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DO NOT DRAG THEM WITH YOU

I get excited over most things and often in my excitement, I am quick to share the experience. This was a habit six years ago; I used to share quite a lot with people I thought were open to my insights until I learned the hard way that they were least interested. Well, I have been discovering some interesting stuff lately and I have been tempted to share the information until I heard in my spirit, “do not share that now, don’t drag them with you.”

You see each person is at different stage of being processed by God, so we cannot assume that everyone is where we are, and they should get what we have. Everyone is in some form of process in their walk with God. Instead, we should celebrate and encourage each other in whatever stage we are in our spiritual walk and in life.  To include someone in your process will only lead to frustration on your part but it may lead discord. It also borders on control. On the other hand, not everyone will want to join or share your journey; it will be like pulling a sack uphill, that can be tiring. There are lessons God will want you to keep secret and there are experiences God will want you to endure alone. I bet God does this to test us, to develop our character and to wait until the information is well formed in us to be delivered at the appropriate time.

In this season if friends do not respond when relationships end; that’s fine. Take courage. Not everyone is supposed to journey with you to your promise land. Abraham had to separate from Lot, see Genesis 13: 5-18. This story is critical because it shows a separation of two people who were very close to one another.

The journey to the promise land may require separating from close friends, things and environments that you were used to. It okay to journey alone because God will never leave you. Remember also, that each person is in process that is quite unique to yours. Just enjoy your journey, if God meant for them to be where you are, they will, but don’t force them or pull them uphill. You will hurt yourself. Don’t drag past experiences either, behold God is doing a new thing in this season, Isaiah 43:19.

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GOD WANTS YOU TO SUCCEED

Often when met with life’s challenges or obstacles, we may conclude that God is orchestrating our demise. This is far from the truth. The truth is that God has an outstanding plan for each of us. He devised this plan way in advance before we were born. Psalm 139 :16 says that God has book in which He outlined everything about you!

You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed (Psalm 139:16). Hey, you have a manufacturer’s manual- God has already outlined everything about your life in this book. I believe among the prayers we should be praying is “Lord cause me to walk in the plans you have outlined in my book”. We should also pray daily for the Holy Spirit to help us align and execute what God has for us in that manual!

Above all though, God wants us to succeed in life. That is why He says in Jeremiah 29:11 that the plans He has for us are not to harm us, but to give us hope and future. Furthermore; God says that He will guide us with His eye upon us(Psalm 32:8). I also love that fact that our steps are ordered by God; and that God delights in the steps (goals, ambitions, dreams, visions) of a good person (Psalm 37: 23).

So, think about it, would God design a plan for you to frustrate you and make you miserable? Would God outline a plan that results in failure? No way Jose (pronounce Jose in Spanish). No way! In verse 24 of Psalm 37, the Bible says that “though you fall, you shall not be utterly cast down because the Lord will uphold you with His hand”. 1 Samuel 2:9 says the Lord guards the steps of His faithful ones. Psalm 66:9 says the Lord preserves our lives and keeps our feet from slipping.

As you write and plan your goals for 2019, do this confidently before the Lord (Hebrews 4:16). Commit your ways to the Lord and He will establish. Step out in action and execute your goals with courageous faith.  If you feel you have missed the mark; no worries there is fix for this too; Psalm 103:10-13 says God does not deal with us according to our sins nor does He reward us according to our iniquities. Instead God completely removes our iniquities and He pities us as a father would do. Out of His mercies, God will still uphold you and redirect you to the path of the original plan He had for you.  So, don’t feel left out. Make 2019 different. God ALWAYS wants you to succeed. God rejoices over us with singing- He rejoices over your success too. God is for you! Romans 8:31-39

