31. August 2014 · Comments Off on TAKE OFF THE MASK OF RELIGION · Categories: Deliverance, God's Plan, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Relationship, Worship

But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship Him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23-24 NLT)

Which church do you go to? I can almost guarantee that this is the question you would often get asked every time you engage in a conversation with a Christian for the first time. No matter how you start the conversation, someone is bound to stir it in that direction and I’m almost tempted to ask… Does it really matter? Do you think God is going to ask you what church you belong to on judgement day?

Recently, we were talking about the various masks that people hide behind that prevents them from truly encountering Christ and unfortunately, religion was high up there. Don’t you know I was raised in church all my life? Don’t you know I’ve been singing in the choir since I was young? Me too dear.

We make it all about church and religious activities and we see this happen with the Samaritan woman. Jesus was about to deal with her issue but immediately she realised she was speaking to a religious figure she switched the topic to a religious one… “Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?” (John 4:18-20 NLT)

Really? I’m about to deal with the truth that has had you bound for years and you are telling me about your church address? Really?

Even her ancestor Jacob that she referred to (John 4:12) was once about the place. When he first encountered God, he said…“What an awesome place this is! It is none other than the HOUSE OF GOD…”… He named that place Bethel (which means “HOUSE OF GOD”)… Then Jacob made this vow: “If God will indeed be with me and protect me on this journey, and if He will provide me with food and clothing, and if I return safely to my father’s home, then the Lord will certainly be my God. And this memorial pillar I have set up will become a place for worshiping God, and I will present to God a tenth of everything He gives me.” (Genesis 28:17-22 NLT).

He was more interested in the place and in paying his tithe as far as God blesses him in return. It was only after life had tossed him up and down that he was forced to go back and revisit his priorities and when he went back… Jacob built an altar there and named the place El-bethel (which means “GOD OF BETHEL”)… (Genesis 35:7 NLT).

GOD OF BETHEL… and not HOUSE OF GOD…

For many of us, things would only start to change when we get this priority right. It’s time to… TAKE OFF THE MASK OF RELIGION.

God bless you
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30. August 2014 · Comments Off on IDENTIFY WHAT YOU HAVE IN YOUR HANDS · Categories: Action, God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Revelation

Then the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” “A staff,” he replied (Exodus 4:2 NIV).

Recently a lady was telling me that during one of our programmes, as I was addressing the congregation, she was like…. oh my God… this lady is telling my story and I said… no dear… I was telling my own story. It just happened that God was using my story to minster to you. And she’s not the only one. I am kind of used to people saying the same thing and I find it funny that I rarely go to a meeting and say thus says the Lord… No! I just share aspects of my life’s experience and it always happens to be a direct word for somebody and I have had to look back and really reflect on what I have in my hands that God is using. It is my experience…the good, the bad and the ugly.

Moses had a staff in his hand but what does his staff represent? His staff represents the forty years experience he gained in the wilderness. During that period he got a job as a shepherd man and became adequately trained looking after his father in-laws sheep’s. He learnt about wildlife, plant life, finding water, sleeping arrangements, how to use his staff to direct the sheep’s etc. He must have also learnt loads about himself; how to be caring, how to be humble etc.; all valuable skills to equip him for the task ahead.

The staff that Moses used in the wilderness to herd his father-in-laws sheep for forty years was the same staff he used to lead God’s people out of bondage in Egypt and it was the same staff that he later used to part the red sea (Exodus 14:16). Also, with this same staff, Moses led the Israelites in the wilderness for another forty years. He had to lead the Israelites along the same path that he took as he led his father in-laws sheep.

Just like Moses, everybody has something in their hand that they are equipped with and it often takes the Lord to draw your attention to what it is. God has allowed you to go through that process that you have been through so that you can help somebody else come through the same process. It’s time to ask the Lord to help you identify what you have in your hands. Somebody’s life or deliverance depends on it. Make the move now and once you start, you won’t believe how well equipped you are.

