Sunday, June 16, 2019

Conclusion




There is an endless list of individuals in scriptures who served as instruments of change in the lives of others. The frequency of these occurrences is a reminder to us that life is meant to be lived purposefully. This great truth is exemplified by Jesus Himself. His ministry on earth was a clear example to us that the very essence of life is embedded in purpose which includes investing in the lives of a person. When you invest in a life, you have invested in a generation. When Mordecai invested in his cousin Esther, the Jews benefitted as a result. When Barnabas invested in the life of John Mark, we benefit and generations to come will continue to benefit as they read the book of Mark.

My encouragement to you is this, do not relent until you become an instrument of change in the lives of others. As you do, do not forget to examine your instrumentality. The purpose of examining your instrumentality is to reinforce, re-strategize and to remind yourself that you are on earth for a mission. 

Philip and The Ethiopian Eunuch




Acts 8:26-40 (NIV)
Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.” The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.  When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.
Emphasis Mine

Quite a lengthy portion of scripture and very life transforming. As we read this story, we get to understand that the Spirit of the Lord led Philip close to where the Ethiopian Eunuch was reading scriptures. Philip asked the Ethiopian Eunuch if he understood what he was reading and the Ethiopian Eunuch’s response was this “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?”(vs 31). There are so many lessons we can learn from this lengthy portion of scripture, however, for the purpose of examining your instrumentality, our focus will be on the question Philip asked the Ethiopian Eunuch. The Bible says in verse 30b “Do you understand what you are reading?” A very instrumental question from an instrument of change. “Do you understand what you are reading?”
This question served as a key that unlocked the doors to understanding scriptures and water baptism for the Ethiopian Eunuch; two very important aspects in our spiritual journey. For the life of the Ethiopian Eunuch, Philip will always be remembered as someone who helped him achieve significant milestones spiritually.

In order for you to help a person or people to experience spiritual milestones, you need to live a lifestyle of obedience to the Spirit of God. It was the Spirit of God in Philip and Philip’s obedience that led him to become an instrument of change in the Ethiopian Eunuch’s life.
Philip’s question and subsequent action towards the Ethiopian eunuch was indicative of many things;
1)     Philip’s question was timely and necessary. One challenge we face in life that causes us to be ineffective is that we sometimes ask the wrong questions and we sometimes answer questions people are not asking.
2)     Philip was interested in the spiritual growth and development of the Ethiopian Eunuch.
He patiently explained scriptures to the Eunuch.
3)     Philip did not undermine what he knew about scriptures and he was conscious of being a blessing to others by sowing spiritual seeds into their lives.

So, my question to you today is this – what is stopping you from becoming the instrument of change? Could it be that you do not know the right question (s) to ask? Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you. Could it be that you are not very interested in the spiritual growth and development of others, besides yours? If that is the case, examine your love walk and receive help from the Spirit of God. Could it be that you undermine what you know and think no one will benefit from it? Whatever your questions are, I will like for you to remember this “a Spirit-Led question could be the instrument that you will use to gain access into the life of a person.” Learn from Philip and become an instrument of change in your generation.



Sunday, June 9, 2019

The Slave Girl & Naaman



I will like you to think of as many instruments as possible. As you reflect on these instruments, think about their uses and how beneficial these instruments have been to you or people you know. The reason I ask you to do so is because I do not want you to lose sight of why you are listening to this series. Even the smallest and insignificant instrument is useful. Subsequently, we will be looking at another example in scripture how the life of an army commander was changed as a result of an advice received from an Israelite slave girl.

2 Kings 5:1-3 (NIV)
 Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the Lord had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy.  Now bands of raiders from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife.  She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”

This was a slave girl whom under such circumstances, her opinions will not count. Nevertheless, she had vital information that will transform the life and appearance of her master. She could not get the message to Naaman directly but that did not stop her. That is what happens when your desire to make a difference in a life surpasses your status in society.  She eventually tells Naaman’s wife, thinking, perhaps his wife will tell him. Naaman’s wife told him, thank God, and he was able to meet Prophet Elisha. Naaman received his healing according to the instructions given by Prophet Elisha. What a testimony. Would you agree with me that the Israelite slave girl was very instrumental to that household? It was very shameful to be leprous in Naaman’s days.

