For the rich in this world, security is a big concern. Although the security of life and property should be one of the fundamental rights of a citizen, that is not totally true in most cases, as the security apparatus of the state cannot ‘guarantee’ this. In order to secure their lives and possessions, the rich often live in secured environments, well gated and with additional security operatives to offer protection in most cases.
Well, this approach is not new.
In Luke 12: 16 – 19, we find the story of a rich man and his plans after a successful harvest. In verses 18 – 19 the rich man said:
“This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater, and there I will bestow all my fruits and my goods.”
“And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.”
Notice his approach of guarding his possessions. First, he will build greater barns to make sure his harvest is saved from pests and thieves, then he will rest. We all do that! Once we begin to notice our goods and possessions increase, we begin to think of making sure we live long enough to enjoy our wealth. We get the best health insurance, the best security, living in the most secured area of town so that our soul can live long enough to enjoy its labour.
Is this bad in itself? No! Does it guarantee blessing and protection? No!
Here is the interesting thing, we are assured that God can do the Blessing and the Keeping! He can bless us and keep us to enjoy the blessing at the same time. Notice Job 1: 8 – 10:
“And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God, and eschews evil? “
“Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?”
“Hast not thou made a hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.”
Notice verse 10, God blessed Job, but did not stop there, he built a hedge about him and his house and everything he had.
Brethren, God is a Keeper! He has the capacity to bless and to keep. From the scripture above, we can trust in the ability of God to bless and Keep! It is comforting to know that, it is part of God’s plan to keep us (security, good health, etc.) and not just bless us. We can have them both.
We see the same pattern in Numbers 6, God instructed Aaron and his sons about how to bless the children of Israel, the first pronouncement is as follow:
“The Lord bless thee, and keep thee” (Num. 6: 24)
It is comforting to know that in a world where nothing is certain we have an assurance of the blessing and the keeping of God. Brethren, be rest assured of the fact that God can do both the blessing and the Keeping. Rest on Him.
See Psalm 41:2:
“The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive, and he shall be blessed upon the earth”
God’s blessing makes rich and adds no sorrow. As you move about and engage daily know that you blessed by God and kept of Him to enjoy the manifold blessings at your disposal.
I’m excited once again to bring God’s word to you, my dear reader.
It is God’s desire to establish His kingdom, His reign on earth. He wants to rule on every street, every city, every country, He wants to fill all the earth with the knowledge of His Son, Jesus Christ. In fact, Jesus taught us to pray this:
Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. (Matt. 6:10 KJV)
I believe that as believers, we are pivotal to the reign of His Kingdom on earth. He needs us to subdue, take charge and to rule over the earth. The heavens belong to the Lord, but the earth He has given to humans, and because of that, any move of God upon the earth has to be pushed and pioneered by believers.
However, the Lord will not reign over our environments, if He doesn’t first reign in our lives. If His will is not done in me, His will cannot be done through me. The kingdom comes from Inside Out.
An example of an inward transformation leading to and influencing many more people outwardly is found in 1 Thess. 1: 7 – 9.
7 So that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe.
8 For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything.
9 For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.
(1 Thess. 1: 7-9 KJV Emphasis Mine)
Notice in the passage above, Paul through the Holy Spirit accounts how the believers at Thessalonica became examples to other believers everywhere ( including us in this generation) but first notice, before they could be examples, there had to be a TURNING in them first. God’s work to reach the nations THROUGH them, started first, IN them. They had to first turn to God.
A similar example is given in Isaiah 61:4.
They shall rebuild the old ruins, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations. (Isaiah 61:4 KJV)
The report of verse 4 is best understood by reading from verses 1-3. The verses 1 – 3 identify the inward change the Holy Spirit does in our lives as believers. The effect of his work in us is that we build the old ruins, we raise up the former desolations, repair the ruined cities and the desolations of many generations. But first, he (the Holy Spirit) works in us to change us.
Beloved, God’s work in us is inside out. He works in us, so He can work through us.
It is my prayer that we would align with His work in and through us.
I call you Blessed.
It is an absolute delight to bring God’s word again to you my reader. Last time we talked about:
- The Present Circumstance of a Believer doesn’t describe him/her, he possesses something eternal.
- The Need for Mentors
This week we continue to pick out lessons from the book of Ruth.
3. Boaz was a good Man
The testimony recorded in the scriptures of Boaz was excellent. He was a successful man, in fact, scriptures described him as a man of great wealth (Ruth 2:1). Interestingly, despite his success, he was not a man who was proud or boastful. In Ruth 2:4, scriptures give us an impression that he had a good relationship with his workers.
