31. January 2014 · Comments Off on IT’S NOT ABOUT THE STORM · Categories: Jesus Christ, Peace

Do you know that it’s not about what happens to you but how you react to what happens to you that makes the difference? This is the key to emotional stability.

In one stormy situation… JESUS WAS SLEEPING. The disciples went and woke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so AFRAID?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely CALM (Matthew 8:24-26 NIV)

In another stormy situation… Jesus went out to them, WALKING ON THE LAKE. When the disciples saw Him walking on the lake, they were TERRIFIED. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in FEAR. But Jesus immediately said to them: “TAKE COURAGE! It is I. DON’T BE AFRAID.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was AFRAID and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you DOUBT?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down (Matthew 14:25-32 NIV).

Peter was fine until he focused on what was going on around him but in both cases Jesus was unaffected by the storm because whether it’s in the boat or out of the boat, the storm would always come. In fact, wherever Jesus is, expect that there would be a storm. But please know that it’s never about the storm. Jesus was either sleeping during the storm or walking steadily on the storm. It’s about maintaining your peace. Once you can conquer that fear and are not easily moved, you have mastered emotional stability which is highly needed. Jesus was frank. He told His disciples… “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have PEACE. In this world you will have trouble. BUT TAKE HEART! I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD.”(John 16:33 NIV)

Notice the emotions associated with the disciples… AFRAID… TERRIFIED… FEAR… DOUBT… But Jesus says… BE CALM… TAKE COURAGE… DON’T BE AFRAID… TAKE HEART! I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD. You’ve got to believe this and trust Him. Don’t DOUBT… Have faith… be full of PEACE… PEACE I leave with you; My PEACE I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be TROUBLED and do not be AFRAID (John 14:27 NIV).

How does the world give PEACE… if I’m settled in that job… in that marriage… if things go my way, then I would be at PEACE but Jesus is saying you can still have PEACE even when things are not going well. Receiving that PEACE is what you need to work on because He has given it to you… Why not receive it today?

God bless you
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30. January 2014 · Comments Off on WHO’S BLOCKING YOUR VIEW · Categories: Jesus Christ, Relationship, Revelation

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple (Isaiah 6:1 NIV).

On Sunday, I was listening to a pastor beg her congregation not to get her killed. LOL… DON’T GET ME KILLED, she said. But why did she say so? She said some people place their pastors as God and God may have to knock some people out of the way just so you can actually get to see HIM. She actually said ‘kill’ but we get her point. ‘My pastor said this… my pastor said that. I can’t do anything except my pastor says so’. The pastors word becomes the final say and not what the Bible says. You don’t even go back and search the scriptures to see what is said is true (Acts 17:11). Did I wake you up this morning? PLEASE DON’T GET ME KILLED… she said.

I laughed so hard I had to call my pastor because that same Sunday, that’s what he talked about. It’s terrible when you don’t think you have personal access to Jesus Christ.

Don’t get beaten up either. Don’t be like the seven sons of Sceva… Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “IN THE NAME OF THE JESUS WHOM PAUL PREACHES, I command you to come out.” Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. One day the evil spirit answered them, “JESUS I KNOW, AND PAUL I KNOW ABOUT, BUT WHO ARE YOU?” Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding (Acts 19:13-16 NIV).

They must have wondered what went wrong. It worked for Paul, why didn’t it work for me but it would do you good to call on the name of the Lord that you know personally so get to know Him for yourself. The shepherds that the Lord has put in your life are meant to direct you to where He is and it’s terrible when you can’t see beyond them. Please don’t get your pastor killed… LOL.

And it’s not just your pastor. It could be anyone… anyone blocking your view of seeing and encountering the Lord personally. People have various things to say about Jesus… “BUT WHAT ABOUT YOU?” He asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for THIS WAS NOT REVEALED TO YOU BY FLESH AND BLOOD, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, AND ON THIS ROCK I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH, AND THE GATES OF HADES WILL NOT OVERCOME IT (Matthew 16:15-18 NIV).

God bless you
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29. January 2014 · Comments Off on MAY MY GOOD WORKS NEVER BE FORGOTTEN · Categories: Action, Jesus Christ, Reward

Now a new king arose over Egypt WHO DID NOT KNOW JOSEPH (Exodus 1:8 AMP).

