TAKE CAREFUL NOTICE OF THE PLACE

 

“When he (Boaz) gets ready to go to sleep, take careful notice of the place where he lies down. Then go, uncover his legs, and lie down beside him. He will tell you what you should do. Ruth replied to Naomi, “I will do everything you have told me to do” (Ru 3:4, 5)

 

Naomi came back to Bethlehem as a bitter and disappointed woman. Ruth, her Moabite daughter in law followed her back home. Behind the scenes, God directs Ruth to glean grains on the field of Boaz, a relative of Elimelech, Naomi’s late husband. When Ruth comes back with a sack of grains telling Naomi about Boaz, Naomi suddenly becomes hopeful. This is the first time that she utters godly words of blessings: ‘The Lord bless him!” (Ru 2:20). The mercy of God is greater than the anger. The spell of bitterness starts to tear away from her soul. She acknowledges the long time kindness of Boaz. She forgot about this man and the authority he has to change their lives. Ruth also tells Naomi that Boaz counseled her to work only in his field. Naomi confirms the wisdom of Boaz in telling Ruth to stay only in his field where she can be protected from sexual predators. “It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, and that people do not meet you in any other field.” (Ru 2:22). The command to stay in a particular place will test Ruth if she obeys his word or not. Going away from his field will mean sin, trespass and rebellion. We know that Ruth obeyed the counsel of both Boaz and Naomi and stayed in that field until the end of the harvest. This submission was a great point scored with Boaz when he decided to marry her. (This is a great lesson for them who plan to marry: if a single sister submits to her spiritual mother or other godly sisters, she will easily submit later to her husband. A rebellious single woman will not make a good wife)

 

The story continues. Suddenly Naomi is happy and she thinks of a way to bless her faithful daughter in law. She prepares Ruth for a possible marriage with Boaz. She tells her to dress well, to perfume herself and to go in the night to meet with Boaz, who sleeps in the open air in his field guarding his harvest. Naomi tells Ruth to go and to propose marriage to Boaz. This proposal is not a lustful manipulating act. It is based on a Jewish law. Naomi warns her to ‘take careful notice of the place where he lies down’. She should go there. She was to lift the blanket that covers his feet and lie down there waiting for him to wake up. Then he will tell her what to do.

 

This was a very dangerous assignment for a single woman, even a Moabite. It was dark and there were other workers sleeping on the field. If she went to lie down at the feet of another man, tragedy could have happened. Naomi tells her to mark the place where Boaz sleeps. She should lie down at the very spot where he lies down. The word ‘lie down’ appears two times in that sentence. In Hebrew it means to lie down to rest, to sleep, for sexual activity or death. The risk Ruth is taking is great. If Boaz was not a man of God, he could have taken advantage of Ruth who was alone, ‘available’, lying at his feet. Ruth is a woman of God. Ruth has faith in the word of Naomi. She promised to do ‘everything’ Naomi told her to do. As you know, Boaz too was a man of God and he decides to cover her with his ‘blanket’ of authority in marriage. The story ends well, thank God!

 

What are the lessons for those who plan to marry, especially for the single sisters? To marry well is risky. The devil will fight ‘a haven made marriage’. You need faith, wisdom, love and courage. Dear sister, to identify the very man who shall be your husband is risky. To submit to that man alone is hard. To be ready ‘to lie down’ were ‘he lies down’ is not easy. To agree to rest with him, to sleep with him, to be sexually intimate only with him, ‘until death do you part’, that is hard work. You need God to help you! No woman can submit to her husband unto death except she is born again and Spirit filled. No man is able to love and protect his wife unto death except he is born again and Spirit filled! Selah!

 

Boaz stands for our Lord Jesus Christ. Ruth stands for us the worshippers, the Church and the Bride of Christ. Mary of Bethany sat down at the feet of Jesus to listen to His Word. Her sister rebuked her for that. The former prostitute came to sit down at the feet of Jesus to anoint them with oil. If she made the mistake to do the same at the feet of another man in the room, she could have been insulted and rejected. John saw the resurrected Christ and fell down at His feet. He was afraid but Jesus laid His hands on him, encouraged him and lifted him up.

