God’s Mountain Top Dwellers

The Character of Those Who May Dwell with the Lord

A Psalm of David.

15 Lord, who may [a]abide in Your tabernacle?
Who may dwell in Your holy hill?

He who walks uprightly,
And works righteousness,
And speaks the truth in his heart;
He who does not backbite with his tongue,
Nor does evil to his neighbor,
Nor does he [b]take up a reproach against his friend;
In whose eyes a vile person is despised,
But he honors those who fear the Lord;
He who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
He who does not put out his money at usury,
Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.

He who does these things shall never be moved.

 

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God’s Mountain Top Dwellers and God’s Tent Dwellers

This Psalm was written by King David. A man uniquely described by God as a man after His own heart. Here in this Psalm we can see one of the reasons He earned this special accolade or description. He often conversed with God, asking deeper questions, and getting to know Him more. This Psalm is a major inflection point in the bible. It starts with a question. A question directed at God Himself. LORD, here does not mean Adon or owner, it means Jehova, meaning the Self Existing One, The Eternal God.

This question is loaded. Lord, who may [a]abide in Your tabernacle?
Who may dwell in Your holy hill?

Why did David ask this question? Was it because he has observed many coming and going and he could not understand why anyone would want to leave God’s presence? Could it be that he was expressing his deepest desire, which he confessed to in Psalm 27:4, when he said One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.

Was he trying to see if there were conditions or terms he needed to fulfil so he could have his ultimate desire, which was to dwell in God’s presence? No one can say for sure. But one thing is certain, David understood many slide down God’s Holy Hill and many leave the tents of God and it is a concern for him, perhaps deeply personal concern from his own falling and failings.

In the ensuing verses, David captures 11 character traits of those who would continuously abide on this Special Holy Hill. We will review them one by one as they are most revealing what God expects in our character.

But it is important to start by letting every Christian know that we all have been made to dwell on this mountain by faith in Christ Jesus. We are permanently located in God’s tabernacle by faith and grace we stay there by faith and grace. We did not get up on this mountain by fulfilling the law, but by accepting the fulfiller of the law, Our Lord Jesus Christ. He alone could climb this mountain and He alone has the right to dwell there permanently and it is by Him alone that we can even dare to access this mountain and it is certainly by Jesus Christ alone that we can dwell on this mountain.

So, what is the problem? Why do we need to analyse these conditions and understand them?

Two reasons come to mind.

  1. This is the character we are to manifest to those who look at us and desire to come up the mountain and will most certainly fail because it is impossible with man but possible with God. So when people observe us living this life and manifesting these character traits and they want to emulate us and they fail, we have the grace to reveal to them that we are on the mountain not because we got it right, but because we were made right and because we have been made right we can now live right.
  2. The second reason is for us. When we do not manifest this character traits, something goes awry in our lives. We lose our sense of peace and presence of God. We slip down the mountain and feel outside the tent of God, and a quick review of these traits will let us know where we have gone wrong and we quickly confess our errors and receive grace to be brought right back up and back into the tent.

Let’s keep this truth in our hearts and minds as we look at the 11-character traits of God’s mountain top dwellers.

Thank God today for His grace that has made us God’s Mountain Top Dwellers.

 

2020 – The Year of Extraordinary Spectacular Breakthroughs

Joshua 3:11 – Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is crossing over before you into the Jordan.

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God never asks anyone to go where He has never been or gone!
God never asks anyone to do what He has not already done!
He is the Lord of the Breakthroughs!!!

Micah 2:12-13 New King James Version (NKJV)

Israel Restored

12 “I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob,
I will surely gather the remnant of Israel;
I will put them together like sheep of the fold,
Like a flock in the midst of their pasture;
They shall make a loud noise because of so many people.
13 The one who breaks open will come up before them;
They will break out,
Pass through the gate,
And go out by it;
Their king will pass before them,
With the Lord at their head.”

The above scripture speaks of the regathering of Israel and the breakthroughs that will accompany the regathering. It also shows us that The lord will lead this breakthrough. God is already regathering and settling Israel in their land and He is performing incredible breakthrough as He continues to build up Israel. It is in this context and background that I feel the Lord spoke these words to me.

 

In 2020 we will experience God’s Extraordinary, Spectacular Breakthroughs in Our Lives if We SEE WHAT He IS DOING and FOLLOW HIM WHERE HE LEADS!

Proverbs 3:3-8
Let not mercy and truth forsake you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart,
And so find favor and high esteem
In the sight of God and man.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
It will be health to your flesh,
And strength to your bones.

The Key to Successful 2020 is FAITH!!

Heb 11:1,6, Rom 1:17, Rom 10:17,

3 Important points about Faith

1. Faith is like a muscle, it is a spiritual muscle that has to be used. Without faith you cannot access anything in God.

2. Without the word of God you cannot have faith. So, if you are not in the bible and meditating on His word you cannot have faith.