Ok… that right there is a problem for me. With everything I had to go through… all the suffering… all the hard work I put into making sure Egypt was covered during the 7 years of famine… all the systems I put in place to make sure the country remained standing firm. Please check your records properly. Are you trying to say you can’t find a record that says… Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. He had him ride in a chariot as his second-in-command, and people shouted before him, “MAKE WAY!” Thus he put him in charge of the whole land of Egypt. Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your word no one will lift hand or foot in all Egypt.” (Genesis 41:42-44 NIV)

There’s no record of that? Really? What about this?… So Joseph bought all the land in Egypt for Pharaoh. The Egyptians, one and all, sold their fields, because the famine was too severe for them. The land became Pharaoh’s (Genesis 47:20 NIV)

Are you telling me you can’t find a record of any of these? OK… I have a problem with that! This is because it only took this new Pharaoh guy who arrives on the scene to undo all the work Joseph had done; a new king to whom Joseph meant nothing. He did not know about the great blessing Joseph had been to Egypt years before. I really do have a problem with this and there are times when instead of reading on you have to stop right there and start to pray…

Dear Lord… MAY MY GOOD WORKS NEVER BE FORGOTTEN… As you make a way for me, may everything I have ever worked for… maintaining integrity… being obedient… sacrificing… everything I have done to live a good name and legacy for the people coming behind me… may they never ever be forgotten. Open Your book of remembrance and write them boldly in the hearts of men. And this also includes my mistakes. Not in a bad way but may people learn from them and get to know of Your amazing grace…

… This we pray in the mighty and matchless name of Jesus Christ… Amen

God bless you
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28. January 2014 · Comments Off on FREE YOURSELF FROM THE GUILT THAT IS EATING YOU UP · Categories: Fear, Forgive, Freedom, Jesus Christ, Mercy, Peace, Repentance, Restoration, Revenge

When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?” So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father left these instructions before he died: ‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” When their message came to him, Joseph wept (Genesis 50:15-17 NIV).

Joseph wept out of true love for them. He was probably grieved that they carried such burden. But I have forgiven you… I hold nothing against you. They really could not comprehend that he held nothing against them. But that’s because when you’ve done something really bad, you don’t expect that you would be let off the hook that easily. You think the person you have offended holds a grudge against you. You always expect to be paid back in some sort of way. The guilt alone torments you day and night and you are full of condemnation. But the person has let it go long time ago. Joseph obviously had. God had blessed him beyond measure. His hands were full to the brim with the Lord’s blessing. He didn’t have room for bitterness, unforgiveness or the time to plot revenge.

We can see that Joseph was a free man but his brothers obviously weren’t… His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said. But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God?… (Genesis 50:18-19 NIV). I have forgiven you. Stop living in fear and tormenting yourself.

Now if that is mere man what about Jesus? Stop being a slave to that guilt. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free… (Galatians 5:1 NIV). GENUINE repentance is what is needed. Do it and put the past behind… if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV).

God bless you
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27. January 2014 · Comments Off on SEE BEYOND YOUR NEGATIVE EXPECTATIONS · Categories: God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Restoration

Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face again, and now GOD HAS ALLOWED me to see your children too.” (Genesis 48:11 NIV)

I must confess that when life hits you really hard, it is sometimes almost impossible to look ahead and see a way out. You can’t even raise your head up not to talk of look ahead. You tend to look at the situation and think… how am I possibly going to ever come out of this? If you are not careful you become like Jacob (also known as Israel) who when he thought his son had died… refused to be comforted. “No,” he said, “I will continue to mourn until I join my son in the grave.”… (Genesis 37:35 NIV).

How can I ever be restored after this? Unfortunately when you get into that mind-set, you can’t think or see clearly. You think the worst of every situation and only expect bad news. Like Jacob you think… EVERYTHING IS AGAINST ME!” (Genesis 42:36 NIV)

But I beg you to think again; EVERYTHING ISNT AGAINST YOU. The question you need to ask yourself is; do I love the Lord? Has He called me? Because… we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28 NIV).

Jacob never ever expected to see his son’s face again. He didn’t think it could ever happen. He felt it was a dead situation… a dead end… case closed… end of story but not only did he see his son, he saw his son’s children too. And not one but two children…

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us (Ephesians 3:20 NIV)… Do you not think the Lord can restore you? It’s only a matter of time.

The Amplified says… Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]

He is still working. Things aren’t always as they seem… SEE BEYOND YOUR NEGATIVE EXPECTATIONS… GOD WOULD ALLOW you to see more than you ever expect.

God bless you
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26. January 2014 · Comments Off on SLOW TO REACT · Categories: Action, Anger, Freedom, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Joy, Patience, Peace, Self Control, Spiritual Growth

Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent OVERLOOK an insult (Proverbs 12:16 NIV).

LOL… I read this now and think to myself that I must have been a fool for a very long time. I have come to realise that the ability to overlook things is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. One of the signs that you are growing and definitely transforming into the image of Jesus Christ is when you don’t allow people or any other external force easily affect your peace. We like to say that we are filled with the Holy Spirit or I am a Spirit filled believer… but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, PEACE, FORBEARANCE, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, GENTLENESS and SELF-CONTROL. Against such things there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV).