 

The place at the feet of Jesus is a special, holy and unique place. It is a place where you hear God’s Word free from the anxieties of life. It is a place of intimate worship. It is a place where you die to the world so that you live for Christ alone! It is a place where Jesus Himself will protect you from the insults, intimidation and rejection of men. It is a place where His love covers you. It is a place of revelation, of service and of strength to do ministry. It is a place where two become one. It is a place of prophetic new beginning. It is the place where God’s promises come true. Boaz proposed marriage to Ruth at mid night. The place at the feet of Jesus is the place of mid night mystery and romance. Your marriage to Jesus and to your Boaz starts at that very place. Mark that place well! Refuse any other voice to go astray! Seek the place thru fasting, prayers, tears and worship. Go there! Stay there!  And you shall find your greatest treasure your soul shall desire. Marry well! And worship the Lord!

mary-at-jesus-feet

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GOD IS GREATER THAN MY PRAYERS

‘I will answer them before they even call to Me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!’ (Is 65:24)

We are living in our new beautiful pastor’s house for more than a year. We are very grateful to God. When we moved in last year my husband explained to me that the plumber made a mistake and there shall be no hot water in the kitchen. There was a heater in the store next to the kitchen but no pipe to connect it to the tap. He said that to connect the pipe it means breaking the wall and that will not be nice. Of course I could have liked hot water in the kitchen but I told him ‘no problem’. This is my general strategy: I pray for my needs and I wait for God to answer in His own time and His own way. Once I pray, I never complain or worry. Since then I only use the tap for cold water. I have a kettle by the side and if I need to wash the dishes I boil the water with it. No problem, really. I got used to I. I even forgot about the hot water. (Let me say this… I live in Nigeria since 1980 and I have learned many good things from the people here who are very creative in times of need. As we say in Nigeria ‘dis na small tin… No wahala!)

This morning Bro C who is a plumber and a member of our church came to repair something. My husband asked him if anything can be done about the hot water in the kitchen. To our surprise he told us that the hot water is working in the kitchen since last year. That he found a way to add the pipe without breaking the wall. He said he told Tali about it… We put on the heater, waited few minutes and behold! We have both cold and hot water in the kitchen! Praise the Lord!

God really surprised me this morning! God is not only powerful but so wonderful and kind. I can’t believe that God blessed us (me in particular) with the gift of hot and cold water in the kitchen tap since September 2015 and I did not know about it! May this testimony be an encouragement to all who pray for a long time about something. God may have answered your prayer but you have not ‘collected’ it yet! The answer is in ‘transit’ with your address on it. The answer to your prayer may be behind and not ahead. From time to time check your life. Give God thanks for answered prayers even if you do see the answer with your eyes. What was called impossible in the past may be possible today! Delay is not denial! Delayed joy is even greater joy! All glory to God!

hot-water-in-my-kitchen

(In the picture: hot water flowing from my kitchen tap)

I SEE THE LORD

“I see the Lord, I see the Lord
Exalted high upon the worship
Of the people of the earth
I see the Lord, I see the Lord
My eyes have seen the King
The Lamb upon the throne
Who reigns forever more

The train of his robe
Fills the temple
A cloud of heavenly worshipers
Surrounding His throne
We join with them now crying
“Holy, holy is the Lamb
The Lamb alone”

Forever and ever, Forever and ever
Forever and ever, Forever and ever…”

malia-1

HOW A MAN SHOULD TREAT A WOMAN (2)

 

The love story between Boaz and Ruth is worth studying and imitating. This is my testimony: I am a child of God, a woman of God, a wife, a mother of three and a grandmother of six. My husband and I are happily married for 42 years. He is very much like Boaz. Each time I read of a true godly love story my heart beats faster with joy and gratitude because God makes ‘all things beautiful in His own time’. Boaz is a wonderful example of a prince, a godly gentleman, a man most single girls dream to marry one day.

