TALKING TO JESUS

 

 

“While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him” (Luke 24:15, 16)

The disciples were walking on the road to Emmaus. They were depressed. Four days ago, Jesus, their Master, was crucified. Their hopes were crushed. Then suddenly a stranger came from the side of the road and drew near them. He started walking with them. They told him about the pain of losing their best friend. They did not know that the ‘stranger’ was in fact Jesus.  They did not call on Jesus, thinking He is dead. Nevertheless, He came close to them… This is what Jesus does… He comes close to the hurting souls…

This is a great lesson: Jesus is able to come close to you any time He likes. Even when you do not pray, He still comes close to you. He will encourage you to talk about your pain, giving you answers to impossible questions. Jesus gives hope to the hopeless; joy to the depressed; strength to the weak.  Jesus heals the sick and delivers the oppressed. At last, when the miracle has happened and the problem solved, you shall look back and see that it was Jesus! The same yesterday, today and forever! O, How I love Jesus, for He first loved me!

GRATEFUL FOR MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS

 

 

“Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer…” (Ac 3:1)

 

In the past, Peter and John worked together as fishermen. Jesus called both of them to salvation and ministry. We see them here going together to ‘the prayer meeting of the church’. They were instruments in the hands of the resurrected Christ to miraculously heal a man who was born lame. In the natural, they had very different temperaments. Peter was hot tempered and talked a lot. John was gentler and quieter. But in Christ, they were brothers, friends, co laborers united in purpose and zeal.

 

This is a question: who are your friends? ‘There is a Friend who sticks closer than a brother’ (PV 18:24). His name is Jesus! His family in heaven and on earth is very big! Jesus has many brethren that may come your way.  Blessed are you if the love of God comes to you thru people! Blessed are you if your friends invite you to church! Blessed are you if your friends pray for you, encouraging you to read your Bible or to think about Jesus! Blessed are you if your spouse is spiritually mature and is a true worshipper with a servant’s heart! Today, when you pray, please thank God for your family and friends in Christ! They are the brethren of Jesus, ‘the angels’ that God uses to bless you! Even if you have no money, you are blessed and rich beyond words! To God be the glory!

HAPPY WITH CHURCH TONIGHT

 

This was the last prayer meeting called “Saturday Class” for this year. We started strong and we finished even stronger.  This evening we prayed for a sister from our church that lost her husband. Her in-laws want her to worship the river goddess, to appease it so that she and her daughter will not die. But this is a lie! We know that she is a child of God. We prayed for strength to stand for Jesus, for wisdom to speak or to keep silent and also for peace. Secondly, we also prayed for all the activities in our church this month: The dedication of the new sanctuary, the Christmas programs and the end of the year Jesus Mega Party. We prayed that all our guests will travel safely. There shall be no trouble, loss, lack, quarrels, anxiety or confusion. Everything we shall say and do will give glory to God!  We invited the Holy Spirit in our midst.  He came ‘as usual’ in His own ‘special way’. We rejected the evil spirit of religion, the fake ‘holy spirit’. We rejected the fear of sickness, the fear of bad news, untimely death, poverty, pride and ‘bad luck’. The Holy Spirit brought joy to us as we yielded to Him. We then praised God for His goodness and faithfulness towards us. To God be all the glory!

THE CAREER WOMAN

The idea of being ‘a career woman’ is more common in the western world than in Nigeria where I live. But the advice is universal and we can all learn from it. I write this with a new compassion for the single women. A ‘career woman’ is a woman whose main priority in life is achieving success in her career or profession. It may specifically refer to a higher interest in career than in marriage and having children. In other words, her job is her husband and children. It can thereby be used in contrast to what is called ‘a housewife’. Interestingly, there is no male equivalent. Have you ever heard of a “career man?” No!

The truth is that not all working and successful women CHOSE to be ‘career women’. They just ‘become old’ while working in their offices. They postpone marriage and having children until it is ‘too late’ for that. But some women do choose to pursue their careers in place of being working wives and mothers. Some others delay motherhood for years because they feel they need to stay competitive in their businesses. Later they regret that decision. Some women believe that their dedication to their career, and the good that they are building through their work, is their ultimate legacy. Oprah Winfrey is the best example of that. Finally, some women have absolutely no interest in becoming mothers, their careers notwithstanding. Their identity is rooted in their business.

I am a wife and a mother. I am also a pastor. From the Word of God I find that the majority of women want to ‘settle’, to marry and have children. They want to have time to enjoy their home and the gift of motherhood. Most of the scriptures encourage the women to marry and have children. Marriage and motherhood is work and ministry. The sacrifice is great but the reward is greater.

