The father’s needs.

The moment a child is born, the instincts for survival kicks in and they begin to learn how to get what they need in this world. It’s in our nature to make our needs a priority and not care about other people, we just want what we think we deserve.

After David died, his son Solomon was crowned king and one of the first things he did was to build a house for God. When the building is being commissioned, Solomon sacrificed a thousand burnt offering upon the alter in the new temple. God was impressed and he asked Solomon to ask for anything and it will be granted unto him.

Solomon asked for wisdom to rule and lead the people that he reings over. God was pleased with him because Solomon asked for wisdom to lead his(God’s) people and promised to add unto him the wealth and riches he did not ask for (2 Chronicles 1:6-12). That is the right way to get all the things we need in life, by making the needs of God a priority then he in turn will meet our needs and even exceed our expectations.

Jesus also showed us the way in Matthew 6:31-33 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Living our lives based on our needs alone will only lead to a vain and frustrated life. That was the point Solomon got to eventually that made him declare in Ecclesiastes 1:2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. His soul had been drawn away from God who is the source of his wealth and he no longer cares about the things God cares about. That is the point life looses it’s meaning and it’s essence.

All we need to do is trust in his ability to do exceedingly and abundantly above all we can ever ask for or need and put the father’s needs ahead of ours. Shalom!.

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Sunday Nuggets: Vol. 33

Matthew 5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Despite several campaigns that warns us to cut back our salt intake, we still cannot ignore the fact that there are a lot of health benefits to be derived from adding salt to our food. It is still the best type of seasoning in existence and enhances the taste of meals that it is added to. Most food will be bland and tasteless if we do not add salt to it.

When the Bible refers to us as the salt of the earth, what it means is that the we are supposed to provide an aroma that will give meaning to our world and therefore draw others for Christ. People should not be surprised when you say you are a Christian, they should see God in you long before you open your mouth to tell them.

It goes on to say in Matthew 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. The whole world lies in darkness and we can see it with our very eyes with several happenings around the world, we are supposed to be the ones that provides light that guides people to a place of safety in God.

That is why we cannot afford to to lose our taste so that our lives continue to produce a sweet smelling savour pleasing and acceptable to God. We must let our light shine so bright such that men will be drawn to the source of the light which is God the maker of heaven and earth. Shalom!.

Allegiance.

When you are a nationality of a particular country, you are required to constantly pledge your allegiance in order to show commitment and dedication. That is why we have things like singing the national anthem and reciting the pledge. It shows our willingness to serve and uphold the integrity of our nations as long as it is in our power to do so.

When we receive Christ as our Lord and savior, we become part of another ‘country’, a heavenly one where your culture, language or skin color does not matter but we are all God’s children and therefore are required to pledge our allegiance to the one true God who is the maker of all the earth and all that resides in it. It is like being of dual citizenship and one does not in any way take away from another.

How then do we show our allegiance to God and his kingdom? By loving him, obeying his commands and being a good representative of his kingdom. You cannot do one without the other, it is not possible to claim that you love God without obeying his commands and when you do, then you will be showing a good example of what a child of God should be like.

The purpose is to draw others unto him and therefore bring them also into the kingdom, that is our most important assignment. After his ressurection, Jesus gave this charge to his disciples in Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations; baptize them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit;

The question to you is, to whom do you pledge your allegiance? Shalom!.

Sunday Nuggets: Vol. 32

John 4:31-34

In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

The disciples were genuinely concerned for Jesus, he had been on a journey and must have been very tired. Traveling in those days is definitely not as luxurious as it is now therefore it is understandable if they feel he should have been wanting to prioritize food and rest having travelled from Judea and making a stop in Samaria on their way to Galilee.

They had left him for a while in order to get food in town and the time he had was an opportunity to reach a people that would have been difficult for them to reach with the message of salvation due to an age long cultural animosity. The Samaritans and the Jews don’t get along so it took a genuine conviction from one of them whom Jesus told all that has ever happened to her maritally even though they were meeting for the first time. Once she believed, she became the magnet that drew others in the community to Christ and eventually salvation.

Looking at it from this angle then you will understand Jesus perspective, he knew his comfort is never ever to be prioritised over the salvation of souls which is what he came to the earth for. Therefore, he got to work immediately not minding the tiredness he must be feeling in his body. The result he got was definitely more satisfying than any meat he could have taken.

There will genuine concerns that would want to distract us from our core assignments and make us choose comfort over impact. We must resist this fiercely relying on the power of the holy spirit to choose our priorities wisely. Thank God he doesn’t leave us without help, therefore there are doors he will not open unto us because he knows it is going to take our focus away from what is important. May we receive the grace to stay true to our calling. Shalom!.

A cry for help.

Life in every way can be compared to a rollercoaster in that it is full of ups and downs and several twists and turns. The only difference is that with a rollercoaster you can see the turns when approaching it and you can brace yourself for the ride. That is not possible in life, you will be thrown through steep curves without even realizing it was coming and with no time to brace yourself for impact.

That is why we all need Jesus, it is only his love and grace that can act as an insulator in those moments. It doesn’t mean you are suddenly immune to the tides of life, it just means you have a succour for your troubled soul and a rock to hide in so you are not swept away.

The writer of the popular hymn ‘rock of ages’ was caught in a storm and had to find shelter under a rock. It was there he got the inspiration to write the popular song. The first stanza says:

Rock of ages, cleft for me,

Let me hide myself in thee:

Let the water and the blood,

From thy riven side which flowed,

Be of sin the double cure,

Cleanse me from its guilt and power.