GOD DOES MORE WHEN WE ARE FLEXIBLE

GOD DOES MORE WHEN WE ARE FLEXIBLE- A few weeks ago I was on the treadmill afterhours thinking of the forecasted busy schedule that I was ahead of me in the first half of the year. I realized that in order to be effective and accomplish all goals successfully, I needed to adjust some things including routines. It was at that moment that a Thought came and said, “you can do more if you are flexible”. Then the next Thought said “God does more with you when you are flexible”. Praise God for the Holy Spirit. God talks to each of us uniquely. One of the ways the Holy Spirit speaks to me is through my thought process. God speaks at all times; on this day He spoke to me while on the treadmill; the topic for this blog was birthed!
So the whole evening I reflected on “Flexibility” in by relationship with God. Then I was reminded of Abraham and Noah, who were given the vision of what God wanted, and they remained flexible and just followed what God directed them to do. Both Abraham and Noah reaped more and to date we are enjoying their fruits of flexibility. Through Jesus Christ we are now partakers of the Abrahamic inheritance. By sign of the rainbow which was given to Noah, God affirms every time we see the rainbow that He will no longer wipe out the earth with heavy floods; the fruits of flexibility.

Flexibility is an attitude of total surrender, when we submit to God as our potter, to conform and shape us into what He wants us to be. Once conformable, God in turn uses various ways including tests, adversity, chastening and blessings to mold us into His image. So do not be quick to want to cop-out of an adversity or test because it could be that God is using that situation to bold and shape you. Instead, remain open and flexible. Let His hands work on you, that you may be shaped and molded to a usable vessel.

I realized that flexibility and obedience are key to increase in the knowledge and fullness of God. I also think flexibility is a test; where God commands that e change our routines, can ne change right away and follow His direction, or will we remain stuck in our ways.

God is the potter and we are the clay, Isaiah 64.8. Recall, clay is flexible. In fact, its consistency has some viscosity that makes in pliable, conformable and shapeable to whatever thing the Potter wants. The final outcome is normally something beautiful; often a vessel to contain something or a decorative décor. This is our God. Repent, renounce and let go of the rigidity. Embrace the freedom in Christ. Our walk as Christians is no longer by works, or our own. Our walk rather is by faith, and by the Holy Spirit. This week purpose to be flexible and expect to receive more from God. Be encouraged, God is Faithful and Dependable.

– Pauline

 

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GOD HAS ALREADY PREQUALIFIED YOU FOR THE TASK

I have heard it said that if you can handle the vision independently, then the vision is too small. Often when Gd calls or assigns us something it may look too grand to handle . My encouragement to you this week is to keep your eyes solely on God- God has already prequalified you for that task

When the vision is too grand; you may feel unqualified for the task. King Saul; Gideon and Moses felt the same . Both Gideon and Moses gave excuses as to why they could not live up to the task; King Saul went into hiding see 1 Samuel 10:20-24. Can you believe that an already confirmed king went hiding on the day of his inauguration? The Lord had to reveal to prophet Samuel where Saul was hiding! 

Do you have a dream; vision; goal or project that you are running away from or avoiding because of its magnitude? I’ve learnt that God prequalifies you before assigning you something .In fact He addresses you by the qualifications of that assignment! Gideon was a mighty man of valor at the time of his appointment; Moses was the deliverer; Abraham a father of nations; Jesus as savior of the earth, also God with us as Emmanuel.Similarly;  God has already prequalified you for what He wants you to do. He will not give you an idea; dream; calling or assignment without preparing you . Endure the preparation process but it’s more important that you accept the call and get it started.

Romans 4:17 God calls those things that are not as though they are– We can run from the vision by looking up to others to direct us or there could be people who think you are not qualified for the task. Do not be intimidated by such people and do not OVERLY rely on people to steward what God has given you . When we do that we disqualify ourself; we loose our creativity and ability to hear from God. We can easily resort to human idolatry( which is sadly loathed after in form of followers; mentoring or  spiritual parenting). Engage God in the vision. Partner with the Holy Spirit for guidance. God is able to make what you think is impossible now possible; He is able to strengthen your weak areas; He is capable of amplifying your voice ; He is capable of making you bold and strong to speak in public. God is capable of giving you wisdom; knowledge, revelation and understanding despite your educational level or experience Acts 4:13- The testimony of Jesus Christ will manifest through you by the Holy Spirit Zechariah 4:6 

