“Truth must be spoken, however it be taken”
“Truth must be spoken, however it be taken”
“Truth must be spoken, however it be taken”
“Everyone wants the good will of the ruler, but only from the Lord can you get justice” (PV:29-26)
Are you in a situation when you feel discriminated? Are you working hard and nobody notices? Your boss is supposed to protect your interests, but he even forgets your name? Did you prepare well for an exam and others who read less than you took the first place? Did anyone raised your hopes for a promotion…but then forgot about the promises? Are you a house wife, a single mother, a single father, working from morning until night…giving and giving again…and no one is grateful for all this labor of love? How many times you faced the mountain of dirty dishes or dirty laundry? Are you there in this world, doing your best, but it is now many years since any one bought you a gift, a bottle of perfume, or a box of chocolates? Do you work over-time but there is nothing at the end of the month to compensate for your care? Do you feel lonely, unloved, depressed, poor, ugly or even dying?
Then come to God! Come to Jesus! The pain is a sign post directing you to come to Jesus! Do not waste it! Jesus is the only One who knows the hate of this world but overcame it by His Blood! No man can ever give you a fair trial, a fair job, a fair marriage, a fair life! No man can compensate, promote or vindicate you like Jesus! This is the truth! Even if you search the whole universe, you will still have to come back to this Word of Truth! Why waste your time by trusting ‘big men’?
There is no need to weep for lack of human ‘connections’. No need to desire the friendship of the millionaire behind the high fenced palace! Most rich people are wicked, greedy and selfish. Forget that judge, that lawyer, that promoter!
Go to God! God loves you! Give your life to Him and He will change your heart, your marriage, your home, your ministry, your office. Jesus is the Judge of all men! He brings down one and promotes another! God does what He pleases! No one can stop Him! Trust God to the end and the justice of your cause shall shine like the noon day!
Arise and shine for your light has come and the glory of the Lord is already risen upon you! (Is 60:1).
There shall be radical change of situations! The poor and the oppressed shall be satisfied with plenty and the rich shall go away empty! For this is the decree of the Lord!
It is well with your soul!
Worship the King!
“The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands” (PV 14:1)
This woman is the opposite of the one described above. She may be married with children but spiritually, she is a curse to her family. She uses her mouth and her resources to destroy her marriage and her children. She brings down every good gift God has given to them. She is an enemy to God and a traitor to her family. She is unfaithful and untrustworthy. She does not truly love her husband and her children. She manipulates them all for her selfish gain. She is a busybody and a gossip. She loves fashion for fashion sake. She takes pleasure in seducing other men. He husband feels lonely and rejected. She is proud and restless. She hates her home and dreams of better ones abroad. She compares her ‘foolish’ husband with other men. She is ambitious and rude. All her priorities are wrong. She helps other people, but she neglects her primary assignment, her own marriage and home. She uses sexual intimacy as a tool to gain advantage over her husband. She loves money and material possession. She keeps intimate connections with her natural family, former relationships, secret lovers or ‘spiritual husbands’.
She is a liability to her husband. She likes to travel alone. Her business keeps her away from home and even then, she makes no clear profit. She cheats and manipulates others to make money. She wastes her resources on foolish things.
She loves quarrels and enjoys arguments (PV 27:15, 16). She talks too much. She does not listen to her husband or her children.
She does not forgive her husband’s sins. She does not submit to him except in a fake manner to deceive him the more.
She may be religious, reading the Bible and attending prayer meetings. But she is unable to come to the knowledge of truth and to be free from the bondage of sin (2Tim 3:6, 7). She is a coward and a thief. She is not prepared for the future. She is always panicking and fears bad news. She is not sure of her marriage and of her destiny. She pretends to be bold but she is insecure about her spiritual standing with God. She is ignorant about the Person of God the Holy Spirit. She resists and quenches the Holy Spirit. Her husband’s life is full of mistakes and terror for she is not really praying for him. The husband feels alone at home. Her children are wild and disobedient, advertising her rebellion. She is worldly and her friends are worldly.
The damage done by a foolish woman in her home is so much that even the husband and the children cannot repair it. She will not rest until her house is ‘pulled down’, until there are open fights and disgraceful confrontations. She complains and blames her husband for the trouble in the home. She is not willing to repent to save her marriage. Divorce and chaos is her aim. With the help of evil spirits, she will not rest until the house is completely ruined and the occupants wounded and scattered. She will destroy every shred of peace and joy that was there in the past. With time, she becomes a totally bitter woman, a picture of evil spirits in hell. May God forbid such a story!
‘Heavenly Father, we ask for the grace to be wise women of God, godly wives and mothers! In Jesus name we pray, Amen!’
A relationship with a hot tempered, erratic, troublesome man is very addictive. With time, you will think and behave as a victim, as a slave. This is spiritual poison and it will affect all you do! A man who cannot control his temper is an evil man!
Separate your spirit from a hot tempered man! Do not be sorry for his sin! Do not excuse his sin! Do not stand as a security for him! Like coals of fire are carried with metal thongs, show him mercy but always from afar! Let him suffer for his sin so that he may repent and change! Let God ‘handle’ him! Be free! In Jesus name, Amen!
“If someone has a hot temper, let him take the consequences. If you get him out of trouble once, you will have to do it again’ (PV 19:19)
“The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands” (PV 14:1)
The main reason why a woman is called wise it is because she is a child of God. She is born again and Spirit filled. In other words, a wise woman fears God and she is trustworthy. Her family trusts her as a person and God trusts her as His servant.
The wise woman is a wife and a mother. She builds her home. It does not matter if she is rich or poor, if her home is a palace or a prison cell. She is the queen of that home, with the authority of heaven to bless it.