I bring up this particular story to emphasize that no one is insignificant when it comes to being an instrument of change. Have you ever wondered whether or not your opinion about a situation counts? I believe the slave girls’ thoughts were not far from yours, nevertheless, she did not hold back the information. Sometimes when you wonder whether or not your opinion counts, I encourage you to go ahead and prayerfully provide the information. Someone will be blessed if not the person you are sharing the information with. As insignificant as the Israelite slave girl was, she became an instrument of change in the life of Naaman the Army Commander. Examine your instrumentality. You are not insignificant. Meaning, you are not too small or unimportant to be worth consideration.








Jesus & The Man At The Pool of Bethesda



John 5:1-10 (NIV)
Sometime later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.  One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”  “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”

This is a very familiar story; the healing at the pool of Bethesda. Today, I will like us to examine this story in light of examining our instrumentality. Most often, when we hear this story read and explained, it almost suggests that the invalid man at the pool of Bethesda was not enthusiastic enough about his change. And that 38years is quite a long time to not successfully scoot to the edge of the pool and be ready in time to dive in when the angel stirs the water. That can be very true, however, today, I will like for us to look at this story from a different perspective.
Could it be that his physical state of being was the reason why no one came to his rescue? I say so because when Jesus asked him if he wants to get well, his immediate response was that “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” By implication, getting help from someone was not forbidden, however, no one was available to offer the help.

How busy was the society then that this invalid man could not get any attention or minimal help?
When Jesus asked him “Do you want to get well?” The expected response is “yes” or “no”, however, the invalid man explained his response which was eventually interpreted to Jesus as “yes”. Has anyone ever thought about why the man could not give Jesus a direct answer? When I think about this story, I see a man who is deprived attention from people. A man who wants to be heard. A man who not only wants to be healed but also wants to be heard in the process.

Jesus eventually became the instrument of change in his life and his story changed forever. My question to you is this – how many people do you ignore often who may need very little help from you which will transform their lives? How many people are you avoiding because according to societal standards, they do not fit in? How many people do you take the time to listen to and attend to their needs?

There are many questions I can ask you in line with this story. However, my goal is to encourage you to examine your instrumentality. Sometimes it does not take much to become an instrument of change in a person’s life. Jesus was instrumental in the healing of this man. It all began when Jesus showed interest in him and provided a listening ear. Provide a listening ear to people as the Spirit leads you.




Sunday, June 2, 2019

Barnabas & Saul




Acts 9:26-30 (NIV)
When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord.  He talked and debated with the Hellenistic Jews, but they tried to kill him. When the believers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.

Many things to look out for in this portion of scripture. Paul has regained his sight and he immediately starts preaching amongst the Jews. His message was true yet everyone around him questioned his authenticity because of his past life. They even plotted to kill him because they sincerely thought he was not genuine. Here is what I will like you to see when everyone doubted Saul, one person did not. That person was Barnabas. The name Barnabas also means “Son of Encouragement”. As we read earlier in Acts 9:26 (NIV) - When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles.

Our focus today is on Barnabas. How can we examine our instrumentality through the eyes of Barnabas in this day and age? First, we need to ask the Spirit of God within us to help take off any limitations that prevent us from seeing people the right way. Our eyes need to be open in order to see the great potentials in people. Secondly, we need to put aside judgmental attitudes. The disciples were very judgmental of Saul and they could not see past their judgment towards him. Thirdly, be careful not to allow a person’s past determine how you deal with them in the future.


Barnabas became very instrumental in the life of Saul who was later re-named, Paul. They ministered the gospel on many occasions together. Saul was greatly encouraged by Barnabas. Today, most Christians talk about Paul, how great he was and how he is still influencing our lives through his epistles. Very few remember the instrument of change called Barnabas. Choose to become a Barnabas (A son or daughter of Encouragement) in your generation.  