That was a cry for help, it is the kind of cry that God does not turn away from because it is an opportunity to prove himself as our Lord and savior. He pledged in Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

What bump has life thrown your way recently; an unexpected medical diagnosis, death of a loved one, a job loss or a divorce. Whatever it is, you do not have to go through it alone, cry out to the rock of ages today and he will be your refuge. Shalom!

Sunday Nuggets: Vol. 31

We have all been taught about how the devil was an angel of light and fell as a result of pride thinking he could exalt himself above what he was created to be (Isaiah 14:12-15). This would have made us avoid pride and all its associated vices at all cost. But what we still have a way of doing is thinking that we are bigger than our assignments.

When the first man was created, he was given a job to till the ground of the garden and nurture it, that has been the model for every man created after that. We have all been created for a specific assignment which becomes our purpose in life. We do not choose it, it is a calling which we must obey if we are going to live a fulfilled and meaningful life.

The problem arises when we look at what others are doing and we begin to feel insignificant in our own space. When that happens, we start to overreach and eventually leave our own assignment for something else we have not been created for.

This is a form of pride and it must be avoided at all cost. The devil is happy when we do that because he has made it his purpose to drag as many as possible away from God’s plan for their lives. That is why we must do all we can to make sure we stay in our place of assignment and be all we have been created to be.

It doesn’t mean we should not strive to be better but we must make sure what we are striving for is to be a better version of ourselves and not someone else. Shalom!.

Fire in his eyes.

There is a contrast in God’s personality we are all to be wary of, he is the all loving and all compassionate one but he is also the one with fire in his eyes and the one that can rule with fist of iron. Revelation 1:14 captures this well, His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;

The white as wool and white as snow shows his side that makes us approach his throne knowing that we are loved and accepted by him. But we must never take for granted his love and compassion because he has the all consuming fire in his eyes. This is not to scare us but to make sure we approach our relationship with God with fear and reverence.

Hebrews 12:28-29 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear; For our God is a consuming fire. That is the life that is required of us, he deserves nothing short of our awe and respect because he is GOD and there is none like him.

The angels recognize this and bow down before the throne in worship every single day, Revelation 7:11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God. Even the demons know and they tremble, James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

If they do, then we for whom God sent his only son to die should make sure all that we do is in fear and reverence to him because God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him (Psalms 89:7). Shalom!.

Sunday Nuggets: Vol. 30

Jeremiah 30:7-8

Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it. For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him:

There is a question we ask ourselves very often as Christians, ‘why does God allow me to go through tough times?’. We know he loves us so much, we know he cares about every details of our lives even to the minute ones, we know not one strand of hair of ours will not fall to the ground without his knowledge. That is why it baffles us so much when we we hit a brick wall and it seems there is no help in sight.

If you read through Jeremiah chapters 27, 28,29 and 30, you will understand that sometimes God allows you to go through time in captivity in order to hide and preserve you. Being taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon was the way he would ensure his people were not consumed.

I know that doesn’t fit right into our way of thinking, we can’t understand how captivity can lead to preservation, but we need to understand that God doesn’t do anything that does not fit into his divine plan. One thing we can be sure of is found in Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

We might not understand the routes he takes us through but we can be sure of our final destination, which is the fulfilment of his plan for our lives. And we can be assured that we are coming out of every captivity, he promised this to his people then in Jeremiah 29:10 For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. He fulfilled his promises then and he is making the same promise to you today, would you believe him? Shalom!.

The last card.

In playing the card game, several rules apply as to what you are to do during the game and how to go about winning but one thing is certain, once any of the players plays his last card, then the game is over and that particular player has won the game.

When Jesus was betrayed by Judas, the whole of hell must have erupted in joy thinking they have been able to derail God’s plan. Then he was taken and beaten up, made to drag his cross through the streets and finally crucified along with common theives. There must have been a party to celebrate his death because the devil must have thought he had won.

But then God still has a card to play and thankfully that was his last card and that is the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. How terrifying it must have been to the host of hell and how glorious it would have been in heaven when that earthquake happened and instead of death the graves were opened up. Matthew 27:50-52 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose. The graves could not hold on to the saints that night how much more impossible was it for them to hold on to the son of the most high God.

And that is the same way God holds the last card concerning every issues of your life. The enemy will try every trick possible to try to win and prevent your victory, but the game is not between you and him because God has you in the palm of his hands and since he has never lost a battle before, he is not going to start now with your own case.

That should get you to relax even though you feel boxed into a corner, you are not moved because you know God’s got you and only him alone has the final say. Shalom!.

Sunday Nuggets: Vol. 29

In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus struggled with coming to terms with the will of God for his life especially with what he will have to do to fulfill it. He was going to have to die in the most painful and shameful way and even though he was God in the flesh, he prayed that the cup of suffering should pass over him. Mark 14:35 And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.

We might not be called to die because Jesus paid that price on our behalf so we do not have to but there will be times in our lives that we will wish we can just live our lives on our own terms. That was why Jesus told his disciples in Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Being a Christian is not a walk in the park, it requires complete obedience even when you don’t understand why but you trust that he will not lead you astray. That is why Jesus was able to say at the end of his prayer in the garden in Mark 14:36b nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.

He was able to surrender his will to that of the father and that is the same thing that is required of us. Our will, our wants, our desires, our passion and indeed our lives must be handed over to God. But one thing we are sure of is this, whatever we give up will be returned to us in multiple folds and he will never place on us more than we can bear. Mark 10:29-30 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. Shalom!.