Her primary assignment is to be a woman of God, to be a spiritual blessing to her husband and children. Out of the overflow of such a wonderful ministry, she can bless others.
The wife is a spiritual helpmeet to her husband. She helps him spiritually by praying to know God’s purpose for his life. The word ‘helper’ here is very powerful. It is the same word used for the Holy Spirit, a helper, a comforter, an encourager.
A godly wife knows her husband even more than he knows himself for she is the helper in fulfilling his destiny. Without a godly wife, a man is limited in pursuing his God’s given vision for his life. ‘It is not good for man to be alone’ (Gen 2:18). This is God’s verdict. In other words, it is good… it is a great blessing for a man to marry a godly wife chosen for him by God.
The wise woman is first of all a spiritual blessing to her family. She fulfills this ministry by being a student and a doer of the Word of God. Wisdom is the skill to apply the knowledge of the Word of God in daily living. The wise woman is a practical Christian. She has visible fruits of her commitment to God. She is totally surrendered to God. She is a woman of prayer.
She loves God, her family and God’s house. She faithfully attends her local church activities and pays the price for ministry. Her children know without any shadow of doubt, that mummy loves to go to church and pray.
She is a humble and a virtuous woman who has gained her husband’s total trust. She is modest in her choice of clothes, rejecting any appearance of evil. She is confident of the power and beauty of holiness. Her spirit is quiet and humble but also free and adventurous in the safe perfect path of God.
She is a grateful woman, full of thanksgiving to God, for all the gifts and blessings, for her marriage and for her family.
She is industrious and confident that God has blessed the work of her hands. She makes profit from her trade and she invests in new opportunities. Her business expands. She works a little and she makes great profit for God leads her in all her decisions.
She is prudent, detecting danger from afar, and avoiding it. She is cautious of the seduction of darkness and the lusts that aim to destroy her home. She is aware of the existence and attraction of evil spirits. She does not trust herself but God to lead the way. She does warfare and moves from victory to victory. ‘A prudent wife is from the Lord’ (PV 19:14).
The fruit of the Holy Spirit is manifesting in her. She combines them all: love and self-control, patience and joy and kindness…
Her speech reveals the content of her heart. On her tongue there is the law of kindness and grace. She speaks the Word of God to her husband, prays and prophesies over him. She chooses her words. She is wise with the timing, when to speak and when to keep silent. She makes the preaching of the Gospel attractive to her family so that they never feel bored when listening to her.
A happy married woman is a proof that with the help of God, her husband meets all her needs. A godly happy couple is God’s masterpiece. They are a picture of the eternal love story between Christ and His church.
A wise woman is a mature woman. She is totally faithful to God and to her family. She makes her home to be a refuge for her husband from this world of sin. Her home is an oasis in the desert where her family gladly desire to come and be refreshed.
A wise woman is spiritually detached from her natural family connections. Her marriage and children take priority over her natural family. She helps her parents and siblings only as far as they don’t interfere with her home. This is the God’s command:
‘A man leaves his father and mother to cling to his wife and the two become one’ (Eph 5:31).
‘Listen my daughter; forget your people and your father’s house. The king is enthralled by your beauty; Honor Him for He is your Lord’ (Ps 45:10, 11).
A wise wife will help her husband to cleave to her. She is sensitive about the unity of the Spirit and she fights anything that breeches it. She prays and yields her body to achieve total sexual compatibility and fulfillment. She cooperates with her husband’s desire for sexual intimacy. Her bed is ‘a holy ground’, a pure gift from God, totally fenced against the world.
The wise woman has her priorities right. Her relationship with God is always first. She pays the price for a quality time to study God‘s Word and to pray. She seeks God’s will for her life and diligently goes ahead fulfilling it. Her second priority is her marriage. She knows that it is God’s gift and ministry to her. She prays for her husband. She encourages him to fulfill his destiny too. She helps him in all areas where help is needed. She is a good listener, she loves him, forgives him and she makes him laugh. Next to Jesus, she is his best friend. The third priority is her children. She knows that they are entrusted to them by God. She reads the Bible to them even when they are babes. She prays with them and for them. She preaches to them until they discover the reality of God for themselves. She encourages them to serve God. She brings them to church. When they become adults she joyfully releases them in the hands of God and becomes their spiritual mentor for the remaining days of her life.
Lastly, like the wise virgins, she is a woman who intimately knows the third Person of the Trinity. She is filled and lead by the Holy Spirit. She is not afraid of the future for she has the store filled with the oil of the Spirit of life eternal (Mt 25). As her light continue to shine before her family in the darkness of this world, she is quietly confident of her eternal reward from God.
A woman who fears the Lord shall be praised (PV 31:30).
“There are four things that are too mysterious for me to understand:
…a snake moving on a rock” (PV 30:19)
Snakes have four ways of moving around. Since they don’t have legs they use their muscles and their scales to do the “walking”.
Serpentine method: This motion is what most people think of when they think of snakes. Snakes will push off of any bump or other surface, rocks, trees, etc., to get going. They move in a wavy motion. They would not be able to move over slick surfaces like glass at all.
Concertina method: This is a more difficult way for the snake to move but is effective in tight spaces. The snake braces the back portion of their body while pushing and extending the front portion. It is almost like they throw themselves forward.
Sidewinding: This is a difficult motion to describe but it is often used by snakes to move on loose or slippery surfaces like sand or mud. The snake appears to throw its head forward and the rest of its body follows while the head is thrown forward again. (See picture.)
Rectilinear Method: This is a slow, creeping, straight movement. The snake uses some of the wide scales on its belly to grip the ground while pushing forward with the others.