Ananias & Saul




Let’s continue to examine our instrumentality through the eyes of Ananias. He was very instrumental in the life of Saul. The Saul we are referring to in this context was the person who was later called Paul after his life-changing encounter with Jesus.
Our focus today will be on a few verses in the book of Acts 9 however, I will like to present to you a brief background on the life of Saul. Saul was a Roman citizen and a student of Gamaliel. In our day, we will say Saul went to Yale or Harvard and he was taught by the best teachers. Saul was an intellectual and was very zealous for his course. He passionately persecuted the church and consented to the killing of Stephen. Saul later had an encounter with Jesus and lost his eyesight. After this event, Saul was led to the house of Judas, by the men who traveled with him. These details will come in handy soon. Amen.

Acts 9:10-18 (NIV)
In Damascus, there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”
“Yes, Lord,” he answered. The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying.  In a vision, he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”  “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.” But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength.


Our goal is to present to you from scripture, many ways through which you can become an instrument of change. Ananias is faced with this great challenge because of an instruction he received from the Lord as we can see from the scriptures we just read. Will he obey God and help Saul regain his sight or will he not. Thank God Ananias obeyed and Saul received his sight.
Back to you.
- Who is that person you are afraid to help regain their vision because everything you know about them seems to be dangerous? Saul persecuted the church and consented to the killing of Stephen.
- Who is that person you are afraid to help regain their vision because you esteem them higher than you in one way or the other? Paul was an intellectual. He studied in the best school and had the best teacher, Gamaliel.
- Who is that person whose clarity of vision depends on you and because of fear, you held back help from them? Saul’s vision was dependent on Ananias’ obedience. Thank God Ananias obeyed.
These are very serious questions to think about. Ananias was very instrumental to Saul regaining his eyesight/vision. Choose to be an Ananias in your generation. Do not allow fear rob you of the benefits of becoming an instrument of change in your generation. Saul was later called Paul and he authored most of the books in the New Testament.





Sunday, May 26, 2019

Andrew and Simon Peter




Andrew was the brother to Simon Peter and Andrew served as an instrument of change in the live of his brother Simon Peter. As we look at their story and receive the blessings and the lessons it has to offer, I will like for you to remember that your instrumentality in the life of another is not always as a result of your direct activity with that person. Meaning, you may not necessarily be the one to bring about change in them, however, you can serve as a tool that leads them to where they can receive change.

John 1:40-42 (NIV)
Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).
Summarily, Andrew found Jesus and embraced him and the very first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon. Andrew brought Simon to Jesus. Immediately, Simon received a name change from Jesus Christ. Initially, he was called Simon, when he encountered Jesus because of Andrew, his name changed to Peter. This may not seem very significant to you until I mention to you that this Peter is the same Peter mentioned in the book of Acts who preached and about 3000people received salvation. This Peter is the one who authored the book of 1st and 2nd Peter as we find in the bible. All these subsequently happened, however, the journey began with a simple introduction to Jesus.
It is noteworthy that many have used scriptures such as Mark 6:4 (ESV) which states that And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” As a prerequisite not to reach out to those closest to them. When you read this scripture in context, you will see that before this statement was made, Jesus made an attempt to reach out in His hometown. So, just before you conclude or give up on your hometown, your household, and your relatives, make an attempt to tell them about Jesus.

Remember, we are examining our instrumentality. I thought one way to start is to begin examining the eternal difference (s) we are making in the lives of others. Who has come to a better understanding of the “Word” (Jesus) because of you? Who has accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord because of you? Who has received a name change because of you?
You may say, it was not in my power to do all these. I can agree with you, however, what are you doing to invest in yourself in order to become that instrument of change? Please do not take the questions lightly. Think through them and become an “Andrew” in your generation.