 

  1. A GODLY HUSBAND IS SENSITIVE TO THE PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL NEEDS OF HIS WIFE

Let’s see how a man must treat a woman to win her heart. Early in the morning Boaz comes to his field and he greets his workers in the name of the Jehovah. He says: ‘The Lord (Jehovah) be with you’. They answered back: ‘The Lord (Jehovah) bless you’. This must have impressed Ruth. In her native country Moab all the ‘big men’ are too big to personally come to their fields to supervise the work. The unbelievers make a practice to ignore poor people. They do not greet or bless their workers in the name of the Lord. They are too ‘big’ for that. All wealthy unbelievers are bossy. Jesus said this: “You know that the rulers of the unbelievers lord it over them and their superiors act like tyrants over them” (Mt 20:25; ISV). Here Boaz proves to be a man of God. He knows his workers well and has a good relationship with them. They appreciate and respect him and are happy with their ‘conditions of labor’. Boaz is a wealthy man ‘of standing’ but also godly humble man. He is friendly with his workers but he is still their boss. Ruth discovers that she was working for a man who fears God, who is humble and kind enough to care for his laborers but secure in himself to know that he is in charge.

 

Boaz came to the field to supervise his workers. It was ‘a business trip’. As he scanned the field with his eyes he quickly saw a new worker, a foreign looking woman who was gleaning at the back of the field. He immediately asked his foreman: ‘Whose young woman is that?’ He was informed that she was the Moabites who followed Naomi back home. Apparently he heard of her. He was told how ‘Aunty Naomi’ came back from Moab as a poor sad widow. She was followed by her Moabite daughter in law, also a widow. The news was all over the city of Bethlehem. He must have pondered on their fate before that morning when he discovers Ruth gleaning in his field.

 

Boaz knows that as a close relative he has some responsibility in helping them. For others, the responsibility to help a poor relative is seen as a seriously unwelcomed burden. But not so for Boaz! He is a truly fearless, kind and generous man. He does not waste time at all. He approaches Ruth and instructs her to stay in his field, following his servant girls. He tells her that he has commanded his men not to ‘touch’ her inappropriately. He tells her that she can come to his shade and drink water freely. We see that Boaz is very sensitive to her needs. He imagines that as a single woman, as a poor foreigner looking for food, she must be scared of ‘sexual harassment’. The truth is that Ruth is in a very vulnerable position, alone in the fields. The only person who knows her is Naomi, who is old and poor. She knows that the Jews hate the Moabites because of a long troubled history between them.

 

What Ruth needs is protection, food, water and shelter. She also needs encouragement. Boaz knows her fears and he openly and lovingly encourages her at their first encounter. He does not ‘play safe’. He is not afraid that his kindness may be taken for granted. He is not afraid of what men may say about him. As a rich man he could have ignored her. But he does not ignore, oppress, manipulate or take advantage of Ruth. Boaz is a symbol of Christ. He is straightforward, confident, wise, gentle, encouraging and friendly from the very beginning. He is kind. He is responsible. He is godly. He is a good communicator. It looks that for Boaz, it was love at first sight. But he patiently waits praying to know the will of God. As you know, he eventually marries her.  This is truly impressive!

 

Any single sister will fall in love with a man who is truly born again, whose identity in rooted Christ, who is hard working, strong and friendly, romantic, kind and happy in the same time… (And a little wealth is not bad too…)… May God provide a Boaz for each Ruth in this world who prays for her dream marriage! In Jesus name, amen!

Biblical Scene

 

 

HOW TO DEAL WITH YOUR JERICHO

 

Today, Pastor (Mrs) S L Leigh preached a sermon titled ‘How to deal with your Jericho’. The scriptures were taken from the Book of Hebrews 11 and Joshua 6.  “By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days” (Heb 11:30). The story of how the wall of Jericho fell is not just history. The spiritual lessons can be applied in spiritual warfare as you trust God for victory and for a great testimony. The city was shut because of the people of God. Faith is the instrument of victory! Faith is the fruit that comes from trusting God’s Word with all your heart. If you ‘marry’ the Bible, if you become one with the Word of God, your spirit shall produce ‘a baby’ called ‘Faith’. Any faith that is not based on the Word of God is fake and it shall fail in times of need. God promised the victory at the very beginning (Josh 6:2). God commanded Joshua that His people have to walk round Jericho a total of 13 times in seven days. This command seems foolish but they needed to obey it by faith. Everybody was involved in the work of God: the soldiers, the priests and the rest people. The priests lifted up and carry the ark on their shoulders. The ark is a symbol of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Faith needs to be tested. True faith needs to be accompanied by works (Jam 2:14-26). God blesses faith and obedience.