My encouragement to you this week is that you stop disqualifying yourself . No matter where you are in life; you already have what it takes to pursue the dream; vision; objective or calling God has placed in your heart. God predestined you and prequalified you already for your destiny , Pursue the vision with total confidence in God.He who has begun a good work in you will see to it that you finish it Philippians 1:6 

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STAY CONNECTED

Prolonged or repeated cycles of pain, betrayals and hurt can draw back into seclusion. However, God created each of us for relationship, productivity, fruitfulness, joy and abundance and we cannot achieve these on our own. 2 Peter 1:3 says that His (God) divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. We are not meant to live in isolation or independent of others.  There is “healthy co-dependency and interdependence in God’s Kingdom.” God has people assigned to help you fulfill your destiny. In  most things God involves  healthy people to connect with us towards accomplishing His purposes through us; also known as DESTINY!

I guess I should start by defining who “healthy people are”. These are people who are authentic  and are available to stand with you through thick and thin without judging or criticizing you and if criticism was to be given,  they are people who will give you constructive criticism with pure motives to help you advance in live. They are encouragers, people you are free to open up to without fear of your business being broadcasted negatively- you feel safe around such people. They are people whose blessings can be reciprocated in that as they help you while you too help back with ease.

One of the tactics satan uses to steal, kill and destroy is isolation especially when we are in valleys of life. At times the devil uses isolation to convince incorrectly about others. The devil dose this through false perceptions and beliefs about others or circumstances resulting in further withdrawal. This may present as avoiding church, lack of interest in reading the Bible and lapses in praying. The devil’s aim is often to use the negative experience to draw you away from God. Submit to God, resist the devil and He will flee (James 4:7)

Throughout the Bible we see the support systems that existed through communities or friendships. (1) Two are better than one according to Ecclesiastes 4:9 because they have a good reward for their labor. We need one another for support, comfort, encouragement, joy, laughter, prayer, fellowship and communion. When you stay isolated you deprive others of what you have to offer. You have many great things to offer the world. The world still needs you!(2) Where two  of you  agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in Heaven (Matthew 18:19), (3)where  two or three are gathered in My Name there I am in their midst also ( Matthew 18:20)-both (2) and (3) allude to the power of corporate prayer, unity and fellowship with one another. (4) Proverbs: 11:14, Proverbs 15: 22, Proverbs 24:6- in the counsel of many there is wisdom and safety- Do not struggle alone, your gifts can help someone else. Another’s gifts can also bless you.

We were not meant to live this life in secrecy and in isolation. God’s grace is sufficient in our weaknesses to bring us healing, deliverance and freedom. Submit everything to God. This week pray asking God to bring you “HEALTHY CONNECTIONS”.  Ask God to direct you to the right church, friend or persons, and community that will support you and help you thrive. If you are in a wrong setting, ask God to expose that too; show you how to exist and the strengthen you to walk away. Most important- stay connected. Alone we are a weak link, connected, we make a stronger bond – A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken- Ecclesiastes 4:12, NLT

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WHAT GRIEVES THE HOLY SPIRIT

If you have been brought up in church, you may be familiar with the statement “do not grieve the Holy Spirit”. Whereas we strive for fellowship and intimacy with the Holy Spirit, we should also be aware of what saddens Him. The Holy Spirit has a personality. In previous blogs I shared my experience in walking in the Spirit, today I would like to share what grieves the Spirit according to the  Bible; from personal experiences and observations and from, convictions of the Holy Spirit. This is not the complete list; there could be more. We grieve the Holy Spirit when:

  1.   When we cut Him short in worship, during prayer or during ministration
  2. When we abruptly change His flow through the songs we sing in worship-true worshippers and ministers can attest that the Holy Spirit will rest strongly on particular songs. When our agenda is to sing all the songs listed, or when the worship leader is tempted to put a show of skills, we quench the Holy Spirit

3)         When the church’s agenda or programs supersede the Agenda of the Holy Spirit

