Speaking Forth the New Nigeria – A Proclamation

Speaking Forth the New Nigeria – A Proclamation

 

nigerian_flag

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21

By a prophet the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt, And by a prophet he was preserved. Hosea 12:13

By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. Hebrews 11:3

So Jesus answered and said to them, “ Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Mark 11: 22-23.

 

Fellow Nigerians and Friends of Nigeria Worldwide,

I am convinced that the best days of Nigeria are not behind Her but ahead of Her. These elections are only part of a larger plan God has been working out concerning this nation and we can all be assured of one thing, God always accomplishes His vision. He is both the Author and Finisher. Nigeria is not a conception of any man, though God used men to create the nation, God clearly rules and reigns in the affairs of men and nations. So as we go to the polls this weekend, please do not despair. This country will not fall or fail. This country will move on and become greater still. Can I ask you to join me in proclaiming good over this nation? I know it may appear simplistic, but the word of God clearly says that life and death are in the power of the tongue. This tells me that what we say is important and can be for good or bad.

I believe that if we all speak good to Nigeria, by the power vested by God in our words, Nigeria will turn and become a greater nation.

God gave me a perspective that completely blew my mind about Nigeria. I saw the nations from the heavens and a lot of so-called first world an advanced nations were in serious darkness. There were only small specks of light in these nations, but Nigeria from heaven’s perspective is a well-lit nation with large swathes of the country flooded with light! This is not natural light, but the True Light. The Light of God. So I am greatly encouraged by this and believe that Nigeria is somehow moving towards greatness and the issues confronting us today are just part of our growth pains and part of the process of us developing as a nation. Nigeria is destined by God for greatness. Our best days are ahead of us, not behind us.

Please join me in proclaiming these statements daily for as long as God gives you the grace and let’s see what God will do with our words.

  • God has a plan for Nigeria, it is a plan of good and not evil, to give us a hope and a future. Nigeria has a great and prosperous future!
  • I thank God that I am a Nigerian. God did not make a mistake making one. I know and trust His judgement.
  • God will extend peace to Nigeria during these elections like a river. There will be no violence in our land. We speak peace to Nigeria. We declare peaceful elections and we declare fair elections.
  • Nigeria will arise and shine and the glory of God will be seen upon us!
  • Let God arise over Nigeria and let His enemies and our enemies be scattered.
  • Nigerians will eat the fruit of Nigeria and foreigners will not cart away our fruit.
  • All Nigerians will know the peace and prosperity of God. All Nigerians will experience a lifting up.
  • Nigeria will be led by the righteous and just and equitable leaders.
  • Nigerians will dwell together in unity and God will command His blessings upon us!
  • Affliction shall not arise a second time. We will not go to war and we will not disintegrate.
  • There will be great rejoicing in our land and in our tents and in our homes.
  • We will be a celebrated nation. No longer shall we be scorned and despised, but we will be respected and celebrated. Nigeria will take Her place in the world and among the nations.
  • Nigeria will not fail!
  • Nigeria will boom! Our economy will boom. Our industries will boom. Our education system will boom. Our healthcare system will boom. Nigeria will boom!!!
  • The youth of Nigeria will find new expressions for their energy in creativity, technology and entrepreneurship.
  • Our youths will love righteousness.
  • They will be full of hope and their hope will not be dashed.
  • Our brightest minds will return and be part of the new Nigeria.
  • Nigeria will be free of corruption. We will have accountable leaders.
  • It is well with Nigeria. It is well with me.

 The Promise

For the mountains shall depart

And the hills be removed,

But My kindness shall not depart from you,

Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,”

Says the Lord, who has mercy on you.

“O you afflicted one,

Tossed with tempest, and not comforted,

Behold, I will lay your stones with colorful gems,

And lay your foundations with sapphires.

I will make your pinnacles of rubies,

Your gates of crystal,

And all your walls of precious stones.

All your children shall be taught by the Lord,

And great shall be the peace of your children.

In righteousness you shall be established;

You shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear;

And from terror, for it shall not come near you.

Indeed they shall surely assemble, but not because of Me.

Whoever assembles against you shall fall for your sake.

“Behold, I have created the blacksmith

Who blows the coals in the fire,

Who brings forth an instrument for his work;

And I have created the spoiler to destroy.

No weapon formed against you shall prosper,

And every tongue which rises against you in judgment

You shall condemn.

This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,

And their righteousness is from Me,”

Says the Lord

Isaiah 54:10 – end

“The Lord bless you and keep you;

The Lord make His face shine upon you,

And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,

And give you peace. Amen and Amen.

Pastor Charles and Abiodun Abraham

24th March 2015

Joseph a Steward of God – 2

1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.”