God bless you
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29. August 2014 · Comments Off on THE DELAY IS FOR YOUR OWN GOOD · Categories: God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Patience, Restoration, Trusting God

Mordecai the Jew was second in rank to King Xerxes, preeminent among the Jews, and held in high esteem by his many fellow Jews, because he worked for the good of his people and spoke up for the welfare of all the Jews (Esther 10:3 NIV).

The above summarises the conclusion of Mordecai’s story but after reading his experience, I cannot help but wonder what must have gone through his mind after he had taken it all in. As he looked back and reflected over his journey, what would he consider his highlights and lowlights? What moments would he look back on and say… Lord I thank You for this or that. Perhaps he would say I’m glad that I took Esther in and looked after her like my own when her parents died. If you were in Mordecai’s shoes, what would you especially thank God for?

While you’re thinking about it, I would tell you mine. If I were Mordecia, reflecting back on my experience, I would lie down flat on the floor and say… Lord I thank You for not allowing King Xerxes reward me the time I uncovered a conspiracy to assassinate him (Esther 2:21-23). I thank you for the delay because though my recognition didn’t come when I expected it, it came when I most needed it. Years had gone by and it felt like I was forgotten but just at the right time when my enemies where plotting to kill me, you resurrected my file and it saved my life.

His enemies said…“Have a pole set up, reaching to a height of fifty cubits, and ask the king in the morning to have Mordecai impaled on it. Then go with the king to the banquet and enjoy yourself.” This suggestion delighted Haman, and he had the pole set up (Esther 5:14 NIV) … but… that night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him. It was found recorded there that Mordecai had exposed Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, who had conspired to assassinate King Xerxes. “What honor and recognition has Mordecai received for this?” the king asked. “Nothing has been done for him,” his attendants answered (Esther 6.1-3 NIV).

Really? Do you really mean nothing has been done for him? Okay, I’ll tell you what I would do. Let’s make this fun. Bring me Mordecai’s plotters. Let them decide his reward. So instead of the death sentence that Haman had plotted that day… he robed Mordecai, and led him on horseback through the city streets, proclaiming before him, “This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!” (Esther 6:11 NIV)

Brilliant! Many times we get frustrated over God’s delays. We think we’ve been forgotten but the Bible says… Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and he will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV).

God bless you
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28. August 2014 · Comments Off on WHO DO YOU PLACE YOUR TRUST IN? · Categories: Faith, God's Plan, Grace, Jesus Christ, Trusting God

There, by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask Him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions. I WAS ASHAMED TO ASK THE KING FOR SOLDIERS AND HORSEMEN TO PROTECT US FROM ENEMIES ON THE ROAD, BECAUSE WE HAD TOLD THE KING, “THE GRACIOUS HAND OF OUR GOD IS ON EVERYONE WHO LOOKS TO HIM, but His great anger is against all who forsake him.” So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and He answered our prayer (Ezra 8:21-23 NIV).

I read this and I thought to myself that truly there are some things that we as Christians should be ashamed of asking from unbelievers. However, it really all boils down to who we really put our faith and trust in. After all the noise we make about the big and mighty God that we serve, when we are faced with a little challenge, who do we run to? Like the saying goes; we run to the phone RATHER than to the THRONE.

I am also very guilty of this and I can only wonder how many times I have deprived the Lord (and certainly myself) of showing ‎off His mighty power. This is because before we even give Him time to act or even acknowledge Him, we have gone off to look for our own solution which in many cases lands us in more trouble.

The Lord answered their prayer because they acknowledged Him‎ and felt it would be a disgrace to go to the king for protection after telling the king that… “The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to Him …

Can the world see that THE GRACIOUS HAND OF OUR GOD is upon you? Does your employer, your unbelieving neighbour or friend believe that you are at their mercy? Do they believe that you trust them and look up to them more than you look up to your God? Do they hear more about your problems than God hears?

Who do you look up to? Who do you place your trust in? Why not begin to proclaim from today that… some trust in and boast of chariots and some of horses, but we [I] will trust in and boast of the name of the Lord our God (Psalm 20:7 AMP).