4)        When we insist on praying our own prayers whilst suppressing what the Holy Spirit wants us to pray for- This happens a lot during intercession. We can easily pray in the flesh – such prayers are amiss. We grieve Him when we leave Him out of prayer

5)         When the sanctuary of God, the meeting place, home or church is not honored or respected. The house that you live in and your body are also temples of God. The Holy Spirit is grieved when they are not honored

6)         The way we dress or present ourselves can grieve the Holy Spirit-This has nothing to do with wearing pants (trousers) or sleeveless clothes to church. whatever we do in action, dressing or presentation should not draw attention to us but should instead bring glory to God. Generally, worship and ministry should draw people to God and not to an individual. The Holy Spirit does not give glory to Himself but Jesus (John 15:26)

7)         When Spiritual gifts are used to manipulate or control others and or used to draw attention to skills and gifts of the presenter (same as the #6)

8)         When we ignore the instructions of the Holy Spirit when we take Him for granted. Ignoring the Holy Spirit is outright disastrous. Basically, you are on your own at that time; the absence of the Holy Spirit results in fleshly activities. Often that is when people start mimicking the Holy Spirit, fabricating or manufacturing outcomes.

9)         When we talk carelessly and construe Scriptures to meet our needs or when gifts and talents are selfishly -solely used for personal gain .

10)       When we do not use our time wisely; when we procrastinate or delay in implementing what the Holy Spirit has instructed us to do

11)       Unforgiveness, bitterness, jealousy, covetousness, malice, gossip, anger or rage that leads to sin, speaking evil or others, slander, unconfessed sin, among others also grieve the Holy Spirit

12) When we neglect His advice and seek counsel from people or other sources such us the occult, divination, palm reading, shaman, astrologers and other forms of witchcraft

My encouragement to you this week is ; respond quickly at the conviction of the Holy Spirit even if when it seems illogical. The Holy Spirit is part of the Trinity. We should relate to Him and reverence Him they way we treat Jesus and God our Father. Purpose to honor the Holy Spirit completely in life.

WHAT DOES IT REALLY MEAN TO WALK IN THE SPIRIT?

Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh Galatians 5:16-. The person of the Holy Spirit is debated among Christians. The debates are frequently along the gifts and the move of the Holy Spirit in these present days Although there are debates about the ministry of the Holy Spirit, at minimum we should agree that one must be filled with the Spirit to walk in the Spirit. However, what does it mean to walk in the Spirit. This is an extensive topic so I will only highlight a few points since this is a blog.  

First, I would like to encourage you that there is a relationship with the Holy Spirit beyond His gifts! I believe we have only tested but a pinch of the Holy Spirit. His gifts and manifestations are just for status. We should step beyond talking in tongues, the shakings, the crunches, the gold dust and goosebumps to a more personal relationship where we really get to understand His nature and His heart. You see the heart and nature of the Holy Spirit is the heart and nature of God; this is the Trinity.

It is possible to have the manifestations of the Holy Spirit without having a relationship with Him-that’s dangerous. I believe this why Jesus warned that many will come in His name citing what they did, and He will deny them (Matthew 7:21-23).  so, quoting scriptures, miracles and prophesies should not be the gage for being spirit filled and spirit formed.

Galatians 5: 25 says that If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Establishing a relationship with the Holy Spirit is walking with the Holy Spirit. When you walk with Him, guaranteed His nature and heart will soon rub on you. This will be evidenced by:

  • Bearing the fruits of the Spirit-These are very important. You realize that although many, collectively they are called FRUIT (single), not fruits(plural), meaning they stem from ONE SOURCE-the Holy Spirit. This alone is very helpful in discerning the character of a person and the spirit they are operating under. (Galatians 5:22-26, Matthew 7:15-23)
  • Being prompt in Obeying and doing what He tells you- Jesus was a perfect example of this. First, He was obedient to the end. Second, He only did what God told Him. Remember, Jesus was immediately filled by the Holy Spirit when He was baptized in water. May I also add that obedience in “walking with the Spirit” applies to obeying all i.e. the Bible, the law of the land, your employer’s policies, obeying traffic laws, obeying local township ordinances and your church procedures. To the born-again Christian obedience is full cycle- there is no compromise (1 Samuel 15:23, 1 Peter 2:13-25)
  • Resisting Sin– Sin is to be resisted no matter how tempting it is. The same Holy Spirit will help us overcome temptations of sin, as well as fight on our behalf where warranted. However, this requires partnership with the Holy Spirit (Genesis 4:7, Galatians 5:16; 1 Corinthians 10:13, Isaiah 59:19)
  • Partnership with the Holy Spirit-We can achieve a lot with less human effort if we partner with the Holy Spirit. Partnership means that we invite Him in everything we do and allow Him to take the lead and run the show with us. Don’t leave the Holy Spirit hanging, He likes being involved ( John 14:25-26)
  • Following God’s commandments- The Holy Spirit will never go contrary to God’s word. So, if someone says the “spirit told me this” please measure that word against Scripture then judge if (a) it is accurate, (b) your spirit (inner man) attests to it (Acts 17:11, John 14:15, 1 John 4:2-6)
  • Being a doer of the word of God – why, Scripture was written at the inspiration of the Holy Spirit- The same Holy Spirit will give you revelation of each scripture and its application in your present life. Put into practice what you have read from the Bible and what the Holy Spirit tells you (James 1:22,
  • Knowing and Listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit-God speaks to us through the Holy Spirit. This varies in the mode the Spirit feels best for you. Among them are through revelatory gifts; words of wisdom, words of knowledge, discernment of spirits, prophesy, dreams, visions, seeing (Joel 2:28-32, 1 Corinthians 12:1-11)
  • Being open and adaptable to His teachings, guidance and following through on what He has shared. In other words, stewarding well what He has shown you. (John14:25-26, John 16:5-15)
  • Surrendering ALL aspects of your life to the Holy Spirit– Total surrender is required to the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Nothing should be kept away from the Holy Spirit; including the secretive aspects of our lives. God sees all, it only makes sense to give Him all

Finally, the first and foremost key to walking in the Spirit is to have a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. He is sent to us helper who is available at all times. Good friendships are stablished through communication and communion. The secrets, treasures and the heart of God cannot be known from a superficial level. It requires creating time to develop then relationship followed by ongoing interaction. We grieve the Holy Spirit when we leave Him untapped and unattended to. He often waits on the sidelines for an invitation. He will never impose Himself on us (Genesis 6:3, Ephesians 4:25-32); but He certainly responds grandly when invited.  One of the ways to foster intimacy with the Holy Spirit is to pray more in tongues or prayer language.

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TURN ASIDE and LOOK, GOD WILL RESPOND

Sermons and teachings on “hearing the voice of God” are commonly sort after- I believe it’s because most people really want to hear God for the themselves. The Bible is a good place to start if you are eager to hear from God. Both the old and new testaments are full of examples of how God speaks. What God did in the past with others is still replicated today.

The story that triggered this blog is the story of the burning bush in which we see the initial calling of Moses as deliverer of the Israelites.  I was intrigued by these words.” So, when the Lord saw that he (Moses) turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses! “And he said, “Here I am.” (Exodus 3:2, Exodus 3:1-10). From the story, it appears that Moses’ turning to look, triggered God’s response. That the burning bush was an invitation for conversation and relationship.

This kept me questioning how many things God has wooed you with -inviting to Him or warning  you, that you have ignored. God can draw our attention through repeated dreams, reoccurring themes or words, through impressions, through memories of past prophesies or instructions; a strong desire to pray, worship or read the Bible, a recurring song in your mind; even an urge to drive a different route to work or an unplanned strong desire to call someone you have not spoken to in a while. Have you stopped to wonder, why now? Why I am thinking of that today? It could be that God is waiting for you to “turn aside and look”, then He will give you further instructions. Do not ignore them.