The Bible says that we should be wise like the snakes and walk in the Spirit (1Jn 2:6; Mt 10:16). The snake walks without visible legs, mysterious, quietly and fast. Legs here stand for the flesh (noisy and slow). We should walk lead by the Holy Spirit! No more excuses for spiritual passivity! If the snake can move, you too can move on with your life! Dear friends, you should make progress, in the name of Jesus!
We revisit the story of the confrontation between Elijah and the false prophets of Baal on top of Mount Carmel (1Kg 18).
The country has been suffering from draught for more than three years. This was according to Elijah’s word as a sign of God’s judgment upon the people who have forsaken God. It was also a judgment because of the corrupt leadership of King Ahab and his wicked wife Jezebel (in other words, it is like Warri, Nigeria)
Elijah is the only true and faithful man of God in this story. There are three groups of people that he meets in this Chapter.
The first one is Obadiah, whose name means ‘The Servant of God’. He represents the comfortable Christians. He provided food and shelter for the persecuted prophets but he still works for Ahab. With all his labor for God, he was not on the side of Elijah during the mighty confrontation the next day.
The second person Elijah meets is King Ahab. He represents the backsliding Christians. He still believes in Jehovah God but he has compromised his faith by false religions, imported especially by Jezebel, his wife.
The third group are the false prophets of Baal and Asherah ‘who eat at Jezebel’s table’. They are invited by the king to withstand Elijah and prove their worth. It is interesting that Elijah invites them but he does not encourage them at all. He mocks them and disgraces them. There is no mercy, no ‘altar call’ for them. The only way God speaks to these false prophets it is thru the fire of judgment. They are all killed down the slopes of Mount Carmel.
The last group, who meets with Elijah, is the people of God. They have also backslidden and compromised their faith. They still believe in the existence of God but they doubt His power, provision and His promises. It is for their sake that God sends Elijah to confront the devil in their presence. Listen to Elijah’s question:
‘Elijah came near to all the people and said: How long will you halt and limp between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him! But if Baal… then follow him. And the people did not answer him a word’ (1Kg 18:21, AMP)
This is the best description of doubt. The word ‘halt’ in Hebrew means to waver, to vacillate between two opinions, to sway to and forth due to lack of balance, to dance, to limp, to spare something and jump over. It means to hesitate, to stop in mid motion, as a sign of fear, weakness or backsliding. The doubter’s mind is divided into two. It is a complicated, insecure mind. Today, we call this mind -set as ‘inferiority complex’.
The question is this: what is your inferiority complex? In what area of your life you feel insecure, timid or self-conscious? The root of it is doubt! You have to see this revelation, with the help of the Holy Spirit. If not, you cannot be free and strong. No ‘positive confession’ can eradicate the feelings of inferiority if doubt in the power of God is still resident in your heart.
When confronted by Elijah, the doubters keep silent. They do not say a word. This is the classical reaction of religious doubters. They remain passive and do not take risks. They do not utter a word! The Hebrew meaning of this word is a message, a counsel, a decree, a judgment, work or a song. Doubters cannot be true leaders. They are cowards and refuse to take a stand for God. It is only the fire of God’s judgment that will wake them from this religious slumber and bring their hearts back to God!
Lord we need Your fire!
Elijah tells the false prophets to pray for fire on their sacrifice. One of the titles of Baal is the God of thunder and fire. With all the noise and prayers, fire refuses to come. Now it is Elijah’s turn to prove that Jehovah is the Living God, El Anah Esh (the God that answers by fire). Elijah needs a miracle from God. What does he do?
*HE REPAIRS THE BROKEN ALTAR
When you pray for revival, for any miracle, you have to go back and search for any broken places and fences in your life. Look at the quality of your relationship with God, your marriage and your relationships with others. God looks for repairers of broken places (Is 61:4; Ez 22:30, 31)
You need a mind set to be able to repair broken things. In the US people throw away things easily. They are not patient enough to repair them. They replace them with new items. It applies to anything, the refrigerator, the marriage or friendships. In Nigeria people repair broken things. There are people called ‘obioma’ who carry their sowing machines on the shoulder going about mending torn clothes. The shoe repairers are also very busy. God bless Nigeria!
Jesus came to heal the broken hearted (Is 61:1). You need that fresh revelation and His healing touch before you proceed to pray for more revival.
*HE FILLS THE JARS WITH WATER
You need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Pray specifically for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. It has to be a desperate prayer. Reject doubt and trust the promise of God that he will give you the Holy Spirit (Lk 11:13).
*HE PRAYS AND THE FIRE COMES
You need to know Jesus as the Baptizer with fire (Mt 3:11). Fire is God’s answer. When fire came to the altar of Elijah, it was very clear that it was God’s work. It was not magic. It was open heavens and God coming down. When the doubters saw the fire, they praised God and Elijah shouting ‘The Lord is God!’ (In Hebrew: ‘El-ijah!’).
This fire confirms and establishes you as God’s servant!
*HE KILLS ALL THE FALSE PROPHETS
You need to trust God for complete deliverance from all evil spirits. All covenants with evil spirits have to be confessed and destroyed. Deliverance is not the end; it is a means to the end, which is the miracle of revival!
*HE REMAINS IN HUMBLE, PERSEVERING PRAYER- LOOKING AHEAD
All the success so far did not make Elijah proud. He continued to pray trusting God for the miracle of rain. He looks at the future, not doubting God’s power. Against all odds of disappointment and the doubts of men, the miracle shall come!
*FINALLY, THE MIRACLE CAME: THE BLESSED RAIN ON THE THIRSTY LAND!
(As we said this, big heavy rain started falling outside, making great noise! Was it coincidence? I believe that it was an encouragement for us to trust God even more)
So these are the five steps that you should follow as you trust God for your miracle:
Repair, Fill, Pray for fire, Deliverance and Pray for Rain!