Examine "Your" Instrumentality




Welcome family to this series titled “Examine Your Instrumentality”. Just like the title states, the goal of this series is to probe you to a place where you physically and spiritually examine your instrumentality. To “examine” is to inspect someone or something in detail, to determine their nature and condition; to investigate thoroughly. “Instrumentality” is the quality of serving as an instrument. This series is a call to examine “your” instrumentality not someone else’s. It is a call to take inventory of your life, not another person’s life. With these understandings, you will agree with me that it is not a casual activity. It has to be done intentionally for the purpose of re-strategizing where needed; improve where needed and introduce excellence in the already successful areas. This series will serve as a tool to help navigate you through the thought processes and the many things you ought to do in order to properly look into the details of your life, your purpose, your vision, your lifestyle.
As you listen, I will like you to begin thinking – how instrumental am I to the Father, the Lord God my creator? How instrumental am I in the lives of the people around me? How instrumental am I to the world I live in and to the situations I encounter? Another way to ask this question is “What am I living for? Whom am I living for? How does my family, my neighborhood, my county or province, my world benefit because I am alive?

Whatever the questions you ask and however you choose to ask them, one thing remains, the goal is to evaluate yourself and begin making the necessary changes. There is always room for improvement when we think we have failed and when we think we are very successful. Please do not live another day idle. Do not live another day doing things that are destructive to you or to your environment. Rather, invest your life, your time, your resources for kingdom advancement.
It all starts with you. How willing are you to invest in yourself to a place where you can begin investing in others. As we all know, heaven and hell are real. My final questions to you today are these; “Who will make heaven because you led them to the saving knowledge of salvation and they accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord of their life? “Whose life has been destroyed by you; be it through your words or your actions.

Together, we will learn from the word of God how people were instrumental in the lives of others and how that changed them forever. We will carefully identify these instruments of change and look at different ways in which we too can become instruments of change in the lives of other people. Stay tuned.



Sunday, May 19, 2019

God Gives “Patiently”



1
Patience plays a key role in giving and that is very evident in the Father’s giving even up to this moment. To be patient is one’s ability to tolerate delay; to suffer long. When it comes to giving, patience is required. The fact that you have something good and godly to offer is no guarantee that it will always be accepted. Please settle that within you.
-We see patience exercised through love in the Father’s giving. We are told in scripture that love is patient, love kind (1 Corinthians 13:4). When we look at our verse of interest we see that love was the reason why He sacrificed His son. It says “For God so loved the world that He gave…”
The Father exercised patience in the giving process in that man was truly undeserving of the gift yet, He had to look past that aspect and still offer the gift of salvation because He had the future in mind.
Even after the gift has been offered and many have received that gift, many others still need to receive the gift of salvation in order to be redeemed. So, the Father continues to be patient with man. We are told…

2 Peter 3:9 (NIV)
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
So, my encouragement to you is this, do not despair if the great gift or resources you have to offer are not received. It is not unusual. It is constantly being done to the Father. Continue to trust the Father to redirect the paths of those who will and should receive it from you. Amen.
Remain patient in your giving lifestyle. In Jesus Name. Amen.










God Gives “Substantially”



1
The Father’s gifts to us are of great quality and quantity. If you evaluate every gift of God the Father in your life, you will attest to the fact that it has been of great worth and value. That is how He gives. His very best, all the time. Amen.
I will like us to take a moment to appreciate the Father’s gift to us. The gift of His son and every other gift we have received from Him. The gift of His son was a seed He sowed. Most often we do not value a seed as we ought to mostly because we do not have a full understanding and picture of the harvest we will get as a result of the seed sown.

God’s gift of His son is a gift that keeps on giving. Have you ever thought about it? Thousands of years ago Jesus was crucified and resurrected for the purpose of salvation and today many who receive this gift are guaranteed a new life. What a seed?
With this understanding, how differently will you sow your seed? How can you ensure that your gift keeps on giving even in your absence? I believe one way we can do so is by speaking into the seed even before we sow it. Any kind of seed. Be it financial; a word of advice; time, and other resources so that those into whom this is being sown will receive their part and begin to improve in the respective areas.
Add value to your seed with your words. Speak into the future of that seed. Give your seed a mission to accomplish. And do so prayerfully. Amen! Then sit back and watch it manifest for the glory of the Lord. Amen.