Turning aside to look may also include you taking time to put the dots together; you may be surprised by the outcome of the completed puzzle and the message God has for you in that puzzle. The more you respond in obedience to these nudges; you will quickly recognize how God talks to you. Better yet, you will soon discern what each urge or prompting means and what to do about it. You too will get to experience frequent invitations for conversations with God that will result in great friendship with Him! This relational friendship is an aspect of “walking with God” just like Moses, Enoch and Noah did. Our God is a relational God!

This week, slow down, take time to stop and look—God may just be waiting for you to do that. If you are waiting for answers, I encourage you to reflect on what God has shown you in the past. Put the dots together, the answer may just be at the tip of your nose!

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CONNECTIONS and DESTINY

-In both testaments of the Bible, you will notice a common theme in the destinies of people God used. The theme is that these people had connections or people who steered them towards what God wanted them to accomplish. This week’s blog is to encourage you to know that you are not alone in what God has for you and He has connections for you.

Now satan only mimics what God has for you. In the destiny journey we must recognize the connections and decide what to work with and what not to allow around us.  Consider the following:

  • Your Mind-What God has for you is engrained in your heart and mind. Continue to believe what God has spoken over you as you wait for its manifestation. Satan may bring you wrong connections in form of doubt, fear, hinderances. Remember you become what you think about yourself (Proverbs 23:7). Resist, renounce and object to any thought that is contrary to the promise God has for you. Only connect with God has said and declare that daily until it manifests (2 Corinthians 10:3-6).
  • Enemies -Even amidst opposers of your destiny, all things still work for the God. God allows enemies to teach us how to war (Judges 3:1-4). God allows opposers to keep us determined and focused on the assignment He has for us (Nehemiah 4:1-21) , However; God will not allow your adversaries to overtake you (Psalm 121,Psalm 91, Isaiah 54:16-17, Jeremiah 1:19, Zechariah 2:5). Enemies will manifest through demonic spiritual attacks and through people closest to you (Matthew 10:34-39). To both, say NO! So, don’t panic when you experience opposition in your destiny journey. You are always in power (Luke 10:19, Colossians 1:9-18). You always war from a victorious identity and position.
  • Your Company– Your circle of friends either propel or repel your destiny. Key is to identity who is who. Walking in purpose may require walking alone for a while until God brings your healthy connections. We see this in the relationship between Abraham and Lot (Genesis 13:14-18), Jacob and Esau (Genesis 33:12-15, Genesis 32:22-30), Joseph and his brothers(Genesis 37:12-36, Genesis 50: 19-21), Orpah, Ruth and Naomi(Ruth 1:6-22). Not everyone you are “close to” is assigned to your destiny, so when God allows people to leave your life, thank Him instead, He has the right connections ahead. Additionally, learn to let go of destiny wasters. You can identity destiny wasters by a lack of growth or development when you are around them or; they could be people who always talk you off your plans and dreams. Such like the status quo- they want you stay at the same level. In my native language Luo, they call this jiromre or romre (same level).

Continually partner with the Holy Spirit, our true Guide and Helper-the discerner or thoughts and motives, in your destiny journey. He will align you with the right connections and warn you of impending danger.

This week pray, praying more in the Spirit (prayer language, tongues) and ask God to expose anything around you that is currently hindering your progress. Ask the Holy Spirit to expose and help you detach from anything or anyone that should not be part of life permanently in the name of Jesus! The Spirit of the Lord shall raise up a standard against them (Isaiah 59:19). It is not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord (Zechariah 4:6). Trust God to connect you with healthy people that will support your destiny.

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WALKING IN LOVE IN THE MIDST OF AN OFFENSE

After forgiving your offender, the challenge often comes in how to relate with the person after reconciliation. This can be tough based on the nature of the offense and the damage it caused. Among the areas I’ve asked God to help develop is how to relate with the person lovingly through God’s agape love after the offense.

This blog is specific to relationships fostered among friends, associates or acquittances, Loving the offender does not mean agreeing with what they did. Walking in Love does not require reinstitution of the relationship to the level that it was before. There could be a need to set healthy boundaries or to permanently end such relationships.  At times God allows people in our lives to accomplish specific tasks within a given period. Wisdom calls for us to know when seasons with such people have ended. Overstaying a relationship result in hurts and disappointments simply because the person was not meant to stay long-term.