God bless you
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27. August 2014 · Comments Off on I AM ON DISPLAY · Categories: God's Plan, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Restoration, Salvation

Here’s a word you can take to heart and depend on: Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. I’m proof—Public Sinner Number One—of someone who could never have made it apart from sheer mercy. And now He shows me off—evidence of His endless patience—to those who are right on the edge of trusting Him forever (1 Timothy 1:15-16 MSG).

On Saturday, I held the Meeting by the well for the youths and immediately I opened my mouth to share some of the silly things that held me bound for years, everybody started laughing. I told them it was okay to have a good laugh at my expense but the laughter didn’t last very long. By the time I finished, everywhere was silent. You could actually hear a pin drop and when I told them I had to stop, they screamed… NO!!!. I tried to get them to take a short break to have something to eat but they were like… forget food… keep talking.

The meeting was a success. First of all, they were SHOCKED by the things I shared and I’m sure they were thinking… Aunty Ruky… NO! NOT YOU!!! And I’m like yes me. Secondly, they were TOUCHED not just by my story but the other stories that were shared and you could feel the power of God at work.

It’s normally a challenge trying to get youths together so I didn’t know what to expect but I was so blessed when I heard someone say that if there’s a day that they would record down as experiencing a change in their life, it was that day. It was humbling to know that my story could make a difference in someone’s life. Then I remembered the phrase I always like to use… “I do not have a ministry but I am a ministry”. I realized I was on display and like Paul, I am… someone who could never have made it apart from sheer mercy. And now Jesus shows me off…

With the Meeting by the Well, my story is my ministry and I love to share it regardless of the reservations that some people may have. I am the Samaritan woman that Jesus met by the well. After an encounter with Jesus Christ, she wasn’t ashamed to go and call the same people that rejected her. I’m sure she must have said… is it not story you want to hear? …“Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” (John 4:29 NIV) and many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” (John 4:39 NIV)

Have you got a story? Has the Lord transformed you from the inside out? Put shame to one side. God wants to put you on display as evidence of His sheer mercy so that those currently going through what you went through can be saved. The question is; are you up for up for it?

God bless you
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26. August 2014 · Comments Off on GUARD WHAT HAS BEEN ENTRUSTED TO YOU · Categories: Fear, God's Plan, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Obedience, Revelation

Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well (1 Timothy 1:18 NIV).

I had to do something recently which took boldness and a lot of courage and though I really don’t like any kind of confrontation, it was something I had to do because I would have only had myself to blame. It was the kind of situation where the Lord would turn around and say… YOU CAN’T SAY I DIDN’T WARN YOU. In fact, I went back and read the word I wrote on Sunday about not judging by appearance or hearsay and realised the Lord was speaking to me to see beyond what was currently in front of me.

Without going into details, there are times when you may have to take drastic steps to protect the word spoken over your life or the vision the Lord has given you because things would happen that would try to contend with it but in the portion of Scripture above, we hear Paul telling Timothy to remember his prophecies and be prepared to fight for them. The Amplified Bible says… INSPIRED AND AIDED BY THEM YOU MAY WAGE THE GOOD WARFARE.

INSPIRED AND AIDED BY THEM YOU MAY WAGE THE GOOD WARFARE… What does this mean to you? It means when the Lord says cut off from some people then you do so. It means when the Lord says don’t get involved in what others are getting involved in, you back out. It means when the Lord says take a step of faith you do so. It means doing whatever it takes to safeguard your future and destiny.

You would find that Paul repeatedly gave this advice to Timothy;

And oh, my dear Timothy, guard the treasure you were given! Guard it with your life. Avoid the talk-show religion and the practiced confusion of the so-called experts. People caught up in a lot of talk can miss the whole point of faith… (1 Timothy 6:20 MSG)

Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us (2 Timothy 1:14 NIV). You definitely need the help of the Holy Spirit who would lead you into all truth (John 16:13).

Is what has been entrusted to you under threat? Look beyond the intimidation, the manipulation and the fear and act up… For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7 AMP).