Sunday, May 12, 2019

God Gives “As The Source”



1
God is the source and He knows He is the source. This is important to know because when He gives, He does not give with the mindset that He will run out. The source never runs dry. Also, in giving His son Jesus, He did not look up to anyone for that decision to be made. It was His decision to give His only son. When it comes to our giving, we should give with an understanding that He is the source. Sometimes, we need to be reminded about His place as the source in our giving. In your giving lifestyle, get to a place where your focus is on the Father and your understanding is that He is the source. This point cannot be overemphasized.

Your giving attitude will change when you make this truth yours. Most often, when we receive an instruction to give we hold back because it could be the very last thing we have but remember that God gave His only begotten son. And today He has many sons and daughters in return.
Your giving is an act of faith; it is your demonstration of your understanding of the principle of the seed; it is your demonstration of confidence in your source and your giving is also your act of obedience.
God gives as the source. We give as channels in that, we can allow ourselves to become the medium through which kingdom resources pass through to others. When this happens, you can be guaranteed that you will never run dry. Amen.








1) God Gives “In Response To Faith”



1
John 3:16 (NKJV)
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

We continue to look at John 3:16 as our verse of interest. It says, “whoever” believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. Remember we are looking at the attitudes that support the attribute of giving. Faith is one of them. When a word is received and understood, faith comes. That word becomes the foundation upon which the action takes place. In this case, the action will be giving. 
When Jesus was being crucified, the Bible had not been written, however, that was the word in action. We read about it today because we were not there to experience it. Therefore, if you were present right after His crucifixion and resurrection and you believed all that took place then, salvation will be yours. Amen. We are bringing up all these explanations just to say that the written word of God is also God’s word to you, just as His spoken word to you, and if you receive, understand and apply it, that is faith for you.
So, upon the foundation of this faith (the word received), the Father is obligated to respond because He upholds His word and His word will not return to Him void. It will fulfill the purpose for which it was sent.
The question then is, how does God give in response to faith? When you believe or when you have faith in His word that says “that it was for the purpose of everlasting life that He gave His only begotten son and that when you believe, salvation will be yours, then it will be given to you. Other scriptures like Romans 10:9-10 walks you through the process step by step.
So, you believing the word concerning salvation is what grants you access to the gift of salvation.

God gives to us in response to faith because He gives in response to the word. It suffices to say that at any given point, His giving is in response to the word. So too should or giving be in response to the word.

At all times, giving is in response to the word be it the written word or a specific word He speaks to you. Therefore, anyone can and should exercise their faith when it comes to giving. Amen.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

God Gives “Generously”




1)     God Gives “Generously”
The impartiality of God’s giving is a reflection of His generosity. If you are impartial, the scope of your interest through giving is beyond your comfort zone and beyond the people you know and are interested in. To be generous is to show readiness to give more of something. We are still looking at John 3:16 as our verse of interest. God was generous with the only gift He had for man’s redemption. He did not hold back. How then do we categorize generosity and the Father’s giving if indeed generosity is to show readiness to give more of something. The Father had one son, Jesus. Who else would He have given? In the kingdom, the quality of your gift is most important than the quantity. There are times when you will have good quality and quantity, however, quality precedes quantity. The Father was so generous with His most priceless gift to a place where He was willing to give up that gift for people who indeed did not qualify. This is a very deep and profound revelation of giving. Most people truly give because they feel that the other person deserves what they have to offer. Others give after private investigations to find out if what they have to offer will be accepted. None of such considerations were made by the Father. He had a priceless gift to offer, He offered it freely to “whosoever”. Whosoever believes in Jesus, will not perish but have eternal life. Meaning the name tag of everyone on earth can be attached to that gift if the individual makes a decision to accept Jesus as Lord of their lives.