“Now behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said to the reapers, “The Lord be with you! And they answered him, “The Lord bless you”. (Ruth 2:4 KJV)
It was this good relationship with his workers that made him notice the “stranger” (Ruth) who had just joined them and she eventually became his wife. Boaz was a good leader, he was interested in the performance of his staff. Paul also had a similar instruction to Timothy:
“Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy”
(1 Tim. 6:17 KJV)
Boaz was also a truthful person. Despite Ruth giving Boaz the signal of her availability of marriage, he didn’t swing in to take advantage cunningly of the situation. He stayed truthful, informing her that there was another man who was a closer relative than him, and who had a higher chance of being the kinsman-redeemer and eventually be Ruth’s new husband.
Read more about the kinsman-redeemer here.
“Now it is true that I am a close relative; however, there is a relative closer than I”
(Ruth 3:12 KJV)
Paul, speaking through the Holy Ghost said:
“But speaking the truth in love may grow up in all things into Him who is the head–Christ—”
(Eph. 4:15 KJV)
4. The End is always Sweeter
The story in the book of Ruth opened on a sorrowful note with Naomi losing her husband and children in chapter 1, chapter 4 ends with joy and happiness. I believe just like the book of Ruth, life is in chapters. The chapter you might be on now in your life might be sorrowful and sad, but scripture says the next chapter would be better.
Abraham and Sarah later had a child, Hannah later had a Son, Jabez’s story changed, the Israelites didn’t remain slaves forever, Jacob later became wealthy and had a huge family, It always got better.
“But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day” (Prov. 4:18)
Because of Jesus’ death on the cross, you qualify to be called the just the who scriptures talks of in Prov. 4:18. Yes, it always gets better. The challenges you face today will be gone tomorrow your tears will turn to laughter and sorrow to joy. Stay believing and see God working things out on your behalf.
For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; Yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant.
(Job 14: 7-9)
Say this with me:
I am a child of the Almighty,
I am led/inspired by the Holy Ghost in me,
I yield/obey as I am led,
I am redeemed, I am well,
I am strong,
I do not live in fear,
I am blessed and I am a blessing
In Jesus name, Amen
I call you blessed
Of all the books of the scriptures, the book of Ruth stands out. It narrates the story of a young lady from Moab called Ruth, and her journey to the land of Bethlehem.
In chapter one of the book of Ruth, the curtain opens on Naomi, Ruth’s mother in law after the death of her son (Ruth’s husband). Ruth loved Naomi. This love would finally lead her to become the great grandmother of the great king David. Ruth’s story is a beautiful story of grass to grace, a story of hope and one that was written for the present-day believer’s admonition.
I would like to share some lessons that I learnt as I read through the book.
- The Present Circumstance of a Believer doesn’t describe him/her, he possesses something eternal.
To the physical eyes, Naomi was finished. She had just lost her husband and 2 sons. She must have thought “we made a big mistake coming down from Bethlehem to Moab”. Everything her world revolved around was all gone. But you know what? Even at that state, Ruth still clung-on to her, not wanting to let her go. Why? She had God.
Look, said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.” But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God”
Rather than Ruth leaving Naomi like Orpah, her sister in law, she knew Naomi had God, and she was interested in having that same God, hence your God will be my God. Ruth knew that despite Naomi appearing to have lost all, she should not be judged by her present situation, she had something of far more eternal value in her possession and she was ready to cleave to Naomi for that. Because that thing that Naomi had, Ruth knew it was able to make her story better and sweeter.
Throughout Scriptures, you see this same scenario play again and again:
Paul said we are poor yet (what we carry) is making others rich… (2 Cor. 6:10).
Jesus was on the cross, stripped naked, losing his life yet he was granting forgiveness and passage to heaven for another.
Jacob: cheated left, right and center having nothing yet, he was making Laban rich. (He had God, he carried the covenant). Same with Joseph in Potiphar’s house. And the list goes on and on.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us
(2 Cor. 4:7 KJV)
- The Need for Mentors
Reading the book of Ruth, you will notice how following Naomi’s instruction and mentorship, Ruth was able to change her story from being a widow to being the great grandmother of King David. Getting a mentor helps you stay on the shoulder of someone taller than you, so you can see far.
For young believers, my admonition is always that Life is too complex, for you to start to figure it out with your brain. Get a mentor, someone who can guide you and you can do life better under his instructions.
The book of 1 Timothy, is full of instructions from Paul on how Timothy was to do life and run the church. Timothy needed that guidance, Paul was there to grant it. So do you need guidance, my reader.
To be contd.