“Confess therefore your sins (of doubt) one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The supplication of a righteous man availeth much in its working.
Elijah was a man of like passions with us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain; and it rained not on the earth for three years and six months. And he prayed again; and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit” (Jam 5:16-18)
Holy Spirit, touch thru me!
Holy Spirit, love thru me!
Holy Spirit, work thru me!
May God grant your miracle for nothing is impossible with God!
May God grant you revival!
All the glory shall go to God alone!
In Jesus name, Amen!
“Don’t be like the wicked who scheme to rob an honest man or to take away his home. No matter how often an honest man falls, he always gets up again; but disaster destroys the wicked” (PV 24:15, 16)
“The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands” (PV 14:1)
According to the Word of God there are only two types of women: some are wise and some are foolish. No other option!
Before going ahead, let’s analyze these words and their meaning in Hebrew:
*Wise- to be exceedingly wise and skillful, able to teach others
*Woman- a female, a wife
*Builds- to be a strong and sure builder, able to repair damages, successful in ‘obtaining’ children, a fruitful mother
*House- family, children, prison, palace, temple, the inner court
*Foolish- silly, perverse, negative
*Pulls down- total destruction, break to pieces, ruin and overthrow, brings to naught
*Hands- power, means, resources, labor, ministry, sense of direction, creditor, debt, terror, pain, presumption, throwing things
The closer study of these words reveals wonderful truths. These two women are opposites. But on the surface, they look alike, they have something in common. Except for the help of the Spirit, no man can say for sure which is wise and which is foolish.
Both these women influence their homes: one builds up and one destroys it. Their influence is so great that not even their husbands can neutralize it. If a wise woman marries a foolish man, he will not be able to destroy the home. If the foolish woman marries a wise man, she will still be able to destroy the marriage with her words and actions.
The definition of the word ‘influence’ is this: the power to use indirect means to change the minds and wills of others. This is done without using direct force or clear verbal commands. Another word for a negative influence is manipulation. It means to interfere and corrupt the legal authority for personal gain. Like the yeast in the flour, the woman can silently change the atmosphere in her home for better or for worse.
Looking at the words in Hebrew, you can see that both these women are very active in their missions. They have invested time and energy in pursuing their goal. Both have a purpose and they pay the price to invest in it. Both are passionate leaders, great teachers and successful mentors in their own field. Each boasts of great numbers of friends, students and faithful followers.
But this is where the similarities end. For these two women are in all things the opposite of one another: the wise one is godly and the foolish one is evil; one is a blessing and the other is a curse to her family.
May God open our eyes to see the truth!
My letter to a Brother in Christ, a Pastor, whose wife committed suicide, leaving him with a teenage daughter:
(PLEASE PRAY FOR THEM!)
What is God doing in your heart?
As I have been praying for you I remembered that Ezekiel passed thru a similar pain as yours (Ez 24). God warned him that He will take away ‘the desire of his heart’ and He did. He also warned him not to weep loudly in the presence of the people. God said that his sudden blow will be a sign of judgment, not to him but to the rebellious nation. It happened exactly the way God said it. Ezekiel had just few hours of intercession, to pray to God to have mercy on him and that his wife should be spared. But God did not listen to his plea for mercy and the wife died.
Ezekiel was a true man of God. He suffered so much pain just so that God can prove His point. Does God have the right to use us for His ‘points’? Does the Potter have the right to break a vessel He has made? Does God have any rights to intervene and disturb our lives?
Looking at this with the natural eyes, this tragedy makes no sense. Even as I pray for you, there is no sense, why you and your daughter have to pass thru this valley of the shadow of death. If you look for a reason, for something to make sense, for an explanation…you shall find none.
The more I pray for you, the more I get trapped in the tragedy cage. I look around you and I see nothing and nobody to help. You already know the scriptures, even more than myself, so what can I say to help you?
But today I saw a little light in the darkness around your story. The light is not there in the USA. The light is up, it shines on you from heaven. It is God’s light and the Holy Spirit! It is God’s Grace on you as His child! God speaks to you even now…God does not apologies, for He never makes mistakes. God’s ways are very different than our ways. We have to abandon our way of thinking, of seeing things…and cross over on God’s ways, which are always perfect. For as long as you desire to be an ordinary man, a regular father, a normal pastor…you will despair, for you can never be that. You cannot compete with the world.
In joy and sorrows, you are a peculiar Man of God, holy and different than the crowd. As a bachelor, as a married man, as a grieving widower, as a remarried man…in all things, you can never be a regular guy. Stop wishing that and the pain will lose its poison! That is the truth. You are a born again Christian, a child of Jehovah and a servant of Christ! This is your destiny. This is your ministry. This is your only hope! Hold unto this peculiar blessing and mystery of love!
Love in Christ alone
Thank you dear sister Lia.
Yes, just this morning I was pondering on the fact that friends here locally, friends of my wife’s and mine, who I have known and ministered to for 20 years have all abandoned me…
I do have a mark upon me, like Jacob who walked with a limp after wrestling with the angel; I too limp along as I cling and cleave to my God. But God by His grace has recently brought me closer to Him with a touch of His Presence and Power. Even my sermons have a new fire attending them. Praise God!
But I see sadness in my little girl’s eyes, the other night she was doing her homework and it was on weddings and she cried out, “I need my mom!” But Mom is not here. I cannot be her mother. It is my prayer that God will use you to bring her to Christ.
I received your book, ” The Dove in the Wind” and read it while sitting on a park bench and was blessed by it. Thank you for your kindness in sending it to me….thank you also for taking the time to go to The Lord on our behalf in prayer and sharing what He tells you.