Another attitude I will like for us to learn from the Father is that there is a time sensitivity tag and obedience attached to your generosity. Meaning, yes! You should be ready to give more of something, your quality should precede your quantity. However, it should be the thing that God the Father is asking you to give. You should not give more of something just because you have an abundance of it. It is not wrong but that is where obedience comes in. Giving when instructed to and giving what you have been instructed to give as well. Amen.

Let’s look at this example together. The death of a life was the only remedy for our justification. I want you to understand that it wasn’t just the death of any life, but the life of His son, Jesus. What if God decided to sow an animal life first or the life of another human and say you know what, I will show the life of my son later? Think about the risks involved in that thought process. That decision would not have been time sensitive and it would not have been in line with the word. I hope we all agree with that?

Here is the point, God gives generously yet His generosity is guided by time and principles. So, in conclusion, God gives generously, and what we learn from His generosity is that quality precedes quantity, and His generosity is guided by time and principles.








God Gives “Impartially”




God gives impartially. To be impartial is to act just and fair in every situation. When you take a closer look at John 3:16a we are told that “For God So loved the world that He gave His one and only son”. God’s love was for the world meaning it was for everyone, not specific people. It was not reserved for the good people and withheld from the bad people. His love was equally distributed to all that was in the world. And that is still the case today. God the Father saw the need for man to be restored through redemption by His son. And that could not be done if He took sides with specific people.

1 John 4:8 tells us that God is love, meaning, that is who He is, His very essence. He does not only love as we see stated in John 3:16, He is love as well. This is very important to highlight because it takes love to be impartial. If at any time you find yourself showing partiality, check you love walk because partiality is a sign of an affected love walk. Amen.
Where else do we see the impartiality of God demonstrated in this verse? We see the fact that He loved the whole world and was willing to forgive the world despite how far they had drifted from Him. And that is still the case today.

 One thing a sinner is guaranteed when they confess Jesus as Lord over their lives is that they will be forgiven irrespective of how terrible they had lived their lives. As a kingdom citizen, you are also guaranteed forgiveness when you sincerely repent. It is also noteworthy that the justice system of our Father is an expression of His love. We see very clearly that He has made a sacrificial provision for salvation and also stated the outcome for anyone who recognizes and accepts the death of His son as a pathway to redemption. Therefore, if an individual chooses not to accept this sacrifice, there are consequences to that action. Ezekiel 18:20 clearly states that the soul that sins, will die. So, the choice is ours – would you choose eternal life as promised in John 3:16 or will you chose death as promised in Ezekiel 18:20?

So much has been said, however, our emphasis is on the impartial attitude of our Father when it comes to the attribute of giving. We can all become benefactors of this loving attribute in our relationships. A good place to start will be to understand what God’s kind of love is all about. What is it you need to do in order to abound in this love to a place where it is expressed through your giving and other areas of life? I will refer you to 1 Corinthians 13 to study for yourself what love is and what love is not.




Sunday, April 28, 2019

God Gives “Purposefully”





John 3:16 (NIV)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

God gave His one and only son for the purpose of salvation. The terms of His giving are clearly stated in John 3:16b…that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. So, as God the Father sowed this seed of love through giving, it was not random but purposeful. He sought to achieve a goal when He gave His Son. God gives “purposefully”; and because His giving is purposeful, it is done, strategically, knowledgeably and sacrificially.
Strategically because Jesus was not sacrificed for the sins of the world at birth. God the Father had to wait for the appropriate time in order to align with prophecy about the death of His Son. Knowledgeably in that, God the Father understands the principle of the seed and that when He sows the life of His son, He will reap many lives as a harvest. And sacrificially, in that, He understands that giving is not always convenient. Amen.

This is our take-home message – giving is good, however, it is best to give purposefully. How is that done?  Here is one approach, although giving is good, be very thoughtful about your giving. Be it the giving of your time or other resources. What is your goal? Or what is your motive for giving? Are you giving to advance the kingdom or are you giving for the purpose of manipulation? You may not always be able to weigh the outcome of your giving, however, it is in your power to obtain wisdom from the word on how to skillfully sow your seed through giving.

