Today's Date & Time

GIVING & RECEIVING

In our neighborhood, high concrete walls surround our homes. Many of these walls are enhanced with electric barbed wires lining the top. The purpose? To ward off robbers.

Frequent power outages are also a problem in our community. These outages render the front gate-bell useless. Because of the wall, a visitor may be kept out in the scorching sun or torrential rain during these outages. Yet even when the gate-bell works, to admit the visitor might depend on who they are. Our fence-walls serve a good purpose, but they can become walls of discrimination—even when the visitor is obviously not an intruder.

The Samaritan woman whom Jesus met at the well had a similar difficulty with discrimination. The Jews had nothing to do with Samaritans. When Jesus asked her for a drink, she said, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (John 4:9). As she began to open up to Jesus, she had a life-changing experience that positively affected her and her neighbors (vv. 39–42). Jesus became the bridge that broke the wall of hostility and favoritism.

The lure to discriminate is real, and we need to identify it in our lives. As Jesus showed us, we can reach out to all people regardless of nationality, social status, or reputation. He came to build bridges.

Lord, thank You for teaching me not to discriminate among people. Help me to see people through Your eyes so that I may honor You.Jesus breaks down the walls of discrimination.



Jewish-Samaritan tension had a long history. When Israel was overrun by Assyria (743–720 bc; see 2 Kings 15–18), most of the people were taken into exile, but a small remnant stayed behind under Assyrian rule. In the ensuing years, these populations intermarried, producing the ethnically mixed group known as Samaritans. This perceived ethnic “impurity” was the basis for Jewish disregard for their northern cousins. Are there people you’re disregarding because of perceived inferiority?
God hates stagnation. Life is supposed to be progressive and dynamic and not static. Prov.4:18 -But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

What many people are celebrating today will become obsolete tomorrow. Success you don’t improve on will become failure tomorrow. God wants you to improve on daily basis. What may be termed flashy today may become shabby tomorrow. What you are celebrating today as a result may be disgusting tomorrow; never settle for mediocrity.

On the road of excellence, there is no speed limit. To strive for continuous improvement on your road to excellence, you must avoid complacency and embrace continuous self-education. Schooling is different from self-education. School gives you information while self-education gives you transformation. Self-education is personal discoveries that can make you to recover your destiny in life. Great men succeed via self-development. You have to go beyond what school has taught you.

Another way to strive for continuous improvement is to major and improve on your comparative advantage. Your comparative advantage is your unique selling point. Continuously improve on your strength and not your weakness.

Judges 20:16 – Among all this people there were seven hundred chosen men left-handed; every one could sling stones at an hair breadth, and not miss.

The men in the above scripture were chosen because of their peculiarity; not because of their uniformity. If you want to continually improve, sharpen your strength and stop going for your weakness. Don’t do something everybody is doing; do something you can easily do and sharpen that skill. Your comparative advantage is in that your strength; that is where the world will know you from. Keeping improving on what you have proved and not in some other person’s area which you have not proved. David refused to use Saul’s armor to fight Goliath because he had not proved Saul’s armor. What brought David to limelight was a sling and a stone; not a military weapons.

1Sam.17:39 -And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him.

Striving to improve is simply looking at your unique selling proposition; using your energy to develop it. So, strive for excellence in the area of your strength. Stop celebrating your weakness and start encouraging your strength. May your strength announce you to your world in the name of Jesus!!

Furthermore, you have to embrace paradigm shift. A paradigm shift is about how we think, how we see things and how people see things differently. Don’t be blinded by your success of yesterday; rather improve it with what is happening today. Many people allow their successful pasts block the vision of their future. Thus, you need to open your mind to new ideas and be willing to exploit different ways of doing things; you must always open yourself to new things.

Success is a progressive realization of a worthy goal; it is not synonymous to rigidity and dogmatism. Success will become failure if you refuse to change with new ideas.

Isaiah 43:18-19 -Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

If God is embracing new things, you cannot afford not to embrace and do new things. You need a paradigm shift. It is not possible to make continuous progress when you are not teachable and correctable.



Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only (Philippians 4:15).

Sometimes, there’re those who get very excited when we say, “In giving to the Lord, it doesn’t really matter the ‘size’ of the seed.” But the Bible says, _“…this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully”_ (2 Corinthians 9:6).