God seems to be smiling on my ministry, a man from Kansas emailed me today to get my permission so he could make copies of my sermon on Hell, “A Tour of Hell” to pass out on his street ministry…all glory to God!
Yes dear sister I am a “marked man” but I pray that God uses me in greater capacities than He has ever used me before. He is more nearer to me now, more clearer, and more dearer than ever before. I desire to burn out for Him but I also desire to stay on this earth to help my daughter grow up and get out on her own with her life—hopefully living for Christ and His glory.
The “Dove” touched your life with a fresh fire and may that anointing shine brightly in dark Africa!
Blessings and much grace,
Your brother in Christ.
I THOUGHT I HAD IT!
I LOST IT!
I HAD NOTHING!
I FOUND IT!
IN CHRIST ALONE!
(I’m talking about my life)
“Whoever finds his [lower] life will lose it [the higher life], and whoever loses his [lower] life on My account will find it [the higher life]” (Mt 10:39)
Later in life he went to London with a case filled with his products and the biggest shops there did a contract with him to supply them indefinitely. He was now as famous in Europe as he was in the US.
During the recession his business failed and he was declared bankrupt. But he prayed and he started again ‘from scratch’ paying all his debts. This second beginning became the road for his greater success. He opened more factories. He bought acres of land to produce his own fresh vegetables.
H J Heinz was one of the first American companies to introduce staff welfare facilities. He insisted that each of his factories should have dining, locker and dressing rooms for the staff. Each factory had a gym and a swimming pool for the staff. He provided beautiful uniforms to all his workers who had free hospital and dental treatments, free life insurance and further education facilities. There were hair and nail dressing saloons in each factory for the benefit of his female workers. The result was that very few workers resigned their jobs at Heinz and did their best to make great profits. He was one of the most loved millionaires ever.
He was a smallish man with a big moustache. Very active, he did not like to seat for too long in his office. He was a man who loved God and the people. He was always ready to teach others from the Bible or on any other subject. He invented many recipes. He insisted that all his factories should be very clean. All his selling methods were straight and fair. His products were so good that he did not have competition. At the time of his death his company had 6523 employees, 26 factories, 227 offices and 100,000acres of farmland.
But his real life passion was to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. With his money he sponsored countless projects in the churches.
After Heinz died and the family opened his will, at the top of the page it was written:
‘I am looking forward to the time when my earthly career shall end. I desire to set forth, at the very beginning of this my Will, as the most important item in it, my confession of my faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior forever’
This year (2013) the richest man on earth Warren Buffet bought Heinz Company for $28 billion. Only God can give such an increase! You do not have to steal or to cheat to be wealthy. Just seek God with all your heart and money shall follow you! This is the promise of God!
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need’ (Mat 6:31-33)
‘Dear Heavenly Father, I give You thanks for the testimony of Your servant Henry J. Heinz who is now in heaven with You!’
MY PRAYER FOR YOU:
Dear Child of God may the anointing of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Daniel…and Henry Heinz be your portion in the name of Jesus! May God bless the work of your hands! May you be rich in all things spiritual and natural! May the windows of heaven be open to you! May God grant that you have more than enough money, for your personal needs, for your family and for the church of Christ! Be a blessing! Be generous! Give all the glory to God!
“Just ask the animals, and they will teach you.
Ask the birds of the sky, and they will tell you” (Job 12:7)
Job tells us to look around and see the nature thru the eyes of God. The animals in the forest, the fishes in the sea and the birds of the sky, these are created by God to preach His Gospel and to glorify His name. To prayerfully study the nature, God’s work, that is wisdom!
Today we shall study the geese. The following have been discovered by the scientists who study the behavior of the wild geese:
When the geese migrate and travel long distances, they fly in a particular pattern called ‘V-formation’. They fly together in the shape of letter V. The leader is in front. His work is the most difficult for he has to make a path in the air, against the winds. For each bird following, the work is easier for the road has been ‘opened’ by the one ahead. It is very profitable team work. It is said that in V formation they fly 70% faster than if alone.
From time to time, when the leader is tired, he goes back to rest his wings, and another takes its position. They rotate the position of leadership so that together they can make progress, even when one member gets tired.
If one of the birds gets rebellious and comes out of the ranks, the force of the wind will throw such down, just like a trailer passes by a smaller car. The safest position is to continue with the group.
If a bird gets sick and weak, and starts falling, two of the stronger ones will immediately fall with her. Geese do not just abandon a sick member. They will go to the ground together and ‘pray’ for healing. Once the sick one is healed, the three of them will start once more in the same direction with the main group, also in a V formation. The two will not leave the sick one except she is healed or dies.
The leader is quiet most of the time. The back geese make a lot of noise. It is said that their honking is to encourage the leader. It is like they are saying: ‘Go on Brother! We are right behind you! We appreciate you! Be strong! The destination is not as far as when we started the journey! God is with us!’
These are few of the practical lessons that we can learn from the geese:
*Team work is better than being alone. Family and church are designed by God for help, encouragement and comfort.
*Do not abandon church activities!
*Do not divorce!
*Do not run away from home!
*Pray, help and encourage your leaders, your parents, your pastors, your mentors for their work is not easy!
*Confess your sins and pray for one another that you may be healed!
*Trust and obey God and your spiritual leaders who cover you with their prayers!
*Rejoice in the journey of faith! The trials of life will one day fade away as you enter your eternal rest, heaven!
In Jesus name, Amen!
SEEK NOT GREAT THINGS FOR YOURSELF!
(And great things will follow)
Baruch was Jeremiah’s personal secretary and scribe. His name means ‘Blessing’.