 

hotel-waiter

A steward is a trusted associate. One who can be depended upon to perform assigned tasks when commissioned. Imagine going into a fine dining restaurant with some eminent guests you have invited. Then the liveried waiter comes up welcomes you and sits you at your choice table, makes sure everyone is comfortable. Smiles, pleasantries and even some jokes and banter.

You immediately begin to think, I have selected the right place. He produces the menu, serves you some aperitif and gives you time to select your meals from the a’la carte menu. He comes back and takes your orders very meticulously, even double checks to ensure it’s all perfect. He disappears to get the meals and allows you to enjoy your company.

Then a few minutes later he arrives with the starters and it is all wrong. It’s not what was ordered. He completely messed up the order, he apologises profusely and goes back to amend the order. Comes back and serves the correct meals, then comes the mains and again it is all wrong. Mixed up and totally wrong in some cases. You by now have started regretting your choice of restaurant simply because you have a well behaved, courteous, but most incompetent steward. The steward is important.

Joseph the husband of Mary was not just a nice man, he was an effective steward. He stewarded Mary’s pregnancy, protected her, cared for her, took her from Nazareth to Bethlehem and got her there just in time to have the Baby. He looked for a place where they could stay, and when there was no room in the Inn, he made do with a manger. Mary delivered JESUS safely, thanks in part to Joseph’s faithfulness.

Then he had to raise Jesus to be the man CHRIST. He had to train him in the Torah, the ways of God, the skill of the carpenter’s trade. He did a fantastic job. He was faithful in stewarding baby Jesus till he became a man and could answer and fulfill his call as our Saviour and Redeemer. Scriptures testify of Jesus maturity.

One must never ignore what manner of man, Joseph was. He was so dependable that God entrusted His Son into his steady hands.
It is said in the bible that ‘Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.’
Another way of saying this is that stewards must be dependable. Trustworthy. Effective. Competent. Loyal.

One last point, as I reflected on Joseph, I discovered that all the Josephs in the bible were faithful stewards. Joseph the son of Jacob, faithful steward in Egypt, Joseph of Arithmathea, faithful steward of the body of Jesus Christ, Joseph also known as Barnabas, faithful steward of Paul’s calling and the revival in Antioch. Perhaps there is something about Josephs and stewardship.
I’m not sure if this is simply a coincidence or God is trying say something to us. Whatever it is, Joseph was a faithful steward.

Let’s Pray: Father thank you for highlighting Joseph to us. help us to grow in our stewardship and become more dependable and effective stewards to You and those you assign us care over, in Jesus name. Amen.

Consider Joseph the Steward

Joseph the Steward

Matthew 1:18-25 – 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.

family-prayer-st-joseph
Again it is quite easy to see that Joseph the son of Jacob was a steward. The dictionary describes a steward as ‘A person employed to manage or look after (another’s property).’ Joseph was a steward in Potiphar’s house, he was steward in the prison and eventually rose to be the chief steward over the resources of Egypt and managed a global crisis successfully. Stewards are very very important people.

Today, I want to continue my reflections of Joseph the husband of Mary, the Stepfather of Jesus Christ. Yes, Joseph the carpenter was a great steward. He was a steward in three main areas. I will examine each separately and draw some conclusions that we can apply to our lives.

Joseph was God’s steward. God had a most important project on the earth. It had to be executed in a specific time frame. It had to be done exactly as He planned it and nothing can go wrong. So God looked into the world and found just one man with the right pedigree (his genealogy was traced all the way back to Abraham, David and all those great men from the tribe of Judah, including Boaz), the right character and temperament to steward three most important projects.

The first one was stewardship of his own life. Joseph probably was born in Bethlehem, but at some point moved up to Nazareth. The bible is silent about this remarkable man’s formative years and all we can do is speculate. But he was in Nazareth and ran a successful business there. He was a carpenter and at the right time, he selected a wife, and was betrothed to her.

For a man to be engaged to a young lady in the Jewish culture, it required a lot of commitments. Spiritual, physical and emotional as well as financial. Do you know that during the season of betrothal, the man is required to go and build or prepare a house or make a place suitable for him and his bride to dwell in. Now you know why Jesus said to the Church that He is going away to prepare a place for us. Amazing!

John 14:2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Betrothal is a community affair. Everyone knows what is happening and everyone is looking forward to the wedding date. It is nearly never broken off, unless death or serious infidelity. In which case the offending partner is summarily executed by the whole community by stoning them to death.

That’s why I find it so disheartening to hear of men calling off engagements and breaking public promises to marry a lady and vice versa. It is just not done. It speaks volumes of the character of those individuals. It simply reveals the stuff they are made off. (Another topic for another day!).

