says… Pulling up his robe and tying it around his waist… while the Expanded Bible Translation says, Elijah… tightened his clothes around him… and he… ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel [nearly twenty miles] (Amplified Bible CLASSIC EDITION).

This tells me 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 serious.

Beloved, this is not the time to panic. Why not ask the Lord for speed that outruns the chariots and then see what happens? Remember… I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency] (Philippians 4:13 AMPC).

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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20. May 2017 · Comments Off on ARE YOU RECOGNISING YOUR OPPORTUNITY? · Categories: Action, God's Plan

While… in prison, Pharaoh’s cup-bearer and baker each had a dream one night, and each dream had its own meaning. When Joseph saw them the next morning, he noticed that they both looked upset. “Why do you look so worried today?” he asked them (Genesis 40:6-7 NLT)‎

Beloved, have you ever read this story about Joseph and his encounter with Pharaoh’s chief cup-bearer and baker in prison and imagined what would have happened if Joseph didn’t observe that they were worried and even more… if he didn’t ask them why they looked that way?

Joseph had a God-given dream which wasn’t exactly as straightforward as we would like it to be. There wasn’t a map handed to Joseph to say this is how to get from where you are now to your destination. He didn’t have an easy ride but what I’m learning about Joseph is that he had to spot the opportunities God placed in front of him.

The captain of the guard assigned Joseph to look after Pharaohs chief cup-bearer and baker (Genesis 40:4) and one morning, as he was attending to them, Joseph noticed their countenance and it was only when he asked what was wrong that… they replied, “We both had dreams last night, but no one can tell us what they mean. ” Interpreting dreams is God’s business,” Joseph replied. “Go ahead and tell me your dreams.”(Genesis 40:8 NLT)

This gave Joseph the opportunity to put his gift to work. He went on to interpret their dreams which later worked in his favour as it brought him before the king. The king had his own dream which needed interpreting… Pharaoh sent for Joseph at once, and he was quickly brought from the prison. After he shaved and changed his clothes, he went in and stood before Pharaoh. Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream last night, and no one here can tell me what it means. But I have heard that when you hear about a dream you can interpret it.”‎ (Genesis 41:14-15 NLT)

Joseph interpreted the dream and this was the end result… ‎Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has revealed the meaning of the dreams to you, clearly no one else is as intelligent or wise as you are. You will be in charge of my court, and all my people will take orders from you. Only I, sitting on my throne, will have a rank higher than yours.” Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the entire land of Egypt.” ‎ (Genesis 41:39-41 NLT)

Beloved, when it’s your season, the Lord would give you opportunities here and there but how many opportunities have you overlooked? ‎Perhaps when it’s that time, that’s when the enemy would want to distract you; all to shift your focus. Joseph could have easily focused on offence; these are Potiphar’s people that joined to throw me in prison but he seized his opportunity and he walked into God’s purpose. Are you recognising your opportunity?

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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16. May 2017 · Comments Off on BECOMING LIKE CHRIST IN YOUR DAILY ACTIONS · Categories: Action, God's Plan, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Relationship, Spiritual Growth

For those whom He foreknew [of whom He was aware and loved beforehand], He also destined from the beginning [foreordaining them] to be MOLDED into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness], that He might become the firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:29 AMPC).

Beloved, have you ever done something and thinking back, you feel that you didn’t handle it how Jesus would have handled it? Before handling a particular situation, have you first of all stopped and asked yourself what would Jesus Christ do in this situation? What if we all took a few seconds to think like this before acting?

Our feature text says we’ve been destined from the beginning to be MOLDED into the image of Christ and during our midnight prayer session last night, my prayer partner and I spent a considerable amount of time repenting from any instance where we haven’t used the situations we have been presented with to show people Jesus Christ and then, we spent time praying to be MOLDED into the image of Christ.

The Bible says… You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to Him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and WORKING ITSELF INTO YOUR CONDUCT as God accurately REPRODUCES HIS CHARACTER IN YOU (Ephesians 4:21-24 MSG).

Beloved, have you learnt anything from Christ? Are you putting what you’ve learnt into practice? The Bible says… Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are His dear children. Live a life filled with love, FOLLOWING THE EXAMPLE OF CHRIST (Ephesians 5:1-2 NLT)… In your relationships with one another, HAVE THE SAME MINDSET AS CHRIST JESUS: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage… being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself… (Philippians 2:5-8 NIV)

Beloved, are you making decisions to love like Christ does? Are you making decisions to be humble when the opportunity arises? Instead of snapping at people, like Jesus, take out time for yourself when you are tired… Like Jesus, be about your Father’s business and avoid distractions… Like Jesus, forgive… Like Jesus… [FILL THE GAP]

Beloved, what would Jesus Christ do at all times? We must realise that the purpose of our walk with Christ is to be like Him so we should always aim to discern what Christ will do in every situation we find ourselves. We should then solicit the help of the Holy Spirit to help us where we are weak… let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes (Ephesians 4:23 NLT)

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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05. May 2017 · Comments Off on DON’T GET STUCK WHERE YOU ARE · Categories: Action, Choices, Courage, Decision making, Depression, Jesus Christ, Trusting God

David was greatly distressed, for the men spoke of stoning him because the souls of them all were bitterly grieved, each man for his sons and daughters. But David ENCOURAGED AND STRENGTHENED HIMSELF in the Lord his God (1 Samuel 30:6 AMPC).

