Wednesday, September 21, 2011


"To this John replied, "A man can receive only what is given him from
heaven." - John 3:27

"God never gave you that property," said my friend who had entered my
life at a time of great turmoil. These were hard words at the time. I
was separated in my marriage, and my financial resources were drying up
on all fronts. It was like rowing a boat with five big holes in it, not
knowing which one to try to plug. My business, my personal finances, my
marriage, all seemed to be drying up at the same time. My friend had
made an observation about some land we had purchased years before. His
point was that I had acquired something that God had never given me. In
other words, it was not a Spirit-directed purchase that was blessed by
God. It was not a by-product of God's blessing; it was a source of sweat
and toil born out of the wrong motives of the heart.
When John's disciples came to him and asked if he was the Messiah, he
responded that he was not and that one could only be what God had given
him to be. He was a forerunner to the Messiah, and he was fulfilling a
call God had given him. We cannot acquire and become anything that God
has not given us. God gave John that anointing. We must ask whether we
are trying to be or trying to acquire anything God has not given us.
When we seek to acquire anything that God has not given us, we can
expect God to respond to us like any good father would to a child. He
will remove that which the child is not supposed to have.
David understood this principle. When he was preparing to furnish the
temple, he told God in his prayer, "Everything comes from You, and we
have given You only what comes from Your hand" (1 Chron. 29:14b).

Monday, September 12, 2011


"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my
trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul." -Psalm 143:8

Two of the greatest inventions of my time have been the laptop computer
and e-mail. The laptop means I no longer have to stay in one place to be
productive in my business life. E-mail has allowed me to stay connected
to people all around the world with the touch of a button.
My greatest frustration is when either of these does not work. Sometimes
e-mail cannot be used because I can't get a connection. Sometimes I
cannot use my laptop because I have not properly charged it, and then
the charge runs out while I am on an airplane. Both of these situations
mean I am unable to tap into the resource that allows me to fulfill my
calling in my work to the fullest.
The morning time with God is much like these situations. God pours His
Word into my spirit, and I am recharged. This recharging has an
important effect on my day. It allows me the greatest opportunity to
hear the small voice that directs my steps. If I refuse to "get
connected," I risk following my own ways of fulfilling the duties of my
day. It sets forth the opportunity for God to speak into my spirit what
He desires for me each day. It allows me to focus on God's purposes, not
The only way to know someone is to spend time with him or her. The only
way to discern the voice of another is to hear that person's voice.
David, the author of this psalm, was a warrior, king, and businessman.
He understood this principle of connecting with God in the morning. His
morning allowed him to connect with God's love, renew his trust in Him,
and hear His directions for his life. Shouldn't you and I do the same?