God bless you
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25. August 2014 · Comments Off on DEVELOPING THE STAMINA TO PRAY · Categories: God's Plan, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Prayer, Self Control, Spiritual Growth

And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and He said to Peter, What! Are you so utterly unable to stay awake and keep watch with Me for one hour? All of you must keep awake (give strict attention, be cautious and active) and watch and pray, that you may not come into temptation. THE SPIRIT INDEED IS WILLING, BUT THE FLESH IS WEAK (Matthew 26:40-41 AMP).

Yesterday, I couldn’t stop laughing in church when I heard the story of a young boy who was already in his room when it was time for the family to do their late night prayer and thinking that he was already fast asleep, his parents did not want to disturb his sleep. However, he was not asleep and when they started praying, he got up to close his room door because the noise was disturbing him. That was when his dad saw him and said… “oh so you are not asleep. Come and join us then”. “No I was asleep. I only got up to close the door”, he replied. He tried all he could to escape but when he saw it was a lost battle, in frustration, he asked; “for how long though???” He said that because he knew from experience that it went on for what seemed like forever. I’m sure he must have said oh no… they got me! (LOL).

I just couldn’t stop laughing because it reminded me of when I was about that age; the late night and early morning prayers wasn’t fun. It was a battle going round the house trying to get everyone together to pray. My younger brother was very good at locking himself in the toilet. Where are you? I’m in the toilet (LOL).

I laugh but this is a serious topic that Jesus addressed. Every Christian knows the importance of prayer and wants to have an effective prayer life. However… the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. What does this mean though? Does it mean you give in to the flesh because it is weak? Absolutely not! It means that you must not be ignorant that there’s a battle going on between your spirit and your flesh and so must take the necessary steps to ensure the flesh does not win. You say… this flesh, I know you don’t want me to pray but that’s the more reason why I would pray. That’s why I would not wait until I’m very tired before I decide it’s time to pray… I won’t lie down to pray when I know I’m bound to fall asleep… I would switch off my phone when it’s time to pray… I would find a prayer partner or join a prayer group… I would pray more in the spirit… and some more…

Beloved… it’s time to make prayer a lifestyle… pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17 NKJV). Satan cannot stop God from giving but he can try and stop you from asking.

God bless you
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24. August 2014 · Comments Off on DON’T JUDGE BY APPEARANCE OR HEARSAY · Categories: Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Wisdom

Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot— yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root. And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him—the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. He will delight in obeying the Lord. HE WILL NOT JUDGE BY APPEARANCE NOR MAKE A DECISION BASED ON HEARSAY (Isaiah 11:1-3 NLT).

HE WILL NOT JUDGE BY APPEARANCE NOR MAKE A DECISION BASED ON HEARSAY!!! How many times have you fallen for this? Immediately you hear something, instead of taking some time to ponder on it and asking the Lord to reveal the truth to you, you immediately jump into all sorts of conclusions.

You know the story of Samuel. When he wanted to appoint one of the sons of Jesse, what did the Lord say… But the Lord said to Samuel, Look not on his appearance or at the height of his stature, for I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees; FOR MAN LOOKS ON THE OUTWARD APPEARANCE, BUT THE LORD LOOKS ON THE HEART (1 Samuel 16:7 AMP).

If only we could see the way the Lord sees. One of the things I have constantly asked the Lord for is to give me wisdom, a discerning spirit and the grace to walk by the spirit and not by my flesh. In fact, I have some special verses that I pray with every day and Ephesians 1:17 is one of them and it has helped me a lot.

When you pray for the spirit of wisdom and understanding, you start to see beyond what other people see and hear beyond what other people hear. It’s one the greatest gifts you can ask for because you would find out that you are not easily deceived. You would find out that there’s more to what you see or read on Facebook or any other social media network site. There is more to that text message, email, phone call etc. When you pray for the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Lord will reveal these things to you before it even happens.

Isaiah said this about Jesus… And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him—the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord…

As a spirit filled child of God, you too can operate on that Level.

[For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him (Ephesians 1:17 AMP).