Clearly Joseph had no skeletons in his cupboards or else he would have been deemed unworthy of such a bride like Mary. His life was lived well before all. This seems to be ignored these days, as people are quick to pass off certain indiscretions as youthful exuberance. But stewarding one’s life in a clean and pure way even if people never acknowledge this, is very important and the Lord most certainly sees this. For God to choose Joseph he must have lived correctly before him.

Now, please don’t misunderstand me. God’s grace certainly covers people especially the repentant and I am the first to acknowledge God can use a person with a past, because the blood of Jesus washes away all sins and God can certainly qualify the unqualified. Otherwise people like me stand no chance. Having said this and knowing what I now know, giving another opportunity, I would certainly make different choices with my early life. Truly, I appreciate the value of living right.

For Joseph to be chosen by God, and I know he was selected, he did not just stumble into this call, he had to have been a good steward of his personal and community life.

The bible describes him as a just man. The word just is the greek Dikaios, meaning clean, upright, balanced, innocent and holy. These are all qualities one can safely assume Joseph possessed and as such stewarded his life so he became useful to God for the purpose God required of him.

To conclude, Joseph was the right man in the right place because he had the right character, value systems and moral rectitude to perform the tasks God assigned to him. He was first a faithful steward of his own life before he could steward others.

My question to you today is are you a good steward of your personal life? Are you faithful when no one is watching? Are you morally sound, just, holy and righteous before God and man? Can God count on you in the day He needs a person to act for Him? If your answer is yes, then all I can say is God’s reward is coming, but if your answer is no, I definitely need to improve, then I want to encourage you. The first thing is to acknowledge you are not the best you and you want to change. Second is to make up your mind to stop something and start some things. Whatever they are. You know them. Third, ask God for help and grace. 4. Believe you have the power to change and become much better and you will. Perhaps one more thing, find someone you can be accountable to on your new decision.

Consider Joseph!

Let’s Pray: Father God we thank you for opening our eyes to see the man Joseph and explore the stewardship of his personal life. Father in many ways we are not our best. Please forgive us and help us to be better people and more faithful even when no one is looking. We ask for the grace to be good stewards of our lives. Thank you for helping us. In Jesus mighty name we pray. Amen.

A man like Joseph

This is a long post, but I am sure it will bless you and those you share it with.

 

Consider Joseph.

Then Joseph her husband, being a just man – Matthew 1:19

 

2016089_univ_cnt_1_xl

I know your thoughts would immediately go to Joseph the 11th son of Jacob and the first son of Rachael. The one who became the Prime Minister in Egypt and saved his family and the whole world from famine. Yes. He was a great man. But today I want to look at the other Joseph. The one we hardly talk about. The one I have never heard a sermon on. The one who history seems not to want to remember.

Joseph the stepfather of Jesus Christ. Yes this Joseph.

One of my early morning musings with my heavenly Father, He simply dropped this statement into my heart.
‘Consider a man like Joseph, the one man in the entire world I could entrust the care of my Son to.’ I had to pause to get the impact of this statement. Then as I was still thinking through this statement, as messages from heaven sometime come, my heart and mind was flooded with revelations of the Man Joseph.

Let me share some of them with you. Most young unmarried women pray to God to provide for them a Boaz or someone like that, and yes they are right, but I have never heard any woman cry out for a man like Joseph.

Why Joseph?
1. Consider the only man to meet God’s requirements for a Father figure in the life of Jesus. He was responsible for training Jesus up to perform His unique role in history. I can only imagine what type of man he must have been. He must have had an impeccable character. Consider a man like Joseph.

 
2. When he became betrothed to Mary the bible recounts that before they came together, Mary was found to be with child and he wanted to put her away secretly.

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 

This man had the shocker of his life, when his supposed virgin fiancè was found to be with child. In the Jewish custom and under the law of Moses, this woman once exposed would be summarily executed by stoning. Joseph could have just exposed her and got her killed, but I believe he truly loved Mary and decided not to expose her but get her out of town secretly, so her life would be spared. Hmmm. Ponder this. A man who covered and protected his woman despite the fact that she had seemingly erred gravely. Consider a man like Joseph.

 
3. Joseph was later informed by an Angel that the child was God’s child and that Mary had not done any wrong, and Joseph believed.  

But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

Two points here. Joseph must have been extremely devout and committed to God for him to hear so clearly and secondly, he totally believed and did not doubt. He believed God and trusted his intended. Absolute trust. Consider a man like Joseph.

 
4. After this he looked after Mary, not mentioning anything of the origin of the pregnancy to anyone, but looked after her, cared for her and took her from Nazareth to Bethlehem to have the baby and named him according to the revelation. The bible records that he did not have any sexual relations with Mary until after Jesus was born.