 

To walk round the city for one week is not easy. Please observe that there was no change in the wall, no crack at all until that final moment when the shout of faith went up to heaven. This is a great lesson: delay is not denial! Waiting time is not wasted time! You continue to read the Bible, pray, go to church and serve God the best way you can. Nothing may change in your circumstances until God’s moment! Keep your faith! The victory came suddenly! It was a unique miraculous total victory! “When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city” (Josh 6:20). In Hebrew, the word ‘collapsed’ means to fall down flat, to go down to the bottom, to go underground.  It means that the wall was ‘swallowed’ by the earth. There was no rubble to climb on top. It was like the God’s judgment upon Korah when the ground opened its mouth to swallow the enemies of God (Nu 16:31). The only house which remained standing was the house of Rehab, a pagan woman who became a hero of faith. The enemies laughed and mocked the people of God as they went round and round Jericho. But their end was destruction. Nobody could save them.

 

Child of God, be encouraged today! Jericho represents a long standing problem that has been blocking your way. It is a gate of hell that cannot prevail in stopping your progress. The wait may be long and the work may be hard. Trust God who, in Christ Jesus, has promised to lead you from victory to victory. God has opened a door of healing, of deliverance and of prosperity that no one can shut! Shout, for the Lord has given you the long waited blessing! Give Him all the glory! Worship the Lord!

THE VICTORY OF LIGHT

HAPPY WITH CHURCH TONIGHT

The prayer meeting was good but difficult. We were reminded today that there is a price for intimacy with God few churches are willing to pay. But thank God most of us were willing. At the beginning of the service we prayed and praised God ‘as usual’. The Holy Spirit ‘came down’ but remained unmoved, like a cloud in the ceiling. For other churches that level of anointing may be more than enough. But for us in Father’s House it was not. Since this church was born it is our passionate desire that the Holy Spirit comes down to us and feels free to move in our midst; to do what He wants to do without any conditions. We want God to be our Father and Friend and not just a ‘passing by’ visitor.

 

The hindrance tonight was ‘a demonic blanket’ of religion placed over the hearts of the people. Some struggled to be free. But many stayed passive waiting for God to ‘start the show and to perform’. This passivity grieved the Spirit. Thank God for the revelation. Immediately we chose to actively humble ourselves. We had to chastise ourselves. Religion tells people to be spectators. This is how the evil spirit of religion talks: ‘Let the worship leader and the choir do their magic. I am here to enjoy myself’. The congregation stays passive. The leaders say to themselves: “I am already a leader. I cannot be demoted from my position. I am too big to pray. I am too big to worship. How can I kneel down in the presence of all these youths and children?” This religious pride grieves the Holy Spirit. He then refuses to move in our midst. But we cannot argue our case. We can only surrender and plead mercy. Our hearts are like the fire place. The fire comes from God, from heaven, but it only comes on the place prepared by men. If fire falls on the table or on the bed, it will burn down the house. We needed to prepare the fire place. Without the fire place, the fire will not come down.

 

Thank God we remembered that our salvation and every blessing we have received are all because of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ who died that we may live! This grace is the un-merited favor of God. We shouted… ‘Grace…Grace… Grace…’ The grace of repentance was released. We interceded with the words of this song:

 

“Turn my eyes to see Your face

As all my fears surrender

Hold my heart within this grace

Where burden turns to wonder…”

 

We all knelt down or sat on the floor praying and weeping. We humbled ourselves and pleaded for mercy. Little by little the atmosphere changed. People wept openly repenting of sins. We interceded for this land. Then God graciously gave us a word. We did not have the liberty to stop the anointing and preach. But we received a word. It is enough for now. Like hungry people we ate it. We believed that prophetic word: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (Jn 1:5). The light of God from heaven shines over this land: Warri, Effurun and environs. The darkness is ‘older’ than the light on this land. The darkness is the ‘landlady’ of this land. Our parents and grandparents only knew darkness. This Darkness reacted and fought the light. It tried to stop, to scatter, to arrest, to hinder and to slander the light. But the efforts of the wicked darkness failed completely. We experienced this battle this evening. We are witnesses that light overpowered the darkness! Halleluiah!