God bless you
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23. August 2014 · Comments Off on WHAT ARE YOU SERVING FOR? · Categories: Choices, Jesus Christ, Obedience, Relationship, Reward, Wisdom

After removing Saul, He made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after My own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ (Acts 13:22 NIV)

A few days ago, I received the checklist below from one of the daily devotionals that I subscribe to and thought it was so appropriate to share;

1. CHECK YOUR HEAD – ARE YOU SERVING FOR SELF-SATISFACTION, OR GOD-BREATHED WISDOM?

2. CHECK YOUR HEART – ARE YOU SERVING TO FURTHER GOD’S KINGDOM, OR TO FURTHER YOUR PLATFORM?

3. CHECK YOUR HANDS – ARE YOU SERVING TO BUILD THE KINGDOM, OR TO BUILD YOUR SPIRITUAL RESUME?

God is looking for more than servants. He is looking for seekers. Don’t let the false security of servanthood get in the way of your relationship with God. HEART WORK IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS HARD WORD…

– By Jarrid Wilson

Hmmm… I believe this is an important checklist to help us check our motives because we sometimes tend to do things for the wrong or selfish reasons and I’m reminded of the Scripture that says… When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures (James 4:3 NIV).

I remember attending a 24 hours prayer meeting a few years ago and as the man of God was praying for people, he pointed to a young lady… “You seating there… the Lord said He is going to do so so and so with/for you because He has seen your heart. You just love Him and desire to serve Him”. Hmmm… before then, every other revelation was about the people and their needs… you know how we always come to God with our problems. It’s always about us but this young lady was all about loving and serving the Lord selflessly.

I wish I could say I was the young lady he pointed to, but unfortunately, it wasn’t me (and I bind that spirit of jealousy – LOL) but when I hear things like that it makes me think really hard. She received what she didn’t ask for because her heart was in the right place. This also reminds me of King Solomon. Given a choice to ask for anything, he asked for the wisdom to rule God’s people and the Lord said… “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. (1 Kings 3:11-12 NIV).

Are you in any kind of service to the Lord? Are you going to take some quiet, honest time to reflect on the checklist above?

God bless you
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22. August 2014 · Comments Off on GOD’S PROMISE STILL STANDS · Categories: Blessing, Covenant, Faith, God's Plan, Hope, Jesus Christ, Obedience, Patience, Promise, Trusting God

FOR GOD IS NOT UNJUST. He will not forget how hard you have worked for Him and how you have shown your love to Him by caring for other believers… keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to MAKE CERTAIN THAT WHAT YOU HOPE FOR WILL COME TRUE. Then you will not become SPIRITUALLY DULL AND INDIFFERENT. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance (Hebrews 6: 10-12 NLT).

Have you been waiting on the Lord’s promise for a long while now and it seems like nothing is happening? Have you remained faithful and have done everything He asked of you yet nothing? Have you reached that point where you say… I’ve heard it all before? Please don’t let your spirit be down and most importantly, don’t give up. God’s promise still stands. God made a promise to Abraham and… Since there was no one greater to swear by, God took an oath in His own name, saying: “I will certainly bless you, and I will multiply your descendants beyond number” (Hebrews 6: 13-14 NLT).

Can you imagine God saying “I swear by my Almighty self that I promise to…”? God’s word is enough assurance that He will do what He promised and we ought to take Him by His word. But then He takes it a step further by swearing an oath. Remembering that OATH ought to keep you going because… when people take an oath, they call on someone greater than themselves to hold them to it. And without any question that oath is binding. God also bound Himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be PERFECTLY SURE THAT HE WOULD NEVER CHANGE HIS MIND. So God has given both HIS PROMISE AND HIS OATH. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to Him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a STRONG AND TRUSTWORTHY ANCHOR for our souls… (Hebrews 6:16-17 NLT).

An anchor is a strong device used to connect a boat to the bed of a body of water to prevent it from drifting or moving due to wind or current. Hang on firmly to what God has promised. He will fulfil it. Your part is to be OBEDIENT. God swore to Abraham after Abraham obeyed His command to take offer Isaac as a sacrifice. We must be willing to do what God tells us to do regardless of how hard it may seem.

God bless you
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