Monday, September 5, 2011


No doubt, there are so many situations that can trouble the heart of many in marriage relationships in our world today. No matter how strong we are, there are times when our strength seems not enough to bear the weight of the burdens, problems, challenges or vicissitudes of life that are certain to confront us in this world. Is it in the area of our finance, child-bearing, in-laws palaver, way-ward husband, quarrelsome wife, childlessness, worrisome child, sickness, period of unemployment, general economic downturn, etc.? Infact, it sometimes looks as if we are so overwhelmed to the point that we fear being ultimately consumed. Sometimes, it’s as if we are the only one in the whole world that seems to have been singled out for troubles!
However, the Lord would not want us to be troubled by troubles. “Let not your heart be troubled” is a demand upon our strength of character. It’s you who should not “let” [allow, permit] your heart be troubled. This means that you have the power, as well as the choice, to “let” or “not let” your heart to be troubled by troubles! Jesus here seems to acknowledge that troubles will surely approach unto you [your heart] one way or the other; but He leaves you with the option to open the door of your heart unto it or not. Actually, He categorically told us that we are going to have troubles as long as we remain kicking upon this earth (Jn. 16:33). No man or woman or marriage is wholesomely immune to this common visitation; the only difference comes in their varieties, timings and dimensions.
Why did the Lord say that we should not let our “heart” be troubled? Why the heart? Because our heart is the “Central Processing Unit” of our life. Our heart is the fountain or spring of every issue of our life (Prov. 4:23). What ever troubles our heart troubles our whole life – our word, our thought, our actions, our disposition, our reaction, our health, our peace, our joy, our finance, etc. God knows that our heart will be negatively affected and heavily weighed down if we accommodate even the least of trouble in it. He did not configure our heart with the tiniest compartment for residency of troubles! Apparently, in the way we were made, our heart and troubles are incompatible; indeed, antagonistic! So, He has full audacity to warn us not to open our heart to be troubled by troubles.
We’ll do ourselves a great good by heeding this heavenly warning. It’s to our benefit so to do; otherwise, the consequences are debilitating – heart-ache, high blood pressure, broken-heart, relationship break-down, hypertension, loss of peace, loss of appetite, sorrow of heart, hopelessness, suicidal tendencies, etc.
There will always be troubles! They will visit you [not a curse]! They visit everybody (1Cor. 10:13). Don’t let the Devil cajole you into assuming you are the only one or that yours is the worst. You may have to leave this world to be absolutely free from them [that is, if you aren’t actually going to hell!]! Are you ready to go now? If not, you let not your heart be troubled!
Believe in God
But could we be un-troubled by troubles on our own strength? Far be it. We cannot on our own withstand and stand against the forays of this world’s many and diverse challenges or troubles. We definitely need external and definitely superior help to be able to “stand”, having done all that we could.
Jesus told His disciples not to be troubled, and He showed them the spiritual wherewithal, the first of which is:
“Believe in God”, says the Lord.
He wants us to have faith in the ability and will of God to be our Help in the times of trouble. He wants us to in faith lift our eyes unto the Lord whenever troubles come knocking at the door of our hearts rather than holing them in there (Psa. 121). He wants us to focus on the God who’s far bigger than all our problems, whatever they may be, rather than focusing on the troubles themselves. Do you really believe that God is bigger than all your problems, whatever the shade and shape? The Angel asked, “Is anything too hard for the LORD”? (Gen. 18:14). Sir/Ma, do you really believe your distressing circumstances of life cannot be too hard for the Lord of the universe to resolve? If so, why carrying it on your own, rather than casting it upon Him, just as His word encouraged, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1Pet. 5:5)? Why pine away under the unbearable weight of life’s adversities, whereas you serve a Living God? Only unfaithlessness or unbelief could be the reason. Ask God to help your unbelief right now (Mk. 9:24) and, henceforth, start living by your faith in God (Hab. 2:4).
Believe [also] in Jesus
Believe in God, believe also in me [Jesus], the Lord says. Why the added-on prescription to “also” believe in Jesus? After all, Jesus once said “I and my Father are one” (Jn. 10:30). Why the separate need to believe in God [the Father] and God [the Son]?
First, this statement makes it clear that it is possible to “believe” in God and not to believe in Jesus. How can this be, one may ask? You too consider it, is it every one out there who profess to believe in God that also believe in Jesus? There are many religions in the world that teaches their adherents to have faith in God but which do actually teach the same souls that Jesus is neither God nor the Saviour, and so it does not worth believing in Him and worshipping Him as such.
Why the need to believe in Jesus by the way? What’s there to believe in Him for? It’s because He’s the only Way to the Father. Nobody comes to the Father except by Him (Jn. 14:6). No salvation (redemption, deliverance, lifeline, help, etc.) except in His name [Acts 4:12]. Everything God had done for us had been in and through Him. In Him all things are consisted, including our help in times of troubles (Col. 1:12-17). He is the One that bore our griefs and carried our sorrows. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him (Isa. 53:4-5). He’s the One who had overcame the world [and its troubles] for us (Jn. 16:33). It is in and with Him that God had given us all things freely (Rom. 8:32). Asking God the Father for intervention in the time of trouble can only avail if channeled through Him (Jn. 14:13-14).
It therefore becomes understandable why we not only need to believe in God the Father, but also the need to believe in God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
The summary of all these is that troubles will surely come visiting your home. We need not take it as something strange or peculiar. It’s the lot of all the living, in diverse shade and shape. However, as God’s own children, here’s our Father assuring us that we could live above whatever trouble by our faith – in God, and in Jesus. Through our faith, we can overcome all the troubles in the world (1Jn. 5:4-5). When trouble comes, all you need do in faith is to call upon your heavenly Father, Who’s ever prepared and willing to answer you and, in His love and mercy, intervene and deliver you (Jer. 33:3, Psa. 34:15-22).
If you will heed this advice from the Lord, His peace shall surely reign in your heart and home. The strength of adversity shall surely fizzle out, and new song shall ultimately feel your mouth!