3. Faith Has Corresponding actions or If you have faith it will show in what you do! James 2:26

Let’s Look at Some Biblical Examples!!!
1. Exodus 14 – We read of the Israelites Crossing the Red Sea. What was the action? What was the result? An Extraordinary, Spectacular Breakthrough

2. Josh 3:14-17 – Israel Crossed over the Jordan when It was in full flood – What was the action? What was the result? – An Extraordinary, Spectacular Breakthrough

3. Luke 5:1-11 – Peter and his partners caught so much fish that their nets began to break and the boats began to sink. What was the action? What was the result? An Extraordinary, Spectacular Breakthrough

4. In 2 Kings 7: 1-20, we read of the siege of Samaria and the famine in the land. Then 4 lepers decided to go to the camp of the Syrians and God gave them such an amazing breakthrough that it ended the scarcity in the land. What was the action? What was the result? An Extraordinary, Spectacular Breakthrough

5. In Matthew 14:22-33 – We see the story of Peter and how the Lord had been walking on water towards them and then Peter asked the Lord to ask him to come and Jesus said to him to come – Peter stepped out of the boat and walked on water! What was the action? What was the result? An Extraordinary, Spectacular Breakthrough

6. Gen 26: 1-14 There was a famine in the land like the one that happened in the days of Abraham, Isaac’s Father. Isaac was going to go down to Egypt but God told him to stay in the land. Look at what happened. Verses 12-14. What was the action? What was the result? An Extraordinary, Spectacular Breakthrough

This year in what ways will you exercise your faith?

What are you going to do to develop your faith?

What corresponding actions will you take to make you experience God’s Extraordinary Spectacular Breakthroughs?

You must step out of your comfort zone this year!!!! As you step out you will step into the Breakthroughs of God. Our God is the God of the Breakthroughs!!!

Let Us Pray: Father God we acknowledge You as the Lord of the Breakthroughs! You are faithful to Your promises and we are excited about Your laid out plans for 2020 and beyond. Today we ask that You will enlighten us and make us see what You are doing, so we can follow You and align ourselves with You. We anticipate and expect Your Extraordinary, Spectacular Breakthroughs this year and we follow You in faith. We thank You in Jesus name. Amen.

First Remove the Plank from your own eye!

Criticism and a Critical Spirit

 

the+speck+from+your+brother’s+eye.

I was listening to someone being critical of other people in his sphere today and it got me thinking. I felt impressed to capture these thoughts.

Let me first make a confession, that I am no better and I have been many times guilty of the same thing. I have been known to criticise and sometimes, quite openly. So, this piece is first to me, before anyone else.

Chances are we also have been on the receiving end of criticism too. Sometimes these can be so damaging that it destroys one’s self esteem and kills one’s confidence!

If you criticise another person or people, you have inadvertently said a few things.

  1. I know more than them
  2. I can do better
  3. I don’t care about their context
  4. I can’t learn from them

These statements are powerful, and they have deep pointers to who we really are.

This says we are proud. You cannot be sincere about your criticisms without some degree of pride, even if it is only slight. I hear the statement ‘constructive criticism’ because it is acknowledged that criticism can be destructive, and I am yet to see how it is constructive. I think it is plain negative and we should not try to use words to obscure or deflect the negative impact of criticism. I would rather we give feedback and in that we can the separate our feedbacks into positive and negative feedback. More like what you get in an assessment. Positive feedback is the breakfast of champions.

It is a manifestation of being conceitful. You have placed yourself above the person you are criticising. This may not be a conscious effort, but it has nonetheless taken place deep within our hearts.

We have relegated whatever wisdom they possess to the realms of irrelevancy. This is dangerous as it can lead to fatal errors, because wisdom can be found in some very unusual places.

It also says we are somewhat insensitive because you do not recognise that their context has a lot to do with their perspective and actions. Not understanding the context of a situation or person, before criticising them can expose a deep-rooted insensitivity and lack of empathy in us. It shows we are impatient and somewhat rude! Context is everything.

Knowing a person’s context can help you understand their position and place you in a better place to offer positive feedback that can help transform, rather than criticise and destroy.

Like I said, these are personal musings.

Now I want to explore what the Bible says about criticism.

Matthew 7:1-5 ESV “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

James 4:11-12 ESV / Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?

James 1:19-20 ESV /Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

Galatians 6:1 ESV /Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.

Romans 14:4 ESV / Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

Ephesians 4:29 ESV / Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

2 Timothy 3:16 ESV / All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

Proverbs 27:6 ESV /Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.

Proverbs 15:31 ESV /The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise.

2 Timothy 2:24-25 ESV / And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth,

Hebrews 10:24 ESV / And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,

It is obvious from scripture that God does not want us to criticize each other. He wants us to be careful with how we use our words. He wants us to consider the consequence of our words. He wants us to speak the truth, but in a lot of love. Not to tear anyone down but more to build them up.

Instead of criticizing, can we offer feedback in humility.