In other words, if you’re miserly in your giving, you’ll reap a paltry or meagre harvest, but if you give generously, you’ll also reap generously. That’s the Word; it’s a spiritual law. It’s simply about sowing and reaping, or as Paul puts it in our opening verse, “giving and receiving.” You don’t need to “pray” to God to make a law work which He already instituted. Laws, any kind of law, when applied rightly, would produce the requisite results. Likewise, if you misapply them, they’ll work against you.

There’re things you don’t need to petition God to make happen, once you’ve acted on the Word or on a spiritual principle. This is clear in some of the parables of Jesus on how the Kingdom of God functions. For example, when you read Mark 4:26-28, He didn’t say after sowing into the ground, the man fasted and prayed for the seeds to grow; no! Rather, he went to sleep; and of their own accord, the seeds grew and produced fruits.

When you apply the law of sowing, it works. The Bible says, _“While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease”_ (Genesis 8:22). As long as there’s seed time, it means harvest is assured and it can be anytime; the harvest happens automatically.

God isn’t necessarily the one to make the harvest happen. All He does is to channel His grace and favour towards you for superabundance. 2 Corinthians 9:8 (AMPC) says, _“And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient [possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation].”_ Always give bountifully, for the promise is to the giver, not the receiver (Luke 6:38).
Ecclesiastes 11:6 In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both [shall be] alike good. Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. Hebrews 12:16 .Compromise injures a believer’s spiritual life as surely as landmines wreak havoc upon the body. Our testimony is damaged or destroyed when we bend God’s principles.

For example, suppose a young Christian woman meets an attractive man who doesn’t share her beliefs. For years, she has known Paul’s caution, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers” and recognizes the apostle’s intention to protect Christians from worldly influences (2 Cor. 6:14). But she rationalizes that one date won’t hurt her. Actually, she is probably right.  However, a first date leads to second and third and then to a relationship. He offers marriage, she accepts, and then marries him only to experience a life time of troubles and pain.
To navigate a spiritual minefield, we must look a few steps ahead for possible danger. Even choices that seem trivial may have far-reaching consequences. This is why the Lord equips us with a “divine GPS:” the voice of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit also sounds an alarm in our spirit if we veer into dangerous territory.
For us to hear these warnings, our heart must be tuned to the Holy Spirit’s wavelength through Scripture study. Relying on our own understanding can lead to trouble. But those who trust the Lord and apply His principles will find straight paths through potentially explosive situations. For safe travel through this dangerous world, decide to obey His initial warning so you can steer clear of destructive explosives.

Hebrews 12:12-17; 12 Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, 13     and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed. 14     Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; 16     lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. 17 For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears. NKJV

Do you want to speak well and say the right things? Your words are important because they will affect your relationships. They can affect your relationship with your boss, spouse, friends and even God. That's why we must learn how to speak well. In an interview situation words can determine whether you are hired and you will need words to win the love of your life.

Psalms 37:30-31, "The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment. The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide." You can learn to speak the right words in different circumstances by putting the law of God or the word in your heart.

This means you must read and listen to the Word. Whatever is in your heart will eventually escapes out of your mouth. That's why people tend to talk about the person they have fallen in love with because love has filled their heart. Because the word is full of wisdom, the righteous “speaketh wisdom” wisdom and good decisions or judgment will flow out of your mouth as a result. Meditate on the Word and learn to speak well and you will avoid making mistakes because “none of his steps shall slide”

Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently…what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow (1 Peter 1:10-11).

After the sufferings of Christ, a life of glory ensued. You don’t need to “pay” any additional price, aside what Christ already did for you to have a beautiful life, and be all that God wants you to be. His sacrifice was enough. Due to that sacrifice, you’ve become one with God; you’re now a partaker of His life and of His righteousness. What He expects of you now is that you enjoy your life and live your best to His glory.

On the Cross, before His death, Jesus said, “...It is finished...”(John 19:30). He announced the end to suffering for all humanity. Anyone who believes in Him and accepts His vicarious sacrifice is automatically ushered into the transcendent life of glory. Yes, Christ suffered for us, but that suffering brought us life eternal, and righteousness.

Moreover, the story didn’t end with His death; the Bible says, “…Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day…” (Luke 24:46-47). Therefore, rather than lament, we celebrate His death for us; much more, we celebrate His resurrection that gave us a new life and made us associates of the God-kind.

God wants you to live every day in the victory of the death, burial and glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ. This means if you were lying on a sickbed, it’s time to get up, because His suffering brought an end to sickness, disease and infirmities. Just as death and the grave couldn’t hold Him down, nothing of darkness should be able to exert influence or control over you; refuse to allow anything keep you in bondage.