 

We saw the light shining in the midst of the darkness, lifting the flag of victory over a land cursed by demons, rejected by men but loved by God. This land Nigeria belongs to God! As the light started to shine even in the service, our weepy eyes began to see the Lord, high and lifted up, seated on His throne. What a relief! What a change! Baptized by His presence our eyes and hearts rejoiced at this glimpse of heaven where all cry holy. Yes, the devil failed to destroy the prayer meeting. The worship shall continue forever! We sang:

 

“I see the Lord, I see the Lord

Exalted high upon the worship

Of the people of the earth

I see the Lord, I see the Lord

My eyes have seen the King

The Lamb upon the throne

Who reigns forever more

 

The train of His robe

Fills the temple

A cloud of heavenly worshipers

Surrounding His throne

We join with them now crying

“Holy, holy is the Lamb

The Lamb alone”

 

Forever and ever, Forever and ever

Forever and ever, Forever and ever…”

lighthouse

MEDICAL INFO TO GIVE GLORY TO GOD

“I praise You God because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Ps 139:14)

About six months ago I broke my leg. I am healed now. I am a child of God and a medical doctor by profession. These days I am so much more grateful to God for His miracles of healing. I can now walk without pain or limping. I want to stir your minds and hearts to worship God even more by considering the complexities of the human body. This information is taken from the medical books. Read this with a worshiping heart…

Every second more than 100,000 chemical reactions take place in your brain. It has 10 billion nerve cells to record what you see and hear. That information comes to your brain through the miracle of the eye, which has 100 million receptor cells (rods and cones) in each eye. Your retina also has four other layers of nerve cells. Altogether the system makes the equivalent of 10 billion calculations a second before an image even gets to the optic nerve. Once it reaches your brain, the cerebral cortex has more than a dozen separate vision centers in which to process it. Your tear ducts supply a bacteria-fighting fluid to protect your eyes from infection. The tears that fight irritants differ from the tears of sadness, which contain 24 percent more proteins. That’s not to mention the miracle of the ear and how it translates sound waves into meaningful speech and sounds; or of touch, taste, and smell.

Part of your brain regulates voluntary matters, such as muscle coordination and thought processes. Other parts of the brain control involuntary processes, such as digestion, glandular secretions, the rate at which your heart beats, etc. How did it accidentally happen that your body could speed up your heart rate to the proper speed to meet increased oxygen demand when you exercise and slow it down when that need is met? One square inch of your skin has about 625 sweat glands, 19 feet of blood vessels, and 19,000 sensory cells. Working in coordination with your brain, it maintains your body at a steady 98.6 degrees under all weather conditions.

Your stomach has 35 million glands which secrete the right amounts of juices to allow your body to digest food and convert it into stored energy for your muscles. To avoid digesting itself, your stomach produces a new lining every three days. Your body is an efficient machine: to ride a bicycle for an hour at ten miles per hour requires only 350 calories, the energy equivalent of only three tablespoons of gasoline.

You have more than 200 bones, each shaped for its function, connected intricately to one another through lubricated joints that cannot be perfectly duplicated by modern science. More than 500 muscles connect to these bones. Some obey willful commands; others perform their duty in response to unconscious commands from the brain. They all work together to keep us alive. The heart muscle itself beats over 103,000 times each day, pumping your blood cells a distance of 168 million miles.

Coupled with that, your lungs automatically breathe in the right amount of life-giving oxygen (about 438 cubic feet each day), which just happens to be mixed in the right proportions (about 20% oxygen, 80% nitrogen) in our atmosphere. Each of the other vital organs and glands in your body works in complex conjunction with the others to sustain life, which science can’t explain or create.

I haven’t even mentioned the complexity of human cells. Listen to this: A single human chromosome (DNA molecule) contains 20 billion bits of information. How much is that? What would be its equivalent, if it were written down in an ordinary printed book in modern human language? Twenty billion bits are the equivalent of about three billion letters. If there are approximately six letters in an average word, the information content of a human chromosome corresponds to about 500 million words. If there are about 300 words on an ordinary page of printed type, this corresponds to about two million pages. If a typical book contains 500 such pages, the information content of a single human chromosome corresponds to some 4,000 volumes….

WORSHIP THE LORD!!!!!!