Walking in love towards a person who has offended you requires a level of humility and determination to still love God despite what happened. Jesus taught that if we love Him, we must follow His commandments (John 14:15). Among His commandments is to love on another as we love ourselves and to love the Lord my God with all our hearts, minds and soul (Mark 12:30-31). This means that if we say we love Jesus, we will love our offender. If we say we Love God, we will love our offender. Love is generous, trust is earned.

So, what does love look like amidst the offense? It is viewing the offender from Jesus’s perspective, ministering and serving the person in love, not being defensive, rude short or abrupt in your relationship with the person; responding to their texts, call and emails in love, not blustering them on Facebook and WhatsApp chat groups; not reminding the person of the offense, not being vindictive, praying for the person, blessing the person; it is being the light in the midst of darkness (Romans 12:20; Proverbs 25:21-22).  Even a little dim light overpowers darkness!

Walking in love in the midst of an offense is a test of faith! As you pass each “love test” every time you relate with your offender, you will be maturing concurrently with each test. Continue to do this even when your offender does not recognize your efforts. I must warn that it can be painful to do good to someone who does not acknowledge or recognize the good being done; it hurts when the offender refuses to admit the offense; but continue to do good, God will reward you-Galatians 6:9

Forgive, then keep walking in love!

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MAKE THIS A THURSDAY AND A WEEKEND OF THANKSGIVING

Thanksgiving is often associated with heavy meals and gatherings. However, it should be incorporated in prayer daily and even practiced as a lifestyle. The prayer of thanksgiving is a powerful prayer that in my opinion draws God’s attention faster and results to a quicker release of breakthrough. Intercessors can attest that thanksgiving prayers usher them faster into the realms of the Spirit. This prayer though can be very difficult to utter especially when the answer is nowhere near. I believe being thankful to God amidst uncertainty is what makes in a sacrifice.

Most of us are familiar with the song; I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart… Or the we give sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord… and we offer unto Him the sacrifices of thanksgiving. Being thankful is more powerful when you don’t see the answer. It is faith in practice, thanking God in advance of what He is about to do or what He is has already done,

As I engaged the Holy Spirit in devotion this morning, He advised me to pray the prayer of thanksgiving. I resisted initially because “Thursdays are not my scheduled days for thanksgiving prayers”. Afterwards I complied realizing that God must have a good reason to direct me to pray this way.

You see, normally we barrage God with REPEATED PRAYERS OF PETITIONS. We forget that He heard us the first time. Isaiah 65:24 says that before they call, I will answer; while they are still speaking, I will hear. It could be that God’s directive to thank Him is because He already answered you and It’s just matter of the manifestation of the answer! Remember Daniel’s story in Daniel 10:12-13?

Make this Thursday, tomorrow and the weekend, thanksgiving weekend. Thank God for the petitions you submitted to Him with fasting at the beginning of the year. Thank God for the petitions you have made from January to June 2019. Thank God for where you are now and where He is taking you. Thank God for the past, present and the future.  Thank those around you; who have stood with you and supported you. Thank God for your family, kids, spouses, jobs, businesses and ministries. Whenever you struggle with praying or you feel resistance during prayer, switch the prayer to a prayer of thanksgiving.

Wishing you a joyful weekend, graced with gratitude and thanksgiving!

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GOD DOES NOT CONDEMN

There is a common pattern in the ministry of Jesus that I recently discovered; and that is Jesus never condemned those He ministered to. Throughout the Gospels of Matthew through John, I saw Jesus dealing mercifully with the “so called sinners” whom He ministered to. The Pharisees and Sadducees were different though, even His disciples questioned Jesus about the sin the parents of the young blind man had committed. In all these, Jesus never condemned them, instead He ministered salvation, healing and He delivered them.