Beloved, I remember listening to someone say that to encourage yourself in the Lord is a very good thing until you get stuck. Of course, we all need encouragement from time to time. There are times in life when bad things happen and we do need God’s encouragement, but the danger is when we can’t move on from there. It’s just like when people get addicted to painkillers after taking them for a while. The pain is no longer there, but they can’t stop taking them.

“Stop listening to the same encouraging message over and over again”, they said. Well, I totally got what they were trying to say because I’ve found that I’ve gone off some of the preachers I used to listen to when I was at a very low point in my life. For instance, I remember the very first email devotional I received when my brother died said something along the lines of “there are some things that happen to you that you just have to file in the ‘I cannot understand it folder of your head’”. I don’t need to tell you that I started listening to every sermon they preached and God used their message of hope to minister to me greatly. The Lord is great like that, but I believe a time comes when He wants you to move on and not stay low.

We are told that after encouraging himself… David inquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them? The Lord answered him, Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all. SO DAVID WENT… (1 Samuel 30:8-9 AMPC)

Beloved, the Lord gave the go ahead and SO DAVID WENT… He moved on. He took action and as a result… David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken and rescued his two wives. Nothing was missing, small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that had been taken; David recovered all (1 Samuel 30:18-19 AMP).

Can you imagine if David remained stuck at the stage in his life when he needed encouragement? Everybody had turned on him so who knows; probably he would have started to play the victim and before you know it, depression would have set in. Only God knows what would have happened to his wife and children then.

Beloved, there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV). DON’T GET STUCK WHERE YOU ARE. People’s lives and future may depend on your next move.

I say to you, get up, pick up your mat and go… (Mark 2:11 AMP)

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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04. May 2017 · Comments Off on DON’T GET BURIED IN YOUR OWN ISSUES · Categories: Action, Choices

When Gideon took his warriors down to the water, the Lord told him, “Divide the men into two groups. In one group put all those who cup water in their hands and lap it up with their tongues like dogs. In the other group put all those who kneel down and drink with their mouths in the stream.” Only 300 of the men drank from their hands. All the others got down on their knees and drank with their mouths in the stream. The Lord told Gideon, “With these 300 men I will rescue you and give you victory over the Midianites. Send all the others home.” (Judges 7:5‭-‬7 NLT)

Beloved, our feature text tells the narrative of how the Lord selected the warriors that would go along with Gideon to fight His battle and it always amazes me.

First, the Lord says to Gideon… tell the people, ‘Whoever is timid or afraid may leave this mountain and go home.’” So 22,000 of them went home, leaving only 10,000 who were willing to fight (Judges 7:3‭ NLT).

Well, at least they were honest. However, what did the Lord do next? The next test was to see how the remaining would handle their personal needs… God said to Gideon: “Everyone who laps with his tongue… set on one side. And everyone who kneels to drink, drinking with his face to the water, set to the other side.” Three hundred lapped with their tongues from their cupped hands. All the rest knelt to drink. God said to Gideon: “I’ll use the three hundred men who lapped at the stream to save you and give Midian into your hands. All the rest may go home.” (Judges 7:‬5‭-‬7 NLT)

Beloved, we see here that though the first group had to quench their thirst, thier posture shows that they were still alert. However, as for the other group, from their posture, you can see that they were engrossed in meeting their own need. With these ones, the enemy can easily come and bounce on them taking them by surprise because they are not alert.

Send them home, the Lord said (Judges 7:7). They are not ready for the kind of battle I am sending you on… So Gideon collected the provisions and rams’ horns of the other warriors and sent them home. But he kept the 300 men with him… (Judges 7:8 NLT)

Beloved, people always ask me how come I’m able to keep going after all I’ve been through (and trust me when I say I’ve been through some things). Well, the Bible says… having done all, to stand (Ephesians 6:13 NKJV).

Jesus said… The seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by THE WORRIES OF THIS LIFE… so no fruit is produced (Mark 4:18-19 NLT).

THE WORRIES OF THIS LIFE… are you always alert or are you one that gets buried in your own issues? Could that be disqualifying you? It’s time to raise your head up and focus on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2)

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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