Say with Me:
I know who I am,
I am not defined by my present situation,
Greater is he that is in me,
I’m a covenant carrier,
I’m a grace giver,
I’m blessed in all that I do,
I’m blessed to be a blessing,
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
I Call You Blessed
“One Generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts”
Ps. 145:4 (NIV)
In Exodus 3:6, God introduced Himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, I believe this is noteworthy to remind us that even though we humans had but a little time to exist in this sphere, He abides forever. We don’t last forever, He does.
Secondly, I believe it was an example for us to see the transference of the Faith from Father to son and to son’s son. Abraham’s covenant and Faith walk was transferred down to Isaac and Isaac down to Jacob. Same example is found in Lois, Eunice and then Timothy.
“When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that is in thee also. (2 Tim. 1:5 KJV)
Every generation owes the next, to tell it of the mighty works of God. We owe our kids to tell them of our faith and walk with God.
Scriptures clearly inform us that God is highly interested in the next generation and not only interested in that, but He wants to document his dealings with us to show them.
“In the future, when your son asks you “What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and laws the Lord our God has commanded you?” tell him: “We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand” (Deut. 6: 20-21 NIV)
In Joshua 4: 1 – 6, Scriptures also give the account of God instructing the children to pick up twelve stones out of the Jordan, and to set the stones as a sign among them, so that in the future when their children ask what does the stones mean, they will be able to account on to the next generation what mighty acts God worked in their midst.
“That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, what mean ye by these stones?” Then ye shall answer them,…” (Joshua 4:6-7a KJV)
Imagine how spurred and encouraged we are when we read of the acts of the early church in the recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, same also should our generation be ready to encourage the next generation with testimonies of Faith.
One Generation will tell of His mighty works to another.
I call you Blessed,
And he said to them all, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. (Luke 9:23)
Jesus, speaking in the verse above used the word ‘cross’ to denote the ‘death’. Of course, through the death of the cross he paid for the sins of humanity. So, did he mean we are also to expect to be crucified like he was? No. Rather “taking up our cross daily” signifies “dying to the flesh daily”.
As believers we must be aware of the potency in our flesh to hinder or possibly stop the move of the spirit, the work of God in and through us. The flesh sometimes manifests as a veil denying men to see the glory of God upon us. As we allow the working of the spirit, putting the flesh to death, we create room and space for the holy spirit to work in and through us.
Oftentimes, the manifestation of the flesh is in our holding on to material things. We want to boast about our certificates, cars, houses, achievements and even sometimes our spiritual knowledge of scriptures. If there was any man in scriptures who had enough things to boast about, Paul was one.
In Philippians 3: 4 – 7, he itemized a lot of these things that he could boast about. Asides those, looking at his life, there were a lot of things to boast about. He was a Hebrew of the Hebrews (this was a strong spiritual boast in those days), a scholar who learned from the best (more like attending Harvard in our time), in prayers, fervent, in spiritual understanding he wrote a large part of the new testament we all read today and the list goes on and on. But instead of holding on to all of these, he said:
Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake, I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ. (Philippians 3: 8)
Paul, instead of holding on to all he had achieved, he counted them as “dung”, “garbage” instead, why? To gain Christ. To give more room for Christ to be revealed to him. As such, our holding on to these things actually rob us of the possible revelations of Christ that have been given to us to walk in.
It is interesting how we allow the flesh to have its way in our affairs every day without even noticing it. Recently, the Lord began to show me this in my own life. I noticed many of them were things that even though good to have, they were taking too much space in my heart.
Sometime ago I said to myself, I want to achieve this and buy that before the end of the year. I want to get better at work so I need to take that course, or learn that new software, etc. Even though all of these things are good, the moment they begin to become my top premonition, that’s likely the flesh.
The Lord wants to be first in all our affairs. The moment this happens in our lives, we are likely to have died completely to the flesh. This is also explained in Luke 9: 57 – 62.
Lastly, when temptations come, they are meant to check the amount to which our flesh is in control of our lives. To think that Judas and Peter were both followers of Jesus, but the devil knew that if Judas was tempted by money, that his flesh was still alive in that area, and he could be led by the flesh into betraying his master, is a strong indication showing us the potency of the flesh.
“But every person is tempted when he is drawn away, enticed and baited by his own evil desire (lust, passions)” James 1:14 AMP
Jesus overcame temptations by dying to the flesh. He didn’t just overcome by knowing scriptures, which is good but, he overcame because he didn’t allow lust for the material things of this world to be found in him.
“…And he has no claim on Me. [He has nothing in common with Me; there is nothing in Me that belongs to him, and he has no power over Me]” John 14:30
I will close with the words of Jesus, deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Christ.
I call you blessed