24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.

He was a man of conviction. He had supreme self control and he understood what it means to be consecrated. Qualities that are so rare today. Consider a man like Joseph.

 
5. Now Herod rose up to kill all the young male children under the age of two and again Joseph was warned in a dream and he took the boy and his mother and fled to Egypt. Most men will immediately see this as the god given opportunity to be rid forever of the problem. But at great risk to his life and great sacrifice he left his hometown, his kinsmen and fled with Mary and Jesus to Egypt. Joseph was prepared to risk it all for Mary’s son.

13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.”

14 When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, 15 and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”

He was prepared to sacrifice his comfort and security for this young woman and her child. Consider a man like Joseph.

 
6. Now when Herod died he was informed and he was instructed to return to the land of Israel. He was going back to Bethlehem. Why was he prepared to go back to Bethlehem? I can think of two not so obvious reasons. a. Joseph was from the royal house of David. He must have a place of prominence in Bethlehem and would possibly be able to leverage his position and power to look after Mary and Jesus. b. He felt more comfortable with being in Bethlehem, because most people would not be familiar with the history of Mary. But again he was instructed to go to Nazareth and he simply took the young woman and her son there.

19 Now when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.” 21 Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel.

22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee. 23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”

He was ready to live in obscurity for the sake of his love for his family. Consider a man like Joseph.

 
7. He trained Jesus to be a carpenter and become a very responsible man. He had taught Jesus the Torah that by the age of 12, he was able to discuss the Torah with the elders. He was a dedicated and loving father and blended his family so well. Do you know that two of Jesus’s brother wrote two books of the bible.

Matthew 13:55 New King James Version

55 Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James,  Joses, Simon, and Judas?

Consider a man like Joseph.

 
8. Finally, it is quite interesting to note that both Joseph and Boaz are from the city of Bethlehem and both hail from the tribe of Judah. Both are relatives of King David. Why is this important? Judah is the kingly tribe and they produce great breakthrough leaders. Judah, Boaz, Jesse, David, Solomon, Joseph and our Lord Jesus all come from the tribe of Judah. Bethlehem means the house of bread. Bread is a symbol of God’s word. Jesus said in Matthew 4:4 Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. So both Boaz and Joseph were men who came from a strong life in the word of God. They were from Bethlehem. Lastly Judah means PRAISE. It is important to note that Judah was chosen to go first into battle. These men must have been men of praise. This probably accounts for David’s musical skill and his ability to play anointed music on his harp that chased away the demons from king Saul’s life. Joseph was both a man of praise and a man of the word.

 

Consider a man like Joseph!

 

 

Let’s Pray: Lord Jesus raise more men like Joseph for our daughters. We pray for all fathers and husbands that we will learn from Joseph’s life and emulate him. We ask for grace to grow in wisdom and dedication to God and steward correctly the children so they can fulfil destiny in Jesus name. Amen.

God’s Love Language is Obedience

John 14:15

There is a book by Gary Chapman, (5 love languages) we all read in the 1990’s that opened the concept of love languages. The book captured 5 love languages and encouraged us to analyse and discover our love languages and even more importantly, discover those of our spouses and loved ones. The conclusion is if you understand a person’s love language, you can be more effective at expressing love to them. I recommend this book. It is an eye opener and perhaps you may be generous and share your love language with us sometime. It would help us love you better. See test link below: https://www.5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/

Recently, I was studying the bible and I came across a statement Jesus made that I simply could not move from. You know those !**ping**! moments, when the Spirit of God just arrests you. I found myself running through the bible, searching and reflecting until it became abundantly clear to me, that God also has a love language and it is OBEDIENCE.

Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”

It dawned on me that the one-way God knows if someone loves Him is by how much they actually obey Him.

Think about Abraham. He was called the friend of God. He obeyed God even when God commanded him to go and sacrifice Isaac the son of promise.

Think about David, in the book of Acts 13:22, God said of David that He has found a man after His own heart, (wait for it), who will do all His will. Saul was removed because of disobedience and God chose his replacement based on the heart of obedience.

It is simply amazing.

Acts 13:22 says, “After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.‘”

The bible refers to David as the beloved. He had such a love relationship with God, that God so honoured him. Even today in Israel, David still has a place of high honour. No one really remembers much of king Saul.

Jesus, made it clear that because He loves His Father, He does His will. In the garden of Gethsemane, faced with the impending sheer brutality of the cross, Jesus asked His Father if this cup would be taken away, but he quickly added, not my will but yours be done.
There are people who spend their lives chasing after God, but God will chase after you if you become obsessed with obeying Him.

Hear what Jesus said in John 14:21 “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”

And in John 14:23-24, Jesus said “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.