Baruch came from a good, wealthy family. His grandfather was the governor of Jerusalem. He could have spent his life pursuing pleasure, social status or wealth. But he chose to be the prophet’s assistant. Because of his close association with Jeremiah, he shared in his troubles; he was persecuted, insulted and beaten up. He was faithful to his mentor unto death, following him into exile, in Egypt, where both died. He was a man of faith. He is a true hero and an inspiration to many young believers!
Here we see Baruch complaining about his troubled life. ‘Woe to me!’ His complaint is that with all his faithfulness and love for God, his life is still not easy. In particular he complains about the fact that he has found no rest. The word in Hebrew means a settled (married) life, peace and comfort. We know that God forbade Jeremiah to marry. It is possible that Baruch was also a bachelor for many years, to be able to follow and take care of his older master.
Many years have passed and now, he is tempted to regret the loss of wealth and social status he could have had, if it was not for his commitment to God and to Jeremiah. He longs for marriage, a happy home with wife and children. This is a natural desire for all men.
Now, the devil reminds him of what he had lost, and tempts him to backslide, to go to the world, where life seems easier.
Then God speaks directly to Baruch telling him not to seek these ‘great things for himself’. God confirms to him the message he had given to Jeremiah that He will judge the land and punish the people for their sins. God says that war is not the time to settle down. God’s judgment comes on a stubborn nation. He has sent His messengers, the prophets, including his own mentor Jeremiah, to warn the people to repent, but they rejected them. Now they will be sent into exile, so there is no need to dream about comfort in this world. But then, God promises Baruch that even in the midst of the horrors of war, natural disaster, terrorists’ attacks, kidnappers and armed robberies…he will not die an untimely death. The promise is that his life shall be a trophy to him. In the midst of it all, if he seeks God, his life will become more fruitful and more fulfilled. The word ‘life’ here means the appetite, the passion and joy of living; the contentment, fulfillment and the purpose of life hidden in Christ. The word also means revival.
What are the lessons for us?
*God always judges sin!
*God’s people are not always protected when God’s judgment comes, because of unrepentant sin. This is ‘an unfair’ type of suffering because of the sin of another.
*God’s people should not grumble when they suffer, for God knows and God sees all things
*Do not seek great things in this world for yourself! Be careful about the sin of self-pity and hidden ambition which shall be disappointed and ends in depression and bitterness. Ambition makes you to be impatient and angry with God!
*In the midst of the storms of life, God rewards His people with a clearer revelation of Himself, increased faith, a fresh purpose in life and a grateful heart.
*Seek God and all the great things you desire shall follow! (Mt 6:33)
In Jesus name,
The wild desert gourd is a plant also known as Bitter Apple, Bitter Cucumber, Egusi, Vine of Sodom or egusi. It is a member of the watermelon family. The fruits are perfectly round, green in color but yellow when ripe. Flowers are yellow with 5-6 petals.
This creeping plant can be found in any climatic zone, generally in desert areas. It is very resistant to heat and it still grows wild along the Dead Sea in Israel.
The seeds inside are edible; rich in oil they are to be roasted or boiled. They have to be completely separated from the very bitter pulp. The flowers too are edible. The succulent stem tips can be chewed to obtain water in the desert.
The fruit itself resembles the water melon but it is extremely bitter. Ingestion of even very small amounts can cause severe irritation of the stomach and intestine lining, bloody diarrhea, kidney damage, bloody urine, and inability to urinate. Other side effects include convulsions, paralysis, and death.
The story on 2Kings 4:38-41 happened during the time of Elisha. There was great famine in the land, as God’s judgment on the rebellious nation. Elisha had ‘a conference’ with the company of the prophets. He told his servant to cook some stew. That was a luxury during that time of famine. One of the prophets went out and found this wild desert gourd. He brought it back and cut it in small pieces and added to the stew. Nobody knew what it was except himself. Time for dinner, they tasted the food and it was terribly bitter because of the plant. They cried: ‘O man of God, there is death in the pot!’ This was a difficult situation for Elisha. But then he took something good and available: a handful of flour, and he threw it in the pot. Suddenly the stew became good and all enjoyed the meal, the lesson and the testimony!
What are the lessons?
*Even during times of famine and difficulty, God’s people will never lack their daily bread. This is the promise of God!
*The prophet who added the bitter plant was foolish, presumptuous and rebellious. He was not the cook but ‘wanted to help’ as a busybody. He kept his action a secret until it was revealed as poison. He was deceived by appearances for the wild gourd indeed looks like the water melon on the outside. But inside, it is very bitter and poisonous.
*The prophet who added the bitter plant represents rebellious people who bring false doctrines in the church. Like yeast in the flour, they mix it with the whole dough. Deception and evil gossips penetrate the church and affect many with bitterness and grief. The judgment on sin is death! It is only the miracle of life in Christ that can save a dying man!
*Elisha knew that he cannot remove the poison for it was cut in small pieces and boiled in the stew. What he did was not to remove but to add. He added flour, something good and available. ‘Get some flour!’- He said! The flour stands for preaching the truth, as we find it ready available in Christ. When sin like gangrene has spread in the church, do not waste you time to ‘uproot’ it. Have faith that the preaching of the Gospel of Grace is powerful enough to neutralize all the effects of sin. The preaching of the Gospel of Christ is always a miracle! The ‘poisoned’ congregation shall be healed and saved from death!
*Trust God for miracles of provision even during difficult times!
*Trust God to repair when you or your children do mistakes!
‘Where sin abounds, grace abounds so much more’ (Rom 5: 20)
On a personal note: In Nigeria, where I live, there is a different plant that produces seeds called egusi. They are grinded and cooked with palm oil and bitter green leaves. The leaves are bitter when fresh but they are squeezed and washed with water until the bitterness is removed. I like to eat egusi soup with boiled rice. It is very tasty indeed!