What I mean by this is that God the Father wanted to redeem mankind, so, He sowed His son. Therefore, the harvest will be many children in the kingdom as they come to the loving knowledge of salvation and entering the kingdom. Every seed produces after its kind. Therefore, it is wise to strategically give and expect harvest in specific areas. Amen.



God Gives “Selflessly”




Previously we saw that the abounding love of the Father led to the giving of His Son Jesus to die for our sins.
John 3:16 (NKJV)
For God so loved

We also emphasized that the foundation of giving is love and giving is the lifestyle of the kingdom. Our foundational text is John 3:16 which says that “For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life”.
The attitude of selflessness can be seen in this portion of scripture. God gives selflessly and His selfless nature can be seen throughout scriptures beginning from Genesis.

Genesis 1:26 (NIV)
Then God said, "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

Genesis 2:7 (NIV)
Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

So, not only are we created in His image and likeness, we also have His breath within us. Amen. Then, we come to John 3:16 and we are told that He gave His only begotten son. That is the attitude of the giver. These are just a few scriptures that expound on His selfless nature. Selflessness is the watchword here.

The question then is, how can we apply this very profound attitude of selflessness to our lifestyle of giving? I believe we can do so when we attempt to see from the Father’s perspective. The Father always have the bigger picture in mind. For example, when He created man, He desired fellowship. Fellowship beyond the trinity and fellowship with His kind. How else could he have gotten His kind if man was not created in His image and likeness?
Also, when we look at the giving of His son, it was for the redemption of mankind. Amen. So too, if we relate with a depth of understanding of the Father’s love and a bigger picture in mind, we will not be narrow-minded in our approach. Eventually, our giving will be effortless.
His focus was not what he will keep but the harvest as a result of His giving. Together, let’s learn from the Father and become a selfless givers. Amen.




Sunday, April 21, 2019

God "Gives"




As part of our studies on the relational attributes of the Father, I will like us to camp around the aspect of His giving, understanding it both as a relational attribute and the attitude behind it.
We agree that God gives. Again, what is the attitude behind this attribute? That is the direction we will follow as we proceed in this teaching. God Gives! He not only gives; He outgives! No one can give as much as He does, however, each one of us can learn from Him, the attitude of a giver. A person’s ability to give is a relational attribute that is birthed or that is directly connected to the relational attribute of love. We are told in John 3:16 That “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son and whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.

So, the giving of His Son at that time is directly related to His love for the world. This is very important because, through giving, an individual could be blessed or manipulated. It can go both ways. Meaning, both the giver and the receiver can be blessed or manipulated in the process. There is an attitude of the giver and there is also an attitude of the receiver. Our emphasis is on the attitude of the giver. Amen. If your giving is not done out of love, it is preferable to learn and understand the attitude of a giver. I would not say you should not give, just because you do not have the right attitude, rather, learn the attitude of the giver and apply it to your life then will you see results. In the kingdom, you will discover that your life depends on your giving. There are many aspects of giving.

It is impossible to live the kingdom life without giving. Some doors in your life will only open up to you when you give. So do not let the enemy steal from you or lie to you when it comes to the area of giving. John 3:16 is a great scripture that expounds on the attitude of the giver. God Himself.

We have looked at the fact that the foundation of giving is love. Not just any kind of love. The God kind of love. The degree to which God’s love abounds in you will determine how far you will go with your giving and how much you will give. We are looking at this in context of John 3:16. For God to have sacrificed His only Son for sinful man, tells me that His love for man was not casual, it was abounding. Gradually, we are beginning to unfold the attitude of the giver.
So, we will conclude by saying this – God gives. That’s who He is. His giving is out of abounding love. Consider becoming a giver as well and learn how to grow in love so that you will give just as the Father Himself does. Amen.


Conclusion

There is an endless list of individuals in scriptures who served as instruments of change in the lives of others. The frequency of th...