PEACE… FORBEARANCE … GENTLENESS… SELF-CONTROL… With SELF-CONTROL being the ability to control oneself, in particular one’s emotions and desires, especially in difficult situations. I love how the Expanded Bible put Proverbs 12:16… Fools quickly show that they are upset, but the wise [prudent] ignore [conceal; hide] insults [contempt].

I have found a new kind of peace I can’t explain. I’ve had to work hard on it though. Only last week I found myself in a situation where someone responded to me in a way the world would call AN INSULT and for a few seconds all the different ways I could respond back flashed through my mind but guess what, I chose to shame the devil. Why should I let anyone spoil my day and most importantly spoil my flow with the Holy Spirit?

I usually say there was a time when I thought I had a reason to be spiteful, bitter and angry but things are different now. I try to take my time to process and weigh things and well… I have no reason to be spiteful, bitter and angry so why should I allow you make me spiteful, bitter and angry. Isn’t this the abundant life Jesus promises when He says… The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more ABUNDANTLY (John 10:10 NKJV). This has been interpreted in many ways but what about ABUNDANT PEACE… JOY… but you can only achieve this when the factors around you are going up and down and up and down and you still find a way to stay stable and fully focused on what Jesus is calling you to.

Dear friends, you would find that there is A HIGHER LEVEL of living that can be achieved here on earth. But you have to work on it…one way is being SLOW TO REACT… Why not ask for the grace and the wisdom so you can start to live on that higher level?

God bless you
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25. January 2014 · Comments Off on THE WORKERS ARE INDEED FEW · Categories: Help, Jesus Christ, Love, Mercy, Pain

During my short time in ministry, I have seen people come to me with all kind of issues; issues that have brought me to real tears; issues that the body of Christ don’t normally like to confront.

On one extreme end of the spectrum, we have the prosperity gospel preachers whose only message is financial prosperity. At the other extreme end of the spectrum, we have the very holy preachers whose only message is just live a holy life… don’t have a career, don’t have dreams and aspirations… that’s evil… just live a holy life and you would make it to heaven. However, in the middle, people are struggling with real life issues. You can tell me what to wear to look holy but what do I wear to cover the pain… the disappointment… the violence…

The Bible says… Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, HE HAD COMPASSION ON THEM, because they were HARASSED AND HELPLESS, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “THE HARVEST IS PLENTIFUL BUT THE WORKERS ARE FEW. ASK THE LORD OF THE HARVEST, THEREFORE, TO SEND OUT WORKERS INTO HIS HARVEST FIELD.” (Matthew 9:35-38 NIV)

I remember telling a dedicated Christian lady facing some challenges in her home that she was going through a process of God’s training. Her reply was… ‘Training me for what? Am I going to fight an army?’ I couldn’t reply. Another lady said, ‘my church cannot help me with what I am going through right now.’ Very sad! Based on the few cases I have encountered so far, I’ve had to inquire about a Christian counselling course. I have also been praying to the Lord to help me perceive the real needs of His people and grant me the wisdom to be a solution to their problems.

Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector and known to all as a sinner. However, he was also one in need of help. When he heard that Jesus was coming his way, he did all he could to get Jesus’ attention. Jesus was impressed and felt he was worth spending some time with. However… all the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” BUT ZACCHAEUS STOOD UP AND SAID TO THE LORD, “LOOK, LORD! HERE AND NOW I GIVE HALF OF MY POSSESSIONS TO THE POOR, AND IF I HAVE CHEATED ANYBODY OUT OF ANYTHING, I WILL PAY BACK FOUR TIMES THE AMOUNT.” Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house… (Luke 19:7-9 NIV).

It’s a pity the people couldn’t see pass his actions to see what was really in his heart but where there is little love there is much legalism… LET’S ASK THE LORD OF THE HARVEST TO SEND OUT WORKERS INTO HIS HARVEST FIELD.

God bless you
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24. January 2014 · Comments Off on HOW DO YOU WANT TO BE USED TO FULFILL GOD’S PLAN? · Categories: God's Plan, Jesus Christ

These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and MATTHEW THE TAX COLLECTOR; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and JUDAS ISCARIOT, WHO BETRAYED HIM (Matthew 10:2-4 NIV).

Do you know it’s really up to you how you want to be used by God?

MATTHEW THE TAX COLLECTOR… He went on to write the Gospel of Matthew. He didn’t start off in life with a good reputation but when Jesus called Him to leave the past behind and start again, he grabbed the opportunity with open hands and was not ashamed to write about himself… and MATTHEW THE TAX COLLECTOR

Judas on the other hand was a different story. The Bible tells us he was a thief. We see this when Jesus was anointed at Bethany. Mary poured expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair… But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” He did not say this because he cared about the poor BUT BECAUSE HE WAS A THIEF; AS KEEPER OF THE MONEY BAG, HE USED TO HELP HIMSELF TO WHAT WAS PUT INTO IT (John 12:4-6 NIV).