‘The Holy Spirit will insist that your days of boasting and showing off are over. God never allowed me to boast about a convert- those I boasted about always backslid as far as I am able to discover. Every time I boasted about a crowd that listened to me it always dwindled away. Now I thank God for this, because if I start to show off little bit the Lord sets me flat and that;s exactly the way I want to keep it’
(from the book When He is Come- by A W Tozer)
REVELATIONS UNDER A OAK TREE
What are the lessons here? What happened under that oak tree? The young prophet escaped the temptation of the king. Why then did he fall under the same temptation coming from ‘an older colleague in the ministry’?
This is a story of victory, deception and failure. It revels also the power of ‘peer pressure’ among servants of God. This is a story that contains a warning for us all.
These are some revelations why the young prophet was deceived and died an untimely death:
One reason may be physical tiredness. Ministry needs effort. Like Jesus revealed, virtue goes out during ministry. Hunger and thirst can weaken a man. God promised that his servants shall be given bread and water for their labors.
Elijah was fed supernaturally by an angel as he was running away from his ministry. Jesus also took extra care of His disciples, especially when they were tired and hungry. But we cannot take God’s provision for granted, especially when there is some level of disobedience to His commands. The lesson here is that God always judges disobedience to His Word!
A second reason may be loneliness. This is the price to pay for ministry, especially for the prophetic ministry. It is possible that both the old and the young prophet were lonely and longing for a fellowship together. To have sweet fellowship with brethren at the table is sweet indeed. But even this desire should be given to God. The prophets paid a high price for their anointing. For example, Jeremiah wanted to marry, but God expressly forbade him. History says that Jeremiah indeed lived and died as a single man. The prophet Hosea did not have a better option. He married, but not a woman of his choice. God commanded him to marry a prostitute so that he will feel God’s pain about the backsliding nation. Apostle Paul also was also a single man until his death. Pray for the grace to pay the price of loneliness.
The young prophet was a true man of God. He is to be honored as a bold prophet, with the same anointing as Elijah and other prophets in the Bible. But pride can attack especially after a successful assignment. God’s command generally is to avoid giving positions of leadership to young people who are not yet matured, naturally and spiritually (1Tim 3:6, 7). This is especially because it takes a long time ‘to kill’ sin and especially pride in the flesh. Successful ministry attracts praise. God uses praise, sincere or not, to test His servants for hidden pride (PV 27:21).
*Doubt- spiritual inferiority complex
Another reason for the prophet’s failure to discern the lie was what is called ‘peer pressures’ coming from ‘a senior colleague’ in ministry. It is true that we are commanded to respect the elders. But we are to remember that God’s commands are to obeyed above any other human words. Once God speaks, it is wrong to ask other men for confirmation. That desire comes from doubt, which is sin. The Apostle Paul received the command to preach the Gospel by a direct revelation of God. He then went to the desert of Arabia for some years to confirm all his call with God Himself. He did not go to other men of God to ask questions. That was his strength. . Peter and the disciples chose to disobey the religious authorities, ready to take the punishment for such an action when their command was the opposite of God’s command.
It is natural to feel intimidated by other ‘senior’ colleagues in ministry. The flesh is self-conscious and doubts its strength. That is why flesh is to die under the fire of the Holy Spirit. Then you are free from pleasing men or from the desire to impress them. Doubt is a terrible secret sin. The young prophet clearly said that God sent him to this assignment. But the old prophet said it was ‘an angel of the Lord’ who spoke to him. There is great difference between God and His angels. If the young prophet was more discerning he could have seen that his source of ministry was higher than his older colleague’s.
Paul commanded Timothy not to be intimidated by others because of his youth, but to even be an example to others in speech, life, love, faith and purity (1Tim 4:12). Faith means trusting only God and His Word. Doubt means you trust God, His Word but also the word of men. Doubt is always more complicated than faith. Doubt comes as a trial of faith, most of the time thru the mouths of other believers or thru false prophets. It is doubt and rebellion that made Jeroboam erect two false altars as an alternative to the Temple of God in Jerusalem. Doubt is deadly, it weakens the foundation and the whole structure will fall.
If God speaks to you thru His Word or by the Holy Spirit, that is the end of the matter. You have to believe that Word 100% and doubt not. Be sure of your salvation and of the God who called you to ministry! This is foundational for the success of a servant of God! Settle your spirit with God before you go ahead into public ministry
as you know, I was born in Romania, during the Communist era. We were thought that God does not exist, that He is a creation of people’s imaginations. So I did not believe that God exists. I believed a lie! Deception was my religion!
When Taleigh came to Romania to study I told him so. All my friends and colleagues were atheists like me. We finished the medical school and came to live in Nigeria in 1980. It is in Nigeria that I saw a Bible for the first time. It is also in Nigeria that I saw a man praying for the first time in my life.
We became very successful as doctors. I was telling all my patients that God does not exist. So you see, I was an educated, successful fool…
Anyway, in 1986 I had a crisis conversion and became saved. This was a miracle. It was not thru the church, for I never attended one before. Jesus revealed Himself to me directly, in my ‘parlor’. In a moment, ‘in a twinkling of an eye’ I became a different person. Jesus came into my heart and the Holy Spirit filled my soul…O, what a joy divine! I became ‘mad’ for Jesus! Day and night I read the Bible!
I started praying for my husband to come to the knowledge of God. I also started preaching the Word of God to any person I met. All my patients knew that now I am a Christian. It was not a secret thing at all! That is how I led your dad to Christ, about 1988. Glory to God!
So you see, if Jesus does not reveal Himself to someone, that man cannot believe. In Nigeria there is a religious spirit at work and many people pray and say that they believe in God. But few are truly saved. Religion cannot save, only Jesus Christ!