Let’s cite a few examples of Jesus mercy and compassion

  • The taxpayers were known crooks -yet Jesus dined and fellowshipped with Him. In fact, some of them became His disciples (Matthew 9:9-10)
  • On the blind young man, the disciples thought he has sinned from birth, but Jesus said no sin had nothing to do with and healed him (John 9:1-2)
  • Jesus pardoned the woman who was caught in adultery saying “neither do I condemn you, sin no more (John 8:11)
  • Martha who washed Jesus feet with perfume and her hair apparently had a bad rap sheet in the community, but she ended up serving Jesus throughout His ministry (Luke 7:37-38)
  • I can go on, with the woman at the well, the demoniac in Gerasene etc.

 If you are going through something right now and you feel as though God is condemning or punishing you, that is not true. Not long ago I was approached by two pastors who believed that the adversities that their spouses and children faced were punishment and condemnation from God. I can’t forget an experience in the recent mission in Africa where a lady came to be prayed for healing and as we ministered, she kept saying “Oh God forgive me, forgive me”, yet she was a born-again believer.

Anyone who condemns or reminds you of your sins or faults operates with a demonic spirit. Controlling, manipulative and insecure people will do this. A religious spirit often condemns; satan is also good at reminding people of their faults, sins or failures. Stay away from people who put you down who constantly remind you of your faults no matter and how “spiritual” they are. Condemnation is a strategy the devil and people use to keep you from progressing. Condemnation is a hinderance that has both spiritual and natural(life) implications.

So, should we continue sinning because God does not condemn? The answer is NO! Whenever you sin, repent right away and receive forgiveness immediately. No, that God is Love, He is merciful and compassionate. God always wants the positive for you not the negative.

Consider these Scriptures: – I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore, I have drawn you with lovingkindness (Jeremiah 31:3). Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28); There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit (Romans 8:1) if the Jesus  sets you free, you will be free indeed(John 8:36)

No matter how bad it is, with God it is pardonable. God does not condemn!

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WRAPPED IN THE BUBBLE OF GOD’S PRESENCE

-Most believers can relate to the word “presence” as it is commonly used among them. The appearance, reaction and application of “presence” varies though from one person to another. For this blog,” presence” means the presence of God- and I am writing about “presence” because it seems to be a recurring theme this month. I believe God wants us to tap into and engage His presence in this season.

A few Sundays back while I was in devotion, I heard the Lord say, “this is a Sunday of His Presence” This Monday, I saw friends wrapped in a bubble of His presence. This theme caught my attention mostly because it was repeated. Whenever a theme, dream or impression is repeated, it should be taken seriously because it sure to happen; see Genesis 41:32for having two similar dreams, it means that these events have been decreed by God, and He will soon make them happen.

The presence of God is always with you; I believe this presence is the Holy Spirit who is part of the Trinity.  When you are wrapped in Him you can engage Him in all your affairs from inside the bubble. Consider the bubble as the high seat that you are seated in right next to Jesus Christ for the Bible says that we are a royal priesthood, co-heirs who are seated with Christ at the right hand of the Father; Ephesians 2:4-7. Consider that bubble of His presence as your royal throne.

The bubble of His presence is a supernatural atmosphere. It is from here that your can affect the natural. Since you are seated and wrapped in high places, you can decree execute the decrees and laws of God’s Kingdom to your situation. While you are wrapped, you are in “Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven” zone. This means whatever situation you are going through has to be impacted by God’s presence.

Each believer experiences God’s presence differently. My encouragement to you this week is to activate Him when you experience Him. Don’t just experience Him without placing a demand on Him. God does not show up just for showing up sake, He has an agenda whenever He visits. If you’ve never experienced God’s presence, ask the Holy Spirit to show you how He manifests Himself to you.

Be encouraged this week that the Omnipresent God is with you. Engage Him, involve Him in all your affairs, view live situations from His perspective, ask Him for direction, wisdom and protection. Allow His Presence to raise up a standard for you amidst difficulties.

Take advantage of His Presence this week. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you, Deuteronomy 31:6. The Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you, John 14:17