But there is hope even for them who did not marry. They are called spiritual ‘eunuchs’. These women should serve God in their local church. They should become spiritually fruitful. They should mentor younger women. In this way they can have spiritual children. They can be mothers in Christ to many needy daughters. This ministry of mentoring the next generation of women is very fulfilling. I know it by experience. God can bless you too.

This is the Word of God: “Nor let the eunuch say, “Here I am, a dry tree.” For thus says the Lord: “To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths, and choose what pleases Me, and hold fast My covenant, even to them I will give in My house and within My walls a place and a name better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off” (Is 56:3-5)

This is what our Lord said: “But He (Jesus) said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.” (Mt 19:11, 12)

The worst thing is to live a life of regret. The truth is that a business career cannot satisfy your soul. The money you make and the fame you get do not give you peace and joy forever. Even your husband or your child cannot satisfy your soul. Only Jesus can do that. But this is the truth: To be a wife and a mother is more rewarding than any promotion in any office in any country. Wives and mothers be encouraged today! And you, if you are single and ‘too old’ to have children, then consider adoption. A baby somewhere in this world needs your love.

May the Holy Spirit direct your path! May the Holy Spirit help you to choose the right thing at the right time! Be blessed! In Jesus name!

PRAYER REQUEST

Richmond and Don

I took this picture about ten years ago. My husband, Dr. R. Leigh with his spiritual father, Dr. Don Crum who is the special guest at the dedication ceremony of our church on the 19th of December, 2015. Please pray that the heavens will open, that the Holy Spirit will freely move in our midst and that God shall be glorified in all things we say or do! Also pray for safe journey and stay here in Warri, for all our guests! Thank you dear intercessors! God bless you! Jesus is Lord!

THIS IS THE TIME TO RECOVER ALL!

 

But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. So David inquired of the Lord, saying: “Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?” And God answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all” (1Samuel 30:6-8)

 

This is one of the most difficult times for David, the future king of Israel. He was rejected by the Philistines as a soldier. He came home to Ziklag to discover that he has lost everything. The wicked Amalekites took away his wives, his children and his property. Also, everything belonging to his soldiers was all gone. The people were so grieved and angry that they wanted to stone David, their leader. The word ‘grieved’ in Hebrew means to become bitter and rebellious. May God help you not to become bitter and rebellious during the trials of life!

What does David do in this situation? What will you do?

 

The Bible says that he wept until he had no more tears. After that, he gets up and he ‘strengthens himself in the Lord his God’. In Hebrew, this word means to be encouraged, to help, to play the man, to prevail, to be courageous, to lean on another who is stronger and become strong again. This is David’s secret. This is the secret of the saints in the history of Christianity. When difficult times come, they run towards God and pray! They do not backslide; they do not run to the world for false encouragement. They run to God, they worship and pray and so, they are saved!  David runs towards ‘The Lord his God’. The names of God here are: Jehovah and Elohim. The meaning of ‘Jehovah’ is ‘I AM’. He is the self-existing One; the covenant God of Israel, the personal God of His people.  Elohim is the God of Genesis, the God who created all things. Elohim has to power to change the circumstances, to grant a new beginning and to make all things new.

 

David believes that God loves him, that He cares! Alone, rejected, and in trouble, David ran to God! Be careful: in difficult times the devil will attack you with doubt and confusion. He will point you to the wrong direction. The devil wants you to doubt the love and faithfulness of God. He will push you to run and run without any vision or destination. You shall be attacked with fear and discouragement! But do like David: run to God and pray. Ask for wisdom. God will answer you. His Word is final. It is not what your doctor, your bank manager, your boss or any other man says to you. It is what God says! That is final!  Defeat discouragement! Pick up the broken pieces! Is there fresh trial? God supplies fresh, more abundant, grace! There is a difference between a strong man and a strengthened man! Even if you are weak, lean on Jesus and receive strength. Be filled with the Holy Spirit and so you shall become strong!

 

This is the lowest point for David, just before the ascending to the throne! The true king David emerges!  Sorrow and pain do not last forever. Labor is not forever. Soon, the baby shall be born and the mother shall rejoice!! This is the royal way of the Cross. Embracing the pain of brokenness, accepting the risk of humility, thru the tears of holiness, God will lead you from tragedy to triumph. This is His Word for you today: “Pursue the enemy, overtake those losers and, without fail, recover all! God is with you! You can do it! For the glory of God! In Jesus name,  amen!”