All these trials are coming on your way, so that you go back and examine your own spiritual foundation. The question is this: Are you just religious or are you really born again. The answer to this question is much more important than passing all your exams in school, for this is your true destiny!
I hope that this letter is a help to you. If you have any questions, feel free to ask…
Love in Christ alone
Watchman Nee (Ni To-sheng) (1903 – 1972) was a Chinese church leader and Christian teacher who worked in China during the first half of the 20th century.
He wrote many books and established many churches in China. Following the Communist Revolution, he was persecuted and arrested. He spent his last 20 years in prison, a Chinese labor-camp. They cut his tongue so that he cannot preach and even there, while suffering greatly, he continued to testify of his Redeemer thru writing.
He fell in love with Charity Chang as a teenager. But he became saved and she did not. He prayed for her conversion and then left her in the hands of God. He chose to wait. Ten years later, Charity became saved too. They got married but did not have children. When he was in prison, Charity was the only one allowed to go and visit him. She took care of him until she died. He died an year later.
He got converted at the age of 17. This is his testimony:
“On the evening of April 29, 1920, I was alone in my room. I had no peace of mind. Whether I sat or reclined, I could find no rest, for within was this problem of whether or not I should believe in the Lord. My first inclination was not to believe in the Lord Jesus and not to be a Christian. A personal note: However, that made me inwardly uneasy. There was a real struggle within me. Then I knelt down to pray. At first I had no words with which to pray. But eventually many sins came before me, and I realized that I was a sinner. I had never had such an experience in my life before that time. I saw myself as a sinner and I also saw the Savior. I saw the filthiness of sin and I also saw the efficacy of the Lord’s precious blood cleansing me and making me white as snow. I saw the Lord’s hands nailed to the cross, and at the same time I saw Him stretching forth His arms to welcome me, saying, “I am here waiting to receive you.” Overwhelmed by such love, I could not possibly reject it, and I decided to accept Him as my Savior. Previously, I had laughed at those who believed in the Lord, but that evening I could not laugh. Instead, I wept and confessed my sins, seeking the Lord’s forgiveness. After making my confession, the burden of sins was discharged, and I felt buoyant and full of inward joy and peace. This was the first time in my life that I knew I was a sinner. I prayed for the first time and had my first experience of joy and peace. There might have been some joy and peace before, but the experience after my salvation was very real. Alone in my room that evening, I saw the light and lost all consciousness of my surroundings. I said to the Lord, “Lord, You have really been gracious to me.”
Watchman Nee is counted as one of the most influential protestant Christians in the twentieth century.
A personal note: whatever it might cost you, buy and read his books. They are all very good, especially ‘The Spiritual Man’, which is a classic!
The story of the Covenanters in Scotland in the 17th Century may not be well known. But it is a true story of revival, of courage and faith in Jesus Christ.
The Covenanters were those people in Scotland who signed the National Covenant in 1638 to confirm their opposition to the interference by the Stuart kings in the affairs of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. The king sent his religious men, as Bishops to be in charge of these churches and to monitor their doctrines. But the Covenanters rejected and drove them away. The Presbyterian form of Church Government is that each assembly is independent and free to choose its own leaders called elders, according the Book of Acts.
The Stuart kings harbored the belief of the Divine Right of the Monarch. Not only did they believe that God wished them to be the infallible rulers of their kingdom – they also believed that they were the spiritual heads of the Church of Scotland. The kings believed that they have the total right to control their subjects, in all things physical and spiritual. They thought that God gave them the right to control the peoples, how they should believe in God. This latter belief could not be accepted by the Scots. They said that no man, not even the king or the pope could be the spiritual head of their church. They only recognized the headship of Jesus Christ. This was the heart of the entire Covenanting struggle.
King Charles1st gave an order that if any pastor who has a church in his domain cannot clearly and publicly confess that he, the king, is the head of the church, that pastor should resign from his office. Three quarters of the pastors in Scotland told their congregations that ‘next Sunday will be their last service’. Many of the believers encouraged their pastors to abandon the church buildings and to go and ‘have church outside, under a tree’. This is how most churches scattered and services called Conventicles were held in the open air. Angry, the king increased the persecution and said that anyone who attends open air meetings shall be arrested and killed. Thousands died. Scotland became red with the blood of its martyrs.
There is a story of a pastor who was killed on a Sunday morning by the king’s soldiers in front of his wife and his congregation. He was told to say in front of them all that the king is the head of the church and not Christ. He quoted the Word of God saying: ‘Christ is the Head of the Church!’ His wife pleaded with the solders but they refused to listen. Then they killed him there with the sword. Lying down dead, covered with his blood, the soldiers laughed and asked his crying wife: ‘what do you say now woman?’ She then stood up and said: ‘I dearly loved my husband since the day he proposed marriage to me. That was 32 years ago. I love him even more now. You can never kill my love for Jesus or my love for my husband!’
Thousands died. Then a new king took over. This one reversed the order of his predecessor and stopped all the killings of the Christians. He allowed them to come back and start their churches like before.
The national denomination of Scotland is different than that of England. In Scotland the churches are Presbyterian. They are independent from any interference from the secular powers or kings. They are led by elders chosen by their congregations. But the Anglican Church is under the leadership of the king who has the power to interfere in matters of doctrine or leadership.
This story is a reminder that no man, not even a powerful army general, king or pope can destroy the faith of true believers. Thousands were killed, but their example of faith in the midst of great persecution can never die. Their testimony remains an encouragement to all believers, to the end of time.
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death” (Rev 12:11).
“Kings and kingdoms shall pass away, but there is something about Your name: JESUS!!!”