These words are so profound. If you keep God’s word and obey Him, God will come to you and live with you. Jesus said He will manifest Himself to you.

I have decided that the paramount thing in my life right now is to obey God regardless of the consequence. I have discovered that God loves the obedient and if we really want to love Him, we should obey Him. There is no point in buying jewellery for a lady whose love language is not gifts but acts of service.

Let’s truly love God not with mere words but in the way He wants to be loved. By obedience.

Let us pray: Father I thank you for making your heart known to me. Forgive me for all my acts of disobedience to you, I am very sorry. Lord please grant me the grace to always obey you from now on. I love you. In Jesus name. Amen.

Only by His Grace…

But by the grace of God I am what I am – 1 Corinthians 15:10

I have been in a very interesting season with the Lord. Like many in the body of Christ. I have been questioning many things, perhaps too many to enumerate in this piece. But clearly, I have been very concerned that there seems to be a major gap between my experiences and what I see written in the scriptures and what I have apprehended as God’s promises to me. Don’t get me wrong, I am not suffering a crisis of faith, but I am asking questions, so I can make the adjustments needed to align myself properly with the will of God for my life.

This search has led me to be very vulnerable, broken and sober about many things. Are we different from the church in the book of acts? Why are we losing so many people? Why does it appear that we are regressing rather than advancing? What has happened to the power of God? Why are we not apprehending all that the Lord has provided for us in His word? Are we lacking in faith? Are we less committed to the Lord in devotions and prayers? What is the problem? Why?

Amid this excruciating search, I began to see a glimmer of light break through this fog. I saw something that captured my heart and gave me some level of comfort. What is this light?

Let me say, that I began to discover a consistent factor in all the lives of those who God has used powerfully, those who have obtained the promises of God in their lives, those who seem to have ‘broken through’ as we say. No, it is not their faith. It is something other than their faith. From Noah to Abraham to Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, David, Nehemiah, Ezra, all the prophets, the Apostles and those in the church today I can honestly say have broken through.

I can see clearly that they received GRACE! Simply put Grace was given to them. It is a grace thing. It is the grace factor. Nothing else but the grace of God. This simple truth has liberated me. It has set me heart free and given me joy like I never expected. It has lifted a heavy weight from my heart and given me a new impetus in seeking the Lord. Grace.

I discovered that grace is God’s ability where man’s ability fails. It is God’s excellence in our rubbishness. It is God taking us much further than our strength and power can ever reach. It is God stepping into your life and making you become the person He ordained you to be. Let me tell you, no one can ever boast that they became great because they did anything right. It must be that God gave you grace.

Without the grace, we struggle. We need to recognise that it is the grace that makes the difference.

Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:10 New King James Version (NKJV)

10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 

This is a new day for me and I pray for you too. I commend you to His grace like Paul again said in  Acts 20:32 New King James Version (NKJV)

32 “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

So, let go and let God in. Let His grace be made available to you and you will suddenly start experiencing the dimensions of His abilities working in your disabilities.

Oh the wonder of His GRACE!

Jehovah is Your Name!

Exodus 6:3 New King James Version (NKJV)

I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name Lord[a] I was not known to them.

I feel led this day to start this piece with a popular chorus in Nigeria.
Jehovah is Your name (2ce)
Mighty Warrior, Great in Battle,
Jehovah is Your name.

Click on the link below and enjoy, whilst you read the piece.

The above scripture is quite often misinterpreted. Clearly from the bible God had been known by this name through out the book of Genesis. The Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all had encountered Him and called Him by this name, so why did God say they did not know Him as Jehovah?

Let’s read this passage again to really apprehend the impact of this statement. “I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name Lord[a] I was not known to them.

God had shown Himself to them as El Shaddai, the All Sufficient God, The God of Provision, The God of Deliverance; The God of Protection; The God of Succor; The God of Comfort; The God who nourishes and cherishes. By this name, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob experienced God and He manifested Himself to them, but as LORD, JEHOVAH, they really did not know Him. He never manifested Himself to them.

The answer to this conundrum is in the context. After God commissioned Moses to go to Pharaoh and demand the release of Israel from Egypt, Pharaoh dug his heels in and intensified his oppression of Israel and Moses was forced to go and complain. It was at this point that God told Moses that He is THE LORD! Exodus 5: 1-18.

God then proceeded to let Moses know that He would not only bring Israel out of Egypt with a mighty hand, but that He would establish them in the land He promised their fathers. He said that He would do this alone! In effect God was at this point telling Moses that there is an aspect of Himself that the Patriarchs did not experience. The God who fulfills His promises with His might at His appointed time and in His Own way.

In short, He was telling Moses that He was the God of Incredible Performances.

So Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Lord, why have You brought trouble on this people? Why is it You have sent me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done evil to this people; neither have You delivered Your people at all.”
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh. For with a strong hand he will let them go, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land.”
And God spoke to Moses and said to him: “I am the Lord. Exodus 5:22-6:2

So, what is the mystery of this name Jehovah? This name means, the Completely Self-Existing One, the One who Speaks and Does What He says, The God of Incredible Might. The Owner of All Creation. The God who executes His word and cannot be stopped. The God Who is careful to perform His promises. The God who does not need anyone or anything to do what He said He would do.

If you can read the verses that follow this statement, Exodus 6:4-8, you will begin to appreciate why God said Abraham, Isaac and Jacob did not really know Him as Jehovah. There is an intensity and fierceness to this name that makes it awesomely fearful. So fearful that the Jews don’t want to pronounce it and even when writing this name, they deliberately omit some letters, so you cannot call the name in full.

The God of fierce wrath, the God of judgements, the God of awesome and terrifying wonders, the God who cannot be denied access or denied His demands. The God whose decision is final. The God who holds every life, every creature, every nation in His Almighty Hands. The God who has no equal and no known competitor. The God who is God all by Himself. That is the LORD. That is JEHOVAH. This is our God! This is our LORD!

I sense we are entering a new season of Jehovah God. The God of divine performances. The God who cannot be denied. The God of our destinies. Hold on tight, Jehovah is on the move in the earth! He is on the move in your life and my life. JEHOVAH is HIS NAME!

Let’s Pray: Thank you Jesus for bringing us into the family of Jehovah. Thank you that we are children of Jehovah by faith in You. So, we know that we are not on the wrong side of this Great God. The God of the blazing fire. The God of fierce wrath. The God of terrible judgements. The God who cannot be denied. Its time for another Exodus. The people of God coming out of bondages worldwide!!! Its time for our destiny to manifest and its time for us to possess our inheritances. Jehovah, we look to YOU and we wait for YOU. In Jesus matchless name. Amen.

A Successful Slave

39:1-2 Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. And Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him down there. The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.

An amazing paradox. An incredible contradiction. A biblical irony.

Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt and was a servant in the house of Potiphar, yet the bible described him as a successful man because the God was with him. This is a deliberate, intentional plan by the Holy Spirit to provoke a cognitive dissonance in us, that will draw us into a deeper revelation and confront is with a profound truth.

How can a slave be a prosperous man?

A slave is a prosperous man because God is with him and a prosperous man is a slave because God is not with him. Simple. Which would you rather have, given the choice?

Joseph had something permanent that made his physical condition irrelevant and very temporary, whilst the Rich Man in Luke 16:19-31, had something temporary that could not keep him or be kept eternally.

There is a deep deception that has swept over the world and had taken deep root in the church. It is the belief that material possessions are a mark of success. It is even more insidious in that people believe that without material prosperity a person is not successful. What a deception.

Jesus said:

Luke 12:15 New King James Version (NKJV)

15 And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of [a]covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”

The message bible states it this way:

15 Speaking to the people, he went on, “Take care! Protect yourself against the least bit of greed. Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot.”



Success is a function of Purpose not Possessions. Our creator sent us into this world to fulfil a specific assignment and the degree to which we carry these assignments out are the measure of our successes. Don’t be deceived. I repeat again, DON’T BE DECIEVED!

Psalm 1 also helps us understand this even more

Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the 
[a]ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he 
[b]meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the 
[c]rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.

The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.



Men may see you as successful, but God may judge you a complete failure. Ultimately God’s assessment of your life will be all that matters and all that remains.

Therefore, I believe that the pursuit of the presence of God is the chief pursuit of every wise person. If you pursue and find the presence of God, you will invariably find the following:
1. Peace 2. Purpose 3. Power 4. Protection 5. Provision 6. Prosperity
7. Pleasures

And these will be permanent in your life.

Why waste time chasing something you cannot keep, prosperity, and forfeit the one thing that once you get it, guarantees all the other things you may ever require or desire, the presence of God?

It was Jim Elliot, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Elliot the intrepid missionary to the Auca Indians who said “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

Psalm 16:11 You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Joseph was a slave and he was a successful man. His slavery was temporary, because the God of all freedom and liberty was with him. His condition changed and he became a ruler rather than a slave.

Please pursue God’s presence, it is the most valuable possession you can ever have. It is the possession that guarantees all other possessions.

Shalom.

Let us Pray: Dear Lord, please deliver us from the deception of worldliness and materialism. Help us to recognise that having your presence is the greatest possession any man can have and with Your presence comes everything that You are, and You are the giver of all good things. Please grant the grace to prioritise Your presence and follow hard after you. This we ask by faith in the name of Your Son and Our saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

A difficult night and a glorious morning.