Both of them were selected by Jesus and had the same opportunity to start all over but only one was wise. Both of them were still used by God to accomplish His plans. The Lord didn’t make Judas a thief. Judas chose that path and I’m sure the Lord that knows the beginning from the end must have said… well if you choose to be used by the devil then it’s your choice. Most times, we think we are pulling one over on the Lord but let’s not forget that He is sovereign.

I think this is a question that should be given some serious thought. Personally, I have told God that I am willing to allow Him use me with all my experiences… the good… the bad… and the ugly… all my failures, my flaws, all the mess in my life but only so that He can take His glory through my story to reach others… SEE WHAT THE LORD CAN DO!

HOW DO YOU WANT TO BE USED TO FULFIL GOD’S PLAN? Are you going to be MATTHEW or are you going to be JUDAS? Are you going to be JOSEPH or his brothers? Distressed because of their evil plot, Joseph told them…“it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt (Genesis 45:8 NIV). You see… God used them to fulfill His plan.

God bless you
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23. January 2014 · Comments Off on BRINGING ABOUT A SOLUTION · Categories: Action, Deliverance, God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Wisdom

Have you ever been around people that only know how to tell you about problems? I was reading about Joseph and one thing that struck me about his story is that it’s one thing to have a gift and it’s another thing to use your gifts to provide a solution for those that need it.

The Bible says… a man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men (Proverbs 18:16 NKJV). OK… and then what? I don’t think we are short of gifted people but problem solvers are another thing.

It’s funny… at the same time I was reading about Joseph and his gift of interpreting dreams, my daughter sent me a message to say she had a dream and so I immediately called her to tell her that whatever it was, I hope she also had a solution if one was needed. We both laughed about it but admitted that it was something that was needed.

Seriously, Joseph was able to interpret Pharaoh’s dream. However, he didn’t stop there. He went on to provide a solution… “And now let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh appoint commissioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. They should collect all the food of these good years that are coming and store up the grain under the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the cities for food. This food should be held in reserve for the country, to be used during the seven years of famine that will come upon Egypt, so that the country may not be ruined by the famine.” (Genesis 41:33-36 NIV)

I think it is safe to say that his gift brought him before Pharaoh but it was his ability to provide a solution to the problem that took him further… The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials. So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “SINCE GOD HAS MADE ALL THIS KNOWN TO YOU, THERE IS NO ONE SO DISCERNING AND WISE AS YOU. You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders…” (Genesis 41:37-40 NIV)

And I like how the story ends… When all Egypt began to feel the famine, the people cried to Pharaoh for food. Then Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, “GO TO JOSEPH AND DO WHAT HE TELLS YOU.” (Genesis 41:55 NIV)

That’s why with all the gifts that you have, you also have to ask for God’s wisdom and discernment. It’s one of the top things on my list. Why not join me and ask the Lord for that wisdom. Also, ask Him to make you a solution to somebody’s problem.

God bless you
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22. January 2014 · Comments Off on THE ONLY ONE THAT REALLY MATTERS · Categories: Action, Choices, Jesus Christ, Relationship, Self Control

When faced with temptation, here’s how Joseph handles it. He said… no one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. HOW THEN COULD I DO SUCH A WICKED THING AND SIN AGAINST GOD?” And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her (Genesis 39:9-10 NIV).

However, only a chapter earlier, we see how Judah (his brother) handles a scandalous situation. In secret, Judah sleeps with his daughter-in-law, Tamar who disguises as a prostitute and when he couldn’t find her to redeem his stuff, Judah said… let her keep the things I gave her… we’d be the laughingstock of the village if we went back again to look for her.” (Genesis 38:23 NLT)

Notice that while Joseph knew he wouldn’t get away with it because his focus was on God, Judah felt that as far as the people didn’t get to find out he was alright. However, God who sees all found a way to expose Judah’s secret.

You often hear people say things like no one’s watching or no one would ever know but you’ve got to get to the point where you can say it doesn’t matter because the One to whom it really matters is watching and that’s what really counts. It has to take developing a real relationship with Jesus where you are constantly acknowledging His presence and one way is by talking to Him throughout the day.

David said… where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there… If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you (Psalm 139:7-12 NIV). There is no escaping His presence and once you are able to acknowledge Him and know that though the people you are accountable to are limited in what they know, Jesus isn’t, you are on the right track.

Paul said… no temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, HE WILL ALSO PROVIDE A WAY OUT so that you can endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV).

For me, a WAY OUT is knowing He not only sees me but also knows my thoughts. Hmmm… let’s say He is still working on my ‘thoughts’ and there are moments when I have to repeatedly shake my head to shake off the thoughts but being conscious of the One that really matters is bound to provide an escape route for you. Why not start practising it?

God bless you
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