Why humility? Because we want them to decide what the next course of action will be. Criticism demands change on our own terms. Humble feedback offers perspectives that the person can consider and adopt if they so choose. Feedback is empowering, whilst criticism is disempowering. If they don’t do what you said, you are not being disrespected. The choice is theirs not yours!

Learn to listen and probe for context before judging. Resist the urge to judge. Instead open your heart in grace and listen for context that can help you understand the situation better. Just hold back a little!

Critical thinking as opposed to a ‘Critical Spirit’, will lead you to scenarios, that will help you see it from the other’s perspective and give you ways to help the person with positive transformational ideas. Never take the initiative from the person. Let them arrive at their own conclusions.

Once an Apostle of Christ came to teach us about prayer and he made a profound statement that has stayed with me ever since. He said there are two voices in heaven. There is the voice of the accuser and the voice of the Intercessor. He said we had to decide who we would side with. The ‘Accuser or the ‘Intercessor’. Now we all know who the accuser is and who the Intercessor is. When you criticise are you doing the work of the Intercessor or the Accuser?

Never approach a matter with preconception. Ask yourself if you know all the facts! This is really the issue with the log in our eyes!

Try giving feedback by starting with simple words like:

‘Thank you for that’. ‘I see what you tried to do’. ‘Maybe I can suggest looking at it from this perspective’.

‘I commend your effort’. ‘I understand your challenges on this project’. ‘I can see why it was a bit difficult’. ‘Let me suggest a few areas you can spend some more time on next time’.

‘I know you always try to give your best’. ‘Help me to understand what your challenges were on this project’. ‘I am not sure I fully understand what you are dealing with’.

‘Thank you. This really helps. I now know where I can help. Here are my thoughts’.

I am very concerned at the state of the world today and especially the complication of social media. People are being destroyed by careless, prideful and insensitive statements made by people, who really have no knowledge or business passing comment or judgements on matters. I just want to appeal to you to hold your fire and consider the person you are about to tear down. Think about the consequence of your words and on their life and mental health. Suicides are on the rise. This is not a coincidence, it is a consequence of the ease at which people can be torn down with words.

Let’s all make a decision to build others up. To be an edifier. To be an encourager. To be a positive influence. To speak in love. To treat others nicely and be humble! Just plain humble.

Let’s Pray: Father God, please forgive me for being critical of others and for passing judgement on others without fully understanding their perspectives. Father I am sorry and I ask for your forgiveness and mercy. I now ask you for the grace to always speak the truth in a lot of love. To be an edifier of people. To be an encourager. To help lift someone rather than pull them down. I choose to side with the heavenly intercessor tan join with the accuser. Lord help me in Jesus name. Amen

Flowing in the Rhythms of Success in 2020!

Flowing in the Rhythms of God.

 

‘I do nothing on my own initiative!’ –  John 8:28

 

Rhythms-of-God's-Grace

God is Omnipotent. Omniscient. Omnipresent. God is absolutely sovereign and does not have to consult anyone before He acts. He is completely self existing, yet His ways can be learned and followed.

I am absolutely convinced that the key to living successfully is not in our own wisdom, but His. I am also convinced that it is possible to live in a rhythm of successes. I mean outstanding, spectacular, stupendous, mind-boggling, successes and breakthroughs, if we can learn to flow in His rhythms.

Jesus said I only do what I see my Father doing. This simple yet profound position seems to me, the most wise and effective way to live.

New King James Version John 5:19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.

The Passion Translation John 8:28 “You will know me as ‘I AM’ after you have lifted me up from the earth as the Son of Man. Then you will realize that I do nothing on my own initiative, but I only speak the truth that the Father has revealed to me.

Think about this again. I only do, or I do only, what I see my Father doing. So Jesus never did anything the Father was not doing. He only went where the Father led, said only what the Father spoke and touched only those the Father was touching. That is why Jesus had 100 percent success. He flowed in His Father’s, God’s rhythms.

I know this is not as simple as it sounds. Or perhaps it is!

We must first learn the art of waiting on Him, then making sure we see what He is doing and then going out to execute it according to what we saw.

God has promised in Jeremiah 33:3 – Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’

Also in Psalm 32:8 – I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye.

The other day whilst walking with my wife. (Did I say she is quite wise!) She dropped a point of prayer. She said Lord help me to see with your eyes. Or help me to see from your perspective. I said wow. That is profound. I added that God should also let us think with His mind and act with His heart.

So, we are determined to live a successful 2020, punctuated with Extraordinary, Spectacular Breakthroughs, by simply flowing in the rhythms of God.

We wait on Him. We hear Him. We do what He shows us or says to us. We experience God’s extraordinary spectacular breakthroughs.

Will you join us? What an exciting prospect for 2020 and beyond.

Let us pray: Father God, I am so delighted that you have great and good plans for me this year. Lord I want to live in the fullness of your provisions and blessings for me this year! Lord teach me to hear you clearly and follow your instructions, so I can experience your extraordinary breakthroughs this year! I ask this in Jesus name. Amen.

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

 

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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.