Genesis 32:31 New King James Version (NKJV)

31 Just as he crossed over [a]Penuel the sun rose on him, and he limped on his hip.

A difficult night and a glorious morning.

Life certainly has its rhythms. It has its ebbs and highs. But we must be conscious that some of our deepest struggles are just before our greatest triumphs. Like I have often heard it said, the darkest night is just before the break of dawn.

Jacob just left his uncle turn father-in law’s home, after a twenty-year sojourn that was marked with hardship, cheating and difficulties. Imagine him having to negotiate his wages 10 times in those years, working 14 years to purchase his wives and six years to earn a living. No wonder he chose to leave. Then he came to Peniel and came face to face with God. Peniel means Face of God.

At Penuel, he had to face the brutal truth about himself, because he was going to meet his elder brother Esau, who he cheated out of the birth right and stole his blessing; Esau had vowed to kill Jacob after Isaac passed. Hence his flight to Padan Aram to the house of Laban. He had to face God and God faced him. The God who knows him better than he even knows himself. He had to look into the face of God.

Just before he met Esau, he spent a night alone at Peniel. He was met there by God and they wrestled till all night. Now this is a most interesting situation. How can a mere man wrestle with God? But what really happened here was Jacob held on to God and will not let Him go until…

Until he received the assurance that Esau will not kill him. Until he received the blessing of the Lord. Until he got a character transformation. Until he was free of his old nature. Until his name was changed and he got a new identity. Until he obtained mercy and received grace from the face of God.

Just read the exchange and get a glimpse of this epic struggle.

Genesis 32:24-31 New King James Version (NKJV)

24 Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the [a]breaking of day. 25 Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He [b]touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him. 26 And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.”

But he said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!”

2So He said to him, “What is your name?”

He said, “Jacob.”

28 And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but [c]Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.”

2Then Jacob asked, saying, “Tell me Your name, I pray.”

And He said, “Why is it that you ask about My name?” And He blessed him there.

3So Jacob called the name of the place [d]Peniel: “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” 

Have you got a major adversary who has promised to deal with you? Are you troubled by a situation that defies all natural remedies? Have you arrived at a place where you know unless your character is changed you will be a big failure in life? Or are you perhaps in the battle of your life at your own Peniel. Do not let God go. Do not let Him rest until He meets you at the point of your need. Remember this may be a dark night, but the morning will break soon. Just don’t let go of God.

New Living Translation
For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. Psalm 30:5

As the day was breaking, God granted Jacob all he needed. He was left with a limp, but he was also a transformed man. He was broken, but he had been fixed right in God’s  way.

Now to this incredible phenomenon the bible captures on Jacob as he crossed Penuel.

31 Just as he crossed over [e]Penuel the sun rose on him, and he limped on his hip.

The sun rose on him. This was God showing that this is a transformed man and now all of creation will work in concert with Jacob now turned Israel to fulfil his destiny. It signaled that Jacob had become a Prince with God and this Prince will always prevail. It signaled a new beginning. It signaled an everlasting favour of God. It revealed that God had just joined himself to this man.

Jacob had a very rough and dark night, but his morning was glorious. He started the night as Jacob, but by day break he was already Israel.

Your dark and troubled night will also pass and day break will come and you will be transformed.

Let’s Pray: Father thank you for your dealings in our life. Help us to learn to surrender in time, so our struggle does not get prolonged. We recognise that coming face to face with you will change us forever positively. So we ask for this encounter with You. We desire Your transformation in our lives. We ask this in Jesus name. Amen.

Love, Time and Eternity

20 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her. Genesis 29:20

Love, Time and Eternity

Recently my wife and I celebrated 30 years of marriage. We are so grateful to God for His gift of life and love. God has really been our strength and help. We have had an incredible journey and we can honestly say we are blessed to be together. Marriage is truly a blessed institution and we are so grateful to God that He has given us one that is so joyful. Even when we have been sorely tested, we have found strength in Him to keep loving and caring for each other.

As I reminisced and reflected on our last thirty years and look joyfully to an even more glorious future of love and companionship, I realised the time has flown. I realised thirty years passed like just 30 days. I began to ask myself why time seems to have gone so fast. I then gained a simple understanding. I saw that when you are in love and are with your loved one, time becomes quite irrelevant.

I have often wondered why Jacob was able to work for seven years and wait to be married to Rachael. The bible states this so clearly.