Refuse to allow poverty take a hold of you, for Jesus took your place of poverty on the Cross and gave you prosperity (2 Corinthians 8:9). If you’ve desired to have children but couldn’t, because there’s something wrong with your womb, change has come! Now you can, because of the victory of Christ’s sacrifice. Glory to His Name forever! All things are possible in His mighty Name. Amen.

Hebrews 10:14; For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

Titus 3:5 CEV; He saved us because of his mercy, and not because of any good things that we have done. God washed us by the power of the Holy Spirit. He gave us new birth and a fresh beginning.

Hebrews 9:27-28; And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

God does not create anything insignificant, inferior, or without a purpose."

In the Christian circle, purpose is a word that is used frequently, yet to me it was just a word. However, if we are to get where we are going in this life, purpose is the defining factor to the end result. On my new venture with my heavenly father, I began to get the clarity necessary for a successful journey and slowly realized the whole point of getting saved was not just to secure a spot in heaven when the Lord returns, but more so that I would be a living testimony for Jesus Christ.

Life is more than just passing through to get to a better place; even though that will be the end result, we have to believe that life is much more, and that the reason we were put on the earth is not to do time or to buy time but accomplish something with the time we have been given. We have to arrive at a place in our lives where we are convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt that we have been created on purpose for purpose!

God’s plan for creating us was intentional and deliberate, and there had to be a process of planning which would have crystallized the details for the finished product. My friends, I want to make this statement a personal one as you say it out loud so you can hear yourself, “I am created on purpose for purpose!”



“So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.” —Nehemiah 1:4

Before a single stone was laid to rebuild Jerusalem's walls, Nehemiah began the work on his knees before God. He fasted and mourned over his motherland's vulnerability. The soon-to-be construction foreman then offered up a three-part prayer. First, he confessed Israel's sin; next, he reminded the Lord of His promises to the faithful; and finally, he requested success for his plans.

Like Nehemiah, all of us are to be nation-builders. His response to Israel's situation should be our template for fighting threats of evil to our homelands. Perhaps you've never thought to fast over a national crisis. Or you may not know that you can intercede about your countrymen's disobedience to God. But taking action to protect and serve others is a believer's responsibility (Matt. 25:35-40).

Some people argue that one individual's prayers or activities cannot make a dent in a country's problems. Nehemiah proved otherwise. God used him to gather supplies and organize the Jewish people to rebuild Jerusalem's walls in just 52 days (Neh. 6:15).

The effect of your intercession will likely be subtler than Nehemiah's. In fact, until you reach heaven, you may not even know the impact. Countries are always in flux, but steps of change are often so small as to be imperceptible day to day. If we are to build nations where the innocent are protected and justice prevails, then we must begin as Nehemiah did—on our knees.

DECLARATION
What was meant to harm you will work out for your good! Every disappointment, every setback God will turn around for your good! Just trust God to open the right doors at the right time! We are healed to help others. We are blessed to be a blessing. We are saved to serve, not to sit around and wait for heaven!God knows how to reach you! Listen and trust His still, small voice! Do not follow your heart. Follow the conviction of the Holy Spirit! If you ever pretend to be smarter than scripture's, you have lost your future.

When Joseph's brothers sold him, they thought it was over for him! But they found him in governor's clothes in Egypt! Concerning you, your enemies think yourself have been humiliated and destroyed! But God uses their actions to lift you up! I tell you that despite their attacks, you will be a source of blessings, because you are born to be a subject of glory! You were never created to live a defeated life, You are created to live a victorious life! Born to win! From glory to glory!
No matter what mess you may have found yourself in one thing is for sure if you trust in God,he will make something good out of it. He didn't cause the mess but He never puts to shame those who trust in him.as you trust in God following his instructions to you through the Holy Spirit,the mess will soon clear. Shalom


PRAYER
[1] Heavenly Father, I thank you for the privilege of giving into the Gospel. I’m blessed in all I do, and prosper in all things, because I’m a giver. I’ll always give bountifully for the propagation of the Gospel of Christ in all the earth; likewise, my harvest is sure, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

[2] Blessed Father, I’m grateful for your life in me, which was made possible by the resurrection of Christ from the dead. I thank you that I’m the object of your love, and my prosperity and wellbeing are your delight. I live in the victory of Christ, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

[3] Lord, give me a burden for the peace and development of my country.



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