20 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her. Genesis 29:20

I know for sure and by experience that love makes time of no consequence. Time just does not matter when love is in play. Think about the many hours you spend on the phone talking to your loved one, especially in the early days when you just met. Think about the endless hours you walk and stroll through parks talking and listening and yes, you are very attentive and you somehow feel the time was very well spent. Think about how many pages of letters we wrote and read and reread. Think about the days you simply sat and just cradled each other for hours and you really don’t say much. Time really stops being important when love kicks in.

So, I began to understand something a bit deeper. I have often wondered what we will be doing in eternity and how we will remain occupied for ever. I now know at least something; because we are going to be with the One who loves us the most and we love the most, Jesus The Christ, because we are going to be in the place where love is perfected, Heaven, time becomes totally irrelevant. Time stops. Eternity is a state of being where we lose our consciousness of time, because we are in the deepest embrace of love ever imagined.

Love is so powerful. God is love. Whenever we do things in love, time and cost is not important. Love always gives, even recklessley.

Today, I just want to encourage someone to give love a chance. Allow your heart to love and you will discover that time stops for you too.

Lastly do you have the ultimate love in your heart? Has Jesus Christ become a permanent resident in your heart? Allow Him in and you will start to enjoy eternity from this very moment.

John 14:23 New King James Version (NKJV)

23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

I like how the book of Ecclesiastes states this.

11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11

God is the ultimate love gift. We can never fully explore Him. We can never fully apprehend Him. We can never get bored of Him. He will amaze us continually, moment by moment, age to age, for all eternity!

Thank God for love, time and eternity!

Let us pray: God You are LOVE. Please shed your love abroad into our hearts again today. Help us to love You with all our hearts and help us to love our neighbours as ourselves. Lord help renew our love for our spouses and let love prevail in all our relationships. Refresh us in Your love we pray and help us to see that love demands time and time becomes irrelevant when love is in play. Thank you for loving us so much in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Reaching Your Goal

Reading Genesis 12-15

So, they came to the land of Canaan.” Genesis 12:5

Today a line of scripture caught my eye and I decided to meditate on it a bit longer. It can be found in Genesis 12:5 – “Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So, they came to the land of Canaan.”

So, they came to the land of Canaan.

This is the line that struck me. Knowing the context of this scripture made me pause and think about this a bit more and as a result I feel there is something worth exploring here. If you read the prior chapter, chapter 11 of Genesis, you would notice in verses 31 and 32, that Abram’s father set out to go to Canaan too, but got to a place called Haran and dwelt there and died there. “And Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram’s wife, and they went out with them from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan; and they came to Haran and dwelt there. So, the days of Terah were two hundred and five years, and Terah died in Haran.

So, the thought of the bible recording that Abram came to Canaan is no coincidence.

There are many who decide and start on a journey, a project, a mission, a plan, a course and never quite get to the destination. In the case of Terah, he came to a place called Haran on his way to Canaan and dwelt in Haran and eventually died in Haran.

Haran is an interesting place. Haran means ‘their mountain’. A mountain is an obstacle. A mountain can also be a task. Most people who achieve anything in life will at some point meet with obstacles and it is how the deal with these obstacles that will determine if they progress to success. We must learn how to climb over, go around or cut through the mountains and reach our destinations.

In the case of Terah, there might be something even bigger at work here. Terah had a son called Haran. Haran was the father of Lot and he died in Ur of Chaldeans. So Terah getting to Haran could have triggered the memory of his loss and maybe could not just get over that and lost his desire to continue to Canaan.

No one knows for sure what happened, but it is clear that he had set out to go to Canaan and when he got to Haran, he dwelt there and died there.

Sometimes our pain, our past, our disappointments, our failures could become obstacles and hinderances to our future and could become snares and traps to keep us rooted and fixed in one place and we can’t get over them. That’s why it is good to learn how to forgive our past and let go of them, so we can embrace our futures.

Like Paul we should try to let go of our past to lay hold of our futures.

13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have [d]apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

But Abram left Haran and journeyed till he got to Canaan. He must have learnt the lesson of his father. He got to Canaan. He overcame the mountains and obstacles and reached his goal. This year be determined no to let obstacles deter you. Not to let mountains stop you and certainly deal with your past hurts and failures and press on to your greater tomorrow.

Psalm 18:28-29

For You will light my lamp;
The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.
29 For by You I can [g]run against a troop,
By my God I can leap over a wall.

Abram reached Canaan. You will also reach your destination in Jesus Mighty Name. Amen.

Let us pray: Father God, You are the God of all comforts and You are the God who gives strength to the weary and the weak. Please strengthen us today, so we are able to scale all walls of oppostion and obstacles to our destinies and goals this year. Help us to lean on Your mighty hand and be lifted to new heights above the mountains of opposition in Jesus name. We agree with each other today that we will reach our God-appointed destinations in Jesus name. Amen.